• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Wed, 17.07.24

Search results

March 2024
Brittany Bass MD, Kuaybe Gulen MD, Liying Han MD PhD, Kassem Harris MD, Oleg Epelbaum MD FACP FCCP ATSF

A 69-year-old woman with a 30-year history of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on leflunomide presented with dizziness and weakness. Vital signs, cardiopulmonary auscultation, and laboratory studies were normal. The serological status of her RA was unknown. She exhibited ulnar deviation and swan-necking of the hands but no nodular skin lesions. She was an active smoker. Chest radiography revealed an opacity in the right lung. Computed tomography (CT) showed multiple pulmonary nodules and a dominant thick-walled cavitary mass in the periphery of the right lower lobe [Figure 1A]. Due to concern for a malignancy or infection, she underwent a bronchoscopy with a biopsy of the mass, which was non-diagnostic. A subsequent transthoracic needle biopsy demonstrated a central zone of necrosis surrounded by a cuff of palisading epithelioid histiocytes with the presence of occasional giant cells [Figure 1B]. There was no malignancy, and stains for micro-organisms were negative. In this clinical context, biopsy results were consistent with a pulmonary rheumatoid nodule (PRN).

February 2024
Yoad M. Dvir, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

In the grand theater of modern medicine, artificial intelligence (AI) has swiped the lead role, with a performance so riveting it deserves an Oscar, or at least a Nobel. From the intricate labyrinths of our arteries to the profound depths of our peepers, AI is the new maestro, conducting symphonies of data with the finesse of a seasoned virtuoso [1,2].

Sotirios G. Tsiogkas MD, Yoad M. Dvir, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos MD PhD

Over the last decade the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has reformed academic research. While clinical diagnosis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is largely straightforward, the determining factors of a clinical response to therapy, and specifically to biologic agents, have not yet been found. AI may meaningfully impact attempts to unravel the prognostic factors that affect response to therapy, assist experimental techniques being used to investigate immune cell populations, examine whether these populations are associated with treatment responses, and incorporate immunophenotype data in prediction models. The aim of this mini review was to present the current state of the AI-mediated attempts in the field. We executed a Medline search in October 2023. Selection and presentation of studies were conducted following the principles of a narrative–review design. We present data regarding the impact AI can have on the management of psoriatic disease by predicting responses utilizing clinical or biological parameters. We also reviewed the ways AI has been implemented to assist development of models that revolutionize the investigation of peripheral immune cell subsets that can be used as biomarkers of response to biologic treatment. Last, we discussed future perspectives and ethical considerations regarding the use of machine learning models in the management of immune-mediated diseases.

December 2023
Chen Kugel MD, Dana Arnheim MD, Arad Dotan BSc, Maya Furman MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

On 7 October 2023, a large-scale invasion by armed Hamas terrorists occurred in southern Israel. Approximately 1500 militants breached the Gaza security barrier using tractors, RPGs, and explosives. Concurrently, the terrorists utilized various means including armed vehicles, motorized paragliders, sea incursions, and a massive rocket attack launched toward Israel. On entering Israeli territory, the militants dispersed and targeted several towns, kibbutzim (collective communities), and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military bases near Gaza. This strategy resulted in a death toll exceeded 1300 civilians and soldiers. In addition, more than 240 individuals were abducted. This attack occurred in one day. In this article, we introduce the Israeli National Institute of Forensic Medicine, which specialized in forensic analysis during mass casualty incidents, and pivotal role it played on 7 October. We present a detailed discussion on methods, challenges, and adaptations the institute took in response to the event of 7 October.

November 2023
Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eilon Ram MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Jonathan Frogal MD, Shany Levin MA, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Unfractionated heparin is the preferred anticoagulant used during open heart surgeries, including left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In cases in which patients are heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive (HIT+), the accepted practice has been to substitute heparin with bivalirudin. This practice may be associated with significant bleeding and adverse outcomes.

Objectives: To review our experience with HIT+ patients who were heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis negative (HITT-) and who underwent HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation using heparin intraoperatively rather than bivalirudin.

Methods: From 2016 to 2022, 144 adult patients were implanted with HeartMate 3 LVAD at our center. Among them, 7 were detected as HIT+ but HITT- and therefore were prescribed intraoperatively with heparin and treated pre- and postoperatively with bivalirudin. We reviewed the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative characteristics as well as short-term mortality and the complication rates of these HIT+ patients.

Results: The median age of our cohort was 56 years (51–60), 71% were male (n=5), all were INTERMACS Level 1, and most were bridged to transplant (n=6, 86%). The 30-day mortality rate post-implantation was 0%. The average 24-hour chest drain postoperative output was 1502.86 ± 931.34 ml. There were no intraoperative pump thromboses, perioperative thromboses, cerebrovascular accidents, or gastrointestinal bleeding within the first 24 hours postoperative. One patient required a revision due to bleeding.

Conclusions: Intraoperative unfractionated heparin may be administered to patients who are HIT+ and HITT- while undergoing LVAD implantation. However, further investigation is required.

September 2023
Ljudmila Stojanovich PhD, Natasa Stanisavljevic PhD, Aleksandra Djokovic PhD, Milomir Milanovic PHD, Jovica Saponjski PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

Background: Data are scarce on the immunogenicity of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD).

Objectives: To measure the immunoglobulin G (IgG) response after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunization and to evaluate clinical characteristics associated with seropositivity.

Methods: Samples were collected after the second and third doses of the three different types of vaccines in ARD patients. Seroconversion rates and IgG antibody S1/S2 titers were measured.

Results: The type of ARD diagnosis and previous treatment had no significant impact on the serum IgG antibody levels measured after the second (P = 0.489 and P = 0.330, respectively) and boost dose (P = 0.441 and P = 0.446, respectively). What made a significant difference regarding serum IgG antibody levels after the second dose was the type of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The difference was highly statistically significant for all vaccine types (P = 0.001 with the highest odds ratio for the mRNA vaccine). After the boost with the mRNA vaccine, all patients achieved a high level of serum IgG antibody levels (t = 10.31, P = 0.001). No ARD patients experienced serious post-vaccinal reactions. Eight patients developed COVID-19 before the boost dose.

Conclusions: In ARDs patients, the highest level of serum IgG antibody against S1/S2 proteins was achieved with the mRNA vaccine, irrespective of the therapy applied or the type of the disease. We recommend a booster dose with mRNA vaccine in all ARDs for the highest SARS-CoV-2 protection without serious post-vaccinal reactions observed.

August 2023
Maya Shina MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Guy Rozen MD MHA, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, David Planer MD, Ronny Alcalai MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC, Offer Amir MD FACC

Background: Among the most frequent complications following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is hemostasis imbalance that presents either as thromboembolic or bleeding. Deviations in platelet count (PC) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are markers of hemostasis imbalance.

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of pre- and post-procedural PC and MPV fL 1-year all-cause mortality in patients who underwent TAVR.

Methods: In this population-based study, we included 236 TAVR patients treated at the Tzafon Medical Center between 1 June 2015 and 31 August 2018. Routine blood samples for serum PC levels and MPV fL were taken just before the TAVR and 24-hour post-TAVR. We used backward regression models to evaluate the predictive value of PC and MPV in all-cause mortality in TAVR patients.

Results: In this study cohort, MPV levels 24-hour post-TAVR that were greater than the cohort median of 9 fL (interquartile range 8.5–9.8) were the strongest predictor of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.343, 95% confidence interval 1.059–1.703, P-value 0.015). A statistically significant relationship was seen in the unadjusted regression model as well as after the adjustment for clinical variables.

Conclusions: Serum MPV levels fL 24-hour post-procedure were found to be meaningful markers in predicting 1-year all-cause mortality in patients after TAVR.

June 2023
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Tomer Kaplan BEMS MPH, Tammy Fink RN, Kyrill Grozovsky RN, Refael Strugo MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD

Background: A limited program for kidney donation from uncontrolled donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (uDCDD) was implemented at four hospitals in Israel in close cooperation with Magen David Adom (MDA), the national emergency medical service.

Objectives: To assess the outcome of transplantations performed between January 2017 and June 2022.

Methods: Donor data included age, sex, and cause of death. Recipient data included age, sex, and yearly serum creatinine levels. A retrospective study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases treated by MDA during 2021 were analyzed to assess their compatibility as potential uDCDD donors.

Results: In total, 49 potential donors were referred to hospitals by MDA. Consent was obtained in 40 cases (83%), organ retrieval was performed in 28 cases, and 40 kidneys were transplanted from 21 donors (75% retrieval rate). At 1-year follow-up, 36 recipients had a functioning graft (4 returned to dialysis) and mean serum creatinine 1.59 ± 0.92 mg% (90% graft survival). Outcome after transplantation showed serum creatinine levels (mg%) at 2 years 1.41 ± 0.83, n=26; 3 years 1.48 ± 0.99, n=16; 4 years 1.07 ± 1.06, n=7; and 5 years 1.12 ± 0.31, n=5. One patient died of multiple myeloma at 3 years. The MDA audit revealed an unutilized pool of 125 potential cases, 90 of whom were transported to hospitals and 35 were declared dead at the scene.

Conclusions: Transplant outcomes were encouraging, suggesting that more intensive implementation of the program may increase the number of kidneys transplanted, thus shortening recipient waiting lists.

April 2023
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, Andrew Gal MBBS FRCPA

The health of survivors of the Shoah has been investigated, both at early and late stages in their lives. There have been findings of multiple morbidities, but survivors have enjoyed slightly prolonged longevity when compared to the general population [1]. Less attention has been granted to investigations and descriptions of illnesses that presented inside the ghettos and the Nazi camps. Some of the surviving records from those sites have yet to be interpreted. Documented diagnoses of both insulin dependent and mature onset diabetes mellitus and of malignancy has been conspicuously absent. We present our meta-analysis and interpretations of surviving medical documents covering a large population of prisoners from a range of ghettos and concentration camps and specifically note the absence of recorded incidence of malignancy and a relatively low incidence of diabetes mellitus.

March 2023
Johnatan Nissan, Anna Blokh MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD MPH, Harald Heidecke PhD, Gilad Halpert PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is estimated to affect 2–4% of the general population. While FMS has some known environmental and genetic risk factors, the disorder has no clear etiology. A common coexisting disorder with FMS is small fiber neuropathy (SFN). High levels of serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) binding to trisulfated-heparin-disaccharide (TS-HDS) were recently found to be associated with SFN.

Objectives: To evaluate potential differences in anti-TS-HDS antibody titers in women with FMS compared to healthy controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated 51 female participants: 30 with a diagnosis of FMS and 21 healthy controls who had been recruited at the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. All of the participants were older than 18 years of age. Anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were measured in their sera using the enzyme immunoassay technique.

Results: The mean anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were significantly lower in the FMS group, compared with the control group (7.7 ± 5 vs. 13.2 ± 8.6 U/ml, respectively; P = 0.013).

Conclusions: There is a possible association between FMS and anti-TS-HDS IgM. This association might be the missing link for the coexistence of SFN and FMS, but further study should be performed to assess this association and this auto-antibody characteristic.

Alla Lubovich MD, Mariana Issawy MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Doron Sudarsky MD, Edo Y. Birati MD, Offer Amir MD FACC, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC

Background: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) represents a spectrum of ischemic myocardial disease including unstable angina (UA), non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Various prognostic scores were developed for patients presenting with NSTEMI-ACS. Among these scores, the GRACE risk score offers the best discriminative performance for prediction of in-hospital and 6-month mortality. However, the GRACE score is limited and cannot be used in several ethnic populations. Moreover, it is not predictive of clinical outcomes other than mortality.

Objective: To assess the prognostic value of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and laboratory biomarkers in predicting 6-month major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), including hospitalization, recurrent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), stroke, and cardiovascular mortality in patients with NSTEMI treated with PCI.

Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive patients admitted with an initial diagnosis of NSTEMI to the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at the Tzafon Medical Center, Israel, between April 2015 and August 2018 and treated by PCI within 48 hours of admission.

Results: A total of 223 consecutive patients with NSTEMI treated by PCI were included in the study. Logarithmebrain natriuretic peptide (LogₑBNP), prior MI, and Hb levels were found to be significant predictors of any first MACCE. Only logₑBNP was found to be an independent predictor of a first MACCE event by multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: LogₑBNP is an independent predictor of worse prognosis in patients with NSTEMI. Routine evaluation of BNP levels should be considered in patients admitted with NSTEMI.

Dana Arnheim MBBS BA, Arad Dotan BSc, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

The interplay between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autoimmunity is well known. One of the contributors leading to immune disorders is autonomic dysregulation, which is characterized by attenuated parasympathetic and elevated sympathetic systems. In this review, we described evidence regarding the relationship between stress, PTSD, autonomic dysfunction, and autoimmunity. Stress is a physiological response, which is functional for our being. The implication of dysfunction in stress response may be a cause of disease development. We described the fundamental role of the pathological high levels of stress in PTSD as a mediator factor that contributes to autonomic dysfunction, which as a result may lead to autoimmunity. Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes are some of the autoimmune diseases PTSD patients are at higher risk of developing. Notably, some autoimmune diseases are shown to increase the susceptibility to develop PTSD, which may indicate a bidirectional influence. In addition, we elaborated on stress as a major component in both fibromyalgia and PTSD, as there are overlaps between the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia and PTSD. Underlying chronic low-grade inflammation, which characterizes PTSD patients, may be a potential target and biomarker in treating PTSD patients. We believe that chronic low-grade inflammation, high concentrations of cytokines, and other inflammatory biomarkers, which characterize PTSD patients, may be potential targets and biomarkers in the treatment of PTSD patients and part of the PTSD diagnostic criteria.

August 2022
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Eyal Katvan PhD LLM LLB, and Tamar Ashkenazi PhD RN

Background: Changes accommodating requirements of religious authorities in Israel resulted in the Brain and Respiratory Death Determination Law (BRDDL), which came into effect in 2009. These included considering patient wishes regarding the brain respiratory death determination (BRDD), mandatory performance of apnea and ancillary testing, establishment of an accreditation committee, and accreditation required for physicians performing BRDD.

Objectives: To assess the impact of the legislation from 2010–2019.

Methods: Data collected included the number of formal BRDDs and accredited physicians. Obstacles to declaring brain death and interventions applied were identified.

Results: Obstacles included lack of trained physicians to perform BRDD and interpret ancillary test results, inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing, and non-approach to next-of-kin objecting to BRDD. Interventions included physician training courses, additional ancillary test options, and legal interpretation of patient wishes for non-determination of BRD. As a result, the number of non-determinations related to next-of-kin objecting decreased (26 in 2010 to 5 in 2019), inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing decreased (33 in 2010 to 2 in 2019), and number of physicians receiving accreditation increased (210 in 2010 to 456 in 2019). Last, the consent rate for organ donation increased from 49% to 60% in 2019.

Conclusions: The initial decrease in BRDDs has reversed, thus enabling more approaches for organ donation. The increased consent rate may reflect in part the support of the rabbinate and confidence of the general public that BRDD is performed and monitored according to strict criteria.

Tavor Ben-Zeev MS, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, and Jay R. Hoffman PhD

The connection between physical exercise and the brain has long been studied. The evidence showing that physical exercise plays a significant role on neurogenesis and cognitive function has primarily been based on research examining aerobic exercise. In this review, we described three exercise modalities: aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance exercise and their impact on brain plasticity and cognitive function. While each of these exercise modalities have been demonstrated to positively influence brain plasticity and cognitive function, the specific mechanism that stimulates these changes appear to differ to some degree between these training modalities. The effect of aerobic and anaerobic exercise appears to be primarily mediated by changes in expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), lactate, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and several additional proteins within the brain. However, resistance exercise appears to influence brain plasticity by myokines such as irisin, insulin-growth factor-1 (IGF1), and BDNF that are secreted from skeletal tissue and stimulate neurogenesis within the brain. In addition to the various training modes, manipulation of various acute program variables such as intensity, volume, and rest intervals leads to numerous possible training paradigms that can provide a different stimulus for neurogenesis. This review focuses on the three primary training modes and their connection to neurogenesis and cognitive function.

Naim Mahroum MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel