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May 2023
Moran Gawie-Rotman MD, Alon Shrim MD, Ester Maor-Sagie MD, Noa Haggiag MD, Rinat Gabbay-Benziv MD, Mordechai Hallak MD

Fetal hydrops is a life-threatening condition defined as abnormal accumulation of fluid in two or more fetal compartments: ascites, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, or generalized skin edema [1]. Fetal hydrops may also be associated with polyhydramnios and placental edema [2].

Based on pathophysiology results, fetal hydrops is classified as either immune or non-immune. The frequency of immune fetal hydrops has decreased dramatically since the development of Rh (D) immunization given to mothers at risk. Nonimmune hydrops fetalis (NIHF) accounts for almost 90% of cases [1]. The etiology of NIHF is further classified as cardiovascular (17–35%), chromosomal (7–16%), hematologic (4–12%), infectious (5–7%), and unknown (15–25%). Inborn errors of metabolism account for only 1–2% of NIHF cases [1]. NIHF is commonly progressive. Complete resolution of NIHF before birth is rare.

September 2007
E. Israeli, B. Talis, N. Peled, R. Snier and J. El-On

Background: Serology of amebiasis is affected by low sensitivity and specificity.

Objectives: To evaluate the advantage of the indirect hemagglutination assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the diagnosis of amebiasis, using Entamoeba histolytica soluble antigen (macerated amebic antigens) prepared from four different virulent isolates, continuously cultivated in the presence of the original enteric bacteria.

Methods: Using IHA[1] and ELISA[2] with MAA[3] antigen we examined 147 sera samples from patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, and 11 sera from amebiasis cases (confirmed by microscopy and copro-antigen ELISA ).

Results: Of 104 of the 147 (70.7%) symptomatic cases that were amebiasis positive by IHA, 81 (55.1%) were positive by MAA-ELISA. In addition, of 11 amebiasis cases confirmed by microscopy and copro-antigen ELISA , 7 (64%) were amebiasis positive by both tests. Four species of bacteria were isolated from the ameba cultures: Escherichia coli, Morganella morganii, Proteus mirabilis, and Streptococcus lactis. Elimination of the bacteria from the cultures by an antibiotics cocktail containing gentamicin, imipenem, piperacillin-tazobactam and vancomycin was the preferred method. Absorption of patients' sera to bacterial antigen prior to serological analysis had only a marginal effect.

Conclusions: These results indicate a correlation of 61% between the ELISA developed in this study and the IHA tests in the diagnosis of amebiasis.






[1] IHA = indirect hemagglutination assay

[2] ELISA = enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

[3] MAA = macerated amoebic antigens


April 2000
Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Joseph Barr, MD, Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD, Hagit Matras, MA, Eran Kocer, MD, Revital Greenberg and Gideon Eshel, MD, published in IMAJ. IMAJ 2000; 2; April; 278-281

Background: For centuries talismans and amulets have been used in many cultures for their legendary healing powers.

Methods: We asked the parents of every child (Jews and Arabs) admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over a 2 month period to complete a questionnaire, which included demographic data on the patient and the family, the use of talismans or other folk medicine practices, and the perception of the effects of these practices on the patient’s well-being. A different questionnaire was completed by the ICU staff members on their attitude toward the use of amulets.

Results: Thirty percent of the families used amulets and talismans in the ICU, irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the family or the severity of the patient’s illness. Amulets and talismans were used significantly more by religious Jews, by families with a higher parental educational level, and where the hospitalized child was very young. The estimated frequency of amulet use by the children’s families, as perceived by the staff, was significantly higher than actual use reported by the parents. In Jewish families the actual use of amulets was found to be 30% compared to the 60% rate estimated by the medical staff; while in Moslem families the actual use was zero compared to the staff’s estimation of about 36%. Of the 19 staff members, 14 reported that the use of amulets seemed to reduce the parents' anxiety, while 2 claimed that amulet use sometimes interfered with the staff’s ability to carry out medical treatment.  

Conclusions: The use of talismans in a technologically advanced western society is more frequent than may have been thought. Medical and paramedical personnel dealing with very ill patients should be aware of the emotional and psychological implications of such beliefs and practices on patients and their families.

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ICU = intensive care unit

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