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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

September 2020
Naftali Justman MD, Gilad Shahak MD, Ola Gutzeit MD, Dikla Ben Zvi MD, Yuval Ginsberg MD, Ido Solt MD, Dana Vitner MD, Ron Beloosesky MD, Zeev Weiner MD and Yaniv Zipori MD

Background: The World Health Organization classified coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) as a pandemic and recommends strict restrictions regarding most aspects of daily activities.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the pandemic has changed the prenatal care and pregnancy outcome in pregnant women without COVID-19.

Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study to describe changes in outpatient clinic visits and to compare the rates of cesarean and instrumental deliveries between two periods of time: March–April 2020 (during the COVID-19 outbreak) with March–April of the preceding year, 2019.

Results: During the COVID-19 outbreak, visits to obstetric triage, gynecologic triage, high-risk clinic, and ultrasound units decreased by 36.4%, 34.7%, 32.8%, and 18.1%, respectively. The medical center experienced a 17.8% drop in the total number of births (610 births) compared with March and April 2019 (742 births). During the outbreak women were more likely to be nulliparous (33.3% vs. 27.6%, P = 0.02) and present with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy (7.5% vs. 4%, P = 0.005) or gestational diabetes (13% vs. 10%, P = 0.03). More epidural analgesia was used (83.1% vs. 77.1%, P = 0.006). There were more operative vaginal deliveries during the outbreak (16.7% vs. 6.8%, P = 0.01). All other maternal and neonatal outcomes were comparable between the two periods.

Conclusions: The medical facility experienced a major decline in all aspects of the routine obstetrics activities during the time of the pandemic. The higher rate of operative vaginal deliveries among nulliparous may be associated with the pandemic effect on the rate of high-risk patients

April 2012
I. Ben-Zvi, I. Danilesko, G. Yahalom, O. Kukuy, R. Rahamimov, A. Livneh and S. Kivity

Background: Amyloidosis of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) may lead to end-stage renal failure, culminating in kidney transplantation in some patients.

Objectives: To assess demographic, clinical and genetic risk factors for the development of FMF amyloidosis in a subset of kidney-transplanted patients and to evaluate the impact of transplantation on the FMF course.

Methods: Demographic, clinical and genetic data were abstracted from the files, interviews and examinations of 16 kidney-transplanted FMF amyloidosis patients and compared with the data of 18 FMF patients without amyloidosis.

Results: Age at disease onset and clinical severity of the FMF amyloidosis patients prior to transplantation were similar to FMF patients without amyloidosis. Compliance with colchicine treatment, however, was much lower (50% vs. 98 %). Post-transplantation, FMF amyloidosis patients experienced fewer of the typical serosal attacks than did their counterparts (mean 2214 days since last attack vs. 143 days). Patients with FMF amyloidosis carried only M694V mutations in the FMF gene, while FMF without amyloidosis featured other mutations as well.

Conclusions: Compliance with treatment and genetic makeup but not severity of FMF constitutes major risk factors for the development of amyloidosis in FMF. Transplantation seems to prevent FMF attacks. The protective role of immunosuppressive therapy cannot be excluded.


U. Nussinovitch, I. Ben-Zvi and A. Livneh

Background: The association between familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias is controversial, and data on this subject are meager.

Objectives: To evaluate QT variability index (QTVI) and other repolarization markers associated with arrhythmogenity in patients with amyloidosis of FMF.

Methods: The study group comprised 12 FMF patients with amyloidosis, and 14 age and gender-matched healthy subjects served as the control group. QT measurements were conducted according to accepted procedure, using computerized software for recording and analysis.

Results: No differences were found in clinical and demographic parameters in the study and control groups, except for hypertension which was more common in the FMF amyloidosis group. QTc and power spectral analysis of QT variability parameters were similar in both groups. Nevertheless, QTVI values in FMF amyloidosis patients were significantly higher than in healthy individuals (-1.02 ± 0.38, vs. -1.36 ± 0.32 respectively, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Compared with healthy controls, amyloidosis of FMF is associated with increased QTVI. It remains unknown whether this finding is solely amyloidosis related and whether it has any prognostic significance.


April 2011
A. Naimushin, M. Lidar, I. Ben Zvi and A. Livneh

Background: Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a recessively inherited disease with a variety of clinical presentations. The disease is associated with mutations in the FMF gene (MEFV), which encodes for the pyrin protein. The role of the E148Q pyrin mutation in the FMF phenotype remains inconclusive, and some authors even view it as a disease-insignificant polymorphism. The calculated change, imposed by this mutation on pyrin structure, may help to understand the role of this mutation

Objectives: To calculate the relative electrochemical effect of the E148Q mutation on the structure of pyrin protein.

Methods: The electronic properties of the wild-type pyrin molecule and its common mutated forms were computed for the full-length molecule and its segments, encoded by exons 2 and 10, using the HyperChem 7.5 program with one of the molecular mechanical methods (MM+). The change in the structure of the molecule, expressed as a change in energy gain, conferred by the mutations was determined.

Results: The E148Q mutation caused deviation from the wild-type pyrin segment encoded by exon 2 by 1.15% and from the whole pyrin molecule by 0.75%, comparable to the R202Q mutation and less than the M694V mutation which caused a deviation from the wild-type structure of the whole pyrin molecule by 1.5%.

Conclusions: A quantum-chemistry based model suggests that the structural effect of the E148Q mutation is indeed low, but not zero. 

S. Kivity, I. Danilesko, I. Ben-Zvi, B. Gilburd, O.L. Kukuy, R. Rahamimov and A. Livneh

Background: Amyloidosis of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) may lead to end-stage renal failure, culminating in kidney transplantation. Since amyloidosis is prompted by high serum amyloid A (SAA) levels, increased SAA is expected to persist after transplantation. However, no data are available to confirm such an assumption.

 Objectives: To determine SAA levels in kidney-transplanted FMF-amyloidosis patients and evaluate risk factors for the expected high SAA levels in this patient group.

Methods: SAA, C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) values were obtained from 16 kidney-transplanted FMF-amyloidosis patients, 18 FMF patients without amyloidosis and 20 kidney-transplanted patients with non-inflammatory underlying disease. Demographic, clinical and genetic risk factors evaluation was based on data extracted from files, interviews and examination of the patients.

Results: SAA level in FMF patients who underwent kidney transplantation due to amyloidosis was elevated with a mean of 21.1 ± 11.8 mg/L (normal ≤ 10 mg/L). It was comparable to that of transplanted patients with non-inflammatory disorders, but tended to be higher than in FMF patients without amyloidosis (7.38 ± 6.36, P = 0.08). Possible risk factors for the elevated SAA levels in kidney transplant patients that were excluded were ethnic origin, MEFV mutations, gender, age and disease duration.

Conclusions: Kidney-transplanted patients with FMF-amyloidosis and with other non-FMF causes displayed mildly elevated SAA levels, possibly resulting from exposure to foreign tissue rather than from various FMF-related factors. 


December 2003
G. Holcberg, M. Tsadkin-Tamir, O. Sapir, M. Huleihel, M. Mazor and Z. Ben Zvi

The human placenta is the interface between the mother and fetus in the uterus. Until recently it was generally believed that the uterus provides a protective environment for the fetus. It is now accepted that any chemical substance, including any therapeutic agent, administered to a mother is able to permeate across the placental barrier. Unfortunately, the placental transfer of substances and their distribution in the placenta is not well established. Understanding the structure of placental transporters and their function may serve as the ideal tool for drug development and the cure of mother and fetus during pregnancy.

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