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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

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April 2024
Dor Golomb MD, Hanan Goldberg MD, Paz Lotan MD, Ilan Kafka MD, Stanislav Kotcherov MD, Guy Verhovsky MD, Asaf Shvero MD, Ron Barrent MD, Ilona Pilosov Solomon MD, David Ben Meir MD, Ezekiel H. Landau MD, Amir Cooper MD, Orit Raz MD

Background: Pediatric urolithiasis is relatively uncommon and is generally associated with predisposing anatomic or metabolic abnormalities. In the adult population, emergency department (ED) admissions have been associated with an increase in ambient temperature. The same association has not been evaluated in the pediatric population.

Objectives: To analyze trends in ED admissions due to renal colic in a pediatric population (≤ 18 years old) and to assess the possible effect of climate on ED admissions.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, multicenter cohort study, based on a computerized database of all ED visits due to renal colic in pediatric patients. The study cohort presented with urolithiasis on imaging during their ED admission. Exact climate data was acquired through the Israeli Meteorological Service (IMS).

Results: Between January 2010 and December 2020, 609 patients, ≤ 18 years, were admitted to EDs in five medical centers with renal colic: 318 males (52%), 291 females (48%). The median age was 17 years (IQR 9–16). ED visits oscillated through the years, peaking in 2012 and 2018. A 6% downward trend in ED admissions was noted between 2010 and 2020. The number of ED admissions in the different seasons was 179 in autumn (30%), 134 in winter (22%), 152 in spring (25%), and 144 in summer (23%) (P = 0.8). Logistic regression multivariable analysis associated with ED visits did not find any correlation between climate parameters and ED admissions due to renal colic in the pediatric population.

Conclusions: ED admissions oscillated during the period investigated and had a downward trend. Unlike in the adult population, rates of renal colic ED admissions in the pediatric population were not affected by seasonal changes or rise in maximum ambient temperature.

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.

Batia Kaplan PhD, Rivka Goldis MSc, Tamar Ziv PhD, Amir Dori MD PhD, Hila Magen MD, Amos J Simon PhD, Alexander Volkov MD, Elad Maor MD PhD, Michael Arad MD

Background: Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is characterized by the extracellular deposition of misfolded protein in the heart. Precise identification of the amyloid type is often challenging, but critical, since the treatment and prognosis depend on the disease form and the type of deposited amyloid. Coexistence of clinical conditions such as old age, monoclonal gammopathy, chronic inflammation, or peripheral neuropathy in a patient with cardiomyopathy creates a differential diagnosis between the major types of CA: amyloidosis light chains (AL), amyloidosis transthyretin (ATTR) and amyloidosis A (AA).

Objectives: To demonstrate the utility of the Western blotting (WB)-based amyloid typing method in patients diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis where the type of amyloid was not obvious based on the clinical context.

Methods: Congo red positive endomyocardial biopsy specimens were studied in patients where the type of amyloid was uncertain. Amyloid proteins were extracted and identified by WB. Mass spectrometry (MS) of the electrophoretically resolved protein-in-gel bands was used for confirmation of WB data.

Results: WB analysis allowed differentiation between AL, AA, and ATTR in cardiac biopsies based on specific immunoreactivity of the electrophoretically separated proteins and their characteristic molecular weight. The obtained results were confirmed by MS.

Conclusions: WB-based amyloid typing method is cheaper and more readily available than the complex and expensive gold standard techniques such as MS analysis or immunoelectron microscopy. Notably, it is more sensitive and specific than the commonly used immunohistochemical techniques and may provide an accessible diagnostic service to patients with amyloidosis in Israel.

January 2024
Israel Amirav MD

9 November 2023: Just one month after the tragic events of 7 October 2023, 240 individuals are still held hostage, ensnared by Hamas. Their medical plight is shrouded in silence. In the heart of Tel Aviv, a sea of health professionals gathers before the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices pleading for decisive action. Among the medical pleas for help is the haunting image of a young soldier in dire need of his inhaler [Figure 1]. Ron needs it to live. I, a pediatric pulmonologist intimately familiar with respiratory distress, captured that moment.

Milena Tocut MD, Amir Tanay MD, Gisele Zandman-Goddard MD

Paraneoplastic syndromes are reported in 8–15% of patients diagnosed with cancer [1]. They are defined as syndromes that occur due to an underlying malignancy, which has yet to be diagnosed, or at the time of the diagnosis and less frequently following the diagnosis of a malignancy. Several mechanisms are involved including autocrine and paracrine mediators, hormones, peptides, cytotoxic lymphocytes, and cytokines [1,2].

December 2023
Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

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.

Gilad Rotem MD, Amir Arami MD, Iana Leineman MD, Alon Covo MD

Psoriatic arthritis can present with significant hand and wrist deformity and dysfunction [1]. The development of newer biological therapies has resulted in higher rates of remission [2]. However, surgical intervention is still indicated in pain, disability, and severe deformation cases. The management of patients with rheumatic diseases has a controversial history, characterized by rheumatologists and hand surgeons debating the efficacy of surgical interventions. Some surgeons attribute the controversial results to “too little and too late” referral of patients from rheumatologists [3]. While the availability of new and more effective medication has changed the indications and postponed surgical intervention, it is important to remember that surgery is often more effective when used preventively in the early stages than when forced to salvage. In the following case, we present a patient with psoriatic arthritis who presented with advanced-stage debilitating hand deformity and was treated surgically.

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.

Amir Hadayer MD, Yehonatan Weinberger MD, Tal Corina Sela MD, Orly Gal-Or MD, Dov Weinberger MD, Rita Ehrlich MD

Background: During combined phacovitrectomy, it is common practice to suture the main corneal incision to prevent intraoperative and postoperative wound leak. However, it may be possible to avoid suturing using a self-sealing corneal incision technique as in standard cataract surgery.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcome, safety, and complications of combined phacovitrectomy without preventive suturing.

Methods: This retrospective case series study included consecutive patients who underwent combined phacovitrectomy between January 2018 and June 2019 for mixed indications. Surgeries were performed at a tertiary university hospital. All surgeries were performed by the same two retinal surgeons. Cataract surgery was performed first, followed by insertion of trocars and vitrectomy. Corneal sutures were not planned but were used at the discretion of the surgeon.

Results: The cohort included 106 eyes of 102 patients. Suturing of the main corneal incision was deemed necessary in five cases (5%) because of a main incision leak or anterior chamber shallowing during trocar insertion. No other complications related to the absence of prophylactic corneal sutures were encountered during surgery or follow-up.

Conclusions: Preventive corneal suturing may not be necessary in combined phacovitrectomy surgery and can be used in the few cases in which it is indicated during surgery.

August 2023
Maya Shina MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Guy Rozen MD MHA, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, David Planer MD, Ronny Alcalai MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC, Offer Amir MD FACC

Background: Among the most frequent complications following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is hemostasis imbalance that presents either as thromboembolic or bleeding. Deviations in platelet count (PC) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are markers of hemostasis imbalance.

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of pre- and post-procedural PC and MPV fL 1-year all-cause mortality in patients who underwent TAVR.

Methods: In this population-based study, we included 236 TAVR patients treated at the Tzafon Medical Center between 1 June 2015 and 31 August 2018. Routine blood samples for serum PC levels and MPV fL were taken just before the TAVR and 24-hour post-TAVR. We used backward regression models to evaluate the predictive value of PC and MPV in all-cause mortality in TAVR patients.

Results: In this study cohort, MPV levels 24-hour post-TAVR that were greater than the cohort median of 9 fL (interquartile range 8.5–9.8) were the strongest predictor of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.343, 95% confidence interval 1.059–1.703, P-value 0.015). A statistically significant relationship was seen in the unadjusted regression model as well as after the adjustment for clinical variables.

Conclusions: Serum MPV levels fL 24-hour post-procedure were found to be meaningful markers in predicting 1-year all-cause mortality in patients after TAVR.

July 2023
Gilad Rotem MD, Amir Arami MD

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a collection of symptoms and signs caused by compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Symptoms include paresthesia and/or numbness in the median nerve distribution, aching in the thenar eminence, and weakness at later stages. CTS is the most common entrapment neuropathy with a prevalence of 1–5%, and even higher among females, manual workers, and the elderly. Therefore, many patients with signs and symptoms of CTS refer to their primary care physician who should recognize, diagnose, and provide initial treatment.

May 2023
Mailam Eltity MD, Merav Ben-David MD, Vera Nikitin MD, Amir Dori MD PhD

Contactin associated protein-like 2 (CASPR2) and leucine-rich glioma-inactivated protein 1 (LGI1) voltage gated potassium channel (VGKC) proteins are found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems [1]. Antibodies against these proteins are associated with encephalopathy, seizures, peripheral nerve hyper-excitability, autonomic dysfunction, hyponatremia, pain, and insomnia in varying severity and combination [1].

Morvan syndrome, first described in 1890, combines symptoms of peripheral nervous system (PNS), central nervous system (CNS), and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. It was later found to be associated with VGKC-complex antibodies, mainly against CASPR2 or LGI1 or both.

Our patient had a history of anti-LGI1 positive limbic encephalitis, which presented years later with anti-CASPR2 positive Morvan syndrome.

April 2023
Sara Dichtwald MD, Esther Dahan MD, Amir Gal-Oz MD, Idit Matot MD

Triclosan (5-chloro-2-[2, 4-dichlorophenoxy] phenol) is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in numerous consumer products. It has been in use for more than four decades and is present in soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies [1]. Presently, triclosan is being incorporated into an increasing number of products including toys, bedding, clothes, and trash bags ]1]. On contact, triclosan penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. Due to its high hydrophobicity, triclosan accumulates in fatty tissues and is found in human samples (urine, breast milk, and serum) [1]. At high concentrations, triclosan acts as a biocide with multiple cytoplasmic and membrane targets [3].

March 2023
Alla Lubovich MD, Mariana Issawy MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Doron Sudarsky MD, Edo Y. Birati MD, Offer Amir MD FACC, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC

Background: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) represents a spectrum of ischemic myocardial disease including unstable angina (UA), non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Various prognostic scores were developed for patients presenting with NSTEMI-ACS. Among these scores, the GRACE risk score offers the best discriminative performance for prediction of in-hospital and 6-month mortality. However, the GRACE score is limited and cannot be used in several ethnic populations. Moreover, it is not predictive of clinical outcomes other than mortality.

Objective: To assess the prognostic value of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and laboratory biomarkers in predicting 6-month major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), including hospitalization, recurrent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), stroke, and cardiovascular mortality in patients with NSTEMI treated with PCI.

Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive patients admitted with an initial diagnosis of NSTEMI to the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at the Tzafon Medical Center, Israel, between April 2015 and August 2018 and treated by PCI within 48 hours of admission.

Results: A total of 223 consecutive patients with NSTEMI treated by PCI were included in the study. Logarithmebrain natriuretic peptide (LogₑBNP), prior MI, and Hb levels were found to be significant predictors of any first MACCE. Only logₑBNP was found to be an independent predictor of a first MACCE event by multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: LogₑBNP is an independent predictor of worse prognosis in patients with NSTEMI. Routine evaluation of BNP levels should be considered in patients admitted with NSTEMI.

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