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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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September 2015
Sigal Tal MD, Michael Abrahamy MD, Paul Gottlieb MD, Hillel Maresky MD and Anna Ben Ely MD

Background: The practice of administering intravenous contrast to children varies by institution depending on their routine. 

Objectives: To assess the necessity of routine contrast administration in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of pediatric outpatients referred for chronic headache workups. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of consecutive pediatric brain MRI examinations performed during January and February 2014 in 30 pediatric outpatients referred for evaluation of chronic headache. Independent review was performed by two board-certified neuroradiologists. The raters reviewed each MRI first as a non-contrast examination (without seeing the post-contrast images) and then with post-contrast images. 

Results: No abnormalities were found in six patients. One patient had an indeterminate finding of a tubular cerebellar lesion requiring follow-up. In the remaining patients (n=23), the findings were subclinical and included: mucosal thickening in the paranasal sinuses in 9 patients, cystic changes of the pineal gland in 8 (size 2–9 mm), small developmental venous anomalies in 6, non-specific FLAIR hyperintensities in 4, opacification of the mastoids in 2, and telangiectasia in 1 patient. The subclinical cases that were missed on pre-contrast images were: one small developmental venous anomaly, one telangiectasia and one small pineal cyst, none of which hold clinical significance. All kappa inter-rater and intra-rater agreement scores resulted in values above 0.75, excellent agreement according to Fleiss guidelines.

Conclusions: There seems to be little reason to medically justify large-scale use of routine IV contrast administration to evaluate a brain MRI of pediatric patients referred for chronic headache. 

 

August 2000
Vladimir Gavrilov MD, Matitiahu Lifshitz MD, Jacob Levy MD and Rafael Gorodischer MD

Background: Many medications used for children have not undergone evaluation to assure acceptable standards for optimal dose, safety and efficacy. As a result, the majority of children admitted to hospital wards receive medications outside the terms of their license (off-label) or medications that are not specifically licensed for use in children (unlicensed). The extent of unlicensed and off-label medication use in ambulatory children is unknown.

Objective: To determine the extent of unlicensed and off-label medication use in a general pediatrics ambulatory hospital unit in Israel.

Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the medical records of 132 outpatient children treated in the General Pediatrics Ambulatory Unit of the Soroka Medical Center, Beer Sheva, in November–December 1998.

Results: The children’s ages ranged from 1 month to 18 years (mean ± SD 50±58 months). Of the 222 prescriptions given to these children, one-third were unlicensed (8%) or unlabeled (26%). Different dose and age were the most common categories of off-label medication use. All 18 cases of unlicensed use were due to modifica-tion of licensed drugs (tablets were crushed to prepare suspensions). Altogether, 42% of children received medicines that were off-label and/or unlicensed.

Conclusions: More off-label than unlicensed medications were used. Further investigations are required to establish the extent of unproved drug use in both hospitalized and ambulatory pediatric patients in Israel. Recommendations recently issued by the Ministry of Health’s National Council for Child Health and Pediatrics constitute a first step in the Israeli contribution to the international effort demanding testing of medications for children.

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