Publications by authors named "Itay Berger"

4 Publications

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Variation-set structure: Extraction of important segments in pigeon learning.

Behav Processes 2021 May 12;189:104420. Epub 2021 May 12.

School of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

The ability to extract reliable segments from the sensory data-stream is necessary for learning and for creating a reliable representation of the environment. Here we focused on segmentation in visual learning associated with foraging. Fifty-one pigeons (Columba livia) were trained to recognize two food-predicting signals, one presented against fixed background elements and the other against varying backgrounds. The pigeons were divided into two groups: 32 pigeons were trained with short intervals of 3-5 min between sessions and 19 with long intervals of 60 min between sessions. When tested on the signal with a plain background, 24 pigeons trained with the short time intervals preferred the signal presented against a varying background during training and eight preferred the signal presented against a fixed background during training. Nine pigeons trained with the long intervals preferred the signal presented against a varying background during training and ten the signal presented against a fixed background during training. Our findings indicate that pigeons possess an ability to use variation-set structure to segment visual data. To date, the effect of variation-set structure has been demonstrated only in the context of human language acquisition. Our current findings suggest that variation sets structure may be linked to other learning abilities too.
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May 2021

Short-Term High-Flow Nasal Cannula for Moderate to Severe Bronchiolitis Is Effective in a General Pediatric Ward.

Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2019 Dec 26;58(14):1522-1527. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Schneider Children's Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel.

We examined the clinical and physiological benefits of heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula (HHHFNC) in treating pediatric bronchiolitis in a general pediatric ward. Children aged 0 to 2 years, hospitalized with moderate to severe bronchiolitis, were connected to HHHFNC. Each child was evaluated at 4- to 10-hour intervals, both on and off the device, using the Wang et al Bronchiolitis Severity score and transcutaneous CO monitor. Sixteen children were included in the final analysis. The Bronchiolitis Severity score improved by 3 points during the first and second intervals ( = .001). Transcutaneous CO values were reduced by an average 8.7 mm Hg ( = .001). No adverse effects were noted in children connected to the device. The HHHFNC device used in a general pediatric ward setting served as a safe and efficacious tool in treating moderate to severe bronchiolitis. Immediate clinical and physiological improvement was observed and maintained 1 to 4 hours after disconnection from the device.
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December 2019

Pediatric Infectious Sacroiliitis: Characterization and Differentiation from Noninfectious Etiologies.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2019 07;38(7):e134-e137

From the Department of Pediatrics B, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva.

Background: Pediatric sacroiliitis (SI) is an uncommon entity of infectious or inflammatory etiology. Recent data regarding pediatric SI are scarce. The study objective was to describe and compare the clinical features of pediatric infectious and noninfectious SI.

Methods: We reviewed files of children ≤18 years of age, admitted with SI in 2004-2017. Patients were grouped by etiology, infectious versus noninfectious. Clinical and laboratory indices, imaging, treatment protocols and outcome were compared.

Results: Study population included 40 patients with infectious SI (range: 3-192 months, median age: 15 months, 45% female) and 13 patients with noninfectious SI (range: 30-216 months, median age: 168 months, 62% females). Duration of symptoms before admission averaged 5.9 ± 7.5 days in the infectious group and 54.2 ± 96 days in the noninfectious group (P = 0.003). Symptoms observed solely in the infectious group included refusal to stand (n = 27, 77%); walk or crawl (n = 24, 65%); irritability (n = 20, 50%) and recent constipation event (n = 8, 20%). No significant differences in laboratory results were found. Infectious SI patients had uneventful medical history, rapid response to antibiotics and a higher rate of complete resolution of symptoms without recurrences.

Conclusions: An acute unilateral presentation in young patients ≤2 years of age, without chronic medical conditions, suggests an infectious etiology of SI anticipated to completely resolve with antibiotic treatment, not necessitating further workup for noninfectious etiologies.
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July 2019

Blood Cultures Drawn From Arterial Catheters Are Reliable for the Detection of Bloodstream Infection in Critically Ill Children.

Pediatr Crit Care Med 2018 05;19(5):e213-e218

Department of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Objectives: Arterial catheters may serve as an additional source for blood cultures in children when peripheral venipuncture is challenging. The aim of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of cultures obtained through indwelling arterial catheters for the diagnosis of bloodstream infections in critically ill pediatric patients.

Design: Observational and comparative.

Setting: General and cardiac ICUs of a tertiary, university-affiliated pediatric medical center.

Patients: The study group consisted of 138 patients admitted to the general or cardiac PICU in 2014-2015 who met the following criteria: presence of an indwelling arterial catheter and indication for blood culture.

Interventions: Blood was drawn by peripheral venipuncture and through the arterial catheter for each patient and sent for culture (total 276 culture pairs).

Measurements And Main Results: Two specialists blinded to the blood source evaluated each positive culture to determine if the result represented true bloodstream infection or contamination. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the arterial catheter and peripheral cultures for the diagnosis of bloodstream infection were calculated. Of the 56 positive cultures, 41 (15% of total samples) were considered diagnostic of true bloodstream infection. In the other 15 (5%), the results were attributed to contamination. The rate of false-positive results was higher for arterial catheter than for peripheral venipuncture cultures (4% vs 1.5%) but did not lead to prolonged unnecessary antibiotic treatment. On statistical analysis, arterial catheter blood cultures had high sensitivity (85%) and specificity (95%) for the diagnosis of true bloodstream infection, with comparable performance to peripheral blood cultures.

Conclusion: Cultures of arterial catheter-drawn blood are reliable for the detection of bloodstream infection in PICUs.
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May 2018