Nir Tsur MD, Omri Frig BSc, Orna Steinberg-Shemer MD, Hannah Tamary MD, Noga Kurman MD, Aviram Mizrachi MD, and Aron Popovtzer MD
Background: Recent studies show a high risk of developing malignancy in patients with Fanconi anemia. The most common solid tumor in this condition is head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and there is often uncertainty and about disease behavior as well as chemotherapy and radiation response.
Objectives: To describe and characterize HNSCC among Fanconi anemia patients on the Israeli Fanconi Registry
Methods: Our study population included patients in Israel's inherited bone marrow failure registry who were diagnosed with Fanconi anemia between1980 and 2016. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient charts.
Results: From the collected data, HNSCC was confirmed in 6/111 (5.4%) Fanconi anemia patients; 1 (17%) had classic HNSCC risk factors of tobacco abuse and 4 (56%) had undergone primary surgery. The 3 (50%) receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy had mild side effects, while half developed metachronous primary malignancy, and all developed > 2 primary malignancies. The overall median survival of the patients in our study was 14 (0.5–57) months.
Conclusions: Fanconi anemia patients have a very high risk of developing HNSCC. Proactive screening for malignancies is needed for the head and neck regions. We also found that chemoradiotherapy can be used safely in high-stage cancers.
Anton Bermont MD, Daniel L Cohen MD, Vered Richter MD, Efrat Broide MD, and Haim Shirin MD
Background: One of the main causes of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is chronic gastrointestinal blood loss. The use of video capsule endoscopy (VCE) after negative bidirectional endoscopy in patients with IDA is controversial.
Objectives: To evaluate the effect of VCE in the management and long-term outcomes of IDA patients.
Methods: A retrospective case-control study was performed on all patients with IDA undergoing VCE over a 5-year period. We compared those with positive findings on VCE to those with normal findings. All participants previously underwent a negative bidirectional endoscopy
Results: We performed 199 VCE examinations; median follow-up time was 4 years (IQR 2–5). Positive findings were identified in 66 patients (diagnostic yield 33.2%). Double balloon enteroscopy or push enteroscopy was performed in eight patients (18.6%); only one was therapeutic. The main therapy in both groups was iron supplementation. There were no significant differences in iron treatment before and after VCE in each group and between groups. Anemia improved in both groups. There was no difference in the level of hemoglobin change between the groups during each year of follow-up compared to the baseline level prior to VCE. Anemia resolved in 15 patients (35%) in the positive VCE group and in 19 (45%) in the negative VCE group (P = 0.33).
Conclusions: Positive findings on VCE led to subsequent endoscopic interventions only in a small percentage of patients with IDA. Anemia improved and resolved equally whether or not there were VCE findings. The main intervention that appears to help IDA is iron supplementation.
Ido Tzanani MD MPH, Daniel Bendayan MD, Anat Jaffe MD PHD, and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA
Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the risk factors for progression from latent to active tuberculosis. However, the effect of DM on subsequent tuberculosis treatment is still inconclusive.
Objectives: To compare tuberculosis treatment outcomes and the rate of drug resistance of tuberculosis patients with or without DM.
Methods: This case-control study was conducted between 2005 and 2015 at the only tuberculosis ward in Israel. All 80 tuberculosis patients who had DM and were hospitalized during the study period were included in this study, as were a randomized sample of 213 tuberculosis patients without DM. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient files in the hospital and clinics after discharge.
Results: Tuberculosis patients with DM were more often older and more likely to be Israeli citizens with a lower socioeconomic status than patients without DM. No statistically significant differences were found in clinical presentation, radiological findings, and sputum smear tests between the two groups. Culture converting times were prolonged in patients with DM compared to normoglycemic patients. Multidrug drug resistance tuberculosis was more common among normoglycemic tuberculosis patients than tuberculosis patients with DM (9.2% vs. 1.6%, P = 0.12). Treatment success rates were 76.2% and 83.1% for tuberculosis patients with or without DM, respectively (P = 0.18). DM was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis predicting treatment success, which controlled for age, citizenship, compliance, addictions, and chronic diseases.
Conclusions: The presence of DM does not necessarily affect tuberculosis treatment outcomes as long as treatment compliance is optimal.
Daphna Landau Prat MD, Shira Sandbank MD, Tal Davidy MD, Ofira Zloto MD, and Guy J. Ben Simon MD
Background: Upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is one of the most common plastic surgeries. Khat is used topically to reduce tissue edema.
Objectives: To evaluate the effect of topical khat administration after eyelid surgery on postoperative healing.
Methods: Our prospective comparative study included 24 patients who underwent upper eyelid blepharoplasty or ptosis surgery between 2019 and 2020. Patients were randomly assigned to 48 hours of cold dressing with frozen khat leaves and frozen peas dressing (common practice). Postoperative photographs of the eyes were evaluated for the degree of ecchymosis and edema on postoperative days (PODs) 1, 3, and 7 by three blinded observers. Measures included tissue swelling and hemorrhage on PODs 1, 3, and 7.
Results: The mean age of the cohort was 67 ± 7 years; 17 females (71%). Khat application was associated with lower postoperative ecchymosis at each time point. Females had lower levels of postoperative ecchymosis on POD 7 (P = 0.07). Eyelid edema was more pronounced in the khat group on PODs 1 and 3, but this was reversed on POD 7. There was good agreement among all three observers in grading ecchymosis and edema (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The use of khat was associated with less tissue ecchymosis after oculoplastic surgery, although this was not statistically significant even following sub-population analysis. The outcome can be attributed to the active ingredients of cathinone and cathine, which cause vasoconstriction and lipolysis, and to the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These encouraging preliminary findings warrant additional studies on a biochemical/cellular level.
Ilan Rozenberg MD, Sydney Benchetrit MD, Michael Raigorodetsky MD, Simone Fajer MD, Ali Shnaker MD, Naomi Nacasch MD, Yael Einbinder MD, Tali Zitman-Gal PhD, Keren Cohen-Hagai MD
Background: Reliable vascular access is a fundamental tool for providing effective hemodialysis. Vascular access dysfunction is associated with increased morbidity and mortality among hemodialysis patients. Current vascular access guidelines strongly recommend creating an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) as the first option; however, a substantial proportion of new AVFs may not be usable.
Objectives: To assess possible predictors of primary and secondary failure of vascular access.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study included all vascular access sites created at Meir Medical Center from 2006 through 2012. Vascular access site, primary and secondary failure rates, and relevant demographic and clinical data were recorded during 60 months of follow-up.
Results: A total of 612 vascular accesses were created and followed for a median of 32 ± 29.4 months. Of these, 490 (80%) were suitable for initiating hemodialysis. Vascular access site was the most important predictor of primary failure but did not predict secondary failure. Co-morbidities such as diabetes mellitus and congestive heart failure, as well as the use of antiplatelet agents did not predict primary or secondary failure. Preoperative vascular mapping using Doppler ultrasonography was performed in 36.4% of cases and was not associated with lower rates of primary or secondary failure.
Conclusions: Vascular access site is an important predictor of primary failure. We did not find a benefit of pre-operative vessel mapping or chronic antiplatelet therapy in terms of decreasing primary and secondary failure rates. Physicians should carefully consider the characteristics of the patient and blood vessels before creating vascular access in patients requiring chronic hemodialysis.
Yael Bliman-Tal MD, Irena Rabinovich MD, Marina Pekar-Zlotin MD, Yaakov Melcer MD, Neta Eisenberg MD, and Noam Smorgick MD
Background: Laparoscopic removal of ovarian dermoid cysts has been associated with increased risk for recurrence.
Objectives: To investigate the risk factors associated with recurrence of dermoid cysts.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all women who underwent cystectomy for ovarian dermoid cysts by laparoscopy or laparotomy. At discharge, patients were instructed to undergo a yearly ultrasound exam. A follow-up telephone call was conducted to assess whether an additional surgery for dermoid cysts was required and whether ultrasound recurrence of dermoid cysts was suspected.
Results: The study cohort included 102 participants (92 [90.2%] operated by laparoscopy and 10 [9.8%] by laparotomy). The mean follow-up from the index surgery to the interview was 72.1 ± 38.2 months. The rates of recurrent surgery were similar among women who underwent laparoscopic cystectomy compared with laparotomy (5/92 [5.4%] vs. 1/10 [10.0%], respectively; P = 0.5), while the rates of reported ultrasound recurrence were significantly lower in the laparoscopy group compared with the laparotomy group (10/102 [10.9%] vs. 4/10 [40.0%], respectively; P = 0.03). Additional factors including age, cyst diameter, diagnosis of torsion, intraoperative cyst spillage, estimated blood loss, intraperitoneal adhesions, and postoperative fever were not associated with recurrence.
Conclusions: Ultrasound recurrence of dermoid cysts is not uncommon and could be associated with the surgical approach.
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Eyal Katvan PhD LLM LLB, and Tamar Ashkenazi PhD RN
Background: Changes accommodating requirements of religious authorities in Israel resulted in the Brain and Respiratory Death Determination Law (BRDDL), which came into effect in 2009. These included considering patient wishes regarding the brain respiratory death determination (BRDD), mandatory performance of apnea and ancillary testing, establishment of an accreditation committee, and accreditation required for physicians performing BRDD.
Objectives: To assess the impact of the legislation from 2010–2019.
Methods: Data collected included the number of formal BRDDs and accredited physicians. Obstacles to declaring brain death and interventions applied were identified.
Results: Obstacles included lack of trained physicians to perform BRDD and interpret ancillary test results, inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing, and non-approach to next-of-kin objecting to BRDD. Interventions included physician training courses, additional ancillary test options, and legal interpretation of patient wishes for non-determination of BRD. As a result, the number of non-determinations related to next-of-kin objecting decreased (26 in 2010 to 5 in 2019), inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing decreased (33 in 2010 to 2 in 2019), and number of physicians receiving accreditation increased (210 in 2010 to 456 in 2019). Last, the consent rate for organ donation increased from 49% to 60% in 2019.
Conclusions: The initial decrease in BRDDs has reversed, thus enabling more approaches for organ donation. The increased consent rate may reflect in part the support of the rabbinate and confidence of the general public that BRDD is performed and monitored according to strict criteria.
Sophia Eilat-Tsanani MD, Amal Zoubi MD, and Rawi Hazzan MD
Background: Hepatitis D virus may cause a disease at various severities in the presence of hepatitis B virus, using hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) on the external envelope in its replication process. Thus, people identified with HBsAg in blood tests should also be tested for hepatitis D virus.
Objectives: To describe the situation of performance of blood tests for detection of hepatitis D virus in patients positive for hepatitis surface antigen during 9 years in a population with heterogeneous origins in the north region of Israel.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study using the database of Clalit Health Services.
Results: We found 3367 people were positive for HBsAg during the study period; 613 (18%) were tested for hepatitis D. People who tested for hepatitis D were younger (47.3 ± 15 years vs. 50.5) and showed a higher rate of visiting the gastroenterology clinic (80.6% vs. 41%). The rate of positive blood tests for hepatitis D was too small for analysis, but it still demonstrated tendency for higher rates in the Ethiopian Jewish group.
Conclusion: The recommendation for performance of blood test for hepatitis D virus was followed to a small extent. Considering the ethnic diversity of the population in Israel, activities to raise rates of performance should be considered.