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עמוד בית
Mon, 26.02.24

Search results

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.

August 2022
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Eyal Katvan PhD LLM LLB, and Tamar Ashkenazi PhD RN

Background: Changes accommodating requirements of religious authorities in Israel resulted in the Brain and Respiratory Death Determination Law (BRDDL), which came into effect in 2009. These included considering patient wishes regarding the brain respiratory death determination (BRDD), mandatory performance of apnea and ancillary testing, establishment of an accreditation committee, and accreditation required for physicians performing BRDD.

Objectives: To assess the impact of the legislation from 2010–2019.

Methods: Data collected included the number of formal BRDDs and accredited physicians. Obstacles to declaring brain death and interventions applied were identified.

Results: Obstacles included lack of trained physicians to perform BRDD and interpret ancillary test results, inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing, and non-approach to next-of-kin objecting to BRDD. Interventions included physician training courses, additional ancillary test options, and legal interpretation of patient wishes for non-determination of BRD. As a result, the number of non-determinations related to next-of-kin objecting decreased (26 in 2010 to 5 in 2019), inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing decreased (33 in 2010 to 2 in 2019), and number of physicians receiving accreditation increased (210 in 2010 to 456 in 2019). Last, the consent rate for organ donation increased from 49% to 60% in 2019.

Conclusions: The initial decrease in BRDDs has reversed, thus enabling more approaches for organ donation. The increased consent rate may reflect in part the support of the rabbinate and confidence of the general public that BRDD is performed and monitored according to strict criteria.

May 2022
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Oded Zmora MD, Hilli Nativ MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD, Jonathan Hammerschlag MD, and Igor Jeroukhimov MD

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on healthcare systems worldwide. The fear of seeking medical attention to avoid the possibility of being infected may have altered the course of some diseases.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the management of patients with acute cholecystitis during the pandemic at our medical center.

Methods: We compared patients treated for acute cholecystitis between 1 March and 31 August 2020 (Group I) to patients admitted with the same diagnosis during the same months in 2019 (Group II). We evaluated demographics, presenting symptoms, laboratory and imaging findings at presentation, the disease's clinical course, management, and outcome.

Results: Group I consisted of 101 patients and group II included 94 patients. No differences were noted for age (66 years, IQR 48–78 vs. 66 years, IQR 47–76; P = 0.50) and sex (57.4% vs. 51.1% females; P = 0.39) between the two groups. The delay between symptom onset and hospital admission was longer for Group I patients (3 days, IQR 2–7 vs. 2 days, IQR 1–3; P = 0.002). Moderate to severe disease was more commonly encountered in Group I (59.4% vs. 37.2%, P = 0.003). Group I patients more often failed conservative management (36% vs. 6%, P = 0.001) and had a higher conversion rate to open surgery (15.4% vs. 0%, P = 0.025).

Conclusions: Patients presenting with acute cholecystitis during the COVID-19 pandemic more often presented late to the emergency department and more showed adverse outcomes

May 2018
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD, Zahar Shapira MD, Oded Zmora MD and Igor Jeroukhimov MD

Background: Damage control laparotomy (DCL) is the widely accepted procedure of choice in management of severely injured trauma patient. It has been implemented in non-trauma-related surgical pathology in the last decade.

Objectives: To evaluate our experience with planned re-laparotomy (PRL) in non-trauma patients and compare it to other reports.

Methods: Charts of all patients admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center who underwent PRL for non-trauma-related abdominal pathology during a 6 year period were reviewed. Data regarding demographics, vital signs, laboratory tests, indications for surgery, length of hospital stay, and mortality were obtained from medical charts. Indications for surgery, risk factors, and mortality were analyzed.

Results: The study was comprised of 181 patients. Primary abdominal sepsis (50), postoperative sepsis (49), mesenteric event (32), and intestinal obstruction (28) were the most common indications for PRL. Mortality rate was 48.6%. Factors correlating with increased mortality were advanced age, hypotension, hypothermia, metabolic acidosis, and renal failure. Bowel resection was performed on 122 patients (67%) and primary intestinal anastomosis constructed in 46.7%. Mortality rate was lower in patients who underwent PRL with primary anastomosis compared to patients with postponed bowel anastomosis (33.3% vs. 55.4%, P = 0.018).

Conclusions: PRL in abdominal emergencies carries a high mortality rate. Primary anastomosis may be considered in non-trauma-related PRL.

September 2017
Jonathan Cohen MD, Ruth Rahamimov MD, Aaron Hoffman MD, Eyal Katvan PhD, Kyril Grozovski RN and Tamar Ashkenazi PhD

Background: Strategies aimed at expanding the organ donor pool have been sought, which has resulted in renewed interest in donation after cardio-circulatory death (DCCD), also known as non-heart beating donors (NHBDs).

Objectives: To describe the derivation and implementation of a protocol for DCCD in Israel and report on the results with the first six cases. 

Methods: After receiving approval from an extraordinary ethics committee, Ministry of Health, the steering committee of the National Transplant Center defined and reached consensus on the unique challenges presented by a DCCD program. These protocol included medical aspects (construction of a clinical pathway), social and ethical aspects (presentation of the protocol at a public gathering(, legal/ethical aspects (consent for organ preservation procedures being either implied if the donor had signed an organ donor card or received directly from a surrogate decision maker), and logistical aspects (pilot study confined to kidney retrieval and to four medical centers). Data regarding organ donors and recipients were recorded.

Results: The protocol was implemented at four medical centers. Consent for organ donation was received from four of the six potential donors meeting criteria for inclusion, in all cases, from a surrogate decision maker. Of the eight kidneys retrieved, only four were suitable for transplantation, which was carried out successfully for four recipients. Graft function remained normal in all cases in 6–12 months follow-up. 

Conclusions: The DCCD program was successfully implemented and initial results are encouraging, suggesting that expansion of the program might further aid in decreasing the gap between needs and availability of organs.


April 2017
Abdel-Rauf Zeina MD, Helit Nakar MD, Nadir Reindorp MD, Alicia Nachtigal MD, Michael M Krausz MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD and Mika Shapira-Rootman MD PhD

Background: Four-dimensional parathyroid computed tomography (4DCT) is a relatively new parathyroid imaging technique that provides functional and highly detailed anatomic information about parathyroid tumors.

Objective: To assess the accuracy of 4DCT for the preoperative localization of parathyroid adenomas (PTAs) in patients with biochemically confirmed primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) and a history of failed surgery or unsuccessful localization using 99mTc-sestamibi scanning and ultrasonography.

Methods: Between January 2013 and January 2015, 55 patients with PHPT underwent 4DCT at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Israel. An initial unenhanced scan was followed by an IV contrast injection of nonionic contrast material (120 ml of at 4 ml/s). Scanning was repeated 25, 60, and 90 seconds after the initiation of IV contrast administration. An experienced radiologist blinded to the earlier imaging results reviewed the 4DCT for the presence and location (quadrant) of the suspected PTAs. At the time of the study, 28 patients had undergone surgical exploration following 4DCT and we compared their scans with the surgical findings.

Results: 4DCT accurately localized 96% (27/28) of abnormal glands, all of which were hypervascular and showed characteristic rapid enhancement on 4DCT that could be distinguished from Level II lymph nodes. Surgery found hypovascular cystic PTA in one patient who produced a negative 4DCT scan. All patients had solitary PTAs. The scan at 90 seconds provided no additional information and was abandoned during the study.

Conclusions: 4DCT accurately localized hypervascular parathyroid lesions and distinguished them from other tissues. A three-phase scanning protocol may suffice.

June 2015
Jonathan Cohen MD, Yael Bistritz RN and Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD

Background: The number of patients awaiting organ transplantation continues to exceed the number of available organs. 

Objectives: To document changes in the demographic characteristics of brain-dead, heart-beating organ donors over the past 10 years which may impact on organ utilization. 

Methods: Data were extracted from the Israel Transplant Registry and the Donor Action database for the 10 year period 2004–2013, inclusive. 

Results: The median age of the donors increased from 44 (range 3–73 years) to 53.5 years (range 1–79 years) (P < 0.001). There was a significant increase in the median age of donors of kidney (33 to 51 years, P < 0.001), liver (41 to 53 years, P < 0.001) and lung (40 to 49.5 years, P < 0.001). The number of donors dying from trauma decreased (34.5% to 20%, P < 0.001), while those with anoxic brain damage increased (14.5% to 25%, P < 0.001). The percent of male donors decreased over the study period, from 63% to 53%. An increase was noted in the mean number of organs transplanted per donor, from 3.29 to 3.82 per donor, due mainly to a significant increase in the utilization of lungs (31.5% to 51.3%, P < 0.001) and livers (76.3% to 82.4%, P < 0.001) while heart utilization decreased significantly since 2006 (40.9% to 17.5%, P < 0.001). 

Conclusion: Trends in the heart-beating, brain-dead organ donor pool in Israel over the past 10 years reveal significant changes in demographic characteristics which in the future will impact on the number of organs available for transplantation. 


February 2008
B. Kessel, K. Peleg, Y. Hershekovitz, T. Khashan, A. Givon, I. Ashkenazi and R. Alfici

Background: Non-operative management following abdominal stab wounds is possible in selected patients who are both hemodynamically stable and do not have signs of peritonitis. However, the rate of failure of non-operative management is higher in Israel than in western countries.

Objectives: To assess the patterns of injury following abdominal stabbing.

Methods: Data from the Israeli Trauma Registry were used to identify all patients with abdominal stab injury admitted to eight different trauma centers between 1997 and 2004.

Results: The number of patients admitted per year more than doubled between 1997 and 2004, from 257 to 599. The percentage of patients with severe injury (Index Severity Score ≥ 16) increased from 9.4% to 19.0%. The incidence of multiple stab injuries almost doubled, from 37% to 62%.

Conclusions: Review of the data in the Israeli Trauma Registry indicates an increase in both absolute rate and relative incidence of serious stab injuries. This indicates that patterns of injury following stab wounds are not necessarily similar, not even within the same geographical area over time.

April 2000
Eytan Mor MD, Rachel Michowiz RN MA, Tamar Ashkenazi RN MSc Ethi Shabtai PhD, Richard Nakache MD, Ahmed Eid MD, Aaron Hoffman MD, Solly Mizrahi MD, Moshe Shabtai MD and Zaki Shapira MD1 for the Israel Transplant Center

Background: Over a 12 month period, the Israel Transplant Center doubled the number of donors by assigning a nurse coordinator to each of 22 hospitals around the country and by using kidneys from elderly donors.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of our "marginal donors" policy on the results immediately following transplantation.

Methods: Between October 1997 and September 1998, 140 cadaveric kidney transplantations from 72 donors were performed in Israel. We defined two groups of recipients: patients with immediate graft function and patients with either delayed graft function requiring >1 week of dialysis post-transplant or with primary graft non-function. We compared the following parameters between groups: donor and recipient age and gender, cause of donor’s death, length of stay in the intensive care unit, vasopressor dosage and creatinine levels before harvesting, cold ischemic time, and the number of recipient grafts.

Results: There were 102 recipients (72.8%) with immediate graft function and 38 with either PNF (n=13, 9.3%) or DGF (n=25, 17.9%). On regression analysis, donor age >50 year and retransplantation were significant risk factors for PNF or DGF (odds ratio 4.4 and 2.8, respectively). Of the 56 kidneys from donors >50 years old, 21 (37.5%) developed either PNF (n=9) or DGF (n=12).

Conclusions: We conclude that kidneys from donors over age 50 are at increased risk for graft non-function or delayed function. Better assessment of functional capacity of kidneys from “aged” donors may help to choose appropriate donors from that pool.


PNF = primary graft non-function

DGF = delayed graft function

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