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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.12.23

Search results


November 2023
Lior Benjamin Pilas MD, Orit Gur BSc, Gidon Berger MD

Background: In the past decade, numerous new imaging and laboratory tests have been implemented that significantly contribute to improved medical diagnostic capabilities. However, inappropriate utilization, which occurs on a large scale, has significant ramifications for both patient care and health systems.

Objectives: To assess the impact of a novel clinical decision support system (CDSS) applied to our electronic medical records on abdominal ultrasonography utilization pattern.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing patterns of abdominal ultrasound utilization in cases of liver enzyme elevation, with and without CDSS, between February and May in 2017 (before CDSS implementation) and during the same months in 2018 (after CDSS implementation). The following parameters were collected: number of tests ordered according to the guidelines, tests with a diagnostic value, and order forms completed with any data or a diagnostic question. The comparison was conducted using chi-square test.

Results: Of 152 abdominal ultrasound tests, 72 were ordered in the pre-implementation period and 80 in the post-implementation period. The system failed to reach statistical significance regarding the rates of ordered tests according to the guidelines and/or tests with a diagnostic value. However, the use of the CDSS had a statistically significant impact regarding completing the order form with data, including a specific diagnostic question.

Conclusions: The effect of the system on the efficiency of test utilization was partial. However, our findings strongly suggested that CDSS has the potential to promote proper usage of complementary technologies.

Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eilon Ram MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Jonathan Frogal MD, Shany Levin MA, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Unfractionated heparin is the preferred anticoagulant used during open heart surgeries, including left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In cases in which patients are heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive (HIT+), the accepted practice has been to substitute heparin with bivalirudin. This practice may be associated with significant bleeding and adverse outcomes.

Objectives: To review our experience with HIT+ patients who were heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis negative (HITT-) and who underwent HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation using heparin intraoperatively rather than bivalirudin.

Methods: From 2016 to 2022, 144 adult patients were implanted with HeartMate 3 LVAD at our center. Among them, 7 were detected as HIT+ but HITT- and therefore were prescribed intraoperatively with heparin and treated pre- and postoperatively with bivalirudin. We reviewed the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative characteristics as well as short-term mortality and the complication rates of these HIT+ patients.

Results: The median age of our cohort was 56 years (51–60), 71% were male (n=5), all were INTERMACS Level 1, and most were bridged to transplant (n=6, 86%). The 30-day mortality rate post-implantation was 0%. The average 24-hour chest drain postoperative output was 1502.86 ± 931.34 ml. There were no intraoperative pump thromboses, perioperative thromboses, cerebrovascular accidents, or gastrointestinal bleeding within the first 24 hours postoperative. One patient required a revision due to bleeding.

Conclusions: Intraoperative unfractionated heparin may be administered to patients who are HIT+ and HITT- while undergoing LVAD implantation. However, further investigation is required.

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.

Amir Hadayer MD, Yehonatan Weinberger MD, Tal Corina Sela MD, Orly Gal-Or MD, Dov Weinberger MD, Rita Ehrlich MD

Background: During combined phacovitrectomy, it is common practice to suture the main corneal incision to prevent intraoperative and postoperative wound leak. However, it may be possible to avoid suturing using a self-sealing corneal incision technique as in standard cataract surgery.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcome, safety, and complications of combined phacovitrectomy without preventive suturing.

Methods: This retrospective case series study included consecutive patients who underwent combined phacovitrectomy between January 2018 and June 2019 for mixed indications. Surgeries were performed at a tertiary university hospital. All surgeries were performed by the same two retinal surgeons. Cataract surgery was performed first, followed by insertion of trocars and vitrectomy. Corneal sutures were not planned but were used at the discretion of the surgeon.

Results: The cohort included 106 eyes of 102 patients. Suturing of the main corneal incision was deemed necessary in five cases (5%) because of a main incision leak or anterior chamber shallowing during trocar insertion. No other complications related to the absence of prophylactic corneal sutures were encountered during surgery or follow-up.

Conclusions: Preventive corneal suturing may not be necessary in combined phacovitrectomy surgery and can be used in the few cases in which it is indicated during surgery.

May 2023
Shoshana Amos MD, Rena Pollack MD, Inon Sarig MD, Ehud Rudis MD, Nir Hirshoren MD, Jeffrey Weinberger MD, Ariela Arad MD, Matan Fischer MD, Aviv Talmon MD, Joshua Stokar MD

Thyroid storm-related heart failure is a rare, life threatening complication of hyperthyroidism. In refractory cases, urgent thyroidectomy is required for definitive control of thyrotoxicosis. venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is a supportive measure for cardiorespiratory failure requiring continuous anticoagulation to prevent clotting. We presented two cases of thyrotoxic cardiac failure that necessitated VA-ECMO. One of the patients was successfully treated with thyroidectomy while on VA-ECMO. To the best of our knowledge, only two such cases have previously been reported.

March 2023
Ofira Zloto MD, Irit Barequet MD, Orit Ezra Nimni MD, Yoav Berger MD, Juliana Gildener-Leapman MD, Gal Antman MD, Noa Avni-Zauberman MD

Background: The cornea is one of the most densely innervated in the body. Pterygium surgery includes removal of the pterygium tissue from the cornea and conjunctiva followed by autologous conjunctival grafting.

Objectives: To examine the change in corneal and conjunctival sensation post-pterygium surgery.

Methods: This prospective study included patients with primary pterygium. We collected and analyzed demographic data, visual acuity (VA), refraction, quantified sensation, and corneal tomography. Comparison in sensation in the cornea, conjunctiva, and conjunctival autograft was recorded the day of surgery and at least 6 months postoperatively.

Results: Nine patients participated in the study. Mean follow-up time was 9 months (9 ± 3.3, 6–12.4). No complications were documented during or following surgery and no recurrences were found. Statistically significant increases in corneal sensation in the nasal corneal and in the nasal conjunctival areas were noted by the end of follow-up compared to before surgery (P = 0.05, paired samples t-test). There was a significant correlation between the increase in nasal corneal and conjunctival sensation with improved Schirmer testing outcomes and tear break-up time after surgery (P = 0.05, P = 0.01, Pearson correlation). There was a positive correlation between the changes in nasal corneal sensation after surgery and improved changes in VA (P = 0.02, Pearson correlation).

Conclusions: We found improvement in sensation 9 months after pterygium surgery, which may be due to reinnervation of the cornea and conjunctival autograft from the neighboring non-injured nerve fibers. Larger studies with confocal microscopy should be conducted for further analysis.

February 2023
Tal Tobias MD, Dani Kruchevsky MD, Yehuda Ullmann MD, Joseph Berger MD, Maher Arraf MD, Liron Eldor MD

Background: Implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR) is the most common method of reconstruction for breast cancer. Bacterial infection is a well-known risk with reported rates ranging from 1% to 43%. The most common pathogens of breast implant infection described in the literature are Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. However, the prevalence of other pathogens and their antibiotic sensitivity profile differs profoundly in different parts of the world.

Objectives: To review the current literature and protocols with respect to our region and to determine a more accurate antibiotic protocol aimed at our specific local pathogens.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all cases of clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction in our institution from June 2013 to June 2019, as well as review of microbiologic data from around the world based on current literature.

Results: A total of 28 patients representing 28 clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction were identified during the studied period. Thirteen patients (46.4%) had a positive bacterial culture growth, with P. aeruginosa being the most common microorganism identified (46.1%). Review of international microbiological data demonstrated significant variation at different places and time periods.

Conclusions: Microbiological data in cases of infected breast reconstructions should be collected and analyzed in every medical center and updated every few years due to the variations observed. These data will help to adjust the optimal empirical antibiotic regimens given to patients presenting with infections after breast reconstruction.

January 2023
Matityahou Ormianer MD, Benjamin Z. Koplewitz MD, Ron Eliashar MD, Menachem Gross MD, Jeffrey M. Weinberger MD, Nir Hirshoren MD

Background: Unilateral intratonsillar abscess (ITA) is an underreported, well-known complication of acute tonsillitis. The prevalence of unilateral ITA compared to peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is 1:14. However, bilateral ITA is an extremely rare entity, with only four cases reported thus far.

Objectives: To describe past cases and our experience, elaborating the diagnostic challenge and the surgical treatment for bilateral ITA.

Methods: We conducted a literature search in the PubMed database using the key words intra-tonsillar abscess, tonsillar abscess, bilateral tonsillar abscess, bilateral intra-tonsillar abscess and bilateral peritonsillar abscess. Our search was limited to the years 1980 to 2020.

Results: We found that only four cases of bilateral ITA were previously published. All were characterized by a delay in diagnosis with a median of 10 days (4–14 days), symmetrical oral cavity appearance, enlarged bilateral kissing tonsils, and subsequent treatment by surgical drainage/paracentesis. Respiratory compromise was a concern in most cases. Our patient was treated with bilateral quinsy tonsillectomy and had a prompt recovery.

Conclusions: Bilateral ITA is a rare, deceiving entity, with a diagnosis delay attributed to the symmetrical oral bulging. We present the fifth case reported and the first ever reported in a pediatric patient. We describe the assumed pathogenesis and the main characteristics among all five patients, emphasizing the important role of a high index of suspicion and appropriate imaging, guiding to proper diagnosis and treatment.

June 2022
Ruti Berger PhD and Yossi Weiss PhD MPH

Background: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a form of international private business self-regulation that aims to contribute to society from a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically oriented practices. The major benefit of ESG is having the organization’s workers recruited for the goal of making the world a better place. There is a growing understanding regarding the extent of the environmental impacts of health services. Therefore, the interest in measuring and reporting the sustainability of health system performance is becoming crucial. As population aging and growth in healthcare demand are two of the main challenges of the current and mainly future health services, performance, and quality measurement as well as sustainability metrices are relevant more than ever.

Objectives: To review the ESG activities at Assuta Medical Centers (AMC) that helped the organization earn the Maala Index Platinum + grade in 2021.

Methods: We reviewed the ESG elements that were implemented at AMC.

Results: AMC entered an ESG process in November 2019 and earned Platinum and Platinum+ grades from the Maala Index in 2020 and 2021, respectively. AMC won the Workforce Diversity prize for having many employees over 60 years of age. AMC activities are detailed as a case study for other health organizations in Israel and worldwide.

Conclusions: A big leading health organization can spearhead sustainable development goals model in Israel and worldwide.

Royi Barnea PhD, Ruti Berger PhD, Yossi Weiss PhD MPH, and Joshua Shemer MD

Overuse of healthcare services is a common phenomenon defined as: “a healthcare service that is provided under circumstances in which its potential for harm exceeds the possible benefit.” It is expressed in the gap between desired services and available ones and is accompanied by high financial and human life costs. One-fifth to one-third of patients receives unnecessary, ineffective, or potentially harmful treatments or services. One of the greatest challenges to understanding overuse is the lack of definition for appropriate use. Apart from the physical and mental damage caused by overuse or improper use of medical services, this phenomenon has many implications, such as increasing waiting times for services, creating long queues, and incurring considerable financial costs as over 10% of hospital expenses are used to correct medical errors or preventable infections. Government intervention through economic arrangements such as deductibles and pre-authorization of services by the insurer are partially effective in reducing the overuse of health services. Additional solutions include ensuring safety and quality of care as well as shared decision-making.

December 2021
Galit Hirsh-Yechezkel PhD, Angela Chetrit MHA, Sivan Ben Avraham MSc, Abed Agbarya MD, Alexander Yakobson MD, Noam Asna MD, Gil Bar-Sela MD, Irit Ben-Aharon MD PhD, Noa Efrat Ben-Baruch MD, Raanan Berger MD PhD, Ronen Brenner MD, Maya Gottfried MD, Shani Paluch-Shimon MBBS MSc, Raphael Pfeffer MD, Aron Popovtzer MD, Larisa Ryvo MD, Valeriya Semenisty MD, Ayelet Shai MD PhD, Katerina Shulman MD, Jamal Zidan MD, and Ido Wolf MD

Background: The increased susceptibility of cancer patients to coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infections and complications calls for special precautions while treating cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemics. Thus, oncology departments have had to implement a wide array of prevention measures.

Objectives: To address issues associated with cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess the implementation of measures aimed at containment of COVID-19 diffusion while allowing continuation of quality cancer care.

Methods: A national survey among oncology departments in Israel was conducted between 12 April 2020 and 14 April 2020. Eighteen heads of hospital-based oncology departments completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their institute's preparedness for treatment of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: In this national survey, prevention measures against COVID-19 spread were taken prior to patients' arrival and at arrival or while staying in the departments. Most participants (78–89%) reported using a quick triage of patients and caregivers prior to their entrance to the oncology units, limiting the entrance of caregivers, and reducing unnecessary visits to the clinic. Switching to oral therapies rather than intravenous ones when possible was considered by 82% and shortage in personal protective equipment was reported by five (28%) heads of oncology departments. Some differences between large and small/medium sized medical centers were observed regarding issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and changes in treatment.

Conclusions: Oncology departments in Israel were able to prepare and adapt their services to guidelines and requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic with little harm to their treatment capacity

Noa Avni-Zauberman MD, Barequet S Avni-Zauberma MD, Alon Weissman MD, Juliana Gildener-Leapman MD, Orit Ezra Nimni MD, Yoav Berger MD, and Ofira Zloto MD

Background: Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory disease characterized by progressive corneal steepening, which leads to decreased visual acuity secondary to high irregular astigmatism.

Objectives: To compare the one-year outcomes of accelerated vs. standard collagen crosslinking (CXL) in the treatment of keratoconus.

Methods: A database search of patients who underwent CXL from 2009 to 2017 was conducted at the cornea clinic at Sheba Medical Center. Charts of 99 adult patients (124 eyes) were reviewed. All patients were diagnosed with keratoconus. Main outcome measures were change in keratometry, uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA).

Results: We evaluated outcomes in two groups: CXL with standard (3 mW/cm2 for 30 minutes) vs. the accelerated (9 mW/cm2 for 10 minutes) protocol. There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to BCVA, UCVA, and mean spherical equivalent (P =0.83, 0.0519, 0.181, respectively). The corneal thickness in the center and thinnest location were higher in the accelerated group than the in the standard group (P = 0.126). Complication rates did not differ between the two groups.

Conclusions: Accelerated and standard CXL are both safe and effective techniques. Accelerated CXL confers the added benefit of being a faster procedure to both patients and surgeons.

November 2021
Tal David Berger MD, Anna Gorodnichenko MD, Akiva Fradkin MD, and Batia Weiss MD

Background: Adequate dietary habits and physical activity during childhood and adolescence may promote growth and cognitive development and contribute to the prevention of chronic disease in later life. School is considered an important social environment that can promote healthy eating habits and life-style changes.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of a school-based intervention on nutritional knowledge, eating habits, and physical activity of adolescents.

Methods: We conducted a prospective questionnaire-based study. Anonymous questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the academic year (September 2014) in one high school. During the following year, vending machines containing milk products were installed within the school facility, and students were given two informative nutrition lectures regarding proper nutrition for age, calcium requirement and importance, and physical activity. One active sports day was initiated. At the beginning of the following academic year (September 2015), the students completed the same questionnaires.

Results: The study was comprised of 330 teenagers, mean age 15.1 ± 1.39 years, 53% males. Response rate was 83.6% ± 0.4% to multiple choice questions, 60.7% ± 0.5% to multiple section tables, and 80.3% ± 0.9% to open questions. Post-intervention, respondents reported an increase in eating breakfast (57% vs. 47.5%, P = 0.02) and a decrease in purchasing food at school (61.6% vs. 54.3%, P = 0.03). No changes were observed in consumption of milk products, knowledge regarding calcium and vegetable consumption, or sports activities.

Conclusions: Short-term high school-based interventions may lead to improvements in eating habits but are not sufficient for changing nutritional knowledge and physical activity

October 2021
Ilan Schrier MD, Yael Feferman MD, Yael Berger MD, Dafna Yahav MD, Eran Sadot MD, Omri Sulimani MD, Michael Stein MD, and Hanoch Kashtan MD

Background: Surgical myotomy is the best therapeutic option for patients with achalasia. The minimally invasive technique is considered to be the preferred method for many surgeons. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic myotomy has several advantages over conventional laparoscopic surgery. These benefits include more accurate incisions that may result in a lower rate of intra-operative complications.

Objective: To describe our technique of performing robotic-assisted Heller myotomy and to review the initial results of this procedure.

Methods: All patients undergoing robotic-assisted Heller myotomy for achalasia between the years 2012–2018 at Rabin Medical Center were retrospectively reviewed from our institutional prospective database.

Results: Thirty patients underwent robotic-assisted Heller myotomy for achalasia. Mean operative time was 77 minutes (range 47–109 minutes) including docking time of the robotic system. There were no cases of conversion to laparoscopic or open surgery. There were no cases of intra-operative perforation of the mucosa. None of the patients had postoperative morbidity or mortality. Good postoperative results were achieved in 25 patients. Four patients required additional intervention (3 had endoscopic dilatations and 1 with known preoperative endstage achalasia had undergone esophagectomy). One patient was lost to follow-up.

Conclusions: Robotic-assisted Heller myotomy is a safe technique with a low incidence of intra-operative esophageal perforation compared to the laparoscopic approach. We believe that robotic-assisted surgery should be the procedure of choice to treat achalasia

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