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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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August 2009
L. Shema, L. Ore, R. Geron and B. Kristal

Background: Radiological procedures utilizing intravascular contrast media are being widely applied for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This has resulted in increasing incidence of procedure-related contrast-induced nephropathy. In Israel, data on the incidence of CIN[1] and its consequences are lacking.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of CIN among hospitalized patients in the Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya (northern Israel), and to explore the impact of CIN on mortality and length of stay.

Methods: The study group was a historical cohort of 1111 patients hospitalized during the year 2006 who underwent contrast procedure and whose serum creatinine level was measured before and after the procedure. Data were electronically extracted from different computerized medical databases and merged into a uniform platform using visual basic application.

Results: The occurrence of CIN among hospitalized patients was 4.6%. Different CIN rates were noticed among various high risk subgroups such as patients with renal insufficiency and diabetes mellitus (14.1%–44%). Average in-hospital length of stay was almost twice as long among patients with CIN compared to subjects without this condition. Furthermore, the in-hospital death rate among CIN patients was 10 times higher. A direct association was observed between severity of CIN based on the RIFLE classification and risk of mortality.

Conclusions: Low CIN occurrence was demonstrated in the general hospitalized patients (4.6%), and high rates (44%) in selected high risk subgroups of patients (with renal insufficiency or diabetes mellitus). Furthermore, prolonged length of stay and high in-hospital mortality were directly related to CIN severity.

[1] CIN = contrast-induced nephropathy

May 2009
L. Shema, L. Ore, R. Geron and B. Kristal

Background: Acute kidney injury remains a common significant clinical problem. Yet there are scant data in Israel on the incidence of hospital-acquired AKI[1] and on diagnosis validity.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of AKI among hospitalized patients in the Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya, compare discharge summaries to laboratory diagnosis, and investigate the impact of AKI on mortality and length of stay.

Methods: Computerized medical and laboratory data of 34,802 hospitalized subjects were collected. AKI was diagnosed according to three different definitions. We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of AKI based on ICD-9 diagnosis compared to patient's laboratory data as the gold standard.

Results: The overall AKI annual incidence rate was 1–5.1%, depending on the AKI definition used. The incidence of AKI based on ICD-9 diagnosis was significantly lower compared to the laboratory-based diagnosis. Average in-hospital length of stay was 2.4 times longer among patients with AKI compared to subjects without this condition. Furthermore, the in-hospital death rate among AKI patients was 14 times higher than among non-AKI hospitalized subjects, with a positive association between AKI severity and risk of death.

Conclusions: Using AKI laboratory diagnosis as the gold standard revealed ICD-9 diagnosis to be 9.1% sensitive and 99.4% specific. Hospital-acquired AKI is a major contributor to prolonged length of stay and high mortality rates; therefore, interventions to reduce in-hospital disease incidence are required.

[1] AKI = acute kidney injury

April 2008
B. Kristal, R. Shurtz-Swirski, O. Tanhilevski, G. Shapiro, G. Shkolnik, J. Chezar, T. Snitkovsky, M. Cohen-Mazor and S. Sela

Background: Polymorphonuclear leukocyte priming and low grade inflammation are related to severity of kidney disease. Erythropoietin-receptor is present on PMNLs[1].

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of 20 weeks of EPO[2]-alpha treatment on PMNL characteristics in relation to the rate of kidney function deterioration in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Methods: Forty anemic chronic kidney disease patients, stage 4-5, were assigned to EPO and non-EPO treatment for 20 weeks. A group of 20 healthy controls was also studied. PMNL priming and PMNL-derived low grade inflammation were estimated, in vivo and ex vivo, before and after EPO treatment: The rate of superoxide release, white blood cells and PMNL counts, serum alkaline phosphatase and PMNL viability were measured. EPO-receptor on PMNLs was assayed by flow cytometry. The effect of 20 weeks of EPO treatment on kidney function was related to the estimated glomerular filtration rate.

Results: EPO treatment attenuated superoxide release ex vivo and in vivo and promoted PMNL survival ex vivo. Decreased low grade inflammation was reflected by reduced WBC[3] and PMNL counts and ALP[4] activity following treatment. EPO retarded the deterioration in GFR[5]. The percent of PMNLs expressing EPO-R[6] was higher before EPO treatment and correlated positively with the rate of superoxide release. After 20 weeks of EPO treatment the percent of PMNLs expressing EPO-R was down-regulated.

Conclusions: These non-erythropoietic properties of EPO are mediated by EPO-R on PMNLs, not related to the anemia correction. A new renal protection effect of EPO via attenuation of PMNL priming that decreases systemic low grade inflammation and oxidative stress is suggested.

[1] PMNL = polymorphonuclear leukocytes

[2] EPO = erythropoietin

[3] WBC = white blood cells

[4] ALP = alkaline phosphatase

[5] GFR = glomerular filtration rate

[6] EPO = EPO-receptor

November 2002
Shifra Sela, PhD, Revital Shurtz-Swirski, PhD, Jamal Awad, MD, Galina Shapiro, MSc, Lubna Nasser, MSc, Shaul M. Shasha, MD and Batya Kristal, MD

Background: Cigarette smoking is a well-known risk factor for the development of endothelial dysfunction and the progression of atherosclerosis. Oxidative stress and inflammation have recently been implicated in endothelial dysfunction.

Objectives: To assess the concomitant contribution of polymorphonuclear leukocytes to systemic oxidative stress and inflammation in cigarette smokers.

Methods: The study group comprised 41 chronic cigarette-smoking, otherwise healthy males aged 45.0 ± 11.5 (range 31–67 years) and 41 male non-smokers aged 42.6 ± 11.3 (range 31–65) who served as the control group. The potential generation of oxidative stress was assessed by measuring the rate of superoxide release from separated, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-stimulated PMNL[1] and by plasma levels of reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione. Inflammation was estimated indirectly by: a) determining the in vitro survival of PMNL, reflecting cell necrosis; b) in vivo peripheral PMNL counts, reflecting cell recruitment; and c) plasma alkaline phosphatase levels, indicating PMNL activation and degranulation.

Results: PMA[2]-stimulated PMNL from cigarette smokers released superoxide at a faster rate than PMNL from the controls. Smokers had decreased plasma GSH[3] and elevated GSSG[4] levels. In vitro incubation of control and smokers' PMNL in sera of smokers caused necrosis, while control sera improved smoker PMNL survival. Smokers' PMNL counts, although in the normal range, were significantly higher than those of controls. Plasma ALP[5] levels in smokers were significantly higher than in controls and correlated positively with superoxide release and PMNL counts.

Conclusions: Our study shows that PMNL in smokers are primed in vivo, contributing concomitantly to systemic oxidative stress and inflammation that predispose smokers to endothelial dysfunction, and explains in part the accelerated atherosclerosis found in smokers.


[1] PMNL = polymorphonuclear leukocytes

[2] PMA = phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate

[3] GSH = reduced glutathione

[4] GSSG = oxidized glutathione

[5] ALP = alkaline phosphatase

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