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עמוד בית
Mon, 11.12.23

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December 2012
M. Shamir, R. Dickstein and E. Tirosh

Background: The effectiveness of intensive versus standard physical therapy for motor progress in children with cerebral palsy is controversial. Sitting acquisition is considered an important developmental milestone.  

Objectives: To assess the acquisition of sitting and gross motor progress in infants with cerebral palsy treated with intermittent intensive physical therapy as compared to a matched group treated with a standard physical therapy regimen.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled crossover study in 10 infants aged 12–22 months with cerebral palsy; 5 were assigned to the intensive intermittent therapy group and 5 to the control group. After 4 weeks of baseline intervention, the intervention program was administered to the experimental group for 8 weeks and the regularly scheduled weekly program to the comparison group, targeting sitting as the treatment goal. Thereafter the comparison group crossed over. The Gross Motor Function Measure 66 and 88 (GMFM 66 and 88) were used at 4 week intervals.

Results: The intermittent intensive regimen yielded a mean improvement of 7.8% and 1.2% in the two groups respectively. However, these results were attributed to infants with a low functional level only (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Goal-directed intensive intermittent regimen could possibly be beneficial in infants with a low functional level.

September 2012
N. Watemberg, I. Sarouk, and P. Fainmesser

Background: Since clinical signs of meningeal irritation in infants may be absent or misleading, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1996 recommended that a lumbar puncture be performed in young children following a febrile seizure. Recent evidence supports a conservative approach in children who do not look ill at the time of the physician's assessment. Moreover, seizures as the presenting or sole symptom of bacterial meningitis are very rare.

Objectives: To assess physicians’ compliance with the Academy’s recommendations and to determine the incidence of meningitis among febrile seizure patients, including those who did not undergo the puncture.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the number of punctures obtained in febrile seizure patients aged 6–24 months, focusing on the clinician's indications for performing the procedure and on the clinical course of children who did not undergo the puncture.

Results: Among 278 patients (84% simple febrile seizure), 52 (18.7%) underwent the procedure. It was performed in 38% of 45 complex febrile seizure cases and in 48% of 91 infants younger than 12 months of age. Aseptic meningitis occurred in two infants, both with post-ictal apathy. Bacterial meningitis was not found and in none of the patients who did not undergo the puncture was meningitis later diagnosed.

Conclusions: Compliance with the Academy’s recommendations was low, as emergency room physicians based their decision whether to obtain a lumbar puncture solely on clinical grounds. No case of bacterial meningitis was detected among 278 young children with a febrile seizure, including those who did not undergo the puncture.

July 2011
I. Nevo, M. Erlichman, N. Algur and A. Nir

Background: Cardiac patients express elevated levels of B-type natriuretic peptide and the amino terminal segment of its prohormone (NT-proBNP). However, there are non-cardiac causes of NT-proBNP level elevation.

Objectives: To determine the upper limit of NT-proBNP for pediatric patients with acute non-cardiac disease.

Methods: We compared NT-proBNP concentrations in healthy children and children with acute non-cardiac, mostly febrile, and acute cardiac disease. We used the Student t-test and Mann-Whitney test for group comparisons, and Pearson's and Spearman's correlation coefficients to test relationships between variables. 

Results: In 138 patients with acute non-cardiac diseases (mean age 3.7 years, 53% male), median NT-proBNP concentration was 162 pg/ml, upper limit (95% percentile) 1049 pg/ml. The level did not vary significantly by disease category; was negatively correlated with weight, weight percentile, age and hemoglobin level; and positively correlated with creatinine level. Multivariant analysis showed weight to be the only factor influencing NT-proBNP level. Levels were higher in children with acute non-cardiac diseases versus healthy children (median 88 pg/ml, P < 0.001, n= 59), and lower than levels in patients with acute cardiac disease (median 29,986 pg/ml, P < 0.001, n=29). Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed good NT-proBNP performance for differentiation between children with acute cardiac versus non-cardiac disease (area under the curve 0.958), at a cutoff of 415 pg/ml.

Conclusions: NT-proBNP levels are higher in children with acute non-cardiac diseases than in healthy children, but lower than in children with acute cardiac disease. NT-proBNP negatively correlated with weight and weight percentile.

June 2011
A. Schlez, I. Litmanovitz, S. Bauer, T. Dolfin, R. Regev and S. Arnon

Background: Music therapy has been recommended as an adjuvant therapy for both preterm infants and mothers during their stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and has been shown to have beneficial effects.

Objectives: To study the usefulness of combining live harp music therapy and kangaroo care (KC) on short-term physiological and behavioral parameters of preterm infants and their mothers in the NICU setting.

Methods: Included in this study were stable infants born between 32 and 37 weeks of gestation, with normal hearing .Mother-infant dyads were randomly assigned to KC and live harp music therapy or to KC alone. Using repeated measures, neonatal and maternal heart rate, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate were recorded along with neonatal behavioral state and maternal anxiety state. Maternal age, ethnicity, education, and love of music were documented.

Results: Fifty-two mother-infant dyads were tested. Compared with KC alone, KC and live harp music therapy had a significantly beneficial effect on maternal anxiety score (46.8 ± 10 vs. 27.7 ± 7.1, respectively, P < 0.01). Infants’ physiological responses and behavior did not differ significantly. No correlation was found between mothers’ age, ethnicity, years of education and affinity for music, and anxiety scores (P = 0.2 to 0.5 for all four variables).

Conclusions: KC combined with live harp music therapy is more beneficial in reducing maternal anxiety than KC alone. This combined therapy had no apparent effect on the tested infants’ physiological responses or behavioral state.

January 2011
E. Bar-Yishay, A. Avital, C. Springer and I. Amirav

Background: In infants, small volume nebulizers with a face mask are commonly used to facilitate aerosol therapy. However, infants may be disturbed by mask application, causing poor mask-to-face seal and thus reducing the dose delivered.

Objectives: To compare lung function response to bronchodilator nebulization via two delivery devices: hood versus mask.

Methods: We studied 26 recurrently wheezy infants aged 45.8 weeks (95% confidence interval 39.6–52.0). Inhalations of 0.30 mg/kg salbutamol were administered in two alliqots 30 minutes apart using mask and hood in alternating order (M+H or H+M). Response to inhalations was measured by maximal expiratory flows at functional residual capacity at 5 minute intervals after each dose, and area under the VmaxFRC[1] curve was documented.

Results: A small but significant response to salbutamol was observed following the second inhalation with VmaxFRC, improving by 31.7% (7.2–56.2, P < 0.02) and AUC[2] by 425 %min (-154, 1004; P < 0.02). The improvement following salbutamol was similar by both delivery modalities but with a small but significantly better response when H was used after M (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Nebulized salbutamol induced a variable but positive response in wheezy infants. Salbutamol via hood was as effective as conventional face mask delivery. Since it is simple and patient-friendly, it could replace the face mask method particularly with uncooperative infants.

[1] Vmax FRC = maximal expiratory flow at functional residual capacity

[2] AUC = area under the VmaxFRC curve

June 2010
N. Bilenko, I. Belmaker, H. Vardi and D. Fraser
Background: The rates of anemia in children in southern Israel are high despite the current prevention strategy. A daily dose of Sprinkles (SuppleForteTM, Heinz, Canada), a micronutrient home supplementation, was proven effective for the treatment of anemia worldwide.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of Sprinkles, a novel supplementation formulation, in the primary prevention of anemia in infants who have free access to health care services. Methods: A two-arm open-labeled cluster randomized controlled clinical trial was performed in 6 month old Bedouin and Jewish infants. The Sprinkles arm received sachets with iron, vitamins A and C, folic acid and zinc, and the control arm received standard treatment (liquid iron and vitamins A and D). The infants were from families attending Maternal and Child Health clinics during 2005–2008. Intervention and follow-up were conducted for babies aged 6–12 months. Health outcomes (hematologic and nutritional indicators, growth parameters, morbidity rates) were evaluated at 12 and 18 months.

Results: The final study population numbered 621 infants (328 Bedouin and 293 Jewish) of the parents approached 88.5% agreed to participate. Hemoglobin above 11 g/dl was found in 55% of Bedouin and 40% of Jewish infants (P < 0.01). Bedouin infants had significantly lower serum concentration of iron, folic acid and zinc. All background, hematologic and micronutrient indicators were similar in the two study arms except for a slightly but not clinically significant difference in hemoglobin and hematocrit levels in Bedouins.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate the need to improve the micronutrient status of infants living in the Negev. A cluster randomized trial in MCH[1] clinics is a feasible option. 

[1] MHC = mother and child health

March 2010
I. Kessel, D. Waisman, O. Barnet-Grinnes, T. Zim Ben Ari and A. Rotschild

Background: High frequency oscillatory ventilation based on optimal lung volume strategy is one of the accepted modes of ventilatory support for respiratory distress syndrome in very low birth weight infants. In 1999 it was introduced in our unit as the primary ventilation modality for RDS[1].

Objectives: To evaluate if the shift to HFOV[2] influenced the outcome of ventilated VLBW[3] infants in the neonatal intensive care unit of Carmel Medical Center.

Methods: Data were obtained from the medical charts of VLBW infants born at Carmel Medical Center, and late mortality data were taken from the Israel Ministry of Internal Affairs records. A retrospective analysis and a comparison with a historical control group ventilated by the conventional method were performed.

Results: A total of 232 VLBW infants with RDS were mechanically ventilated, from 1995 to 2003: 120 were ventilated using HFOV during the period 1999–2003 and 102 infants using CV[4] during 1995–1999. The mean gestational age of survivors was 27.4 ± 2 weeks in the HFOV group and 28.4 ± 2 in the conventional ventilation group (P = 0.03). The sub-sample of infants with birth weights <1000 g ventilated with HFOV showed higher survival rates than the infants in the conventional ventilation group, 53 vs. 25 (64.6% vs. 44.6%) respectively (P < 0.05). A trend for lower incidence of pulmonary interstitial emphysema was observed in the HFOV group.

Conclusions: The introduction of HFOV based on optimal lung volume strategy proved to be an efficient and safe method of ventilation support for VLBW infants in our unit.

[1] RDS = respiratory distress syndrome

[2] HFOV = high frequency oscillatory ventilation

[3] VLBW = very low birth weight

[4] CV = conventional ventilation

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