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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

December 2012

F. Sweet and R.M. Csapó-Sweet

Scientific journals are ethically bound to cite Professor Dr. Carl Clauberg's Nazi medical crimes against humanity whenever the eponym Clauberg is used. Modern articles still publish the eponym citing only the rabbit bioassay used in developing progesterone agonists or antagonists for birth control. Clauberg’s Nazi career is traced to his having subjected thousands of Jewish women at the Ravensbruck and Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps to cruel, murderous sterilization experiments that are enthusiastically described by incriminating letters (reproduced here) between him and the notorious Nazi Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The experiments were carried out in women’s Block 10 in Auschwitz-Birkenau where Clauberg’s colleague Dr. Josef Mengele worked alongside. After Germany lost World War II in 1945 Mengele fled to South America, where he lived to an old age. Clauberg was caught by Russian soldiers, put on trial in the Soviet Union for his crimes against humanity, and imprisoned in 1948. In 1955 he was repatriated to Germany, once again imprisoned for his crimes, and belatedly expelled from the German Medical Association. To estimate the contemporary usage of the names Mengele and Clauberg, Internet hits were recorded for Clauberg C or Mengele J (with and without adding the term Auschwitz) with the Google and Scirus search engines. The ratios of hits for combinations of these terms reveal that relative to Mengele, Clauberg’s name is barely known. We propose that journals and books printing the eponym Clauberg cite its derivation and reference to the convicted Nazi criminal. The present article can serve for such citations.

Original Articles
G.R. de Jesús, I.C.C. d’Oliveira, F.C. dos Santos, G. Rodrigues, E.M. Klumb, N.R. de Jesús and R.A. Levy

Background: Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a rare chronic granulomatous inflammatory disease of the aorta and/or its major branches and more frequently affects female patients before menopause. Since persistent inflammation may lead to arterial ischemia, hypertension is an important complication of TA. Objectives: To evaluate gestational results and complications in patients with TA arteritis.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the medical records of patients with TA admitted to the high risk pregnancy clinic for women with systemic autoimmune diseases at Hospital Universitário Pedro Ernesto.

Results: From 1998 to 2011 we followed 11 pregnancies in 9 patients with TA; the patients’ age ranged from 17 to 42 years and disease duration from 2 to 28 years. In 7 of the 11 pregnancies, uncontrolled blood pressure occurred before labor and preeclampsia was diagnosed in one. Two deliveries were preterm, one newborn was treated for sepsis and four (36%) had intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

Conclusions: Close monitoring improves the perinatal outcomes in patients with TA who are more prone to develop hypertension, preeclampsia and IUGR. Disease activity was not observed in our group of patients during pregnancy. Coordinated care between the obstetric, rheumatologic and cardiologic teams is the ideal setting to follow pregnant women with TA.


J.T. Capo, B. Shamian and M. Rizzo

Background: Delays in diagnosis and inadequate treatment of acute scaphoid fractures can lead to non-unions, presenting surgeons with unique challenges regarding optimal management.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical and radiographic outcome of scaphoid non-unions treated with percutaneous screw fixation.

Methods: The study group comprised12 patients with scaphoid non-unions of an average duration of 8.7 months. There were 11 males and 1 female with an average age of 24 years (range 14–47 years). All patients were initially treated with percutaneous screw fixation without bone grafting. A volar percutaneous approach was used in eight patients and a dorsal percutaneous approach in four. Wrist range of motion (ROM) and disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) questionnaires were used to assess clinical outcomes. Postoperative radiographs were reviewed to assess the fracture union, carpal alignment and screw position.

Results: Eleven of the 12 (92%) fractures united successfully with no additional procedures. These fractures achieved radiographic union at an average of 4 months. One patient with sickle cell anemia required revision fixation, which consisted of repeat percutaneous fixation and bone grafting. In this patient his non-union healed 3 months after the revision procedure. The average DASH score at final follow-up was 6 (range 0–16). Average wrist ROM was extension of 66 degrees (range 50–80) and flexion 71 degrees (range 55–90). None of the patients showed radiographic signs of osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis of the scaphoid, or hardware-related complications.

Conclusions: For scaphoid waist nonunions without collapse, percutaneous fixation without supplementary bone grafting provides satisfactory results with a high union rate, early return of function and minimal complications.

M. Papiashvili, I. Bar, L. Sasson, M. Lidji, K. Litman, A. Hendler, V. Polanski, L. Treizer and D. Bendayan

Background: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) presents a difficult therapeutic problem due to the failure of medical treatment. Pulmonary resection is an important adjunctive therapy for selected patients with MDR-TB.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of pulmonary resection in the management of MDR-TB patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of MDR-TB patients referred for major pulmonary resections to the departments of thoracic surgery at Assaf Harofeh and Wolfson Medical Centers. For the period under study, 13 years (from 1998 to 2011), we analyzed patients’ medical history, bacteriological, medical and surgical data, morbidity, mortality, and short-term and long-term outcome.

Results: We identified 19 pulmonary resections (8 pneumonectomies, 4 lobectomies, 1 segmentectomy, 6 wedge resections) from among 17 patients, mostly men, with a mean age of 32.9 years (range 18–61 years). Postoperative complications developed in six patients (35.3%) (broncho-pleural fistula in one, empyema in two, prolonged air leak in two, and acute renal failure in one). Only one patient (5.8%) died during the early postoperative period, three (17.6%) in the late postoperative period, and one within 2 years after the resection. Of 12 survivors, 9 were cured, 2 are still under medical treatment, and 1 is lost from follow-up because of poor compliance.

Conclusions: Pulmonary resection for MDR-TB patients is an effective adjunctive treatment with acceptable morbidity and mortality.

M. Shamir, R. Dickstein and E. Tirosh

Background: The effectiveness of intensive versus standard physical therapy for motor progress in children with cerebral palsy is controversial. Sitting acquisition is considered an important developmental milestone.  

Objectives: To assess the acquisition of sitting and gross motor progress in infants with cerebral palsy treated with intermittent intensive physical therapy as compared to a matched group treated with a standard physical therapy regimen.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled crossover study in 10 infants aged 12–22 months with cerebral palsy; 5 were assigned to the intensive intermittent therapy group and 5 to the control group. After 4 weeks of baseline intervention, the intervention program was administered to the experimental group for 8 weeks and the regularly scheduled weekly program to the comparison group, targeting sitting as the treatment goal. Thereafter the comparison group crossed over. The Gross Motor Function Measure 66 and 88 (GMFM 66 and 88) were used at 4 week intervals.

Results: The intermittent intensive regimen yielded a mean improvement of 7.8% and 1.2% in the two groups respectively. However, these results were attributed to infants with a low functional level only (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Goal-directed intensive intermittent regimen could possibly be beneficial in infants with a low functional level.

Y. Shacham, E.Y. Birati, O. Rogovski, Y. Cogan, G. Keren and A. Roth

Background: The 20%–60% rate of acute anterior myocardial infarction (AAMI) patients with concomitant left ventricular thrombus (LVT) formation dropped to 10–20% when thrombolysis and primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) were introduced.

Objective: To test our hypothesis that prolonged anticoagulation post-PPCI will lower the LVT incidence even further.

Methods: Included in this study were all 296 inpatients with ST elevation AAMI who were treated with PPCI (from January 2006 to December 2009). Treatment included heparin anticoagulation (48 hours) followed by adjusted doses of low molecular weight heparin (3 more days). All patients underwent cardiac echocardiography on admission and at discharge. LVT and bleeding complications were reviewed and compared.

Results: LVT formation was present on the first echocardiogram in 6/296 patients. Another 8/289 patients displayed LVT only on their second echocardiogram (4.7%, 14/296). LVT patients had significantly lower LV ejection fractions than non-LVT patients at admission (P < 0.003) and at discharge (P < 0.001), and longer time to reperfusion (P = 0.168). All patients were epidemiologically and clinically similar. There were 6 bleeding episodes that required blood transfusion and 11 episodes of minor bleeding.

Conclusions: Five days of continuous anticoagulation therapy post-PPCI in inpatients with AAMI is associated with low LVT occurrence without remarkably increasing bleeding events.

O. Dolkart, W. Khoury, S. Avital, R. Flaishon and A.A Weinbroum

Background: Carbon dioxide is the most widely used gas to establish pneumoperitoneum during laparoscopic surgery. Gastrointestinal trauma may occur during the peritoneal insufflation or during the operative phase itself. Early diagnosis of these injuries is critical.

Objectives: To assess changes in end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) following gastric perforation during pneumoperitoneum in the rat.

Methods: Wistar rats were anesthetized, tracheotomized and mechanically ventilated with fixed minute volume. Each animal underwent a 1 cm abdominal longitudinal incision. A 0.3 x 0.3 cm cross-incision of the stomach was performed in the perforation group but not in the controls (n=10/group), and the abdomen was closed in both groups. After stabilization, CO2-induced pneumoperitoneum was established at 0, 5, 8 and 12 mmHg for 20 min periods consecutively, each followed by complete pressure relief for 5 minutes.

Results: Ventilatory pressure increased in both groups when pneumoperitoneal pressure ≥ 5 mmHg was applied, but more so in the perforated stomach group (P = 0.003). ETCO2 increased in both groups during the experiment, but less so in the perforated group (P = 0.04). It then returned to near baseline values during pressure annulation in all perforated animals but only in the 0 and 5 mmHg periods in the controls.

Conclusions: When subjected to pneumoperitoneum, ETCO2 was lower in rats with a perforated stomach than in those with an intact stomach. An abrupt decrease in ETCO2 during laparoscopy may signal gastric perforation.

E. Ben-Chetrit, C. Chen-Shuali, E. Zimran, G. Munter and G. Nesher

Background: Frequent readmissions significantly contribute to health care costs as well as work load in internal medicine wards.

Objective: To develop a simple scoring method that includes basic demographic and medical characteristics of  elderly patients in internal medicine wards, which would allow prediction of readmission within 3 months of discharge.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study of 496 hospitalized patients using data collected from discharge letters in the computerized archives. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed and factors that were significantly associated with readmission were selected to construct a scoring tool. Validity was assessed in a cohort of 200 patients.

Results: During a 2 year follow-up 292 patients were readmitted at least once within 3 months of discharge. Age 80 or older, any degree of impaired cognition, nursing home residence, congestive heart failure, and creatinine level > 1.5 mg/dl were found to be strong predictors of readmission. The presence of each variable was scored as 1. A score of 3 or higher in the derivation and validation cohorts corresponded with a positive predictive value of 80% and 67%, respectively, when evaluating the risk of rehospitalization.

Conclusions: We propose a practical, readily available five-item scoring tool that allows prediction of most unplanned readmissions within 3 months. The strength of this scoring tool, as compared with previously published scores, is its simplicity and straightforwardness.

G. Slobodin, I. Rosner, D. Rimar, N. Boulman, M. Rozenbaum and M. Odeh
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