• Welcome to the online home of the Oman Medical Journal offering free access and publishing to all authors and researchers 

    Welcome from the Editor-in-Chief

    Ibrahim Al-Zakwani, BSc, MSc, MS, PhD

    Welcome to the home of the Oman Medical Journal. The OMJ was established in 1984 and has been published under the Oman Medical Specialty Board since 2007. Initially, we started with one issue a year, which later increased to four and then to six in 2011. We currently publish over 100 articles a year covering all aspects of medicine and healthcare. These are selected by our committed and multi-disciplinary Editorial Board.

    We take a no barriers approach to publishing and are proud to offer the journal free to all those who wish to read it and charge no publication fees to authors/researchers. We publish a wide range of articles, including original research, case reports, and preliminary studies. We also publish editorials and letters intended to inform and spark debate about key medical issues. We do this to complement OMSB’s mission to provide quality healthcare through quality medical education. As part of this commitment, we are listed and indexed in over 35 databases, and this number continues to grow.

    We have added some exciting new features to this website. We now offer our authors and readers the opportunity to access articles before they are published in print with our Ahead-of-Print facility. Readers will also be able to earn CME credits by completing Clinical Quizzes published in each issue.

    On behalf of the entire OMJ team, thank you for visiting the online home of the OMJ. We hope you will find this site to be a helpful resource. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, or comments you have.

    Ibrahim Al-Zakwani

    Articles and Issues


    Most Viewed Articles

    The most viewed articles from the OMJ.
    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Obesity, An Enemy of Male Fertility: A Mini Review

    Mohamed Ahmed Abd El Salam

    Obesity is a highly prevalent non-communicable disease worldwide and is commonly associated with male infertility. Several etiopathological theories have been mentioned in the literature by which obesity affects spermatogenesis, thus affecting the male fertility potential. Mechanisms for explaining the effect of obesity on male infertility include endocrinopathy, increased aromatization activity, associated erectile dysfunction, psychological and thermal effects, obstructive sleep apnea, increased leptin and oxygen free radicals, and associated inflammatory and obstructive elements of epididymitis. Treatment of such a complex problem includes weight reduction (by lifestyle modification and increased physical activity), optimization of altered testosterone-to-estradiol ratio using aromatase inhibitors and/or gonadotropins, treatment of associated comorbidities by phosphodiesterase inhibitors for erectile dysfunction, and insulin-sensitizing agents for the management of diabetes. The aim of this mini-review is to highlight the pathological basis of this problem and to focus on obesity as an etiology of male infertility.

    Keywords: Body Mass Index; Male Infertility; Review; Obesity; Spermatogenesis.
    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    An Accurate Diagnostic Pathway Helps to Correctly Distinguish Between the Possible Causes of Acute Scrotum

    Beat Roth, Ioannis Giannakis, Meret Elisabeth Ricklin, George Niklaus Thalmann, Aristomenis Konstantinos Exadaktylos

    Objectives: We sought to identify a simplified approach for the rapid differential diagnosis of patients presenting with acute scrotum. Methods: A total of 440 patients referred to the emergency department of the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland, with acute scrotum between 2003 and 2013 were retrospectively analyzed. Simple and multiple binary logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate clinical and laboratory parameters that may help to distinguish between genital/paragenital infection and acute testicular torsion. Results: Over half (58.4%; 257/440) of the patients were diagnosed with genital/paragenital infection, 11.8% (52/440) with chronic testicular pain, 9.5% (42/440) with acute testicular torsion, 4.3% (19/440) with a testicular cancer, and 2.5% (11/440) with symptomatic distal ureterolithiasis. In multivariate analysis, a positive Prehn’s sign was predictive of testicular torsion, whereas fever, dysuria, high leucocyte counts in blood and/or urine, high blood C-reactive protein, and burning pain were predictive of genital/paragenital infection. Color Doppler ultrasound did not help to distinguish between torsion and infection. Conclusions: An accurate diagnostic pathway helps to correctly distinguish between the possible causes of acute scrotum. However, none of the examinations performed could reliably distinguish between acute torsion and other causes of acute scrotum. Therefore, immediate surgical exploration of the testis is mandatory if torsion cannot be ruled out.

    Keywords: Urology; Scrotum; Emergencies.
    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Understanding Iron Metabolism: Lessons from Transfusion-dependent Thalassemia

    Murtadha Al-Khabori, Shahina Daar

    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Immunophenotypic Characteristics of T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Omani Patients: A Correlation with Demographic Factors

    Azza Al-Mashaikhi, Zahra Al Khatri, Sahima Al Mamari, Murtadha Al Khabori, Anil Pathare, Naglaa Fawaz

    Objectives: To study and classify the immunophenotypic characteristics of Omani patients diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and to correlate the results with age and gender as well as biological factors (peripheral and bone marrow blast cells percentage). Methods: Fifty cases from both genders and of all ages who fulfilled the inclusion criteria with a diagnosis of T-ALL were included in the study. Correlation of T-ALL subtypes with age, gender, and initial bone marrow and peripheral blood blast cells percentage was assessed using ANOVA. Results: Among the 50 T-ALL patients analyzed, 44 were male and six were female giving a male-to-female ratio of 7:1 (p = 0.007). The average age of patients was 19.2 years with no significant differences in the three disease subtypes. No significant association was seen between the peripheral or bone marrow blast cell percentage and the differentiation stages of the neoplastic clone of T-ALL. All female patients were found to express an immature T-ALL phenotype. Conclusions: This study reports the subtypes of T-ALL in Oman for the first time. It is hoped that this will lead to a better understanding of the disease outcomes.

    Keywords: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; T-cells; Immunophenotyping; Oman.
    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis in a Patient with Meningococcal Meningitis

    Sudhir Kumar Palat Chirakkara, Abdul Rahim Ali Bakhsh, Aparna Kalyani Pariyadath, Balamurugan Rathinavelu

    Meningococcal meningitis has a wide range of neurological complications. However, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) following infection with Neisseria meningitidis is uncommon. We report a case of CVST in a 42-year-old male admitted with meningococcal meningitis. The patient was managed with antibiotics. Due to altered coagulation parameters observed in fulminant cases of meningococcemia, deployment of anticoagulation therapy, which would otherwise be the treatment of choice for CVST, is a dilemma.

    Keywords: Meningitis, Meningococcal; Sinus Thrombosis; Anticoagulants.
    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Which Exercise Performance is More Important for Cognition? Incremental or Protective Effects

    Hakimeh Saadati

    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Assessment of Trained Hand Hygiene Observers Using Parallel Observations

    Humberto Guanche Garcell, Ariadna Villanueva Arias, Isme Borroto Garcés, Alexis Cardoso Gil, Pedro Rivero Companioni, Katiana Figueredo Arias, Osiris I. Escobar More, Norgely Rivero Rodríguez, Francisco Gutierrez García

    Objectives: To validate hand hygiene (HH) observers following training and determine the concordance between the observers and the Kappa index. Methods: This study was conducted during June 2017. HH observers from 15 hospital units received eight-hours training including a two-hour workshop conducted by the infection control practitioner and hospital epidemiologist. After its completion, parallel observations were conducted by trained nurses from each respective unit for a maximum of 20 minutes per session at any time or day. Results: A total of 789 parallel observations were performed. In observed HH actions, the percentage of agreement between trained and experienced observers was 75.4%, with a Kappa index of agreement of 0.61 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.57−0.66). For the observed HH moments, the agreement among observers was 83.8% with a Kappa index of 0.71 (95% CI: 0.66−0.75). Conclusions: HH observers were validated after a dedicated training in correspondence with the recommendation to improve HH monitoring. Additional studies should focus on evaluating the sustainability of the agreement, the requirement of retraining, and other alternatives for
    observers’ validation.

    Keywords: Hand Hygiene; Observation; Validation Studies; Qatar.
    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Tactile Stimulation During Newborn Resuscitation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Kaarthigeyan Kalaniti, Anil Chacko, Sibasis Daspal

    Article history:

    Volume 33, Issue 1 January 2018
    Desquamative Lesion of the Nose and Lip

    Manas Bajpai

    Article history:

    For Authors

    The Oman Medical Journal accepts manuscript submissions through an external website, Editorial Manager.  

    The Journal has specific instructions and guidelines for submitting articles. Please read and review them carefully. Articles that are not submitted in accordance with our instructions and guidelines are more likely to be rejected.

    About OMJ

    Aims and scope
    Oman Medical Journal is an Open Access International Journal, which intends to engage and inform doctors, researchers and other health professionals by publishing a wide range of peer-reviewed articles. Our background is solidly grounded in publishing a high degree of articles covering all aspects of medicine.
    Information for subscribers
    Oman Medical Journal is published six times a year by Oman Medical Specialty Board. It is distributed free to all medical doctors and allied health professionals in various institutions locally and internationally.

    Charges: There is no charges for submission, publication, and subscription.
    Authorship criteria
    Each author must contribute a significant segment and should take responsibility for the content and authenticity of the work as a whole. Authors must complete an Authorship form clearly stating their responsibilities, contribution and financial sources. Authors must supply an email address as all correspondence will be by email.
    Abstracting and indexing services
    The journal is listed in PubMed and PubMed Central, and indexed in Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Google Scholar, CrossRef, Index Copernicus, CINAHL, DOAJ, Global Health, Academic OneFile, Academic Science in Context, Academic Journals Database, CAB Abstracts, CABI Publishing, Chemical Abstracts, Cornell University Library, EBSCO Publishing Electronic Database, Embase, Electronic Journals Library (EZB), Expanded Academic ASAP, Genamics JournalSeek, Gale and Open J-Gate, GFMER, Health Reference Center, ICMJE, Newjour, SCIRUS, SCImago Journal & Country Rank, Scopus, Summon by Serial Solution, The John Rylands Library, UlrichsWeb Directory.

    Ethical considerations
    In all experiments and studies on humans or animals, authors must state whether formal approval from an Institutional Review Board or Ethics Committee was obtained in the Methods section of the manuscript. In the absence of such committee, the Declaration of Helsinki guidelines must be followed and be clearly stated. All studies on human subjects must include a statement that the subjects gave informed consent. Patient anonymity should be preserved. Photographs need to be cropped to prevent human subjects being recognized. Experiments involving animals must be demonstrated to be ethically acceptable and should conform to national guidelines for animal usage in research.
    Copyright and photocopying
    Open access agreement: Published manuscripts become the permanent property of Oman Medical Specialty Board. This open access journal is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License (CC-BY-NC), permitting non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
    Dr. Ibrahim Al-Zakwani, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman
    Associate Editors

    Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Mahrezi, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Murtadha Al-Khabori, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Abdulhakeem Al-Rawahi, Oman Medical Speciality Board, Oman

    Statistics Editor
    Dr. Abdullah Al-Maniri, Oman Medical Speciality Board, Oman
    Editorial Board Members

    Prof. Samir Al-Adawi, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Prof. Yasser Wali, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Abdullah Al-Mujaini, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Adhra Al-Maawali, Ministry of Health, Oman

    Dr. Ahmed Al-Hashmi, Al-Nahdha Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Ahmed Al-Jahwari, Armed Forces Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Ahmed Al-Waily, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Faryal Al-Lawati, Royal Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Hatem Al-Lawati, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Khalid Al-Thuhli, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

    Dr. Khalid Al-Rasadi, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Khamis Al-Hashmi, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

    Dr. Khulood Al-Maamari, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Marwa Al-Riyami, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Mujahid Al-Busaidi, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Nihal Al-Riyami, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Rahma Al-Kindi, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Rashid Al-Abri, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Saif Al-Yaarubi, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman

    Dr. Saud Al-Shabibi, Royal Hospital, Oman

    Editorial Office
    Medical Editor
    Dr. Ayshe Ismail
    Editorial Assistants
    Ms. Bishara Al-Mahruqi
    Mrs. Jenny Manoguid
    Mrs. Charie Ricafort
    Ms. Rabha Al-Abdulsalaam
    Mrs. Iman Al-Busaidi
    Technical Editor/Web Designer
    Mr. Amir Hussain
    Board Members
    Prof. A G Pusalkar, Lilaviti Hospital, India
    Prof. Dimitri Mikhailidis, University College London, United Kingdom
    Prof. Gordon Ferns, University of Surrey, United Kingdom
    Prof. Kichu Nair, University of New Castle, Australia
    Prof. Thomas Walsh, Yale University, United States
    Prof. Walter Rosser, Queens University, Canada
    Prof. Dirk Deleu, Weil Cornell Medical College, Qatar
    Dr. Amy Young, Baylor College of Medicine, United States
    Dr. Bassem Saab, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon
    Dr. Celia Rodd, McGill University, Canada
    Dr. Helen Batty, University of Toronto, Canada
    Dr. Kenneth Mattox, Baylor College of Medicine, United States
    Dr. Khalid Al-Jabri, Al Mufraq Hospital, United Arab Emirates
    Dr. Mahfooz Farooqi, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, McGill University, Canada
    Dr. Michael Shevell, McGill University, Canada
    Dr. Murtada Shabrawi, Cairo University, Egypt
    Dr. Mustafa Afifi, Jumeira University, Dubai, UAE
    Dr. Thomas Harle, Emeritus at Wake Forest University Medical School, United State
    The OMJ expects that the articles it publishes will not have been published or released elsewhere before they are published in the OMJ. This allows time for the independent peer review of scientific findings before it is available to the public and protects the originality of content. Authors should also not release the details of their findings to the mass media before their work can is peer reviewed and published.
    All articles are immediately available for free online at omjournal.org.
    The OMJ uses a peer-review process to evaluate manuscripts for scientific accuracy, novelty, and importance. The careful editing process often requires extensive revisions and assures detailed checking for accuracy. Authors will be responsible for checking the accuracy of the final edit.

    All submitted manuscripts are read by the Editor-in-chief and at least one other board member. Only those papers that seem most likely to meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal review. Those papers judged by the Board Members to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected without external review.

    Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers. The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from several possibilities:

    • Accept for publication without alteration.
    • Accept after revision/extensive revision. Authors are invited to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision is reached.
    • Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission.
    • Reject outright, typically on grounds of relevance, lack of novelty, or major technical and/or interpretational problems.
    Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they will be considered along with other reviewers who may have different technical expertise and/or views. Typically, the Board Members make decisions based on conflicting advice and their understanding of the research. It can be the case that we do not always follow the recommendations of reviewers. We do not send details of the final decision to reviewers.

    In cases where the authors have been asked to revise their manuscript, we may return to reviewers for a second review. When reviewers agree to assess a paper, we consider this commitment to review subsequent revisions.

    We do not edit reviewers' reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted. Therefore, we asked that reviewers remain respectful in their comments avoiding statements that may cause needless offense.
    Manuscripts will be edited for brevity, clarity, grammar, spelling, and style. When the editing is extensive, with the possibility of altered meaning, queries are sent to the corresponding author by email. When a manuscript has been edited and prepared for publication, these will be sent to the author along with any final queries from the Copy Editor. Authors are expected to check the proof carefully, paying particular attention to the accuracy of equations, tables, illustrations, other numerical matter and references (which have been corrected for style but not checked for accuracy, which remains the responsibility of the author), and answer any queries. With page proofs, we request that the authors make the fewest possible alterations other than corrections of errors, and wherever a change is essential, only substituting as few words as possible occupying an approximately equal amount of space. If no corrections are received, the Editors reserve the right to correct the proof themselves. Equally, the Editors reserve the right to dismiss any changes that do not follow OMJ style or introduce errors in language. Corrections are generally not made to a manuscript once it has been published unless there is a significant error.
    The Editorial Board is a group of individuals committed to helping the OMJ produce an excellent multidisciplinary scientific publication of the highest quality. The publisher/editor-in-chief appoint editorial Board members. The editorial board is made up of an interdisciplinary mix from a wide range of disciplines. The main responsibilities of editorial board members are to provide strategic and operational advice (unsolicited, as well as in editorial board meetings) and to guide papers in their area of expertise through the peer-review process.

    Any manuscript submitted by an Editorial Board member will be treated in the same manner as any other manuscripts with both the Editorial Board member and reviewers blinded to one another in the review process.
    Material submitted to the OMJ journals must not be discussed with the media, except in the case of accepted contributions, which can be discussed with the media only once published. Authors that are contacted by the media about any OMJ should ask that the OMJ is credited in any news stories.
    The OMJ Editorial Board and publication staff keep all information about a submitted manuscript confidential and limited to those involved in the evaluation, review and publication process. The OMJ used a double-blind review process so that authors’ names and affiliations are not revealed to reviewers nor are reviewers’ names revealed to authors. Only information on accepted articles is archived for future reference.
    It is the responsibility of every person listed as an author of an article published in OMJ to have contributed in a meaningful and identifiable way to the design, performance, analysis, and reporting of the work, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work. Authors must complete an authorship form clearly stating their responsibilities, contribution, and financial sources.

    According to the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), as revised in 2013, authorship credit should be based on the following 4 criteria: 

    • substantial contributions to conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
    • drafting of the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
    • final approval of the version to be published; and
    • agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged.

    All authors (ie, the corresponding author and each coauthor) must read, complete, and submit an electronic Authorship Form with signed statements on Authorship Responsibility, Criteria, and Contributions and Confirmation of Reporting Conflicts of Interest and Funding.
    ©2015 All rights reserved to Oman Medical Journal. All articles published represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the journal. This open access journal is distributed under the terms of Oman Medical Specialty Board, permitting non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Published manuscripts become the permanent property of Oman Medical Specialty Board and may not be published elsewhere.
    A conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the author’s institution or employer) has financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could influence (or bias) the author’s decisions, work, or manuscript. All authors are required to complete and submit the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest: This form will be requested after a manuscript has been submitted, but authors should also include conflict of interest disclosures in the Disclosure section of the manuscript. Authors are expected to provide detailed information about all relevant financial interests, activities, relationships, and affiliations. Peer-reviewers are also expected to declare any conflicts of interest as part of their review.
    For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, formal review and approval, or formal review and waiver, by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee is required and should be described in the Methods section. Such studies must also be in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 (revised in 2008). For investigations of humans, state in the Methods section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the study participants (ie, oral or written) and whether participants received a stipend. Editors may request that authors provide documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the institutional review board or ethics committee responsible for oversight of the study.
    The OMJ uses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) definition of scientific misconduct as described below: 

    • Falsifying data: fabrication of data, selective reporting or omission, suppression or distortion of data. 
    • Plagiarism: using the published or unpublished language, ideas or thoughts of another writer without crediting the source and presenting them as one’s own. Plagiarism includes duplicate publication (publication of an article in more than one journal or in another language).
    • Authorship issues: exclusion of involved researchers or inclusion of researchers who have not contributed to the work or publication without permission from all authors. 
    • Violation of generally accepted research practice: including manipulating experiments/statistics to get biased results or improper reporting of results. 
    • Failure to follow legal requirements: violating local regulations and laws involving the use of funds, care of human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices or radioactive, biological or chemical materials.
    • Inappropriate behavior in cases of misconduct: including false accusations of misconduct; failure to report misconduct; not providing relevant information in a misconduct claim and retaliation against people claiming or investigating misconduct.

    All allegations of misconduct will be referred to the Editor-In-Chief. Authors will be contacted in writing with any concerns and asked to state their case and explain the circumstances. Until a decision about the manuscript is reached, work on the manuscript will be stopped. The Editor-in-Chief will make a final decision on the handling of the manuscript.

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