• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Doctors card
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Mon, 28.11.22

Search results


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
March 2020
Yonatan Edel, Iftach Sagy, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Shirly Oren, Ariela Dortort Lazar, Mohammad Egbaria, Shachaf Shiber, Bat Sheva Tal and Yair Molad

Background: Guidelines recommend initiation of parenteral biologic or oral target-specific disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs/tsDMARDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who do not adequately respond to conventional DMARDs.

Objectives: To compare the preferred route of administration of bDMARDs or tsDMARDs in RA patients who were previously treated with at least one type.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of consecutive RA patients previously prescribed bDMARDs or tsDMARDs. We analyzed the factors associated with patients' preferred route of administration.

Results: The cohort included 95 patients, mostly female (72.6%), seropositive (81.05%), mean age 63.4 ± 11.9 years. The oral route was preferred by 39 patients (41%) and 56 (59%) preferred the parenteral route. Most patients (65.9%) preferred to continue with their current route (P < 0.001). Switching from a current route was less common with patients who were currently using the oral route (13.3% vs. 38.2%, P = 0.04). Many patients (53.8%) who preferred the oral route had never experienced it before, while this was rare (3.6%) regarding the parenteral route (P = 0.0001). Employment status was associated with preference of the subcutaneous route over the intravenous route of bDMARDs (P = 0.01). Of the 21 patients who had previously experienced both parenteral and oral treatment, 16 (76.2%) preferred the oral route.

Conclusions: RA patients preferred to continue treatment with an administration route they have already experienced. However, when choosing an unexperienced route, significantly more patients preferred the oral route. Our results strengthen the understanding of patient preferences, which could improve drug adherence, compliance, and disease outcome.

January 2020
Michal Shani MD MPH, Elisha Ozan MD, Yafit Duani MD, Andre Keren MD, Orna Gootman RN, Doron Komaneshter PhD and Israel Gotsman MD

Background: Heart failure centers with specialized nurse-supervised management programs have been proposed to improve prognosis. The Heart Failure Center in Beit Shemesh, Israel, is located within a large primary care facility. The specialist team supervised the managememt of patients both within the frame of the center and while they were hospitalized.

Objectives: To evaluate the health services utilization by heart failure patients treated at a heart failure center and their clinical outcome.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we compared the clinical outcome of patients treated at a heart failure center to patients who received the standard care in 2013–2014. The clinical outcome included primary care visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and death.

Results: The study comprised 430 heart failure patients; 82 were treated at the heart failure center and 348 under standard care. At baseline, no significant differences were seen in clinical parameters between the groups. Healthcare utilization was higher among the study group. No significant changes in healthcare utilization were found. During follow-up, patients treated in a heart failure center were more likely to get recommended heart failure medications. Mortality was significantly lower in patients treated in the heart failure center compared with those receiving standard care 3.6% vs. 24%, respectively (P = 0.001), hazard ratio 0.19, 95% confidence interval 0.06–0.62, P = 0.005.

Conclusions: Joint management of heart failure by primary clinics and a specialized community heart failure center reduced mortality. There was no decrease in healthcare utilizations among heart failure center patients, despite the reduction in mortality.

November 2019
Elisha Goshen-Gottstein MD, Ron Shapiro MD, Chaya Shwartz MD, Aviram Nissan MD, Bernice Oberman Msc, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS and Eyal Zimlichman MD MSc

Background: Anastomotic leakage (AL) is a major complication following colorectal surgery, with many risk factors established to date. The incidence of AL varies in the medical literature and is dependent on research inclusion criteria and diagnostic criteria.

Objectives: To determine the incidence of and the potential risk factors for AL following colorectal surgery at a single academic medical center.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all operative reports of colorectal procedures that included bowel resection and primary bowel anastomosis performed at Sheba Medical Center during 2012. AL was defined according to the 1991 United Kingdom Surgical Infection Study Group criteria. Data were assessed for leak incidence within 30 days. In addition, 17 possible risk factors for leakage were analyzed. A literature review was conducted.

Results: This cohort study comprised 260 patients, and included 261 procedures performed during the study period. The overall leak rate was 8.4%. In a univariate analysis, male sex (odds ratio [OR] 3.37, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21–9.43), pulmonary disease (OR 3.99, 95%CI 1.49–10.73), current or past smoking (OR 2.93, 95%CI 1.21–7.10), and American Society of Anesthesiologist score ≥ 3 (OR 3.08, 95%CI 1.16–8.13) were associated with an increased risk for anastomotic leakage. In a multivariate analysis, male gender (OR 3.62, 95%CI 1.27–10.33) and pulmonary disease (OR 4.37, 95%CI 1.58–12.10) were associated with a greater risk.

Conclusions: The incidence of AL in the present study is similar to that found in comparable series. Respiratory co-morbidity and male sex were found to be the most significant risk factors.

April 2019
Elisabeth Dramsdahl MD, Dag Gundersen Storla MD and Marco Harari MD

Background: Multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation for patients presenting with rheumatic diseases has been shown to produce better results in a warm climate. Dead Sea Climatotherapy (DSC) has been successfully used for decades to treat many patients with rheumatic diseases.

Objectives: To evaluate the short-term improvement of Norwegian patients who presented with chronic pain following a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial approach to treatment combined with DSC. Both objective and subjective clinical parameters were evaluated.

Methods: This retrospective study included a statistical analysis of 938 patients presenting with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (n=105), osteoarthritis (n=342), fibromyalgia (n=374), and other orthopedic conditions (n=117). Clinical assessments were conducted before and after a 3 week treatment program at the Dead Sea.

Results: Six parameters improved significantly in the rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis group as well as in the osteoarthritis group. Five parameters in the fibromyalgia group improved, while two improved in the orthopedic conditions group. Overall, major significant changes occurred in the pain self-assessment, joint motility, and daily activities scores.

Conclusions: A 3-week multidisciplinary biopsychosocial program combined with DSC induced positive changes in the clinical parameters of Norwegian patients presenting with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 3566, Ramat Gan 5213604 Israel