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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.04.24

Search results

June 2020
Mohammad Adawi MD, Tair Abu-Gabel MD, Firas Sabbah MD, Itamar Yehuda PhD, Snait Tamir PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more frequent in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared with age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. SLE is an autoimmune disease that is more prevalent in women (9:1). Women tend to develop CVD in post-menopausal years; however, women with SLE may develop endothelial dysfunction and CVD at a younger age in the pre-menopausal years.

Objectives: To study the endothelial function of adult-onset SLE patients from the north of Israel (the Galilee region) and to determine whether modern management (including biological treatments) changes the risk of developing CVD.

Methods: Thirteen females with adult-onset SLE without renal involvement were recruited to this prospective study. Clinical parameters (age, height, body mass index [BMI]), laboratory parameters (C-reactive protein [CRP] and hemoglobin level), and vascular responsiveness (flow mediated diameter percent change [FMD%]) were evaluated and compared to 11 age-matched healthy females. Student's t-test was used to find differences between the two groups.

Results: No difference was observed in adult-onset SLE female patients and their age- and sex-matched controls with regard to age (42.1 ± 11.8 years vs. 36.6 ± 10.8 years, P = NS), BMI (25 ± 1.8 kg/m2 vs. 25 ± 2.5 kg/m2, P = NS), and hemoglobin level (11.9 ± 0.9 gr% vs. 12.7 ± 1.2 gr%, P = NS). However, a significant difference was found in CRP (2.57 ± 2.2 mg vs. 0.60 ± 0.37 mg, P = 0.001), vascular responsiveness (0.94 ± 6.6 FMD% vs. 9.2 ± 8.1 FMD%, P = 0.012), and height (165.7 ± 4.5 cm vs. 171.6 ± 5.8 cm, P = 0.009).

Conclusions: Adult-onset SLE females had impaired endothelial function even though they were treated by modern protocols.

July 2019
Mohammad Adawi MD MHA, Sabbah Firas MD and Arnon Blum MD

Inflammation is the basic mechanism leading to many pathological processes, including degenerative diseases, atherosclerosis, and cancer. We found an interesting link connecting rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis that may explain the high cardiovascular event rate among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but also may lead to a new way of thinking and a better understanding of atherosclerosis. Rheumatoid arthritis could serve as a model of accelerated atherosclerosis. Understanding the basic mechanisms of rheumatoid arthritis may solve some of the complexity of atherosclerosis.

June 2019
Alex Konstantinovsky MD, Snait Tamir PhD, Giora Katz MD, Orna Tzischinsky PhD, Nina Kuchersky MD, Nava Blum PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a syndrome associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may predict cardiovascular events in men presenting with this syndrome. It has been shown to be associated with a higher rate of acute myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality, vascular inflammation, and impaired endothelial function. In this review we present the literature findings and describe the mechanistic pathways that are known to be involved in this syndrome and its related clinical consequences.

May 2019
Nesrin Ghanem-Zoubi MD, Johad Khoury MD, Merav Arnon MD, Danny Zorbavel MD, Yuval Geffen PhD and Mical Paul MD

Background: With the widespread use of antifungal agents, the frequency of non-albicans Candida (NAC) blood-stream infections (BSI) is increasing.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and risk factors for NAC BSI, focusing on prior antifungal and immunosuppressive therapy.

Methods: The authors conducted an observational, retrospective cohort study among adult patients with candidemia at the Rambam Health Care Campus, a tertiary medical center in Israel, between 2009 and 2015. Comparisons between patients with Candidemia albicans and NAC candidemia were performed. Regression analysis, with NAC BSI as the dependent variable and significant risk factors for NAC as independent variables, was performed.

Results: A total of 308 episodes of candidemia were included. C. albicans was isolated in 30.8% of patients (95/308), while NAC spp. were isolated in the rest. Significant independent risk factors for NAC included immunosuppression therapy (odds ratio [OR] 0.38, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.19–0.76) and previous azole use (OR 0.2, 95%CI 0.06–0.710). The interaction between prior azole and immunosuppression therapy in the model was not significant, and after its inclusion in the model only immunosuppression remained significantly associated with NAC. In the subgroup of patients who did not receive prior azoles, immunosuppression therapy, neutropenia, and bone marrow transplantation were significantly associated with NAC.

Conclusions: Independent of previous azole treatment, immunosuppressive therapy was a significant risk factor for NAC in our cohort.

March 2019
February 2019
Arnon Blum MD, Nina Pastukh MSc, Rizak Sirchan MA, Nava Blum PhD, Lev Chernikoff MD and Vladimir Vaispapir MD

Background: Endothelial progenitor cells may have a role in ongoing endothelial repair. Impaired mobilization or depletion of these cells may contribute to progression of vascular disease. Our hypothesis was that endothelial progenitor cells would be suppressed in patients with acute cerebrovascular event based on our previous study that found severe endothelial dysfunction in those patients.

Objectives: To study the ability of patients with acute stroke to build colonies of endothelial progenitor cells.

Methods: We studied the number of colony-forming units of endothelial progenitor cells (CFU-EPCs) from the peripheral blood of 22 male patients with a first-time acute stroke (age 58.09 ± 9.8 years) and 13 healthy men (34 ± 6.7 years), 8 female patients with a first-time acute stroke (54.6 ± 10.3 years) and 6 healthy women (38.3 ± 11.6 years). Endothelium-dependent function was assessed by high-resolution ultrasonography of the brachial artery that measured the change in diameter of the artery by flow-mediated diameter percent change (FMD%). All patients had strokes demonstrated by a brain computed tomography (CT) scan done on admission. Peripheral blood was drawn soon after admission and was processed for endothelial progenitor cells in culture.

Results: Thirty patients without known cardiovascular risk factors and who did not take any medications were admitted with a first-time acute stroke. All demonstrated a strong correlation between CFU-EPCs grown in culture and endothelial dysfunction (r = 0.827, P < 0.01). Endothelial dysfunction with an FMD% of -2.2 ± 9.7% was noted in male patients vs. 17.5 ± 6.8% in healthy males (P = 0.0001), and -7.2 ± 10.1% in female patients vs. 25.1 ± 7.1% in healthy females (P = 0.0001). CFU-EPCs were 5.5 ± 6.3 in men with stroke vs. 23.75 ± 5.3 in healthy males (P = 0.0001), and 7.6 ± 4.9 in women with stroke vs. 22.25 ± 6.7 in healthy females (P = 0.0004).

Conclusions: Patients with acute stroke had an impaired ability to grow CFU-EPCs in culture and exhibited endothelial dysfunction. The novelty of this study was the discovery of the phenomenon of depressed numbers of EPCs and the poor ability to grow colonies of EPCs in the first 24 hours of the cerebrovascular event.

October 2017
Alon Z. Sapir MD, Izzat Khayyat MD, Ron Rabinowitz MD, Arnon Samueloff MD, Lior Drukker MD and Hen Y. Sela MD

Background: Two types of growth curves are commonly used to diagnose fetal growth disorders: neonatal birth weight (BW) and sonographic estimated fetal weight (EFW). The debate as to which growth curve to use is universal.

Objectives: To establish sonographic EFW growth curves for the Israeli population and to assess whether the use of the BW growth curves currently adapted in Israel leads to under-diagnosis of intrauterine growth disorders.

Methods: Biometric data collected during a 6 year period was analyzed to establish sonographic EFW growth curves between 15–42 weeks of gestation for the Israeli population. Growth curves were compared to previously published sonographic EFW growth curves. A comparison with the Israeli BW growth curves was performed to assess the possibility of under-diagnosis of intrauterine growth disorders.

Results: Out of 42,778 sonographic EFW studies, 31,559 met the inclusion criteria. The sonographic EFW growth curves from the current study resembled the EFW curves previously published. The comparison of the current sonographic EFW and BW growth curves revealed under-diagnosis of intrauterine growth disorders during the preterm period. Four percent of the fetuses assessed between 26–34 weeks would have been suspected of being growth restricted; 2.8 percent of the fetuses assessed between 30–36 weeks would have been suspected of having macrosomia, based on the BW growth curves.

Conclusions: New Israeli sonographic EFW growth curves resemble previously published sonographic EFW curves. Using BW growth curves may lead to the under-diagnosis of growth disorders. We recommend adopting sonographic EFW growth to diagnose intrauterine growth disorders.

Arnon Blum MD, Hila Yehuda MSc, Nissim Geron MD and Ari Meerson PhD

Background: Weight loss surgery is the most effective treatment for obesity, and it reduces cardiovascular and cancer risk through poorly understood mechanisms. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short RNA molecules that regulate the stability and translation of many mRNAs. We hypothesized that levels of specific circulating miRNAs are altered following surgery and may contribute to lower cancer risk.

Objectives: To investigate the change of miRNA following surgery.

Methods: All patients underwent gastric “sleeve operation”. RNA was isolated from sera of 21 patients (14 men, 7 women) before and 3 months after surgery. Sera were combined into two pools, which served for cDNA library construction followed by miSeq sequencing. The levels of candidate miRNAs were validated in the individual samples by QRT-PCR.

Results: Serum miR-122 was significantly up-regulated 3 months post-bariatric surgery in sera of patients, whose endothelial function had greatly improved. In addition, serum miR-122 levels correlated positively with endothelial function as measured by FMD. The changes in miR-122 levels from pre-surgery to 3 months post-surgery also tended to correlate with the respective changes in FMD.

Conclusions: The serum miR-122/miR-451 ratio may serve as a marker for endothelial function in obese patients. miR-122 is the dominant miRNA in the liver and a known tumor suppressor. Our findings suggest a role for circulating miR-122 in the maintenance of vascular endothelial cells (VECs) and in the prevention of cancer. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanism of its secretion into circulation and its absorption by VECs, as well as its relevant cellular targets.

July 2017
Amir Dagan, Naim Mahroum, Gad Segal, Shmuel Tiosano, Abdulla Watad, Doron Comaneshter, Arnon D. Cohen and Howard Amital

Background: Patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA) suffer from inflammatory diseases often treated by large amounts of corticosteroids. Whether this inflammatory burden also carries an increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity, and especially ischemic heart disease, is not clearly established.

Objectives: To clarify the linkage between GCA and ischemic heart disease. 

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we assessed the association between GCA and ischemic heart disease, adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors, among GCA patients and matched controls using the database of the largest healthcare provider in Israel.

Results: The study group was comprised of 5659 GCA patients and 28,261 age and gender matched controls. The proportion of ischemic heart disease was higher in the GCA group (27.5% vs. 12.5% among controls, odds ratio 2.65). Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and smoking were also found to have higher concurrency in GCA. After stratifying for those cardiovascular co-morbidities using logistic regression, GCA remained independently associated with ischemic heart disease with an odds ratio of 1.247 (1.146–1.357 P < 0.001).

Conclusions: GCA is associated with both cardiovascular risk factors and ischemic heart disease. Healthcare professionals should not overlook this aspect of the disease when managing GCA patients. 


March 2017
Yakir Segev MSc MD, Ella Arnon MD, Efraim Siegler MD, Ofer Gemer MD, Yael Goldberg MD, Ron Auslender MD, Anis Kaldawy MD and Ofer Lavie MD
February 2017
Suleiman Kriem MD, Avi Peretz PhD and Arnon Blum MD
June 2016
Doron Goldberg MD MHA, Avi Tsafrir MD, Naama Srebnik MD, Michael Gal MD PhD, Ehud J. Margalioth MD, Pnina Mor CNM PHD, Rivka Farkash MPH, Arnon Samueloff MD and Talia Eldar-Geva MD PhD

Background: Fertility treatments are responsible for the rise in high order pregnancies in recent decades and their associated complications. Reducing the number of embryos returned to the uterus will reduce the rate of high order pregnancies.     

Objectives: To explore whether obstetric history and parity have a role in the clinician’s decision making regarding the number of embryos transferred to the uterus during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Methods: In a retrospective study for the period August 2005 to March 2012, data were collected from twin deliveries > 24 weeks, including parity, mode of conception (IVF vs. spontaneous), gestational age at delivery, preeclampsia, birth weight, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and Apgar scores. 

Results: A total of 1651 twin deliveries > 24 weeks were recorded, of which 959 (58%) were at term (> 37 weeks). The early preterm delivery (PTD) rate (< 32 weeks) was significantly lower with increased parity (12.6%, 8.5%, and 5.6%, in women with 0, 1, and ≥ 2 previous term deliveries, respectively). Risks for PTD (< 37 weeks), preeclampsia and NICU admission were significantly higher in primiparous women compared to those who had one or more previous term deliveries. Primiparity and preeclampsia, but not IVF, were significant risk factors for PTD. 

Conclusions: The risk for PTD in twin pregnancies is significantly lower in women who had a previous term delivery and decreases further after two or more previous term deliveries. This finding should be considered when deciding on the number of embryos to be transferred in IVF.  


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