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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

February 2007

T. Friedman, M. Westreich, D. Lurie, A. Golik

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) left behind the largest collection of self-portraits in the history of art. These portraits were painted over a period of 41 years, using a realistic technique. To evaluate Rembrandt's aging process we studied 25 uncontested Rembrandt oil self-portraits by means of objective and descriptive techniques. By measuring brow position changes through the years, we demonstrated that brow descent started in the second half of the third decade and began to level out in the fourth decade. Based on Rembrandts' aging physiognomy, from age 22 to 63, we believe that Rembrandt did not suffer from temporal arteritis, hypothyroidism, rosacea, or rhynophima and that no other facial signs of systemic diseases are evident, contrary to the opinions expressed by other medical professionals. We suggest that Rembrandt suffered from melancholia or mild depression, and propose the possibility of chronic lead poisoning as a theoretical illness that he might have had.

Original Articles
S. Nitecki, A. Bass

Background: Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome, a congenital disorder, is characterized by capillary malformation, varicosities and bony or soft tissue hypertrophy. Since there is no cure for this syndrome, treatment is directed towards secondary prevention of venous hypertension and preservation of functional integrity of the legs. Elastic stockings are the mainstay of treatment and are indicated in all cases. Surgery is reserved only for a few selected symptomatic patients, however the outcome is unsatisfactory in most cases, with recurrent pain, edema, poor cosmetic result and limb deformity. Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is a recently introduced minimally invasive ambulatory procedure for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. It was recently introduced to treat this disorder.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of USFS[1] in the treatment of patients with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.

Methods: Seven patients diagnosed with Klippel-Trenaunay, with massive lower extremity involvement, were treated with USFS between October 2003 and October 2005. Sclerovein® (polidocanol, Resinag, Switzerland) 2–4% was used as the sclerosant. The signs, symptoms and overall patient satisfaction were assessed before, during and after the treatment.

Results: Patients' mean age was 26 years (range 15–54). The CEAP[2] clinical classification, with ascending severity ranging from 0 (no signs) to 6 (active venous ulcer), was C4 in 5 patients (71.5%) and C5 and C6 in one patient each. The average number of sessions was 14.5 (range 9–21). No major complications were encountered. All seven patients reported improvement in signs and symptoms. Five of the 7 patients (71%) were very satisfied with the cosmetic result.

Conclusion: USFS is an effective minimally invasive ambulatory technique, essentially pain-free and with excellent short-term results in patients with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (when the deep system is functional). Long-term results and larger study groups are warranted. 

[1] USFS = ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy

[2] CEAP = Clinical, Etiology, Anatomic, Pathophysiology

R. Somech, S. Reif, A. Golander,Z. Spirer

Background: Leptin, a pleiotropic hormone, has been suggested to be part of an acute phase response during an inflammatory stimulus. Its correlation with other acute phase reactants during minor infection in children has not been investigated.

Objectives: To study the correlation between serum leptin levels to those of C-reactive protein, a well-documented acute-phase reactant, in a series of pediatric patients with acute minor infections.

Methods: Leptin and CRP[1] levels were measured in 62 blood samples of pediatric patients presenting with mild febrile illness who were admitted to Dana Children’s Hospital in Israel. All children were finally diagnosed as having minor infection based on the negative blood/urine cultures and favorable outcome.

Results: Serum leptin level was positively correlated with CRP (r2 = 0.5), total white blood cells (r2 = 0.33) and absolute neutrophil count (r2 = 0.31). The regression coefficient was the highest between leptin and CRP.

Conclusions: Circulating leptin concentrations are positively correlated with CRP levels during acute minor infection in children visiting the emergency room for febrile illnesses. Our observation suggests that leptin is indeed a part of acute-phase proteins. The wide scattering showed that it is not a better marker in minor infections than CRP, but it may contribute to weight loss and anorexia seen in the minority of patients during mild infections.

[1] CRP = C-reactive protein

M. Lorberboym,P. Schachter

Background: Drug-induced thyrotoxicosis is not uncommon. It may worsen life-threatening arrhythmias and may be refractory to medical treatment. Near-total thyroidectomy presents a valid alternative to medical therapy and should be considered early in the management of the disease.

Objectives: To assess whether near-total thyroidectomy was a viable approach for our patients.

Methods: Twelve patients – 7 men and 5 women, aged 63 to 82 years – presented with drug-induced fulminant thyrotoxicosis following 1 to 12 months of amiodarone treatment (11 patients, mean 7 months) and after a 6 months course of interferon-alpha treatment (one patient). Medical therapy included propylthiouracil in doses up to 1200 mg/day in all patients and a beta-receptor antagonist in seven. Five patients had to stop amiodarone treatment and start high doses of steroids. A thyroid scan was performed in all patients using 5 mCi of Tc-99m pertechnetate. The thyroid scan showed absent uptake of the tracer in the thyroid bed in all patients, precluding the use of radioablation.

Results: Four patients (three with AIT[1] and one with interferon therapy) who did not respond to 3 months of medical therapy required surgical thyroidectomy due to severe unremitting thyrotoxicosis. A near-total thyroidectomy resulted in rapid correction of thyrotoxicosis, enabling continuation of the anti-arrhythmic drug. There were no intraoperative or postoperative arrhythmias. Subsequently, all patients recovered rapidly and remained well and euthyroid on thyroxine replacement therapy.

Conclusions: Since surgery results in rapid control of thyrotoxicosis and permits continued therapy with amiodarone, we suggest that near-total thyroidectomy warrants consideration as a definitive treatment for resistant amiodarone or interferon-induced thyrotoxicosis.

[1] AIT = amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis

A. Blankstein, A. Israeli, I. Dudkiewicz, A. Chechik, A. Ganel

Background: When encountering complaints of pain in the area of Achilles tendon with a suspected lesion, the clinician seldom reaches a precise diagnosis based only on X-ray and clinical examination. Ultrasonography is useful for evaluating the pathology and treatment.

Objectives: To assess the relative contribution of real-time intraoperative ultrasound examination and immediate postoperative ultrasound in patients with acute rupture of the Achilles tendon treated by percutaneous suture method. The combination of both procedures provides a unique advantage that could facilitate better results.

Methods: Ultrasound examination was used in 20 patients with acute rupture of the Achilles tendon who were treated surgically. Intraoperative as well as postoperative ultrasound examinations were performed in 5 patients whereas 15 patients underwent an immediate postoperative ultrasound.

Results: Ultrasound pathologies were found in all patients. Percutaneous surgical correction of ruptured Achilles tendon with accurate positioning of the foot using real-time sonography was successful in all the patients.

Conclusion: As in many other soft tissue lesions, ultrasonography is a useful tool for evaluating the pathology and for planning the surgical correction of ruptures in the Achilles tendon.


A. Friedman, A. Lahad

Background: Healthcare behavior occurs within the context of the family unit. Little research has investigated the influences among adult family members regarding their use of medical care services.

Objectives: To investigate the effects of maternal attendance patterns and maternal self-assessed health status on those of adult children.

Methods: This study was a retrospective cohort, analyzing both patient records for physician visits and mailed self-administered questionnaires regarding subjective health assessment. We evaluated a unique study group of multi-generational families with free and equal access to medical services at a primary care kibbutz clinic in Israel. This enabled an exclusive focus on the association between the use of healthcare by mothers and their grown children.

Results: Controlling for the subjects' age, gender and number of chronic diagnoses, a significant association exists between the family physician visit rates of a mother and those of her grown offspring (P = 0.03). Low self-health assessment is associated with higher levels of physician utilization (P = 0.003). Maternal self-health evaluation is associated with her adult children's own self-health evaluation (odds ratio 5.9, P = 0.04) and their rates of physician utilization (one additional offspring visit per year for low maternal self-health, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: A mother’s behavior patterns measured via self-rated health status and physician visit rates serve as a proxy for maternal attitudes regarding healthcare, and these attitudes are possibly imparted to her children for life. This study provides unique evidence for a maternal health behavior effect on grown children, and enables a more complete understanding of families attending the primary care clinic.

D. Heymann, Y. Shilo, A. Tirosh, L. Valinsky, S. Vinker

Background: In 2003 a total of 43 soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces committed suicide; only 20% of them were known to the IDF[1] mental health services. Somatic symptoms are often the only presentation of emotional distress during the primary care visit and may be the key to early identification and treatment.

Objectives: To examine whether the information in the medical records of soldiers can be used to identify those suffering from anxiety, affective or somatoform disorder.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study using the information in the electronic medical records of soldiers who during their 3 year service developed affective disorder, anxiety, or somatoform disorder. A control group was matched for recruitment date, type of unit and occupation in the service, and the Performance Prediction Score. The number and reasons for physician visits were collated.

Results: The files of 285 soldiers were examined: 155 cases and 130 controls. The numbers of visits (mean SD) during the 3 and 6 month periods in the case and control groups were 4.7 ± 3.3 and 7.1 ± 5.0, and 4.1 ± 2.9 and 5.9 ± 4.6 respectively. The difference was statistically significant only for the 6 month period (P < 0.05). The variables that remained significant, after stepwise multivariate regression were the Performance Prediction Score and the presenting complaints of back pain and diarrhea.

Conclusions: These findings may spur the development of a computer-generated warning for the primary care physician who will then be able to interview his or her patient appropriately and identify mental distress earlier. 

[1] IDF = Israel Defense Force

A. Nemet, M. Belkin, M. Rosner

Background: Decreased lacrimal gland output may cause dry eye syndrome. Using a rat model, we examined the feasibility of transplanting lacrimal gland cells from newborns.

Objectives: To restore lacrimal gland function in eyes with compromised tear production.

Methods: A model of dry eye in adult rats was developed by unilateral surgical removal of the main lacrimal gland. Tear secretion in both eyes was then assessed by masked Schirmer's test. Lacrimal gland tissue from newborn rats was transplanted into the fibrous connective tissue in which the lacrimal gland had been embedded. Masked Schirmer's test was repeated 4, 8 and 12 weeks after transplantation.

Results: Schirmer's test performed in 13 rats 10 days after unilateral lacrimal gland excision revealed significantly less wetting on the side with excised gland compared with the normal side (P < 0.003). The lack of secreting cells on the operated side was verified histologically. The reduction in tear secretion on the operated side remained significant for 8 weeks on average. In the six rats with transplanted lacrimal gland tissue however, there were no differences in tear reduction between the two eyes at 4, 8 or 12 weeks after the operation (P = 0.81, 0.56 and 0.8, respectively).

Conclusions: Transplantation of lacrimal gland tissue from newborn rats effectively restored eye wetting in this new model. Further research is needed to evaluate this new approach for treating lacrimal gland dysfunction. Using this model might also facilitate evaluation of potential clinical treatments for dry eyes.

N. Slijper,,I. Sukhotnik, A. urora Toubi, J. Mogilner

Background: Testicular torsion associated with undescended testis is uncommon but requires immediate treatment. Ultrasound Doppler is recognized as the preferred imaging modality for testicular torsion due to its high specificity, sensitivity and availability.

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of ultrasound Doppler in diagnosis of torsion of undescended testis.

Methods: We describe three patients with known undescended testis who were admitted with groin pain and had preoperative ultrasound Doppler. The discrepancy between these and the intraoperative findings is discussed.

Results: In two patients incarcerated inguinal hernia was diagnosed with ultrasound Doppler; however, surgery revealed torsion of an undescended testis. In the third patient ultrasound Doppler diagnosed torsion of undescended testis, but at surgery incarcerated inguinal hernia was found, without evidence of testicular torsion.

Conclusions: Torsion of undescended testis should be a clinical rather than radiologic diagnosis.

H. Ring, M. Itzkovich, A. Dnia

Background: Measurement of function is an essential component of routine rehabilitation work (mainly for quantifying function at different phases in the rehabilitation process), rehabilitation policy (admission and discharge criteria, length of stay in rehabilitation), goal setting, and outcome measurement.

Objective: To explore the scope of the scales used for function assessment by the various disciplines of rehabilitation medicine in rehabilitation facilities.

Method: A structured questionnaire was sent to 36 rehabilitation facilities. Respondents were asked to specify the scales they use for functional assessment for each of 15 selected pathologies. Also examined were satisfaction with the scales, as well as the existence of a computerized database of routine function assessment in the facility and the willingness to create a national agreed “common data set” of the assessments.

Results: The general response rate was 86.1% (31 of 36 questionnaires were returned). For the sake of data presentation, rehabilitation facilities were classified into four categories: general, geriatric, pediatric, and community. Most facilities performed function assessment using a total of 125 scales. Heterogeneity was found between facilities and between pathologies. The highest number of scales was found in the area of neurologic pathologies. For most pathologies, assessment of impairment was used more than assessment of disability. Most facilities in the survey did not have a computerized database of function assessments.

Conclusions: A “common data set” of function assessments in everyday clinical work would ensure standardization without necessarily limiting the use of additional scales and at the same time significantly minimize the current heterogeneity.

S. Blum, F. Nakhoul, E. Khankin, Z. Abassi,

Inherited forms of proteinuria constitute a rare and heterogeneous group of diseases, the most prominent of which is glomerular dysfunction, which leads to proteinuria. Investigation of the genetic background underlying these diseases has provided significant data on the normal operation of the glomerular filter. Among the different components of the glomerulus, the podocyte slit diaphragm is considered the main source for genetically derived protein alteration, which leads in turn to proteinuria. Investigation of the different proteins revealed that the lack of nephrin and podocin is the leading cause of several inherited forms of proteinuria. It was also proposed that the lack of podocin is linked to cardiac anomalies. This review suggests that the absence of slit diaphragm proteins and the open zipper phenomenon are associated with cardiac anomalies.

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