Eran Leshem MD, Michael Rahkovich MD, Anna Mazo MD, Mahmoud Suleiman MD, Miri Blich MD, Avishag Laish-Farkash MD, Yuval Konstantino MD, Rami Fogelman MD, Boris Strasberg MD, Michael Geist MD, Israel Chetboun MD, Moshe Swissa MD, Michael Ilan MD, Aharon Glick MD, Yoav Michowitz MD, Raphael Rosso MD, Michael Glikson MD and Bernard Belhassen MD
Background: Limited information exists about detailed clinical characteristics and management of the small subset of Brugada syndrome (BrS) patients who had an arrhythmic event (AE).
Objectives: To conduct the first nationwide survey focused on BrS patients with documented AE.
Methods: Israeli electrophysiology units participated if they had treated BrS patients who had cardiac arrest (CA) (lethal/aborted; group 1) or experienced appropriate therapy for tachyarrhythmias after prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation (group 2).
Results: The cohort comprised 31 patients: 25 in group 1, 6 in group 2. Group 1: 96% male, mean CA age 38 years (range 13–84). Nine patients (36%) presented with arrhythmic storm and three had a lethal outcome; 17 (68%) had spontaneous type 1 Brugada electrocardiography (ECG). An electrophysiology study (EPS) was performed on 11 patients with inducible ventricular fibrillation (VF) in 10, which was prevented by quinidine in 9/10 patients. During follow-up (143 ± 119 months) eight patients experienced appropriate shocks, none while on quinidine. Group 2: all male, age 30–53 years; 4/6 patients had familial history of sudden death age < 50 years. Five patients had spontaneous type 1 Brugada ECG and four were asymptomatic at ICD implantation. EPS was performed in four patients with inducible VF in three. During long-term follow-up, five patients received ≥ 1 appropriate shocks, one had ATP for sustained VT (none taking quinidine). No AE recurred in patients subsequently treated with quinidine.
Conclusions: CA from BrS is apparently a rare occurrence on a national scale and no AE occurred in any patient treated with quinidine.
Yehonatan Nevo MD, Yuri Goldes MD, Liran Barda MD, Roy Nadler MD, Mordechai Gutman MD and Avinoam Nevler MD
Background: Recent studies have analyzed risk factors associated with complications after gastric cancer surgery using the Clavien-Dindo classification (CD). However, they have been based on Asian population cohorts (Chinese, Japanese, Korean).
Objectives: To prospectively analyze all post-gastrectomy complications according to severity using CD classification and identify postoperative risk factors and complications.
Methods: We analyzed all gastrectomies for gastric cancer performed 2009–2014. Recorded parameters included demographic data, existing co-morbidities, neo-adjuvant treatment, intra-operative findings, postoperative course, and histologic findings. Postoperative complications were graded using CD classification.
Results: The study comprised 112 patients who underwent gastrectomy. Mean age was 64.8 ± 12.8 years; 53 patients (47%) underwent gastrectomy, 37 (34%) total gastrectomy, and 22 (19%) total extended gastrectomy. All patients had D2 lymphadenectomy. The average number of retrieved lymph nodes was 35 ± 17. Severe complication rate (≥ IIIa) was 14% and mortality rate was 1.8%. In a univariate analysis, age > 65 years; ASA 3 or higher; chronic renal failure; multi-organ resection; and tumor, node, and metastases (TNM) stage ≥ IIIc were found to be significantly associated with CD complication grade > III (P = 0.01, P = 0.05, P = 0.04, P = 0.04, and P = 0.01, respectively). Multivariate regression analysis revealed advanced stage (≥ IIIc) and age > 65 years to be significant independent risk factors (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Age > 65 and advanced stage (≥ IIIc) were the primary risk factors for complications of grade > III according to the CD classification following gastrectomy for gastric cancer.
Mansour Khoury MD, Sigalit Caspi RN, Ruth Stalnikowics MD, Elad Peless RN, Ela Raiizman RN MA and Shaden Salameh MD MHA
Background: Acute musculoskeletal pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms among patients visiting the emergency department (ED). Treatment with over-the-counter pain medications, given by nurses, results in improved pain management and reduces the waiting time to drug administration without significant side effects. Opioid analgesics are extensively used for acute pain in the ED. Compared to morphine, oxycodone has a much more specific pharmacological activity, higher analgesic potential, and more tolerable side effects.
Objectives: To assess the degree of pain reduction using different protocols, including dypirone and oxycodone given by nurses, in treating acute musculoskeletal pain in the emergency department (primary outcome) and to evaluate the need for rescue medications (secondary outcome).
Methods: This observational prospective clinical trial compared two groups of 50 patients, each one visiting the ED due to musculoskeletal pain. One group was treated with dipyrone syrup and the other was treated with oxycodone syrup. The primary outcome was pain reduction measured by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). The secondary outcome was the difference in need for rescue medications.
Results: The reduction in the NRS was greater in the patients treated with oxycodone. This finding was statistically and clinically significant (P < 0.001). The need for rescue medications was also significantly reduced in this group of patients (P = 0.007).
Conclusions: This study showed that the administration of over-the-counter oxycodone syrup by nurses decreases the post-treatment pain reported by patients, reduces the need for rescue medications, and increases the satisfaction of the medical staff.
Viktoria Leikin-Zach MD, Eilon Shany MD, Maayan Yitshak-Sade PhD, Ron Eshel B Med Sc, Tali Shafat MD, Avraham Borer MD and Rimma Melamed MD
Background: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production is the most common antimicrobial resistance mechanism in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), with colonization and blood stream infections being a major threat to this population. Since 2013, all NICU admissions at our facility were screened twice weekly for ESBL colonization.
Objectives: To determine independent risk factors for colonization of infants with ESBL-producing bacteria in the NICU.
Methods: A retrospective case study of ESBL-colonized infants vs. controls (matched by date of birth and gestational age) was conducted in the NICU of Soroka University Medical Center, Israel, between 2013 and 2014. Epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical data were extracted from medical files. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to assess associations between ESBL colonization and possible clinical risk factors.
Results: Of 639 admissions during the study period, 87 were found to be ESBL-colonized (case infants) and were matched to 87 controls. Five case infants became infected (5.7%) with ESBL strains. Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common isolated bacteria. The mean time from admission to colonization was 15 days. Univariable analysis showed an association of male gender and highest Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes with ESBL colonization (P < 0.05). Multivariable analysis yielded only a possible association of higher Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes (hazard ratio [HR] 1.515, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.993-2.314; HR 1.603, 95%CI 0.958–2.682, respectively) with ESBL colonization.
Conclusions: Future studies should focus on maternal colonization and possible strategies for preventing vertical transmission of ESBL strains to high-risk neonates.
Marwan Hakim MD DSc, Adel Jabour PhD, Miriam Anton MSc, Meggie Hakim PhD and Sahar Kheirallah MD
Background: The recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding universal screening for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) at 35–37 weeks gestational age in pregnancy is not accepted in Israel. The National Council for Obstetrics, Neonatology and Genetics recommends intrapartum prophylaxis, mainly based on risk factors, to prevent early neonatal GBS infection. This policy is based on past studies demonstrating low colonization rates of the bacteria in Israeli pregnant women and very low neonatal sepsis rates.
Objectives: To determine the applicability of the high-risk group prophylaxis policy for Arab Israeli pregnant women.
Methods: Vaginorectal swabs from Arab Israeli pregnant women who attended the labor ward between October 2015 and February 2016, were obtained before any pelvic examination for GBS identification using Quidel’s AmpliVue® GBS assay. Women who tested positive received intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent neonatal infection. Obstetric data were collected from each woman from a standardized questionnaire. Data regarding the delivery and neonates were collected as well.
Results: The study comprised 188 Arab pregnant women who met the inclusion criteria and signed a consent form to participate in the study. Of these, 59 had positive tests, and a carriage rate of 31%. No neonatal colonization of GBS was found.
Conclusions: The carrier rate in Arab pregnant women in northern Israel is higher than the national average, at least partially due to the more sensitive method of GBS detection used in the present study.
Ido Laish MD, Amir Mari MD, Batya Mannasse MSc, Ruth Hadary MD, Fred Meir Konikoff PhD, Aliza Amiel PhD and Yona Kitay-Cohen MD
Background: Shortened telomeres were found in patients with cirrhosis, probably reflecting chronic liver injury, continuous regeneration, and destruction of hepatic nodules.
Objectives: To test whether telomere shortening is a general marker of cirrhosis, independent of disease etiology.
Methods: We evaluated telomere length in patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis (largely a late sequela of steatohepatitis) compared to patients with cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis B and C (HBV/HCV). We also evaluated telomere aggregates, a sensitive parameter of telomere dysfunction and genetic instability. We analyzed peripheral lymphocytes from 25 patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis, 15 patients with cirrhosis due to chronic viral hepatitis, and 20 age-matched controls. Telomere length was analyzed using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization. Aggregate size was divided into three fusion groups of 2–5, 6–10, and 11–15 telomeres, relative to the size of a single telomere.
Results: Shorter telomere length was found in patients with cirrhosis from all three etiologies (mean 121.3 ± 24.1) compared to controls (mean 63.5 ± 23.5). In contrast, there was significantly more fusion of > 5 telomeres only in the HBV/HCV cirrhosis group compared to healthy controls (P = 0.023), but not in the cryptogenic cirrhosis group.
Conclusions: While shortened telomeres in peripheral lymphocytes are a general marker of liver cirrhosis, telomere aggregates may signify a more sensitive genetic instability parameter for the diverse, etiology-based malignant potential of cirrhosis. This finding is in agreement with the well-known higher tendency toward developing hepatocellular carcinoma with cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis relative to steatohepatitis.
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD, Zahar Shapira MD, Oded Zmora MD and Igor Jeroukhimov MD
Background: Damage control laparotomy (DCL) is the widely accepted procedure of choice in management of severely injured trauma patient. It has been implemented in non-trauma-related surgical pathology in the last decade.
Objectives: To evaluate our experience with planned re-laparotomy (PRL) in non-trauma patients and compare it to other reports.
Methods: Charts of all patients admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center who underwent PRL for non-trauma-related abdominal pathology during a 6 year period were reviewed. Data regarding demographics, vital signs, laboratory tests, indications for surgery, length of hospital stay, and mortality were obtained from medical charts. Indications for surgery, risk factors, and mortality were analyzed.
Results: The study was comprised of 181 patients. Primary abdominal sepsis (50), postoperative sepsis (49), mesenteric event (32), and intestinal obstruction (28) were the most common indications for PRL. Mortality rate was 48.6%. Factors correlating with increased mortality were advanced age, hypotension, hypothermia, metabolic acidosis, and renal failure. Bowel resection was performed on 122 patients (67%) and primary intestinal anastomosis constructed in 46.7%. Mortality rate was lower in patients who underwent PRL with primary anastomosis compared to patients with postponed bowel anastomosis (33.3% vs. 55.4%, P = 0.018).
Conclusions: PRL in abdominal emergencies carries a high mortality rate. Primary anastomosis may be considered in non-trauma-related PRL.
Ronen Zalts MD, Tomer Twizer MD, Ronit Leiba BsC and Amir Karban MD
Background: The identification of the etiology of a pleural effusion can be difficult. Measurement of serum B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is helpful in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) as a cause of respiratory failure, but pleural fluid BNP measurement is still not part of the workup for pleural effusion.
Objectives: To identify the correlation between pleural fluid BNP levels and clinical diagnosis.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data from 107 patients admitted to the department of internal medicine between November 2009 and January 2015 were obtained from medical records. Patients underwent a diagnostic thoracocentesis as part of their evaluation. They were grouped according to final diagnosis at discharge and clinical judgment of the attending physician.
Results: Serum BNP levels were significantly higher in the CHF patients compared to patients with non-cardiac causes of pleural effusion (1519.2 and 314.1 respectively, P < 0.0001). Mean pleural fluid BNP was also significantly higher in the CHF patients (1063.2 vs. 208.3, P < 0.0001). Optional cutoff points to distinguish between cardiac and non-cardiac etiology of pleural effusion were 273.4 pg/ml (sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 72.3%, accuracy 76.7%) or 400 pg/ml (sensitivity 78.6%, specificity 86.2%, accuracy 83.0%). A strong correlation was found between serum BNP and pleural fluid BNP levels.
Conclusions: High levels of serum BNP in patients presenting with pleural effusion suggest CHF. In cases with doubt regarding the etiology of pleural effusion, high levels of pleural fluid BNP can support the diagnosis, but are not superior to serum BNP levels.
Batsheva Tzadok MD, Shay Shapira and Eran Tal-Or MD
Background: When a patient arrives at the emergency department (ED) presenting with symptoms of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), it is possible to reach a definitive diagnosis through many different venues, including medical history, physical examination, echocardiography, chest X-ray, and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has become a mainstream tool for diagnosis and treatment in the field of emergency medicine, as well as in various other departments in the hospital setting. Currently, the main methods of diagnosis of ADHF using POCUS are pleural B-lines and inferior vena cava (IVC) width and respiratory variation.
Objectives: To examine the potential use and benefits of bedside ultrasound of the jugular veins in the evaluation of dyspneic patients for identification of ADHF.
Methods: A blood BNP level was drawn from each participant at time of recruitment. The area and size of the internal jugular vein (IJV) during inspiration and expiration were examined.
Results: Our results showed that the respiratory area change of the IJVs had a specificity and sensitivity of nearly 70% accuracy rate in indentifying ADHF in our ED.
Conclusions: Ultrasound of the IJV may be a useful tool for the diagnosis of ADHF because it is easy to measure and requires little skill. It is also not affected by patient body habitus.
Roman Nevzorov MD, Avital Porter MD, Shanie Mostov DVM, Shirit Kazum MD, Alon Eisen MD, Gustavo Goldenberg MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD, Jairo Kusniec MD, Gregory Golovchiner MD, Boris Strasberg MD and Moti Haim MD
Background: Gender-related differences (GRD) exist in the outcome of patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Objectives: To assess GRD in patients who underwent CRT.
Methods: A retrospective cohort of 178 patients who were implanted with a CRT in a tertiary center 2005–2009 was analyzed. Primary outcome was 1 year mortality. Secondary endpoints were readmission and complication rates.
Results: No statistically significant difference was found in 1 year mortality rates (14.6% males vs. 11.8% females, P = 0.7) or in readmission rate (50.7% vs. 41.2%, P = 0.3). The complication rate was only numerically higher in women (14.7% vs. 5.6%, P = 0.09). Men more often had CRT-defibrillator (CRT-D) implants (63.2% vs. 35.3%, P = 0.003) and had a higher rate of ischemic cardiomyopathy (79.2% vs. 38.2%, P < 0.001). There was a trend to higher incidence of ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia in men before CRT implantation (29.9% vs. 14.7%, P = 0.07%). A higher proportion of men upgraded from implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to CRT-D, 20.8% vs. 8.8%, P = 0.047. On multivariate model, chronic renal failure was an independent predictor of 1 year mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 3.6; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.4–9.5), CRT-D had a protective effect compared to CRT-pacemaker (HR 0.3, 95%CI 0.12–0.81).
Conclusions: No GRD was found in 1 year mortality or readmission rates in patients treated with CRT. There was a trend toward a higher complication rate in females. Men were implanted more often with CRT-D and more frequently underwent upgrading of ICD to CRT-D.