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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

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September 2023
Ivan Gur MD MPH MHA, Ronen Zalts MD, Monia Azzam MD, Khetam Hussein MD, Ami Neuberger MD, Eyal Fuchs MD

Background: At the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many patients presented with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, requiring ventilatory support. One treatment method was the addition of a reservoir mask to a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) (dual oxygenation).

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of combining reservoir mask on top of a high-flow nasal cannula.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of adult patients who were admitted due to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic to Rambam Health Care Campus. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality. Secondary endpoints were incidence of invasive positive pressure ventilation initiation and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Patients who received positive pressure ventilation for reasons other than hypoxemic respiratory failure or who were transferred to another facility while still on HFNC were excluded.

Results: The final analysis included 333 patients; 166 were treated with dual oxygenation and 167 with HFNC only (controls). No significant differences in baseline characteristics were noted between the groups. The dual oxygenation group was slightly older (69.2 ± 14.8 years vs. 65.6 ± 15.5 years, P = 0.034). The 30-day mortality (24.1% vs. 36.5%, P = 0.013), rates of invasive positive pressure ventilation (47% vs. 59.3%, P = 0.024), and ICU admissions (41.6% vs. 52.7%, P = 0.042) were all significantly lower in the dual oxygenation group.

Conclusions: The addition of reservoir masks to HFNC may improve the oxygenation and overall prognosis in patients with severe hypoxemia due to COVID-19.

November 2022
Johad Khoury MD, Itai Ghersin MD, Eyal Braun MD, Adi Elias MD, Doron Aronson MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, Fadel Bahouth MD

Background: Current guidelines for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are based on studies that have excluded or underrepresented older patients.

Objectives: To assess the value of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) in HFrEF patients 80 years of age and older.

Methods: A single-center retrospective study included patients hospitalized with a first and primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and ejection fraction (EF) of ≤ 40%. Patients 80 years of age and older were stratified into two groups: GDMT, defined as treatment at hospital discharge with at least two drugs of the following groups: beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), or mineralocorticoid antagonists; and a personalized medicine group, which included patients who were treated with up to one of these drug groups. The primary outcomes were 90-day all-cause mortality, 90-day rehospitalization, and 3-years mortality.

Results: The study included 1152 patients with HFrEF. 254 (22%) patients who were at least 80 years old. Of the group, 123 were GDMT at discharge. When GDMT group was compared to the personalized medicine group, there were no statistically significant differences in terms 90-day mortality (17% vs. 13%, P = 0.169), 90-day readmission (51 % vs. 45.6%, P = 0.27), or 3-year mortality (64.5% vs. 63.3%, P = 0.915).

Conclusions: Adherence to guidelines in the older adult population may not have the same effect as in younger patients who were studied in the randomized clinical trials. Larger prospective studies are needed to further address this issue.

July 2021
Moshe Y. Flugelman MD, Ruth Margalit MD, Ami Aronheim PhD, Omri Barak PhD, Assaf Marom MD PhD, Katya Dolnikov MD, Eyal Braun MD, Ayelet Raz-Pasteur MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, David Hochstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Rachel Nave PhD, Arieh Riskin MD, Dan Waisman MD, Robert Glueck MD, Michal Mekel MD, Yael Avraham BSc, Uval Bar-Peled BSc, Ronit Kacev MA, Michal Keren BA, Amir Karban MD, and Elon Eisenberg MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced drastic changes in all layers of life. Social distancing and lockdown drove the educational system to uncharted territories at an accelerated pace, leaving educators little time to adjust.

Objectives: To describe changes in teaching during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We described the steps implemented at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine during the initial 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve teaching and the academic ecosystem. 

Results: Several established methodologies, such as the flipped classroom and active learning, demonstrated effectiveness. In addition, we used creative methods to teach clinical medicine during the ban on bedside teaching and modified community engagement activities to meet COVID-19 induced community needs. 

Conclusions: The challenges and the lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to adjust our teaching methods and curriculum using multiple online teaching methods and promoting self-learning. It also provided invaluable insights on our pedagogy and the teaching of medicine in the future with emphasis on students and faculty being part of the changes and adjustments in curriculum and teaching methods. However, personal interactions are essential to medical school education, as are laboratories, group simulations, and bedside teaching

October 2018
Michael Peer MD, Sharbell Azzam MD, Vladislav Gofman MD, Mark Kushnir MD, Benjamin Davidson MD and Carmel Armon MD

Background: Thymectomy is a reliable surgical method for treating patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) and benign tumors of the thymus. Despite the advantages of minimally invasive surgical approaches for resection of thymic neoplasms, there are still controversies regarding the superiority of one type of surgery over another.

Objectives: To report the results of our initial Israeli experience with robotic thymectomy in 22 patients with MG and suspected benign thymic tumors.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 22 patients (10 men, 12 women) who underwent robotic thymectomy by a left-sided (16) or right-sided approach (6) using the da Vinci robotic system at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. Seven patients were diagnosed with MG before surgery and 14 had suspected benign thymic neoplasms.

Results: Average operative time was 90 minutes. There were no deaths or intraoperative complications. Postoperative complications occurred in two patients (dyspnea and pleural effusion). Median blood loss was 12.3 cc (range 5–35 cc), median hospital stay 2.9 days (range 2–5 days), and mean weight of resected thymus 32.1 grams. Seven patients had thymic hyperplasia, six a lipothymoma, one a thymic cyst. Seven each had thymomas in different stages and one had a cavernous hemangioma.

Conclusions: Robotic thymectomy is a safe, technically effective surgical method for resection of thymic neoplasms. The advantages of this technique are safety, short hospitalization period, little blood loss, and low complications. We have included this surgical procedure in our thoracic surgery residency program and recommend a learning curve program of 10 to 12 procedures during residency.

April 2013
M. Naffaa, Y. Mazor, Z.S. Azzam, M. Yigla, L. Guralnik and A. Balbir-Gurman
February 2011
G. Berger, Z.S. Azzam, E. Hardak, Y. Tavor and M. Yigla

Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is an isolated small-vessel disease comprising vasoconstriction, remodeling and thrombosis of small pulmonary arteries. However, there is evidence that IPAH[1] does not respect anatomic boundaries and might extend into large vessels such as large central thrombi. On the other hand, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) represents a distinct category of pulmonary hypertension as it is thought to be due to an occlusion of the major pulmonary arteries following a thromboembolic event. However, it is currently evident that in most patients, there is a concomitant small-vessel disease. The involvement of both small and large vessels in both IPAH and CTEPH[2] together with a high incidence of silent thromboembolic events might create difficulties in identifying the true cause of pulmonary hypertension. An accurate diagnosis of the cause determines the management and prognosis. Patients with CTEPH can potentially be offered curative surgery in the form of pulmonary endarterectomy; however, oxygen, vasodilators, anticoagulation, and lung transplantation are more feasible options for IPAH.






[1] IPAH = idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension



[2] CTEPH = chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension


June 2009
September 2004
September 2000
Mordechai Yigla, MD, Salim Dabbah, MD, Zaher S. Azzam, MD, Ami-Hai E. Rubin, MD and Simon, A. Reisner, MD

Background: Data regarding the epidemiology of secondary pulmonary hypertension are scanty.

Objectives: To describe the spectrum and relative incidence of background diseases in patients with significant secondary PHT.

Methods: We identified 671 patients with systolic pulmonary artery pressure of 45 mm Hg or more from the database of the echocardiographic laboratory. Their background diseases were recorded and classified into three subgroups: cardiac, pulmonary and pulmonary vascular disease without pulmonary parenchymal disease. Age at the first echocardiographic study, gender and systolic PAP values were recorded. Data between the three subgroups were compared.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 6515 years, mean systolic PAP 6114 mm Hg and female:male ratio 1.21:1. At the time of diagnosis 85% of the patients were older than 50. PHT was secondary to cardiac disease in 579 patients (86.3%), to PVD without PPD in 54 patients (8%) and to PPD in only 38 patients (5.7%). Mean age and mean systolic PAP did not differ significantly among the three subgroups. There was a significantly higher female: male ratio in patients with PVD without PPD compared with cardiac or pulmonary diseases (1.7:1 vs. 1.2:1 and 1.7 vs. 0.8:1 respectively, P0.05).

Conclusions: The majority of patients with significant PHT are elderly with heart disease. PVD without PPD and chronic PPD are a relatively uncommon cause of significant PHT. Since the diagnosis of PHT is of clinical significance and sometimes merits different therapeutic interventions, we recommend screening by Doppler echocardiography for patients with high risk background diseases.

March 2000
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