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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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March 2024
Batia Kaplan PhD, Rivka Goldis MSc, Tamar Ziv PhD, Amir Dori MD PhD, Hila Magen MD, Amos J Simon PhD, Alexander Volkov MD, Elad Maor MD PhD, Michael Arad MD

Background: Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is characterized by the extracellular deposition of misfolded protein in the heart. Precise identification of the amyloid type is often challenging, but critical, since the treatment and prognosis depend on the disease form and the type of deposited amyloid. Coexistence of clinical conditions such as old age, monoclonal gammopathy, chronic inflammation, or peripheral neuropathy in a patient with cardiomyopathy creates a differential diagnosis between the major types of CA: amyloidosis light chains (AL), amyloidosis transthyretin (ATTR) and amyloidosis A (AA).

Objectives: To demonstrate the utility of the Western blotting (WB)-based amyloid typing method in patients diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis where the type of amyloid was not obvious based on the clinical context.

Methods: Congo red positive endomyocardial biopsy specimens were studied in patients where the type of amyloid was uncertain. Amyloid proteins were extracted and identified by WB. Mass spectrometry (MS) of the electrophoretically resolved protein-in-gel bands was used for confirmation of WB data.

Results: WB analysis allowed differentiation between AL, AA, and ATTR in cardiac biopsies based on specific immunoreactivity of the electrophoretically separated proteins and their characteristic molecular weight. The obtained results were confirmed by MS.

Conclusions: WB-based amyloid typing method is cheaper and more readily available than the complex and expensive gold standard techniques such as MS analysis or immunoelectron microscopy. Notably, it is more sensitive and specific than the commonly used immunohistochemical techniques and may provide an accessible diagnostic service to patients with amyloidosis in Israel.

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.

March 2023
Abedallh Hamad MD, Frida Shemesh MD, Avi Ohry MD, Yekaterina Slutzky MD, Valeria Kaplan RN MA, Svetlana Kartoon MD, Raphael Joseph Heruti MD

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), or toxic epidermal necrolysis, is a rare syndrome that develops after an allergic reaction to a medication [1,2]. It affects the skin and the mucocutaneous tissue. Individuals diagnosed with SJS are rarely referred to a rehabilitation medicine (RM) facility.

The annual prevalence of SJS is about one in one million. The skin is covered with blisters. Usually, it affects about 10 % of body surface area. The patients are treated usually by ophthalmologists, dermatologists, allergologists, and immunologists. When severe complications occur, plastic surgeons and intensive care physicians may also be involved. Few publications were found that linked SJS with comprehensive rehabilitation treatment [3-5].

July 2022
Orna Tal MD MHA, Yaron Connelly MA, Tami Karni MD, Arnona Ziv MBA, Giora Kaplan PhD, and Baruch Velan PhD
September 2021
Roy Rafael Dayan MD, Yosef Ayzenberg MD, Tzachi Slutsky MD, Ela Shaer MD, Alon Kaplan BMedSc, and Vladimir Zeldetz MD

Background: Limited data exist regarding the safety of ultrasound-guided femoral nerve blockade (US-FNB) in patients with hip fractures treated with anti-Xa direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC).

Objectives: To compare the safety outcomes of US-FNB to conventional analgesia in patients with hip fractures treated with anti-Xa DOAC.

Methods: This observational exploratory prospective study included 69 patients who presented to our emergency department (ED) in 3 years with hip fracture and who were treated with apixaban or rivaroxaban. Patients received either a US-FNB (n=19) or conventional analgesics (n=50) based on their preference and, and the presence of a trained ED physician qualified in performing US-FNB. Patients were observed for major bleeding events during and 30 days after hospitalization. The degree of preoperative pain and opioid use were also observed.

Results: We found no significant difference in the number of major bleeding events between groups (47.4% vs. 54.0%, P = 0.84). Degree of pain measured 3 and 12 hours after presentation was found to be lower in the US-FNB group (median visual analog scale of pain improvement from baseline of -5 vs. -3 (P = 0.002) and -5 vs.-4 (P = 0.023), respectively. Opioid administration pre-surgery was found to be more than three times more common in the conventional analgesia group (26.3% vs.80%, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Regarding patients treated with Anti-Xa DOAC, US-FNB was not associated with an increase in major bleeding events compared to conventional analgesia, although it was an effective means of pain alleviation. Larger scale randomized controlled trials are required to determine long-term safety and efficacy.

September 2014
Itai Horowitz MD, Alla Kaplan MD, Suzanna Mostovoy MD, Nurit El-Bar MD, Alex Gizunterman MD and Daniela Amital MD MHA
May 2012
J.E. Schroeder, L. Kaplan, R. Eldor, A. Hasharoni, N. Hiller and Y. Barzilay
November 2011
A. Bleich, Y. Baruch, S. Hirschmann, G. Lubin, Y. Melamed, Z. Zemishlany and Z. Kaplan

Suicide is universal within the range of human behaviors and is not necessarily related to psychiatric morbidity, though it is considerably more prevalent among psychiatric patients. Considering the limitations of medical knowledge, psychiatrists cope with an unfounded and almost mythical perception of their ability to predict and prevent suicide. We set out to compose a position paper for the Israel Psychiatric Association (IPA) that clarifies expectations from psychiatrists when treating suicidal patients, focusing on risk assessment and boundaries of responsibility, in the era of defensive medicine. The final draft of the position paper was by consensus. The IPA Position Paper established the first standard of care concerning expectations from psychiatrists in Israel with regard to knowledge-based assessment of suicide risk, elucidation of the therapist's responsibility to the suicidal psychotic patient (defined by law) compared to patients with preserved reality testing, capacity for choice, and responsibility for their actions. Therapists will be judged for professional performance rather than outcomes and wisdom of hindsight. This paper may provide support for psychiatrists who, with clinical professionalism rather than extenuating considerations of defensive medicine, strive to save the lives of suicidal patients.

December 2009
S. Weitzman, S. Greenfield, J. Billimek, H. Tabenkin, P. Schvartzman, E. Yehiel, H. Tandeter, S. Eilat‎-Tsanani and S.H. Kaplan

Background: Research on synergistic effects of patient-targeted interventions combined with physician-targeted interventions has been limited.

Objectives: To compare a combined physician-patient intervention to physician feedback alone on a composite outcome of glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control.

Methods: In this cluster study 417 patients with adult-type 2 diabetes from four primary care clinics were randomized to receive either a physician-only intervention or a combined physician-plus-patient intervention. Physicians in all clinics received diabetes-related quality performance feedback during staff meetings. Patients at combined-intervention clinics also received a letter encouraging them to remind their doctors to address essential aspects of diabetes care at the next visit. At 1 year follow-up, outcome measurements included hemoglobin A1c, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and systolic blood pressure; the proportion of patients with HbA1c[1] < 9%, LDL[2] < 130 mg/dl and SBP[3] < 140 mmHg both as separate outcomes and combined.

Results: After adjusting for patient characteristics and baseline measures, follow-up levels of HbA1c (7.5% vs. 7.8%, P = 0.09), LDL (104.7 vs. 110.7 mg/dl, P < 0.05) and SBP (135.6 vs. 139.9, P = 0.10) were marginally better for combined-intervention patients compared to physician-only intervention patients. Significantly more patients in the combined-intervention (38.8%) than physician-only intervention (24.2%) met all three targets (HbA1c < 9%, LDL < 130 mg/dl and SBP < 140 mmHg) as a single combined outcome (adjusted odds ratio 2.4, P < .01).

Conclusions: Compared to physician-feedback alone, a dual intervention combining a patient letter with physician feedback produced modest improvements in glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control individually, but substantial improvement in a combined measure of these three outcomes together. Using composite outcomes may detect meaningful improvements in the management of complex chronic disease. 


[1] HbA1c = hemoglobin A1c

[2] LDL = low density lipoprotein

[3] SBP = systolic blood pressure

June 2008
A. Shemer, B. Kaplan, N. Nathansohn, M.H. Grunwald, B. Amichai and H. Trau

Background: Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic disease. Malassezia yeasts have been implicated in the pathogenesis of this disease. Antifungal agents are known to be effective in the treatment of Malassezia yeast infections.

Objectives To evaluate the efficacy of itraconazole in the treatment of mild to severe facial seborrheic dermatitis.

Methods: Sixty patients with moderate to severe seborrheic dermatitis were evaluated in an open non-comparative study. Patients were treated with oral itraconazole, initially 200 mg/day for a week, followed by a maintenance therapy of a single dose of 200 mg every 2 weeks. Four clinical parameters (erythema, scaling, burning, itching) were assessed using a 0–3 score. Mycological evaluation determined the presence of Malassezia spores in the scales using a direct smear.

Results: At the end of the initial treatment significant improvement was reported in three clinical parameters: erythema, scaling, itching. Maintenance therapy led to only slight further improvement. Burning sensation was only mildly improved during the treatment. The quantity of Malassezia spores present in the direct smear decreased throughout the treatment period. No blood test abnormalities were found during the treatment.

Conclusions: In this study initial treatment with itraconazole was beneficial in patients with moderate to severe seborrheic dermatitis.

October 2007
M. Klein, R. Agassi, A-R. Shapira, D.M. Kaplan, L. Koiffman and N. Weksler

Background: Percutaneous tracheostomy has largely replaced surgical tracheostomy in the intensive care unit setting. Although it seems logical that surgeons continue to do tracheostomies, anesthesiologists and intensive care specialists are familiar with airway control and guide wire techniques and could replace surgeons in the performance of PDT.

Objectives: To assess the safety and effectiveness of bedside PDT[1] in the ICU[2].

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 207 patients in the ICU who underwent PDT by an intensive care physician.

Results: Subcutaneous emphysema without pneumothorax occurred in one patient. Four patients underwent surgical revision following PDT. Early bleeding (during the first 48 hours following the procedure) was the indication in two patients and late bleeding, on the 10th post-PDT day, in one. In one case PDT was converted to surgical tracheostomy due to inadvertent early decannulation. There was one death directly related to the procedure, due to an unrecognized paratracheal insertion of the tracheostomy tube followed by mechanical ventilation, which led to bilateral pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum and cardio-circulatory collapse. No infectious complications were seen at the stoma site or surrounding tissues.

Conclusions: PDT by intensive care physicians appears to be safe and should be included in the curriculum of intensive care residency.

[1] PDT = percutaneous dilational tracheostomy

[2] ICU = intensive care unit

August 2006
L. Kaplan, Y. Bronstein, Y. Barzilay, A. Hasharoni and J. Finkelstein
 Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is often progressive and leads to motor and sensory impairments in the arms and legs. Canal expansive laminoplasty was initially described in Japan as an alternative to the traditional laminectomy approach. The results of this approach have not previously been described in the Israeli population.

Objectives: To describe the technique of CEL[1] and present our clinical results in the management of patients with CSM[2] due to multilevel compressive disease.

Methods: All patients undergoing CEL during the period 1984–2000 were identified. Of these, 24 of 25 patients had complete clinical information. Mean follow-up was 18 months (range 4–48). Mean age was 60 years (range 45–72). One patient underwent CEL at three levels, 22 at four to five levels and 1 patient at six levels The primary outcome measure was improvement in spinal cord function (according to the Nurick classification).

Results: Twenty-three (96%) of the patients experienced relief of their symptoms. Of these, 11 patients showed improvement in their Nurick grade, 12 patients were unchanged and one had worsening. Intraoperative complications (epidural bleeding and dural tear) occurred in six patients. Two patients developed a late kyphosis.

Conclusions: Our treatment of choice for multilevel CSM is canal expansive laminoplasty as initially described by Hirabayashi. It provides the ability for posterior surgical decompression without compromising the mechanical stability of the spine. This approach has the benefit of not requiring internal fixation and fusion. Our clinical outcome and surgical complication rate is comparable to other studies in the literature.


[1] CEL = canal expansive laminoplasty

[2] CSM = cervical spondylotic myelopathy

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