• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Doctors card
  • Follow us
עמוד בית Mon, 19.02.18

December 2017

Original articles
Miki Paker MD, Shani Fisher RN, Salim Mazzawi MD, Raul Colodner PhD and Dror Ashkenazi MD

Background: Direct aspiration from suspected pathological tissue and rapid parathyroid hormone analysis may offer a reliable, cost effective alternative to currently used “gold standard” tests.

Objectives: To validate the accuracy of intraoperative measurements of parathyroid hormone levels in parathyroid adenomas.

Methods: A prospective study included 22 patients diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism who underwent parathyroidectomy due to an adenoma or hyperplasia. Aspirations of tissues extracted from three adjacent areas (the pathological parathyroid, thyroid, and muscle tissues) were sent for rapid parathyroid hormone analysis. The assay values of these tissue aspirates were compared to the results of the pathology report based on frozen section analysis and the final pathology report.

Results: All assay results were significantly higher for parathyroid tissue 16,800 to 1,097,986 pmol/L (median 26,600), than for either thyroid 1.7 to 415 pmol/L (median 6.5), P < 0.001, or muscle tissue 1.1 to 1230 pmol/L, (median 11.3), P < 0.001. All tissues showing high parathyroid assay values were also verified by pathology examinations: 7 had adenomas and 15 had a differential diagnosis of adenoma or hyperplasia. The frozen section identified all but one (false negative). Rapid intraoperative parathyroid levels > 1500 predicted parathyroid tissue with a 99% level of confidence, while levels between 1000 and 1500 predicted it with 95% confidence. The intraoperative parathyroid hormone assay showed > 70% decrease in 15/21 cases.

Conclusions: Rapid intraoperative parathyroid hormone analysis is a reliable and precise technique, equally accurate for frozen section analysis in predicting with high certainty intraoperative parathyroid tissue.

Udit Gibor MD, Zvi Perry MD, Dan Tirosh MD, Uri Netz MD, Alex Rosental MD, Alex Fich MD, Sofie Man MD, Samuel Ariad MD and Boris Kirshtein MD

Background: Self-expanding metallic stents (SEMS) insertion is an alternative to emergency surgery in malignant colonic obstruction. However, the long-term oncological outcome of stents as a bridge to surgery is limited and controversial.

Objectives: To determine the long-term oncological outcome of stents as a bridge to surgery.

Methods: Data of patients who underwent emergency surgery and endoscopic stent insertion as a bridge to surgery due to obstructing colon cancer at Soroka Medical Center during a 14 year period were collected retrospectively. Preoperative data, tumor staging, and oncological outcomes in terms of local recurrence, metastatic spread, and overall survival of the patients were compared.

Results: Sixty-four patients (56% female, mean age 72 years) were included in the study: 43 (67%) following emergency surgery, 21 stent inserted prior to surgery. A stent was inserted within 24–48 hours of hospital admission. The mean time between SEMS insertion and surgery was 15 days (range 0–30). Most of the patients had stage II (41%) and stage III (34%) colonic cancer. There was no difference in tumor staging and localization between groups. There was no significant difference in disease recurrence between SEMS and surgery groups, 24% and 32%, respectively. Disease-free survival rates were similar between the SEMS group (23.8%) and surgery group (22%). Four year and overall survival rates were 52.4% vs. 47.6%, 33.3% vs. 39.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: SEMS as a bridge to surgery in patients with obstructing colon cancer provide an equivalent long-term oncological outcome to surgery alone.


Nili Elior MD, Diana Tasher MD, Elli Somekh MD, Michal Stein MD, Orna Schwartz Harari MA and Avigdor Mandelberg MD

Background: Nebulized hypertonic saline (HS) treatment is unavailable to large populations worldwide.

Objectives: To determine the bacterial contamination and electrolyte concentrations in homemade (HM-HS) vs. pharmacy made (PM-HS).

Methods: We conducted three double-blind consecutive trials: 50 boiled-water homemade 3%-HS (B-HM-HS) bottles and 50 PM-HS. The bottles were cultured after 48 hours. Electrolyte concentrations were measured in 10 bottles (5 per group). Forty bottles (20 per group) were distributed to volunteers for simulation of realistic treatment by drawing 4 ml HS three times daily. From each bottle, 4 ml samples were cultured after 1, 5, and 7 days. Volunteers prepared 108 bottles containing 3%-HS, sterilizing them using a microwave oven (1100–1850W). These bottles were cultured 24 hours, 48 hours, and 1 month after preparation.

Results: Contamination rates of B-HM-HS and PM-HS after 48 hours were 56% and 14%, respectively (P = 0.008). Electrolyte concentrations were similar: 3.7% ± 0.4 and 3.5% ± 0.3, respectively (P = NS). Following a single day of simulation B-HM-HS bottles were significantly more contaminated than PM-HS bottles: 75% vs. 20%, respectively (P < 0.01). By day 7, 85% of PM-HS bottles and 100% of B-HM-HS bottles were contaminated (P = 0.23). All 108 microwave-oven prepared bottles (MICRO-HS) were sterile, which was significantly better than the contamination rate of B-HM-HS and PM-HS (P < 0.001). Calculated risk for a consecutive MICRO-HS to be infected was negligible.

Conclusion: Microwave preparation provides sterile HS with adequate electrolyte concentrations, and is a cheap, fast, and widely available method to prepare HS.


Michal Kori MD, Jacob Yahav MD, Rita Berdinstein MD and Haim Shmuely, MD

Background: Empiric treatment for Helicobacter pylori is influenced by antibiotic susceptibility of infecting strains. A rise in the resistance rate to clarithromycin and metronidazole has been reported in pediatric populations.

Objectives: To assess the primary and secondary antibiotic resistance of H. pylori isolates in Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A retrospective review of H. pylori isolates cultured from antral biopsies of consecutive children aged 1 to 18 years, who were referred to the Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit, Kaplan Medical Center, over a 2.8 year period, was performed. Antibiotic susceptibility to clarithromycin, metronidazole, amoxicillin, tetracycline, and levofloxacin was determined by E-test. Data on the age of the patient, indication for endoscopy, and antibiotic treatment for H. pylori in previously treated children was collected.

Results: Cultures for H. pylori yielded 123 isolates. In children not previously treated (n=95), the primary global resistance was 38% with resistance to clarithromycin 9.5%, metronidazole 32.6 %, and to both 4.2%. Respective rates of resistance in previously treated children (n=28) were 71% (P = 0.002), 29% (P = 0.02), and 61% (P = 0.007). Simultaneous resistance to both drugs was found in 18% (P = 0.02). All H. pylori strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, tetracycline, and levofloxacin. Past eradication treatment was the only independent risk factor for antibiotic resistance in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Significantly higher resistance rates were found in previously treated patients, stressing the need to refrain from empiric treatment using the "test and treat strategy." Culture-based treatment strategy should be considered in all previously treated children.

Dante Antonelli MD, Ofir Koren MD, Menachem Nahir MD, Ehud Rozner MD, Nahum A. MD and Yoav Turgeman MD

Background: Survival of patients who were discharged from the hospital following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has not been well defined.

Objective: To verify predictor variables for prognosis of patients following OHCA who survived hospitalization.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed clinical, demographic, and outcome data of consecutive patients who were hospitalized from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2014, into the intensive coronary care unit (ICCU) after aborted OHCA and discharged alive. The patients were followed until December 31, 2015.

Results: Of the 180 patients who were admitted into ICCU after OHCA, 64 were discharged alive (59.3%): 55 were male (85.9%), 14 died 16.5 ± 18 months after their discharge. During 1 year follow-up, nine patients (14.1%) died after a median period of 5.5 months and 55 patients (85.9 %) survived. Diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure (CRF) were more frequent in patients who died within 1 year after their hospital discharge than those who survived. Ventricular fibrillation, such as initial arrhythmia, and opening of occluded infarct related artery were more frequent in survivors.

Conclusions: Most of the patients who were discharged after OHCA were alive at the 1 year follow-up. The risk of death of cardiac arrest survivors is greatest during the first year after discharge. CRF remains a poor long-term prognostic factor beyond the patients' discharge. Ventricular fibrillation, as initial arrhythmia, and opening of occluded infarct related artery have a positive impact on long-term survival.

Jad Khatib MD, Naama Schwartz PhD and Naiel Bisharat MD PhD

Background: In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Health distributed guidelines for improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge among hospital staff. The impact of these guidelines on survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unclear.

Objectives: To compare rates of incidence and survival to discharge after IHCA, preceding and subsequent to issuance of the guidelines: 1995–2005 and 2006–2015.

Methods: Data were retrieved from the computerized records of patients who had an IHCA and underwent CPR. In addition, we retrieved data available from the hospital's resuscitation committee that included number, type, methods of training in CPR refresher courses, type and number of audits carried out during the past 10 years, and type of CPR quality assessments.

Results: From 1995 to 2015, IHCA incidence increased from 0.7 to 1.7 per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001), while survival rate did not increase (P = 0.37). Survival for shockable rhythms increased from 15.4 to 30.2% (P = 0.05) between the two time periods. The ratio of non-shockable to shockable rhythms increased from 2.4 to 4.6 (P = 0.01) between the two time periods.

Conclusions: Overall IHCA survival did not improve following the issuance of guidelines requiring CPR refresher courses, although survival improved for patients with initial shockable dysrhythmia. A decrease of events with initial shockable dysrhythmia, an increase with acute renal failure, and a decrease occurring in intensive care units contributed to understanding the findings. We found that CPR refresher courses were helpful, although an objective measure of their effectiveness is lacking.


Noam Meiri MD, Amichi Ankri (medical clown), Faten Ziadan MA, Itay Nahmias (medical clown), Muriel Konopnicki MD, Zeev Schnapp MD, Omer Itzhak Sagi MD, Mohamad Hamad Saied MD and Giora Pillar MD PhD

Background: A good physical exam is necessary to help pediatricians make the correct diagnosis and can save unnecessary imaging or invasive procedures. Distraction by medical clowns may create the optimal conditions for a proper physical examination.

Methods: Children aged 2–6 years who required physical examination in the pediatric emergency department were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two groups: physical exam by a pediatrician in the presence of caregivers vs. physical exam with the assistance of a medical clown. Outcome measures consisted of the level of child's discomfort, anxiety, and the quality of the physical examination.

Results: Ninety three children participated. Mean age was 3.3 ± 3.6 years (range 2–6). The duration of the physical exam was similar between the clown and control groups (4.6 ± 1.4 minutes vs. 4.5 ± 1.1 minutes (P = 0.64). The duration of discomfort was shorter in the clown group (0.2 ± 0.6 minutes) than the control group(1.6 ± 2.0 minutes, P = 0.001). In the medical clown group, 94% of pediatricians reported that the medical clown improved their ability to perform a complete physical examination. A trend of less hospitalization in the medical clown group was also noticed (11.3% in the medical clown group vs. 18.3% in the control group, P = 0.1); however, further study is required to verify this observation.

Conclusions: Integration of a medical clown in physical examination improves the overall experience of the child and the caregivers and helps the pediatrician to perform a complete physical examination.

Liat Shargian-Alon MD, Oren Pasvolsky MD and Pia Raanani MD

Background: During the past decades, beta thalassemia major (TM) and beta thalassemia intermedia (TI) have transformed from a universally fatal disease at a young age into a chronic disease. This advancement is attributed to improved chelation therapy as well as enhanced management strategies, with focused attention on disease and treatment-related complications.

Objectives: To describe characteristics of adults with thalassemia as well as treatment modalities, disease and treatment-related complications, and socioeconomic information of the patients.

Methods: We preformed a retrospective analysis of 14 adult patients > 35 years of age with TM and TI who were treated at our institute, a single center specializing in the care of adult thalassemia patients living in Israel, between the years 2006 and 2016.

Results: The median age of patients was 37 years and most patients were transfusion-dependent. The median number of chelation therapeutic lines was three, and 85.7% of patients were treated at one point by combination chelation therapy. Most patients suffered from at least some form of endocrine dysfunction (n=12), and four patients developed overt heart failure. Of the patients, 85% had completed at least a high school education, 78% were employed, and 64.2% were married.

Conclusions: Prolonged survival of thalassemia patients in recent years has been accompanied by a new set of challenges for both the patients and the treating staff. Further research is warranted to improve both medical management and the socioeconomic well-being of this unique group of adult thalassemia patients.

Shani Dahan MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR

Medical practice is a form of art, with each complex detail essential to the welfare of the individuals in the care of the physician. Art and medicine have shared a close relationship in a variety of ways for centuries, as demonstrated by anatomical drawings and textbooks from the 16th century. Leonardo da Vinci, driven by his fascination with the details of the human body and how it functioned, succeeded in creating an anatomical model of the cerebral ventricles and the aorta using molten wax and a glass structure, respectively (Heart and Its Blood Vessels). By using water that contained grass seeds, this experiment enabled him to study blood flow. da Vinci’s engrossment with the complexity of the human body is reflected in many of his drawings, including the famous depiction of the human physique in his drawing of the Vitruvian Man. This drawing, which defines the ideal proportions of the human body and their correlation with geometry, is an example of how artistic and scientific objectives integrate with each other.

Case Communications
Clinical case education
Sandra Benizri, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Noam D. Kitrey, Dan Carter, Elinor Goshen and Yehonathan Sharabi

A 47 year old man presented with a combination of dry mouth and lightheadedness while standing. His medical background was unremarkable except for cigarette smoking and hyperlipidemia. Sjögren’s syndrome was ruled out, and he was referred for evaluation of orthostatic hypotension, which by then included syncopal episodes and injuries. Additional symptoms included dry eyes, constipation, reduced sweating, and erectile dysfunction. After excluding medications and structural cardiac abnormalities as causes of orthostatic hypotension, a clinical autonomic evaluation was performed. The pattern of beat-to-beat blood pressure associated with performance of the Valsalva maneuver, and a low plasma norepinephrine level that did not increase in response to standing, established that the orthostatic hypotension was neurogenic. Treatment with an alpha-adrenoceptor agonist and fludrocortisone yielded partial improvement. After systemic diseases involving autonomic failure were excluded, cardiac sympathetic neuroimaging was performed by 123I-metaliodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scanning. The normal uptake seen in the heart indicated intact post ganglionic sympathetic innervation. There were no signs of central neurodegeneration or peripheral neuropathy. Because of symptoms and signs of both parasympathetic and sympathetic failure without denervation, an autonomic ganglionopathy was considered. A high titer of antibody to the neuronal nicotinic receptor, which mediates ganglionic neurotransmission, was obtained. The diagnosis of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG) was made, and the management strategy shifted to first lowering the antibody burden by plasma exchanges and then instituting chronic anti-autoimmune treatment with rituximab and a low dose of cortiosteroid. The patient showed remarkable improvement.

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