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עמוד בית
Wed, 24.07.24

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October 2023
Yaniv Steinfeld MD, Omri Besor MD, Yaniv Yonai MD, Yaron Berkovich MD, Elad Apt MD, Nadav Rinott , Yaniv Keren MD

Background: Websites serve as a source of medical information for a large part of the public, some claim to be a substitute for a physician’s consultation. Many patients meet a physician after conducting internet research. Medical staff are concerned that internet sources of information are unreliable and may lead to erroneous decisions by patients.

Objectives: To examine the reliability of web-based sources of information (through the Google™ search engine) regarding five common orthopedic complaints and injuries.

Method: We performed a search of five common orthopedic complaints and injuries using the Google search engine. The reliability of web-based information was measured by the DISCERN tool, which is a valid and verified tool for examining the reliability of medical information sources to the public. The reliability of 47 websites was examined by two orthopedic surgeons and two senior residents.

Results: The overall average score given to the sites was 2.8, on a scale of 1 to 5. We found that the higher the site appeared in the search results, the higher the quality of its information. Commercial sites scored higher than general internet information sources.

Conclusions: The internet network is a very broad source of information. For those who lack scientific education and training it is not easy to distinguish between reliable and unreliable or biased sources. The trend of searching for medical information and self-healing is increasing. We must strengthen the network with reliable sources by creating official scientific position papers by medical teams and promoting them online.

August 2023
Narin N. Carmel Neiderman MD MSc, Nir Halevy MD, Tal Kas MD, Anat Wengier MD, Ahmad Safadi MD, Avraham Abergel MD

Background: Nasal obstruction is one of the most common complaints in the practice of rhinology.

Objective: To adapt the Nasal Obstruction Scale Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaire to Hebrew (H-NOSE) and to assess its sensitivity and specificity.

Methods: Candidates for surgical intervention due to isolated nasal obstruction and healthy volunteers (controls) were included in the validation. The English NOSE questionnaire was translated into Hebrew and re-translated for translation validity. Patients completed the H-NOSE questionnaire before and after surgery for nasal obstruction. The same questionnaire was completed by the controls. Test–retest reliability was performed within 2 weeks. Psychometric properties (reliability, reproducibility, validity, and responsiveness) were assessed by a test–retest procedure, internal consistency, correlation to the Hebrew Sino-Nasal Outcome Tool 22 (He-SNOT-22), and response sensitivity.

Results: In total, 179 patients with nasal obstruction and 74 controls completed the questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha score was 0.93 for internal consistency. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity (< 90%) and area under the curve was 0.97. We found no significant difference in test–retest reliability. The difference between the pre- and postoperative questionnaire scores was highly significant (13.9 ± 4.0 vs. 3.2 ± 4.1, respectively, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The H-NOSE questionnaire demonstrated reliable internal consistency, sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. The Hebrew version differentiated between patients and heathy controls and was easy to administer. This instrument is useful for Hebrew speaking patients who undergo surgery for nasal obstruction.

May 2023
Hagit Hemi RN, Olga Morelli MD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Alexander Sagie MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD

Background: Cancellation of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) tests leads to inefficient use of echocardiography laboratory (echo lab) time and wastes resources.

Objectives: To identify the causes of same-day TEE cancellations in hospitalized patients, to formulate a TEE order screening protocol, and to evaluate its efficacy at implementation.

Methods: We performed a prospective analysis of inpatients referred to a single tertiary hospital echo lab for TEE study by inpatient wards. A comprehensive screening protocol emphasizing active participation of all links directly involved in the chain of inpatient TEE referral was developed and implemented. Comparison of pre- and post-implementation of the new screening protocol on two consecutive periods of 6 months on TEE cancellation rates out of total ordered TEEs stratified by cause categories was performed.

Results: In total, 304 inpatient TEE procedures were ordered during the initial observation period; 54(17.8%) were canceled on the same day. The most common cancellation reasons were equally respiratory distress and patient not in fasted state (20.4% of total cancellations and 3.6% of all scheduled TEEs for each cause). Following implementation of the new screening process, total TEEs ordered (192) and cancelled (16) dropped significantly. A decrease in the rate of each cancellation category was observed, with statistical significance achieved for the overall cancellation rate (8.3% vs. 17.8%, P = 0.003), but not for the individual cancellation categories in split analysis.

Conclusions: A concerted effort to implement a comprehensive screening questionnaire significantly reduced same-day cancellations of scheduled TEEs.

February 2023
Nizar Horrany MD, Wadie Abu Dahoud MD, Yara Moallem MD, Taleb Hajouj MD, Merna Zreik MD, Arnon Blum MD

Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Metformin is an old, relatively safe, first line therapy for T2DM; however, it has been associated with stroke.

Objectives: To study the effects of metformin use and vitamin B12 deficiency on stroke rate among patients with T2DM.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study of patients admitted with ischemic stroke within 12 months (starting March 2020). We studied the clinical impact of metformin on vitamin B12 deficiency and stroke evolution. Student's t-test and ANOVA were used to compare the groups of patients and to determine whether there was any direct or indirect effect of metformin use on vitamin B12 deficiency and stroke.

Results: In total, 80 patients were admitted with ischemic stroke. Clinical status and biochemical data were collected and compared with healthy volunteers. There were 39 diabetic patients, 16 took metformin for at least 1 year. Among those who took metformin for at least 1 year, 9 had vitamin B12 level < 240 pg/ml (56.2%); 23 diabetic patients did not get metformin and only 4 had vitamin B12 level < 240 pg/ml (17.4%) (P = 0.014).

Conclusions: T2DM is a significant risk factor to the development of ischemic stroke. We found an association between metformin use and vitamin B12 deficiency and an association between vitamin B12 deficiency and stroke risk in patients with T2DM. Diabetic patients who are taking metformin should monitor their vitamin B12 level.

January 2023
Mohamad Suki MD, Fadi Abu Baker MD, Shaul Pery MD, Moran Levin MD, Smadar Nephrin, Amani Beshara MD, Baruch Ovadia MD, Oren Gal MD, Yael Kopelman MD

Background: Polyp detection rate (PDR) is a convenient quality measure indicator. Many factors influence PDR, including the patient's background, age, referral (ambulatory or hospitalized), and bowel cleansing.

Objectives: To evaluate whether years of professional experience have any effect on PDR.

Methods: A multivariate analysis of a retrospective cohort was performed, where both patient- and examiner-related variables, including the experience of doctors and nurses, were evaluated. PDR, as the dependent variable was calculated separately for all (APDR), proximal (PPDR), and small (SPDR) polyps.

Results: Between 1998 and 2019, 20,996 patients underwent colonoscopy at a single center. After controlling for covariates, the experience of both doctors and nurses was not found to be associated with APDR (odds ratio [OR] 0.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.98–1.00, P = 0.15 and OR 1.03, 95%CI 1.02–1.04, P < 0.0001, respectively). However, after 2.4 years of colonoscopy experience for doctors, and 9.5 years of experience for nurses, a significant increase in APDR was observed. Furthermore, results revealed no association for PPDR and SPDR, as well.

Conclusions: Years of colonoscopy experience for both doctors and assisting nurses were not associated with APDR, PPDR, and SPDR. In doctors with 2.4 years of experience and nurses with 9.5 years of experience, a significant increase in APDR was observed.

Elad Leron MD, Anthony Riches MD, Menahem Neuman MD, Offer Erez MD, Jacob Bornstein MD

Background: Serasis® (Serag-Wiessner KG, Naila, Germany) is a light-weight mid-urethral sling for treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Its insertion is considered less traumatic than other mid-urethral slings.

Objectives: To define postoperative outcomes following Serasis implantation. To compare the efficacy and complication rates of the implant to those of other common techniques.

Methods: Our retrospective study evaluated patients who underwent Serasis mid-urethral sling surgery for SUI. Data were collected from medical records prior to and at the time of surgery and by telephonic interview for postoperative pain and complications. Follow-up of patients was performed for up to one year postoperatively. Patients rated pain or discomfort according to the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The primary outcome was the development of early postoperative pain during the first month after surgery. Secondary outcomes were relief of SUI symptoms, groin pain or discomfort, and other postoperative complications up to 12 months after surgery.

Results: The study cohort included 50 consecutive patients aged 31 to 68 years. All patients underwent Serasis implantation procedures by a single surgeon and completed interviews. In total, 35 patients underwent concomitant anterior colporrhaphy. In the immediate postoperative period and at one month after the procedure, complaints were mild. No complaints were recorded during the 12-month follow-up period. Overall, 90% and 92% of the patients were free of SUI symptoms at one month and 12 months after surgery, respectively.

Conclusions: Serasis mid-urethral sling is safe, effective, and associated with mild postoperative pain and a low incidence of complications.

October 2022
Ofira Zloto, M.D., Oded Sagiv, M.D., Ayelet Priel, M.D., Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, M.D., Amir Tirosh, M.D. , Nancy Agmon-Levin, M.D., Shiran Madgar, M.D., Tal Serlin, M.D., Halit Winter, M.D. Ruth Huna-Baron, M.D., Tamara Wygnanski-Jaffe, M.D., Guy Ben Simon, M.D.

Background: Little is known about the success of multidisciplinary thyroid eye disease (TED) clinic.

Objectives: To present the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of patients treated in a multidisciplinary TED clinic.

Methods: A medical record review of all patients who attended a TED clinic was performed. Data included demographics, medical history, laboratory tests, visual function tests, ocular examinations, clinical activity score (CAS), and assessment of quality-of-life (QOL).

Results: Clinic visits included 132 patients seen during 385 appointments at a TED clinic (mean 12 appointments per patient). Management of TED included medical treatments for 48 patients (36.3%) and surgical treatment for 56 (42.4%). There was a positive significant correlation between the CAS and thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) activity at the first visit and at the last follow-up visit (P < 0.01 and P < 0.02, respectively). However, no correlation was found between the CAS and the thyroid-stimulating hormone levels or between the free triiodothyronine (fT3) and fT4 levels at the first or last visit. There was a significant negative correlation between the CAS and color vision (-0.347, P < 0.01, Pearson correlation) at the first visit, but not between the CAS and visual acuity and visual field at either the first or last visit. Changes in the QOL and the CAS scores were significantly negatively correlated (-0.240, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Treatment and management decisions for TED should be based on multiple parameters including clinical examinations by ophthalmologists and endocrinologists, laboratory tests, and CAS and QOL scores.

July 2022
Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

June 2022
Royi Barnea PhD, Ruti Berger PhD, Yossi Weiss PhD MPH, and Joshua Shemer MD

Overuse of healthcare services is a common phenomenon defined as: “a healthcare service that is provided under circumstances in which its potential for harm exceeds the possible benefit.” It is expressed in the gap between desired services and available ones and is accompanied by high financial and human life costs. One-fifth to one-third of patients receives unnecessary, ineffective, or potentially harmful treatments or services. One of the greatest challenges to understanding overuse is the lack of definition for appropriate use. Apart from the physical and mental damage caused by overuse or improper use of medical services, this phenomenon has many implications, such as increasing waiting times for services, creating long queues, and incurring considerable financial costs as over 10% of hospital expenses are used to correct medical errors or preventable infections. Government intervention through economic arrangements such as deductibles and pre-authorization of services by the insurer are partially effective in reducing the overuse of health services. Additional solutions include ensuring safety and quality of care as well as shared decision-making.

July 2021
Renana Barak MD, Barliz Waissengrin MD, and Ido Wolf MD
June 2021
Yaron Niv MD AGAF FACG, Michael Kuniavsky RN MSc, Olga Bronshtein RN MSc, Nethanel Goldschmidt MSc, Shuli Hanhart MSc, Alexander Konson RN PhD, and Hannah Mahalla BSc

Background: With diagnostic imaging, such as a duplex of the carotid arteries, finding of stenosis and atherosclerotic plaque and consequent end arterectomy may be important for decreasing the danger of developing cerebrovascular accident after transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Objectives: To measure performance rates of duplex of carotid arteries within 72 hours of TIA diagnosis.

Methods: The denominator included all patients who were admitted to emergency departments because of TIA, and the numerator included those who underwent duplex within 72 hours of admission. Inclusion criteria included all patients older than 18 years who were admitted because of TIA according to the ICD9 codes.

Results: Measuring this indicator started in 2015 with 5504 patients and a 58% success rate. The figures for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018 were 5309, 5447, and 5278 patients with success rates of 73%, 79%, and 83%, respectively. Six of 26 hospitals (23.0%) reached the target of 80% in 2018. From 2015 to 2018 a total of 21,538 patients were admitted to emergency departments in Israel and diagnosed with TIA. Of these, 15,722 (72.9%) underwent duplex within 72 hours. The mortality rate within 30 days from diagnosis was 0.81% in patients who performed duplex within 72 hours of diagnosis and 2.37% in patients who did not, odds ratio 2.676, 95% confidence interval 2.051–3.492, P < 0.0001. These results indicate a statistically significant decrease of 65.82%.

Conclusions: A significant decrease in mortality was noted in patients with a new diagnosis of TIA who underwent duplex within 72 hours of diagnosis

June 2019
Hagar Interator MSx RD, Avivit Brener MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Inbar Safra MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Moshe Leshno MD PhD, Raanan Shamir MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: In Israel, coronary heart disease mortality rates are significantly higher among the Arab population than the Jewish population. Dyslipidemia prevention should begin in childhood.

Objectives: To identify sociodemographic disparities in the preventive health measurement of lipid profile testing and lipoprotein levels among Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 1.2 million children and adolescents insured by Clalit Health Services between 2007 and 2011 was conducted using sociodemographic data and serum lipid concentrations.

Results: Overall, 10.1% individuals had undergone lipid testing. Those with male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 0.813, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.809–0.816), Arab ethnicity (OR = 0.952, 95%CI 0.941–0.963), and low socioeconomic status (SES) (OR = 0.740, 95%CI 0.728–0.752) were less likely to be tested. By 2010, differences among economic sectors narrowed and Arab children were more likely to be tested (OR = 1.039, 95%CI 1.035–1.044). Girls had higher total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels compared to boys (P < 0.001). Jewish children had higher cholesterol and low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, as well as lower triglyceride levels than Arabs (P < 0.001). Children with low SES had lower cholesterol, low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found that boys, Arab children, and those with low SES were less likely to be tested. Over time there was a gradual reduction in these disparities. Publicly sponsored healthcare services can diminish disparities in the provision of preventive health among diverse socioeconomic groups that comprise the national population.

August 2017
Claudia Fabiani MD PhD, Antonio Vitale MD, Ida Orlando MD, Marco Capozzoli MD, Fiorella Fusco MD, Francesco Rana MD, Rossella Franceschini MD PhD, Jurgen Sota MD, Bruno Frediani MD PhD, Mauro Galeazzi MD PhD, Gian Marco Tosi MD PhD, Luca Cantarini MD PhD

Background: Non-infectious uveitis (NIU) leads to severe visual impairment, potentially impacting on health-related quality of life (QoL). 

Objectives: To investigate the impact of NIU on QoL.

Methods: Eighty NIU patients and 23 healthy controls completed the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF)-36. The SF-36 values were statistically analyzed to evaluate differences between patients and healthy controls and to identify correlations between SF-36 subscores and clinical/demographic data. 

Results: NIU patients showed a decrease in the physical component summary score (P < 0.0001) compared to healthy controls, while no difference was highlighted in the mental component summary score (P = 0.97). NIU patients showed a decrease in physical functioning (P = 0.008), role-physical (P = 0.003), bodily pain (P = 0.0001), general health (P < 0.0001), and social functioning (P = 0.01). Physical functioning was lower in patients with acute anterior uveitis (AAU) than in those with panuveitis (P = 0.003). No differences were found between patients with bilateral or unilateral NIU, isolated NIU, or NIU associated with systemic diseases and with or without ocular activity. No correlations were identified between best-corrected visual acuity and SF-36 subscores. Physical functioning (P = 0.02), bodily pain (P = 0.004), and social functioning (P = 0.02) were reduced in males versus females. 

Conclusions: QoL is impaired in individuals with NIU, particularly in the physical domains, general health, and social functioning. AAU affects physical functioning more than panuveitis. NIU seems to affect per se QoL disregarding inflammatory activity, visual impairment, and presence of associated systemic diseases.

 

November 2016
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.

 

August 2016
Aharon Kessel MD, Yael Graif MD, Zahava Vadasz MD, Vered Schichter-Konfino MD, Meital Almog MD, Shai Cohen MD, Valery Teplitski MD, Nili Stein MPH, Ilaria Baiardini PhD, Marcus Maurer MD and Elias Toubi MD

Background: Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common disabling disorder. The CU-Q2oL (Chronic Urticaria Quality of Life Questionnaire) is a specific questionnaire for evaluating quality of life in CU patients. It consists of 23 items divided into six quality-of-life dimensions. It was initially developed in Italy and later validated in other countries.

Objectives: To validate and adapt the CU-Q2oL to the Hebrew language in order to make it suitable for use in Israel. 

Methods: The CU-Q2oL questionnaire was translated to Hebrew. A group of 119 CU patients were asked to complete this version, in addition to the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and Urticaria Activity Score (UAS) questionnaires. A factorial analysis was performed to identify CU-Q2oL subscales, internal consistency and convergent validity assessment, as well as factors determining quality-of-life scores.

Results: The factor analysis identified six scales of the Israeli CU-Q2oL: (i) sleep and concentration, (ii) function and mental status, (iii) embarrassment and clothing limitations, (iv) itching, (v) eating behavior and medication side effects, and (vi) swelling, which accounted for 77% of the data variance. Five scales showed good internal consistency over 0.81. The mean ± SD score of CU-Q2oL in our patients with CIU was 41 ± 21.7. We found a strong positive correlation between the overall scores of CU-Q2oL and DLQI questionnaires (r = 0.8, P < 0.01). Additionally, we found a positive correlation between UAS and both CU-Q2oL and DLQI (r = 0.62, P < 0.01, and r = 0.53, P < 0.01, respectively). 

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the Israeli CU-Q2oL questionnaire is suitable for both clinical use and research in Israel.

 

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