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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

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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.

Natan Argaman MD, Avraham Meyer MD, Nisim Ifrach MD, Sara Dichtwald MD

Background: Opioid-base sedation is considered the first line choice in ventilated patients in intensive care units (ICU). Few studies have examined sedation in ventilated patients outside the ICU. A pilot program was initiated in the internal medicine ward A at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, Israel. A new sedation protocol was implemented for opioid-based versus benzodiazepine-based sedation in ventilated patients.

Objectives: To compare the rates and intensity of delirium between patients who received opioid-based sedation vs. benzodiazepine-based sedation. To compare parameters related to morbidity and mortality.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective before-after intervention study based on data collection. Patients who were admitted to the internal medicine ward A from January 2020 to January 2021 and required sedation and ventilation were included. Demographic data, medical history data, admission data, Richmond Agitation and Sedation Scale scores, hemodynamic parameters, reports of falls and self-harm, and data regarding unplanned extubation were collected, as well as the need for additional sedative drugs.

Results: Chronic hypertension was more common in the opioid group. Delirium intensity tended to be higher in the benzodiazepine group. The number of ventilation days was significantly higher in the benzodiazepine group, as was the number of times adjuvant sedation was required.

Conclusions: Opioid-based sedation outside the ICU was associated with shorter ventilation days, tendency toward lower intensity of delirium, and reduction in requirement of adjuvant sedative drugs compared to benzodiazepine-based sedation. Further studies are required to confirm the findings.

October 2023
Dror Dicker MD, Orly Tamir PhD MSc MHA, Gabriella Lieberman-Segal MD, Roy Eldor MD PhD, Moran Accos-Carmel RD MAN, Tatyana Kolobov PhD, Avraham Karasik MD

Background: In 2019, 1 mg subcutaneous semaglutide was registered for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. Recognition of its effect on weight has led to its use as a treatment for obesity.

Objectives: To explore physicians’ pre-therapy considerations, therapy practices, and attitudes regarding subcutaneous semaglutide for weight loss.

Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was disseminated to physicians who prescribed semaglutide 1-mg for weight loss using an authorized off-label path.

Results: In total, 127 physicians completed the questionnaire. As for pretreatment requirements, in the absence of diabetes, 30% requested a minimal body mass index of 30 kg/m2. Additional requirements were documented lifestyle-change effort (67%) and prior weight loss medication use (13%). Half of the physicians regarded calorie restriction, and 23% considered physical activity as necessary for weight loss while on therapy. As for dose, most physicians (78%) started with a 0.25-mg weekly injection, 57% doubled the dose monthly, and all others recommended doubling when side effects subsided. Regarding weight loss goal, 43% of the physicians set a personal goal with each patient while 26% limited the goal to 10% of initial weight. Fewer than 50% of physicians discussed treatment duration with their patients, and 52% of patients discontinued therapy in the first 3 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were price, lack of effect, and fear of long-term side effects.

Conclusions: The diverse approaches regarding off-label use of semaglutide for weight reduction highlight the necessity to guide physicians and standardize treatment regimen.

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
Hila Nochomovitz MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Ori Elkayam MD PhD, David Zeltser MD, Itzhak Shapira MD, Ori Rogowski MD, Smadar Gertel PhD, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty PhD, Victoria Furer MD

Background: The parasympathetic system and its main neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, contributes to homeostasis of inflammation. Cholinergic dysregulation is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has not been investigated.

Objectives: To compare the cholinesterase activity in patients with PsA and immunocompetent controls and to explore the correlation between cholinergic status (CS) and PsA disease activity.

Methods: Serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and total cholinesterase activity were measured in patients with PsA (n=88) and matched controls (n=84). Cholinergic activity before and 3–6 months after the initiation of a biologic treatment was evaluated in seven patients with PsA.

Results: The levels of AChE and CS were similar in both PsA patients and controls. PsA patients treated with biologics had significantly lower levels of AChE and CS compared to patients treated with non-biologics: 447.4 vs. 526 substrate hydrolyzed/min/ml, P = 0.005, and 1360.9 vs. 1536, P = 0.029, respectively. We found an association between C-reactive protein levels, AChE activity (r = 0.291, P = 0.008), and cholinergic status (r = 0.247, P = 0.026) in patients with PsA but not in controls. No correlation between AChE activity, cholinergic status, and the indices of PsA disease activity was found. After initiating or switching biologic treatment in 7 patients, AChE levels remained stable.

Conclusions: We demonstrated similar cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis and controls, highlighting a potential effect of biologic treatment on cholinergic activity in patients with PsA.

June 2023
Ibrahim Marai MD, Josef Steier MD, lia Novic MD, Ali Sakhnini MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon, Batsheva Tzadok MD

Background: The evaluation of syncope in emergency departments (EDs) and during hospitalization can be ineffective. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines were established to perform the evaluation based on risk stratification.

Objectives: To investigate whether the initial screening of syncope adheres to the recent ESC guidelines.

Methods: Patients with syncope who were evaluated in our ED were included in the study and retrospectively classified based on whether they were treated according to ESC guidelines. Patients were divided into two groups according to the ESC guideline risk profile: high risk or low risk.

Results: The study included 114 patients (age 50.6 ± 21.9 years, 43% females); 74 (64.9%) had neurally mediated syncope, 11 (9.65%) had cardiac syncope, and 29 (25.45%) had an unknown cause. The low-risk group included 70 patients (61.4%), and the high-risk group included 44 (38.6%). Only 48 patients (42.1%) were evaluated according to the ESC guidelines. In fact, 22 (36.7%) of 60 hospitalizations and 41 (53.2%) of 77 head computed tomography (CT) scans were not mandatory according to guidelines. The rate of unnecessary CT scans (67.3% vs. 28.6%, respectively, P = 0.001) and unnecessary hospitalization (66.7% vs. 6.7%, respectively, P < 0.02) were higher among low-risk patients than high-risk patients. Overall, a higher percentage of high-risk patients were treated according to guidelines compared to low-risk patients (68.2% vs. 25.7% respectively, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Most syncope patients, particularly those with a low-risk profile, were not evaluated in accordance with the ESC guidelines.

May 2023
Ola Gutzeit MD MSc, Zvi Millo MD, Naftali Justman MD, Natali Constantinescu MD, Ido Solt MD

Background: Uterine tachysystole during labor can lead to a decrease in fetal oxygen saturation and intracerebral oxygen saturation. Acute tocolysis using atosiban can inhibit uterine smooth muscle activity, potentially improving fetal status and facilitating vaginal delivery or allowing time to prepare for operative delivery.

Objectives: To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes in cesarean and vaginal deliveries following atosiban administration during fetal prolonged deceleration and tachysystole at gestational age 37 0/7 to 43 0/7 weeks.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, descriptive retrospective cohort study at a large tertiary referral center.

Results: Of the 275 patients treated with atosiban, 186 (68%) delivered vaginally (either spontaneous delivery or instrumental delivery) and 89 (32%) underwent a cesarean delivery. In a univariate analysis, cesarean delivery was associated with higher body mass index (27.9 ± 4.3 vs. 30.2 ± 4.8, P = 0.003). Second stage atosiban administration was associated with vaginal delivery (89.3% vs. 10.7%, P = 0.01). Cesarean delivery was associated with lower Apgar at 1 and 5 minutes and a higher rate of neonatal intensive care unit admissions. The incidence of PPH among women treated with atosiban in our study (2.3–4.3%) was higher than the incidence reported in the literature (1–3%)  

Conclusions: Atosiban may be an effective acute intervention for non-reassuring fetal heart rate during tachysystole, increasing the rate of vaginal delivery and potentially reducing the need for cesarean delivery. However, the potential risk of postpartum hemorrhage should be taken into consideration.

Daniel Leshin-Carmel MD, Aino Shperber MD, Inessa Minz MD, David Hassin MD, Daniel Starobin MD

Metastatic pulmonary calcinosis (MPC) is characterized by deposits of calcium in normal pulmonary parenchyma. Diffuse pulmonary calcinosis commonly occurs in hypercalcemia and/or hyperphosphatemia and is more commonly related to renal failure than primary hyperparathyroidism, skeletal metastases, or multiple myeloma [1]. Calcium depositions favor alkaline tissue and are thus more common in the upper lobes of the lung, which have a higher ventilation to perfusion ratio and a low capillary pCO2, resulting in an alkaline pH [2]. Therefore, the most common radiographic manifestation consists of poorly defined nodular opacities bilaterally in the upper lung zones [3].

March 2023
Yoav Siegler MD, Chen Ben David MD, Zeev Weiner MD, Ido Solt MD

Late, preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) presents a major obstetrical challenge balancing between iatrogenic prematurity and risk of prolonged rupture of membranes. In recent years, the pendulum has been shifting toward expectant management until gestation week 37 + 0. We examined the latest guidelines and major trials and summarized optimal management. We addressed the major dilemmas of women with PPROM during gestation weeks 34 + 0 to 36 + 6.

November 2022
Johad Khoury MD, Itai Ghersin MD, Eyal Braun MD, Adi Elias MD, Doron Aronson MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, Fadel Bahouth MD

Background: Current guidelines for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are based on studies that have excluded or underrepresented older patients.

Objectives: To assess the value of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) in HFrEF patients 80 years of age and older.

Methods: A single-center retrospective study included patients hospitalized with a first and primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and ejection fraction (EF) of ≤ 40%. Patients 80 years of age and older were stratified into two groups: GDMT, defined as treatment at hospital discharge with at least two drugs of the following groups: beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), or mineralocorticoid antagonists; and a personalized medicine group, which included patients who were treated with up to one of these drug groups. The primary outcomes were 90-day all-cause mortality, 90-day rehospitalization, and 3-years mortality.

Results: The study included 1152 patients with HFrEF. 254 (22%) patients who were at least 80 years old. Of the group, 123 were GDMT at discharge. When GDMT group was compared to the personalized medicine group, there were no statistically significant differences in terms 90-day mortality (17% vs. 13%, P = 0.169), 90-day readmission (51 % vs. 45.6%, P = 0.27), or 3-year mortality (64.5% vs. 63.3%, P = 0.915).

Conclusions: Adherence to guidelines in the older adult population may not have the same effect as in younger patients who were studied in the randomized clinical trials. Larger prospective studies are needed to further address this issue.

July 2022
Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

June 2022
Yair Bezalel Shahar BPT, Ruth Goldstein MD, Yaniv Nudelman MSc PT, Omri Besor MD MPH, and Noa Ben Ami PT PhD1

Background: Low back pain has been the leading cause for disability worldwide for several decades, and clinical guidelines for its management clearly emphasize a multifactorial approach. Yet, current guidelines are still not well implemented by clinicians.

Objectives: To explore the attitudes of family medicine residents regarding low back pain and to determine whether they positively correlate with their treatment approaches. To test if these attitudes can be affected by the Enhanced Transtheoretical Model Intervention (ETMI), a guideline-based workshop.

Methods: Participants completed an online questionnaire regarding their attitudes toward low back pain and clinical habits, after which they attended an online ETMI educational workshop. One month later all participants were asked to complete the questionnaire a second time. Statistical analysis was conducted to explore the attitudes of the residents and clinical approaches, as well as any associations between them, as well as possible differences pre- and post-intervention.

Results: The participants exhibited highly psychologically oriented attitudes. Correlations between the attitudes and treatment did not show consistent coherency. Results regarding the participants clinical approaches were revealed to have two distinct and opposed inclinations: biomedically and biopsychosocially. Last, results for the re-activation subscale were significantly higher post-intervention.

Conclusions: Family medicine residents seem to be highly psychologically oriented regarding low back pain; however, they do not necessarily treat their patients accordingly. Their clinical choices seem to follow two different approaches: guideline-consistent and non-guideline-consistent. An ETMI guideline-based workshop may sway their attitudes toward re-activation of patients. Further research is needed to determine whether similar results would arise in larger physician populations.

Yael Steinfeld-Mass PT MSc, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, Shmuel Fay MD, Eli Pinchevsky MD, Liron Gershovitz MD, and Noa Ben Ami PT PhD

Background: Over the past several years there has been a marked increase in the number of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers having hip arthroscopy based on magnetic resonance arthrography diagnosis of hip labral tears and/or impingement.

Objectives: To detail characteristics of soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy and assess outcomes and rate of return to duty.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy 2018 to 2020, and soldiers referred for hip arthroscopy during 2021. Demographic, medical, and military service data were collected from the computerized patient record.

Results: Our study comprised 117 soldiers (29% combatants, 24% females) who underwent hip arthroscopy, mean age 22 ± 3 years, range 18–42; 45% had physiotherapy before surgery; 31% were diagnosed during or within 3 months of having back pain and 20% had been referred for psychological assistance (not related to the hip pain); 15.4% had serious adverse events. The mean time to return to any duty (including clerical work) was 8.0 ± 0.6 months; 56% of the soldiers never returned to service and were discharged from the military. During the one-year follow-up, only 6% returned to their full pre-symptom activity.

Conclusions: The short-term results of IDF soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy during the study period were much inferior to those reported among athletes. The lack of specificity of the diagnostic tools (history, examination, and imaging) used to determine whether surgery for hip pain is likely to be beneficial in this population may be contributing to over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

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