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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

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October 2023
Dror Dicker MD, Orly Tamir PhD MSc MHA, Gabriella Lieberman-Segal MD, Roy Eldor MD PhD, Moran Accos-Carmel RD MAN, Tatyana Kolobov PhD, Avraham Karasik MD

Background: In 2019, 1 mg subcutaneous semaglutide was registered for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. Recognition of its effect on weight has led to its use as a treatment for obesity.

Objectives: To explore physicians’ pre-therapy considerations, therapy practices, and attitudes regarding subcutaneous semaglutide for weight loss.

Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was disseminated to physicians who prescribed semaglutide 1-mg for weight loss using an authorized off-label path.

Results: In total, 127 physicians completed the questionnaire. As for pretreatment requirements, in the absence of diabetes, 30% requested a minimal body mass index of 30 kg/m2. Additional requirements were documented lifestyle-change effort (67%) and prior weight loss medication use (13%). Half of the physicians regarded calorie restriction, and 23% considered physical activity as necessary for weight loss while on therapy. As for dose, most physicians (78%) started with a 0.25-mg weekly injection, 57% doubled the dose monthly, and all others recommended doubling when side effects subsided. Regarding weight loss goal, 43% of the physicians set a personal goal with each patient while 26% limited the goal to 10% of initial weight. Fewer than 50% of physicians discussed treatment duration with their patients, and 52% of patients discontinued therapy in the first 3 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were price, lack of effect, and fear of long-term side effects.

Conclusions: The diverse approaches regarding off-label use of semaglutide for weight reduction highlight the necessity to guide physicians and standardize treatment regimen.

September 2023
Shlomit Tamir MD, Marva Dahan Shemesh MD, David Margel MD, Yaara Bar PhD, Maxim Yakimov MD, Yael Rapson MD, Ahuva Grubstein MD, Eli Atar MD, Ofer Benjaminov MD

Background: Age-related changes in multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) of the prostate have been reported in the general population but not in screening cohorts.

Objectives: To evaluate age-related changes on prostatic mpMRI in a screening cohort of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Methods: Asymptomatic BRCA1/2 mutation carriers underwent mpMRI as part of a screening program. All included patients were followed for 3 years with no evidence of prostate cancer. mpMRIs were retrospectively evaluated by two abdominal radiologists for peripheral zone (PZ) patterns on T2 (homogenous hyperintensity, wedge-shaped hypointensities, patchy hypointensities, or diffuse hypointensity), and transition zone (TZ) pattern on T2 (homogenous, heterogeneous, nodular). Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of PZ and TZ were measured. Statistical analysis was performed using a predefined age cutoff of 50 years old.

Results: Overall, 92 patients were included: 38 in the younger age group (40–49 years) and 54 in the older age group (50–69 years). PZ homogenous hyperintensity and wedge-shaped hypointensities were more common in the older patients, whereas diffuse hypointensity was more common in younger patients (P < 0.001 for both readers) with substantial inter-reader agreement between the readers (kappa=0.643). ADC values were lower in young patients in the PZ (P < 0.001) and TZ (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Age-related differences in mpMRI were validated in BRCA mutation carriers. As some features overlap with prostatic carcinoma, awareness is crucial, specifically to diffuse T2 hypointensities of the PZ and lower ADC values in the PZ and TZ, which are more common in younger patients.

December 2022
Tamir Weiss

Background: The exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from respiratory, cardiovascular, and other causes. A major contribution to this adverse effect is attributed to particles at the nanoscale range (ultrafine particles [UFP] particles < 100 nm). Most of the information about human exposure to PM has been collected by environmental monitoring of inhaled particles.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of direct measuring of UFP in the sputum as a biomarker for lung inflammation and functional impairment.


Methods: The study population included 121 patients who underwent an induced sputum (IS) test as a part of a clinical evaluation for respiratory symptoms. Cell differential count was performed, and the UFP content was measured in each IS sample. The UFP content in the sputum was compared among patients with different inflammatory phenotypes based on IS granulocytes levels: eosinophilic inflammation (EI) IS eosinophils > 2.7%, neutrophilic inflammation (NI) IS neutrophils > 65%, and mixed granulocytic inflammation (MGI) including both IS eosinophils > 2.7% and IS neutrophils > 65%. The association between the IS-UFP content and pulmonary function test (PFT) parameters was also tested.


Results: Patients with MGI had a distinct profile of particles in IS, which was characterized by the highest percentage of UFP (relative to larger particles) compared to patients with EI, NI, or normal IS cell count. Furthermore, EI and NI were found to have an interaction effect regarding the IS–UFP profile, as demonstrated by the significantly different IS–UFP profile of patients with MGI compared to the profile associated with EI and NI independently. Last, the profile of UFP in the IS samples was also correlated with patient PFT. Reduced forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF) 25–75 or FEV1 were correlated with a higher IS–UFP mean size. Reduced FEF25–75 was correlated with a lower IS–UFP concentration and percentage relative to larger particles.

Conclusions: To the best of my knowledge, this study is the first to report a distinct IS–UFP profile in patients with MGI, which suggest an interaction effect of EI and NI on the IS–UFP content. This finding may further support the consideration of MGI as a distinct inflammatory phenotype, beyond the simple combination of EI and NI independently. In addition, reduced PFT parameters were associated with a specific change in the IS–UFP profile. The results of this study may shed light on the use of IS–UFP content as a biomarker for lungs inflammation and functional impairment. Further prospective studies are needed to establish a cause and effect relationship between lungs inflammation and functional impairment to the IS–UFP content.

July 2022
Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

July 2021
Sharon Tamir MA, Daniel Kurnik MD, Myriam Weyl Ben-Arush MD, and Sergey Postovsky MD

Background: Decisions on medication treatment in children dying from cancer are often complex and may result in polypharmacy and increased medication burden. There is no information on medication burden in pediatric cancer patients at the end of life (EOL).

Objectives: To characterize medication burden during the last hospitalization in children dying from cancer

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study based on medical records of 90 children who died from cancer in hospital between 01 January 2010 and 30 December 2018. Demographic and clinical information were collected for the last hospitalization. We compared medication burden (number of medication orders) at hospitalization and at time of death and examined whether changes in medication burden were associated with clinical and demographic parameters.

Results: Median medication burden was higher in leukemia/lymphoma patients (6 orders) compared to solid (4 orders) or CNS tumor patients (4 orders, P = 0.006). Overall, the median number of prescriptions per patient did not change until death (P = 0.42), while there was a significant reduction for some medication subgroups (chemotherapy [P = 0.035], steroids [P = 0.010]).Patients dying in the ICU (n=15) had a higher medication burden at death (6 orders) than patients dying on wards (3 orders, P = 0.001). There was a trend for a reduction in medication burden in patients with “Do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders (P = 0.055).

Conclusions: Polypharmacy is ubiquitous among pediatric oncology patients at EOL. Disease type and DNR status may affect medication burden and deprescribing during the last hospitalization.

February 2021
Nagham Gudban MSc, Itamar Yehuda PhD, William Nasir MD, Soboh Soboh MD, Snait Tamir PhD, and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have a high rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Mediterranean diet is preferred for CVD prevention. Endothelial dysfunction is demonstrated early in T2DM.

Objectives: To study the effects of dietary intervention of T2DM patients without known CVD on endothelial function and vascular inflammation.

Methods: A prospective study enrolled 22 patients with T2DM. Patients were divided randomly into two groups: an intervention group with 12 patients (55 ± 7 years old, 6 women) and a control group with 10 patients (59 ± 10 years old, 5 women). Clinical evaluation included body mass index (BMI) and endothelial function measured by the flow mediated percent change (FMD%). Fasting blood was drawn on entry to the study and 3 months later, measuring C-reactive protein (CRP), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C%). The intervention was based on weekly telephone calls by a clinical dietitian for 3 months.

Results: In the intervention group CRP and ICAM-1 were reduced (from 4.2 ± 3.3 mg/dl to 0.4 ± 0.5 mg/dl, P = 0.01 and from 258.6 ± 98.3 ng/ml to 171.6 ± 47.7 ng/ml, P = 0.004). Endothelial function (FMD%) was improved (from 0.5 ± 8.0% to 9.5 ± 11.5%, P = 0.014). No change was observed in BMI, HbA1C%, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels in either group.

Conclusions: Patients with T2DM on the Mediterranean diet who received a weekly telephone call for 3 months improved their endothelial function with reduction of markers of inflammation.

July 2020
Michal Levmore-Tamir MD, Giora Weiser MD, Elihay Berliner MD, Matityahu Erlichman MD, Carmit Avnon Ziv MD, Floris Levy-Khademi MD

Background: Stress hyperglycemia (SH) is a common finding in patients in pediatric emergency departments (PED) and has been related to increased morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of SH among children visiting the PED. To identify which diseases predispose patients to SH and whether they indicate a worse outcome.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the medical records of all children aged 0–18 years who visited the PED during the years 2010–2014 and who had a glucose level of ≥ 150 mg/dl. Data collected included age, gender, weight, blood glucose level, presence or absence of a pre-existing or a new diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and previous treatment with medications affecting blood glucose levels or with intravenous fluids containing dextrose. Data were collected regarding hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, discharge diagnosis, and survival status.

Results: The study population included 1245 children with SH, which comprised 2.6% of all patients whose blood glucose level was measured in the PED during the study period. The mean age of children with SH was 49 months; 709 (56.9%) were male. The mean blood glucose level was 184 mg/dl. The rate of hospitalization was 57.8%. The mean duration of hospital stay was 5.6 days and mortality rate was 0.96%. The majority were diagnosed with a respiratory illness.

Conclusions: SH is a common phenomenon among children evaluated in the PED and is associated with a high incidence of hospitalization. It may serve as an additional clinical indicator of disease severity.

June 2020
Mohammad Adawi MD, Tair Abu-Gabel MD, Firas Sabbah MD, Itamar Yehuda PhD, Snait Tamir PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more frequent in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared with age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. SLE is an autoimmune disease that is more prevalent in women (9:1). Women tend to develop CVD in post-menopausal years; however, women with SLE may develop endothelial dysfunction and CVD at a younger age in the pre-menopausal years.

Objectives: To study the endothelial function of adult-onset SLE patients from the north of Israel (the Galilee region) and to determine whether modern management (including biological treatments) changes the risk of developing CVD.

Methods: Thirteen females with adult-onset SLE without renal involvement were recruited to this prospective study. Clinical parameters (age, height, body mass index [BMI]), laboratory parameters (C-reactive protein [CRP] and hemoglobin level), and vascular responsiveness (flow mediated diameter percent change [FMD%]) were evaluated and compared to 11 age-matched healthy females. Student's t-test was used to find differences between the two groups.

Results: No difference was observed in adult-onset SLE female patients and their age- and sex-matched controls with regard to age (42.1 ± 11.8 years vs. 36.6 ± 10.8 years, P = NS), BMI (25 ± 1.8 kg/m2 vs. 25 ± 2.5 kg/m2, P = NS), and hemoglobin level (11.9 ± 0.9 gr% vs. 12.7 ± 1.2 gr%, P = NS). However, a significant difference was found in CRP (2.57 ± 2.2 mg vs. 0.60 ± 0.37 mg, P = 0.001), vascular responsiveness (0.94 ± 6.6 FMD% vs. 9.2 ± 8.1 FMD%, P = 0.012), and height (165.7 ± 4.5 cm vs. 171.6 ± 5.8 cm, P = 0.009).

Conclusions: Adult-onset SLE females had impaired endothelial function even though they were treated by modern protocols.

June 2019
Alex Konstantinovsky MD, Snait Tamir PhD, Giora Katz MD, Orna Tzischinsky PhD, Nina Kuchersky MD, Nava Blum PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a syndrome associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may predict cardiovascular events in men presenting with this syndrome. It has been shown to be associated with a higher rate of acute myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality, vascular inflammation, and impaired endothelial function. In this review we present the literature findings and describe the mechanistic pathways that are known to be involved in this syndrome and its related clinical consequences.

March 2019
Yossi Smorgick MD, Mitri Nassar MD, Eran Tamir MD, Sigal Tal MD, Yigal Mirovsky MD and Yoram Anekstein MD

Background: Gender differences in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) have been documented in curve progression, response to bracing, and outcomes of surgical treatment. However, limited information is available about the relation between gender and scoliosis curve patterns and radiographical characteristics.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of gender on curve pattern and compare clinical and radiographical characteristics between male and female patients with AIS.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of prospectively collected data that compared clinical and radiographical characteristics between male and female surgical candidates. Demographic and clinical data including age at presentation, gender, family history of scoliosis, brace treatment history, clinical coronal balance, shoulder asymmetry, and hump size were recorded. All patients graded their pain with the use of a visual analogue scale (VAS) on a scale from 0 to 10. Radiographs of the spine were reviewed to determine the type of curve according to the Lenke classification, Cobb angle, thoracic kyphosis angle, and the Risser sign. Radiologic coronal balance was recorded. Curve flexibility was determined by measuring the thoracic and lumbar curves magnitude on side bending radiographs

Results: The study included 163 patients with AIS including 35 males and 128 females patients. Although a trend toward more flexible major thoracic curves in females was noticed, there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: In this study we were not able to demonstrate any clinical nor radiological statistical differences between male and female patients who are candidate for surgical treatment.

November 2018
Eyal Zimlichman MD, Itai Gueta MD, Daniella Daliyot RN Msc, Amitai Ziv MD, Bernice Oberman Msc, Ohad Hochman MD, Ofer Tamir MD, Orna Tal MD and Ronen Loebstein MD

Background: Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Hence, identifying and monitoring ADEs is of utmost importance. The Trigger Tool introduced by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in the United States has been used in various countries worldwide, but has yet to be validated in Israel.

Objective: To validate the international Trigger Tool in Israel and to compare the results with those generated in various countries.

Methods: A retrospective descriptive correlative analysis surveying four general hospitals in Israel from different geographical regions was conducted. Patient medical charts (n=960) were screened for 17 established triggers and confirmed for the presence of an ADE. Trigger incidence was compared to the actual ADE rate. Further comparison among countries was conducted using published literature describing Trigger Tool validation in various countries.

Results: A total of 421 triggers in 279 hospitalizations were identified, of which 75 ADEs in 72 hospitalizations (7.5%) were confirmed. In addition, two ADEs were identified by chart review only. Mean positive predictive value was 17.81% and overall sensitivity was 97%. We found 1.54 ADEs for every 100 hospitalization days, 7.8 ADEs per 100 admissions, and 1.81 ADEs for every 1000 doses of medication. Of the 77 ADEs identified, 22.7% were defined as preventable.

Conclusions: Our results support the Trigger Tool validity in Israel as a standardized method. Further studies should evaluate between hospital and region differences in ADE rate, in particular for the preventable events.

June 2018
Sagit Meshulam-Derazon MD, Tamir Shay MD, Sivan Lewis and Neta Adler MD

Background: One-stage direct-to-implant post-mastectomy breast reconstruction has been gaining popularity over the traditional two-stage/tissue-expander approach.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of the two post-mastectomy breast reconstruction procedures in terms of patient satisfaction.

Methods: Clinical data were collected by file review for patients who underwent mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction at two tertiary medical centers in 2010–2013. Patients were asked to complete the BREAST-Q instrument, sent to them by post with a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope. Scores were compared by type of reconstruction performed.

Results: Of the 92 patients who received the questionnaire, 59 responded: 39 had one-stage breast reconstruction and 20 underwent two-stage reconstruction. The two-stage reconstruction group was significantly older, had more background diseases, and were followed for a longer period. The one-stage reconstruction group had a higher proportion of BRCA mutation carriers. There was no significant between-group difference in postoperative complications. Mean BREAST-Q scores were similar in the two groups for all dimensions except satisfaction with information, which was higher in the patients after one-stage reconstruction. Women with more background diseases had better sexual well-being, and married women had better psychological well-being. Breast satisfaction was lower among patients treated with radiation and higher among patients with bilateral reconstruction; the latter subgroup also had higher physical well-being. Complications did not affect satisfaction.

Conclusions: Patients were equally satisfied with the outcome of one- and two-stage breast reconstruction. The choice of technique should be made on a case-by-case basis. Cost analyses are needed to construct a decision-making algorithm.

Robert Klempfner MD, Boaz Tzur MD, Avi Sabbag MD, Amira Nahshon MA, Nelly Gang MD, Ilan Hay MD, Tamir Kamerman MA, Hanoch Hod MD, Ilan Goldenberg MD and David Rott MD

Background: About half of all patients with heart failure are diagnosed with heart failure preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Until now, studies have failed to show that medical treatment improves the prognosis of patients with HFpEF.

Objectives: To evaluate changes in exercise capacity of patients with HFpEF compared to those with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) following an exercise training program.

Methods: Patient data was retrieved from a multi-center registry of patients with heart failure who participated in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Patients underwent exercise testing and an echocardiogram prior to entering the program and were retested6  months later.

Results: Of 216 heart failure patients enrolled in the program, 170 were diagnosed with HFrEF and 46 (21%) with HFpEF. Patients with HFpEF had lower baseline exercise capacity compared to those with HFrEF. Participating in a 6 month exercise program resulted in significant and similar improvement in exercise performance of both HFpEF and HFrEF patients: an absolute metabolic equivalent (MET) change (1.45 METs in HFrEF patients vs. 1.1 in the HFpEF group, P = 0.3).

Conclusions: An exercise training program resulted in similar improvement of exercise capacity in both HFpEF and HFrEF patients. An individualized, yet similarly structured, cardiac rehabilitation program may serve both heart failure groups, providing safety and efficacy.

June 2017
Noam Shohat MD, Dror Lindner MD, Eran Tamir MD, Yiftah Beer MD and Gabriel Agar MD

Background: The debate continues regarding the best way to manage partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

Objectives: To prospectively compare the clinical outcomes of remnant-preserving augmentation (RPA) and double-bundle reconstruction (DBR) in patients with ACL tears.

Methods: In this prospective study, we included 13 cases of RPA and 30 cases of DBR with a follow-up period of 6 months, 12 months and 24 months. We clinically compared the preoperative and postoperative range of motion, Knee Society Score (KSS), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Lysholm score, Tegner activity score, Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), thigh and calf circumference and anterior translation (Using the KT-1000 knee arthrometer). 

Results: There were no significant differences in Lysholm score, Tegner score, VAS or KSS within the two groups at any time. The KT-1000 arthrometer results were higher in the RPA group at 6 months than in the DBR group; however, it did not reach statistical significance. 

Conclusions: We found no significant differences between the two specific groups leading us to believe that RPA may play a role in reconstruction when only a single bundle is injured.

 

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