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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.12.23

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September 2021
Naim Shehadeh MD, Aryeh Simmonds MD, Samuel Zangen MD, Arieh Riskin MD MHA, and Raanan Shamir MD

Background: Infants born very prematurely have functionally and structurally immature gastrointestinal tracts.

Objectives: To assess the safety and tolerability of administration of enteral recombinant human (rh) insulin on formula fed preterm infants and to assess whether enteral administration of rh-insulin enhances gastrointestinal tract maturation by reducing the time to reach full enteral feeding.

Methods: A phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study was conducted. Premature infants (26–33 weeks gestation) were randomized 1:1 to receive insulin 400 μU/ml mixed with enteral feeding or placebo added to their formula. The primary efficacy outcome measure was the number of days required to achieve full enteral feeding. Safety outcomes included adverse events and blood glucose levels.

Results: The study consisted of 33 infants randomized for the safety population and 31 for efficacy analysis. The mean time to full enteral feeding was 6.37 days (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 4.59–8.15) in the enteral rh-insulin treatment group (n=16) and 8.00 days (95%CI 6.20–9.80) in the placebo group (n=15), which represents a statistically significant reduction of 1.63 days (95%CI 0.29–2.97; P = 0.023). There was no difference in blood glucose levels between the groups and none of the participants experienced hypoglycemia. Adverse events occurred in 9/17 (53%) infants in the enteral rh-insulin group and 12/16 (75%) in the placebo group.

Conclusions: Our trial demonstrated that administration of enteral rh-insulin as supplement to enteral nutrition significantly reduced time to achieve full enteral feeding in preterm infants with a gestational age of 26–33 weeks.

July 2021
Moshe Y. Flugelman MD, Ruth Margalit MD, Ami Aronheim PhD, Omri Barak PhD, Assaf Marom MD PhD, Katya Dolnikov MD, Eyal Braun MD, Ayelet Raz-Pasteur MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, David Hochstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Rachel Nave PhD, Arieh Riskin MD, Dan Waisman MD, Robert Glueck MD, Michal Mekel MD, Yael Avraham BSc, Uval Bar-Peled BSc, Ronit Kacev MA, Michal Keren BA, Amir Karban MD, and Elon Eisenberg MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced drastic changes in all layers of life. Social distancing and lockdown drove the educational system to uncharted territories at an accelerated pace, leaving educators little time to adjust.

Objectives: To describe changes in teaching during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We described the steps implemented at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine during the initial 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve teaching and the academic ecosystem. 

Results: Several established methodologies, such as the flipped classroom and active learning, demonstrated effectiveness. In addition, we used creative methods to teach clinical medicine during the ban on bedside teaching and modified community engagement activities to meet COVID-19 induced community needs. 

Conclusions: The challenges and the lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to adjust our teaching methods and curriculum using multiple online teaching methods and promoting self-learning. It also provided invaluable insights on our pedagogy and the teaching of medicine in the future with emphasis on students and faculty being part of the changes and adjustments in curriculum and teaching methods. However, personal interactions are essential to medical school education, as are laboratories, group simulations, and bedside teaching

September 2020
Arieh Riskin MD PhD, Omer Itzchaki BSc, David Bader MD MHA, Adir Iofe MD, Arina Toropine MD and Shlomit Riskin-Mashiah MD MPH

Background: The incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing in parallel to the worldwide obesity and type 2 diabetes pandemic. Both GDM and pre-gestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) are associated with short- and long-term consequences in the offspring. There are few recent studies addressing outcomes of newborns born to women diagnosed with GDM and PGDM in Israel.

Objectives: To assess perinatal complications in offspring of women with GDM and PGDM.

Methods: The authors conducted a single-center retrospective case-control study of outcomes of all newborns whose mothers had been diagnosed with diabetes in pregnancy compared to randomly assigned controls born on the same date, whose mothers had no diabetes.

Results: In the study period 2015–2017, 526 mothers diagnosed with GDM or PGDM and their newborn infants were identified. The authors randomly assigned 526 control infants. The rate of women with diabetes in pregnancy was 5.0%. Mothers with GDM and PGDM had higher rates of pre-eclampsia, multiple pregnancies, and preterm deliveries. Mothers with PGDM had significantly higher rates of intrauterine fetal demise (4.3%), congenital anomalies (12.8%), and small-for-gestational-age neonates (10.6%) compared to controls (0%, 3.2%, and 4.2%, respectively, P < 0.001). The risks for preterm or cesarean delivery, large-for-gestational-age neonate, respiratory morbidity, hypoglycemia, and polycythemia were increased in offspring of mothers with diabetes, especially PGDM.

Conclusions: Despite all the advancements in prenatal care, diabetes in pregnancy, both PGDM and GDM, is still associated with significant morbidities and complications in offspring. Better preconception and inter-pregnancy care might reduce these risks

June 2015
Arieh Riskin MD MHA, Corina Hartman MD and Raanan Shamir MD


Parenteral nutrition (PN) must be initiated as soon as possible after delivery in very low birth weight (VLBW) preterm infants in order to prevent postnatal growth failure and improve neurodevelopmental outcome. When administered early, high levels of parenteral amino acids (AA) are well tolerated and prevent negative nitrogen balance. Although proteins are the driving force for growth, protein synthesis is energy demanding. Intravenous lipid emulsions (ILE) constitute a good energy source because of their high energy density and provide essential fatty acids (FA) along with their long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) derivatives necessary for central nervous system and retinal development. Early supply of ILE is not associated with increased morbidity. No significant differences were found between ILE based on soybean oil only and mixed ILE containing soybean oil in combination with other fat sources, except for a reduction in the incidence of sepsis with non-pure soybean ILE, and possibly less PN-associated liver disease with mixed ILE containing some fish oil. In preterm infants glucose homeostasis is still immature in the first days of life and abnormalities of glucose homeostasis are common. VLBW infants may not tolerate high levels of glucose infusion without hyperglycemia. Administering lower levels of glucose infusion as part of full early PN seems more successful than insulin at this stage. Postpartum there is a transition period when the water and electrolyte balance may be severely disturbed and should be closely monitored. Avoiding fluid overload is critical for preventing respiratory and other morbidities

September 2014
Arieh Riskin MD MHA, Ron Gonen MD, Amir Kugelman MD, Elias Maroun MD, Gregory Ekhilevitch MD and David Bader MD MHA

Background: Previous studies led to the recommendation to schedule planned elective cesarean deliveries at or after 39 weeks of gestation, and not before 38 weeks. The question is whether this practice is appropriate in face of possible risks to the newborn should the pregnancy have to be ended by cesarean section before the scheduled date.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of newborn infants who were delivered on their scheduled day by elective cesarean section versus those who required delivery earlier.

Methods: This single-center retrospective study was based on medical records covering a period of 18 months. We compared the neonatal outcomes of 272 infants delivered by elective cesarean section as scheduled (at 38.8 ± 0.8 weeks gestation) and 44 infants who had to be delivered earlier than planned (at 37.9 ± 1.1 weeks). 

Results: We found no morbidity directly related to delivery by cesarean section before the scheduled date. There were no significant differences in the need for resuscitation after delivery. Although more of the infants who were delivered early were admitted to intensive care and overall stayed longer in the hospital (5.8 ± 7.3 vs. 3.9 ± 0.8 days, P < 0.02), their more severe respiratory illness and subsequent longer hospitalization was the result of their younger gestational age. Transient tachypnea of the newborn was associated with younger gestational age at delivery in both groups.

Conclusions: We suggest continuing with the current recommendation to postpone elective cesarean singleton deliveries beyond 38–39 weeks of gestation whenever possible.

January 2011
A. Gover, D. Bader, M. Weinger-Abend, I. Chystiakov, E. Miller, A. Riskin, O. Hochwald, L. Beni-Adani, E. Tirosh and A. Kugelman

Background: The rate of brain abnormalities in asymptomatic term neonates varies substantially in previous studies. Some of these rates may justify general screening of healthy newborns by head ultrasound.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of intracranial abnormalities among asymptomatic term newborns with HUS[1] and to detect high-risk populations that might need such screening.

Methods: This was a prospective study in 493 term newborns who underwent HUS and a neurological evaluation during the first 3 days of life. The neurological examination results were unknown to the sonographist and the examiner was blinded to the HUS findings. The abnormal HUS findings were classified as significant or non-significant according to the current literature.

Results: Abnormal HUS was found in 11.2% of the neonates. Significant findings were noted in 3.8% of the infants. There was no association between non-structural HUS findings (hemorrhage or echogenicity) and mode of delivery. There was no relationship between any HUS abnormality and birth weight, head circumference and maternal age, ethnicity, education or morbidity. The rate of abnormal neurological, hearing or vision evaluation in infants with a significant abnormal HUS (5.2%) was comparable to the rate in infants with normal or non-significant findings on HUS (3.1%).

Conclusions: There is no indication for routine HUS screening in apparently healthy term neonates due to the relatively low incidence of significant brain abnormalities in these infants in our population.


[1] HUS = head ultrasound

September 2006
A. Riskin, Y. Shiff and R. Shamir

Premature very low birth weight (< 1500 g) infants are one of the largest groups receiving parenteral nutrition. PN[1] should be optimized to answer their large nutritional requirements and suit their metabolic status, but should also be validated pharmaceutically. PN can be provided as a standard, usually commercial, formulation, representing the average needs of a large group of patients. Alternatively, an individualized PN compound adapted to the patient's needs can be prescribed and prepared, usually on a daily basis. The main advantage of individually prescribed PN is that it is tailored to suit a specific patient, thereby assuring the best possible nutrition and biochemical control. Batch-produced standardized PN bags can be readily available as ward stocks in neonatal intensive care units, enabling initiation of early PN immediately after the delivery of a premature infant. Moreover, standard PN solutions incorporate expert nutritional knowledge and support. A combination of standardized PN bags, prepared under strict standardization criteria, for most neonates, with a small number of specifically tailored individualized PN formulations for those in need for them, could reduce pharmacy workload and costs, and increase safety, while maintaining the desired clinical flexibility. For those in need of the individualized PN formulations, a computerized ordering system can save time, decrease prescription and compounding errors, and improve quality of nutritional care.

[1] PN = parenteral nutrition

January 2006
D. Bader, A. Kugelman, D. E. Blum, A. Riskin, E. Tirosh

Background: Phototherapy is considered the standard of care for neonatal jaundice. However, its short term cardiorespiratory effects have not been studied thoroughly.

Objectives: To assess the cardiorespiratory effect of phototherapy during sleep in term infants with physiologic jaundice.

Methods: We performed two polysomnography studies during 3 hours sleep in 10 healthy term infants with physiologic jaundice; each infant served as his/her own control. The first study was performed just prior to phototherapy and the second study during phototherapy 24 hours later. Heart and respiratory rates, type and duration of apneas, and arterial oxygen saturation were analyzed during active and quiet sleep.

Results: Term infants (gestational age 38.6 ± 1.4 weeks, birth weight 3.2 ± 0.5 kg) underwent the two polysomnography studies within a short time interval and had a comparable bilrubin level (3.6 ± 0.8 and 4.5 ± 0.8 days; 14.5 ± 1.4 and 13.8 ± 2.1 mg/dl, P = NS, respectively). There was no difference in sleeping time or the fraction of active and quiet sleep before or during phototherapy. During active sleep under phototherapy there was a significant decrease in respiratory rate and increase in heart rate (54.3 ± 10.3 vs. 49.1 ± 10.8 breaths/minute, and 125.9 ± 11.7 vs. 129.7 ± 15.3 beats/minute, respectively, P < 0.05), as well as a decrease in respiratory effort in response to apnea. These effects were not found during quiet sleep. Phototherapy had no significant effect on oxygen saturation, apnea rate or periodic breathing in either sleep state. No clinical significant apnea or bradycardia occurred.

Conclusions: Phototherapy affected the cardiorespiratory activity during active sleep but not during quiet sleep in term infants with physiologic jaundice. These effects do not seem to have clinical significance in "real-life" conditions.

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