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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

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April 2024
Raymond Farah MD, Dvir Novak MD, Rola Khamisy-Farah MD

Background: Syncope is responsible for approximately 1–3% of all emergency department (ED) visits and up to 6% of all hospital admissions in the United States. Although often of no long-term consequence, syncope can be the first presentation of a range of serious conditions such as strokes, tumors, or subarachnoid hemorrhages. Head computed tomography (CT) scanning is therefore commonly ordered in the ED for patients presenting with syncope to rule out any of these conditions, which may present without other associated physical or neurological findings on initial examination. However, the diagnostic yield of head CTs in patients presenting with syncope is unclear.

Objectives: To determine the diagnostic yield of head CT in the ED in patients with syncope.

Methods: We conducted an observational analytical retrospective cross-sectional study on 360 patients diagnosed with syncope who underwent a head CT to determine the diagnostic yield of syncope to determine whether head CT is necessary for every patient presenting with syncope to the ED.

Results: The total of new CT findings was 11.4%. Percentages varied between men (12.8%) and women (9.7%), P = 0.353. There were no significant differences between sexes regarding the findings in head CT, yet the incidence increased, especially among elderly males.

Conclusions: Age had a more significant impact on diagnostic yield of syncope than head CT. The use of a head CT scan as a routine diagnosis tool in patients with syncope is unjustifiable unless there is an indication based on medical history or physical examination.

Eden Gerszman MD, Esther Kazlow MD, Victoria Vlasov MD, Dvir Froylich MD, Jacob Dickstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Ahmad Mahamid MD

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a group of rare, heterogenous neoplasms that maintain unique morphologic and clinical features of neuroendocrine neoplasia and account for approximately 0.5% of all newly diagnosed malignancies. NETs are divided into two groups based on their histopathological morphology: well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs). Well differentiated NETs are classified as G1, G2, or G3 based on their proliferation rate, whereas NECs are highly proliferative and poorly differentiated by definition [1]. Neuroendocrine neoplasms can occur almost anywhere in the body; however, they are most often seen in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and lungs [2]. The extrahepatic bile duct is one of the rarest primary sites for NETs, accounting for 0.1% to 0.2% of NETs of the gastrointestinal tract [3]. Signet ring cell bile duct NETs are extremely uncommon and have no established incidence and prognosis due to their rarity. There is sparse information available regarding these tumors, and only a few cases have been reported in the literature to date. In this report, we presented the clinical course and surgical management of a 31-year-old female patient with a Klatskin signet ring cell NET.

February 2024
Yoad M. Dvir, Arnon Blum MD MSc

In this special issue of Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) we expose readers to the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine. AI has become a powerful tool, which enables healthcare professionals to personalize treatment based on many factors, including genetic analyses of tumors, and to consider other co-morbidities affecting a specific patient. AI gives physicians the ability to analyze huge amounts of data and to combine data from different sources. AI can be implemented make a diagnosis based on computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans using deep machine learning and data that are stored in the memory of mega computers. AI assists in tailoring more precise surgery to train surgeons before surgery and to support surgeons during procedures. This advancement may benefit surgical procedures by making them more accurate and faster without cutting unnecessary tissues (e.g., nerves and blood vessels); thus, patients face fewer complications, lower rates of infection, and more operation theater time. In this issue, we include three original studies that describe the use of AI in academia and eight review articles that discuss applications of AI in different specialties in medicine. One of the review articles addresses ethical issues and concerns that are raised due to the more advanced use of AI in medicine.

Yoad M. Dvir, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

In the grand theater of modern medicine, artificial intelligence (AI) has swiped the lead role, with a performance so riveting it deserves an Oscar, or at least a Nobel. From the intricate labyrinths of our arteries to the profound depths of our peepers, AI is the new maestro, conducting symphonies of data with the finesse of a seasoned virtuoso [1,2].

Sotirios G. Tsiogkas MD, Yoad M. Dvir, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos MD PhD

Over the last decade the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has reformed academic research. While clinical diagnosis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is largely straightforward, the determining factors of a clinical response to therapy, and specifically to biologic agents, have not yet been found. AI may meaningfully impact attempts to unravel the prognostic factors that affect response to therapy, assist experimental techniques being used to investigate immune cell populations, examine whether these populations are associated with treatment responses, and incorporate immunophenotype data in prediction models. The aim of this mini review was to present the current state of the AI-mediated attempts in the field. We executed a Medline search in October 2023. Selection and presentation of studies were conducted following the principles of a narrative–review design. We present data regarding the impact AI can have on the management of psoriatic disease by predicting responses utilizing clinical or biological parameters. We also reviewed the ways AI has been implemented to assist development of models that revolutionize the investigation of peripheral immune cell subsets that can be used as biomarkers of response to biologic treatment. Last, we discussed future perspectives and ethical considerations regarding the use of machine learning models in the management of immune-mediated diseases.

December 2023
Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

December 2020
Michael Peled MD, Jair Bar MD, Liat Avni MD, Sumit Chatterji MD, Dafna Somech MD, Addie Dvir MD, Lior Soussan-Gutman MD, and Amir Onn MD

Background: Guidelines recommend testing for multiple biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. Blood-based liquid biopsy analyzing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could be used in addition to tumor biopsy genotyping, especially if tissue/time are limiting.

Objectives: To investigate the clinical utility of early cfDNA analysis (Guardant360® CDx) in treatment-naïve NSCLC patients.

Methods: A prospective cohort of treatment-naïve patients with metastatic NSCLC who underwent tumor and cfDNA analysis between 12/2018 and 2/2019 were included.

Results: Ten patients were included: 6 males, median age 70.5 years (range 48–87), 8 prior smokers. Liquid biopsy was sent when cancer cells were detected in the biopsy specimen. Median time from diagnosis to receiving the report on the last biomarker from the tumor biopsy was 20 days (range 9–34); median time from blood draw to receiving the cfDNA findings was 9 days (range 7–12). The median difference between the cfDNA and the tumor analysis reports was 20 days (range 9–28). Actionable biomarkers were identified in four patients by both the biopsy analysis and the cfDNA analysis (2cases with EGFR mutations, one with ROS1 fusion, and one with EML4-ALK fusion for whom the biopsy analysis also identified an EGFR mutation not detected in the cfDNA analysis). Overall, eight patients received treatment (2 died before treatment initiation). Three patients received biomarker-based treatment (1 osimertinib, 1 alectinib, and 1 crizotinib).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that cfDNA analysis should be ordered by the pulmonologists early in the evaluation of patients with NSCLC, which might complement the tumor biopsy.

December 2018
Dvir Shalem, Asaf Shemer, Ora Shovman MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR and Shaye Kivity MD

Background: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disease of the peripheral nervous system with a typical presentation of acute paralysis and hyporeflexia. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (PLEX) are treatments that have proven to expedite recuperation and recovery of motor function.

Objectives: To describe our experience at one tertiary medical center treating GBS with IVIG and to compare the efficacy of IVIG as the sole treatment versus combined therapy of IVIG and plasma exchange.

Methods: We reviewed the records of all patients diagnosed with GBS and treated with IVIG at the Sheba Medical Center from 2007 to 2015 and collected data on patient demographics, disease onset and presentation, and treatments delivered. The motor disability grading scale (MDGS) was used to evaluate the motor function of each patient through the various stages of the disease and following therapy.

Results: MDGS improvement from admission until discharge was statistically significant (P < 0.001), as was the regainment of motor functions at 3 and 12 months follow-up compared to the status during the nadir of the disease. The effectiveness of second-line treatment with IVIG following PLEX failure and vice versa was not statistically significant (P > 0.15).

Conclusions: The majority of patients included in this study experienced a significant and rapid improvement of GBS following treatment with IVIG. Combined therapy of PLEX and IVIG was not proven to be effective in patients who encountered a failure of the first-line treatment.

May 2014
Mihai Meirovitz MD, Dvir Gatt BSc, Jacob Dreiher MD MPH and Ruthy Shaco-Levy MD

Background: The "see and treat" approach, proceeding without a biopsy directly to uterine cervix conization in women diagnosed with high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HGSIL) on Pap smear, shortens the treatment duration, lessens patient anxiety, and reduces health care costs.

Objectives: To evaluate the level of diagnostic accuracy and the over-treatment rate in the "see and treat" versus conventional management of women diagnosed with HGSIL.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all women with HGSIL who had undergone the "see and treat" approach during 2001–2011 at Soroka University Medical Center. Similar cohorts, who were managed conventionally with a cervical biopsy prior to the conization, served as a comparison group.

Results: The study population consisted of 403 women: 72 (18%) had undergone the "see and treat" approach and 331 (82%) conventional management. The false positive rate was 11% for the "see and treat" group, compared to 6% for the conventional management group (P = 0.162). Similarly, no statistically significant difference was observed when comparing the positive predictive value (PPV) of high grade dysplasia diagnosed on Pap smear (PPV 88.9%) versus cervical biopsy (PPV 93.8%) (P = 0.204). Moreover, both the false positive rate and PPV remained similar in subgroups of patients, according to age, menopausal status, number of births, and colposcopy findings.

Conclusions: The accuracy level of HGSIL diagnosis on Pap smear is similar to that of high grade dysplasia on a cervical biopsy. We therefore recommend referring patients with HGSIL directly to conization. Skipping the biopsy step was not associated with significant over-treatment or other adverse effects. 

March 2011
O. Beyar Katz, A. Ben Barak, G. Abrahami, N. Arad, Y. Burstein, R. Dvir, S. Fischer, J. Kapelushnik, H. Kaplinsky, A. Toren, S. Vilk-Revel, M. Weintraub, I. Yaniv, S. Linn, B. Futerman and M. Weyl Ben-Arush

Background: Survival in T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma has improved over the past 30 years, largely due to treatment protocols derived from regimens designed for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Objectives: To assess the outcome of the NHL-BFM-95 protocol in children and adolescents hospitalized during the period 1999–2006.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective multi-institutional, non-randomized study of children and adolescents up to age 21 with T cell lymphoma admitted to pediatric departments in six hospitals in Israel, with regard to prevalence, clinical characteristics, pathological characteristics, prognostic factors, overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS). All patients had a minimal follow-up of one year after diagnosis. The study was based on the NHL[1]-BFM[2]-95 protocol.

Results: At a median follow-up of 4 years (range 1–9 years), OS and EFS for all patients was 86.5% and 83.8%, respectively. OS was 86.7% and 83.3% for patients with stage III and stage IV, respectively, and EFS was 83.3% and 83.3%, respectively. EFS was 62.5% for Arab patients and 89.7% for Jewish patients (P = 0.014). Patients who did not express CD45 antigen showed superior survival (P = 0.028). Five (13.5%) patients relapsed, four of whom died of their disease. Death as a consequence of therapy toxicity was documented in one patient while on the re-induction protocol (protocol IIA).

Conclusions: Our study shows that OS and EFS for all patients was 86.5% and 83.8%, respectively.

[1] NHL = non-Hodgkin lymphoma

[2] BFM = Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster

October 2010
D. Froylich, E. Shiloni, O. Lavie, A. Neumann, E. Vlodavsky and D. Hazzan
August 2010
H. Danenberg, A. Finkelstein, R. Kornowski, A. Segev, D. Dvir, D. Gilon, G. Keren, A. Sagie, M. Feinberg, E. Schwammenthal, S. Banai, C. Lotan and V. Guetta

Background: The prevalence of aortic stenosis increases with advancing age. Once symptoms occur the prognosis in patients with severe aortic stenosis is poor. The current and recommended treatment of choice for these patients is surgical aortic valve replacement. However, many patients, mainly the very elderly and those with major comorbidities, are considered to be at high surgical risk and are therefore denied treatment. Recently, a transcatheter alternative to surgical AVR[1] has emerged.

Objectives: To describe the first year experience and 30 day outcome of transcatheter aortic self-expandable CoreValve implantation in Israel.

Methods: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve system has been performed in Israel since September 2008. In the following year 55 patients underwent CoreValve TAVI[2] in four Israeli centers.

Results: Patients' mean age was 81.7 ± 7.1 years; there were 35 females and 20 males. The mean valve area by echocardiogram was 0.63 ± 0.16 cm2. The calculated mean logistic Euroscore was 19.3 ± 8%. Following TAVI, mean transvalvular gradient decreased from baseline levels of 51 ± 13 to 9 ± 3 mmHg. The rate of procedural success was 98%. One patient died on the first day post-procedure (1.8%) and all-cause 30 day mortality was 5.5% (3 of 55 patients). One patient had a significant post-procedural aortic regurgitation of > grade 2. Symptomatic improvement was evident in most patients, with reduction in functional capacity grade from 3.2 ± 0.6 at baseline to 1.4 ± 0.7. The most common post-procedural complication was complete heart block, which necessitated permanent pacemaker implantation in 37% of patients.

Conclusions: The Israeli first year experience of transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve self-expandable system demonstrates an effective and safe procedure for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis in patients at high surgical risk.

[1] AVR = aortic valve replacement

[2] TAVI = transcatheter aortic valve implantation

July 2009
D. Dvir, R. Beigel, C. Hoffmann, G. Tsarfati, Z. Farfel and R. Pauzner
June 2009
D. Attar-Herzberg, A. Apel, N. Gang, D. Dvir and H. Mayan
April 2009
D. Dvir, A. Assali, H. Vaknin, A. Sagie, Y. Shjapira, A. Battler, E. Porat and R. Kornowski

The incidence of aortic valve stenosis is growing rapidly in the elderly. Nonetheless, many symptomatic patients are not referred for surgery usually because of high surgical risk. Unfortunately, percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty is unsatisfactory due to high recurrence rates. In 2002, Cribier and colleagues were the first to describe percutaneous aortic valve implantation, opening a new era of aortic stenosis management. In the present review we report a patient treated by this novel method, discuss and assess how it is implanated, report the findings of studies conducted to date, and suggest future directions for percutaneous treatment of aortic valve disease.

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