• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

June 2008

B.B. Davidovici, R. Dodiuk-Gad, D. Rozenman and S. Halevy

Background: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis is a rare pustular severe cutaneous adverse reaction characterized by a rapid clinical course and unique histological findings. It is usually attributed to drugs, although other factors have also been implicated.

Objectives: To analyze demographic, clinical and laboratory data of AGEP[1] cases in Israel, based on the RegisCAR study, a multinational European study.

Methods: Patients included in the present study were actively recruited by the Israeli RegiSCAR network, which comprised 10 dermatology departments and units. The cases were validated by a multinational expert committee of dermatologists based on a standardized scoring system.

Results: Overall, 11 potential cases of AGEP were collected in Israel: 9 (81.8%) definite and 2 (19.2%) possible. The adjusted annual incidence of AGEP in Israel was 0.35/million/year. The nine definite cases that entered the analyses showed a male/female ratio of 0.28 with an age range of 10–60 years. Most cases were reported during the summer months. The clinical course and laboratory findings in most of our patients were in accordance with previous reports. A drug etiology was suspected in the majority of cases and consisted of analgesics (66.7%), antibiotics (22.2%) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (11.1%) as the main culprit drugs.

Conclusions: Whereas the clinical and laboratory findings of AGEP in Israel corresponded to the reported features of AGEP in the literature, unique findings consisting of marked female predominance, seasonality and a profile of culprit drugs were noted.

[1] AGEP = acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis

L. Zoller, M. Ramon and R. Bergman

Background: Atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema is an itchy inflammatory skin condition with a predilection of the skin flexures. Most cases start in children although some have been reported in adults. Patients with moderate to severe disease refractory to topical corticosteroid or calcineurin inhibitors may require second-line treatment such as phototherapy or systemic immunosuppressants. Methotrexate therapy has been suggested to be a useful immunosuppressant in adult atopic dermatitis.

Objectives: To further determine the efficacy of low dose methotrexate therapy in adults with new-onset atopic dermatitis or with idiopathic eczema.

Methods: All adult patients with new-onset atopic dermatitis or idiopathic eczema treated by methotrexate in our clinics from 2004 to 2006 were included in the study. All had failed prolonged therapy with oral antihistamines and local corticosteroid creams. Methotrexate, 10–20 mg, was given orally once a week along with folic acid supplements 5 days a week. Additional therapies included predominantly emollients. During the entire treatment period the investigators made global assessments of the clinical response.

Results: Nine patients diagnosed with late-onset atopic dermatitis (n=6) or idiopathic eczema (n=3) were treated with methotrexate. All patients responded to the drug. The initial response was noted after 3–7 weeks. Six patients achieved complete remission after 3 months of methotrexate therapy and three patients had significant improvement. One patient's the condition worsened after achieving a complete response while on methotrexate and it was withdrawn completely. No serious adverse events were noted during treatment.

Conclusions: Low dose methotrexate is an effective therapeutic alternative for late-onset atopic dermatitis or idiopathic eczema in patients unresponsive to local and other systemic therapies.

A. Shemer, H. Trau, B. Davidovici, B. Amichai and M.H. Grunwald

Background: Fungal infection of the nail affects millions of people worldwide and has an estimated prevalence of more than 10% of the general population.

Objectives To determinate the prevalence of fungal infection in toenails, in order to decide the treatment policy in onychomycosis.   

Methods: We evaluated 331 patients with suspected clinical toenail onychomycosis affecting at least two toenails. Mycological examination of the affected nails was performed, both the KOH test and fungal culture were used. 

Results: Of 331 patients with psoriasis, 78.2% of the patients had at least three infected nails. The first toenail was the most affected. Trichophyton rubrum was by far the most common dermatophyte cultured from all samples.

Conclusions: Most of the patients had at least three affected toenails. Topical treatment is not effective or practical, and systemic treatment should therefore be considered.

A. Shemer, B. Kaplan, N. Nathansohn, M.H. Grunwald, B. Amichai and H. Trau

Background: Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic disease. Malassezia yeasts have been implicated in the pathogenesis of this disease. Antifungal agents are known to be effective in the treatment of Malassezia yeast infections.

Objectives To evaluate the efficacy of itraconazole in the treatment of mild to severe facial seborrheic dermatitis.

Methods: Sixty patients with moderate to severe seborrheic dermatitis were evaluated in an open non-comparative study. Patients were treated with oral itraconazole, initially 200 mg/day for a week, followed by a maintenance therapy of a single dose of 200 mg every 2 weeks. Four clinical parameters (erythema, scaling, burning, itching) were assessed using a 0–3 score. Mycological evaluation determined the presence of Malassezia spores in the scales using a direct smear.

Results: At the end of the initial treatment significant improvement was reported in three clinical parameters: erythema, scaling, itching. Maintenance therapy led to only slight further improvement. Burning sensation was only mildly improved during the treatment. The quantity of Malassezia spores present in the direct smear decreased throughout the treatment period. No blood test abnormalities were found during the treatment.

Conclusions: In this study initial treatment with itraconazole was beneficial in patients with moderate to severe seborrheic dermatitis.

A.D. Cohen, D. Van-Dijk, L. Naggan and D.A. Vardy

Background: The Beer Sheva Psoriasis Severity Score is a novel instrument for the assessment of psoriasis severity, designed for use in routine clinical conditions.

Objective: To identify the main factors of the BPSS[1].

Methods: The sample used to study the BPSS comprised 70 patients with psoriasis vulgaris treated by climatotherapy at the Dead Sea. Psoriasis severity was assessed using BPSS and PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index). Factor analysis was used to identify the main factors of BPSS. Internal consistency analysis was performed. Correlation matrices were generated to compare BPSS factors.

Results: Factor analysis demonstrated that BPSS included six factors that explained 74.0% of the variance as follows: patient assessment 26.0%; physician assessment 13.2%; palms and soles involvement 11.9%; genitals, nails, and pruritus 9.0%; face involvement 7.3%; and scalp involvement 6.6%. Total scale Cronbach’s alpha was 0.76; alpha for the factors ranged between 0.39 and 0.81.

Conclusion: The major factors of BPSS were identified. BPSS may be used as a comprehensive tool for measuring psoriasis severity.


[1] BPSS = Beer Sheva Psoriasis Severity Score

I. Goldberg, I. Shirazi and S. Brenner

Background Drug-specific CD8+ TH1 lymphocytes have been found in the peripheral blood and involved skin of patients with drug-induced bullous exanthems.

Objectives To determine whether the interferon-gamma release test can identify culprit drugs in pemphigus patients.

Methods Clinical and laboratory workup for pemphigus was performed in 14 pemphigus vulgaris patients who had been exposed to drugs, and the IFNl[1] release test was conducted on their lymphocytes from heparinized venous blood cultured with medium, phytohemagglutinin and one of 32 drugs, or medium and phytohemagglutinin alone.

Results Ten of the patients and 13 of the 32 drugs exhibited a positive response to the test. Eight of the 10 patients with positive IFNl test results had a less severe course of the disease, with fast reduction in steroid dosage.

Conclusions The findings demonstrate both the ability of the IFNl release test to identify drugs that can induce pemphigus, and its usefulness in the diagnostic workup of pemphigus patients.

[1] IFNl = interferon-gamma

D. Ben-Amitai, M. Feinmesser, E. Wielunsky, P. Merlob and M. Lapidoth.
Original Articles
R. Rosso, A. Click, M. Glikson, M. Swissa, S. Rosenhek, I. Shetboun, V. Khalamizer, M. Boulos, M. Geist, B. Strasberg, M. Ilan and B. Belhassen

background: many electrophysiologists recommend implantable cardioverter defibrillators for patients with Brugada syndrome who are cardiac arrest survivors or presumed at high risk of sudden death (patients with syncope or a familial history of sudden death or those with inducible ventricular fibrillation at electrophysiologic study).

objectives: To assess the efficacy and complications of ICD therapy in patients with Brugada syndrome.

Methods: The indications, efficacy and complications of ICD therapy in all patient with Brugada syndrome who underwent ICD implantation in 12 Israeli centers between 1994 and 2007 were analyzed.

Results: there were 59 patients (53 males, 89.8%) with a mean age of 44.1 years. At diagnosis 42 patients (71.2%) were symptomatic while 17 (28.8%) were asymptomatic. The indications for ICD implantation were: a history of cardiac arrest (n=11, 18.6%), syncope (n=31, 52.5%), inducible VF in symptomatic patients (n=14, 23.7%), and a family history of sudden death (n=3, 0.5%). The overall inducibility rates of VF were 89.2% and 93.3% among the symptomatic and a symptomatic patients, respectively (P=NS). During a follow-up of 4-160 (45+-35) months, all patients (except one who died from cancer) are alive. Five patients (8.4%), all with a history of cardiac arrest, had appropriate ICD discharge. Conversely, none of the patients without prior cardiac arrest had appropriate device therapy during 39+-30 month follow-up. Complications were encountered in 19 patients (32%). Inappropriate shocks occurred in 16 (27.1%) due to lead failure/dislodgment (n=5), T wave oversensing (n=2), device failure (n=1), sinus tachycardia (n=4), and supraventricular tachycardia (n=4). One patient suffered a pneumothorax and another a brachial plexus injury during the implant procedure. One patient suffered a late (2 months) perforation of the right ventricle by the implanted lead. Eleven patients (18.6%) required a reintervention either for infection (n=1) or lead problems (n=10). Eight patients (13.5%) required psychiatric assistance due to complications related to the ICD (mostly inappropriate shocks in 7 patients).

Conclusions: In this Israeli population with Brugada syndrome treated with ICD, appropriate device therapy was limited to cardiac arrest survivors while none of the other patients including those with syncope and/or inducible VF suffered an arrhythmic event. The overall complication rate was high.

D. Sharif, G. Rofe, A. Sharif-Rasslan, E. Goldhammer, N. Makhoul, A. Shefer, A. Hassan, S. Rauchfleisch and U. Rosenschein

Background The temporal behavior of the coronary microcirculation in acute myocardial infarction may affect outcome. Diastolic deceleration time and early systolic flow reversal derived from coronary artery blood flow velocity patterns reflect microcirculatory function.

Objectives To assess left anterior descending coronary artery flow velocity patterns using Doppler transthoracic echocardiography after primary percutaneous coronary intervention, in patients with anterior AMI[1].

Methods Patterns of flow velocity patterns of the LAD[2] were obtained using transthoracic echocardiography-Doppler in 31 consecutive patients who presented with anterior AMI. Measurements were done at 6 hours, 36–48 hours, and 5 days after successful PPCI[3]. Measurements of DDT[4] and pressure half times (Pt½), as well as observation for ESFR[5] were performed.

Results In the first 2 days following PPCI, the average DDT, 600 ± 340 msec, were shorter than on day 5, 807 ± 332 msec (P < 0.012). FVP[6] in the first 2 days were dynamic and bidirectional: from short DDT (< 600 msec) to long DDT (> 600 msec) and vice versa. On day 5 most DDTs became longer. Pt½ at 6 hours was not different than at day 2 (174 ± 96 vs. 193 ± 99 msec, P = NS) and became longer on day 5 (235 ± 98 msec, p = 0.012). Bidirectional patterns were also observed in the ESFR in 6 patients (19%) at baseline, in 4 (13%) at 36 hours, and in 2 (6.5%) on day 5 after PPCI.

[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction

[2] LAD = left anterior descending

[3] PPCI = primary percutaneous coronary intervention

[4] DDT = diastolic deceleration time

[5] ESFR = early systolic flow reversal  

[6] FVP = flow velocity pattern

S. Stahl and E. Calif

Background: Dupuytren’s disease is a fibroproliferative disorder of the palmar fascia that can cause disabling digital contractures. The pathogensis of the disease is still unclear, and it afflicts predominantly white males of northern European origin. Gender-related differences of Dupuytren's disease and the distinctive characteristics of the disease in females are not yet well defined.

Objectives: To evaluate and illustrate the distinctive characteristics of Dupuytren's disease in females.

Methods: A retrospective study was performed of all female patients with Dupuytren’s disease seen and followed at our Hand Surgery Unit over a 20 year period. The study group consisted of 48 women (56 hands). The collected data included clinical and epidemiological features on admission, and outcome of surgical intervention.

Results: Of the 48 women (56 hands) with Dupuytren's disease, 23 (26 hands) underwent limited fasciectomy. The average age at presentation was 60.1 years. A few of the patients originated from Asia and Africa. Manifestations and pattern of the disease were nearly comparable to those observed in the male group, except for a slightly higher incidence of proximal interphalangeal joint contracture in female patients. Generally, females expressed less severe contractures on presentation, and a slow progression thereafter. A favorable functional postoperative outcome was observed. Seven patients had minor complications including local hematoma and painful scars. Two patients developed moderate signs of complex regional pain syndrome.

Conclusions: Further investigations are needed to assess the potential role of androgens in the pathogenesis of Dupuytren's disease, and a possible protective role of estrogenic hormones, rendering Dupuytren’s contracture a postmenopausal affliction.

S. Lieberman, T. Sella, B. Maly, J. Sosna, B. Uziely and M. Sklair-Levy

Background: Occult breast cancer without clinically or mammographically detectable breast tumor is an uncommon presentation.

Objectives: To assess the role of breast MRI in women with metastatic carcinoma and an occult primary, and to define the MRI characteristics of the primary breast tumor.

Methods: This retrospective study evaluated 20 women with metastatic carcinoma of unknown origin who underwent breast MRI between 2000 and 2006. Four women were excluded, leaving 16 in the study group. Probability of malignancy was assessed according to BIRADS classification. MRI performance in detecting lesions and evaluating disease extent was assessed, with the gold standard being surgical or biopsy pathology.

Results: MRI detected suspicious lesions in 15 patients. Lesion size ranged from 0.4 to 7 cm (median 1.5 cm). MRI detected a single lesion in 6 patients (40%), multifocal disease in 3 (20%), multicentric disease in 4 (27%), and bilateral breast lesions in 2 (13%). In 13 patients MRI depicted the primary breast cancer. Initial treatment was surgical in nine; MRI correctly estimated disease extent in 6 (67%), underestimated disease extent in 1 (11%), and overestimated it in 2 (22%). Four patients had biopsy followed by chemotherapy; one had multicentric disease and one had multifocal disease. MR findings were false positive in two patients and false negative in one.

Conclusions: MRI is sensitive in detecting the primary tumor and beneficial in assessing tumor extent. Small size and multiple foci are common features. We suggest that bilateral breast MRI be part of the evaluation of women with metastatic carcinoma and an occult primary.

I. Kassis, Y. Kovalski, D. Magen, D. Berkowitz and I. Zelikovic

Background Voiding cystourethrogram is performed 3–6 weeks after urinary tract infection. This prolongs the interval of prophylactics, reducing the likelihood of performing the procedure.

Objectives To investigate the yield and potential risks/benefits of early compared to late-performance VCUG[1] after UTI[2].

Methods We conducted a prospective study of 84 previously healthy children < 5 years old admitted from October 2001 to November 2002 with first documented UTI. We then divided the 78 patients who had VCUG into two groups and compared them to a control group:  group A – 49 children in whom VCUG was performed within 10 days, group B – 29 children in whom VCUG was performed > 10 days after UTI, and a historical control group C – 82 children in whom VCUG was performed > 4 weeks following UTI.

Results VCUG was performed in 48/48 (100%), 6/35 patients (17.1%), 34/116 patients (29.3%) and vesicoureteral reflux was demonstrated in 38.8%, 37.9%, 39% in groups A, B, C respectively. No significant difference was found between these groups in terms of incidence of VUR[3] and severity and grading of reflux within each group. One case of UTI secondary to VCUG occurred in a patient in whom the procedure was performed 4 months after the diagnosis.

Conclusions Performing VCUG early does not influence detection rate, severity of the VUR, or risk of secondary infection; it shortens the period of prophylactic use and increases performance rate of VCUG, thereby minimizing the risk of failure to detect VUR. The traditional recommendation of performing VCUG 3–6 weeks after the diagnosis of UTI should be reevaluated.

[1] VCUG = voiding cystourethrogram

[2] UTI = urinary tract infection

[3] VUR = vesicoureteral reflux

I. Arad, R. Braunstein and B. Bar-Oz

Background: A substantial number of premature deliveries occur in hospitals lacking neonatal intensive care facilities. We previously demonstrated a comparable outcome of very low birth weight infants delivered in a level II nursery to that of inborn infants delivered in our tertiary care center, but a similar comparison of extremely low birth weight infants has not been done.

Objectives: To compare the neonatal outcome (mortality, severe intraventricular hemorrhage/periventricular leukomalacia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and intact survival) of inborn and outborn ELBW[1] infants, accounting for sociodemographic, obstetric and perinatal variables.

Methods: We compared 97 ELBW infants (birth weight ≤ 1000 g.) delivered between the years 2000 and 2004 in a hospital providing neonatal intensive care to 53 ELBW babies delivered in a referring hospital. A univariate model was first applied to examine the associations of the individual independent variables with the outcome variable, followed by a logistic stepwise regression analysis for each of the outcome variables. The odds ratios for each predictor were reported as well as their P values and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: In the stepwise logistic regression analysis, accounting for a possible confounding effect of the independent variables, ‘hospital of birth’ remained a statistically significant predictor in the final step only for mortality, with odds ratio (inborns relative to outborns) of 3.32 (95%CI[2] 1.19–9.28, P = 0.022). No statistically significant associations with the other outcome variables were found (severe IVH[3]/PVL[4] odds ratio = 1.99, 95%CI = 0.77–5.14, P = 0.155; BPD[5] odds ratio = 0.60, 95%CI = 0.19–1.91, P = 0.384; intact survival OR[6] = 0.56, 95%CI = 0.23–1.35, P = 0.195).

[1] ELBW = extremely low birth weight

[2] CI = confidence interval

[3] IVH = intraventricular hemorrhage

[4] PVL = periventricular leukomalacia

[5] BPD = bronchopulmonary dysplasia

[6] OR = odds ratio

Issues in Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
R.Gasparello-Almeida and S. Knupp Feitosa-Oliveira

Neonatal lupus erythematosus is an uncommon transplacentally Acquired Autoimmune Disorder. The most common clinical manifestations are skin rash, congenital atrioventricular block, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, anemia, and hepatosplenomegaly. Usually, the skin rash resembles subacute cutaneous lupus, but different forms of rash have been reported in Neonatal lupus erythematosus and some are rare forms. NLE should be suspected in babies with atypical skin lesions, even if present at birth.  

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel