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עמוד בית
Wed, 19.06.24

Search results

February 2019
Olga Perelshtein Brezinov MD, Michal J. Simchen MD, Sagit Ben Zekry MD and Rafael Kuperstein MD

Background: Rheumatic mitral stenosis (MS) is a relatively rare diagnosis in the developed countries and its treatment during pregnancy is challenging due to hemodynamic changes. With the demographic changes due to recent waves of immigration an increase in the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease is expected.

Objective: To evaluate maternal and neonatal complications in patients with mitral stenosis.

Methods: During the years 2006–2017, 22 women who underwent 31 pregnancies were followed at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel. We collected on regarding hemodynamic changes and their clinical course. MS was classified as mild, moderate, or severe according to mitral valve area by echocardiography. Maternal and fetal adverse events were evaluated according to severity of MS and compared by Poisson regression modeling.

Results: MS was severe in 7 pregnancies (22.6%), moderate in 9 (29%), and mild in 15 (48.4%). Twenty patients were managed conservatively and 2 underwent a successful percutaneous mitral balloon valvuloplasty (PBMVP) during pregnancy. All pregnancies ended with a liveborn neonate and with no maternal mortality. Peak and mean mitral pressure gradients increased during pregnancy from 13.3 ± 5.3 to 18.6 ± 5.1 mmHg and from 5.9 ± 2.3 to 9.6 ± 3.4 mmHg respectively (P < 0.05). Eight pregnancies (25.8%) were complicated by pulmonary congestion, 2/15 (13.3%) with mild MS, 2/9 (22.2%) with moderate, and 4/7 (57.1%) with severe MS. The adverse event rate was higher among patients with severe MS compared with moderate and mild MS [hazard ratio (HR) 3.15, 95% confidence interval (95%CA) 1.04–9.52 and HR 4.06, 95%CI 1.4–11.19 respectively, P < 0.05]. Nine of 31 deliveries were vaginal; 6 of 22 cesarean sections (27.3%) were performed for cardiac indications.

Conclusions: The number of total adverse events were higher among patients with severe MS. Patients with moderate and mild MS should be treated attentively, but good obstetric and maternal outcome can be expected.


August 2018
Yael Shachor-Meyouhas MD, Orna Eluk RN, Yuval Geffen PhD, Irena Ulanovsky MD, Tatiana Smolkin MD, Shraga Blazer MD, Iris Stein RN and Imad Kassis MD

Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a challenging nosocomial pathogen in the last 50 years.

Objectives: To describe an investigation and containment of an MRSA outbreak in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Methods: Our NICU is a 25-bed level III unit. Almost 540 neonates are admitted yearly. The index case was an 8 day old term baby. MRSA was isolated from his conjunctiva. Immediate infection control measures were instituted, including separation of MRSA+ carriers, strict isolation, separate nursing teams, and screening of all infants for MRSA. Healthcare workers and parents of positive cases were screened and re-educated in infection control measures. New admissions were accepted to a clean room and visiting was restricted. MRSA isolates were collected for molecular testing.

Results: MRSA was isolated from five infants by nasal and rectal swabs, including the index case. Screening of healthcare workers and families was negative. Two MRSA+ patients already known in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) located near the NICU were suspected of being the source. All NICU isolates were identical by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis but were different from the two PICU isolates. The NICU and one of the PICU isolates were defined as ST-5 strain by multilocus sequence typing. One PICU isolate was ST-627. All NICU isolates were Panton–Valentine leukocidin negative and SCCmec type IV. No further cases were detected, and no active infections occurred.

Conclusions: A strict infection control policy and active screening are essential in aborting outbreaks of MRSA in the NICU.

May 2018
Viktoria Leikin-Zach MD, Eilon Shany MD, Maayan Yitshak-Sade PhD, Ron Eshel B Med Sc, Tali Shafat MD, Avraham Borer MD and Rimma Melamed MD

Background: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production is the most common antimicrobial resistance mechanism in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), with colonization and blood stream infections being a major threat to this population. Since 2013, all NICU admissions at our facility were screened twice weekly for ESBL colonization.

Objectives: To determine independent risk factors for colonization of infants with ESBL-producing bacteria in the NICU.

Methods: A retrospective case study of ESBL-colonized infants vs. controls (matched by date of birth and gestational age) was conducted in the NICU of Soroka University Medical Center, Israel, between 2013 and 2014. Epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical data were extracted from medical files. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to assess associations between ESBL colonization and possible clinical risk factors.

Results: Of 639 admissions during the study period, 87 were found to be ESBL-colonized (case infants) and were matched to 87 controls. Five case infants became infected (5.7%) with ESBL strains. Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common isolated bacteria. The mean time from admission to colonization was 15 days. Univariable analysis showed an association of male gender and highest Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes with ESBL colonization (P < 0.05). Multivariable analysis yielded only a possible association of higher Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes (hazard ratio [HR] 1.515, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.993-2.314; HR 1.603, 95%CI 0.958–2.682, respectively) with ESBL colonization.

Conclusions: Future studies should focus on maternal colonization and possible strategies for preventing vertical transmission of ESBL strains to high-risk neonates.

Marwan Hakim MD DSc, Adel Jabour PhD, Miriam Anton MSc, Meggie Hakim PhD and Sahar Kheirallah MD

Background: The recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding universal screening for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) at 35–37 weeks gestational age in pregnancy is not accepted in Israel. The National Council for Obstetrics, Neonatology and Genetics recommends intrapartum prophylaxis, mainly based on risk factors, to prevent early neonatal GBS infection. This policy is based on past studies demonstrating low colonization rates of the bacteria in Israeli pregnant women and very low neonatal sepsis rates.

Objectives: To determine the applicability of the high-risk group prophylaxis policy for Arab Israeli pregnant women.

Methods: Vaginorectal swabs from Arab Israeli pregnant women who attended the labor ward between October 2015 and February 2016, were obtained before any pelvic examination for GBS identification using Quidel’s AmpliVue® GBS assay. Women who tested positive received intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent neonatal infection. Obstetric data were collected from each woman from a standardized questionnaire. Data regarding the delivery and neonates were collected as well.

Results: The study comprised 188 Arab pregnant women who met the inclusion criteria and signed a consent form to participate in the study. Of these, 59 had positive tests, and a carriage rate of 31%. No neonatal colonization of GBS was found.

Conclusions: The carrier rate in Arab pregnant women in northern Israel is higher than the national average, at least partially due to the more sensitive method of GBS detection used in the present study.

November 2016
Gabriel Amir MD PhD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Elchanan Bruckheimer MD, Alexander Lowenthal MD, Amichay Rotstein MD, Jacob Katz MD, Yelena Zeitlin MD, Ofer Schiller MD and Einat Birk MD

Background: neonatal cardiac surgery has evolved over the last 50 years with a large percentage of the patients achieving complete physiological repair in the neonatal period. The remaining patients achieve staged palliation with an increasing amount of success. 

Objectives: To report our experience with 1000 neonatal cardiac surgical procedures performed in the last 10 years.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of surgical outcome in all neonatal patients who underwent cardiac surgery between January 2007 and July 2016 at Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel.

Results: A total of 1003 neonates aged < 30 days underwent surgery for congenital heart defects at our center. Neonatal surgery accounted for 22.5% of all cardiac surgeries. Neonatal operative mortality was 7.3%, Operative mortality for individual lesions were: simple aortic coarctation (CoA) (198 patients, 2.5%), CoA with hypoplastic arch (24, 4%), CoA with ventricular septal defect (VSD) (84, 2.3%), transposition of the great arteries (TGA, simple and complex, 185, 6.3%), TGA with VSD (37, 0%), truncus arteriosus (26, 3.8%), interrupted aortic arch (25, 4%), Norwood Sano (71, 19.7%), neonatal tetralogy of Fallot (41, 0%), and shunt (131 patients, 12%).

Conclusions: Neonatal surgical capabilities have improved substantially over the last decades. Excellent results can be expected for lesions that can be repaired to create biventricular circulation. Improved results can be attributed in part to the evolution of surgical strategies and assistive technologies, but essential is the collaborative effort of surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and intensive care specialists acting as a cohesive team whose performance far exceeds the sum of its individual members’ contributions. 


July 2016
Irena Ulanovsky MD, Morya Shnaider, Yuval Geffen PhD, Tatiana Smolkin MD, Tatyana Mashiah MA and Imad R. Makhoul MD PhD

Background: Due to a shortage of individualized erythromycin ointment (IEO), we switched to shared erythromycin drops (SED). Following this change, nurses claimed observing more cases of eye discharge. 

Objectives: To test whether switching from IEO to SED affected the rate of neonatal conjunctivitis (NC).

Methods: The study group included 14,916 neonates > 35 weeks of gestation, further divided into two birth periods of 12 months each: 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013 (IEO) and 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2015 (SED). We compared the two birth periods with regard to three variables: clinical NC (number of conjunctival swabs/1000 neonates), bacterial NC (number of culture-positive swabs/1000 neonates), and bacterial growth percentage (number of culture-positive swabs/100 samples).  

Results: Compared to 2012–2013, the period 2014–2015 included fewer cesarean deliveries and shorter length of stay (LOS). Clinical NC, bacterial NC and bacterial-growth percentage were not different between the two periods. Variables that were independently significantly associated with increased clinical NC included male gender (OR 1.48, CI 1.21–1.81) and LOS (OR 1.24, CI 1.18–1.29). LOS was associated with bacterial NC (OR 1.19, CI 1.11–1.28). Coagulase-negative staphylococci, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the prevalent pathogens, though without difference between periods. 

Conclusions: Rates of clinical NC, bacterial NC and bacterial-growth percentage were not different between the study periods. Switching from IEO to SED had no effect on the NC rate.


January 2016
Haim Bassan MD, Shimrit Uliel-Sibony MD, Shlomit Katsav BSc, Mira Farber BSc and Riva Tauman MD

Background: It has been suggested that sleep disordered breathing (SDB) during pregnancy may adversely influence maternal as well as fetal well being.

Objectives: To examine the effect of maternal SDB on neonatal neurological examination and perinatal complications.

Methods: Pregnant women of singleton uncomplicated pregnancies were prospectively recruited from a community and hospital low risk obstetric surveillance. All participants completed a sleep questionnaire in the second trimester and underwent ambulatory sleep evaluation (WatchPAT, Itamar Medical, Caesarea, Israel). They were categorized as SDB (apnea hypopnea index > 5) and non-SDB. Maternal and newborn records were reviewed and a neonatal neurologic examination was conducted during the first 48 hours. 

Results: The study group included 44 women and full-term infants; 11 of the women (25%) had SDB. Mean maternal age of the SDB and non-SDB groups was 32.3 ± 2.8 and 32.5 ± 4.7 years, respectively (P = 0.86). Mean body mass index before the pregnancy in the SDB and non-SDB groups was 25.8 ± 4.7 and 22.0 ± 2.5 kg/m2, respectively (P = 0.028). No differences were found between infants born to mothers with SDB and non-SDB in birth weight (3353.8 ± 284.8 vs. 3379.1 ± 492.4 g), gestational age (39.5 ± 0.9 vs. 39.2 ± 1.5 weeks), 5 minute Apgar scores (9.8 ± 0.6 vs. 9.9 ± 0.3), and neurologic examination scores (95.2 ± 3.9 vs. 94.6 ± 4.1). P value for all was not significant. 

Conclusions: Our preliminary results suggest that maternal mild SDB during pregnancy has no adverse effect on neonatal neurologic examination or on perinatal complications. 


September 2014
Arieh Riskin MD MHA, Ron Gonen MD, Amir Kugelman MD, Elias Maroun MD, Gregory Ekhilevitch MD and David Bader MD MHA

Background: Previous studies led to the recommendation to schedule planned elective cesarean deliveries at or after 39 weeks of gestation, and not before 38 weeks. The question is whether this practice is appropriate in face of possible risks to the newborn should the pregnancy have to be ended by cesarean section before the scheduled date.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of newborn infants who were delivered on their scheduled day by elective cesarean section versus those who required delivery earlier.

Methods: This single-center retrospective study was based on medical records covering a period of 18 months. We compared the neonatal outcomes of 272 infants delivered by elective cesarean section as scheduled (at 38.8 ± 0.8 weeks gestation) and 44 infants who had to be delivered earlier than planned (at 37.9 ± 1.1 weeks). 

Results: We found no morbidity directly related to delivery by cesarean section before the scheduled date. There were no significant differences in the need for resuscitation after delivery. Although more of the infants who were delivered early were admitted to intensive care and overall stayed longer in the hospital (5.8 ± 7.3 vs. 3.9 ± 0.8 days, P < 0.02), their more severe respiratory illness and subsequent longer hospitalization was the result of their younger gestational age. Transient tachypnea of the newborn was associated with younger gestational age at delivery in both groups.

Conclusions: We suggest continuing with the current recommendation to postpone elective cesarean singleton deliveries beyond 38–39 weeks of gestation whenever possible.

August 2013
R. Somech, A. Lev, A.J. Simon, D. Korn, B.Z. Garty, N. Amariglio, G. Rechavi, S. Almashanu, J. Zlotogora and A. Etzioni
 Background: Enumeration of T cell receptor excision circles (TREC) was recently adopted as a neonatal screening assay for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Enumeration of kappa-deleting recombination excision circle (KREC) copy numbers can be similarly used for early assessment of B cell lymphopenia.

Objective: To assess the ability of TREC and KREC counts to identify patients with combined T and B cell immunodeficiency in a pilot study in Israel.

Methods: We studied seven children born in Israel during the years 2010–2011 and later diagnosed with SCID, and an additional patient with pure B cell immunodeficiency. TREC and KREC in peripheral blood upon diagnosis and in their neonatal Guthrie cards were analyzed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, as were Guthrie cards with dried blood spots from healthy newborns and from normal and SCID-like controls.

Results: The first features suggestive of SCID presented at age 3.1 ± 2.4 months in all patients. Yet, the diagnosis was made 4.1 ± 2.9 months later. Their TREC were undetectable or significantly low at their clinical diagnosis and in their originally stored Guthrie cards, irrespective of the amount of their circulating T cells. KREC were undetectable in six SCID patients who displayed B cell lymphopenia in addition to T cell lymphopenia. KREC were also undetectable in one patient with pure B cell immunodeficiency.

Conclusions: TREC and KREC quantification are useful screening tests for severe T and B cell immunodeficiency. Implementation of these tests is highly important especially in countries such as Israel where a high frequency of consanguinity is known to exist. 

July 2012
R. Marom, R. Lubetzky, F.B. Mimouni, H. Bassan, L. Ben Sira, I. Berger, S. Dollberg and D. Mandel

Background: Infants with severe intraventricular-periventricular hemorrhage (IVH) have higher absolute nucleated red blood cell counts (aNRBC) at birth (a marker of intrauterine hypoxia) than controls. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is known to be associated with prenatal and postnatal events. Whether PVL is also linked to intrauterine hypoxia is unknown.

Objectives: To test the hypothesis that infants with PVL have higher aNRBC counts at birth than controls.

Methods: We studied 14 very low birth weight infants with PVL and compared them with 14 pair-matched controls without PVL. Head ultrasound scans were performed in all infants on days 3–5 and 21–25 of life. Paired tests, Fisher exact tests and stepwise logistic regression were performed for analysis.

Results: Groups were similar for gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW), prolonged rupture of membranes (PROM), Apgar scores, IVH, and aNRBC counts. PVL correlated significantly with low partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and IVH (P < 0.01). In logistic regression, when GA, gender, PROM, antenatal steroid therapy, 1 (or 5) minute Apgar scores, IVH grade, nosocomial sepsis, patent ductus arteriosus, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), need for pressors, aNRBC counts and lowest pCO2 were used as independent variables, pCO2 (P = 0.002), IVH grade (P = 0.001), GA (P = 0.038), NEC (P = 0.061) and use of dopamine (P = 0.010) remained in the analysis (total R2 = 68.2%).

Conclusions: In contrast to severe IVH, aNRBC counts do not predict the development of PVL.

December 2011
T. Smolkin, I. Ulanovsky, S. Blazer and I.R. Makhoul
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.

N. Sherr-Lurie, G.M. Bialik, A. Ganel, A. Schindler and U.Givon

Background: Fractures of the humerus in neonates can pose a diagnostic challenge, especially when the fracture occurs in the proximal or distal epiphysis.

Objectives: To review our experience in the diagnosis and treatment of birth-related humeral fractures.

Methods: Between the years 2001 and 2009, seven newborn patients and two patients treated in the neonatal intensive care unit sustained a fracture of the humerus. Four of the fractures occurred in the humeral shaft, three in the proximal epiphysis and two in the distal epiphysis. In all the newborn patients the diagnosis was made on the first day of life using radiography and ultrasonography. The fractures of the shaft and of the distal epiphysis were treated by gentle manipulation and casting, and the fractures of the proximal epiphysis were treated by swaddling.

Results: All of the patients demonstrated fracture union within 2 weeks, and radiographs at the age of 6 months demonstrated complete remodeling of the fracture.

Conclusions: Ultrasonography is a simple, readily available and inexpensive modality for the diagnosis of birth-related fractures of the humerus, especially in the yet unossified epiphyses.

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