M. Shtalrid, L. Shvidel, E. Vorst, E.E. Weinmann, A. Berrebi and E. Sigler
Background: Post-transfusion purpura is a rare syndrome characterized by severe thrombocytopenia and bleeding caused by alloimunization to human platelet specific antigens following a blood component transfusion. The suggested incidence is 1:50,000–100,000 transfusions, most often occurring in multiparous women. The diagnosis is not easy because these patients, who are often critically ill or post-surgery, have alternative explanations for thrombocytopenia such as infection, drugs, etc.
Objectives: To describe patients with initially misdiagnosed PTP and to emphasize the diagnostic pitfalls of this disorder.
Patients and Results: During a period of 11 years we have diagnosed six patients with PTP, four women and two men. The incidence of PTP was approximately 1:24,000 blood components transfused. We present the detailed clinical course of three of the six patients in whom the diagnosis was particularly challenging. The patients were initially misdiagnosed as having heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, systemic lupus erythematosus complicated by autoimmune thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. A history of recent blood transfusion raised the suspicion of PTP and the diagnosis was confirmed by appropriate laboratory workup.
Conclusions: PTP seems to be more frequent than previously described. The diagnosis should be considered in the evaluation of life threatening thrombocytopenia in both men and women with a recent history of blood transfusion.
J-N. Zhou, D-Z. Wang, X-E. Huang, F-P Xu, J-Q. Shang and R-M. Gu
Background: The combination of high dose preoperative radiotherapy and transanal abdominal transanal with radical proctosigmoidectomy and colo-anal anastomosis as a sphincter-preserving method has never been performed in mainland China.
Objectives: To assess the feasibility and efficacy of high dose preoperative radiotherapy and TATA as a sphincter-preserving method in Jiangsu, an economically well-developed region of China with a population of 70 million people.
Methods: From September 1994 to September 2000, 25 consecutive patients with pathologically confirmed distal rectal adenocarcinoma were treated preoperatively with a total dose of 45–46 Gy at 1.8–2.0 Gy per fraction during 5 weeks. Sphincter-preserving surgery by TATA was performed 4–6 weeks after radiotherapy.
Results: Acute toxicity of preoperative radiotherapy was tolerable. Eight percent of the patients presented pathologic complete tumor response after preoperative radiotherapy. All patients underwent TATA as scheduled. During a median follow-up of 70 months, the 5 year survival rate was 88%. The 5 year survival rate for those tumors down-staged to pathological T0 or to pT1 was 100%.
Conclusions: High dose preoperative radiotherapy and TATA as a sphincter-preserving method was feasible and efficient in Chinese patients with distal rectal cancer. In this study, the subset of patients with a good response to radiotherapy had a better clinical outcome.
R. Segal, E. Lubart, A. Leibovitz, A. Iaina and D. Caspi
Background: Aspirin is commonly used by elderly patients. In previous studies we found transient changes in renal function induced by low doses of aspirin.
Objectives: To investigate the mechanisms of these effects.
Methods: The study group included 106 long-term care stable geriatric inpatients. Diet and drugs were kept stable. The study lasted 5 weeks; during the first 2 weeks 100 mg aspirin was administered once a day. Clinical and laboratory follow-up were performed at baseline and weekly for the next 3 weeks. The glomerular filtration rate was estimated by creatinine clearance measured in 24 hour urine and serum creatinine, and by the Cockcroft-Gault formula (C-G) equation. Uric acid clearance (Cu acid) was determined from serum concentrations and 24 hour excretion of uric acid. Patients with serum creatinine > 1.5 mg/dl were not included.
Results: After 2 weeks on low dose aspirin, measured creatinine and uric acid clearances decreased significantly compared with the initial values in 70% and 62% of the patients, respectively, with mean decreases of 19% and 17%, respectively (P < 0.001). Blood urea nitrogen increased by 17% while serum creatinine and uric acid concentrations increased by 4% (P < 0.05 for all). The C-G values decreased by 3% (P < 0.05). After withdrawal of aspirin all parameters improved. However, 67% of the patients remained with some impairment in their measured Ccr, compared to baseline. Patients who reacted adversely to low dose aspirin had significantly better pre-study renal function (Ccr), lower hemoglobin and lower levels of serum albumin.
Conclusions: Short-term low dose aspirin affected renal tubular creatinine and uric acid transport in the elderly, which may result in a prolonged or permanent deterioration of the renal function. It is suggested that renal functions be monitored even with the use of low dose aspirin in elderly patients.
S. Avital, H. Hermon, R. Greenberg, E. Karin and Y. Skornick
Background: Recent data confirming the oncologic safety of laparoscopic colectomy for cancer as well as its potential benefits will likely motivate more surgeons to perform laparoscopic colorectal surgery.
Objectives: To assess factors related to the learning curve of laparoscopic colorectal surgery, such as the number of operations performed, the type of procedures, major complications, and oncologic resections.
Methods: We evaluated the data of our first 100 elective laparoscopic colorectal operations performed during a 2 year period and compared the first 50 cases with the following 50.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 66 years and 49% were males. Indications included cancer, polyps, diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, and others, in 50%, 23%, 13%, 7% and 7% respectively. Mean operative time was 170 minutes. One patient died (massive pulmonary embolism). Significant surgical complications occurred in 10 patients (10%). Hospital stay averaged 8 days. Comparison of the first 50 procedures with the next 50 revealed a significant decrease in major surgical complications (20% vs. 0%). Mean operative time decreased from 180 to 160 minutes and hospital stay from 8.6 to 7.2 days. There was no difference in conversion rate and mean number of harvested nodes in both groups. Residents performed 8% of the operations in the first 50 cases compared with 20% in the second 50 cases. Right colectomies had shorter operative times and fewer conversions.
Conclusions: There was a significant decrease in major complications after the first 50 laparoscopic colorectal procedures. Adequate oncologic resections may be achieved early in the learning curve. Right colectomies are less difficult to perform and are recommended as initial procedures.
E. Kaluski, Z. Gabara, N. Uriel, O. Milo, M. Leitman, J. Weisfogel, V. Danicek, Z. Vered and G. Cotter
Background: External counter-pulsation is a safe and effective method of alleviating angina pectoris, but the mechanism of benefit is not understood.
Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of external counter-pulsation therapy in heart failure patients.
Methods: Fifteen symptomatic heart failure patients (subsequent to optimal medical and device therapy) underwent 35 hourly sessions of ECPT over a 7 week period. Before and after each ECPT session we performed pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and brachial artery function studies, administered a quality of life questionnaire, and assessed exercise tolerance and functional class.
Results: Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1 ± 5.8%. ECPT was safe and well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in pro-BNP levels (from 2245 ± 2149 pcg/ml to 1558 ± 1206 pcg/ml, P = 0.022). Exercise duration (Naughton protocol) improved (from 720 ± 389 to 893 ± 436 seconds, P = 0.0001), along with functional class (2.63 ± 0.6 vs. 1.93 ± 0.7, P = 0.023) and quality of life scores (54 ± 22 vs. 67 ± 23, P = 0.001). Nitroglycerine-mediated brachial vasodilatation increased (11.5 ± 7.3% vs. 15.6 ± 5.2%, P =0.049), as did brachial flow-mediated dilation (8.35 ± 6.0% vs. 11.37 ± 4.9%, P = 0.09).
Conclusions: ECPT is safe for symptomatic heart failure patients and is associated with functional and neurohormonal improvement. Larger long-term randomized studies with a control arm are needed to confirm these initial encouraging observations.
M. Klein, N. Weksler, A. Borer, L. Koyfman, J. Kesslin and G.M. Gurman
Background: Transport of hemodynamic unstable septic patients for diagnostic or therapeutic interventions outside the intensive care unit is complex but sometimes contributes to increasing the chance of survival.
Objective: To report our experience with terlipressin treatment for facilitation of transport to distant facilities for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures in septic patients treated with norepinephrine.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the records of our ICU, identifying the patients with septic shock who required norepinephrine for hemodynamic support.
Results: Terlipressin was given to 30 septic shock patients (15 females and 15 males) who were on high dose norepinephrine (10 μg/min or more) in order to facilitate their transport outside the ICU. The dose of terlipressin ranged from 1 to 4 mg, with a mean of 2.13 ± 0.68 mg. The dose of norepinephrine needed to maintain systolic blood pressure above 100 mmHg decreased following terlipressin administration, from 21.9 ± 10.4 μg/min (range 5–52 μg/min) to 1.0 ± 1.95 (range 0–10) (P < 0.001). No patients required norepinephrine dose adjustment during transport. No serious complications or overshoot in blood pressure values were observed following terlipressin administration. Acrocyanosis occurred only in eight patients receiving more than 1 mg of the drug. The overall mortality rate was 50%.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that terlipressin is effective in septic shock. Because it is long-acting and necessitates less titration it might be indicated for patient transportation.
N. Hazanov, M. Attali, M. Somin, N. Beilinson, S. Goland, M. Katz and S.D.H. Malnick
Background: Despite the spleen having a very rich blood supply, there is a paucity of reports of splenic emboli.
Objectives: To investigate the incidence of splenic emboli treated in a single general internal medicine department over the last 3 years.
Methods: We examined the records of a 35 bed internal medicine department in a hospital in the center of Israel.
Results: Over a period of 3 years 13 patients admitted to one internal medicine department developed acute abdominal pain and areas of hypoperfusion in the spleen on contrast computed tomography imaging. The patients were treated with anticoagulants, their course was benign and there were no long-term sequelae.
Conclusions: Embolus to the spleen is not rare in an internal medicine department. Diagnosis can be easily made by contrast CT scanning and treatment with anticoagulants results in a good prognosis.
V.H. Eisenberg, D. Raveh, Y. Meislish, B. Rudensky, Y. Ezra, A. Samueloff, A.I. Eidelman and M.S. Schimmel
Background: Previous assessments of maternal group B Streptococcus carrier rates in women delivering at Shaare Zedek Medical Center ranged between 3.5 and 11% with neonatal sepsis rates of 0.2–0.9/1000 live births. Because of low colonization and disease rates, routine prenatal cultures of GBS were not recommended, and intrapartum prophylaxis was mainly based on maternal risk factors.
Objectives: To determine whether this policy is still applicable.
Methods: We performed prospective sampling and follow-up of women admitted for labor and delivery between February 2002 and July 2002. Vaginal and rectal cultures were obtained before the first pelvic examination. GBS isolation was performed using selective broth medium, and identified by latex agglutination and serotyping. Demographic data were collected by means of a standardized questionnaire. Data on the newborns were collected throughout 2002.
Results: Of the 629 sampled women, 86 had a positive culture and a carrier rate of 13.7%. A borderline significantly higher carriage rate was observed among mothers of North American origin (21% vs. 13.1%, P = 0.048), and a higher attack rate in their infants (3.8/1000 compared with 0.5/1000 live births in our general maternal population, P = 0.002). Eight newborns had early-onset neonatal GBS sepsis (a rate of 0.8/1000 live births), but none of them benefited from intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis.
Conclusions: An increased neonatal disease rate was observed in a population with a higher colonization rate than previously seen. In lieu of the higher carrier rates, we now recommend routine prenatal screening for GBS in our perinatal population.