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עמוד בית
Tue, 05.12.23

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July 2023
Mikhal E. Cohen MD PhD, Roni Eichel MD, Gustavo Rajz MD, Gilad Yahalom MD

Background: Little is known about phenotypical variations among ethnic groups in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in Israel. Clinical characteristics of non-Ashkenazi Jews (NAJ) are scantly described.

Objectives: To describe clinical aspects of PD in ethnic groups in Israel, focusing on NAJ and Ashkenazi Jews (AJ).

Methods: In this cross-sectional retrospective study, we collected demographic, genetic, and clinical characteristics of patients from different ethnic Jewish backgrounds. Ethnic groups included AJ; North African Jews (NAFJ); oriental Jews (OJ) originating from Iran, Iraq, and Buchara; Balkan Jews; Yemenite Jews (YJ); and Jews of mixed origin. Clinical characteristics included hyposmia, urinary complaints, constipation, and rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder. Cognitive complaints, motor features, levodopa-induced dyskinesia, and motor fluctuations were collected. Motor part of the MDS-UPDRS and Hoehn and Yahr scores were collected.

Results: The study comprised 174 PD Jewish patients (63.2% AJ, 56.4% males). The age at onset was 65.3 ± 10.2 years; 106 patients (60.9%) were genotyped (17 glucocerebrosidase [16.0%], 13 leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 [LRRK2] [12.3%]). Rates of hyposmia were significantly higher in AJ than NAJ (56.6% vs. 39.5%, respectively, P = 0.003). No significant differences were found in motor features in all variables. Of 13 AJ patients carrying the LRRK2 mutation, only one had hyposmia. Three patients with LRRK2 were NAJ.

Conclusions: Hyposmia is less prevalent in PD patients of NAJ origin than in AJ. The rate of hyposmia in NAFJ patients is particularly low. The rate of other non-motor features is similar between NAJ and AJ patients.

Maayan Diti Machnes MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD, Maya Gerstein MD, Yiska Loewenberg Weisband MD, Moriya Cohen MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS), the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis, is sometimes difficult to distinguish clinically from viral pharyngitis. Despite the high prevalence of viral pharyngitis in children, antibiotic treatment is common.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) on antibiotic prescription in children with GAS pharyngitis (GAS-P) at a large pediatric community clinic.

Methods: Antibiotic prescription data were collected from October 2016 to March 2017 (pre-intervention period) and from October 2017 to March 2018 (post-intervention period). The intervention was a one-day seminar for primary care pediatricians on the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P in children according to national guidelines.

Results: The overall prevalence of testing differed between the two time periods. There was a decrease in children who did not undergo any testing (from 68% to 63%), an increase in streptococcal rapid antigen detection testing (28% to 32%), and a slight increase in throat cultures (3% to 4%) (p = 0.02). There was no change in the types of antibiotics prescribed before and after the intervention (p = 0.152).

Conclusions: The ASP resulted in a slight reduction in the percentage of children who did not undergo laboratory testing for GAS-P and a slight reduction in the percentage of children who received antibiotic treatment. The ASP did not reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and macrolides.

June 2023
Jonathan Abraham Demma MD, Lisandro Luques MD PhD, Lior Cohen MD, Uri P. Dior MD, Gad Marom MD, Asaf Kedar MD, Naama Lev Cohain MD, Alon Pikarsky MD, Gidon Almogy MD, Liat Appelbaum MD

Background: Abdominal pathology in pregnant patients is a frequent challenge for emergency department physicians. Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice but is inconclusive in approximately one-third of cases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming increasingly available, even in acute settings. Multiple studies have defined the sensitivity and specificity of MRI in this population.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of MRI findings in pregnant patients presenting with acute abdominal complaints to the emergency department.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single institution. Data were collected on pregnant patients who underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints between 2010 and 2019 at a university center. Patient demographics, diagnosis at admission, ultrasound and MRI findings, and discharge diagnosis were recorded and evaluated.

Results: In total, 203 pregnant patients underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints during the study period. MRI was found without pathology in 138 cases (68%). In 65 cases (32%), the MRI showed findings that could explain the patient's clinical presentation. Patients presenting with long-standing abdominal pain (> 24 hours), fever, leukocytosis, or elevated C-reactive protein values were at a significantly increased risk of having an acute pathology. In 46 patients (22.6%), MRI findings changed the primary diagnosis and management while in 45 patients (22.1%) MRI findings improved characterization of the suspected pathology.

Conclusions: MRI is helpful when clinical and sonographic findings are inconclusive, leading to changes in patient management in more than one-fifth of patients.

Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Tomer Kaplan BEMS MPH, Tammy Fink RN, Kyrill Grozovsky RN, Refael Strugo MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD

Background: A limited program for kidney donation from uncontrolled donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (uDCDD) was implemented at four hospitals in Israel in close cooperation with Magen David Adom (MDA), the national emergency medical service.

Objectives: To assess the outcome of transplantations performed between January 2017 and June 2022.

Methods: Donor data included age, sex, and cause of death. Recipient data included age, sex, and yearly serum creatinine levels. A retrospective study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases treated by MDA during 2021 were analyzed to assess their compatibility as potential uDCDD donors.

Results: In total, 49 potential donors were referred to hospitals by MDA. Consent was obtained in 40 cases (83%), organ retrieval was performed in 28 cases, and 40 kidneys were transplanted from 21 donors (75% retrieval rate). At 1-year follow-up, 36 recipients had a functioning graft (4 returned to dialysis) and mean serum creatinine 1.59 ± 0.92 mg% (90% graft survival). Outcome after transplantation showed serum creatinine levels (mg%) at 2 years 1.41 ± 0.83, n=26; 3 years 1.48 ± 0.99, n=16; 4 years 1.07 ± 1.06, n=7; and 5 years 1.12 ± 0.31, n=5. One patient died of multiple myeloma at 3 years. The MDA audit revealed an unutilized pool of 125 potential cases, 90 of whom were transported to hospitals and 35 were declared dead at the scene.

Conclusions: Transplant outcomes were encouraging, suggesting that more intensive implementation of the program may increase the number of kidneys transplanted, thus shortening recipient waiting lists.

May 2023
Shirel Barnea Melamed MD, Esther Ganelin-Cohen MD, Yarden Bulkowstein MD, Mika Shapira Rootman MD, Irit Krause MD

An 11-year-old female presented with encephalomyelitis in the presence of anti-myelin oligodendrocytes glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies (Abs), suspected to be triggered by concurrent respiratory adenovirus infection. The prognosis of such cases depends on prompt treatment; therefore, early diagnosis is crucial.

Shani Sultani MD, Nerel Cohen MD, Matan Fischer MD

Sulfonylureas have been used to treat patients with diabetes for the last 80 years. The main side effect of this drug class is hypoglycemia, which might be severe and protracted. With the emergence of new medications with improved safety and better efficacy in preventing diabetes complications and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, the use of these agents is waning.

Sulfonylureas are historically classified into two generations. The generation first includes drugs such as tolbutamide and chlorpropamide, which are no longer used. The second generation includes glibenclamide and glimepiride, which have different pharmacokinetic properties and active metabolites.

In this case report, we present a patient with diabetes and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who developed prolonged hypoglycemia following the unauthorized use of a food supplement containing the first-generation sulfonylurea - tolbutamide.

Walid Shalata MD, Motaz Abo Abod MD, Mitchell Golosky MD, Liora Boehm Cohen MD, Michael Kassirer MD, Iris Kamenev MD, Yael Raviv MD

In September 2020, a 37-year-old man without significant medical history or medication use presented to the emergency department with shortness of breath. The patient denied any history of shortness of breath, travel history, recent sick contacts, or history of lung disease. On arrival, the patient was afebrile with a respiratory rate of 26 breaths per minute (b/m), oxygen saturation 82% on ambient air, blood pressure 130\80 mmHg, and heart rate 130 beats per minute (bpm). He was started on three liters per minute oxygen therapy, which improved his saturation to 90%. Physical examination was remarkable for tachypnea and diffuse bilateral inspiratory lung crackles. Electrocardiogram revealed sinus tachycardia.

March 2023
Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

February 2023
Dana Yelin MD MPH, Ran Levi BPT, Chinanit Babu BPT, Roi Moshe MSc, Dorit Shitenberg MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Ori Tishler MD, Tanya Babich MSc, Irit Shapira-Lichter PhD, Donna Abecasis PhD, Nira Cohen Zubary MSc, Leonard Leibovici MD, Dafna Yahav MD, Ili Margalit MD, MPH

Background: Clinical investigations of long-term effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are rarely translated to objective findings.

Objectives: To assess the functional capacity of individuals reported on deconditioning that hampered their return to their pre-COVID routine.

Methods: Assessment included the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and the 30-second sit-to-stand test (30-STST). We compared the expected and observed scores using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Predictors of test scores were identified using linear regression models.

Results: We included 49 individuals, of whom 38 (77.6%) were recovering from mild COVID-19. Twenty-seven (55.1%) individuals had a 6MWT score lower than 80% of expected. The average 6MWT scores were 129.5 ± 121.2 meters and 12.2 ± 5.0 repeats lower than expected scores, respectively (P < 0.001 for both). The 6MWT score was 107.3 meters lower for individuals with severe COVID-19 (P = 0.013) and rose by 2.7 meters per each 1% increase in the diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (P = 0.007). The 30-STST score was 3.0 repeats lower for individuals who reported moderate to severe myalgia (P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Individuals with long COVID who report on deconditioning exhibit significantly decreased physical capacity, even following mild acute illness. Risk factors include severe COVID-19 and impaired diffusing capacity or myalgia during recovery.

January 2023
Anis Kaldawy MD, Nadav Cohen MD, Wisam Assaf, Meirav Schmidt MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Yoram Abramov MD

Background: Diagnosing occult stress urinary incontinence (OSUI) prior to surgical intervention for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) repair may allow for adding an anti-incontinence procedure and thus prevent postoperative SUI.

Objectives: To compare preoperative detection rates for OSUI by either a multichannel urodynamic investigation or by a plain pelvic examination.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the medical charts of all women who underwent urodynamic investigation prior to surgical repair of advanced POP at our institution between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2012.

Results: In total, 720 women underwent surgical POP repair during the study period, of whom 54 (7.5%) were diagnosed with OSUI preoperatively. Of these patients, 54 (100%) were detected by multichannel urodynamic investigation while only 27 (50%) were detected by a plain pelvic examination (P = 0.001). Bladder fullness during the pelvic examination was associated with higher detection rates for OSUI (P = 0.001). Women with OSUI who underwent concomitant tension-free vaginal tape and POP repair procedures did not develop de novo SUI or obstructive voiding symptoms (OVS) postoperatively.

Conclusions: Preoperative multichannel urodynamic investigation has significantly higher detection rates for OSUI than a plain pelvic examination. Utilizing this modality resulted in no cases of de novo SUI or OVS postoperatively.

Aaron Sulkes MD, Daniel Reinhorn MD, Tzeela Cohen MD, Tatiana Peysakhovich MD, Victoria Neiman MD, Baruch Brenner MD

Docetaxel (Taxotere®), obtained from the European yew Taxus baccata, is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent active against a variety of solid tumors including breast, lung, ovarian, gastric, head and neck, and prostate cancers. The drug is administered intravenously on a weekly or three-weekly schedule. Its main side effects include myelosuppression, fatigue, myalgias, arthralgias, fluid retention, peripheral neuropathy, paronychia, and lacrimation [1]. Myositis, however, has rarely been reported.

We describe a breast cancer patient who developed severe acute myositis while on treatment with docetaxel.

November 2022
Rivka Sheinin MD, Ana Rita Nogueira MD, Nicola L. Bragazzi MD PhD, Abdulla Watad MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Tal Gonen MD, Kassem Sharif MD, Yehuda Kameri MD PhD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Daniela Amital MD MHA, Hofit Cohen MD

Background: Statin-induced myalgia is defined as muscle pain without elevation of serum creatine phosphokinase levels and is a well-known complaint among statin users. Chronic pain syndromes affect a high percentage of the population. These pain syndromes may confound the reports of statin-induced myalgia.

Objectives: To compare the occurrence of chronic pain among patients on statin therapy who developed myalgia with those who did not.

Methods: This study included 112 statin-treated patients, who were followed at the lipid center at Sheba Medical Center. Fifty-six patients had a diagnosis of statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS) and 56 did not. Verified questionnaires were used to assess the diagnoses of fibromyalgia, pain intensity, functional impairment, anxiety, and depression in the study population.

Results: Patients with statin myalgia were more likely to fulfil the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia than patients without statin myalgia (11 [19.6%] vs. 0, respectively). Patients in the SAMS group exhibited higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with the control group. Female sex, higher scores on the Brief Pain Inventory pain intensity scale, and a Hamilton rating scale level indicative of an anxiety disorder were found to be significant predictors for fibromyalgia in patients presenting with statin myalgia.

Conclusions: A significant percentage of patients diagnosed with statin myalgia fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia depression or anxiety disorder. Detection of these patients and treatment of their primary pain disorders or psychiatric illnesses has the potential to prevent unnecessary cessation of effective statin therapy.

Bar Pitaro Alter MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Omer Gendelman MD, Guy Shalom MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Arnon D. Cohen MD MPH, Daniela Amital MD MHA

Backgrounds: Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic vasculitic multi-systemic disease of unknown etiology. BD is characterized by recurrent attacks of oral aphthae, genital ulcers, and uveitis. BD is a multisystemic disorder and as such it may provoke various psychiatric manifestations, including depression.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between BD and depression, adjusting for established risk factors for depression.

Methods: We executed a cross-sectional study based on the Clalit Health Services database, the largest healthcare organization in Israel, serving over 4.4 million members. For this study 873 BD patients were detected and matched with 4369 controls by age and sex.

Results: The rate of depression was higher among the BD patients compared with the control group (9.39% vs 5.49%, respectively, odds ratio [OR] 1.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.37–2.31, P < 0.001). An association between BD and depression was also observed on multivariable analysis (OR 1.83, 95%CI 1.39–2.39, P < 0.001). When stratifying the data, according to established risk factors, the association between BD and depression was prominent in the youngest age group (18–39 years of age), low and high socioeconomical status, and non-smokers.

Conclusions: Establishing the association between BD and depression should influence the attitude and the treatment of BD patients, as this relationship requires a more holistic approach and a multidisciplinary treatment regimen for all patient needs.

Adi Lichtenstein MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Doron Comaneshter MD, Arnon D. Cohen MD, Howard Amital MD

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness with associated neuropsychological symptoms such as fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, and depression. Osteoporosis is defined as a reduction of bone density. Previous studies to determine an association of FMS with osteoporosis showed mixed results, partially due to small sample sizes and lack of statistical power.

Objectives: To evaluate the association of FMS with osteoporosis.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study utilizing the database from Israel’s largest health maintenance organization. FMS patients were compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Data were analyzed using chi-square and t-tests. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed the association between osteoporosis and FMS. Spearman’s rho test was used for correlation.

Results: We utilized data from 14,296 FMS patients and 71,324 age- and sex-matched controls. Spearman's rho test showed a significant correlation between FMS and osteoporosis (correlation coefficient 0.55, P < 0.001). A logistic regression for osteoporosis showed an odds ratio [OR] of 1.94 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.83–2.06, P < 0.001) for FMS compared to controls and found higher body mass index to be slight protective (OR 0.926, 95%CI 0.92–0.93, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: There is a significant correlation between FMS and osteoporosis. Early detection of predisposing factors for osteoporosis in FMS patients and implementation of suitable treatments and prevention measures (such as dietary supplements, resistance or weight bearing exercise, and bone-mineral enhancing pharmacological therapy) may reduce both occurrence rate and severity of osteoporosis and its complications, such as fractures.

Avishay Elis MD, Wassim Daud MD, Gal Cohen MD, Ela Giladi MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: There is an increasing use of anti-protein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs); however, real-world data is lacking.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients treated with anti-PCSK9 mAbs. To evaluate efficacy, tolerability, and differences between the approved agents.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients treated at the lipid clinic at Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus), Israel, from January 2016 to December 2019. Data from electronic records were evaluated for demographic and clinical characteristics, indication for use, response of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)/non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) levels and reaching target levels, side effects, tolerability, differences between the agents, and doses.

Results: The study cohort included 115 patients. Two-thirds (n=75) were at high cardiovascular risk, the rest at very high risk (n=40). The major indication for treatment was statin intolerance (n=97, 84%). Most patients (n=102, 88%) were treated by anti-PCSK9 mAbs agents only. LDL-C and non-HDL-C levels were decreased by 47% and 39%, respectively (156 + 49 to 81 + 39 and 192 + 53 to 116 + 42 mg/dl), within 6 months and remained stable. Two-thirds (n=76) of the patients reached their lipid target levels. No clinically significant differences were observed between the agents in efficacy or tolerability.

Conclusions: In a real-world setting, anti-PCSK9 mAbs are used primarily as a single agent in high-risk and very high-risk cardiovascular populations with statin intolerance. They are well tolerated and effective in reduction of LDL-C levels. Further studies are needed to clarify comparisons between agents and doses.

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