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עמוד בית
Fri, 31.05.24

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October 2023
Keren Zloto MD, Eyal Krispin MD, Anat Shmueli MD, Eran Hadar MD, Lina Salman MD MSc

Background: The administration of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) is standard practice for management of threatened preterm birth. Its benefit, especially in small for gestational age (SGA) late preterm, is unclear.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of ACS on perinatal outcome of late preterm SGA neonates.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all women carrying a singleton gestation who had late preterm delivery (34–36 gestational weeks) of SGA neonates at a single tertiary university-affiliated medical center (July 2012–December 2017). Exclusion criteria included termination of pregnancy, intrauterine fetal death, and birth weight ≥ 10th percentile. Outcomes were compared between ACS and non-ACS treatment prior to delivery. Neonatal composite outcome included neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, respiratory distress syndrome, mechanical ventilation, and transient tachypnea.

Results: Overall, 228 women met inclusion criteria; 102 (44.7%) received ACS and 126 did not (55.3%). Median birth weight among the non-ACS group was significantly higher (1896.0 vs. 1755.5 grams P < 0.001). Rates of NICU and jaundice requiring phototherapy were higher among the ACS group (53.92% vs. 31.74%, P = 0.01; 12.74% vs. 5.55%, P = 0.05, respectively). Composite neonatal outcome was significantly higher among the ACS group (53.92% vs. 32.53%, odds ratio [OR] 2.42, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.41–4.15, P = 0.01). After adjustment for potential confounders, this association remained significant (OR 2.15, 95%CI 1.23–3.78, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: ACS given during pregnancy did not improve respiratory outcome for SGA late preterm neonates. ACS may be associated with a worse outcome.

April 2021
Alona Bin-Nun MD, Cathy Hammerman MD, Francis B Mimouni MD, Netanel Wasserteil MD, and Yair M. Kasirer MD

Background: Many countries have adopted a mandatory routine pulse oximetry screening of newborn infants to identify babies with otherwise asymptomatic critical congenital heart disease (CCHD).

Objectives: To describe the current status of pulse oximetry CCHD screening in Israel, with a special emphasis on the experience of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Methods: We review the difficulties of the Israeli Medical system with adopting the SaO2 screening, and the preliminary results of the screening at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, both in terms of protocol compliance and CCHD detection.

Results: Large scale protocol cannot be implemented in one day, and regular quality assessment programs must take place in order to improve protocol compliance and identify the reasons for protocol failures.

Conclusions: Quality control reviews should be conducted soon after implementation of the screening to allow for prompt diagnosis and quick resolution

March 2020
Elena Fridman MD MSc, Liran Peretz-Aizenman RN MN and Abed N. Azab PhD

Background: Opposition to neonatal Hepatitis B vaccination is a growing trend in Israel.

Objectives: To assess the sociodemographic factors and attitudes associated with non-vaccination of term singleton newborns.

Methods: This prospective, pair-matched, controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary university-affiliated hospital. Data on maternal sociodemographic parameters, delivery, and infant care practices were gathered. Knowledge and references of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, vaccination schedule, and health government policies were assessed. A follow-up telephone survey was completed at the age of 7 weeks postpartum regarding vaccine catch-up rate.

Results: Mothers in the study group were mostly Jewish white middle class married multiparous women with some higher education. Hepatitis B serology was not tested in most. Higher rates of rooming-in and exclusive breastfeeding were observed. Knowledge about HBV was stated, multiple sources of information were significantly associated with newborn non-vaccination. Many objected to the timing of the vaccine and its necessity. Multiple medical encounters are viewed as missed opportunities.

Conclusions: Multiple sources of vaccine information are associated with non-vaccination. Medical encounters prior and post-delivery should be used for vaccination education and may improve vaccination coverage.

November 2019
Ram Mazkereth MD, Ayala Maayan-Metzger MD, Leah Leibovitch MD, Irit Schushan-Eisen MD, Iris Morag MD and Tzipora Straus MD M.Sc

Background: The need for postnatal monitoring of infants exposed to intrauterine beta blockers (BBs) has not been clearly defined.

Objectives: To evaluate infants exposed to intrauterine BBs in order to estimate the need for postnatal monitoring.

Methods: This retrospective case-control study comprised 153 term infants born to mothers who had been treated with BBs during pregnancy. Treatment indications included hypertension 76 mothers (49.7%), cardiac arrhythmias 48 (31.4%), rheumatic heart disease 14 (9.1%), cardiomyopathy 11 (7.2%) and migraine 4 (2.6%). The controls were infants of mothers with hypertension not exposed to BBs who were born at the same gestational age and born closest (before or after) to the matched infant in the study group.

Results: Compared to the control group, the infants in the study group had a higher prevalence of early asymptomatic hypoglycemia (study 30.7% vs. control 18.3%, P = 0.016), short symptomatic bradycardia events, other cardiac manifestations (P = 0.016), and longer hospitalization (P < 0.001). No life-threatening medical conditions were documented. The birth weight was significantly lower for the high-dose subgroup compared to the low-dose subgroup (P = 0.03), and the high-dose subgroup had a higher incidence of small-for-gestational-age (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: No alarming or life-threatening medical conditions were observed among term infants born to BB treated mothers. These infants can be safely observed for 48 hours after birth close to their mothers in the maternity ward. Glucose follow-up is needed, especially in the first hours of life.

 

September 2019
Maayan Gruber MD, Colin Brown MD, Murali Mahadevan and Michel Neeff MD

Background: Ophthalmic pathologies may further complicate the sensory input of patients with congenital hearing loss; however, data on children with coexisting impairment of vision and hearing is outdated, from before universal implementation of hearing screening programs.

Objectives: To examine the different ophthalmic pathologies among children with congenital sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) before or after the introduction of a universal newborn hearing screening program (UNHSP).

Methods: Retrospective cohort study was conducted of 91 children diagnosed with congenital SNHL between 2005 and 2016 in a tertiary pediatric hospital. All patients completed an ophthalmologic examination, including assessment of visual acuity, refraction, ocular motility, slit lamp examination, and indirect funduscopy. Radiological assessment and genetic analysis were offered to all caregivers.

Results: Average age at diagnosis was 4.1 years. Nineteen children (21%) were diagnosed with an ophthalmic condition, of which the most common were refractive pathologies. Diagnosis of an ophthalmic pathology was twice as likely in the pre-UNHSP era (14 children, 27%) compared to the post-UNHSP era (5 children, 13%). Out of 91 children, 57 (63%) underwent a computed tomography scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging was positive for structural abnormalities in 23 children (40%). There was no correlation between imaging and ophthalmic conditions. Genetic analysis was performed in 67 patients (74%).

Conclusions: The ophthalmic assessment of babies and children with congenital SNHL may yield in significant numbers of children with concomitant ophthalmic pathologies. Implementation of a UNHSP allows early diagnosis and treatment of coexisting ophthalmic and hearing conditions.

October 2017
Neri Katz MD, Letizia Schreiber MD, Anat Oron MD, Sarel Halachmi MD and David Kohelet MD

Background: Preterm birth is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among neonates in the United States. Early recognition of sepsis in this population is a challenging task since overt clinical signs can be difficult to determine. C-reactive protein (CRP), one of the most frequently non-specific used laboratory test, can indirectly aid the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.

Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between histological findings in the placenta of preterm newborns born after prolonged rupture of membranes, CRP levels, and blood cultures.

Methods: Medical records were reviewed of all preterm newborns born after prolonged premature rupture of membranes at a medical center in Israel between 2011 and 2014.

Results: Of 128 newborns with prolonged rupture of membranes, 64 had evidence of histological chorioamnionitis (HCA). Gestational age, birth weight, and Apgar scores were significantly lower, while CRP levels (on admission and 10–12 hours post-delivery) were significantly higher in preterm newborns born to mothers with histological evidence of chorioamnionitis, but values were within normal ranges. Duration of the rupture of membranes and white blood cell counts did not differ between groups.

Conclusions: CRP levels taken on admission and 10–12 hours after delivery were higher when HCA was present, but since there was a substantial overlap between those with and without HCA and the values for most were within normal range, the differences were not enough to serve as a tool to diagnose placental histological chorioamnionitis in preterm infants born after prolonged premature rupture of membranes and exposed to intrapartum antibiotics.

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.

 

July 2015
Smadar Eventov-Friedman MD PhD, Ayala Frumkin PhD, Benjamin Bar-Oz MD and Annick Raas-Rothschild MD
June 2015
Hashem Bishara MD MPH, Noam Goldstein MD, Marwan Hakim MD, Olga Vinitsky MD MPH, Danit Shechter-Amram RN and Daniel Weiler-Ravell MD

Background: Atypical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may cause diagnostic delay and adversely influence pregnancy outcome. 

Objectives: To examine the incidence and clinical and epidemiological features of TB during pregnancy and investigate infection control measures at delivery and during the postpartum period.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all reported cases of TB diagnosed during pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Israel’s Northern Health District (2002–2012). 

Results: Active TB was detected in six patients; all were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Two patients were diagnosed in the postpartum period, and four had pulmonary involvement. The average incidence during this period (3.9 per 100,000 pregnancies) was similar to that in the general population. Five patients were at high risk of contracting TB due to either recent immigration from a high-burden country or being in contact with another individual with active TB. Patients with pleuropulmonary involvement had prolonged cough and abnormal chest X-rays, without fever. Diagnosis was delayed for 3 to 7 months from symptom onset. Investigation of the newborn to rule out intrauterine infection was conducted in only one of four relevant cases. All patients were infected with organisms susceptible to all first-line drugs, and all were cured with standard therapy.

Conclusions: There was a considerable delay in the diagnosis of TB among pregnant women, and investigation of the newborn upon delivery to rule out TB infection was routinely omitted. Effective management of TB during pregnancy and the postpartum period requires a multidisciplinary approach including an obstetrician, pediatrician, TB specialist, and public health physician.

 

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. 

June 2013
G. Barkai, A. Barzilai, E. Mendelson, M. Tepperberg-Oikawa, D. Ari-Even Roth and J. Kuint
 Background: Congenital cytomegalovirus (C-CMV) infection affects 0.4–2% of newborn infants in Israel, most of whom are asymptomatic. Of these, 10–20% will subsequently develop hearing impairment and might have benefitted from early detection by neonatal screening.

Objectives: To retrospectively analyze the results of a screening program for C-CMV performed at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, during a 1 year period, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) from umbilical cord blood.

Methods: CMV DNA was detected by rt-PCR performed on infants’ cord blood. C-CMV was confirmed by urine culture (Shell-vial). All confirmed cases were further investigated for C-CMV manifestations by head ultrasound, complete blood count, liver enzyme measurement, ophthalmology examination and hearing investigation.

Results: During the period 1 June 2009 to 31 May 2010, 11,022 infants were born at the Sheba Medical Center, of whom 8105 (74%) were screened. Twenty-three (0.28%) were positive for CMV and 22 of them (96%) were confirmed by urine culture. Two additional infants, who had not been screened, were detected after clinical suspicion. All 24 infants were further investigated, and 3 (12.5%) had central nervous system involvement (including hearing impairment) and were offered intravenous ganciclovir for 6 weeks. Eighteen (82%) infants would not otherwise have been diagnosed.

Conclusions: The relatively low incidence of C-CMV detected in our screening program probably reflects the low sensitivity of cord blood screening. Nevertheless, this screening program reliably detected a non-negligible number of infants who could benefit from early detection. Other screening methods using saliva should be investigated further.

 

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