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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.03.24

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January 2021
Mathilda Mandel MD, Michael Gurevich PhD, Michal Mandelboim PhD, Howard Amital MD, and Anat Achiron MD PhD

Background: During the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak our blood bank developed protocols to guarantee accurate blood components to COVID-19 patients.

Objectives: To provide convalescent whole blood donor screening strategies for patients recovering from COVID-19.

Methods: We recruited COVID-19 recovering patients who met our defined inclusion criteria for whole blood donation. All blood units were screened for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and SARS-COV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the S1 domain.

Results: We screened 180 blood units from patients recovering from COVID-19. All results were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and 87.2% were positive for SARS-COV-2 IgG antibodies in the plasma.

Conclusions: Blood component units from recovering COVID-19 patients are safe. Plasma units with positive IgG antibodies could serve as an efficient passive immunization for COVID-19 patients. Moreover, in the face of increased transfusion demand for treatment of anemia and coagulation dysfunction in critical ill COVID-19 patients, red blood cells units and random platelets units from convalescent donors can be safely transfused.

December 2018
Eviatar Nesher MD, Marius Braun MD, Sigal Eizner MD, Assaf Issachar MD, Michal Cohen MD, Amir Shlomai MD PhD, Michael Gurevich MD, Ran Tur-Kaspa MD and Eytan Mor MD

Background: The lack of organs for liver transplantation has prompted transplant professionals to study potential solutions, such as the use of livers from donors older than 70 years. This strategy is not widely accepted because potential risks of vascular and biliary complications and recurrence of hepatitis C.

Objectives: To examine the efficacy and safety of liver grafts from older donors for transplantation.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of data on 310 adults who underwent deceased donor liver transplantation between 2005 and 2015 was conducted. We compared graft and recipient survival, as well as major complications, of transplants performed with grafts from donors younger than 70 years (n=265, control group) and those older than 70 years (n=45, older-donor group), followed by multivariate analysis, to identify risk factors.

Results: There was no significant difference between the control and older-donor group at 1, 5, and 10 years of recipient survival (79.5% vs. 73.3%, 68.3% vs. 73.3%, 59.2% vs. 66.7%, respectively) or graft survival (74.0% vs. 71.0%, 62.7% vs. 71.0%, 54.8% vs. 64.5%, respectively). The rate of biliary and vascular complications was similar in both groups. Significant risk factors for graft failure were hepatitis C (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.16–2.63), older donor age (HR = 1.02, 95%CI 1.007–1.031), and male gender of the recipient (HR = 1.65, 95%CI 1.06–2.55).

Conclusion: Donor age affects liver graft survival. However, grafts from donors older than 70 years may be equally safe if cold ischemia is maintained for less than 8 hours.

December 2013
Sergiu C. Blumen, Anat Kesler, Ron Dabby, Stavit Shalev, Chaiat Morad, Yechoshua Almog, Joseph Zoldan, Felix Benninger, Vivian E. Drory, Michael Gurevich, Menachem Sadeh, Bernard Brais and Itzhak Braverman
 Background: Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) produced by the (GCG)13 expansion mutation in the PABPN1 gene is frequent among Uzbek Jews in Israel.

Objectives: To describe the phenotypic and genotypic features in five Bulgarian Jewish patients, from different families, with autosomal dominant OPMD.

Methods: We performed clinical follow-up, electrodiagnostic tests and mutation detection. Blood samples were obtained after informed consent and DNA was extracted; measurement of GCG repeats in both PABPN1 alleles and sequencing of OPMD mutations were performed according to standard techniques.

Results: We identified five patients (four females), aged 58 to 71 years, with bilateral ptosis, dysphagia, dysphonia (n=3) and myopathic motor units by electromyography. In all patients we noticed proximal weakness of the upper limbs with winging scapulae in three of them. All cases shared the (GCG)13-(GCG)10 PABPN1 genotype.

Conclusions: OPMD among Bulgarian Jews is produced by a (GCG)13 expansion, identical to the mutation in Uzbek Jews and French Canadians. In addition to the classical neurological and neuro-ophthalmological features, early shoulder girdle weakness is common in Bulgarian Jewish patients; this is an unusual feature during the early stages of OPMD produced by the same mutation in other populations. We suggest that besides the disease-producing GCG expansion, additional ethnicity-related genetic factors may influence the OPMD phenotype. OPMD is a rare disease, and the identification of five affected families in the rather small Bulgarian Jewish community in Israel probably represents a new cluster; future haplotype studies may elucidate whether a founder effect occurred. 

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