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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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April 2022
Nir Levi MD, Linda Shavit MD, Adam Farkas MD, Joad Atrash MD, Yigal Helvitz MD, Yaacov Esayag MD, and Talya Wolak MD
March 2022
Lior Fortis MD, Ella Yahud MD, Ziv Sevilya PhD, Roman Nevzorov MD MPH, Olga Perelshtein Brezinov MD, Michael Rahkovich MD, Eli I Lev MD, and Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD

Background: The CHA2DS2-VASc score has been shown to predict systemic thromboembolism and mortality in certain groups in sinus rhythm (SR), similar to its predictive value with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Objectives: To compare factors of inflammation, thrombosis, platelet reactivity, and turnover in patients with high versus low CHA2DS2-VASc score in SR.

Methods: We enrolled consecutive patients in SR and no history of AF. Blood samples were collected for neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), C-reactive protein (CRP), immature platelet fraction (IPF%) and count (IPC), CD40 ligand, soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin) and E-selectin. IPF was measured by autoanalyzer and the other factors by ELISA.

Results: The study comprised 108 patients (age 58 ± 18 years, 63 women (58%), 28 (26%) with diabetes), In addition, 52 had high CHA2DS2-VASc score (³ 2 for male and ³ 3 for female) and 56 had low score. Patients with low scores were younger, with fewer co-morbidities, and smaller left atrial size. sP-selectin was higher in the high CHA2DS2-VASc group (45, interquartile ratio [IQR] 36–49) vs. 37 (IQR 28–46) ng/ml, P = 0.041]. Inflammatory markers were also elevated, CRP 3.1 mg/L (IQR 1.7–9.3) vs. 1.6 (IQR 0.78–5.4), P < 0.001; NLR 2.7 (IQR 2.1–3.8) vs. 2.1 (IQR 1.6–2.5), P = 0.001, respectively. There was no difference in E-selectin, CD40 ligand, IPC, or IPF% between the groups.

Conclusions: Patients in SR with high CHA2DS2-VASc score have higher inflammatory markers and sP-selectin. These findings may explain the higher rate of adverse cardiovascular events associated with elevated CHA2DS2-VASc score.

January 2022
Brice Nguedia Vofo MD, Ana Navarrete MD, Jaime Levy MD, and Itay Chowers MD

Background: In response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, routine clinical visits to the ophthalmic emergency department (OED) were deferred, while emergency cases continued to be seen.

Objectives: To assess the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for ophthalmic emergencies.

Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of patients who presented to the OED during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted. The proportions of traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent presentations in 2020 were compared to those of the same time period in 2019. Duration of chief complains and best-corrected visual acuity were also assessed.

Results: There were 144 OED visits in 2020 compared to 327 OED visits during the same 3-week-period in 2019. Lower mean age of OED patients was present in 2020. Logarithmic expression (LogMAR) best corrected visual acuity (BVCA) was similar in both years. In 2020 there was a reduction in traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent cases compared to 2019 (15.4% reduction, P = 0.038; 57.6% reduction, P = 0.002; 74.6% reduction, P = 0.005, respectively). There was a higher proportion of same-day presentations at commencement of symptoms in 2020 compared with 2019 (52.8% vs. 38.8%, respectively P = 0.006).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OED visits at a tertiary hospital dropped by more than half. Although the drop in visits was mostly due to decrease in non-traumatic-non-urgent cases, there was also decrease in non-traumatic-urgent presentations with possible important visual consequences. Additional studies should elucidate what happened to these patients

Gergana Marincheva MD, Tal Levi MD, Olga Perelshtein Brezinov MD, Andrei Valdman MD, Michael Rahkovich MD, Yonatan Kogan MD, and Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD

Background: Endocardial leads of permanent pacemakers (PPM) and implantable defibrillators (ICD) across the tricuspid valve (TV) can lead to tricuspid regurgitation (TR) or can worsen existing TR with subsequent severe morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To evaluate prospectively the efficacy of intraprocedural 2-dimentional-transthoracic echocardiography (2DTTE) in reducing/preventing lead-associated TR.

Methods: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled study comparing echocardiographic results in patients undergoing de-novo PPM/ICD implantation with intraprocedural echo-guided right ventricular (RV) lead placement (Group 1, n=56) versus non-echo guided implantation (Group 2, n=55). Lead position was changed if TR grade was more than baseline in Group 1. Cohort patients underwent 2DTTE at baseline and 3 and/or 6 months after implantation. Excluded were patients with baseline TR > moderate or baseline ≥ moderate RV dysfunction.

Results: The study comprised 111 patients (74.14 ± 11 years of age, 58.6% male, 19% ICD, 42% active leads). In 98 patients there was at least one follow-up echo. Two patients from Group 1 (3.6%) needed intraprocedural RV electrode repositioning. Four patients (3.5%, 2 from each group, all dual chamber PPM, 3 atrial fibrillation, 2 RV pacing > 40%, none with intraprocedural reposition) had TR deterioration during 6 months follow-up. One patient from Group 2 with baseline mild-moderate aortic regurgitation (AR) had worsening TR and AR within 3 months and underwent aortic valve replacement and TV repair.

Conclusions: The rate of mechanically induced lead-associated TR is low; thus, a routine intraprocedural 2DTTE does not have a significant role in reducing/preventing it

Zach Rozenbaum MD, Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Keren Lee-Rozenfeld MD, Shmuel Banai MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: The extent and impact of obesity as an isolated risk factor for coronary artery disease is not clear since co-morbidities serve as confounders and may mask this association.

Objectives: To examine whether obesity is associated with extensive coronary artery disease among metabolically healthy patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and to explore the outcomes according to body mass index (BMI).

Methods: We stratified STEMI patients who had a metabolically healthy phenotype and available weight and height data according to BMI: 18.5–25 kg/m² (lean), 25.01–30 kg/m² (overweight), and > 30 kg/m² (obese).

Results: Overall 381 patients were included, 42% lean, 41% overweight, and 17% obese. Patients with increased BMIs had higher levels of low-density proteins and triglycerides (P < 0.05). Obese patients presented with the lowest rates of multi-vessel disease (12.9% vs. 22.9% for overweight and 28% for lean). In a univariable analysis, obese patients were 60% less likely to be diagnosed with multi-vessel disease (odds ratio 0.4, 95% confidence interval 0.2–0.9, P = 0.021) compared to lean patients. The association remained significant in a multivariable model adjusted for baseline characteristics (P = 0.029). There were no differences in 30-day or long-term mortality (median follow-up 3.2 years) among the groups (P > 0.1 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: Metabolically healthy phenotype obesity was associated with lower rates of multi-vessel disease despite higher levels of triglycerides. However, this association did not translate into increased mortality.

December 2021
Sâmara Paula Ferreira Mota Colares MSc, Guilherme Moura Colares MD, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD, and Carlos Ewerton Maia Rodrigues MD PhD

Background: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a narrowing of the lumbar canal causing lower back pain, gluteal pain, and neurogenic claudication. LSS has been associated with cardiovascular co-morbidities. Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a pro-inflammatory condition involving a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is increasingly prevalent worldwide.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of MetS in patients with LSS, compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls, and to explore potential associations between MetS and LSS-related clinical parameters and cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study including 64 patients diagnosed as symptomatic LSS (NASS criteria) and 32 controls. MetS was diagnosed using the 2009 Harmonizing criteria adjusted for South Americans. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for MetS. The level of statistical significance was set at 5%.

Results: The prevalence of MetS was significantly higher in the LSS group than in the control group (76.6% vs. 31.3%; P < 0.001). LSS patients displayed greater waist circumference (P = 0.003), blood glucose levels (P = 0.009) and arterial pressure (P < 0.001) than controls. The variables with independent influence on MetS in the logistic regression model were: diabetes (P = 0.008), blood glucose (P = 0.004), and body mass index (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: MetS was significantly more prevalent among LSS patients, and diabetes and elevated body mass index were found to be risk factors for MetS in these LSS patients

Ben Sadeh MD, Tamar Itach MD, Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Shir Frydman MD, Samuel Morgan BSc, David Zahler MD, Yogev Peri MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD MPH, Yotam Pasternak MD MSc, Yan Topilsky MD,Shmuel Banai MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is associated with adverse prognosis in various patient populations, but currently no data is available about the prevalence and prognostic implication of TR in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients.

Objectives: To investigate the possible implication of TR among STEMI patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of STEMI patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and its relation to major clinical and echocardiographic parameters. Patient records were assessed for the prevalence and severity of TR, its relation to the clinical profile, key echocardiographic parameters, in-hospital outcomes, and long-term mortality. Patients with previous myocardial infarction or known previous TR were excluded.

Results: The study included 1071 STEMI patients admitted between September 2011 and May 2016 (age 61 ± 13 years; predominantly male). A total of 205 patients (19%) had mild TR while another 32 (3%) had moderate or greater TR. Patients with significant TR demonstrated worse echocardiographic parameters, were more likely to have in-hospital complications, and had higher long-term mortality (28% vs. 6%; P < 0.001). Following adjustment for significant clinical and echocardiographic parameters, mortality hazard ratio of at least moderate to severe TR remained significant (hazard ratio 2.44; 95% confidence interval 1.06–5.62; P = 0.036) for patients with moderate-severe TR.

Conclusions: Among STEMI patients after primary PCI, the presence of moderate-severe TR was independently associated with adverse outcomes and significantly lower survival rate

November 2021
Andrei Braester MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Bennidor Raviv MD, Lev Dorosinsky MD, Eyal Rosenthal MD, and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Mean platelet volume (MPV), an essential component of the complete blood count (CBC) indices, is underutilized in common practice. In recent years, MPV has drawn strong interest, especially in clinical research. During inflammation, the MPV has a higher value because of platelet activation.

Objectives: To verify whether high MPV values discovered incidentally in healthy naïve patients indicates the development or the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, particularly metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes.

Methods: A cohort study was used to assess the diagnostic value of high MPV discovered incidentally, in naïve patients (without any known cause of an abnormal high MPV, greater than  upper limit of the normal range, such as active cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome).

Results: The mean MPV value in the patient group was 12.3 femtoliter. There was a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome in our research group than in the general population and a non-significant tendency of pre-diabetes. Family doctors more frequently meet naïve patients with high MPV than a hospital doctor. The results of our study are more relevant for him, who should know the relevance of such a finding and search for a hidden pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: High MPV values discovered incidentally in healthy naïve subjects suggest the development or the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, particularly metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes. No statistically significant association was found between MPV and the presence of cardiovascular disease

Miki Paker MD, Tal Goldman MD, Muhamed Masalha MD, Lev Shlizerman MD, Salim Mazzawi MD, Dror Ashkenazi MD, and Rami Ghanayim MD

Background: The 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA2015) and the American College of Radiology Thyroid Imaging and Reporting Data System (ACR TI-RADS) are two widely used thyroid sonographic systems.

Objectives: To compare the two systems for accuracy of cancer risk prediction.

Methods: Preoperative ultrasound images from 265 patients who underwent thyroidectomy at our hospital from January 2012 to March 2019 were retrospectively categorized by the ACR TI-RADS and ATA2015 systems. Diagnostic performances were compared.

Results: Of 238 nodules assessed, 115 were malignant. Malignancy risks for the five ACR TI-RADS categories were 0%, 7.5%, 11.4%, 59.6%, and 90.0%. Malignancy risks for the five ATA2015 categories were 0%, 6.8%, 17.0%, 55.5%, and 92.1%. The proportion of total nodules biopsied was higher with the ATA2015 system than the ACR TI-RADS system: 88.7% vs. 66.3%. Proportions of malignant nodules and benign nodules biopsied were higher with ATA2015 than with ACR TI-RADS: 93.3% vs. 87.8% and 84.4% vs. 46.3%, respectively. Specificity and sensitivity rates were 53.6% and 84.3%, respectively, for ACR TI-RADS, and 15.5% and 93.3%, respectively, for ATA2015. The two systems showed similarly accurate diagnostic performance (AUC > 0.88). False negative rates for ACR TI-RADS and ATA2015 were 15.6% and 6.6%, respectively. Rates of missed aggressive cancer were similar for the two systems: 3.4% and 3.7%, respectively.

Conclusion: ACR TI-RADS was superior to ATA2015 in specificity and avoiding unnecessary biopsies. ATA2015 yielded better sensitivity and a lower false negative rate. Identification of aggressive cancers was identical in the two systems

October 2021
Mor Cohen-Eilig MD, Noa Bar Lis MSc, Ayelet Livneh MD, and Haim Bassan MD

Background: Cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL) is a strong indicator of subsequent motor and developmental impairments in premature infants. There is a paucity of publications on biomarkers of cPVL.

Objectives: To determine C-reactive protein (CRP) levels during the first week of life of preterm infants who later developed cPVL and to identify the association between CRP levels with perinatal factors.

Methods: We retrospectively included infants ≤ 32 weeks gestation and/or birth weights ≤ 1500 grams; 17 with a cranial ultrasound diagnosis of cPVL and 54 with normal ultrasounds. Serum CRP levels were measured during days 1-7 (CRP1–7d) of life and subdivided into two timing groups: days 1–3 (CRP1–3d) and days 4-7 (CRP4–7d).

Results: The cPVL group had significantly higher mean CRP4–7d levels compared to controls (12.75 ± 21.2 vs. 2.23 ± 3.1, respectively, P = 0.03), while CRP1–3d levels were similar. CRP1–7d levels were significantly correlated with maximal fraction of inspired oxygen during the first 12 hours of life (FiO2-12h, r = 0.51, P < 0.001]. Additional risk factors were not associated with CRP levels.

Conclusions: Our finding of elevated CRP4-7d levels and later development of cPVL supports earlier studies on the involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cPVL. Whether CRP could serve as a biomarker of cPVL and its correlation with outcomes, awaits further trials. Furthermore, the correlation between FiO2-12h and CRP1–7d levels suggest that hypoxia and/or hyperoxia may serve as a trigger in the activation of inflammation during the first days of life of preterm infants

Udi Nussinovitch MD PhD, Omer Gendelman MD, Shiri Rubin MD, Yair Levy MD, Vicktoria Vishnevskia Dai MD, Avi Livneh MD, and Merav Lidar MD

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease that may affect the heart and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). There is little knowledge regarding the degree of ANS involvement in SSc patients with unknown cardiac disease.

Objectives: To evaluate cardiac and pupillary autonomic functions in patients before cardiac involvement has emerged.

Methods: The study comprised 19 patients with SSc and 29 healthy controls. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis for time and frequency domains, as well as deep breathing test and Ewing maneuvers, were performed in all patients. Automated pupillometry for the evaluation of pupillary diameter and pupillary light reflex was completed in 8 SSc patients and 21 controls.

Results: Both groups had similar characteristics, except for medications that were more commonly or solely prescribed for SSc patients. Compared with control subjects, the SSc patients had significantly lower HRV parameters of NN50 (15.8 ± 24.4 vs. 33.9 ± 33.1, P = 0.03), pNN50 (4.9 ± 7.4% vs.10.8 ± 10.8%, P = 0.03), and triangular index (11.7 ± 3.4 vs. 15.7 ± 5.8, P = 0.02). Abnormal adaptive responses in heart rate changes were recorded during deep breathing tests and Ewing maneuvers. There was no significant difference in any of the pupillometric indices or other HRV parameters within groups.

Conclusions: SSc patients may manifest cardiac autonomic dysfunction, while their autonomic pupillary function is seemingly spared. The role of certain medications, the significance of differential organ involvement, as well as the prognostic value of our findings should be evaluated in future studies

Joseph Gardyn MD, Noa Chapal PhD, and Sharon Floru MD PhD

Background: Iron deficiency anemia is a widespread problem. Although oral and intravenous therapy are available, iron malabsorption is a distinct possibility.

Objectives: To evaluate the applicability of the oral iron absorption test (OIAT) as a simple and effective means of determining the degree of oral iron absorption.

Methods: The study comprised 81 patients diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia who were referred to a hematology outpatient clinic. Participants were given two ferrous sulphate tablets. Iron levels in the blood were evaluated at intervals from 30 to 180 minutes after iron administration.

Results: We divided patients into three distinct groups. The first group consisted of patients with little iron absorption with a maximum iron increment (Cmax) in the blood of 0–49 ug/dl. The second group had a moderate maximum absorption of 50–100 ug/dl, while a third group had considerable absorption of with maximum iron increase of over 100 ug/dl.

Conclusions: The oral iron absorption test, although not clearly standardized, is easy to conduct in any outpatient clinic. This test can readily and clearly determine absorption or nonabsorption of iron. This test can have major implications on the need of oral or intravenous iron therapy and can also determine the need for further gastrointestinal evaluation of the small intestine, where iron absorption takes place and the success of therapy on subsequent iron absorption

Yishai Levy MD and David Levy

An arginine-rich apolipoprotein was discovered 50 years ago and became known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 10 years later. ApoE is associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and mediates the clearance of these lipoproteins from the plasma. The ApoE-deficient hypercholesterolemic mice are an excellent platform for experimental atherosclerosis because they are similar to human pathology with regard to an atherogenic diet. ApoE is mainly produced in the liver and central nervous system cells. Three alleles determine six ApoE phenotypes with different metabolic effects and plasma cholesterol levels. Type III dysbetalipoproteinemia is associated with wide-spread atherogenesis with a defective ApoE2 resulting in delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. ApoE4 substantially increases the risk including age of onset, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, much effort has been directed to the elucidation of the pathogenic role of ApoE related to amyloid β (Aβ) acquisition in the brain. The ApoE trail passing from an enigmatic protein to a major player in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is reviewed

September 2021
Boris Zingerman MD, Yaacov Ori MD, Asher Korzets MD, Michal Herman-Edelstein MD, Netta Lev MD, Benaya Rozen-Zvi MD, and Eli Atar MD

Background: Among dialysis patients, occlusive mesenteric vascular disease has rarely been reported.

Objectives: To report on the experience of one center with regard to diagnosing and treating this complication.

Methods: The retrospective case-series involved six patients (3 females, 3 males; age 52–88 years; 5/6 were smokers) on chronic hemodialysis at a single center. All patients with symptoms suggestive of occlusive mesenteric disease and a subsequent angiographic intervention were included. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient charts for the period before and after angioplasty and stenting of the mesenteric vessels. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the relevant data before and after the intervention.

Results: All participants had variable co-morbidities and postprandial abdominal pain, food aversion, and weight loss. CT angiography was limited due to heavy vascular calcifications. All underwent angioplasty with stenting of the superior mesenteric artery (4 patients) or the celiac artery (2 patients). All procedures were successful in resolving abdominal pain, malnutrition, and inflammation. Weight loss before was 15 ± 2 kg and weight gain after was 6 ± 2 kg. C-reactive protein decreased from 13.4 ± 5.2 mg/dl to 2.2 ± 0.4 mg/dl (P < 0.05). Serum albumin increased from 3.0 ± 0.2 g/dl to 3.9 ± 0.1 g/dl (P < 0.05). Two patients underwent a repeat procedure (4 years, 5 months, respectively). Follow-up ranged from 0.5–7 years.

Conclusions: Occlusive mesenteric ischemia occurs among dialysis patients. The diagnosis requires a high degree of suspicion, and it is manageable by angiography and stenting of the most involved mesenteric artery.

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