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עמוד בית
Wed, 24.07.24

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August 2001
Yehuda Shoenfeld, Dror Harats and Georg Wick
April 2001
Dror Harats, MD, Offer Yodfat, MD, Ram Doolman, MSc, Slava Gavendo, MSc, Daniella Marko, BSc, Aviv Shaish, PhD and Ben-Ami Sela, PhD

Background: Case-control and prospective studies indicate that an elevated plasma homocysteine level is a powerful risk factor for atherosclerotic vascular diseases. Certain medications can induce hyperhomocystinemia, such as methotrexate, trimethoprim and anti-epileptic drugs. There are few reports indicating an interaction between lipid-lowering drugs (cholestyramine and niacin) and homocysteine. Recently, an interaction was shown between fenofibrate and benzafibrates (a fibric acid derivative) and homocysteine plasma levels.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of different fibrates on plasma homocysteine levels and to measure the reversibility of this effect.

Methods and Results: We investigated the effects of ciprofibrate and bezafibrate on homocysteine levels in patients with type IV hyperlipidemia and/or low high density lipoprotein levels. While a 57% increase in homocysteine was detected in the ciprofibrate-treated group (n=26), a 17% reduction n homocysteine was detected in the group treated with bezafibrate (n=12). The increase in homocysteine in the ciprofibrate-treated group was sustained for the 12 weeks of treatment and was partially reversible after 6 weeks of discontinuing the ciprofibrate therapy.

Conclusions: These results indicate that an increase In plasma homocysteine levels following administration of flbrates is not a class effect, at least in its magnitude. Moreover, it is reversible upon discontinuation of the treatment.
 

March 2001
Adam Mor, MD and Yoseph A. Mekori, MD
February 2001
Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD, Yaniv Dhemer, MD, Yaakov George, MD and Dror Harats, MD
January 2001
Pnina Langevitz MD, Avi Livneh MD, Lily Neumann PhD, Dan Buskila MD, Joshua Shemer MD, David Amolsky MD and Mordechi Pras MD

Background: Familial Mediterranean fever is a genetic disorder manifested by recurrent attacks of peritonitis, pleuritis and arthritis, and characterized by clinical, histological and laboratory evidence for localized and systemic inflammation. Colchicine treatment usually prevents the attacks and the associated inflammation. Inflammation of atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease.

Objective: To study the effect of inflammation and its prevention on occurrence of IHD, using FMF as a model.

Methods and Patients: We studied the presence of IHD and its risk factors in 290 FMF patients aged 40 years or more, and in two control groups – 233 spouses of the FMF patients’ and 126 patients with inflammatory diseases obtained from other outpatient clinics. FMF patients were also compared with age and gender-matched individuals from the population reference data of the Israel Ministry of Health.

Results: The prevalence of IHD in FMF patients was significantly lower than in the group of controls from other outpatient clinics (15.5% vs. 30.2% P< 0.05) and comparable with their spouses (11.2%) and with the matched general population in Israel (16%).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that despite the evidence of recurrent inflammation, colchicines-treated FMF patients are not more predisposed to IHD than the normal population.

January 2000
Alexander Tenenbaum MD PhD, Alexander Garniek MD, Joseph Shemesh MD, Chaim I. Stroh MD, Yacov Itzchak MD PhD, Zvi Vered MD, Michael Motro MD and Enrique Z. Fisman MD

Background: Protruding aortic atheromas are a potential source of stroke and systemic emboli. The single modality currently available for their detection has been transesophageal echocardiography. However, TEE does not allow full visualization of the upper part of the ascending aorta and proximal aortic arch.

Objectives: To investigate whether double helical computerized tomography- both with and without contrast injection - may represent a useful technique for noninvasive detection of PAA in stroke patients.

Methods: Forty consecutive patients ≥50 years of age who sustained a recent ischemic stroke and/or systemic emboli (within 15 days after the onset of the event) were enrolled in the study and underwent TEE and DHCT without contrast injection using thin slice acquisition (3.2 mm thickness and 1.5 mm reconstruction increment). In addition, the last eight consecutive patients, after obtaining an unenhanced scan, underwent a contrast-enhanced DHCT following peripheral intravenous injection of a small amount of contrast material (15 ml of diatrizoate).

Results: PAAs were demonstrated by TEE in 18 patients (45%); in 16 of them (89%) the atheromas were recognized by DHCT. Of the 22 patients without PAA on TEE, DHCT confirmed their absence in 18 (82%). DHCT yielded a sensitivity of 89%, a specificity of 82%, and an overall accuracy of 85%. The total number of protruding plaques detected by TEE was 43, of which 41 (95%) were correctly identified by DHCT. The mean thickness of the plaques was 5.6±2.4 mm on TEE, and 5.4±2.3 on DHCT (P=NS), with a good correlation between the modalities (γ=0.84). Contrast-enhanced DHCT scans demonstrated absolute equivalence to TEE in aortic areas defined as "clearly visualized by TEE." DHCT detected PAA between the distal ascending aorta and the proximal arch in seven patients; these atheromas were not included in the comparative analysis. In these "occult" areas, DHCT may be superior to TEE.

Conclusions: DHCT without contrast injection using thin slice acquisition may become a useful modality for rapid noninvasive detection of PAA. Contrast-enhanced DHCT scans significantly improve imaging quality and may be superior to TEE in the upper ascending aorta and the proximal arch (areas not well visualized by TEE).

 

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TEE= transesophgeal echocardiography

PAA= protruding aortic atheroma

DHCT= dual helical computerized tomography
 

October 1999
Jacob George, MD, Dror Harats, MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD
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