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עמוד בית
Wed, 15.07.20

October 2011

Original Articles
D. Shaham, N.R. Bogot, G. Aviram, L. Guralnik, S. Lieberman, L. Copel, J. Sosna, A.E. Moses, I. Grotto and D. Engelhard

An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel swine-origin influenza virus (influenza A/H1N1 2009) that began in Mexico was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in June 2009. The pandemic affected many countries, including Israel.

Objectives: To compare the course of chest radiographic and computed tomography findings in patients who survived and those who died following admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) or intubation due to severe laboratory-confirmed swine-origin influenza A/H1N1 2009.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the patient records (267 radiographs, 8 CTs) of 22 patients (10 males, 12 females) aged 3.5–66 years (median 34) with confirmed influenza A/H1N1 2009, admitted to the ICU and/or intubated in five major Israeli medical centers during the period July–November 2009. We recorded demographic, clinical, and imaging findings –including pattern of opacification, extent, laterality, distribution, zone of findings, and presence/absence of nodular opacities– at initial radiography and during the course of disease, and compared the findings of survivors and non-survivors. Statistical significance was calculated using the Wilcoxon (continuous variables) and Fisher's exact tests (categorical variables).

Results: The most common findings on the initial chest radiography were airspace opacities, which were multifocal in 17patients (77%) and bilateral in 16 (73%), in the lower or lower and middle lung zones in 19 patients (86%). Large airspace nodules with indistinct margins were seen in 8 patients (36%). Twelve patients survived, 10 died. Patients who died had multiple background illnesses and were significantly older than survivors (P = 0.006). Radiologic findings for the two groups were not significantly different.

Conclusion: Airspace opacities, often with nodular appearance, were the most common findings among patients with severeinfluenza A/H1N1 2009. The course of radiologic findings was similar in patients with severe influenza A/H1N1 2009 whosurvived and those who died.

H. Gilat, Z. Rappaport and E. Yaniv

Background: Endoscopic techniques have gained popularity in the repair of anterior skull base defects.

Objective: To describe the 10 year experience with endoscopic surgical repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea in a tertiary medical center.

Methods: The files of all patients who underwent endoscopic transnasal CSF leak repair in our institution between 1996 and 2006 were reviewed.

Results: Twenty-four patients were identified: 16 women and 7 men with a mean age of 48 years and one child aged 9.5 years. The leak was trauma-induced in 17 patients and occurred spontaneously in the other 7. The defect was localized by preoperative computed tomography or CT/cysternography in 86% of cases. A fascia lata graft was the dominant choice for defect closure, and it was combined with a conchal or septal flap, fat, periosteum, or fibrin glue in 15 patients. The success rate was 83% after the first closure attempt, 91% after the second. Two patients required a craniotomy at the third attempt. Mean hospitalization time was 6.7 days. There were two minor complications. Two patients were lost to follow-up; none of the others had a recurrence during 2 years of follow-up.

Conclusions: The endoscopic transnasal technique for the repair of CSF rhinorrhea is associated with a high success rate and low morbidity, and it should be considered for the majority of cases. Repeated attempts may improve success.

A. Gadoth, E. Aurie, H. Shaim and N.M. Bornstein

Background: In the past, carotid endarterectomy (CEA) was the only modality for invasive intervention in cases of carotid stenosis. Due to improvements in endovascular techniques (stenting), there is a growing debate regarding the preferred procedure for carotid intervention.

Objectives: To compare the 30 day complication rate after CEA and carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) in a tertiary medical center in Israel between the years 2008 and 2010.

Methods: We reviewed the medical charts of all the patients who underwent either CEA or CAS of the internal carotid artery due to symptomatic and asymptomatic stenosis during the period 20082010 (total of 128 patients).

Results: There was no difference between the groups in the rate of severe complications in the peri-procedural period. Mild complications were non-significantly more common in the CEA group (17%) compared to the CAS group (7.1%).

Conclusions: There was no significant difference in the mild and severe complications rate between CEA and CAS in the peri-procedural period.

D.S. Shouval, Z. Samra, I. Shalit, G. Livni, E. Bilvasky, O. Ofir, R. Gadba and J. Amir

Background: Staphylococcus aureus infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Clindamycin is widely used in the treatment of staphylococcal infections; however, it is our impression that in the last few years, inducible clindamycin resistance (ICR) has become more prevalent.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of ICR[1] in methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections among pediatric patients in Israel.

Methods: We reviewed the files of children diagnosed with MSSA[2] infections during the period January 2006 to June 2007 for full antibiogram (including the D-test for ICR), phage typing and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA.

Results: Altogether, 240 MSSA isolates were recovered, mainly from wounds and abscesses. ICR was detected in 62 of 68 erythromycin-resistant/clindamycin-sensitive strains (91%); the ICR rate for the total number of isolates was 26% (62/240). Phage type analysis demonstrated that 38 of 61 ICR isolates

(62%) were sensitive to group 2, compared to 42 of 172 isolates (24%) that did not express ICR (P < 0.01). On randomly amplified polymorphic DNA, phage type 2 isolates expressing ICR belonged to the same clone, which was different from ICR isolates sensitive to other phages and from isolates not expressing ICR.

Conclusions: Inducible clindamycin resistance is common among methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus in Israeli children. The D-test should be performed routinely in all isolates of MSSA.

[1] ICR = inducible clindamycin resistance

[2] MSSA = methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus

R. Farah and N. Makhoul

Background: Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a major problem worldwide and are usually the main indication for mechanical ventilation (MV), especially in the intensive care unit (ICU). The rate of weaning failure is also high and prolonged MV leads to complications of intubation. The goal is to wean these patients as soon as possible.

Objective: To determine the optimal time necessary to start the weaning process.

Methods: In an attempt to determine the length of MV and stay in the ICU, we compared the length of MV, weaning, re-intubations and discharge during a 10 month period. This study included 122 patients on MV due to severe exacerbation of COPD who were not suitable for non-invasive ventilation. For each patient serial arterial blood gases were measured at admission and during hospitalization. PeCO2 (mixed expired CO2) was tested using a Datex S/5 instrument at follow-up.

Results: The study population comprised all patients who required MV; of these 122, 108 were ventilated from 6 to 140 hours (average 48 ± 42), 9 needed more than 168 hours, and 5 died due to severe ventilation-associated pneumonia. No correlation was found between pH, PCO2 and length of MV; these findings did not contribute to evaluation of the patient’s condition nor did they enable us to predict the length of treatment necessary.

Conclusion: Most of the patients (93%) ventilated for acute respiratory failure due to COPD required MV for only 6–90 hours.

M. Kritchmann Lupo and R.D. Strous

Background: Religiosity has been examined as a mechanism of stress management. Since many studies have shown a high rate of psychological morbidity among medical students during different stages of training, it is important to investigate whether religiosity may serve as a protective factor.

Objectives: To assess the association between religiosity and depression or anxiety in a sample of medical students and to compare the results with a matched sample of students from other fields of study.

Methods: This cross-sectional study examined a sample of Tel Aviv University medical students and compared them with students in other faculties at the same university for any association between religiosity and depression or anxiety. The subjects completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, a modified religiosity inventory, and a demographic and psychosocial variables inventory.

Results: Findings did not show a significant association between religiosity and depression or anxiety in the general sample (n=119). A positive significant correlation between religiosity and anxiety was found among medical students, with 29.4% of them reporting anxiety and 25.2% depression. While high rates of depression and anxiety were reported by students in the first to third years (pre-clinical years), there was a decrease in depression and anxiety in the fourth to sixth years (clinical years). However, higher anxiety and depression scores were noted among controls as compared to medical students.

Conclusions: In contrast to another recent investigation, a negative correlation between religion and depression/anxiety does not necessarily exist. An association between religiosity and mental health could have many theoretical and practical implications and requires further investigation. Similar to previous studies, the rates of depression and anxiety among Israeli medical students were comparable with those of other countries. These rates are considered higher than those in the general population and emphasize the importance of alertness to mental health issues among students, especially during the early study years.

T. Wolak, A. Belkin, V. Ginsburg, G. Greenberg, O. Mayzler, A. Bolotin, E. Paran and G. Szendro

Background: Percutaneous angioplasty (PTA) and stenting is an established procedure for the treatment of hypertension caused by atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. However recently, the decision whether or not to perform this procedure has raised considerable debate.

Objectives: To examine the association between the basic clinical and radiological characteristics of candidates for renal artery PTA and the clinical outcome of the procedure in terms of improvement of blood pressure control and renal function.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty (PTRA) and stent implantation in a tertiary medical center during the period 2000–2007. The clinical and radiological data were extracted from the medical file of each patient. Blood pressure measurements and creatinine level were recorded before the procedure and 1 month, 6 months, 12 months and 18 months after PTRA.

Results: Thirty-two patients were included in the final statistical analysis. The mean age of the study population was 66.6 ± 8.8 years old and 75% were men. There was a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure 1 month after the procedure: 160.5 ± 24.7 vs. 141.8 ± 23.6 mmHg and 83.8 ± 12.9 vs. 68.8 ± 11.8 mmHg respectively (P < 0.001). The reduction in blood pressure was constant throughout the follow-up period and was evident 18 months after the procedure: 160.5 ± 24.7 vs. 135.0 ± 35.1 mmHg and 83.8 ± 12.9 vs. 71.3 ± 16.5 mmHg respectively (P < 0.001). However, no improvement in renal function was observed at any time during the follow-up period. We could not demonstrate an association between clinical or radiological features and the clinical outcome after PTRA.

Conclusions: Our findings show that PTRA[1] can be considered an effective procedure for improving blood pressure control in patients with atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS) and resistant hypertension. This research, together with previous studies, strengthens the knowledge that the decline in glomerular filtration rate seen in many patients with ARAS is non-reversible and is not improved by PTRA.

[1] PTRA = percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty

Z. Paz, M. Nalls and E Ziv

In Israel, Yemenite Jews and other populations including Ethiopian Jews and Bedouins have a low neutrophil count. This phenomenon has been called “benign neutropenia” since it has not been associated with any increased risk of infection and has also been described in other populations around the world including Africans, African Americans and Afro-Carribeans. Here we describe the recent success in mapping the gene that underlies benign neutropenia in African American populations. We discuss the known function of the gene and consider potential mechanisms for the effect on neutropenia. We also consider the possibility that this gene underlies the same effect observed in Yemenite Jews, Ethiopian Jews and Bedouins in Israel.

Z. Ackerman, A. Koulaouzidis, E. Said and A.A Saeed
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