Michael Arad MD, Tamar Nussbaum MD, Ido Blechman BA, Micha S. Feinberg MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD,Yael Peled MD and Dov Freimark MD
Background: Contemporary therapies improve prognosis and may restore left ventricular (LV) size and function.
Objectives: To examine the prevalence, clinical features and therapies associated with reverse remodeling (RR) in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Methods: The study group comprised 188 DCM patients who had undergone two echo examinations at least 6 months apart. RR was defined as increased LV ejection fraction (LVEF) by ≥ 10% concomitant with ≥ 10% decreased LV end-diastolic dimension.
Results: RR occurred in 50 patients (26%) and was associated with significantly reduced end-systolic dimension, left atrial size, grade of mitral regurgitation, and pulmonary artery pressure. NYHA class improved in the RR group. RR was less common in familial DCM and a long-standing disease and was more prevalent in patients with prior exposure to chemotherapy. Recent-onset disease, lower initial LVEF and normal electrocardiogram were identified as independent predictors of RR. Beta-blocker dose was related to improved LVEF but not to RR. Over a mean follow-up of 23 months, 16 patients (12%) from the 'no-RR' group died or underwent heart transplantation compared to none from the RR group (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Contemporary therapies led to an an improvement in the condition of a considerable number of DCM patients. A period of close observation while optimizing medical therapy should be considered before deciding on invasive procedures.
Adi Klein-Kremer MD, Irena Liphshitz MA, Ziona Haklai MA, Shai Linn PhD and Micha Barchana MD MPH
Background: Physicians’ occupational environment includes exposures to potential carcinogenic. Factors on a regular basis. The prevalence of specific tumor types and subsequent mortality are reported to be elevated in physicians.
Objectives: To assess the incidence of various cancer types among Israeli physicians of various specialties, as compared with the general population, and to determine the role, if any, of gender and ethnicity.
Methods: This historical retrospective cohort analysis incorporated data on Israeli officially licensed physicians and information retrieved from the Israel National Cancer Registry database (INCR). Physicians were divided into five groups: 1) non-specialists, 2) internists, 3) pediatricians, 4) surgeons, and 5) potentially at-risk specialties. Data were collected retrospectively for the years 1980–2007.
Results: The study cohort comprised 37,789 physicians, of whom 33,393 (88.37%) were Jews and 4396 (11.63%) were Arabs. Comparing Jewish physicians to the general population revealed higher rates of: a) breast cancer among female specialized physicians, and b) melanoma among specialized male and female physicians. All cancer types were more prevalent in the Arab physicians than in the general Arab population.
Conclusions: This study revealed incidences of specific cancer types among different medical specialties as compared to the general population. Hopefully, these findings will prompt changes in the occupational environment of physicians of particular specialties in order to reduce their high risk for cancer occurrence.
Arie Soroksky MD, Sergey Nagornov MD, Eliezer Klinowski MD, Yuval Leonov MD, Eduard Ilgiyaev MD, Orit Yossepowitch MD and Galina Goltsman M
Background: The role of routine active surveillance cultures (ASCs) in predicting consequent blood stream infections is unclear.
Objectives: To determine prospectively whether routine screening ASCs obtained on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) can predict the causative agent of subsequent bloodstream infections.
Methods: We prospectively studied a cohort of 100 mechanically ventilated patients admitted consecutively to a 16-bed ICU. On admission, ASCs were obtained from four sites: skin cultures (swabs) from the axillary region, rectal swabs, nasal swabs, and deep tracheal aspirates. Thereafter, cultures were obtained from all four sites daily for the next 5 days of the ICU stay.
Results: Of the 100 recruited patients 31 (31%) had culture-proven bacteremia; the median time to development of bacteremia was 5 days (range 1–18). Patients with bacteremia had a longer median ICU stay than patients without bacteremia: 14 days (range 2–45) vs. 5 days (1–41) (P < 0.001). ICU and 28 day mortality were similar in patients with and without bacteremia. Most ASCs grew multiple organisms. However, there was no association between pathogens growing on ASCs and eventual development of bacteremia.
Conclusions: ASCs obtained on ICU admission did not identify the causative agents of most subsequent bacteremia events. Therefore, bloodstream infections could not be related to ASCs.
Igor Rabin MD, Uri Shpolanski PhD, Allon Leibovitz MD and Arie Bass MD
Background: Claudication is one of the sequelae of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). To date, no effective treatment has been found for this condition.
Objectives: To investigate a new device to treat PAD. The device administers pre-programmed protocols of oscillations to the foot.
Methods: Fifteen patients aged 40–70 years who suffered from intermittent claudication secondary to PAD were recruited to an open prospective study. Each patient was treated once for 30 minutes. The following parameters were evaluated: pain-free and maximal walking distances, skin blood flux by laser-Doppler, skin temperature, ankle-brachial and toe-brachial indices, transcutaneous oxygen pressure (tcpO2) and transcutaneous carbon dioxide pressure (tcpCO2). Non-parametric signed-rank test was applied for testing differences between baseline assessment and post-treatment assessments for quantitative parameters.
Results: Mean pain-free walking distance was 122 ± 33 m and increased to 277 ± 67 m, after the treatment session (P = 0.004). Mean maximal walking distance was 213 ± 37 m and it increased to 603 ± 77 m (P < 0.001). Foot skin perfusion also improved, as demonstrated by an increase in tcpO2 by 28.6 ± 4.1 mmHg (P < 0.001), a decrease in tcpCO2 by 2.8 ± 1.3 (P = 0.032), and up to twofold improvement in blood flux parameters, and an increase in skin temperature by 1.9 ± 0.5°C (P < 0.001). Ankle-brachial index increased by 0.06 ± 0.01 (P = 0.003) and toe-brachial index by 0.17 ± 0.02 (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Preprogrammed oscillations applied to the foot had a positive effect on microcirculation, tissue oxygenation and CO2 clearance; they had a smaller though significant effect on arterial blood pressure indices, and the change in the arterial-brachial index correlated with the change in the pain-free walking distance.
Karen Olshtain-Pops MD, Chen Stein-Zamir MD MPH, Nitza Abramson MD MPH, Hiwot Nagusa, Michele Haouzi-Bashan BA and Shlomo Maayan MD
Background: Ethiopian immigration to Israel was initiated in 1981. Most immigrants were rural dwellers who migrated first to Addis Ababa or Gondar, where they waited for eligibility status from Israel to leave Ethiopia. Soon after arriving in Israel, all immigrants were offered screening tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis.
Objectives: To evaluate the association of age, gender, marital status and length of time spent in urban areas in Ethiopia with the prevalence of HIV and syphilis seropositivity.
Methods: All adult Ethiopian immigrants who arrived at the Jerusalem immigration center between 1999 and 2002 and consented to HIV and syphilis screening tests were interviewed.
Results: Altogether, 678 immigrants (51% females) were screened; 39 (5.8 %) were seropositive for HIV and 33 (4.9%) for syphilis. The length of time the immigrants spent in Ethiopian cities before leaving for Israel was significantly associated with HIV: odds ratio (OR) 2.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13–6.71, and syphilis seropositivity OR 3.87, 95%CI 1.56–9.62.
Conclusions: The length of transit time Ethiopian immigrants from rural areas spend in Ethiopian cities is significantly associated with HIV and syphilis seropositivity. Efforts should be made to shorten this time in order to reduce the risk of infection
Boaz Amichai MD, Marcelo H. Grunwald MD, Batya Davidovici MD and Avner Shemer MD
Background: Tinea pedis is a common chronic skin disease; the role of contaminated clothes as a possible source of infection or re-infection has not been fully understood. The ability of ultraviolet light to inactivate microorganisms has long been known and UV is used in many applications.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectivity of sun exposure in reducing fungal contamination in used clothes.
Methods: Fifty-two contaminated socks proven by fungal culture from patients with tinea pedis were studied. The samples were divided into two groups: group A underwent sun exposure for 3 consecutive days, while group B remained indoors. At the end of each day fungal cultures of the samples were performed.
Results: Overall, there was an increase in the percentage of negative cultures with time. The change was significantly higher in socks that were left in the sun (chi-square for linear trend = 37.449, P < 0.0001).
* Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1913
Conclusions: Sun exposure of contaminated clothes was effective in lowering the contamination rate. This finding enhances the current trends of energy saving and environmental protection, which recommend low temperature laundry.
Natalya Bilenko MD PhD MPH, Drora Fraser PhD, Hillel Vardy BA and Ilana Belmaker MD MPH
Background: A high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia persists in Bedouin Arab and Jewish pediatric populations in southern Israel.
Objectives: To compare the effect of daily use of multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS), "Sprinkles," a powdered formulation of iron, vitamins A and C, folic acid and zinc, with liquid iron and vitamins A and D on iron deficiency at 12 months of age.
Methods: The 621 eligible Bedouin and Jewish infants in the study were assigned to the MMS and control arms and received their supplementations from age 6 to 12 months. We examined the change in hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean cell volume, red blood cell distribution, serum ferritin and transferrin saturation. In addition, we used the high Iron Deficiency Index (IDI) if two or more of the above six parameters showed abnormal levels.
Results: Rates of anemia decreased significantly over the 6 month period, from 58.8% to 40.6% among Bedouin infants (P = 0.037) and from 40.6 to 15.8% among Jewish infants (P = 0.017). In Bedouin infants the prevalence of high IDI decreased significantly from 79.2% to 67.4% (P = 0.010) in the MMS group, but there was no change in the controls. Among Jewish infants, the high IDI prevalence decreased from 67% to 55.6% with no statistically significant difference in the two study arms. In the multivariate analysis in Bedouin infants MMS use was associated with a reduced risk of 67% in high IDI at age 12 months as compared to controls (P = 0.001). Fewer side effects in the intervention groups in both ethnic populations were reported.
Conclusions: MMS fortification of home food can be recommended as an effective and safe method for preventing iron deficiency anemia at 12 months of age.
Aharon Erez MD, Omri Shental MD, Joseph Z. Tchebiner MD, Michal Laufer-Perl MD, Asaf Wasserman MD, Tal Sella MD and Hanan Guzner-Gur MD
Background: Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is elevated in various diseases.
Objectives: To analyze serum LDH as a distinguishing clinical biomarker and as a predictor of in-hospital outcome in admitted medical patients.
Methods: We analyzed a cohort of all 158 patients with very high isolated LDH (LDH ≥ 800 IU/ml – without concomitant elevations of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase) – admitted to our internal medicine department during a 3 year period. Epidemiologic and clinical data, as well as the final diagnosis and outcome were recorded and compared with those of a cohort of all 188 consecutive control patients.
Results: Very high isolated LDH was a distinguishing biomarker for the presence of cancer (27% vs. 4% in the LDH group and controls respectively, P < 0.0001), liver metastases (14% vs. 3%, P < 0.0001), hematologic malignancies (5% vs. 0%, P = 0.00019), and infection (57% vs. 28%, P < 0.0001). Very high isolated LDH was a marker for a severe prognosis, associated with more admission days (9.3 vs. 4.1, P < 0.0001), significantly more in-hospital major complications, and a high mortality rate (26.6% vs. 4.3%, P < 0.0001). Finally, very high isolated LDH was found in a multivariate regression analysis to be an independent predictor of mortality.
Conclusions: The presence of very high isolated LDH warrants thorough investigation for the presence of severe underlying disease, mostly metastatic cancer, hematologic malignancies and infection. Moreover, it is a marker for major in-hospital complications and is an independent predictor of mortality in admitted medical patients.