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עמוד בית
Wed, 12.06.24

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February 2024
Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

March 2023
Johnatan Nissan, Anna Blokh MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD MPH, Harald Heidecke PhD, Gilad Halpert PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is estimated to affect 2–4% of the general population. While FMS has some known environmental and genetic risk factors, the disorder has no clear etiology. A common coexisting disorder with FMS is small fiber neuropathy (SFN). High levels of serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) binding to trisulfated-heparin-disaccharide (TS-HDS) were recently found to be associated with SFN.

Objectives: To evaluate potential differences in anti-TS-HDS antibody titers in women with FMS compared to healthy controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated 51 female participants: 30 with a diagnosis of FMS and 21 healthy controls who had been recruited at the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. All of the participants were older than 18 years of age. Anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were measured in their sera using the enzyme immunoassay technique.

Results: The mean anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were significantly lower in the FMS group, compared with the control group (7.7 ± 5 vs. 13.2 ± 8.6 U/ml, respectively; P = 0.013).

Conclusions: There is a possible association between FMS and anti-TS-HDS IgM. This association might be the missing link for the coexistence of SFN and FMS, but further study should be performed to assess this association and this auto-antibody characteristic.

November 2022
Maamoun Basheer PhD MD, Elias Saad MD, Faris Milhem MD, Dmitry Budman MD, Nimer Assy MD

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects different people in different ways. Most infected people develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization. This case report presents a patient who had difficulty eradicating the corona virus due to being treated with rituximab, which depletes B lymphocytes and therefore disables the production of neutralizing antibodies. The regen-COV-2 antibody cocktail consists of two monoclonal antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab. This cocktail successfully helped the patient's immune system eradicate the virus without auto specific severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody production. In vitro studies confirm that eradication of the intact the virus. This case report emphases the importance of providing external antiviral antibodies regularly, like the regen-COV-2 antibody cocktail, as post- and even pre- SARS-CoV-2 infection prophylaxis in patients treated with rituximab.

April 2022
Daniel Erez MD, Zamir Dovrish MD, Tanya Zahavi MD, Keren Cohen-Hagai MD, and Ze'ev Korzets MD
February 2022
Itamar Feldman MD, Yigal Frank MD, Ayman Natsheh MD, and Gabriel S. Breuer MD
June 2020
Oren Biham BMedSc, Aviya Kedmi BMedSc, Mohamad Abo Sbet MD and Lior Zeller MD
October 2018
Snir Boniel MD, Anetta Jeziorek MD, Małgorzata Woźniak MD PhD, Elżbieta Lipińska MD, Elżbieta Szczepanik MD PhD, Urszula Demkow MD PhD and Krystyna Szymańska MD PhD
February 2018
Elena De Santis PhD, Alessandra Melegari PhD, Chiara Bonaguri PhD , Gilda Sandri MD, Maria Teresa Mascia MD, Federica Gaiani MD, Valentina Pecoraro PhD , Gianluigi De Angelis MD and Tommaso Trenti MD

Background: Biological agents for anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapy have revolutionized treatments for autoimmune diseases; however, approximately 20% of rheumatology and 40% of gastroenterology patients do not respond to the therapy, or they show reduced drug efficacy because of anti-drug antibody (ADA) formation.

Objectives: To evaluate laboratory tools for individual monitoring of infliximab therapy and the relationship between ADA and infliximab serum levels, ADA and clinical response, and ADA and autoantibodies.

Methods: Our study comprised patients treated with infliximab and affected by selected rheumatology and gastroenterology diseases. Sera were analyzed for infliximab, total-anti-drug antibodies (Total-ADA), and free-anti-drug antibodies (Free-ADA) serum levels and for the detection of specific autoantibodies.

Results: We analyzed 73 patients. Total-ADA were detected in 26 rheumatology and 21 gastroenterology patients. Serum infliximab levels were significantly lower in Total-ADA positive patients (P = 0.01 for rheumatology group, P = 0.02 for gastroenterology group). A lack of response was observed in 7 rheumatology and 15 gastroenterology samples. Total-ADA serum levels were statistically significantly higher in patients with treatment failure in both groups (P = 0.01 and P = 0.001, respectively). There was no significant association between the presence of Total-ADA and other autoantibodies. Free-ADA were detected in only 27 rheumatology patients. Results showed a significant correlation with clinical outcome (P = 0.006).

Conclusions: The correlation with clinical response suggests that the presence of ADA could interfere with efficacy of therapy. The tests for monitoring therapy may be an important tool to assist clinicians in early detection and prevention of therapy failure.

July 2017
Abdulla Watad MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD MPH, Kassem Sharif MD, Ora Shovman MD, Boris Gilburd MD, Howard Amital MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR

Background: Anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibody disease, or Goodpasture’s disease, is the clinical manifestation of the production of anti-GBM antibodies, which causes rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis with or without pulmonary hemorrhage. Anti-GBM antibody detection is mandatory for the diagnosis of Goodpasture’s disease either from the serum or kidney biopsy. Renal biopsy is necessary for disease confirmation; however, in cases in which renal biopsy is not possible or is delayed, serum detection of anti-GBM antibody is the only way for diagnosis.

Objectives: To assess the predictive value of positive anti-GBM antibodies in a clinical setting. 

Methods: Data from anti-GBM antibody tests performed at one medical center between 2006 and 2016 were systematically and retrospectively retrieved. We recruited 1914 patients for the study. Continuous variables were computed as mean ± standard deviation, while categorical variables were recorded as percentages where appropriate. Sensitivity and specificity of anti-GBM titers were calculated. Kaplan–Meyer analysis was performed, stratifying survival according to the anti-GBM antibody titers.

Results: Of the 1914 anti-GBM test results detected, 42 were positive, 23 were borderline, 142 were excluded, and 1707 results were negative. Male-to-female ratio was 1:1.2. Sensitivity of anti-GBM test was 41.2% while specificity was 85.4%. Concerning the Kaplan–Meyer analysis, overall survival was 1163.36 ± 180.32 days (median 1058 days). 

Conclusions: Our study highlights the lack of sensitivity of serological testing of anti-GBM titers. Comparing survival curves, the survival correlated with anti-GBM titer only in a borderline way. Because highly sensitive bioassays are not routinely used in clinics, renal biopsy is still pivotal for Goodpasture’s disease diagnosis.

 

July 2016
David Yardeni MD, Ori Galante MD, Lior Fuchs MD, Daniela Munteanu MD, Wilmosh Mermershtain MD, Ruthy Shaco-Levy MD and Yaniv Almog MD
April 2016
Sara Bindoli MD, José J. Torres-Ruiz MD, Carlo Perricone MD, Mojca Bizjak MD, Andrea Doria MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaCR

Sarcoidosis is a chronic multisystem disease with variable course resulting from the interaction between environmental factors and the immune system of individuals genetically predisposed. The evidence linking sarcoidosis with environmental triggers such as metals is increasing. We describe the case of a 44 year old female with a history of smoking since age 30 and previous mercury dental filling who presented at physical examination with numerous subcutaneous nodules. Laboratory data showed accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and high titer of anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein antibodies (U1-RNP). Skin biopsy and chest X-ray suggested the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. In this report we illustrate the different causes involved in the onset of sarcoidosis.

February 2015
Siniša Roginic MD, Alan Jelic MD, Asja Stipic-Markovic MD PhD, Artukovic Marinko MD, Irena N. Artukovic MD and Martinovic-Kaliterna Dusanka MD PhD
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