Nasra Idilbi PhD, Wafiq Amun MD
Background: Timely extubation is important integral part of the treatment of intensive care patients.
Objective: To evaluate hand grip strength using a Jamar Hydraulic Hand Dynamometer as a predictor of success or failure in weaning from ventilation.
Methods: This prospective study included 104 patients (62 males, 42 females) who were ventilated in the general intensive care unit (ICU), and who were alert and cooperating. They undertook a hand grip strength test using the Jamar dynamometer, within hours of extubation. Patients needing resuscitation within 72 hours were defined as failure.
Results: Success rate in weaning from ventilation was 85.6%, and 89 patients successfully weaned from ventilation. Those who were successfully weaned had stronger hand grip than those who failed. Males had a mean kg-strength 31.3 ± 11.5 vs. 23.6 ± 10.3 (P = 0.033), and in females mean kg-strength 23.14 ± 16.39 vs. 11.67 ± 10.33 (P = 0.031). A threshold value (22.5 kg-strength) was found to predict success for weaning from ventilation in the male group, with a sensitivity of 70.0% and a specificity of 62.5%. In the female group, the duration of the ventilation alone was statistically significant (P = 0.049).
Conclusions: There was a connection between hand strength and success in weaning from ventilation. A threshold value can help the medical staff to decide on extubation. Hand grip strength can predict successful weaning from ventilation and does not require high skills, time, a large staff, or high financial cost, and it does not endanger the patient.
Lior Charach MD, Gideon Charach MD, Eli Karniel MD, Dorin Bar Ziv MD, Leonid Galin MD, Weintraub M MD, Itamar Grosskopf MD
Background: APOE genotype strongly affects plasma lipid levels and risk for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Studies of apo-e allelic and APOE genotype frequencies among several populations have revealed interesting ethnic variations that might affect cardiovascular morbidity and cognition deterioration.
Objectives: To evaluate apo-e allelic frequency among Israeli newborns based on known variances in apo-e allelic frequencies in different countries.
Methods: We examined 498 consecutive neonates born at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Umbilical cord blood was sampled for genotyping and lipids. Birth weights were recorded. Demographics and parental risk factors for atherosclerosis were obtained from the mothers.
Results: Most parents were native-born Israelis. Other countries of origin of grandparents were Morocco, Russia, and Iraq. The prevalence of APOE genotypes in Israel is APOE 2/2: 1.4%, APOE 2/3: 8.2%, APOE 3/3: 77.7%, and APOE 4/4: 11.8%. There were no associations of APOE genotype with parental country of origin. However, there was a tendency for APOE 3/4 to be more frequent in newborns of parents of Asian and African origin. Genotype 3/3 was more frequent in newborns whose parents came from Europe and America (78%) compared to those from Asia or Africa (69%).
Conclusions: It is important to determine risk factors such as APOE genotype for evaluation of premature atherosclerosis. Determining genetic and environmental risk factors may facilitate earlier treatment and prevent heart and brain atherosclerosis. APOE genotypes did not appear to affect total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or triglyceride levels in newborns.
Reem Abbasi MPH, Ruthie Harari-Kremer MSc, Alon Haim MD, Raanan Raz PHD
Background: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation and delayed growth in children. Several prenatal and environmental factors might be associated with the disease.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of permanent CH and transient congenital hypothyroidism (TCH) in Israel.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the Israeli national newborn screening program database from 2011 to 2015. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to assess the association of the demographic and gestational factors with the CH and TCH.
Results: Of the 889,033 live births screened between 2011 and 2015, 860 were diagnosed with CH (9.76 per 10,000 live births) and 298 with TCH (3.35 per 10,000 live births). In multivariate analyses, CH was positively associated with female sex, gestational ages < 38 or > 39 weeks, birth weight < 3000 grams, and winter birth. A decreased risk of TCH was detected in Arabs and neonates from high socioeconomic areas. An increased risk was independently associated with gestational ages < 38 weeks, low birth weight, and winter birth.
Conclusions: Several demographic, gestational, and geographical factors are associated with the development of CH and TCH. Future studies are needed to further investigate the pathogenesis in Israel.
Perl Sivan MD, Natif Noam MD, Shpirer Isaac MD, Shihab Murad MD, Fox Benjamin BM BS
Background: Severe asthma affects up to 20,000 citizens of Israel. Novel biological therapies, which individually have been proven to reduce asthma morbidity in clinical trials, have become available in recent years. Comparative data among different drugs are scarce.
Objectives: To describe and compare the clinical outcomes of biological therapies in severe asthma patients treated at Shamir Medical Center.
Methods: We conducted a cohort study based on a review of cases treated with monoclonal antibodies for severe asthma at our center. Data were extracted for demographics, eosinophil count, lung function (FEV1), exacerbation rate, and median dose of oral prednisone. Between-drug comparison was conducted by repeated measures ANOVA.
Results: The cohort included 62 patients receiving biological therapy. All biologic drugs were found to reduce exacerbation rate [F(1, 2) = 40.4, P < 0.0001] and prednisone use [F(1, 4) = 16, P < 0.001] significantly. ANOVA revealed no difference of efficacy endpoints between the different drugs. Eosinophil count was significantly reduced post-biologic treatment in the anti-interleukin-5 agents (P < 0.001) but not under treatment with omalizumab and dupilumab.
Conclusions: All of the biological therapies were effective for improving clinical outcomes. None of the agents was clearly superior to any other. These data emphasize the need for severe asthma patients to be seen by pulmonary medicine specialists and offered, where appropriate, biological therapies.
Felix Pavlotsky MD, Arik Alkhazov BMED Sc, Aviv Barzilai MD, Alon Scope MD
Background: The adherence to a narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) treatment plan is derived, in large part, from the patient’s skin tolerance to the phototherapy dose. At present, the initial and first-month incremental phototherapy doses are determined prior to treatment initiation based on the patient's Fitzpatrick skin phototyping.
Objectives: To identify variables that predict adherence to NB-UVB first-month treatment dosage plan.
Methods: Charts of 1000 consecutive patients receiving NB-UVB at a hospital-based phototherapy unit were retrospectively analyzed. We included patients receiving NB-UVB for atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo, and mycosis fungoides. The first-month NB-UVB treatment plan was determined based on the patient's Fitzpatrick phototype. Adherence to treatment was defined as receiving at least 80% of the planned first-month cumulative dose. We compared adherent vs. non-adherent patient groups for age, sex, Fitzpatrick phototype, presence of freckles, nevus count category, and type of dermatological disease.
Results: The study included 817 eligible patients, mean age 40 (2–95) years; 54% men; 32% had Fitzpatrick phototype I-II. Distribution by diagnosis was atopic dermatitis (29%), psoriasis (27%), vitiligo (23%), and mycosis fungoides (21%). Adherence to NB-UVB treatment plan was observed in 71% of patients. Adherence decreased with age, with 7% decrease per year (P = 0.03) and was higher among mycosis fungoides patients (77.3%) compared to all other diagnoses (69.8%; P = 0.02).
Conclusions: Adherence to NB-UVB treatment may be related to age and diagnosis. Fitzpatrick phototype-based first-month treatment plans should be modified accordingly.
Ayelet Shles MD, Giulia Pula MD, Omer Raviv MD, Dania Takagi MD, Hadas Yechiam MD, Ehud Rosenbloom MD
Background: Blood pressure (BP) is routinely measured while triaging children presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED).
Objectives: To determine whether a medical clown shortens the time to acquire a BP measurement among children undergoing triage in the PED.
Methods: The study comprised 133 children. Patients were assigned to one of two groups: with a medical clown or without a medical clown.
Results: The presence of a medical clown led to a significantly shorter time to acquire a blood pressure measurement (60 ± 23 seconds vs. 81 ± 43.5 seconds, P < 0.001. Clowns had a significant effect on shortening total triage length among children of Jewish ethnicity compared to Arab ethnicity (113 ± 353.6 seconds vs. 154 ± 418 seconds, P = 0.012).
Conclusions: Using medical clowns while measuring BP during triage when used in a culturally appropriate manner shortens time.
Noy Nachmias-Peiser MD, Shelly Soffer MD, Nir Horesh MD, Galit Zlotnick MD, Marianne Michal Amitai Prof, Eyal Klang MD
Background: Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is a medical condition with high levels of morbidity and mortality. However, most patients suspected of AMI will eventually have a different diagnosis. Nevertheless, these patients have a high risk for co-morbidities.
Objectives: To analyze patients with suspected AMI with an alternative final diagnosis, and to evaluate a machine learning algorithm for prognosis prediction in this population.
Methods: In a retrospective search, we retrieved patient charts of those who underwent computed tomography angiography (CTA) for suspected AMI between January 2012 and December 2015. Non-AMI patients were defined as patients with negative CTA and a final clinical diagnosis other than AMI. Correlation of past medical history, laboratory values, and mortality rates were evaluated. We evaluated gradient boosting (XGBoost) model for mortality prediction.
Results: The non-AMI group comprised 325 patients. The two most common groups of diseases included gastrointestinal (33%) and biliary-pancreatic diseases (27%). Mortality rate was 24.6% for the entire cohort. Medical history of chronic kidney disease (CKD) had higher risk for mortality (odds ratio 2.2). Laboratory studies revealed that lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) had the highest diagnostic ability for predicting mortality in the entire cohort (AUC 0.70). The gradient boosting model showed an area under the curve of 0.82 for predicting mortality.
Conclusions: Patients with suspected AMI with an alternative final diagnosis showed a 25% mortality rate. A past medical history of CKD and elevated LDH were associated with increased mortality. Non-linear machine learning algorithms can augment single variable inputs for predicting mortality.
Noam Bartov MD, Tzofit Dahan MD, Doron Halperin MD, Udi Katzenell MD
Background: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) otologic manifestations include conductive and sensorineural hearing loss (HL). Vasculitis is assumed to be the primary cause of otologic manifestations. Deaf patients and patients with HL who do not benefit from hearing aids can benefit from cochlear implants (CI). There are currently no specific guidelines for treatment of patients with GPA suited for CI.
Objectives: To assess whether patients who are deaf due to GPA are good candidates for CI and if prior surgical or medical treatment of the inflammation are needed.
Methods: A case report is presented.
Results: A 71-year-old female patient with GPA and bilateral profound HL underwent CI. Prior to CI, preparation consisted of audiological evaluations by an otolaryngologist and a rheumatologist, followed by a course of prednisone and methotrexate for middle ear and nasal inflammations. CI was performed with no complications. The speech reception threshold and the monosyllabic word discrimination score after surgery were 25 dBHL and 75%, respectively.
Conclusions: Inflammation due to GPA can be controlled medically with immunosuppressive medications without subtotal petrosectomy, as in chronic suppurative otitis media. Satisfactory audiological results can be expected.
Michal Stein MD, Halima Dabaja-Younis MD, Imad Kassis MD, Khetam Hussein MD, Yael Shachor-Meyouhas MD
Background: Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
Objectives: To evaluate multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria carriage in selected populations.
Methods: Data were collected from all patients under 18 years who met our internal guidelines from 2015–2016. They were screened for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), extended spectrum beta-actamase (ESBL), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Indications for screening were non-resident non-Israeli patients (from the Palestinian Authority, Syria, and foreign patients), internal transfers from intensive care units, admission to high-risk departments, recent carriage of MDR bacteria, transfer from other hospitals, and recent hospitalization. Data were analyzed for MDR bacteria from at least one screening site (rectal, nasal, axillary, groin, throat). All data were analyzed per patient and per sample.
Results: During the study period 185/2632 positive screening sets (7%) were obtained from 725 patients. Of these, 165 patients (22.7%) were positive for at least one pathogen. Significantly fewer Israeli residents (120/615, 19.5%) tested positive compared to non-Israeli residents (45/110, 40.9%; P < 0.001). Past MDR bacteria carriage was the only significant screening indication (25/61, 41%; P < 0.001). CRE, VRE, MRSA, and ESBL prevalence rates were 0.6% (5/771), 0.5% (3/560) 0.5%, 4.2% (37/888), and 33.7% (139/413), respectively. Among non-ESBL carriers, MRSA was predominant with 38 positive cultures (n=34).
Conclusions: Non-Israeli non-residents and patients with previous positive MDR screening are at higher risk for MDR bacteria. Indications used to identify high-risk patients for drug resistant pathogens were efficacious. More effort is needed to reduce excessive sampling.
Rotem Sadeh MD, Meirav Schmidt MD, Yael Hod, Ariel Zilberlicht MD, Ido Feferkorn MD, Nir Haya MD, Yoram Abramov MD
Background: Vaginal hysterectomy (VH) and colpocleisis are both used for the treatment of advanced pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
Objective: To compare short- and long-term outcomes of vaginal hysterectomy vs. colpocleisis for advanced POP.
Methods: Hospital and outpatient charts of patients who underwent VH or colpocleisis at our institution between January 2006 and December 2015 were reviewed. Clinical data were obtained and analyzed.
Results: In this study, 188 patients underwent VH and 32 patients underwent colpocleisis. The colpocleisis group was significantly older than the VH group (79.5 ± 4.5 vs. 69 ± 6.1 years respectively, P < 0.0001) and presented with significantly higher co-morbidity rates and a higher degree of POP. Perioperative blood loss was significantly lower (250 ± 7.6 ml vs. 300 ± 115 ml, P < 0.0001) and postoperative hospitalization was significantly shorter (2 ± 2.7 vs. 3 ± 2.2 days, P = 0.015) among the colpocleisis group. None of the patients from the colpocleisis group required an indwelling urethral catheter after discharge, compared to 27.5% of the patients from the VH group (P = 0.001). Total postoperative complication rate was significantly lower among the colpocleisis group (25% vs. 31% P < 0.0001). Objective recurrence of POP was significantly more common among the VH group (7% vs. 0% and 21% vs. 0% for the anterior and posterior compartments, respectively, P = 0.04).
Conclusions: Colpocleisis is associated with faster recovery, lower perioperative morbidity, and higher success rates than VH and should be considered for frail and elderly patients.
Miri Schamroth Pravda MD, Daniel Yehuda MD, Nili Schamroth Pravda MD, Eilon Krashin MD
Background: Data regarding risk factors for superficial thrombophlebitis (STP) cases presenting to a hospital is limited.
Objectives: To investigate and stratify clinical and laboratory risk factors for STP
Methods: We conducted a retrospective case control study comparing patients presenting to the emergency department with STP and age- and gender-matched controls. We collected data on multiple risk factors and five blood indices.
Results: The study comprised 151 patients and matched controls. Patients with STP were more likely to have varicose veins (43.7% vs. 5.3%, P < 0.001), recent immobilization (14.6% vs. 1.3%, P < 0.001), obesity (36.4% vs. 18.5%, P = 0.001), a history of venous thromboembolism (VTE) or STP (27.2% vs. 0.7%, P < 0.001), and inherited thrombophilia (9.3% vs. 1.3%, P = 0.002). Following multivariate analysis, all five risk factors remained significant, with a history of VTE or STP associated with the largest risk (odds ratio [OR] 35.7), followed by immobilization (OR 22.3), varicose veins (OR 12.1), inherited thrombophilia (OR 6.1), and obesity (OR 2.7). Mean platelet volume was higher (8.5 vs 7.9 fl, P = 0.003) in STP cases.
Conclusions: A history of VTE or STP, immobilization, varicose veins, inherited thrombophilia, and obesity serve as independent clinical risk factors for STP presenting to hospital.