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עמוד בית
Mon, 20.03.23

Search results

February 2022
Erez Marcusohn MD, Maria Postnikov MD, Ofer Kobo MD, Yaron Hellman MD, Diab Mutlak MD, Danny Epstein MD, Yoram Agmon MD, Lior Gepstein MD PHD, and Robert Zukermann MD

Background: The diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AFIB) related cardiomyopathy relies on ruling out other causes for heart failure and on recovery of left ventricular (LV) function following return to sinus rhythm (SR). The pathophysiology underlying this pathology is multifactorial and not as completely known as the factors associated with functional recovery following the restoration of SR.

Objectives: To identify clinical and echocardiographic factors associated with LV systolic function improvement following electrical cardioversion (CV) or after catheter ablation in patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF) related to AFIB and normal LV function at baseline.

Methods: The study included patients with preserved EF at baseline while in SR whose LVEF had reduced while in AFIB and improved LVEF following CV. We compared patients who had improved LVEF to normal baseline to those who did not.

Results: Eighty-six patients with AFIB had evidence of reduced LV systolic function and improved EF following return to SR. Fifty-five (64%) returned their EF to baseline. Patients with a history of ischemic heart disease (IHD), worse LV function, and larger LV size during AFIB were less likely to return to normal LV function. Multivariant analysis revealed that younger patients with slower ventricular response, a history of IHD, larger LV size, and more significant deterioration of LVEF during AFIB were less likely to recover their EF to baseline values.

Conclusions: Patients with worse LV function and larger left ventricle during AFIB are less likely to return their baseline LV function following the restoration of sinus rhythm.

January 2022
Yael Feferman MD, Melinda Katz MD, Natalia Egorova PhD MPH, Umut Sarpel MD MSc, and Nina A. Bickell MD MPH

Background: Potentially preventable readmissions of surgical oncology patients offer opportunities to improve quality of care. Identifying and subsequently addressing remediable causes of readmissions may improve patient-centered care.

Objectives: To identify factors associated with potentially preventable readmissions after index cancer operation.

Methods: The New York State hospital discharge database was used to identify patients undergoing common cancer operations via principal diagnosis and procedure codes between the years 2010 and 2014. The 30-day readmissions were identified and risk factors for potentially preventable readmissions were analyzed using competing risk analysis.

Results: A total of 53,740 cancer surgeries performed for the following tumor types were analyzed: colorectal (CRC) (42%), kidney (22%), liver (2%), lung (25%), ovary (4%), pancreas (4%), and uterine (1%). The 30-day readmission rate was 11.97%, 47% of which were identified as potentially preventable. The most common cause of potentially preventable readmissions was sepsis (48%). Pancreatic cancer had the highest overall readmission rate (22%) and CRC had the highest percentage of potentially preventable readmissions (51%, hazard ratio [HR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.28–1.61). Risk factors associated with preventable readmissions included discharge disposition to a skilled nursing facility (HR 2.22, 95%CI 1.99–2.48) and the need for home healthcare (HR 1.61, 95%CI 1.48–1.75).

Conclusions: Almost half of the 30-day readmissions were potentially preventable and attributed to high rates of sepsis, surgical site infections, dehydration, and electrolyte disorders. These results can be further validated for identifying broad targets for improvement

December 2021
Yana Davidov MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Yael Inbar MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Mariya Likhter MD, Tania Berdichevski MD PhD, Sima Katsherginsky BA, Avishag Hassid MA, Keren Tsaraf MA, Dana Silverberg BSc, and Ziv Ben Ari MD

Background: New direct acting antiviral agent (DAA) therapies are associated with a high sustained virological response rate (SVR) in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. The understanding of the impact of SVR on fibrosis stage is limited.

Objectives: To determine the effect of treatment with the DAAs on long-term liver fibrosis stages, as determined by shear-wave elastography (SWE) or FibroTest©.

Methods: Fibrosis stage was determined at baseline and at 6-month intervals after end of treatment (EOT), using two‐dimensional SWE or FibroTest©; APRI and FIB-4 scores.

Results: The study comprised 133 SVR12 patients. After a median follow-up of 15 months (range 6–33), liver fibrosis stage decreased by at least 1 stage in 75/133 patients (56%). Cirrhosis reversal was observed in 24/82 (29%). Repeated median liver stiffness SWE values in cirrhotic patients were 15.1 kPa at baseline (range 10.5–100), 13.4 kPa (range 5.5–51) at 6 months, and 11.4 kPa (range 6.1–35.8) at 12 months after EOT, P = 0.01. During the second year after EOT, no statistically significant differences in liver fibrosis stage in 12, 18, and 24 months were found. Splenomegaly was the only significant negative predictor of liver fibrosis regression during all time points of repetitive noninvasive assessment.

Conclusions: Following successful DAA treatment, the majority of our HCV patients with advanced fibrosis demonstrated significant improvement, as assessed by non-invasive methods. Advanced fibrosis stage was a negative predictor of fibrosis regression. Longer follow-up periods are required to further establish the impact of DAAs treatment in HCV patients with advanced fibrosis

Noa Avni-Zauberman MD, Barequet S Avni-Zauberma MD, Alon Weissman MD, Juliana Gildener-Leapman MD, Orit Ezra Nimni MD, Yoav Berger MD, and Ofira Zloto MD

Background: Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory disease characterized by progressive corneal steepening, which leads to decreased visual acuity secondary to high irregular astigmatism.

Objectives: To compare the one-year outcomes of accelerated vs. standard collagen crosslinking (CXL) in the treatment of keratoconus.

Methods: A database search of patients who underwent CXL from 2009 to 2017 was conducted at the cornea clinic at Sheba Medical Center. Charts of 99 adult patients (124 eyes) were reviewed. All patients were diagnosed with keratoconus. Main outcome measures were change in keratometry, uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA).

Results: We evaluated outcomes in two groups: CXL with standard (3 mW/cm2 for 30 minutes) vs. the accelerated (9 mW/cm2 for 10 minutes) protocol. There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to BCVA, UCVA, and mean spherical equivalent (P =0.83, 0.0519, 0.181, respectively). The corneal thickness in the center and thinnest location were higher in the accelerated group than the in the standard group (P = 0.126). Complication rates did not differ between the two groups.

Conclusions: Accelerated and standard CXL are both safe and effective techniques. Accelerated CXL confers the added benefit of being a faster procedure to both patients and surgeons.

November 2021
Edward Kim MPH, Elliot Goodman MD, Gilbert Sebbag MD, Ohana Gil MD, Alan Jotkowitz MD, and Benjamin H. Taragin MD

Background: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) impacted medical education and led to the significant modification or suspension of clinical clerkships and rotations.

Objectives: To describe a revised surgery clerkship curriculum, in which we divided in-person clinical teaching into smaller groups of students and adopted online-based learning to foster student and patient safety while upholding program standards.

Methods: The third-year surgery core clerkship of a 4-year international English-language program at the Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, was adapted by dividing students into smaller capsules for in-person learning and incorporating online learning tools. Specifically, students were divided evenly throughout three surgical departments, each of which followed a different clinical schedule.

Results: National Board of Medical Examiners clerkship scores of third-year medical students who were returning to in-person clinical clerkships after transitioning from 8 weeks of online-based learning showed no significant difference from the previous 2 years.

Conclusions: To manage with the restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, we designed an alternative approach to a traditional surgical clerkship that minimized the risk of exposure and used online learning tools to navigate scheduling challenges. This curriculum enabled students to complete their clinical rotation objectives and outcomes while maintaining program standards. Furthermore, this approach provided a number of benefits, which medical schools should consider adopting the model into practice even in a post-pandemic setting

October 2021
Mor Cohen-Eilig MD, Noa Bar Lis MSc, Ayelet Livneh MD, and Haim Bassan MD

Background: Cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL) is a strong indicator of subsequent motor and developmental impairments in premature infants. There is a paucity of publications on biomarkers of cPVL.

Objectives: To determine C-reactive protein (CRP) levels during the first week of life of preterm infants who later developed cPVL and to identify the association between CRP levels with perinatal factors.

Methods: We retrospectively included infants ≤ 32 weeks gestation and/or birth weights ≤ 1500 grams; 17 with a cranial ultrasound diagnosis of cPVL and 54 with normal ultrasounds. Serum CRP levels were measured during days 1-7 (CRP1–7d) of life and subdivided into two timing groups: days 1–3 (CRP1–3d) and days 4-7 (CRP4–7d).

Results: The cPVL group had significantly higher mean CRP4–7d levels compared to controls (12.75 ± 21.2 vs. 2.23 ± 3.1, respectively, P = 0.03), while CRP1–3d levels were similar. CRP1–7d levels were significantly correlated with maximal fraction of inspired oxygen during the first 12 hours of life (FiO2-12h, r = 0.51, P < 0.001]. Additional risk factors were not associated with CRP levels.

Conclusions: Our finding of elevated CRP4-7d levels and later development of cPVL supports earlier studies on the involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cPVL. Whether CRP could serve as a biomarker of cPVL and its correlation with outcomes, awaits further trials. Furthermore, the correlation between FiO2-12h and CRP1–7d levels suggest that hypoxia and/or hyperoxia may serve as a trigger in the activation of inflammation during the first days of life of preterm infants

Andrei Braester MD, Galia Stemer MD, Sahar Khouri MD, Bennidor Raviv MD, and Masad Barhoum MD

Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious disease, which demands a fast accurate diagnosis to begin suitable treatment. It presents a major problem in the emergency department (ED), and its confirmation requires adequate evaluation.

Objectives: To evaluate a potential role of mean platelet volume (MPV) in differentiating VTE from other potential diagnosis in patients with suspected VTE.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case-controlled study of 440 consecutive patients who presented to the ED of our hospital with clinical VTE, but only 316 with proven VTE. A control group was composed of patients (124) who presented with clinical VTE but without proven VTE. We checked the MPV value in all 440 patients and the correlation with VTE occurrence in the study group vs. control group.

Results: Statistical analysis of the acquired results indicated that MPV value could not aid in determining the difference of real VTE vs. patients with VTE-like clinical picture presenting to the ED. We found an inverse correlation between MPV value and proven VTE, in contrast to most researchers who have studied the same issue.

Conclusions: Although MPV can be a useful diagnostic marker in many diseases, we found no definite association between low MPV and VTE

Udi Nussinovitch MD PhD, Omer Gendelman MD, Shiri Rubin MD, Yair Levy MD, Vicktoria Vishnevskia-Dai MD, Avi Livneh MD, and Merav Lidar MD

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease that may affect the heart and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). There is little knowledge regarding the degree of ANS involvement in SSc patients with unknown cardiac disease.

Objectives: To evaluate cardiac and pupillary autonomic functions in patients before cardiac involvement has emerged.

Methods: The study comprised 19 patients with SSc and 29 healthy controls. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis for time and frequency domains, as well as deep breathing test and Ewing maneuvers, were performed in all patients. Automated pupillometry for the evaluation of pupillary diameter and pupillary light reflex was completed in 8 SSc patients and 21 controls.

Results: Both groups had similar characteristics, except for medications that were more commonly or solely prescribed for SSc patients. Compared with control subjects, the SSc patients had significantly lower HRV parameters of NN50 (15.8 ± 24.4 vs. 33.9 ± 33.1, P = 0.03), pNN50 (4.9 ± 7.4% vs.10.8 ± 10.8%, P = 0.03), and triangular index (11.7 ± 3.4 vs. 15.7 ± 5.8, P = 0.02). Abnormal adaptive responses in heart rate changes were recorded during deep breathing tests and Ewing maneuvers. There was no significant difference in any of the pupillometric indices or other HRV parameters within groups.

Conclusions: SSc patients may manifest cardiac autonomic dysfunction, while their autonomic pupillary function is seemingly spared. The role of certain medications, the significance of differential organ involvement, as well as the prognostic value of our findings should be evaluated in future studies

Yishai Levy MD and David Levy

An arginine-rich apolipoprotein was discovered 50 years ago and became known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 10 years later. ApoE is associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and mediates the clearance of these lipoproteins from the plasma. The ApoE-deficient hypercholesterolemic mice are an excellent platform for experimental atherosclerosis because they are similar to human pathology with regard to an atherogenic diet. ApoE is mainly produced in the liver and central nervous system cells. Three alleles determine six ApoE phenotypes with different metabolic effects and plasma cholesterol levels. Type III dysbetalipoproteinemia is associated with wide-spread atherogenesis with a defective ApoE2 resulting in delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. ApoE4 substantially increases the risk including age of onset, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, much effort has been directed to the elucidation of the pathogenic role of ApoE related to amyloid β (Aβ) acquisition in the brain. The ApoE trail passing from an enigmatic protein to a major player in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is reviewed

July 2021
Moshe Y. Flugelman MD, Ruth Margalit MD, Ami Aronheim PhD, Omri Barak PhD, Assaf Marom MD PhD, Katya Dolnikov MD, Eyal Braun MD, Ayelet Raz-Pasteur MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, David Hochstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Rachel Nave PhD, Arieh Riskin MD, Dan Waisman MD, Robert Glueck MD, Michal Mekel MD, Yael Avraham BSc, Uval Bar-Peled BSc, Ronit Kacev MA, Michal Keren BA, Amir Karban MD, and Elon Eisenberg MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced drastic changes in all layers of life. Social distancing and lockdown drove the educational system to uncharted territories at an accelerated pace, leaving educators little time to adjust.

Objectives: To describe changes in teaching during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We described the steps implemented at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine during the initial 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve teaching and the academic ecosystem. 

Results: Several established methodologies, such as the flipped classroom and active learning, demonstrated effectiveness. In addition, we used creative methods to teach clinical medicine during the ban on bedside teaching and modified community engagement activities to meet COVID-19 induced community needs. 

Conclusions: The challenges and the lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to adjust our teaching methods and curriculum using multiple online teaching methods and promoting self-learning. It also provided invaluable insights on our pedagogy and the teaching of medicine in the future with emphasis on students and faculty being part of the changes and adjustments in curriculum and teaching methods. However, personal interactions are essential to medical school education, as are laboratories, group simulations, and bedside teaching

Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Amitai Ziv MD MHA, and Howard Amital MD MHA
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