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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

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April 2024
Limor Adler MD MPH, Or Tzadok Zehavi MD, Miriam Parizade PhD, Yair Hershkovitz MD, Menashe Meni Amran MD, Robert Hoffman MD, Tal Hakmon Aronson MD, Erela Rotlevi MD, Bar Cohen MPH, Ilan Yehoshua MD

Background: The prevalence of Group A streptococcus (GAS) carriage among adults is studied less than in children. The variability of reported carriage rates is considerably large and differs among diverse geographic areas and populations.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of GAS carriage among adults in Israel.

Methods: In this prospective study, conducted in a large healthcare maintenance organization in Israel, we obtained pharyngeal cultures from adults attending the clinic without upper respiratory tract complaints or fever. Patient data included sex, age, number of children, and religious sectors.

Results: From May to December 2022, eight family physicians collected a total of 172 throat swabs (86% response rate). The median age was 37 years (range 18–65); 72.7% were females, 22.7% were ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and 69.2% had children. The prevalence of GAS carriage was 6.98%, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 3.7%–11.9%. GAS carriers were younger (31.7 vs. 39.3 years, P = 0.046), and the majority were ultra-Orthodox Jews (58.3% vs. 20%, P = 0.006). All GAS carriers were from lower socioeconomic status. When assessing risk factors for GAS carriage using multivariate analysis, only being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was positively related to GAS carriage (adjusted odds ratio 5.6, 95%CI 1.67–18.8).

Conclusion: Being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was the single variable associated with a GAS carriage, which may be related to having many children at home and living in overcrowded areas. Primary care physicians in Israel should recognize this situation when examining patients with sore throats, mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews.

March 2024
Mohammad Haydar MD, Uriel Levinger MD, George Habib MD MPH

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) is a cardiomyopathy that develops rapidly and is usually caused by mental or physical stress. It is usually a transient cardiomyopathy. The presumed cause of the onset of the syndrome is the increase and extreme secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine due to extreme stress. An infectious disease such as sepsis can also be the cause [1].

One of the most widespread diagnostic tools is the revised version of Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Criteria for TTS (2008) [2], which incorporates transient wall-motion abnormalities, absence of a potential coronary culprit, myocarditis, and pheochromocytoma. The prognosis for TTS is usually favorable and resolves with complete recovery in 4–8 weeks in more than 90% of patients.

December 2023
Moshe Salai MD, Yoram Sandhaus MD, Ahuva Golik MD, Naomi Rahimi-Levene MD, Hana Castel MD, Zachi Grossman MD, Avinoam Tzabari MD, Eitan Lunenfeld MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD, Talma Kushnir PhD

The ancient, Biblical, holy Ten Commandments were presented to humanity to serve as guidelines for relationships between individuals and the deity they worship as well as a benchmark for living in civilized communities, irrespective of religious affiliation. The commandments are also embedded in medical education taught to medical students and other health professions throughout the world. Thus, the Ten Commandments are embedded in the medical communications curriculum at Adelson School of Medicine, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel. Unfortunately, most of these commandments were desecrated during the violent, hostile, merciless, and ruthless attack inflicted by the Hamas terror organization on villages, rural communities, and cities in southern Israel on 7 October 2023. We define the Ten Commandments in terms of medical education and describe their desecration by Hamas terrorists before and during the Iron Swords war.

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.

Rotem Liran MD, Wakar Garra MD, Or Carmi MD, Yair Levy MD, Yael Einbinder MD

Higher potency bisphosphonates, typically intravenous formulations, are given at lower doses for postmenopausal women. The treatment has improved compliance compared to daily oral therapy. Since bisphosphonates are exclusively excreted via the kidneys, intravenous formulation has been associated with deterioration of renal function, specifically in the setting of preexisting renal disease or concomitant use of nephrotoxic agents [1].

Yael Weintraub MD, Raffi Lev-Tzion MD, Jacob Ollech MD, Hagar Olshaker MD, Irit Rosen MD, Shlomi Cohen MD, David Varssano MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Manar Matar MD

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) medications are the most frequently used biologicals to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Little is known about the ocular side effects of this drug category. We present a case series of six young patients with Crohn disease (CD) and no previous ophthalmologic manifestations who developed blepharitis after commencing treatment with anti-TNFα therapy. Six otherwise healthy patients with CD, with no history of allergies or prior ocular complaints, developed blepharitis at a median of 7.5 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα therapy. All ophthalmic findings were treated topically. The ocular symptoms of two of the patients resolved shortly after discontinuation of the anti-TNFα treatment. The other four presented with relapsing-remitting symptoms. Blepharitis is a common ocular disease in the general population and an extra-intestinal manifestation in patients with IBD. It may be an adverse effect of anti-TNFα therapy in this patient population.

November 2023
Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eilon Ram MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Jonathan Frogal MD, Shany Levin MA, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Unfractionated heparin is the preferred anticoagulant used during open heart surgeries, including left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In cases in which patients are heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive (HIT+), the accepted practice has been to substitute heparin with bivalirudin. This practice may be associated with significant bleeding and adverse outcomes.

Objectives: To review our experience with HIT+ patients who were heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis negative (HITT-) and who underwent HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation using heparin intraoperatively rather than bivalirudin.

Methods: From 2016 to 2022, 144 adult patients were implanted with HeartMate 3 LVAD at our center. Among them, 7 were detected as HIT+ but HITT- and therefore were prescribed intraoperatively with heparin and treated pre- and postoperatively with bivalirudin. We reviewed the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative characteristics as well as short-term mortality and the complication rates of these HIT+ patients.

Results: The median age of our cohort was 56 years (51–60), 71% were male (n=5), all were INTERMACS Level 1, and most were bridged to transplant (n=6, 86%). The 30-day mortality rate post-implantation was 0%. The average 24-hour chest drain postoperative output was 1502.86 ± 931.34 ml. There were no intraoperative pump thromboses, perioperative thromboses, cerebrovascular accidents, or gastrointestinal bleeding within the first 24 hours postoperative. One patient required a revision due to bleeding.

Conclusions: Intraoperative unfractionated heparin may be administered to patients who are HIT+ and HITT- while undergoing LVAD implantation. However, further investigation is required.

October 2023
Wakar Garra MD, Yair Levy MD

Nocardia species are gram-positive aerobic bacteria, usually acquired by inhalation or traumatic percutaneous inoculation [1,2]. It is a rare opportunistic infection that mainly occurs in immunocompromised hosts, patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), organ transplant recipients, and long-term corticosteroid treated patients [1,2]. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. The increased use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors has been accompanied by increased risk of different opportunistic infections including reactivation of tuberculosis, viral hepatitis B and C, listeria, fungal and bacterial infections [3,4]. To date, there are scarce case reports regarding nocardial infection with anti-TNF, particularly during the first 6 months of treatment.

We present a case of nocardial tenosynovitis of the hand in a patient with psoriatic arthropathy who was followed in our rheumatology clinic in Meir medical center in Israel after treatment with an anti TNF therapy.

August 2023
Shimrit Yaniv-Salem MD, Lianne Dym MD, Lior Nesher MD, Doron Zahger MD, Aryeh Shalev MD, Hezzy Shmueli MD

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare but potentially devastating complication of pregnancy. Although the pathophysiology of PPCM is not fully understood, there are known risk factors for developing PPCM, which are maternal and gestation related. In the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we witnessed an elevated incidence of PPCM among COVID-19 survivors.

Objectives: To present a single-center case series of three patients diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy after recovered from COVID-19 during the index pregnancy.

Methods: In this single center case study, all patients diagnosed with PPCM at our institute during the examined time frame were included. Electronic medical records were studied.

Results: Three patients previously diagnosed with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 disease during pregnancy presented with PPCM before or shortly after delivery. Patients underwent testing to rule out residual COVID-19 myocarditis, were treated pharmacologically and with wearable defibrillators as needed, and were examined in follow-up 1–9 months after delivery.

Conclusions: Residual endothelial damage due to COVID-19 disease, even if originally mild in presentation, could predispose pregnant patients to PPCM and should be considered as a risk factor when assessing patients with new onset symptoms of heart failure. Further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis and fully determine the underlying pathophysiology. These preliminary findings warrant a high index of suspicion for PPCM in COVID-19 recoverers.

Maya Shina MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Guy Rozen MD MHA, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, David Planer MD, Ronny Alcalai MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC, Offer Amir MD FACC

Background: Among the most frequent complications following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is hemostasis imbalance that presents either as thromboembolic or bleeding. Deviations in platelet count (PC) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are markers of hemostasis imbalance.

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of pre- and post-procedural PC and MPV fL 1-year all-cause mortality in patients who underwent TAVR.

Methods: In this population-based study, we included 236 TAVR patients treated at the Tzafon Medical Center between 1 June 2015 and 31 August 2018. Routine blood samples for serum PC levels and MPV fL were taken just before the TAVR and 24-hour post-TAVR. We used backward regression models to evaluate the predictive value of PC and MPV in all-cause mortality in TAVR patients.

Results: In this study cohort, MPV levels 24-hour post-TAVR that were greater than the cohort median of 9 fL (interquartile range 8.5–9.8) were the strongest predictor of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.343, 95% confidence interval 1.059–1.703, P-value 0.015). A statistically significant relationship was seen in the unadjusted regression model as well as after the adjustment for clinical variables.

Conclusions: Serum MPV levels fL 24-hour post-procedure were found to be meaningful markers in predicting 1-year all-cause mortality in patients after TAVR.

Narin N. Carmel Neiderman MD MSc, Nir Halevy MD, Tal Kas MD, Anat Wengier MD, Ahmad Safadi MD, Avraham Abergel MD

Background: Nasal obstruction is one of the most common complaints in the practice of rhinology.

Objective: To adapt the Nasal Obstruction Scale Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaire to Hebrew (H-NOSE) and to assess its sensitivity and specificity.

Methods: Candidates for surgical intervention due to isolated nasal obstruction and healthy volunteers (controls) were included in the validation. The English NOSE questionnaire was translated into Hebrew and re-translated for translation validity. Patients completed the H-NOSE questionnaire before and after surgery for nasal obstruction. The same questionnaire was completed by the controls. Test–retest reliability was performed within 2 weeks. Psychometric properties (reliability, reproducibility, validity, and responsiveness) were assessed by a test–retest procedure, internal consistency, correlation to the Hebrew Sino-Nasal Outcome Tool 22 (He-SNOT-22), and response sensitivity.

Results: In total, 179 patients with nasal obstruction and 74 controls completed the questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha score was 0.93 for internal consistency. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity (< 90%) and area under the curve was 0.97. We found no significant difference in test–retest reliability. The difference between the pre- and postoperative questionnaire scores was highly significant (13.9 ± 4.0 vs. 3.2 ± 4.1, respectively, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The H-NOSE questionnaire demonstrated reliable internal consistency, sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. The Hebrew version differentiated between patients and heathy controls and was easy to administer. This instrument is useful for Hebrew speaking patients who undergo surgery for nasal obstruction.

Netta Shoenfeld BA, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, David R. Serfaty MD, Revital Mann MD, Bat-Sheva Porat Katz MD, Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: While several studies have noted smell impairment in schizophrenia, it is unclear whether this impairment extends to acute psychosis and whether it is associated with more severe illness as expressed in extended hospitalization.

Objectives: To evaluate the olfactory function of patients in an acute psychotic state and correlate it with clinical symptomatology and length of hospitalization.

Methods: Olfactory function was assessed in 20 patients with schizophrenia in their first week of hospital admission for acute psychosis compared with matched controls. Olfaction was evaluated via three stages: threshold, discrimination, and identification of different odors utilizing the Sniffin' Sticks test battery.

Results: Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower on total smell score, discrimination, and identification abilities. A significant association was observed between hospitalization duration and total smell score and smell discrimination. No significant associations between smell and clinical symptomatology were observed.

Conclusions: Study observations confirm impaired sense of smell in schizophrenia patients and suggest that smell impairment may be a potential marker of more serious illness as expressed in longer hospital stay.

July 2023
Ravit Bassal PhD, Varda Shalev MD, Vered H. Eisenberg MD, Orit Stein-Reisner MD, Eduardo Schejter MD

Background: Depression has been shown to be associated with cervical tumors (CTs), an association mostly demonstrated in studies in which temporality could not have been ascertained.

Objectives: To study the association between depression and CTs and the influence of co-morbidities of this association in a large cohort study.

Methods: A retrospective computer-based cohort study was conducted. The cohort included 357,450 female members of Maccabi Healthcare Services. The cohort was classified as depressed or non-depressed using the International Classification of Diseases 9/10 codes. For each subgroup, demographic characteristics, behavioral characteristics, co-morbidities, and CTs diagnosis were obtained. The burden of co-morbidities was defined as the sum of major co-morbidities. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis due to over-dispersion to estimate the relative risk (RR) for CTs with 95% confidence interval (95%CI).

Results: Depression was diagnosed in 15,789 women. Among this group, CTs were diagnosed in 1585 (10.0%). Among the 341,661 non-depressed, CTs were diagnosed in 4185 (1.2%). After adjustment to age and socioeconomic status, the association between depression and CTs was RR=9.2 (95%CI 8.7–9.9, P-value < 0.0001). The association between depression and CTs increased as the burden of clinical conditions increased (P-value < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Women with depression are at a higher risk for CTs, especially among those who have several co-morbidities. Tighter gynecology surveillance is crucial among these women.

Aaron Hanukoglu MD, Dorit Lev MD

Children affected with Poland syndrome are born with missing or underdeveloped muscles (typically pectoralis major) on one side of the body. Breast abnormalities such as unilateral hypoplasia or agenesis of the breast and nipple may also occur. Other muscles on the affected side, including other muscles in the chest wall, shoulder, arm, and hand, may be missing or underdeveloped [1]. Ribs may be noticeable due to the loss of subcutaneous fat. Sparse or absent axillary and pectoral hairs are a common manifestation of this syndrome.

June 2023
Jonathan Abraham Demma MD, Lisandro Luques MD PhD, Lior Cohen MD, Uri P. Dior MD, Gad Marom MD, Asaf Kedar MD, Naama Lev Cohain MD, Alon Pikarsky MD, Gidon Almogy MD, Liat Appelbaum MD

Background: Abdominal pathology in pregnant patients is a frequent challenge for emergency department physicians. Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice but is inconclusive in approximately one-third of cases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming increasingly available, even in acute settings. Multiple studies have defined the sensitivity and specificity of MRI in this population.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of MRI findings in pregnant patients presenting with acute abdominal complaints to the emergency department.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single institution. Data were collected on pregnant patients who underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints between 2010 and 2019 at a university center. Patient demographics, diagnosis at admission, ultrasound and MRI findings, and discharge diagnosis were recorded and evaluated.

Results: In total, 203 pregnant patients underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints during the study period. MRI was found without pathology in 138 cases (68%). In 65 cases (32%), the MRI showed findings that could explain the patient's clinical presentation. Patients presenting with long-standing abdominal pain (> 24 hours), fever, leukocytosis, or elevated C-reactive protein values were at a significantly increased risk of having an acute pathology. In 46 patients (22.6%), MRI findings changed the primary diagnosis and management while in 45 patients (22.1%) MRI findings improved characterization of the suspected pathology.

Conclusions: MRI is helpful when clinical and sonographic findings are inconclusive, leading to changes in patient management in more than one-fifth of patients.

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