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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

May 2002

Original Articles
Yafim Brodov, PhD, MD, Lori Mandelzweig, MPH, Valentina Boyko, MSc and Solomon Behar, MD

Background: Clinical studies showing an association between immigration and increased prevalence of coronary risk factors or mortality rate in patients immigration is associated with greater risk among immigrants from the Soviet with coronary artery disease are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the risk profile and mortality of coronary patients born in Israel with those who immigrated to Israel, and to determine whether recent Union.

Methods: Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected on chronic coronary artery disease patients from 18 Israeli medical centers during the screening period of the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention Study in the early 1990s. Data on mortality after a mean 7.7 year follow-up were obtained from the Israel Population Registry.

Results: While significant differences in mortality (14.7% vs. 18.5%, P < 0.001) were observed between Israeli-born patients and immigrants respectively, the mortality in these groups was similar when compared within specific age groups. Immigrants suffered more from hypertension and angina pectoris, and their New York Heart Association functional limitation class was higher, as compared to their Israeli-born counterparts. A multivariate analysis of mortality comparing patients from the Soviet Union who immigrated after 1970 with those who immigrated before 1970 showed an increased risk for newer immigrants, with a hazard ratio of 1.69 (95% confidence interval 1.19-2.40) for those immigrating between 1970 and 1984, and 1.68 (95% CI[1] 1.01-2.28) for those immigrating between 1985 and 1991.

Conclusion: The worse profile and prognosis observed among patients who recently emigrated from the Soviet Union cannot be explained by traditional risk factors for CAD[2] such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and lipid disorders. Further investigation, including variables such as psychological stress to which immigrants are more exposed than others, is needed.


[1] CI = confidence interval

[2] CAD = coronary heart disease

Marius Berman, MD, Israel L. Nudelman, MD, Zeev Fuko, MD, Osnat Madhala, MD, Margalit Neuman-Levin, MD and Shlomo Lelcuk, MD

Background: The mortality rate for cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis in the elderly is 10% in low risk patients and increases threefold in high risk patients. Ultrasound-guided percutaneous transhepatic cholecystostomy may serve as a rapid and relatively safe tool to relieve symptoms of sepsis and decrease gallbladder distension.

Objective: To determine the safety and effectiveness of PTC[1] in the treatment of acute cholecystitis in elderly debilitated high risk patients.

Methods: The study sample included 10 patients aged 63–88 (mean 77.6 years) with clinical and sonographic signs of acute cholecystitis for more than 48 hours (fever, white blood cells > 12,000/mm³, positive Murphy sign and distended gallbladder) who underwent ultrasound guided PTC. All had severe underlying disease (coronary heart disease, renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and others) that places them at high risk for surgical intervention.

Results: Eight patients showed rapid regression of the clinical symptoms following PTC drainage. One patient, with bacterial endocarditis, was febrile for 5 days after catheter insertion, but with rapid resolution of the biliary colic and sepsis. One patient died from perforation of the gallbladder and small bowel. PTC catheters were withdrawn 3–25 days after the procedure, and the patients remained free of biliary symptoms. Two patients underwent successful elective cholecystectomy 3 weeks later.

Conclusion: PTC may be a safe and effective treatment for high risk elderly patients with acute cholecystitis. It can be followed by elective cholecystectomy if the underlying condition improves, as soon as the patient stabilizes and no sepsis is present, or by conservative management in high surgical-risk patients.

[1] PTC = percutaneous transhepatic cholecystostomy

Daphna Weinstein, MD, Mehrdad Herbert, MD, Noa Bendet, MD, Judith Sandbank, MD and Ariel Halevy, MD

Background: Carcinoma of the gallbladder is diagnosed in 0.3–1.5% of all cholecystectomy specimens.

Objectives: To establish the overall rate of gallbladder carcinoma and unexpected gallbladder carcinoma based on our experience.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all consecutive cholecystectomies performed in our ward during a 6 year period in order to determine the incidence of gallbladder carcinoma and to identify common characteristics of this particular group of patients.

Results: Of the 1,697 cholecystectomies performed in our ward during the 6 years, gallbladder carcinoma was diagnosed in six patients (0.35%), but was not suspected prior to surgery in any of them. In accordance with the literature, the occurrence in women (5/6) was higher than in men (1/6). The mean age was 70 years (range 55–90). The most common symptom was abdominal pain; the majority (5/6) had cholelithiasis, and the pathologic report confirmed the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma in all six patients.

Conclusions: The overall incidence of unsuspected gallbladder carcinoma in our series was 0.35%. We could not find any common characteristics for this particular group of patients when compared to patients with non-malignant pathology.

Adi Friedman, MD, Yizhar Floman, MD, Shabtai Sabatto, MD, Ori Safran, MD and Rami Mosheiff, MD

Background: As air travel increases and the number of commercial and non-commercial flights rises so does the number of aircraft accidents. The improved safety standards of the aviation industry result in a growing number of survivors of aircraft crashes, but there are no management guidelines for the treatment of aircraft crash survivors.

Objectives: To present our experience in treating five survivors of a light aircraft crash that occurred in August 1995 near Jerusalem.

Results: All five survivors sustained vertebral column injuries, which was the only injury in most of the survivors. We discuss the mechanism of injury.

Conclusions: Investigation of injuries’ pattern in survivors of aircraft crash is important for establishing management protocols in trauma centers.

Michael Eckstein, MSc, Iris Vered, MD, Sophia Ish-Shalom, MD, Anat Ben Shlomo, MD, Avraham Shtriker, MD, Nira Koren-Morag, PhD and Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD

Background: Genetic factors have been shown to play a major role in the development of peak bone mass, with hereditability accounting for about 50-85% of the variance in bone mass. Numerous candidate genes were proposed to be involved in osteoporosis, but the precise genes and their relative contribution remain unknown.

Objectives: To gain insight into the genetic basis of idiopathic low bone mineral density in Israeli patients by analyzing the impact of two candidate genes: polymorphism of the vitamin D receptor gene and polymorphism A986s in the calcium-sensing receptor gene.

Methods: We analyzed 86 Jewish Israeli patients with LBMD[1]: 38 premenopausal women and 48 men, and compared the allelic pattern distribution with that of the general population (126 men and 112 women). Genotyping of the VDR[2] gene was performed in three polymorphic sites using restriction enzymes, and allelic analysis of A986s polymorphism in the CaSR[3] gene was performed using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis technique.  

Reaults: In LBMD women the distributions of VDR alleres in Apal polymorphism were AA=7/28, Aa=16/28 and aa=5/28; in TaqI polymorphism TT=10/31, Tt=16/31 and tt=5/31; and in BsmI polymorphism BB=7/32, Bb=14/32 and 11/32. In LBMD men the distributions were AA=17/39, Aa=21/39 and aa=1/39; in TaqI polymorphism TT=12/42, Tt=23/42 and tt=7/42; and in BsmI polymorphism BB=12/41 Bb=18/41 and bb=11/41. The distributions of all these polymorphisms in the control groups were not significantly different. Adjusting for the independent age and gender parameters confirmed that these three polymorphisms of the VDR gene did not have a significant effect on bone mineral density. Thirty percent (24/79) of LBMD patients of either sex displayed heterozygosity of the CaSR A986s polymorphism, compared with 40 of 203 controls (19.7%) (P=0.059). Adjusting for age and gender in these patients revealed a significant difference in the femoral neck BMD[4] between homozygotes and heterozygotes (P=0.002). The age at menarche of the LBMD women was found to predict 61% of the variance of femoral neck BMD.

Conclusions: In Israeli Jewish men and premenopausal women VDR gene alleles do not seem to be associated with lower lumbar spine or femoral neck BMD. A trend towards heterozygosity for a CaSR polymorphism missense mutation was noted in the LBMD patients. Age at menarche in the LBMD women was found to be an important predictor of BMD. A significant difference was found between LBMD women and healthy control women towards heterozygosity for a CaSR polymorphism, as well between homozygotes and heterozygotes for a CaSR polymorphism in BMD. The significance of these findings and their applicability to a larger population awaits further studies.


[1] LBMD = low bone mineral density

[2] VDR = vitamin D receptor

[3] CaSR = calcium-sensing receptor

[4] BMD = bone mineral density

Alik Kornecki, MD, Riva Tauman, MD, Ronit Lubetzky, MD and Yakov Sivan, MD

Background: The role of continuous renal replacement therapy in patients with acute renal failure is well recognized. CRRT[1] has also become an important modality of treatment in various acute situations without renal failure.

Objectives: To describe our experience with CRRT in acutely ill infants and children without renal failure.

Methods: We analyzed all infants and children who underwent CRRT during the years 1998-2000 in the pediatric intensive care unit and we focus our report on those who were treated for non-renal indications.

Results: Fourteen children underwent 16 sessions of CRRT. The indications for CRRT were non-renal in 7 patients (age range 8 days to 16 years, median = 6.5). Three children were comatose from maple syrup urine disease, three were in intractable circulatory failure secondary to septic shock or systemic inflammatory response, and one had sepsis with persistent lactic acidosis and hypernatremia. Three children underwent continuous hemodiafiltration and four had continuous hemofiltration. The mean length of the procedure was 35 ± 24 hours. All patients responded to treatment within a short period (2–4 hours). No significant complications were observed. Two patients experienced mild hypothermia (34°C), one had transient hypotension and one had an occlusion of the cannula requiring replacement.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that CRRT is a safe and simple procedure with a potential major therapeutic value for treating acute non-renal diseases in the intensive care setting.

[1] CRRT = continuous renal replacement therapy

Israel Dudkiewicz, MD, Rami Levi, MD, Alexander Blankstein, MD, Aharon Chechick, MD and Moshe Salai, MD

Background: Open reduction and internal fixation are the current trends of treatment for comminuted calcaneal fractures. Assessing treatment results is often difficult due to discrepancy between objective parameters such as range of movement, and subjective results such as pain.

Objectives: To test the reliability of footprint analysis as an adjuvant method of postoperative assessment of patients who sustained calcaneal fractures.

Methods: Dynamic and static footprint analysis was used as an adjuvant method to objectively assess operative results. This method is simple and is independent of the patient’s initiatives. This modality was used in 22 patients followed-up 9–90 months postoperatively.

Results: We found a good correlation between footprint analysis and objective and subjective parameters of results expressed by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society hind foot score. In certain cases, this method can be used to distinguish between uncorrelated parameter results, such as malingering, and workmens’ compensation claims.

Conclusion: We recommend the use of this simple, non-invasive objective test as an additional method to assess the results of ankle and foot surgery treatment.

Kobi Peleg, PhD, Haim Reuveni, MD and Michael Stein, MD
Eyal Grunebaum, MD and Chaim M. Roifman, MD

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is thought to occur as a primary (familial) form or secondary to infection or malignancy. Recently, several defects in genes important for immune functions were identified in patients with HLH[1]. These include mutations in perforin, the gamma common chain, the receptor for interleukin-2, Slap and purine nucleoside phosphorylase. Since abnormal function of these genes is associated with a wide clinical spectrum, HLH is probably another manifestation of immune deficiency and a thorough immune evaluation should be done in all such patients.

[1] HLH = hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

Immunology Series
Case Communications
Ori Efrati, MD, Asher Barak, MD, Jacob Yahav, MD, Lea Leibowitz, MD, Nathan Keller, MD and Yoram Bujanover, MD
David Hazzan, MD, Gil Peer, MD and Eitan Shiloni, MD
Aneta Lazarov, MD, Keren Moss, MD, Natalie Plosk, MD, Mario Cordoba, MD and Liliana Baitelman, Pharm
Gahl Greenberg, MD, Myra Shapiro-Feinberg, MD and Rivka Zissin, MD
Clinical Views
Tatiana Fadeeva, MD, Yair Levy, MD, Gisele Zandman-Goddard, MD, Segal Tal, MD and Marina Perelman, MD
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