J. Levy, T. Lifshitz, D. Goldfarb, B. Knyazer and N. Belfair
Background: Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of adult blindness and accounts for about 10% of cases of legal blindness in Israel. Only about half of the patients with diabetes in Israel have regular eye examinations.
Objectives: To evaluate, for the first time in southern Israel, a new service for diabetic retinopathy screening that uses a mobile non-mydriatic mobile fundus camera in primary care patients.
Methods: Diabetic members of the largest health fund in southern Israel and over 18 years old were invited for non-mydriatic fundus examination between January and October 2009. Screening was performed by a trained photographer using the Topcon TRC NW-6S non-mydriatic camera in nine primary care centers.
Results: A total of 4318 diabetic patients were screened, of whom 53% were classified as normal. The incidence of diabetic retinopathy was 15.8% (1.2% had proliferative retinopathy and 2.4% had suspected macular edema and were referred for laser treatment). Other possible sight-threatening conditions were detected in 9.3%. Fundus pictures were inadequate for assessment in 16% of cases.
Conclusions: Diabetic retinopathy screening with a mobile non-mydriatic fundus camera improved the quality of care for diabetic patients in southern Israel. This screening method identified patients requiring prompt referral to the ophthalmologist for further complete eye examination. Extending this screening program to other areas in the country should be considered.
M. Waisbourd, M. Goldstein and A. Loewenstein
Background: Intravitreal injections of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs bevacizumab (Avastin®) and ranibizumab (Lucentis®) became the mainstay of treatment for various retinal pathologies, but there is no consensus among ophthalmologists on the precise use of these drugs.
Objectives: To describe the current application of anti-VEGF drugs among retinal specialists in Israel.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent via email to all 62 members of the Israeli Society of Retinal Specialists. The survey included 34 questions on various aspects of the use of anti-VEGF drugs: diagnosis, treatment, follow-up of different retinal pathologies, and the measures taken for ensuring sterile administration of the intravitreal injections.
Results: Fifty members (80%) completed the survey. Most of them (56%) offered both bevacizumab and ranibizumab to their patients for age-related macular degeneration, but 70% were influenced by the patient’s socioeconomic status. Three consecutive monthly injections were usually recommended (58%) for the first 3 months, and treatment was extended as long as subretinal or intraretinal fluids persisted (57%). Over two-thirds (68%) switched the drugs after the 3-monthly series if the first one yielded no improvement in fluid status. The routine practice for intravitreal injection (> 80%) involved the wearing of sterile gloves, using an eyelid speculum, and administering povidone-iodine pretreatment and topical antibiotics after treatment.
Conclusions: Intravitreal VEGF administration varies widely among Israeli retinal specialists. The current survey is intended to assist Israeli ophthalmologists in establishing their own treatment strategy for patients with retinal pathologies.
G. Kerekes, P. Soltész, G. Szűcs, S. Szamosi, H. Dér, Z. Szabó, L. Csáthy, A. Váncsa, P. Szodoray, G. Szegedi and Z. Szekanecz
Background: Increased cardiovascular morbidity has become a leading cause of mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) inhibitors may influence flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, common carotid intima-media thickness (ccIMT) and arterial stiffness indicated by pulse-wave velocity (PWV) in RA.
Objectives: To assess the effects of adalimumab treatment on FMD, ccIMT and PWV in early RA.
Methods: Eight RA patients with a disease duration ≤ 1 year received 40 mg adalimumab subcutaneously every 2 weeks. Ultrasound was used to assess brachial FMD and ccIMT. PWV was determined by arteriograph. These parameters were correlated with C-reacive protein, vonWillebrand factor (vWF), immunoglobulin M (IgM)-rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-CCP levels and 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28).
Results: Adalimumab therapy successfully ameliorated arthritis as it decreased CRP levels (P = 0.04) and DAS28 (P < 0.0001). Endothelial function (FMD) improved in comparison to baseline (P < 0.05). ccIMT decreased after 24 weeks, indicating a mean 11.9% significant improvement (P = 0.002). Adalimumab relieved arterial stiffness (PWV) after 24 weeks. Although plasma vWF levels decreased only non-significantly after 12 weeks of treatment, an inverse correlation was found between FMD and vWF (R = -0.643, P = 0.007). FMD also inversely correlated with CRP (R = -0.596, P = 0.015). CRP and vWF also correlated with each other (R = 0.598, P = 0.014). PWV and ccIMT showed a positive correlation (R = 0.735, P = 0.038).
Conclusions: Treatment with adalimumab exerted favorable effects on disease activity and endothelial dysfunction. It also ameliorated carotid atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in patients with early RA. Early adalimumab therapy may have an important role in the prevention and management of vascular comorbidity in RA.
I. Krause, N. Herman, R. Cleper, A. Fraser and M. Davidovits
Background: Acute renal failure (ARF) is a common complication in critically ill children. It is known as an important predictor of morbidity and mortality in this population. Data on the factors affecting the choice of renal replacement therapy (RRT) modality and its impact on mortality of children with ARF are limited.
Objectives: We retrospectively studied 115 children with ARF necessitating RRT during the period 1995–2005 to evaluate the effect of several prognostic factors as well as RRT type on their immediate outcome.
Methods: The data collected from charts included demographics, primary disease, accompanying medical conditions, use of vasopressor support, indications for dialysis, RRT modality, and complications of dialysis. Categorical variables were analyzed using chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests. Variables associated with mortality (P < 0.1) at the univariable level were studied by a multivariable logistic regression model.
Results: The most common cause of ARF was congenital heart disease (n=75). RRT modalities included peritoneal dialysis (PD) (n=81), hemodialfiltration (HDF) (n=31) and intermittent hemodialysis (IHD) (n=18). Median RRT duration was 4 days (range 1–63 days). Overall mortality was 52.2%. IHD was associated with the best survival rate (P < 0.01 vs. PD and HDF), while children treated with HDF had the worse outcome. Hemodynamic instability and systemic infections were associated with greater mortality, but the rate of these complications did not differ between the study groups.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that IHD when applied to the right patient in an appropriate setting may be a safe and efficient RRT modality in children with ARF. Randomized prospective trials are needed to further evaluate the impact of different RRT modalities on outcome in children with ARF.
G. Rubin, Z. Herscovici, Y. Laviv, S. Jackson and Z.H. Rappaport
Background: Meningiomas are frequently detected incidentally. Their natural history has not yet been established because it is difficult to predict the growth pattern. Therefore, the management, after the radiological diagnosis, is still controversial.
Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcome and growth rate of conservatively treated meningiomas at our tertiary center, identify prognostic factors of tumor growth, and suggest guidelines based on the available data and our experience.
Methods: We reviewed the clinical records of 56 patients with 63 untreated meningiomas. Most were diagnosed incidentally. Clinical features and imaging findings at diagnosis and during follow-up were compared between growing and non-growing tumors. Potential patient- and tumor-related predictive factors for growth were analyzed.
Results: The study group included 46 women (52 meningiomas) and 10 men (11 meningiomas) aged 39–83 years. Mean tumor size was 18 ± 11 mm (range 3–70 mm) at diagnosis and 22 ± 11 mm (range 8–70 mm) at last follow-up; mean follow-up time was 65 ± 34 months (range 15–152 months). During follow-up 24 tumors (38%) grew at a rate of 4 mm per year; none became symptomatic. Only two prognostic factors were statistically significantly associated with low growth rate: older age and tumor calcifications.
Conclusions: Given our finding of a low growth incidence of meningiomas in the elderly, we support conservative management in patients aged 70 years or older. Calcifications into the meningioma are also indicative of slow growth, suggesting a conservative strategy. Surgery is recommended in younger patients in whom tumor growth occurs more often and a longer follow-up is necessary.
O. Beyar Katz, A. Ben Barak, G. Abrahami, N. Arad, Y. Burstein, R. Dvir, S. Fischer, J. Kapelushnik, H. Kaplinsky, A. Toren, S. Vilk-Revel, M. Weintraub, I. Yaniv, S. Linn, B. Futerman and M. Weyl Ben-Arush
Background: Survival in T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma has improved over the past 30 years, largely due to treatment protocols derived from regimens designed for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Objectives: To assess the outcome of the NHL-BFM-95 protocol in children and adolescents hospitalized during the period 1999–2006.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective multi-institutional, non-randomized study of children and adolescents up to age 21 with T cell lymphoma admitted to pediatric departments in six hospitals in Israel, with regard to prevalence, clinical characteristics, pathological characteristics, prognostic factors, overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS). All patients had a minimal follow-up of one year after diagnosis. The study was based on the NHL-BFM-95 protocol.
Results: At a median follow-up of 4 years (range 1–9 years), OS and EFS for all patients was 86.5% and 83.8%, respectively. OS was 86.7% and 83.3% for patients with stage III and stage IV, respectively, and EFS was 83.3% and 83.3%, respectively. EFS was 62.5% for Arab patients and 89.7% for Jewish patients (P = 0.014). Patients who did not express CD45 antigen showed superior survival (P = 0.028). Five (13.5%) patients relapsed, four of whom died of their disease. Death as a consequence of therapy toxicity was documented in one patient while on the re-induction protocol (protocol IIA).
Conclusions: Our study shows that OS and EFS for all patients was 86.5% and 83.8%, respectively.
S. Halachmi, B. Moskovitz, R. Farfara and O. Nativ
Background: One of the major concerns in performing nephron-sparing surgery (NSS) for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the risk of tumor recurrence.
Objectives: To assess the rate, predictors and mechanisms of oncological failure in patients after NSS for renal cancer.
Methods: Between 1993 and 2008 NSS was performed in 229 patients via flank incision. Only patients without metastases at diagnosis and minimal 12 months follow-up were included in the outcome analysis.
Results: During a mean follow-up of 45 ± 34 months (range 6–168 months) tumor recurrence was observed in 13 patients (5.6%). Mean follow-up time for detection of oncological failure was 51 months (range 6–132 months). All patients with oncological failure were males, with a mean age of 61 years (median 58, range 51–74 years). The average size of the enucleated lesion was 5 cm (range 4–7 cm). Intraoperative frozen sections as well as postoperative final pathological examination of the surgical margins were negative in all recurrent cases. Mechanisms of recurrence were distant metastases (n=4), surgical scar implantation (n=2), perirenal fat recurrence (n=2), local renal recurrence at the surgical site (n=1), and new renal lesions (n=4). Predictors of oncological failure included warm ischemia time (P = 0.058), tumor size (P = 0.001), tumor location (central versus peripheral) (P = 0.015), and multifocality (P = 0.001).
Conclusions: Distant dissemination, seeding during surgery, residual disease and new growth are the mechanisms responsible for cancer relapse. Large central lesions, long warm ischemia time and multifocality were significant predictors of oncological failure.
S. Shrot, E. Konen, M. Hertz and M. Amitai
Background: Assessment of small intestinal disease remains a challenge for both clinicians and radiologists. Modern magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) is a non-radiation modality that can demonstrate both intestinal wall pathologies and extraluminal lesions.
Objectives: To analyze the results of 213 MRE scans performed since 2005.
Methods: Consecutive MRE scans performed in our academic medical center between December 2005 and November 2009 were reviewed for patients' demographic data, indications for the examination, and main imaging findings. The imaging findings recorded were mural changes and intraluminal filling defects; there were also mesenteric findings and extraintestinal inflammatory findings.
Results: During the study period 213 MRE scans were performed; 70% of them for proven or suspected Crohn's disease (CD) of the small bowel. Another indication was small bowel neoplasm (6% of the scans). Bowel wall thickening and enhancement were seen in 60% and 53% of MRE scans, respectively. Mesenteric involvement was found in 52% of the patients. Incidental extraintestinal findings were detected in 17% of the scans. In 22% of the scans there was no pathological finding.
Conclusions: Our 4-year clinical experience with MRE shows that this non-invasive and non-radiating modality is a powerful technique for evaluation and long-term follow-up of small bowel pathologies. The most common clinical indication was the evaluation of Crohn’s disease. With physicians’ increased awareness, the future use of MRE in the evaluation of other small bowel pathologies such as neoplasm and celiac disease will increase.