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עמוד בית
Fri, 19.07.24

December 2007

M. Mikulecky and J. Strestik

Background: In the course of occurrence of cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoidal hemorrhage episodes, periodicities resembling those found in the solar and geomagnetic activity were found by Kováč and Mikulecký (2005).

Objectives: To investigate putative relationships between two indices of solar activity and one index of geomagnetic activity on one side and the occurrence of cerebral infarction on the other.

Methods: In addition to the 192 monthly cases out of 6100 new cases of cerebral infarction that occurred between January 1989 and December 2004, monthly averages for Wolf numbers, solar flares index and Ap index were included in the analysis. The cross-correlation between each cosmo-geophysical variable on the one hand and the number of new cases of the disease on the other was computed. The quadratic regression with the chosen time delay was also studied using, separately, the Wolf numbers, solar flares and Ap index as the explanatory variable and the number of cases of cerebral infarction as the responding variable.

Results: Significantly negative correlation coefficients between the monthly means of the Wolf numbers, of solar flares and of Ap index on the one hand and monthly numbers of new cases of the disease on the other were found for the delays between -6 and +17 months. The cross-regression results for the delay of +5 months (infarction delayed after each cosmo-geophysical variable by 5 months) displayed a linear decrease except for the Wolf numbers where the parabolic decrease of cases was significant.

Conclusions: An increased intensity of the studied cosmo-geophysical parameters appears to be significantly connected with decreased occurrence of cerebral infarctions, and vice versa. This effect seems to last up to 17 months. The results are supported by a few similar findings in the literature. Putative cosmo-biomedical connections warrant further study to verify them in larger samples and longer time scales. If confirmed, their mechanisms should be elucidated.

Original Articles
I. Golan, M. Ligumsky and M. Brezis

Background: The frequency of performing percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in demented older people has increased in recent years. Several reports indicate flaws in the criteria for performing PEG[1] and in the decision-making process, raising concerns about the adequacy of the consent.

Objectives: To examine knowledge and attitudes of referring doctors and gastroenterologists, and to evaluate attitudes and feelings of family members concerning PEG insertion.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 72 doctors who referred 126 demented patients for PEG, as well as 126 family members and 34 gastroenterologists. Closed-ended questionnaires were designed for each study group, completed by the participants, and computer analyzed.

Results: Approximately 50% of family members expressed dissatisfaction with the decision-making process. Referring physicians reported that PEG insertion was often dictated by the need to transfer patients to a nursing home, with 50% admitting institutional pressure. Most of the referring physicians believed that PEG improved quality of life and longevity, whereas gastroenterologists did not expect an improved quality of life and thought that administrative demands should not intervene in the decision to insert PEG.

Conclusions: The decision-making process in the patient's families regarding PEG insertion for their demented relative is unsatisfactory, often takes place under pressure, and does not provide sufficient information about the procedure or its complications. Interpersonal communication between the patient's family and the medical team need to be improved and institutional demands should not play a major role in the medical decision to insert PEG. Gastroenterologists should take a more active role in the deliberations regarding PEG.

[1] PEG = percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy

O. Wand, Z. Perles, A.J.J.T. Rein, N. Algur and A. Nir

Background: Surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot may leave the patient with pulmonary regurgitation causing eventual right ventricle dilatation and dysfunction. Predicting clinical deterioration may help to determine the best timing for intervention.

Objectives: To assess whether the clinical and humoral status of patients in the second decade after repair of ToF[1] is worse than that of patients in the first decade after repair.

Methods: Twenty-one patients with repaired ToF underwent clinical assessment, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and measurement of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide and N-terminal pro-BNP[2] as well as the 6 minute walk distance test. Patients were divided into two groups: group A – less than 10 years after repair (n=10, age < 12 years old), and group B – more than 10 years after repair (n=11, age > 12 years old). The age at repair was similar in both groups.

Results: In all but one patient the distance in the 6 min walk test was less than the minimum for age. RV[3] end-diastolic volume and the 6 min walk test correlated with age. NT-proBNP[4] levels were significantly higher in the ToF group compared to 26 healthy controls (P < 0.0001) and were inversely correlated with RV ejection fraction. Comparison of the two groups showed no difference in RV end-diastolic volume indexed for body surface area, pulmonary regurgitation severity, right or left ventricular myocardial performance index, RV ejection fraction, QRS duration, or 6 min walk indexed to minimum for age.

Conclusions: In this group of patients with similar age at operation and pulmonary regurgitation severity, most clinical, echocardiographic and humoral parameters were not worse in the second decade after repair of ToF. These data suggest that very early pulmonary valve replacement may not be of benefit.


[1] ToF = tetralogy of Fallot

[2] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide

[3] RV = right ventricle

[4] NT-proBNP = N-terminal pro-BNP

H.N. Baris, I. Kedar, G.J. Halpern, T. Shohat, N. Magal, M.D. Ludman and M. Shohat

Background: Fanconi anemia complementation group C and Bloom syndrome, rare autosomal recessive disorders marked by chromosome instability, are especially prevalent in the Ashkenazi* Jewish community. A single predominant mutation for each has been reported in Ashkenazi Jews: c.711+4A→T (IVS4 +4 A→T) in FACC[1] and BLMAsh in Bloom syndrome. Individuals affected by both syndromes are characterized by susceptibility for developing malignancies, and we questioned whether heterozygote carriers have a similarly increased risk.

Objectives: To estimate the cancer rate among FACC and BLMAsh carriers and their families over three previous generations in unselected Ashkenazi Jewish individuals.

Methods: We studied 42 FACC carriers, 28 BLMAsh carriers and 43 controls. The control subjects were Ashkenazi Jews participating in our prenatal genetic screening program who tested negative for FACC and BLMAsh. All subjects filled out a questionnaire regarding their own and a three-generation family history of cancer. The prevalence rates of cancer among relatives of FACC, BLMAsh and controls were computed and compared using the chi-square test.

Results: In 463 relatives of FACC carriers, 45 malignancies were reported (9.7%) including 10 breast (2.2%) and 13 colon cancers (2.8%). Among 326 relatives of BLMAsh carriers there were 30 malignancies (9.2%) including 7 breast (2.1%) and 4 colon cancers (1.2%). Controls consisted of 503 family members with 63 reported malignancies (12.5%) including 11 breast (2.2%) and 11 colon cancers (2.2%).

Conclusions: We found no significantly increased prevalence of malignancies among carriers in at least three generations compared to the controls.

* Jews of East European origin

[1] FACC = Fanconi anemia complementation group C

D. Arbell, E. Gross, A. Preminger, Y Naveh, R. Udassin and I. Gur

Background: Babies born with extreme prematurity and low birth weight (< 1000 g) present a unique treatment challenge. In addition to the complexity of achieving survival, they may require surgical interventions for abdominal emergencies. Usually, these infants are transferred to a referral center for surgery treatment. Since 2000 our approach is bedside abdominal surgery at the referring center.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the approach of bedside abdominal surgery at the referring center is safe and perhaps even beneficial for the baby.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our data since 2000 and included only babies weighing < 1000 g who were ventilated, suffered from hemodynamic instability and underwent surgery for perforated bowel at the referring neonatal unit. Results were analyzed according to survival from the acute event (> 1 week), survival from the abdominal disease (> 30 days) and survival to discharge.

Results: Twelve babies met the inclusion criteria. Median weight at operation was 850 g (range 620–1000 g) and median age at birth was 25 weeks (range 23–27). Eleven infants survived the acute event (91.7%), 9 survived more than 30 days (81.8%), and 5 survived to discharge.

Conclusions: Our results show that bedside laparotomy at the referring hospital is safe and feasible. A larger randomized study is indicated to prove the validity of this approach.


T. Shochat, O. Tzchishinsky, A. Oksenberg and R. Peled

Background: The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index is a standardized self-administered questionnaire for the assessment of subjective sleep quality. It has been translated into several languages and is widely used in clinical research studies.

Objectives: To assess the reliability and validity of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Hebrew translation in a sleep clinic sample and in comparison with the Technion Mini Sleep Questionnaire.

Methods: The PSQI[1] was translated into Hebrew based on standard guidelines. The final Hebrew version (PSQI-H) was administered to 450 patients from two sleep clinics and to 61 healthy adults from the community as a non-clinical control sample. The MSQ[2] was administered to 130 patients in one sleep clinic.

Results: For the PSQI-H[3], Cronbach's-alpha scores for sleep clinic and non-clinical samples were 0.70 and 0.52 respectively and 0.72 combined. Clinical sample scores were significantly higher than the non-clinical group, indicating lower sleep quality for the former. Significant correlations were found between the MSQ subscores and PSQI-H component scores for common underlying constructs.

Conclusions: The PSQI-H differentiated between clinical and non-clinical samples and showed adequate reliability and good validity. It may be used as a standardized tool for the assessment of subjective sleep quality in clinical research studies conducted in the Hebrew-speaking population.

[1] PSQI = Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index

[2] MSQ = Mini Sleep Questionnaire

[3] PSQI-H = Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Hebrew

M. Bala, Y. Edden, Y. Mintz, D. Kisselgoff, I. Gercenstein, A.I. Rivkind, M. Farugy and G. Almogy

Background: Non-operative management of blunt splenic trauma is the preferred option in hemodynamically stable patients.

Objectives: To identify predictors for the successful non-operative management of patients with blunt splenic trauma.

Methods: The study group comprised consecutive patients admitted with the diagnosis of blunt splenic trauma to the Department of Surgery, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem over a 3 year period. Prospectively recorded were hemodynamic status, computed tomography grade of splenic tear, presence and extent of extra-abdominal injury, number of red blood cell units transfused, and outcome. Hemodynamic instability and the severity of associated injuries were used to determine the need for splenectomy. Hemodynamically stable patients without an indication for laparotomy were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and monitored.

Results: There were 64 adults (45 males, mean age 30.2 years) who met the inclusion criteria. On univariate analysis the 13 patients (20.3%) who underwent immediate splenectomy were more likely to have lower admission systolic blood pressure (P = 0.001), Glasgow Coma Scale < 8 (P = 0.02), and injury to at least three extra-abdominal regions (P = 0.06). Nine of the 52 patients (17.3%) who were successfully treated non-operatively suffered from grade ≥4 splenic tear. Multivariate analysis identified admission systolic BP[1] (odds ratio 1.04) and associated injury to less than three extra-abdominal regions (OD[2] 8.03) as predictors for the success of non-operative management, while the need for blood transfusion was a strong predictor (OR 66.67) for splenectomy.

Conclusions: Admission systolic blood pressure and limited extra-abdominal injury can be used to identify patients with blunt splenic trauma who do not require splenectomy and can be safely monitored outside an ICU[3] environment. 


[1] BP = blood pressure

[2] OD = odds ratio

[3] ICU = Intensive Care Unit

I. Zbidi, R. Hazazi, Y. Niv and S. Birkenfeld

Background: Colonoscopy is the gold standard procedure for screening for colorectal cancer and surveillance after polypectomy or colorectal cancer surgery, for diagnosis in symptomatic patients and patients with fecal occult blood, and for screening in the high risk population. The adherence of referring physicians to the accepted recommendations can prevent long waiting lists for colonoscopy and save lives, costs and resources.

Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge of primary care physicians and gastroenterologists in Israel about current guidelines for colonoscopy screening and surveillance.

Methods: A 10-item questionnaire on proper follow-up colonoscopy for surveillance after polypectomy and screening for colorectal cancer in various clinical and epidemiological situations was administered to 100 expert gastroenterologists and 100 primary care physicians at a professional meeting. Answers were evaluated for each group of physicians and compared using the chi-square test.

Results: The compliance rate was 45% for the gastroenterologists and 80% for the primary care physicians. The rate of correct answers to the specific items ranged from 18.7% to 93.75% for the gastroenterologists and from 6.2% to 58.5% for the primary care physicians (P < 0.001 for almost every item).

Conclusions: The knowledge of physicians regarding the screening and surveillance of colorectal cancer needs to be improved.




A. Tsur

Background: Common peroneal neuropathies, usually located at the fibular head, are one of the causes of drop foot, a condition often evaluated in the electromyography laboratory.

Objectives: To study the motor conduction properties of the common peroneal nerve and its branches of distribution in patients with paralyzed drop foot, several weeks after their first stroke, assuming that its inversion position can cause neuropathy around the fibular neck.

Methods: We performed peroneal nerve conduction study on 76 legs of 38 patients, 12–73 days after their first stroke. All the patients had flaccid drop foot on the involved side. The stimulating electrode was placed at the postero-lateral aspect of the fibular neck. Motor nerve conduction latency and compound muscle action potential amplitude were measured along the proximal part of the deep and the superficial peroneal nerve, comparing the paralyzed to the sound leg. Paired sample t-test and paired t-test were used to compare the nerve conduction properties between the sound and the paralytic leg. The linear liaison between the two legs was determined by Pearson coefficient and the test based on it.

Results: The differences between motor conduction latencies and between CMAP[1] amplitudes, comparing the paralyzed to the sound side, recorded in both the deep peroneal nerve and the superficial peroneal nerve, were statistically significant (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: It seems that the permanent equino-varus position of the paralyzed foot might affect common peroneal nerve conduction properties at the level of the fibular neck by demyelination, axonopathy, or both. Possible reasons for these pathological changes are nerve traction or nerve compression, but temperature changes in the paralytic leg should also be considered. Ankle-foot orthoses can be prescribed for prevention or correction of deformities of the foot and ankle and reduction of the weight-bearing forces

[1] CMAP = compound muscle action potential

E. Lubart, M. Lidgi, A. Leibovitz, C. Rabinovitz and R. Segal

Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis continues to be a major cause of mortality, particularly in developing countries. Despite modern anti-TB[1] treatment, the elderly and immigrants from TB-endemic countries are at risk. Multidrug resistance has yet to be resolved..

Objectives: To determine the mortality rate and predictors of mortality among patients hospitalized with TB in Israel.

Methods: We evaluated the medical records of 461 patients with active pulmonary TB who were hospitalized in the department of respiratory care during the 5 year period 2000–2004. Data included demographic, clinical, laboratory and radiological findings, drug resistance as well as adverse reactions to anti-TB treatment.

Results:| Three main ethno-geographic groups were observed: 253 patients from the former USSR, 130 from Ethiopia, and 54 of Israeli origin (as well as 24 residents of other countries). Of the 461 patients 65 patients (13%) died in hospital. The factors that were best predictors of mortality were older age, ischemic heart disease, cachexia, prior corticosteroid treatment, hypoalbuminemia and pleural effusion (P < 0.005 for all). The ethno-geographic factor and the presence of multidrug-resistant bacteria had no significant effect on mortality in our study group.

Conclusions: The mortality rate in our study was relatively low, and there was no significant difference between the three ethno-geographic groups.


[1] TB = tuberculosis

S. Vano-Galvan and T. Alonso-Jimenez
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