Orly Goitein, Yishay Salem, Jeffrey Jacobson, David Goitein, David Mishali, Ashraf Hamdan, Rafael Kuperstein, Elio Di Segni and Eli Konen
Background: Patients with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) have a high incidence of extracardiac vascular and non-vascular malformations. Those additional abnormalities may have an impact on the precise planning of surgical or non-surgical treatment.
Objectives: To assess the role of electrocardiography-gated CT-angiography (ECG-CTA) in the routine evaluation of CHD in neonates and infants particularly for the assessment of extracardiac findings.
Methods: The study cohort comprised 40 consecutive patients who underwent trans-thoracic echocardiography (TTE) and ECG-CTA. TTE and ECG-gated CTA findings regarding extracardiac vascular structures, coronary arteries and airways were compared with surgical or cardiac catheterization findings. Scans were evaluated for image quality using a subjective visual scale (from 1 to 4). Effective radiation dose was calculated for each scan.
Results: Median age was 28 ± 88 days and mean weight 3.7 ± 1.5 kg. Diagnostic quality was good or excellent (visual image score 3–4) in 39 of 40 scans (97.5%). ECG-CTA provided important additional information regarding extracardiac vascular structures and airway anatomy, complementing TTE in 75.6% of scans. Overall sensitivity of ECG-gated CTA for detecting extracardiac findings as compared with operative and cardiac catheterization findings was 97.6%. The calculated mean effective radiation dose was 1.4 ± 0.07 mSv (range 1.014–2.3 mSv).
Conclusions: ECG-CTA is an accurate modality for demonstrating extracardiac structures in complex CHD. It provides important complementary information to TTE regarding extracardiac vascular structures and coronary artery anatomy. This modality may obviate the need for invasive cardiac catheterization, thus exposing the patient to a much lower radiation dose.
Sharon Orbach-Zinger, Alexander Ioscovich, Amir Aviram, Sergei Babytz, Shai Fein, Alon Reuveni and Leonid A. Eidelman
Background: Postoperative pain is a common problem after cesarean deliveries.
Objectives: To characterize common obstetric anesthesia practices after cesarean deliveries in Israel in order to standardize postoperative pain relief protocols.
Methods: A questionnaire was completed during an interview with every obstetric anesthesia unit in all 25 delivery wards in Israel. Data were gathered on intraoperative anesthesia and analgesia protocols as well as postoperative pain relief protocols. A sub-analysis compared units whose director completed a formal obstetric anesthesia training program with those whose directors did not.
Results: Neuraxial morphine was used routinely in 12% of hospitals. No unit providing intrathecal morphine complied with American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines for respiratory monitoring after use of neuraxial opioids. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were used routinely in only half the wards, while patient-controlled analgesia was used infrequently. Postoperative verbal analog scores were not recorded routinely in 71% of units on postoperative day 1. The unit director's training significantly influenced the unit protocols.
Conclusions: Intrathecal morphine, the gold standard of care in cesarean deliveries, is rarely used, mainly due to shortage of staff and lack of formal obstetric anesthesia training. In addition, NSAIDs are also underused. There is a need for more formal training for obstetric anesthesiologists in Israel.
Kineret Mazor-Aronovitch, Danny Lotan, Dalit Modan-Moses, Akiva Fradkin and Orit Pinhas-Ham
Background: The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents has increased dramatically in the last few decades. Primary hypertension, a known secondary complication among obese adults, has been considered rare in children.
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of hypertension and its relation to body mass index (BMI) in obese children aged 9–17 years in Israel.
Methods: Weight, height, BMI, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) (twice) were measured in children attending general and pediatric endocrine clinics. Obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 95th percentile and overweight as BMI ≥ 85th percentile. Pre-hypertension and hypertension were defined as systolic and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90th percentile for age, gender and height and BP ≥ 95th percentile respectively. In children with pre-hypertension or hypertension, repeated measurements were performed.
Results: We evaluated 264 children of whom 152 had BMI ≥ 85th percentile (study group). Their mean age was 12.5 years. The prevalence of elevated BP (both pre-hypertension and hypertension) in the study group was 44.1% and 31% at the first and second measurements respectively, compared to 11.6% and 1.9% in the normal-weight group. Hypertension was documented in 17.2% of the study group at the second measurement.
Conclusions: Elevated BP was diagnosed in 31% of overweight and obese children and adolescents. Increased awareness and early diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Aleksandra Djokovic, Ljudmila Stojanovich, Milica Kontic, Natasa Stanisavljevic, Slavica Radovanovic and Dragomir Marisavljevic
Background: Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS, also known as Hughes syndrome) may manifest itself as a primary or secondary disease, most commonly with systemic lupus erythemathosus (SLE) and various cardiac manifestations.
Objectives: To report the first results from the Serbian National Cohort study, which was started in January 2000.
Methods: Our study included 374 patients: 260 primary APS patients and 114 SLE patients with secondary APS. Antiphospholipid antibody (aPL) analysis included detection of anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL) (immunoglobulin G and M), ß2-glycoprotein 1, and lupus anticoagulant. Echocardiography was performed in all patients, and data on myocardial infarction, unstable angina, chronic cardiomyopathy and acute heart failure were collected.
Results: There were 30.7% secondary APS patients and 9.2% primary APS patients with pseudo-infective endocarditis (P = 0.0001). Cardiac manifestations were observed in 28.7% of patients who had more than one type of antibody (category I), in 24.1% with category IIa, in 23.1% with category IIb, and in 27.8% with category IIc (P = 0.78). Age was confirmed as a significant factor for cardiac manifestations in APS patients (52.3 and 43.3 years, respectively, P = 0.001). aCL IgG and IgM positivity was related to valvular changes in all APS patients and high levels of those antibodies increased the risk of these manifestations.
Conclusions: Patients with secondary APS had a higher prevalence of valvular lesions, and some aPL types and high levels of aPL were risk factors for specific cardiac manifestations in APS patients.
Ilan Goldberg, Oksana Finkel, Andrea GatD, Eli Sprecher and Helena Martinez de Morentin
Erythema nodosum and pyoderma gangrenosum are common skin manifestations in inflammatory bowel diseases. Curiously, these two cutaneous features have seldom been reported to occur simultaneously. We present three patients affected with inflammatory bowel disease, with concomitant erythema nodosum and pyoderma gangrenosum.