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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

Search results


December 2023
Gabriel Levin MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Yoav Brezinov MD

Background: The Gaza–Israeli conflict poses challenges for unbiased reporting due to its complexity and media bias. We explored recent scientific publications to understand scholarly discourse and potential biases surrounding this longstanding geopolitical issue.

Objectives: To conduct a descriptive bibliometric analysis of PubMed articles regarding the recent Gaza–Israeli conflict.

Methods: We reviewed 1628 publications using keywords and medical subject headings (MeSH) terms related to Gaza, Hamas, and Israel. We focused on articles written in English. A team of researchers assessed inclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through a third researcher.

Results: Among 37 publications, Lancet, BMJ, and Nature were prominent journals. Authors from 12 countries contributed, with variety of publication types (46% correspondence, 32% news). Pro-Gaza perspectives dominated (43.2%), surpassing pro-Israel (21.6%) and neutral (35.1%) viewpoints. Pro-Gaza articles exhibited higher Altmetric scores, indicating increased social media impact. Pro-Israel publications were predominantly authored by Israelis.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pro-Gaza perspectives underscores challenges in maintaining impartiality. Higher social media impact for pro-Gaza publications emphasizes the need for nuanced examination. Addressing bias is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of this complex conflict and promoting balanced reporting.

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.

November 2023
Nitsa Nacasch MD, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Ilanit Wul BA, Michael Polliack MD, Mark Weiser MD

On Saturday, 7 October 2023, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, our entire country woke to a reality of the worst terror attacks it has ever known, despite its long history of wars and terror. These horrific attacks included killing and burning babies, children, women, men, and the elderly; raping women; beheading babies; destroying settlements; and kidnapping more than 240 civilians and soldiers. The severe traumatic events created different circles of those exposed to trauma. In each group, the intensity of the trauma was different and had different characteristics.

Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eilon Ram MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Jonathan Frogal MD, Shany Levin MA, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Unfractionated heparin is the preferred anticoagulant used during open heart surgeries, including left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In cases in which patients are heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive (HIT+), the accepted practice has been to substitute heparin with bivalirudin. This practice may be associated with significant bleeding and adverse outcomes.

Objectives: To review our experience with HIT+ patients who were heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis negative (HITT-) and who underwent HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation using heparin intraoperatively rather than bivalirudin.

Methods: From 2016 to 2022, 144 adult patients were implanted with HeartMate 3 LVAD at our center. Among them, 7 were detected as HIT+ but HITT- and therefore were prescribed intraoperatively with heparin and treated pre- and postoperatively with bivalirudin. We reviewed the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative characteristics as well as short-term mortality and the complication rates of these HIT+ patients.

Results: The median age of our cohort was 56 years (51–60), 71% were male (n=5), all were INTERMACS Level 1, and most were bridged to transplant (n=6, 86%). The 30-day mortality rate post-implantation was 0%. The average 24-hour chest drain postoperative output was 1502.86 ± 931.34 ml. There were no intraoperative pump thromboses, perioperative thromboses, cerebrovascular accidents, or gastrointestinal bleeding within the first 24 hours postoperative. One patient required a revision due to bleeding.

Conclusions: Intraoperative unfractionated heparin may be administered to patients who are HIT+ and HITT- while undergoing LVAD implantation. However, further investigation is required.

October 2023
Susana Mikhail Mustafa MD, Raneen Abu Shqara MD, Maya Frank Wolf MD, Oleg Shnaider MD, Sari Nahir Biderman RN MA, Limor Sharabi MA, Lior Lowenstein MD

Background: The French AmbUlatory Cesarean Section (FAUCS) technique was introduced to the Galilee Medical Center in September 2021. FAUCS was performed electively for interested women who meet the criteria.

Objectives: To evaluate the learning curve of senior surgeons performing FAUCS, the procedure short-term outcomes, and complications.

Methods: This retrospective study included 50 consecutive women who underwent FAUCS from September 2021 until March 2022 at our facility. Preoperative, intraoperative, postoperative, and demographic data were retrieved from patient electronic charts.

Results: The mean duration of surgery was 53.26 ± 11.62 minutes. This time decreased as the surgical team's experience increased: from a mean 58.26 ± 12.25 minutes for the first 15 procedures to a mean 51.17 ± 9.73 minutes for subsequent procedures. The mean visual analogue scale score for 24 hours was 1.08 ± 0.84 (on a 10-point scale). The rate of neonatal cord pH < 7.2 was 6%, and there were 11.3% cases of vacuum assisted fetal extraction. In total, 44% of the women were able to mobilize and urinate spontaneously by 4–6 hours. Complications included bladder injury (n=1), endometritis (n=1), and incisional hematoma (n=1). Overall, the maternal satisfaction rate was high; 94% of the women would recommend FAUCS to others.

Conclusions: FAUCS is a feasible procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Following the first 15 procedures performed by one surgical team, the operative time decreased considerably. Further randomized controlled studies are needed to compare this procedure to regular cesarean section and evaluate neonatal outcomes.

Marina Pekar-Zlotin MD, Natali Zilberman Sharon MD, Yaakov Melcer MD, Yael Tal-Bliman MD, Jodi Ezratty MD, Michal Feingold-Zadok MD, Ran Svirsky MD, Ron Maymon MD

Background: Fetal facial clefts are among the most common congenital anomalies detected prenatally. This finding may lead to termination of pregnancy in some cases.

Objectives: To compare a cohort of fetuses with facial clefts in which the pregnancy was terminated to the cohort of cases that were born with facial clefts. To investigate risk factors for facial clefts.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all women with prenatal and postnatal diagnosis of facial cleft that were managed in our institute. A telephone questionnaire was conducted regarding a positive family history and/or genetic predisposition for facial clefts abnormalities.

Results: The final cohort consisted of two group. One group included 54 cases of termination of pregnancy (TOP) that were performed due to cleft lip (CL) or cleft palate (CLP); 27 women answered the telephone questionnaire. The second group comprised 99 women who delivered children with facial cleft during the same period; 60 answered the questionnaire. Only seven cases were diagnosed prenatal. Among the two groups, no correlation to family history was discovered. Of note, there was one case of three consecutive fetuses with CL in one woman, without any significant genetic findings.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to describe an anatomical malformation posing an ethical dilemma before TOP. Primary prevention with folic acid and early sonographic detection of CL/CLP with multidisciplinary consultation should be considered.

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.

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.

Galit Almoznino DMD MSc MHA MPH, Maayan Sherman DMD, Doron J. Aframian DMD PhD, Yaron Haviv DMD PhD

Migraine is very common headache disorder, usually starting at a young age with a higher prevalence in females. In this narrative review, we summarize the prevalence, burden, and socio-demographic characteristics of migraineurs worldwide and specifically in Israel. We searched standard electronic bibliographic databases, including MEDLINE (via PubMed), Embase, Google Scholar, and Up to Date using combinations of search terms and reviewed the articles we found. The factors reviewed included prevalence and incidence, burden, sex differences, age distribution, cognitive function, socioeconomic status, religion, country of origin, and urban vs. rural dwelling.

August 2023
Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

Recognizing myocarditis is a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge due to the heterogeneity of its clinical presentation and the wide range of etiologies. There is a lack of uniformity among position papers and guidelines from various professional societies regarding the definition and diagnostic workout, including recommendations for performing endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) and medical management, especially the use of immunosuppressive regimens [1-3]. Moreover, there is significant variability among medical centers in Israel in the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to acute myocarditis. The purpose of this position paper is to present ways to standardize the management of acute myocarditis in Israel [4] by providing up-to-date definitions of the clinical categories of myocarditis, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic approaches that correspond to the realities of our healthcare system.

Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

In the position statement on the definition and diagnosis of acute myocarditis on page XXX of this issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ), we discussed contemporary criteria for definition of acute myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathy [1-6]. We also addressed current diagnostic methods including indications for endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) [7-21]. In this position statement, we discuss the management approaches during hospitalization and following hospital discharge, including specific forms of myocarditis and recommendations for returning to physical activity after myocarditis [21-36].

Shimrit Yaniv-Salem MD, Lianne Dym MD, Lior Nesher MD, Doron Zahger MD, Aryeh Shalev MD, Hezzy Shmueli MD

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare but potentially devastating complication of pregnancy. Although the pathophysiology of PPCM is not fully understood, there are known risk factors for developing PPCM, which are maternal and gestation related. In the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we witnessed an elevated incidence of PPCM among COVID-19 survivors.

Objectives: To present a single-center case series of three patients diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy after recovered from COVID-19 during the index pregnancy.

Methods: In this single center case study, all patients diagnosed with PPCM at our institute during the examined time frame were included. Electronic medical records were studied.

Results: Three patients previously diagnosed with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 disease during pregnancy presented with PPCM before or shortly after delivery. Patients underwent testing to rule out residual COVID-19 myocarditis, were treated pharmacologically and with wearable defibrillators as needed, and were examined in follow-up 1–9 months after delivery.

Conclusions: Residual endothelial damage due to COVID-19 disease, even if originally mild in presentation, could predispose pregnant patients to PPCM and should be considered as a risk factor when assessing patients with new onset symptoms of heart failure. Further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis and fully determine the underlying pathophysiology. These preliminary findings warrant a high index of suspicion for PPCM in COVID-19 recoverers.

Noam Savion MD, Noa Guzner MD, Saar Hashavya MD, Shimon Reif MD, Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD

Background: Brucellosis is an endemic infection affecting the Mediterranean Basin, Arabian Peninsula, India, Mexico, and South America. Data on brucellosis infections in children are limited.

Objectives: To review and characterize the clinical presentation of pediatric patients diagnosed with brucellosis in a tertiary medical center.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted on all pediatric patients from January 2010 to December 2020 admitted to the pediatric department with a diagnosis of brucellosis based on a positive serology test or growth of Brucella bacteria in blood culture.

Results: The study comprised 53 children aged 0–18 years. The mean age at presentation was 11.01 ± 4.91 years; 39 male (73.6%). Pre-infection exposure to unpasteurized milk or unvaccinated livestock was reported in 37 (69.8%). Fever was present in 64.6%, followed by arthralgia (49%), loss of appetite (42.3%), and weight loss (24.6%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 52.8% and included abdominal pain (34.6%), nausea (28.3%), vomiting (24.5%), and diarrhea (2.6%). Eight patients experienced pancytopenia (15.1%). The median length of intravenous antibiotic treatment was 7 days (range 3–14 days) and for oral antibiotic treatment 6 weeks (range 2–24 weeks). Most patients were initially treated with intravenous gentamycin (90.5%) and long-term oral antibiotics, most commonly doxycycline. Two (3.7%) required admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. No mortality was documented, and all cases of relapses were successfully treated.

Conclusions: Pediatric brucellosis is an acute febrile disease often associated with rheumatologic complaints. Patients 8–18 years of age also presented with headache, weight loss, and night sweats.

May 2023
Ola Gutzeit MD MSc, Zvi Millo MD, Naftali Justman MD, Natali Constantinescu MD, Ido Solt MD

Background: Uterine tachysystole during labor can lead to a decrease in fetal oxygen saturation and intracerebral oxygen saturation. Acute tocolysis using atosiban can inhibit uterine smooth muscle activity, potentially improving fetal status and facilitating vaginal delivery or allowing time to prepare for operative delivery.

Objectives: To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes in cesarean and vaginal deliveries following atosiban administration during fetal prolonged deceleration and tachysystole at gestational age 37 0/7 to 43 0/7 weeks.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, descriptive retrospective cohort study at a large tertiary referral center.

Results: Of the 275 patients treated with atosiban, 186 (68%) delivered vaginally (either spontaneous delivery or instrumental delivery) and 89 (32%) underwent a cesarean delivery. In a univariate analysis, cesarean delivery was associated with higher body mass index (27.9 ± 4.3 vs. 30.2 ± 4.8, P = 0.003). Second stage atosiban administration was associated with vaginal delivery (89.3% vs. 10.7%, P = 0.01). Cesarean delivery was associated with lower Apgar at 1 and 5 minutes and a higher rate of neonatal intensive care unit admissions. The incidence of PPH among women treated with atosiban in our study (2.3–4.3%) was higher than the incidence reported in the literature (1–3%)  

Conclusions: Atosiban may be an effective acute intervention for non-reassuring fetal heart rate during tachysystole, increasing the rate of vaginal delivery and potentially reducing the need for cesarean delivery. However, the potential risk of postpartum hemorrhage should be taken into consideration.

Shoshana Amos MD, Rena Pollack MD, Inon Sarig MD, Ehud Rudis MD, Nir Hirshoren MD, Jeffrey Weinberger MD, Ariela Arad MD, Matan Fischer MD, Aviv Talmon MD, Joshua Stokar MD

Thyroid storm-related heart failure is a rare, life threatening complication of hyperthyroidism. In refractory cases, urgent thyroidectomy is required for definitive control of thyrotoxicosis. venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is a supportive measure for cardiorespiratory failure requiring continuous anticoagulation to prevent clotting. We presented two cases of thyrotoxic cardiac failure that necessitated VA-ECMO. One of the patients was successfully treated with thyroidectomy while on VA-ECMO. To the best of our knowledge, only two such cases have previously been reported.

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