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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

April 2024


FOCUS
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

The concept of starvation osteopathy is an old and an investigated one, which is well established in many ways. Studies were conducted on famine survivors during World War I, in the Ukraine in the early 1930s, throughout Europe during World War II, and in Asia and Africa soon after. However, the main topic of this article is the effect of starvation inflicted during the Holocaust.

ORIGINALS
Gideon Eshel MD, Gerhard Baader MD, Eran Kozer MD

Background: On 7 April 1933, the Nazi Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service was enacted. The law triggered the dismissal of most Jewish medical staff from German universities. A few Jewish professors in Berlin were permitted to continue their academic activity with restrictions. Those professors were gradually dismissed as laws and restrictions were enforced.

Objectives: To identify the last Jewish medical professors who, despite severe restrictions, continued their academic duties and prepared students for their examinations in Berlin after the summer of 1933.

Methods: We reviewed dissertations written by the medical faculty of Berlin from 1933 to 1937 and identified Jewish professors who mentored students during those years.

Results: Thirteen Jewish tutors instructed dissertations for the medical examinations after the Nazi regime seized power. They were employees of different university hospitals, including the Jewish hospitals. We did not identify Aryan students instructed by Jewish professors. The professors were active in different medical disciplines. Half of the reviewed dissertations were in the disciplines of surgery and gynecology. The last Jewish tutors were dismissed in October 1935. However, some of their studies were submitted for examination after that date.

Conclusions: After the Nazi regime seized power, academic activities and medical research by Jewish professors declined but did not stop. However, these professors worked with only Jewish students on their theses. Most dissertations were approved and examined after the Jewish academics were dismissed by the university, in some cases even after they left Germany.

Dor Golomb MD, Hanan Goldberg MD, Paz Lotan MD, Ilan Kafka MD, Stanislav Kotcherov MD, Guy Verhovsky MD, Asaf Shvero MD, Ron Barrent MD, Ilona Pilosov Solomon MD, David Ben Meir MD, Ezekiel H. Landau MD, Amir Cooper MD, Orit Raz MD

Background: Pediatric urolithiasis is relatively uncommon and is generally associated with predisposing anatomic or metabolic abnormalities. In the adult population, emergency department (ED) admissions have been associated with an increase in ambient temperature. The same association has not been evaluated in the pediatric population.

Objectives: To analyze trends in ED admissions due to renal colic in a pediatric population (≤ 18 years old) and to assess the possible effect of climate on ED admissions.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, multicenter cohort study, based on a computerized database of all ED visits due to renal colic in pediatric patients. The study cohort presented with urolithiasis on imaging during their ED admission. Exact climate data was acquired through the Israeli Meteorological Service (IMS).

Results: Between January 2010 and December 2020, 609 patients, ≤ 18 years, were admitted to EDs in five medical centers with renal colic: 318 males (52%), 291 females (48%). The median age was 17 years (IQR 9–16). ED visits oscillated through the years, peaking in 2012 and 2018. A 6% downward trend in ED admissions was noted between 2010 and 2020. The number of ED admissions in the different seasons was 179 in autumn (30%), 134 in winter (22%), 152 in spring (25%), and 144 in summer (23%) (P = 0.8). Logistic regression multivariable analysis associated with ED visits did not find any correlation between climate parameters and ED admissions due to renal colic in the pediatric population.

Conclusions: ED admissions oscillated during the period investigated and had a downward trend. Unlike in the adult population, rates of renal colic ED admissions in the pediatric population were not affected by seasonal changes or rise in maximum ambient temperature.

Afik Tibi MD, Ziyad Khamaysi MD, Emily Avitan-Hersh MD PhD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) causes a wide spectrum of acute infections and immune-related diseases, most of which include a dermatological presentation. However, dermatological findings have a wide range of other possible etiologies. The diagnosis of GAS-related disease requires an indication of preceding GAS infection by direct culture or by measuring antistreptolysin O (ASLO) titer.

Objectives: To explore the correlation between ASLO positivity and dermatological diseases.

Methods: We analyzed clinical data from all cases of patients over 18 years of age who underwent ASLO testing between the years 2016 and 2020 in the Department of Dermatology at Rambam Health Care Campus.

Results: Of 152 adult patients with ASLO tests, 100 had diagnoses that were potentially related to streptococcal infection. Vasculitis and psoriasis were the most suspected diagnoses. Positive ASLO test was found in 44 (29%) patients. The diagnoses showing the highest ratio of positive ASLO were psoriasis (60%), erythema nodosum (46%), skin infections (43%), Sweet syndrome (33%), and vasculitis (15%). Psoriasis types included plaque psoriasis (8 patients), guttate psoriasis (3 patients), and palmoplantar pustulosis and erythroderma (2 patients each).

Conclusions: Although the applicability of ASLO for the spectrum of dermatological diseases remains unclear, our results enhance the practical relevance of the test. We showed a higher prevalence of positive ASLO tests in psoriasis and erythema nodosum cases and a lower prevalence in vasculitis. Notably, ASLO was positive in all psoriasis subtypes, suggesting high utility of the test for psoriasis.

Kassem Sharif MD, Adi Lahat MD, Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD, Mahmud Omar MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Omer Gendelman MD

Background: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are chronic conditions with overlapping pathogenic mechanisms. The genetic predisposition and inflammatory pathways common to both diseases suggest a syndemic relationship. While some evidence points to a connection between the two conditions, other reports do not support this link.

Objectives: To investigate the association between AS and the subsequent incidence of IBD. To identify potential risk factors and effect modifiers that contribute to this relationship.

Methods: Utilizing the Chronic Disease Registry of Clalit Health Services, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of individuals diagnosed with AS between January 2002 and December 2018. We compared these patients with age- and sex-matched controls, excluding those with a prior diagnosis of IBD. Statistical analyses included chi-square and t-tests for demographic comparisons, and Cox proportional hazards models for evaluating the risk of IBD development, with adjustments for various co-morbidities and demographic factors.

Results: The study included 5825 AS patients and 28,356 controls. AS patients demonstrated a significantly higher incidence of IBD with hazard ratios of 6.09 for Crohn's disease and 2.31 for ulcerative colitis, after multivariate adjustment. The overall incidence of IBD in the AS cohort was significantly higher compared to controls.

Conclusions: AS patients exhibit a markedly increased risk of developing IBD. These findings advocate for heightened clinical vigilance for IBD symptoms in AS patients and suggest the need for a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Further research into the shared pathogenic pathways is needed to develop personalized treatment strategies and improve patient management.

Limor Adler MD MPH, Or Tzadok Zehavi MD, Miriam Parizade PhD, Yair Hershkovitz MD, Menashe Meni Amran MD, Robert Hoffman MD, Tal Hakmon Aronson MD, Erela Rotlevi MD, Bar Cohen MPH, Ilan Yehoshua MD

Background: The prevalence of Group A streptococcus (GAS) carriage among adults is studied less than in children. The variability of reported carriage rates is considerably large and differs among diverse geographic areas and populations.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of GAS carriage among adults in Israel.

Methods: In this prospective study, conducted in a large healthcare maintenance organization in Israel, we obtained pharyngeal cultures from adults attending the clinic without upper respiratory tract complaints or fever. Patient data included sex, age, number of children, and religious sectors.

Results: From May to December 2022, eight family physicians collected a total of 172 throat swabs (86% response rate). The median age was 37 years (range 18–65); 72.7% were females, 22.7% were ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and 69.2% had children. The prevalence of GAS carriage was 6.98%, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 3.7%–11.9%. GAS carriers were younger (31.7 vs. 39.3 years, P = 0.046), and the majority were ultra-Orthodox Jews (58.3% vs. 20%, P = 0.006). All GAS carriers were from lower socioeconomic status. When assessing risk factors for GAS carriage using multivariate analysis, only being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was positively related to GAS carriage (adjusted odds ratio 5.6, 95%CI 1.67–18.8).

Conclusion: Being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was the single variable associated with a GAS carriage, which may be related to having many children at home and living in overcrowded areas. Primary care physicians in Israel should recognize this situation when examining patients with sore throats, mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Ruba Tuma MD, Marwan Odeh MD, Maya Wolf MD, Inshirah Sgayer MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD, Rola Khamisy-Farah MD

Background: The cavum septi pellucidi (CSP) is a brain-enclosed cavity located on the midline between the two leaflets of the septum pellucidum that separates the lateral ventricles. This structure develops in the fetus from week 18 and can be seen up to week 37 in almost all cases and then begins to disappear.



Objectives: To measure and determine the normative values of the CSP volume in fetuses between 20 to 40 weeks of gestation.

Methods: The study comprised 161 consecutive pregnant women between 20 to 40 weeks of gestation with single viable fetuses. All patients had normal, disease-free pregnancies. Transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound was used according to the fetal presentation. The fetal head was assessed in mid-sagittal sections. Once the CSP was visualized, its volume was measured using three-dimensional ultrasound with Virtual Organ Computer-aided Analysis software. The width of the CSP was also measured at the biparietal diameter (BPD) plane.

Results: Of the 161 fetuses, the CSP volume was measured in 158. In three patients the CSP was not identified. The CSP volume correlated poorly with gestational age (r=0.229) and with the BPD (r=0.295). The mean CSP volume was 0.508 ± 0.372 ml (range: 0.03-1.78 ml). The simple measurement of the CSP width correlated better with gestational age (r=0.535) and the BPD (r=0.484).

Conclusions: The CSP volume had a poor correlation with gestational age; however, the volume did not exceed 2 ml regardless of gestational age. This information can be used to assess pathologies involving the CSP.

 

Raymond Farah MD, Dvir Novak MD, Rola Khamisy-Farah MD

Background: Syncope is responsible for approximately 1–3% of all emergency department (ED) visits and up to 6% of all hospital admissions in the United States. Although often of no long-term consequence, syncope can be the first presentation of a range of serious conditions such as strokes, tumors, or subarachnoid hemorrhages. Head computed tomography (CT) scanning is therefore commonly ordered in the ED for patients presenting with syncope to rule out any of these conditions, which may present without other associated physical or neurological findings on initial examination. However, the diagnostic yield of head CTs in patients presenting with syncope is unclear.

Objectives: To determine the diagnostic yield of head CT in the ED in patients with syncope.

Methods: We conducted an observational analytical retrospective cross-sectional study on 360 patients diagnosed with syncope who underwent a head CT to determine the diagnostic yield of syncope to determine whether head CT is necessary for every patient presenting with syncope to the ED.

Results: The total of new CT findings was 11.4%. Percentages varied between men (12.8%) and women (9.7%), P = 0.353. There were no significant differences between sexes regarding the findings in head CT, yet the incidence increased, especially among elderly males.

Conclusions: Age had a more significant impact on diagnostic yield of syncope than head CT. The use of a head CT scan as a routine diagnosis tool in patients with syncope is unjustifiable unless there is an indication based on medical history or physical examination.

CASE COMMUNICATIONS
Dante Antonelli MD, Vladimir Poletaev MD, Vidal Essebag MD, Alexander Feldman MD

Inappropriate implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) shock due to electromagnetic interference (EMI) induced by electrocautery is a well-known theoretical association but is rarely reported [1]. We report a case of EMI induced by electrocautery causing inappropriate ICD shock, underlining that, with the use of monopolar cautery, not only the location of the surgery but also electrodispersive pad (EDP) placement may be important to avoid EMI.

Eden Gerszman MD, Esther Kazlow MD, Victoria Vlasov MD, Dvir Froylich MD, Jacob Dickstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Ahmad Mahamid MD

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a group of rare, heterogenous neoplasms that maintain unique morphologic and clinical features of neuroendocrine neoplasia and account for approximately 0.5% of all newly diagnosed malignancies. NETs are divided into two groups based on their histopathological morphology: well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs). Well differentiated NETs are classified as G1, G2, or G3 based on their proliferation rate, whereas NECs are highly proliferative and poorly differentiated by definition [1]. Neuroendocrine neoplasms can occur almost anywhere in the body; however, they are most often seen in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and lungs [2]. The extrahepatic bile duct is one of the rarest primary sites for NETs, accounting for 0.1% to 0.2% of NETs of the gastrointestinal tract [3]. Signet ring cell bile duct NETs are extremely uncommon and have no established incidence and prognosis due to their rarity. There is sparse information available regarding these tumors, and only a few cases have been reported in the literature to date. In this report, we presented the clinical course and surgical management of a 31-year-old female patient with a Klatskin signet ring cell NET.

Roy Apel MD, Slava Bard MD, Ari Naimark MD, Nikolai Menasherov MD PhD, Nir Wasserberg MD, Ory Wiesel MD

Hiatal hernia is defined as a protrusion of abdominal contents through the hiatal foramen into the thoracic cavity. Etiology is presumed to be a congenital malformation, trauma, or iatrogenic like prior surgical dissection of the hiatus during surgery for esophageal or gastric etiology. Age, sex, hormonal changes, body habitus (i.e., kyphosis, scoliosis), and increased body weight are key risk factors. Most hiatal hernias are asymptomatic and discovered incidentally. Surgical repair of hiatal hernia is indicated in symptomatic patients with dysphagia, weight loss, respiratory symptoms such as aspirations, and recurrent pneumonia events [1]. Complications arising from laparoscopic repair of hiatal hernia are generally minor and do not typically necessitate surgical intervention. Major complications include pneumothorax, splenic laceration, esophageal rupture, and pericardial injury. Other complications include recurrence of hernia, vagal nerve injury, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and gastroparesis. The utilization of mesh in repair procedures introduces additional complications such as mesh migration and mesh infection. Previously reported recurrence rates following the repair of a hiatal hernia with mesh range from 10–30%. In this case communications, we presented a case involving the early recognition and treatment of postoperative cardiac tamponade.

REVIEWS
Avi Ohry MD, Esteban González-López MD PhD

Testimonies, articles, or books on Nazi medical atrocities written by physicians, whether Holocaust survivors or not and whether written during the Holocaust or just after 1945, are very important teaching materials. The professional views of physicians give special insight. In this review we highlighted a few biographical and eyewitness accounts by Jewish physicians about their medical activities and the inhuman medical activities of the Nazis. The activities of Jewish doctors in the ghettos and camps, including research projects on hunger or infectious diseases, are truly suitable case studies. We presented representative case studies that can be effectively introduced in medical school curricula.

Philip J. Hashkes MD MSc

In this review, I described the development of the healthcare system in Theresienstadt during the Holocaust, from the establishment of the camp in late 1941 through 1945. Despite the horrific conditions, the Jews established a highly organized and relatively efficient system that was able to deliver excellent medical care to those eligible to receive care. The major factors that enabled development of the system included the heroic efforts of the high-level providers, the trust of patients, a public health approach to prevent epidemics and the perceived propaganda value of a good healthcare system to the Nazi oppressor. There were many challenges, particularly an informal triage policy that largely excluded medical care from the elderly (above age 60 years), mentally ill, and disabled. There were often difficult relations between caregivers related to ageism, gender, and national origin of the providers. Despite these adversities and the eventual futility due to the murder of the vast majority of the inhabitants, the Jews in Theresienstadt clung to life and tried their best to conduct a civilized society, in a large part through the delivery of excellent medical care.

Avi Ohry MD

Being in captivity as a prisoner of war (POW) and held by a hostile government usually occurs after a war. In general, wounded POWs do not receive proper medical treatment while being imprisoned or confined in a jail or a camp. War captivity could mean isolation, constant interrogations, humiliation, torture, malnutrition, starvation, and poor hygienic conditions. Immediately, or sometimes years after repatriation, mental and physical problems appear, which disturb the POW's social, family, and work networks. The suggested post-captivity condition assembles, under one umbrella, the various phenomena and complications after war captivity.

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