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עמוד בית
Sun, 21.04.24

January 2014

Original Articles
Daniel Silverberg, Violeta Glauber, Uri Rimon, Yakubovitch Dmitry, Emanuel- Ronny Reinitz, Basheer Sheick-Yousif, Boris Khaitovich, Jacob Schneiderman and Moshe Halak
Background: Surgery for complex aortic aneurysms (thoracoabdominal, juxtarenal and pseudoaneurysms) is associated with a high morbidity and mortality rate. Branched and fenestrated stent grafts constitute a new technology intended as an alternative treatment for this disease.

Objectives: To describe a single-center experience with fenestrated and branched endografts for the treatment of complex aortic aneurysms.

Methods: We reviewed all cases of complex aortic aneurysms treated with branched or fenestrated devices in our center. Data collected included device specifics, perioperative morbidity and mortality, re-intervention rates and mid-term results.

Results: Between 2007 and 2012 nine patients were treated with branched and fenestrated stent grafts. Mean age was 73 years. Mean aneurysm size was 63 mm. Perioperative mortality was 22% (2/9). During the follow-up, re-interventions were required in 3 patients (33%). Of 34 visceral artery branches 33 remained patent, resulting in a patency rate of 97%. Sac expansion was seen in a single patient due to a large endoleak. No late aneurysm- related deaths occurred.

Conclusions: Branched and fenestrated stent grafts are feasible and relatively safe alternatives for the treatment of complex aortic aneurysms involving the visceral segment. Further research is needed to determine the long-term durability of this new technology. 

Limor Aharonson-Daniel, Dagan Schwartz, Tzipi Hornik-Lurie and Pinchas Halpern
Background: Emergency department (ED) attenders reflect the health of the population served by the hospital and the availability of health care services in the community.

Objectives: To examine the quality and accuracy of diagnoses recorded in the ED in order to appraise its potential utility as a guage of the population's medical needs.

Methods: Using the Delphi process, a preliminary list of health indicators generated by an expert focus group was transformed into a query to the Ministry of Health's database. In parallel, medical charts were reviewed in four hospitals to compare the handwritten diagnosis in the medical record with that recorded on the standard diagnosis "pick list" coding sheet. Quantity and quality of coding were assessed using explicit criteria.

Results: During 2010 a total of 17,761 charts were reviewed; diagnoses were not coded in 42%. The accuracy of existing coding was excellent (mismatch 1%–5%). Database query (2,670,300 visits to 28 hospitals in 2009) demonstrated potential benefits of these data as indicators of regional health needs.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that an increase in the provision of community care may reduce ED attendance. Information on ED visits can be used to support health care planning. A "pick list" form with common diagnoses can facilitate quality recording of diagnoses in a busy ED, profiling the population’s health needs in order to optimize care. Better compliance with the directive to code diagnosis is desired.

Joao L. P. Vaz, Mirhelen M. Abreu and Roger A. Levy
 Background: The presence of anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibody (ACPA) has a high specificity and predictive value for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some studies have shown decreased titers of this antibody after treatment with infliximab.

Objectives: To assess the changes in ACPA titers in patients with RA after treatment with infliximab as a first biological agent, and to correlate these variations with non-infusion-related adverse effects.

Methods: In a prospective multicenter observational study involving 48 research centers, we assessed 139 patients with established moderate-to-severe RA diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria. Samples were collected before and 6–12 months after treatment.

Results: The mean age of the study patients was 50.6 years old, and 118 were female (84.9%). Statistically significant variations in ACPA titers were noted in 47 patients (before and after treatment) (P = 0.012). Overall, ACPA titers were decreased in 32 (65.3%) and increased in 15 (34.7%). No correlation was found between severe or mild adverse effects in patients presenting variations in ACPA titers.

Conclusions: The present study showed that infliximab affected ACPA titers, promoting mainly a decrease; however, this was not related to the occurrence of non-infusion-related adverse effects.

Mona Boaz, Alexander Bermant, Tiberiu Ezri, Dror Lakstein, Yitzhak Berlovich, Iris Laniado RN and Zeev Feldbrin
Background: Surgical adverse events are errors that emerge during perioperative patient care. The World Health Organization recently published “Guidelines for Safe Surgery.”

Objectives: To estimate the effect of implementation of a safety checklist in an orthopedic surgical department.

Methods: We conducted a single-center cross-sectional study to compare the incidence of complications prior to and following implementation of the Guidelines for Safe Surgery checklist. The medical records of all consecutive adult patients admitted to the orthopedics department at Wolfson Medical Center during the period 1 July 2008 to 1 January 2009 (control group) and from 1 January 2009 to 1 July 2009 (study group) were reviewed. The occurrences of all complications were compared between the two groups.

Results: The records of 760 patients (380 in each group) hospitalized during this 12 month period were analyzed. Postoperative fever occurred in 5.3% vs. 10.6% of patients with and without the checklist respectively (P = 0.008). Significantly more patients received only postoperative prophylactic antibiotics rather than both pre-and postoperative antibiotic treatment prior to implementation of the checklist (3.2% vs. 0%, P = 0.004). In addition, a statistically non-significant 34% decrease in the rate of surgical wound infection was also detected in the checklist group. In a logistic regression model of postoperative fever, the checklist emerged as a significant independent predictor of this outcome: odds ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval 0.29–0.96, P = 0.037.

Conclusion: A significant reduction in postoperative fever after the implementation of the surgical safety checklist was found. It is possible that the improved usage of preoperative prophylactic antibiotics may explain the reduction in postoperative fever.

Johad F. Khoury, Myriam Weyl Ben-Arush, Michael Weintraub, Elisha Waldman, Boris Futerman, Eugene Vlodavsky and Sergey Postovsky
 Background: In osteosarcoma the histological response, measured by the percentage of tumor necrosis, constitutes one of the most significant predictive factors, with better survival in patients whose tumor necrosis is ≥ 90%.

Objectives: To determine if the decrease rate of serum alkaline phosphatase (SAP) levels during the first month of neoadjuvant chemotherapy could serve as a predictive indicator of tumor necrosis and clinical outcome.

Methods: We analyzed the medical files of 53 osteosarcoma patients (19 females, 34 males) (median age 16 years, range 8–24); the disease was metastatic in 12 and localized in the other 41.

Results: The histological responses were good in 38 patients (71.7%) and poor in 15 (28.3%). At a median follow-up of 50 months, 34 patients (64.2%) had no evidence of disease and 19 (35.8%) had died from the disease. High levels of SAP at diagnosis correlated with worse survival (P = 0.002). There was no difference in overall survival between patients whose SAP decrease rate was > 25% and those with a rate < 25% (P = 0.14). Among female patients, "rapid" SAP responders had better survival than "slow" responders (P = 0.026). In patients with metastases the SAP decrease rate was positively correlated with survival (P = 0.042).

Conclusions: There was no evidence that "rapid" SAP responders had a higher percentage of tumor necrosis than "slow" responders, although female "rapid" SAP responders had a better prognosis than "slow" responders. Patients with metastases at presentation and "rapid" SAP response had better prognoses.

Emily Lubart, Arthur Leibovitz, Vadim Shapir and Refael Segal
Background: Musculoskeletal and joint disorders are extremely common in the elderly. They directly affect mobility, gait stability, quality of life, and independence.

Objectives: To assess the nature of joint problems encountered in a geriatric inpatient population and evaluate the contribution of a rheumatologist.

Methods: We reviewed the rheumatology consultations that were conducted in a geriatric medical center over a 10 year period.

Results: A total of 474 consultations were held; most of these patients (86%) were hospitalized in the acute geriatric departments, 10% in the rehabilitation ward and 4% in the long-term care wards. Some patients were seen more than once. The rheumatologic joint problem was the main reason for hospitalization in 53% of these patients. Monoarthritis was the most frequent complaint (50%), followed by pauci-articular arthritis (two to five joints) in 30% of patients. Arthrocentesis, diagnostic and therapeutic, was performed in 225 patients, most of them on knee joints (81%). The most frequent diagnosis was osteoarthritis with acute exacerbation (28%), followed by gout (18%), pseudo-gout (9%) and rheumatoid arthritis (9%). In 86 cases (18%) the diagnosis was a non-specific rheumatologic problem: arthralgia, non-specific generalized pain, or fibromyalgia.

Conclusions: Prompt and appropriate evaluation, as well as arthrocentesis and treatment initiation, including local injections, were made possible by the presence of an in-house rheumatologist. 

Asnat Raziel, Nasser Sakran, Amir Szold, Ofir Teshuva, Mirit Krakovsky, Oded Rabau and David Goitein
 Background: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is gaining credibility   as a simple and efficient bariatric procedure with low surgical risk. Surgical treatment for morbid obesity is relatively rare in adolescents, hence few results have been accumulated so far.

Objectives: To prove the safety and efficacy of LSG surgery in an adolescent population

Methods: Data were prospectively collected regarding adolescent patients undergoing LSG. All patients underwent pre- and postoperative medical and professional evaluation by a multidisciplinary team.

Results: Between the years 2006 and 2011, 32 adolescents underwent LSG in our center (20 females and 12 males). Mean age was 16.75 years (range 14–18 years), mean weight was 121.88 kg (83–178 kg), and mean body mass index 43.23 (35–54). Thirty-four comorbid conditions were identified. In all the patients LSG was the primary bariatric procedure. Mean operative time was 60 minutes (range 45–80 min). There were two complications (6.25%): an early staple line leak and a late acute cholecystitis. There was no mortality. Mean percent excess weight loss at 1, 3, 6, 9,12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months post-surgery was 27.9%, 41.1%, 62.6%, 79.2%, 81.7% , 71%, 75%, 102.9% and 101.6%, respectively. Comorbidities were completely resolved or ameliorated within 1 year following surgery in 82.4% and 17.6%, respectively.

Conclusions: LSG is feasible and safe in morbidly obese adolescents, achieving efficient weight loss and impressive resolution of comorbidities. Further studies are required to evaluate the long-term results of this procedure, as well as its place among other bariatric options. 

Alon Eisen, Eli Lev, Zaza Iakobishvilli, Avital Porter, David Brosh, David Hasdai and Aviv Mager
Background: Treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) is often complicated by muscle-related adverse effects (MAEs). Studies of the association between low plasma vitamin D levels and MAEs have yielded conflicting results.

Objectives: To determine if low plasma vitamin D level is a risk factor for MAEs in statin users.

Methods: Plasma levels of 25(OH) vitamin D were measured as part of the routine evaluation of unselected statin-treated patients attending the coronary and lipid clinics at our hospital during the period 2007–2010. Medical data on muscle complaints and statin use were retrieved from the medical files. Creatine kinase (CK) levels were derived from the hospital laboratory database.

Results: The sample included 272 patients (141 men) aged 33–89 years. Mean vitamin D level was 48.04 nmol/L. Levels were higher in men (51.0 ± 20.5 vs. 44.7 ± 18.9 nmol/L, P = 0.001) and were unaffected by age. MAEs were observed in 106 patients (39%): myalgia in 95 (35%) and CK elevation in 20 (7%); 11 patients (4%) had both. There was no difference in plasma vitamin D levels between patients with and without myalgia (46.3 ± 17.7 vs. 48.9 ± 21.0 nmol/L, P = 0.31), with and without CK elevation (50.2 ± 14.6 vs. 47.8 ± 20.3 nmol/L, P = 0.60), or with or without any MAE (50.4 ± 15.0 vs. 47.8 ± 10.2 nmol/L, P = 0.27). These findings were consistent when analyzed by patient gender and presence/absence of coronary artery disease, and when using a lower vitamin D cutoff (< 25 nmol/L).

Conclusions: There is apparently no relationship between plasma vitamin D level and risk of MAEs in statin users.

Itai Horowitz, Carlos Cafri, Lior Zeller, Alina Vodonos, Zvi H. Perry and Sergio L. Kobal
Background: The effects of exercise training on cardiac structure and function have been thoroughly investigated in athletes from sport-developed nations; few data are available on sportsmen from sport-developing countries.

Objectives: To assess the incidence and magnitude of the "athlete heart" phenomenon in an elite group of Israeli cyclists.

Methods: An echocardiography study was performed in 56 cyclists (49 males, mean age 38 ± 10 years, weekly average training 13.1 ± 5.9 hours); 96 sedentary subjects served as a control group.

Results: There were significant differences in left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD) between cyclists and the control group (48 ± 4.7 mm vs. 45 ± 4.1 mm respectively, P < 0.001), as well as in inter-ventricular septum (IVS) thickness (9.9 ± 1.2 vs. 8.9 ± 1.2 mm, P < 0.001) and LV mass index (LVMI) (79 ± 16 vs. 68 ± 13 g/m2, P < 0.001). In 5% of the cyclists LVEDD exceeded the upper normal limit of 56 mm. In 7% of the cyclists IVS thickness exceeded the upper normal limit of 11 mm. LV hypertrophy defined as LVMI 134 g/m2 was absent in the entire cyclist group.

Conclusions: Endurance sport activity in well-trained Israeli sportsmen results in a modest increment in LV dimensions and LV mass. LV dilatation and wall thickness above values compatible with primary cardiac disease are rare. These results highlight that in Israeli athletes any abnormal echocardiographic value must be thoroughly investigated and not simply assumed to be a consequence of sport activities.

Sandor Balsamo, Leonardo R. Diniz, Leopoldo L. dos Santos-Neto and Licia M.H. da Mota
Case Communications
Varda Gross-Tsur, Harry Hirsch and Fortu Benarroch
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