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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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May 2008
V. Pinsk, J. Levy, D. A. Moser, B. Yerushalmi and J. Kapelushnik.

Background: Iron deficiency is the most common single cause of anemia worldwide. Treatment consists of improved nutrition along with oral, intramuscular or intravenous iron administration.

Objectives: To describe the efficacy and adverse effects of intravenous iron sucrose therapy in a group of children with iron deficiency anemia who did not respond to oral iron therapy.

Methods: We conducted a prospective investigation of 45 children, aged 11 months to 16 years, whose oral iron therapy had failed. The children attended the Pediatric Ambulatory Care Unit where they received intravenous iron sucrose infusion.

Results: Forty-four of the 45 patients were non-compliant. Nine had Helicobacter pylori gastritis and 16 patients suffered from intestinal malabsorption from different causes. Before treatment, the blood mean hemoglobin concentration was 7.43 g/dl (range 5–10.1 g/dl). Fourteen days after treatment the mean hemoglobin concentration increased to 9.27 g/dl (SD 1.23) and 6 months later to 12.40 g/dl (SD 1.28). One patient demonstrated a severe side effect with temporary and reversible reduced blood pressure during treatment.

Conclusions: These preliminary data suggest that administration of intravenous iron in pediatric patients is well tolerated and has a good clinical result, with minimal adverse reactions.

February 2008
F. Salameh, N. Cassuto and A. Oliven

Background: Falls are a common problem among hospitalized patients, having a significant impact on quality of life and resource utilization.

Objectives: To develop and validate a fall-risk assessment tool for patients hospitalized in the department of medicine that will combine simplicity with adequate accuracy for routine use.

Methods: This observational cohort study was conducted on the medical wards of an urban tertiary teaching hospital, and included all patients who fell in the medical wards during a 1 year period (n=140) compared to other hospitalized patients.

Results: Significant correlates of falls were previous falls, impairing medical conditions, impaired mobility, and altered mental state. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, only previous falls (odds ratio 3.8 with 95% confidence interval 2.65–5.45, P < 0.0001) and acute impairing medical conditions (OR[1] 1.56, CI[2] 1.06–2.29, P < 0.05) correlated independently with a higher risk for falls. Impaired mobility retained an OR of 1.46 (CI 0.95–2.24, P = 0.084). Accordingly, defining patients with either a history of previous falls or both acute impairing medical state and impaired mobility as fall-prone patients provided a sensitivity and specificity of 67% and 63%, respectively. In a subsequent prospective validation trial on 88 patients who fell during hospitalization and 436 controls, the sensitivity and specificity of this fall-risk grouping were 64% and 68% respectively.

Conclusions: Our new simple and easy-to-use fall-risk assessment tool identified most of the fall-prone patients. These findings suggest that using this tool may enable us to prevent two-thirds of falls on the medical ward by providing effective fall-prevention facilities to only one-third of the patients.

[1] OR = odds ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

October 2006
E. Kaluski, Z. Gabara, N. Uriel, O. Milo, M. Leitman, J. Weisfogel, V. Danicek, Z. Vered and G. Cotter
 Background: External counter-pulsation is a safe and effective method of alleviating angina pectoris, but the mechanism of benefit is not understood.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of external counter-pulsation therapy in heart failure patients.

Methods: Fifteen symptomatic heart failure patients (subsequent to optimal medical and device therapy) underwent 35 hourly sessions of ECPT[1] over a 7 week period. Before and after each ECPT session we performed pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and brachial artery function studies, administered a quality of life questionnaire, and assessed exercise tolerance and functional class.

Results: Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1 ± 5.8%. ECPT was safe and well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in pro-BNP[2] levels (from 2245 ± 2149 pcg/ml to 1558 ± 1206 pcg/ml, P = 0.022). Exercise duration (Naughton protocol) improved (from 720 ± 389 to 893 ± 436 seconds, P = 0.0001), along with functional class (2.63 ± 0.6 vs. 1.93 ± 0.7, P = 0.023) and quality of life scores (54 ± 22 vs. 67 ± 23, P = 0.001). Nitroglycerine-mediated brachial vasodilatation increased (11.5 ± 7.3% vs. 15.6 ± 5.2%, P =0.049), as did brachial flow-mediated dilation (8.35 ± 6.0% vs. 11.37 ± 4.9%, P = 0.09).

Conclusions: ECPT is safe for symptomatic heart failure patients and is associated with functional and neurohormonal improvement. Larger long-term randomized studies with a control arm are needed to confirm these initial encouraging observations.


[1] ECPT = external counter-pulsation therapy

[2] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide

February 2006
D. Goldsher, S. Amikam, M. Boulos, M. Suleiman, R. Shreiber, A. Eran, Y. Goldshmid, R. Mazbar and A. Roguin

Background: Magnetic resonance imaging is a diagnostic tool of growing importance. Since its introduction, certain medical implants, e.g., pacemakers, were considered an absolute contraindication, mainly due to the presence of ferromagnetic components and the potential for electromagnetic interference. Patients with such implants were therefore prevented from entering MRI systems and not studied by this modality. These devices are now smaller and have improved electromechanical interference protection. Recently in vitro and in vivo data showed that these devices may be scanned safely in the MRI.

Objectives: To report our initial experience with three patients with pacemakers who underwent cerebral MRI studies.

Methods: The study included patients with clear clinical indications for MRI examination and who had implanted devices shown to be safe by in vitro and in vivo animal testing. In each patient the pacemaker was programmed to pacing-off. During the scan, continuous electrocardiographic telemetry, breathing rate, pulse oximetry and symptoms were monitored. Specific absorption rate was limited to 4.0 W/kg for all sequences. Device parameters were assessed before, immediately after MRI, and 1 week later.

Results: None of the patients was pacemaker dependent. During the MRI study, no device movement was felt by the patients and no episodes of inappropriate inhibition or rapid activation of pacing were observed during the scan. At device interrogation here were no significant differences in device parameters pre-, post-, and 1 week after MRI. Image quality was unremarkable in all imaging sequences used and was not influenced by the presence of the pacemaker.

Conclusion: Given appropriate precautions, MRI can be safely performed in patients with a selected permanent pacemaker. This may have significant implications for current MRI contraindications. 

December 2004
K.Y. Mumcuoglu, S. Magdassi, J. Miller, F. Ben-Ishai, G. Zentner, V. Helbin, F. Kahana and A. Ingber

Background: Head lice move easily from head to head. The lack of safe, effective repellents leads to reinfestation.

Objectives: To test the efficacy of a slow-release citronella formulation as a repellent against the head louse.

Methods: During 4 months in 2003 a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind clinical study was conducted in four elementary schools; 103 children were treated with the test formulation and 95 with a placebo.

Results: A significant difference was observed during the second examination 2 months later, when 12.0% of the children treated with the test repellent and 50.5% of those treated with placebo were infested with lice. A significant difference was also observed at the third examination 2 months later, when 12.4% of the children treated with the test repellent and 33.7% treated with placebo were infested. Overall, there were significant differences between those treated with the repellent and those treated with the placebo (15.4% and 55.1% respectively, P < 0.0001). Side effects were observed in 4.4% of children who disliked the odor of the formulation, and an additional 1.0% who complained of a slight itching and burning sensation.

Conclusions: Use of an effective repellent could significantly lower the incidence of reinfestations, which would lower expenditure on lice control, including pediculicides, combs and products for nit removal, and the time spent on treatment and removal of the nits.

September 2003
D. Nitzan Kaluski and A. Leventhal

Only one case of a cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy has been reported in Israel. Its publication, in 2002, caused both public and professional concern. The inevitable health policy question raised was whether or not to recommend against consuming beef and what public health measures should be taken. In this article we describe the prion diseases among animals and humans, their interaction and the precautionary procedures that were carried out by the state Veterinary Services and the Ministry of Health since 1988. The BSE[1] case (a 10 year old dairy cow) is believed to be the result of local consumption of infected food with mammalian meat and bone meal more than a decade earlier. The risk assessment took into consideration that no cases of vCJD (a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease) have ever been diagnosed in Israel, as well as the low risk of contamination of the meat due to the religious method of slaughtering performed in the country. The policy decision was to implement a contingency plan prepared in advance. Israel was reclassified from the level II category of geographic risk where BSE is unlikely but not excluded in the herds, to level III, where BSE is likely but not confirmed, or confirmed at a lower level. No undue damage to the meat industry has occurred. By the end of 2002, despite the examination of more than 3,800 brains from slaughtered cows older than 3 years, no other cases of BSE have been detected.


[1] BSE = bovine spongiform encephalopathy

May 2001
Raul Raz, MD, Ronith Koren, PhD and David Bass, MD

Background: Previous data showed that new recombi­nant hepatitis B virus vaccine, which contains the S-protein component of the HBV surface together with the Pre-S1 and Pre-S2, is considerably more immunogenic than a second-generation recombinant I-IBV vaccine.

Objectives:To compare the immunogenicity and safety of a novel recombinant HBV vaccine S1, Pre-S1 and Pre-S2 protein components of the hepatitis B surface antigen - Bio­TM

HepTM 10
לg dose, to a licensed vaccine containing only the S-protein component - Engerix-B, 20 לg dose.

Methods: A prospective randomized study included 524 adults - 260 in the Bio-Hep group and 264 in the Engerix-B group. Both vaccines were administered in a three-dose regimen given at 0, 1 and 6 months, and adverse events were recorded on a diary card 5 days after each vaccination. lmmunogenicity was tested by measuring anti-hepatitis B surface antibody.

Results: One month after the third injection, 98% of the BioHepTM subjects were found to be seroprotected vs. 85.1% of the Engerix-B group. In addition, the geometric mean titers were 2,203 mlU/ml and 326 mlU/ml in the Bio-Hep-B and Engerix-B groups respectively. An immunogenic advantage of Bio-Hep-B was suggested by the rapid onset of antibody response - 66.5% were seroconverted one month after the first injection as compared to 19.3% in the Engerix-B group. No unexpected adverse events were observed, and the recorded events were mild in both groups.

Conclusions: BioHepTM, a novel recombinant HBV vaccine containing 5, Pre-S1 and Pre-S2 protein components. at a lower dose, is safe and more immunogenic than the conventional HBV vaccine that contains only S protein.

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