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עמוד בית
Wed, 12.06.24

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June 2023
Tal Bechor Ariel MD, Ben Ariel MD, Yuni Lahav MD, Moshe Yana BSc, Michael Ben-Acon MD, Nechama Sharon MD

Background: Infants younger than 6 months of age are not eligible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations. Maternal variables during pregnancy and the postnatal period may affect the clinical and laboratory course of COVID-19 positive infants.

Objective: To assess the clinical manifestation and laboratory differences in infants with three maternal variables: breastfeeding, vaccinated, and co-illness.

Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study of positive COVID-19 infants with three subgroups of maternal variables. The population included infants under 6 months of age hospitalized due to COVID-19. Data about clinical features, laboratory tests, and maternal information including vaccination status, breastfeeding status and maternal positive COVID-19 infection was gathered. All variables were compared among the three subgroups.

Results: Breastfed infants had shorter hospitalization period (mean 2.61 ± 1.378 days) compared to non-breastfed infants (mean 3.8 ± 1.549) (P = 0.051). COVID-19 infants of positive COVID-19 mothers had a higher absolute neutrophil count (mean 4.4 ± 3.8) compared to infants of COVID-19 negative mothers (mean 2.7 ± 2.4) (P = 0.042).

Conclusion: Breastfeeding was associated with shorter periods of hospitalization in COVID-19 positive infants. In addition, positive COVID-19 infants of mothers who were positive for COVID-19 are likely to have a higher absolute neutrophils count.

December 2021
Yana Davidov MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Yael Inbar MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Mariya Likhter MD, Tania Berdichevski MD PhD, Sima Katsherginsky BA, Avishag Hassid MA, Keren Tsaraf MA, Dana Silverberg BSc, and Ziv Ben Ari MD

Background: New direct acting antiviral agent (DAA) therapies are associated with a high sustained virological response rate (SVR) in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. The understanding of the impact of SVR on fibrosis stage is limited.

Objectives: To determine the effect of treatment with the DAAs on long-term liver fibrosis stages, as determined by shear-wave elastography (SWE) or FibroTest©.

Methods: Fibrosis stage was determined at baseline and at 6-month intervals after end of treatment (EOT), using two‐dimensional SWE or FibroTest©; APRI and FIB-4 scores.

Results: The study comprised 133 SVR12 patients. After a median follow-up of 15 months (range 6–33), liver fibrosis stage decreased by at least 1 stage in 75/133 patients (56%). Cirrhosis reversal was observed in 24/82 (29%). Repeated median liver stiffness SWE values in cirrhotic patients were 15.1 kPa at baseline (range 10.5–100), 13.4 kPa (range 5.5–51) at 6 months, and 11.4 kPa (range 6.1–35.8) at 12 months after EOT, P = 0.01. During the second year after EOT, no statistically significant differences in liver fibrosis stage in 12, 18, and 24 months were found. Splenomegaly was the only significant negative predictor of liver fibrosis regression during all time points of repetitive noninvasive assessment.

Conclusions: Following successful DAA treatment, the majority of our HCV patients with advanced fibrosis demonstrated significant improvement, as assessed by non-invasive methods. Advanced fibrosis stage was a negative predictor of fibrosis regression. Longer follow-up periods are required to further establish the impact of DAAs treatment in HCV patients with advanced fibrosis

July 2013
D. Merims, H. Nahari, G. Ben-Ari, S. Jamal, C. Vigder and Y. Ben-Israel
 Background: Wandering is a common phenomenon among patients with dementia. While traditionally considered to be a behavioral problem, it also includes fundamental aspects of motor performance (e.g., gait and falls).

Objectives: To examine the difference in motor function and behavioral symptoms between patients with severe dementia who wander and those who do not.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study reviewing the medical records of 72 patients with severe dementia, all residents of a dementia special care unit. Motor and behavioral aspects were compared between "wanderers" and “non-wanderers.”

Results: No difference was found in motor performance including the occurrence of falls between the wanderers and non-wanderers. A significant difference was found in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances, which were more frequent among the wanderers. There was no preference to wandering at a certain period of the day among the patients with sleep disturbances who wander.

Conclusions: In a protected environment wandering is not a risk factor for falls. Sleep disturbances and wandering co-occur, but there is no circumstantial association between the two symptoms.

March 2010
I. Kessel, D. Waisman, O. Barnet-Grinnes, T. Zim Ben Ari and A. Rotschild

Background: High frequency oscillatory ventilation based on optimal lung volume strategy is one of the accepted modes of ventilatory support for respiratory distress syndrome in very low birth weight infants. In 1999 it was introduced in our unit as the primary ventilation modality for RDS[1].

Objectives: To evaluate if the shift to HFOV[2] influenced the outcome of ventilated VLBW[3] infants in the neonatal intensive care unit of Carmel Medical Center.

Methods: Data were obtained from the medical charts of VLBW infants born at Carmel Medical Center, and late mortality data were taken from the Israel Ministry of Internal Affairs records. A retrospective analysis and a comparison with a historical control group ventilated by the conventional method were performed.

Results: A total of 232 VLBW infants with RDS were mechanically ventilated, from 1995 to 2003: 120 were ventilated using HFOV during the period 1999–2003 and 102 infants using CV[4] during 1995–1999. The mean gestational age of survivors was 27.4 ± 2 weeks in the HFOV group and 28.4 ± 2 in the conventional ventilation group (P = 0.03). The sub-sample of infants with birth weights <1000 g ventilated with HFOV showed higher survival rates than the infants in the conventional ventilation group, 53 vs. 25 (64.6% vs. 44.6%) respectively (P < 0.05). A trend for lower incidence of pulmonary interstitial emphysema was observed in the HFOV group.

Conclusions: The introduction of HFOV based on optimal lung volume strategy proved to be an efficient and safe method of ventilation support for VLBW infants in our unit.






[1] RDS = respiratory distress syndrome

[2] HFOV = high frequency oscillatory ventilation

[3] VLBW = very low birth weight

[4] CV = conventional ventilation


August 2007
G. Morali, Y. Maor, R. Klar, M. Braun, Z. Ben Ari, Y. Bujanover, E. Zuckerman, S. Boger and P. Halfon

Background: The Fibrotest-Actitest™ is a six-parameter scoring system that allows quantification of liver fibrosis and inflammation. This test has been validated by several studies in hepatitis B and C viruses and alcoholic liver disease, with a high correlation between the liver biopsy and the results of the FT-AT[1] (AUROC between 0.78 and 0.95).The FT-AT was introduced in Israel (Rambam Laboratory) in March 2005.

Objectives: To assess the results of HCV[2] patients who underwent the test during the period March 2005 to February 2006.

Methods: Serum was taken and brought to the central laboratory performing the tests within 4 hours. Six parameters were evaluated using commercial kits approved by the designer of the test (Biopredictive): total bilirubin, gamma-glutamyltransferase, alpha-2 macroglobulin, haptoglobin, alanine aminotransferase, and apolipoprotein-A1. The results were sent to the website of Biopredictive (France), which provided the FT-AT score online using a patented formula.

Results: Of the 325 patients tested, only 4 were not interpretable because of hemolysis. Patients' age ranged from 7 to 72 years (median 42); 54% were female. Liver biopsy was performed in 81 patients and was compared with the results of the Fibrotest. Findings were as follows: 27% of the patients were F0, 19% F1, 20% F2, 17% F3 and 17% F4; 18% were A0, 32% A1, 28% A2 and 22% A3. The AUROC curve comparing the Fibrotest with liver biopsy with a cutoff point at F2 and A2 for significant fibrosis and inflammation was 0.85 and 0.79 respectively.

Conclusion: Fibrotest is a simple and effective method to assess liver fibrosis and inflammation and can be considered an alternative to liver biopsy in most patients with HCV.






[1] FT-AT = Fibrotest-Actitest



[2] HCV = hepatitis C virus


March 2003
E. Mor, M. Cohen, F. Grief, S. Lelcuk and Z. Ben-Ari
June 2002
Yosefa Bar-Dayan, MD, MHA, Simon Ben-Zikrie, MD2, Gerald Fraser, MD, FRCP, Ziv Ben-Ari, MD, Marius Braun, MD, Mordechai Kremer, MD and Yaron Niv, MD
March 2001
Asher Ben-Arieh, PhD and Yehuda L. Danon, MD

Cancer is a multi-step disease involving a series of genetic alterations that result in the loss of control of cell proliferation and differentiation. Such genetic alterations could emerge from the activation of oncogenes and the loss or malfunctioning of tumor suppressor gene activity. Our understanding of cancer has greatly increased through the use of DNA tumor viruses and their transforming proteins as a biological tool to decipher a cascade of events that lead to deregulation of cell proliferation and subsequent tumor formation. For the past ten years our laboratory has focused on the molecular biology of the human neurotropic papovavirus, JCV. This virus causes progressive multifocal Ieukoencephalopathy, a fatal neuro­degenerative disease of the central nervous system in immunocompromised patients. JCV is a common human virus that infects more than 80% of humans but does not induce any obvious clinical symptoms. The increased incidence of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and the use of immunosuppressive chemotherapy have dramatically raised the incidence of PML. The coincidental occurrence of malignant astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in PML patients, coupled with the induction of glioblastoma in JCV-intected non­human primates, provides intriguing speculation on the association between JCV and CNS malignancies. In this report we discuss clinical data and laboratory observations pointing to the direct involvement of JCV in cancer.

May 2000
Josef Ben-Ari MD, Imad R. Makhoul MD DSc, Raymond J. Dorio MD, Sue Buckley MSc,David Warburton MD and Sharyn M. Walker

Background: Exposure of newborn animals to high concentrations of oxygen leads to diffuse alveolar damage similar to that seen in bronchopulmonary dysplasia in human infants. Therefore, neonatal rats are a suitable practical model of hyperoxic lung damage in human infants.

Objective: To determine the involvement of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 in lung injury in neonatal rats exposed to 100% O2 concentration.

Methods: A randomized controlled study was designed in which litters of term Sprague-Dawley rat pups were assigned to experimental or control groups. The pups in the experimental group were placed in 100% O2 from birth for 9 days, while the control pups were placed in room air. Twelve to 15 pups from each group were sacrificed on day 1, 3, 6, 9 and 13 after birth for bronchoalveolar lavage collection and lung histologic study. The bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was assayed for TNFα and IL-6.

Results: Newborn rats exposed to 100% O2 for the first 9 days of life showed severe pulmonary edema and hypercellularity on days 1 and 3, which then improved to nearly complete resolution on days 6 and 9. Pulmonary TNFα was produced early on O2 exposure (day 3) and pulmonary IL-6 later (days 6 and 9).

Conclusions: Hyperoxia induces sequential production of pulmonary TNFα and IL-6, which corresponds to the severity of the pathological findings and the known inflammatory and anti-inflammatory role of these cytokines.

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TNFα= tumor necrosis factor-alpha

IL-6= interleukin-6

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