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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

November 2007

Original Articles
J. Meyerovitch, R. Goldman, H. Avner-Cohen, F. Antebi and M. Sherf

Background: The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in the western world has increased dramatically.

Objective: To assess the efficiency of routine childhood obesity screening by primary physicians in the pediatric population in Israel and the utilization of health services by overweight children.

Methods: The electronic medical records of children aged 60–83 months registered in 39 pediatric primary care centers between January 2001 and October 2004 (n=21,799) were reviewed. Those in whom height and weight were documented during a clinic visit (index visit) were classified as overweight, at risk of overweight, and normal weight by body mass index percentiles. The number of visits to the pediatrician, laboratory tests and health care costs 12 months after the index visit were calculated.

Results: Anthropomorphic measurements were performed in 1556 of the 15,364 children (10.1%) who visited the clinic during the study period. Of these, 398 (25.6%) were overweight, 185 (11.9%) were at risk of overweight, and 973 (62.5%) were normal weight. Children in the first two groups visited the clinic slightly more often than the third group, but the differences was not statistically significant (P = 0.12), and had significantly more laboratory tests than the rest of the children visiting the clinics (P = 0.053). Health care costs were 6.6% higher for the overweight than the normal-weight children.

Conclusions: Electronic medical records are a useful tool for population-based health care assessments. Current screening for obesity in children during routine care in Israel is insufficient and additional education of community pediatricians in diagnosis and intervention is urgently needed.


E. Nesher, R. Greenberg, S. Avital, Y Skornick and S. Schneebaum

Background: Peritoneal carcinomatosis is an advanced form of cancer with poor prognosis that in the past was treated mainly palliatively. Today, the definitive approach to peritoneal surface malignancy involves peritonectomy, visceral resection and perioperative intra-abdominal hyperthermic chemotherapy. The anticipated results range from at least palliative to as far as intent to cure. Proper patient selection is mandatory.

Objectives: To determine whether cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy can extend survival, and with minor complications only, in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Methods: Twenty-two IPHP[1] procedures were performed in 17 patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis in our institution between 1998 and 2007: 6 had pseudomyxoma peritonei, 5 had colorectal carcinoma, 3 had ovarian cancer and 3 had mesotheliomas. All patients underwent cytoreductive surgery, leaving only residual metastasis < 1 cm in size. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy was administered through four large catheters (2F) using a closed system of two pumps, a heat exchanger and two filters. After the patient’s abdominal temperature reached 41°C, 30–60 mg mitomycin C was circulated intraperitoneally for 1 hour.

Results: The patients had a variety of anastomoses. None demonstrated anastomotic leak and none experienced major complications. Six patients had minor complications (pleural effusion, leukopenia, fever, prolonged paralytic ileus, sepsis), two of which may be attributed to chemotherapy toxicity (leukopenia). There was no perioperative mortality. Some patients have survived more than 5 years.

Conclusions: IPHP is a safe treatment modality for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. It has an acceptable complications rate and ensures a marked improvement in survival and in the quality of life in selected patients.


[1] IPHP = intraperitoneal hyperthermic perfusion

Y. Laitman, B. Kaufmann, E. Levy Lahad, M.Z. Papa and E. Friedman

Background: Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for only 20–40% of familial breast cancer cases. The CHEK2 gene encodes a checkpoint kinase, involved in response to DNA damage, and hence is a candidate gene for breast cancer susceptibility. Indeed, the CHEK2*1100delC truncating mutation was reported in a subset of mostly North European breast cancer families. The rate of the CHEK2*1100delC variant in the Ashkenazi* Jewish population was reported to be 0.3%.

Objectives: To evaluate whether CHEK2 germline mutations contribute to a breast cancer predisposition in Ashkenazi-Jewish high risk families.

Methods: High risk Ashkenazi Jewish women, none of whom was a carrier of the predominant Jewish mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2, were genotyped for germline mutations in the CHEK2 gene by exon-specific polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of abnormally migrating fragments.

Results: Overall, 172 high risk women were genotyped: 75 (43.6%) with breast cancer (average age at diagnosis 49.6 ± 9.6 years, mean ± SD) and 97 asymptomatic individuals (age at counseling 48.3 ± 8.2 years). No truncating mutations were noted and four previously described missense mutations were detected (R3W 1.2%, I157T 1.2%, R180C 0.6% and S428F 5%), one silent polymorphism (E84E 20.5%) and one novel missense mutation (Y424H 1.2%). Segregation analysis of the I157T and S428F mutations (shown to affect protein function) with the cancer phenotype showed concordance for the CHK2*I157T mutation, as did two of three families with the CHK2*S428F mutation.

Conclusions: CHEK2 missense mutations may contribute to breast cancer susceptibility in Ashkenazi Jews.


*  Of East European descent

E. Gal, Z. Levi, I. Shemesh, N. Chorev and Y. Niv

Background: Open access gastroscopy allows physicians to refer patients for endoscopic procedures without a prior consultation.

Objectives: To compare the safety and efficacy of OAG[1] with gastroscopy performed after a gastroenterological consultation.

Methods: Patients referred for gastroscopy directly (open access) or after consultation with a gastroenterologist, by physicians in the departments of internal medicine and surgery at a major tertiary center, were compared for indications, background disease, outcome and diagnostic yield. The data were collected prospectively over a 5 month period following the introduction of OAG at the center. Physicians in both departments participated in an education program on the indications and procedure of gastroscopy. For each patient referred for OAG the attending physician completed a specially designed questionnaire that had to be signed by a senior physician. Data were managed and analyzed with Excel and SPSS software.

Results: The study sample comprised 494 patients: of whom 236 were referred for OAG and 258 after prior consultation. On multivariate analysis, hospitalization in the department of internal medicine was the only independent factor for OAG. Severe background disease and aspirin treatment had no effect on physician use of OAG, although they served as a “red light” for the gastroenterology consultants. There was no difference in the diagnostic yield of the procedures (26.4% normal findings for OAG and 28.3% for consultations) or in mortality rates. The main indications for referral to gastroscopy in the surgery department were melena, hematemesis, and "coffee grounds," and anemia and vomiting in the internal medicine department.
Conclusions: OAG is feasible and beneficial in an academic medical center setting, with no bias in appropriateness of indications or decrease in the diagnostic yield compared to the traditional approach. More attention should be directed to safety issues by the referring physicians

[1] OAG = open access gastroscopy

D. Stav and M. Raz

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an increasing cause of chronic morbidity and mortality around the world. The major cause of the disease is smoking. Despite the gravity of the problem there is no knowledge of its rate in the Israeli smoking population.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of COPD[1]and early lung cancer among smokers.

Methods: People aged 45 up to 75 with a history of at least 20 pack-years cigarette smoking, including quitters, were screened for COPD. They were interviewed and a spirometry was performed.

Results: Of the 1150 people recruited 92% underwent and performed acceptable spirometry; 22% of these subjects had airflow limitation and were diagnosed with COPD according to the GOLD classification. Only 4% had been diagnosed as COPD prior to this screening. The majority of those tested were unaware of or unconcerned about developing the disease. There was no correlation between pack-years smoking and development of COPD, but there was a relative correlation of pack-years smoking and severity of COPD, particularly in the older group only (r = 0.42).

Conclusions: About one-fifth of the smokers aged 45 and up developed COPD. There is a significant gap between the disease distribution and its awareness in the population at risk. The need for a national screening program and early diagnosis of COPD in people at risk is needed.


[1] COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

W. Rock, R. Colodner, B. Chazan, M. Elias and R. Raz

Background: In an era of increasing antimicrobial resistance, knowledge of local antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of common uropathogens is essential for prudent empiric therapy of community-acquired urinary tract infections.

Objectives: To define antimicrobial susceptibility of Gram-negative uropathogens in northern Israel over a 10 year period and to compare it with antibiotic-use patterns in the same community.

Methods: We tested the susceptibility of all Gram-negative urinary isolates from outpatients at HaEmek Medical Center over the years 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2005 to common antimicrobial agents. MIC90 of Escherichia coli to some of these agents was determined and antibiotic consumption data over the years 2000–2005 (DDD/1000/day) were obtained.

Results: We observed a rise in susceptibility rates of E. coli to amoxicillin-clavulanate, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and nitrofurantoin and of other Gram-negative isolates to amoxicillin-clavulanate, ceftriaxone and cephalothin. Susceptibility rates of all Gram-negative uropathogens to ciprofloxacin decreased significantly. MIC90 of E. coli for all drugs tested remained stable. There was a significant decrease in the use nitrofurantoin and TMP-SMX[1] and a significant increase in the use of ampicillin, cephalothin and ceftriaxone.

Conclusions: Antibiotic resistance patterns mostly remained unchanged or improved slightly. There was, however, a constant decrease in susceptibility of all Gram-negative uropathogens to ciprofloxacin. Antibiotic use patterns could not explain the changes seen in antibiotic susceptibility patterns.

[1] TMP-SMX = trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

A.D. Goldbart, A.D. Cohen, D. Weitzman and A. Tal

Background: Rehabilitation camps can improve exercise tolerance and nutrition in cystic fibrosis patients.

Objectives: To assess weight gain, pulmonary function tests and daily symptoms in European CF[1] patients attending a rehabilitation camp at the Dead Sea, Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study assessing 94 CF patients who participated in winter camps held at the Dead Sea, Israel from 1997 to 2000. The camp program included daily physiotherapy, physical activities, and a high caloric diet. We assessed weight gain, pulmonary function tests, oxyhemoglobin saturation and daily symptoms before (pre), on departure (dep), and up to 3 months after the 3 week rehabilitation camp post). All data were analyzed by ANOVA for repetitive measurements. P < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Lung function tests and oxyhemoglobin saturation taken before, on departure and 3 months after camp were available for 35 patients. Forced expiratory volume in the first second (% predicted, average ± SD) improved by 8.2 ± 2.3% (pre, dep, post, P < 0.05). Oxyhemoglobin saturation mildly improved (1 ± 0.3%, pre, dep, post, P < 0.05). Forced vital capacity (% predicted) increased by 3.9 ± 1.2%, but was not significant (P = 0.19). Total body weight of 89 patients improved by 1.9 ± 0.9% during the camp time (P < 0.05, t-test), and in a group of 24 patients weight continuously increased up to 5.0 ± 1.7% at 3 months after the camp (P = 0.004, ANOVA).

Conclusions: In this attrition-limited retrospective study, European CF patients improved their pulmonary function and gained weight during and up to 3 months after a 3 week rehabilitation winter camp at the Dead Sea, Israel.

[1] CF = cystic fibrosis

J. Issakov, I. Jiveliouk, I. Nachmany, J. Klausner and O. Merimsky

Background: The diagnosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumors is based on documentation of c-KIT and platelet-derived growth factor-alpha receptors or specific c-KIT mutations. Before the diagnosis of GIST[1] was possible, all cases had been classified as sarcomas or benign tumors.

Objectives: To identify cases of GIST formerly diagnosed as abdominal or retroperitoneal mesenchymal tumors.

Methods: We reviewed the archive material on all surgical cases diagnosed as gastrointestinal related malignant mesenchymal tumors or GIST in our medical center during the last decade (1995–2004).

Results: Sixty-eight cases of retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma were identified. Thirty-eight were reconfirmed to be GIST, 19 were newly diagnosed as GIST (the hidden cases), 8 cases were re-diagnosed as mesenchymal tumors, and 3 cases of sarcoma remained sarcomas. Of all the GIST tumors, c-KIT-positive and PDGFRα[2]-positive tumors were more characteristic of primary gastric tumors, while c-KIT-positive and PDGFRα-negative tumors were found in the colorectal area. The c-KIT-negative and PDGFRα-positive cases were of gastric origin.

Conclusions: Any c-KIT-negative malignant mesenchymal mass located near the proximal gastrointestinal tract should also be stained for PDGFRα to differentiate between GIST and other soft tissue sarcomas. Practically, formerly diagnosed abdominal or retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcomas should be reviewed to identify patients with misdiagnosed GIST and thereby avoid future unnecessary and ineffective chemotherapy.


[1] GIST = gastrointestinal stromal tumors

[2] PDGFRα = platelet-derived growth factor-alpha

A.H. Abbasi, R. Ramadan, A. Hoffman and Z. Abassi
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