Eliezer Bronshtein, Ido Solt MD, Moshe Bronshtein MD, Ayala Gover MD, Igal Wolman MD and Zeev Blumenfeld MD
Background: Early prenatal ultrasound is an important part of prenatal screening in Israel. No studies have described the rate of trisomy 21 [T21] identification at 14–17 weeks gestation.
Objectives: To describe the rate of T21 identification by transvaginal sonograms (TVS) at 14–17 weeks gestation.
Methods: We conducted a historical prospective study. Since 1986, early TVS of 72,000 fetuses at 14–17 weeks gestation have been prospectively recorded together with prenatal screening data at a private ultrasound center (AL-KOL, Haifa). We calculated the fraction of T21 cases by dividing the total number of cases with abnormal sonographic findings by the total number of diagnosed T21 cases. We also examined the percentage of verified T21 cases that had completely normal prenatal screening tests prior to the early prenatal TVS, thus revealing the contribution of this examination to the existing prenatal screening. Fisher’s exact test was used to calculate odds ratios for each sonographic marker.
Results: Of 137 T21 fetuses, 123 had sonographic markers on early TVS, yielding a prediction capability of at least 89.87%. Of all T21 cases, 14% had completely normal nuchal translucency/first-trimester screening prior to the abnormal 14–17 week TVS findings. Isolated abnormal sonographic findings, which were found to increase the risk for T21, were common atrioventricular septal canal (odds ratio 88.88), duodenal atresia (OR 88.23), nuchal edema (OR 39.14), and hydrocephalus (OR 15.78). Fetal hydronephrosis/pyelectasis was non-significant when isolated (OR 1), and cardiac echogenic focus was associated with a decreased risk (OR 0.13).
Conclusions: Early prenatal TVS at 14–17 weeks may identify almost 90% of T21 and adds 14% to the identification rate at the first-trimester screening.
Marwan Odeh MD, Moshe Bronshtein MD and Jacob Bornstein MD MPA
Background: The congenital absence of salivary glands has been reported in children but never in fetuses with trisomy 21.
Objectives: To determine whether the congenital absence of salivary glands can be detected prenatally between 13 and 16 weeks of gestation in normal and trisomy 21 fetuses using transvaginal ultrasound.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of recordings of normal and trisomy 21 fetuses. Inclusion criteria were a single viable fetus and good visualization of the anatomic area of the salivary glands on both sides of the fetal face. All videos were reviewed by one examiner who reported the presence or absence of one or more salivary glands and was blinded to the fetal karyotype.
Results: Of the 45 videos reviewed, 4 were excluded from the study: namely, a non-viable fetus, twin pregnancy, and in 2 there was unsatisfactory visualization of the anatomic area of the salivary glands. Of the remaining 41 fetuses, 24 had trisomy 21 and 17 were normal. In the trisomy 21 fetuses, 8 (33.3%) had congenital absence of one or more salivary glands compared to 1 of 17 normal fetuses (5.9%) (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Congenital absence of the salivary glands has a high specificity but low sensitivity for detecting trisomy 21 fetuses.
Gustavo Goldenberg MD, Tamir Bental MD, Udi Kadmon MD, Ronit Zabarsky MD, Jairo Kusnick MD, Alon Barsheshet MD, Gregory Golovchiner MD and Boris Strasberg MD
Background: Syncope prognosis varies widely: 1 year mortality may range from 0% in the case of vasovagal events up to 30% in the presence of heart disease.
Objectives: To assess the outcomes and prognosis of patients with implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) and indication of primary prevention and compare patients presenting with or without prior syncope.
Methods: We reviewed the charts of 75 patients who underwent ICD implantation with the indication of primary prevention and history of syncope and compared them to a control group of 80 patients without prior syncope. We assessed the number of ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation (VF), shock, anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP), and death in each group during the follow-up.
Results: Mean follow-up was 893 days (810–976, 95% confidence interval) (no difference between groups). Patients with prior syncope had a higher ejection fraction (EF) (35.5 ± 12.6 vs. 31.4 ± 8.76, P = 0.02), more episodes of VT (21.3% vs. 3.8%, P = 0.001) and VF (8% vs. 0%, P = 0.01) and also received more electric shocks (18.7% vs. 3.8%, P = 0.004) and ATP (17.3% vs. 6.2%, P = 0.031). There were no differences in inappropriate shocks (6.7% vs. 5%, P = 0.74), in cardiovascular mortality (cumulative 5 year estimate 29.9% vs. 32.2% P = 0.97) and any death (cumulative 5 year estimate 38.1% vs. 48.9% P = 0.18) during the follow-up.
Conclusions: Syncopal patients before ICD implantation seem to have more episodes of VT/VF and shock or ATP. No mortality differences were observed
Benjamin Spieler BA, Jeffrey Goldstein MD, Yaacov R. Lawrence MD, Akram Saad MD, Raanan Berger MD PhD, Jacob Ramon MD, Zohar Dotan MD, Menachem Laufer MD, Ilana Weiss MA, Lev Tzvang MS, Philip Poortmans MD PhD and Zvi Symon MD
Background: Radiotherapy to the prostate bed is used to eradicate residual microscopic disease following radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. Recommendations are based on historical series.
Objectives: To determine outcomes and toxicity of contemporary salvage radiation therapy (SRT) to the prostate bed.
Methods: We reviewed a prospective ethics committee-approved database of 229 patients referred for SRT. Median pre-radiation prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was 0.5 ng/ml and median follow-up was 50.4 months (range 13.7–128). Treatment was planned and delivered using modern three-dimensional radiation techniques. Mean bioequivalent dose was 71 Gy (range 64–83 Gy). Progression was defined as two consecutive increases in PSA level > 0.2 ng/ml, metastases on follow-up imaging, commencement of anti-androgen treatment for any reason, or death from prostate cancer. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and multivariate analysis was performed using STATA.
Results: Five year progression-free survival was 68% (95%CI 59.8–74.8%), and stratified by PSA was 87%, 70% and 47% for PSA < 0.3, 0.3–0.7, and > 0.7 ng/ml (P < 0.001). Metastasis-free survival was 92.5%, prostate cancer-specific survival 96.4%, and overall survival 94.9%. Low pre-radiation PSA value was the most important predictor of progression-free survival (HR 2.76, P < 0.001). Daily image guidance was associated with reduced risk of gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity (P < 0.005).
Conclusions: Contemporary SRT is associated with favorable outcomes. Early initiation of SRT at PSA < 0.3 ng/ml improves progression-free survival. Daily image guidance with online correction is associated with a decreased incidence of late toxicity.
Gabriel Munter MD, Yehuda Brivik MD, Yossi Freier-Dror MA and Shoshana Zevin MD
Background: Cigarette smoking is a widespread problem around the world. In Israel, the prevalence of smoking is 23%. Smokers who are Orthodox abstain from smoking during the Sabbath, i.e., from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, due to a religious prohibition. The prevalence of smoking among Orthodox men is 13%. However, there are no data on patterns of smoking or on the addiction profiles in this population.
Objectives: To explore the smoking patterns, motivation for smoking and nicotine addiction among Orthodox Jewish men, compared to non-Orthodox men, as well as the differences in the urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms on Saturday versus weekdays in the Orthodox group.
Methods: The participants completed the Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence, questionnaires on reasons for smoking and smoking patterns, as well as two brief questionnaires on the urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms after overnight abstinence on a weekday and after the end of the Sabbath.
Results: Both groups were strongly addicted to nicotine and there were no differences in the reasons for smoking, withdrawal symptoms and nicotine craving after an overnight abstinence on weekdays. However, religious smokers had low levels of craving for nicotine and few withdrawal symptoms during Sabbath abstinence when compared to weekdays.
Conclusions: Although we found no difference in the baseline characteristics with regard to nicotine addiction, smoking motivation, urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms between religious and non-religious groups, the former are able to abstain from smoking during 25 hours of the Sabbath every week with significantly fewer withdrawal symptoms compared to week days.
Avichai Weissbach MD, Ben Zion Garty MD, Irina Lagovsky Phd, Irit Krause MD and Miriam Davidovits MD
Background: Several studies link the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα). However, data on the serum TNFα level in children with nephrotic syndrome are sparse.
Objective: To investigate serum TNFα levels and the effect of steroid therapy in children with nephrotic syndrome.
Methods: A prospective cohort pilot study of children with nephrotic syndrome and controls was conducted during a 1 year period. Serum TNFα levels were measured at presentation and at remission, or after a minimum of 80 days if remission was not achieved.
Results: Thirteen patients aged 2–16 years with nephrotic syndrome were compared with 12 control subjects. Seven patients had steroid-sensitive and six had steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. Mean baseline serum TNFα level was significantly higher in the steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome patients than the controls (6.13 pg/ml vs. 4.36 pg/ml, P = 0.0483). Mean post-treatment TNFα level was significantly higher in the steroid-resistant than in the steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome patients (5.67 pg/ml vs. 2.14 pg/ml, P = 0.001). In the steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome patients, mean serum TNFα levels were similar before and after treatment.
Conclusions: Elevated serum TNFα levels are associated with a lack of response to corticosteroids. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of TNFα in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome.
Boris Knyazer MD, Jenna Smolar MD, Isaak Lazar MD, Eli Rosenberg MD, Erez Tsumi MD, Tova Lifshitz MD and Jaime Levy MD
The identification and prompt diagnosis of Horner syndrome (HS) is essential for preventing permanent damage. HS may arise when a lesion presents anywhere along the three-neuron oculosympathetic pathway that begins at the posterior-lateral nuclei of the hypothalamus all the way through to the orbit. We present four cases and review the literature to familiarize the reader with the identification, diagnosis and treatment of Horner syndrome. The four patients, three adults and one child, were followed for at least 6 months following the initial diagnosis (range 6–18 months). There was partial resolution in three of the four cases, while the fourth resolved completely. There are numerous causes of HS, some of them iatrogenic. While iatrogenic cases of HR are rare in both adults and children, HS is seen more often following surgical procedures. Prompt recognition of the syndrome and correction of the offending agent may prevent permanent damage to the neuronal pathway. It is therefore recommended that practitioners be aware of the risks for development of iatrogenic HS and the signs for early detection.
Sarit Appel MD, Yaacov R. Lawrence MRCP, Jeffery Goldstein MD, Raphael M. Pfeffer MD, Ilana Weiss MA, Tatiana Rabin MD, Shira Felder MD, Maoz Ben-Ayun PhD, Lev Tzvang MSc, Dror Alezra PhD, David Simansky MD, Alon Ben-Nun MD PhD, Jair Bar MD PhD and Zvi Symon MD
Background: Stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) is the application of a very high radiation dose to a small treatment volume. It is the new standard of care in medically inoperable early-stage lung cancer.
Objectives: To report the outcomes of SABR in stage I lung cancer at Sheba Medical Center since its introduction in 2009.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with stage I lung cancer treated during the period 2009–2015. Survival status was retrieved from the electronic medical records and confirmed with the national registry. Local failure was defined as increased FDG uptake on PETCT scan within a 2 cm radius of the treated region. Toxicity was estimated from medical records and graded according to common toxicity criteria for adverse events (CTCAE) version 4.03. Overall survival and local control were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: During the study period 114 patients were treated for 122 stage I lung cancer lesions. Median follow-up time was 27 months (range 8.2–69.5 months), median age was 76 years. Eighty-two percent of the tumors were stage IA (size ≤ 3 cm). Median survival was 46 months; estimated 3 year overall survival was 59% (95%CI 47–69%) and local control was 88% (95%CI 78–94%). Toxicity included chest wall pain in 8.4% of patients, rib fracture in 0.9%, grade 1–2 pneumonitis in 12%, grade 3 in 12% and grade 5 (death) in 0.9%.
Conclusions: SABR has been successfully implemented at Sheba Medical Center for the treatment of stage I lung cancer in inoperable patients. It is associated with excellent local control, minor toxicity and an acceptable overall survival.
Zev Sthoeger MD, Margalit Lorber MD, Yuval Tal MD, Elias Toubi MD, Howard Amital MD, Shaye Kivity MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Ilan Asher MD, Daniel Elbirt MD and Nancy Agmon Levin MD
Background: Anti-BLyS treatment with the human belimumab monoclonal antibody was shown to be a safe and effective therapeutic modality in lupus patients with active disease (i.e., without significant neurological/renal involvement) despite standard treatment.
Objectives: To evaluate the “real-life” safety and efficacy of belimumab added to standard therapy in patents with active lupus in five Israeli medical centers.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective open-labeled study of 36 lupus patients who received belimumab monthly for at least 1 year in addition to standard treatment. Laboratory tests (C3/C4, anti dsDNA autoantibodies, chemistry, urinalysis and complete blood count) were done every 3–4 months. Adverse events were obtained from patients’ medical records. Efficacy assessment by the treating physicians was defined as excellent, good/partial, or no response.
Results: The study group comprised 36 lupus patients (8 males, 28 females) with a mean age of 41.6 } 12.2 years. Belimumab was given for a mean period of 2.3 } 1.7 years (range 1–7). None of the patients discontinued belimumab due to adverse events. Four patients (11.1%) had an infection related to belimumab. Only 5 patients (13.9%) stopped taking belimumab due to lack of efficacy. The response was excellent in 25 patients (69.5%) and good/partial in the other 6 (16.6%). Concomitantly, serological response (reduction of C3/C4 and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies) was also observed. Moreover, following belimumab treatment, there was a significant reduction in the usage of corticosteroids (from 100% to 27.7%) and immunosuppressive agents (from 83.3% to 8.3%).
Conclusions: Belimumab, in addition to standard therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for active lupus patients.