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עמוד בית
Mon, 20.05.24

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September 2023
Avishay Elis MD, Ella Giladi MD, Ahmad Raiyan MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) or with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common diagnosis in patients hospitalized in the department of internal medicine. Recently, the therapeutic regimens were updated, as the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors became an integral part of the therapeutic regimen for either HFrEF or HFpEF.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of CHF patients hospitalized in the department of medicine.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study that included all patients hospitalized in the departments of medicine at the Rabin Medical Center, Israel, between 2016 and 2019. Demographic and clinical background, in-hospital procedures, discharge regimens, and outcome parameters were evaluated according to HFrEF/HFpEF.

Results: The cohort included 4458 patients. The majority (97%) presented with a preexisting diagnosis, whereas HF was an active condition in only half of them. The rates of HFrEF/HFpEF were equal. In most cases, the trigger of the exacerbation could not be determined; however, infection was the most common cause. There were basic differences in the demography, clinical aspects, and therapeutic regimens at discharge between HFrEF and HFpEF. Both conditions were associated with high in hospital mortality (8%) and re-admissions rates (30 days [20%], 90 days [35%]) without any difference between them.

Conclusions: HFrEF/HFpEF patients differed by demographics and co-morbidities. They were equally represented among patients admitted to medical wards and had similar prognosis. For both diagnoses, hospitalization should be considered for updating therapeutic regimens, especially with SGLT2 inhibitors.

May 2018
Ronen Zalts MD, Tomer Twizer MD, Ronit Leiba BsC and Amir Karban MD

Background: The identification of the etiology of a pleural effusion can be difficult. Measurement of serum B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is helpful in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) as a cause of respiratory failure, but pleural fluid BNP measurement is still not part of the workup for pleural effusion.

Objectives: To identify the correlation between pleural fluid BNP levels and clinical diagnosis.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data from 107 patients admitted to the department of internal medicine between November 2009 and January 2015 were obtained from medical records. Patients underwent a diagnostic thoracocentesis as part of their evaluation. They were grouped according to final diagnosis at discharge and clinical judgment of the attending physician.

Results: Serum BNP levels were significantly higher in the CHF patients compared to patients with non-cardiac causes of pleural effusion (1519.2 and 314.1 respectively, P < 0.0001). Mean pleural fluid BNP was also significantly higher in the CHF patients (1063.2 vs. 208.3, P < 0.0001). Optional cutoff points to distinguish between cardiac and non-cardiac etiology of pleural effusion were 273.4 pg/ml (sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 72.3%, accuracy 76.7%) or 400 pg/ml (sensitivity 78.6%, specificity 86.2%, accuracy 83.0%). A strong correlation was found between serum BNP and pleural fluid BNP levels.

Conclusions: High levels of serum BNP in patients presenting with pleural effusion suggest CHF. In cases with doubt regarding the etiology of pleural effusion, high levels of pleural fluid BNP can support the diagnosis, but are not superior to serum BNP levels.

April 2018
Amos Levi MD, Dorit Leshem-Lev Phd, Adaya Weissler-Snir MD, Tal Hasin MD, Israel Mats MD, Daniel Murninkas MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Eli I. Lev MD and Tuvia Ben-Gal, MD

Background: Circulating endothelial progenitor cells have an important role in the process of vascular repair. Impaired recruitment and function of endothelial progenitor cells is related to the pathophysiology of congestive heart failure. Endothelial progenitor cells have been shown to express the mineralocorticoid receptor. 

Objectives: To investigate the effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists on endothelial progenitor cells in patients with heart failure. 

Methods: Twenty-four patients with compensated heart failure, who were not under mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist therapy, were recruited. Either eplerenone (n=8) or spironolactone (n=16) therapy was initiated. Circulating endothelial progenitor cell level, identified as the proportion of mononuclear cells expressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), CD133, and CD34, was evaluated by flow cytometry at baseline and after 8 weeks. Following 7 days of culture, colonies were counted by microscopy and MTT assay was performed on randomly selected patients (n=12) to estimate viability.

Results: Both median CD34+/VEGFR2+ and median CD133+/VEGFR2+ increased significantly (P = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively). However, the number of colonies and viability of the cells after therapy (as assessed by the MTT assay) was not significantly different compared with the baseline. 

Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that mineralocorticoid receptor blockade may enhance endothelial progenitor cells recruitment in patients with compensated heart failure.

August 2015
Guy Topaz MD, Moti Haim MD, Jairo Kusniec MD, Shirit Kazum MD, Gustavo Goldenberg MD, Gregory Golovchiner MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Boris Strasberg MD and Alon Eisen MD

Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a non-pharmacological option for patients with heart failure and interventricular dyssynchrony. Elevated red cell distribution width (RDW) reflects higher size and heterogeneity of erythrocytes and is associated with poor outcome in patients with chronic heart failure. 

Objectives: To examine the association between RDW levels and outcomes after CRT implantation.

Methods: We conducted a cohort analysis of 156 patients (126 men, median age 69.0 years) who underwent CRT implantation in our institution during 2004–2008. RDW was measured at three time points before and after implantation. Primary outcome was defined as all-cause mortality, and secondary outcome as hospital re-admissions. We investigated the association between RDW levels and primary outcome during a median follow-up of 61 months.

Results: Ninety-five patients (60.9%) died during follow-up. Higher baseline RDW levels were associated with all-cause mortality (unadjusted HR 1.35, 95%CI 1.20–1.52, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis adjusted for clinical, electrocardiographic and laboratory variables, baseline RDW levels were associated with mortality (HR 1.33, 95%CI 1.16–1.53). RDW levels 6 months and 12 months post-implantation were also associated with mortality (HR 1.22, 95%CI 1.08–1.38, P = 0.001; and HR 1.15, 95%CI 1.01–1.32, P = 0.02, respectively). Patients who were re-admitted to hospital during follow-up (n=78) had higher baseline RDW levels as compared to those who were not (14.9%, IQR 14.0, 16.0% vs. 14.3%, IQR 13.7, 15.0%, respectively, P = 0.03). 

Conclusion: An elevated RDW level before and after CRT implantation is independently associated with all-cause mortality. 

 

November 2012
K. Parakh, M.M. Kittleson, B. Heidecker, I.S. Wittstein, D.P. Judge, H.C. Champion, L.A. Barouch, K.L. Baughman, S.D. Russell, E.K. Kasper, K.K. Sitammagari and J.M. Hare

Background: Determining the prognosis of patients with heart failure is essential for patient management and clinical trial conduct. The relative value of traditional prognostic criteria remains unclear and the assessment of long-term prognosis for individual patients is problematic.

Objectives: To determine the ability of clinical, hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters to predict the long-term prognosis of patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Methods: We investigated the ability of clinical, hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters to predict the long-term prognosis of individual patients in a large, representative, contemporary cohort of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) patients referred to Johns Hopkins from 1997 to 2004 for evaluation of cardiomyopathy. In all patients a baseline history was taken, and physical examination, laboratory studies, echocardiogram, right heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy were performed.

Results: In 171 IDCM patients followed for a median 3.5 years, there were 50 long-term event-free survivors (LTS) (median survival 6.4 years) and 34 patients died or underwent ventricular assist device placement or transplantation within 5 years (NLTS; non-long-term survivors) (median time to event 1.83 years. Established risk factors (gender, race, presence of diabetes, serum creatinine, sodium) and the use of accepted heart failure medications (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers) were similar between the two groups. Although LTS had younger age, higher ejection fraction (EF) and lower New York Heart Association (NYHA) class at presentation, the positive predictive value of an EF< 25% was 64% (95% CI 41%–79%) and of NYHA class > 2 was 53% (95% CI 36–69%). A logistic model incorporating these three variables incorrectly classified 29% of patients.

Conclusions: IDCM exhibits a highly variable natural history and standard clinical predictors have limited ability to classify IDCM patients into broad prognostic categories. These findings suggest that there are important host-environmental factors still unappreciated in the biology of IDCM.
 

July 2011
I. Gabizon, A. Shiyovich, V. Novack, V. Khalameizer, H. Yosefy, S.W. Moses and A. Katz

Background: As the lowest natural site on earth (-415 meters), the Dead Sea is unique for its high pressure and oxygen tension in addition to the unparalleled combination of natural resources. Furthermore, its balneotherapeutic resorts have been reported to be beneficial for patients with various chronic diseases.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety, quality of life (QoL), exercise capacity, heart failure, and arrhythmia parameters in patients with systolic congestive heart failure (SCHF) and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) following descent and stay at the Dead Sea.

Methods: The study group comprised patients with SCHF, New York Heart Association functional class II-III after ICD implantation. The following parameters were tested at sea level one week prior to the descent, during a 4 day stay at the Dead Sea, and one week after return: blood pressure, O2 saturation, ejection fraction (echocardiography), weight, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), arrhythmias, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), and QoL assessed by the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure questionnaire.

Results: We evaluated 19 patients, age 65.3 ± 9.6 years, of whom 16 (84%) were males and 18 (95%) had ICD-cardiac resynchronization therapy. The trip to and from and the stay at the Dead Sea were uneventful and well tolerated. The QoL score improved by 11 points, and the 6 minute walk increased by 63 meters (P < 0.001). BNP levels slightly increased with no statistical significance. The HRV decreased (P = 0.018). There were no significant changes in blood pressure, weight, O2 saturation or ejection fraction.

Conclusions: Descent to, ascent from, and stay at the Dead Sea resort are safe and might be beneficial in some aspects for patients with sCHF and an ICD.
 

July 2009
S. Schwartzenberg, J. Sherez, D. Wexler, G. Aviram and G. Keren

Isolated ventricular non-compaction is a frequently underdiagnosed rare congenital cardiomyopathy. The importance of diagnosing this cardiomyopathy lies especially in asymptomatic patients, screening relatives of index cases in order to focus on their follow-up and searching for criteria warranting prophylactic anticoagulation, implantable cardioverter defibrillator and anti-remodeling drugs such as angiotensin-converting inhibitors. We present the clinical and imaging characteristics of this entity and discuss some of the therapeutic dilemmas involving these patients.
 

May 2009
A. Blum

Experimental and clinical data suggest a causal relationship between immunological and inflammatory processes and heart failure. Inflammatory processes may be involved in the pathogenesis of heart failure and may play a role in the progression of ventricular dysfunction. In the last decade several immunological methods were developed that tried to address these questions and overcome the inflammatory and immunological insults. We hope that the present review will increase awareness of new treatment options and encourage researchers and physicians to investigate this novel approach to treat patients with heart failure.
 

December 2008
Y. Michowitz, S. Kisil, H. Guzner-Gur, A. Rubinstein, D. Wexler, D. Sheps, G. Keren, J. George

Background: Myeloperoxidase levels were shown to reflect endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, atherosclerosis and oxidative stress.

Objectives: To examine the role of circulating myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte-derived enzyme, as a predictor of mortality in patients with congestive heart failure.

Methods: Baseline serum MPO[1] levels were measured in 285 consecutive CHF[2] patients and 35 healthy volunteers. N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and high sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations were also measured. The primary outcome endpoint was overall mortality.

Results: MPO levels were significantly elevated in patients with CHF compared to healthy volunteers (P = 0.01). During a mean follow-up of 40.9 ± 11.3 months there were 106 deaths. On a univariate Cox regression analysis MPO levels were of marginal value (P = 0.07) whereas NT-proBNP[3] was of considerable value (P < 0.0001) in predicting all-cause mortality. By dividing our cohort according to NT-proBNP levels into high, intermediate and low risk groups a clear difference in mortality was shown. By further dividing the patient cohort according to MPO levels above or below the median (122.5 ng/ml), mortality prediction improved in the patients with intermediate NT-proBNP values.


Conclusions: MPO levels are elevated in CHF and correlate with disease severity. MPO has an additive predictive value on mortality in patients with intermediate NT-proBNP levels.

 


 


[1] MPO = myeloperoxidase

[2] CHF = congestive heart failure

[3] NT-proBNP = N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide

March 2008
I. Gotsman, S. Rubonivich and T. Azaz-Livshits

Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers improve prognosis in congestive heart failure and are the treatment of choice in these patients; despite this, the rates of ACE-I[1] usage in heart failure patients remain low in clinical practice.

Objectives: To evaluate the rate of ACE-I/ARB[2] treatment in hospitalized patients with CHF[3], and analyze the reasons for non-treatment.

Methods: We prospectively evaluated 362 consecutive patients hospitalized with CHF. Patients were evaluated for ACE-I/ARB usage at discharge and were followed for 1 year.

Results: At hospital discharge 70% of the patients were prescribed ACE-I/ARB treatment. Only 69% received recommended target or sub-target dosages, proven to improve prognosis. This decreased to 63% and 59% at 6 months and 12 months of follow-up respectively, due to a shift from sub-target levels to low dosages. Justified reasons for under-treatment were apparent in only 25% not optimally treated discharged patients and this decreased to 12% and 4% at 6 and 12 months follow-up, respectively. Common reasons for non-treatment at discharge were hyperkalemia and elevation in serum creatinine, while hypotension and cough were more prominent at follow-up. Clinical parameters associated with increased treatment rates were ischemic heart disease and the absence of chronic renal failure. Patients receiving treatment had lower hospitalization and mortality rates.

Conclusions: ACE-I/ARB treatment is still underutilized in patients discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of CHF. Increasing the awareness of the importance of these drugs may increase the number of patients treated.






[1] ACE-I = angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors

[2] ARB = angiotensin receptor blockers

[3] CHF = congestive heart failure


June 2006
A. Glick, Y. Michowitz, G. Keren and J. George
 Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy is a modality with proven morbidity and mortality benefit in advanced systolic heart failure. Nevertheless, not all patients respond favorably to CRT[1]. Natriuretic peptides and inflammatory markers are elevated in congestive heart failure and reflect disease severity.

Objectives: To test whether an early change in neurohormonal and inflammatory markers after implantation can predict the clinical response to CRT.

Methods: The study group included 32 patients with advanced symptomatic systolic heart failure and a prolonged QRS complex and who were assigned to undergo CRT. Baseline plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide and high sensitivity C-reactive protein were determined in the peripheral venous blood and coronary sinus. Post-implantation levels were determined 2 weeks post-procedure in the PVB[2]. Baseline levels and their change in 2 weeks were correlated with all-cause mortality and hospitalization for congestive heart failure.

Results: At baseline, coronary sinus levels of BNP[3] but not hsCRP[4] were significanly elevated compared to the PVB. Compared to baseline levels, BNP and hsCRP decreased significantly within 2 weeks after the implantation (BNP mean difference 229.1 ± 102.5 pg/ml, 95% confidence interval 24.2–434, P < 0.0001; hsCRP mean difference 5.2 ± 2.4 mg/dl, 95% CI[5] 0.3–10.1, P = 0.001). During a mean follow-up of 17.7 ± 8.2 months 6 patients died (18.7%) and 12 (37.5%) were hospitalized due to exacerbation of CHF[6]. Baseline New York Heart Association and CS[7] BNP levels predicted CHF-related hospitalizations. HsCRP levels or their change over 2 weeks did not predict all-cause mortality or hospitalizations.

Conclusions: BNP levels in the CS and peripheral venous blood during biventricular implantation and 2 weeks afterwards predict cilinical response and may guide patient management.


 





[1] CRT = cardiac resynchronization therapy

[2] PVB = peripheral venous blood

[3] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide

[4] hs-CRP = high sensitivity C-reactive protein

[5] CI = confidence interval

[6] CHF = congestive heart failure

[7] CS = coronary sinus


March 2006
D. Bar-Zohar, B. Sagie, N. Lubezky, M. Blum, J. Klausner and S. Abu-Abeid

Background: Peritoneal dialysis is a widely accepted route for renal replacement. With the advent of endoscopy, many surgical techniques for the prevention of catheter failure have been proposed.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic Tenckhoff catheter implantation, using the pelvic fixation technique.

Methods: Data analysis was retrospective. All procedures were performed under general anesthesia. A double-cuffed catheter was inserted using two 5 mm trocars and one 10 mm trocar, fixing its internal tip to the dome of the bladder and its inner cuff to the fascia. Catheter failure was defined as persistent peritonitis/exit-site/tunnel infection, severe dialysate leak, migration or outflow obstruction.

Results: LTCI[1] was performed in 34 patients. Mean patient age was 65 ± 17 years. In 12 of the 34 patients the indication for LTCI was end-stage renal failure combined with NYHA class IV congestive heart failure. Operative time was 35 ± 15 minutes. A previous laparotomy was performed in 9 patients. Hospital stay was 1.5 ± 0.6 days. The first continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis was performed after 20 ± 12 days. Median follow-up time was 13 months. There were several complications, including 5 (14%) exit-site/tunnel infections, 27 episodes (0.05 per patient-month) of bacterial peritonitis, 3 (9%) incisional hernias, 1 case of fatal intraabdominal bleeding, 2 (5.8%) catheter migrations (functionally significant), and 10 (30%) cases of catheter plugging, 8 of which were treated successfully by instillation of urokinase and 2 surgically. A complication-mandated surgery was performed in 8 patients (23.5%). The 1 year failure-free rate of the catheter was 80.8%. One fatal intraabdominal bleeding was recorded.
Conclusions: LTCI is safe, obviating the need for laparotomy in high risk patients. Catheter fixation to the bladder may prevent common mechanical failures







[1] LTCI = laparoscopic Tenckhoff catheter implantation


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