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עמוד בית
Sat, 22.06.24

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March 2024
Amir Aker MD, Ina Volis MD, Walid Saliba MD MPH, Ibrahim Naoum MD, Barak Zafrir MD

Background: Ischemic stroke is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality in future vascular events.

Objectives: To investigate whether CHA2DS2-VASc scores aid in risk stratification of middle-aged patients without atrial fibrillation (AF) experiencing ischemic stroke.

Methods: We analyzed data of 2628 patients, aged 40–65 years with no known AF who presented with acute ischemic stroke between January 2020 and February 2022. We explored the association between CHA2DS2-VASc scores categorized by subgroups (score 2–3, 4–5, or 6–7) with major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) including recurrent stroke, myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or all-cause death during a median follow-up of 19.9 months.

Results: Mean age was 57 years (30% women); half were defined as low socioeconomic status. Co-morbidities included hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and smoking in 40–60% of the patients. The incidence rate of MACCE per 100 person-years was 6.7, 12.2, and 21.2 in those with score 2–3, 4–5, and 6–7, respectively. In a multivariate cox regression model, compared to patients with score 2–3 (reference group), those with score 4–5 and 6–7 had an adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval [95%CI]) for MACCE of 1.74 (95%CI 1.41–2.14) and 2.87 (95%CI 2.10–3.93), respectively. The discriminative capacity of CHA2DS2-VASc score for overall MACCE was modest (area under curve 0.63; 95%CI 0.60–0.66), although better for myocardial infarction 0.69 (95% CI 0.61–0.77).

Conclusions: CHA2DS2-VASc score may predict future MACCE in middle-aged patients with ischemic stroke and no history of AF.

July 2018
Rashed Abu-Saleh MD, Orna Nitzan MD, Walid Saliba MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Yoram Keness PhD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Hana Edelstein, Naama Schwartz PhD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Skin colonization of microorganisms in blood cultures (BCs) are generally considered clinically non-significant and can be the source of a true infection, particularly in immunosuppressed patients.

Objectives: To study the epidemiology and risk factors for bacteremia caused by contaminants.

Methods: This retrospective, descriptive study is based on adult BCs collected (2004–2013) and categorized as positive (True bacteremia [TrueB] or contamination) or negative. Clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics of BCs positive for the six most common potential contaminant pathogens (PCPs) that can cause TrueB and contamination (Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus [CoNS], Streptococcus viridans, Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium spp., Bacillus spp., Clostridium spp.) were assessed. Ninety-two TrueB were identified vs. 196 contaminations (1:2 ratio).

Results: From 74,014 BCs, PCPs were found in 3735 samples, of which 3643 (97.5%) were contaminations and 92 (2.5%) were TrueB. The overall rate of BC contamination decreased during the study period from 6.7% to 3.8%. CoNS was the most common PCP. Bacillus spp. were only contaminants. Clostridium spp. and Streptococcus viridans were more often TrueB. In a multivariate model, predictors of TrueB included high creatinine levels, Streptococcus viridans in BC, and multiple positive BCs. A single culture of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination.

Conclusions: Ten years of data on BCs, focusing on six PCPs, demonstrates a significant, yet insufficient reduction in the rate of contamination. High creatinine level, isolation of Streptococcus viridans, and multiple positive BCs were predictors of TrueB, while growth of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination. This model could assist in diagnostic and therapeutic decision making.

January 2015
Orna Nitzan MD, Yoram Kennes PHD, Raul Colodner PHD, Walid Saliba MD MPH, Hana Edelstein, Raul Raz MD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, there has been renewed interest in old drugs that have fallen into disuse because of toxic side effects. One such drug is chloramphenicol. Data on the use and susceptibility patterns to chloramphenicol in developed countries in recent years are limited.

Objectives: To assess the susceptibility of bacteria to chloramphenicol, and evaluate the use of chloramphenicol in Israeli hospitals as influenced by infectious disease specialists’ attitudes with regard to its potential harms.

Methods: A national survey was conducted in all Israeli hospitals. Questionnaires were sent to the directors of infectious disease units and included items on chloramphenicol susceptibility in clinical isolates, use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of inpatients, local recommendations for use of chloramphenicol, and concerns regarding side effects.

Results: Chloramphenicol is used in 83.3% of hospitals, mostly for the treatment of aspiration pneumonia. While 22.2% of infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol should be avoided because of dangerous side effects, 88.9% believe there is a place for chloramphenicol in the treatment of patients in this era of increasing antibiotic resistance. Chloramphenicol susceptibility is routinely assessed in 44.4% of hospitals, with high susceptibility rates found among gram-positive, gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria.

Conclusions: In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance, many Israeli infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol has a role in the treatment of respiratory tract and other infections in hospitalized patients.

September 2002
George S. Habib, MD and Walid R. Saliba, MD

Background: The prevalence of clinical manifestations and laboratory parameters in systemic lupus erythematosus differ among various ethnic groups. Few studies have reported on SLE[1] in Arabs.

Objectives: To summarize the demographic, clinical and laboratory features of Arab SLE patients and to compare them with other series from different Arab countries.

Methods: We reviewed the charts of all Arab SLE patients who had been seen at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, the Nazareth Hospital and the Holy Family Hospital in Nazareth, and a professional clinic (a referral outpatient clinic of the largest health maintenance organization in Israel) in Acre – all cities in northern Israel. Only patients with symptoms of more than one year were included. Demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters were documented and compared with those of four series from different Arab countries.

Results: The study group comprised 34 patients. The majority of the patients was Moslem; there were a few Druze and one Christian. There was no statistical difference between our patients and any of the other Arab series in terms of arthritis, neuropsychiatric manifestations and VDRL. The presence of serositis and mucocutaneous manifestations was significantly lower in our series compared to some of the other series. However, there was significantly less renal involvement in our patients compared to each of the other series.

Conclusions: The prevalence of most clinical and laboratory parameters in Israeli Arab SLE patients is comparable to that of other series of SLE patients from different Arab countries. The prevalence of renal involvement in Israeli Arab SLE patients seems to be lower than in SLE patients from different Arab countries.

[1] SLE = systemic lupus erythematosus

June 2000
George S. Habib MD, Walid R. Saliba MD and Reuven Mader MD

Background: Acute rheumatic fever is considered a relatively uncommon disease in developed countries. Although cases are encountered in the Nazareth area in Israel, no systematic study of this disease has been done in the last 20 years.

Objective: To study the incidence and characteristics of acute rheumatic fever cases in the Nazareth area during the last decade.

Methods: Cases of acute rheumatic fever diagnosed according to the modified Jones criteria were identified in two hospitals in the Nazareth area during the 10 years. These two hospitals receive about 75% of non-obstetric referrals to the emergency room. Clinical, laboratory and treatment data of these patients were documented and the incidence of disease calculated. The population census in the Nazareth area was obtained from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Results: Forty-four patients, with a mean age of 18 years, were identified. The mean annual incidence was 5 cases/100,000 population. Arthritis was found in 98% of the patients (migratory in 52%) and carditis in 34%, but only one patient had a subcutaneous nodule, and none had either erythema marginatum or chorea. Only one patient with carditis developed heart failure a few months later due to severe mitral stenosis.

Conclusion: Rheumatic fever in the Nazareth area is still manifest. The mean age of the patients was higher than found previously. In only half of the patients was the arthritis migratory, with other major manifestations of rheumatic fever found only rarely.

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