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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

May 2011

G.M. Weisz

This medical history essay claims a medical fraud committed by the authorities, and used as a pretext for the November 1938 anti-Jewish Kristallnacht pogrom throughout the Third Reich. The suggested conspiracy covered up the real cause of death of the German Embassy's secretary in Paris. Baron Ernst vom Rath had been shot by a Jewish teenager who was frantic because of the plight of his family. A surgical analysis of the victim's injuries, and of the medical attention he received, suggests the likelihood of medical malpractice which led to his preventable demise.

A. Autenrieth, W. Thal and J. Rosenecker

Before World War II the number of Jewish physicians practicing pediatric medicine in Germany was very high, but soon after the National Socialists came to power the discrimination against Jewish physicians began. One of them, Dr. Albert Uffenheimer, serves as a moving example of this persecution. Dr. Uffenheimer was engaged in the fight against the high infant mortality and was instrumental in the creation of public health facilities for counselling parents. In 1925 he became Director of the Children’s Hospital in Magdeburg and within a short time had improved the medical care of both infants and mothers. In April 1933, two months after the Nazi takeover, he was dismissed from his post at the Children’s Hospital in Magdeburg and immigrated to the United States. Dr. Uffenheimer was a pioneer in the field of public health before such new concepts were recognized as important. As such he should be remembered as a founding father of social pediatrics in Germany.


History of Medicine
Anti-DNA activity in systemic lupus erythematosus
Original Articles
S. Perl, M. Goldman, M. Berkovitch and E. Kozer

Background: Diarrhea is a leading cause of child mortality worldwide. Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhea and dehydration in children.

Objectives: To compare the demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis to those with other causes of gastroenteritis.

Methods: The medical records of children aged 0–18 years hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in our facility between 1 January 2004 and 31 March 2006 were retrieved. Patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis were compared with patients who were rotavirus negative.

Results: The study group comprised 533 patients; 202 tested positive for rotavirus and 331 tested negative. Compared to patients with rotavirus-negative gastroenteritis, patients with rotavirus-positive gastroenteritis had a higher incidence of vomiting (185/202 vs. 212/331, 92% vs.  64%, P < 0.001), lethargy (67 vs. 51, 33% vs. 15%, P < 0.001), and dehydration (81 vs. 78 vs. 40% vs. 24%, P < 0.001). The need for intravenous rehydration therapy and the duration of hospitalization were higher in patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis.

Conclusions: Vomiting and dehydration are more common in hospitalized children with rotavirus gastroenteritis than in children with gastroenteritis due to other causes.

L. Shen, Y. Matsunami, N. Quan, K. Kobayashi, E. Matsuura and K. Oguma

Background: Several murine models are susceptible to atherosclerosis, such as low density-lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLR-/-) and apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice, and are used for studying pathophysiological mechanisms. Atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic valve and thoracic/abdominal aorta are commonly associated with hyperlipidemia. We recently demonstrated the development of large atherosclerotic plaques in Helicobacter pylori-infected heterozygous LDLR+/- apoE+/- mice.

Objectives: To measure novel biomarkers related to atherosclerosis, blood coagulation, and oxidative stress in order to investigate their possible pathogenic roles in atherosclerosis-prone mice.

Methods: Mice were fed with a normal chow diet or high-fat diet and sacrificed at different age intervals to measure aortic plaque size. Plasma cholesterol was enzymatically measured. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure oxidized LDL (oxLDL)/beta-2-glycoprotein I (β2GPI) complexes, immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies against native LDL, oxLDL, or oxLDL/β2GPI, and urine 11-dehydro-thromboxane B2 (11-dhTxB2) or 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine.

Results: There was a parallel increase in plaque size, plasma cholesterol, and urinary 11-dhTxB2 in atherosclerosis-prone mice. In contrast to atherosclerosis-prone strains, an elevation of urinary 11-dhTxB2 with no significant plaque generation was observed in LDLR+/- apoE+/- mice. The atherogenic autoantigen oxLDL/β2GPI complex was detected only in LDLR-/- mice. These levels seem to depend on plaque size. IgM antibodies against oxLDL in apoE-/- mice were found, accompanied by atherosclerotic progression.

Conclusions: Progression of atherosclerotic lesions was associated not only with cholesterolemia but also with platelet activation and natural autoimmune-mediated regulatory mechanism(s) in murine models.

G. Lahat, N. Lubezky, M. Ben Haim, I. Nachmany, A. Blachar, I. Santo, R. Nakache and J.M. Klausner
I. Kushnir and T. Tzuk-Shina

Background: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an ultimately fatal disease that affects patients of all ages. Elderly patients (65 years and older) constitute a special subgroup of patients characterized by a worse prognosis and frequent comorbidities.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of different treatment modalities in terms of survival in elderly patients with GBM1.

Methods: Using retrospective analysis, we extracted, anonymized and analyzed the files of 74 deceased patients (aged 65 or older) treated for GBM in a single institution.

Results: Mean survival time was 8.97 months and median survival time 7.68 months. Patients who underwent tumor resection had a mean survival of 11.83 months, as compared to patients who underwent no surgical intervention or only biopsy and had a mean survival of 5.22 months (P < 0.0001). Patients who underwent full radiation treatment had a mean survival of 11.31 months, compared to patients who received only partial radiotherapy or none at all and had a mean survival of 4.09 months (P < 0.0001). Patients who underwent chemotherapy had a mean survival 12.4 months, compared to patients who did not receive any chemotherapy and had a mean survival of 5.89 months (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Age alone should not be a factor in the decision on which treatment should be given. Treatment should be individualized to match the patient’s overall condition and his or wishes, while taking into consideration the better overall prognosis expected with aggressive treatment.

E. Hayim Mizrahi, A. Waitzman, M. Arad and A. Adunsky

Background: Total cholesterol is significantly associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke. Patients with ischemic stroke and high cholesterol levels may show better functional outcome after rehabilitation.

Objectives: To study the possible interrelations between hypercholesterolemia and functional outcome in elderly survivors of ischemic stroke.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review study of consecutive patients (age ≥ 60 years) with acute stroke admitted to a geriatric rehabilitation ward in a university-affiliated hospital. The presence or absence of hypercholesterolemia was based on registry data positive for hypercholesterolemia, defined as total cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dl (5.17 mmol/L). Functional outcome of patients with hypercholesterolemia (Hchol) and without (NHchol) was assessed by the Functional Independence Measurement scale (FIMTM) at admission and discharge. Data were analyzed by t-test and chi-square test, as well as linear regression analysis.

Results: The complete data for 551 patients (age range 60–96 years)w ere available for final analysis; 26.7% were diagnosed as having hypercholesterolemia. Admission total FIM[1] scores were significantly higher in patients with Hchol[2] (72.1 ± 24.8) compared with NHchol[3] patients (62.2 ± 24.7) (P < 0.001). A similar difference was found at discharge (Hchol 90.8 ± 27.9 vs. NHchol 79.7 ± 29.2, P < 0.001). However, total FIM change upon discharge was similar in both groups (18.7 ± 13.7 vs. 17.6 ± 13.7, P = 0.4). Regression analyses showed that high Mini Mental State Examination scores (β = 0.13, P = 0.01) and younger age (β = -0.12, P = 0.02) were associated with higher total FIM change scores upon discharge. Total cholesterol was not associated with better total FIM change on discharge (β = -0.012, P = 0.82).

Conclusions: Elderly survivors of stroke with Hchol who were admitted for rehabilitation showed higher admission and discharge FIM scores but similar functional FIM gains as compared to NHchol patients. High cholesterol levels may be useful in identifying older individuals with a better rehabilitation potential.

[1] FIM = Functional Independence Measurement

[2] Hcol = hypercholesterolemia

[3] NHchol = non-hypercholesterolemia

L. Shen, Y. Matsunami, N. Quan, K. Kobayashi, E. Matsuura and K. Oguma

Background: Major changes in the evaluation and treatment of curable colorectal cancer (CRC) have emerged in the last two decades. These changes have led to better patient outcome over time.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of these changes as reflected in the difference in long-term outcome of a consecutive group of recently laparoscopically operated curable CRC[1] patients and a consecutive group of patients operated 20 years earlier in the same department.

Methods: Data of the new group were taken from our prospectively collected data of patients who underwent elective laparoscopic surgery for CRC in recent years. Data regarding patients operated on 20 years ago were retrieved from previous prospectively collected data on the long-term survival of CRC patients operated in the same department.

Results: The recently operated group comprised 203 patients and the previous group 199 patients. Perioperative mortality was 0.5% in the new group versus 1.5% in the old group (not significant). There were more early-stage and more proximal tumors in the recently operated group. A Kaplan-Meier 5-year survival analysis revealed no difference between stage I patients of the two groups. However, there was a significant increase in 5-year survival in the new group for stage II (85% vs. 63%, P = 0.004) and for stage III patients (57% vs. 39%, P = 0.01). This trend was maintained after removing the rectal cancer patients from the calculated data.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated improved survival for stage II and III CRC patients over a 20-year period in the same medical center. This change most likely reflects advances both in imaging techniques leading to more accurate staging and in adjuvant treatments.

[1] CRC = colorectal cancer

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