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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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January 2022
Brice Nguedia Vofo MD, Ana Navarrete MD, Jaime Levy MD, and Itay Chowers MD

Background: In response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, routine clinical visits to the ophthalmic emergency department (OED) were deferred, while emergency cases continued to be seen.

Objectives: To assess the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for ophthalmic emergencies.

Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of patients who presented to the OED during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted. The proportions of traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent presentations in 2020 were compared to those of the same time period in 2019. Duration of chief complains and best-corrected visual acuity were also assessed.

Results: There were 144 OED visits in 2020 compared to 327 OED visits during the same 3-week-period in 2019. Lower mean age of OED patients was present in 2020. Logarithmic expression (LogMAR) best corrected visual acuity (BVCA) was similar in both years. In 2020 there was a reduction in traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent cases compared to 2019 (15.4% reduction, P = 0.038; 57.6% reduction, P = 0.002; 74.6% reduction, P = 0.005, respectively). There was a higher proportion of same-day presentations at commencement of symptoms in 2020 compared with 2019 (52.8% vs. 38.8%, respectively P = 0.006).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OED visits at a tertiary hospital dropped by more than half. Although the drop in visits was mostly due to decrease in non-traumatic-non-urgent cases, there was also decrease in non-traumatic-urgent presentations with possible important visual consequences. Additional studies should elucidate what happened to these patients

May 2021
Anat Zalmanovich MD, Ronen Ben-Ami MD, Galia Rahav MD, Danny Alon MD, Allon Moses MD, Karen Olshtain-Pops MD, Miriam Weinberger MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Katzir MD, Bat-Sheva Gottesman MD, Michal Chowers MD

Background: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is an opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. Clusters of PJP, especially among organ transplant recipients in clinic settings were described. Data regarding nosocomial PJP infection among inpatients are limited.

Objectives: To assess the magnitude and characteristics of inpatient healthcare-associated PJP infection (HCA-PJP) in HIV-negative patients.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of hospitalized PJP patients was performed to identify HCA-PJP. The study was performed at six medical centers in Israel from 2006 to 2016. HCA-PJP was defined as cases of hospital-onset or those with documented contact with a PJP patient. We reviewed and cross-matched temporal and spatial co-locations of patients. Clinical laboratory characteristics and outcomes were compared.

Results: Seventy-six cases of PJP were identified. Median age was 63.7 years; 64% men; 44% hematological malignancies; 18% inflammatory diseases; and 61% steroid usage. Thirty-two patients (42%) were defined as HCA-PJP: 18/32 (23.6%) were hospitalized at onset and 14/32 (18.4%) had a previous encounter with a PJP patient. Time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was shorter in HCA-PJP vs. community-PJP (3.25 vs. 11.23 days, P = 0.009). In multivariate analysis, dyspnea at presentation (odds ratio [OR] 16.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.78–157.95) and a tendency toward higher rate of ventilator support (72% vs. 52%, P = 0.07, OR 5.18, 95%CI 0.7–30.3) were independently associated with HCA-PJP, implying abrupt disease progression in HCA-PJP.

Conclusion: HCA-PJP was common. A high level of suspicion for PJP among selected patients with nosocomial respiratory infection is warranted. Isolation of PJP patients should be considered

June 2018
Bat-Sheva Gottesman MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Katzir MD and Michal Chowers MD

Background: Increasing antibiotic resistance in the community results in greater use of empiric broad spectrum antibiotics for patients at hospital admission. As a measure of antibiotic stewardship it is important to identify a patient population that can receive narrow spectrum antibiotics.

Objectives: To evaluate resistance patterns of Escherichia coli bloodstream infection (BSI) from strictly community-acquired infection and the impact of recent antibiotic use on this resistance.

Methods: This single center, historical cohort study of adult patients with E. coli BSI was conducted from January 2007 to December 2011. Patients had no exposure to any healthcare facility and no chronic catheters or chronic ulcers. Data on antibiotic use during the previous 90 days was collected and relation to resistance patterns was assessed.

Results: Of the total number of patients, 267 BSI cases met the entry criteria; 153 patients (57%) had bacteria sensitive to all antibiotics. Among 189 patients with no antibiotic exposure, 61% of isolates (116) were pan-sensitive. Resistance to any antibiotic appeared in 114 patients and 12 were extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers. Quinolone use was the main driver of resistance to any antibiotic and to ESBL resistance patterns. In a multivariate analysis, older age (odds ratio 1.1) and quinolone use (odds ratio 7) were independently correlated to ESBL.

Conclusions: At admission, stratification by patient characteristics and recent antibiotic use can help personalize primary empirical therapy.

October 2015
Fruma Tzur MSc, Michal Chowers MD, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, Yoseph A. Mekori MD and Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic sequel in people infected with HIV, especially following the advent of HAART. This may be a particular concern in immigrants due to lifestyle changes. 

Objectives: To characterize the prevalence of DM in HIV-infected Ethiopians in Israel, and to define the risk factors.

Methods: We retrospectively screened the records of 173 HIV-infected Ethiopians and 69 HIV-infected non-Ethiopian HIV patients currently registered at the HIV Clinic of Meir Medical Center. Data were also retrieved from 1323 non-HIV Ethiopians treated in the hospital between 2007 and 2012. The presence of DM was determined by family physician diagnosis as recorded in the hospital database or by the presence of one or more of the following: fasting glucose > 127 mg/dl, hA1C > 6.5% (> 48 mmol/mol), or blood glucose > 200 mg/dl. Population data and risk factors for DM were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses. 

Results: Among HIV-infected Ethiopian subjects, the prevalence of DM was 31% (54/173) compared to 4% (3/69) in HIV-infected non-Ethiopians and 8% (102/1323) in non-HIV-infected Ethiopians (P < 0.0001). The relatively increased prevalence of DM was age independent, but most noticeable in those under the median age (< 42 years). Body mass index (BMI) was a predictor for DM (OR 1.263, CI 1.104–1.444, P = 0.001), although its values did not vary between the two ethnic groups. 

Conclusions: HIV-infected Ethiopians are more likely to develop DM at low BMI values compared to non-Ethiopians. This observation questions the relevance of accepted BMI values in this population and suggests that preventive measures against DM be routinely taken in these subjects. 

 

August 2015
Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Openhaim MD, Sharon Reisfeld MD, Yossi Paitan PhD, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Yehuda Carmeli MD and Michal Chowers MD

Background: Isolation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in healthy individuals is not common in Israel. In our hospital, about 30% of MRSA isolates were SCCmec types IV and V.

Objectives: To identify the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients carrying MRSA SCCmec type IV or V, and to compare them with each other and with those of patients with SCCmec types I-III.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study that included 501 patients from whom MRSA was isolated: 254 with SCCmec type I, II, or III, and 243 isolates from SCCmec types IV or V. 

Results: MRSA was isolated from surveillance cultures in 75% of patients and from a clinical site in 25%. The majority of our study population was elderly, from nursing homes, and with extensive exposure to health care. First, we compared characteristics of patients identified through screening. Statistically significant predictors of SCCmec V vs. IV were Arab ethnicity (OR 7.44, 95%CI 1.5–37.9) and hospitalization in the year prior to study inclusion (OR 5.7, 95%CI 1.9–16.9). No differences were found between patients with SCCmec types I-III and patients with SCCmec type IV or V. Analysis of the subset of patients who had clinical cultures yielded similar results. 

Conclusions: SCCmec types IV and V were common in the hospital setting although rare in the community. It seems that in Israel, SCCmec IV and V are predominantly health care-associated MRSA. 

 

March 2015
Eilon Krashin MD, Michael Lishner MD, Michal Chowers and Sharon Reisfeld MD
December 2014
Eilon Krashin MD, Michael Lishner MD, Michal Chowers MD and Sharon Reisfeld MD
June 2012
A. Lichtinger, M. Caraza, T. Galbinur and I. Chowers

Background: Delayed diagnosis of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) adversely affects visual outcome.

Objectives: To identify factors associated with early detection of CNV in the clinic setting.

Methods: Demographic and clinical data and lesion characteristics were retrospectively collected from 76 consecutive AMD patients who had a history of CNV in one eye and presented with CNV in the second eye. These data were evaluated for association with visual acuity (VA) at the time of presentation.

Results: Better VA was associated with a history of CNV in the fellow eye (P < 0.0001), adherence to follow-up every 4 months (P = 0.015), younger age (P = 0.03), smaller lesion (P < 0.0001), and non-subfoveal location (P = 0.048). VA of the fellow eye did not correlate with VA at presentation with CNV.

Conclusions: These data suggest that patients’ experience of CNV, regardless of VA, facilitates early diagnosis in the fellow eye. Adherence to follow-up in the routine clinic setting also facilitates early detection of CNV.

July 2009
S. Reisfeld-Zadok, A. Elis, M. Szyper-Kravitz, M. Chowers and M. Lishner
September 2007
S. Abu-Asleh and I. Chowers

Background: Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of legal blindness in the developed world including Israel. Ethnic background is a risk factor for advanced AMD[1] in several populations, however the relative prevalence of this disease in different ethnic groups in the Middle East is unknown.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of advanced AMD in Arabs and Jews in Israel.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of two independent groups of patients: the first group comprised a sequential series of Jerusalem residents who underwent photodynamic therapy for neovascular AMD (PDT[2] group), and the second group consisted of all individuals in Jerusalem who received a blind certificate due to AMD (legal blindness group). Control groups were assessed to exclude inherited ethnic associated bias in the two study groups.

Results: The PDT group included 146 patients: 142 were Jews (97.3%) and 4 were Arabs (2.7%). The legal blindness group included 340 Jerusalem residents: 326 Jews (96%) and 14 Arabs (4%). The number of Arab AMD patients in the two groups was lower than expected based on the ethnic composition of the age-matched Jerusalem population (P = 0.0002 for the PDT group, and P < 0.0001 for the legal blindness group). By contrast, the number of non-AMD Arab patients who were treated in the same clinic and the number of Arabs who received a blind certificate for diabetic retinopathy was not different from expected based on their relative number in the Jerusalem population.

Conclusions: Advanced AMD is less common in the Arab than the Jewish population of Jerusalem. Genetic and environmental factors may account for this difference. A population-based study is required to assess the overall prevalence of AMD in Jews and Arabs.






[1] AMD = age-related macular degeneration

[2] PDT = photodynamic therapy


March 2007
M. Khaikin, Y. Chowers and O. Zmora
Perianal Crohn's disease refers to the involvement of the anal region in this chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It most commonly presents with the formation of perianal abscesses and fistulas, although other forms of presentations such as fissures and skin tags may also be present. Perianal activity often parallels abdominal disease activity, but may occasionally be the primary site of active disease, and significantly compromises the quality of life in affected patients. The primary treatment of patients with perianal Crohn's disease combines medical and surgical management with the aim of improving quality of life and alleviating suffering. A multidisciplinary approach involving the patient, surgeon, gastroenterologist, radiologist, pathologist, nutritionist, and other specialists makes the successful treatment of PCD[1] possible. This paper reviews the management of patients with perianal Crohn's disease, focusing on contemporary medical and surgical treatments such as infliximab, endorectal advancement flap, instillation of fibrin glue, and the potential use of extracellular matrix plugs






[1] PCD = perianal Crohn's disease


June 2001
Rivka Zissin, MD, Gabriela Gayer, MD, Michal Chowers, MD, Myra Shapiro-Feinberg, MD, Eugen Kots, MD and Marjorie Hertz, MD

Background: Abdominal tuberculosis usually presents with general symptoms and obscure abdominal complaints for which computerized tomography is often the first imaging study.

Objective: To evaluate the CT findings of abdominal tuberculosis.

Methods: The CT scans of 19 patients (10 men and 9 women aged 20-85 years) with proven abdominal tuberculosis were retrospectively reviewed to define the location and extent of the disease. The patients were referred for the study mainly with general systemic symptoms. Additional abdominal com­plaints were present in four, including acute abdomen in one. Two had symptoms deriving from the urinary tract. Nine patients had recently arrived from high prevalence countries five of them and two others were positive for human immunodeficiency virus. Three patients had a family history of tuberculosis one had previously been treated for tubercu­losis and four others had an underlying chronic disease. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was established by standard micro­biological and histological techniques.

Results: We divided the disease manifestations into intraperitoneal (n-13) and genitourinary involvement (n- 6). Peritoneal tuberculosis was fairly common, characterized by ascites, omental and mesenteric infiltration, and smooth thickening of the parietal peritoneum. One oncology patient had a false positive Tc-99m CEA isotope scanning, suggesting tumor recurrence. Genitourinary disease manifested mainly as hydronephrosis and calcifications. Three patients had pulmon­ary tuberculosis as well.

Conclusion: The CT findings of abdominal tuberculosis may mimic various diseases, mainly diffuse peritoneal malig­nancy. We emphasize the need to consider tuberculosis in the differential diagnosis in patients with obscure abdominal symptoms, especially with multi-organ involvement. A high degree of clinical suspicion and familiarity with the abdominal CT manifestations allow early diagnosis of this treatable disease.

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