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עמוד בית
Wed, 06.12.23

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September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

January 2021
Eytan Cohen MD, Ili Margalit MD, Tzippy Shochat MSC, Elad Goldberg MD, and Ilan Krause MD

Background: Low folate levels are associated with megaloblastic anemia, neural tube defects, and an increased risk of cancer. Data are scarce regarding the sex aspect of this deficiency.

Objectives: To assess sex differences in folate levels in a large cohort of patients and to investigate the effect of low folate levels on homocysteine concentrations.

Methods: Data were collected from medical records of patients examined at a screening center in Israel between 2000 and 2014. Cross sectional analysis was conducted on 9214 males and 4336 females.

Results: The average age was 48.4 ± 9.5 years for males and 47.6 ± 9.4 years for females. Average folate levels were 19.2 ± 8.6 and 22.4 ±10.3 nmol/L in males and females, respectively (P < 0.001). The prevalence of folate levels below 12.2 nmol/L was 19.5% in males compared to 11.6% in females (P < 0.001). In patients with low folate levels and normal B12 levels, homocysteine levels above 15 μmol/L were found in 32.4% of males and 11.4% of females (P < 0.001). Males had a significantly higher odds ratio (OR) of having folate levels below 12.2 nmol/L: OR 1.84 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.66–2.05) in a non-adjusted model, and OR 2.02 (95%CI 1.82–2.27) adjusted for age, smoking status, body mass index, kidney function, albumin, and triglycerides levels.

Conclusions: Folate levels are lower in males compared to females, which may contribute to the higher homocysteine levels found in males and thus to their increased risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.

May 2020
Shira Goldman MD, Oranit Itshaki MD, Tzippy Shochat MSc, Anat Gafter-Gvili MD, Dafna Yahav MD, Bina Rubinovitch MD and Daniel Shepshelovich MD

Background: Recent data regarding polymicrobial bacteremia (PMB) are lacking.

Objectives: To characterize risk factors as well as clinical, microbiological, and prognostic patterns of patients with PMB in a modern hospital setting.

Methods: A single center retrospective study including all patients diagnosed with PMB during 2013 was conducted. PMB was defined as two or more organisms cultured from the blood of the same patient within 72 hours. Patients with monomicrobial infections served as controls.

Results: There were 135 episodes (2% of all bacteremia episodes) of true PMB among 123 patients during the study period. Recent invasive procedures (odds ratio [OR] 3.59, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.41–9.12, P = 0.006) and foreign bodies (OR 1.88, 95%CI 1.06–3.33, P = 0.04) were risk factors for PMB when compared with 79 patients with monomicrobial bacteremia. Central-line-associated infections were the most common infection source among patients with PMB (n=34, 28%). Enterobacteriaceae were the most commonly implicated pathogen (n=95, 77%). Non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli were significantly more common than previously reported (n=55, 45%). Although crude 30-day mortality was higher (48% vs. 33%) in PMB patients, adjusted mortality was comparable in the two groups.

Conclusions: PMB rate in our cohort was considerably lower than in previous reports. Central-line-associated infections were more common than classic PMB sources. Mortality remained high. Strategies for early identification and better care for these patients should be pursued.

January 2020
Elizabeth Dudnik MD, Aaron M. Allen MD, Natalia Michaeli MD, Aleksandra Benouaich-Amiel MD, Tzippy Shochat, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Inbar Finkel MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Shlomit Yust-Katz MD

Background: Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) exclusion in favor of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) staging and surveillance in the management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is controversial yet accepted by some centers. The use of MRI suggests performing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatment for limited brain metastases. Data regarding SRS efficacy in this setting is limited.

Objectives: To assess intracranial objective response rate (iORR), progression-free survival (iPFS), intracranial failure patterns, overall survival (OS) and time-to-whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT)/death, whichever occurred first (TTWD) with SRS in SCLC.

Methods: The study comprised 10 consecutive SCLC patients with brain metastases treated with SRS and followed-up at Davidoff Cancer center between Aug 2012 and March 2019. Brain MRI images were reviewed by a neuro-radiology specialist.

Results: iORR was 57% as assessed by response assessment in neuro-oncology brain metastases. Intracranial progression developed in 8 patients. Median iPFS was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.7–7.2). In-site, off-site and combined pattern of intracranial failure was seen in 0, 5, and 3 patients, respectively; median number of new brain lesions following SRS was 4 (range, 1–12). SRS was performed 10 additional times in 6 patients (median number of lesions irradiated per round was 1, range 1–5). WBRT was administered in 3 patients. Median TTWD was 20.9 months (95% CI, 1.9–26.8). Median OS since SRS administration was 23.2 months (95% CI, 4.2–not reached).

Conclusions: MRI surveillance with multiple rounds of SRS may serve a reasonable alternative to PCI or therapeutic WBRT in SCLC. 

June 2019
Margarita Makarov, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Tzippy Shochat MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Elizabeth Dudnik MD

Background: The main acquired resistance mechanism to first- and second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in EGFR mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the propagation of T790M clones, which can be detected in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Objectives: To analyze osimertinib outcomes according to T790M testing method.

Methods: The study comprised 33 consecutive patients with advanced EGFR mutant NSCLC who were diagnosed with a T790M mutation after progression on first- or second-generation EGFR TKIs and treated with osimertinib. The patients were divided into groups A (diagnosed by tumor testing) and B (by ctDNA testing). Osimertinib outcomes were compared between the groups.

Results: Objective response rate with osimertinib comprised 54% and 62% in groups A and B, respectively (P = 0.58). Median progression-free survival (PFS) with osimertinib was 8.9 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.8–17.5) and 9.1 months (95%Cl 5.3–12.6) in groups A and B, respectively (log-rank test 0.12, P = 0.73). Median overall survival (OS) was 13.8 months (95%CI 4.9–25.5) and 13.8 months (95%Cl 7.7–27.7) in groups A and B, respectively (log-rank test 0.09, P = 0.75). T790M testing technique did not affect PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.16, 95%CI 0.50–2.69, P = 0.73) or OS (HR = 1.16, 95%CI 0.45–3.01, P = 0.76). The proportion of patients diagnosed by ctDNA grew from 56% in 2015 to 67% in 2016–2017.

Conclusions: Our study provides a ctDNA validation for the purpose of T790M testing in EGFR mutant NSCLC.

December 2016
Yael Shahal-Zimra PhD, Zohar Rotem MSc, Judith Chezar PhD, Tzippy Shochat MSc, Liron Ross MSc, Itai Pickholtz PhD and Esther Rabizadeh PhD

Background: Reference ranges for adult peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets have been established in a few countries. To the best of our knowledge no broad lymphocyte subset analysis of the Israeli population has been reported. 

Objectives: To establish reference ranges for healthy adults in Israel and to describe age- and gender-specific differences, if present.

Methods: Lymphocyte subsets CD3, CD3/CD4, CD3/CD8, CD3-/CD16+/CD56+, CD3/TCRαβ, CD3/TCRγδ, and CD19 were examined by flow cytometry in 326 subjects. Samples were subdivided according to age and gender.

Results: Women of all ages had a significantly higher percentage and absolute counts of CD3/CD4 cells than their male counterparts. Higher CD3/CD4 cells were observed also in the older population (> 50 years). CD3/CD8 and CD3-/CD16+/CD56+ were higher in males. Older males had a lower total lymphocyte percentage and CD19 cells compared to younger men. No significant gender-related differences were observed in percent and number of CD19, CD3/TCRαβ or CD3/TCRγδ at all ages.

Conclusions: These reference values could be useful in further studies for assessing changes that occur in different populations in human pathology.


May 2007
R. Lev-Tzion, T. Friedman, T. Shochat, E. Gazala and Y. Wohl

Background: Numerous studies have shown an association between asthma and mental disorders. While elevated rates of asthma have been noted among psychiatric patients with anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, several studies have found elevated rates of mental disorders among asthma patients. Such studies, however, have generally relied upon questionnaires and assessment by non-specialist physicians to diagnose mental disorders and asthma.

Objectives: To examine a possible association between asthma and psychiatric diagnoses in Israeli military recruits and soldiers.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study we compared the prevalence of mental diagnoses in asthmatic recruits and soldiers to that in non-asthmatic recruits and soldiers. A total of 195,903 recruits and soldiers were examined by Israel Defense Forces recruiting offices and fitness boards. Diagnoses of asthma were based on a pulmonologist's diagnosis, including spirometry at rest and exercise testing as indicated; diagnoses of mental disorders were based on examination by a psychiatrist.

Results: The prevalence of asthma was found to be 7.8% (current) and 9.8% (lifetime). The prevalence of mental disorders was 13.4%. Current asthma was associated with an increased likelihood of any mental disorder (OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.15–1.26), and specifically with mood and anxiety disorders (1.31, 1.19–1.46), introvert personality disorders (1.20, 95% 1.12–1.28) and adjustment disorder (1.43, 1.26–1.62). Lifetime asthma was associated with an increased likelihood of the same disorders, but the association was not as powerful.

Conclusions: The results validate the previously documented association between asthma and mental disorders, using a sample of unprecedented size and improved methodology. A multidisciplinary approach to asthma that incorporates mental health professionals in the treatment of poorly controlled asthma and perhaps of asthma in general is recommended.

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