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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

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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
June 2021
Yana Kakzanov MD, Ziv Sevilya PhD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Alexander Goldman MD, and Eli I. Lev MD

Background: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common clinical entity, with a mechanism that appears to involve endothelial dysfunction of the cardiac microcirculation. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are bone marrow derived cells that are able to differentiate into functional endothelial cells and participate in endothelial surface repair.

Objectives: To compare the level and function of EPCs in patients with HFpEF compared with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and control subjects.

Methods: We enrolled 21 patients with HFpEF (LVEF ≥ 50%, age 74.5 ± 9.9 years, 43% men, 48% diabetes), 20 patients with HFrEF (LVEF < 40%, age 70 ± 11.5 years, 90% men, 60% diabetes), and 11 control subjects with cardiovascular risk factors (age 53.3 ± 6.1years, 90% men, 64% diabetes). Circulating EPC levels were evaluated by expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), CD34, and CD133 by flow-cytometry. EPCs colony forming units (CFUs) were quantified after 7 days in culture.

Results: The proportion of cells that co-expressed VEGFR-2 and CD34 or VEGFR-2 and CD133 was similar among the HFpEF and HFrEF groups, and significantly lower than in the control group. The number of EPC-CFUs was also similar among the two heart failure groups and significantly lower than the control group.

Conclusions: Patients with HFpEF, like HFrEF, have significant reduction in EPC level and function.

May 2021
Naama Bursztyn MD, Tomer Arad MD, Tamar Fink RN, Jonathan Cohen MD, and Michael Stein MD

Background: Consent rates for organ donation remain one of the most important factors determining the number of organs available for transplantation. Trauma casualties constitute a substantial part of the deceased organ donor pool and have unique characteristics that distinguish them from the general donor population. However, this group has not been extensively studied.

Objectives: To identify donor factors associated with positive familial consent for solid organ donation among trauma casualties.

Methods: This retrospective study included all trauma casualties who were admitted to the Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson hospital, during the period from January 2008 to December 2017, who were potential organ donors. Data collected included demographic features, the nature of the injury, surgical interventions, and which organs were donated. Data was collected from the Rabin Medical Center Trauma Registry.

Results: During the study period 24,504 trauma patients were admitted and 556 died over their hospital course. Of these 76 were potential donors, of whom 32 became actual donors and donated their organs. Two factors showed a statistically significant correlation to donation, namely female gender (P = 0.018) and Jewish religion of the deceased (P = 0.032).

Conclusions: Only a small group of in hospital trauma deaths were potential solid organ donors (13.7%) and less than half of these became actual donors. Consent rates were higher when the deceased was female or Jewish

Kamal Masarweh MD, Clari Felszer-Fisch MD, Eric Shinwell MD, Jamal Hasanein MD, Marina Peniakov MD, Scott A. Weiner MD, Bella Lurye-Marcu MD, Dan Miron MD

Background: The incidence of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in Israel is 0.7%. Only 10–15% are symptomatic. Valganciclovir has been shown to improve hearing and neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonates with symptomatic congenital CMV infection. Targeted examination of infants who fail routine neonatal hearing screening or have clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of symptomatic congenital CMV infection may be a cost-effective approach.

Objectives: To assess the possibility of targeted examination for the detection of newborns with symptomatic congenital CMV infection.

Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in 2014–2015 at two medical centers in northern Israel. Included were all newborns who were tested in the first 3 days of life by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for urine CMV DNA (n=692), either for failure the hearing screening (n=539, 78%), clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of symptomatic congenital CMV infection, or primary CMV infection during pregnancy (n=153, 22%).

Results: During the study period 15,433 newborns were born. The predicted rate of infection was 10–15% (symptomatic) of 0.7% of newborns, namely 0.07–0.105% or 10–15 infants. In fact, 15 infants (0.11%, 95% confidence interval 0.066–0.175) were diagnosed with symptomatic congenital CMV infection, 2/539 (0.37%) in the failed hearing group and 13/153 (8%) in the clinical/laboratory findings group. The incidence of symptomatic congenital CMV infection was within the predicted range.

Conclusions: Targeted examination of only 4.5% (n=692) of newborns detected the predicted number of infants with symptomatic congenital CMV infection in whom valganciclovir therapy is recommended

April 2021
Tarek Saadi MD, Johad Khoury MD, Widad Toukan MD, Rimma Krimasky, Ella Veitsman MD, Yaacov Baruch MD, Diana Gaitini MD, and Nira Beck-Razi MD

Background: Point shear-wave elastography (pSWE) is a new method to assess the degree of liver fibrosis. It has been shown to be effective in detecting stiffness in viral hepatitis.

Objectives: To determine the feasibility of pSWE for assessing liver stiffness and fibrosis in liver diseases of different etiologies.

Methods: This prospective single-center study included a population of adult patients with chronic liver diseases from different etiologies, who were scheduled for liver biopsy, and a control group of healthy adults who prospectively underwent pSWE. Ten consecutive pSWE measurements of the liver were performed using a Philips iU22 ultrasound system. Stiffness degree was compared to liver biopsy results. Fibrosis degree was staged according to METAVIR scoring system.

Results: The study group was comprised of 202 patients who underwent liver biopsy and pSWE test and a control group consisting of 14 healthy adults who underwent pSWE for validation. In the study group, the median stiffness was 5.35 ± 3.37 kilopascal (kPa). The median stiffness for F0–1, F2, F3, and F4 as determined by liver biopsy results were 4.9 kPa, 5.4 kPa, 5.7 kPa, and 8 kPa, respectively. The median stiffness in the control group was 3.7 ± 0.6 kPa. Subgroup analyses were conducted for viral hepatitis vs. non-viral hepatitis and steatohepatitis vs. non-steatohepatitis groups.

Conclusions: pSWE is a reproducible method for assessing liver stiffness and is in a linear relationship with fibrosis degree as seen in pathology. Compared with patients with non-significant fibrosis, healthy controls showed significantly lower values

Alona Bin-Nun MD, Cathy Hammerman MD, Francis B Mimouni MD, Netanel Wasserteil MD, and Yair M. Kasirer MD

Background: Many countries have adopted a mandatory routine pulse oximetry screening of newborn infants to identify babies with otherwise asymptomatic critical congenital heart disease (CCHD).

Objectives: To describe the current status of pulse oximetry CCHD screening in Israel, with a special emphasis on the experience of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Methods: We review the difficulties of the Israeli Medical system with adopting the SaO2 screening, and the preliminary results of the screening at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, both in terms of protocol compliance and CCHD detection.

Results: Large scale protocol cannot be implemented in one day, and regular quality assessment programs must take place in order to improve protocol compliance and identify the reasons for protocol failures.

Conclusions: Quality control reviews should be conducted soon after implementation of the screening to allow for prompt diagnosis and quick resolution

March 2021
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA and Andrew Gal BSc (Med) MBBS FRCPA

Germany was a scientifically advanced country in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in medicine, with a major interest in research and the treatment of tuberculosis. From 1933 until 1945, Nazi Germany perverted scientific research through criminal experimentations on captured prisoners of war and on "subhumans" by scientifically untrained, but politically driven, staff. This article exposes a series of failed experiments on tuberculosis in adults, experiments without scientific validity. Nonetheless, Dr. Kurt Heißmeyer repeated the experiment on Jewish children, who were murdered for the sake of personal academic ambition. It is now 75 years since liberation and the murdered children must be remembered. This observational review raises questions of medical and ethical values

Monica Goldberg-Murow MD, Zvi Steiner MD, Yaniv Lakovsky MD, Elena Dlugy MD, Arthur Baazov MD, Enrique Freud MD, and Inbal Samuk MD

Background: Pancreatic trauma is uncommon in pediatric patients and presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. While non-operative management (NOM) of minor pancreatic injuries is well accepted, the management of major pancreatic injuries remains controversial.

Objectives: To evaluate management strategies for major blunt pancreatic injury in children.

Methods: Data were retrospectively collected for all children treated for grade III or higher pancreatic injury due to blunt abdominal trauma from 1992 to 2015 at two medical centers. Data included demographics, mechanism of injury, laboratory and imaging studies, management strategy, clinical course, operative findings, and outcome.

Results: The cohort included seven boys and four girls aged 4–15 years old (median 9). Six patients had associated abdominal (mainly liver, n=3) injuries. The main mechanism of injury was bicycle (handlebar) trauma (n=6). Five patients had grade III injury and six had grade IV. The highest mean amylase level was recorded at 48 hours after injury (1418 U/L). Management strategies included conservative (n=5) and operative treatment (n=6): distal (n=3) and central (n=1) pancreatectomy, drainage only (n=2) based on the computed tomography findings and patient hemodynamic stability. Pseudocyst developed in all NOM patients (n=5) and two OM cases, and one patient developed a pancreatic fistula. There were no differences in average length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: NOM of high-grade blunt pancreatic injury in children may pose a higher risk of pseudocyst formation than OM, with a similar hospitalization time. However, pseudocyst is a relatively benign complication with a high rate of spontaneous resolution with no need for surgical intervention.

January 2021
Mohamed Kittani MD, Barak Haviv MD, Shai Shemesh MD, Lee Yaari MD, Mustafa Yassin MD, and Lea Rath-Wolfson MD

Background: Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are common and complete tears often fail to heal. ACL reconstruction is considered the surgical gold standard of care for ACL injuries in young active patients.

Objectives: To determine the corresponding morphological and histological features of the torn ACL in different time periods after injury.

Methods: The study included 28 remnant specimens of torn ACLs from patients who had ACL reconstruction surgery of the knee. The remnant pathology was evaluated by its morphology during arthroscopy and by histopathologic measurements.

Results: At surgery there were three progressive and distinct morphological tear patterns. The first pattern was noticed within the first 3 months from injury and showed no scar tissue. The second pattern appeared later and was characterized by the appearance of scar tissue with adhesion to the femoral wall. The third pattern was characterized by adhesion of the ACL remnant to the posterior cruciate ligament. The histological changes of the first morphological pattern showed abundance of blood vessels and lymphocytes at the torn femoral end with few irregular collagen fibers. The second and third tear patterns showed decrement in the number of blood vessels and lymphocytes with longitudinally oriented collagen fibers.

Conclusions: The morphological features of the ACL remnant in the first 3 months after injury showed no scar tissue and its histological features had the characteristics of a reparative phase. This phase was followed by a prolonged remodeling phase that ended with attachment of the remnant to the posterior cruciate ligament.

Noga Roguin Maor MD and Pnina Zmiri MD
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.

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