R. Colodner, H. Edelstein, B. Chazan and R. Raz
Background: The lack of lactobacilli in the vagina of postmenopausal women due to estrogen deficiency plays an important role in the development of bacteriuria. In the last few years, the use of lactobacilli for the prevention of genitourinary infections has been explored using different probiotic strains.
Objectives: To evaluate the vaginal colonization by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in postmenopausal healthy women following oral administration of the bacteria in a yogurt base for 1 month, as a first step in evaluating the potential probiotic role of LGG in the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections.
Methods: One or two doses per day of yogurt containing 109 colony forming units of LGG were administered orally to 42 postmenopausal healthy women for 1 month. Vaginal and rectal swabs were cultured at the beginning and end of the study.
Results: At the end of the study, the vaginas of only four women (9.5%) were colonized with LGG, at a very low number of bacteria, despite the fact that the gastrointestinal tracts of 33 women (78.6%) were colonized. There were no significant differences between one or two doses daily.
Conclusions: LGG should not be considered as a probiotic agent in urinary infections since it does not attach well to the vaginal epithelium.
E. Soudry, C.L. Sprung, P.D. Levin, G.B. Grunfeld and S. Einav
Background: Physicians’ decisions regarding provision of life-sustaining treatment may be influenced considerably by non-medical variables.
Objectives: To examine physicians’ attitudes towards end-of-life decisions in Israel, comparing them to those found in the United States.
Methods: A survey was conducted among members of the Israel Society of Critical Care Medicine using a questionnaire analogous to that used in a similar study in the USA.
Results: Forty-three physicians (45%) responded, the majority of whom hold responsibility for withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments. Preservation of life was considered the most important factor by 31 respondents (72%). The quality of life as viewed by the patient was generally considered less important than the quality of life as viewed by the physician. Twenty-one respondents (49%) considered withholding treatment more acceptable than withdrawing it. The main factors for decisions to withhold or withdraw therapy were a very low probability of survival of hospitalization, an irreversible acute disorder, and prior existence of chronic disorders. An almost similar percent of physicians (93% for Israel and 94% for the U.S.) apply Do Not Resuscitate orders in their intensive care units, but much less (28% vs. 95%) actually discuss these orders with the families of their patients.
Conclusions: Critical care physicians in Israel place similar emphasis on the value of life as do their U.S. counterparts and assign DNR orders with an incidence equaling that of the U.S. They differ from their U.S. counterparts in that they confer less significance to the will of the patient, and do not consult as much with families of patients regarding DNR orders.
A. Halevy, A. Stepanasky, Z. Halpern, I. Wasserman, Z. Chen-Levy, S. Pytlovich, O. Marcus, A. Mor, P. Hagag, T. Horne, S. Polypodi and J. Sandbank
Background: Among the various new technologies in the field of parathyroid surgery are intraoperative quick parathormone measurements.
Objectives: To evaluate the contribution of QPTH measurements during parathyroidectomy to the achievement of higher success rates.
Methods: QPTH assay using Immulite Turbo Intact PTH was measured in 32 patients undergoing parathyroidectomy: 30 for primary and 2 for secondary hyperparathyroidism. QPTH levels were measured at time 0 minutes (before incision) and at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after excision of the hyperfunctioning gland. Only a drop of 60% or more from the 0’ level was considered to be a positive result.
Results: The mean QPTH level at time 0’ for PHPT patients was 38.12 ± 25.15 pmol/L (range 9.1–118 pmol/L). At 10 minutes post-excision of the hyperfunctioning gland (or glands), QPTH dropped by a mean of 73.80% to 9.89 ± 18.78 pmol/L.
Conclusions: Intraoperative QPTH level measurement is helpful in parathyroid surgery. A drop of 60% or more from 0’ level indicates a successful procedure, and further exploration should be avoided.
N. Berkman, A. Avital, E. Bardach, C. Springer, R. Breuer and S. Godfrey
Background: Leukotriene antagonist therapy in asthmatic patients alleviates symptoms and improves exercise tolerance, however the effect of these drugs on bronchial provocation tests and exhaled nitric oxide levels are less clearly established.
Objective: To determine the effect of montelukast treatment on airway hyperresponsiveness to exercise, methacholine and adenosine-5’-monophosphate and on exhaled nitric oxide levels in steroid-naive asthmatics.
Methods: Following a 2 week run-in period, 20 mild to moderate asthmatics were enrolled in an open label 6 week trial of oral montelukast-sodium therapy. Bronchial hyperreactivity (exercise, methacholine and adenosine-5’-monophosphate challenges) and exhaled nitric oxide levels were measured before and after the 6 week period.
Results: Montelukast treatment resulted in a significant improvement in exercise tolerance: median DFEV1 20.0% (range 0–50) prior to treatment vs. 15.0% (range 0–50) post-treatment (P = 0.029). A significant difference was also observed for exhaled NO following therapy: median NO 16.0 ppb (range 7–41) vs. 13.0 (range 4.8–26) (P = 0.016). No change was seen in baseline lung function tests (FEV1, MEF50) or in the bronchial responsiveness (PC20) for methacholine and adenosine-5’-monophosphate.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the leukotriene antagonist, montelukast-sodium, reduces bronchial hyperreactivity in response to exercise and reduces exhaled nitric oxide levels but has little effect on bronchial responsiveness to methacholine and adenosine challenges.
A. Korzets, A. Kantarovsky, J. Lehmann, D. Sachs, R. Gershkovitz, G. Hasdan, M. Vits, I. Portnoy and Z. Korzets
Background: The ischemic “steal” syndrome complicates angio-access in a growing number of hemodialysed patients. Until now, operative attempts (fistula ligation or banding) to treat this problem have met with only limited success.
Objective: To assess the results of DRIL (distal revascularization-interval ligation) procedure in treating the “steal” syndrome.
Methods: A retrospective review (1996–2002) was conducted of all 11 patients who underwent the DRIL procedure in two tertiary care hemodialysis units.
Results: Two patients were excluded because of inadequate medical documentation. All of the nine patients remaining suffered from overt atherosclerotic disease, six had diabetic nephropathy and four were smokers. The arterio-venous access, which led to the “steal” syndrome, was proximally located in all (antecubital in 8, thigh area in 1). “Steal” symptoms included hand pain, paraesthesia, neurologic deficits and gangrenous ulcers. DRIL was technically successful in all patients. There were no perioperative deaths. Immediate and complete relief of pain was achieved in eight of the nine patients. One patient with gangrene later required a transmetacarpal amputation. No patient required hand amputation. During follow-up (range 1–26 months) hemodialysis was continued uninterruptedly using the problematic AVA in all patients. Thrombosis occurred in the AVA in only two patients after the DRIL procedure at 9 and 24 months postoperatively, respectively. Three patient deaths were unrelated to the DRIL.
Conclusions: In selected patients the DRIL procedure is a safe and effective way to treat the “steal” syndrome. AVA patency is not compromised by this operation. Preoperative angiography, before and after manual compression of the AVA, is crucial for the proper selection of patients who will benefit most from the DRIL procedure.
J.E. Arbelle, A. Porath, E. Cohen, H. Gilutz and M. Garty, for the Israeli National Survey Group on Acute Myocardial Infarction, 2000
Background: In the emergency department the physician is often confronted with the decision of where to hospitalize a patient presenting with chest pain and a possible acute myocardial infarction – in the cardiac care unit or in the internal medicine ward.
Objective: To characterize the clinical factors involved in the triage disposition of patients hospitalized with AMI in Israel to either CCUs or IMWs and to determine to what extent the perceived probability of ischemia influenced the disposition decision.
Methods: During a 2 month nationwide prospective survey in the 26 CCUs and 82 of the 94 IMWs in Israel, we reviewed the charts of 1,648 patients with a discharge diagnosis of AMI. The probability of ischemia at admission was determined retrospectively by the Acute Coronary Ischemia Time-Insensitive Predictive Instrument. Co-morbidity was coded using the Index of Coexistent Diseases.
Results: The ACI-TIPI score for patients admitted to CCUs or to IMWs was 76.2% and 57.7% respectively (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that young patients with a high probability of ischemia and low co-morbidity or functional impairment were more likely to be hospitalized in CCUs than in IMWs.
Conclusion: In Israel, the factors that strongly influence the initial triage disposition of patients with AMI to CCUs or IMWs are age, perceived probability of ischemia, status of co-morbid conditions and functional impairment.
E.H. Mizrachi, S. Noy, B-A. Sela, Y. Fleissig, M. Arad and A. Adunsky
Background: A high total plasma homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, but the evidence connecting plasma tHcy level with hypertension is inconsistent.
Objective: To determine the association between plasma tHcy level and some common risk factors for cerebrovascular disease (recurrent stroke, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and hyperlipidemia) in patients presenting with primary or recurrent acute ischemic strokes.
Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional chart analysis was conducted in a university-affiliated referral hospital. During an 18 month period we identified 113 acute ischemic stroke patients (mean age 71.2), 25 of whom had a recurrent stroke. Plasma tHcy level, obtained 2–10 days after stroke onset, was determined by the high performance liquid chromatography method with fluorescence detection. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine the independent relationship between each potential risk factor and tHcy level above or below the 75th percentile.
Results: Hypertension was more frequent among patients with plasma tHcy level above than below the 75th percentile (51.7% vs. 80.8%, respectively, P = 0.012). After adjusting for demographic and clinical variables, the odds ratio for recurrent stroke and hypertension, with tHcy above or below the 75th percentile, was 3.4 (95% confidence interval 1.01–10.4, P = 0.037) and 4.02 (95% CI 1.2–13.9, P = 0.028), respectively.
Conclusions: A high plasma tHcy level is associated with history of hypertension and recurrent stroke among patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke. These results were independent of other risk factors such as atrial fibrillation, diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Hypertensive stroke patients with hyperhomocysteinemia should be identified as high risk patients as compared to non-hypertensive stroke patients, and may warrant more vigorous measures for secondary prevention.