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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

Search results


November 2012
September 2012
E. Brauner, J. Kuten, O. Ben-Ishay, D. Hershkovitz and Y. Kluger
August 2011
A. Balbir-Gurman, B. Fuhrman, Y. Braun-Moscovici, D. Markovits and M. Aviram

 Background:  Pomegranate extract (POMx) consumption has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in mice.

Objectives:  To investigate whether pomegranate consumption affects disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), in relation to their serum oxidative status.

Methods:  In this pilot 12 week open-labeled study eight patients with active RA consumed POMx (10 ml/day) for 12 weeks. Patients’ joint status and serum oxidative status (lipid peroxidation, total thiols group, paraoxonase 1 activity) were evaluated at baseline and at week 12.

Results:  Six patients completed the study. POMx consumption significantly (P < 0.02) reduced the composite Disease Activity Index (DAS28) by 17%, which could be related mostly to a significant (P < 0.005) reduction in the tender joint count (by 62%). These results were associated with a significant (P < 0.02) reduction in serum oxidative status and a moderate but significant (P < 0.02) increase in serum high density lipoprotein-associated paraoxonase 1 (PON1) activity. The addition of POMx to serum from RA patients reduced free radical-induced lipid peroxidation by up to 25%.

Conclusions:  The pomegranate consumption reduced DAS28 in RA patients, and this effect could be related to the antioxidative property of pomegranates. Dietary supplementation with pomegranates may be a useful complementary strategy to attenuate clinical symptoms in RA patients.

January 2011
A. Balbir-Gurman and Y. Braun-Moscovici

Background: Overlap syndrome is an entity that satisfies the criteria of at least two connective tissue diseases. These conditions include systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis or polymyositis, Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. A combined pathology has impact on the clinical features, diagnosis and treatment.

Objectives: To analyze the features of SSc[1] patients with overlap syndrome registered in the European (EUSTAR) database at our center and to review the literature focusing on clinical and diagnostic issues and new treatments.

Methods: We studied the medical records of 165 consecutive SSc patients and reviewed cases with scleroderma overlap syndrome. Using the key words “overlap syndrome," "systemic sclerosis," “connective tissue disease” and “biological agents” we conducted a PubMed search for the period 1977 to 2009.

Results: Forty patients satisfied the criteria for scleroderma overlap syndrome. The incidence of additional connective tissue diseases in the whole group and in the overlap syndrome group respectively was: dermatomyositis or polymyositis 11.5% and 47.5%, Sjogren's syndrome 10.3% and 42.5%, rheumatoid arthritis 3.6% and 15.4%, and systemic lupus erythematosus 1.2% and 5.0%. Coexistence of SSc and another CTD[2] aggravated the clinical course, especially lung, kidney, digestive, vascular and articular involvement. Non-rheumatic complications mimicked SSc complications. An additional rheumatic or non-rheumatic disease affected treatment choice.

Conclusions: The definition of scleroderma overlap syndrome is important, especially in patients who need high-dose corticosteroids for complications of a CTD. The use of novel biological therapies may be advocated in these patients to avoid the hazardous influences of high-dose steroids, especially renal crisis. In some overlap syndrome cases, biological agents serve both conditions; in others one of the conditions may limit their use. In the absence of formal clinical trials in these patients a cautious approach is preferred.






[1] SSc = systemic cclerosis

[2] CTD = connective tissue disease


May 2010
O. Ben-Ishay, P. Shmulevsky, E. Brauner, E. Vladowsky and Y. Kluger
February 2010
March 2009
B. Makhoul, E. Braun, M. Herskovitz, R. Ramadan, S. Haddad and N. Krivoy

Background: West Nile virus, the etiologic agent of West Nile fever, is an emerging mosquito-borne disease. WNV[1] was recognized as a cause of severe human meningo-encephalitis in elderly patients during outbreaks in various parts of the world.

Objectives: To analyze WNV encephalitis therapy and its outcome after prescribing hyperimmune gammaglobulin therapy.

Methods: Eight subjects with WNV encephalitis were treated with supportive therapy and 5 days of IVIG[2] 0.4 g/kg/day containing high WNV antibodies obtained from healthy blood donors.

Results: Patients who were treated with IVIG as soon as possible exhibited an improvement in their symptoms. All subjects presented with high fever, progressive confusion and headaches, nausea and vomining. The Glasgow Coma Screen for six patients ranged between 8 and 13 and all were discharged with a score of 15. The remaining two subjects died during their hospitalization.

Conclusions: In severe WNV infection, where the disease affects the central and/or peripheral nervous system, early intervention with IVIG together with supportive treatment is recommended.





[1] WNV = West Nile virus

[2] IVIG = intravenous hyperimmune gammaglobulin

July 2008
June 2008
I. Arad, R. Braunstein and B. Bar-Oz

Background: A substantial number of premature deliveries occur in hospitals lacking neonatal intensive care facilities. We previously demonstrated a comparable outcome of very low birth weight infants delivered in a level II nursery to that of inborn infants delivered in our tertiary care center, but a similar comparison of extremely low birth weight infants has not been done.

Objectives: To compare the neonatal outcome (mortality, severe intraventricular hemorrhage/periventricular leukomalacia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and intact survival) of inborn and outborn ELBW[1] infants, accounting for sociodemographic, obstetric and perinatal variables.

Methods: We compared 97 ELBW infants (birth weight ≤ 1000 g.) delivered between the years 2000 and 2004 in a hospital providing neonatal intensive care to 53 ELBW babies delivered in a referring hospital. A univariate model was first applied to examine the associations of the individual independent variables with the outcome variable, followed by a logistic stepwise regression analysis for each of the outcome variables. The odds ratios for each predictor were reported as well as their P values and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: In the stepwise logistic regression analysis, accounting for a possible confounding effect of the independent variables, ‘hospital of birth’ remained a statistically significant predictor in the final step only for mortality, with odds ratio (inborns relative to outborns) of 3.32 (95%CI[2] 1.19–9.28, P = 0.022). No statistically significant associations with the other outcome variables were found (severe IVH[3]/PVL[4] odds ratio = 1.99, 95%CI = 0.77–5.14, P = 0.155; BPD[5] odds ratio = 0.60, 95%CI = 0.19–1.91, P = 0.384; intact survival OR[6] = 0.56, 95%CI = 0.23–1.35, P = 0.195).






[1] ELBW = extremely low birth weight

[2] CI = confidence interval

[3] IVH = intraventricular hemorrhage

[4] PVL = periventricular leukomalacia

[5] BPD = bronchopulmonary dysplasia

[6] OR = odds ratio


April 2008
Y. Braun-Moscovici, D.n Markovits, A. Rozin, K. Toledano, A. M. Nahir and Alexandra Balbir-Gurman

Background: Infliximab and etanercept have been included in the Israeli national list of health services since 2002 for rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and since 2005 for psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The regulator (Ministry of Health and health funds) mandates using fixed doses of infliximab as the first drug of choice and increased dosage is not allowed. For other indications (e.g., vasculitis), anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy is given on a "compassionate" basis in severe refractory disease.

Objectives: To describe our experience with anti-TNF[1] therapy in a single tertiary referral center in northern Israel and to analyze the impact of the national health policy on the results.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients who received anti-TNF therapy in our institution, and analyzed demographic data, diagnosis, clinical and laboratory features, previous and current therapies, and anti-TNF treatment duration and side effects.

Results: Between 2001 and 2006, 200 patients received anti-TNF therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (n=108), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (n=11), psoriatic arthritis (n=37), ankylosing spondylitis (n=29), adult Still's disease (n=4), overlap disease (RA[2] and scleroderma or polymyositis, n=6), temporal arteritis (n=1), polyarteritis nodosa (n=1), dermatomyositis (n=1), amyloidosis secondary to RA (n=1) and Wegener's granulomatosis (n=1). Forty percent of RA patients discontinued the first anti-TNF agent due to side effects or insufficient response. Higher sedimentation rate and lower or negative rheumatoid factor predicted better response to therapy among RA patients. AS[3] and PS[4] patients had a better safety and efficacy profile. Severe infections occurred in 2% of patients. All eight patients who presented lung involvement as part of their primary rheumatic disease remained stable or improved. A significant improvement was achieved in all six patients with overlap disease.

Conclusion: Our daily practice data are generally in agreement with worldwide experience. The ‘deviations’ might be explained by the local health policy at that time. The impact of health policy and economic and administrative constraints should be taken into account when analyzing cohort daily practice data.






[1] TNF = tumor necrosis factor

[2] RA = rheumatoid arthritis

[3] AS = ankylosing spondylitis

[4] PS = psoriatic arthritis


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


April 2007
A. Keren, M. Poteckin, B. Mazouz, A. Medina, S. Banai, A. Chenzbraun, Z. Khoury and G. Levin

Background: Left ventricular outflow gradient is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Alcohol septal ablation is the alternative to surgery in cases refractory to drug therapy. The implication of LVOG[1] measured 1 week post-ASA[2] for prediction of outcome is unknown.

Objective: To observe the pattern of LVOG course and prediction of long-term clinical and hemodynamic outcome of ASA.

Methods: Baseline clinical and echocardiographic parameters were prospectively recorded in 14 consecutive patients with a first ASA, at the time of ASA, 3 and 7 days after ASA (in-hospital) and 3 and 12 months after ASA (last follow-up).

Results: There was improvement in NYHA class, exercise parameters and LVOG in 11 of 14 patients (P < 0.005 in all). Maximal creatine kinase level was lower than 500 U/L in those without such improvement and 850 U/L or higher in successful cases. LVOG dropped from 79 ± 30 to 19 ± 6 mmHg after the ASA. LVOG was 50 ± 21 mmHg on day 3, 39 ± 26 on day 7, 32 ± 26 at 3 months and 24 ± 20 mmHg at last follow-up. LVOG identified 27% sustained procedural successes on day 3 and 73% on day 7. The overall predictive accuracy of the test for sustained success and failure was 36% on day 3 and 71% on day 7. Combination of maximal CK[3] and LVOG on day 7 showed four distinct outcome patterns: "early success" with low LVOG and high CK (73% of successful cases), "late success" with high LVOG and high CK, and "early failure" and "late failure" with both low CK and high or low LVOG, respectively
Conclusion: LVOG measurement 7 days post-ASA combined with maximal CK levels predicts late procedural outcome in the majority of patients







[1] LVOG = left ventricular outflow gradient



[2] ASA = alcohol septal ablation



[3] CK = creatine kinase


N. Uriel,G. Moravsky, A. Blatt, A. Tourovski, Z. Gabara, I. Yofik, V. Danicek, A. Hendler, R. Braunstein, R. Krakover, Z. Vered and E. Kaluski

Background: Spontaneous coronary reperfusion occurs in 7–27% of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction, and is an independent predictor of myocardial salvage, percutaneous coronary intervention success, and improved outcome.

Objectives: To determine the optimal PCI[1] time for patients admitted to the hospital due to STEMI[2] with SCR[3].

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients admitted to the coronary care unit between July 2002 and November 2004 with a diagnosis of STEMI with SCR.

Results: The study group comprised 86 patients. There was not a single reinfarction episode during an observation period of 6579 patient hours. Cardiac catheterization was executed early (< 24 hours from pain onset) in 26 patients and late (> 24 hours) in 55. Pre-PCI angiographic TIMI flow 2–3 was seen in > 95% in both groups. PCI was performed more frequently in the “early” group (P = 0.024), while multi-vessel coronary artery disease (P = 0.094) requiring coronary bypass surgery (P = 0.056) was observed more frequently in the “late catheterization” group. Myocardial infarction and angina pectoris at 30 days occurred more frequently in the early catheterization group (P = 0.039), however no difference in any major adverse cardiac events was detected during long-term follow-up (491 ± 245 days).

Conclusions: Reinfarction after STEMI with SCR is a rare event. Early PCI in patients with STEMI and SCR, even when executed with aggressive anti-platelet therapy, seems to result in an excess of early MACE, without any long-term advantage. Prospective randomized trials should determine the optimal PCI timing for these patients.








[1] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

[2] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction

[3] SCR = spontaneous coronary reperfusion


November 2005
A. Balbir-Gurman, A.M. Nahir, Y. Braun-Moscovici and M. Soudack
August 2005
A. Balbir-Gurman, D. Markovits, A.M. Nahir, A. Rozin and Y. Braun-Moscovici
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