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עמוד בית
Thu, 25.07.24

April 2023


FOCUS
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, Andrew Gal MBBS FRCPA

The health of survivors of the Shoah has been investigated, both at early and late stages in their lives. There have been findings of multiple morbidities, but survivors have enjoyed slightly prolonged longevity when compared to the general population [1]. Less attention has been granted to investigations and descriptions of illnesses that presented inside the ghettos and the Nazi camps. Some of the surviving records from those sites have yet to be interpreted. Documented diagnoses of both insulin dependent and mature onset diabetes mellitus and of malignancy has been conspicuously absent. We present our meta-analysis and interpretations of surviving medical documents covering a large population of prisoners from a range of ghettos and concentration camps and specifically note the absence of recorded incidence of malignancy and a relatively low incidence of diabetes mellitus.

ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Lena Busch PhD, Carsten Schriek MD, Matthias Paul MD FESC FHFA, Harald Heidecke PhD

Background: Myalgic encephalomyelits/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is an acquired disease with symptoms of fatigue and pain. In pathogenesis, the induction of autoantibodies (AAB) against G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), such as β-adrenergic receptors (β-AdR), has been suspected. GPCR-AAB correlate with symptom severity and autonomic dysfunction in ME/CFS.

Objectives: To describe symptoms and treatment of a patient presenting with infection-triggered ME/CFS demonstrating that levels of β-AdR-AAB underlie modulation over time, correlating with the severity of symptoms.

Methods: At T1 and T2, GPCR-AAB were measured and questionnaires assessing symptom severity were completed. TSHDS-IgM-AAB were tested, and SF density was analyzed via skin probe.

Results: At T2, elevated levels of β-AdR-AAB were found, corresponding with an aggravation of fatigue and pain symptoms. Elevated TSHDS-IgM-AAB were found, which corresponded with reduced fiber density from the skin probe.

Conclusions: The levels of β-AdR-AAB in post-infectious ME/CFS can be modulated. Future studies might target interventions to reduce these AAB.

Maali Abu-Omer, Gilad Chayen, Ron Jacob

Background: Children with forearm fractures who present to the emergency department (ED) often need a closed reduction. In our institution, until 2017, pediatric trauma patients presented to the general trauma ED (GTED) where no sedation services for pediatric patients were available. From 2017, patients presented to the pediatric emergency department (PED) where closed reductions were performed under sedation when appropriate.

Objectives: To compare GTED and PED with regard to length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization rates of pediatric patients with forearm fractures who needed a closed reduction.

Methods: Our retrospective observational study was conducted at a regional hospital. The study population consisted of all patients younger than 18 years of age who presented to the ED with a forearm fracture that needed a closed reduction. The primary outcome measure was the hospitalization rate. The secondary outcome measure was LOS in the ED.

Results: The study comprised 165 patients with forearm fractures who needed a closed reduction; 79 presented to the GTED, and 96 presented to the PED. Hospitalization rates were lower for patients undergoing closed reduction under sedation in the PED compared to the GTED (6.3% and 21.5%, respectively; P = 0.003). Median ED LOS was longer among patients undergoing sedation in the PED compared to the GTED (237 vs. 168 minutes respectively, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Sedation for forearm fracture reduction in a hospital’s PED was associated with a decrease of more than three times in hospitalization rate. Despite the need for more resources, PED LOS was only mildly increased.

Moshe Herskovitz MD

Background: Loss of consciousness (LOC) is one of the most common reasons for seeking neurological advice in clinics and emergency departments. There is considerable difficulty in determining the nature of the events according to patient reports, and collateral history is often difficult to interpret due to multiple versions and observer interpretations.

Objectives: To examine the utility and validity of incidental video recordings (IVR) in the differential diagnosis of LOC.

Methods: In this retrospective study, I included patients with a documented IVR description. Results were divided into three categories: definite approval (IVR conclusion was decisive and congruent with the gold standard test), partial approval (IVR conclusion was decisive and diagnosis was confirmed by treatment response or clinical course), and inconclusive (IVR conclusion was not decisive, no gold standard test was performed, or the gold standard test was either not decisive or incongruent with the IVR).

Results: I evaluated the results of 31 patients with IVR documentation. Overall, in 18 patients (58%), the IVR conclusion was decisive and congruent with the gold standard test. In 8 patients (25.8%), the IVR conclusion was decisive and congruent with the clinical course or treatment response. In 5 patients (16.1%) the IVR was regarded as inconclusive.

Conclusions: IVR have a substantial yield and are highly accurate in the differential diagnosis of LOC, mainly differentiating between epileptic seizures and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, yet it is utilized in a minority of the patients in real life.

Marc Romain MBBCh, Michael Beil MD, Josh Mormol, Ilana Stav, Tali Liberman, Peter Vernon van Heerden MD, Sigal Sviri MD

Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a risk factor for morbidity and mortality during critical illness especially in very old patients admitted to intensive care units.

Objectives: To identify prognostic markers for AKI patients.

Methods: This single-center retrospective study was based on a patient registry of a medical intensive care unit. Hospital records of patients aged 80 years or older admitted between 2005 and 2015 were examined. Patients who developed AKI according to Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines within 4 days of admission were included in this study.

Results: The study comprised 96 patients with AKI and 81 age- and sex-matched controls without AKI. Mean acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score was 30 with an ICU mortality of 27% in very old patients with AKI. The odds ratio of hospital mortality for these patients was 5.02 compared to controls (49% vs. 16%). APACHE II score and fluid balance in the first 2 days of ICU admission were the strongest predictors of ICU mortality with an area under the receiver operating characteristic of 0.76. Of the 47 patients with AKI who survived hospital admission, 30 were discharged home.

Conclusions: Mortality was increased in very old ICU patients with AKI. Among survivors, two-thirds returned home.

Tal Yahalomi MD, Joseph Pikkel MD, Roee Arnon MD, Daniel Malchi MD, Aviv Vidan MD, Michael Kinori MD

Background: In developed countries, amblyopia has an estimated prevalence rate of 1–4%, depending on the socioeconomic gradient. Previous studies performed on pediatric populations in Ethiopia demonstrated amblyopia rates up to 16.7.

Objectives: To assess rates of amblyopia, refractive errors, strabismus, and other eye pathologies among Ethiopian-born children and adolescents who immigrated to Israel compared to Israeli-born children.

Methods This observational cross-sectional study included children and adolescents 5–19 years of age who immigrated to Israel up to 2 years before data collection and lived in an immigration center. Demographic data and general health status of the children were obtained from the parents, and a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination was performed. Results were compared to Israeli-born children.

Results: The study included 223 children and adolescents: 87 Ethiopian-born and 136 Israeli-born. The rate of amblyopia in the Ethiopian-born group vs. Israeli-born was 3.4% and 4.4%, respectively. Even after controlling for age, there was still no significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.99).

Conclusions: Despite originating from a country with limited resources and fewer medical facilities, the amblyopia rate in Jewish Ethiopian immigrants was not higher, and even mildly lower, compared to Israeli-born children.

Avshalom Oziri MD, Michael Schnapper MD, Adi Ovadia MD, Shirli Abiri MD, Gila Meirson MD, Ilona Brantz RN, Osnat Blass Oziri, Diana Tasher MD, Avigdor Mandelberg MD, Ilan Dalal MD

Background: The global refugee crises have raised concerns among medical communities worldwide; nonetheless, access to healthcare has rarely been studied even though refugees are a medically high-risk group.

Objectives: To compare pediatric department admission rates from the pediatric emergency department (PED) of refugees and Israelis.

Methods: We compared data from refugee and Israeli children admitted to the pediatric department at Wolfson Medical Center in Israel between 2013–2017.

Results: A total of 104,244 patients (aged 0–18 years) came to the PED. Admission rate to the pediatric department for refugees was 695/2541 (27%) compared to 11,858/101,703 (11.7%) Israeli patients (P < 0.001). Hospital stay for patients 0–2-years of age was 3.22 ± 4.80 days for refugees vs. 2.78 ± 3.17 for Israelis (P < 0.03). Re-admission rate within 7 days was 1.3% for refugees and 2.6% for Israelis (P < 0.05). Dermatological diseases (e.g., impetigo and cellulitis) were more frequent in refugees (23.30% vs. 13.15%, P < 0.01); however, acute gastroenteritis and respiratory diagnoses were more common in Israelis (18.52% vs. 11.72%, P < 0.05 and 14.84% vs. 6.26%, P < 0.01, respectively). Neurological diseases (e.g., febrile convulsions) were also more frequent in Israelis (7.7% vs. 3%, P < 0.05). Very significantly, 23% of refugees had no healthcare coverage, while only 0.2% of the Israelis had none (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found significant morbidity in refugees compared to the local Israeli pediatric population, highlighting the need for different approaches for each population.

Sorin Daniel Iordache MD, Tal Frenkel Rutenberg MD, Yaakov Pizem B PT, Arnon Ravid B PT, Ori Firsteter B PT

Background: Physiotherapy can help treat of trigger fingers (TF).

Objectives: To compare efficacy of fascial manipulation (FM) and traditional physiotherapy (TP) techniques in treatment of TF.

Methods: Nineteen patients were randomized in the FM group and 15 in the TP group. All patients underwent eight physiotherapy sessions. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH) and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, staging of stenosing tenosynovitis (SST) classification, triggering frequency, grip and pinch strength were recorded before and after treatment. We surveyed participants at 6 months for recurrence, further treatment, and the VAS and QuickDASH scores. The primary outcome measure was reduction in QuickDASH and VAS scores.

Results: Both FM and TF improved the QuickDASH and VAS scores at 6 months follow-up, without a significant difference. The QuickDASH score in the FM group improved from 28.4 ± 17.1 to 12.7 ± 16.3; TF scores improved from 27 ± 16.7 to 18.8 ± 29.4 (P = 0.001). The VAS score improved from 5.7 ± 2.1 to 1.2 ± 2.1 and from 4.8 ± 1.8 to 2 ± 2.6 for both groups, respectively (P < 0.001). SST and grip strength also improved following treatment, regardless of modality. At 6 months, four patients (22%) with an SST score of 1, three (30%) with a score of 2, and two (40%) with a score of 3A underwent additional treatment.

Conclusions: Both FM and TP techniques are effective for the treatment of TF and should be considered for patients who present with SST scores of 1 or 2.

Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD, Lubov Vasilenko MD, Noy Moisa BSc, Daniel Vorobiof MD

Background: Cannabis consumption is suspected of causing arrhythmias and potentially sudden death.

Objectives: To investigate prevalence and temporal relationships between cannabis use and onset of symptomatic arrhythmias among cancer patients using Belong.life, a digital patient powered network application.

Methods: Real-world data (RWD) were obtained through Belong.Life, a mobile application for cancer patients who use cannabis routinely. Patients replied anonymously and voluntarily to a survey describing their demographics, medical history, and cannabis use.

Results: In total, 354 cancer patients (77% female, 71% 50–69 years of age) replied: 33% were smokers and 49% had no co-morbidities. Fifteen had history of arrhythmias and two had a pacemaker; 64% started cannabis before or during chemotherapy and 18% had no chemotherapy. Cannabis indication was symptom relief in most patients. The mode of administration included oil, smoking, or edibles; only 35% were prescribed by a doctor. Cannabis type was delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol > 15% in 43% and cannabidiol in 31%. After starting cannabis, 24 patients (7%) experienced palpitations; 13 received anti-arrhythmic drugs and 6 received anticoagulation. Eleven needed further medical investigation. Three were hospitalized. One had an ablation after starting cannabis and one stopped cannabis due to palpitations. Seven patients (2%) reported brady-arrhythmias after starting cannabis, but none needed pacemaker implantation.

Conclusions: RWD showed that in cancer patients using cannabis, the rate of reported symptomatic tachy- and brady-arrhythmias was significant (9%) but rarely led to invasive treatments. Although direct causality cannot be proven, temporal relationship between drug use and onset of symptoms suggests a strong association.

Chen Hanna Ryder PhD, Yori Gidron PhD, Darian Ryder PhD, Yair Shmidt, Naomi Dovrat MD, Ziv Sarusi MD, Noam Welder-Segalovich MD, Matan Segalovich MD, Daniel Marmor MD, Radi Shahien MD

Background: The two cerebral hemispheres influence the immune response differently. While the left hemisphere enhances cellular immunity, the right hemisphere inhibits it.

Objectives: To determine whether immune and inflammatory markers correlated with stroke severity and hospitalization duration as a function of stroke side.

Methods: The study included 137 patients with unilateral ischemic stroke. The medical records were reviewed for demographic and clinical laboratory data, including C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell (WBC) count, its differential stroke side and stroke severity according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and length of hospital stay (LOS). We examined differences between right side (RS) and left side (LS) stroke on immune and inflammatory markers and compared correlations between these markers and NIHSS and LOS as a function of stroke side.

Results: RS stroke patients had higher CRP and monocytes than LS stroke patients. In RS stroke patients, CRP, total WBC, and lymphocyte levels positively correlated with both NIHSS and LOS, whereas levels of neutrophils were positively correlated with NIHSS alone. No correlations were found for LS stroke patients.

Conclusions: Immune-inflammatory markers correlated with stroke severity and LOS only in patients with RS stroke. Neuroimmunological processes influence short-term clinical outcomes after stroke, especially considering the differential effects of the hemispheres on immunity. Prospective studies that evaluate long-term clinical outcomes are needed. Testing the effects of anti-inflammatory treatments on prognosis of RS stroke patients should be considered.

Yishai Mintzker MD, Limor Adler MD, Linoy Gabay MPH, Tamar Banon MSc

Background: Intrathoracic cancer can cause hyponatremia, but it is uncertain whether mild hyponatremia in the outpatient setting should be regarded as an early sign of intrathoracic cancer.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk of undiagnosed intrathoracic cancer in patients with new persistent mild hyponatremia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the electronic health record database of a large healthcare organization. The hyponatremia group included patients with sodium concentration of 130–134 mmol/L twice, after a previous normal value and without previous history of cancer or diseases related to hyponatremia. A control group with normal sodium concentration was matched by sex, age, and year of testing. We measured specific intrathoracic cancer incidence during 3 years of follow-up after sodium concentration test date. A logistic regression was used to adjust for further clinical information including smoking history, symptoms, and medications.

Results: The study comprised 1539 participants with mild hyponatremia and 7624 matched controls. New intrathoracic cancer diagnosis was more common in the hyponatremia group during a 3-year follow-up; 1.49% in the hyponatremia group and 0.39% in the control group, crude odds ratio (OR) 3.84, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 2.22–6.63. After adjustment, hyponatremia remained a significant risk factor for the diagnosis of intrathoracic cancer; adjusted OR 3.61, 95%CI 2.08–6.28.

Conclusions: New mild persistent hyponatremia might be a significant predictive marker to a yet undiagnosed intrathoracic cancer.

Gad Shaked MD, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Guy Golani MD, Adi Segal BMedSc, Ilia Replyanski MD, Moti Klein MD, Yair Binyamin MD, Amit Frenkel MD MHA

Background: Massive, non-compressible bleeding is a leading cause of preventable trauma mortality. Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) is a minimally invasive procedure in which a balloon catheter is maneuvered into the aorta to temporarily occlude large vessels and enable stabilization of the exsanguinating patient.



Objectives: To present experiences in assimilating REBOA at a single level 1 trauma center in Israel, to evaluate the technical aspects of the procedure, and to describe patient characteristics and outcomes.


Methods: This retrospective cohort study comprised civilians admitted with hemorrhagic shock to our trauma department who were treated with REBOA between November 2017 and July 2021. Descriptive statistics of the patients, characteristics of the injuries and patient outcomes are presented.


Results: The study included 22 patients (median age 30.1 years, 21 male). The mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) before REBOA inflation was 59.6 ± 11.4 mmHg, and the mean SBP measured after the procedure was 115.2 ± 26.3 mmHg. In 20 patients (91%), the SBP was normalized (> 90 mmHg) shortly after inflation of the balloon, and they survived the treatment in the trauma department; 15 (75%) survived the first 30 days.



Conclusions: REBOA is an effective method for the initial resuscitation and hemorrhage control of patients with massive, non-compressible bleeding and is relatively easy to assimilate in a hospital. The achievement of immediate normalization of SBP enables medical personnel to correct physiological parameters and obtain accurate imaging before proceeding to the operating theater.

CASE COMMUNICATIONS
Sara Dichtwald MD, Esther Dahan MD, Amir Gal-Oz MD, Idit Matot MD

Triclosan (5-chloro-2-[2, 4-dichlorophenoxy] phenol) is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in numerous consumer products. It has been in use for more than four decades and is present in soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies [1]. Presently, triclosan is being incorporated into an increasing number of products including toys, bedding, clothes, and trash bags ]1]. On contact, triclosan penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. Due to its high hydrophobicity, triclosan accumulates in fatty tissues and is found in human samples (urine, breast milk, and serum) [1]. At high concentrations, triclosan acts as a biocide with multiple cytoplasmic and membrane targets [3].

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