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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

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June 2021
May 2021
Yechiel Michael Barilan

This focus article is a theoretical reflection on the ethics of allocating respirators to patients in circumstances of shortage, especially during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Israel. In this article, respirators are placeholders for similar life-saving modalities in short supply, such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machines and intensive care unit beds.

In the article, I propose a system of triage for circumstances of scarcity of respirators. The system separates the hopeless from the curable, granting every treatable person a real chance of cure. The scarcity situation eliminates excesses of medicine, and then allocates respirators by a single scale, combining an evidence-based scoring system with risk-proportionate lottery.

The triage proposed embodies continuity and consistency with the healthcare practices in ordinary times. Yet, I suggest two regulatory modifications: one in relation to expediting review of novel and makeshift solutions and the second in relation to mandatory retrospective research on all relevant medical data and standard (as opposed to experimental) interventions that are influenced by the triage

Alexander Feldman MD, Nahum A. Freedberg MD, Dante Antonelli MD, Ehoud Rozner MD, and Yoav Turgeman MD

Background: Patients admitted to the hospital after successful resuscitation from sudden cardiac death (SCD) are treated with therapeutic hypothermia (TH) to facilitate brain preservation. The prognostic significance of J (Osborn) waves (JOW) in the 12 leads electrocardiogram in this setting has not been elucidated as yet.

Objectives: To ascertain retrospectively the prognostic significance of JOW recorded during TH in SCD survivors.

Methods: The study comprised 55 consecutive patients who underwent TH. All patients achieved a core temperature of 33°C at the time of electrocardiogram analysis. We compared 33 patients with JOW to 22 patients without JOW. The endpoints were in-hospital, long-term all-cause mortality, and irreversible anoxic brain injury (IABI).

Results: Patients with JOW compared to patients without JOW were younger (55.1 ± 11.6 vs. 64.5 ± 11.7 years, respectively, P < 0.006), with a lower incidence of hypertension (52% vs. 86%, P < 0.007), diabetes mellitus (15% vs. 50%, P < 0.005), and congestive heart failure (15% vs. 45%, P < 0.013). In-hospital and long-term mortality were significantly higher in patients without JOW (86% vs. 21%, 91% vs. 24%, respectively, P < 0.000001). Among patients without JOW who survived hospitalization, 66.7% presented with IABI versus 7.7% of the patients with JOW (P < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis, the absence of JOW was a significant predictor for poor prognosis.

Conclusions: The absence of J (Osborn) waves on electrocardiograms obtained during TH is associated with poor prognosis among SCD survivors

April 2021
Elias Hakalehto MSc PhD

This mini review includes two case descriptions. It introduces the use of chicken egg yolk antibody (IgY) solutions in the prevention and cure of viral and bacterial infections. Application for the protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), rotavirus, and influenza viruses, as well as for the eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, caries, various enteric bacteria and other pathogens, and toxins have been developed. This approach is a fast, reliable, safe, and tested method for producing molecular shield and protection against emerging pathogens and epidemics. In the current pandemic situation caused by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), this method of passive immunization could be applied for rapid protection against modifiable agents. The specific IgY antibodies start to accumulate into egg yolks about 3 weeks after the immunization of the chicken. The product can be collected safely, as the antigen is not found in the eggs. This method for microbial safety uses natural means and commonly used food substances, which have been tested and could be produced for both blocking epidemics and applying personalized medicine

March 2021
February 2021
Nagham Gudban MSc, Itamar Yehuda PhD, William Nasir MD, Soboh Soboh MD, Snait Tamir PhD, and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have a high rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Mediterranean diet is preferred for CVD prevention. Endothelial dysfunction is demonstrated early in T2DM.

Objectives: To study the effects of dietary intervention of T2DM patients without known CVD on endothelial function and vascular inflammation.

Methods: A prospective study enrolled 22 patients with T2DM. Patients were divided randomly into two groups: an intervention group with 12 patients (55 ± 7 years old, 6 women) and a control group with 10 patients (59 ± 10 years old, 5 women). Clinical evaluation included body mass index (BMI) and endothelial function measured by the flow mediated percent change (FMD%). Fasting blood was drawn on entry to the study and 3 months later, measuring C-reactive protein (CRP), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C%). The intervention was based on weekly telephone calls by a clinical dietitian for 3 months.

Results: In the intervention group CRP and ICAM-1 were reduced (from 4.2 ± 3.3 mg/dl to 0.4 ± 0.5 mg/dl, P = 0.01 and from 258.6 ± 98.3 ng/ml to 171.6 ± 47.7 ng/ml, P = 0.004). Endothelial function (FMD%) was improved (from 0.5 ± 8.0% to 9.5 ± 11.5%, P = 0.014). No change was observed in BMI, HbA1C%, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels in either group.

Conclusions: Patients with T2DM on the Mediterranean diet who received a weekly telephone call for 3 months improved their endothelial function with reduction of markers of inflammation.

January 2021
Doron Boltin MBBS, Zaza Beniashvili MD, Adi Lahat MD, Jonathan Hirsch MD, Olga P. Nyssen MD, Francis Mégraud MD, Colm O'Morain MBBS, Javier P. Gisbert MD, and Yaron Niv MD

Background: The antibiotic resistance profile of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is constantly changing. Up-to-date and reliable data for the effectiveness of first-line H. pylori treatment protocols are necessary to provide evidence-based best-practice guidelines.

Objectives: To determine the effectiveness, compliance and safety of first-line treatment for H. pylori in Israel.

Methods: An observational, prospective, multicenter study was conducted in tertiary referral centers in Israel, as part of the European registry on H. pylori management (Hp-EuReg). H. pylori-infected patients were included from 2013 to March 2020. Data collected included demographics, clinical data, diagnostic tests, previous eradication attempts, current treatment, compliance, adverse events, and treatment outcome result.

Results: In total, 242 patients were registered, including 121 (50%) who received first-line therapy, 41% of these individuals received clarithromycin based triple therapy and 58.9% received a four-drug regimen. The overall effectiveness of first-line therapy was 85% and 86% by modified intention-to-treat and per protocol analyses, respectively. The effectiveness of both sequential and concomitant therapies was 100% while clarithromycin-based triple therapy achieved an eradication rate of 79%. Treatment eradication was higher among patients who received high dose proton pump inhibitor (PPI) compared to those treated with low dose PPI (100% vs. 81.5% respectively, P < 0.01). No difference in treatment effectiveness was found between 7-, 10-, and 14-day treatment.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of clarithromycin-based triple therapy is suboptimal. First-line treatment of H. pylori infection should consist of four drugs, including high dose PPI, according to international guidelines.

Ariel Rokach MD MHA, Sarit Hochberg-Klein MD, Nissim Arish MD, Victoria Doviner MD, Rachel Bar-Shalom MD, Yehonatan Turner MD, Norman Heching MD, and Samuel N. Heyman MD
Noga Roguin Maor MD and Pnina Zmiri MD
December 2020
Tiberiu R. Shulimzon MD, Shir Giladi BSc, and Meital Zilberman PhD

Background: Chronic lung diseases, especially emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis, are the third leading cause of mortality worldwide. Their treatment includes symptom alleviation, slowing of the disease progression, and ultimately organ transplant. Regenerative medicine represents an attractive alternative.

Objectives: To develop a dual approach to lung therapy by engineering a platform dedicated to both remodeling pulmonary architecture (bronchoscopic lung volume reduction) and regeneration of lost respiratory tissue (scaffold).

Methods: The authors developed a hydrogel scaffold based on the natural polymers gelatin and alginate. The unique physical properties allow its injection through long catheters that pass through the working channel of a bronchoscope. The scaffold might reach the diseased area; thus, serving a dual purpose: remodeling the lung architecture as a lung volume reduction material and developing a platform for tissue regeneration to allow for cell or organoid implant.

Results: The authors’ novel hydrogel scaffold can be injected through long catheters, exhibiting the physical and mechanical properties necessary for the dual treatment objectives. Its biocompatibility was analyzed on human fibroblasts and mouse mesenchymal cells. Cells injected with the scaffold through long narrow catheters exhibited at least 70% viability up to 7 days.

Conclusions: The catheter-injectable gelatin-alginate hydrogel represents a new concept, which combines tissue engineering with minimal invasive procedure. It is an inexpensive and convenient to use alternative to other types of suggested scaffolds for lung tissue engineering. This novel concept may be used for additional clinical applications in regenerative medicine.

Boaz Tiran MD, Tal Perluk MD, Eyal Kleinhendler MD, Avi Man MD, Irina Fomin MD, and Yehuda Schwarz MD

Background: Benign tracheal stenosis has emerged as a therapeutic challenge for physicians involved in the care of survivors of critical care units. Although the traditional mainstay of open surgical reconstructive treatment is still considered the gold standard, endoscopic therapies such as laser re-canalization, balloon dilation, or stenting are commonly practiced in invasive bronchology. Recurrent obstructing granulomas pose a challenge for bronchoscopists. Mitomycin C (MyC) is a cytotoxic agent that is isolated from Streptomyces caespitosus and acts by inhibiting DNA and RNA synthesis through alkylation and cross-linkages. Topical MyC is commonly used in indirect laryngoscopies for the treatment of granulation tissue in the trachea by using saturated pledgets.

Objectives: To describe fiberoptic bronchoscopic submucosal injection of MyC as a treatment for recurrent bening tracheal stenosis.

Methods: The authors report their successful experience with submucosal intralesional injection of MyC in the management of recurrent obstructing granulomas/stenosis using the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope in a series of 10 patients between 2005 and 2019.

Results: The results suggest that intralesional injection of MyC using the flexible bronchoscope after the endoscopic treatment of the stenotic lesion may reduce the rate of subsequent formation of granulation tissue and scarring without side effects.

Conclusions: The efficacy of MyC injection should be studied prospectively.

Michael Peled MD, Jair Bar MD, Liat Avni MD, Sumit Chatterji MD, Dafna Somech MD, Addie Dvir MD, Lior Soussan-Gutman MD, and Amir Onn MD

Background: Guidelines recommend testing for multiple biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. Blood-based liquid biopsy analyzing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could be used in addition to tumor biopsy genotyping, especially if tissue/time are limiting.

Objectives: To investigate the clinical utility of early cfDNA analysis (Guardant360® CDx) in treatment-naïve NSCLC patients.

Methods: A prospective cohort of treatment-naïve patients with metastatic NSCLC who underwent tumor and cfDNA analysis between 12/2018 and 2/2019 were included.

Results: Ten patients were included: 6 males, median age 70.5 years (range 48–87), 8 prior smokers. Liquid biopsy was sent when cancer cells were detected in the biopsy specimen. Median time from diagnosis to receiving the report on the last biomarker from the tumor biopsy was 20 days (range 9–34); median time from blood draw to receiving the cfDNA findings was 9 days (range 7–12). The median difference between the cfDNA and the tumor analysis reports was 20 days (range 9–28). Actionable biomarkers were identified in four patients by both the biopsy analysis and the cfDNA analysis (2cases with EGFR mutations, one with ROS1 fusion, and one with EML4-ALK fusion for whom the biopsy analysis also identified an EGFR mutation not detected in the cfDNA analysis). Overall, eight patients received treatment (2 died before treatment initiation). Three patients received biomarker-based treatment (1 osimertinib, 1 alectinib, and 1 crizotinib).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that cfDNA analysis should be ordered by the pulmonologists early in the evaluation of patients with NSCLC, which might complement the tumor biopsy.

November 2020
Eyal Aviran MD, Shachar Laks MD FACS, Haggai Benvenisti MD, Saed Khalilieh MD, Dan Assaf MD, Nimrod Aviran MD, David Hazzan MD, Yoram Klein MD, Amir Cohen MD, Mordechai Gutman MD, Aviram Nissan MD, and Lior Segev MD

Background: As part of the effort to control the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outbreak, strict emergency measures, including prolonged national curfews, have been imposed. Even in countries where healthcare systems still functioned, patients avoided visiting emergency departments (EDs) because of fears of exposure to COVID-19.

Objective: To describe the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on admissions of surgical patients from the ED and characteristics of urgent operations performed.

Methods: A prospective registry study comparing all patients admitted for acute surgical and trauma care between 15 March and 14 April 2020 (COVID-19) with patients admitted in the parallel time a year previously (control) was conducted.

Results: The combined cohort included 606 patients. There were 25% fewer admissions during the COVID-19 period (P < 0.0001). The COVID-19 cohort had a longer time interval from onset of symptoms (P < 0.001) and presented in a worse clinical condition as expressed by accelerated heart rate (P = 0.023), leukocyte count disturbances (P = 0.005), higher creatinine, and CRP levels (P < 0.001) compared with the control cohort. More COVID-19 patients required urgent surgery (P = 0.03) and length of ED stay was longer (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 epidemic, fewer patients presented to the ED requiring acute surgical care. Those who did, often did so in a delayed fashion and in worse clinical condition. More patients required urgent surgical interventions compared to the control period. Governments and healthcare systems should emphasize to the public not to delay seeking medical attention, even in times of crises

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