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עמוד בית Wed, 26.06.19

April 2017

George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

Starvation in early life can lead to premature metabolic syndrome and bone demineralization. Osteoporosis in the Jewish population may not yet be a recognized syndrome, but the harsh conditions to which Holocaust survivors were exposed may have increased the incidence of the condition. Immigrants and refugees who came to Israel from East Africa and Yemen – whether decades ago or more recently – may have been at increased risk of under-nutrition during pregnancy, affecting both the mother and consequently the offspring. This malnutrition may be further exacerbated by rapid overfeeding in the adopted developed country. This problem was also recognized at the turn of the 21st century in poor and underdeveloped countries and is becoming a global public health issue. In this review, the risks for premature metabolic syndrome and bone demineralization are enumerated and preventive measures outlined. 

Eliyahu H. Mizrahi MD MHA, Emilia Lubart MD, Anthony Heymann PhD and Arthur Leibovitz MD

Background: Holocaust survivors report a much higher prevalence of osteoporosis and fracture in the hip joint compared to those who were not Holocaust survivors.

Objective: To evaluate whether being a Holocaust survivor could affect the functional outcome of hip fracture in patients 64 years of age and older undergoing rehabilitation.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study compromising 140 consecutive hip fracture patients was conducted in a geriatric and rehabilitation department of a university-affiliated hospital. Being a Holocaust survivor was based on registry data. Functional outcome was assessed by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM)TM at admission and discharge from the rehabilitation ward. Data were analyzed by t-test, chi-square test, and linear regression analysis. 

Results: Total and motor FIM scores at admission (P = 0.004 and P = 0.006, respectively) and total and motor FIM gain scores at discharge (P = 0.008 and P = 0.004 respectively) were significantly higher in non-Holocaust survivors compared with Holocaust survivors. A linear regression analysis showed that being a Holocaust survivor was predictive of lower total FIM scores at discharge (β = -0.17, P = 0.004).

Conclusion: Hip fracture in Holocaust survivors showed lower total, motor FIM and gain scores at discharge compared to non-Holocaust survivor patients. These results suggest that being a Holocaust survivor could adversely affect the rehabilitation outcome following fracture of the hip and internal fixation. 


Israel's humanitarian aid
Yuri Viner MD, Alexander Braslavsky MD and Salman Zarka MD MPH MA
Original Articles
Abdel-Rauf Zeina MD, Helit Nakar MD, Nadir Reindorp MD, Alicia Nachtigal MD, Michael M Krausz MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD and Mika Shapira-Rootman MD PhD

Background: Four-dimensional parathyroid computed tomography (4DCT) is a relatively new parathyroid imaging technique that provides functional and highly detailed anatomic information about parathyroid tumors.

Objective: To assess the accuracy of 4DCT for the preoperative localization of parathyroid adenomas (PTAs) in patients with biochemically confirmed primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) and a history of failed surgery or unsuccessful localization using 99mTc-sestamibi scanning and ultrasonography.

Methods: Between January 2013 and January 2015, 55 patients with PHPT underwent 4DCT at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Israel. An initial unenhanced scan was followed by an IV contrast injection of nonionic contrast material (120 ml of at 4 ml/s). Scanning was repeated 25, 60, and 90 seconds after the initiation of IV contrast administration. An experienced radiologist blinded to the earlier imaging results reviewed the 4DCT for the presence and location (quadrant) of the suspected PTAs. At the time of the study, 28 patients had undergone surgical exploration following 4DCT and we compared their scans with the surgical findings.

Results: 4DCT accurately localized 96% (27/28) of abnormal glands, all of which were hypervascular and showed characteristic rapid enhancement on 4DCT that could be distinguished from Level II lymph nodes. Surgery found hypovascular cystic PTA in one patient who produced a negative 4DCT scan. All patients had solitary PTAs. The scan at 90 seconds provided no additional information and was abandoned during the study.

Conclusions: 4DCT accurately localized hypervascular parathyroid lesions and distinguished them from other tissues. A three-phase scanning protocol may suffice.

Eliezer Robinson MD, Barbara G. Silverman MD MPH and Lital Keinan-Boker MD PhD MPH

Background: The number of cancer survivors has been increasing worldwide and is now approximately 32.6 million and growing. Cancer survivors present a challenge to health care providers because of their higher susceptibility to long-term health outcomes related to their primary disease and treatment.

Objective: To report on the number of cancer survivors and incident cancer cases in the period 1960–2009 in Israel, in order to provide data on the scope of the challenge Israel’s health care funds face.

Methods: The Israel National Cancer Registry (INCR) database was used to identify new cancer cases diagnosed during the period 1960–2009. Lifetable analysis was used to assess changes in cumulative survival and population prevalence of cancer survivors throughout the 50 year study period.

Results: Almost 600,000 invasive cancer cases were diagnosed during the period 1960–2009 (overall absolute survival rate 54%). Within this time period, the number of new patients diagnosed with cancer increased fivefold and that of cancer survivors ninefold. The absolute survival of cancer patients and the prevalence of cancer survivors in the general population significantly increased with time from 34% and 0.5%, respectively (1960–1969), to 62% and 1.9%, respectively (2000–2009). Cumulative absolute survival for 5, 10 and 15 years following diagnosis increased with time as well.

Conclusions: The INCR database is useful to assess progress in the war against cancer. The growing numbers of cancer survivors in Israel present a challenge to the national health and social services system.

Avraham Shotan MD, Barak Zafrir MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Alicia Vazan MD, Israel Gotsman MD and Offer Amir MD

Background: The treatment of patients hospitalized with heart failure (HHF) and ambulatory chronic heart failure (CHF) differs in various countries.

Objective: To evaluate the management and outcomes of patients with HFF and CHF in Israel compared to those in other European countries who were included in the ESC-HF Long-Term Registry.

Methods: From May 2011 to April 2013, heart failure patients – 467 Israelis and 11,973 from other countries – were evaluated. The Israeli patients included 178 with HHF and 289 with CHF. One year outcomes, including all-cause and cardiovascular mortality as well as HHF, were evaluated.

Results: The HHF Israeli patients were older than their CHF Israeli counterparts, had more co-morbidities, included more women, and were treated less frequently with medications suggested by European guidelines. The Israeli HHF patients had similar all-cause 1 year mortality rates compared to HHF patients from other participating countries, but their cardiovascular (CV) mortality was lower, while a significantly higher rate of all-cause and HHF was noted. The Israeli CHF patients were older, suffered from more co-morbidities and had prior cardio-electronic implantable devices. In addition, they had higher mortality rates, especially non-CV, and were more frequently hospitalized, compared to CHF patients from other countries.

Conclusions: The Israeli patients with heart failure differed in their baseline characteristics and the therapeutic approach. Despite high usage of treatments recommended by official guidelines, especially among CHF patients, mortality, particularly in HHF patients, remained high.

Avinoam Nevler MD, Gil Har-Zahav MD, Avigdor Abraham MD, Ginette Schiby MD, Oded Zmora MD, Moshe Shabtai MD, Mordechai Gutman MD and Danny Rosin MD

Background: Diagnosis of abdominal lymphadenopathy is challenging when not accompanied by peripheral lymphadenopathy. Computed tomography-guided core-needle biopsy has largely replaced open procedures in recent years, but this approach is limited by access to the anatomic region and the amount of tissue acquired.

Objective: To demonstrate the feasibility of the laparoscopic approach in obtaining abdominal lymph node biopsies and to evaluate the diagnostic adequacy of the technique.

Methods: We reviewed the data of patients who underwent laparoscopic lymph node biopsy between 2014 and 2014 in our department. Demographics, intra-operative parameters and postoperative course were examined, as were histological reports. Postoperative complications were categorized according to the Clavien-Dindo(CD) classification.

Results: Between 2004 and 2014, 57 laparoscopic biopsies were performed for intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy. One case was a repeated attempt due to limited histologic material. The mean age was 49.5 ± 19.6 years. There were two conversions to open laparotomy, one due to small bowel injury and the other due to a sizable mass. Overall, 56 cases had full clinical data: 48 cases (85.7%) had CD=0, six (10.7%) had CD=1, one postoperative severe complication (CD=3) and one mortality (CD=5), which was related to preexisting hepatic insufficiency. Mean hospital stay was 1.6 days. Overall, adequate tissue samples were acquired in 96.7% and only 3 of these cases resulted in inconclusive diagnoses.

Conclusions: Laparoscopic lymph node biopsy is a viable alternative to the currently available methods of tissue retrieval. It provides an access for nodes which are inaccessible percutaneously, and may allow a superior diagnostic yield.

Yinon Gilboa MD, Sharon Perlman MD, Hila Karp MD, Ron Rabinovitch MD and Reuven Achiron MD

Background: In recent years, the role of intrapartum sonography has expanded in childbirth management, in subjective clinical situations such as arrested deliveries, or prior to instrumental deliveries.

Objectives: To assess the current use of intrapartum ultrasound by obstetricians in Israel.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was completed by 79 obstetricians in second- and third level- hospitals in Israel. The results were analyzed according to main subspecialty (sonography, delivery), experience and gender.

Results: A questionnaire was completed by 56 senior obstetricians and 23 interns with an average experience of 14.3 and 2.4 years, respectively. All obstetricians performed ultrasound examinations in the delivery room for basic indications such as fetal presentation during twin delivery and to rule out placenta previa. Sonographers consistently reported advanced indications as compared to senior members of delivery teams and interns in the assessment of prolonged first (52% vs. 14% vs. 14%) and second stage of labor (88% vs. 52% vs. 62%) and in assessment of fetal head station (60% vs. 30% vs. 22%), head progression during descent (48% vs. 23% vs. 11%), diagnosis of head position (88% vs. 68% vs. 60%), spine direction (92% vs. 59% vs. 53%) and asynclytism (41% vs. 20% vs. 29%).

Conclusions: Ultrasound is currently used by all physicians in the delivery room for basic indications. However, obstetric teams report a low use of advanced intrapartum ultrasound and prefer to rely on their clinical experience. Advanced intrapartum sonographic imaging should be an integral part of obstetric qualifications. A steep learning curve, along with high reproducibility, suggests that ultrasound devices will become a common tool in labor and delivery management.


Valeria Zhdanov MPH, Natalya Bilenko MD MPH PhD and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Recurrent tuberculosis (TB) is one of the indices used to assess the effectiveness of the Israeli National TB Programs (NTP).

Objectives: To estimate the incidence of recurrent TB in Israel and to identify the associated risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all TB patients who were Israeli citizens and diagnosed between 1999 and 2011 with a treatment outcome recorded as “success." We compared those who had recurrent TB with those who did not. In addition, a nested case-control study included all those who had recurrent TB with a random sample from this cohort matched by age, gender, and year of TB diagnosis.

Results: Of 3515 TB patients diagnosed between 1999 and 2011, 37 (1.05%) had recurrent TB during the follow-up period, with an incidence rate of 1.55 cases per 1000 person-years (PY). Male gender [hazard ratio (HR) 3.2, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.4–7.4], human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (HR 3.9, 95%CI 1.5–10.4), positive sputum culture [odds ratios (OR) 2.7, 95%CI 1.1–6.9], and low adherence to anti-TB treatment (OR 3.2, 95%CI 1.0–10.3) were found to be risk factors for recurrent TB.

Conclusions: Male gender, HIV infection, positive sputum culture, and low adherence to anti-TB drugs during the initial TB episode were risk factors for developing recurrent TB.

William Nseir MD, Zuhair Abu-Rahmeh MD, Alex Tsipis MD, Julnar Mograbi RN and Mahmud Mahamid MD

Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease which refers to the presence of hepatic steatosis. Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in women and is the leading cause of death from cancer among women.

Objectives: To assess the relationship between NAFLD and newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer.

Methods: The results of mammography screening examinations in women referred to the Breast Center, Holy Family Hospital, Nazareth during a 4 year period were collected. We identified cases of women who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer and who underwent abdominal computed tomography (CT) within 1 month of the diagnosis. The control group comprised 73 women with normal mammography and breast ultrasonography who underwent abdominal CT within 3 months from the date of the breast cancer screening during the same study period. The control cases were matched by age and body mass index (BMI). We compared the cases with the controls in terms of the presence of diffuse hepatic fatty liver and other known risk factors for breast cancer.

Results: Of the 133 women who were screened, 73 with new diagnosis of breast cancer were eligible for the study. NAFLD was found in 33 of the women with breast cancer and in 12 in the control group (45.2% vs.16.4%, respectively, P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed NAFLD (odds ratio 2.82, 95% confidence interval 1.2–5.5, P = 0.016) to be associated with breast cancer.

Conclusions: NAFLD is associated with breast cancer.

Alexander Shturman MD, Shira Vardi MD, Amitai Bickel MD and Shaul Atar MD

Background: The very long-term prognostic significance of ventricular late potentials (VLP) in patients post ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is unclear.

Objective: To evaluate the long-term predictive value of VLP for mortality post-STEMI.

Methods: We conducted serial signal-averaged electrocardiography (SAECG) measurements in 63 patients on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd day pre-discharge, and 30 days after STEMI in patients admitted in 2001. We followed the patients for 10 years and correlated the presence of VLP with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

Results: The mean age was 59.9 ± 12.3 years. Thrombolysis was performed in 41 patients (65%). Percutaneous coronary intervention was performed pre-discharge in 40 patients (63%) and coronary artery bypass grafting in 7 (11%). Five consecutive measurements to define the presence of VLP were obtained in 52 patients (21 with VLP and 31 without). We found a higher prevalence of VLP in males compared to females (QRS segment > 114 msec, 51% vs. 12%, P = 0.02, duration of the low amplitude signal < 40 mV) in the terminal portion of the averaged QRS complex > 38 msec, 47% vs. 25%, P = 0.05). Over 10 years of follow-up, 14 (22%) patients died, 10 (70%) due to cardiovascular non-arrhythmic complications, 6 with VLP compared to only 3 without (28.6% vs. 9.7%, P = 0.125, hazard ratio = 2.96, confidence intervals = 0.74–11.84) (are these numbers meant to total 10?).

Conclusions: Over 10 years of follow-up, the presence of VLP in early post-STEMI is not predictive of arrhythmic or non-arrhythmic cardiovascular mortality.

Eyal Lotan MD MSc, Stephen P. Raskin MD, Michal M. Amitai MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Tania Berdichevski MD and Ziv Ben-Ari MD

Background: Accurate assessment of liver fibrosis is crucial for the management of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of liver segment-to-spleen volume ratio in predicting the severity of liver fibrosis.

Methods: Sixty-four consecutive HCV patients were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and were divided into three groups based on their hepatic fibrosis stage evaluated by shear-wave elastography (SWE): non-advanced (F0–F1, n=29), advanced (F2, n=19) and severe fibrosis (F3–F4, n=16). Using semi-automated liver segmentation software, we calculated the following liver segments and spleen volumes for each participant: total liver volume (TLV), caudate lobe (CV), left lateral segment (LLV), left medial segment (LMV), right lobe (RV) and spleen (SV), a well as their ratios: CV/SV, RV/SV, LLV/SV, LMV/SV and TLV/SV.

Results: RV/SV was found to discriminate between patients with non-advanced and advanced fibrosis (P = 0.001), whereas SV, CV, RV, TLV/SV, LMV/SV and RV/SV discriminated between patients with advanced and severe fibrosis (P < 0.05). RV/SV ≤ 3.6 and RV ≤ 2.9 were identified as the best cutoff values to differentiate non-advanced from advanced fibrosis and advanced from severe fibrosis with sensitivities of 72.2% and 92.7%, specificities of 72.7% and 77.8%, and with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.797 and 0.847, respectively (P ≤ 0.002).

Conclusions: RV/SV may be used for the assessment and monitoring of liver fibrosis in HCV patients prior to the administration of antiviral therapy, considering SWE as the reference method.


Noam Oz MD, Danny Alon MD, Gideon Y Stein MD PhD and Dan Turner MD

Background: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for populations at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is still not available in Israel.

Objectives: To analyze post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment adherence rates among adult men in Tel Aviv, Israel, who have sex with men (MSM), and to obtain data on the demographics of PEP users, exposure types, timeline of exposure and PEP administration, incidence of side effects, number of treatments per individual, and satisfaction with selected elements of treatment provision.

Methods: The authors conducted an observational cohort study of adult MSM who requested PEP treatment in the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Information from patients receiving treatment between January 2013 and June 2014 was obtained through telephone interviews by means of a 30-item questionnaire.

Results: Of 336 individuals requesting PEP treatment, 255 (75.9%) were adult MSM, and 100 (39.2%) satisfactorily completed the interview. The average age of the study cohort was 32.4 years (standard deviation of 7.5). Ninety-one (91%) reported completing a full 28-day course of treatment, 84% reported side effects, and 20% underwent multiple courses. Satisfaction was high for interactions with the HIV specialists. Patient experience with PEP treatment in the emergency room setting, and follow-up were inadequate deficient.

Conclusions: PEP adherence rates in Tel Aviv were significantly higher than previously reported. PEP should be administered in designated community settings. PrEP as a general treatment policy might suit the MSM population in Tel Aviv.


Letters from Kazakhstan
Altynshash Jaxybayeva MD PhD, Raushan Kenzhegulova MD, Lyazzat Baygazyieva MD, 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