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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

January 2006

Original Articles
D. Tanne, U. Goldbourt, S. Koton, E. Grossman, N. Koren-Morag, M. S. Green and N. M. Bornstein

Background: There are no national data on the burden and management of acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel.

Objectives: To delineate the burden, characteristics, management and outcomes of hospitalized patients with acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel, and to examine adherence to current guidelines.

Methods: We prospectively performed a national survey in all 28 hospitals in Israel admitting patients with acute cerebrovascular events (stroke or transient ischemic attacks) during February and March 2004.

Results: During the survey period 2,174 patients were admitted with acute cerebrovascular disease (mean age 71 ± 13 years, 47% women; 89% ischemic stroke or TIA[1], 7% intracerebral hemorrhage and 4% undetermined stroke). Sixty-two percent of patients were admitted to departments of Medicine and a third to Neurology, of which only 7% were admitted to departments with a designated stroke unit. Head computed tomography was performed during hospitalization in 93% of patients. The overall rate of urgent thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke was 0.5%. Among patients with ischemic stroke or TIA, 94% were prescribed an antithrombotic medication at hospital discharge, and among those with atrial fibrillation about half were prescribed warfarin. Carotid duplex was performed in 30% and any vascular imaging study in 36% of patients with ischemic events. The mean length of hospital stay was 12 ± 27 days for ICH[2] and 8 ± 11 days for ischemic stroke. Among patients with ICH, 28% died and 66% died or had severe disability at hospital discharge, and for ischemic stroke the corresponding rates were 7% and 41% respectively. Mortality rates within 3 months were 34% for ICH and 14% for ischemic stroke.

Conclusions: This national survey demonstrates the high burden of acute stroke in Israel and reveals discordance between existing guidelines and current practice. The findings highlight important areas for which reorganization is imperative for patients afflicted with acute stroke.

[1] TIA = transient ischemic attack

[2] ICH = intracerebral hemorrhage

H. Matsumoto, K. Mashiko, Y. Hara, Y. Sakamoto, N. Kutsukata, K. Takei, Y. Tomita, Y. Ueno and Y. Yamamoto

Background: In Japan, helicopters have rarely been used for emergency medical services. The use of helicopters not only ensures rapid evacuation but may also serve to provide emergency management to patients with life-threatening injuries in the prehospital setting.

Objectives: To evaluate a Japanese helicopter-based emergency medical system including an onboard physician, particularly in terms of probability of survival.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of trauma victims, and calculated two estimates of PS[1] – at the scene and on arrival at the emergency department – based on patient age, Injury Severity Score, and Revised Trauma Score.

Results: We identified trauma victims who had an ISS[2] above 15 and were transported from the scene by helicopter. Excluding cardiopulmonary arrest at the scene, 151 cases were studied. Thirty-two patients had hemodynamic instability with systolic blood pressures below 90 mmHg, caused by hemorrhagic shock (29 cases) or obstructive shock (3 cases). Their PS values were 0.56 ± 0.38 in the prehospital setting and 0.65 ± 0.38 on arrival at the ED[3], representing a significant difference (P = 0.0003). Twenty-four of these patients survived, reflecting successful resuscitation during prehospital and ED management.

Conclusions: A doctor-helicopter system was shown to improve probability of survival for life-threatening trauma in the Japanese emergency medical system.

[1] PS = probability of survival

[2] ISS = Injury Severity Score

[3] ED = Emergency Department

D. Bader, A. Kugelman, D. E. Blum, A. Riskin, E. Tirosh

Background: Phototherapy is considered the standard of care for neonatal jaundice. However, its short term cardiorespiratory effects have not been studied thoroughly.

Objectives: To assess the cardiorespiratory effect of phototherapy during sleep in term infants with physiologic jaundice.

Methods: We performed two polysomnography studies during 3 hours sleep in 10 healthy term infants with physiologic jaundice; each infant served as his/her own control. The first study was performed just prior to phototherapy and the second study during phototherapy 24 hours later. Heart and respiratory rates, type and duration of apneas, and arterial oxygen saturation were analyzed during active and quiet sleep.

Results: Term infants (gestational age 38.6 ± 1.4 weeks, birth weight 3.2 ± 0.5 kg) underwent the two polysomnography studies within a short time interval and had a comparable bilrubin level (3.6 ± 0.8 and 4.5 ± 0.8 days; 14.5 ± 1.4 and 13.8 ± 2.1 mg/dl, P = NS, respectively). There was no difference in sleeping time or the fraction of active and quiet sleep before or during phototherapy. During active sleep under phototherapy there was a significant decrease in respiratory rate and increase in heart rate (54.3 ± 10.3 vs. 49.1 ± 10.8 breaths/minute, and 125.9 ± 11.7 vs. 129.7 ± 15.3 beats/minute, respectively, P < 0.05), as well as a decrease in respiratory effort in response to apnea. These effects were not found during quiet sleep. Phototherapy had no significant effect on oxygen saturation, apnea rate or periodic breathing in either sleep state. No clinical significant apnea or bradycardia occurred.

Conclusions: Phototherapy affected the cardiorespiratory activity during active sleep but not during quiet sleep in term infants with physiologic jaundice. These effects do not seem to have clinical significance in "real-life" conditions.

S. Silberman, A. Oren, M. W. Klutstein, M. Deeb, E. Asher, O. Merin, D. Fink, D. Bitran.

Background: Ischemic mitral regurgitation is associated with reduced survival after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Objectives: To compare long-term survival among patients undergoing coronary surgery for reduced left ventricular function and severe ischemic MR[1] in whom the valve was either repaired, replaced, or no intervention was performed.

Methods: Eighty patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction and severe MR underwent coronary bypass surgery. The mean age of the patients was 65 years (range 42–82), and 63 (79%) were male. Sixty-three (79%) were in preoperative NYHA functional class III-IV (mean NYHA 3.3), and 26 (32%) were operated on an urgent/emergent basis. Coronary artery bypass surgery was performed in all patients. The mitral valve was repaired in 38 and replaced in 14, and in 28 there was no intervention. The clinical profile was similar in the three groups, although patients undergoing repair were slightly younger.

Results: Operative mortality was 15% (8%, 14%, and 25% for the repair, replacement and no intervention respectively; not significant). Long-term follow up was 100% complete, for a mean of 38 months (range 2–92). Twenty-nine patients (57%) were in NYHA I-II (mean NYHA 2.3). Among the surgery survivors, late survival was improved in the repair group compared to the other groups (P < 0.05). Predictors for late mortality were non-repair of the mitral valve, residual MR, and stroke (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Patients with severe ischemic cardiomyopathy and severe MR undergoing coronary bypass surgery should have a mitral procedure at the time of surgery. Mitral valve repair offers a survival advantage as compared to replacement or no intervention on the valve. Patients with residual MR had the worst results.

[1] MR = mitral regurgitation

D. Chemtob, D. Weiler-Ravell, A. Leventhal, H. Bibi

Background: During the last decade, Israel, a country with low tuberculosis rates, absorbed some 900,000 new immigrants from TB[1]-endemic countries.

Objectives: To analyze the specific impact of our screening procedures on active TB among children in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of epidemiologic and clinical data of all children (aged 0–17) with TB notified to the Ministry of Health between 1990 and 1999.

Results: There were 479 children with TB (male/female ratio 1.36). Most cases (81.8%) were foreign born, predominantly (88.2%) immigrants from Ethiopia and, therefore, huge differences existed in TB incidence rates according to countries of origin. Some 80% were diagnosed within 3 years of arrival, mainly due to active case-finding. Pulmonary TB, with infiltrates on chest X-ray, was found in 49.5%. Extra-pulmonary TB sites were: intra-thoracic lymphadenitis (31.1%), extra-thoracic lymphadenitis (12.5%), bones (3.6%), pleura (1.3%), meninges (1%), and others (1%). Seventy percent had a tuberculin skin test reaction ≥10 mm in size. Two (non-immigrant) children died of TB meningitis.

Conclusions: Most of the pediatric TB cases occurred in recent immigrants and were diagnosed within 3 years of immigration. These data support our policy of active case-finding among new immigrants from Ethiopia and extensive contact evaluation for all TB cases.

[1] TB = tuberculosis

T. Safra, F. Kovner, N. Wigler-Barak, M. J. Inbar and I. G. Ron

Background: The 5 year survival rate in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer is 25–40% and treatment is mainly palliative once the disease recurs.

Objectives: To determine the time to progression, overall survival and toxicity of 1 year maintenance treatment with carboplatin in women with advanced EOC[1] after achieving complete remission with platinum‑based combination chemotherapy.

Methods: Twenty-two women with epithelial ovarian cancer stage III-IV previously treated with platinum‑based combinations who had achieved complete remission evidenced by symptoms, pelvic examination, computerized tomography and serum CA-125, were assigned to the study protocol consisting of: carboplatin of AUC=6, three cycles every 2 months, followed by two cycles once every 3 months for a total of five courses over 1 year.

Results: Median follow‑up in the 22 patients was 83 months (range 18–133 months), median disease‑free survival was 36 months (range 2.5–126.4, 95% confidence interval 16.39–56.34). The 5 year survival was 59.7% with a mean overall survival of 83 months (range 18–133, 95% CI[2] 39.11-127.29). Eleven patients have relapsed and died, 11 are alive, 6 are still in complete remission, and 5 are alive with recurrent disease. Grade III-IV toxicity was shown in some of the patients, anemia in 9%, thrombocytopenia in 9%, fatigue in 4.5%, and hypersensitivity in 4.5%.

Conclusions: A 1 year extension of treatment with a single‑agent carboplatin, administered to women with advanced EOC who had achieved complete recovery on platinum‑based chemotherapy as their first‑line therapy, has an acceptable toxicity. The disease-free survival and overall survival values noted in this study are encouraging and warrant further investigation.

[1] EOC = epithelial ovarian cancer

[2] CI = confidence interval

G. Reisler, T. Tauber, R. Afriat, O.Bortnik and M. Goldman

Background: The prevalence of morbid obesity is increasing rapidly. Weight reduction is very difficult using diet restriction and physical activity alone. Sibutramine has been shown to be effective and safe as an adjuvant therapy to diet restrictions.

Objectives: To describe our experience using sibutramine in weight reduction treatment of adolescents suffering from morbid obesity.

Methods: The study group comprised 20 young persons (13 females, mean age 15 years 4 months, range 13–18 years) with morbid obesity (body mass index over the 95th percentile for age and/or ≥ 30 kg/m²) were treated with sibutramine 10 mg once a day for 1 year.

Results: Mean BMI[1] was 40 ± 5.6 kg/m² (range 30.1–49.5 kg/m²) at the beginning of treatment. Most patients showed an early weight reduction to mean BMI 39.3 ± 4.9 and 35.9 ± 5.7 at 3 and 6 months respectively, but stopped losing weight over the next 6 months. During the follow-up period 17 patients discontinued the treatment. The main reason for dropout was the slow rate of weight reduction after 6 months. Patients suffering from concomitant disorders (severe asthma, hypertension, sleep obstructive apnea) showed improvement after weight reduction. Adverse reactions from the treatment were transient, mild and well tolerated.

Conclusions: Sibutramine may help in achieving weight reduction for a short period and in improving concomitant health problems, however its long-term effect is limited.

[1] BMI = body mass index

E. Meltzer, L. Guranda, L. Vassilenko, M. Krupsky, S. Steinlauf and Y. Sidi.

Background: Lipoid pneumonia is a pneumonitis resulting from the aspiration of lipids, and is commonly associated with the use of mineral oil as a laxative. LP[1] is relatively unfamiliar to clinicians and is probably underdiagnosed.

Objectives: To increase physicians' awareness of LP, its diagnosis and prevention.

Methods: We present two illustrative cases of LP and review the literature.

Results: Two cases of LP were diagnosed within half a year in an internal medicine ward. Both cases were elderly patients, and LP was associated with the use of mineral oil as a laxative agent. Computerized tomography revealed bilateral low attenuation infiltrates, associated with a "crazy paving" pattern in one case. Sudan Black staining was diagnostic in both cases – in one on a transbronchial biopsy specimen, and in the other on sputum cytologic examination. Both patients suffered from neurologic diseases and were at risk of aspiration. In both cases clinical symptoms and signs continued for several months prior to diagnosis but resolved after the mineral oil was discontinued.

Conclusions: LP often occurs in elderly patients who are at risk of aspiration. The condition may be underdiagnosed. Since in most cases mineral oil cathartics are the causative agent, an effort at primary prevention is indicated. It is suggested that the licensing of mineral oil for internal use be changed.

G. Rashid, Z.Korzets and J. Bernheim

Background: Advanced glycation end products, formed by the non-enzymatic glycation of proteins with reducing sugars, are thought to play a pathogenetic role in the vascular complications of diabetes, uremia and atherosclerosis. β2-microglobulin is a major constituent of amyloid fibrils in dialysis-related amyloidosis. AGE[1]-modified β2m[2] has been found in amyloid deposits of long-term hemodialysis patients. AGE-modified β2m has also been shown to enhance chemotaxis and increase tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta secretion by circulating and tissue monocytes/macrophages.

Objectives: To investigate the effect of AGE-modified β2m and AGE-human serum albumin on TNF-α[3] and IL-1β[4] secretion by human peritoneal macrophages derived from patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.

Methods: Human PMØ[5] were isolated from peritoneal dialysis effluent of stable CAPD[6] patients and were incubated for 24 hours with AGE-modified β2m, β2m, AGE-HSA[7], HSA or lipopolysaccharide. TNF-α or IL-1β secretion was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in cell-free culture supernatants.

Results: Both AGE-modified β2m and AGE-HSA significantly increased TNF-α and IL-1β secretion by human PMØ in a dose-dependent manner (50–200 μg/ml). In contrast, β2m or HSA had no such stimulatory effect on TNF-α secretion but had a small significant increase in IL-1β secretion.

Conclusions: AGE-modified β2m promotes in vitro TNF-α and IL-1β secretion by human PMØ of CAPD patients. Activation of these macrophages by AGE-modified β2m may be a contributory factor to the morphologic changes and altered permeability of the peritoneal membrane in long-term CAPD. 

[1] AGE = advanced glycation end products

[2] β2m = β2-microglobulin

[3] TNF-α = tumor necrosis factor-alpha

[4] IL-1β = interleukin-1 beta

[5] PMØ = peritoneal macrophages

[6] CAPD = continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis

[7] HSA = human serum albumin

I. Rabin, B. Chikman, Z. Halpern, I. Wassermann, R. Lavy, R. Gold-Deutch, J. Sandbank and A. Halevy

Background: Sentinel lymph node mapping is the standard of care for patients with malignant melanoma and breast cancer. Recently, SLN[1] mapping was introduced to the field of gastric cancer.

Objectives: To evaluate SLN mapping in patients with gastric cancer.

Methods: In 43 patients with gastric cancer, open intraoperative subserosal dye injection in four opposing peritumoral points was used. Ten minutes following dye injection, stained LNs were located, marked and examined postoperatively from the surgical specimen.

Results: SLN mapping was performed in 43 with gastric cancer; 782 lymph nodes were harvested and evaluated. SLNs were stained in 34 of the patients (79.1%) with a mean of 2.85 SLNs per patient. The false negative rate was 20.9%, the positive predictive value 100%, the negative predictive value 78.6% and the sensitivity 86.9%.

Conclusions: SLN mapping in patients with gastric cancer is feasible and easy to perform. SLN mapping may mainly affect the extent of lymph node dissection, and to a lesser degree gastric resection. However, more data are needed.


R. Soferman

Background: Sentinel lymph node mapping is the standard of care for patients with malignant melanoma and breast cancer. Recently, SLN[1] mapping was introduced to the field of gastric cancer.

Objectives: To evaluate SLN mapping in patients with gastric cancer.

Methods: In 43 patients with gastric cancer, open intraoperative subserosal dye injection in four opposing peritumoral points was used. Ten minutes following dye injection, stained LNs were located, marked and examined postoperatively from the surgical specimen.

Results: SLN mapping was performed in 43 with gastric cancer; 782 lymph nodes were harvested and evaluated. SLNs were stained in 34 of the patients (79.1%) with a mean of 2.85 SLNs per patient. The false negative rate was 20.9%, the positive predictive value 100%, the negative predictive value 78.6% and the sensitivity 86.9%.

Conclusions: SLN mapping in patients with gastric cancer is feasible and easy to perform. SLN mapping may mainly affect the extent of lymph node dissection, and to a lesser degree gastric resection. However, more data are needed.

[1] Sentinel lymph node

D. Katzelson

The pulmonary microbiology is a dominant element in cystic fibrosis and the main cause of death. Contemporary consensus accords an exclusive role in this to a single microorganism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The evidence convincingly shows that the microbiology consists of a multiplicity of species living in perpetual interaction and in a variety of forms – planktonic, sessile, anaerobic – and in organized communities as microcosms, biofilms and ecosystem. This compound microbiology, the essence of the pulmonary disease, is of necessity exposed to constant influence both from without (the air) and within (via the blood), leading to a perpetual state of flux with consequent impact on the clinical course. It is perhaps significant that to date, most or all microbiologic studies were probably conducted, classically, with inert instruments (glass? plastic?), whereas in real life the CF[1] microbiology lives in “test-tubes” of live mucosa with which it maintains a permanent “cross-talk.” The difference to microbial life between these two media may well be very important. It therefore justifies study and may be far-reaching in its effect. There is persuasive argument to strive for a novel holistic view of the totality of the complex microbiology of CF, and to initiate fresh concepts, strategies and methods.

[1] CF = cystic fibrosis

M. Koren-Michowitz, N. Rahimi-Levene, Y. Volcheck, O. Garach-Jehoshua and A. Kornberg.
A. I. Rivkind and G. Almogy.

"Surviving severe injury depends very heavily upon the time it takes to receive trauma services. The risk of death increases three fold after one hour without the uniqe surgical care of a trauma center. This is often referred to as the 'golden hour'..."

H. Blau

In this issue of IMAJ, two articles discuss and review the roles of chronic airway infection (1) and inflammation (2) respectively in cystic fibrosis lung disease.

Stem Cell Research
B. Dekel

Regenerative medicine concerns the development of cells, tissues and organs for the purpose of restoring function through transplantation.

R. Barzilay, E. Melamed and D. Offen.

Stem cell research offers great hope to patients suffering from neuronal damage. Stem cell-based regenerative medicine holds huge potential to provide a true cure for patients affected by a neurodegenerative disease or who have suffered a stroke.

Case Communications
Z. Habot-Wilner, H. Desatnik, A. Greenbaum and I. S. Barequet.

Orbital dog bites, although uncommon, occur mostly in children and are reported to be associated with severe ocular adnexal injury without globe involvement.

A. R. Zeina, I. Orlov, J. Blinder, A. Hassan, U. Rosenschein and E. Barmeir.

Multidetector-row computed tomography has been validated as a useful non-invasive diagnostic method in patients with various cardiac diseases.


R. Shaoul and A. Toubi

We present the case of a 14 day old baby in whom we observed the evolution of idippathic hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.

D. Ergas, Y. Abramowitz, Y, Lahav, D. Halperin and Z. Moshe Sthoeger.

Amyloidosis is characterized by the extra-cellular deposition of abnormal insoluble fibrillar proteins in organs and tissues.

C. Yosefy, R. Beeri and L. Reisin.

A 61 year old woman with chronic untreated hypertension presented for routine examination without any complaints.

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