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עמוד בית Fri, 18.10.19

June 2015


Focus
Jochanan Benbassat MD

This paper summarizes the difficulties that may emerge when the same care-provider attends to private and public patients within the same or different clinical settings. First, I argue that blurring the boundaries between public and private care may start a slippery slope leading to “black” under-the-table payments for preferential patient care. Second, I question whether public hospitals that allow their doctors to attend to private patients provide an appropriate learning environment for medical students and residents. Finally, I propose a way to both maintain the advantages of private care and avoid its negative consequences: complete separation between the public and the private health care systems.

 

Elon Glassberg MD MHA, Tarif Bader MD MHA, Roy Nadler MD, Avi Benov MD MHA, Salman Zarka MD MPH MA and Yitshak Kreiss MD MHA MPA
Original Articles
Shachar Kenan MD, Aviram Gold MD, Moshe Salai MD, Ely Steinberg MD, Ran Ankory MD and Ofir Chechik MD

Background: The surgical treatment of hip fractures remains controversial especially when considering age. 

Objectives: To investigate the long-term functional outcomes of displaced subcapital hip fractures that were reduced and surgically fixed using parallel cannulated screws in patients aged 60 years and younger. 

Methods: During the period 1996–2005, 27 patients under age 60 with displaced subcapital hip fractures classified as Garden III or IV were treated with fracture reduction and surgical internal fixation using cannulated screws. Patient outcomes were assessed using the Harris Hip Score (HHS) and physical examination.

Results: During a follow-up period of 8–17 years 4 of the 27 patients (14.8%) developed non-union/femoral head avascular necrosis and had undergone hip arthroplasty. All reoperations were performed within the first year after fracture fixation, all in the 50–60 year old age group. The revision rate among patients 50–60 years old was significantly higher than that of patients 50 years and younger (40% vs. 0%, P = 0.037). Mean HHS was higher for patients not requiring revision surgery (85.4) than for patients with revision surgery (75.5), but this difference was not significant.

Conclusions: Internal fixation using fracture reduction and cannulated screw fixation is a successful treatment modality for displaced subcapital hip fractures in patients younger than 50 years old. Patients aged 50–60 years may have a higher risk of avascular necrosis or non-union and require arthroplasty, often within the first year after fracture fixation. The long-term outcome following these fractures is good when excluding patients who had early complications.

 

Hashem Bishara MD MPH, Noam Goldstein MD, Marwan Hakim MD, Olga Vinitsky MD MPH, Danit Shechter-Amram RN and Daniel Weiler-Ravell MD

Background: Atypical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may cause diagnostic delay and adversely influence pregnancy outcome. 

Objectives: To examine the incidence and clinical and epidemiological features of TB during pregnancy and investigate infection control measures at delivery and during the postpartum period.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all reported cases of TB diagnosed during pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Israel’s Northern Health District (2002–2012). 

Results: Active TB was detected in six patients; all were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Two patients were diagnosed in the postpartum period, and four had pulmonary involvement. The average incidence during this period (3.9 per 100,000 pregnancies) was similar to that in the general population. Five patients were at high risk of contracting TB due to either recent immigration from a high-burden country or being in contact with another individual with active TB. Patients with pleuropulmonary involvement had prolonged cough and abnormal chest X-rays, without fever. Diagnosis was delayed for 3 to 7 months from symptom onset. Investigation of the newborn to rule out intrauterine infection was conducted in only one of four relevant cases. All patients were infected with organisms susceptible to all first-line drugs, and all were cured with standard therapy.

Conclusions: There was a considerable delay in the diagnosis of TB among pregnant women, and investigation of the newborn upon delivery to rule out TB infection was routinely omitted. Effective management of TB during pregnancy and the postpartum period requires a multidisciplinary approach including an obstetrician, pediatrician, TB specialist, and public health physician.

 

Ada Rosen MD, Lee Taragano, Alexander Condrea MD, Ami Sidi MD, Yshai Ron MD

Background: Fecal incontinence is defined as involuntary passage of stool through the anus. It may vary from soiling to complete evacuation. This involuntary loss of feces, flatus or urge incontinence adversely affects quality of life. Urinary urge incontinence is characterized by symptoms of frequency, urgency and urge incontinence (either alone or in combination). Urgency frequency syndrome is defined as symptoms of frequency and urgency without incontinence episodes.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of sacral neuromodulation on these pathologies. 

Methods: Following a detailed investigation, 51 patients with either urinary or fecal incontinence, or both, who did not respond to medical and behavioral treatment were offered the temporary implant. Of the 51 patients 40 showed improvement and advanced for a permanent device.

Results: After a mean follow-up of 5 years (range 1–8), there was a significant reduction in the number of incontinence episodes (P < 0.0001), and the number of pads used also declined significantly (P < 0.0001). A marked improvement in quality of life was reported by 71.4% of the women and 58.3% of the men.

Conclusions: Sacral neuromodulation as shown in this study appears to be a promising treatment for urinary and fecal incontinence and can dramatically improve patients' quality of life.

 

Emily Lubart MD, Alexandra Yarovoy MD, Gilad Gal PhD, Ricardo Krakover MD and Arthur Leibovitz MD

Background: QT segment prolongation is a high risk factor for fatal arrhythmias. Several studies have indicated a possible relation between low testosterone levels and QT interval prolongation. 

Objectives: To compare the QT interval length in elderly patients with prostate carcinoma who were on anti-testosterone treatment and those who were not.

Methods: We screened the electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 100 prostate cancer patients divided into two groups: 50 patients on anti-testosterone drug treatment and 50 patients not. QT interval length was measured according to the accepted methods.

Results: The mean QTc 12 leads in the entire group was 0.45 ± 0.04 sec, which is close to the upper limit. Mean QTc was actually longer in the control group and there was no QTc difference between the groups after adjustment for possible confounders. Prolonged QTc 12-lead ECG (48% in treated and 54% in non-treated) and lead L2 QT interval (50% in treated and 56% in non-treated) did not differ significantly between the groups. The analysis of QTc 12-lead ECG indicated no significant effects of anti-testosterone drug treatment. Only the use of furosemide was associated with QT prolongation. 

Conclusions: The results of this preliminary study do not support our initial concern of an alarmingly prolonged QT interval in the anti-testosterone treated group. However, further prospectively designed studies are needed. In the meanwhile we call for a close follow-up of the QT interval length in patients receiving anti-testosterone treatment. 

 

Gabriel Greenberg MD, Tamir Bental MD, Eli I. Lev MD, Abid Assali MD, Hanna Vaknin-Assa, MD and Ran Kornowski MD

Background: Several trials support the trans-radial route of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) since it reduces access site vascular complications and bleeding. 

Objectives: To examine the effects of trans-radial interventions (TRI) on clinical outcomes in a 'real world' cohort of patients undergoing PCI.

Methods: We analyzed 4873 consecutive patients who underwent PCI at a tertiary center and identified 373 patients who underwent TRI. Patients (radial vs. femoral) were compared using a propensity score analysis to best match between groups. Outcome parameters included total mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), repeat target vessel revascularization (TVR) rates, length of hospitalization and ∆Ht/Hb/creatinine values during hospitalization. These were evaluated at 6 months and 1 to 3 years after PCI.

Results: The rates of major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) and its constituents were similar in the trans-radial vs. trans-femoral groups at all time intervals: 6.7% vs. 5.5% at 6 months, 10.3% vs. 10% at 1 year, 15.7% vs. 15% at 2 years, 15.7% vs. 16% at 3 years, respectively (P = 0.6). The length of hospitalization was shorter in the TRI group (2.87 days ± 2.04 vs. 3.3 days ± 3.12, P = 0.023). We did not find significant differences between the groups in the mean ∆Ht/Hb/creatinine values during the hospitalization course.

Conclusions: In a 'real-world' setting of PCI, the TRI route of PCI is as safe and efficient as the femoral approach. TRI is associated with shorter duration of hospitalization.

 

Jonathan Cohen MD, Yael Bistritz RN and Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD

Background: The number of patients awaiting organ transplantation continues to exceed the number of available organs. 

Objectives: To document changes in the demographic characteristics of brain-dead, heart-beating organ donors over the past 10 years which may impact on organ utilization. 

Methods: Data were extracted from the Israel Transplant Registry and the Donor Action database for the 10 year period 2004–2013, inclusive. 

Results: The median age of the donors increased from 44 (range 3–73 years) to 53.5 years (range 1–79 years) (P < 0.001). There was a significant increase in the median age of donors of kidney (33 to 51 years, P < 0.001), liver (41 to 53 years, P < 0.001) and lung (40 to 49.5 years, P < 0.001). The number of donors dying from trauma decreased (34.5% to 20%, P < 0.001), while those with anoxic brain damage increased (14.5% to 25%, P < 0.001). The percent of male donors decreased over the study period, from 63% to 53%. An increase was noted in the mean number of organs transplanted per donor, from 3.29 to 3.82 per donor, due mainly to a significant increase in the utilization of lungs (31.5% to 51.3%, P < 0.001) and livers (76.3% to 82.4%, P < 0.001) while heart utilization decreased significantly since 2006 (40.9% to 17.5%, P < 0.001). 

Conclusion: Trends in the heart-beating, brain-dead organ donor pool in Israel over the past 10 years reveal significant changes in demographic characteristics which in the future will impact on the number of organs available for transplantation. 

 

David Rott MD, Robert Klempfner MD, Ilan Goldenberg MD and David Leibowitz MD

Background: While earlier studies indicated that cholesterol levels decrease significantly after an acute myocardial infarction (MI), a more recent study refuted this observation. 

Objectives: To assess changes in plasma lipid levels after onset of acute MI, and determine important predictors of lipid dynamics.

Methods: We prospectively measured lipid levels of patients who presented with an acute MI. Blood samples were drawn on admission to the hospital (day 1), after fasting at least 12 hours overnight (day 2), and on the 4th day of hospitalization (day 4). 

Results: Of 67 acute MI patients, 30 were admitted for ST elevation MI (STEMI) and 37 for non-STEMI. Both total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels decreased significantly (by 9%) in the 24 hours after admission and by 13% and 17% respectively on day 4. High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels as well as triglycerides did not change significantly. Independent predictors of LDL-C decrease were the presence of diabetes mellitus [odds ratio (OR) 6.73, P = 0.01), and elevated cardiac troponin T (cTnT) levels (OR 1.81, P < 0.04).

Conclusions: LDL-C levels decrease significantly after an acute MI. The reduction is correlated with cTnT levels. Diabetes is a strong independent predictor of LDL-C decrease. In acute MI patients only measurements taken within 24 hours of onset should be used to guide selection of lipid-lowering medication.

 

Reviews
Ronen Ben-Ami MD and David Denning FRCP

Fungal diseases affect a large proportion of the population, ranging in severity from mild superficial infections to life-threatening invasive diseases. Estimates of disease burden are needed to inform public health policies. We estimated the incidence of fungal diseases in Israel based on published surveillance data and risk-based calculations using previously established models. Deaths associated with fungal diseases were estimated from local surveillance data (candidemia) and published reports (invasive aspergillosis). Candidemia was estimated in 649 persons/year and invasive aspergillosis in 254 persons/year; the associated mortality was 2.75 and 0.96 per 100,000 population/year, respectively. Recurrent Candida vulvovaginitis occurs in 130,440 women annually. National incidence rates of cryptococcosis, pneumocystis pneumonia and mucormycosis could not be reliably estimated. Single-center data-derived estimates yielded 24, 26 and 20 cases/year, respectively. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, asthma with fungal sensitization and allergic fungal sinusitis affect 8297 (range 2323–11,615), 14,372 (14,372–17,965) and 39,922 (15,969–183,643) persons, respectively. In Israel, candidemia and invasive aspergillosis rank high among infection-related causes of mortality. Allergic fungal diseases cause chronic or recurrent symptoms in a large population and may contribute to asthma-related hospitalization and death. These general estimates should serve as a primer for future efforts to study fungal epidemiology. 

 

Case Communications
Letters From Botswana
Sandy Mpho Mosenye MBChB, Josè Antonio Moulton Alvarez MD, Rafael Enrique Cruz Abascal MD, Matthew N. Tanko MBBS FMCPath (Nig), Francesca Cainelli MD and Sandro Vento MD
הבהרה משפטית: כל נושא המופיע באתר זה נועד להשכלה בלבד ואין לראות בו ייעוץ רפואי או משפטי. אין הר"י אחראית לתוכן המתפרסם באתר זה ולכל נזק שעלול להיגרם. כל הזכויות על המידע באתר שייכות להסתדרות הרפואית בישראל. מדיניות פרטיות
ז'בוטינסקי 35 רמת גן, בניין התאומים 2 קומות 10-11, ת.ד. 3566, מיקוד 5213604. טלפון: 03-6100444, פקס: 03-5753303