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עמוד בית
Tue, 06.06.23

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November 2022
Regev Landau MD, Ana Belkin MD, Sapir Kon-Kfir MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD, Avishay Grupper MD, David Shimunov MD, Ben-Ami Sela PhD, Ehud Grossman MD, Gadi Shlomai MD, Avshalom Leibowitz MD

Background: Most dyspneic patients in internal medicine departments have co-morbidities that interfere with the clinical diagnosis. The role of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is well-established in the acute setting but not in hospitalized patients.

Objectives: To evaluate the additive value of BNP tests in patients with dyspnea admitted to medical wards who did not respond to initial treatment.

Methods: We searched the records of patients who were hospitalized in the department of internal medicine D at Sheba Medical Center during 2012 and were tested for BNP in the ward. Data collected included co-morbidity, medical treatments, diagnosis at presentation and discharge, lab results including BNP, re-hospitalization, and mortality at one year following hospitalization.

Results: BNP results were found for 169 patients. BNP was taken 1.7 ± 2.7 days after hospitalization. According to BNP levels, dividing the patients into tertiles revealed three equally distributed groups with a distinctive character. The higher tertile was associated with higher rates of cardiac co-morbidities, including heart failure, but not chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Higher BNP levels were related to one-year re-hospitalization and mortality. In addition, higher BNP levels were associated with higher rates of in-admission diagnosis change.

Conclusions: BNP levels during hospitalization in internal medicine wards are significantly related to cardiac illness, the existence of heart failure, and patient prognosis. Thus, BNP can be a useful tool in managing dyspneic patients in this setting.

August 2020
Yuval Levy MD MHA, Yael Frenkel Nir MD, Avinoah Ironi MD, Hindy Englard RN MSc, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Galia Rahav MD, Arnon Afek MD and Ehud Grossman MD

Background: Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, is a tertiary hospital located in the center of Israel. It is the largest hospital in Israel and was the first to face coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients in the country at the beginning of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on our triage method in the emergency department (ED). Our goal was to keep the main hospitalization buildings clean of infection by separating COVID-19 positive patients from COVID-19 negative patients.

Methods: We divided our ED into two separate sections: a regular non-COVID-19 ED and an advanced biological ED. We created clear protocols of triage for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. We reviewed the data of patients admitted to our ED during the month of March and analyzed the results of our triage method in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients.

Results: During the month of March 2020, 7957 patients were referred to our ED. Among them 2004 were referred to the biological ED and 5953 were referred to the regular ED. Of the 2004 patients referred to the biological ED, 1641 (81.8%) were sampled for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction of whom 143 (8.7%) were positive. Only two COVID-19 positive patients unintentionally entered the main clean hospital, making our triage almost full proof.

Conclusions: Our triage method was successful in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients and maintained the regular hospital clean of COVID-19 allowing treatment continuation of regular non-COVID-19 patients.

March 2013
A. Elkayam, E. Peleg, E. Grossman, Z. Shabtay and Y. Sharabi
 Background: Allium sativum, the active ingredient in garlic, is known to have a beneficial effect on major cardiovascular risk factors, including dyslipidemia, blood pressure, blood glucose and insulin levels. However, the data on the significance of these effects are inconsistent due to methodological limitations, especially the use of whole garlic cloves which does not allow controlled dosing of the active compound.

Objectives: To study the effects of purified allicin on the cardiovascular system.

Methods: Spontaneously hypertensive rats treated for 6 weeks with a daily dose of 80 mg/kg/day of purified allicin added to their chow were compared to control rats that were fed regular chow. Weight, systolic blood pressure (SBP), triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin and adiponectin were measured at baseline and at the end of the study.

Results: Allicin had no effect on body weight whereas it reduced SBP significantly from 190 ± 7.5 mmHg to 168 ± 5.7 (P < 0.0001) and triglyceride levels from 96 ± 25 mg/dl to 71 ± 19 (P =0.009). Allicin had no effect on plasma cholesterol, insulin and adiponectin levels.

Conclusions: Allicin lowers blood pressure and triglyceride levels in spontaneously hypertensive rats. This effect is not mediated through weight loss.


April 2007
M. Garty, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, M. Mittelman, A. Porath, B.S. Lewis, E. Grossman, S. Behar, J. Leor, M. S. Green, R. Zimlichman and A. Caspi

Background: Despite improved management of heart failure patients, their prognosis remains poor.

Objectives: To characterize hospitalized HF[1] patients and to identify factors that may affect their short and long-term outcome in a national prospective survey.

Methods: We recorded stages B-D according to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definition of HF patients hospitalized in internal medicine and cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in Israel.

Results: During March-April 2003, 4102 consecutive patients were recorded. Their mean age was 73 ± 12 years and 57% were males; 75.3% were hypertensive, 50% diabetic and 59% dyslipidemic; 82% had coronary artery disease, 33% atrial fibrillation, 41% renal failure (creatinine ³ 1.5 mg/dl), and 49% anemia (hemoglobin £ 12 g/dl). Mortality rates were 4.7% in-hospital, 7.6% at 30 days, 18.7% at 6 months and 28.1% at 12 months. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased 1 year mortality rate was associated with New York Heart Association III–IV (odds ratio 2.07, 95% confidence interval 1.78–2.41), age (for 10 year increment) (OR[2] 1.41, 95% CI[3] 1.31–1.52), renal failure (1.79, 1.53–2.09), anemia (1.50, 1.29–1.75), stroke (1.50, 1.21–1.85), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.25, 1.04–1.50) and atrial fibrillation (1.20, 1.02–1.40).

Conclusions: This nationwide heart failure survey indicates a high risk of long-term mortality and the urgent need for the development of more effective management strategies for patients with heart failure discharged from hospitals.


[1] HF = heart failure

[2] OR = odds ratio

[3] CI = confidence interval

B. S. Lewis, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, S. Behar, D. A. Halon, V. Boyko, J. Leor, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, A. Porath, M. Mittelman, A. Caspi and M. Garty

Background: Heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function is a major cause of cardiac disability.

Objectives: To examine the prevalence, characteristics and late clinical outcome of patients hospitalized with HF-PSF[1] on a nationwide basis in Israel.

Methods: The Israel nationwide HF survey examined prospectively 4102 consecutive HF patients admitted to 93 internal medicine and 24 cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in the country. Echocardiographic LV function measurements were available in 2845 patients (69%). The present report relates to the 1364 patients who had HF-PSF (LV ejection fraction ≥ 40%).

Results: Mortality of HF-PSF patients was high (in-hospital 3.5%, 6 months 14.2%, 12 months 22.0%), but lower than in patients with reduced systolic function (all P < 0.01). Mortality was higher in patients with HF as the primary hospitalization diagnosis (16.0% vs. 12.5% at 6 months, P = 0.07 and 26.2% vs. 18.0% at 12 months, P = 0.0002). Patients with HF-PSF who died were older (78 ± 10 vs. 71 ± 12 years, P < 0.001), more often female (P = 0.05) and had atrial fibrillation more frequently (44% vs. 33%, P < 0.01). There was also a relationship between mortality and pharmacotherapy: after adjustment for age and co-morbid conditions, mortality was lower in patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (P = 0.0003) and angiotensin receptor blockers (P = 0.002) and higher in those receiving digoxin (P = 0.003) and diuretic therapy (P = 0.009).

Conclusions: This nationwide survey highlights the very high late mortality rates in patients hospitalized for HF without a decrease in systolic function. The findings mandate a focus on better evidence-based treatment strategies to improve outcome in HF-PSF patients.


[1] HF-PSF = heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function

January 2007
E. Kitai, S. Vinker, L. Halperin, A. Meidan and E. Grossman

Background: Recently the Joint National Committee (7th report) introduced the term “pre-hypertension.” Little is known on its prevalence in the general population.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of pre-hypertension in a large national cohort.

Methods: We analyzed the database of all ≥ 18 year old members of Leumit Health Services, one of the four health management organizations in Israel, from which we retrieved the recorded blood pressure levels. Pre-hypertension was defined according to the JNC-7[1] criteria.

Results: Of the 426,033 subjects 18.6% had a diagnosis of hypertension or used antihypertensive medications. Only 40.8% of the other 346,799 subjects had had their BP[2] measured in the preceding 2 years. BP recording rates were higher in females than in males (45.1% vs. 36.3%) and higher in elderly subjects than in young subjects (56% aged 66–75 years vs. 32% aged 18–25). Pre-hypertension was observed in 80,625 (23.2%) of the 346,799 while only 56,113 (16.2%) had normal BP records. The prevalence of pre-hypertension increased with age (13.3% aged 18–25 vs. 44.8% aged 66–75), and was more prevalent in men than in women (24.0% vs. 22.5%).

Conclusions: BP levels among young people are low, even though the prevalence of pre-hypertension in this population may be high. Thus, more emphasis should be given to routine BP measurements and confirmation of the findings in all age groups.

[1] JNC-7 = Joint National Committee 7th report

[2] BP = blood pressure

December 2006
A. Jotkowitz, A. Porath, A. Shotan, M. Mittelman, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, B.S. Lewis, A. Caspi, S. Gottlieb and M. Garty, for the Steering Committee of the Israeli Heart Failure National Survey 2003

Background: Despite significant advances in the therapy of heart failure, many patients still do not receive optimal treatment.

Objectives: To document the standard of care that patients hospitalized with HF[1] in Israel received during a 2 month period.

Methods: The Heart Failure Survey in Israel 2003 was a prospective 2 month survey of patients admitted to all 25 public hospitals in Israel with a diagnosis of HF.

Results: The mean age of the 4102 patients was 73 years and 43% were female. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme/angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers both declined from NYHA class I to IV (68.8% to 50.6% for ACE[2]-inhibitor/ARB[3] and 64.1% to 52.9% for beta blockers, P < 0.001 for comparisons). The percentage of patients by NYHA class taking an ACE-inhibitor or ARB and a beta blocker at hospital discharge also declined from NYHA class I to IV (47.5% to 28.8%, P < 0.002 for comparisons). The strongest predictor of being discharged with an ACE-inhibitor or ARB was the use of these medications at hospital admission. Negative predictors for their usage were age, creatinine, disease severity class, and functional status.

Conclusions: Despite the dissemination of guidelines many patients did not receive optimal care for HF. Reasons for this discrepancy need to be identified and modified.

[1] HF = heart failure

[2] ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme

[3] ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker

January 2006
D. Tanne, U. Goldbourt, S. Koton, E. Grossman, N. Koren-Morag, M. S. Green and N. M. Bornstein

Background: There are no national data on the burden and management of acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel.

Objectives: To delineate the burden, characteristics, management and outcomes of hospitalized patients with acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel, and to examine adherence to current guidelines.

Methods: We prospectively performed a national survey in all 28 hospitals in Israel admitting patients with acute cerebrovascular events (stroke or transient ischemic attacks) during February and March 2004.

Results: During the survey period 2,174 patients were admitted with acute cerebrovascular disease (mean age 71 ± 13 years, 47% women; 89% ischemic stroke or TIA[1], 7% intracerebral hemorrhage and 4% undetermined stroke). Sixty-two percent of patients were admitted to departments of Medicine and a third to Neurology, of which only 7% were admitted to departments with a designated stroke unit. Head computed tomography was performed during hospitalization in 93% of patients. The overall rate of urgent thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke was 0.5%. Among patients with ischemic stroke or TIA, 94% were prescribed an antithrombotic medication at hospital discharge, and among those with atrial fibrillation about half were prescribed warfarin. Carotid duplex was performed in 30% and any vascular imaging study in 36% of patients with ischemic events. The mean length of hospital stay was 12 ± 27 days for ICH[2] and 8 ± 11 days for ischemic stroke. Among patients with ICH, 28% died and 66% died or had severe disability at hospital discharge, and for ischemic stroke the corresponding rates were 7% and 41% respectively. Mortality rates within 3 months were 34% for ICH and 14% for ischemic stroke.

Conclusions: This national survey demonstrates the high burden of acute stroke in Israel and reveals discordance between existing guidelines and current practice. The findings highlight important areas for which reorganization is imperative for patients afflicted with acute stroke.

[1] TIA = transient ischemic attack

[2] ICH = intracerebral hemorrhage

April 2003
S. Behar, A. Battler, A. Porath, J. Leor, E. Grossman, Y. Hasin, M. Mittelman, Z. Feigenberg, C. Rahima-Maoz, M. Green, A. Caspi, B. Rabinowitz and M. Garty

Background: Little information is available on the clinical practice and implementation of guidelines in treating acute myocardial infarction patients in Israel.

Objective: To assess patient characteristics, hospital course, management, and 30 day clinical outcome of all AMI[1] patients hospitalized in Israel during a 2 month period in 2000.

Method: We conducted a prospective 2 month survey of consecutive AMI patients admitted to 82 of 96 internal medicine departments and all 26 cardiac departments operating in Israel in 2000. Data were collected uniformly by means of a hospital and 30 day follow-up form.

Results: During the survey 1,683 consecutive patients with a discharge diagnosis of AMI were included. Their mean age was 66 years; 73% were male. The electrocardiographic pattern on admission revealed ST elevation, non-ST elevation and an undetermined ECG[2] in 63%, 34% and 4% of patients respectively. Aspirin and heparin were given to 95% of patients. Beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were given to 76% and 65% of patients respectively. Among hospital survivors, 45% received lipid-lowering drugs. Thrombolytic therapy was administered in 28% of patients, coronary angiography was used in 45%, and 7% of patients underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention. The 7 and 30 day mortality rates were 7% and 11% respectively.

Conclusions: This nationwide survey shows that one-third of the AMI patients in Israel are elderly (≥ 75 years). The survey suggests that clinical guidelines for the management of patients with AMI are partially implemented in the community. Data from large surveys representing the "real world" practice are of utmost importance for the evaluation of clinical guidelines, research and educational purposes.

[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction

[2] ECG = electrocardiogram

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