Roy Croock MD, Jonathan Modai MD, Yuval Avda MD, Igal Shpunt MD, Yaniv Shilo MD, Yamit Peretz MD, Uri Lindner MD, Avraham Bercovich MD, and Dan Leibovici MD
Background: Radical cystectomy is a complicated surgery with significant risks. Complications of Clavien–Dindo grade 3–4 range from 25% to 40% while risk of mortality is 2%. Pelvic surgery or radiotherapy prior to radical cystectomy increases the challenges of this surgery.
Objectives: To assess whether radical cystectomy performed in patients with prior history of pelvic surgery or radiation was associated with increased frequency of Clavien–Dindo grade 3 or higher complications compared to patients without prior pelvic intervention.
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all patients who underwent radical cystectomy at our center over a 7-year period. All patients with pelvic radiation or surgery prior to radical cystectomy comprised group 1, while group 2 included the remaining patients.
Results: In our study, 65 patients required radical cystectomy at our institution during the study period. Group 1 was comprised of 17 patients and group 2 included 48 patients. Four patients from group 2 received orthotopic neobladder, while an ileal conduit procedure was performed in the remaining patients. Estimated blood loss and the amount of blood transfusions given was the only variable found to be statistically different between the two groups. One patient from group 1 had four pelvic interventions prior to surgery, and her cystectomy was aborted.
Conclusions: Radical cystectomy may be safely performed in patients with a history of pelvic radiotherapy or surgery, with complication rates similar to those of non-irradiated or operated pelvises.
Ariel Kerpel MD, Edith Michelle Marom MD, Michael Green PhD, Michal Eifer MD, Eli Konen MD, Arnaldo Mayer PhD, and Sonia L. Betancourt Cuellar MD
Background: Medical imaging and the resultant ionizing radiation exposure is a public concern due to the possible risk of cancer induction.
Objectives: To assess the accuracy of ultra-low-dose (ULD) chest computed tomography (CT) with denoising versus normal dose (ND) chest CT using the Lung CT Screening Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS).
Methods: This prospective single-arm study comprised 52 patients who underwent both ND and ULD scans. Subsequently AI-based denoising methods were applied to produce a denoised ULD scan. Two chest radiologists independently and blindly assessed all scans. Each scan was assigned a Lung-RADS score and grouped as 1 + 2 and 3 + 4.
Results: The study included 30 men (58%) and 22 women (42%); mean age 69.9 ± 9 years (range 54–88). ULD scan radiation exposure was comparable on average to 3.6–4.8% of the radiation depending on patient BMI. Denoising increased signal-to-noise ratio by 27.7%. We found substantial inter-observer agreement in all scans for Lung-RADS grouping. Denoised scans performed better than ULD scans when negative likelihood ratio (LR-) was calculated (0.04–-0.08 vs. 0.08–0.12). Other than radiation changes, diameter measurement differences and part-solid nodules misclassification as a ground-glass nodule caused most Lung-RADS miscategorization.
Conclusions: When assessing asymptomatic patients for pulmonary nodules, finding a negative screen using ULD CT with denoising makes it highly unlikely for a patient to have a pulmonary nodule that requires aggressive investigation. Future studies of this technique should include larger cohorts and be considered for lung cancer screening as radiation exposure is radically reduced.
Shirly Shapiro MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Meirav Schmidt MD, Eran Ben Arye MD, Jamal Dagash MD, Alexander Yosipovich MD, and Yakir Segev MD
Background: Early referral to palliative care services in patients with advanced cancer is widely accepted. In addition, the use of futile intervention at the end of life is a pivotal aspect of assessing quality of care at that time.
Objectives: To evaluate the use of palliative care and aggressive treatments during the last month of life in women with gynecological malignancies.
Methods: The study was designed in two steps. The first step included a retrospective analysis of a gynecologic oncology cohort that underwent end-of-life (EOL) care. In the second part, a questionnaire regarding EOL care was completed by family members. Since our palliative care service became more active after 2014, we compared data from the years 2013–2014 to the years 2015–2019.
Results: We identified 89 patients who died from gynecological malignancy during study period; 21% received chemotherapy and 40% underwent invasive procedures during their last month of life. A palliative care consultation was documented for 49% of patients more than one week before their death. No statistical difference was achieved between the two time periods regarding the use of chemotherapy or invasive procedures in the last month of life. Nonetheless, after the incorporation of palliative medicine more women had palliative care consultations and had EOL discussions. Most of the patients’ relatives were satisfied with EOL care.
Conclusions: Many aggressive interventions were given during the last month of life. EOL discussions were documented in the medical charts of most patients and the rates increased with time.
Naim Shehadeh MD, Aryeh Simmonds MD, Samuel Zangen MD, Arieh Riskin MD MHA, and Raanan Shamir MD
Background: Infants born very prematurely have functionally and structurally immature gastrointestinal tracts.
Objectives: To assess the safety and tolerability of administration of enteral recombinant human (rh) insulin on formula fed preterm infants and to assess whether enteral administration of rh-insulin enhances gastrointestinal tract maturation by reducing the time to reach full enteral feeding.
Methods: A phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study was conducted. Premature infants (26–33 weeks gestation) were randomized 1:1 to receive insulin 400 μU/ml mixed with enteral feeding or placebo added to their formula. The primary efficacy outcome measure was the number of days required to achieve full enteral feeding. Safety outcomes included adverse events and blood glucose levels.
Results: The study consisted of 33 infants randomized for the safety population and 31 for efficacy analysis. The mean time to full enteral feeding was 6.37 days (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 4.59–8.15) in the enteral rh-insulin treatment group (n=16) and 8.00 days (95%CI 6.20–9.80) in the placebo group (n=15), which represents a statistically significant reduction of 1.63 days (95%CI 0.29–2.97; P = 0.023). There was no difference in blood glucose levels between the groups and none of the participants experienced hypoglycemia. Adverse events occurred in 9/17 (53%) infants in the enteral rh-insulin group and 12/16 (75%) in the placebo group.
Conclusions: Our trial demonstrated that administration of enteral rh-insulin as supplement to enteral nutrition significantly reduced time to achieve full enteral feeding in preterm infants with a gestational age of 26–33 weeks.
Yulia Gendler RN PhD, Emmanuelle Seguier-Lipszyc MD, Ari Silbermintz MD, Moshe Hain MD, Yoram Stern MD, Dragan Kravarusic MD, Keren Politi MD, Gabriel Amir MD PhD, Jacob Katz MD, Yelena Zeitlin MD, Sylvia Grozovski MD, Yifat Nitzan SLP, Yuliana Eshel MHA, Adi Shimoni OTR, Yifat Fischer DVM, Dana Serfaty MSc, Tami Shnayderman BPT, Kian Assi BSW, Lior Barbash MBA, and Patrick Stafler MD
Background: Aerodigestive clinics are run by interdisciplinary medical and surgical teams, and provide complex care coordination and combined endoscopies.
Objectives: To describe the design and patient population of the first pediatric aerodigestive center in Israel.
Methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study was conducted describing patients followed in the aerodigestive clinic of Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, a tertiary pediatric hospital, between its inception in January 2017 and June 2020.
Results: During the study period, 100 patients were seen at the combined respiratory and digestive (NoAM) clinic, with a total of 271 visits. Median age at first assessment was 29.5 months (range 3–216). Fifty-six patients (56%) had esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula. Thirty-nine patients had an identified genetic disorder, 28 had a primary airway abnormality, 28 were oxygen dependent, and 21 were born premature. Fifty-two patients underwent triple endoscopy, consisting of flexible bronchoscopy, rigid bronchoscopy, and gastroscopy. In 33 patients, esophageal dilatation was necessary. Six patients underwent posterior tracheopexy at a median of 6 months of age (range 5 days to 8 years) all with ensuing symptom improvement. The total mean parental satisfaction score on a Likert-type scale of 1–5 (5 = highest satisfaction) was 4.5.
Conclusions: A coordinated approach is required to provide effective care to the growing population of children with aerodigestive disorders. The cross fertilization between multiple disciplines offers a unique opportunity to develop high quality and innovative care. Outcome measures must be defined to objectively measure clinical benefit.
George Habib MD MPH, Fahed Sakas MD, and Fadi Khazin MD
Background: Fibromyalgia is characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal pain at the time of diagnosis, but many patients report their initial symptoms as being focal or local.
Objectives: To evaluate, prospectively, the initial location of body pain in recently diagnosed patients with fibromyalgia.
Methods: Non-selected patients from the rheumatology clinic who were recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia (≤ 2 years) with symptoms of ≤ 4 years participated in our study. Demographic and clinical parameters were documented, as was the initial location of pain they had experienced. Sub-analysis of data according to gender and ethnicity was conducted using chi-squire test.
Results: The study comprised 155 patients. Mean age was 39.8 ± 11.7 years; 85% were female. Mean duration of symptoms was 2.11 years and of diagnosis was 0.78 years. Six patients (3.9%) reported initial symptoms of pain as being diffuse from the start, 10 (6.5%) could not remember the location of their initial symptoms, and 139 (90%) reported initial focal pain. Hands were reported as the initial area of pain for 25.2% of the patients, 19.4% reported the back, and 11% reported both trapezial areas as the initial area of pain. In 90% of the patients (excluding patients with back, abdominal, or chest pain) the initial symptoms were bilateral and symmetrical. No significant difference in initial presentation was found among different gender or ethnic groups.
Conclusions: Pain in fibromyalgia patients usually presents as focal and symmetrical. Bilateral hand pain, followed by back pain, was the most common reported area of initial pain among fibromyalgia patients.
Michal Shani MD MPH, Doron Comaneshter PhD, and Alex Lustman MD MPH
Background: Oral anticoagulants (OAC) reduce the risk for stroke and death from all causes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF)
Objective: To explore adherence rates of OAC among patients with NVAF in long-term use in a real-world setting and to examine patient characteristics associated with good adherence.
Methods: We conducted a population-based cohort study with members of Clalit Health Services, Israel. All patients aged ≥ 30 years with a diagnosis of NVAF before 2016 who were treated with OAC were included. We included patients who filled at least one prescription per year in the three consecutive years 2016–2018. We analyzed all prescriptions that were filled for the medications from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. We considered purchasing of at least nine monthly prescriptions during 2017 as good medication adherence.
Results: We identified 26,029 patients with NVAF who were treated with OAC; 10,284 (39.5%) were treated with apixaban, 6321 (24.3%) with warfarin, 6290 (24.1%) with rivaroxaban, and 3134 (12.0%) with dabigatran. Rates of good medication adherence were 88.9% for rivaroxaban, 84.9% for apixaban, 83.6% for dabigatran, and 55.8% for warfarin (P < 0.0001). Advanced age was associated with higher adherence rates (P < 0.001). Socioeconomic status was not associated with medication adherence. Good adherence with OAC was associated with lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and glucose levels.
Conclusions: Adherence rates to OAC in chronic use among patients with chronic NAVF are high. Investing in OAC adherence may have a wider health impact than expected.
Edwina Landau PhD, Huda Mussaffi MD, Vardit Kalamaro PharmD, Alexandra Quittner PhD, Tammy Taizi RN, Diana Kadosh MSW, Hadas Mantin MA, Dario Prais MD, Hannah Blau MBBS, and Meir Mei-Zahav MD
Background: Adherence to treatment by adolescents and adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) is often poor.
Objectives: To assess the impact of a focused clinical intervention on adherence in individual patients, including help in problem-solving key barriers to adherence. To implement a patient-centered problem-solving intervention using CF My Way tools. To identify and overcome a selected barrier to adherence.
Methods: Medication possession ratios (MPRs), number of airway clearance sessions, forced expiratory volume (FEV1), body mass index (BMI), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were measured before and after the intervention.
Results: Sixteen patients with CF, aged 23.4 ± 6.7 years, participated. MPR increased for colistimethate sodium and tobramycin inhalations from a median of 21 (range 0–100) to 56 (range 0–100), P = 0.04 and 20 (range 0–100) to 33.3 (range 25–100), P = 0.03, respectively. BMI standard deviation score rose from -0.37 to -0.21, P = 0.05. No significant improvements were found in FEV1, airway clearance, or HRQoL scores.
Conclusions: The CF My Way problem-solving intervention increased adherence to medical treatments by removing barriers directly related to the needs and goals of young adults with CF
Roy Rafael Dayan MD, Yosef Ayzenberg MD, Tzachi Slutsky MD, Ela Shaer MD, Alon Kaplan BMedSc, and Vladimir Zeldetz MD
Background: Limited data exist regarding the safety of ultrasound-guided femoral nerve blockade (US-FNB) in patients with hip fractures treated with anti-Xa direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC).
Objectives: To compare the safety outcomes of US-FNB to conventional analgesia in patients with hip fractures treated with anti-Xa DOAC.
Methods: This observational exploratory prospective study included 69 patients who presented to our emergency department (ED) in 3 years with hip fracture and who were treated with apixaban or rivaroxaban. Patients received either a US-FNB (n=19) or conventional analgesics (n=50) based on their preference and, and the presence of a trained ED physician qualified in performing US-FNB. Patients were observed for major bleeding events during and 30 days after hospitalization. The degree of preoperative pain and opioid use were also observed.
Results: We found no significant difference in the number of major bleeding events between groups (47.4% vs. 54.0%, P = 0.84). Degree of pain measured 3 and 12 hours after presentation was found to be lower in the US-FNB group (median visual analog scale of pain improvement from baseline of -5 vs. -3 (P = 0.002) and -5 vs.-4 (P = 0.023), respectively. Opioid administration pre-surgery was found to be more than three times more common in the conventional analgesia group (26.3% vs.80%, P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Regarding patients treated with Anti-Xa DOAC, US-FNB was not associated with an increase in major bleeding events compared to conventional analgesia, although it was an effective means of pain alleviation. Larger scale randomized controlled trials are required to determine long-term safety and efficacy.
Boris Zingerman MD, Yaacov Ori MD, Asher Korzets MD, Michal Herman-Edelstein MD, Netta Lev MD, Benaya Rozen-Zvi MD, and Eli Atar MD
Background: Among dialysis patients, occlusive mesenteric vascular disease has rarely been reported.
Objectives: To report on the experience of one center with regard to diagnosing and treating this complication.
Methods: The retrospective case-series involved six patients (3 females, 3 males; age 52–88 years; 5/6 were smokers) on chronic hemodialysis at a single center. All patients with symptoms suggestive of occlusive mesenteric disease and a subsequent angiographic intervention were included. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient charts for the period before and after angioplasty and stenting of the mesenteric vessels. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the relevant data before and after the intervention.
Results: All participants had variable co-morbidities and postprandial abdominal pain, food aversion, and weight loss. CT angiography was limited due to heavy vascular calcifications. All underwent angioplasty with stenting of the superior mesenteric artery (4 patients) or the celiac artery (2 patients). All procedures were successful in resolving abdominal pain, malnutrition, and inflammation. Weight loss before was 15 ± 2 kg and weight gain after was 6 ± 2 kg. C-reactive protein decreased from 13.4 ± 5.2 mg/dl to 2.2 ± 0.4 mg/dl (P < 0.05). Serum albumin increased from 3.0 ± 0.2 g/dl to 3.9 ± 0.1 g/dl (P < 0.05). Two patients underwent a repeat procedure (4 years, 5 months, respectively). Follow-up ranged from 0.5–7 years.
Conclusions: Occlusive mesenteric ischemia occurs among dialysis patients. The diagnosis requires a high degree of suspicion, and it is manageable by angiography and stenting of the most involved mesenteric artery.