B. Belhassen, T. Ohayon-Tsioni, A. Glick and S. Viskin
Background: The predictive value of electrophysiologic studies depends on the aggressiveness of the programmed ventricular stimulation protocol.
Objectives: To assess if non-inducibility with an "aggressive" protocol of PVS identifies post-infarction patients with low ejection fraction (EF ≤ 30%) who may safely be treated without implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Methods: We studied 154 patients during a 9 year period. Our aggressive PVS protocol included: a) stimulus current five times the diastolic threshold (≤ 3 mA) and b) repetition of double and triple extrastimulation at the shortest coupling intervals that capture the ventricle.
Results: Sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias were induced in 116 patients (75.4%) and 112 (97%) of them received an ICD (EPS+/ICD+ group). Of the 38 non-inducible patients, 34 (89.5%) did not receive an ICD (EPS-/ICD- group). In comparison to the EPS+/ICD+ group, EPS-/ICD- group patients were older (69 ± 10 vs. 65 ± 10 years, P < 0.05), had a lower EF (23 ± 5% vs. 25 ± 5%, P < 0.05) and a higher prevalence of left bundle branch block (45.5% vs. 20.2%, P < 0.005). Follow-up was longer for EPS+/ICD+ patients (40 ± 26 months) than for EPS-/ICD- patients (27 ± 22 months) (P = 0.011). Twelve EPS+/ICD+ patients (10.7%) and 5 EPS-/ICD- patients (14.7%) died during follow-up (P = 0.525). Kaplan-Meier survival curves did not show a significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.18).
Conclusions: The mortality rate in patients without inducible VTAs using an aggressive PVS protocol and who did not undergo subsequent ICD implantation is not different from that of patients with inducible arrhythmias who received an ICD. Using this protocol, as many as one-fourth of primary prevention ICD implants could be spared without compromising patient prognosis
H.D. Danenberg, G. Marincheva, B. Varshitzki, H. Nassar, C. Lotan
Background: Stent thrombosis is a rare but devastating complication of coronary stent implantation. The incidence and potential predictors were assessed in a "real world” single center.
Objectives: To examine whether socioeconomic status indeed affects the occurrence of stent thrombosis.
Methods: We searched our database for cases of "definite" stent thrombosis (according to the ARC Dublin definitions). Each case was matched by procedure date, age and gender; three cases of stenting did not result in stent thrombosis. Demographic and clinical parameters were compared and socioeconomic status was determined according to a standardized polling and market survey database.
Results: A total of 3401 patients underwent stent implantation in our hospital during the period 2004–2006. Their mean age was 63 ± 11 years, and 80% were males. Twenty-nine cases (0.85%) of “definite” sub-acute/late stent thrombosis were recorded. Mortality at 30 days was recorded in 1 patient (3.5%). Thrombosis occurred 2 days to 3 years after stent implantation. All patients presented with acute myocardial infarction. Premature clopidogrel discontinuation was reported in 60%. Patients with stent thrombosis had significantly higher rates of AMI at the time of the initial procedure (76 vs. 32%, P < 0.001) and were cigarette smokers (60 vs. 28%, P < 0.001). Drug-eluting stents were used less in the stent thrombosis group. There was no difference in stent diameter or length between the two groups. Socioeconomic status was significantly lower at the stent thrombosis group, 3.4 ± 2.4 vs. 5.4 ± 2.6 (mean ± SD, scale 1–10, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The incidence rate of stent thrombosis is at least 0.85% in our population. It appears in patients with significantly lower socioeconomic status and with certain clinical predictors. These results warrant stricter follow-up and support the policy of healthcare providers regarding patients at risk for stent thrombosis.
A.I. Eidelman, O. Megged, R. Feldman and O. Toker
Background: Respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis is the single leading cause of pediatric admissions for infants in the first year of life, presenting regularly in epidemic proportions in the winter months and impacting in a major way on pediatric inpatient services.
Objective: To quantitate the burden of RSV disease on a pediatric service with the purpose of providing a database for proper health planning and resource allocation.
Methods: We conducted a prospective 5 year study of documented RSV infections in a single pediatric service. RSV disease was confirmed by direct immunofluorescence testing of nasal swabs from all hospitalized cases of bronchiolitis.
Results: On average, 147 ± 17 cases of RSV bronchiolitis were admitted annually in the November–March RSV season, representing 7%–9% of admissions and 10%–14% of hospital days. There was a consistent male preponderance of admissions (55–64%) and 15–23% of admissions were patients less than 1 month old. In peak months RSV cases accounted for as many of 40% of the hospitalized infants and was the leading cause of over-occupancy (up to 126%) in the pediatric ward during the winter,
Conclusions: RSV infection is a major burden for pediatric inpatient services during the winter season. This recurrent and predictable “epidemic,” which regularly leads to over-occupancy, requires increased manpower (nursing) and resources (beds, pulse oximeters) to facilitate proper care. Since this annual event is not a surprise nor an unexpected peak, but rather a cyclical predictable epidemiological phenomenon, proper planning and allocation of services are crucial.
. Giveon, J. Yaphe, I. Hekselman, S. Mahamid and D. Hermoni
Background: The internet has transformed the patient-physician relationship by empowering patients with information. Because physicians are no longer the primary gatekeepers of medical information, shared decision making is now emerging as the hallmark of the patient-physician relationship.
Objectives: To assess the reactions of primary care physicians to encounters in which patients present information obtained from the internet (e-patients) and to examine the influence of the physicians' personal and demographic characteristics on their degree of satisfaction with e-patients.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed to assess physician attitudes to e-patients, their knowledge and utilization of the internet, and their personal and professional characteristics. Family physicians in central Israel were interviewed by telephone and in person at a continuing medical education course.
Results: Of the 100 physicians contacted by phone, 93 responded to the telephone interviews and 50 physicians responded to the questionnaire in person. There was an 85% response rate. The mean age of respondents was 49 years. Most physicians were born in Israel, with a mean seniority of 22 years. Most had graduated in Eastern Europe, were not board certified and were employees of one of the four health management organizations in Israel. Most physicians responded positively when data from the internet were presented to them by patients (81%). A number of respondents expressed discomfort in such situations (23%). No association was found between physician satisfaction in relationships with patients and comfort with data from the internet presented by patients.
Conclusions: Physicians in this sample responded favorably to patients bringing information obtained online to the consultation. Though it may be difficult to generalize findings from a convenience sample, Israeli family physicians appear to have accepted internet use by patients.
R. Sharony, M.D. Fejgin, T. Biron-Shental, A. Hershko-Klement, A. Amiel and A. Lev
Background: Although the comprehensive evaluation of the fetal heart includes echocardiography by an experienced pediatric cardiologist, economic constraints sometimes dictate the need to select patients.
Objectives: To analyze the usefulness of fetal echocardiography in the detection of congenital heart disease according to the referral indication.
Methods: This retrospective survey relates to all 3965 FE studies performed in our center from January 2000 to December 2004. The diagnosed cardiac anomalies were classified as significant and non-significant malformations. All FE studies were done by a single operator (A.L.) at Meir Medical Center, a referral center for a population of about 400,000. The 3965 FE studies were performed for the following indications: abnormal obstetric ultrasound scans, maternal and family history of cardiac malformations, medication use during the pregnancy, and maternal request. The relative risk of detecting CHD was calculated according to the various referral indications.
Results: Overall, 228 (5.8%) cases of CHD were found. The most common indication for referral was suspicion of CHD during a four-chamber view scan in a basic system survey or during a level II ultrasound survey. No correlation was found between maternal age and gestational age at the time of scanning and the likelihood of finding CHD.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that a suspicious level-II ultrasound or the presence of polyhydramnios is an important indication for FE in the detection of significant CHD.
 FE = fetal echocardiography
CHD = congenital heart disease
A. Burg, M. Salai, G. Nachum, B. Haviv, S. Heller and I. Dudkiewicz
Background: Gunshot wounds impose a continuous burden on community and hospital resources. Gunshot injuries to the extremities might involve complex soft tissue, bone, vascular, musculotendinous, and nerve injuries. A precise knowledge of anatomy is needed to evaluate and treat those injuries.
Objectives: To review our experience with gunshot wounds to the extremities.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all cases of gunshot wounds to the limbs in a civilian setting treated in our institution during 2003–2005. Altogether, we evaluated 60 patients with 77 injuries.
Results: Of the 60 patients 36 had fractures, 75% of them in the lower extremity and 81% in long bones. The most common fixation modality used was external fixation (33%), followed by intramedullary nailing (25%). This relatively high percentage of fracture treated with external fixation may be attributed to the comminuted pattern of the fractures, the general status of the patient, or the local soft tissue problems encountered in gunshot wounds. About one-fifth of the fractures were treated by debridement only without hardware fixation. We treated 10 vascular injuries in 8 patients; 6 of them were injuries to the popliteal vessels. Fractures around the knee comprised the highest risk factor for vascular injuries, since 5 of the 12 fractures around the knee were associated with vascular injury requiring repair or reconstruction. There were 13 nerve injuries (16.8%), most of them of the deep peroneal nerve (38%). Only three patients had concomitant nerve and vascular injuries. The overall direct complication rate in our series was 20%.
Conclusions: Treating complex gunshot injuries requires a team approach, necessary for a favorable outcome. This team should be led by an orthopedic surgeon knowledgeable in the functional anatomy of the limbs.