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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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March 2023
Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

September 2020
Pnina Langevitz MD, Merav Lidar MD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Joy Feld MD, Moshe Tishler MD, Howard Amital MD, Suhail Aamar MD, Ori Elkayam MD, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra MD, Dror Mevorach MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Yair Molad MD, Ana Kuperman MD and Sharon Ehrlich MD

Background: Tocilizumab is an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist used treat moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) routes are approved for the treatment of adults with RA.

Objectives: To evaluate SC tocilizumab in a real-life clinical setting.

Methods: Our study was a multi-center, open-label, single-arm study. Participants were adults with a diagnosis of active RA, previously treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), with or without biologic agents. Participants received a weekly SC injection of tocilizumab 162 mg as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate or DMARDs for 24 weeks. Efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity were assessed.

Results: Treatment of 100 patients over 24 weeks resulted in improvement in all efficacy parameters assessed: Clinical Disease Activity Index, Disease Activity Score using 28 joint counts and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, American College of Rheumatology response scores, Simplified Disease Activity Index, tender and swollen joint counts, and patient-reported outcomes including fatigue, global assessment of disease activity, pain, and Health Assessment Quality of Life Disease Index. Improvement was achieved as early as the second week of treatment. There were 473 adverse events (AEs)/100 patient-years (PY) and 16.66 serious AEs/100 PY. The most common AEs were neutropenia (12%), leukopenia (11%), and increased hepatic enzymes (11%). Of a total of 42 PY, the rates of serious infections and AEs leading to discontinuation were 4.8, and 11.9 events/100 PY, respectively.

Conclusions: The safety, tolerability, and efficacy profile of tocilizumab SC were comparable to those reported in other studies evaluating the IV and SC routes of administration.

 

March 2020
Yonatan Edel, Iftach Sagy, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Shirly Oren, Ariela Dortort Lazar, Mohammad Egbaria, Shachaf Shiber, Bat Sheva Tal and Yair Molad

Background: Guidelines recommend initiation of parenteral biologic or oral target-specific disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs/tsDMARDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who do not adequately respond to conventional DMARDs.

Objectives: To compare the preferred route of administration of bDMARDs or tsDMARDs in RA patients who were previously treated with at least one type.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of consecutive RA patients previously prescribed bDMARDs or tsDMARDs. We analyzed the factors associated with patients' preferred route of administration.

Results: The cohort included 95 patients, mostly female (72.6%), seropositive (81.05%), mean age 63.4 ± 11.9 years. The oral route was preferred by 39 patients (41%) and 56 (59%) preferred the parenteral route. Most patients (65.9%) preferred to continue with their current route (P < 0.001). Switching from a current route was less common with patients who were currently using the oral route (13.3% vs. 38.2%, P = 0.04). Many patients (53.8%) who preferred the oral route had never experienced it before, while this was rare (3.6%) regarding the parenteral route (P = 0.0001). Employment status was associated with preference of the subcutaneous route over the intravenous route of bDMARDs (P = 0.01). Of the 21 patients who had previously experienced both parenteral and oral treatment, 16 (76.2%) preferred the oral route.

Conclusions: RA patients preferred to continue treatment with an administration route they have already experienced. However, when choosing an unexperienced route, significantly more patients preferred the oral route. Our results strengthen the understanding of patient preferences, which could improve drug adherence, compliance, and disease outcome.

April 2018
Mahmoud Abu–Shakra MD, Devy Zisman MD, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Howard Amital MD, Yair Levy MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Moshe Tishler MD, Yair Molad MD, Suhail Aamar MD, Itzhak Roser MD, Nina Avshovich MD, Daphna Paran MD, Tatiana Reitblat MD, Reuven Mader MD, Hillel Savin MD, Joshua Friedman MD, Nicky Lieberman MD and Sharon Ehrlich MD

Background: Chronic fatigue is common among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), affecting quality of life. Osteoporosis is a prevalent co-morbidity in RA patients.

Objectives: To assess the effect of long-term treatment with tocilizumab on fatigue and bone mineral density (BMD) in RA patients with inadequate response to synthetic or biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. 

Methods: In this multicenter, open-label, non-controlled, single-arm study, patients ≥ 18 years of age received intravenous tocilizumab 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks for 96 weeks. The primary outcome was the change in Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Fatigue score from baseline to weeks 24, 48, 72, and 96. BMD was assessed before and 96 weeks after treatment. 

Results: The study comprised 145 patients (mean age 53.4 ± 13.4 years, 83.4% women). Of these, 88 (60.7%) completed the 2 year treatment period. The mean FACIT-Fatigue score improved consistently starting from week 4 and showed a statistically significant increase of 5.0 ± 9.7, 6.8 ± 10.5, 7.3 ± 10.9, and 7.3 ± 10.4 from baseline to weeks 24, 48, 72, and 96, respectively (P < 0.0001). Mean BMD of femoral neck and total spine remained stable. Disease activity, acute phase reactants, and composite efficacy measures decreased during the study, while hemoglobin levels increased. Adverse events and serious adverse events were as expected for the known and previously described data.

Conclusions: Tocilizumab therapy for 2 years significantly and clinically decreased fatigue. BMD remained stable and no new safety issue was reported. 

 

May 2016
Shachaf Ofer-Shiber MD and Yair Molad MD

Background: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) inhibitors are indicated for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in whom conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are insufficient to achieve disease remission. 

Objectives: To determine the value of acute-phase reactant levels at diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis in predicting the need for biologic treatment with TNFα inhibitors.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal observational study of an inception cohort of 71 consecutive patients diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. C-reactive protein (CRP) was assayed for all patients at their first visit.

Results: All patients were treated with one or more DMARDs, mainly methotrexate (81.6%). Thirty-seven patients (52.11%) had an inadequate response and received at least one TNF inhibitor. CRP level at diagnosis was positively correlated with need for a TNF inhibitor (P = 0.009, HR 1.8, 95%CI 1.27–1.85). Patients with CRP > 0.9 mg/dl at diagnosis started biologic treatment significantly earlier than patients with a lower level (P = 0.003, HR 2.62, 95%CI 0.393–2.5).

Conclusions: In patients with psoriatic arthritis, CRP ≥ 0.9 mg/dl at diagnosis significantly predicts an earlier need for a TNF inhibitor to achieve disease control.

 

September 2015
Lihi Atzmony MD, Hana Feuerman MD, Yair Molad MD, Yelena Didkovsky MD and Emmilia Hodak MD
May 2014
Dorit Blickstein MD, Rima Dardik PhD, Esther Rosenthal MsC, Judith Lahav PhD, Yair Molad MD and Aida Inbal MD
Background: A 75 year old patient presenting with mucocutaneous bleeding was diagnosed with acquired thrombastheniaThe diagnosis was based on lack of platelet aggregation with adenosine diphosphate (ADP), arachidonic acid and collagen, and normal aggregation induced by ristocetin.

Objective: To study the mechanism of platelet function inhibition in a patient with acquired thrombasthenia.

Methods: Aggregation assays of platelets from the patient and healthy controls were performed. In addition, anti-glycoprotein (GP) IIbIIIa antibodies binding to normal platelets in the presence or absence of the patient’s serum was studied by flow cytometry.

Results: Aggregation of normal platelets in the presence of patient's plasma was inhibited four- and 2.5-fold in the presence of ADP and arachidonic acid respectively, while collagen-induced aggregation was completely abolished. Ristocetin-induced aggregation was normal. The patient's serum inhibited binding of commercial anti-glycoprotein IIbIIIa antibodies to normal platelets twofold by flow cytometry. Treatment with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab) normalized the patient's platelet aggregation.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the patient developed inhibitory anti-GPIIbIIIa autoantibodies that caused acquired thrombasthenia. 

December 2013
Eduard Ling, Shachaf Ofer-Shiber, Or Goren and Yair Molad
 Background: Tight control of disease activity is the recommended target of therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Objectives: To determine the outcome of RA with respect to disease activity and the rate of remission, as measured by the DAS-28, in a real-world inception cohort.

Methods: We conducted an observational cross-sectional study of a single-center real-world inception cohort of 101 consecutive patients being treated for RA in 2009–2010 in a rheumatology outpatient clinic. Patients were managed at the discretion of the attending rheumatologist with the goal of achieving remission. DAS-28 scores were calculated and analyzed by clinical and treatment variables derived from the medical files.

Results: Mean patient age was 58.6 ± 13.4 years and mean duration of disease 10.7 ± 7.9 years. Disease remission (DAS-28 < 2.6) was achieved in 26.7% of patients and low disease activity (> 2 .6 DAS-28 < 3.2) in 17%. Monotherapy with a conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (C-DMARD, 21% of patients at last follow-up) was associated with a significantly lower mean DAS-28 score and C-reactive protein level than combined C-DMARD treatment (79% of patients), and with shorter disease duration than combined treatment with C-DMARDs or C-DMARD(s)+biological DMARD (40% of patients). Rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide positivity had no effect on DAS-28 scores. Time from diagnosis was inversely correlated with DAS-28 scores.

Conclusions: The achievement of low disease activity and remission in a significant portion of our inception cohort of patients with RA suggests that the treat-to-target strategy is feasible and effective in routine clinical practice. 

October 2002
Ashraf Hamdan, MD, Dania Hirsch, MD, Pnina Green, MD, PhD, Avivit Neumann, Tamara Drozd and Yair Molad, MD
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