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עמוד בית
Sun, 26.05.24

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November 2009
A. Amital, D. Shitrit, B.D. Fox, Y. Raviv, L.Fuks, I. Terner and M.R. Kramer

Background: Blunt chest trauma can cause severe acute pulmonary dysfunction due to hemo/pneumothorax, rib fractures and lung contusion.

Objectives: To study the long-term effects on lung function tests after patients' recovery from severe chest trauma.

Methods: We investigated the outcome and lung function tests in 13 patients with severe blunt chest trauma and lung contusion.

Results: The study group comprised 9 men and 4 women with an average age of 44.6 ± 13 years (median 45 years). Ten had been injured in motor vehicle accidents and 3 had fallen from a height. In addition to lung contusion most of them had fractures of more than three ribs and hemo/pneumothorax. Ten patients were treated with chest drains. Mean intensive care unit stay was 11 days (median 3) and mechanical ventilation 19 (0–60) days. Ten patients had other concomitant injuries. Mean forced expiratory volume in the first second was 81.2 ± 15.3%, mean forced vital capacity was 85 ± 13%, residual volume was 143 ± 33.4%, total lung capacity was 101 ± 14% and carbon monoxide diffusion capacity 87 ± 24. Post-exercise oxygen saturation was normal in all patients (97 ± 1.5%), and mean oxygen consumption max/kg was 18 ± 4.3 ml/kg/min (60.2 ± 15%). FEV1[1]. was significantly lower among smokers (71.1 ± 12.2 vs. 89.2 ± 13.6%, P = 0.017). There was a non-significant tendency towards lower FEV1 among patients who underwent mechanical ventilation.

Conclusions: Late after severe trauma involving lung contusion, substantial recovery is demonstrated with improved pulmonary function tests. These results encourage maximal intensive care in these patients. Further larger studies are required to investigate different factors affecting prognosis.

 

 






[1] FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in the first second


February 2008
A. Grubstein, O. Benjaminov, D. Ben Dayan, D. Shitrit, M. Cohen and M.R. Kramer

Background: Diseases causing increased pulmonary pressure will subsequently cause a dilation of the pulmonary arteries and right heart chambers.

Objectives: To assess the capability of computed tomography angiography and high resolution CT to diagnose and estimate the severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension as compared with standard means of right heart catheterization, echocardiography and pulmonary function tests.

Methods: The study included 38 patients with PHT[1] who underwent CT angiography and HRCT[2] as part of their routine evaluation. Diagnose included: primary PHT (n=20), Eisenmenger syndrome (n=6), scleroderma (n=3), thromboembolic disease (n=3), and others (n=6). Mean pulmonary artery pressure was 58 mmHg (range 39–92 mmHg) by catheterization and peak systolic pressure 79 mmHg (range 40–135) by echocardiography. Findings for the diameters of the main pulmonary artery and its main branches, the ascending aorta, the right atria and ventricle as well as the position of the interventricular septum were compared with 22 chest CT scans as compared to patients with no known clinical history of pulmonary hypertension, performed for other reasons (trauma, oncology follow-up) during the study period. Correlations were also calculated with recent right heart catheterization, echocardiography and pulmonary function tests of the study group.

Results: Mean main pulmonary artery diameter in the study group was 3.55 ± 0.66 cm, pulmonary artery/ascending aorta ratio 1.2 ± 0.29, right pulmonary artery 2.63 ± 0.49 cm, left pulmonary artery 2.57 ± 0.5 cm. All diameters were significantly different from the control group (P < 0.0001). Main and right pulmonary artery diameters correlated to the pressure measurement by echocardiography (P = 0.001). Bronchial collaterals were found in 11 patients (30%). The position of the interventricular septum correlated well with the echocardiography study.

Conclusions: The size of the main pulmonary artery on CT angiography has a good predictive value regarding the severity of PHT.






[1] PHT = pulmonary arterial hypertension

[2] HRCT = high resolution computed tomography


September 2006
R. Yerushalmi, E. Fenig, D. Shitrit, D. Bendayan, A. Sulkes, D. Flex and M.R. Kramer

Background: Endobronchial stents are used to treat symptomatic patients with benign or malignant airway obstructions.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and outcome of airway stent insertion for the treatment of malignant tracheobronchial narrowing.

Methods: The files of all patients with malignant disease who underwent airway stent insertion in our outpatient clinic from June 1995 to August 2004 were reviewed for background data, type of disease, symptoms, treatment, complications, and outcome.

Results: Airway stents were used in 34 patients, including 2 who required 2 stents at different locations, and one who required 2 adjacent stents (total, 37 stents). Ages ranged from 36 to 85 years (median 68). Primary lung cancer was noted in 35% of the patients and metastatic disease in 65%. Presenting signs and symptoms included dyspnea (82%), cough (11.7%), hemoptysis (9%), pneumonia (5.9%), and atelectasis (3%). The lesions were located in the left mainstem bronchus (31%), trachea (26%), right mainstem bronchus (26%), subglottis (14.3%), and bronchus intermedius (2.9%). Conscious sedation alone was utilized in 73% of the patients, allowing for early discharge. Eighteen patients (50%) received brachytherapy to the area of obstruction. Complications included stent migration (one patient) and severe or minimal bleeding (one patient each). Ninety-four percent of the patients reported significant relief of their dyspnea. Three of the four patients who had been mechanically ventilated before the procedure were weaned after stent insertion. Median survival from the time of stent placement was 6 months (range 0.25–105 months).

Conclusion: Stent placement can be safely performed in an outpatient setting with conscious sedation. It significantly relieves the patient's symptoms and may prolong survival.
 

July 2006
D. Starobin, M.R. Kramer, A. Yarmolovsky, D. Bendayan, I. Rosenberg, J. Sulkes and G. Fink
 Background: Different exercise tests are used to evaluate the functional capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The cardiopulmonary exercise test is considered the gold standard, but the 6 minute walk and the 15 step exercise oximetry tests are considerably less expensive.

Objectives: To determine whether reliable data could be obtained at lower cost.

Methods: The study sample consisted of 50 patients with mild to severe stable COPD]1[. All underwent pulmonary function test and the cardiopulmonary exercise test, 6 minute walk and 15 step exercise oximetry test as part of their regular follow-up visit. Functional capacity was graded according to each test separately and the functional capacities obtained were correlated.

Results: The results showed that most of the patients had severe COPD according to pulmonary function tests (mean forced expiratory volume in the first second 46.3 ± 19.9% of predicted value). There was a good correlation between the cardiopulmonary exercise test and the 6 minute walk functional capacity classes (r = 0.44, P = 0.0013). We did not find such correlation between the 15 step exercise oximetry test and the cardiopulmonary exercise test (r = 0.07, P = 0.64).

Conclusions: The study shows that the 6 minute walk is a reliable and accurate test in the evaluation of functional capacity in COPD patients.


 





[1] COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


June 2006
D. Prais, Y. Raviv, D. Shitrit, A. Yellin, G. Sahar, D. Bendayan, Y. Yahav, O. Efrati, N. Reichart, H. Blau, I. Bakal, G. Buchman, M. Saute, B. Vidne and M.R. Kramer
 Background: Lung transplantation is a well-established therapeutic option for end-stage lung disease in cystic fibrosis. Although it confers a clear survival advantage, outcome differs among centers according to local experience, patient selection, transplantation procedure, and postoperative care.

Objectives: To evaluate the national Israeli experience with lung transplantation in patients with CF[1].

Methods: We reviewed the medical charts of all CF patients who underwent lung transplantation between January 1996 and June 2005 at the two Israeli centers that performed this procedure.

Results: Eighteen transplantations were performed in 17 patients. Mean patient age at transplantation was 25.3 ± 9.1 years, and mean duration of follow-up in survivors (n=14) was 37.2 months (range 1–113 months). The actuarial survival rate was 88% at 1 year and 74% at 5 years. Pulmonary function, expressed as percent of predicted normal forced expiratory volume in 1 sec, improved from 22.4 ± 8.1% to 76 ± 16.8% at one year after transplantation. Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome was diagnosed in 5 patients (29%), of whom 2 died and 2 are currently candidates for retransplantation. Median time to onset of BOS[2] was 34.2 months (range 17–64 months).

Conclusion: In Israel, the early and intermediate-term results of lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis are encouraging. BOS remains a major complication that threatens long-term outcome.


 





[1] CF = cystic fibrosis

[2] BOS = bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome


April 2006
D. Bendayan, D. Shitrit and M.R. Kramer

Background: New drugs have significantly improved the prognosis and quality of life of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, PAH[1] associated with autoimmune disease, particularly progressive sclerosis, remains a very serious problem

Objectives: To evaluate whether the course of the disease and survival is significantly different in patients with PAH related to autoimmune disease as compared to other patients with PAH and to determine the prognostic factors in these patients.

Methods: We retrospectively compared 24 patients with PAH associated with autoimmune disease to 42 patients with other causes of PAH. We focused on the clinical and hemodynamic parameters and on the outcome.

Results: The early mortality rate was slightly higher in patients with PAH associated with autoimmune disease (13% after the first year, 25% after the fifth year). The prognostic factor was a shorter distance on the 6 minutes walking distance test (r = 0.2, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: The early detection of PAH associated with autoimmune disease should encourage earlier and more aggressive treatment than in idiopathic PAH.






[1] PAH = pulmonary arterial hypertension


March 2005
J. Cohen, D. Starobin, G. Papirov, M. Shapiro, E. Grozovsky, M.R. Kramer and P. Singer
Background: While increasing numbers of patients require prolonged mechanical ventilation, resources for weaning are either limited (ICU beds) or inadequate (general wards).

Objectives: To report on our initial experience over a 7 month period with an eight-bed mechanical ventilation weaning unit.

Methods: Sixty-nine patients requiring MV[1] for >10 days were admitted to the unit (nurse:patient ratio 1:4). Data collected included reason for MV, duration of hospital stay, and MVWU[2] course. Outcome results (successful weaning and mortality) were compared to those in historic controls (patients ventilated in the general wards over a 4 month period prior to the MVWU; n = 100).

Results: The mean age of the patients was 68 ± 16.6 years and hospital stay prior to MVWU admission 28.6 ± 24.2 days (range 10–72). The main reasons for MV included acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (31%) and recent pneumonia (28%). Mean MVWU stay was 13.5 ± 15.7 days (range 1–72 days). Thirty-four patients (49%) underwent tracheostomy. Fourteen patients required admission to the ICU[3] due to deterioration in their status. Twenty-nine patients (42%) were successfully weaned and discharged to the wards. A further 20 patients were transferred to the chronic ventilation unit of a regional geriatric rehabilitation hospital, where 5 were subsequently weaned and 15 required prolonged ventilation. Compared to controls (matched for age and reason for mechanical ventilation), more MVWU patients underwent successful weaning (49% vs. 12%, P < 0.001) and their mortality rate (n = 12) was significantly lower (17% vs. 88%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The higher level of care possible in a MVWU may result in a significantly improved rate of weaning and lower mortality. The assessment of long-term outcome in patients discharged to pulmonary rehabilitation centers requires further investigation.

______________

[1] MV = mechanical ventilation

[2] MVWU = mechanical ventilation weaning unit

[3] ICU = intensive care unit

February 2004
M. Yigla, M.R. Kramer, D. Bendayan, S.A. Reisner and A. Solomonov

Background: Unexplained pulmonary hypertension is assumed to occur mainly in young adults.

Objectives: To describe the features of the disease in older patients and compare them to those in PHT[1] patients of all ages.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective evaluation of the files of patients over 65 years of age in whom UPHT[2] was diagnosed between 1987 and 1999 at two PHT centers serving a population of 4 million. Patients were followed for survival until March 2003. Clinical variables of the study patients were compared to those in PHT patients of all ages.

Results: The study group included 14 patients, 10 females and four males, with a mean age of 70.5 ± 6.7 years. The calculated mean annual incidence of UPHT for the study population was one new case per year per million persons. Seven patients (50%) had systemic hypertension. The mean interval from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 8.3 months. At diagnosis, 64% of patients had functional capacity of III-IV according to the New York Heart Association classification, and 43% had right heart failure. Mean systolic pulmonary artery pressure was 80 ± 21 mmHg, peripheral vascular resistance 11.7 ± 7 mmHg/L/min, cardiac index 2.16 ± 0.81, and mean right atrial pressure 10.5 ± 5.9 mmHg. Median survival time was 43 months; survival rates for 1 year, 3 years and 5 years were 92.6%, 50%, 40%, respectively. Compared to data from the U.S. National Institute of Health Registry, UPHT in older patients is more common in females, but the incidence as well as clinical, hemodynamic and survival parameters are similar to those in PHT patients at any age.

Conclusions: UPHT occurs in the elderly more frequently than previously thought, with similar features in PHT patients of all ages. The coexistence of systemic and pulmonary hypertension warrants further investigation.






[1] PHT = pulmonary hypertension



[2] UPHT = unexplained pulmonary hypertension


July 2003
June 2002
Gabriel Izbicki, MD, David Shitrit, MD, Dan Aravot MD, Gershon Fink, MD, Milton Saute, MD, Leonid Idelman, MD, Ilana Bakal, BA, Jaqueline Sulkes, PhD and Mordechai R. Kramer, MD

Background: Historically, donor age above 55 years has been considered to be a relative contraindication for organ transplantation. The shortage of organs for transplantation has led to the expansion of the donor pool by accepting older donors. 

Objectives: To compare the 1 year follow-up in patients after lung transplantation from older donors (>50 years old) and in patients after transplantation from younger donors (± 50 years).

Methods: The study group comprised all adult patients who underwent lung transplantation at the Rabin Medical Center between May 1997 and August 2001. Donors were classified into two groups according to their age: ≤ 50 years (n=20) and > 50 years (n=9). Survival, number and total days of hospitalization, development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, and pulmonary function tests, were examined 1 year after transplantation.     

Results: We performed 29 lung transplantations in our center during the observed period. Donor age had no statistically significant impact on 1 year survival after lung transplantation. There was no statistically significant effect on lung function parameters, the incidence of hospitalization or the incidence of bronchiolitis obliterans between both donor age groups at 1 year after transplantation.

Conclusions: Donor age did not influence survival or important secondary end-points 1 year after lung transplantation. By liberalizing donor criteria of age up to 65 years, we can expand the donor pool, while assessing other possible mechanisms to increase donor availability. 

April 2002
Daniele Bendayan, MD, Gershon Fink, MD, Dan Aravot, MD, Mordechai Ygla, MD, Issahar Bendov, MD, Leonard Bliden, MD, Nir Amiran, MD and Mordechai Kramer, MD

Background: Primary idiopathic pulmonary hypertension is a rapidly progressive disease with a median survival of less than 3 years. Recently its prognosis was shown to dramatically improve with the use of epoprostenol, an arachidonic acid metabolite produced by the vascular endothelium, which increases the cardiac output and decreases the pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary arterial pressure. This drug enhances the quality of life, increases survival and delays or eliminates the need for transplantation.

Objective: To review the experience of Israel hospitals with the use of epoprostenol.

Methods: The study group comprised 13 patients, 5 men and 8 women, with an age range of 3–53 years. All patients suffered from arterial pulmonary hypertension. Epoprostenol was administered through a central line in an increased dose during the first 3 months, after which the dose was adjusted according to the clinical syndrome and the hemodynamic parameters.

Results: After 3 months the mean dose was 10 ng/kg/min and the pulmonary artery pressure decreased from 7 to 38%. After one year, the PAP decreased at a slower rate. Two cases required transplantation, three patients died, and seven continued taking the drug (one of whom discontinued). Four episodes of septicemia were observed. Today 10 patients are alive and well and 7 continue to take epoprostenol.

Conclusion: We found that epoprostenol improves survival, quality of life and hemodynamic parameters, with minimum side effects.

March 2001
Elizabeth Fireman, MD, Mordechai R. Kramer, MD, Nathan Kaufman, MD, Joachin Muller-Quernheim, MD and Yehuda Lerman, MD, MPH
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