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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

July 2000

Original Articles
Amalia Levy PhD, Victor Diomin MD, Jacob Gopas PhD, Samuel Ariad MD, Martin Sacks MB ChB FRCPath and Daniel Benharroch MD

Background: A previous study on Hodgkin's lymphoma in southern Israel found that Bedouin patients had an increased rate of Epstein-Barr virus expression in their tumor cells.

Objectives: To determine the influence of the patients' communities on the pattern of disease in HL.

Methods: We compared the clinical features, demographic data, stage at diagnosis, treatment modality and outcome, as well as laboratory findings, in four community-based subgroups. These groups comprised kibbutz residents (n=11), Bedouin (n=19), new immigrants from the former USSR (n=22), and town-dwellers (n=82).

Results: The Bedouin patients differed significantly from the new immigrants and town-dwellers, particularly regarding the rate of EBV sequences in the tumor tissues, and a poorer response to treatment. The kibbutz patients did not differ significantly from the other populations regarding most of the parameters studied, but showed an intermediate expression of EBV antigens compared to Bedouin patients and the rest of the cohort.

Conclusions: This study indicates that HL may behave differently in different population groups in a given geographic area. Notably, the Bedouin patients showed markedly different clinical and biological patterns of this malignancy. 



HL= Hodgkin's lymphoma

EBV= Epstein-Barr virus

Matityahu Lifshitz MD and Vladimir Gavrilov MD

Background: Childhood poisoning continues to challenge the diagnostic and treatment skills of the pediatrician. Generally, childhood poisoning can be attributed to suboptimal parental supervision and accessibility of products with poisoning potential.

Objective: To evaluate the pattern of acute poisoning in children with relation to different age groupings.

Methods: Pediatric patients hospitalized for acute poisoning at the Soroka Medical Center over a 5 year period (1994-98) were evaluated retrospectively. Special attention was given to poisoning in relation to age groupings.

Results: During the years 1994-98 a total of 1,143 children were admitted for acute poisoning to the Soroka Medical Center. The majority of cases occurred in children aged 2-5 and 14-18 years. Males under 14 had a higher frequency of poisoning, the poisoning usually being unintentional, whereas poisoning in females occurred mostly in the 14-18 age group and was intentional. Drugs were the most common agent of poisoning in infants (0-1 year), in older children (10-13 years), and in adolescents (14-18 years), while in children aged 2-5 and 6-9 years either cleaning products or drugs were the usual agents of poisoning. Most poisonings in children aged 2-13 occurred between 4 and 8 p.m., and for most adolescent patients (14-18 years old) between 4 p.m. and midnight. Poisoning in children aged 2-13 were usually due to accessible home products, and to medicinal errors such as overdose and improper drug administration.

Conclusions: This study defines the characteristic pattern of pediatric poisoning with respect to different age groups and gender. Unintentional childhood poisoning predominated in males and occurred mostly because of accessible home products and suboptimal parental supervision during critical hours of the day. Most adolescent poisoning occurred in females and was intentional. Parental education and intensified child supervision are indicated measures of prevention for unintentional poisoning.

Noah Samuels MD

Background: With smoking on the rise among teenagers, the United States has recently implemented anti-smoking legislation, though with questionable success.

Objectives: To examine the attitudes in Israel to such legislation.

Methods: An interviewer-administered questionnaire was completed by 505 adults: 217 undergoing general employment checkups and 288 amateur athletes requiring medical testing for certification. Smoking habits and attitudes toward anti-smoking legislation were examined.

Results: The overall rate of smoking was 25.3%, with a male:female ratio of 1:24 (P=0.232). Most smokers (65.6%) started smoking before the age of 20, and only 47.7% tried to quit at least once. Both the smokers and the non-smokers who were interviewed were in favor of legislation that recognized cigarettes as an addictive substance, restricted the sale of cigarettes to people aged 18 and older, and banned cigarette advertisements.

Conclusions: Anti-smoking legislation is looked upon favorably by Israelis, though the true benefit of such measures is questionable. Priority must be given to primary prevention through education and empowering youth to choose not to smoke.

Yehuda L. Danon MD and Esther Saiag MD

Background: Over the last 5 years Israel has implemented a nationwide health insurance plan covering the entire population of the country. We have developed a clinical information system based on electronic-chip health care medical smart cards. Health care cards are used in several European countries and chip smart cards have been successful in many sectors. Our project involves the community use of the MSC, thereby enabling health care professionals to skillfully employ card systems in the health care sector. This system can easily arrange electronic medical charts in clinics, facilitating the confidential sharing of personal health databases among health professionals.

Objectives: To develop an MSC applicable for daily use in the community and hospital system.

Results and Conclusions: The MSC project, currently underway in Israel and the USA, will aid in determining the costs, benefits and feasibility of the MSC. Successful implementation of the MSC in chosen clinics will promote a nationwide willingness to adopt this promising technology.



MSC= medical smart card

Ron Ben-Abraham MD, Avi A. Weinbroum MD, Yoram Kluger MD, Michael Stein MD, Zohar Barzilay MD FCCM and Gideon Paret MD

Background: General pediatricians in Israel are actively involved in the initial evaluation, resuscitation and management of traumatized children. However, pediatric trauma care is not a part of pediatric specialty training in Israel, and the few Advanced Trauma Life SupportR courses per year are insufficient for most pediatricians working in accident and emergency care.

Objective: To examine the value of the course in relation to the limited resources available for such training.

Methods: A telephone survey of 115 pediatricians who had taken the course between 1990 and 1994 was conducted. The responding physicians (67%) were asked to complete a specially designed questionnaire on life-saving procedures that were taught in the course. In addition, they were asked to subjectively assess the practical utility of the course.

Results: Forty-three (56%) pediatricians reported that they routinely treated both adult and pediatric trauma cases. Of these, 81% performed 27 life-saving ATLSR procedures. Pediatric trauma was treated by only 22 (28%), of whom 72.3% performed 18 life-saving ATLSR procedures. These pediatricians ranked the courses as being "very high" to "high" in impact.

Conclusions: These figures indicate that an ATLSR course designed specifically for pediatricians can markedly improve pediatric trauma care. To ensure standard education and patient care, such a course should be developed and made a mandatory component of residency training. Further studies to examine the objective impact of the courses on pediatric trauma care should be carried out.



ATLS= Advanced Trauma Life Support

Richard Nakache MD, Avi Weinbroum MD, Hadar Merhav MD, Eli Kaplan MD, Yehuda Kariv MD, Wessam Khoury MD, Mordechai Gutman MD and Joseph M. lausner MD

Background: In simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation, with both organs coming from the same donor, the addition of a pancreas to the kidney transplant does not jeopardize the kidney allograft outcome despite higher postoperative SPK morbidity. Pancreas allograft outcome has recently improved due to better organ selection and more accurate surgical techniques.

Objective: To demonstrate the positive impact of SPK on kidney allograft outcome versus kidney transplantation alone in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients with end-stage renal failure.

Methods: We performed 39 consecutive SPKs in 14 female and 25 male IDDM patients with renal failure after an average waiting time of 9 months. Multi-organ donor age was 30 years (range 12-53). The kidneys were transplanted in the left retroperitoneal iliac fossa following completion of the pancreas transplantation; kidney cold ischemia time was 16±4 hours. Induction anti-rejection therapy was achieved with polyclonal antithymocytic globulin and methylprednisolone, and maintenance immunosuppression by triple drug therapy (prednisone, cyclosporine or tacrolimus, and azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil). Infection and rejection were closely monitored.

Results: All kidney allografts produced immediate urinary output following SPK. Two renal grafts had mild function impairment due to acute tubular damage but recovered after a short delay. Three patients died from myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular event and abdominal sepsis on days 1, 32 and 45 respectively (1 year patient survival 92%). An additional kidney allograft was lost due to a renal artery pseudo-aneurysm requiring nephrectomy on day 26. Nineteen patients (49%) had an early rejection of the kidney that was resistant to pulse-steroid therapy in 6. No kidney graft was lost due to rejection. Patients with acute kidney-pancreas rejection episodes suffered from severe infection, which was the main cause of morbidity with a 55% re-admission rate. Complications of the pancreas allograft included graft pancreatitis and sepsis, leading to a poor kidney outcome with sub-optimal kidney function at 1 year. Kidney graft survival at one year was 89% or 95% after censoring the data for patients who died with functioning grafts.

Conclusions: Eligible IDDM patients with advanced diabetic nephropathy should choose SPK over kidney transplantation alone from either a cadaver or a living source.



SPK= simutaneous pancreas-kidney transplatation

IDDM= insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Roni Peleg MD, Meron Froimovici MD, Aya Peleg PhD, Vered Milrad BA, Georgette Ohana BA, Shimon Fitoussi, Eli Dryfuss MA, Michael Sharf MD MPH and Pesach Shvartzman MD

Background: Israeli physicians are very familiar with the problem of interruptions during encounters with patients. However, a thorough search of the medical literature revealed only one report of this problem from Israel, and none from other countries.

Objectives: To characterize the phenomenon of interruptions to the patient-physician encounter in a clinic in Dimona and to assess the effect of an intervention program designed to reduce the magnitude of this problem.

Methods: During an 8 day work period in March 1997 all patient-physician encounters were recorded and characterized. An intervention program was then designed and implemented to reduce the number of interruptions. Data were again collected a year after the initial data collection.

Results: During the 8 day study period prior to the intervention program there were 528 interruptions to 379 encounters (mean of 1.39 per encounter). The main causes of interruptions were entrance of uninvited patients to the examination room (31%) and telephone calls (27%). Most of the interruptions occurred during the morning hours between 8 and 10 a.m. (45%) and at the beginning of the week (Sunday 30%). After the intervention program there were 402 interruptions to 355 encounters (mean of 1.13 per appointment, P=0.21).

Conclusions: There was no statistically significant improvement in the number of interruptions following the intervention program. This finding is either the result of a local cultural phenomenon, or it indicates a national primary care health system problem that may require a long-term educational program to resolve it. Further research is needed on the magnitude, causes and consequences of interruptions in family practice and, if warranted, methods will have to devised to cope with this serious problem.

Miguel Iuchtman MD, Ricardo Alfici MD, Ehud Sternberg MD, Leonid Trost MD and Menachem Litmanovitch MD

Background: Trauma is the leading cause of death in children. In abdominal lesions the spleen is the most commonly involved organ. During the last two decades much effort has focused on spleen tissue conservation.

Objectives: To analyze the rationale of a multimodality management policy that includes autotransfusion and mesh wrapping.

Methods: Data gathered over 14 years illustrate the introduction of new techniques and their impact on cases of severe spleen rupture.

Results: A total of 122 children were treated during the 14 year period, 1985-98. In 16 children an absorbable mesh wrapping, alone or in combination with other techniques, was used to obtain hemostatis and save spleen tissue.

Conclusions: Mesh wrapping, partial splenectomy and autotransfusion can be used, alone or in combination, to preserve severely injured spleens. According to our records, all children survived with a functional spleen. There were no cases of rebleeding. In only one case of prolonged postoperative fever could the cause be traced to an infected spleen hematoma that was drained transcutaneously. Autotransfusion is performed simply and without the use of a "cell saver." Its use can be crucial in small or field hospitals or in a situation of mass casualty.

Shlomo Shimonovitz MD, Anda Botosneano MD and Drorith Hochner-Celnikier MD

Background: Uterine rupture is a catastrophic obstetric complication, most often associated with a preexisting cesarean section scar. Although a vaginal birth after a cesarean is considered safe in modern obstetrics, it is not known whether repeated VBACs increase the risk of rupture, or whether the first VBAC proves the strength and durability of the scar, predicting further successful and less risky vaginal deliveries.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of repeated vaginal deliveries on the risk of uterine rupture in women who have previously delivered by cesarean section.

Methods: In this retrospective study, 26 VBAC deliveries complicated by uterine rupture were matched for age, parity, and gravidity with 66 controls who achieved VBAC without rupture. The histories, demography, pregnancy, labor and delivery records, as well as neonatal outcome were compared.

Results: We found that the risk of rupture decreases dramatically in subsequent VBACs. Of the 40 cases of uterine rupture recorded during the 18 year study period, 26 occurred during VBAC deliveries. Of these, 21 were complicated first VBACs. We also found that the use of prostaglandin-estradiol, instrumental deliveries, and oxytocin had been used significantly more often during deliveries complicated with rupture than in VBAC controls.

Conclusions: Once a woman has achieved VBAC the risk of rupture falls dramatically. The use of oxytocin, PGE2 and instrumental deliveries are additional risk factors for rupture, therefore caution should be exerted regarding their application in the presence of a uterine scar, particularly in the first vaginal birth after cesarean.



VBAC= vaginal birth after cesarean section

PGE2= prostaglandin-estradiol

Aziz Mazarib MD, Ely S. Simon MD, Amos D. Korczyn MD MSc, Zipora Falik-Zaccai MD,Ephraim Gazit MD and Nir Giladi MD

Objective: To report a unique hereditary, juvenile onset, craniocervical predominant, generalized dystonia and parkinsonism affecting four members of one family.

Family Description: A father and three of his four daughters presented to us over the past 30 years with a similar picture of generalized dystonia, starting in the craniocervical region in the second or third decade of life. They later developed moderate parkinsonism, mainly manifesting bradykinesia, rigidity and abnormal postural reflexes. Biochemical and genetic tests excluded Wilson's disease, Huntington's disease and Oppenheim's dystonia.

Conclusion: This is a new type of familial dystonia-parkinsonism where the craniocervical dystonic symptoms are most prominent in the early stages while parkinsonism becomes the predominant problem later in life. A search for the genetic mutation in this family is underway.

Yichayaou Beloosesky, MD, Avraham Weiss, MD, Avital Hershkovitz, MD and Joseph Grinblat, MD
Anne Bordron, BSc, Ronan Revelen, BSc and Pierre Youinou, MD, DSc
Case Communications
Jonathan Cohen, FCP (S.A) Maury Shapiro, MD, Elad Grozovski, MD, Menashe Haddad, MD, Nissim Hananel, MD and Pierre Singer, MD,
Boaz Sagie, MD, Hanoch Kashtan, MD and Yoram Kluger, MD
Biomed Bytes
Raul Colodner, MSc and Yoram Keness, PhD

Background: Many beside urine culture devices have been developed with the aim of reliability, simplicity and use in both the physician’s office and the clinical laboratory. 

Objective: To compare a novel beside urine culture device (DipStreak, Novamed Ltd. Israel) comprising a combination of MacConkey and Colombia CAN blood agar with conventional seeding on the same culture media. 

Methods: A total of 1000 urine specimens sent to our microbiology laboratory were simultaneously processed by both methods. Results were evaluated after 24 and 48 hours incubation at 370C. 

Results: Altogether, 171 (17.1%) and 124 (12.4%) specimens were defined as positive by the conventional method using cutoff values of 104 colony-forming units/ml and 105 CFU/ml respectively; 178 specimens (17.8%) were defined as contaminated. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of DipStreak for urinary tract infection were 98.8%, 98.6%, 96% and 99.6% respectively, using a cutoff value of 104 CFU/ml, and 99.3%, 99.2%, 96% and 99.8 respectively, using cutoff value of 105 CFU/ml. Full agreement between both techniques was 95%. 

Conclusion: The agreement rate between DipStreak and conventional seeding was remarkably high. These results suggest that DipStreak in the agar combination tested in this study is a useful and precise tool for diagnosing urinary tract infection.

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