• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

Search results


February 2024
David J. Ozeri MD, Adiel Cohen MD, Noa Bacharach MD, Offir Ukashi MD, Amit Oppenheim MD

Background: Completing internal medicine specialty training in Israel involves passing the Israel National Internal Medicine Exam (Shlav Aleph), a challenging multiple-choice test. multiple-choice test. Chat generative pre-trained transformer (ChatGPT) 3.5, a language model, is increasingly used for exam preparation.

Objectives: To assess the ability of ChatGPT 3.5 to pass the Israel National Internal Medicine Exam in Hebrew.

Methods: Using the 2023 Shlav Aleph exam questions, ChatGPT received prompts in Hebrew. Textual questions were analyzed after the appeal, comparing its answers to the official key.

Results: ChatGPT 3.5 correctly answered 36.6% of the 133 analyzed questions, with consistent performance across topics, except for challenges in nephrology and biostatistics.

Conclusions: While ChatGPT 3.5 has excelled in English medical exams, its performance in the Hebrew Shlav Aleph was suboptimal. Factors include limited training data in Hebrew, translation complexities, and unique language structures. Further investigation is essential for its effective adaptation to Hebrew medical exam preparation.

January 2024
Israel Amirav MD

9 November 2023: Just one month after the tragic events of 7 October 2023, 240 individuals are still held hostage, ensnared by Hamas. Their medical plight is shrouded in silence. In the heart of Tel Aviv, a sea of health professionals gathers before the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices pleading for decisive action. Among the medical pleas for help is the haunting image of a young soldier in dire need of his inhaler [Figure 1]. Ron needs it to live. I, a pediatric pulmonologist intimately familiar with respiratory distress, captured that moment.

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.

Roni Eichel MD, Felix Benninger MD, Michael Teitcher MD

Since the horrific terrorist attacks of 7 October 2023 in Israel perpetrated by the Hamas terrorist group and the ensuing Iron Swords war, there has been another war raging in prominent medical journals in the form of editorials and letters to the editor. Multiple publications filled with misinformation and propaganda have questioned Israel’s right to defend herself, have implicitly or explicitly provided justification for the terror, and have even questioned the legitimacy of Israel’s existence. Rather than serve as a source of frustration and despondency due to abandonment by our colleagues, we believe this situation should serve as a call to action. Israeli physicians cannot afford to passively cede the arena of political advocacy to parties with anti-Israel and even antisemitic bias. Doing so would be devastating to Israeli medicine and to the quality of care we deliver to our patients.

Gabriel Levin MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Yoav Brezinov MD

Background: The Gaza–Israeli conflict poses challenges for unbiased reporting due to its complexity and media bias. We explored recent scientific publications to understand scholarly discourse and potential biases surrounding this longstanding geopolitical issue.

Objectives: To conduct a descriptive bibliometric analysis of PubMed articles regarding the recent Gaza–Israeli conflict.

Methods: We reviewed 1628 publications using keywords and medical subject headings (MeSH) terms related to Gaza, Hamas, and Israel. We focused on articles written in English. A team of researchers assessed inclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through a third researcher.

Results: Among 37 publications, Lancet, BMJ, and Nature were prominent journals. Authors from 12 countries contributed, with variety of publication types (46% correspondence, 32% news). Pro-Gaza perspectives dominated (43.2%), surpassing pro-Israel (21.6%) and neutral (35.1%) viewpoints. Pro-Gaza articles exhibited higher Altmetric scores, indicating increased social media impact. Pro-Israel publications were predominantly authored by Israelis.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pro-Gaza perspectives underscores challenges in maintaining impartiality. Higher social media impact for pro-Gaza publications emphasizes the need for nuanced examination. Addressing bias is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of this complex conflict and promoting balanced reporting.

Jlal Bathish MD MPH, Yael Alshanki MD, Yves Bitton MD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease characterized by restricted airflow, changes of lung tissues, and breathing difficulties [1]. Most patients are treated at home to maintain a stable lifestyle and quality of life [2].

An important feature of COPD is exacerbation, which is an acute worsening of symptoms that can result in decreased pulmonary functions, increased risk of death, and poorer quality of life. The frequency and severity of each exacerbation results in further worsening of pulmonary function [3]. Depression in COPD patients may cause objective impairment in function and decreased adherence to therapeutic interventions [4].

Acute stress disorder is characterized by acute reaction in the first month following exposure to a traumatic event such as threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault. Symptoms include intrusion, dissociation, negative mood avoidance, and arousal [5]. Stress on a more continuous basis can significantly debilitate a person's emotional and physical wellbeing, lead to depression and weakened immune system, and influence patients with already stressful and progressive conditions such as COPD.

We present a patient previously diagnosed with COPD who experienced an acute terror attack, which was a major and stressful event that caused severe exacerbation of the disease.

November 2023
Nitsa Nacasch MD, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Ilanit Wul BA, Michael Polliack MD, Mark Weiser MD

On Saturday, 7 October 2023, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, our entire country woke to a reality of the worst terror attacks it has ever known, despite its long history of wars and terror. These horrific attacks included killing and burning babies, children, women, men, and the elderly; raping women; beheading babies; destroying settlements; and kidnapping more than 240 civilians and soldiers. The severe traumatic events created different circles of those exposed to trauma. In each group, the intensity of the trauma was different and had different characteristics.

Ibrahim Zvidi MD, Ram Dickman MD, Doron Boltin MBBS

Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) prevalence varies according to both geographical region and ethnicity. The interplay between these two factors has been poorly studied.

Objectives: To determine the positivity rate of H. pylori infection among Jewish and Arab patients who live in a mixed urban center in Israel.

Methods: Between November 2009 and September 2014, dyspeptic patients referred to a gastroenterology clinic in Lod, Israel, were enrolled in a prospective study. For each patient, clinical and epidemiological data were collected and a noninvasive or endoscopy-based test for H. pylori was performed.

Results: A total of 429 consecutive patients (322 Jewish and 107 Arabs), mean age 45 years (range 15–91 years) were included; 130 males. Overall positivity for H. pylori was 42.4% (182/429). The positivity rate of H. pylori was 38.8% for Jews (125/322) and 53.2% for Arabs (57/107) in Lod (P < 0.01). When immigrants were excluded, the difference in H. pylori positivity did not reach statistical significance (45.0% [77/171] vs. 53.2% [57/107], P = 0.217, in Jews and Arabs, respectively).

Conclusions: H. pylori infection was more common in Arabs that Jews in the mixed city of Lod, Israel. This finding may suggest that non-environmental factors were responsible for the observed difference in H. pylori positivity.

Anat Milman MD PhD, Bernard Belhassen MD, Eyal Nof MD, Israel Barbash MD, Amit Segev MD, Roy Beinart MD

A 42-year-old healthy man collapsed suddenly in the street while walking. The patient received 2 minutes of basic life support until an automatic external defibrillator was brought and detected ventricular fibrillation (VF), which was successfully terminated by a single shock. The patient regained consciousness and was transferred to the hospital.

The patient’s physical examination was normal with no neurologic deficit. Blood pressure was 147/102 mmHg. Brain computed tomography showed normal findings. The first troponin I measurement within 1 hour of the event was in the normal range (19.6 ng/L, normal < 20 ng/L) and rose to 99.9 ng/L after 3 hours.

October 2023
Rotem Tal-Ben Ishay MD MPH, Kobi Faierstein MD, Haim Mayan MD, Noya Shilo MD

Background: At the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presented a new burden on healthcare systems.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the outcome of non-COVID patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study at a tertiary medical center in Israel. From December 2018 until June 2022, 6796 patients were hospitalized in the internal medicine wards. Patients were grouped based on their admission date: admitted during COVID waves (waves group), admitted between waves (interim group), and admitted during the same months in the previous year (former-year group).

Results: Mortality during hospitalization and 30-day mortality were higher in the waves group compared to the interim and former-year groups (41.4% vs. 30.5% and 24%, 19.4% vs. 17.9% and 12.9%, P < 0.001). In addition, 1-year mortality was higher in the interim group than in the waves and former-year group (39.1 % vs. 32.5% and 33.4%, P = 0.002). There were significant differences in the readmissions, both at 1 year and total number. The waves group had higher rates of mechanical ventilation and noradrenaline administration during hospitalization. Moreover, the waves group exhibited higher troponin levels, lower hemoglobin levels, and more abnormalities in liver and kidney function.

Conclusions: Hospitalized non-COVID patients experienced worse outcomes during the peaks of the pandemic compared to the nadirs and the preceding year, perhaps due to the limited availability of resources. These results underscore the importance of preparing for large-scale threats and implementing effective resource allocation policies.

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.

Yaniv Steinfeld MD, Omri Besor MD, Yaniv Yonai MD, Yaron Berkovich MD, Elad Apt MD, Nadav Rinott , Yaniv Keren MD

Background: Websites serve as a source of medical information for a large part of the public, some claim to be a substitute for a physician’s consultation. Many patients meet a physician after conducting internet research. Medical staff are concerned that internet sources of information are unreliable and may lead to erroneous decisions by patients.

Objectives: To examine the reliability of web-based sources of information (through the Google™ search engine) regarding five common orthopedic complaints and injuries.

Method: We performed a search of five common orthopedic complaints and injuries using the Google search engine. The reliability of web-based information was measured by the DISCERN tool, which is a valid and verified tool for examining the reliability of medical information sources to the public. The reliability of 47 websites was examined by two orthopedic surgeons and two senior residents.

Results: The overall average score given to the sites was 2.8, on a scale of 1 to 5. We found that the higher the site appeared in the search results, the higher the quality of its information. Commercial sites scored higher than general internet information sources.

Conclusions: The internet network is a very broad source of information. For those who lack scientific education and training it is not easy to distinguish between reliable and unreliable or biased sources. The trend of searching for medical information and self-healing is increasing. We must strengthen the network with reliable sources by creating official scientific position papers by medical teams and promoting them online.

September 2023
Alon Abraham MD, Beatrice Abramovich PhD, Tamar Banon MSc, Clara Weil MSc, Gabriel Chodick PhD, Nurit Birman MD, Yaara Fainmesser MD, Vivian E. Drory MD

Background: There is an unmet need for real-world data regarding laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers must identify specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS and understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS as well as possible subclinical disease manifestations.

Objectives: To valuate the role of laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of patients with ALS in Israel so that specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS can be identified and for possible subclinical disease manifestations. To understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS.

Methods: At the ALS clinic at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 259 ALS patients insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services and seen between January 1998 and December 2017 were included. Comparisons of demographics, co-morbidities, medications taken, history of trauma, and laboratory tests prior to disease onset were performed between patients and 1295 matched controls.

Results: Prior to disease presentation, ALS patients had a higher frequency of hypertension and cardiovascular disease; presented more frequently with trauma and viral infections; more frequently used analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, antibiotics, and antiviral medications; and had higher creatine kinase levels.

Conclusions: ALS patients showed higher frequency of cardiovascular disease prior to diagnosis, as well as higher frequency of trauma, infections, and pain medication usage.

Galit Almoznino DMD MSc MHA MPH, Maayan Sherman DMD, Doron J. Aframian DMD PhD, Yaron Haviv DMD PhD

Migraine is very common headache disorder, usually starting at a young age with a higher prevalence in females. In this narrative review, we summarize the prevalence, burden, and socio-demographic characteristics of migraineurs worldwide and specifically in Israel. We searched standard electronic bibliographic databases, including MEDLINE (via PubMed), Embase, Google Scholar, and Up to Date using combinations of search terms and reviewed the articles we found. The factors reviewed included prevalence and incidence, burden, sex differences, age distribution, cognitive function, socioeconomic status, religion, country of origin, and urban vs. rural dwelling.

August 2023
Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

Recognizing myocarditis is a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge due to the heterogeneity of its clinical presentation and the wide range of etiologies. There is a lack of uniformity among position papers and guidelines from various professional societies regarding the definition and diagnostic workout, including recommendations for performing endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) and medical management, especially the use of immunosuppressive regimens [1-3]. Moreover, there is significant variability among medical centers in Israel in the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to acute myocarditis. The purpose of this position paper is to present ways to standardize the management of acute myocarditis in Israel [4] by providing up-to-date definitions of the clinical categories of myocarditis, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic approaches that correspond to the realities of our healthcare system.

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