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עמוד בית
Sun, 26.05.24

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January 2024
Isca Hershkowitz MD, Avivit Cahn MD, Tal Keidar Haran MD, Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD

Illicit drug abuse is a widespread medical problem with numerous sequelae. One of the major challenges in reaching a diagnosis is the difficulty in obtaining accurate details during the medical interview. We describe a patient who initially denied drug abuse while presenting a bizarre nasopharyngeal disease secondary to inhalation of oxycodone-acetaminophen powder.

October 2019
Galina Goltzman MD, Sivan Perl MD, Lior Cohen Mendel MD, Eyal Avivi MD and Micha J Rapoport MD

Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) blood level is associated with clinical outcomes of several diseases. However, the independent predictive role of CRP in the heterogeneous population of patients admitted to internal medicine wards is not known. 

Objectives: To determine whether single CRP levels at admission independently predicts clinical outcome and flow of patients in general medicine wards.

Methods: This study comprised 275 patients (50.5% female) with a mean age of 68.25 ± 17.0 years, hospitalized with acute disease in a general internal medicine ward. The association between admission CRP levels and clinical outcomes including mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, duration of hospitalization, and re-admission within 6 months was determined.

Results: A significant association was found between CRP increments of 80 mg/L and risk for the major clinical outcomes measured. The mortality odds ratio (OR) was 1.89 (95% confidence interval (95%CI, 1.37–2.61, P < 0.001), mechanical ventilation OR 1.67 (95%CI, 1.10–2.34, P = 0.006), re-admission within 6 months OR 2.29 (95%CI, 1.66–3.15 P < 0.001), and prolonged hospitalization >7 days OR 2.09 (95%CI, 1.59–2.74, P < 0.001). Lower increments of10 mg/L in CRP levels were associated with these outcomes although with lower ORs. Using a stepwise regression model for admission CRP levels resulted in area under the receiver operating characteristics curves between 0.70 and 0.76 for these outcomes.

Conclusions: A single admission CRP blood level is independently associated with major parameters of clinical outcomes in acute care patients hospitalized in internal medicine wards.

June 2019
Hagar Interator MSx RD, Avivit Brener MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Inbar Safra MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Moshe Leshno MD PhD, Raanan Shamir MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: In Israel, coronary heart disease mortality rates are significantly higher among the Arab population than the Jewish population. Dyslipidemia prevention should begin in childhood.

Objectives: To identify sociodemographic disparities in the preventive health measurement of lipid profile testing and lipoprotein levels among Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 1.2 million children and adolescents insured by Clalit Health Services between 2007 and 2011 was conducted using sociodemographic data and serum lipid concentrations.

Results: Overall, 10.1% individuals had undergone lipid testing. Those with male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 0.813, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.809–0.816), Arab ethnicity (OR = 0.952, 95%CI 0.941–0.963), and low socioeconomic status (SES) (OR = 0.740, 95%CI 0.728–0.752) were less likely to be tested. By 2010, differences among economic sectors narrowed and Arab children were more likely to be tested (OR = 1.039, 95%CI 1.035–1.044). Girls had higher total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels compared to boys (P < 0.001). Jewish children had higher cholesterol and low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, as well as lower triglyceride levels than Arabs (P < 0.001). Children with low SES had lower cholesterol, low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found that boys, Arab children, and those with low SES were less likely to be tested. Over time there was a gradual reduction in these disparities. Publicly sponsored healthcare services can diminish disparities in the provision of preventive health among diverse socioeconomic groups that comprise the national population.

November 2018
Eliyahu Zaig MD, Odile Cohen-Ouaknine MD, Anat Tsur MD, Sheila Nagar MD, Gherta Bril MD, Lior Tolkin MD, Avivit Cahn MD, Mozhgan Heyman and Benjamin Glaser MD

Background: Reduced sensitivity to thyroid hormone (RSTH) syndrome describes a group of rare heterogeneous genetic disorders. Precise diagnosis is essential to avoid unnecessary treatment.

Objectives: To identify and characterize previously undiagnosed patients with RSTH in Israel.

Methods: Patients with suspected RSTH throughout Israel were referred for study. After clinical evaluation, genomic DNA was obtained and all coding exons of the thyroid hormone receptor beta (THRB) gene were sequenced. If mutations were found, all available blood relatives were evaluated. The common polymorphism rs2596623, a putative intronic regulatory variant, was also genotyped. Genotype/phenotype correlations were sought, and the effect of mutation status on pregnancy outcome was determined.

Results: Eight mutations (one novel; two de-novo, six dominant) were identified in eight probands and 13 family members. Clinical and genetic features were similar to those reported in other populations. Previous suggestions that rs2596623 predicts clinical features were not confirmed. There was no evidence of increased risk of miscarriage or fetal viability. Mothers carrying a THRB mutation tended to have increased gestational hypertension and low weight gain during pregnancy. Their affected offspring had increased risk of small-for-gestational age and poor postnatal weight gain.

Conclusions: Clinical heterogeneity due to THRB mutations cannot be explained by the variant rs2596623. Mothers and newborns with THRB mutations seem to be at increased risk of certain complications, such as gestational hypertension and poor intrauterine and postnatal growth. However, these issues are usually mild, suggesting that routine intervention to regulate thyroid hormone levels may not be warranted in these patients.

July 2016
Avivit Brener MD, Eran Mel MD, Shlomit Shalitin MD, Liora Lazar MD, Liat de Vries MD, Ariel Tenenbaum MD, Tal Oron MD, Alon Farfel MD, Moshe Phillip MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are exempt from conscript military service, but some volunteer for national service. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of national service (military or civil) on metabolic control and incidence of acute diabetes complications in young adults with T1D. 

Methods: Clinical and laboratory data of 145 T1D patients were retrieved from medical records. The cohort comprised 76 patients volunteering for national service and 69 non-volunteers. Outcome measures were HbA1c, body mass index-standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS), insulin dosage, and occurrence of severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). 

Results: Metabolic control was similar in volunteers and non-volunteers: mean HbA1c at various time points was: 7.83 ± 1.52% vs. 8.07% ± 1.63 one year before enlistment age, 7.89 ± 1.36% vs. 7.93 ± 1.42% at enlistment age, 7.81 ± 1.28% vs. 8.00 ± 1.22% one year thereafter, 7.68 ± 0.88% vs. 7.82 ± 1.33% two years thereafter, and 7.62 ± 0.80% vs. 7.79 ± 1.19% three years thereafter. There were no significant changes in HbA1c from baseline throughout follow-up. BMI and insulin requirements were similar and remained unchanged in volunteers and controls: mean BMI-SDS one year before enlistment age was 0.23 ± 0.83 vs. 0.29 ± 0.95, at enlistment age 0.19 ± 0.87 vs. 0.25 ± 0.98, one year thereafter 0.25 ± 0.82 vs. 0.20 ± 0.96, two years thereafter 0.10 ± 0.86 vs. 0.15 ± 0.94, and three years thereafter 0.20 ± 0.87 vs. 0.16 ± 0.96. Mean insulin dose in U/kg/day one year before enlistment age was 0.90 ± 0.23 vs. 0.90 ± 0.37, at enlistment age 0.90 ± 0.28 vs. 0.93 ± 0.33, one year thereafter 0.86 ± 0.24 vs. 0.95 ± 0.33, two years thereafter 0.86 ± 0.21 vs. 0.86 ± 0.29, and three years thereafter 0.87 ± 0.23 vs. 0.86 ± 0.28. There were no episodes of severe hypoglycemia or DKA in either group. 

Conclusions: Our data indicate that during voluntary national service young adults with T1D maintain metabolic control similar to that of non-volunteers. 


Noa Lavi MD, Gali Shapira MD, Ariel Zilberlicht MD, Noam Benyamini MD, Dan Farbstein MD, Eldad J. Dann MD, Rachel Bar-Shalom MD and Irit Avivi MD

Background: Despite the lack of clinical studies supporting the use of routine surveillance FDG-positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who achieved remission, many centers still use this strategy, especially in high risk patients. Surveillance FDG-PET computed tomography (CT) is associated with a high false positive (FP) rate in DLBCL patients. 

Objectives: To investigate whether use of specific CT measurements could improve the positive predictive value (PPV) of surveillance FDG-PET/CT. 

Methods: This retrospective study included DLBCL patients treated with CHOP or R-CHOP who achieved complete remission and had at least one positive surveillance PET. CT-derived features of PET-positive sites, including long and short diameters and presence of calcification and fatty hilum within lymph nodes, were assessed. Relapse was confirmed by biopsy or consecutive imaging. The FP rate and PPV of surveillance PET evaluated with/without CT-derived measurements were compared. 

Results: Seventy surveillance FDG-PET/CT scans performed in 53 patients were interpreted as positive for relapse. Of these studies 25 (36%) were defined as true-positive (TP) and 45 (64%) as FP. Multivariate analysis found long or short axis measuring ≥ 1.5 and ≥ 1.0 cm, respectively, in PET-positive sites, International Prognostic Index (IPI) ≥ 2, lack of prior rituximab therapy and FDG uptake in a previously involved site, to be independent predictors of true positive surveillance PET (odds ratio 5.4, 6.89, 6.6, 4.9, P < 0.05 for all). 

Conclusion: PPV of surveillance PET/CT may be improved by its use in selected high risk DLBCL patients and combined assessment of PET and CT findings.


June 2014
Dana Livne-Segev, Maya Gottfried, Natalie Maimon, Avivit Peer, Avivit Neumann, Henry Hayat, Svetlana Kovel, Avishay Sella, Wilmosh Mermershtain, Keren Rouvinov, Ben Boursi, Rony Weitzen, Raanan Berger and Daniel Keizman

Background: The VEGFR/PDGFR inhibitor sunitinib was approved in Israel in 2008 for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), based on an international trial. However, the efficacy of sunitinib treatment in Israeli mRCC patients has not been previously reported.

Objectives: To report the outcome and associated factors of sunitinib treatment in a large cohort of Israeli mRCC patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of an unselected cohort of mRCC patients who were treated with sunitinib during the period 2006–2013 in six Israeli hospitals. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the association between treatment outcome and clinicopathologic factors.

Results: We identified 145 patients; the median age was 65 years, 63% were male, 80% had a nephrectomy, and 28% had prior systemic treatment. Seventy-nine percent (n=115) had clinical benefit (complete response 5%, n=7; partial response 33%, n= 48; stable disease 41%, n=60); 21% (n=30) were refractory to treatment. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 12 months and median overall survival 21 months. Factors associated with clinical benefit were sunitinib-induced hypertension: [odds ratio (OR) 3.6, P = 0.042] and sunitinib dose reduction or treatment interruption (OR 2.4, P = 0.049). Factors associated with PFS were female gender [hazard ratio (HR) 2, P = 0.004], pre-sunitinib treatment neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio ≤ 3 (HR 2.19, P = 0.002), and active smoking (HR 0.19, P < 0.0001). Factors associated with overall survival were active smoking (HR 0.25, P < 0.0001) and sunitinib-induced hypertension (HR 0.48, P = 0.005). To minimize toxicity, the dose was reduced or the treatment interrupted in 39% (n=57). 

Conclusions: The efficacy of sunitinib treatment for mRCC among Israeli patients is similar to that of international data.

October 2012
E. Segal, S. Felder , N. Haim, H. Yoffe-Sheinman, A. Peer, M. Wollner, Z. Shen-Or and S. Ish-Shalom

 Background: Vitamin D status is not evaluated routinely in cancer patients with bone metastasis who are treated with bisphosphonates.

Objectives: To assess the effect of vitamin D status on risk of hypocalcemia and quality of life in these patients.

Methods: We performed laboratory tests for routine serum biochemistry, 25(OH)D, plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) and bone turnover markers (CTX, P1NP) in 54 patients aged 57.5 ± 13 years treated with intravenous bisphosphonates.

Results: Most of the patients (n=44, 77.8%) did not receive calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Their mean serum 25(OH)D levels (12.83 ± 6.86 ng/ml) correlated with vitamin D daily intake (P = 0.002). In 53 patients (98.1%) 25(OH)D levels were suboptimal (< 30 ng/ml). Albumin-corrected calcium levels correlated with plasma PTH (P = 0.001). No correlation was observed between daily calcium intake and serum calcium (P = 0.45). Hypocalcemia was observed in one patient. Mean plasma PTH was 88.5 ± 65 ng/L. Plasma PTH correlated negatively with 25(OH)D serum levels (P = 0.003) and positively with P1NP (P = 0.004). Albumin-corrected calcium correlated negatively with P1NP (mean 126.9 ± 191 ng/ml) but not with CTX levels (mean 0.265 ± 0.1 ng/ml) (P < 0.001). There was no correlation among quality of life parameters, yearly sun exposure and 25(OH)D levels (P = 0.99).

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is frequent in oncology patients with bone metastasis treated with bisphosphonates and might increase bone damage. Our results indicate a minor risk for the development of severe hypocalcemia in vitamin D-deficient patients receiving bisphosphonate therapy. Although vitamin D deficiency might have some effect on the quality of life in these patients, it was not proven significant.

September 2012
E. Kitai, G. Blumberg, D. Levy, A. Golan-Cohen, and S. Vinker

Background: Fatigue is a common complaint in primary care and has a broad differential diagnosis, making the approach complex and often ineffective.

Objectives: To follow the course of adults without a significant known background disease who complain of fatigue for the first time, and to characterize the family physician’s approach.

Methods: The study population comprised a random sample of 299 patients aged 18–45 who presented with fatigue as a first-time single complaint to their family physician. Excluded were patients with chronic diseases or states that may include signs of fatigue. We analyzed the index encounter data, the diagnostic and laboratory tests, the medications prescribed and the one year clinical outcome.

Results: Seventy percent were women, average age 30.5 years, and 69% had no known co-morbidities; 57% of the patients were physically examined at the first visit and most (78.6%) were sent for laboratory analysis. Five percent of laboratory tests were positive. Eighty patients (26.8%) were given a specific diagnosis, with the leading diagnoses being anemia and infectious diseases; 18.7% were given sick leave at the first visit. Fatigue was more common in early summer.

Conclusions: The majority of young healthy patients complaining of fatigue are not diagnosed with an organic physiological disorder. Many of the study patients were sent for laboratory tests but in most cases these tests were not contributory to the diagnosis or management. It seems likely that the most efficient strategy would be watchful follow-up with a minimum of testing.

October 2010
D. Froylich, E. Shiloni, O. Lavie, A. Neumann, E. Vlodavsky and D. Hazzan
June 2010
A. Yosepovich, C. Avivi, J. Bar, S. Polak-Charcon, C. Mardoukh and I. Barshack

Background: HER2 is an important prognostic and predictive marker in invasive breast cancer. It is currently assessed by immunohistochemistry for protein over-expression and by fluorescence in situ hybridization for gene amplification. The immunohistochemistry-equivocal cases (2+) are currently retested by FISH[1] to determine eligibility for trastuzumab treatment. Retesting by FISH significantly raises the cost of patient management and sometimes delays treatment. The 4B5 is a new, FDA-approved, rabbit monoclonal antibody for HER2 testing.

Objectives: To examine the reliability of 4B5 IHC[2] HER2 testing in cases found to be HER2 status equivocal by CB11 IHC.

Methods: Twenty-eight invasive breast cancer cases, with an equivocal HER2 status by CB11 IHC, were retested by the 4B5 antibody as well as by FISH analysis. The scoring was performed using the same guidelines as HercepTest and was correlated with the FISH ratio. Results: Of the original 28 CB11 clone designated equivocal cases, 14 (50%) showed negative HER2 staining using the 4B5 clone (HercepTest score 0 and 1+). Five cases (18%) proved to be positive (HercepTest score 3+) and 9 cases (32%) remained equivocal (HercepTest score 2+). The corresponding FISH ratio results showed that all 4B5 negative cases were negative by FISH testing, with a negative predictive value of 100% 4 of 5 of the 4B5-positive cases were positive by FISH testing, with a positive predictive value of 80%. One 4B5-positive case was borderline-high (2.2 ratio) by FISH. The correlation between 4B5 IHC and FISH was statistically significant (P = 0.0013) by chi-square test.

Conclusions: Sequential testing by 4B5 IHC could greatly reduce the need for FISH testing in cases considered HER2 equivocal by CB11 IHC.


[1] FISH = fluorescence in situ hybridization

[2] IHC = immunohistochemistry

May 2010
H. Rosenblum, Y. Bar-Dayan, Z. Dovrish, S. Lew, N. Weisenberg, A. Neumann, T. Klein and H. Amital

Background: Obstruction of urine outflow can result from mechanical blockade as well as from functional defects. In adults, urinary tract obstruction is due mainly to acquired defects, such as pelvic tumors, calculi, and urethral stricture. In childhood it is mostly due to congenital malformations. In this article we present two rare cases of acute obstructive renal failure that presented with hydronephrosis. These cases underline the wide range of causes that may lead to this clinical feature. 

March 2008
E. Avivi, H. Arzi, Paz L. I. Caspi and A. Chechik
April 2007
A. Eisen, A. Tenenbaum, N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne, J. Shemesh, A. Golan, E. Z. Fisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD[1]. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.

Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC[2] and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.

Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.


[1] CHD = coronary heart disease

[2] CC = coronary calcification

March 2004
A. Cahn, V. Meiner, E. Leitersdorf and N. Berkman

Background: Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare disorder, characterized by progressive pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure. It may be familial or sporadic. Mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor II (BMPR2), a member of the transforming growth factor-beta receptor superfamily of receptors, underlie many cases of the disorder.

Objectives: To perform molecular analysis of a patient with familial PPH[1] and provide her and her family with suitable genetic counseling.

Methods: DNA was extracted from 10 ml whole blood, and the BMPR2 gene was screened for mutations. Individual exons were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. Mutation confirmation and molecular characterization of additional family members was performed using restriction enzyme analysis followed by appropriate genetic counseling.

Results: We identified a novel T to C missense mutation expected to result in substitution of arginine for a conserved cysteine in the ligand-binding domain of BMPR2. Screening of family members demonstrated the presence of the mutation in the father and a younger asymptomatic sister of the index patient.

Conclusions: Molecular diagnosis in PPH allows for identification of at-risk family members and raises the option of earlier diagnosis and possibly instituting earlier treatment in affected individuals. However, molecular screening of asymptomatic family members raises difficult ethical questions that can only be resolved by conducting large multicenter prospective studies in BMPR2 carriers.

[1] PPH = primary pulmonary hypertension

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