S. Menascu, U. Kremer, Y. Schiller, I. Blatt, N. Watemberg, M. Boxer, H. Goldberg, I. Korn-Lubetzki, M. Steinberg, and B. Ben-Zeev
Background: The management of intractable epilepsy in children and adults is challenging. For patients who do not respond to antiepileptic drugs and are not suitable candidates for epilepsy surgery, vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is a viable alternative for reducing seizure frequency.
Methods: In this retrospective multicenter open-label study we examined the efficacy and tolerability of VNS in patients in five adult and pediatric epilepsy centers in Israel. All patients had drug-resistant epilepsy and after VNS implantation in 2006–2007 were followed for a minimum of 18 months. Patients were divided into two age groups: < 21 and > 21 years old.
Results: Fifty-six adults and children had a stimulator implanted in 2006–2007. At 18 months post-VNS implantation, none of the patients was seizure-free, 24.3% reported a reduction in seizures of ≥ 75%, 19% reported a 50–75% reduction, and 10.8% a 25–50% reduction. The best response rate occurred in patients with complex partial seizures. Among these patients, 7 reported a ≥ 75% reduction, 5 patients a 50–75% reduction, 3 patients a 25–50% reduction, and 8 patients a < 25% reduction. A comparison of the two age groups showed a higher reduction in seizure rate in the older group (< 21 years old) than the younger group.
Conclusions: VNS is a relatively effective and safe palliative method for treating refractory epilepsy in both adults and children. It is an alternative treatment for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, even after a relatively longed disease duration, who are not candidates for localized epilepsy surgery.
I. Strauss, T. Jonas-Kimchi, Z. Lidar MD, D. Buchbut, N. Shtraus, B. W. Corn and A. A. Kanner
Background: Radiation treatment of spinal and paraspinal tumors has been limited by the tolerance of the spinal cord. As such, therapeutic options are restricted to surgically accessible lesions or the use of suboptimal dosing of external beam irradiation.
Objectives: To evaluate the safety and applicability of the Elekta Synergy-S radiation unit for the treatment of spinal tumors.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery to spinal tumors between November 2007 and June 2011.
Results: Thirty-four patients were treated for 41 lesions. Treatment indications were local tumor control and pain palliation. The mean follow-up was 10.8 ± 11.6 months (range 0.5–38 months). No acute radiation toxicity or new neurological deficits occurred during the follow-up period. Local tumor control was achieved in 21 of the 24 lesions (87.5%) available for radiological follow-up at a median of 9.8 months (range 3–32 months). Good analgesia was achieved in 24/30 lesions (80%) that presented with intractable pain.
Conclusions: The safety and feasibility of delivering single and multiple-fraction stereotactic spinal irradiation was demonstrated and became a standard treatment option in our institution.
I. Strauss, T. Jonas-Kimchi, Z. Lidar MD, D. Buchbut, N. Shtraus, B. W. Corn and A. A. Kanner, T. Wolak, E. Aliev, B. Rogachev, Y. Baumfeld, C. Cafri,, M. Abu-Shakra and Victor Novack.
Background: Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is one of the major causes of new-onset renal failure in hospitalized patients. Although renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blocking agents are widely used among patients requiring contrast studies, data on the effect of these agents on the development of CIN are sparse and inconsistent.
Objectives: To evaluate in a randomized control trial whether uninterrupted administration of angiotensin II (AngII) blockade medications influence estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in patients undergoing non-emergent coronary angiography.
Methods: Patients receiving treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ACE-I/ARB) were recruited consecutively. The enrolled subjects were randomized into three groups at a 1:1:1 ratio: group A (ACE/ARB stopped 24 hours prior to the procedure and restarted immediately after the procedure), group B (ACE/ARB stopped 24 hours prior to the procedure and restarted 24 hours after the procedure), and group C (ACE/ARB continued throughout the study period). Plasma creatinine was measured and eGFR was calculated according to the Cockroft-Gault equation before and 48 hours after the coronary angiography. The primary endpoint was a change in eGFR at 48 hours.
Results: Groups A, B and C comprised 30, 31 and 33 patients respectively. The mean age of the study population was 65 ± 12 years and 67% were males. Fifty percent of the subjects had diabetes mellitus. The primary endpoint analysis showed that at 48 hours after the procedure there was no difference in ΔeGFR between groups A and C (4.25 ± 12.19 vs. 4.65 ± 11.76, P = 0.90) and groups B and C (3.72 ± 17.42 vs. 4.65 ± 11.76, P = 0.82). In post-hoc analysis the patients were clustered according to the following groups: medical alternation (group A and B) versus control (group C) and to baseline eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min vs. eGFR < 60 ml/min. In patients with baseline eGFR < 60 ml/min the ΔeGFR (baseline eGFR-eGFR 48 hours post-angiography) was significantly different between the intervention vs. control group (median 5.61 vs. median -2.19, P = 0.03 respectively). While in patients with baseline eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min there was no significant difference in ΔeGFR between the intervention and control groups.
Conclusions: ACE-I and ARB can safely be used before and after coronary angiography in patients with eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min.
D. J. Jakobson and I. Shemesh
Background: Goal-oriented ultrasound examination is gaining a place in the intensive care unit. Some protocols have been proposed but the applicability of ultrasound as part of a routine has not been studied.
Objectives: To assess the influence of ultrasound performed by intensive care physicians.
Methods: This retrospective descriptive clinical study was performed in a medical-surgical intensive care unit of a university-affiliated general hospital. Data were collected from patients undergoing ultrasound examinations performed by a critical care physician from January 2010 to June 2011.
Results: A total of 299 ultrasound exams were performed in 113 mechanically ventilated patients (70 males, mean age 65 years). Exams included trans-cranial Doppler (n=24), neck evaluation before tracheostomy (n=15), chest exam (n=83), focused cardiac echocardiography (n=60), abdominal exam (n=41), and comprehensive screening at patient admission (n=30). Ultrasound was used to guide invasive procedures for vascular catheter insertion (n=42), pleural fluid drainage (n=24), and peritoneal fluid drainage (n=7). One pneumothorax was seen during central venous line insertion but no complications were observed after pleural or abdominal drainage. The ultrasound study provided good quality visualization in 86% (258 of 299 exams) and was a diagnostic tool that induced a change in treatment in 58% (132 of 226 exams).
Conclusions: Bedside ultrasound examinations performed by critical care physicians provide an important adjunct to diagnostic and therapeutic performance, improving quality of care and patient safety.
O. Havakuk, M. Entin-Meer, J. Ben-Shoshan, P. Goryainov, S. Maysel-Auslender, E.l Joffe and G. Keren
Background: Vitamin D has been shown to induce beneficial effects on cardiovascular and renal morbidity by regulating inflammation and tissue fibrosis.
Objectives: To evaluate the effect of vitamin D analogues on cardiac function and fibrosis in an animal model of cardiorenal syndrome.
Methods: Unilateral nephrectomy was performed and myocardial infarction induced in rats. Rats were treated with vitamin D receptor activator (VDRA, paricalcitol, 40 ng/250 g x 3/week) versus a vehicle. A third group of animals, which served as the control, underwent sham surgery and received no treatment. After 4 weeks of treatment, cardiac function and fibrosis were assessed by trans-thoracic echo and histology, respectively. As a parameter of systemic inflammation, previously shown to be altered in acute coronary syndrome, T regulatory (Treg) cell levels were measured by flow cytometry. Renal dysfunction was documented by standard laboratory tests.
Results: After 4 weeks of treatment, no significant improvement in cardiac function parameters was noted following VDRA administration. VDRA treatment did not significantly alter Treg cell systemic levels. Consistently, despite a trend toward less extent of myocardial fibrosis, we found no clear beneficial effects of VDRA on myocardial tissue inflammation and remodeling.
Conclusions: Vitamin D treatment showed no beneficial effects on cardiac function parameters and fibrosis in an animal model of cardiorenal syndrome.
N. Sarid, R. Eshel, E. Rahamim, M. Carmiel, I. Kirgner, M. Shpringer, S. Trestman, R. Marilus, C. Perry, A. Polliack, E. Naparstek and Y. Herishanu
Background: Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) is mutated in a high proportion of patients with polycythemia vera and in a smaller number with essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis. Mutated JAK2 is an important diagnostic marker for myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) and may also play a major role in the pathogenesis of MPN.
Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of mutated JAK2 (JAK2-V617F) among patients with major intraabdominal vein thrombosis who had normal blood counts at diagnosis of the initial event.
Methods: The medical records of patients who presented with a major intraabdominal venous thrombosis and normal peripheral blood counts were obtained. JAK2-V617F mutation status was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Twenty-two patients were available for this analysis and 9 (41%) were found to have JAK2-V617F. Patients with positive JAK2-V617F were younger and had more frequent clinical splenomegaly than those with wild-type JAK2.
Conclusions: A high proportion of patients presenting with “idiopathic” major intraabdominal vein thrombosis and normal blood counts carry JAK2-V617F. We recommend searching for the mutation in this clinical setting to detect patients with occult MPN.
M. Dotan, L. Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, Z. Samra, G. Livni, H. Yarden-Bilavsky, J.b Amir and E. Bilavsky
Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease and hospitalization in infants and young children. Infants of multiple births, which are often premature, might be more susceptible to developing a more severe RSV infection than singletons.
Objective: To assess the impact of multiple births on the severity of RSV infection and define risk factors for acquiring RSV infection in infants of multiple birth.
Methods: Clinical data on infants hospitalized with RSV infection between 2008 and 2010 were retrospectively collected.
Results: Twins comprised 7.6% (66/875) of hospitalized infants with RSV bronchiolitis during the study period. Infants in the twin group were younger (122.4 ± 131.7 vs. 204.5 ± 278.8 days, P = 0.014), had a lower mean gestational age (35.3 ± 2.6 vs. 38.6 ± 2.5 weeks, P < 0.001), and were more likely to have been born prematurely compared with singleton infants (65.6% vs. 13%, P < 0.001). On a multivariable logistic regression analysis, young age, early gestational age and male gender were the only variables identified as risk factors for pediatric intensive care unit admission (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). In contrast, the mere fact of a child being a twin was not found to be a significant risk factor for disease severity. In addition, if one twin is hospitalized due to RSV infection, the other has a 34% chance of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis. Young age was a significant risk factor for hospitalization of the second twin (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that twins hospitalized with RSV bronchiolitis do not have an increased risk for severe infection as compared to singletons. However, a twin of an infant hospitalized with RSV infection has a considerable risk of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis, thus close monitoring is recommended.