Therese Fuchs MD and Amram Torjman MSc
Background: Brief episodes of atrial tachycardia are a common finding in the Holter monitor recordings of elderly patients. Episodes of atrial tachycardia may convert to atrial fibrillation. Current guidelines do not recommend anticoagulant therapy in patients with atrial tachycardia and risk factors for embolism.
Objectives: To assess the incidence of atrial tachycardia in a 24 hour Holter monitor recording of patients admitted to hospital with ischemic stroke.
Methods: The patient cohort included two groups: 134 patients admitted with a diagnosis of ischemic stroke (the study group), and 68 consecutive patients admitted with a diagnosis of syncope (the control group). Both groups used a Holter monitor.
Results: There was no difference in the incidence of atrial tachycardia runs between the groups. Patients who suffered a stroke were more likely to be hypertensive (P < 0.05) and more likely to have a CHA2DS2-VASc score of ≥ 3 (P = 0.05).
Conclusions: Atrial tachycardia as recorded on a Holter monitor was not more prevalent in patients presenting with ischemic stroke. The occurrence of atrial tachycardia is not an indication for systemic anticoagulation.
Brian Steiman MD and Nathan Watemberg MD
Background: The long-term significance of apparent life-threatening events (ALTE) has not been thoroughly studied.
Objectives: To evaluate, at age 5 years, the health status of consecutive children diagnosed with ALTE in infancy.
Methods: Based on the diagnostic workup, patients were classified into two groups: a ‘broad’ evaluation group (at least one test/procedure related to each of the five main causes: infectious, metabolic, cardiopulmonary, gastroenterological, neurological), and a ‘narrow’ workup group whose evaluation did not cover all five domains. Health status around age 5 was obtained from hospital records, community clinics and parents/caregivers.
Results: We identified 132 children with ALTE. Choking (49.2%) was the most common description, followed by apnea (13.6%), suspected seizure (12.9%), cyanosis (12.1%), breath-holding spell (8.3%), and pallor (3.8%). A broad diagnostic workup was performed in 62.1% of the infants, and a narrow workup in 37.9%. At age 5 years, 56.8% of the children were healthy; 27.3% reported chronic conditions unrelated to ALTE. Twenty-one children (15.9%) had unrelated neurodevelopmental conditions, mostly attention deficit disorder. One of the 132 ALTE patients relapsed and was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy.
Conclusions: A single episode of ALTE in infancy was neither predictive of nor associated with chronic systemic or neurological disease at age 5 years.
Abdel-Rauf Zeina MD, Mika Shapira-Rootman MD PhD, Ahmad Mahamid MD, Jalal Ashkar MD, Saif Abu-Mouch MD and Alicia Nachtigal MD
Background: Plain abdominal radiographs are still performed as a first imaging examination to evaluate abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED), despite uncertainty regarding their utility.
Objectives: To describe the frequency and outcomes of the use of plain abdominal radiographs in the diagnosis of patients presenting with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain in the ED of a medical center.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients presenting to the ED with acute abdominal pain during a 6 month period. Further imaging (computed tomography, ultrasonography), when performed, was compared with the abdominal radiography.
Results: Of 573 consecutive patients, 300 (52%) underwent abdominal radiography. Findings were normal in 88% (n=264), non-specific in 7.3% (n=22), and abnormal in 4.7% (n=14). For those with normal results, no further imaging was ordered for 43% (114/264). Of the 57% (150/264) who had follow-up imaging, 65% (98/150) showed abnormal findings. In 9 (3%) of the 300 patients, abdominal radiography identified bowel perforations and obstructions, and treatment was provided without the need for further radiologic examination.
Conclusions: The use of plain abdominal radiography is still common despite the high rate of false positive results. Efforts are needed to decrease the indiscriminate use of radiography in patients presenting with abdominal symptoms.
Zaher Bahouth MD, Rani Zreik MD, Assaf Graif MD, Ofer Nativ MD, Sarel Halachmi MD and Giora Pillar MD
Background: Erectile dysfunction (ED), a common problem in males of all ages, can be of organic, psychogenic or combined etiology. Organic ED is mainly caused by vascular and neurological disorders. One of the available tests for differentiating organic from inorganic ED is measuring penile tumescence and rigidity during the REM phase of sleep. However, this test lacks the ability to differentiate between a vascular and non-vascular cause of organic ED.
Objectives: To compare the results of the EndoPAT test and the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test in patients with erectile dysfunction.
Methods: Twenty patients with ED were recruited for the study. Each participant was evaluated by the SHIM score, RigiScan during polysomnography, and two EndoPAT tests (at the beginning and end of the study).
Results: Seventeen patients had SHIM score ≤ 21; 4 of them had organic ED with a mean EndoPAT score of 1.49, significantly lower than the 1.93 mean EndoPAT score of the 11 patients in the psychogenic ED group (P = 0.047). Two participants had a neurological impairment (spinal trauma and herniated disk). The average SHIM score in the vascular organic group was 6.25 points as compared to 11.69 for the psychogenic group (P = 0.027). The positive predictive value was 43% and the negative predictive value 90%.
Conclusions: EndoPAT could be helpful in excluding organic ED.
Yaakov Melcer MD, Noam Smorgick MD, Zvi Vaknin MD, Sonia Mendlovic MD, Arieh Raziel MD and Ron Maymon MD
Background: Despite awareness regarding tubal pregnancy, ovarian pregnancy still remains a diagnostic challenge. The correct diagnosis is most frequently made intraoperatively and requires histopathologic confirmation. Therefore, additional diagnostic measurements are needed for earlier and more accurate detection of ovarian pregnancies which will allow more rapid and efficient treatment.
Objectives: To assess the time trends, clinical manifestations, surgical management and post-procedure outcome of 46 primary ovarian pregnancies in a single institution during three time periods.
Methods: In this retrospective study we compared 20 patients with primary ovarian pregnancy during the years 1971–1989 (first period), 19 patients in 1990–2001 (second period) and 7 patients in 2002–2013 (third period). In all cases the pathology examination confirmed primary ovarian pregnancy.
Results: The number of tubal ectopic pregnancies almost doubled, from 637 in the first period to 1279 in the third period (P < 0.001). However, there was a significant fall in the number of ovarian ectopic pregnancies, from 20 cases in the first period to 7 cases in the third (P = 0.009). A significant difference was noted when we compared the postoperative hospitalization time (4.06 ± 1.4 vs. 2.0 ± 0.6 days respectively, P = 0.001) in the second versus the third time period.
Conclusions: Ovarian pregnancy continues to be a diagnostic challenge, associated with a high rate of circulatory collapse, hemoperitoneum and requirements for blood transfusions, all leading to longer hospitalization.
Ofer Levy MD, Mirit Amit-Vazina MD, Refael Segal MD and Moshe Tishler MD
Background: Pain, fatigue and functional disability are common key outcomes in most rheumatologic disorders. While many studies have assessed the outcomes of specific disease states, few have compared the outcomes of various rheumatic diseases.
Objectives: To assess how the intensity and rating of pain, fatigue and functional disability vary among groups of patients with various rheumatic disorders receiving standard care.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study conducted in a hospital-based rheumatology unit, standard clinical and laboratory data were obtained and all patients filled out questionnaires on pain, fatigue and daily function. The analysis concentrated on visual analogue scales (VAS) using specific statistical methods.
Results: A total of 618 visits of 383 patients with inflammatory as well as non-inflammatory rheumatic disorders were analyzed. Fibromyalgia patients had significantly higher VAS scores compared to all other groups. On the other hand, patients with polymyalgia rheumatica demonstrated significantly lower VAS scores compared to all other groups of patients. Patients with psoriatic arthritis also demonstrated relatively low VAS scores. VAS scores were lower in patients with inflammatory disorders as compared to patients with non-inflammatory disorders.
Conclusions: Our results suggest a spectrum of outcome intensity in various rheumatic disorders receiving standard care, ranging from fibromyalgia patients who report distinctive severity to patients with inflammatory disorders who are doing relatively well as compared to patients with non-inflammatory disorders. The findings emphasize the need to explore the underlying mechanisms of pain and fatigue in patients with non-inflammatory rheumatic disorders.
Yoav Y. Pikkel BMedSc, Tamir Ben-Hur MD PhD, Ruth Eliahou MD and Asaf Honig MD
Asnat Raziel MD, Nasser Sakran MD, Amir Szold MD, Judith Sandbank MD, Dan Hershko MD and David Goitein MD
Background: Gallbladder (GB) cancer is rare. Most cases are incidentally found in specimens after a cholecystectomy. Cholelithiasis is almost always present when this diagnosis is made. Obesity is a known risk factor for gallstone formation and thus may be related to GB cancer.
Objectives: To highlight the importance of evaluation of the gallbladder before surgery, resection of the gallbladder whenever required, and screening the resected tissue for malignancy.
Methods: We retrospectively queried a prospectively maintained database of all bariatric procedures during the last 8 years for cases of concomitant laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) and laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Pathologic reports of the gallbladders were reviewed. Demographic data and perioperative parameters were documented.
Results: Of 2708 patients reviewed, 1721 (63.55%) were females and 987 (36.45%) males. Excluded were 145 (5.35%) who had a previous cholecystectomy. Of the remaining 2563, 180 (7.02%) had symptomatic gallbladder disease and underwent LSG with LC. Of these, two females (BMI 53 kg/m² and BMI 47 kg/m², both age 60) were found by histological examination to have adenocarcinoma in their GB specimens (1.11%). Both were reoperated, which included partial hepatectomy of the GB bed, resection of the cystic stump, lymph node dissection, and resection of the port sites. One patient is doing well, with no evidence of disease at a postoperative follow-up of 4 years. The second patient had recurrent disease with peritoneal spread and ascites 20 months post-surgery and died 18 months later.
Conclusions: GB cancer is a rare finding in cholecystectomy specimens. The incidence of this entity might be higher in obese older females owing to the higher incidence of cholelithiasis in these patients.