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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

October 2007

G. Levy, L. Goldstein, A. Blachar, S. Apter, E. Barenboim, Y. Bar-Dayan, A. Shamis and E. Atar

A thorough medical inquiry is included in every aviation mishap investigation. While the gold standard of this investigation is a forensic pathology examination, numerous reports stress the important role of computed tomography in the postmortem evaluation of trauma victims. To characterize the findings identified by postmortem CT and compare its performance to conventional autopsy in victims of military aviation mishaps, we analyzed seven postmortem CT examinations. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 57.8% of traumatic findings, identified by postmortem CT. The most frequent findings were fractures of the rib (47%), skull (9.6%) and facial bones (8.6%). Abnormally located air accounted for 24% of findings, for which CT was superior (3.5% detected by autopsy, 100% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001).  The performance of autopsy in detecting injuries was superior (autopsy detected 85.8% of all injuries, postmortem CT detected 53.9%, P < 0.001), especially in the detection of superficial lesions (100% detected by autopsy, 10.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001) and solid organ injuries (100% by autopsy, 18.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001), and in the detection of musculoskeletal injuries (91.3% for autopsy, 90.3% for postmortem CT, P = not significant). Postmortem CT and autopsy have distinct performance profiles, and although the first cannot replace the latter it is a useful complementary examination.

A. Shmueli and D. Tamir

Research findings have shown the protective effect of religiosity – among both Christians and Israeli Jews – in terms of morbidity and mortality. To explore the relationship between religiosity and health behavior as a possible explanation for these findings we conducted 3056 telephone interviews, representing the Israeli adult urban Jewish population. Health status, health behavior, frequency of medical checkups, and eating habits were measured. Logistic regressions were used to estimate the religiosity gradient on health behavior, controlling for other personal characteristics. We found a lower prevalence of stress and smoking among religious persons; we also found that religious women exercise less than secular women and that religious people – both men and women – are more obese than their secular counterparts. While no religiosity gradient was found with relation to the frequency of blood pressure, cholesterol and dental checkups, religious women are less likely to undergo breast examinations and mammography. Finally, religious people generally follow a healthier dietary regime, consuming less meat, dairy products and coffee, and much more fish. The lower smoking rates, lower levels of stress, and the healthier dietary regime are consistent with the previously shown longer life expectancy of religious people; however, obesity might become a risk factor in this community.

Original Articles
N. Nathansohn, A. Orenstein, H. Trau. A. Liran and J. Schachter

Background: Early detection of malignant melanoma of the skin is the most important factor in patient survival. Naked-eye diagnostic sensitivity and specificity are low. Patients with multiple nevi are at high risk to develop melanomas and the clinical follow-up of such patients is difficult, resulting in missed melanomas on the one hand and unnecessary biopsies on the other.

Objectives: To describe the set-up of a special clinic aimed at early detection of melanoma and follow-up of high risk patients and preliminary results from 20 months of operation.

Methods: We established a pigmented lesions clinic based on a digital photography studio enabling documentation and comparison over time of full body photography and dermoscopy.

Results: In the first 20 months of work, 895 patients were seen, 206 of them for follow-up visits. A total of 29,254 photos were taken. Altogether, 236 lesions were suspicious (either clinically or dermoscopically) and the patients were advised to excise them. Seven melanomas were found in this initial examination (which did not include long-term follow-up).

Conclusions: With multimode photographic cutaneous surveillance, early detection of melanoma in high risk patients has been reported. Our clinic utilizes the same techniques and diagnostic algorithm as other leading clinics throughout the world, thus enabling us to deliver better follow-up for those patients.

H. Ring, O. Keren, M. Zwecker and A. Dynia

Background: With the development of computer technology and the high-tech electronic industry over the past 30 years, the technological age is flourishing. New technologies are continually being introduced, but questions regarding the economic viability of these technologies should be addressed.

Objectives: To identify the medical technologies that are currently in use in different rehabilitation medicine settings in Israel

Methods: The TECHNO-R 2005 survey was conducted in two phases. Beginning in 2004, the first survey used a questionnaire with open questions relating to the different technologies in clinical use, including questions on their purpose, who operates the device (technician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, physician, etc.), and a description of the treated patients. This questionnaire was sent to 31 rehabilitation medicine facilities in Israel. Due to difficulties in comprehension of the term “technology,” a second revised standardized questionnaire with closed-ended questions specifying diverse technologies was introduced in 2005. The responder had to mark from a list of 15 different medical technologies which were in use in his or her facility, as well as their purpose, who operates the device, and a description of the treated patients.

Results: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the TILT bed, continuous passive movement, and therapeutic ultrasound were the most widely used technologies in rehabilitation medicine facilities. Monitoring of the sitting position in the wheelchair, at the bottom of the list, was found to be the least used technology (with 15.4% occurrence). Most of the technologies are used primarily for treatment purposes and to a lesser degree for diagnosis and research.

Conclusions: Our study poses a fundamental semantic and conceptual question regarding what kind of technologies are or should be part of the standard equipment of any accredited rehabilitation medicine facility for assessment, treatment and/or research. For this purpose, additional data are needed.

M. Klein, R. Agassi, A-R. Shapira, D.M. Kaplan, L. Koiffman and N. Weksler

Background: Percutaneous tracheostomy has largely replaced surgical tracheostomy in the intensive care unit setting. Although it seems logical that surgeons continue to do tracheostomies, anesthesiologists and intensive care specialists are familiar with airway control and guide wire techniques and could replace surgeons in the performance of PDT.

Objectives: To assess the safety and effectiveness of bedside PDT[1] in the ICU[2].

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 207 patients in the ICU who underwent PDT by an intensive care physician.

Results: Subcutaneous emphysema without pneumothorax occurred in one patient. Four patients underwent surgical revision following PDT. Early bleeding (during the first 48 hours following the procedure) was the indication in two patients and late bleeding, on the 10th post-PDT day, in one. In one case PDT was converted to surgical tracheostomy due to inadvertent early decannulation. There was one death directly related to the procedure, due to an unrecognized paratracheal insertion of the tracheostomy tube followed by mechanical ventilation, which led to bilateral pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum and cardio-circulatory collapse. No infectious complications were seen at the stoma site or surrounding tissues.

Conclusions: PDT by intensive care physicians appears to be safe and should be included in the curriculum of intensive care residency.

[1] PDT = percutaneous dilational tracheostomy

[2] ICU = intensive care unit

F. Sperber, U. Metser, A. Gat, A. Shalmon and N. Yaal-Hahoshen

Background: The imaging parameters that mandate further diagnostic workup in focal asymmetric breast densities are not clearly defined.

Objectives: To identify indications for further workup in FABD[1] by comparing mammographic and ultrasonographic findings with the pathology results of women with FABD.

Methods: Ninety-four women (97 FABD) were referred for core needle biopsy after incidental discovery of FABD on routine mammograms (n=83) or on diagnostic mammograms performed for palpable masses (n=11). Clinical data included patient’s age, use of hormone replacement therapy, family history of breast cancer, and the presence of a palpable mass. Mammograms and sonograms were evaluated for lesion size and location, associated calcifications, architectural distortion, and change from previous examinations when available. Two patient groups emerged according to the pathological findings and the data were compared.

Results: The average age, size and location of the lesions in the malignant (n=5) and benign (n=92) groups were similar. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) for the presence of a clinically palpable mass (60% vs. 9%, respectively), a cluster of calcifications (60% vs. 12%), associated architectural distortion (exclusively in the malignant group) and a solid mass on sonography (50% vs. 9%). The malignant group had a higher rate of family history of breast cancer and HRT[2] use.

Conclusions: FABD usually present a benign etiology and can safely be managed by follow‑up. The presence of an architectural distortion, a cluster of malignant‑appearing or indeterminate calcifications, a sonographic mass with features of possible malignancy, or a clinically palpable mass mandates tissue diagnosis.

[1] FABD = focal asymmetric breast densities

[2] HRT = hormone replacement therapy

R. Gofin and M. Avitzour

Background: Trauma management includes the care provided both in hospital and by emergency medical systems in the community. In many cases it is the parents who decide where to take an injured child for care, depending on the circumstances and severity of the injury, the personal characteristics of the injured or the carer and the availability and accessibility of services.

Objectives: To examine the use of pre-hospitalization services and reasons for their use by children and adolescents according to the injury and personal characteristics.

Methods: The study group comprised 924 Israeli citizens aged 0–17 years hospitalized for injuries in six hospitals across Israel. Carers were interviewed in the hospital regarding the circumstances of the injury event, the use of pre-hospitalization services, and sociodemographic characteristics. Data on the cause and nature of the injury were obtained from the hospital records.

Results: The proportion of severe injuries (Injury Severity Score 16+) was higher in Arab children than Jewish children (15% and 9% respectively). Sixty-three percent of the Arab children and 39% of the Jewish children used community services prior to hospitalization. The odds ratio of proceeding directly to the hospital was 0.44, 95% confidence interval 0.29–0.69, for the Arab compared to the Jewish children, controlling for severity, cause and nature of the injury, sociodemographic characteristics, and the reported availability of ambulance services.

Conclusions: More Arab than Jewish carers tended to seek care in the community for an injured child, but the effect of personal characteristics on seeking care was similar in both population groups. Issues of availability and accessibility of services may explain the differences.


V. Rathaus and M. Werner

Background: Acute focal nephritis is an inflammatory process of the renal parenchyma affecting principally the cortex of the kidney. It is considered a midpoint in the spectrum of upper urinary tract infections, ranging from uncomplicated pyelonephritis to intrarenal abscesses, and until recently the hyperechoic sonographic appearance of this lesion was considered uncommon.  

Objectives: To determine the relative prevalence of hyperechoic and hypoechoic sonographic appearance of focal renal lesions in patients with the clinical diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis and to correlate the findings with those of the color Doppler examinations.

Methods: We reviewed the sonograms of 367 patients hospitalized with the clinical diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis. The sonograms were reviewed for acute renal inflammatory changes. When a focal lesion was detected, we noted the echogenicity, side, form, location and color Doppler characteristics.

Results: Abnormal sonographic findings related to the infection were found in 78 cases. In 52 patients a focal lesion was diagnosed. Forty-seven focal lesions appeared hyperechoic related to the adjacent parenchyma. These lesions were more frequently located at the upper pole and were wedge-shaped in most of the cases. The areas appeared hypo/avascular on the color Doppler examination.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that the most common appearance of acute focal nephritis is an area of increased echogenicity in the parenchyma of the affected kidney.

M. Vainrib and I. Leibovitch

Background: Multiple primary malignancies are increasingly being detected among cancer patients. Objectives: To investigate the co-occurrence of primary bladder cancer and primary lung cancer, two established smoking-related neoplasms characteristically associated with increased risk of secondary cancers.

Methods: A retrospective search of the patient registry in our institution identified 25 patients (23 men and two women) who were diagnosed with both bladder cancer and lung cancer during the period 1990–2005. Medical records were reviewed and clinical and pathological data were extracted.

Results: In 21 patients (84%) bladder cancer was the first primary tumor and in 4 (16%) the second primary tumor. More than 90% of the patients had a history of smoking. Mean smoking exposure was 62.1 pack years (range 30–120). All bladder cancers were transitional cell carcinomas with the majority being superficial at presentation. Most lung cancers were of the non-small cell type. Second primary lung cancers were significantly more advanced at diagnosis. Overall, mean follow-up was 105.8 months (range 6–288). Seven patients (28%) were alive at the time of evaluation; 68% died of lung cancer, while none died of bladder cancer.

Conclusions: Second primary lung cancer may occur in patients with bladder carcinoma and vice versa. In view of the relatively frequent involvement of the genitourinary tract as a site of multiple primary tumors, urologists may have a key role in the detection of second primary tumors arising in the genitourinary tract, or second primary tumors that occur in patients with primary genitourinary tract malignancies.

R. Small, N. Lubezky and M. Ben-Haim

Surgical resection offers the best opportunity for cure in patients with colorectal cancer metastasis to the liver, with 5 year survival rates of up to 58% following resection. However, only a small percentage of patients are eligible for resection at the time of diagnosis and the average recurrence rate is still high. Consequently, research endeavors have focused on methods aimed to increase the number of patients eligible for surgical resection, refine the selection criteria for surgery, and improve the disease-free and overall survival time in these patients. Improvements in imaging techniques and the increasing use of FDG-PET allow more accurate preoperative staging and superior identification of patients likely to benefit from surgical resection. Advances in the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy allows up to 38% of patients previously considered unresectable to be significantly downstaged and eligible for hepatic resection. Many reports have critically evaluated the surgical techniques applied to liver resection, the concurrent or alternative use of local ablative therapies, such as radiofrequency ablation, and the subsequent utilization of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients undergoing surgical resection for hepatic metastases.

Toxic Chemical Compounds
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, A. Hoffman, O. Schein, A. Finkelstien, T. Brosh-Nissimov, Z. Tashma, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
Case Communications
D. Ergas, A. Abdul-Hai. Z. Sthoeger, B-H. Menahem and R. Miller
Y. Talmon, P. Gilbey, R. Falah, A. Samet, H. Cohen and J. Khoury
Y. Paran, O. Halutz, M. Swartzon, Y. Schein, D. Yeshurun and D. Justo
A. Lipey, A. Kogan, T. Ben-Gal, E. Mor, A. Stamler, B. Medalion, B.A. Vidne, E. Porat and G. Sahar
D.I. Nassie, A. Volkov, J. Kronenberg and Y.P. Talmi
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