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עמוד בית Wed, 01.04.20

January 2020

Original Articles
Rotem Rephaeli MD, David Rehktman MD, Itai Gross MD and Giora Weiser MD

Background: Many procedures requiring sedation in the pediatric emergency department are performed by consultants from outside the department. This team usually includes orthopedic surgeons and general surgeons. As sedation is now a standard of care in such cases, we evaluated consultants' views on sedation.

Objectives: To evaluate consultants' views on sedation.

Methods: A questionnaire with both open-ended questions and Likert-type scores was distributed to all orthopedic surgeons and general surgeons performing procedures during the study period. The questionnaire was presented at three medical centers.

Results: The questionnaire was completed by 31 orthopedic surgeons and 16 general surgeons. Although the vast majority (93–100%) considered sedation important, a high percentage (64–75%) would still perform such procedures without sedation if not readily available.

Conclusions: Sedation is very important for patients and although consultants understand its importance, the emergency department staff must be vigilant in both being available and not allowing procedures to "escape" the use of sedation.

Michal Shani MD MPH, Elisha Ozan MD, Yafit Duani MD, Andre Keren MD, Orna Gootman RN, Doron Komaneshter PhD and Israel Gotsman MD

Background: Heart failure centers with specialized nurse-supervised management programs have been proposed to improve prognosis. The Heart Failure Center in Beit Shemesh, Israel, is located within a large primary care facility. The specialist team supervised the managememt of patients both within the frame of the center and while they were hospitalized.

Objectives: To evaluate the health services utilization by heart failure patients treated at a heart failure center and their clinical outcome.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we compared the clinical outcome of patients treated at a heart failure center to patients who received the standard care in 2013–2014. The clinical outcome included primary care visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and death.

Results: The study comprised 430 heart failure patients; 82 were treated at the heart failure center and 348 under standard care. At baseline, no significant differences were seen in clinical parameters between the groups. Healthcare utilization was higher among the study group. No significant changes in healthcare utilization were found. During follow-up, patients treated in a heart failure center were more likely to get recommended heart failure medications. Mortality was significantly lower in patients treated in the heart failure center compared with those receiving standard care 3.6% vs. 24%, respectively (P = 0.001), hazard ratio 0.19, 95% confidence interval 0.06–0.62, P = 0.005.

Conclusions: Joint management of heart failure by primary clinics and a specialized community heart failure center reduced mortality. There was no decrease in healthcare utilizations among heart failure center patients, despite the reduction in mortality.

Roy Lauterbach MD, Emad Matanes MD, Amnon Amit MD, Zeev Wiener MD MHA and Lior Lowenstein MD MS MHA MBA

Background: During Transvaginal Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (vNOTES) the surgeon operates exclusively through a single vaginal entry point, leaving no external scarring.

Objectives: To evaluate the learning curve of vNOTES hysterectomy by experienced gynecologists based on surgical times and short-term outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of the first 25 vNOTES hysterectomy surgeries performed from July to December 2018 at Rambam Health Care Campus by a single surgeon. The primary outcome was hysterectomy time. Secondary outcomes included intra-operative bleeding, length of hospitalization, postoperative pain, and need for analgesia. Socio-demographic and clinical data were retrieved from patient electronic medical charts.

Results: Median age was 64.5 years (range 40–79). Median hysterectomy time was 38 minutes (range 30–49) from the first cut until completion. Comparisons between median hysterectomy time in the first 10 hysterectomies and in the 15 subsequent procedures demonstrated a significant decrease in median total time: 45 minutes (range 41–49) vs. 32 minutes (range 30–38), respectively (P = 0.024). The median estimated intraoperative blood loss decreased from 100 ml (range 70–200) in the first 10 hysterectomies to 40 ml (range 20–100) in the subsequent procedures (P = 0.011)

Conclusions: vNOTES hysterectomy is feasible by an experienced gynecologist, with an exponential improvement in surgical performance in a short period as expressed by the improvement in hysterectomy time, low complication rates, negligible blood loss, minimal post-surgical pain, fast recovery, and short hospitalization. vNOTES allows easier and safer access to adnexal removal compared to conventional vaginal surgery.

Daniel Silverberg MD, Ahmad Abu Rmeileh MD, Daniel Raskin MD, Uri Rimon MD and Moshe Halak MD

Background: Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) is associated with decreased perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To report the outcomes of EVAR among patients older than 80 years of age.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed patients older than 80 years of age who underwent elective EVAR at our institution between 2007 and 2017. The demographics, perioperative morbidity and mortality, and long-term results are reported.

Results: During the study period, 444 patients underwent elective EVAR for AAAs. Among them 128 patients (29%) were > 80 years of age. Mean age was 84 ± 3.4 (range 80–96) years, and 110 patients (86%) were male. The EVAR was technically successful in 127 patients (99%) and there were intraoperative mortalities. Within 30 days of the surgery, nine patients (7%) died. Major and minor adverse events occurred in 26 (20%) and 59 (46%) patients, respectively. Factors associated with increased risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality included chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, and the existence of three or more co-morbidities.

Conclusions: EVAR in the elderly can be performed with a high rate of success; however, it is associated with a substantial rate of morbidity and mortality, particularly when patients present with multiple co-morbidities. When performing EVAR in this population group, the risk of rupture must be considered opposed to the life expectancy of these patients and the risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Elizabeth Dudnik MD, Aaron M. Allen MD, Natalia Michaeli MD, Aleksandra Benouaich-Amiel MD, Tzippy Shochat, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Inbar Finkel MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Shlomit Yust-Katz MD

Background: Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) exclusion in favor of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) staging and surveillance in the management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is controversial yet accepted by some centers. The use of MRI suggests performing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatment for limited brain metastases. Data regarding SRS efficacy in this setting is limited.

Objectives: To assess intracranial objective response rate (iORR), progression-free survival (iPFS), intracranial failure patterns, overall survival (OS) and time-to-whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT)/death, whichever occurred first (TTWD) with SRS in SCLC.

Methods: The study comprised 10 consecutive SCLC patients with brain metastases treated with SRS and followed-up at Davidoff Cancer center between Aug 2012 and March 2019. Brain MRI images were reviewed by a neuro-radiology specialist.

Results: iORR was 57% as assessed by response assessment in neuro-oncology brain metastases. Intracranial progression developed in 8 patients. Median iPFS was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.7–7.2). In-site, off-site and combined pattern of intracranial failure was seen in 0, 5, and 3 patients, respectively; median number of new brain lesions following SRS was 4 (range, 1–12). SRS was performed 10 additional times in 6 patients (median number of lesions irradiated per round was 1, range 1–5). WBRT was administered in 3 patients. Median TTWD was 20.9 months (95% CI, 1.9–26.8). Median OS since SRS administration was 23.2 months (95% CI, 4.2–not reached).

Conclusions: MRI surveillance with multiple rounds of SRS may serve a reasonable alternative to PCI or therapeutic WBRT in SCLC. 

Alina Weissmann-Brenner MD, Anna Mitlin MD, Chen Hoffman MD, Reuven Achiron MD, Yishai Salem MD and Eldad Katorza MD

Background: Congenital heart defects (CHD) may be associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities mainly due to brain hypoperfusion. This defect is attributed to the major cardiac operations these children underwent, but also to hemodynamic instability during fetal life. Advances in imaging techniques have identified changes in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)in children with CHD.

Objectives: To examine the correlation between CHD and brain injury using fetal brain MRI.

Methods: We evaluated 46 fetuses diagnosed with CHD who underwent brain MRI. CHD was classified according to in situs anomalies, 4 chamber view (4CV), outflow tracts, arches, and veins as well as cyanotic or complex CHD. We compared MRI results of different classes of CHD and CHD fetuses to a control group of 113 healthy brain MRI examinations.

Results: No significant differences were found in brain pathologies among different classifications of CHD. The anteroposterior percentile of the vermis was significantly smaller in fetuses with abnormal 4CV. A significantly higher biparietal diameter was found in fetuses with abnormal arches. A significantly smaller transcerebellar diameter was found in fetuses with abnormal veins. Compared to the control group, significant differences were found in overall brain pathology in cortex abnormalities and in extra axial findings in the study group. Significantly higher rates of overall brain pathologies, ventricle pathologies, cortex pathologies, and biometrical parameters were found in the cyanotic group compared to the complex group and to the control group.

Conclusions: Fetuses with CHD demonstrate findings in brain MRI that suggest an in utero pathogenesis of the neurological and cognitive anomalies found during child development.

Ariel Greenberg MD, Revital Kariv MD, Irit Solar PhD and Dov Hershkovitz MD PhD

Background: Evaluation of mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency is conducted via immunohistochemistry or by microsatellite instability (MSI) analysis. Heterogeneous immunohistochemistry staining for MMR proteins may show different patterns; however, according to current guidelines, all of those patterns should be interpreted as MMR proficient. This conclusion might lead to false negative results because although most cases of heterogeneity stem from technical factors and biological variability, other types of heterogeneity represent true MMR deficiency.

Objectives: To identify a unique heterogeneity pattern that is associated with true MMR loss.

Methods: We analyzed 145 cases of colorectal carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry staining for MLH1, PMS2, MSH2, and MSH6 were performed. We defined geographic heterogeneity as areas of tumor nuclear staining adjacent to areas of loss of tumor nuclear staining with intact staining in the surrounding stroma. All cases were evaluated for the presence of geographic heterogeneity. In addition, 24 cases were also evaluated by MSI testing.

Results: Of the 145 cases, 24 (16.5%) were MMR deficient. Of the 24 cases for which MSI analysis was also available, 10 cases (41.7%) demonstrated biological heterogeneity, 5 (20.8%) demonstrated technical heterogeneity, and 2 (8.3%) demonstrated geographic heterogeneity. Only the two cases with geographic heterogeneity were MSI-high via MSI analysis. In addition, a germline mutation in MSH-6 was identified in one of these cases.

Conclusions: Geographic heterogeneity may raise a suspicion for a MMR-deficient case, which should be further analyzed using additional methodologies such as MSI analysis.

Gilad Yahalom MD, Ziv Yekutieli PhD, Simon Israeli-Korn MD PhD, Sandra Elincx-Benizri MD, Vered Livneh MD, Tsviya Fay-Karmon MD, Keren Tchelet BSc, Yarin Rubel BSc and Sharon Hassin-Baer MD

Background: There is a need for standardized and objective methods to measure postural instability (PI) and gait dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Recent technological advances in wearable devices, including standard smartphones, may provide such measurements.

Objectives: To test the feasibility of smartphones to detect PI during the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Methods: Ambulatory PD patients, divided by item 30 (postural stability) of the motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) to those with a normal (score = 0, PD-NPT) and an abnormal (score ≥ 1, PD-APT) test and a group of healthy controls (HC) performed a 10-meter TUG while motion sensor data was recorded from a smartphone attached to their sternum using the EncephaLog application.

Results: In this observational study, 44 PD patients (21 PD-NPT and 23 PD-APT) and 22 HC similar in age and gender distribution were assessed. PD-APT differed significantly in all gait parameters when compared to PD-NPT and HC. Significant difference between PD-NPT and HC included only turning time (P < 0.006) and step-to-step correlation (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: While high correlations were found between EncephaLog gait parameters and axial UPDRS items, the pull test was least correlated with EncephaLog measures. Motion sensor data from a smartphone can detect differences in gait and balance measures between PD with and without PI and HC.


Eitan Neeman MD, Nitza Heiman Newman MD MHA, Yuval Cavari MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Yulia Fuxman MD and Isaac Lazar MD

Background: Temporary abdominal closure (TAC) surgical technique relates to a procedure in which the post-surgical abdominal wall remains open in certain indications. The Bogota bag (BB) technique is a tension-free TAC method that covers the abdominal contents with a sterilized fluid bag. There are very few reports of pediatric patients treated with this technique.

Objectives: To describe our institution’s 15 years of experience using the BB technique on pediatric patients.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study describing our experience treating patients with BB was conducted. The medical files of 17 pediatric patients aged 0–18 years were reviewed.

Results: Between January 2000 and December 2014, 17 patients were treated with BB at our medical center (6 females, median age 12 years). Indications for BB were a need for a surgical site re-exploration, mechanical inability for primary abdominal closure, and high risk for ACS development. Median BB duration was 5 days and median bag replacement was 2 days. Median ICU length of stay (LOS) was 10 days and hospital LOS was 27 days. The ICU admission and BB procedure was tolerated well by 6 patients who were discharged home without complications. Of the remaining 11 patients, 6 patients died during the admission (35%) and the others presented with major complications not related to the BB but to the patient's primary disease.

Conclusions: This report represents the largest series of children treated with BB. The technique is simple to perform, inexpensive, and has very few complications.

Ophir Ilan MD PhD, Yuval Tal MD PhD, Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD, Oded Shamriz MD, Emilie Bohbot MD, Shay Tayeb PhD, Daphna Regev M.Sc, Amos Panet PhD and Ron Eliashar MD

Background: Nasal polyps are three-dimensional structures arising from the mucosa of the upper airway. Due to their complexity, the reliability of single-layer cell cultures and animal systems as research models is limited.

Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility of an ex vivo organ culture of human polyps, preserving tissue structure and function.

Methods: Nasal polyps were excised during routine endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis and polyposis. Fresh tissue samples were used for pathological evaluation and for the preparation of 250–500 µm sections, which were incubated in culture media. Tissue viability was assessed by visualisation of cilia motility, measurement of glucose uptake, and an infectivity assay. Cytokine secretion was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction before and after the introduction of steroids.

Results: Polyp tissue viability was retained for 2–3 days as demonstrated by cilia motility, glucose uptake and preserved cellular composition. Tissue samples maintained their capacity to respond to infection by herpes simplex virus 1 and adenovirus. Introduction of dexamethasone to cultured tissue samples led to suppression of interferon-g production.

Conclusions: The ex vivo nasal polyp organ culture reproduces the physiological, metabolic, and cellular features of nasal polyps. Furthermore, it shows a preserved capacity for viral infection and response to drugs. This system is a useful tool for the investigation nasal-polyps and for the development of novel therapies.

Danit Dayan MD, Subhi Abu-Abeid MD, Joseph Kuriansky MD, Guy Lahat MD and Boaz Sagie MD

Background: Primary retroperitoneal neoplasms (PRN) arise from diverse retroperitoneal tissues. Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) comprise the majority and are well studied. Other non-sarcomatous PRN are very rare and less familiar.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinicopathologic and radiologic features of non-sarcomatous PRN, as well as the outcome of complete tumor resection (TR).

Methods: Retrospective data were collected on consecutive patients (June 2006 to January 2015) who underwent resection of retroperitoneal lesions at our department. Final pathology of non-sarcomatous PRN was included.

Results: The study population included 36 patients (26% with PRN). PRN were neurogenic (17%), fat-containing (3%), and cystic (6%). The preoperative diagnosis was correct in only 28%. All patients underwent TR via laparotomy (72%) or laparoscopy (28%), for mean operative time of 120 ± 46 minutes. En bloc organ resection was performed in 11%. Complete TR was achieved in 97%. Intra-operative spillage occurred in 8%. Intra-operative, 90-day postoperative complications, and mortality rates were 11%, 36%, and 0%, respectively. The mean length of stay was 6.5 ± 5.5 days. The median overall survival was 53 ± 4.9 months.

Conclusions: Familiarity with radiologic characteristics of PRN is important for appropriate management. Counter to STS, other PRN are mostly benign and have an indolent course. Radical surgery is not required, as complete TR confers good prognosis. Expectant management is reserved for small, asymptomatic, benign neoplasms.

Miri Schamroth Pravda MD, Nili Schamroth Pravda MD, Yitzhak Beigel MD, Shlomi Matetzky MD and Roy Beigel MD

In this review, the authors re-examine the role of aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. They discuss the history of the use of aspirin in primary prevention, the current guidelines, and the recent evidence surrounding aspirin use as primary prevention in special populations such as those with moderate cardiovascular risk, diabetes mellitus, and the elderly


Religion and Medicine
Osher Cohen MD and Enrique Freud MD

Falling from a height accounts for 14.1% of all hospital admissions for traumatic injury. In 5% of cases, the injury is severe or critical, and in 1.5%, it is fatal. The dangers of falling have been recognized since time immemorial. Indeed, the Bible instructs us to build a parapet around the roof of our home so that, “…you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from it” (Deuteronomy 22:8). This commandment highlights the relatively simple and practical means by which we can prevent falls. It is also one of a series of ethical laws that are presented to help us understand and obey the larger Biblical precepts of loving one’s neighbor and guarding the sanctity of life. The concept teaches us that it is the responsibility of all individuals to be cognizant of others and to avoid harming people through negligence or carelessness. The aim of this article is to explain the commandment to build a parapet in the context of the risk of falling from a height and to expand on its wider implications. The present work was prompted in part by the alarming increase in fatal and near-fatal accidents in Israel in two particular populations.

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