• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

Search results


February 2024
David J. Ozeri MD, Adiel Cohen MD, Noa Bacharach MD, Offir Ukashi MD, Amit Oppenheim MD

Background: Completing internal medicine specialty training in Israel involves passing the Israel National Internal Medicine Exam (Shlav Aleph), a challenging multiple-choice test. multiple-choice test. Chat generative pre-trained transformer (ChatGPT) 3.5, a language model, is increasingly used for exam preparation.

Objectives: To assess the ability of ChatGPT 3.5 to pass the Israel National Internal Medicine Exam in Hebrew.

Methods: Using the 2023 Shlav Aleph exam questions, ChatGPT received prompts in Hebrew. Textual questions were analyzed after the appeal, comparing its answers to the official key.

Results: ChatGPT 3.5 correctly answered 36.6% of the 133 analyzed questions, with consistent performance across topics, except for challenges in nephrology and biostatistics.

Conclusions: While ChatGPT 3.5 has excelled in English medical exams, its performance in the Hebrew Shlav Aleph was suboptimal. Factors include limited training data in Hebrew, translation complexities, and unique language structures. Further investigation is essential for its effective adaptation to Hebrew medical exam preparation.

December 2023
Ron Ben Elyahu MD, Basel Khateeb MD, Eyal Yaacobi MD, Ezequiel Palmanovich MD, Omer Marom MD, David Segal MD, Michael Markushevich MD, Nissim Ohana MD, Yaron S. Brin MD

Background: Hip fractures are a public health problem that disproportionately affects the elderly. Displaced femoral neck fractures were treated historically with hemiarthroplasty, but the use of total hip arthroplasty (THA) is increasing showing superior long-term results.

Objectives: To assess whether THA has superior short-term results compared to bipolar hemiarthroplasty for displaced femoral neck fractures.

Methods: Two groups of active older patients underwent either cementless bipolar hemiarthroplasty or THA for displaced femoral neck fracture. All patients were operated on using the direct lateral approach to the hip joint. Patients were assessed using the Harris Hip Score at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up.

Results: We included 40 patients ages 65–85 years; 18 underwent bipolar hemiarthroplasty and 22 THA. The number of women in each group was similar, as was mean age: 73.1 ± 4.2 years in the hemiarthroplasty group and 71.0 ± 3.7 in THA. Harris Hip Score on hospital discharge was similar in both groups. Walking ability at discharge was better in the THA cohort and they were discharged sooner: 5.2 ± 1.3 vs. 6.4 ± 1.7 days following hemiarthroplasty (P = 0.021). At 6 weeks follow-up, the mean Harris Hip Score was higher in the THA group (78.6 ± 11 vs. 61.5 ± 17 for hemiarthroplasty, P < 0.001). Patients in the THA group walked longer distances, needed less support while walking, and reported less pain.

Conclusions: Better short-term results at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up after THA contributed to earlier patient independence and shorter hospital stays.

Ehud Galron MD, Rayna Boyarsky MD, Ido Solt MD, Chen Ben David MD, Eyal Gal MD

Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-based reaction to dietary gluten. CD can present with a diverse array of symptoms. Many CD patients have no symptoms at all. Thus, a great number of atypical cases of CD remain undiagnosed, leading to a risk of long-term complications. Some atypical symptoms of CD such as pregnancy complications, infertility, recurrent abortions, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm delivery, and severe preeclampsia have been investigated in undiagnosed and diagnosed pregnant women with CD. Nutrient deficiency and autoimmune pathogenic mechanisms have been hypothesized to be the explanation of these adverse pregnancy outcomes. Recently, an association between obstetric complications and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies titers in women with CD has been reported. While the adverse effects of CD on the reproductive system are well investigated, there are only a few reports in the literature on the effect of pregnancy and puerperium on CD. We reviewed the published literature on the adverse effects and pathophysiology of CD in reproductive disorders and the effect of pregnancy and puerperium on the manifestation of CD.

Yael Weintraub MD, Raffi Lev-Tzion MD, Jacob Ollech MD, Hagar Olshaker MD, Irit Rosen MD, Shlomi Cohen MD, David Varssano MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Manar Matar MD

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) medications are the most frequently used biologicals to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Little is known about the ocular side effects of this drug category. We present a case series of six young patients with Crohn disease (CD) and no previous ophthalmologic manifestations who developed blepharitis after commencing treatment with anti-TNFα therapy. Six otherwise healthy patients with CD, with no history of allergies or prior ocular complaints, developed blepharitis at a median of 7.5 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα therapy. All ophthalmic findings were treated topically. The ocular symptoms of two of the patients resolved shortly after discontinuation of the anti-TNFα treatment. The other four presented with relapsing-remitting symptoms. Blepharitis is a common ocular disease in the general population and an extra-intestinal manifestation in patients with IBD. It may be an adverse effect of anti-TNFα therapy in this patient population.

October 2023
Andreza Rosa Cabral MS, Josy Davidson PhD, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease characterized by synovitis leading to polyarthritis. It affects 1% of the population [1]. Genetic and environmental factors are linked to the development of RA and include the presence of HLA-DR4 and shared epitope, and smoking is the primary representative of the negative environmental factor [1].

However, RA mainly affects middle age. Late-onset RA that initiates after 60 years is sometimes named elderly onset rheumatoid arthritis (EORA) [2]. This disease's prevalence varied from 2.03% to 2.34% in a large study in the United States. EORA affects more women than men [1]. However, to the best of our knowledge, no patient description of RA initiated at 97 years of age has been described.

Milena Tocut MD, David Linton MD, Gisele Zandman-Goddard MD

Patients with severe ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke may require invasive mechanical ventilation due to loss of consciousness and increased risk for aspiration pneumonia secondary to new onset dysphagia. Ventilation may also confer airway protection until the patient stabilizes [1]. Mechanically intubated stroke patients who are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) have a poor prognosis and a 40–80 % mortality rate [2]. Proceeding to tracheostomy is mandatory in stroke patients to ease the procedure of respiratory weaning and extubation [1]. In the stroke ICU, between 15% and 35% of the mechanically intubated patients cannot proceed to tracheostomy due to weaning and extubation failure [3].

September 2023
Shlomit Tamir MD, Marva Dahan Shemesh MD, David Margel MD, Yaara Bar PhD, Maxim Yakimov MD, Yael Rapson MD, Ahuva Grubstein MD, Eli Atar MD, Ofer Benjaminov MD

Background: Age-related changes in multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) of the prostate have been reported in the general population but not in screening cohorts.

Objectives: To evaluate age-related changes on prostatic mpMRI in a screening cohort of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Methods: Asymptomatic BRCA1/2 mutation carriers underwent mpMRI as part of a screening program. All included patients were followed for 3 years with no evidence of prostate cancer. mpMRIs were retrospectively evaluated by two abdominal radiologists for peripheral zone (PZ) patterns on T2 (homogenous hyperintensity, wedge-shaped hypointensities, patchy hypointensities, or diffuse hypointensity), and transition zone (TZ) pattern on T2 (homogenous, heterogeneous, nodular). Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of PZ and TZ were measured. Statistical analysis was performed using a predefined age cutoff of 50 years old.

Results: Overall, 92 patients were included: 38 in the younger age group (40–49 years) and 54 in the older age group (50–69 years). PZ homogenous hyperintensity and wedge-shaped hypointensities were more common in the older patients, whereas diffuse hypointensity was more common in younger patients (P < 0.001 for both readers) with substantial inter-reader agreement between the readers (kappa=0.643). ADC values were lower in young patients in the PZ (P < 0.001) and TZ (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Age-related differences in mpMRI were validated in BRCA mutation carriers. As some features overlap with prostatic carcinoma, awareness is crucial, specifically to diffuse T2 hypointensities of the PZ and lower ADC values in the PZ and TZ, which are more common in younger patients.

Tamar Beck MD, Eyal Aviran MD, Shelly Cohn MD, David Goitein MD

Background: Long-term outcome data for bariatric surgery in patients with severe obesity (SO) (body mass index [BMI] ³ 50 kg/m2) are scarce.

Objectives: To compare perioperative morbidity and long-term outcomes between patients with SO and non-SO (NSO).

Methods: Patients with SO who underwent primary bariatric surgery with a follow-up ³ 5 years were age- and gender-matched with NSO patients in a retrospective, case-control study. Data included demographics, BMI, co-morbidities, early outcomes, current and nadir weight, co-morbidity status, and general satisfaction.

Results: Of 178 patients, 49.4% were male, mean age 44.5 ± 14 years. Mean preoperative BMI was 54.7 ± 3.6 and 41.8 ± 3.8 kg/m2 in SO and NSO, respectively (P = 0.02). Groups were similar in preoperative characteristics. Depression/anxiety was more prevalent in NSO (12.4% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.03). Obstructive sleep apnea was higher in SO (21.3% vs. 10.1%, P = 0.04). Sleeve gastrectomy was performed most often (80.9%), with a tendency toward bypass in SO (P = 0.05). Early complication rates were: 13.5% in SO and 12.4% in NSO (P = 0.82). Mean follow-up was 80.4 ± 13.3 months. BMI reduction was higher in SO (31.8 ± 5.9 vs. 26.8 ± 4.2 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and time to nadir weight was longer (22.1 ± 21.3 vs. 13.0 ± 12.0 months, P = 0.001). Co-morbidity improvement and satisfaction were similar.

Conclusions: Patients with SO benefited from bariatric surgery with reduced BMI and fewer co-morbidities. No added risk of operative complications was found compared to patients with NSO.

August 2023
Maya Shina MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Guy Rozen MD MHA, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, David Planer MD, Ronny Alcalai MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC, Offer Amir MD FACC

Background: Among the most frequent complications following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is hemostasis imbalance that presents either as thromboembolic or bleeding. Deviations in platelet count (PC) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are markers of hemostasis imbalance.

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of pre- and post-procedural PC and MPV fL 1-year all-cause mortality in patients who underwent TAVR.

Methods: In this population-based study, we included 236 TAVR patients treated at the Tzafon Medical Center between 1 June 2015 and 31 August 2018. Routine blood samples for serum PC levels and MPV fL were taken just before the TAVR and 24-hour post-TAVR. We used backward regression models to evaluate the predictive value of PC and MPV in all-cause mortality in TAVR patients.

Results: In this study cohort, MPV levels 24-hour post-TAVR that were greater than the cohort median of 9 fL (interquartile range 8.5–9.8) were the strongest predictor of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.343, 95% confidence interval 1.059–1.703, P-value 0.015). A statistically significant relationship was seen in the unadjusted regression model as well as after the adjustment for clinical variables.

Conclusions: Serum MPV levels fL 24-hour post-procedure were found to be meaningful markers in predicting 1-year all-cause mortality in patients after TAVR.

Hila Nochomovitz MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Ori Elkayam MD PhD, David Zeltser MD, Itzhak Shapira MD, Ori Rogowski MD, Smadar Gertel PhD, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty PhD, Victoria Furer MD

Background: The parasympathetic system and its main neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, contributes to homeostasis of inflammation. Cholinergic dysregulation is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has not been investigated.

Objectives: To compare the cholinesterase activity in patients with PsA and immunocompetent controls and to explore the correlation between cholinergic status (CS) and PsA disease activity.

Methods: Serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and total cholinesterase activity were measured in patients with PsA (n=88) and matched controls (n=84). Cholinergic activity before and 3–6 months after the initiation of a biologic treatment was evaluated in seven patients with PsA.

Results: The levels of AChE and CS were similar in both PsA patients and controls. PsA patients treated with biologics had significantly lower levels of AChE and CS compared to patients treated with non-biologics: 447.4 vs. 526 substrate hydrolyzed/min/ml, P = 0.005, and 1360.9 vs. 1536, P = 0.029, respectively. We found an association between C-reactive protein levels, AChE activity (r = 0.291, P = 0.008), and cholinergic status (r = 0.247, P = 0.026) in patients with PsA but not in controls. No correlation between AChE activity, cholinergic status, and the indices of PsA disease activity was found. After initiating or switching biologic treatment in 7 patients, AChE levels remained stable.

Conclusions: We demonstrated similar cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis and controls, highlighting a potential effect of biologic treatment on cholinergic activity in patients with PsA.

Netta Shoenfeld BA, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, David R. Serfaty MD, Revital Mann MD, Bat-Sheva Porat Katz MD, Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: While several studies have noted smell impairment in schizophrenia, it is unclear whether this impairment extends to acute psychosis and whether it is associated with more severe illness as expressed in extended hospitalization.

Objectives: To evaluate the olfactory function of patients in an acute psychotic state and correlate it with clinical symptomatology and length of hospitalization.

Methods: Olfactory function was assessed in 20 patients with schizophrenia in their first week of hospital admission for acute psychosis compared with matched controls. Olfaction was evaluated via three stages: threshold, discrimination, and identification of different odors utilizing the Sniffin' Sticks test battery.

Results: Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower on total smell score, discrimination, and identification abilities. A significant association was observed between hospitalization duration and total smell score and smell discrimination. No significant associations between smell and clinical symptomatology were observed.

Conclusions: Study observations confirm impaired sense of smell in schizophrenia patients and suggest that smell impairment may be a potential marker of more serious illness as expressed in longer hospital stay.

Ori Wand MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Shitrit MD

Biological therapies with monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the management of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Combining biological treatments is very rarely indicated and may theoretically result in severe adverse effects, specifically, an increased tendency toward infectious diseases. We present the case of a woman in whom combination therapy with canakinumab for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and mepolizumab for chronic eosinophilic pneumonia was successfully employed.

Roy Bitan MD, Ophir Freund MD, David Zeltser MD, Sivan Ebril MD

Acute or chronic aortic dissection is considered a rare emergency, with an estimated rate of 2.9 to 5 cases per 100,000 patients each year. This condition is most prevalent in males older than 65 years of age with a history of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and previous cardiac surgery [1,2]. To confirm the diagnosis, imaging is used, often by computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the chest. Although prompt treatment is required, patients often present with non-specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain or neurologic deficits, resulting in the early diagnosis of less than 20% and a high mortality rate [1].

July 2023
Michael Goldenshluger MD, Carmel Margalit BSc, Afek Kodesh MS4, Ephraim Katz MD, David Hazzan MD, Lior Segev MD

Background: Perianal abscesses require immediate incision and drainage (I&D). However, prompt bedside drainage is controversial as it may compromise exposure and thorough anal examination.

Objectives: To examine outcomes of bedside I&D of perianal abscesses in the emergency department (ED) vs. the operating room (OR).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all patients presented to the ED with a perianal abscesses between January 2018 and March 2020. Patients with Crohn’s disease, horseshoe or recurrent abscesses were excluded.

Results: The study comprised 248 patients; 151 (60.89%) underwent I&D in the OR and 97 (39.11%) in the ED. Patients elected to bedside I&D had smaller abscess sizes (P = 0.01), presented with no fever, and had lower rates of inflammatory markers. The interval time from diagnosis to intervention was significantly shorter among the bedside I&D group 2.13 ± 2.34 hours vs. 10.41 ± 8.48 hours (P < 0.001). Of patients who underwent I&D in the OR, 7.3% had synchronous fistulas, whereas none at bedside had (P = 0.007). At median follow-up of 24 months, recurrence rate of abscess and fistula formation in patients treated in the ED were 11.3% and 6.2%, respectively, vs. 19.9% and 15.23% (P = 0.023, 0.006). Fever (OR 5.71, P = 0.005) and abscess size (OR 1.7, P = 0.026) at initial presentation were risk factors for late fistula formation.

Conclusions: Bedside I&D significantly shortens waiting time and does not increase the rates of long-term complications in patients with small primary perianal abscesses.

June 2023
Mustafa Gabarin MD, Yoav Arnson MD, Yoram Neuman MD, Ziad Arow MD, Abid Assali MD, David Pereg MD

Background: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are the treatment of choice for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation; however, bleeding risk remains significant. We reported a single-center experience with 11 patients who presented with hemorrhagic cardiac tamponade while treated with DOACs.

Objectives: To evaluate the characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients under DOACs with cardiac tamponade.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 11 patients treated with DOACs admitted with pericardial tamponade in our cardiology unit during 2018–2021.

Results: The mean age was 84 ± 4 years; 7 males. Atrial fibrillation was the indication for anticoagulation in all cases. DOACs included apixaban (8 patients), dabigatran (2 patients), and rivaroxaban (1 patient). Urgent pericardiocentesis via a subxiphoid approach under echocardiography guidance was successfully performed in 10 patients. One patient was treated with urgent surgical drainage with a pericardial window. Reversal of anticoagulation using prothrombin complex concentrate and idarucizumab was given before the procedure to 6 patients treated with apixaban and one patient treated with dabigatran. One patient, initially treated with urgent pericardiocentesis, underwent pericardial window surgery due to re-accumulation of blood in the pericardium. The pericardial fluid analysis demonstrated hemopericardium. Cytology tests were negative for malignant cells in all cases. Discharge diagnoses regarding the cause of hemopericardium included pericarditis (3 patients) and idiopathic (8 patients). Medical therapy included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (1 patient), colchicine (3 patients), and steroids (3 patients). No patient died during hospitalization.

Conclusions: Hemorrhagic cardiac tamponade is a rare complication of DOACs. We found good short-term prognosis following pericardiocentesis.

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel