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עמוד בית
Tue, 18.06.24

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March 2014
Tal Bergman-Levy, Jeremia Heinik and Yuval Melamed
Testamentary capacity refers to an individual's capability to write his or her own will. Psychiatrists are required occasionally to give expert opinions regarding the testamentary capacity of individuals with a medical history or suspected diagnosis of a mental illness. This may stem from the patient/lawyer/family initiative to explore the current capacity to testate in anticipation of a possible challenge, or may be sought when testamentary capacity of a deceased has been challenged. In this article we examine the medico-legal construct of testamentary capacity of the schizophrenic patient, and discuss the various clinical situations specific to schizophrenic patients, highlighting their impact on the medical opinion regarding testamentary capacity through examining the rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court in a specific case where the testamentary capacity of a mentally ill individual who was challenged postmortem, and provide a workable framework for the physician to evaluate the capacity of a schizophrenia patient to write a will.

Hasan Kais MD, Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Judith Sandbank MD and Ariel Halevy
January 2014
Joao L. P. Vaz, Mirhelen M. Abreu and Roger A. Levy
 Background: The presence of anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibody (ACPA) has a high specificity and predictive value for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some studies have shown decreased titers of this antibody after treatment with infliximab.

Objectives: To assess the changes in ACPA titers in patients with RA after treatment with infliximab as a first biological agent, and to correlate these variations with non-infusion-related adverse effects.

Methods: In a prospective multicenter observational study involving 48 research centers, we assessed 139 patients with established moderate-to-severe RA diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria. Samples were collected before and 6–12 months after treatment.

Results: The mean age of the study patients was 50.6 years old, and 118 were female (84.9%). Statistically significant variations in ACPA titers were noted in 47 patients (before and after treatment) (P = 0.012). Overall, ACPA titers were decreased in 32 (65.3%) and increased in 15 (34.7%). No correlation was found between severe or mild adverse effects in patients presenting variations in ACPA titers.

Conclusions: The present study showed that infliximab affected ACPA titers, promoting mainly a decrease; however, this was not related to the occurrence of non-infusion-related adverse effects.

March 2013
B. Knyazer, N. Bilenko, J. Levy, T. Lifshitz, N. Belfair, I. Klemperer and R. Yagev
 Background: Open globe injury (OGI) is a common cause of unilateral visual loss in all age groups.


Objectives: To describe and identify clinical characteristics, prognostic factors and visual outcome in a group of patients with OGI in southern Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all cases of OGI examined in the ophthalmology department at Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel, from 1996 to 2005. A total of 118 eyes with OGI were detected and analyzed statistically. We recorded demographic data, cause of injury, initial visual acuity (VA), associated globe morbidity and injuries, Ocular Trauma Score (OTS), surgical procedures, postoperative complications, and final VA.

Results: The mean age of the study group was 36.1 years and included 84% males. The median follow-up was 13.3 months (range 6–66 months). The annual incidence of open globe injuries was 3.1 cases/100,000. In 84 cases (71%) the mechanism of open eye injury was laceration. Most of the injuries were work related (45%). Bilateral injury was observed in two patients. An intraocular foreign body was observed in 45 eyes (38%). Primary surgical repair was performed in 114 eyes. Six patients (5.1%) had complications with post-traumatic endophthalmitis and 12 patients (10.1%) underwent evisceration or enucleation. Clinical signs associated with poor visual outcomes included reduced initial VA, eyelid injury, and retinal detachment at presentation.

Conclusions: In our study population the most important prognostic factors in open globe injury were initial VA, eyelid injury and retinal detachment.

 

December 2012
G.R. de Jesús, I.C.C. d’Oliveira, F.C. dos Santos, G. Rodrigues, E.M. Klumb, N.R. de Jesús and R.A. Levy

Background: Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a rare chronic granulomatous inflammatory disease of the aorta and/or its major branches and more frequently affects female patients before menopause. Since persistent inflammation may lead to arterial ischemia, hypertension is an important complication of TA. Objectives: To evaluate gestational results and complications in patients with TA arteritis.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the medical records of patients with TA admitted to the high risk pregnancy clinic for women with systemic autoimmune diseases at Hospital Universitário Pedro Ernesto.

Results: From 1998 to 2011 we followed 11 pregnancies in 9 patients with TA; the patients’ age ranged from 17 to 42 years and disease duration from 2 to 28 years. In 7 of the 11 pregnancies, uncontrolled blood pressure occurred before labor and preeclampsia was diagnosed in one. Two deliveries were preterm, one newborn was treated for sepsis and four (36%) had intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

Conclusions: Close monitoring improves the perinatal outcomes in patients with TA who are more prone to develop hypertension, preeclampsia and IUGR. Disease activity was not observed in our group of patients during pregnancy. Coordinated care between the obstetric, rheumatologic and cardiologic teams is the ideal setting to follow pregnant women with TA.

 
 

September 2012
R. Sukenik-Halevy, U. leil-Zoabi, L, Peled-Perez, J. Zlotogora, and S. Allon-Shalev

Background: Genetic screening tests for cystic fibrosis (CF), fragile X (FRAX) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have been offered to the entire Arab population of Israel in the last few years. Since 2008, screening for CF is provided free of charge, but for FRAX and SMA the screening is privately funded with partial coverage by complementary health insurance programs.

Objectives: To assess the compliance of Arab couples for genetic screening tests, and the factors that affect their decisions.

Methods: We analyzed compliance for genetic screening tests at the Emek Medical Center Genetic Institute, and in outreach clinics in four Arab villages. We enquired about the reasons individuals gave for deciding not to undergo testing. We also assessed the compliance of these individuals for the triple test (a screening test for Down syndrome).

Results: Of the 167 individuals included in our study, 24 (14%) decided not to be tested at all. Of the 143 (86%) who decided to be tested, 109 were tested for CF only (65%) and 34 (20%) for SMA and FRAX (as well as CF). The compliance rate for the triple test was 87%. Technical reasons, mainly financial issues, were the most significant factor for not undergoing all three tests.

Conclusions: The compliance of the Arab community for genetic testing for SMA and FRAX is extremely low. We believe that this low utilization of screening is due to economic reasons, especially when a complementary health plan has not been acquired, and largely reflects the perception that these tests are less important since they are privately funded.
 

E. Kitai, G. Blumberg, D. Levy, A. Golan-Cohen, and S. Vinker

Background: Fatigue is a common complaint in primary care and has a broad differential diagnosis, making the approach complex and often ineffective.


Objectives: To follow the course of adults without a significant known background disease who complain of fatigue for the first time, and to characterize the family physician’s approach.


Methods: The study population comprised a random sample of 299 patients aged 18–45 who presented with fatigue as a first-time single complaint to their family physician. Excluded were patients with chronic diseases or states that may include signs of fatigue. We analyzed the index encounter data, the diagnostic and laboratory tests, the medications prescribed and the one year clinical outcome.

Results: Seventy percent were women, average age 30.5 years, and 69% had no known co-morbidities; 57% of the patients were physically examined at the first visit and most (78.6%) were sent for laboratory analysis. Five percent of laboratory tests were positive. Eighty patients (26.8%) were given a specific diagnosis, with the leading diagnoses being anemia and infectious diseases; 18.7% were given sick leave at the first visit. Fatigue was more common in early summer.


Conclusions: The majority of young healthy patients complaining of fatigue are not diagnosed with an organic physiological disorder. Many of the study patients were sent for laboratory tests but in most cases these tests were not contributory to the diagnosis or management. It seems likely that the most efficient strategy would be watchful follow-up with a minimum of testing.


 
March 2012
D. Levy Faber, L. Anson Best, M. Orlovsky, M. Lapidot, R.Reuven Nir and R. Kremer
Background: Pediatric empyema necessitates prompt resolution and early hospital discharge with minimal morbidity. However, the most effective treatment approach is not yet established.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of an intrapleural streptokinase washing protocol as a non-operative treatment for stage II pediatric empyema as compared to operative decortications, by the number of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions, length of PICU stay and hospitalization duration.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 75 consecutive pediatric empyema cases for the period January 2006 to December 2009. Since July 2007 we have used repeated streptokinase-based pleural washing for stage II patients whose condition did not improve with chest drainage.

Results: Before July 2007, 17 of 23 stage II empyema patients underwent decortication, compared to only 1 of 21 after July 2007. Non-operated children were admitted to the PICU less frequently than those who were operated (83% vs. 31%, P = 0.0006), spent less time in the PICU (2.56 ± 1.92 vs. 1.04 ± 1.9 days, P = 0.0148), with no significant statistical difference in overall hospitalization (13.33 ± 3.69 vs. 11.70 ± 5.74 days, P=0.301).

Conclusions: Using intrapleural streptokinase washing as a non-operative treatment for stage II pediatric empyema yielded comparable success rates to the operative approach, with less morbidity.
E. Rath, O. Tsvieli and O. Levy

Hip arthroscopy is one of the most rapidly evolving arthroscopy techniques. It combines the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure and a short rehabilitation period. Improved instrumentation and technical skills have advanced our ability to accurately diagnose and treat various conditions. The role of this procedure continues to evolve with new indications that might change the outcome of degenerative joint disease of the hip joint. Hip arthroscopy is indicated for both traumatic and atraumatic intra and extra-articular conditions. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is increasingly recognized as a disorder that can lead to progressive articular chondral and labral injury. A variety of arthroscopic techniques allows the treatment of labral and acetabular rim pathology as well as peripheral compartment femoral head-neck abnormalities. It is now recognized that labral tears that were traditionally treated with simple debridement are often associated with underlying FAI. Hip arthroscopy is also being used for surgery to the structures surrounding the hip as snapping hip syndromes, greater trochanteric pain syndrome, and arthroscopic repair of abductor tendon tears. Better understanding of the arthroscopic anatomy, improved operative techniques, lowered complication rate and objective outcome measuring tools will further define the optimal role of hip arthroscopy and improve its outcome.

A Kapiev, R. Lavy, J. Sandbank and A. Halevy
January 2012
Nirit Segal, MD, Ben-Zion Garty, MD, Vered Hoffer, MD and Yael Levy, MD.

Background: Patients with allergy as well as their parents frequently fail to use the self-administered epinephrine injection (EpiPen®) properly in cases of allergic emergencies.

Objectives: To determine the benefit of an instruction session with follow-up instruction.

Methods: We evaluated 141 patients aged 1.9–23.4 years (median 5.8 years, 83% with food allergy) or their parents (for those aged < 12 years) who were trained in the use of the EpiPen during the first diagnostic visit to the allergy clinic during 2006–2009. At the next follow-up visit, the patients or their parents were asked to list the indications for epinephrine administration and to demonstrate the five steps involved in using the EpiPen. Each step was scored on a scale of 0–2.

Results: Fourteen participants (9.9%) had used self-injectable epinephrine in the past. Only 65 (46%) brought the device with them to the follow-up visit. The mean total score for the whole sample was 4.03 ± 3. Fifty-three participants (38%) failed to remove the cap before trying to apply the device. Only 8 (5.6%) had a maximum score. The patients and their parents were reinstructed in the use of the device: 41 participants were reexamined at a subsequent follow-up visit after 1.02 ± 0.56 years their mean score improved from 4.71 ± 3.04 to 6.73 ± 3.18 (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Patients with severe allergic reactions, as well as their parents, are not sufficiently skilled in the use of the EpiPen after only one instruction session with a specialist. Repeated instruction may improve the results and we therefore recommend that the instructions be repeated at every follow-up visit.

Michael B. Levy, MD, Michael R. Goldberg, MD, PhD, Liat Nachshon, MD, Elvan Tabachnik, MD and Yitzhak Katz, MD

Background: Most reports in the medical literature on food allergy mortality are related to peanuts and tree nuts. There is limited knowledge regarding these reactions and often only a partial medical history is described.

Objective: To record and characterize all known cases of mortality due to food allergy in Israel occurring during the period 2004–2011.

Methods: All cases of food allergy-related mortality that were known to medical personnel or were published in the Israeli national communications media were investigated. We interviewed the parents and, when feasible, physicians who treated the final event.

Results: Four cases of food-related mortality were identified: three cases were due to cow’s milk and one to hazelnut. All were exposed to a hidden/non-obvious allergen. All four had a history of asthma but were not on controller medications, and all had experienced previous non-life threatening accidental reactions. Three of the four patients had not been evaluated by an allergist, nor were they prescribed injectable epinephrine. The one patient who had been prescribed injectable epinephrine did not use it during her fatal anaphylactic attack.

Conclusions: Fatal reactions to cow’s milk and hazelnut but not to peanut are the only reported food mortality cases in Israel. Although these patients had previous reactions following accidental exposures, none had experienced a life-threatening reaction. Patients at risk are not adequately evaluated by allergists, nor are they prescribed and instructed on the proper use of injectable epinephrine. Cow’s milk should be considered a potentially fatal allergen.




 



 
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