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עמוד בית
Tue, 06.06.23

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January 2023
Asher Korzets MB BS, Ze’ev Korzets MB BS, Boris Zingerman MD

We clarified the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges associated with pseudohypertension in very elderly patients. Pseudohypertension is diagnosed when cuff blood pressure measurements for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure are significantly higher than direct intra-arterial blood pressure recordings. Pseudohypertension is considered a manifestation of combined intimal and medial arterial calcifications. Non-invasive diagnosis is extremely difficult, but pseudohypertension should be considered in certain groups of very elderly hypertensive patients. Importantly, most of the very elderly patients diagnosed with pseudohypertension present with hypertension, especially isolated systolic hypertension, and this condition should be treated. Treatment must be undertaken cautiously (start low, go slow), with a recommended target blood pressure ≤ 150/80 mmHg. Orthostatism should be measured routinely, both by the patient and the attending physician.

November 2022
Johad Khoury MD, Itai Ghersin MD, Eyal Braun MD, Adi Elias MD, Doron Aronson MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, Fadel Bahouth MD

Background: Current guidelines for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are based on studies that have excluded or underrepresented older patients.

Objectives: To assess the value of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) in HFrEF patients 80 years of age and older.

Methods: A single-center retrospective study included patients hospitalized with a first and primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and ejection fraction (EF) of ≤ 40%. Patients 80 years of age and older were stratified into two groups: GDMT, defined as treatment at hospital discharge with at least two drugs of the following groups: beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), or mineralocorticoid antagonists; and a personalized medicine group, which included patients who were treated with up to one of these drug groups. The primary outcomes were 90-day all-cause mortality, 90-day rehospitalization, and 3-years mortality.

Results: The study included 1152 patients with HFrEF. 254 (22%) patients who were at least 80 years old. Of the group, 123 were GDMT at discharge. When GDMT group was compared to the personalized medicine group, there were no statistically significant differences in terms 90-day mortality (17% vs. 13%, P = 0.169), 90-day readmission (51 % vs. 45.6%, P = 0.27), or 3-year mortality (64.5% vs. 63.3%, P = 0.915).

Conclusions: Adherence to guidelines in the older adult population may not have the same effect as in younger patients who were studied in the randomized clinical trials. Larger prospective studies are needed to further address this issue.

February 2022
Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Sagit Dahan RN MA, Shira Weizman MD, and Esther Bloemhof Bris MA

Background: Risk factors for severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection include old age, chronic illness, and neurological conditions. In contrast, high vitamin D levels are known to augment immune activity and to reduce the severity of viral infections. Recently, a possible association between the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 severity, and vitamin D blood levels was reported.

Objective: To assess the possible association between vitamin D long-term supplementation and COVID-19 symptomatic severity and complications of COVID-19 infection in elderly psychiatric inpatients, a high at-risk group.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study. Data of 14 elderly COVID-19 positive inpatients, presenting with dementia or schizophrenia and other medical conditions were extracted from medical records. All patients maintained a 800 IU daily dose of vitamin D prior to the infection.

Results: Most of the inpatients were asymptomatic or presented very few symptoms. No need for intensive care unit intervention or deaths were reported. Cognitive functioning of the patients remained unchanged.

Conclusions: Pre-existing vitamin D supplementation may reinforce immunity and reduce COVID-19 severity in elderly psychiatric inpatients.

June 2021
Zvi Shimoni MD, Vendi Danilov MD, Shoshana Hadar MD, and Paul Froom MD

Background: Recommendations for a head computed tomography (CT) scan in elderly patients without a loss of consciousness after a traumatic brain injury and without neurological findings on admission and who are not taking oral anticoagulant therapy, are discordant.

Objectives: To determine variables associated with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and the need for neurosurgery in elderly patients after low velocity head trauma

Methods: In a regional hospital, we retrospectively selected 206 consecutive patients aged ≥ 65 years with head CT scans ordered in the emergency department because of low velocity head trauma. Outcome variables were an ICH and neurological surgery. Independent variables included age, sex, disability, neurological findings, facial fractures, mental status, headache, head sutures, loss of consciousness, and anticoagulation therapy.

Results: Fourteen patients presented with ICH (6.8%, 3.8–11.1%) and three (1.5%, 0.3–4.2%) with a neurosurgical procedure. One patient with a coma (0.5, 0.0–2.7) died 2 hours after presentation. All patients who required surgery or died had neurological findings. Reducing head CT scans by 97.1% (93.8–98.9%) would not have missed any patient with possible surgical utility. Twelve of the 14 patients (85.7%) with an ICH had neurological findings, post-trauma loss of consciousness or a facial fracture were not present in 83.5% (95% confidence interval 77.7–88.3) of the cohort.

Conclusions: None of our patients with neurological findings required neurosurgery. Careful palpation of the facial bones to identify facial fractures might aid in the decision whether to perform a head CT scan.

February 2021
Ron Skorochod BMED Sc, Yaakov Applbaum MD, Gideon Nesher MD, and Ariella Tvito MD
September 2020
Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Amit Segev MD and Yael Peled MD

Background: In 2006, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation amended the guidelines for the upper age limit of heart transplantation (HTx) from 55 years to 70 years and older for carefully selected patients. However, the relation of age to outcomes following of HTx has not been well studied.

Objectives: To investigate the impact of recipient age on the occurrence of rejections, vasculopathy, and mortality after HTx.

Methods: Study population comprised all consecutive 291 patients who underwent HTx between 1991–2016 and were followed at our center. Patients were categorized by age tertiles: < 46 years (mean 31.4 ± 11.7, range 16–45, n=90), 46–57 years (mean 51.4 ± 3.2, range 46–56, n=92), and ≥ 57 years (mean 61.6 ± 3.4, range 57–73, n=109).

Results: Patients aged ≥ 57 years were more often males and had more pre-HTx co-morbidities including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and history of smoking (P < 0.05) compared to the younger age groups. Kaplan-Meier analysis by age tertiles showed the rates of major rejections and vasculopathy at 15 years were similar among the three age groups. Mortality rates at 15 years were directly related to the age groups (39%, 52%, 62% log-rank, P = 0.01). However, the association between age and mortality was no longer statistically significant after multivariate analysis (hazard ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.03).

Conclusions: In a contemporary cohort of patients undergoing HTx, recipient age does not significantly impact the risk of major rejections, vasculopathy, and long-term mortality.



February 2020
Lina Salman MD, Avi Ben-haroush MD, Gad Sabah MD, Ariella Jakobson-Setton MD, Daliah Tsoref MD, Oded Raban MD, Effi Yeoshoua MD and Ram Eitan MD

Background: The treatment of elderly patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma is challenging due to a high morbidity.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical course and outcome of elderly patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT).

Methods: A retrospective study of all patients with stage IIIC and IV ovarian carcinoma receiving NACT in one medical center (between 2005 and 2017). The study group criteria age was above 70 years. The control group criteria was younger than 70 years old at diagnosis. Demographics and treatment outcomes were compared between groups. Primary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Overall, 105 patients met the inclusion criteria, 71 patients (67.6%) were younger than 70 years and 34 patients (32.4%) older. Rates of interval cytoreduction were significantly higher in younger patients (76.1% vs. 50.0%, P = 0.01). Of those who underwent interval cytoreduction, no difference was found in rates of optimal debulking between groups (83.35% vs. 100%, P = 0.10). Using a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, no significant differences were observed between groups in PFS or OS, P > 0.05. Among the elderly group alone, patients who underwent interval cytoreduction had significantly longer PFS than those without surgical intervention (0.4 ± 1.7 vs. 19.3 ± 19.4 months, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Elderly patients with ovarian carcinoma who received NACT undergo less interval cytoreduction than younger patients, with no difference in PFS and OS. However, among the elderly, interval cytoreduction is associated with significantly higher PFS.

Gideon Charach MD, Eli Karniel MD, Itamar Grosskopf MD and Lior Charach MD

Background: Internal thoracic impedance (ITI) measurement is a sensitive method for detecting preclinical pulmonary edema and pleural effusion.

Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of this non-invasive method for detecting early pleural effusion among geriatric patients and to monitor increased ITI during its resolution.

Methods: This prospective, controlled study was conducted between July 2012 and August 2015. The study comprised 70 patients aged 65 to 94 years; and 39 of the patients had pleural effusion. ITI was measured continuously with a RS-207 monitor. The predictive value of ITI monitoring was determined based on a total of eight measurements taken at 12-hour intervals over 84 hours.

Results: As a result of medical treatment, the median ITI of the study group increased from 31 (interquartile range [IQR] 28–33 ohms) to 41 ohms (IQR 38–41 ohms; P < 0.001) compared to non-significant changes in the control group. Average respiratory rate (per minute) in the study group decreased from 29 (IQR 28–34) to 19 (IQR 18–20).

Conclusions: ITI monitoring is efficient for diagnosis and for ongoing clinical evaluation of the treatment of elderly patients with pleural effusion. Timely treatment may prevent serious complications of effusions avoiding extended hospitalization.

January 2020
Daniel Silverberg MD, Ahmad Abu Rmeileh MD, Daniel Raskin MD, Uri Rimon MD and Moshe Halak MD

Background: Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) is associated with decreased perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To report the outcomes of EVAR among patients older than 80 years of age.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed patients older than 80 years of age who underwent elective EVAR at our institution between 2007 and 2017. The demographics, perioperative morbidity and mortality, and long-term results are reported.

Results: During the study period, 444 patients underwent elective EVAR for AAAs. Among them 128 patients (29%) were > 80 years of age. Mean age was 84 ± 3.4 (range 80–96) years, and 110 patients (86%) were male. The EVAR was technically successful in 127 patients (99%) and there were intraoperative mortalities. Within 30 days of the surgery, nine patients (7%) died. Major and minor adverse events occurred in 26 (20%) and 59 (46%) patients, respectively. Factors associated with increased risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality included chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, and the existence of three or more co-morbidities.

Conclusions: EVAR in the elderly can be performed with a high rate of success; however, it is associated with a substantial rate of morbidity and mortality, particularly when patients present with multiple co-morbidities. When performing EVAR in this population group, the risk of rupture must be considered opposed to the life expectancy of these patients and the risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality.

December 2019
Tali Samson MSW PhD, Roni Peleg MD, Aya Biderman MD and Yan Press MD

Background: The use of graphic depictions (pictorials) to represent medical conditions is an accepted method that can complement standard methodology of comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Objectives: To use the clinical pathway method to develop a comprehensive geriatric genogram assessment tool (CGGAT), which could supplement the written summary letter and recommendations.

Methods: We used the critical paths method to develop a tool to facilitate implementation of the comprehensive geriatric assessment recommendations. A multidisciplinary group of clinicians used the critical pathways method to develop a CGGAT.

Results: We used the CGGAT to depict the physical and functional status of patients and to complement the textual historical information, family dynamics, and current patient issues. CGGAT is a simple instrument that provides a visual structure and it can facilitate the sharing of information among team members, encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, enhance understanding and adherence on the part of patients and professionals, and reduce the burden on the clinicians who conduct the initial comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Conclusions: We showed the benefits and obstacles related to the adaptation of this new tool and provide recommendations for further development. 

April 2019
Nadya Kagansky MD, Hilla Knobler MD, Marina Stein-Babich, Hillary Voet PhD, Adi Shalit, Jutta Lindert PhD MPH and Haim Y. Knobler MD

Background: Reports of longevity in Holocaust survivors (HS) conflict with excess prevalence of chronic diseases described among them. However, data on their long-term risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are limited. Clinical data on large representative groups of HS who were exposed to severe persecution are also limited.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of CVD and the risk factors in a large cohort of elderly HS compared to elderly individuals who were not exposed to the Holocaust (NHS).

Methods: CVD prevalence rates and risk factors data from the computerized system of the central district of Clalit Health Services, the largest Israeli health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel were evaluated in a retrospective observational study. The study was comprised of 4004 elderly HS who underwent direct severe persecution. They were randomly matched by identification numbers to 4004 elderly NHS.

Results: HS were older than NHS and 51% of them were older than 85 years. The prevalence rate of ischemic heart disease (IHD) was significantly higher among HS. HS underwent significantly more cardiac interventions (20% vs. 15.7%, P < 0.05). HS status was an independent risk factor for increased IHD and for more coronary interventions.

Conclusions: Despite having a higher prevalence of CVD, a substantial number of HS live long lives. This finding may imply both unique resilience and ability to cope with chronic illness of the survivors as well as adjusted medical services for this population. These findings may help in planning the treatment of other mass trauma survivors.

May 2017
Narin N. Carmel-Neiderman MD, Boaz Sagi MD, Daniel Zikk MD and Yael Oestreicher-Kedem MD
March 2017
Efraim Aizen MD, Bela Shifrin MD, Inna Shugaev MD and Israel Potasman MD

Background: The optimal approach to the evaluation of asymptomatic bacteruria in stroke patients is uncertain. 

Objectives: To compare elderly patients after an acute stroke with and without asymptomatic bacteriuria for the development of symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTI).

Methods: We prospectively monitored patients over 65 years of age admitted to our rehabilitation hospital after an acute stroke, with and without asymptomatic bacteriuria, for the development of symptomatic UTIs. The prevalence of bacteriuria was determined by urine cultures obtained 2 and 4 weeks after admission. Patients with and without persistent bacteriuria were compared to identify variables associated with bacteriuria.

Results: Fifty-five patients were included in the study. The prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria at baseline was 20%. Of all 55 stroke patients, 13 (23.6%) developed a symptomatic UTI during the 30 day follow-up. Patients with stroke and asymptomatic bacteriuria at baseline had an increased risk of developing a symptomatic UTI (54.5% with asymptomatic bacteriuria vs. 15.9% without, P = 0.011). To exclude the effects of several confounders, we performed multivariate Cox regression analysis, which showed that bacteruria remained a significant covariate for symptomatic UTI (hazard ratio 2.86, 95% confidence interval 0.71–10.46, P = 0.051). When subjects who experienced symptomatic urinary infection were included, the prevalence of bacteriuria in the study cohort declined to about 45.5% by 30 days. 

Conclusion: Elderly patients with stroke and asymptomatic bacteriuria have an increased risk of developing a symptomatic UTI compared to those without asymptomatic bacteriuria during a 30 day post-stroke follow-up.


Andrew Villion MD, Zeev Arinzon MD, Jacob Feldman MD, Oded Kimchi MD and Yitshal Berner MD

Background: Arthritis and arthralgia are painful symptoms experienced by many elderly patients during hospitalization. Crystal-induced arthritis (CIA) is one of the most common causes of arthritis worldwide and represents the most common cause of acute arthritis in the elderly.  

Objective: To determine the incidence of both acute new onset or acute exacerbation of CIA among elderly patients hospitalized due to an acute medical illness.

Method: This study comprised 85 patients. Patients aged 70 years and older who complained of any articular pain were included in the study. Exclusion criteria were signs of septic arthritis, chronic use of steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or admission to the hospital due to an acute attack of CIA. 

Results: Synovial aspiration was performed in 76 patients (89%). Joint aspiration yielded a diagnosis in 67 of them (79%). The predominant type of crystal was calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate (68%) followed by monosodium urate (20%). The main causes of hospitalization were acute infectious disease (57%) followed by neurologic and cardiac diseases, 14% and 9% respectively, and orthopedic problems (6%). Among patients with acute infectious disease, the main causes were pulmonary (57%) and gastrointestinal (22%) infections. In 9 patients (12%) who underwent synovial aspiration, visible crystals were identified without a definite diagnosis.

Conclusion: Our study showed that hospitalization could be a risk factor for the development of CIA, and the time to diagnose CIA is during hospitalization for other acute illnesses.


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