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עמוד בית
Tue, 21.05.24

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March 2023
Sergei Elber-Dorozko MD, Yackov Berkun MD, Abraham Zlotogorski MD, Alexander Maly MD, Ariel Tenenbaum MD

IgA vasculitis, formerly known as Henoch–Schönlein purpura (HSP), is the most common systemic vasculitis in children. It is defined as palpable purpura in the absence of coagulopathy or thrombocytopenia and one or more of the following criteria: abdominal pain, arthritis or arthralgia, biopsy of affected tissue demonstrating predominant IgA deposition, and renal involvement with proteinuria and hematuria or red cell casts [1].

May 2022
Herman Avner Cohen MD, Maya Gerstein MD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD, Sophia Heiman MD, Yael Richenberg MD, Eyal Jacobson MD, and Oren Berkowitz PhD PA-C

Background: On 18 March 2020, the Israeli Health Ministry issued lockdown orders to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Objectives: To assess the association of lockdown orders on telemedicine practice and the effect of social distancing on infectious diseases in a primary care community pediatric clinic as well as the rate of referrals to emergency departments (ED) and trends of hospitalization.

Methods: Investigators performed a retrospective secondary data analysis that screened for visits in a large pediatric center from 1 January to 31 May 2020. Total visits were compared from January to December 2020 during the same period in 2019. Visits were coded during the first lockdown as being via telemedicine or in-person, and whether they resulted in ED referral or hospitalization. Month-to-month comparisons were performed as well as percent change from the previous year.

Results: There was a sharp decline of in-person visits (24%) and an increase in telemedicine consultations (76%) during the first lockdown (p < 0.001). When the lockdown restrictions were eased, there was a rebound of 50% in-person visits (p < 0.05). There was a profound decrease of visits for common infectious diseases during the lockdown period. Substantial decreases were noted for overall visits, ED referrals, and hospitalizations in 2020 compared to 2019.

Conclusions: COVID-19 had a major impact on primary care clinics, resulting in fewer patient-doctor encounters, fewer overall visits, fewer ED referrals, and fewer hospitalizations

May 2021
Dotan Yogev MD, Yehonatan Bar Moshe MD, Hodaya Tovi MD, and David Rekhtman MD
April 2021
Eytan Damari MD, Alon Farfel MD, Itai Berger MD, Reut Ron, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The effect of extended shift length on pediatric residency is controversial. Israeli residents perform shifts extending up to 26 hours, a practice leading to general dissatisfaction. In early 2020, during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many Israeli hospitals transitioned from 26-hour shifts to 13-hour shifts in fixed teams (capsules) followed by a 24-hour rest period at home. The regulation changes enacted by the Israeli government during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity to assess perception by residents regarding length of shifts before and after the change.

Objectives: To assess perception of pediatric residency in three aspects: resident wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and acquisition of medical education following the change to the shorter shifts model.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational study among pediatric residents. Residents completed an online self-assessment questionnaire before and after the COVID-19 emergency regulations changed toward shorter shifts.

Results: Sixty-seven residents answered the questionnaires before (37) and after (30) the shift changes. The average score was significantly better for the 13-hour shifts versus the 26-hour shifts, except for questions regarding available time for research. There was a positive perception regarding the shorter night shifts model among pediatric residents, with an increase in general satisfaction and improvement in perception of general wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and medical education acquisition.

Conclusions: Following the change to shorter shift length, perception of pediatric residents included improvement in wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and availability of medical education

Michal Vinker-Shuster MD, Ephraim S. Grossman PhD, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) social-distancing strategy, including 7 weeks of strict lockdown, enabled an extraordinary test of stay-at-home regulations, which forced a sedentary lifestyle on all children and adolescents.

Objectives: To assess the lockdown effect on pediatric weight.

Methods: A retrospective-prospective cohort study at our hospital’s pediatric outpatient clinics following the COVID-19 lockdown. Patients aged 0–18 years visiting the clinic were weighed and previous weight and other clinical data were collected from the medical charts. Weight-percentile-for-age standardization was calculated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization growth tables. Pre- and post-lockdown weight-percentiles-for-age were compared using paired t-test. Multivariate analysis was conducted using linear regression model.

Results: The study was comprised of 229 patients; 117/229 (51.1%) were boys, 60/229 (26.2%) aged under 6 years. Total mean weight-percentile was significantly higher following the lockdown (40.44 vs. 38.82, respectively, P = 0.029). Boys had a significant post-lockdown weight-percentile rise (37.66 vs. 34.42, P = 0.014), whereas girls had higher baseline pre-quarantine weight-percentile of 43.42, which did not change. Patients younger than 6 years had a significant increase in weight-percentiles (39.18 vs. 33.58, P = 0.021). In multivariate analysis these correlations were preserved.

Conclusions: A general weight gain among children was noted, especially in boys during the lockdown, with substantial effect under the age of 6 years. This collateral side-effect should be considered in further quarantine regulations

June 2018
Osher Cohen MD, Arthur Baazov MD, Inbal Samuk MD, Michael Schwarz MD, Dragan Kravarusic MD1 and Enrique Freud MD

Background: Wandering spleen is a rare entity that may pose a surgical emergency following torsion of the splenic vessels, mainly because of a delayed diagnosis. Complications after surgery for wandering spleen may necessitate emergency treatment.

Objectives: To describe the clinical course and treatment for children who underwent emergency surgeries for wandering spleen at a tertiary pediatric medical center over a 21 year period and to indicate the pitfalls in diagnosis and treatment as reflected by our experience and in the literature.

Methods: The database of a tertiary pediatric medical center was searched retrospectively for all children who underwent emergency treatment for wandering spleen between 1996 and 2017. Data were collected from the medical files. The relevant literature was reviewed.

Results: Of ten patients who underwent surgery for wandering spleen during the study period, five underwent seven emergency surgeries. One patient underwent surgery immediately at initial presentation. In the other four, surgical treatment was delayed either due to misdiagnosis or for repeated imaging studies to confirm the diagnosis. Emergency laparotomy revealed an ischemic spleen in all patients; splenectomy was performed in two and the spleen was preserved in three. Four of the seven emergency operations were performed as the primary surgery and three were performed to treat complications.

Conclusions: Wandering spleen should ideally be treated on an elective or semi-elective basis. Surgical delays could be partially minimized by a high index of suspicion at diagnosis and by eliminating unnecessary and time-consuming repeated imaging studies.

January 2018
Michalle Soudack MD, Semion Plotkin MD, Aviva Ben-Shlush MD, Lisa Raviv-Zilka MD, Jeffrey M. Jacobson MD, Michael Benacon MD and Arie Augarten MD

Background: Opinions differ as to the need of a lateral radiograph for diagnosing community acquired pneumonia in children referred to the emergency department. A lateral radiograph increases the ionizing radiation burden but at the same time may improve specificity and sensitivity in this population.

Objectives: To determine the value of the frontal and lateral chest radiographs compared to frontal view stand-alone images for the management of children with suspected community acquired pneumonia seen in a pediatric emergency department.

Methods: Chest radiographs from 451 children with clinically suspected pneumonia were retrospectively reviewed. Interpretation of frontal views was compared to interpretation of combined frontal and lateral view, the latter being the gold standard.

Results: Findings consistent with bacterial pneumonia were diagnosed in 94 (20.8%) of the frontal stand-alone radiographs and in 109 (24.2%) of the combined frontal and lateral radiographs. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the frontal radiograph alone were 86.2%, 93.9%, 81.7%, and 95.5%, respectively. False positive and false negative rates were 15% and 21%, respectively, for the frontal view alone. The number of lateral radiographs needed to diagnose one community acquired pneumonia was 29.

Conclusions: The lateral chest radiograph improves the diagnosis of pediatric community acquired pneumonia to a certain degree and may prevent overtreatment with antibiotics.

October 2017
Natalia Simanovsky MD, Nurith Hiller MD, Maxim Timofeev, Eli M. Eisenshtein MD, Zeev Perles MD and Sigal Tal MD

Background: Virtual autopsies by computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging can be valuable in cases of unexplained infant death. The radiologist must be familiar with the normal appearance of all the segments of the thoracic aorta in normal and deceased children. A thorough review of the literature revealed no prior articles describing CT changes in the ascending aorta or the aortic arch in pediatric virtual autopsies.

Objectives: To compare the CT appearance of the thoracic aorta in deceased children and in those younger than 3 years of age.

Methods: Hospital registries were searched for cases of unexpected deaths in children younger than 3 years old, with a postmortem CT available, as well as for clinically indicated chest CT in children of the same age during a 5 year period. The ascending aorta (AA), aortic arch (arch), and the descending aorta (DA) diameters were measured. Student's t-tests and Mann–Whitney U-tests were used to compare the two groups.

Results: A total of 64 scans were reviewed: 35 postmortem and 29 performed on living patients. The differences in the diameter and the ratios of the diameter between the AA and the arch, as well as between the arch and the DA in the postmortem and living groups were statistically significant (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: On postmortem CT scans, we found focal tapering of the aortic caliber at the level of the arch between the origin of the brachiocephalic artery and left subclavian artery. This finding should not be misinterpreted as a hypoplastic aortic arch.

 

December 2016
Faris Issa BSW and Salman Zarka MD MPH MA
November 2016
Ayelet Rimon MD, Shelly Shalom MD, Ido Wolyniez MD, Alejandro Gruber, Schachter-Davidov Anita MD and Miguel Glatstein MD

Background: Medical clowns are increasingly used for diminishing pain and anxiety during painful procedures being performed on children in the hospital setting. Cortisol levels rise as a response to emotional distress. 

Objectives: To investigate whether medical clown-assisted interventions to reduce child's distress during venipuncture have an effect on cortisol levels. 

Methods: During a 1 year period, children requiring blood work or intravenous access in the pediatric emergency department were prospectively randomized to either the presence or absence of a medical clown during the procedure. The child's distress was evaluated using the Faces Pain Scale - revised (FPS-R) for the 4–7 year age group and the visual analog scales (VAS) for those aged 8–15 years. Serum cortisol levels were measured in blood samples obtained by venipuncture. 

Results: Fifty-three children aged 2–15 years were randomly assigned to the study group (with medical clown, n=29) or to the control group (without medical clown, n=24). Combined pain scores of the study group and control group were 2.2 and 7.5 respectively (P < 0.001). No difference in mean cortisol levels was found between the study group and the control group at all ages (16.4 µg/dl vs. 18.3 µg/dl, P = 0.65).

Conclusions: In this pilot study, medical clowns reduced the distress from venipuncture in children. No effect on cortisol levels was observed. 

Guy Hidas MD, Jacob Ben Chaim MD, Refael Udassin MD, Merry Graeb MD, Ofer N. Gofrit MD, Rachel Yaffa Zisk-Rony PhD, Dov Pode MD, Mordechai Duvdevani M2, Vladimir Yutkin MD, Amos Neheman MD, Amos Fruman MD, Dan Arbel MD, Vadim Kopuler MD, Yaron Armon MD and Ezekiel H. Landau MD

Background: Strong evidence suggests that in order to prevent irreversible testicular damage surgical correction (orchidopexy) for undescended testis (UDT) should be performed before the age of 1 year. 

Objectives: To evaluate whether orchidopexy is delayed in our medical system, and if so, to explore the pattern of referral for orchidopexy as a possible contributing factor in such delays. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all children who underwent orchidopexy for UDT between 2003 and 2013 in our institution. We collected data on the age at surgery and the child's health insurance plan. We also surveyed pediatricians from around the country regarding their pattern of UDT patient referral to a pediatric urologist or surgeon for surgical correction.

Results: A total of 813 children underwent orchidopexy in our institute during the study period. The median age at surgery was 1.49 years (range 0.5–13). Only 11% of the children underwent surgery under the age of 1 year, and 53% between the ages of 1 and 2 years. These findings were consistent throughout the years, with no difference between the four health insurance plans. Sixty-three pediatricians who participated in the survey reported that they referred children to surgery at a median age of 1 year (range 0.5–3 years).

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate delayed orchidopexy in our medical system. There is a need to improve awareness for early specialist consultation in order to facilitate earlier surgery and better care.

 

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. 

 

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