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

November 2012

Original Articles
D. Mankuta, A. Aziz-Suleyman, L. Yochai and M. Allon

Background: During the horrific war in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the years 1996–2007 the number of casualties is estimated to be 5.4 million. In addition, 1.8 million women, children and men were raped, many as a social weapon of war. Many of these women still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mutilated genitals.

Objectives: To assess a short-term interventional team for the evaluation and treatment of sexual trauma victims.

Methods: The intervention program comprised four components: training the local staff, medical evaluation and treatment of patients, psychological evaluation and treatment of trauma victims, and evacuation and transport of patients with mutilated genitals. A diagnostic tool for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – the Impact Event Scale (IES) – was used. The psychological treatment was based on EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) principles. Using questionnaires, the information was obtained from patients, medical staff and medical records.

Results: Three primary care clinics were chosen for intervention. Of the 441 women who attended the clinics over a period of 20 days, 52 women were diagnosed with severe PTSD. Psychological intervention was offered to only 23 women because of transport limitations.  The most common medical problems were pelvic inflammatory disease and secondary infertility. Nine patients had their genitals mutilated and were transferred for surgical correction. The 32 local nurses and 2 physicians who participated in the theoretical and practical training course showed improved knowledge as evaluated by a written test.

Conclusions: With the short-term interventional team model for sexual assault victims the combined cost of medical and psychological services is low. The emphasis is on training local staff to enhance awareness and providing them with tools to diagnose and treat sexual assault and mutilation.

A. Golan, M. Dishi-Galitzky, J. Barda and S. Lurie

Background: The management of sexual assault victims comprises complex medical, psychological, social and judicial care that was previously provided by various disciplines at several distant locations. This novel concept is the delivery of comprehensive care to victims of sexual assault at one location 24 hours a day.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics of sexual assault victims, their assailants, the assault and the treatment, and provide descriptive data on the evidentiary examination.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the charts of all sexual assault victims presenting to the Regional Israeli Center for Care of Sexual Assault Victims between October 2000 and July 2010. The center, the first in Israel, provides comprehensive care to victims of sexual assault in one location 24 hours a day using a multidisciplinary approach.

Results: The study group comprised 1992 subjects; 91.5% of the victims were females and 8.5% were males, and the age ranged from 1 to 88 years (mean age 22.3 years). Of the 1992 victims, 1635 were single (82.2%), 195 were divorced (9.8%), 141 were married (7.1%), 18 were widowed (0.9%) and 3 were unspecified. The assailant was a stranger in 794 (39.8%) of the cases, someone familiar to the victim in 786 cases (39.0%), a partner in 127 cases (6.4%), a family member in 117 cases (5.9%), someone met via the internet in 53 cases (2.7%), an authority figure in 39 cases (2.0%), and unspecified in 76 (3.9%). In the majority of cases the attack occurred either in the evening or at night (71.7%).

Conclusions: We identified several risk factors for sexual assault that can be used in prevention programs. The sexual assault victim in our study tended to be a young, single woman who was attacked by a familiar assailant in the evening or at night. Our center provides comprehensive care to victims 24 hours a day at one location and includes a team of forensic, psychological, physical and legal specialists.

L. Leibou, J. Frand, M. Sadeh, A. Lossos, E. Kremer, A. Livneh, D. Yarnitsky, O. Herman and R. Dabby

Background: Transthyretin (TTR)-associated familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP) is an autosomal dominant multisystem disease with neurological and extra-neurological manifestations. It is caused by various mutations in the TTR gene leading to the formation of insoluble amyloid.

Objectives: To describe the clinical and genetic findings in patients with TTR-associated FAP in Israel.

Methods: We evaluated eight patients clinically and genetically during the years 2006 to 2011.

Results: At onset, all the patients exhibited sensory loss of the lower and upper limbs, five patients experienced muscle pain, and one patient had lower limb weakness. Five patients had autonomic nervous system manifestations, and four demonstrated evidence of amyloid cardiomyopathy. Nerve conduction studies showed sensorimotor axonal neuropathy in all patients. Sural nerve biopsies were obtained in five patients; only three biopsies revealed amyloid deposit. In four patients of Yemenite descent, genetic analysis of the TTR gene demonstrated ser77tyr mutation. One patient of Tunisian descent and one Ashkenazi patient harbored the val30met mutation. One patient of Iranian descent showed val32ala mutation, and another Ashkenazi patient showed phe33leu mutation.

Conclusions: TTR-associated FAP is a progressive and fatal disease that exists in the Israeli population and is unproportionally common among Yemenite Jews. This disease may be under-diagnosed and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any patient with rapidly progressive neuropathy, especially with autonomic involvement or extra-neural features. The absence of amyloid in nerve biopsy should not rule out the diagnosis.  

K. Parakh, M.M. Kittleson, B. Heidecker, I.S. Wittstein, D.P. Judge, H.C. Champion, L.A. Barouch, K.L. Baughman, S.D. Russell, E.K. Kasper, K.K. Sitammagari and J.M. Hare

Background: Determining the prognosis of patients with heart failure is essential for patient management and clinical trial conduct. The relative value of traditional prognostic criteria remains unclear and the assessment of long-term prognosis for individual patients is problematic.

Objectives: To determine the ability of clinical, hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters to predict the long-term prognosis of patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Methods: We investigated the ability of clinical, hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters to predict the long-term prognosis of individual patients in a large, representative, contemporary cohort of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) patients referred to Johns Hopkins from 1997 to 2004 for evaluation of cardiomyopathy. In all patients a baseline history was taken, and physical examination, laboratory studies, echocardiogram, right heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy were performed.

Results: In 171 IDCM patients followed for a median 3.5 years, there were 50 long-term event-free survivors (LTS) (median survival 6.4 years) and 34 patients died or underwent ventricular assist device placement or transplantation within 5 years (NLTS; non-long-term survivors) (median time to event 1.83 years. Established risk factors (gender, race, presence of diabetes, serum creatinine, sodium) and the use of accepted heart failure medications (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers) were similar between the two groups. Although LTS had younger age, higher ejection fraction (EF) and lower New York Heart Association (NYHA) class at presentation, the positive predictive value of an EF< 25% was 64% (95% CI 41%–79%) and of NYHA class > 2 was 53% (95% CI 36–69%). A logistic model incorporating these three variables incorrectly classified 29% of patients.

Conclusions: IDCM exhibits a highly variable natural history and standard clinical predictors have limited ability to classify IDCM patients into broad prognostic categories. These findings suggest that there are important host-environmental factors still unappreciated in the biology of IDCM.

M. Barel

Background: Geriatric assessment (GA) in the elderly is vitally important for determining the optimal management for patients and the appropriate source of its financing. The search for a novel and compact tool stemmed from the clumsiness and complexity of the traditional instruments in scoring and interpretation.

Objectives: To assess the design, application and validity and reliability of a new tool for rapid geriatric assessment in the elderly.

Methods: We measured activities of daily living (ADL) scores using the new tool compared with a well-known (Barthel) index in a population study of 90 elderly subjects (20 males and 70 females) in four long-term care departments of a governmental geriatric center, representing a spectrum of subjects (independent, frail, mentally exhausted, and totally dependent).

Results: There was a good correlation between the two tools, as demonstrated by the correlation curve. The new test was found to be reliable and valid according to the Cronbach and Pearson indexes. Importantly, it took a mean of 5 minutes to complete compared to 20–30 minutes with the traditional tests. The interpretation is simple, unlike the complexity of the other tools.

Conclusions: The new tool for rapid geriatric assessment is able to evaluate the same and additional parameters measured by traditional tests and does so in much less time with equivalent validity and reliability.

E. Cohen, I. Krause, A. Fraser, E. Goldberg and M. Garty

Background: There is a striking increase in the number of people with metabolic syndrome (MetS) as a result of the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Increasing evidence suggests that uric acid may play a role in MetS.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of MetS in a large cohort from Israel and its association with hyperuricemia using the latest three definitions of MetS.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the database from a screening center in Israel, using the revised National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Harmonizing definitions of MetS, to assess 12,036 subjects with an age range of 20–80 years.

Results: The mean age of the study sample was 46.1 ± 10.2 years and 69.8% were male. The prevalence of MetS was 10.6%, 18.2% and 20.2% in the revised NCEP ATP III, the IDF and the Harmonizing definitions respectively. The prevalence of hyperuricemia in subjects with MetS, for all three MetS definitions, was similar: 20.0%, 19.9% and 19.1% respectively. There was a graded increase in the prevalence of MetS among subjects with increasing levels of uric acid. The increasing trend persisted after stratifying for age and gender and after multivariate analysis (P for trend < 0.001).

Conclusions: This large cohort shows a high prevalence of MetS in Israel, but is still lower than the prevalence in western countries. Hyperuricemia is common in those subjects and might be considered a potential clinical parameter in the definition of MetS.

. Buda, R. Hod, R. Feinmesser and J. Shvero

Background: Chondrosarcoma of the larynx is a rare tumor. The most common symptom is hoarseness. Treatment is controversial.

Objectives: To describe six patients with laryngeal chondrosarcoma from a single center.

Methods: The medical records of a major tertiary hospital were reviewed for all patients with laryngeal chondrosarcoma diagnosed and treated from 1959 to 2010. Data on background, clinical treatment and outcome were collected.

Results: Six patients, all males with a mean age of 53.3 years, were identified. Partial laryngectomy was performed in three patients, and total laryngectomy, local excision, and partial cricoidectomy in one patient each. Four patients had a permanent tracheostomy after surgery. One patient required postoperative chemotherapy and one radiotherapy. Follow-up time was 12–216 months (mean 102 months). Recurrence developed in two patients 2 and 8 years after initial treatment and was treated by salvage surgery in both patients. One patient died during the follow-up from an unrelated cause. The others are currently alive.

Conclusions: This study supports earlier reports recommending initial treatment with partial or total laryngectomy for laryngeal chondrosarcoma. Long-term follow-up for recurrence is advised. We recommend preserving the larynx, if possible, even if a permanent tracheostomy is necessary.

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