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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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May 2023
Mailam Eltity MD, Merav Ben-David MD, Vera Nikitin MD, Amir Dori MD PhD

Contactin associated protein-like 2 (CASPR2) and leucine-rich glioma-inactivated protein 1 (LGI1) voltage gated potassium channel (VGKC) proteins are found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems [1]. Antibodies against these proteins are associated with encephalopathy, seizures, peripheral nerve hyper-excitability, autonomic dysfunction, hyponatremia, pain, and insomnia in varying severity and combination [1].

Morvan syndrome, first described in 1890, combines symptoms of peripheral nervous system (PNS), central nervous system (CNS), and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. It was later found to be associated with VGKC-complex antibodies, mainly against CASPR2 or LGI1 or both.

Our patient had a history of anti-LGI1 positive limbic encephalitis, which presented years later with anti-CASPR2 positive Morvan syndrome.

February 2023
Aviv Barzilai MD MSc, Hila Greenbaum MD MPH, Monica Huszar MD, Sergei Ikher MD, Avner Shemer MD, Sharon Baum MD

Background: Diagnosis of onychomycosis is based on potassium hydroxide (KOH), direct smear, culture, and polymerase chain reaction. Nail clippings are rarely used as a diagnostic tool.

Objectives: To evaluate nail clippings for the diagnosis of onychomycosis and to compare it to KOH smears.

Methods: Nail clipping specimens of 39 patients were collected: 34 with onychomycosis proved by positive culture and 5 from normal nails. The specimens were submitted to histological processing and then stained with periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) and Grocott-Gomori's methenamine silver (GMS) stains. For each nail, KOH smear was also performed. Two pathologists who had no information on the KOH smear and the culture results evaluated the nail clipping histology for the presence of fungal element. Their assessment was compared to the KOH smear and culture results.

Results: Of the 34 specimens that had positive culture, 25 were dermatophytes, 5 were molds, and 4 were candida. Clipping specimens were positive in 30 cases (88%): 23/25 dermatophyte, 4/5 molds, and 3/4 candida. Pathologists were able to classify the pathogens into dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes based on the morphology. PAS stain results were the same as GMS in evaluation of the nail specimen. KOH smear was positive in 29 nails (85%): 20/25 dermatophytes, all 5 molds, and 4 candida. In all five nails where the culture was negative, both clipping and KOH smear did not show fungal elements.

Conclusion: Nail clippings can serve as a rapid, inexpensive, and reliable method for evaluation of onychomycosis, comparable to KOH smear, with the advantage of pathogen group identification.

July 2008
A. Unterman and S. D. Moscavitch
February 2004
D. Mandel, Y. Littner, F.B. Mimouni, Z. Stavarovsky and S. Dollberg

Background: Increased serum potassium and intraventricular hemorrhage occur frequently in preterm infants.

Objective: To retrospectively analyze data obtained on infants with severe IVH[1] in relation to blood K+ concentrations.

Methods: We identified all patients with severe IVH born between July 1997 and July 2000. Each patient was pair-matched with a control infant of the same gestational age (±1 week) without IVH in terms of head ultrasound findings on day 5, and whole blood K+ on days 3–5.

Results: There were 24 infants in each group. The IVH group had significantly lower 1 minute Apgar scores and pH and higher blood K+ than the control group. Blood pH and K+ were inversely correlated. Stepwise regression analysis, taking into account blood pH and 1 minute Apgar score, showed a correlation only between blood K+ and IVH status.

Conclusions: Severe IVH is significantly associated with higher blood K+ concentrations. A causal relationship cannot be ascertained at this point.

[1] IVH = intraventricular hemorrhage

January 2002
Sydney Benchetrit MD, Jacques Bernheim MD and Eduardo Podjarny MD

Background: Primary aldosteronism is a common cause of non-renal secondary hypertension. A correct diagnosis results in curing the hypertension or targeting appropriate pharmacotherapy. In patients with low renin resistant hypertension (after treatment with three or more different anti-hypertensive drugs the blood pressure remains above 140/90 mmHg), screening for aldosteronism is mandatory.

Objectives: To demonstrate that normal blood levels of potassium in resistant hypertensive patients do not exclude the possible presence of hyperaldosteronism, and to suggest the use of the plasma aldosterone concentration (ng/dl)/plasma renin activity (ng/ml/hour) ratio in screening for hyperaldosteronism.

Methods: Blood tests, suppression and stimulation tests (2 L normal saline IV/4 hours and 20 mg furosemide IV for 60 minutes in a standing position) were systematically performed in 20 low renin normokalemic resistant hypertensive patients. None had renal disorders, known endocrine abnormalities or heart failure. They did not receive anti-hypertensive drugs affecting PAC[1] or PRA[2]. Basal PRA and PAC were measured twice: PAC after saline infusion and PAC/PRA after stimulation.

Results:. PAC/PRA above 50 was used to denote hyperaldosteronism. Serum K was 4 ± 0.07 mM/L, PAC 22.8 ± 1.8 ng/dl, PRA 0.13 ± 0.02 ng/ml/hour, PAC/PRA 190 ± 22 (above 100 in 17). After suppression PAC decreased from 25 ± 1.8 to 11 ± 1 ng/dl (normal <5 ng/dl). Stimulation did not affect PRA and PAC/PRA. Abdominal computed tomography scan revealed normal adrenal glands in 15 patients. Spironolactone (116 ± 60 mg/day) normalized blood pressure in all patients; it was used as a single therapy in 8, and in association with only one anti-hypertensive drug in the remaining 12 patients. In one patient the treatment was discontinued due to the presence of hyperkalemia.

Conclusions: Low renin resistant hypertension associated with normokalemia may be due to hyperaldosteronism. Normal aldosterone levels in the basal condition do not exclude the possibility of hyperaldosteronism. Using a PAC/PRA ratio above 50 as a screening test can aid the physician in deciding when to perform dynamic tests, thus increasing the sensitivity of the diagnosis of hyperaldosteronism. CT scan is frequently normal. Targeted pharmacotherapy leads to a normalization of blood values.

[1] PAC = plasma aldosterone concentration

 PRA = plasma renin activity

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