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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

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June 2024
Ran Ben David MD, Iftach Sagy MD PhD, Alan Jotkowitz MD, Leonid Barski MD

Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute metabolic, life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus with a mortality rate that now stand at less than 1%. Although mortality is coupled with the etiology of DKA, literature on the influence of DKA etiology on patient outcome is scarce.

Objectives: To study different triggers for DKA and their effect on outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study that include 385 DKA patients from 2004 to 2017. The study compared demographics, clinical presentation, and mortality rates by different precipitating factors.

Results: Patients with DKA due to infections had a higher risk to develop in-hospital mortality after controlling for age and sex (odds ratio 4.40, 95% confidence interval 1.3514.30), had a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score, a higher risk of being mechanical ventilated (14% vs. 3%, P < 0.01), and a longer duration of hospitalization (5 days vs. 3 days, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: It is crucial to find the triggers that precipitate DKA and start the treatment as early as possible in addition to the metabolic aspect of the treatment especially when the trigger is an infectious disease.

May 2024
Oshrit Hoffer PhD, Moriya Cohen BS, Maya Gerstein MD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD, Yael Richenberg MD, Shay Nathanson MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis in children. However, distinguishing GAS from viral pharyngitis is sometimes difficult. Unnecessary antibiotic use contributes to unwanted side effects, such as allergic reactions and diarrhea. It also may increase antibiotic resistance. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a machine learning algorithm on the clinical evaluation of bacterial pharyngitis in children.

Methods: We assessed 54 children aged 2–17 years who presented to a primary healthcare clinic with a sore throat and fever over 38°C from 1 November 2021 to 30 April 2022. All children were tested with a streptococcal rapid antigen detection test (RADT). If negative, a throat culture was performed. Children with a positive RADT or throat culture were considered GAS-positive and treated antibiotically for 10 days, as per guidelines. Children with negative RADT tests throat cultures were considered positive for viral pharyngitis. The children were allocated into two groups: Group A streptococcal pharyngitis (GAS-P) (n=36) and viral pharyngitis (n=18). All patients underwent a McIsaac score evaluation. A linear support vector machine algorithm was used for classification.

Results: The machine learning algorithm resulted in a positive predictive value of 80.6 % (27 of 36) for GAS-P infection. The false discovery rates for GAS-P infection were 19.4 % (7 of 36).

Conclusions: Applying the machine-learning strategy resulted in a high positive predictive value for the detection of streptococcal pharyngitis and can contribute as a medical decision aid in the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P.

Fadi Hassan MD, Mohammad E. Naffaa MD

Since the introduction of the international study group (ISG) criteria for the diagnosis of Behçet's disease (BD) in the early 1990s by Yazici and colleagues [1] and the international criteria for BD (ICBD) by Davatchi and colleagues in 2014 [2], great progress has been achieved in the diagnosis of BD with fairly high sensitivity and specificity rates. However, a small, but very challenging and unique minority might not fulfill these criteria, at least at presentation. These patients are most challenging as they may present with life-threatening vascular or neurological manifestations. If the diagnosis BD is delayed, the risk for morbidity and even mortality might be increased. Therefore, we should aim for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

April 2024
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.

March 2024
Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD, Dina Qaraen Saloni MD, Mevaseret Avital MD, Naama Pines MD, Itai Gross MD, Giora Wieser MD, Saar Hashavya MD

Background: Hypothermia, as a sign of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in children and infants older than 90 days is poorly characterized, especially in the post-pneumococcal vaccine era.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of SBI in children and infants presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED) with reported or documented hypothermia.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted of all well-appearing children aged 0–16 years who presented with a diagnosis of hypothermia at two tertiary PEDs from 2010 to 2019.

Results: The study comprised 99 children, 15 (15.2%) age 0–3 months, 71 (71.7%) 3–36 months, and 13 (13.1%) > 36 months. The youngest age group had increased length of stay in the hospital (P < 0.001) and increased rates of pediatric intensive care unit admissions (P < 0.001). Empirical antibiotic coverage was initiated in 80% of the children in the 0–3 months group, 21.1% in the 3–36 months group, and 15.4% in > 36 months (P < 0.001). Only one case of SBI was recorded and no bacteremia or meningitis. Hypothermia of unknown origin was the most common diagnosis in all age groups (34%, 42%, 46%), respectively, followed by bronchiolitis (26%) and hypoglycemia (13.3%) for 0–3 month-old children, unspecified viral infection (20%) and otitis media (7%) for 3–36-month old, and unspecified viral infection (23%) and alcohol intoxication (15.2%) in > 36 months.

Conclusion: There is a low incidence of SBI in well-appearing children presenting to the PED with hypothermia and a benign course and outcome in those older than 3 months.

Eiman Shalabna MD, Nir Haya MD, Ariel Zilberlicht MD, Rotem Sadeh MD, Yoram Abramov MD

Background: Obliterative vaginal procedures may offer lower perioperative morbidity and equal success rates as reconstructive procedures for frail and elderly women who no longer desire future coital function. The combination of vaginal hysterectomy with either reconstructive or obliterative vaginal procedures has not yet been investigated.

Objectives: To compare peri- and postoperative outcomes of vaginal hysterectomy with pelvic floor reconstruction (VHR) vs. vaginal hysterectomy with colpocleisis (VHC).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study comparing medical and surgical data of patients undergoing either VHR or VHC between 2006 and 2015. Data were obtained from inpatient and outpatient medical records including peri- and postoperative course, as well as long-term (24 months) follow-up data.

Results: We identified 172 patients who underwent VHR and 44 who underwent VHC. Patients in the VHC group were significantly older (71.3 ± 4.5 vs. 68.6 ± 6.5 years, P = 0.01), and more likely to have medical co-morbidities (P = 0.001 and P = 0.029, respectively). Patients in the VHC group experienced shorter operative time (2.3 ± 0.58 vs. 2.7 ± 1.02 hours, P = 0.007), lower perioperative blood loss (P < 0.0001), shorter hospital stay (P < 0.0001), and lower rates of postoperative urinary retention. Long-term pelvic organ prolapse (POP) recurrence rates were significantly higher among the VHR group. Postoperative resolution of both stress urinary incontinence and overactive bladder were common in both groups.

Conclusions: VHC is associated with lower perioperative blood loss, shorter operative time, shorter hospital stay, shorter time with an indwelling catheter, and lower long-term objective POP recurrence rates.

Rottem Kuint MD, Henny Azmanov MD, Adi Shalom MD, Neville Berkman MBBCh

Background: Bronchiectasis is an obstructive chronic lung disease characterized by structural changes in large and small airways, namely permanent widening of bronchial lumen resulting in chronic inflammation and infection. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental mycobacteria that may cause human infection or colonization with over 150 species identified to date. Bronchiectasis with NTM colonization or infection is often encountered but with varying prevalence and unknown clinical or prognostic significance.

Objectives: To find the prevalence of NTM among patients with bronchiectasis in the Jerusalem district. To assess whether there were clinical differences between patients with bronchiectasis who were isolated with NTM and those without.

Methods: In this retrospective observational research study, we reviewed all computerized medical charts of patients over 18 years of age, who were diagnosed with bronchiectasis at Hadassah Medical Centers in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2017. We assessed the prevalence of NTM pulmonary disease. To compare patients with and without NTM, we reviewed and analyzed clinical, radiological, and microbiological data of all NTM patients and a group of controls in a 4:1 ratio.

Results: Prevalence of NTM among bronchiectasis patients was 5.1%, slightly lower than previously reported in Israel. We did not find clinically or radiological significant differences in patients with NTM disease compared to controls. This result included a similar number of exacerbations, hospitalization rates, number of lobes involved, and pulmonary function tests.

Conclusions: Bronchiectasis patients with isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa experienced more exacerbations than patients with other isolates, consistent with previous studies.

Shiri Zarour MD, Esther Dahan MD, Dana Karol MD, Or Hanoch, Barak Cohen MD, Idit Matot MD

Background: Survivors of critical illness are at increased risk of long-term impairments, referred to as post-intensive care unit (ICU) syndrome (PICS). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among ICU survivors with reported rates of up to 27%. The prevalence of PTSD among Israeli ICU survivors has not been reported to date.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of new onset PTSD diagnosed in a post-ICU clinic at a tertiary center in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, single center, cohort study. Data were collected from medical records of all patients who visited the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center post-ICU clinic between October 2017 and June 2020. New onset PTSD was defined as PTSD diagnosed by a certified board psychiatrist during the post-ICU clinic visit. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Overall, 39 patients (mean age 51 ± 17 years, 15/39 females [38%]) attended the post-ICU clinic during the study period. They were evaluated 82 ± 57 days after hospital discharge. After excluding 7 patients due to missing proper psychiatric analysis, 32 patients remained eligible for the primary analysis. New PTSD was diagnosed in one patient (3%).

Conclusions: We found lower incidence of PTSD in our cohort when compared to existing literature. Possible explanations include different diagnostic tools and low risk factors rate. Unique national, cultural, and/or religious perspectives might have contributed to the observed low PTSD rate. Further research in larger study populations is required to establish the prevalence of PTSD among Israeli ICU survivors.

Mohammad Haydar MD, Uriel Levinger MD, George Habib MD MPH

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) is a cardiomyopathy that develops rapidly and is usually caused by mental or physical stress. It is usually a transient cardiomyopathy. The presumed cause of the onset of the syndrome is the increase and extreme secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine due to extreme stress. An infectious disease such as sepsis can also be the cause [1].

One of the most widespread diagnostic tools is the revised version of Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Criteria for TTS (2008) [2], which incorporates transient wall-motion abnormalities, absence of a potential coronary culprit, myocarditis, and pheochromocytoma. The prognosis for TTS is usually favorable and resolves with complete recovery in 4–8 weeks in more than 90% of patients.

Marco Harari MD

Since 1980 dermatologists have been interested in the exceptional healing reported by patients who underwent treatments at the Dead Sea. Tens of thousands of patients have visited this area and more than 10,000 cases have been the subject of clinical and laboratory studies since this natural therapeutic option was discovered for psoriasis management. Through evaluation of the published articles on climatotherapy, we tried to reach a global assessment of the usefulness of this approach and to discover whether this treatment still can be recommended in the era of biologic treatments. I conducted a review of the available literature on clinical trials through PubMed, Medline, and Google Scholar using the terms psoriasis and Dead Sea. I found 26 studies published between 1982 and 2021. Assessment of patients showed major improvement through several selected parameters. Length of the stay and medical supervision positively influenced the major outcomes observed. Duration of improvement and possible long-term side effects of this natural treatment still need to be more precisely determined. Exposure to the unique climatic factors of the region, essentially the sun and the sea, induces fast and significant results with high clearance rates of psoriasis plaques. Dead Sea climatotherapy still has its place for the control of psoriasis symptoms.

February 2024
Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

January 2024
Mattan Arazi MD, Michael Lemanski MA, Michael Belkin MD, Daphna Landau-Prat MD

Background: Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) causes significant patient morbidity as well as economic burden.

Objectives: To evaluate a novel eyelid warming and a neuro-stimulating device that delivers heat via low-level infrared radiation to the eyelids of patients with MGD.

Methods: In this prospective interventional study, patients with MGD were recruited at a single medical center. The main outcome measures included changes in tear break-up time (TBUT), Schirmer’s test, and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), overall satisfaction, and corneal signs of dry eye. Patients were instructed to use the device twice daily for 5 minutes on each eye for a total of 14 days. Follow-up assessments were performed after the 2-week treatment.

Results: A total of 10 patients were included; mean age was 67 ± 16 years; six males (60%). Changes in pre- vs. post-treatment TBUT (5.0–6.11), OSDI (28.1–23.9), and Schirmer score (8.67–7.11) were not statistically significant. Over a course of 243 treatments, 131 (54%) demonstrated improvement in symptoms, 40% found no change, and 6% experienced worsening of symptoms. General satisfaction was observed overall in 80% of the patients. No adverse events were observed.

Conclusions: In this first study of a novel eyelid warming device, overall subjective satisfaction was reported in 80% of patients. Potential advantages of this user-friendly device include its ability to improve MGD and tear film stability, as well as symptomatic relief, while allowing the user to continue with normal daily functioning while undergoing treatment.

Milena Tocut MD, Amir Tanay MD, Gisele Zandman-Goddard MD

Paraneoplastic syndromes are reported in 8–15% of patients diagnosed with cancer [1]. They are defined as syndromes that occur due to an underlying malignancy, which has yet to be diagnosed, or at the time of the diagnosis and less frequently following the diagnosis of a malignancy. Several mechanisms are involved including autocrine and paracrine mediators, hormones, peptides, cytotoxic lymphocytes, and cytokines [1,2].

December 2023
Ron Ben Elyahu MD, Basel Khateeb MD, Eyal Yaacobi MD, Ezequiel Palmanovich MD, Omer Marom MD, David Segal MD, Michael Markushevich MD, Nissim Ohana MD, Yaron S. Brin MD

Background: Hip fractures are a public health problem that disproportionately affects the elderly. Displaced femoral neck fractures were treated historically with hemiarthroplasty, but the use of total hip arthroplasty (THA) is increasing showing superior long-term results.

Objectives: To assess whether THA has superior short-term results compared to bipolar hemiarthroplasty for displaced femoral neck fractures.

Methods: Two groups of active older patients underwent either cementless bipolar hemiarthroplasty or THA for displaced femoral neck fracture. All patients were operated on using the direct lateral approach to the hip joint. Patients were assessed using the Harris Hip Score at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up.

Results: We included 40 patients ages 65–85 years; 18 underwent bipolar hemiarthroplasty and 22 THA. The number of women in each group was similar, as was mean age: 73.1 ± 4.2 years in the hemiarthroplasty group and 71.0 ± 3.7 in THA. Harris Hip Score on hospital discharge was similar in both groups. Walking ability at discharge was better in the THA cohort and they were discharged sooner: 5.2 ± 1.3 vs. 6.4 ± 1.7 days following hemiarthroplasty (P = 0.021). At 6 weeks follow-up, the mean Harris Hip Score was higher in the THA group (78.6 ± 11 vs. 61.5 ± 17 for hemiarthroplasty, P < 0.001). Patients in the THA group walked longer distances, needed less support while walking, and reported less pain.

Conclusions: Better short-term results at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up after THA contributed to earlier patient independence and shorter hospital stays.

November 2023
Lior Benjamin Pilas MD, Orit Gur BSc, Gidon Berger MD

Background: In the past decade, numerous new imaging and laboratory tests have been implemented that significantly contribute to improved medical diagnostic capabilities. However, inappropriate utilization, which occurs on a large scale, has significant ramifications for both patient care and health systems.

Objectives: To assess the impact of a novel clinical decision support system (CDSS) applied to our electronic medical records on abdominal ultrasonography utilization pattern.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing patterns of abdominal ultrasound utilization in cases of liver enzyme elevation, with and without CDSS, between February and May in 2017 (before CDSS implementation) and during the same months in 2018 (after CDSS implementation). The following parameters were collected: number of tests ordered according to the guidelines, tests with a diagnostic value, and order forms completed with any data or a diagnostic question. The comparison was conducted using chi-square test.

Results: Of 152 abdominal ultrasound tests, 72 were ordered in the pre-implementation period and 80 in the post-implementation period. The system failed to reach statistical significance regarding the rates of ordered tests according to the guidelines and/or tests with a diagnostic value. However, the use of the CDSS had a statistically significant impact regarding completing the order form with data, including a specific diagnostic question.

Conclusions: The effect of the system on the efficiency of test utilization was partial. However, our findings strongly suggested that CDSS has the potential to promote proper usage of complementary technologies.

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