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עמוד בית
Sun, 03.03.24

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April 2023
Tal Yahalomi MD, Joseph Pikkel MD, Roee Arnon MD, Daniel Malchi MD, Aviv Vidan MD, Michael Kinori MD

Background: In developed countries, amblyopia has an estimated prevalence rate of 1–4%, depending on the socioeconomic gradient. Previous studies performed on pediatric populations in Ethiopia demonstrated amblyopia rates up to 16.7.

Objectives: To assess rates of amblyopia, refractive errors, strabismus, and other eye pathologies among Ethiopian-born children and adolescents who immigrated to Israel compared to Israeli-born children.

Methods This observational cross-sectional study included children and adolescents 5–19 years of age who immigrated to Israel up to 2 years before data collection and lived in an immigration center. Demographic data and general health status of the children were obtained from the parents, and a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination was performed. Results were compared to Israeli-born children.

Results: The study included 223 children and adolescents: 87 Ethiopian-born and 136 Israeli-born. The rate of amblyopia in the Ethiopian-born group vs. Israeli-born was 3.4% and 4.4%, respectively. Even after controlling for age, there was still no significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.99).

Conclusions: Despite originating from a country with limited resources and fewer medical facilities, the amblyopia rate in Jewish Ethiopian immigrants was not higher, and even mildly lower, compared to Israeli-born children.

January 2004
B. Weiss, Y. Bujanover, B. Avidan, A. Fradkin, I. Weintraub and B. Shainberg

Background: Screening for celiac disease is based on the sequential evaluation of serologic tests and intestinal biopsy; an optimal screening protocol is still under investigation. The screening policy of one of the main healthcare providers in Israel (Maccabi) consists of measuring total immunoglobulin A and tissue transglutaminase IgA[1] antibodies and confirming positive results by endomysial antibodies. For IgA-deficient patients antigliadin IgG is measured.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of tTGA[2] as a first-level screening test in patients suspected of having celiac disease

Methods: The results of tTGA and EMA[3] tests over a 3 month period were obtained from the laboratory computer. Letters were sent to the referring physicians of patients with positive tests, requesting clinical information and small intestinal biopsy results. tTGA was performed using an anti-guinea pig tTG-IgA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.

Results: Overall, 2,505 tTGA tests were performed: 216 (8.6%) were tTGA-positive of which 162 (75%) were EMA-negative (group 1) and 54 (25%) EMA-positive (group 2). Clinical information was obtained for 91 patients in group 1 and 32 in group 2. Small intestinal biopsy was performed in 33 (36%) and 27 patients (84%) in groups 1 and 2, respectively. Celiac disease was diagnosed in 4 biopsies (12%) in group 1 and 23 (85%) in group 2 (P < 0.0001). The positive predictive value was 45% for tTGA and 85% for EMA.

Conclusions: Symptomatic patients with positive tTGA and negative EMA have a low rate of celiac disease compared to those who are tTGA-positive and EMA-positive. Confirmation with EMA is advised when tTGA is performed as a first-level screening for suspected celiac disease.






[1] Ig = immunoglobulin



[2] tTGAa = transglutaminase IgA antibodies



[3] EMA = endomysial antibodies


July 2002
Ronen Rubinshtein, MD, Eyal Robenshtok, MD, Arik Eisenkraft, MD, Aviv Vidan, MD and Ariel Hourvitz, MD

Recent events have significantly increased concern about the use of biologic and chemical weapons by terrorists and other countries. Since weapons of mass destruction could result in a huge number of casualties, optimizing our diagnostic and therapeutic skills may help to minimize the morbidity and mortality. The national demands for training in medical aspects of nuclear, biologic and chemical warfare have increased dramatically. While Israeli medical preparedness for non-conventional warfare has improved substantially in recent years especially due to extensive training programs, a standardized course and course materials were not available until recently. We have developed a core curriculum and teaching materials for a 1 or 2 day modular course, including printed materials.

Alina Weissman-Brenner, MD, Avi David, Avi Vidan, MD and Ariel Hourvitz, MD

Background: Organophosphates (OP) are frequently used as insecticides in the household and in agricultural areas, thus posing a risk for accidental exposure.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics, clinical course and outcome of 97 patients admitted to emergency rooms with a diagnosis of acute OP poisoning.

Methods: The clinical details of 97 patients were collected from 6 different hospitals in Israel. Diagnosis of intoxication was based on clinical findings, butyrylcholinesterase levels and, in several cases, the material brought to the hospital. Demographic, intoxication and clinical data were analyzed.

Results: The study group comprised 64 men and 33 women whose age range was 1–70 years old (mean 19.8 ± 17.1); more than one-third of the patients were less than 10 years old. Accidental exposure was the cause of intoxication in 51.5% of the patients, and suicide in 20.6% of exposures. Intoxication occurred at home in most patients (67%), and the route of intoxication was oral in 65% of them. The patients arrived at the hospital 20 minutes to 72 hours after intoxication. Nine patients were asymptomatic; 53 presented with mild intoxication, 22 with moderate, and 13 had severe intoxication, 5 of whom died. There was a direct correlation between the degree of inhibition of butyrylcholinesterase levels and the severity of intoxication. Treatment included decontamination and antidotal medication. Duration of hospitalization ranged between 1 and to 14 days (average 2.9 days).

Conclusions: Organophosphates may cause severe morbidity and mortality. Medical staff should therefore be aware of the clinical manifestations and the antidotal treatment for this poisoning.
 

Aviv Vidan, MD, Shai Luria, MD, Arik Eisenkraft, MD and Ariel Hourvitz, MD

The chemical warfare agent sulfur mustard affects primarily the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Of these, ocular injury is the most immediate and distressing. Learning to recognize ocular injury enables the treating physician to provide early and suitable treatment, which will reduce complications and allow the victim a rapid recovery.

March 2001
Benjamin Avidan, MD, Ehud Melzer, MD, Nathan Keller, MD and Simon Bar-meir, MD

Background: Current treatment for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori in patients with peptic disease is based on the combination of antibiotic and anti-acid regimens. Multiple combinations have been investigated, however no consensus has been reached regarding the optimal duration and medica­tions.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of two treatment regimens in patients with peptic ulcer disease and non-ulcer dyspepsia, and to determine the need for gastric mucosal culture in patients failing previous treatment.

Methods: Ninety patients with established peptic ulcer and NUD (with previously proven ulcer) were randomly assigned to receive either bismuth-subcitrate, amoxycillin and metrnida­zole (8AM) or lansoprasole, clarithromycine and metronida­zole (LCM) for 7 days. Patients with active peptic disease were treated with ranitidine 300 mg/day for an additional month.

Results: Eradication failed in 8 of the 42 patients in the 8AM group and in 2 of the 43 patients in the LCM group, as determined by the 13C urea breath test or rapid urease test (19% vs. 5%, respectively, P=0.05). Five of these 10 patients were randomly assigned to treatment with lansoprazole, amoxycillin and clarithromycin (LAC) regardless of the culture obtained, and the other 5 patients were assigned to treatment with lansoprazole and two antibacterial agents chosen according to a susceptibility test. Eradication of H. pylon was confirmed by the ‘3C urea breath test. The same protocol (LAC) was used in all patients in the first group and in four of the five patients in the second group. The culture results did not influence the treatment protocol employed.

Conclusions: Combination therapy based on proton pump inhibitor and two antibiotics is superior to bismuth-based therapy for one week. Gastric-mucosal culture testing for sensitivity of H. pylon to antibiotics is probably unnecessary before the initiation of therapy for patients with eradication failure.

September 2000
Edna Ben-Asher, PhD, Vered Chalifa-Caspi, PhD, Shirley Horn-Saban, PhD, Nili Avidan, PhD, Zviya Olender, PhD, Avital Adato, PhD, Gustavo Glusman, Marilyn Safran, Menachem Rubinstein, PhD and Doron Lancet, PhD
August 2000
Timna Naftali MD, Ben Novis MD, Itamar Pomeranz MD, George Leichtman MD, Yaakov Maor MD, Rivka Shapiro MD, Menachem Moskowitz MD, Beni Avidan MD, Yona Avni MD, Yoram Bujanover MD and Zvi Fireman MD

Background: About one-third of patients with severe ulcerative colitis do not respond to conventional therapy and require urgent colectomy. It was recently shown that cyclosporin is effective in some of these patients.

Objectives: To review the current experience of six hospitals in central Israel that used cyc-losporin in patients with severe ulcerative colitis.

Methods: The files of all 32 patients treated with cyclosporin for corticosteroid-resistant ulcerative colitis were reviewed. Activity of disease was measured by a clinical activity, index colonoscopy and laboratory tests.

Results: The average duration of treatment with intravenous cyclosporin was 12.7 days (range 9–28) after which the disease activity index dropped from an average of 14.22 to 4.74. The mean time for response was 7.5 days (4–14). Twelve patients (40%) required surgery within 6 months and another 6 patients (18.8%) were operated on after more than 6 months. Twelve patients (37%) maintained remission for at least 6 months and did not require surgery. In one patient treatment was stopped because of non-compliance and one was lost to follow-up. There were numerous side effects, but in only one case with neurotoxicity was treatment withdrawn.

Conclusions: Cyclosporin is a relatively safe and effective treatment for severe ulcerative colitis. It induced long-term remission in 37% of the patients, and in those who required surgery the treatment resulted in an improved clinical condition before the operation.

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