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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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October 2022
Dr. Shira Rosenberg-Bezalel, Dr. Daniel Elbirt, Dr Keren Mahlab-Guri

Background: Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder characterized by an erythematous pruritic rash. The disorder can be either irritant or allergic. Allergic contact dermatitis is diagnosed by patch testing along with patient history.

Objectives: To review the results of patch tests conducted thought 2 years and to present real-life data characterizing clinical features and comparing prevalent local allergens to the ones common worldwide.

Methods: The retrospective cohort included 517 participants (384 females and 133 males) who underwent patch testing during a 2-year period. For each patient, clinical and demographic data were collected, and statistical analysis was conducted.

Results: We found that 261 patients had a positive test for at least one allergen. More females tested positive than males (52.9% vs. 43.6%). Test indications other than dermatitis were associated with a negative result. Hands, head, and neck were the most prevalent body parts affected. Patients with a background of atopic dermatitis had a higher rate of contact sensitization (69 vs. 43). Patients with a specific suspected offending allergen had significantly higher contact sensitizations. The most common allergen was nickel.

Conclusions: Patch testing should be conducted in patients with relevant dermatological findings accompanied by taking a thorough medical history. Clinicians should be updated on emerging allergens and exposure trends.

March 2017
Shira Rosenberg Bezalel MD, Daniel Elbirt MD, Hana Leiba MD and Zev Moshe Sthoeger MD
January 2017
Zev Sthoeger MD, Margalit Lorber MD, Yuval Tal MD, Elias Toubi MD, Howard Amital MD, Shaye Kivity MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Ilan Asher MD, Daniel Elbirt MD and Nancy Agmon Levin MD

Background: Anti-BLyS treatment with the human belimumab monoclonal antibody was shown to be a safe and effective therapeutic modality in lupus patients with active disease (i.e., without significant neurological/renal involvement) despite standard treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the “real-life” safety and efficacy of belimumab added to standard therapy in patents with active lupus in five Israeli medical centers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective open-labeled study of 36 lupus patients who received belimumab monthly for at least 1 year in addition to standard treatment. Laboratory tests (C3/C4, anti dsDNA autoantibodies, chemistry, urinalysis and complete blood count) were done every 3–4 months. Adverse events were obtained from patients’ medical records. Efficacy assessment by the treating physicians was defined as excellent, good/partial, or no response.

Results: The study group comprised 36 lupus patients (8 males, 28 females) with a mean age of 41.6 } 12.2 years. Belimumab was given for a mean period of 2.3 } 1.7 years (range 1–7). None of the patients discontinued belimumab due to adverse events. Four patients (11.1%) had an infection related to belimumab. Only 5 patients (13.9%) stopped taking belimumab due to lack of efficacy. The response was excellent in 25 patients (69.5%) and good/partial in the other 6 (16.6%). Concomitantly, serological response (reduction of C3/C4 and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies) was also observed. Moreover, following belimumab treatment, there was a significant reduction in the usage of corticosteroids (from 100% to 27.7%) and immunosuppressive agents (from 83.3% to 8.3%).

Conclusions: Belimumab, in addition to standard therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for active lupus patients.

October 2016
Ilan Asher MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Daniel Elbirt MD, Shira Bezalel-Rosenberg MD and Zev Sthoeger MD
May 2016
Daniel Elbirt MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Shira Bezalel-Rosenberg MD, Ilan Asher MD and Zev Sthoeger MD
January 2015
Daniel Elbirt MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Shira Bazalel-Rosenberg MD, Harpreet Gill BHSc, Malka Attali MD and Ilan Asher MD
August 2014
Daniel Elbirt MD*, Ilan Asher MD*, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Shira Bezalel-Rosenberg MD, Victor Edelstein MD and Zev Sthoeger MD

Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by disturbance of the innate and adaptive immune systems with the production of autoantibodies by stimulated B lymphocytes. The BLyS protein (B lymphocyte stimulator) is secreted mainly by monocytes and activated T cells and is responsible for the proliferation, maturation and survival of B cells.

Objectivs: To study sera BLyS level and its clinical significance in Israeli lupus patients over time.

Methods: The study population included 41 lupus patients (8 males, 33 females; mean age 35.56 ± 15.35 years) and 50 healthy controls. The patients were followed for 5.02 ± 1.95 years. We tested 221 lupus sera (mean 5.4 samples/patient) and 50 normal sera for BLyS levels by a capture ELISA. Disease activity was determined by the SLEDAI score.

Results: Sera BLyS levels were significantly higher in SLE patients than in controls (3.37 ± 3.73 vs. 0.32 ± 0.96 ng/ml, P < 0.05). BLyS levels were high in at least one sera sample in 80.5% of the patients but were normal in all sera in the control group. There was no correlation between sera BLyS and anti-ds-DNA autoantibody levels. BLyS levels fluctuated over time in sera of lupus patients with no significant correlation to disease activity.

Conclusions: Most of our lupus patients had high sera BLyS levels, suggesting a role for BLyS in the pathogenesis and course of SLE. Our results support the current novel approach of targeting BLyS (neutralization by antibodies or soluble receptors) in the treatment of active lupus patients.

April 2014
Shira Bezalel MD, Keren Mahlab Guri MD, Daniel Elbirt MD, Ilan Asher MD and Zev Moshe Sthoeger MD
 Type I interferons (IFN) are primarily regarded as an inhibitor of viral replication. However, type I IFN, mainly IFNα, has a major role in activation of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, multi-systemic, inflammatory autoimmune disease with undefined etiology. SLE is characterized by dysregulation of both the innate and the adaptive immune systems. An increased expression of type I IFN-regulated genes, termed IFN signature, has been reported in patients with SLE. We review here the role of IFNα in the pathogenesis and course of SLE and the possible role of IFNα inhibition as a novel treatment for lupus patients.

August 2012
S. Bezalel, I. Asher, D. Elbirt and Z.M. Sthoeger

Current treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are effective in reducing morbidity and mortality but are not specific and have severe adverse effects. Based on understanding of the different dysregulated immunological pathways involved in SLE pathogenesis, specific targeted therapies were developed. This review presents the current and the near-future novel biological immune targeted treatments, such as B cell-targeted therapy, cytokine blockade, peptide-based treatments and other novel treatments for SLE.
 

February 2009
S. Kivity, D. Elbirt, K. Sade, D. Sthoeger, Z. Sthoeger and the Israeli Allergy Rhinitis/Asthma Study Group

Background: Mite allergy is an indoor allergen responsible for most respiratory allergies in the western world. Environmental control can modify disease activity in these patients.

Objectives: To examine the benefit of the Plasma Cluster® device (Sharp, Japan) for inactivating and removing mites from the environment of patients diagnosed with either mite‑sensitive perennial allergic rhinitis or mite‑sensitive allergic asthma.

Methods: Patients with AR[1] (n=30) or AA[2] (n=10) were enrolled into a prospective open observational 8 week study. The first 2 weeks involved initial evaluation, the following 4 weeks consisted of active usage of the device, and the last 2 weeks were designated for follow‑up. Symptom scores (recorded daily by patients and during visits by physicians) were recorded and analyzed.

Results: Patients with AR experienced a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in nasal discharge, post‑nasal drip, nasal congestion, nasal itching, watery eyes, itchy eyes, headache, itchy ears, night disturbances and an improvement in general well‑being during the last 2 days of the study compared to baseline. Patients with AA reported significant (P < 0.05) reduction in dyspnea, wheezing and the need to avoid dust mites. There was a significant (P < 0.05) improvement in mean peak expiratory flow rate at study closure compared to baseline.

Conclusions: Short-term usage of the Plasma Cluster® device resulted in considerable clinical improvement and increased peak expiratory flow rate in patients with AR or AA. The findings of this pilot study warrant longer and controlled studies to determine the value of this device in the treatment of various allergic disorders.






[1] AR = allergic rhinitis



[2] AA = allergic asthma



 
June 2007
Z.M. Sthoeger, A. Eliraz, I. Asher, N. Berkman, D. Elbirt

Background: Patients with severe persistent asthma despite GINA 2002 step 4 treatment are at risk for asthma-related morbidity and mortality. This study constitutes the Israeli arm of the international INNOVATE study.

Objectives: To determine the efficacy and safety of Xolair® as an add-on treatment in patients with severe persistent asthma.

Methods: Asthma patients (age 12–75 years) not controlled with high dose inhaled corticosteroids and long-active beta-2 agonists were randomized to receive either Xolair® or placebo for 28 weeks in a double-blind study in two Israeli centers.

Results: Thirty-three patients, 20 females and 13 males, mean age 54 ± 11.7 years, were included in the Israeli arm of the INNOVATE study. There were neither major adverse events nor withdrawals from the study. Xolair® (omalizumab) significantly reduced the rate of clinically significant asthma exacerbations (55% reduction) and all asthma-related emergency visits (53% reduction).
Conclusions: In patients with severe persistent difficult-to-treat asthma, despite regular treatment with LABA[1] and inhaled corticosteroids (GINA 2002 step 4), Xolair® is a safe and effective treatment







[1] LABA = long-active beta-2 agonists


April 2005
E. Magen, D. Elbirt and Z. Sthoeger
Highly active antiretroviral therapy has dramatically improved the quality of life and life expectancy of patients with human immunodeficiency virus. However, the prolonged use of HAART[1] leads to severe metabolic adverse events. Both HIV[2]infection and HAART can cause changes in lipid and glucose metabolism as well as elevation of blood pressure, promoting the development of atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular diseases have become a major cause of mortality among HIV-infected subjects who respond well to antiretroviral therapy. Nevertheless, a proper lifestyle and pharmacologic intervention can improve cardiovascular risk factors in the HIV-treated population and significantly reduce healthcare investments in the treatment of future cardiovascular complications in this population. In this review we summarize the current knowledge of CVD[3] prevention and treatment in HIV patients.

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[1] HAART = highly active antiretroviral therapy

[2] HIV = human immunodeficiency virus

[3] CVD = cardiovascular disease
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