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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.11.23

Search results

June 2010
A. Itsekson, D. Shepshelovich, A. Kanevsky and D.S. Seidman
Background: Non-invasive screening tests may allow early diagnosis and prompt treatment, thereby potentially reducing morbidity and mortality and reducing costs for the community.  This may be especially important for gynecologic pathologies that are difficult to promptly diagnose, such as endometriosis or ovarian cancer.

Objectives: To evaluate the reliability of measuring skin resistance using the Medex Test for screening and diagnosis of gynecologic pathologies in a blinded single-center study.

Methods: We enrolled 150 patients: 59 with a functional disorder and 91 with an organic disease. Measurements were carried out in all patients and the results were analyzed separately by a second physician who was blinded to the patients’ diagnosis.

Results: A high correlation was found between the clinical diagnosis and the results of the measurement of electrical skin resistance, with a specificity of 76.3% (45/59) for functional disorders and a sensitivity of 85.7% (78/91) for organic disorders, positive predictive value of 84.8% (78/92) and negative predictive value 77.6% (45/58). The kappa value for the results was 0.622, representing a value much better than expected randomly.

Conclusions: The Medex Test has a good specificity and a high sensitivity for the diagnosis of gynecologic disorders. Further prospective studies are needed to validate these preliminary findings.

May 2010
S. Eventov-Friedman, H. Leiba, O. Flidel-Rimon, A. Juster-Reicher and E.S. Shinwell

Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published recommendations for the red reflex assessment in the newborn period to detect and treat ocular disorders as early as possible, and to prevent lifelong visual impairment and even save lives. The test is technically simple to perform, non-invasive, requires minimal equipment and can detect a variety of ocular pathologies including cataracts and retinal abnormalities. No specific national guidelines exist on this issue.

Objectives: To document the implementation of red reflex examination in routine neonatal care and present the findings.

Methods: Our clinical experience following implementation of the red reflex test into the newborn physical examination in a single center was reviewed. In addition, an electronic mail questionnaire was sent to all neonatology departments in Israel regarding the performance of the red reflex test.

Results: During 2007–2008, five infants were identified with congenital cataracts at days 2–6 of life prior to discharge from hospital. Surgery was performed in one infant at age 2 months and all infants underwent a thorough follow-up. The incidence of congenital cataract in our center was 1:2300. Less than half the neonatology departments have endorsed the AAP[1] recommendation and perform the red reflex test routinely.

Conclusions: Abnormal red reflex test after delivery enables a rapid ophthalmologic diagnosis, intervention and close follow-up. We recommend that red reflex screening be performed as part of the newborn physical examination if abnormal, an urgent ophthalmologic referral should be made.

[1] AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics

E. Israeli, T. Hershcovici, I. Grotto, Z. Rouach, D. Branski and E. Goldin

Background: In the last decade the diagnosis of celiac disease has increasingly been made in adults.

Objectives: To determine disease prevalence (including silent and potential disease) in this population group.

Methods: We performed serologic screening of celiac disease in a representative and homogenous sample of a young adult general population in Israel, namely, 18 year old military conscripts, in 2003. Serologic screening was performed on serum samples randomly obtained from 850 healthy recruits (male/female = 1.1). Immunoglobulin A anti-tissue transglutaminase was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In cases of IgA[1] deficiency, IgG anti-endomysial antibodies were determined. A small intestinal biopsy was offered to all patients with positive serology.

Results: The prevalence of overt CD[2] diagnosed prior to recruitment was 0.12% (0.1% in men and 0.14% in women). The overall prevalence based on positive serology was 1.1%. Six of nine subjects with positive serology agreed to undergo endoscopy and intestinal biopsies. In all cases, biopsies were compatible with celiac disease (five biopsies were graded as Marsh 3a and one as Marsh 3b). One subject previously reporting irritable bowel-like symptoms was diagnosed with overt atypical CD. The prevalence of overt CD diagnosed by screening was 0.12%. The ratio of overt to silent CD was 1:8. No cases of potential disease were encountered.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that CD is highly prevalent in the young adult population in Israel. Serologic screening for CD is a reliable and simple method for diagnosing this disease before symptoms or complications develop.

[1] Ig = immunoglobulin

[2] CD = celiac disease

March 2010
O. Kobo, M. Hammoud, N. Makhoul, H. Omary and U. Rosenschein

Background: Renal artery stenosis is one of the most frequent causes of secondary hypertension. Appropriate methods for screening, diagnosis and therapy are currently under debate.

Objectives: To evaluate and recommend methods for screening and diagnosing renal artery stenosis, and to assess the clinical outcomes of renal artery stenting.

Methods: A total of 450 patients undergoing non-emergent coronary angiography fulfilled the selection criteria for selective renal arteriography; those with severe (luminal narrowing ≥ 70%) renal artery stenosis underwent percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with renal artery stenting.

Results: Of 166 patients (36.9%) with renal artery stenosis, 41 (9.1%) had severe stenosis that required renal artery stenting, and 83% had ostial renal stenosis. The primary success rate was 100% and there were no complications. During the follow-up period, two patients required a second PTRA[1]. After stent deployment, significant reductions were observed in systolic and diastolic pressures (P < 0.001 and P = 0.01, respectively) and in the number of antihypertensive drugs used by the patients (P < 0.001). These reductions were sustained during follow-up. Hypertension was cured (systolic blood pressure < 130 mmHg) in 9 (21.4%) and improved in 27 (64.3%) patients. Plasma creatinine did not change significantly.

Conclusions: Selective renal angiography is an effective diagnostic tool for identifying symptomatic cases of renal artery stenosis in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Our finding of a high success rate and low complication rate supports the use of primary renal artery stenting in symptomatic patients with renal artery stenosis.

[1] PTRA = percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty

January 2010
B. Boursi, H. Guzner-Gur, Y. Mashich, U. Miler, E. Gur, R. Inbar, A. Blachar, F. Sperber, S. Kleiman, A. Yafo, H. Elran, T. Sella, I. Naumov, D. Kazanov, S. Kraus, L. Galazan, N. Reshef, T. Sion-Tadmor, M. Rozen, E. Liberman, M. Moshkowitz and N. Arber

Background: Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. The most effective way to combat cancer is by prevention and early detection.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of screening an asymptomatic population for the presence of benign and neoplastic lesions.

Methods: Routine screening tests for prevention and/or early detection of 11 common cancers were conducted in 300 consecutive asymptomatic, apparently healthy adults, aged 25–77 years. Other tests were performed as indicated.

Results: Malignant and benign lesions were found in 3.3% and 5% of the screenees, respectively, compared to 1.7% in the general population. The most common lesions were in the gastrointestinal tract followed by skin, urogenital tract and breast. Advanced age and a family history of a malignancy were associated with increased risk for cancer with an odds ratio of 9 and 3.5, respectively (95% confidence interval 1.1–71 and 0.9–13, respectively). Moreover, high serum C-reactive protein levels and polymorphisms in the APC and CD24 genes indicated high cancer risk. When two of the polymorphisms existed in an individual, the risk for a malignant lesion was extremely high (23.1%; OR[1] 14, 95% CI[2] 2.5–78).

Conclusions: Screening asymptomatic subjects identifies a significant number of neoplastic lesions at an early stage. Incorporating data on genetic polymorphisms in the APC and CD24 genes can further identify individuals who are at increased risk for cancer. Cancer can be prevented and/or diagnosed at an early stage using the screening facilities of a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic.

[1] OR = odds ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

December 2009
P. Rozen, I. Liphshitz, G. Rosner, M. Barchana, J. Lachter, S. Pel, T. Shohat, E. Santo, and the Israeli Pancreatic Cancer Consortium

Pancreatic cancer is not a common malignancy in Israel, but it is the third most common cause of cancer mortality, attributable to a lack of screening tests, inaccessibility of the pancreas, and late cancer stage at diagnosis. We reviewed the epidemiology, known risk factors and screening methods available in Israel and describe the Israeli national consortium that was established to identify persons at risk and decide on screening methods to detect and treat their early-stage pancreatic cancer. In collaboration with the Israel National Cancer Registry, we evaluated the incidence and trends of the disease in the Jewish and non-Jewish populations. The consortium reviewed known lifestyle risk habits and genetic causes, screening methodologies used and available in Israel. Overall, there are about 600 new patients per year, with the highest incidence occurring in Jewish men of European birth (age-standardized rate 8.11/105 for 2003–06). The 5 year survival is about 5%. The consortium concluded that screening will be based on endoscopic ultrasonography. Pancreatic cancer patients and families at risk will be enrolled, demographic and lifestyle data collected and a cancer pedigree generated. Risk factors will be identified and genetic tests performed as required. This concerted national program to identify persons at risk, recommend which environmental risk factors to avoid and treat, and perform endoscopic ultrasound and genetic screening where appropriate, might reduce their incidence of invasive pancreatic cancer and/or improve its prognosis


April 2009
A. Koren, L. Zalman, H. Palmor, R. Bril Zamir, C. Levin, A. Openheim, E. Daniel-Spiegel, S. Shalev and D. Filon

Background: Sickle cell anemia is a hemolytic anemia caused by a single mutation in position 6 of the β globin molecule. About 80 patients with SCA[1] in northern Israel are currently receiving treatment.

Objectives: To assess a screening program in northern Israel aimed at detecting couples at risk for having offspring with SCA.

Methods: Since 1987, screening for β thalassemia in pregnant women in northern Israel has been conducted, and from 1999 all the samples were also tested for hemoglobin S, Hgb C, Hgb D, Hgb O Arab and others.

Results: During the 20 year period 1987–2006 a total of 69,340 women were screened; 114 couples who carried Hgb S were detected and 187 prenatal diagnoses were performed in couples at risk for having an offspring with Hgb S. The mean gestational age was 13 ± 4 weeks. Fifty-four of those diagnoses revealed affected fetuses and in 4 cases the couple declined to perform therapeutic abortion.

Conclusions: The economic burden to the health services for treating SCA patients is about U.S.$ 7000 per year, and the institution of prevention programs has proven cost-effective in populations with a high frequency of carriers. Since our program is aimed to also detect β thalassemia, a disease that is more frequent in this area (> 2.5%), the added cost for the prevention of SCA is less significant in spite a low incidence of the S gene in our population, namely < 1%.

[1] SCA = sickle cell anemia

March 2009
L. Ore, H.J. Garzozi, A. Tamir and M. Cohen-Dar

Background: Uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of visual impairment in children. In 2002 a screening project was launched in Israel to provide data on the effectiveness of the illiterate E-chart in identifying Jewish and Arab schoolchildren in need of a comprehensive eye examination.

Objectives: To present the aims, design and initial results of the visual screening project and the prevalence of vision abnormality in the study population.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted during 2002–2003 among first- and eighth-graders in 70 schools in northern Israel. The nurse's test included use of the illiterate E-chart to measure visual acuity. The medical examination included vision history, clinical eye examination, VA[1] and retinoscopy. The ophthalmologist's evaluation as to whether a child needed a referral for diagnostic procedures, treatment and/or follow-up was recorded and compared with explicit referral criteria formulated after data collection.

Results: Of 1975 schoolchildren, 31% had abnormal VA, defined as VA worse than 6/6 in at least one eye, and a quarter had VA equal or worse than 6/12 in both eyes. The prevalence of vision abnormality among the children was 22.4% when based on the evaluation of the field ophthalmologist and 26.1% when based on two sets of explicit severity scores and referral criteria.

Conclusions: Vision abnormality is a significant health problem among northern Israeli schoolchildren. This project is unique in scope and importance, providing evidence to assist policy making with regard to vision screening for schoolchildren (including data on test reliability and validity) and optimal VA cutoff level, and confirming the need for clinical guidelines regarding referral criteria.

[1] VA = visual acuity

October 2008
R. J. Heruti, A. Steinvil, T. Shochat, N. Saar, N. Mashav, Y. Arbel and D. Justo

Background: Erectile dysfunction is associated with treatable cardiovascular risk factors; therefore, screening for erectile dysfunction and its cardiovascular risk factors is of clinical importance.

Objectives: To detect erectile dysfunction cases and assess their severity among military personnel.

Methods: The Sexual Health Inventory for Men questionnaire was handed out to military personnel aged 25–55 years during routine examinations.

Results: A total of 19,131 men, with a mean age of 34.0 ± 7.1 years, participated in routine physical examinations during the years 2001–2005. More than half of them (n=9956, 52%) completed the SHIM[1] questionnaire. No significant differences were found between those who completed the SHIM questionnaire and those who did not, in terms of mean age, mean body mass index, and prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. One out of every four men (25.2%) suffered from erectile dysfunction, which was mild in 18.9%, mild to moderate in 4.4%, moderate in 1.1% , and severe in 0.7%. Even though treatable cardiovascular risk factors were quite prevalent in the study group (45.2% of them suffered from dyslipidemia, 25.6% smoked, 4.2% suffered from essential hypertension, and 1.6% from diabetes mellitus), erectile dysfunction was significantly associated with age and diabetes mellitus alone (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of erectile dysfunction and associated treatable cardiovascular risk factors in Israeli men aged 25–55, especially those with diabetes. 

[1] SHIM = Sexual Health Inventory for Men

P. Rozen, Z. Levi, R. Hazazi, I. Barnes-Kedar, Z. Samuel, A. Vilkin and Y. Niv

Background: Dedicated, organ-specific screening clinics have been shown to significantly reduce cancer morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To establish a dedicated clinic for Clalit Health Service patients at high risk for hereditary gastrointestinal cancer and to provide them with clinical and genetic counseling, diagnostic screening and follow–up.

Results: During the 3 years of the clinic's activity, 634 high risk families, including 3804 at-risk relatives, were evaluated. The most common conditions were hereditary colorectal syndromes, Lynch syndrome (n=259), undefined young-onset or familial colorectal cancer (n=214), familial adenomatous polyposis (n=55), and others (n=106). They entered follow-up protocols and 52 underwent surgical procedures.

Conclusions: Consistent public and professional education is needed to increase awareness of hereditary colorectal cancer and the possibility of family screening, early diagnosis and therapy. The public health services – i.e., the four health management organizations – should provide genetic testing for these patients who, at present, are required to pay for almost all of these available but costly tests. Dedicated colorectal surgical units are needed to provide the specialized therapeutic procedures needed by patients with familial colorectal cancer. Our future plans include adding psychosocial support for these at-risk patients and their families as well as preventive lifestyle and dietary intervention. 

A. Blachar, G. Levi, M. Graif and J.acob Sosna

Background: Computed tomographic colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, is a rapid, non-invasive imaging technique for the detection of colorectal masses and polyps that is becoming increasingly popular.

Objectives: To evaluate the availability, technique, standards of performance and indications for CT colonography in Israel.

Methods: A questionnaire on CT colonography was sent to all radiology departments and private institutions that perform CTC[1] in Israel. We evaluated multiple technical parameters regarding the performance and interpretation of CTC as well as radiologists' training and experience.

Results: Fourteen institutions – 7 hospitals and 7 private clinics – participated in the study. Most of the small radiology departments and nearly all of the more peripheral radiology departments do not perform CTC studies. Since 2000 and until March 2007, a total of 15,165 CTC studies were performed but only 14% (2123 examinations) were performed at public hospitals and 86% (13,042 exams) at private clinics. CTC was performed after an incomplete colonoscopy or for various contraindications to endoscopic colonoscopy in up to a third of cases. In the various institutions patients were self-referred in 20–60% of cases, more commonly in private clinics. All CTC examinations were performed on 16–64 slice CT scanners and only a small minority was performed on 4-slice scanners in 2001. All but one center used low radiation protocols. Nearly all facilities used a 2 day bowel-cleansing protocol. All except one facility did not use stool tagging or computer-aided diagnosis. All facilities inflated the colon with room air manually. All institutions used state-of-the-art workstations, 3D and endoluminal navigation, and coronal multi-planar reconstructions routinely. There are 18 radiologists in the country who perform and interpret CTC studies; half of them trained abroad. Ten of the radiologists (56%) have read more than 500 CTC studies.

Conclusions: In Israel, CTC examinations are performed by well-trained and highly experienced radiologists using the latest CT scanners and workstations and adhering to acceptable CTC guidelines.  

[1] CTC = computed tomographic colonography

September 2008
J. Lachter, T. Leska-Aharoni, D. Warum and R. Eliakim

Background: The frequency of colorectal cancer screening tests in Israel is poor, and is much lower than in the United States. This low rate has been attributed to health system failures as well as to barriers on the part of both physicians and patients.

Objectives: To further identify particular health system failures, physician and patient-based barriers, and the effectiveness of public lectures in improving the frequency of performance of CRC[1] screening tests.

Methods: Public lectures on colorectal cancer prevention were held. A gastroenterologist presented the lectures, which were followed immediately by a questionnaire and 4 months later by a telephone call.

Results: Of the 80% of attendees who had never undergone any CRC screening test, only 18% reported family physician recommendations for such tests. Eighty-four percent reported willingness to undergo fecal occult blood testing and 52% to undergo colonoscopy; 62% replied that they should undergo some CRC screening test and 90% believed that these tests save lives. Of the women, 47% expressed preference for a female gastroenterologist. Follow-up showed that 34% proceeded to undergo some CRC screening test: 60% chose colonoscopy and 40% FOBT[2].

Conclusions: Public lectures are effective at improving compliance with the CRC screening test. Physicians should recommend these tests to appropriate individuals. Same-gender gastroenterologists should be considered for individuals uneasy about someone from the opposite gender performing the test. Assessing the various health-promotion efforts can direct us in implementing finite resources to greatest effect. Local cancer institutes and societies may be supportive in disseminating screening information in this way.

[1] CRC = colorectal cancer

[2] FOBT = fecal occult blood testing

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