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עמוד בית
Wed, 12.06.24

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March 2024
Amir Aker MD, Ina Volis MD, Walid Saliba MD MPH, Ibrahim Naoum MD, Barak Zafrir MD

Background: Ischemic stroke is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality in future vascular events.

Objectives: To investigate whether CHA2DS2-VASc scores aid in risk stratification of middle-aged patients without atrial fibrillation (AF) experiencing ischemic stroke.

Methods: We analyzed data of 2628 patients, aged 40–65 years with no known AF who presented with acute ischemic stroke between January 2020 and February 2022. We explored the association between CHA2DS2-VASc scores categorized by subgroups (score 2–3, 4–5, or 6–7) with major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) including recurrent stroke, myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or all-cause death during a median follow-up of 19.9 months.

Results: Mean age was 57 years (30% women); half were defined as low socioeconomic status. Co-morbidities included hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and smoking in 40–60% of the patients. The incidence rate of MACCE per 100 person-years was 6.7, 12.2, and 21.2 in those with score 2–3, 4–5, and 6–7, respectively. In a multivariate cox regression model, compared to patients with score 2–3 (reference group), those with score 4–5 and 6–7 had an adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval [95%CI]) for MACCE of 1.74 (95%CI 1.41–2.14) and 2.87 (95%CI 2.10–3.93), respectively. The discriminative capacity of CHA2DS2-VASc score for overall MACCE was modest (area under curve 0.63; 95%CI 0.60–0.66), although better for myocardial infarction 0.69 (95% CI 0.61–0.77).

Conclusions: CHA2DS2-VASc score may predict future MACCE in middle-aged patients with ischemic stroke and no history of AF.

March 2020
Hussein Sliman MD, Moshe Y. Flugelman MD, Idit Lavi MsC, Barak Zafrir MD, Avinoam Shiran MD, Amnon Eitan MD and Ronen Jaffe MD

Background: The impact of revascularization of coronary chronic total occlusion (CTO) on survival is unknown. Several studies, which included subjects with varied coronary anatomy, suggested that CTO revascularization improved survival. However, the contribution of CTO revascularization to improved outcome is unclear since it was more commonly achieved in subjects with fewer co-morbidities and less extensive coronary disease.

Objectives: To study the association between CTO revascularization and survival in patients with uniform coronary anatomy consisting of isolated CTO of the right coronary artery (RCA).

Methods: A registry of 16,832 coronary angiograms was analyzed. We identified 278 patients (1.7%) with isolated CTO of the RCA who did not have lesions within the left coronary artery for which revascularization was indicated. Survival of 52 patients (19%) who underwent successful percutaneous coronary intervention was compared to those who did not receive revascularization.

Results: Revascularized patients were younger (60.2 vs. 66.3 years, P = 0.001), had higher creatinine clearance (106 vs. 83 ml/min, P < 0.0001), and had fewer co-morbidities than those who did not receive revascularization. Lack of CTO revascularization was a univariable predictor of mortality (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.65, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.06–6.4) over 4.3 ± 2.5 years of follow-up. On multivariable analysis, the only predictors of mortality were increased age (HR 1.04, 95%CI 1.01–1.07), reduced creatinine clearance (HR 1.02, 95%CI 1.01–1.03), and ejection fraction below 55% (HR 2.24, 95%CI 1.22–4.11).

Conclusions: Among patients with isolated RCA CTO who underwent extended follow-up, revascularization was not an independent predictor of increased survival.

May 2019
Hussein Sliman MD, Avinoam Shiran MD, Dallit Mannheim MD, Eyal Avraham MD, Ron Karmeli MD, Nader Khader MD, Barak Zafrir MD, Ronen Rubinshtein MD and Ronen Jaffe MD

Background: Access-site bleeding is a common complication of transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Percutaneous stent-graft implantation within the femoral artery may achieve hemostasis and avert the need for more invasive surgical vascular repair; however, failure to advance a guidewire antegradely via the injured vessel may preclude stent delivery. While retrograde stent-graft delivery from the distal vasculature may potentially enable percutaneous control of bleeding, this approach has not been reported.

Objectives: To assess the feasibility of a retrograde approach for stent-graft implantation in the treatment of access-site bleeding following transfemoral TAVI.

Methods: A prospective TAVI registry was analyzed. Of 349 patients who underwent TAVI, transfemoral access was used in 332 (95%). Access-site injury requiring stent-graft implantation occurred in 56 (17%). In four patients (7%), antegrade wiring across the site of vascular injury was not possible and a retrograde approach for stent delivery was used.

Results: Distal vascular access was achieved via the superficial femoral or profunda artery. Retrograde advancement of a polymer-coated 0.035” wire to the abdominal aorta, followed by stent-graft delivery to the common femoral artery, achieved hemostasis in all cases. During a median (interquartile range) follow-up period of 198 (618) days (range 46–2455) there were no deaths and no patient required additional vascular interventions.

Conclusions: A retrograde approach for stent-graft delivery is feasible and allows percutaneous treatment of a common femoral artery injury following TAVI in patients who are not suitable for the conventional antegrade approach.

October 2018
Ahmad Hassan MD, Ronen Jaffe MD, Ronen Rubinshtein MD, Basheer Karkabi MD, David A. Halon MB ChB, Moshe Y. Flugelman MD and Barak Zafrir MD

Background: Contemporary data on clinical profiles and long-term outcomes of young adults with coronary artery disease (CAD) are limited.

Objectives: To determine the risk profile, presentation, and outcomes of young adults undergoing coronary angiography.

Methods: A retrospective analysis (2000–2017) of patients aged ≤ 35 years undergoing angiography for evaluation and/or treatment of CAD was conducted.

Results: Coronary angiography was performed in 108 patients (88% males): 67 acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and 41 non-ACS chest pain syndromes. Risk factors were similar: dyslipidemia (69%), positive family history (64%), smoking (61%), obesity (39%), hypertension (32%), and diabetes (22%). Eight of the ACS patients (12%) and 29 of the non-ACS (71%) had normal coronary arteries without subsequent cardiac events. Of the 71 with angiographic evidence of CAD, long-term outcomes (114 ± 60 months) were similar in ACS compared to non-ACS presentations: revascularization 41% vs. 58%, myocardial infarction 32% vs. 33%, and all-cause death 8.5% vs. 8.3%. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) was diagnosed in 25% of those with CAD, with higher rates of myocardial infarction (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.62, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.15–5.99) and revascularization (HR 4.30, 95%CI 2.01–9.18) during follow-up. Only 17% of patients with CAD attained a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol treatment goal < 70 mg/dl.

Conclusions: CAD in young adults is associated with marked burden of traditional risk factors and high rates of future adverse cardiac events, regardless of acuity of presentation, especially in patients with FH, emphasizing the importance of detecting cardiovascular risk factors and addressing atherosclerosis at young age.

September 2017
Basheer Karkabi MD, Ronen Jaffe MD, David A. Halon MD, Amnon Merdler MD, Nader Khader MD, Ronen Rubinshtein MD, Jacob Goldstein MD, Barak Zafrir MD, Keren Zissman MD, Nissan Ben-Dov MD, Michael Gabrielly MD, Alex Fuks MD, Avinoam Shiran MD, Salim Adawi MD, Yaron Hellman MD, Johny Shahla, Salim Halabi MD, Shai Cohen MD, Irina Bergman MD, Sameer Kassem MD PhD MPH, Chen Shapira MD and Moshe Y. Flugelman MD

Background: Outcomes of patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are strongly correlated to the time interval from hospital entry to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI). Current guidelines recommend a door to balloon time of < 90 minutes. 

Objectives: To reduce the time from hospital admission to PPCI and to increase the proportion of patients treated within 90 minutes. 

Methods: In March 2013 the authors launched a seven-component intervention program: 


  1. Direct patient evacuation by out-of-hospital emergency medical services to the coronary intensive care unit or catheterization laboratory

  2. Education program for the emergency department staff

  3. Dissemination of information regarding the urgency of the PPCI decision

  4. Activation of the catheterization team by a single phone call

  5. Reimbursement for transportation costs to on-call staff who use their own cars

  6. Improvement in the quality of medical records

  7. Investigation of failed cases and feedback 



Results: During the 14 months prior to the intervention, initiation of catheterization occurred within 90 minutes of hospital arrival in 88/133 patients(65%); during the 18 months following the start of the intervention, the rate was 181/200 (90%) (P < 0.01). The respective mean/median times to treatment were 126/67 minutes and 52/47 minutes (P < 0.01). Intervention also resulted in shortening of the time interval from hospital entry to PPCI on nights and weekends. 

Conclusions: Following implementation of a comprehensive intervention, the time from hospital admission to PPCI of STEMI patients shortened significantly, as did the proportion of patients treated within 90 minutes of hospital arrival. 

 

April 2017
Avraham Shotan MD, Barak Zafrir MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Alicia Vazan MD, Israel Gotsman MD and Offer Amir MD

Background: The treatment of patients hospitalized with heart failure (HHF) and ambulatory chronic heart failure (CHF) differs in various countries.

Objective: To evaluate the management and outcomes of patients with HFF and CHF in Israel compared to those in other European countries who were included in the ESC-HF Long-Term Registry.

Methods: From May 2011 to April 2013, heart failure patients – 467 Israelis and 11,973 from other countries – were evaluated. The Israeli patients included 178 with HHF and 289 with CHF. One year outcomes, including all-cause and cardiovascular mortality as well as HHF, were evaluated.

Results: The HHF Israeli patients were older than their CHF Israeli counterparts, had more co-morbidities, included more women, and were treated less frequently with medications suggested by European guidelines. The Israeli HHF patients had similar all-cause 1 year mortality rates compared to HHF patients from other participating countries, but their cardiovascular (CV) mortality was lower, while a significantly higher rate of all-cause and HHF was noted. The Israeli CHF patients were older, suffered from more co-morbidities and had prior cardio-electronic implantable devices. In addition, they had higher mortality rates, especially non-CV, and were more frequently hospitalized, compared to CHF patients from other countries.

Conclusions: The Israeli patients with heart failure differed in their baseline characteristics and the therapeutic approach. Despite high usage of treatments recommended by official guidelines, especially among CHF patients, mortality, particularly in HHF patients, remained high.

March 2012
B. Zafrir and O. Amir

Beta blockers are a fundamental treatment in chronic heart failure (HF), yet concern and disagreement regarding their role in the treatment of decompensated HF and during hospitalization are common in clinical practice. This review summarizes the literature on various aspects of beta blocker treatment during acute and chronic decompensated HF. In recent years evidence has accumulated concerning the efficacy and tolerability of beta blockers in decompensated HF. Clinical analyses show that withdrawal of chronic beta blockade should be avoided when possible during hospitalization and that beta blocker therapy be initiated as soon as hemodynamic stability and a euvolemic state are achieved. This strategy may increase adherence to beta blockers after discharge and lower rehospitalization and mortality rates. We also discuss the various positive inotrope regimens (phosphodiesterase inhibitors, levosimendan, dobutamine) and their interactions with beta blockers in decompensated HF.

January 2010
B. Zafrir, A. Laor and H. Bitterman

Background: Parallel to increased life expectancy, the number of very elderly patients hospitalized in internal medicine departments is growing rapidly, although clinical data on hospital care are lacking.

Objectives: To investigate the sociodemographic data, hospitalization characteristics and outcomes of nonagenarian patients, as these measures are necessary for evaluating prognostic information and predictors of mortality.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients aged ≥ 90 hospitalized in our institute's Department of Internal Medicine. The data comprised 482 admissions of 333 patients hospitalized over a one year period.

Results: Half of the study patients were residents of nursing institutions. A high rate of atrial fibrillation was documented (106 patients, 32%). Acute infectious diseases constituted the leading diagnosis (276/482 admissions, 57%), followed by acute coronary syndrome (17% of admissions). In-hospital mortality occurred in 74 patients (22%). Chronic therapy with statins or acetylsalicylic acid was inversely related to mortality (P < 0.05). The main predictors for in-hospital death of nonagenarians were pressure sores, older age, atrial fibrillation, malignant disease, and admission due to an acute infection, especially Clostridium difficile-associated diseases. In addition, mental decline, permanent urinary catheter, leukocytosis, renal failure and hypoalbuminemia predicted post-discharge mortality. Admission due to an infectious disease but not acute coronary syndrome was significantly correlated to in-hospital and post-discharge mortality (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Hospitalized nonagenarians comprise a growing group with distinct characteristics and increasing significance in the daily practice of internal medicine departments. Comprehensive assessment of the elderly at admission together with identification of the above clinical and laboratory risk factors for mortality will help determine in-hospital management, discharge planning and rehabilitation programs.

March 2004
B. Zafrir, M. Zimmerman, Y Fellig, Y. Naparstek, N. Reichman and E. Flatau
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