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עמוד בית Wed, 26.06.19

December 2009

P. Rozen, I. Liphshitz, G. Rosner, M. Barchana, J. Lachter, S. Pel, T. Shohat, E. Santo, and the Israeli Pancreatic Cancer Consortium

Pancreatic cancer is not a common malignancy in Israel, but it is the third most common cause of cancer mortality, attributable to a lack of screening tests, inaccessibility of the pancreas, and late cancer stage at diagnosis. We reviewed the epidemiology, known risk factors and screening methods available in Israel and describe the Israeli national consortium that was established to identify persons at risk and decide on screening methods to detect and treat their early-stage pancreatic cancer. In collaboration with the Israel National Cancer Registry, we evaluated the incidence and trends of the disease in the Jewish and non-Jewish populations. The consortium reviewed known lifestyle risk habits and genetic causes, screening methodologies used and available in Israel. Overall, there are about 600 new patients per year, with the highest incidence occurring in Jewish men of European birth (age-standardized rate 8.11/105 for 2003–06). The 5 year survival is about 5%. The consortium concluded that screening will be based on endoscopic ultrasonography. Pancreatic cancer patients and families at risk will be enrolled, demographic and lifestyle data collected and a cancer pedigree generated. Risk factors will be identified and genetic tests performed as required. This concerted national program to identify persons at risk, recommend which environmental risk factors to avoid and treat, and perform endoscopic ultrasound and genetic screening where appropriate, might reduce their incidence of invasive pancreatic cancer and/or improve its prognosis


Original Articles
A.Y. Gur, L. Shopin and N.M. Bornstein

Background: Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator has been approved treatment for acute (≤ 3 hours) ischemic stroke in Israel since late 2004. The Israeli experience with IV tPA[1] is still limited. Several factors may influence the response to IV thrombolysis, including time-to-treatment parameters and tandem internal carotid artery/middle cerebral artery stenosis/occlusion.

Objectives: To compare our experience with IV tPA treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke to the findings of the SITS-MOST (Safe Implementation of Thrombolysis in Stroke-MOnitoring STudy, international data) and of the Sheba Medical Center (national data) and to compare the early outcome among patients with ischemic stroke in the MCA[2] with and without severe ICA[3] stenosis.

Methods: We obtained demographic data, timing details, stroke severity, hemorrhagic complications, mortality, and early outcome from the records of IV tPA-treated acute ischemic stroke patients.

Results: Fifty-eight patients (median age 69 years, 26 females) with acute ischemic stroke were treated by IV tPA at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in 2006–2007. Median time between stroke onset and IV tPA administration was 148 minutes for the Sourasky center, 150 minutes for the Sheba center, and 140 minutes for SITS-MOST. The Sourasky mortality rate was 10.5%. Of the 31 patients who suffered MCA stroke, 8 had severe ipsilateral ICA stenosis. These 8 had significantly lower neurological improvement than the 23 without ipsilateral ICA stenosis (1/8 versus 15/23, P <0.001).

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate fairly similar parameters of IV tPA treatment compared to other centers and suggest that patients with severe ICA stenosis might be less likely to benefit from IV tPA.


[1] tPA = tissue plasminogen activator

[2] MCA = middle cerebral artery

[3] ICA = internal carotid artery

S. Weitzman, S. Greenfield, J. Billimek, H. Tabenkin, P. Schvartzman, E. Yehiel, H. Tandeter, S. Eilat‎-Tsanani and S.H. Kaplan

Background: Research on synergistic effects of patient-targeted interventions combined with physician-targeted interventions has been limited.

Objectives: To compare a combined physician-patient intervention to physician feedback alone on a composite outcome of glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control.

Methods: In this cluster study 417 patients with adult-type 2 diabetes from four primary care clinics were randomized to receive either a physician-only intervention or a combined physician-plus-patient intervention. Physicians in all clinics received diabetes-related quality performance feedback during staff meetings. Patients at combined-intervention clinics also received a letter encouraging them to remind their doctors to address essential aspects of diabetes care at the next visit. At 1 year follow-up, outcome measurements included hemoglobin A1c, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and systolic blood pressure; the proportion of patients with HbA1c[1] < 9%, LDL[2] < 130 mg/dl and SBP[3] < 140 mmHg both as separate outcomes and combined.

Results: After adjusting for patient characteristics and baseline measures, follow-up levels of HbA1c (7.5% vs. 7.8%, P = 0.09), LDL (104.7 vs. 110.7 mg/dl, P < 0.05) and SBP (135.6 vs. 139.9, P = 0.10) were marginally better for combined-intervention patients compared to physician-only intervention patients. Significantly more patients in the combined-intervention (38.8%) than physician-only intervention (24.2%) met all three targets (HbA1c < 9%, LDL < 130 mg/dl and SBP < 140 mmHg) as a single combined outcome (adjusted odds ratio 2.4, P < .01).

Conclusions: Compared to physician-feedback alone, a dual intervention combining a patient letter with physician feedback produced modest improvements in glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control individually, but substantial improvement in a combined measure of these three outcomes together. Using composite outcomes may detect meaningful improvements in the management of complex chronic disease. 


[1] HbA1c = hemoglobin A1c

[2] LDL = low density lipoprotein

[3] SBP = systolic blood pressure

D.H. Jaffe, B. Savitsky, K. Zaistev, J. Hiss and K. Peleg

Background: The role of alcohol in driver fatalities in Israel is unknown, and monitoring blood alcohol concentration among drivers is not routine. Moreover, over the past decade, self-reported access to and consumption of alcohol in Israel has been on the rise.

Objectives: To use available data to characterize alcohol-related driver fatalities.

Methods: The prevalence of alcohol-related driver fatalities were estimated for 443 drivers, ages 17+ years using data from Israel's National Center for Forensic Medicine for 2000–2004.

Results: Between 8% and 17% of driver fatalities had a BAC[1] ≥ 0.05 g/dl. Most drivers with alcohol exceeding this level were males aged 21–30 years who died on weekends. Recreational and/or medicinal drugs were found in 6%–11% of driver fatalities. Mean BAC among driver fatalities with BAC ≥ 0.05 g/dl was threefold higher than the legal driving limit and appears to be increasing with time.

Conclusions: In light of the evidence suggesting an increasing mean BAC over time as well as reported increasing trends in access to alcohol and consumption, this study should serve as a basis for future research to comprehensively characterize the extent of this problem

[1] BAC = blood alcohol concentration

M. Waterman, B. Fuhrman, S. Keidar and T. Hayek

Background: Low density lipoprotein is a major pathogenic pathway in atherosclerosis. Previous studies suggested that aspirin, a commonly prescribed drug in patients with atherosclerosis, when given a dose of 300 mg/ day may decrease LDL susceptibility to oxidative modification. However, the effect of the more common lower dose aspirin on LDL oxidation is not known.

Objective: To examine the effect of aspirin administration (low dosage) on the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative modification healthy volunteers.

Methods: Aspirin 75 mg was administered daily for 2 weeks to 10 healthy volunteers selected from the medical staff and students at the faculty of medicine. The main outcome measure was ex vivo oxidation of LDL by ultraviolet C irradiation or by peroxyl free redicals generated by AAPH (2,2’ -azobis 2-amidinopropane hydrochloride). The extent of LDL oxidation was determined by measuring the formed amounts of thiobarbituric-acid reactive substances, lipid peroxides and conjugated dienes.

Results: Following exposure to UVC irradiation there was a significant (p<0.01) increase (10.8%) in TBARS concentrations and a significant (p≤0.05) increase (5.4%) in PD concentrations in LDL withdrawn after aspirin treatment as compared to LDL withdrawn before aspirin treatment. Following incubation with AAPH there was a significant (p<0.05) increase (15%) in PD concentrations and a significant (p<0.05) reduction (10%) of the LDL oxidation lag time in LDL withdrawn after aspirin intake as compared to LDL withdrawn before aspirin treatment.

Conclusions: Aspirin treatment given to healthy volunteers at a dose of 75 mg/day increased the susceptibility of their plasma LDL to oxidative modification ex vivo. Our study provides, for the first time, in vivo evidence of pro-oxidative properties of aspirin already suggested by previous in vitro trials.

E. Shneyer, A. Strulov and Y. Rosenfeld

Background: According to the Israeli immunization schedule 1 year old babies should receive two concomitant vaccinations: MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), and DTap-Hib-IPV (diphtheria tetanus acellular pertussis-Haemophilus influenzae type b-poliomyelitis). However, about one-third of infants in Israel receive these vaccinations separately. Nurses at a primary care prevention clinic in Israel observed that the separate mode of vaccination is associated with a lower rate of side effects.

Objectives: To validate this observation and determine whether it represents an exception or the rule.

Methods: A nested prospective follow-up study was conducted in a primary care clinic in Israel. The survey included 191 mothers and their offspring born during 2004/2005. The mothers were interviewed over the telephone 2 weeks after the day of vaccination.

Results: The rate of adverse effects in children who received the injections separately was significantly lower than among those who were vaccinated simultaneously (40% vs. 57%).

Conclusions: It may be necessary to reconsider the current vaccination policy regarding concomitant injections.

O. Barak, R. Elazary, L. Appelbaum, A. Rivkind and G. Almogy

Background: Current treatment options for acute calculous cholecystitis include either early cholecystectomy, or conservative treatment consisting of intravenous antibiotics and an interval cholecystectomy several weeks later. Percutaneous drainage is reserved for patients in whom conservative therapy failed or as a salvage procedure for high risk patients.

Objective: To identify clinical and radiographic factors leading to failure of conservative treatment.

Methods: We prospectively collected data on consecutive patients admitted with the diagnosis of acute cholecystitis. Parameters were compared between patients who were successfully treated conservatively and those who required percutaneous cholecystostomy. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors for failure of conservative treatment. 

Results: The study population comprised 103 patients with a median age of 60 who were treated for acute cholecystitis. Twenty-seven patients (26.2%) required PC[1]. On univariate analysis, age above 70 years, diabetes, elevated white blood cell count, tachycardia (> 100 beats/min) at admission, and a distended gallbladder (> 5 cm transverse diameter) were found to be significantly more common in the PC group (P < 0.001). WBC[2] was higher in the PC group throughout the initial 48 hours. On multivariate analysis, age above 70 (odds ratio 3.6), diabetes (OR[3] 9.4), tachycardia at admission (OR 5.6), and a distended gallbladder (OR 8.5) were predictors for cholecystostomy (P < 0.001). Age above 70 (OR 5.2) and WBC > 15,000 (OR 13.7) were predictors for failure of conservative treatment after 24 and 48 hours (P < 0.001). 

Conclusions: Age above 70, diabetes, and a distended gallbladder are predictors for failure of conservative treatment and such patients should be considered for early cholecystostomy. Persistently elevated WBC (> 15,000) suggests refractory disease and should play a central role in the clinical follow-up and decision-making process for elderly patients with acute cholecystitis.


[1] PC = percutaneous cholecystostomy

[2] WBC = white blood cells

[3] OR = odds ratio

M. Ephros, B. Friedman, R. Elhasid, Z. Kra-Oz, P. Shaked-Mishan, J. Sattinger and I. Kassis

Background: Adenoviral infection in children undergoing stem cell transplantation is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Identification of adenoviral infection by polymerase chain reaction from blood facilitates accurate and rapid diagnosis and surveillance. The incidence of adenoviral infection among children undergoing SCT[1] in Israel is not known.

Objective: To estimate the incidence of adenoviral infection in pediatric SCT patients and to characterize the morbidity associated with proven infection.

Methods: Blood samples obtained weekly from children who underwent allogeneic SCT were retrospectively tested for adenovirus using standard PCR[2]. A total of 657 samples collected from 32 patients were examined. Correlation was made between the presence of adenovirus in samples and clinical records.

Results: Of the 32 patients 4 had adenoviral infection by PCR (12.5%). Clinical disease was present in all four patients concurrent with positive PCR. Gastrointestinal complaints and abnormal hepatocellular enzymes were uniformly present. One patient died due to disseminated disease. T cell depletion was a significant risk factor for adenoviral infection (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: In the patient population studied, the incidence of adenoviral infection in children undergoing SCT was 12.5%. The combination of gastrointestinal symptoms and abnormal hepatocellular enzymes should raise the suspicion of adenoviral infection, especially when occurring during the first few months after SCT. 


[1] SCT = stem cell transplantation

[2] PCR = polymerase chain reaction

הבהרה משפטית: כל נושא המופיע באתר זה נועד להשכלה בלבד ואין לראות בו ייעוץ רפואי או משפטי. אין הר"י אחראית לתוכן המתפרסם באתר זה ולכל נזק שעלול להיגרם. כל הזכויות על המידע באתר שייכות להסתדרות הרפואית בישראל. מדיניות פרטיות
ז'בוטינסקי 35 רמת גן, בניין התאומים 2 קומות 10-11, ת.ד. 3566, מיקוד 5213604. טלפון: 03-6100444, פקס: 03-5753303