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November 2022
Michael Shapiro MD, Yarden Yavne MD, Daniel Shepshelovich MD

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to more than 200 million infected cases and 4.6 million deaths worldwide, and the numbers continue to grow. The disease presentation varies, and while most patients will present with a mild disease course, 5% will eventually develop significant respiratory failure, some despite initially presenting with mild symptoms. Early detection of patients at risk for deterioration is crucial for decisions regarding hospitalization, monitoring, timing, and extent of treatment.

Shirley Shapiro MD, Shira Shoher MD, Dror Cantrell MD, Micha J. Rapoport MD

Retroperitoneal infiltration, also known as retroperitoneal fibrosis (RPF), is a rare condition, which mostly occurs in men over the age of 40 years. This condition involves inflammation of the soft tissue of the retroperitoneal cavity, most commonly around the infrarenal abdominal aorta, iliac arteries, ureters, and abdominal organs. Clinical manifestations consist of severe pain in the lower back, abdomen, or flank, which may radiate to the inguinal region. Pain may be acute at the onset and can be mistaken for renal colic. Renal and ureteral involvement is common and can develop into acute kidney injury and hypertensive crises.

September 2022
David Segal MD MPH, Nitzan Shakarchy-Kaminsky MD MSc, Yair Zloof MD, Tomer Talmy MD, Galina Shapiro MD PHD, Irina Radomislensky BSc, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Erez Karp MD MHA, and Avi Benov MD MHA; Israel Trauma Group

Background: Medical organizations worldwide aim for equity and diversity in the medical profession to improve care quality. Data on whether the caregiver gender affects outcomes in the prehospital setting are essential but scarce compared to available in-hospital studies.

Objective: To analyze the rates of missed injuries in the prehospital setting and determine whether these rates were associated with the gender of the on-field physician or paramedic.

Methods: A retrospective record review was conducted, which included trauma records documented in two trauma registries, the prehospital Israel Defense Forces-Trauma Registry (IDF-TR), and the in-hospital Israeli National Trauma Registry (INTR). Missed injuries were defined as injuries documented in the INTR but not in the IDF-TR. A multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess the association between provider’s gender and missed injuries.

Results: Of 490 casualties, 369 (75.3%) were treated by teams that included only male paramedics or physicians. In 386 (78.8%) cases, a physician was a part of the prehospital team. In all, 94 (19.2%) casualties sustained injuries that were missed by the prehospital medical team. Missed injuries were not associated with the gender of the paramedic or physician (odds ratio 1.242, 95% confidence interval 0.69–2.193).

Conclusions: No association was found between the gender of the medical provider in the prehospital setting and the rate of missed injuries. These results should encourage prehospital emergency medical systems to aim for a balanced and diverse caregiver population.

September 2021
Shirly Shapiro MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Meirav Schmidt MD, Eran Ben Arye MD, Jamal Dagash MD, Alexander Yosipovich MD, and Yakir Segev MD

Background: Early referral to palliative care services in patients with advanced cancer is widely accepted. In addition, the use of futile intervention at the end of life is a pivotal aspect of assessing quality of care at that time.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of palliative care and aggressive treatments during the last month of life in women with gynecological malignancies.

Methods: The study was designed in two steps. The first step included a retrospective analysis of a gynecologic oncology cohort that underwent end-of-life (EOL) care. In the second part, a questionnaire regarding EOL care was completed by family members. Since our palliative care service became more active after 2014, we compared data from the years 2013–2014 to the years 2015–2019.

Results: We identified 89 patients who died from gynecological malignancy during study period; 21% received chemotherapy and 40% underwent invasive procedures during their last month of life. A palliative care consultation was documented for 49% of patients more than one week before their death. No statistical difference was achieved between the two time periods regarding the use of chemotherapy or invasive procedures in the last month of life. Nonetheless, after the incorporation of palliative medicine more women had palliative care consultations and had EOL discussions. Most of the patients’ relatives were satisfied with EOL care.

Conclusions: Many aggressive interventions were given during the last month of life. EOL discussions were documented in the medical charts of most patients and the rates increased with time.

October 2020
Dana Elhadad MD PhD, Yotam Bronstein MD, Moshe Yana, Harel Baris MD, Uriel Levinger MD, Maurice Shapiro MD, and Nechama Sharon MD

Background: There is limited clinical information on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients in Israel.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics, outcomes, and potential associations of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective study of 58 consecutive laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to Laniado Hospital, Israel, between 14 March 2020 and 14 May 2020. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data on admission were collected and analyzed, and the association to subsequent respiratory failure was assessed.

Results: Mean age of patients was 70.7 ± 16.9 years (53% males, 47% females.); 74% had at least one co-morbidity. Most patients were of Jewish Ashkenazi descent. During hospitalization 15 patients (mean age 78.18 ± 10.35 years); 80% male, 73% Sephardi descent developed respiratory failure rates of 60% occurring on average 10.6 days following intubation. Laboratory tests at admission displayed a significant increase in C-reactive protein (CRP) and creatine kinase (CK) and a decrease in absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) in patients who eventually developed respiratory failure (163.97 mg/L, 340.87 IU/L, 0.886 K/μl vs. 50.01 mg/L and 123.56 IU/L, 1.28 K/μl, respectively). Multivariate logistic analysis revealed an integrated parameter of CRP, CK, and ALC highly correlated with respiratory failure. Receiver operating characteristic curve revealed the area under the curve of CRP, CK, and ALC and the integrated parameter to be 0.910, 0.784, and 0.754, respectively. CRP was the strongest predictor to correlate with respiratory failure.

Conclusions: CRP, CK, and ALC levels on admission could possibly be used to detect high-risk patients prone to develop respiratory failure.

June 2020
Irene Nabutovsky PhD, Saar Ashri BSc, Amira Nachshon RNMA, Riki Tesler PhD, Yair Shapiro MD MBA, Evan Wright MD, Brian Vadasz MD, Amir Offer MD FACC, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD and Robert Klempfner MD

Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is underutilized globally despite evidence of clinical benefit. Major obstacles for wider adoption include distance from the rehabilitation center, travel time, and interference with daily routine. Tele-cardiac rehabilitation (tele-CR) can potentially address some of these limitations, enabling patients to exercise in their home environment or community.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical and physiological outcomes as well as adherence to tele-CR in patients with low cardiovascular risk and to assess exercise capacity, determined by an exercise stress test, using a treadmill before and following the 6-month intervention.

Methods: A total of 22 patients with established coronary artery disease participated in a 6-month tele-CR program. Datos Health (Ramat Gan, Israel), a digital health application and care-team dashboard, was used for remote monitoring, communication, and management of the patients.

Results: Following the 6-month tele-CR intervention, there was significant improvement in exercise capacity, assessed by estimated metabolic equivalents with an increase from 10.6 ± 0.5 to 12.3 ± 0.5 (P = 0.002). High-density lipoproteins levels significantly improved, whereas low-density lipoproteins, triglyceride, glycosylated hemoglobin, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were not significantly changed. Exercise adherence was consistent among patients, with more than 63% of patients participating in a moderate intensity exercise program for 150 minutes per week.

Conclusions: Patients who participated in tele-CR adhered to the exercise program and attained clinically significant functional improvement. Tele-CR is a viable option for populations that cannot, or elect not to, participate in center-based CR programs.

November 2019
Elisha Goshen-Gottstein MD, Ron Shapiro MD, Chaya Shwartz MD, Aviram Nissan MD, Bernice Oberman Msc, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS and Eyal Zimlichman MD MSc

Background: Anastomotic leakage (AL) is a major complication following colorectal surgery, with many risk factors established to date. The incidence of AL varies in the medical literature and is dependent on research inclusion criteria and diagnostic criteria.

Objectives: To determine the incidence of and the potential risk factors for AL following colorectal surgery at a single academic medical center.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all operative reports of colorectal procedures that included bowel resection and primary bowel anastomosis performed at Sheba Medical Center during 2012. AL was defined according to the 1991 United Kingdom Surgical Infection Study Group criteria. Data were assessed for leak incidence within 30 days. In addition, 17 possible risk factors for leakage were analyzed. A literature review was conducted.

Results: This cohort study comprised 260 patients, and included 261 procedures performed during the study period. The overall leak rate was 8.4%. In a univariate analysis, male sex (odds ratio [OR] 3.37, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21–9.43), pulmonary disease (OR 3.99, 95%CI 1.49–10.73), current or past smoking (OR 2.93, 95%CI 1.21–7.10), and American Society of Anesthesiologist score ≥ 3 (OR 3.08, 95%CI 1.16–8.13) were associated with an increased risk for anastomotic leakage. In a multivariate analysis, male gender (OR 3.62, 95%CI 1.27–10.33) and pulmonary disease (OR 4.37, 95%CI 1.58–12.10) were associated with a greater risk.

Conclusions: The incidence of AL in the present study is similar to that found in comparable series. Respiratory co-morbidity and male sex were found to be the most significant risk factors.

September 2018
Anna Gurevich-Shapiro MD MPhil, Yotam Pasternak MD and Jacob N. Ablin MD
May 2017
Dvora S. Shapiro MD, Reuven Friedmann MD, Ashraf Husseini MD, Hefziba Ivgi PhD, Amos M. Yinnon MD and Marc V. Assous MD PhD

Background: It is a challenge to diagnosis Clostridium difficile colitis.

Objectives: To determine, among patients who developed nosocomial diarrhea, whether serum procalcitonin (PCT) can distinguish between C. difficile toxin (CDT)-positive and CDT-negative patients.

Methods: This prospective study included 50 adults (>18 years) who developed diarrhea during hospitalization, 25 with a positive fecal test for CDT (study group) and 25 CDT negative (control group).

Results: Baseline demographic and underlying illnesses were similar in both groups. Duration of diarrhea was 6 ± 4 days and 3 ± 1 in the study and control groups, respectively (P = 0.001). Mean blood count was 20 ± 15 and 9.9 ± 4, respectively (P = 0.04). CRP level was higher in the study than in the control group (10.9 ± 7.4 and 6.6 ± 4.8, P = 0.028). PCT level was higher in the study group (4.4 ± 4.9) than the control group (0.3 ± 0.5, P = 0.102). A PCT level > 2 ng/ml was found in 7/25 patients (28%) and 1/25 (4%), respectively [odds ratio 9.33, 95% confidence interval (0.98 to 220), P = 0.049]. Multivariate analysis showed that only duration of diarrhea and left shift of peripheral leucocytes were significant indicators of CDT (P = 0.014 and P = 0.019, respectively). The mortality rate was 12/25 (48%) vs. 5/25 (20%), respectively (P = 0.04).

Conclusions: We found a non-significant tendency to higher PCT levels in patients with CDT-positive vs. CDT-negative nosocomial diarrhea. However, a PCT level > 2 ng/ml may help distinguish between these patients.

August 2015
September 2013
I. Strauss, N. Carmi-Oren, A. Hassner, M. Shapiro, M. Giladi and Z. Lidar

Background: Spinal epidural abscess (SEA) is a rare disease with a potentially devastating outcome, and a reported incidence traditionally estimated at 0.2–2 cases/10,000 hospital admissions. Since the implementation in October 2007 of a program to increase medical personnel’s awareness of SEA, we have documented a sharp increase in the incidence of SEA at our medical center

Objectives: To investigate the cause of the increased incidence of SEA.

Methods: All cases diagnosed with SEA during the period 1998–2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Cases diagnosed before 2007 were compared with those diagnosed thereafter.

Results: From January 1998 to October 2007 SEA was diagnosed in 22 patients (group A), giving an annual incidence of 0.14–0.6 cases per 10,000 admissions. During the period November 2007 to April 2010, 26 additional patients were diagnosed (group B), yielding an incidence of 0.81–1.7 cases per 10,000 admissions (P < 0.01). The two groups did not differ significantly in epidemiological, clinical or laboratory characteristics, or in the causative bacteria isolated.

Conclusions: The threefold rise in the incidence of SEA observed at a tertiary medical center in Tel Aviv since November 2007 was not explained by different host characteristics or by more virulent bacterial isolates. We suggest that heightened awareness of the clinical presentation and timely utilization of MR imaging has resulted in more cases being identified. 

July 2013
Z. Samra, L. Madar-Shapiro, M. Aziz and J. Bishara
 Background: Clostridium difficile infection is considered the most common cause of nosocomial infectious diarrhea among adults in the developed world. It is responsible for virtually all cases of pseudomembranous colitis. The Tox A/B enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is the most widely used test for the detection of C. difficile toxins A and B. However, it is associated with poor sensitivity and an unacceptable high rate of false-negative results.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE® assay, designed to simultaneously detect C. difficile-produced glutamate dehydrogenase (GHD) and toxins A and B.

Methods: Using the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE assay, the Tox A/B EIA, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we tested 223 stool specimens from hospitalized patients with antibiotics-associated diarrhea. Sensitivity and specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) were calculated for the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test and the Tox A/B EIA against PCR

Results: The C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test had a sensitivity of 83.5% and specificity of 94.3% compared to PCR for Tox A/B, with 93.7% correlation (PPV 98.5%, NPV 91.7%). The Tox A/B EIA yielded corresponding values of 72.1% and 93.1%, with 85.6% correlation (PPV 85.1%, NPV 85.8%).

Conclusions: Given the importance of an early and appropriate diagnosis of Clostridium difficile-associated infection, the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test may be of huge benefit to practitioners.

 

June 2012
June 2011
J. Bishara, E. Goldberg, L. Madar-Shapiro, J. Behor and Z. Samra

Background: The rate of infection with Clostridium difficile colitis and its associated mortality have been increasing in the last decade. The molecular epidemiology of C. difficile in Israel has as yet not been studied.

Objectives: To screen for the existence of the 027 and 078 ribotypes and determine the longitudinal molecular epidemiology of the circulating clinical C. difficile isolates in a large hospital in central Israel.

Methods: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotyping was performed on C. difficile isolates obtained from hospitalized patients from November 2003 to May 2004 (first study period) and September 2009 (second study period). Isolates with PCR[1] ribotype patterns, unlike those of the available reference strains (078 and 027), were labeled with letters. Forty-six isolates from the first study period and 20 from the second were analyzed.

Results: PCR strain typing of C. difficile isolates yielded approximately 26 unique ribotypes. During the first study period, ribotype A and B accounted for 30% and 28%, respectively, whereas ribotype E and K accounted for 6.5% for each. During the second study period, ribotypes A, E and K disappeared, and the incidence of ribotype B decreased from 28% to 15%. One isolate (1/20, 5%) emerged during the second period and was identified as ribotype 027. Moxifloxacin resistance was found in 93% of ribotype A isolates, 81% of the ribotype B group, and in 44% of other ribotypes.

Conclusions: The predominant ribotypes circulating in our institution were diverse and changing. This is the first report on the emergence of the 027 ribotype in Israel.






[1] PCR = polymerase chain reaction


February 2011
Y. Mozer-Glassberg, I. Hojsak, N. Zevit, R. Shapiro and R. Shamir
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