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עמוד בית
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October 2017
Sarit Appel MD, Jeffry Goldstein MD, Marina Perelman MD, Tatiana Rabin MD, Damien Urban MBBS MD, Amir Onn MD, Tiberiu R. Shulimzon MD, Ilana Weiss MA, Sivan Lieberman MD, Edith M. Marom MD, Nir Golan MD, David Simansky MD, Alon Ben-Nun MD PhD, Yaacov Richard Lawrence MBBS MRCP, Jair Bar MD PhD and Zvi Symon MD PhD

Background: Neoadjuvant chemo-radiation therapy (CRT) dosages in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were traditionally limited to 45 Gray (Gy).

Objectives: To retrospectively analyze outcomes of patients treated with 60 Gy CRT followed by surgery.

Methods: A retrospective chart review identified patients selected for CRT to 60 Gy followed by surgery between August 2012 and April 2016. Selection for surgery was based on the extent of disease, cardiopulmonary function, and response to treatment. Pathological response after neoadjuvant CRT was scored using the modified tumor regression grading. Local control (LC), disease free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) were estimated by the Kaplan–Meier method.

Results: Our cohort included 52 patients: 75% (39/52) were stage IIIA. A radiation dose of 60 Gy (range 50–62Gy) was delivered in 82.7%. Surgeries performed included: lobectomy, chest-wall resection, and pneumonectomy in 67.3%, 13.4%, and 19.2%, respectively. At median follow-up of 22.4 months, the 3 year OS was 74% (95% confidence interval [CI] 52–87%), LC was 84% (95%CI 65–93), and DFS 35% (95%CI 14–59). Grade 4–5 postoperative complications were observed in 17.3% of cases and included chest wall necrosis (5.7%), bronco-pleural fistula (7.7%), and death (3.8%). A major pathologic regression with < 10% residual tumor occurred in 68.7% of patients (36/52) and showed a trend to improved OS (P = 0.1). Pneumonectomy cases had statistically worse OS (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Major pathologic regression was observed 68.7% with 60 Gy neoadjuvant CRT with a trend to improved survival. Pneumonectomy correlated with worse survival.

May 2012
D. Antonelli, D. Peres and Y. Turgeman
Background: Alcohol consumption in Israel has increased over the last 20 years. Patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) who present at a hospital enable early intervention. Objectives: To examine, for the first time, the characteristics of AUD patients in an Israeli general hospital, including whether their alcohol use is documented in their file.

Methods: A group of 178 consecutive patients referred for psychiatric consultation was compared to a second group of 105 hospitalized patients who were not referred. These two groups were studied to compare risk factors for AUD. Patients in both groups were prospectively interviewed using a CAGE questionnaire, demonstrated as an effective screening instrument for AUD. Patients’ files in both groups were examined for documentation of alcohol use.

Results: There was no significant difference between the prevalence of AUD in the two groups. The groups were then merged since no significant difference in the risk factor effects between the two groups was found. The risk factors for AUD in the final statistical analysis were lower educational status, living alone, being born in the Former Soviet Union and weaker religious observance. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cigarette smoking and substance use were found to be independent risk factors. Soldier status was associated with significant alcohol misuse and AUD (CAGE1–4). Alcohol consumption was documented in the files of AUD patients in 48% of the first group and 21% of the second.

Conclusions: Physicians often neglect to take a history of alcohol consumption. Routine use of the CAGEquestionnaire is recommended in Israeli general hospitals. Special attention should be given to PTSD patients and to soldiers.
September 2008
June 2007
A. Szalat, G. Erez, E. Leitersdorf

Background: The management of aspirin therapy before an invasive procedure poses a frequent clinical dilemma due to uncertainty regarding b[AS1] leeding versus thromboembolic risks associated with continuation or withdrawal of the drug. There is no evidence-based data to refer to.

Objectives: To assess the opinions of internal medicine physicians regarding aspirin therapy prior to an invasive procedure.

Methods: A questionnaire presenting nine hypothetical cases with different combinations of bleeding and thromboembolic risk was given to physicians in an Internal Medicine Division during a personal interview. For each case the participants had to choose between withdrawal of aspirin prior to an invasive procedure, continuation of aspirin, or substitution of low molecular weight heparin for aspirin. Results: Sixty-one physicians participated in the survey. For a patient with low thromboembolic risk, 77% (95% confidence interval 65.3–86.3%), 95% (87.2–98.7%) and 97% (89.6–99.5%) of physicians elected to discontinue aspirin prior to a low, intermediate or high bleeding risk procedure, respectively. For intermediate risk patients, 23% (95% CI[1] 13.7–34.7%), 59% (46.4–70.8%) and 74% (61.7–83.6%) would discontinue aspirin prior to a low, intermediate or high risk procedure, and 5% (95% CI 1.3–12.8%), 23% (13.7–34.7%) and 18% (9.9–29.2%) would substitute LMWH[2] for aspirin. For a patient with high thromboembolic risk, 1.6% (95% CI 0.08–7.8%), 11.5% (5.2–21.4%) and 18% (9.9–29.2%) recommended discontinuing aspirin prior to a low, intermediate or high risk procedure, respectively. In these situations, 18% (95% CI 9.9–29.2%), 53% (40.0–64.7%) and 57% (44.8–69.3%), respectively, would substitute LMWH for aspirin.

Conclusions: The results of the current investigation may help practicing physicians to decide whether to discontinue aspirin therapy prior to invasive procedures. The possible use of LMWH to replace aspirin as suggested here should be further evaluated in a controlled clinical study.



[2] LMWH = low molecular weight heparin

 [AS1]Is it the appropriate syntax ?

April 2005
L. Saidel-Odes and H. Shmuel Odes
 Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in Israel. Our current understanding of the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence has led to the use of screening for timely detection of polyps and cancer. Digital examination of the rectum is a test that can be performed by all doctors. Fecal occult blood testing, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are the standard screening techniques for patients. Computerized tomography colonography is now entering this field. This review discusses the merits and uncertainties of these strategies as related to the risk of colorectal cancer in selected populations.

November 2004
A. Tarasiuk and H. Reuveni

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a major public health hazard affecting 2–4% of the adult population; only 10% of these patients are recognized by healthcare providers. In the last decade the number of referrals for polysomnography increased threefold in Israel, compared to 12-fold worldwide, and is expected to increase even more in the coming years. This constant demand for PSG[1] studies is beyond the current capacity of sleep laboratories, thus preventing diagnosis for most patients with suspected OSAS[2]. In the current review, we examine problems facing decision-makers on how to treat the increasing flood of patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of sleep-disordered breathing. We evaluate the cost-effectiveness of current technologies for OSA diagnosis, i.e., laboratory versus at-home technologies. We conclude that no current alternative exists to the use of PSG for OSA diagnosis. When at-home technologies are suggested for OSAS diagnosis, data should be provided on factors influencing its cost-effectiveness, e.g., accuracy rates of diagnosis, relative cost of human resources, and case-mix of patients tested. Since PSG remains the gold standard for diagnosis of OSAS, in Israel resources should be allocated to increasing the volume of beds for PSG studies in order to increase access to diagnosis and treatment, which in turn provides better quality of life, saves scarce resources of the healthcare system, prevents unnecessary accidents and increases workers’ productivity.

[1] PSG = polysomnography

[2] OSAS = obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

January 2003
J. Shemer, N. L. Friedman, E. Kokia

This paper describes "Health Value Added" – an innovative model that links performance measurement to strategy in health maintanance organizations. The HVA[1] model was developed by Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel’s second largest HMO[2], with the aim of focusing all its activities on providing high quality care within budgetary and regulatory constraints. HVA draws upon theory and practice from strategic management and performance measurement in order to assesses an HMO’s ability to improve the health of its members. The model consists of four interrelated levels – mission, goals, systems, and resources – and builds on the existence of advanced computerized information systems that make comprehensive measurements available to decision makers in real time. HVA enables management to evaluate overall organizational performance as well as the performance of semi-autonomous units. In simple terms, the sophisticated use of performance measures can help healthcare organizations obtain more health for the same money.

[1] HVA = Health Value Added

[2] HMO = health maintenance organization

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