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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

january 2005

E. Jaul and A. Rosin

Due to the increase in longevity today, advanced illness in the elderly exists together with severe disability and often dementia that generally become less responsive to known treatment. This leads to repeated admissions to an internal ward in a general hospital, which results not only in a lack of treatment continuity but also in inappropriate management resulting in over- or under-treatment. Towards the end of their lives, the treatment problems of non-oncologic elderly patients with advanced diseases stem from a number of factors: multiple pathology, difficulty in predicting irreversibility, staff reluctance to discontinue active specific treatment and resort to palliative care only, and the lack of a framework to ensure continuity of treatment in the community or hospital. These advanced systemic illnesses are characterized by fluctuating exacerbations and remissions, making it very difficult to assess irreversibility. This article proposes the establishment of advance centralized care planning, based on community care, the geriatric hospital and, in particular, a geriatric support unit within the skilled nursing department, catering holistically for the ongoing needs of the patient and his/her family and supplying a backup to the community care.

Original Articles
M. Marmor, N. Parnes, D. Aladgem, V. Birshan, P. Sorkine and P. Halpern

Background: Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury and death for persons under the age of 35. The medical literature presents surprisingly little information on the general characteristics of such accidents in the urban setting.

Objectives: To characterize RTA[1] patients arriving at an urban trauma center.

Methods: We prospectively examined the charts of all patients admitted to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center due to RTA injuries during two periods in 1995.

Results: Of the 1,560 patients examined, the male:female ratio was 1:1 and median age was 27 years (47% aged 20–30 years); 51% of the accidents took place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on working week days; automobiles comprised 47.1% of the vehicles involved, motorized two-wheel vehicles 37.1%, bicycles 3.8%, and pedestrians 12%. The Glasgow Coma Scale was 15 on arrival in 98.7% of the patients. The trunk was the most commonly injured body part (84.7%); whiplash injury to the neck was diagnosed in 343 patients (22%), and brain concussion in 183 (11.7%). Computed tomography studies were performed in 34 patients (2.2%). The vast majority of patients (1,438, 92.2%) was discharged home; 14 (0.9%) were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 2 (0.13%) died during hospitalization. The average time spent in the emergency department in the morning shift was 2.1 hours.

Conclusions: We could identify distinguishing factors of this population: equal gender distribution, peak RTA incidence in the young adult working population during working hours, automobile drivers being the most injured subgroup, a disproportionate number of motorcycle and motor scooter involvement, and a relatively extensive amount of time and resources spent treating these injuries despite their generally minor nature.


[1] RTA = road traffic accidents

Y.S. Brin, H. Reuveni, S. Greenberg Dotan, A. Tal and A. Tarasiuk

Background: Continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice for patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Objective: To determine the factors influencing treatment initiation with a CPAP[1] device in a healthcare system in which co-payment is required.

Methods: A total of 400 adult patients with OSAS[2] who required CPAP therapy completed questionnaires at three different stages of the diagnostic and therapeutic process: CPAP titration study (stage 1), patient adaptation trial (stage 2), and purchase of a CPAP device (stage 3). Logistic regression was used to analyze the variables influencing CPAP use at the different stages of the diagnostic and therapeutic processes.

Results: Only 32% of the patients who underwent CPAP titration study purchased a CPAP device. The number of subjects who purchased a CPAP device increased gradually as monthly income increased, 28% vs. 62% in the “very low” and “very high” income levels respectively. Reporting for the titration increased in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness and an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score above 9 (odds ratio = 1.9, P = 0.015). Higher socioeconomic status increased reporting to stage 2 (OR[3] = 1.23, P = 0.03) and CPAP purchase (stage 3, OR = 1.35, P = 0.002). Excessive daytime sleepiness increased reporting to stage 2 (OR = 2.28, P = 0.006). Respiratory disturbance index above 35 increased CPAP purchasing (OR = 2.01, P = 0.022). Support from the bed partner, referring physician and sleep laboratory team increased CPAP purchasing.

Conclusions: A supportive environment for a patient with OSAS requiring CPAP is crucial to increase initiation of CPAP treatment. Minimizing cost sharing for the CPAP device will reduce inequality and may increase CPAP treatment initiation.

[1] CPAP = continuous positive airway pressure

[2] OSAS = obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

[3] OR = odds ratio

L. Appelbaum, R. Lederman, R. Agid and E. Libson

Background: Involvement of the liver by lymphoma is almost always secondary. A definite diagnosis can be made only after histologic examination. Recently, there has been a trend to replace surgical biopsies with percutaneous core-needle biopsies for the diagnosis of lymphoproliferative disorders.

Objectives: To describe our experience with percutaneous image-guided needle biopsies of the liver in 15 cases of primary and secondary hepatic lymphoma.

Methods: Between 1997 and 2002, 15 of all the percutaneous computerized tomography-guided core-needle liver biopsies performed at our institution yielded the diagnosis of lymphoma. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of these patients.

Results: Seven patients had primary hepatic lymphoma (all non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), and eight had secondary (three Hodgkin`s disease and five non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). No major complications were caused by the percutaneous biopsies, and all biopsies were diagnostic. The imaging findings were non-specific but were characteristic and similar to previously described series. Imaging demonstrated hypodense lesions by CT, or hypoechoic or anechoic lesions by ultrasound in all but two cases in which hilar lesions resulted in biliary dilatation, both demonstrated by ultrasound

Conclusions: Review of our primary cases indicated no association with cirrhosis or AIDS in contradistinction to the worldwide experience. There were no significant complications in the 15 patients in the study, and a definite diagnosis of lymphoma was made in all the cases with no need to proceed to surgical biopsy. We highly recommend image-guided core-needle biopsy of the liver as a reliable and useful tool for the diagnosis of hepatic lymphoma.


M.M. Krausz and S.D. Duck

Background: Restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis has become the surgical procedure of choice for patients with ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis.

Objectives: To evaluate the long-term functional outcome of patients who underwent this surgical procedure.

Methods: We performed this observational study in 174 consecutive patients: 146 with UC[1] and 28 with FAP[2]. The patients, 91 males and 83 females with a mean age of 34.1 ± 10.6 years (range 6–67 years), underwent the procedure between January 1984 and January 2004 (mean follow-up 64.8 months, range 1–240 months). The indications for surgery were intractable disease in 124 patients (71%), dysplasia in 36 (21%), severe bleeding in 8 (5%), and perforation in 6 (3%).

Results: A protective ileostomy was performed in 140 patients (96%) with UC and 12 (43%) with FAP. An urgent three-stage procedure was necessary in 14 patients (8.4%). A mucosal proctectomy was performed in 94 (54%), and a double stapling technique in 80 (46%). Mean length of hospital stay was 9.4 ± 6.6 days (range 5–34 days, median 8). Complications included pelvic sepsis in 7 patients (4.2%), anastomotic leakage in 8 (4.8%), bowel obstruction in 22 (13.2%), incisional hernia in 12 (7.2%), anastomotic stenosis that usually responded to manual dilatation in 46 (27.6%), pouchitis in 106 (61%), recto-vaginal fistula in 3 (1.8%), retrograde ejaculation in 3 (1.8%), and impotence in 2 (1.2%). There was no mortality in this group of patients. The median number of bowel movements per 24 hours was six in UC patients and five in FAP patients, with at least one bowel movement during the night. Complete daytime and night-time continence was documented in 124 patients (71%). Overall satisfaction was 95%.

Conclusions: Restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis confers a long-term good quality of life to both UC and FAP patients, and the majority of patients are fully continent with five to six bowel movements per day. 

[1] UC = ulcerative colitis

[2] FAP = familial adenomatous polyposis

A. Blankstein, A. Ganel, U. Givon, I. Dudkiewicz, M. Perry, L. Diamant and A. Checkick

Background: Ultrasound is useful in detecting acromioclavicular pathologies in cases of trauma, inflammations and degenerative changes.

Objectives: To describe the sonographic findings of the acromioclavicular joint pathology in patients with anterior shoulder pain.

Methods: Sonographic examination of the ACJ[1] was used to examine 30 adults with anterior shoulder pain. As a control group we studied 30 asymptomatic patients and compared the findings to plain radiographs of the symptomatic group.

Results: The pathologic findings consisted of swelling of the joints, bone irregularities, widening and/or narrowing of the ACJ, soft tissue cyst formation, excessive fluid collection, and calcification. All these signs represent degenerative changes compatible with early osteoarthritis. We encountered one case of septic arthritis that required joint aspiration and antibiotic treatment.

Conclusions: It is our belief that ultrasonography should be used routinely in cases of anterior shoulder pain since it demonstrates various pathologies undetected by plain radiographs.

[1] ACJ = acromioclavicular joint

I. Dudkiewicz, I. Cohen, S. Horowitz, S. Regev, M. Perelman, A. Chechik, P. Langevitz, S. Strasburg, A. Livneh and M. Salai

Background: Heterotopic ossification is a common complication of hip surgery and musculoskeletal or brain traumas.

Objectives: To confirm by in vivo study that colchicine inhibits osteoblast cell proliferation with marked decrease in tissue mineralization.

Methods: Heterotopic ossification was induced in three groups of New Zealand white rabbits (females, 6 months old, weight 3–3.5 kg) by injecting 2 ml bone marrow drawn from the iliac crest into their right thigh muscle. To prevent heterotopic ossification, colchicine (0.25 mg/day) was administered orally for 4 weeks to two groups of adult rabbits: group A (preload group) – 1 week preceding bone marrow injection; group B – on day of injection; and group C – control group.

Results: After 4 weeks the rabbits were evaluated by radiographs and ultrasound for evidence of heterotopic ossification. At the end of the study histologic samples were taken from all the thighs. Imaging and histologic studies showed, with statistical significance, almost complete prevention of heterotopic ossification formation in group A (preload) and a marked decrease in group B, when compared with the controls in whom large new bone had formed at the injection site. These results indicated the inhibitory effects of colchicine on a bone-forming process in soft tissue such as heterotopic ossification.

Conclusions: The role of colchicine in preventing heterotopic ossification in other bone-forming conditions, such as hip arthroplasty or pelvic trauma, and after brain trauma, remains to be evaluated in a clinical setting.


T. Ebert and M. Kotler

Various events occurring during pregnancy might influence the normal neurogenesis of fetus brain, including exposure to the influenza virus. Several studies have attempted to find a relationship between exposure to influenza virus and the onset of schizophrenic behavior in childhood or adulthood, however results remain contradictory. In this review we describe several animal and human studies that show or do not show a relationship between exposure to the influenza virus during pregnancy and the subsequent development of schizophrenia.



Medical Education
N. Notzer, H. Abramovitch, R. Dado-Harari, R. Abramovitz and A. Rudnick

Background: Many medical school curricula include training for ethical considerations, legal comprehension, implementation of patients' rights, awareness of cultural differences and communication skills (ELCE).

Objectives: To explore medical students' perceptions of their ELCE training during the clinical phase as well as the relationship between humanistic practice skills' experiences and the quality of clinical training.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in two cohorts during their clinical year period at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine at the end of their internal medicine and surgery clerkships in the 2002 academic year. The research tool was an 18 item Likert-type questionnaire (ELCEQ), based on the literature of biomedical ethics, legal aspects and behavior of practice skills. The content validation of the questionnaire was established by consulting experts among the school's faculty. It was circulated among the students by representatives of the Unit of Medical Education.

Results: The response rate was 88%. Students reported only a few opportunities for gaining experience in humanistic practice skills. A weak correlation was found between students' assessment of the quality of clinical training and their experiences in humanistic practice skills.

Conclusions: A wider and more relevant range of active experiences in humanistic practice skills should be available to students during the clerkships. Correspondingly, there is a need for the clinical faculty to find innovative ways to internalize their task as role models and ensure that students acquire and are able to practice those skills.

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