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עמוד בית
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February 2020
Aaron Lerner MD and Torsten Matthias PhD
December 2010
Y. Oren, Y. Shapira, N. Agmon-Levin, S. Kivity, Y. Zafrir, A. Altman, A. Lerner and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Hypovitaminosis D has been shown to be extremely common in various regions around the world, mostly at high latitudes. Israel is characterized by certain features – cultural (e.g., ethnic isolates) and geographic (e.g., sunny climate) – that have been identified for their possible association with vitamin D status.

Objectives: To conduct an ecological study on a representative sample of the population of Israel, testing vitamin D status across age groups, genders, ethnic groups, and seasons.

Methods: We obtained serum samples from 195 healthy Israeli volunteers representing a broad demographic spectrum. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured with the commercial kit Liaison 25(OH)D Assay (DiaSorin, Italy).

Results: The mean vitamin D level for the entire cohort was surprisingly low (22.9 ± 10.1 ng/ml), with 149 subjects (78%) suffering from vitamin D insufficiency (< 30 ng/ml). Vitamin D status was better in infants than in older age groups. Differences by gender were significant only in the infant age group (i.e., vitamin D status was worse among females) and were not prominent across older ages. Israelis of Ashkenazi origin had higher vitamin D mean levels than those of Sephardic origin, who, in turn, had higher vitamin D levels than Arab subjects (31.4 ± 12, 24.1 ± 10, and 17.6 ± 9 ng/ml respectively). With regard to season, there were no differences between the samples collected in winter and the samples collected in summer.

Conclusions: The results suggest that hypovitaminosis D is common across all ages, genders and seasons in Israel, a country characterized by a sunny Mediterranean climate. Specific ethnic groups may be at especially high risk.

August 2002
Raanan Shamir, MD, Rami Eliakim, MD, Nitza Lahat, PhD, Esther Sobel, MSc and Aaron Lerner, MD, MHA

Background: Celiac disease is common in both children and adults. Small intestinal biopsy is mandatory for establishing a diagnosis. Anti-endomysial antibodies, detected by immunofluorescence, have a sensitivity and specificity close to 100% in the diagnosis of CD[1]. Recently, tissue transglutaminase has been identified as the target autoantigen of antibodies against endomysium, and TTG[2] antibodies are comparable to EMA-IMF[3] in the diagnosis of CD.

Objective: To evaluate a new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit for EMA, compared to EMA-IMF and TTG antibodies in the diagnosis of CD.

Methods: Our study population included all subjects with positive EMA-IMF who underwent intestinal biopsy (n=21). From the same sera, TTG antibodies and EMA-ELISA[4] were determined, and all antibody results were compared to the biopsy findings.

Results: EMA-IMF was able to predict biopsy findings of CD in 19 of 21 cases (90.5%). When patients with biopsy findings compatible with CD and positive EMA-IMF (n=19) were tested for EMA-ELISA and TTG antibodies, 18 of the 19 were positive for both EMA-ELISA and TTG antibodies. A significant correlation was found between EMA-ELISA and TTG antibody titers (r = 0.74, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that EMA-ELISA is comparable to TTG antibodies in the diagnosis of CD, and supports the use of EMA-ELISA as a serologic marker for this disease.


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[1]
CD = celiac disease

[2] TTG = tissue transglutaminase

[3] EMA-IMF = anti-endomysial antibodies measured by immunofluorescence

[4] ELISA = enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

October 2000
Raana Shamir, MD, Aaron Lerner, MD, MHA and Edward A. Fisher, MD, PhD
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