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עמוד בית
Sat, 09.12.23

Search results

November 2023
Ibrahim Osman MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Low-risk venous thromboembolism (VTE) patients are advised to be discharged from the emergency department (ED) on direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) treatment. There is no data on whether this recommendation is followed in Israel.

Objectives: To characterize newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED, their anticoagulation treatment at the ED, the recommended discharge protocol, and patient adherence.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study, which included all newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED. Collected data included demographic and clinical background; anticoagulation treatment at the ED, recommended discharge protocol and its subsequent adherence, patient subsequent, recommended hematological evaluation, and adverse events.

Results: The study group included 443 patients, 89% with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Approximately three-quarters were treated with anticoagulants in the ED, 98% with enoxaparin. At discharge, anticoagulants were recommended for all; 49% continued enoxaparin, 47% DOACs, and 4% warfarin. After 4 weeks, 67% were treated with DOACs, 22% with enoxaparin, 5% with warfarin. Approximately 6% discontinued all treatment. After 12 weeks, 90% of the patients who were taking DOACs adhered to the protocol, whereas only 70% and 50% among the enoxaparin and warfarin users, respectively, did. Only 56% were referred for hematological evaluation. The 12-week rate of adverse reactions was approximately 2%. The use of DOACs and the recommendation for further hematological evaluation increased over time.

Conclusions: Clinician training regarding discharge of VTE patients from the ED should continue.

September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

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.

March 2023
Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

November 2022
Howard Amital MD MHA and Avishay Elis MD

Internal medicine is no doubt one of the main pillars of modern medicine. For years it has been considered to be the basis and foundation of medical education and proper clinical service. During the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, internal medicine departments were recognized worldwide, and clearly in Israel, to be the true Corona Warriors that provided medical care to patients as well as support and comfort to families. Around the globe, the public applauded and appreciated the bravery of our medical staff, who without hesitation and under direct personal danger provided the best medical care possible despite the hardships of the time. The high personal price and even the heavy cost of staff member lives lost in offering medical care to the pubic did not stop our quest for ongoing medical research.

Avishay Elis MD, Wassim Daud MD, Gal Cohen MD, Ela Giladi MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: There is an increasing use of anti-protein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs); however, real-world data is lacking.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients treated with anti-PCSK9 mAbs. To evaluate efficacy, tolerability, and differences between the approved agents.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients treated at the lipid clinic at Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus), Israel, from January 2016 to December 2019. Data from electronic records were evaluated for demographic and clinical characteristics, indication for use, response of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)/non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) levels and reaching target levels, side effects, tolerability, differences between the agents, and doses.

Results: The study cohort included 115 patients. Two-thirds (n=75) were at high cardiovascular risk, the rest at very high risk (n=40). The major indication for treatment was statin intolerance (n=97, 84%). Most patients (n=102, 88%) were treated by anti-PCSK9 mAbs agents only. LDL-C and non-HDL-C levels were decreased by 47% and 39%, respectively (156 + 49 to 81 + 39 and 192 + 53 to 116 + 42 mg/dl), within 6 months and remained stable. Two-thirds (n=76) of the patients reached their lipid target levels. No clinically significant differences were observed between the agents in efficacy or tolerability.

Conclusions: In a real-world setting, anti-PCSK9 mAbs are used primarily as a single agent in high-risk and very high-risk cardiovascular populations with statin intolerance. They are well tolerated and effective in reduction of LDL-C levels. Further studies are needed to clarify comparisons between agents and doses.

Ela Giladi MD, Adi Rotkopf MD, Avishay Elis MD

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is frequently associated with clinical manifestations of autoimmune disorders (AD) and inflammatory responses of the immune system. The biological linkage between MDS clones and the occurrence of autoimmune manifestations is mirrored by the response of the latter to MDS modifying therapeutic approaches [1]. We encountered a rare case of MDS coexisting with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), which was effectively treated with a hypomethylating agent followed by allogenic bone marrow transplantation.

September 2022
The Rubrum Coelis Group*, and Jacob Chen MD MHA MSc, Alex Dobron BMedSc MOccH, Akiva Esterson BEMS MD, Lior Fuchs MD, Elon Glassberg MD MHA MBA, David Hoppenstein MBBCh, Regina Kalandarev-Wilson BEMS MD, Itamar Netzer MD MBA, Mor Nissan BEMS, Rachelly Shifer Ovsiovich DMD, Raphael Strugo MD, Oren Wacht BEMS MHA PhD, Chad G. Ball MD MSc FRCSC FACS, Naisan Garraway CD MD FRCSC FACS, Lawrence Gillman MD MMedEd FRCSC FACS, Andrew W. Kirkpatrick MD CD MHSc FRCSC FACS, Volker Kock CD MB, Paul McBeth MD MASc FRCS(C), Jessica McKee BA MSc, Juan Wachs PhD, and Scott K. d’Amours MDCM FRCSC FRACS FACS

Background: Handheld ultrasound devices present an opportunity for prehospital sonographic assessment of trauma, even in the hands of novice operators commonly found in military, maritime, or other austere environments. However, the reliability of such point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) examinations by novices is rightly questioned. A common strategy being examined to mitigate this reliability gap is remote mentoring by an expert.

Objectives: To assess the feasibility of utilizing POCUS in the hands of novice military or civilian emergency medicine service (EMS) providers, with and without the use of telementoring. To assess the mitigating or exacerbating effect telementoring may have on operator stress.

Methods: Thirty-seven inexperienced physicians and EMTs serving as first responders in military or civilian EMS were randomized to receive or not receive telementoring during three POCUS trials: live model, Simbionix trainer, and jugular phantom. Salivary cortisol was obtained before and after the trial. Heart rate variability monitoring was performed throughout the trial.

Results: There were no significant differences in clinical performance between the two groups. Iatrogenic complications of jugular venous catheterization were reduced by 26% in the telementored group (P < 0.001). Salivary cortisol levels dropped by 39% (P < 0.001) in the telementored group. Heart rate variability data also suggested mitigation of stress.

Conclusions: Telementoring of POCUS tasks was not found to improve performance by novices, but findings suggest that it may mitigate caregiver stress.

July 2022
Ivelin Koev MD, Aharon Bloch MD, Elisha Ouzan MD, Donna R. Zwas MD, Iddo Z. Ben-Dov MD, PhD, and Israel Gotsman MD

Background: Advanced heart failure (HF) carries a high rate of recurrent HF hospitalizations and a very high mortality rate. Mechanical devices and heart transplantation are limited to a select few. Dialysis may be a good alternative for advanced HF patients with volume overload despite maximal pharmacological therapy.

Objectives: To assess the net clinical outcome of peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis in patients with advanced HF.

Methods: We analyzed all advanced HF patients who were referred for dialysis due to volume overload in our institution. Patients were followed for complications, HF hospitalizations, and survival.

Results: We assessed 35 patients; 10 (29%) underwent peritoneal dialysis and 25 (71%) underwent hemodialysis; 71% were male; median (interquartile range) age was 74 (67–78) years. Estimated glomerular filtration rate was 20 (13–32) ml/min per 1.73 m2. New York Heart Association functional capacity was III. Median follow-up time was 719 days (interquartile range 658–780). One-year mortality rate was 8/35 (23%) and overall mortality rate was 16/35 (46%). Three patients (9%) died during the first year due to line or peritoneal dialysis related sepsis, and 6 (17%) died during the entire follow-up. The median number of HF hospitalizations was significantly reduced during the year on dialysis compared to the year prior to dialysis (0.0 [0.0–1.0] vs. 2.0 [0.0–3.0], P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Dialysis is reasonably safe and significantly reduced HF hospitalization in advanced HF patients. Dialysis could be a good alternative for advanced HF patients with intractable volume overload.

June 2021
Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Elisabetta Gerratana MD, Sara Bongiovanni MD, Rossella Talotta MD PhD, Gianfranco Miceli MD, Fausto Salaffi MD PhD, and Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini MD

Background: There is a lack of real-life clinical data for biosimilar etanercept, an anti-TNF blocking fusion protein. We describe the comparable efficacy and safety of originator and biosimilar etanercept in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in a real-life clinical setting. Our data confirm that a biosimilar etanercept can be safely used as first-line treatment as well as in patients switched from a previous originator compound.

Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of originator and biosimilar etanercept in a cohort of RA patients attending two Italian hospitals.

Methods: The study involved 81 consecutive adult RA patients treated for at least 6 months with originator or biosimilar etanercept and considered their clinical and laboratory data, concomitant medications, and adverse events at baseline, and after 3 and 6 months of treatment.

Results: Group 1 included 51 patients taking originator etanercept; group 2 included 30 taking biosimilar etanercept, including 19 who had been switched from the reference product. Despite a significant baseline difference in clinical disease activity, one-way analysis of variance showed that the two groups were clinically comparable after 6 months of treatment, and the same was true when only those receiving etanercept as first-line biological treatment were considered. Nine patients discontinued the treatment due to inefficacy or adverse events, which were never serious and were only reported in group 1.

Conclusions: The efficacy and safety profiles of originator and biosimilar etanercept are comparable in RA patients in a real-life clinical setting. Further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings

Avishay Elis MD, Robert Klempfner MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Ela Gilady MD, and Ilan Goldenberg MD

Background: Real-world information regarding the use of direct oral anticoagulants therapy and the outcome in patients with renal dysfunction is limited.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and severe renal dysfunction who are treated with apixaban.

Methods: A sub-analysis was conducted within a multicenter prospective cohort study. The study included consecutive eligible apixaban- or warfarin-treated patients with non-valvular AF and renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] modification of diet in renal disease [MDRD] < 60 ml/min/BSA) were registered. All patients were prospectively followed for clinical events and over a mean period of 1 year. Our sub-analysis included the patients with 15 < eGFR MDRD < 30 ml/min/BSA. The primary outcomes at 1 year were recorded. They included mortality, stroke or systemic embolism, major bleeding, and myocardial infarction as well as their composite occurrence.

Results: The sub-analysis included 155 warfarin-treated patients and 97 apixaban-treated ones. All had 15 < eGFR MDRD < 30 ml/min/BSA. When comparing outcomes for propensity matched groups (n=76 per group) of patients treated by reduced dose apixaban or warfarin, the rates of the 1-year composite endpoint as well as mortality alone were higher among the warfarin group (30 [39.5%] vs. 14 [18.4%], P = 0.007 and 28 [36.8%] vs.12 [15.8%], P = 0.006), respectively. There was no significant difference in the rates of stroke, systemic embolism, or major bleeding.

Conclusions: Apixaban might be a reasonable alternative to warfarin in patients with severe renal impairment.

April 2021
Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Francesca Marino MD, Mariateresa Cirillo MD, Elisabetta Gerratana MD, Fausto Salaffi MD PhD, and Alessandra Alciati MD
November 2020
Vera Santos Felisberto MD, Ana R. Delgado MD, Hermengarda Pinto MD, and Paulo Morais MD
May 2020
Edward Itelman MD, Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Amitai Segev MD, Chen Avaky MD, Liat Negru MD, Dor Cohen MD, Natia Turpashvili MD, Sapir Anani MD, Eyal Zilber MD, Nir Lasman MD, Ahlam Athamna MD, Omer Segal MD, Tom Halevy MD, Yehuda Sabiner MD, Yair Donin MD, Lital Abraham MD, Elisheva Berdugo MD, Adi Zarka MD, Dahlia Greidinger MD, Muhamad Agbaria MD, Noor Kitany MD, Eldad Katorza MD, Gilat Shenhav-Saltzman MD and Gad Segal MD

Background: In February 2020, the World Health Organisation designated the name COVID-19 for a clinical condition caused by a virus identified as a cause for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. The virus subsequently spread worldwide, causing havoc to medical systems and paralyzing global economies. The first COVID-19 patient in Israel was diagnosed on 27 February 2020.

Objectives: To present our findings and experiences as the first and largest center for COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: The current analysis included all COVID-19 patients treated in Sheba Medical Center from February 2020 to April 2020. Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological data gathered during their hospitalization are presented.

Results: Our 162 patient cohort included mostly adult (mean age of 52 ± 20 years) males (65%). Patients classified as severe COVID-19 were significantly older and had higher prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes. They also had significantly higher white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low folic acid blood levels were more common amongst severe patients (18.2 vs. 12.9 vs. 9.8, P = 0.014). The rate of immune compromised patients (12%) in our cohort was also higher than in the general population. The rate of deterioration from moderate to severe disease was high: 9% necessitated non-invasive oxygenation and 15% were intubated and mechanically ventilated. The mortality rate was 3.1%.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients present a challenge for healthcare professionals and the whole medical system. We hope our findings will assist other providers and institutions in their care for these patients.

Gad Segal MD, Dror Mevorach MD, Avishay Elis MD and Dror Dicker MD and COVID-19 Task Force on behalf of the Israeli Society of Internal Medicine
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