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עמוד בית
Sun, 26.05.24

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September 2010
I. Fuchs, M. Abu-Shakra, E. Gelfer, A. Smoliakov, D. Ben-Haroch, J. Horowitz and L.S. Avnon
December 2009
A. Avriel, U. Fainberg, L. Fuchs, A. Jotkowitz, A. Smoliakov, L.S. Avnon and E. Shleyfer
May 2009
L.S. Avnon, A. Smolikov and Y. Almog

Background: The most common and most serious complication of varicella (chickenpox) in adults is pneumonia, which can lead to severe respiratory failure. Varicella pneumonia is associated with considerable morbidity and even death.

Objectives: To summarize our experience with varicella pneumonia in terms of clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics as well as risk factors, management and outcome.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort survey in our facility from 1995 to 2008.

Results: Our cohort comprised 21 patients with varicella pneumonia, of whom 19 (90%) were men; their mean age was 35 ± 10.5 years. Nineteen patients (90%) were Bedouins and 18 (86%) were smokers. Eleven (52%) were admitted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit; 3 of them required mechanical ventilation and the remaining 10 (48%) were admitted to the general medical ward. Median length of stay was 6 ± 7.7 days. Hypoxemia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase on admission were associated with respiratory failure. Radiological manifestations were variable and nine patients exhibited characteristic findings. All but one patient were treated with acyclovir. All patients fully recovered.

Conclusions: In southern Israel varicella pneumonia is primarily a disease of young male Bedouins who are smokers. Severity ranges from mild disease to severe, resulting at times in respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Prognosis is favorable with complete recovery.

February 2009
by Lone S. Avnon, MD, Fauaz Manzur, MD, Arkadi Bolotin, PhD, Dov Heimer, MD, Daniel Flusser, MD, Dan Buskila, MD, Shaul Sukenik, MD and Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, MD.

Background: A high incidence of abnormal pulmonary function tests has been reported in cross-sectional studies among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Few patients have been enrolled in longitudinal studies.

Objectives: To perform PFT[1] in rheumatoid arthritic patients without pulmonary involvement and to identify variables related to changes in PFT over 5 years of follow-up.

Methods: Consecutive RA[2] patients underwent PFT according to American Thoracic Society recommendations. All surviving patients were advised to repeat the examination 5 years later.

Results: PFT was performed in 82 patients (21 men, 61 women). Their mean age was 55.7 (15.9) years and the mean RA duration was 11.1 (10) years. Five years later 15 patients (18.3%) had died. Among the 67 surviving patients, 38 (56.7%) agreed to participate in a follow-up study. The initial PFT revealed normal PFT in only 30 patients (36.6%); an obstructive ventilatory defect in 2 (2.4%), a small airway defect in 12 (17%), a restrictive ventilatory defect in 21 (25.6%), and reduced DLco in 17 (20.7%). Among the 38 patients participating in the 5 year follow-up study, 8 developed respiratory symptoms, one patient had a new obstructive ventilatory defect, one patient developed a restrictive ventilatory defect, and 5 patients had a newly developed small airway defect. The DLco had improved in 7 of the 8 patients who initially had reduced DLco, reaching normal values in 5 patients. Over the study period a new reduction in DLco was observed in 7 patients. Linear regression analyses failed to identify any patient or disease-specific characteristics that could predict a worsening in PFT. The absolute yearly decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec among our RA patients was 47 ml/year, a decline similar to that seen among current smokers.

Conclusions: Serial PFT among patients with RA is indicated and allows for earlier identification of various ventilatory defects. Small airways disturbance was a common finding among our RA patients.






[1] PFT = pulmonary function testing



[2] RA = rheumatoid arthritis


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