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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

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June 2024
Assaf Albagli MD, Ehud Rath MD, Matias Vidra MD, David Ben Haroush MD, Shai Factor MD, Eyal Amar MD

Background: Intra-articular knee injections (IAKI) are commonly used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes but may induce anxiety and fear. While existing literature has identified the variance between expected and actual pain levels in various medical procedures, this phenomenon remains unexplored in the context of IAKI.

Objectives: To describe the differences between anticipated and experienced pain recorded during IAKI.

Methods: The study cohort included 50 patients who underwent IAKI by an orthopedic specialist in an outpatient clinic. Patients recruited to the study recorded the anticipated and experienced pain, anxiety index, and factors influencing injection related fear.

Results: The study population (n=50) demonstrated a significant difference between the pain expected before the injection (mean Visual Analogue Scale [VAS] score 6.19) and the actual experienced (mean VAS score 2.07, P-value < 0.001). Significant differences between anticipated and experienced VAS scores were demonstrated for both females and males. There was a significant difference between males and females in terms of estimated VAS score. There was no significant difference between males and females in term of the experienced VAS score. The difference (delta) between expected and experienced pain differed significantly between sexes.

Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of educating patients about expected pain levels during IAKI. Presenting this quantified information may reassure patients that the procedure is not as painful as expected, which can potentially increase the compliance.

Mahmoud Massalha MD, Sharon Reisfeld MD

Background: Gram-negative bloodstream infections (GN-BSI) are life threatening. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy and source control when indicated improve survival. Dementia is an independent risk factor for death and is associated with increased risk for infections, especially in advanced stages. Data about the best diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for patients with dementia and GN-BSI are lacking.

Objectives: To evaluate patients with dementia and GN-BSI and determine whether diagnostic imaging improves clinical outcomes.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with GN-BSI, during 2019–2022. Patients with or without a diagnosis of dementia were compared. Outcomes were in-hospital mortality and recurrent bacteremia. Demographic, clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic data were collected and analyzed.

Results: A total of 87 patients with dementia and 130 without were included. Patients with dementia received appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy in 38% of cases compared to 62% of patients without dementia, P < 0.001. Imaging studies were performed in half of patients in both groups. In the dementia group, 17% had abnormal findings that required source control versus 30% in the control group (P = 0.049). Source control was performed in 15% of patients with dementia versus 28% of patients without dementia (P = 0.032). Mortality was 27.6% in the dementia group versus 22.3% in the control group (P = 0.42).

Conclusions: In patients with dementia and GN-BSI, imaging studies have lower effect on clinical outcomes. Imaging studies should be performed in selected cases only and not conducted routinely.

May 2024
Fadi Hassan MD, Mohammad E. Naffaa MD

Since the introduction of the international study group (ISG) criteria for the diagnosis of Behçet's disease (BD) in the early 1990s by Yazici and colleagues [1] and the international criteria for BD (ICBD) by Davatchi and colleagues in 2014 [2], great progress has been achieved in the diagnosis of BD with fairly high sensitivity and specificity rates. However, a small, but very challenging and unique minority might not fulfill these criteria, at least at presentation. These patients are most challenging as they may present with life-threatening vascular or neurological manifestations. If the diagnosis BD is delayed, the risk for morbidity and even mortality might be increased. Therefore, we should aim for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

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.

January 2024
Bassam Abboud MD, Ron Dar MD, Zakhar Bramnick MD, Moaad Farraj MD

Gastric perforation secondary to foreign body ingestion is rare. While obvious signs of acute abdomen usually lead to a prompt diagnosis by emergency department (ED) staff, this can be delayed in non-responsive or mentally disabled patients. An altered pain perception has been described in schizophrenia, as part of a complex phenomenon, which is thought to be unrelated to changes in nociceptive pathways. Cognitive impairment and negative symptoms may strongly influence the patient’s expression of pain [1].

November 2023
Nitsa Nacasch MD, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Ilanit Wul BA, Michael Polliack MD, Mark Weiser MD

On Saturday, 7 October 2023, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, our entire country woke to a reality of the worst terror attacks it has ever known, despite its long history of wars and terror. These horrific attacks included killing and burning babies, children, women, men, and the elderly; raping women; beheading babies; destroying settlements; and kidnapping more than 240 civilians and soldiers. The severe traumatic events created different circles of those exposed to trauma. In each group, the intensity of the trauma was different and had different characteristics.

Gassan Moady MD, Moanis Serhan MD, Shaul Atar MD, Alexander Shturman MD

Background: The continuity equation (CE) used for evaluating aortic stenosis (AS) is based on values obtained from transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) with the assumption that the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) has a circular shape. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) may be used for accurate measurement of the LVOT cross-sectional area (CSA). Previous studies have focused on fusion from TEE for LVOT-CSA measurement and TTE for velocity time integrals (VTI) calculations.

Objectives: To assess aortic valve area (AVA) using parameters obtained exclusively from TEE as an alternative approach.

Methods: Thirty patients with equivocal AS based on TTE were evaluated using TEE for further assessment.

Results: The mean pressure gradient across the aortic valve (AV) was 38 ± 5.9 and 37.9 ± 7.6 mmHg in TTE and TEE, respectively, P = 0.42. LVOT-CSA was larger in TEE (3.6 ± 0.3 vs. 3.4 ± 0.3 cm2, P = 0.049). VTI over the AVA was similar (98.54 ± 22.8 and 99.52 ± 24.52 cm in TTE and TEE, respectively, P = 0.608), while VTI across the LVOT was higher when measured by TTE (24.06 ± 5.8 vs. 22.03 ± 4.3 cm, P < 0.009). Using the CE, AVA was 0.82 ± 0.3 vs. 0.83 ± 0.17 cm2 in TEE vs. TTE, respectively, P = 0.608. Definitive grading was achieved in all patients (26 patients defined with severe AS and 4 with moderate).

Conclusions: In equivocal cases of AS, full assessment using TEE may be a reliable modality for decision making.

July 2023
Ravit Bassal PhD, Varda Shalev MD, Vered H. Eisenberg MD, Orit Stein-Reisner MD, Eduardo Schejter MD

Background: Depression has been shown to be associated with cervical tumors (CTs), an association mostly demonstrated in studies in which temporality could not have been ascertained.

Objectives: To study the association between depression and CTs and the influence of co-morbidities of this association in a large cohort study.

Methods: A retrospective computer-based cohort study was conducted. The cohort included 357,450 female members of Maccabi Healthcare Services. The cohort was classified as depressed or non-depressed using the International Classification of Diseases 9/10 codes. For each subgroup, demographic characteristics, behavioral characteristics, co-morbidities, and CTs diagnosis were obtained. The burden of co-morbidities was defined as the sum of major co-morbidities. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis due to over-dispersion to estimate the relative risk (RR) for CTs with 95% confidence interval (95%CI).

Results: Depression was diagnosed in 15,789 women. Among this group, CTs were diagnosed in 1585 (10.0%). Among the 341,661 non-depressed, CTs were diagnosed in 4185 (1.2%). After adjustment to age and socioeconomic status, the association between depression and CTs was RR=9.2 (95%CI 8.7–9.9, P-value < 0.0001). The association between depression and CTs increased as the burden of clinical conditions increased (P-value < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Women with depression are at a higher risk for CTs, especially among those who have several co-morbidities. Tighter gynecology surveillance is crucial among these women.

June 2023
Mustafa Gabarin MD, Yoav Arnson MD, Yoram Neuman MD, Ziad Arow MD, Abid Assali MD, David Pereg MD

Background: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are the treatment of choice for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation; however, bleeding risk remains significant. We reported a single-center experience with 11 patients who presented with hemorrhagic cardiac tamponade while treated with DOACs.

Objectives: To evaluate the characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients under DOACs with cardiac tamponade.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 11 patients treated with DOACs admitted with pericardial tamponade in our cardiology unit during 2018–2021.

Results: The mean age was 84 ± 4 years; 7 males. Atrial fibrillation was the indication for anticoagulation in all cases. DOACs included apixaban (8 patients), dabigatran (2 patients), and rivaroxaban (1 patient). Urgent pericardiocentesis via a subxiphoid approach under echocardiography guidance was successfully performed in 10 patients. One patient was treated with urgent surgical drainage with a pericardial window. Reversal of anticoagulation using prothrombin complex concentrate and idarucizumab was given before the procedure to 6 patients treated with apixaban and one patient treated with dabigatran. One patient, initially treated with urgent pericardiocentesis, underwent pericardial window surgery due to re-accumulation of blood in the pericardium. The pericardial fluid analysis demonstrated hemopericardium. Cytology tests were negative for malignant cells in all cases. Discharge diagnoses regarding the cause of hemopericardium included pericarditis (3 patients) and idiopathic (8 patients). Medical therapy included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (1 patient), colchicine (3 patients), and steroids (3 patients). No patient died during hospitalization.

Conclusions: Hemorrhagic cardiac tamponade is a rare complication of DOACs. We found good short-term prognosis following pericardiocentesis.

May 2023
Yaniv Zager MD, Yuri Goldes MD, Dan Assaf MD, Nadav Zilka MD, Roi Anteby MD, Yehonatan Nevo MD, Liran Barda MD, Avinoam Nevler MD

Background: The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has demonstrated prognostic value in various malignant conditions, including gastric adenocarcinoma. However, chemotherapy may affect NLR.

Objectives: To evaluate the prognostic value of NLR as an accessory decision-making tool in terms of operating patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with resectable gastric cancer.

Methods: We collected oncologic, perioperative, and survival data of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma who underwent curative intent gastrectomy and D2 lymphadenectomy between 2009 and 2016. The NLR was calculated from preoperative laboratory tests and classified as high (> 4) and low (≤ 4). The t-test, chi-square, Kaplan-Meier analysis, and Cox multivariate regression models were used to assess associations of clinical, histologic, and hematological variables with survival.

Results: For 124 patients the median follow-up was 23 months (range 1–88). High NLR was associated with greater rate of local complication (r=0.268, P < 0.01). The rate of major complications (Clavien-Dindo ≥ 3) was higher in the high NLR group (28% vs. 9%, P = 0.022). Among the 53 patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, those with low NLR had significantly improved disease-free survival (DFS) (49.7 vs. 27.7 months, P = 0.025). Low NLR was not significantly associated with overall survival (mean survival, 51.2 vs. 42.3 months, P = 0.19). Multivariate regression identified NLR group (P = 0.013), male gender (P = 0.04), and body mass index (P = 0.026) as independently associated with DFS.

Conclusions: Among gastric cancer patients planned for curative intent surgery who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, NLR may have prognostic value, particularly regarding DFS and postoperative complications.

Aviv Schupper MD, Galia Barash MD, Lilach Benyamini MD, Revital Ben-Haim MD, Eli Heyman MD, Eli Lahat MD, Haim Bassan MD

Global developmental delay (GDD), defined as a significant delay in two or more developmental domains (e.g., gross/fine motor, cognitive, speech/language, personal/social, activities of daily living), affects 1–3% of children. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, thyroid function studies are not indicated in children with GDD unless there are systemic features suggestive of thyroid dysfunction (https://www.health.gov.il/hozer/mr36_2012.pdf). This approach also exists in other countries with newborn screening programs for congenital hypothyroidism.

We present the case of an infant with GDD, who despite normal newborn screening tests, underwent a repeated extended thyroid function analysis (including T3 levels) leading to a diagnosis of Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome, a rare genetic neurodevelopmental syndrome.

February 2023
Gassan Moady MD MPH, Alexander Shturman MD, Elias Daud MD, Gal Rubinstein MD, Dror Leviner MD, Shaul Atar MD

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) often develops following stressors such as cardiac surgery. It may be fatal in rare cases. Our 70-year-old female patient presented with a rare case of tricuspid valve papillary fibroelastoma, which was complicated by fatal TTS after successful resection. The patient had a right atrial mass that was investigated with computed tomography and transesophageal echocardiography (TTE). She was scheduled for surgery. Pathology findings were consistent with papillary fibroelastoma of the tricuspid valve. Three weeks after successful surgery, the patient was admitted due to cardiogenic shock with echocardiographic findings of apical ballooning and left ventricular outflow tract obstruction consistent with TTS. The patient died one hour after her admission despite optimal medical therapy.

January 2023
Anis Kaldawy MD, Nadav Cohen MD, Wisam Assaf, Meirav Schmidt MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Yoram Abramov MD

Background: Diagnosing occult stress urinary incontinence (OSUI) prior to surgical intervention for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) repair may allow for adding an anti-incontinence procedure and thus prevent postoperative SUI.

Objectives: To compare preoperative detection rates for OSUI by either a multichannel urodynamic investigation or by a plain pelvic examination.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the medical charts of all women who underwent urodynamic investigation prior to surgical repair of advanced POP at our institution between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2012.

Results: In total, 720 women underwent surgical POP repair during the study period, of whom 54 (7.5%) were diagnosed with OSUI preoperatively. Of these patients, 54 (100%) were detected by multichannel urodynamic investigation while only 27 (50%) were detected by a plain pelvic examination (P = 0.001). Bladder fullness during the pelvic examination was associated with higher detection rates for OSUI (P = 0.001). Women with OSUI who underwent concomitant tension-free vaginal tape and POP repair procedures did not develop de novo SUI or obstructive voiding symptoms (OVS) postoperatively.

Conclusions: Preoperative multichannel urodynamic investigation has significantly higher detection rates for OSUI than a plain pelvic examination. Utilizing this modality resulted in no cases of de novo SUI or OVS postoperatively.

December 2022
Tal Israeli MD

Background: The chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) protein family consists of six members in humans. CLICs are unique due to their metamorphic property, displaying both soluble and integral membrane forms. The transmembrane conformation was shown to give rise to ion-channel activity in vitro. In recent years, CLICs were implicated in a growing number of physiological processes in various organ systems and associated with distinct disease states. Indeed, the founding member of the family, CLIC5, was shown to be involved in hereditary deafness and various types of cancer. Nevertheless, the natural interactants and endogenous ligands of CLIC5 have not been discovered yet.

Objectives: To find ligands that affect the biochemical properties and activity of CLIC5. We hypothesized that such ligands could serve as important tools for resolving the long-sought cellular roles of CLICs and may offer novel therapeutic avenues for CLIC-associated conditions.

Methods: Using molecular biology and biochemical methods, CLIC5 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified. Next, a high-throughput differential scanning fluorimetry thermal shift assay (TSA) was established and the interaction of approximately 500 natural compounds was examined.

Results: The TSA-based screening approach developed here allows to evaluate the effect of approximately 100 compounds in parallel within approximately 1 hour. Our proof-of-concept screening yielded 11 potential hits, significantly affecting the thermal stability of CLIC5. By examining the dose-dependence of this effect, we identified a specific interaction of CLIC5 with curcumin.

Conclusions: Using the approach we developed, large libraries of small molecules can be screened efficiently to identify novel CLIC5 interactants. Considering the participation of CLIC5 in various physiological and pathological processes, uncovering ligands that inhibit or activate CLIC5 may provide tools to modulate its activity and possibly to ameliorate CLIC5-related pathologies in the future.

November 2022
Hanan Massalha MD, Milena Tocut MD, Miguel Stein MD, Gisele Zandman-Goddard MD

Hypereosinophilia is defined as the absolute eosinophilic count of above 1500 cells/µL in the peripheral blood on two separate tests taken during one month and/or the pathological confirmation of hypereosinophilia. There are many conditions that are associated with increased eosinophil counts including: parasitic infections, drug reactions, eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, allergic reactions, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), primary immunodeficiencies (PID), eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGID), familial hypereosinophilia, and neoplasms [1]. Molecular classification may be an adjuvant in the classification of hypereosinophilia [2]. Our patient presented with hypereosinophilia as part of a paraneoplastic syndrome.

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