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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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August 2023
Noam Savion MD, Noa Guzner MD, Saar Hashavya MD, Shimon Reif MD, Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD

Background: Brucellosis is an endemic infection affecting the Mediterranean Basin, Arabian Peninsula, India, Mexico, and South America. Data on brucellosis infections in children are limited.

Objectives: To review and characterize the clinical presentation of pediatric patients diagnosed with brucellosis in a tertiary medical center.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted on all pediatric patients from January 2010 to December 2020 admitted to the pediatric department with a diagnosis of brucellosis based on a positive serology test or growth of Brucella bacteria in blood culture.

Results: The study comprised 53 children aged 0–18 years. The mean age at presentation was 11.01 ± 4.91 years; 39 male (73.6%). Pre-infection exposure to unpasteurized milk or unvaccinated livestock was reported in 37 (69.8%). Fever was present in 64.6%, followed by arthralgia (49%), loss of appetite (42.3%), and weight loss (24.6%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 52.8% and included abdominal pain (34.6%), nausea (28.3%), vomiting (24.5%), and diarrhea (2.6%). Eight patients experienced pancytopenia (15.1%). The median length of intravenous antibiotic treatment was 7 days (range 3–14 days) and for oral antibiotic treatment 6 weeks (range 2–24 weeks). Most patients were initially treated with intravenous gentamycin (90.5%) and long-term oral antibiotics, most commonly doxycycline. Two (3.7%) required admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. No mortality was documented, and all cases of relapses were successfully treated.

Conclusions: Pediatric brucellosis is an acute febrile disease often associated with rheumatologic complaints. Patients 8–18 years of age also presented with headache, weight loss, and night sweats.

April 2014
Oded Shamriz MD, Inbal Cohen-Glickman PharmD, Shimon Reif MD and Eyal Shteyer MD
 With growing awareness of the importance of pain control in all procedures, the use of lidocaine-prilocaine cream (EMLA) for all ages is increasing. Lidocaine-prilocaine cream has been implicated as a cause of methemoglobinemia. Diagnostic clues may be oxygen-resistant cyanosis and an oxygen ‘‘saturation gap’’ between arterial blood saturation and pulse oximetry. Treatment with intravenous methylene blue is often effective. Since EMLA is often mistakenly considered risk-free it is routinely applied by medical staff in the emergency room. Subsequent to the case of EMLA-induced methemoglobinemia in an 8 year old girl we wish to alert the medical community to this phenomenon, and in this work review the relevant literature.

May 2013
J.Y. Streifler, G. Raphaeli, N.M. Bornstein, N. Molshatzki and D. Tanne

 Background: Patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) at a high risk of stroke can be identified and should be managed urgently.

Objectives: To investigate whether recognized recommendations are being implemented in Israel.

Methods: An Israeli nationwide registry on patients admitted with stroke and TIA was conducted in all acute care hospitals (NASIS registry) within 2 successive months during 2004, 2007 and 2010. A revised ABCD2 score was applied retrospectively. Patients with TIA were divided into a low risk group (LRG, 0–3 points) and a high risk group (HRG, 4–6 points) and were compared to patients with minor ischemic strokes (MIS, NIHSS score ≤ 5 points).

Results: A total of 3336 patients were included (1023 with TIA: LRG 484, HRG 539, and MIS 2313). LRG patients were younger and had lower rates of most traditional risk factors as compared with HRG and MIS patients. Brain imaging was performed in almost all the patients. Ancillary tests (vascular and cardiac) were overall underused, yet were performed more in LRG (53.2% and 26.9% respectively) than in HRG patients (41.6%, 18.9%). Between periods there was no change in usage of ancillary tests for the LRG and a modest increase in both HRG and MIS patients. For performance of vascular investigations overall, the odds ratio was 1.69 (95% confidence interval 1.42–2.00) comparing 2010 with 2004, but 0.7 (95% CI 0.5–0.9) comparing HRG with LRG. Between periods an increase in statin usage was observed in all groups (OR 2.69, 95% CI 2.25–3.21) but was more marked in MIS patients (OR 3.06, 95% CI 2.47–3.8). 

Conclusions: The approach to TIA risk stratification and management in Israeli hospitals does not follow standards set by current guidelines. Standardized protocols for TIA should be used to assure effective management.



April 2013
J.H. Spungen, R. Goldsmith, Z. Stahl and R. Reifen
 Background: Desalination of seawater and brackish water (mixed seawater and freshwater) provides an increasing portion of the Israeli drinking water supply. However, desalinated water contains little calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg), and consumers may be at risk for deficiencies of these essential minerals.

Objectives: To assess intakes of Mg and Ca from water, other beverages, and food in communities with different water supplies, and assess the proportion of individuals with intakes below the estimated average requirement (EAR).

Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted using a food frequency questionnaire to assess Mg and Ca intakes by adults in four communities. The proportion of individuals with Mg and Ca intakes below the EAR were evaluated based on current intakes and on potential intakes assuming that desalinated water had been introduced countrywide.

Results: The proportion of individuals with Mg intake below the EAR was higher in Kibbutz Maagan Michael (30.6%), an agricultural settlement supplied with desalinated water, than in Hadera (16.7%), a city supplied by the National Water Carrier (NWC) (P < 0.01). The proportion of individuals with Ca intake below the EAR was higher in Maagan Michael (15.3%) than in the communities supplied with water from the NWC or mixed water (27.7%–33.8%), P < 0.02.

Conclusions: Returning Mg and Ca to desalinated water may be beneficial for raising intakes in Israeli communities supplied with desalinated water. Individuals with intake of Mg and/or Ca below the EAR may be at risk for cardiac abnormalities and other medical conditions.

September 2012
A. Bar-Shai, B. Tiran, M. Topilsky, J. Greif, I. Fomin Irina and Y. Schwarz

Background: Most studies on asbestos-related diseases describe the associations between exposure and disease and the factors influencing that association. It is recognized that there is a long latency period between exposure and disease, but the health status of affected individuals after long-term non-exposure is uncertain.

Objectives: To describe the changes in pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and computed tomographic imaging of the thorax over a 15 year period after cessation of exposure to asbestos in a cohort of Israeli power plant workers.

Methods: Israeli power plant workers whose PFTs and thoracic CT imaging between 1993 and 1998 revealed asbestos-related disease underwent a second clinical, functional and imaging evaluation up to 15 years later. The two sets of results were compared.

Results: Of the original cohort of 59 males, 35 were still alive, and 18 of them agreed to take part in the current study. The mean length of their exposure was 30 ± 10.06 years (range 7–43 years). Comparison of the initial and follow-up examination findings revealed a significant increase in calcification of the pleural plaques (from 37% to 66%, P = 0.008) and a deterioration in PFTs (P = 0.04). Of the 24 men who died, malignant disease was the cause of death in 53%, mostly in sites other than the respiratory system.

Conclusions: PFTs declined and CT findings worsened in subjects who were formerly exposed to asbestos and had not been exposed to it for over a decade. Continued monitoring of individuals exposed to asbestos, even decades after the cessation of exposure, is recommended.

March 2010
K. Weiss, A. Fattal-Valevski and S. Reif

Background: Infants who have experienced an apparent life-threatening event typically undergo an extensive evaluation to rule out serious underlying conditions.

Objectives: To evaluate the yield of different tests performed after an apparent life-threatening event and to identify high risk groups in which more extensive diagnostic tests are required.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in a children's hospital over a 4 year period during which the charts of infants who were admitted with an apparent life-threatening event were reviewed. The yield for each diagnostic test was established according to the ratio of positive results contributing to the diagnosis of the apparent life-threatening event.

Results: The study included 69 infants between the ages of 1 week and 1 year. There were abnormal findings in 36% of the cases. Gastroesophageal reflux was the most common diagnosis (60%). In the remaining patients the diagnosis was either seizures (12%) or respiratory tract infections (28%). Tests used for the diagnosis of cardiac, metabolic and non-respiratory infections had no yield. A positive correlation was found between abnormal test results and abnormal physical examination (P = 0.001), an abnormal perinatal history (P = 0.017), and age older than 2 months (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The yield of most of the tests performed after an apparent life-threatening event is low, especially in infants with a normal perinatal history and physical examination.

February 2010
B. Weiss, I. Barshack, N. Onaca, I. Goldberg, Z. Berkovich, E. Melzer, A. Jonas and R. Reifen

Background: Vitamin A and its derivative retinoic acid regulate various aspects of cell behavior as growth, differentiation, and proliferation. Retinoic acid derivatives have been suggested to play a role in processes such as hepatic regeneration and fibrosis.

Objectives: To evaluate the influence of vitamin A on rat liver epithelial cell proliferation.

Methods: We performed common bile duct ligation in rats that had been subjected to differing vitamin A diets and compared their livers to control rats. Proliferation, apoptosis, and retinoic acid receptors were evaluated by histology and immunohistochemistry in bile duct cells and hepatocytes.

Results: Vitamin A deficiency was found to be associated with enhanced proliferation of bile duct epithelial cells following CBD[1] ligation. The proliferation was manifested by increased numbers of ducts, by aberrant extended ductal morphology, and by elevated numbers of nuclei expressing the proliferation marker Ki67. The amount of vitamin A in the rat diet did not affect detectably ductal cell apoptosis. We observed up-regulated expression of the retinoid X receptor-alpha in the biliary epithelium of vitamin A-deficient rats that had undergone CBD ligation, but not in vitamin A-sufficient rats.

Conclusions: We speculate that the mechanism underlying the ductal proliferation response involves differential expression of RXR[2]-alpha. Our observations suggest that deficiency of vitamin A may exacerbate cholestasis, due to excessive intrahepatic bile duct proliferation.

[1] CBD = common bile duct

[2] RXR = retinoid X receptor

May 2009
February 2007
R. Somech, S. Reif, A. Golander,Z. Spirer

Background: Leptin, a pleiotropic hormone, has been suggested to be part of an acute phase response during an inflammatory stimulus. Its correlation with other acute phase reactants during minor infection in children has not been investigated.

Objectives: To study the correlation between serum leptin levels to those of C-reactive protein, a well-documented acute-phase reactant, in a series of pediatric patients with acute minor infections.

Methods: Leptin and CRP[1] levels were measured in 62 blood samples of pediatric patients presenting with mild febrile illness who were admitted to Dana Children’s Hospital in Israel. All children were finally diagnosed as having minor infection based on the negative blood/urine cultures and favorable outcome.

Results: Serum leptin level was positively correlated with CRP (r2 = 0.5), total white blood cells (r2 = 0.33) and absolute neutrophil count (r2 = 0.31). The regression coefficient was the highest between leptin and CRP.

Conclusions: Circulating leptin concentrations are positively correlated with CRP levels during acute minor infection in children visiting the emergency room for febrile illnesses. Our observation suggests that leptin is indeed a part of acute-phase proteins. The wide scattering showed that it is not a better marker in minor infections than CRP, but it may contribute to weight loss and anorexia seen in the minority of patients during mild infections.

[1] CRP = C-reactive protein

November 2006
R. Hirsch and J.Y. Streifler
 Congenital heart disease is usually regarded as an esoteric field of medicine, dealt with primarily by dedicated specialists. However, over the last two decades a much broader attention has been given by the medical profession, the media and the general public, to the possible association between a minor and common congenital heart defect, namely a patent foramen ovale, and stroke. In recent months, unusual and unfortunate circumstances have made this topic one of the most fiercely debated medical issues in Israel. It is the belief of the authors of this paper that the association of PFO[1] and stroke can be better understood if the PFO is viewed as part of a broader aspect of congenital heart disease, and as such it will be presented. Paradoxical embolism is a mechanism of stroke unique to congenital heart disease. The direction and volume of shunted blood in various conditions have a central role in determining the risk of stroke, as will be explained. With this basic knowledge in mind, we shall critically assess the potential role of PFO in stroke patients, suggesting that each case be evaluated individually using the above-mentioned principles. Conditions that enhance the formation of clot or other embolic material will be discussed briefly. The review will conclude with the various treatment options and our center's own experience with this challenging topic.

[1] PFO = patent foramen ovale

April 2005
O. Barkay, M. Moshkowitz and S. Reif
 Background: Approximately one‑fourth of new Crohn’s disease diagnoses are made in individuals under the age of 20 years in whom proximal Crohn’s disease tends to be more common.

Objectives: To describe the role of wireless capsule endoscopy in diagnosing isolated small intestinal Crohn’s disease in two adolescents.

Methods: Wireless capsule endoscopy was performed in two adolescents with severe protein-losing enteropathy and negative standard diagnostic workup.

Results: Wireless capsule endoscopy successfully diagnosed Crohn’s disease with uncharacteristic presentations and negative radiographic and endoscopic findings in both patients.

Conclusions: The non-invasiveness and ease in performance of capsule endoscopy on an ambulatory basis make this diagnostic modality especially advantageous for children.

December 2003
G.N. Bachar, A. Belensky, F. Greif, E. Atar, Y. Gat, M. Itkin and A. Verstanding

Background: Ovarian vein embolization was recently suggested as the preferred treatment for chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Objective: To evaluate the technical feasibility, complications and early clinical and radiographic results of ovarian vein embolization in women with pelvic pain syndrome.

Methods: Percutaneous transcatheter ovarian vein embolization with coils was performed in six patients aged 27–53 years who presented with pelvic pain syndrome. All had lower abdominal pain, and pelvic varicosities were found on Doppler ultrasound and retrograde ovarian vein venography. Embolization was done unilaterally in three patients (on the left side) and bilaterally in three. Mean follow-up by telephone questionnaire was 7.3 months.

Results: The procedure was technically successful in all patients. Two patients reported partial relief of symptoms (33.3%) and three had complete relief (50%), for a total of 5 patients (83.3%) with some measure of improvement. There were no complications following the procedure.

Conclusions: Percutaneous transcatheter ovarian vein embolization seems to be safe and feasible for the treatment of pelvic pain syndrome. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and is well tolerated by patients.

July 2003
G.N. Bachar, F. Greif, E. Mor, R. Tur-Kaspa and A. Belenky

Background: Radiofrequency ablation has recently become a viable treatment option for unresectable primary or secondary lesions confined to the liver.

Objective: To study the local therapeutic efficacy, side effects and complications of radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases This is the first reported experience of radiofrequency ablation for treating malignant hepatic tumors in Israel.

Methods: Fifteen consecutive patients, aged 53–73 years, with 23 lesions (8 patients with HCC[1] and 7 with secondary liver tumors) underwent radiofrequency ablation under general anesthesia. RITA nine-array 5 cm thermal ablation catheter and the model 1500 generator were used. The mean diameter of all tumors was 4.28 cm (range 1–10 cm). Three lesions were 1–3 cm in diameter (small), 17 lesions measured 3.1–5 cm (medium), and 3 measured 5.1–10 cm (large).

Results: Complete necrosis was found in 8 (66%) of 12 HCCs by computed tomography scan. Of the remainder, diffuse tumor recurrence was demonstrated in three lesions (25%) after lipiodol injection and there was one local tumor recurrence. In the metastases group complete necrosis was found in 5 of 11 lesions (45%). One major complication (peritonitis) was treated with antibiotics and four (26%) minor complications (right pleural effusion, small subcapsular hematoma) were monitored.

Conclusions: Radiofrequency ablation appears to be an effective, safe and relatively simple procedure for the treatment of liver tumors.

[1] HCC = hepatocellular carcinoma

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