Eyal Zimlichman MD MSc, Arnon Afek MD MHA, Charles N. Kahn MPH and Yitshak Kreiss MD MPA MHA
Avishay Elis MD and Howard Amital MD MHA
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Nona Kovler MD, Gal Neuman MD, Bella Gurevych MD, Paul Sofer MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH
Background: The Israel Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24-hour telephone consultations on clinical toxicology and drug and reproductive toxicology. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and provides laboratory services. In 2014, nurse specialists in poison information joined the IPIC.
Objectives: To report the epidemiology of poison exposures in Israel.
Methods: We present computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC for 2017.
Results: A total of 39,928 poison exposure cases were recorded, reflecting increases of 226.3% and 26.7% compared with 1995 and 2012, respectively. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 47.0% of cases; 80.4% of calls were made by the public and 17.8% by physicians; 74.2% of exposures were unintentional and 7.3% intentional. Pharmaceuticals were involved in 51.4% of cases, chemicals in 36.9%, bites and stings in 2.2%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.5%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products, and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.3%, mainly due to insecticides, drugs of abuse, and corrosives. Three fatalities were recorded (due to colchicine, organophosphates, and volatile substance inhalant abuse).
Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have markedly increased in Israel, contributing substantially to morbidity. The IPIC prevented unnecessary referrals to emergency departments. Its database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory, and its activities adequately supported by national resources.
Ortal Fallek Boldes BSc, Shani Dahan MD, Yahel Segal MD, Dana Ben-Ami Shor MD, Robert K. Huber MD, Iris Barshack MD, Yuval Horowitz MD, Gad Segal MD and Amir Dagan MD
Background: Pericardial biopsies are rarely performed during the diagnosis and management of pericardial diseases. The circumstances and clinical profile of patients undergoing pericardial biopsies are largely uncharacterized.
Objectives: To examine the circumstances in which pericardial biopsies are obtained and to evaluate their diagnostic yield.
Methods: We studied a total of 100 cases (71% males, mean age 60.8 years, range 8.1–84.5 years) of surgically resected pericardium specimens obtained from 2000 to 2015 at Sheba Medical Center, the largest medical center in Israel. Patients were classified into groups according to four major histological etiologies: idiopathic pericarditis, constrictive pericarditis, malignant pericarditis, and post-cardiac injury syndrome (PCIS). The clinical history and course, laboratory, echocardiography, and histological results were reviewed retrospectively.
Results: Causes of pericarditis according to histological definitions included idiopathic pericarditis (29%), constrictive pericarditis (29%), PCIS (9%), and malignant pericarditis (26%). Overall sensitivity of the pericardial biopsy in patients with malignancy was 57.7%. During the study period, we found a trend toward an increased number of biopsies due to constrictive pericarditis and PCIS, along with a decrease in the number of biopsies performed in patients with malignant or idiopathic pericarditis. The diagnosis following biopsy did not change for any of the patients.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest a low diagnostic yield from pericardial biopsies, especially in malignant pericarditis. This conclusion, along with novel therapies, resulted in the infrequent use of pericardial biopsy in recent years.
Efrat Ben-Nun Yaari BSc, Rivka Kauli MD, Pearl Lilos MA and Zvi Laron MD PhD
Background: Treatment of patients with childhood growth hormone deficiency is usually terminated at the end of puberty. Follow-up into adult age is rare, even more so in patients with congenital isolated growth hormone deficiency (cIGHD).
Objectives: To assess the clinical and social characteristics of adults with cIGHD who received growth hormone (hGH) treatment in childhood.
Methods: Thirty-nine patients (23 men, 16 women) diagnosed in our clinic with cIGHD at 7 ± 4.2 years, and treated with hGH during childhood for 2–18 years, were followed into adulthood (mean age 30.7 ± 13.3 years). Ascertained detailed data were found for 32 patients.
Results: Mean ± SD height for males was 160.2 ± 10.6 cm and for females 146.4 ± 5.4 cm. All patients achieved full sexual development and 14 were married. After cessation of GH treatment and with advanced age all exhibited a progressive increase in adiposity to the degree of obesity. Twelve patients suffered from hyperlipidemia, 4 developed diabetes mellitus, and 5 have cardiovascular diseases. One patient died in an accident. None developed cancer. Of the 39 patients, 22 have an education level of high school or higher, and 2 are in special institutions. Most are employed in manual labor.
Conclusions: Patients with congenital IGHD who do not receive early and regular replacement treatment are prone to lag in achieving normal height and suffer from educational and vocational handicaps.
Ibrahim Zvidi MD, Doron Boltin MBBS, Yaron Niv MD, Ram Dickman MD, Gerald Fraser MD and Shlomo Birkenfeld MD
Background: Temporal trends in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel have been poorly described.
Objectives: To compare the annual incidence and prevalence rates of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel between the years 2003 and 2008.
Methods: We applied a common case identification algorithm to the Clalit Health Services database to both determine trends in age-adjusted incidence and prevalence rates for IBD in both populations during this period and estimate the burden of IBD in Israel.
Results: The incidence of CD in the Arab population increased from 3.1/100,000 in 2003 to 10.6/100,000 person-years in 2008, compared with a decrease in the Jewish population from 14.3/100,000 to 11.7/100,000 person-years for the same period. The incidence of UC in the Arab population increased from 4.1/100,000 in 2003 to 5.0/100,000 person-years in 2008, a low but stable rate, compared with a decrease from 16.4/100,000 to 9.5/100,000 person-years for the same time period in the Jewish population. The prevalence of both diseases increased due to the accumulation of incident cases but remained much lower among Arabs.
Conclusions: Understanding the factors underlying the differences in incidence and prevalence of IBD in the Jewish and Arab populations may shed light on the genetic and environmental factors associated with these diseases.
Michael Rozenfeld MA, Kobi Peleg PhD MPH, Adi Givon BSc, Israeli Trauma Group and Boris Kessel MD
Background: Although women comprise only a minority of patients hospitalized due to violence-related injury, the circumstances of attacks against women may make their injuries more severe.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study using data of 9173 patients with stabbing-related injuries from 19 trauma centers participating in the Israeli National Trauma Registry between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2014. Male and female patients were compared in terms of demographic and circumstantial factors, clinical characteristics, and outcomes.
Results: Women were found to have greater injury severity according to the Injury Severity Scale (ISS) – 18% vs. 11% of severe (ISS 16+) injuries – requiring more hospital resources. Injuries that contributed most to injury severity in the female population were head and severe abdominal trauma. Women also sustained injuries to more body sites than men; however, regression analysis showed that the contribution of this factor to the overall difference in injury severity was less important than the injured sites. Regression analysis among severely injured patients pointed at injury to lower extremities as an independent factor related to female mortality. Different from men, among women the stabbing injuries to the upper extremities were not a protective factor in terms of mortality.
Conclusions: There are significant differences in the injury profiles of male and female stabbing victims, which can be explained by the different circumstances of the injury event.
Daniel Erez MD, Matthew Koslow MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Zamir Dovrish M, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Dahan MD, Daniel King MD, and David Shitrit MD
Background: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the third most frequently occurring cardiovascular disease. However, the clinical presentation in patients with PE is variable.
Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of radiological findings detected in contrast-enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA) and their significance in patients with PE; and to assess whether the CTA findings differed in patients receiving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) therapy from those who did not.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed CTA scans of 186 patients diagnosed with acute PE. Incidental findings on CTA scan were assessed, including mediastinal and parenchymal lymph nodes, pleural effusion, space-occupying lesions, consolidations, emphysema, and pericardial effusion.
Results: Patients receiving tPA (19.9%) were less likely to have pleural effusion (29.7% vs. 50.3%, P = 0.024). Other CTA findings did not differ between the tPA and non-tPA groups, including lung infiltrates (40.5% vs. 38.9, P = 0.857), space-occupying lesions (5.4% vs. 6.7%, P = 1), pericardial effusion (8.1% vs. 8.7%, P = 1), emphysema (21.6% vs. 17.4%, P = 0.557), lung (18.9% vs. 24.2%, P = 0.498), and mediastinal ( 24.3% vs. 25.5%, P = 0.883) lymph nodes, respectively.
Conclusion: The prevalence of pleural effusion (unilateral or bilateral) was higher in patients not treated with tPA. Therefore, in patients with a borderline condition, the presence of pleural effusion could support the decision not to give tPA treatment.
Shaden Salameh MD MHA, Meir Antopolsky MD, Natalia Simanovsky MD, Eyal Arami MD and Nurith Hiller MD
Background: Acute non-traumatic abdominal pain is typically evaluated by abdomino-pelvic computed tomography (CT) with oral and venous contrast. The accuracy of unenhanced CT for diagnosis in this setting has not been widely studied.
Objectives: To assess the accuracy of unenhanced CT in establishing the etiology of acute non-traumatic abdominal pain.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical and imaging records of patients aged ≥ 18 years who presented to the emergency department (ED) during a 6-month period with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain of unknown etiology, and who were evaluated with non-contrast CT within 24 hours of ED admission. Clinical details were recorded. A presumptive clinical diagnosis and CT diagnosis were compared to the discharge diagnosis which was considered the reference standard. The requirement for informed consent was waived.
Results: Altogether, 315 patients met the inclusion criteria – 138 males (44%) and 177 females (56%); their mean age was 45 years (range 18–90). Clinical diagnosis correlated with the CT findings in 162 of the cases (51%). CT was accurate in 296/315 cases (94%). The leading diagnosis in cases of a mismatch between CT diagnosis and discharge diagnosis was infection mostly in the urinary tract (12/18). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 91%, 99%, 91% and 85% respectively. The discharge diagnosis was unchanged in the patients who returned to the ED within 1 week of the first admission.
Conclusions: In this study, unenhanced CT proved to be a feasible, convenient and legitimate examination for the evaluation of patients with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain presenting to the ED.
Yossi Smorgick MD, Mitri Nassar MD, Eran Tamir MD, Sigal Tal MD, Yigal Mirovsky MD and Yoram Anekstein MD
Background: Gender differences in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) have been documented in curve progression, response to bracing, and outcomes of surgical treatment. However, limited information is available about the relation between gender and scoliosis curve patterns and radiographical characteristics.
Objectives: To evaluate the effect of gender on curve pattern and compare clinical and radiographical characteristics between male and female patients with AIS.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of prospectively collected data that compared clinical and radiographical characteristics between male and female surgical candidates. Demographic and clinical data including age at presentation, gender, family history of scoliosis, brace treatment history, clinical coronal balance, shoulder asymmetry, and hump size were recorded. All patients graded their pain with the use of a visual analogue scale (VAS) on a scale from 0 to 10. Radiographs of the spine were reviewed to determine the type of curve according to the Lenke classiﬁcation, Cobb angle, thoracic kyphosis angle, and the Risser sign. Radiologic coronal balance was recorded. Curve ﬂexibility was determined by measuring the thoracic and lumbar curves magnitude on side bending radiographs
Results: The study included 163 patients with AIS including 35 males and 128 females patients. Although a trend toward more flexible major thoracic curves in females was noticed, there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups.
Conclusions: In this study we were not able to demonstrate any clinical nor radiological statistical differences between male and female patients who are candidate for surgical treatment.
Ana Rita Nogueira MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR and Howard Amital MD MHA
Wisam Hayek MD, Yelena Dumin MD PhD, Galit Tal MD, Yoav Zehavi MD, Waheeb Sakran MD and Ronen Spiegel MD