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Fri, 24.05.24

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January 2023
Doron Carmi MD MHA, Ziona Haklai MA, Ethel-Sherry Gordon PhD, Ada Shteiman MSC, Uri Gabbay MD MPH

Background: Bacterial meningitis (BM) remains a considerable cause of morbidity.

Objectives: To evaluate BM incidence rate trends in diverse age groups.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study based on the Israeli national registry. Inclusion criteria were acute admissions 2000 to 2019 with primary diagnosis of BM. Predefined age groups were neonates (≤ 30 days), infants (31 days to 1 year), younger children (1 ≤ 5 years), older children (5 ≤ 18 years), and adults (≥ 18 years). Average annual incidence rates per 100,000/year were calculated for the entire period and by decade. Incidence rates for neonates and infants were calculated per 100,000 live births (LB).

Results: There were 3039 BM cases over 2 decades, 60% were adults. The overall BM incidence rate was 2.0/100,000/year, neonates, 5.4/100,000/year LB, infants 17.6/100,000/year LB. First year of life incidence rate (neonates and infants combined) was 23.0/100,000/year, younger children 1.5/100,000/year, older children 0.9/100,000/year, and adults 1.8/100,000/year. All age groups presented a decrease in incidence rate (last decade vs. previous) except neonates, which increased by 34%. Younger and older children presented the most considerable decrease: 48% and 37% (last decade vs. previous).

Conclusions: Adults showed the highest number of BM cases. The incidence rate was highest during the first year of life (neonates and infants combined). All age groups, except neonates, showed a decreasing trend. Younger and older children presented the most considerable decrease, most likely attributable to vaccination. The observed increase in BM incidence rate in neonates may influence whether preventive strategy is considered.

February 2022
Sara Dovrat PhD, Ela Kashi-Zagdoun BSc, Zvia Soufiev BSc, Ella Mendelson PhD, and Tzion Schlossberg MD

Background: Infections in neonates with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) following circumcision due to Metzitzah Be'Peh (MBP) performed by a Mohel occur each year in small numbers. One solution to this problem is the use of a mucus extractor device instead of MBP, which has been authorized by some rabbis. Yet, using a mucus extractor remains controversial among ultra-Orthodox Jews; thus, creating a need for additional solutions.

Objectives: To seek to reduce HSV-1 infection of neonates due to MBP.

Methods: We tested several oral rinse solutions for their ability to destroy virus infectivity following incubation for 30 seconds and using plaque reduction assays.

Results: Corsodyl, Decapinol, and Listerine® all destroyed plaques formation of spiked virus, while Gengigel and Tantum Verde were found to be less effective. We focused specifically on Listerine® due to its efficacy in eliminating contagious HSV-1 from saliva after a 30-second oral rinse. Five different products of Listerine® reduced the infectivity of a spiked virus by more than 4 orders of magnitude in 30 seconds. We also showed that Listerine (up to 7% v/v) can stay in the mouth but did not harm living cells and therefore will not cause any damage to the injured tissue.

Conclusions: Significant reduction in cases of infection with HSV-1 due to MBP can be achieved if Mohalim consistently adopt the practice of careful mouth washing with Listerine® just before performing MBP.

August 2019
Tamar Laron-Kenet MD, Aviva Silbergeld MSc, Pearl Lilos BSc and Zvi Laron MD PhD (hc)
December 2018
Micky Osovsky MD, Eric Barel MD and Dean D. Ad-El MD
March 2018
Leah Leibovitch MD, Iris Zohar MD, Ayala Maayan-Mazger MD, Ram Mazkereth MD, Tzipora Strauss MD and Ron Bilik MD

Background: The estimated incidence of esophageal atresia (EA) with or without tracheo-esophageal fistula (TEF) is 1:3500 live births. During childhood these patients have various co-morbidities, but the overall quality of life among adults is similar to that of the general population.

Objectives: To evaluate short- and long-term co-morbidities and quality of life among infants born with EA ± TEF at a large single medical center.

Methods: Medical records of 65 children born over a 21 year period were reviewed for short- and long-term medical data. Telephone interviews were conducted with 46 of their parents regarding medical problems and quality of life after home discharge.

Results: The main long-term co-morbidities during the first 2 years of life, 4–6 years of age, and during adolescence (12–16 years) included gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in 56.5%, 35.8%, and 18.7%, respectively; stridor in 84.8%, 45.2%, and 12.5%, respectively; hyper-reactive airway disease (HRAD) in 43.5%, 35.5%, and 36.5%, respectively; recurrent pneumonia in 43.5%, 32.3%, and 18.8%, respectively; and overall recurrent hospitalizations in 87%, 41.9%, and 25%, respectively. The quality of life was reportedly affected among 100%, 75%, and 33.3% respectively.

Conclusions: Long-term follow-up of patients with EA ± TEF indicates a high burden of co-morbidities during the first 6 years of life, with a gradual decrease in symptoms thereafter. Nevertheless, HRAD continued to impact the daily life of about one-third of the older adolescents, and GERD one-fifth. A long-term multidisciplinary follow-up should be conducted to prevent late onset complications that may affect the quality of life.

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. 


Alona Bin-Nun MD, Netanel Wasserteil MD, Rizeq Nakhash MD and Cathy Hammerman MD
March 2015
Alon Haham MD, Shaul Dollberg MD and Ronella Marom MD
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.

March 2014
Orly Goitein, Yishay Salem, Jeffrey Jacobson, David Goitein, David Mishali, Ashraf Hamdan, Rafael Kuperstein, Elio Di Segni and Eli Konen
 Background: Patients with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) have a high incidence of extracardiac vascular and non-vascular malformations. Those additional abnormalities may have an impact on the precise planning of surgical or non-surgical treatment.

Objectives: To assess the role of electrocardiography-gated CT-angiography (ECG-CTA) in the routine evaluation of CHD in neonates and infants particularly for the assessment of extracardiac findings.

Methods: The study cohort comprised 40 consecutive patients who underwent trans-thoracic echocardiography (TTE) and ECG-CTA. TTE and ECG-gated CTA findings regarding extracardiac vascular structures, coronary arteries and airways were compared with surgical or cardiac catheterization findings. Scans were evaluated for image quality using a subjective visual scale (from 1 to 4). Effective radiation dose was calculated for each scan.

Results: Median age was 28 ± 88 days and mean weight 3.7 ± 1.5 kg. Diagnostic quality was good or excellent (visual image score 3–4) in 39 of 40 scans (97.5%). ECG-CTA provided important additional information regarding extracardiac vascular structures and airway anatomy, complementing TTE in 75.6% of scans. Overall sensitivity of ECG-gated CTA for detecting extracardiac findings as compared with operative and cardiac catheterization findings was 97.6%. The calculated mean effective radiation dose was 1.4 ± 0.07 mSv (range 1.014–2.3 mSv).

Conclusions: ECG-CTA is an accurate modality for demonstrating extracardiac structures in complex CHD. It provides important complementary information to TTE regarding extracardiac vascular structures and coronary artery anatomy. This modality may obviate the need for invasive cardiac catheterization, thus exposing the patient to a much lower radiation dose. 

February 2012
A. Farfel, E. Derazne, D. Tzur, N. Linder and Z. Laron

Background: Measurements of adolescents who at birth were large (long and/or heavy) for gestational age are scant.

Objectives: To determine the correlation between birth length and weight in female and male neonates born long and/or overweight for gestational age, with their height and weight at age 17.

Methods: We reviewed the records of the Rabin Medical Center for birth data of 96 full-term neonates born long and overweight for gestational age (FT-lo,ow), 33 full-term neonates born long but with normal weight for gestational age (FT-lo,nw), 148 full-term neonates born overweight but with normal length for gestational age (FT-nl,ow), and 401 full-term neonates born with normal birth length and weight (FT- nl,nw).

Results: Neonates of both genders born long and overweight at birth (FT-lo,ow) were taller and heavier at age 17 years than those born FT-nl,nw: females: 167.8 ± 5.1 cm and 64.6 ± 10.3 kg vs. 162.6 ± 5.5 cm and 59.3 ± 11.1 kg (P < 0.001 for height and P = 0.026 for weight) and males: 182.4 ± 8.1 cm and 80.6 ± 20.4 kg vs. 174.5 ± 6.2 cm and 67.4 ± 12.3 kg (P < 0.001). The correlations between birth length and height at age 17 for both genders were statistically significant (P < 0.001), as were those between birth weight and the weight and body mass index (BMI) at age 17 for both genders (P < 0.001). There was no correlation between birth length and weight or BMI at age 17.

Conclusions: Full-term neonates of both genders born large for gestational age become tall adolescents and weigh more at age 17 than children with a normal birth length and weight.

June 2011
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.

January 2011
A. Gover, D. Bader, M. Weinger-Abend, I. Chystiakov, E. Miller, A. Riskin, O. Hochwald, L. Beni-Adani, E. Tirosh and A. Kugelman

Background: The rate of brain abnormalities in asymptomatic term neonates varies substantially in previous studies. Some of these rates may justify general screening of healthy newborns by head ultrasound.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of intracranial abnormalities among asymptomatic term newborns with HUS[1] and to detect high-risk populations that might need such screening.

Methods: This was a prospective study in 493 term newborns who underwent HUS and a neurological evaluation during the first 3 days of life. The neurological examination results were unknown to the sonographist and the examiner was blinded to the HUS findings. The abnormal HUS findings were classified as significant or non-significant according to the current literature.

Results: Abnormal HUS was found in 11.2% of the neonates. Significant findings were noted in 3.8% of the infants. There was no association between non-structural HUS findings (hemorrhage or echogenicity) and mode of delivery. There was no relationship between any HUS abnormality and birth weight, head circumference and maternal age, ethnicity, education or morbidity. The rate of abnormal neurological, hearing or vision evaluation in infants with a significant abnormal HUS (5.2%) was comparable to the rate in infants with normal or non-significant findings on HUS (3.1%).

Conclusions: There is no indication for routine HUS screening in apparently healthy term neonates due to the relatively low incidence of significant brain abnormalities in these infants in our population.


[1] HUS = head ultrasound

November 2010
N. Nachmias, Y. Landman, Y.L. Danon and Y. Levy

Background: Feeding neonates with humanized milk formula in maternity hospitals may increase the prevalence of milk allergy in infants. However, prospective studies of the possible allergenic effect of very early soy-based formula feeding are lacking.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of soy allergy in infants fed soy-based formula in the first 3 days of life.

Methods: The study group included 982 healthy full-term infants born within a 7 month period at a hospital that routinely uses soy-based formula to supplement breastfeeding. In-hospital feeding was recorded and the parents were interviewed once monthly over the next 6 months regarding feeding practices and clinical symptoms suggesting soy allergy in the infant.

Results: Ninety-nine percent of the infants received soy-based formula supplement in hospital, and 33–42% at home. No cases of immediate allergic reaction to soy or soy-induced enterocolitis were reported.

Conclusions: The use of soy-based formula in the early neonatal period does not apparently increase the prevalence of soy allergy in infants followed for the next 6 months.

May 2010
S. Eventov-Friedman, H. Leiba, O. Flidel-Rimon, A. Juster-Reicher and E.S. Shinwell

Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published recommendations for the red reflex assessment in the newborn period to detect and treat ocular disorders as early as possible, and to prevent lifelong visual impairment and even save lives. The test is technically simple to perform, non-invasive, requires minimal equipment and can detect a variety of ocular pathologies including cataracts and retinal abnormalities. No specific national guidelines exist on this issue.

Objectives: To document the implementation of red reflex examination in routine neonatal care and present the findings.

Methods: Our clinical experience following implementation of the red reflex test into the newborn physical examination in a single center was reviewed. In addition, an electronic mail questionnaire was sent to all neonatology departments in Israel regarding the performance of the red reflex test.

Results: During 2007–2008, five infants were identified with congenital cataracts at days 2–6 of life prior to discharge from hospital. Surgery was performed in one infant at age 2 months and all infants underwent a thorough follow-up. The incidence of congenital cataract in our center was 1:2300. Less than half the neonatology departments have endorsed the AAP[1] recommendation and perform the red reflex test routinely.

Conclusions: Abnormal red reflex test after delivery enables a rapid ophthalmologic diagnosis, intervention and close follow-up. We recommend that red reflex screening be performed as part of the newborn physical examination if abnormal, an urgent ophthalmologic referral should be made.

[1] AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics

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