Yuval Zolotov PhD, Sharon Sznitman PhD and Simon Vulfsons MD
Background: The policies and practices related to medical cannabis are currently in flux. These changes have been associated with many controversies, and there is a lack of consensus within the medical community regarding medical cannabis practices.
Objectives: To validate clinical vignettes that can be used to examine and improve medical cannabis practices.
Methods: Ten physicians participated in a Delphi survey of two consequent rounds in which they quantified the eligibility of medical cannabis therapy for six clinical vignettes describing both chronic pain and cancer patients.
Results: Higher consensus was achieved for the vignettes of cancer patients, which were additionally rated as more eligible for medical cannabis therapy. The highest level of consent (4.3 out of 5) was achieved regarding a vignette of a metastatic cancer patient. While in some cases physicians consolidated their ratings toward the group's average, in other cases they remained stable in their responses.
Conclusions: While controversies related to medical cannabis are expected to remain rampant, the validated vignettes may facilitate assessment of clinical practices, which is essential for a successful implementation of medical cannabis policies. These vignettes may additionally be used in medical training for appropriate patient selection for medical cannabis authorization.
Ruth Yousovich MD, Shay I. Duvdevani MD, Noga Lipschitz MD, Michael Wolf MD, Lela Migirov MD, and Arkadi Yakirevitch MD
Background: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo. It is assumed that sleep is involved in the pathogenesis of BPPV, and that habitual head-lying side during sleep correlates with the affected side in the posterior semicircular canal BPPV.
Objectives: To investigate the relationship between the preferred sleeping position and the affected semicircular canal in patients with BPPV.
Methods: We performed a retrospective data review of patients seeking help for vertigo/dizziness who had undergone clinical evaluation including a Dix–Hallpike test. Patients diagnosed with posterior canal BPPV (p-BPPV) were asked to define their preferred lying side (right, left, supine, or variable) during the night sleep. Affected semicircular canal (right posterior or left posterior) was registered along with demographic data.
Results: In all, 237 patients were diagnosed with p-BPPV. Patients with horizontal semicircular canal BPPV (n=11) were excluded. Patient mean age was 57 years (range 14–87). There were 150 patients with right p-BPPV and 87 patients with left p-BPPV. Among the patients, 122 (52%) habitually slept on the right side. Of those, 102 (84%) were diagnosed with right p-BPPV (P = 0.0006), while 82 patients (34%) habitually slept on the left side. Fifty-three (65%) were diagnosed with left p-BPPV (P < 0.0001). There were no differences in right vs. left p-BPPV in the 33 patients (14%) who expressed no preference concerning their sleeping positions.
Conclusions: Our study highlights the etiology of BPPV and showed that changing sleep position habits might be helpful in preventing recurrent BPPV.
Agata Schlesinger MD, Avraham Weiss MD, Olga Nenaydenko MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD, Abraham Adunsky MD and Yichayaou Beloosesky MD, MHA
Background: Statins and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have beneficial effects on health outcomes in the general population. Their effect on survival in debilitated nursing home residents is unknown.
Objectives: To assess the relationships between statins, SSRIs, and survival of nursing home residents.
Methods: Baseline patient characteristics, including chronic medications, were recorded. The association of 5-year survival with different variables was analyzed. A sub-group analysis of survival was performed according to baseline treatment with statins and/or SSRIs.
Results: The study comprised 993 residents from 6 nursing homes. Of them, 285 were males (29%), 750 (75%) were fully dependent, and 243 (25%) were mobile demented. Mean age was 85 ± 7.6 years (range 65–108). After 5 years follow-up, the mortality rate was 81%. Analysis by sub-groups showed longer survival among older adults treated with only statins (hazard ratio [HR] for death 0.68, 95% confidence intervals [95%CI] 0.49–0.94) or only SSRIs (HR 0.6, 95%CI 0.45–0.81), with the longest survival among those taking both statins and SSRIs (HR 0.41, 95%CI 0.25–0.67) and shortest among residents not taking statins or SSRIs (P < 0.001). The survival benefit remained significant after adjusting for age and after conducting a multivariate analysis adjusted for sex, functional status, body mass index, mini-mental state examination, feeding status, arrhythmia, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and hemato-oncological diagnosis.
Conclusion: Treatment with statins and/or SSRIs at baseline was associated with longer survival in debilitated nursing home residents and should not be deprived from these patients, if medically indicated.
Ram Mazkereth MD, Ayala Maayan-Metzger MD, Leah Leibovitch MD, Irit Schushan-Eisen MD, Iris Morag MD and Tzipora Straus MD M.Sc
Background: The need for postnatal monitoring of infants exposed to intrauterine beta blockers (BBs) has not been clearly defined.
Objectives: To evaluate infants exposed to intrauterine BBs in order to estimate the need for postnatal monitoring.
Methods: This retrospective case-control study comprised 153 term infants born to mothers who had been treated with BBs during pregnancy. Treatment indications included hypertension 76 mothers (49.7%), cardiac arrhythmias 48 (31.4%), rheumatic heart disease 14 (9.1%), cardiomyopathy 11 (7.2%) and migraine 4 (2.6%). The controls were infants of mothers with hypertension not exposed to BBs who were born at the same gestational age and born closest (before or after) to the matched infant in the study group.
Results: Compared to the control group, the infants in the study group had a higher prevalence of early asymptomatic hypoglycemia (study 30.7% vs. control 18.3%, P = 0.016), short symptomatic bradycardia events, other cardiac manifestations (P = 0.016), and longer hospitalization (P < 0.001). No life-threatening medical conditions were documented. The birth weight was significantly lower for the high-dose subgroup compared to the low-dose subgroup (P = 0.03), and the high-dose subgroup had a higher incidence of small-for-gestational-age (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: No alarming or life-threatening medical conditions were observed among term infants born to BB treated mothers. These infants can be safely observed for 48 hours after birth close to their mothers in the maternity ward. Glucose follow-up is needed, especially in the first hours of life.
Nir Horesh MD, Aviad Hoffman MD, Yaniv Zager MD, Mordechai Cordoba MD, Marat Haikin MD, Danny Rosin MD, Mordechai Gutman MD and Alexander Lebedeyev MD
Background: Evaluation of low rectal anastomosis is often recommended prior to ostomy closure, but the efficacy of such evaluations is uncertain.
Objectives: To assess whether routine colonic preoperative evaluation has an effect on postoperative ileostomy closure results.
Methods: We performed a retrospective study evaluating all patients who underwent ileostomy closure over 9 years. Patient demographics, clinical, surgical details, and surgical outcomes were recorded and analyzed.
Results: The study comprised 116 patients who underwent ileostomy closure, of them 65 were male (56%) with a mean age of 61 years (range 20–91). Overall, 98 patients (84.4%) underwent colonic preoperative evaluation prior to ileostomy closure. A contrast enema was performed on 61 patients (62.2%). Abnormal preoperative results were observed in 12 patients (12.2%). The overall complication rate was 35.3% (41 patients). No differences in postoperative outcome was observed in patient gender (P = 1), age (P = 0.96), body mass index (P = 0.24), American Society of Anesthesiologists score (P = 0.21), and the Charlson Comorbidity Index score (P = 0.93). Among patients who had postoperative complications, we did not observe a difference between patients who underwent preoperative evaluation compared to those who did not (P = 0.42). No differences were observed among patients with preoperative findings interpreted as normal or abnormal (P = 1). The time difference between ileostomy creation and closure had no effect on the ileostomy closure outcome (P = 0.34).
Conclusions: Abnormal findings in preoperative colonic evaluation prior to ileostomy closure were not associated with worse postoperative outcome.
Elisha Goshen-Gottstein MD, Ron Shapiro MD, Chaya Shwartz MD, Aviram Nissan MD, Bernice Oberman Msc, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS and Eyal Zimlichman MD MSc
Background: Anastomotic leakage (AL) is a major complication following colorectal surgery, with many risk factors established to date. The incidence of AL varies in the medical literature and is dependent on research inclusion criteria and diagnostic criteria.
Objectives: To determine the incidence of and the potential risk factors for AL following colorectal surgery at a single academic medical center.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all operative reports of colorectal procedures that included bowel resection and primary bowel anastomosis performed at Sheba Medical Center during 2012. AL was defined according to the 1991 United Kingdom Surgical Infection Study Group criteria. Data were assessed for leak incidence within 30 days. In addition, 17 possible risk factors for leakage were analyzed. A literature review was conducted.
Results: This cohort study comprised 260 patients, and included 261 procedures performed during the study period. The overall leak rate was 8.4%. In a univariate analysis, male sex (odds ratio [OR] 3.37, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21–9.43), pulmonary disease (OR 3.99, 95%CI 1.49–10.73), current or past smoking (OR 2.93, 95%CI 1.21–7.10), and American Society of Anesthesiologist score ≥ 3 (OR 3.08, 95%CI 1.16–8.13) were associated with an increased risk for anastomotic leakage. In a multivariate analysis, male gender (OR 3.62, 95%CI 1.27–10.33) and pulmonary disease (OR 4.37, 95%CI 1.58–12.10) were associated with a greater risk.
Conclusions: The incidence of AL in the present study is similar to that found in comparable series. Respiratory co-morbidity and male sex were found to be the most significant risk factors.
Omar Hakrush MD, Yochai Adir MD, Sonia Schneer MD, and Amir Abramovic MD
Background: Transesophageal endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration using a bronchoscope (EUS-B-FNA) allows clinicians to determine mediastinal staging and lung mass evaluation of lesions not accessible by endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) or where endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration might not be safe.
Objectives: To evaluate the safety, diagnostic accuracy, and feasibility of EUS-B-FNA.
Methods: The study comprised patients who underwent a pulmonologist-performed EUS-B-FNA of mediastinal lymph nodes and parenchymal lung lesions between June 2015 and September 2017 at the Carmel Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.
Results: EUS-B-FNA was performed in 81 patients. The transesophageal procedure was performed for easier accessibility (49.4%) and in high-risk patients (43.3%). The most frequently sampled mediastinal stations were left paratracheal and sub-carinal lymph nodes or masses (38.3% and 56.7%, respectively). There were no complications (e.g., acute respiratory distress, esophageal perforation, or bleeding). An accurate diagnosis was determined in 91.3% of cases.
Conclusions: Pulmonologist-performed EUS-B-FNA is safe and accurate for evaluating mediastinal and parenchymal lung lesions and lymphadenopathy. Diagnostic accuracy is high. EUS-B-FNA may allow access to sites not amenable to other forms of bronchoscopic sampling, or may increase diagnostic accuracy in patients where anatomic position predicts a low diagnostic yield.
Marcos Harel MD, Avshalom Shalom MD, Jacob Frand MD and Lior Leibou MD
Background: The use of oral midazolam as premedication to induce anxiolysis before surgical procedures under local anesthesia is widely accepted in plastic surgery. Rhinoplasty performed under local anesthesia is known to generate high levels of perioperative anxiety, thus the use of appropriate premedication is important. Oral midazolam has been shown to be safe in various procedures. However, the safety of oral midazolam before rhinoplasty has not been evaluated.
Objectives: To evaluate the safety of premedication with oral midazolam prior to rhinoplasty by analyzing the intraoperative blood oxygen saturation levels as predictors of adverse respiratory events.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the anesthesia records of 62 patients who underwent rhinoplasty under local anesthesia and received premedication with oral midazolam for anxiolysis between March 2017 and December 2017. The median age of the patients was 25.4 years, and they were all classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists class 1. The patients received 10 mg midazolam hydrochloride orally 1 hour prior to the procedure. Oxygen blood saturation was monitored using a pulse oximeter and recorded every 15 minutes.
Results: All the patients maintained blood oxygen saturation levels above 95% (median peripheral capillary oxygen saturation 99%) on room air, and they did not require supplemental intraoperative oxygen. There were no transient hypoxemic events during and following the procedure.
Conclusions: Our study confirmed the safety of oral midazolam premedication to reduce perioperative anxiety when performing rhinoplasty under local anesthesia.
Aviv Mager MD, Yoav Hammer MD, Hadas Ofek MD, Ilana Kedmi PhD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD and Ran Kornowski MD
Background: The frequency of increased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and the time course of evolution of their levels in patients with acute idiopathic pericarditis (AIP) are not well established.
Objective: To assess the time course of evolution of hs-CRP levels and the possible clinical significance of maximal hs-CRP levels in patients with AIP
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical files of 241 patients admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of AIP between March 2006 and March 2017. Data on demographics, time of symptom onset, laboratory and imaging findings, and outcome were collected.
Results: Data on serum hs-CRP levels were available for 225 patients (age 18–89 years, 181 men). Fever, pleural effusion, and age were independently associated with hs-CRP levels. Major cardiac complications (MCC) (death, cardiac tamponade, cardiogenic shock, large pericardial effusion, ventricular tachycardia, pericardiocentesis, or pericardiectomy) were more common in patients with hs-CRP levels above the median compared to those below (21.2% vs. 4.5%, respectively, P < 0.001). Hs-CRP levels were independently associated with MCC (odds ratio [OR] 1.071, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.016–1.130, P = 0.011). Hs-CRP levels were elevated in 76.0%, 92.3% and 96.0% of the patients tested <6 hours, 7-12 hours, and >12 hours of symptom onset, respectively (P = 0.003). The frequency of elevated hs-CRP among patients tested > 24 hours was 98.1%.
Conclusions: Hs-CRP levels rise rapidly among patients with AIP. Maximal hs-CRP levels are associated with MCC. A normal hs-CRP level is rare among patients tested > 24 hours of symptom onset.