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.
Tamy Shohat, MD, MPH, Orly Ramono-Zelekha and the Israel Network for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Background: Charts of fetal measurements are widely used in the follow-up of pregnant women, however no charts have been constructed for the Israeli population.
Objectives: To establish growth charts for fetal femur size and biparietal diameter.
Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study of 1,422 singleton pregnancies was conducted.
Results: A total of 1,143 pregnancies met the inclusion criteria. Femur length and biparietal diameter were measured. A linear cubic model was fitted to construct growth charts for the different centiles. The charts were compared with previously published data.
Conclusions: We have constructed new fetal measurement charts for femur length and biparietal diameter that are unique for the Israeli population. These charts have been found to be similar to those published for other Caucasian populations.
Itzhak Pappo, MD, Michal Lotem, MD, Martine Klein, MD and Ruben Orda, MD
Background: High dose interleukin-2 therapy, administered in bolus, is considered to be a reasonable treatment option in a selected group of patients with metastatic malignant melanoma.
Objectives: To present our experience using this mode of therapy in 21 patients with metastatic melanoma.
Materials and Methods: The 21 patients in our study group comprised 13 men and 8 women with a mean age of 46 years (range 29-63). Their metastatic disease was present in all extracranial sites, dermal and sub-dermal metastases being the most common (15 patients had at least one site, in addition to other locations of metastases). Patients with intracranial disease were excluded due to the poor effectivity of IL-2 at this site. Treatment comprised a course of 2 weeks of therapy with a 1 week rest interval between. Radiological and physical evaluation was performed 6-8 weeks after the first course. If a response was achieved a second course of therapy was given. Patients received up to 14 planned doses of IL-2 in each week, 720,000 lU/kg of IL-2 per dose iv. in 15 minutes. All treatments were given in the surgical ward, and only one patient was hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
Results: Of the 21 patients, one had a complete response that has lasted for 17 months and 5 patients had a partial response (range 3 months to 3 years). One patient died during treatment, and one patient who refused further treatment because of no response died a few days after completion of treatment. Prior to therapy three of the responders had received autologous vaccines with good immunological response (P=0.115). Toxic side effects were significant, but they were treated successfully with no residual damage.
Conclusions: High dose IL-2 can be administered safely in a surgical department. The response rates achieved in this series justify the use of high dose IL-2 in a selected group of patients. To improve response rates, a combination of autologous vaccines prior to high dose IL-2 may be recommended.
Talia Weinstein, MD, Ran Tur-Kaspa, MD, Avry Chagnac, MD, Asher Korzets, MD, Yacov Ori, MD, Dina Zevin, MD, Michal Herman, MD and Uzi Gafter, MD PhD
Background: Hepatitis C virus is the major cause of acute and chronic hepatitis in patients with end-stage renal disease receiving replacement therapy.
Objectives: To define the prevalence of HCV RNA in a population of patients on dialysis in Israel, to determine the relative risk of acquiring HCV infection while treated by hemodialysis or chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and to define the HCV genotypes in this population.
Methods: During 1995 we studied 162 dialysis patients. Information was obtained regarding the mode of dialysis, years of treatment, number of blood transfusions, and results of serological testing for HCV, hepatitis B virus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Anti-HCV antibodies were tested by a third-generation microparticle enzyme immunoassay. HCV RNA was determined by polymerase chain reaction. HCV genotyping was performed by a hybridization assay.
Results: HCV RNA was detected in 18% of the HD group and 7% of the CAPD group. The number of HCV RNA-positive patients was significantly higher in the HD than the CAPD group (P < 0.05). HCV RNA-positive HD patients were treated longer than the HCV RNA-negative patients (P < 0.02).
Conclusions: Third-generation immunoassay proved to be highly sensitive (94%) and specific (91%) in identifying HCV RNA positivity. Several HCV subtypes were detected, lb being the most frequent. Identification and isolation of infected HCV patients may minimize its spread in dialysis units and prevent cross-infection.
Imad R. Makhoul, MD DSc, Osnat Zmora, MD, Ada Tamir, DSc, Eli Shahar, MD and Polo Sujov, MD
Background: Congenital subependymal pseudocysts are incidental findings that are found in 05-5.2% of neonates during postmortem examination or head ultrasonography. In our institution we detected 10 neonates with CSEPC.
Objective: To investigate associated etiological factors, morphologic characteristics and outcome of CSEPC.
Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of the literature on CSEPC (1967-98), including our 10 cases.
Results: A total of 256 cases of CSEPC were analyzed. Ultrasound diagnosed 77.6% of CSEPC 48.8% were bilateral and 53.4% were located in the caudothalamic groove or head of caudate nucleus. Altogether, 93.5% resolved during 1-12 months of ultrasonographic follow-up. Compared to the general neonatal population, the following features were more prevalent in the CSEPC population: prematurity, maternal vaginal bleeding, preeclamptic toxemia, intrauterine growth restriction, asphyxia, fetal cytomegalovirus and rubella infections, congenital malformations, chromosomal aberrations, infant mortality, and neurodevelopmental handicap. The risk for neurodevelopmental handicap was significantly higher when CSEPC were associated with fetal infections, IUGR, malformations and chromosomal aberrations, or persistence of CSEPC during follow-up. CSEPC infants without any of these four conditions had a low risk for neurodevelopmental handicap.
Conclusions: CSEPC are morphologic features of various underlying conditions encountered in the fetus. Association of CSEPC with IUGR, fetal infections, malformations and chromosomal aberrations or persistence of CSEPC indicates a higher risk for future neurodevelopmental handicaps, probably because of the deleterious effects on the fetal brain that are inherent in these conditions. A favorable outcome is expected in the absence of these risk factors.
Itzchak Levi, MD, Baruch Modan, MD, Tzvia Blumstein, MA, Osnat Luxenburg, MD, Tamar Yehuda-Cohen, PhD, Barak Shasha, MD, Amir Lotan, MD, Arie Bundstein, MD, Asher Barzilai, MD and Ethan Rubinstein, MD
Objectives: To compare risk behavior between subjects attending anonymous and confidential clinics for human immunodeficiency virus testing, and to assess whether anonymous testing results in a higher accrual of persons at risk for HIV.
Methods: An anonymous questionnaire that addressed sociodemographic and risk behavior aspects was administered to 140 subjects attending an anonymous clinic and 124 attending a confidential clinic in the Tel Aviv area. A logistic regression analysis was used to compare the effects of various behavioral factors on the probability of attending each clinic.
Results: Chronological age, age at first sexual intercourse and the percent of married subjects were similar in both clinics. However, there was a significant difference in the sex ratio and in educational attainment (85.0% versus 55.6% were males, P< 0.001 and 58% vs. 34% had over 12 years of education, P<0.001, in the anonymous and confidential clinics respectively).
There was a striking difference between the two clinics with regard to sexual experience characteristics: of the subjects reaching the anonymous clinic 21.4% were homosexual and 10.0% bisexual versus a total of 2.6% in the confidential clinic. A logistic regression analysis, comparing the effects of various behavioral factors on the probability of attending each clinic showed that gender (male), high education, homosexuality, number of partners and sexual encounter with sex workers were the strongest predictors for selecting anonymous HIV examination.
Conclusions: Individuals at high risk for HIV, such as homosexuals and bisexuals, prefer to attend an anonymous clinic.
Michael Davidovitch, MD, Gabriela Holtzman, MD and Emanuel Tirosh, MD
Background: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder. The incidence rate and other related epidemiological characteristics of the Israeli population are not available.
Objectives: To assess the incidence rate of autism in the Haifa area and to compare family characteristics with previous reports from other countries.
Methods: We approached facilities in the Haifa area that are involved with the diagnosis and treatment of autism. The study group comprised children born between 1989 and 1993. Records of the children were scrutinized and 69% of the mothers were interviewed. Live-birth cohorts of the same years were employed for incidence computation.
Results: An incidence rate of 1/1000 was derived. Male to female ratio was 4.2:1. Pregnancy and perinatal periods were mostly uneventful. A low prevalence of developmental and emotional morbidity was reported for family members.
Conclusions: The epidemiological characteristics found in the Haifa area are similar to those reported from non-Israeli communities. This finding supports an underlying biological mechanism for this disorder. These data can be used for future trend analyses in Israel.
Eduardo Shahar, MD and Margalit Lorber, MD
Background: Asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis are leading causes of chronic diseases in developed countries, with at least one allergic condition troubling 10 to 20% of the general population. The few studies performed in Israel determined the prevalence of allergic conditions in selected populations (schoolchildren and soldiers) no study representative of the general population has previously been done.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of allergic conditions in the general population in Israel and the differences between ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Method: Using a computer-assisted telephone interview, a telephone questionnaire was conducted in a representative sample of the general Israeli population.
Results: Of the population studied, 140/a claimed to have bronchial asthma, 14% allergic rhinitis, and 6% other allergic conditions. Prevalence rates were higher in the Israeli Arab population and in those with low income and low education levels. Of those with allergic conditions, 58% were treated by a primary physician, 32% were not treated at all, and only 10% were treated by a different specialist physician.
Conclusions: The prevalence of allergic conditions in this study concurs with that found by other studies in developed countries. Allergic conditions are higher in the Israeli Arab population and in those with low income and low education level.
Maurit Beeri, MD, Ziv Haramati, MD, JJT. Azaria Rein, MD and Amiram Nir, MD
Background: Parental knowledge of their child’s heart disease, while often overlooked, contributes to compliance and reduces anxiety. Prior studies have shown that 36% of parental diagnostic descriptions are incorrect.
Objectives: To assess parental knowledge and attitudes among outpatients at a hospital pediatric cardiology clinic.
Methods: Seventy-four families completed a questionnaire in which they described their child’s condition and stated their attitude towards dental hygiene and future prenatal diagnosis.
Results: Eighteen percent of the parents failed to describe their child’s malformation correctly. We found that parental understanding of the heart defect correlated with parental education. Future prenatal diagnosis was considered by 88% of families, and termination of pregnancy by 40%. Only 40% of children were aware of their heart problem. Children of parents who were ignorant about the condition tended to lack knowledge themselves. An additional finding was that 68% of Jewish families turn to non-medical personnel for medical advice - an interesting finding not hitherto addressed.
Conclusions: Ignorance of their child’s problem did not correlate with its severity or complexity but rather with parental background: the less educated the parent, the more likely was the problem perceived incorrectly.