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עמוד בית
Tue, 25.06.24

February 2006

Original Articles
A. Barak, M. Regenbogen, M. Goldstein and A. Loewenstein

Background: Diabetic macular edema causes visual loss in almost one-third of diabetic patients. There is currently no treatment for the accompanying cystoid foveal changes.

Objectives: To assess the clinical outcome, i.e., change in visual acuity, in patients treated with steroids for long-standing diabetic macular edema with foveal cystoid changes.

Methods: In the ophthalmology department of a tertiary care university‑affiliated medical center and the ophthalmology service of a health management organization, 46 diabetic subjects (56 eyes) who had diabetic macular edema with cystoid foveal changes received one intravitreal injection of 4 mg triamcinolone acetonide.

Results: The mean baseline (pre‑injection) visual acuity of 0.21 increased to 0.31 and 0.48 at 1 and 3 months, respectively, after which it decreased to 0.33 at 6 months. The mean intraocular pressure was 15.07 mmHg at baseline, 15.83 at day 1, gradually rising to 17.16, 18.38 and 18.57 mmHg at 1, 3 and 6 months respectively. Three patients suffered immediate visual decline after the injection.

Conclusions: Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide may be a therapeutic option for long‑standing diabetic macular edema with foveal cystoid changes.

Z. Fireman, R. Zachlka, S. Abu Mouch and Y. Kopelman

Background: Men and postmenopausal women with iron deficiency anemia are routinely evaluated to exclude a gastrointestinal source of suspected internal bleeding. Iron deficiency anemia in premenopausal women is often treated with simple iron replacement, under the assumption that the condition is due to excessive menstrual blood loss.

Objectives: To determine the yield of endoscopy evaluations in premenopausal women with iron deficiency anemia.

Methods: Upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopic examinations were conducted in 45 premenopausal women with iron deficiency anemia not related to gynecologic or nutritional causes.

Results: Forty-three of the 45 women fulfilled the entry criteria and were enrolled. Their mean age was 35 ± 15 years and their mean hemoglobin level 9.3 ± 2.3 g/dl. Twenty‑eight upper gastrointestinal lesions were demonstrated in 24 of the 43 patients (55.8%): erosive gastritis in 12 (27.9%), erosive duodenitis in 4 (9.3%), erosive esophagitis in 3 (7.0%), hiatus hernia (with Cameron lesions) in 3 (7.0%), active duodenal ulcer in 1 (2.3%) and hyperplastic polyp (10 mm) in 1 (2.3%). Five lower gastrointestinal lesions were detected in 5 patients (16.3%): 2 (4.6%) had adenocarcinoma of the right colon, 2 (4.6%) had pedunculate adenomatous polyp > 10 mm, and 1 (2.3%) had segmental colitis (Crohn's disease). One patient (2.3%) had pathologic findings in both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts.

Conclusions: Our findings of a gastrointestinal source of chronic blood loss in 28 of 43 premenopausal women with iron deficiency anemia (65.1%) suggest that this population will benefit from bi‑directional endoscopic evaluations of the gastrointestinal tract.

D. Goldsher, S. Amikam, M. Boulos, M. Suleiman, R. Shreiber, A. Eran, Y. Goldshmid, R. Mazbar and A. Roguin

Background: Magnetic resonance imaging is a diagnostic tool of growing importance. Since its introduction, certain medical implants, e.g., pacemakers, were considered an absolute contraindication, mainly due to the presence of ferromagnetic components and the potential for electromagnetic interference. Patients with such implants were therefore prevented from entering MRI systems and not studied by this modality. These devices are now smaller and have improved electromechanical interference protection. Recently in vitro and in vivo data showed that these devices may be scanned safely in the MRI.

Objectives: To report our initial experience with three patients with pacemakers who underwent cerebral MRI studies.

Methods: The study included patients with clear clinical indications for MRI examination and who had implanted devices shown to be safe by in vitro and in vivo animal testing. In each patient the pacemaker was programmed to pacing-off. During the scan, continuous electrocardiographic telemetry, breathing rate, pulse oximetry and symptoms were monitored. Specific absorption rate was limited to 4.0 W/kg for all sequences. Device parameters were assessed before, immediately after MRI, and 1 week later.

Results: None of the patients was pacemaker dependent. During the MRI study, no device movement was felt by the patients and no episodes of inappropriate inhibition or rapid activation of pacing were observed during the scan. At device interrogation here were no significant differences in device parameters pre-, post-, and 1 week after MRI. Image quality was unremarkable in all imaging sequences used and was not influenced by the presence of the pacemaker.

Conclusion: Given appropriate precautions, MRI can be safely performed in patients with a selected permanent pacemaker. This may have significant implications for current MRI contraindications. 

M. Iuchtman, T. Steiner, T. Faierman, A. Breitgand and G. Bartal

Background: Intramural duodenal hematoma generates partial or complete obstruction that develops slowly and progressively with a consequent delay in diagnosis. Many diagnostic and therapeutic measures remain debatable and justify a review of current management policy.

Objectives: To highlight the diagnostic and therapeutic steps in pediatric IDH[1].

Methods: The records of 12 children with post-traumatic IDH who were treated in the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center between 1986 and 2000 were retrospectively reviewed. Three of them had clotting disorders and were excluded. The interval between their admission and diagnosis as well as the therapeutic decisions were evaluated and analyzed.

Results: Nine children were treated for IDH. The interval between admission and diagnosis ranged from 24 hours to 6 days. Five children had associated traumatic pancreatitis. Initially, all the children were conservatively treated. In seven the hematoma resolved after 9–20 days. Two children were operated upon because the obstruction failed to resolve. All nine children recovered without permanent complications.

Conclusions: Intramural duodenal hematoma has many clinical and therapeutic puzzling aspects. Bicycle handlebar, road accidents and sports trauma are the main etiologic factors in children, but child abuse should be kept in mind. Associated traumatic pancreatitis is common. Gastroduodenal endoscopy may be useful to clarify doubtful cases. Pediatric surgeons should increase awareness regarding IDH in order to reduce delay in diagnosis and the need for surgical decompression.

[1] IDH = intramural duodenal hematoma

D. Soffer, O. Zmora, J.B. Klausner, O. Szold, A. Givon, P. Halpern, C. Schulman and K. Peleg

Background: The contribution of drugs and alcohol to current trauma‑related morbidity and mortality in Israel is not known. Identification of these factors in the fast-changing demographics of the Israeli population might lead to better care and, no less importantly, to targeted prevention measures.

Objectives: To determine the incidence of alcohol‑related trauma, and to specify the time of day, the cause of trauma, and the morbidity and mortality rates as compared to non-alcohol‑associated trauma in the tertiary trauma unit of a large medical center in Tel Aviv.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Israel National Trauma Registry, based on patient records in our institution (Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center) from January 2001 to December 2003.

Results: Of the 5,529 patients who were enrolled in the study, 170 had high alcohol blood levels (> 50 mg/dl). Patients intoxicated with alcohol had higher rates of road accident injuries (35% versus 24% non‑intoxicated) and stab wounds (29% vs. 7%). The Injury Severity Score of the alcohol‑intoxicated patients was higher (32% ³ 16 vs. 12% ³ 16). The alcohol‑intoxicated patients were more likely to be non-Jewish (34% vs. 9%), young (82% aged 15–44 years) and males (91%). Most of the alcohol‑related injuries occurred during the weekend (47%) and during evening‑late night hours (from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; 55%).

Conclusions: Alcohol‑associated trauma differs from non-alcohol‑associated trauma in many ways. Since the population at risk can be identified, it is important that legislative, social, enforcement and educational measures be adopted to reduce the extent of alcohol abuse and thereby improve the level of public safety.

E. Leshinsky-Silver, S. Cheng, M.A. Grow, S. Schwartz, L. Scharf, D. Lev, M. Boaz, D. Brunner and R. Zimlichman

Background: Cardiovascular disease is now well established as a multifactorial disease. In a given individual, the level of cardiovascular risk is due to the interaction between genetic and environmental components. The BIP cohort comprised 3000 patients with cardiovascular disease who were tested for the benefits of bezafibrate treatment. This cohort has the data for the lipid profile of each individual, fibrinogen, Insulin, as well as clinical, demographic and lifestyle parameters

Objectives: To genotype up to 64 variable sites in 36 genes in the BIP cohort. The genes tested in this assay are involved in pathways implicated in the development and progression of atherosclerotic plaques, lipid and homocystein metabolism, blood pressure regulation, thrombosis, rennin-angiotensin system, platelet aggregation, and leukocyte adhesion.

Methods:  DNA was extracted from 1000 Israeli patients from the BIP cohort. A multilocus assay, developed by the Roche Molecular System, was used for genotyping. Allele frequencies for some of the markers were compared to the published frequencies in a healthy population (the French Stanislas cohort, n=1480).

Results: Among the 26 comparable alleles checked in the two cohorts, 16 allele frequencies were significantly different from the healthy French population: ApoE (E3, E2, E4), ApoB (71ile), ApoC (3482T, 455C, 1100T, 3175G, 3206G), CETP (405val), ACE (Del), AGT (235thr), ELAM (128arg); p<0001 and LPL (93G, 291Ser, 447ter); p < 005.

Conclusions: Although a comparable healthy Israeli population study is needed for more precise interpretation of these results, frequency differences in these polymorphic alleles, associated with lipid metabolism, renin-angiotensin system and leukocyte adhesion mechanism, between CVD patients and healthy individuals nevertheless implicate these candidate genes as predisposing for CVD.lic safety.

A. Ben Nun, M. Soudack and L.A. Best

Background: Thyroidectomy for goiter is a common surgical procedure performed in most hospitals in Israel. Both general and ear, nose and throat surgeons are familiar with thyroidectomy for cervical goiters. In about 1–15% of thyroidectomies, the goiter is intrathoracic and requires somewhat different management. This topic has not been reviewed in the literature recently.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical presentation, preoperative workup, surgical complications and risk of malignancy in retrosternal goiters.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 75 patients who underwent thyroidectomy for retrosternal goiter in the General Thoracic Surgical Department of our institution during a 15 year period, January 1990 to January 2005.

Results: All the patients (41 women and 34 men) were symptomatic at presentation, with choking and dyspnea being the most common complaint. Computerized tomography scan of the neck and chest were obtained before the operation in 71 patients (95%). Ten patients (13%) had a previous partial thyroidectomy. A cervical approach was used in 68 patients (91%). Seven patients (9%) required median sternotomy to complete the operation. One patient (1.3%) died from postoperative respiratory failure. Transient recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy occurred in 5 patients (7%) and permanent RLNP[1] in 3 (4%). The incidence of transient and permanent hypoparathyroidism was 10% and 2.6% respectively. Sixty-six lesions (88%) were benign and 9 (12%) were malignant.

Conclusions: Choking and dyspnea are the most common presenting symptoms of retrosternal goiter. CT scan is an important component of the preoperative evaluation and operative planning. Surgical removal of the thyroid is the treatment of choice and most patients have symptomatic improvement following the operation. Since a substernal thyroidectomy may be technically different from cervical thyroidectomy, a surgical team familiar with its unique pitfalls should perform the procedure.

[1] RNLP = recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy

R. Dabby, M. Sadeh, O. Herman, E. Berger, N. Watemberg, S. Hayek, J. Jossiphov and Y. Nevo

Background: Persistent creatine kinase elevation is occasionally encountered in subjects without any clinical manifestation of a neuromuscular disorder or any condition known to be associated with increased serum CK[1] levels. It is still unresolved whether extensive investigations and specifically a muscle biopsy should be performed in clinically normal individuals with elevated CK levels.

Objective: To study the muscle pathology of patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic hyperCKemia.

Methods: The clinical and laboratory data of patients with persistent hyperCKemia and normal neurologic examination were reviewed and their muscle biopsies evaluated.

Results: The study group included 40 patients aged 7–67 years; the male to female ratio was 3:1. Nineteen patients were completely asymptomatic, 20 had mild non-specific myalgia, and 1 had muscle cramps. Electromyography was performed in 27 patients and showed myopathic changes in 7 (26%). Abnormal muscle biopsy findings (e.g., increased variation in fiber size, increased number of central nuclei and occasional degenerating fibers) were detected in 22 of the 40 patients (55%). No fat or glycogen accumulation was detected. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated abnormal dystrophin staining in 3 patients (8%), resembling the pathologic changes of Becker muscular dystrophy. No abnormal findings were detected on immunohistochemical staining for merosin, dysferlin, caveolin 3, or alpha and gamma sarcoglycans. The EMG[2] findings did not correlate with the pathologic findings.

Conclusions: Abnormal muscle biopsies were found in 55% of patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic hyperCKemia. Specific diagnosis of muscular dystrophy, however, was possible in only 8% of the patients.

[1] CK = creatine kinase

[2] EMG = electromyography

A. Peretz, H. Checkoway, J.D. Kaufman, I. Trajber and Y. Lerman

Evidence that crystalline silica is associated with an increased rate of lung cancer led the International Agency for Research on Cancer to conclude in 1997 that crystalline silica is a known human carcinogen. In Israel too, crystalline silica is considered as such. The decision raised a debate in the scientific arena, and a few scientists have questioned the basis upon which causality was determined. We review the literature regarding the level of evidence of crystalline silica carcinogenicity.

J. Rovensky

Klinefelter's syndrome, which occurs in males, is not a rare gonosomal aberration. The disorder is characterized by micro-orchidism.

Stem Cell Research
T. Ben-Hur

Human embryonic stem cells may serve as a potentially endeless source of  transplantable cells to treat various neurologic disorders. Accumulating data have shown the therapeutic value of various neural precursor cell types in experimental models of neurologic diseases. Tailoring cell therapy for specific disorders requires the generation of cells that are committed to specific neural lineages. To this end, protocols have been developed recently for the derivation of dopaminergic neurons, spinal motor neurons and oligodendrocytes from hESC[1]. These protocols recapitulate normal development in culture conditions. However, a novel concept emerging from these studies is that the beneficial effect of transplanted stem cells is not only via cell replacement in damaged host tissue, but also by trophic and protective effects, as well as by an immunomodulatory effect that down-regulates detrimental brain inflammation.

[1] hESC = human embryonic stem cells

E. Averbukh and E. Banin

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.

S.C. Shapira

The care of the trauma victim can be divided into five to six phases, none of which can be bypassed.

R.M Spira, P. Reissman, S. Goldberg, M. Hersch and S. Einav

Three decades have elapsed since the inception of Level I trauma centers as the final link in the trauma system "chain of survival".

M. Stein

The first Trauma Unit in Israel was founded at the Hadassah (Ein Kerem) Medical Center in 1992 - the result of increased awareness to the new concept of optimal care for the injured patient.

Case Communications
S. Kivity, B. Shalmon and Y. Sidi

Intravascular lymphoma is a rare sub-type of extranodal diffuse large B cell lymphoma characterized by the presence of lymphoma cells only in the lumina of small vessels, particulary capillaries

Y. Raniel, Z. Machamudov and H.J. Garzozi

Dirofilariasis is a parasitic disease of domestic and wild animals that occasionally appears in humans.

K. Khazim, C. Simsolo, M. Nahir, F. Vigder and A. Blum

Chronic periaortitis is a rare disease affecting the abdominal aorta, usually below the level of the renal arteries.

J.U. Holle, D. Capraru, E. Csernok, W.L. Gross and P. Lamprecht

Tumor necrosis factor-associated fever syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations of the TNFRSF 1A gene encoding the 55 kD TNF receptor (p55 TNF-RI).

G.P. Georghiou, B.A. Vidne and M. Saute

A 32 year old man presented with a huge tumor in the right chest wall that had increased dramatically in size over the previous 6 months.

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