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עמוד בית
Tue, 07.02.23

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July 2022
Abdulrahman Elsalti MD, Abdulkarim Alwani MD, Isa Seida MD, Mahmoud Alrais MD, Ravend Seida MD, Sevval Nil Esirgun MD, Tunahan Abali MD, Zeynep Kiyak MD, and Naim Mahroum MD
June 2022
Shir Rubinstein Levy B Med Sc, Gilad Halpert PhD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been known for thousands of years for their promising potential as analgesics. Chronic pain is a common complaint among many patients with rheumatic conditions. These disorders have revisited the medical approach toward cannabis and its potential role in pain relief. In addition, in recent years, information has mounted about the immunomodulatory effects of cannabis. In this review we discuss findings on the benefits cannabis may have in rheumatic and autoimmune disorders.

May 2022
Olga Vera-Lastra MD, Erik Cimé-Aké MD, Alberto Ordinola Navarro MD, Joel Eduardo Morales-Gutiérrez MD, Orestes de Jesús Cobos-Quevedo MD, Jorge Hurtado-Díaz MD, María Lucero Espinoza-Sánchez MD, Ana Lilia Peralta-Amaro MD, María Pilar Cruz-Domínguez MD, Gabriela Medina MD, Antonio Fraga-Mouret MD, Jesus Sepulveda-Delgado MD, and Luis J. Jara MD

Background: Patients with autoimmune disease (AID) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could have higher mortality due to the co-morbidity and the use of immunosuppressive therapy.

Objectives: To analyze the risk factors and outcomes of patients with AID and COVID-19 versus a control group.

Methods: A prospective cohort study included patients with and without AID and COVID-19. Patients were paired by age and sex. Clinical, biochemical, immunological treatments, and outcomes (days of hospital stay, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], oxygen at discharge, and death) were collected.

Results: We included 226 COVID-19 patients: 113 with AID (51.15 ± 14.3 years) and 113 controls (53.45 ± 13.3 years). The most frequent AIDs were Rheumatoid arthritis (26.5%), systemic lupus erythematosus (21%), and systemic sclerosis (14%). AID patients had lower lactate dehydrogenas, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, IMV (P = 0.027), and oxygen levels at discharge (P ≤ 0.0001) and lower death rates (P ≤ 0.0001). Oxygen saturation (SaO2) ≤ 88% at hospitalization provided risk for IMV (RR [relative risk] 3.83, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.1–13.6, P = 0.038). Higher creatinine and LDH levels were associated with death in the AID group. SaO2 ≤ 88% and CO-RADS ≥ 4 were risk factors for in-hospital mortality (RR 4.90, 95%CI 1.8–13.0, P = 0.001 and RR 7.60, 95%CI 1.4–39.7, P = 0.016, respectively). Anticoagulant therapy was protective (RR 0.36, 95%CI 0.1–0.9, P = 0.041)

Conclusions: Patients with AID had better outcomes with COVID-19 than controls. Anticoagulation was associated with a lower death in patients with AID.

January 2022
Abdulla Watad MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
June 2021
Naim Mahroum MD, Magdi Zoubi MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Josef Haik MD MPH, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

Surgical interventions in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), in particular plastic procedures, might cause undesired consequences. Notably, liposuction seems to possess greater risk as adipose tissue has been shown to play an important role in treating wounds and ulcers in patients with SSc. While anticentromere antibodies were found to be correlated with vasculopathy in SSc, patients with SSc and anticentromere antibodies might be more vulnerable to surgical wound complications following liposuction. A 46-year-old female patient, who had been diagnosed with SSc at the age of 31 years, had antinuclear as well as anticentromere antibodies. She underwent abdominoplasty with liposuction and developed severe skin necrosis of the abdomen following the procedure and at the site of liposuction. The correlation with anticentromere and the role of liposuction in skin necrosis in SSc are presented.

Paula David MD, Arad Dotan, Naim Mahroum MD, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
November 2020
Elias Toubi MD and Zahava Vadasz MD PhD

Innate and adaptive immune response dysregulations are equally involved in the induction of autoimmunity. Toll-like receptors play a leading role in the activation of innate immune cells, thus priming auto-reactive T cells. Th17 cells and related cytokines are widely involved in many immune-mediated diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, the recent introduction of anti-IL-17  therapies should be further evaluated. Janus kinase inhibitors and Fc receptor-targeting drugs are some of the new therapeutic strategies that are being implemented when old classical therapies lack sufficient beneficial outcomes

September 2020
Polina Kagan DMD MSc, Gilad Halpert PhD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Reuven Shapira DMD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD, FRCP, MaACR
August 2020
Shani Dahan MD, Gad Segal MD, Itai Katz MD, Tamer Hellou MD, Michal Tietel MD, Gabriel Bryk MD, Howard Amital MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR and Amir Dagan MD

Background: Ferritin, the cellular protein storage for iron, has emerged as a key molecule in the immune system, orchestrating the cellular defense against inflammation. At the end of 2019, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly spread throughout China and other countries around the world, resulting in a viral pandemic.

Objectives: To evaluate the correlation between ferritin and disease severity in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we obtained clinical and laboratory data regarding 39 hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 from two hospitals in Israel.

Results: A significant increase in ferritin levels was demonstrated in patients with moderate and severe disease, compared to patients with mild disease (P = 0.006 and 0.005, respectively). Severe patients had significantly higher levels of ferritin (2817.6 ng/ml) than non-severe patients (708.6 ng/ml) P = 0.02.

Conclusions: In this preliminary cross-sectional study, elevated ferritin levels were shown to correlate with disease severity in 39 patients from Israel with confirmed COVID-19 infection. Our results further strengthen the hypothesis that severe COVID-19 disease might be due to an underlying dysregulated hyperimmune response. In order to identify these patients early and prioritized resources, we believe that all patients with COVID-19 should be screened for hyperferritinemia.

August 2019
Abdulla Watad MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD MPH, Howard Amital MD MHA and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR
July 2019
Massimo Ralli MD PhD, Alessandro Lambiase MD PhD, Marco Artico MD, Marco de Vincentiis MD and Antonio Greco MD

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive death of motor neurons leading to fatal paralysis. The causes of ALS remain unknown; however, evidence supports the presence of autoimmune mechanisms contributing to pathogenesis. Although several environmental factors have been proposed, the only established risk factors are older age, male gender, and a family history of ALS. To date, there are no diagnostic test for ALS, and clinicians rely on the combination of upper motor neuron and lower motor neuron signs in the same body region. The aim of this paper was to provide a comprehensive review of current clinical literature with special focus on the role of autoimmunity in ALS, differential diagnosis, and available therapeutic approaches. Current evidence suggests a contribution of the innate immune system in ALS, with a role of microglial cell activation at the sites of neurodegeneration. The median time from symptom onset to diagnosis of ALS is 14 months, and this time estimate is mainly based on specific clinical signs and exclusion of ALS-like conditions. Several therapeutic approaches have been proposed, including immunosuppressive drugs, to reduce disease progression. Riluzole has been established as the only, although modestly effective, disease modifying therapy, extending mean patient survival by 3to 6 months. Recent advances in understanding the pathophysiology mechanisms of ALS encourage realistic hope for new treatment approaches. To date, the cornerstones of the management of patients with ALS are focused on symptom control, maintaining quality of life and improving survival.

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