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עמוד בית Wed, 01.04.20

December 2019

Original Articles
Shirley Handelzalts PhD, Flavia Steinberg-Henn MSc, Nachum Soroker MD, Michael Schwenk PhD and Itshak Melzer PhD

Background: Falls are a common complication in persons with stroke (PwS). Reliable assessment of balance responses to unexpected loss of balance has the potential to identify risk for falls. 

Objectives: To examine inter-observer reliability of balance responses to unannounced surface perturbations in PwS and to explore the concurrent validity of a balance recovery assessment protocol.

Methods: Two observers evaluated balance recovery strategies and fall threshold (a fall into a harness system) in 15 PwS and 15 healthy adults who were exposed to forward, backward, right, and left unannounced surface translations in six increasing intensities while standing. 

Results: Observer agreement was 100% for the fall threshold. Kappa coefficients for step strategies were 0.960–0.988 in PwS and 0.886–0.938 in healthy adults, 0.905–0.988 for arm reactions in PwS and 0.754–0.926 in healthy adults. Significant correlations were found between fall threshold and Berg Balance Scale (r = 0.691), 6-minute walk test (r = 0.599), and fall efficacy scale-international (r= -0.581). 

Conclusions: A trained examiner can reliably classify reactive balance responses to surface perturbations. The high frequency of falls observed in PwS highlights the importance of assessing reactive balance responses to different directions and intensities of surface translations.

Daniel Solomon MD, Oleg Kaminski MD, Ilan Schrier MD, Hanoch Kashtan MD and Michael Stein MD

Background: Older age is an independent predictor of worse outcome from traumatic brain injury (TBI). No clear guidelines exist for the management of TBI in elderly patients.

Objectives: To describe the outcomes of elderly patients presenting with TBI and intracranial bleeding (ICB), comparing a very elderly population (≥ 80 years of age) to a younger one (70–79).

Methods: Retrospective analysis of the outcomes of elderly patients presenting with TBI with ICB admitted to a level I trauma center.

Results: The authors analyzed 100 consecutive patients aged 70–79 and 100 patients aged 80 and older. In-hospital mortality rates were 9% and 21% for groups 70–79 and ≥ 80 years old, respectively (P = 0.017). Patients 70–79 years old showed a 12-month survival rate of 73% and a median survival of 47 months. In patients ≥ 80 years old, 12-month survival was 63% and median survival was 27 months (P = NS). In patients presenting with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of ≥ 8, the in-hospital mortality rates were 41% (n=5/12) and 100% (n=8/8). Among patients ≥ 80 years old undergoing emergent surgical decompression, in-hospital mortality was 66% (n=12/18). Survivors presented with a severe drop in their functional score. Survival was dismal in patients ≥ 80 years old who were treated conservatively despite recommended operative guidelines.

Conclusions: There is a lack of reliable means to evaluate the outcome in patients with poor functional status at baseline. The negative prognostic impact of severe TBI is profound, regardless of treatment choices.

Nili Greenberg PhD, Rafael S. Carel MD DrPH, Jonathan Dubnov MD MPH, Estela Derazne MSc and Boris A. Portnov PhD DSc

Background: Asthma is a common respiratory disease, which is linked to air pollution. However, little is known about the effect of specific air pollution sources on asthma occurrence.

Objective: To assess individual asthma risk in three urban areas in Israel characterized by different primary sources of air pollution: predominantly traffic-related air pollution (Tel Aviv) or predominantly industrial air pollution (Haifa bay area and Hadera). 

Methods: The medical records of 13,875, 16- 19-year-old males, who lived in the affected urban areas prior to their army recruitment and who underwent standard pre-military health examinations during 2012–2014, were examined. Nonparametric tests were applied to compare asthma prevalence, and binary logistic regressions were used to assess the asthma risk attributed to the residential locations of the subjects, controlling for confounders, such as socio-demographic status, body mass index, cognitive abilities, and education.

Results: The asthma rate among young males residing in Tel Aviv was 8.76%, compared to 6.96% in the Haifa bay area and 6.09% in Hadera. However, no statistically significant differences in asthma risk among the three urban areas was found in controlled logistic regressions (P > 0.20). This finding indicates that exposure to both industrial- and traffic-related air pollution is associated with asthma prevalence.

Conclusions: Both industrial- and traffic-related air pollution have a negative effect on asthma risk in young males. Studies evaluating the association between asthma risk and specific air pollutants (e.g., sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen dioxide) are needed to ascertain the effects of individual air pollutants on asthma occurrence. 


Oholi Tovia-Brodie MD, Sevan Letourneau-Shesaf MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD, Arie Steinvil MD, Raphael Rosso MD, Ariel Finkelstein MD and Yoav Michowitz MD

Background: Patients with right bundle branch block (RBBB) prior to transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) are at high risk for immediate post-procedural heart block and long-term mortality when discharged without a pacemaker.

Objectives: To test whether prophylactic permanent pacemaker implantation (PPI) is beneficial.

Methods: Of 795 consecutive patients who underwent TAVI, 90 patients had baseline RBBB. We compared characteristics and outcomes of the prophylactic PPI with post-TAVI PPI. Need for pacing was defined as  greater than 1% ventricular pacing.

Results: Forty patients with RBBB received a prophylactic PPI (group 1), and in 50 the decision was based on standard post-procedural indications (group 2). There were no significant differences in clinical baseline characteristics. One patient developed a tamponade after a PPI post-TAVI. A trend toward shorter hospitalization duration in group 1 patients was observed (P = 0.06). On long-term follow-up of 848 ± 56 days, no differences were found in overall survival (P = 0.77), the composite event-free survival of both mortality and hospitalizations (P = 0.66), or mortality and syncope (P = 0.65). On multivariate analysis, independent predictors of the need for pacing included baseline PR interval increase of 10ms (odds ratio [OR] 1.21 per 10 ms increment 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.02–1.44, P = 0.028), and the use of new generation valves (OR 3.92, 95%CI 1.23–12.46, P = 0.023).

Conclusions: In patients with baseline pre-TAVI RBBB, no outcome differences were found with prophylactic PPI. On multivariate analysis, predictors of the need for pacing included baseline long PR interval, and the use of newer generation valves.

Tali Samson MSW PhD, Roni Peleg MD, Aya Biderman MD and Yan Press MD

Background: The use of graphic depictions (pictorials) to represent medical conditions is an accepted method that can complement standard methodology of comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Objectives: To use the clinical pathway method to develop a comprehensive geriatric genogram assessment tool (CGGAT), which could supplement the written summary letter and recommendations.

Methods: We used the critical paths method to develop a tool to facilitate implementation of the comprehensive geriatric assessment recommendations. A multidisciplinary group of clinicians used the critical pathways method to develop a CGGAT.

Results: We used the CGGAT to depict the physical and functional status of patients and to complement the textual historical information, family dynamics, and current patient issues. CGGAT is a simple instrument that provides a visual structure and it can facilitate the sharing of information among team members, encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, enhance understanding and adherence on the part of patients and professionals, and reduce the burden on the clinicians who conduct the initial comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Conclusions: We showed the benefits and obstacles related to the adaptation of this new tool and provide recommendations for further development. 

Amihai Rottenstreich MD, Nili Yanai MD, Simcha Yagel MD and Shay Porat MD PhD

Background: Sonographic estimation of birth weight may differ among evaluators due to its operator-dependent nature.

Objectives: To compare the accuracy of estimation of fetal birth weight by sonography between ultrasound-certified physicians and registered diagnostic medical technicians.

Methods: The authors reviewed ultrasound examinations that had been performed by either technicians or ultrasound-certified obstetricians between 2010 and 2017, and within 2 days of delivery. Inclusion criteria were: singleton viable pregnancy, details of four ultrasound measurements (abdominal circumference, bi-parietal diameter, head circumference, and femur length), and known birth weight. The estimated fetal weight (EFW) was calculated according to the Hadlock formula, incorporating the four ultrasound measurements. The mean percentage error (MPE) was calculated by the formula: (EFW-birth weight) x100 / birth weight.

Results: Technicians performed 9741examinations and physicians performed 352 examinations. The proportion of macrosomic neonates was similar in both groups. Technicians were more accurate than physicians in terms of the MPE, absolute MPE, proportion of estimates that fell within ± 10% of birth weight, and Euclidean distance (P < 0.0001 for all comparisons). They were also more accurate in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and area under the receiver operating curve. Furthermore, for fetuses weighing more than 4000 grams the technicians had a lower total false prediction rate.

Conclusions: Medical technicians in our institute performed better than physicians in estimating fetal weight. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings and better delineate the role of repeat physician’s examination after an initial estimation by an experienced technician.

Michael Pesis DMD, Eitan Bar-Droma MD/DMD, Anatoliy Ilgiyaev DMD and Navot Givol DMD

Background: Untreated dental caries or even dental manipulations, such as a tooth extraction, might cause direct spread of an odontogenic infection and consequently the development of life-threatening conditions such as deep neck infections (DNI). The most common source of DNI is of odontogenic origin (38.8–49%). Abscess formation or cellulitis can lead to life-threatening complications, despite new diagnostic imaging technology and widespread availability of antibiotics. 

Objectives: To demonstrate the dangers of DNI, which can create life-threatening situations.

Methods: Five cases of DNI of odontogenic origin, which were referred to the oral and maxillofacial surgery unit, are presented. 

Results: Clinical manifestations included trismus, dysphagia, dysphonia, dyspnea, and infection symptoms. In all cases, computed tomography confirmed diagnosis and extent of abscess. Complications included mediastinitis, respiratory distress, osteomyelitis of the jaws, and in rare cases the mandibular condyle. Treatment included securing the airway, immediate surgical drainage, removal of the infection source, and antibiotic therapy. All patients were discharged in stable and improved condition.

Conclusions: DNI treatment on an emergency basis requires proper diagnosis and effective management. To confirm diagnosis and prevent serious complications, it is essential for physicians to recognize the spaces of the head and neck that are likely to be affected by DNI. 


Meir Kestenbaum MD, Muneer Abu Snineh MD, Tamar Nussbaum MD, Avi Gadoth MD, Alina Rosenberg, Avigail Hindi, Jennifer Zitser MD, Avner Thaler MD PHD, Nir Giladi MD and Tanya Gurevich MD

Background: The effect of repeated intravenous amantadine (IVAM) in advanced Parkinsonism has not been studied in depth.

Objectives: To report the experience of our medical center with repeated IVAM infusions in patients with advanced Parkinsonism.

Methods: Thirty patients with advanced Parkinsonism of various etiologies were enrolled in an open-label retrospective study. All patients were treated with IVAM infusions in a neurological daycare center. Treatment was initiated with a loading dose of 200/400 mg per day for 5 days followed by a once-daily maintenance dose of 200/400 mg every 1 to 3 weeks. Patients and their caregivers participated in a structured interview and independently completed a clinical global impression of changes scale questionnaire on various motor and non-motor symptoms.

Results: Patient mean age was 73.3 ± 9.7 years, average disease duration was 6.2 ± 5.7 years, and mean Hoehn and Yahr score was 3.2 ± 0.84. Mean duration of the IVAM treatment was 15.1 ± 11.6 months. An improvement in general function was reported by 91% of the patients and 89% of the caregivers. Most of the patients reported improvement in tremor and rigidity, as well as in gait stability, freezing of gait, and reduced falls. The treatment was safe with few side effects.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that repeated IVAM infusions could be an effective treatment against various motor symptoms and for improvement of mobility in patients with advanced Parkinsonism. Further randomized clinical trials with a larger sample size using objective measures are warranted to validate our results.

Dror B Leviner MD, Guy Witberg MD, Amir Sharon MD, Yosif Boulos BsC, Alon Barsheshet MD, Erez Sharoni MD, Dan Spiegelstein MD, Hana Vaknin-Assa MD, Dan Aravot MD, Ran Kornowski MD and Abid Assali MD

Background: Current guidelines for choosing between revascularization modalities may not be appropriate for young patients.

Objectives: To compare outcomes and guide treatment options for patients < 40 years of age, who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) between 2008 and 2018.

Methods: Outcomes were compared for 183 consecutive patients aged < 40 years who underwent PCI or CABG between 2008 and 2018, Outcomes were compared as time to first event and as cumulative events for non-fatal outcomes.

Results: Mean patient age was 36.3 years and 96% were male. Risk factors were similar for both groups. Drug eluting stents were implemented in 71% of PCI patients and total arterial revascularization in 74% of CABG patients. During a median follow-up of 6.5 years, 16 patients (8.6%) died. First cardiovascular events occurred in 35 (38.8%) of the PCI group vs. 29 (31.1%) of the CABG group (log rank P = 0.022), repeat events occurred in 96 vs. 51 (P < 0.01), respectively. After multivariate adjustment, CABG was associated with a significantly reduced risk for first adverse event (hazard ratio [HR] 0.305, P < 0.01) caused by a reduction in repeat revascularization. CABG was also associated with a reduction in overall repeat events (HR 0.293, P < 0.01). There was no difference in overall mortality between CABG and PCI.

Conclusions: Young patients with coronary disease treated by CABG showed a reduction in the risk for non-fatal cardiac events. Mortality was similar with CABG and PCI.

Danit Dayan MD, Joseph Kuriansky MD and Subhi Abu-Abeid MD

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery helps patients achieve excellent excess weight loss, with subsequent improvement or resolution of co-morbidities. However, up to 20% of all RYGB patients, and 40% of the super morbidly obese, experience significant weight regain. The etiology of weight regain is multifactorial; hence, multidisciplinary management is mandatory. Revision options for failed conservative and medical management include resizing the restrictive component of the bypass or intensifying malabsorption. While improvement of restriction generally has limited efficacy, intensifying malabsorption achieves significant long-term excess weight loss. The optimal surgical option should be personalized, considering eating behavior and psychological issues, surgical anatomy of the bypass, and anesthetic and surgical risks.

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