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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

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March 2024
Jill Savren Lotker MD, Ariel Roguin MD PhD, Arthur Kerner MD, Erez Marcusohn MD, Ofer Kobo MD PhD

Background: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Objectives: To compare the clinical outcomes within 30 days, one year, and five years of undergoing PCI.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with IBD who underwent PCI in a tertiary care center from January 2009 to December 2019.

Results: We included 44 patients, 26 with Crohn’s disease (CD) and 18 with ulcerative colitis (UC), who underwent PCI. Patients with CD underwent PCI at a younger age compared to UC (57.8 vs. 68.9 years, P < 0.001) and were more likely to be male (88.46% of CD vs. 61.1% of UC, P < 0.03). CD patients had a higher rate of non-steroidal treatment compared to UC patients (50% vs. 5.56%, P < 0.001). Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and/or the need for revascularization (e.g., PCI) were the most common clinical events to occur following PCI, in both groups. Of patients who experienced ACS and/or unplanned revascularization within 5 years, 25% of UC vs. 40% of CD had target lesion failure (TLF) due to in-stent restenosis and 10% of CD had TLF due to stent thrombosis.

Conclusions: We observed higher rates of TLF in IBD patients compared to the general population as well as differences in clinical outcomes between UC and CD patients. A better understanding of the prognostic factors and pathophysiology of these differences may have clinical importance in tailoring the appropriate treatment or type of revascularization for this high-risk group.

February 2024
Natalie Nathan MD, Michael Saring MD, Noam Savion-Gaiger MD, Kira Radinsky PhD, Alma Peri MD

A rise in the incidence of chronic health conditions, notably heart failure, is expected due to demographic shifts. Such an increase places an onerous burden on healthcare infrastructures, with recurring hospital admissions and heightened mortality rates being prominent factors. Efficient chronic disease management hinges on regular ambulatory care and preemptive action. The application of intelligent computational models is showing promise as a key resource in the ongoing management of chronic diseases, particularly in forecasting disease trajectory and informing timely interventions. In this review, we explored a pioneering intelligent computational model by Diagnostic Robotics, an Israeli start-up company. This model uses data sourced from insurance claims to forecast the progression of heart failure. The goal of the model is to identify individuals at increased risk for heart failure, thus enabling interventions to be initiated early, mitigating the risk of disease worsening, and relieving the pressure on healthcare facilities, which will result in economic efficiencies.

December 2023
Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

October 2023
Samuel N. Heyman MD, Yuri Gorelik MD, Mogher Khamaisi MD PhD, Zaid Abassi PhD

Recent studies using propensity score matching have clearly indicated that contrast nephropathy following computed tomography occurs in hospitalized patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2) and that this iatrogenic complication is likely underestimated because of concomitant renal functional recovery, unrelated to the imaging procedure. These findings should be considered regarding contrast-enhanced studies in such patients.

September 2023
Ivan Gur MD MPH MHA, Ronen Zalts MD, Monia Azzam MD, Khetam Hussein MD, Ami Neuberger MD, Eyal Fuchs MD

Background: At the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many patients presented with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, requiring ventilatory support. One treatment method was the addition of a reservoir mask to a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) (dual oxygenation).

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of combining reservoir mask on top of a high-flow nasal cannula.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of adult patients who were admitted due to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic to Rambam Health Care Campus. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality. Secondary endpoints were incidence of invasive positive pressure ventilation initiation and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Patients who received positive pressure ventilation for reasons other than hypoxemic respiratory failure or who were transferred to another facility while still on HFNC were excluded.

Results: The final analysis included 333 patients; 166 were treated with dual oxygenation and 167 with HFNC only (controls). No significant differences in baseline characteristics were noted between the groups. The dual oxygenation group was slightly older (69.2 ± 14.8 years vs. 65.6 ± 15.5 years, P = 0.034). The 30-day mortality (24.1% vs. 36.5%, P = 0.013), rates of invasive positive pressure ventilation (47% vs. 59.3%, P = 0.024), and ICU admissions (41.6% vs. 52.7%, P = 0.042) were all significantly lower in the dual oxygenation group.

Conclusions: The addition of reservoir masks to HFNC may improve the oxygenation and overall prognosis in patients with severe hypoxemia due to COVID-19.

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.

August 2023
Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

Recognizing myocarditis is a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge due to the heterogeneity of its clinical presentation and the wide range of etiologies. There is a lack of uniformity among position papers and guidelines from various professional societies regarding the definition and diagnostic workout, including recommendations for performing endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) and medical management, especially the use of immunosuppressive regimens [1-3]. Moreover, there is significant variability among medical centers in Israel in the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to acute myocarditis. The purpose of this position paper is to present ways to standardize the management of acute myocarditis in Israel [4] by providing up-to-date definitions of the clinical categories of myocarditis, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic approaches that correspond to the realities of our healthcare system.

Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

In the position statement on the definition and diagnosis of acute myocarditis on page XXX of this issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ), we discussed contemporary criteria for definition of acute myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathy [1-6]. We also addressed current diagnostic methods including indications for endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) [7-21]. In this position statement, we discuss the management approaches during hospitalization and following hospital discharge, including specific forms of myocarditis and recommendations for returning to physical activity after myocarditis [21-36].

Shimrit Yaniv-Salem MD, Lianne Dym MD, Lior Nesher MD, Doron Zahger MD, Aryeh Shalev MD, Hezzy Shmueli MD

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare but potentially devastating complication of pregnancy. Although the pathophysiology of PPCM is not fully understood, there are known risk factors for developing PPCM, which are maternal and gestation related. In the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we witnessed an elevated incidence of PPCM among COVID-19 survivors.

Objectives: To present a single-center case series of three patients diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy after recovered from COVID-19 during the index pregnancy.

Methods: In this single center case study, all patients diagnosed with PPCM at our institute during the examined time frame were included. Electronic medical records were studied.

Results: Three patients previously diagnosed with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 disease during pregnancy presented with PPCM before or shortly after delivery. Patients underwent testing to rule out residual COVID-19 myocarditis, were treated pharmacologically and with wearable defibrillators as needed, and were examined in follow-up 1–9 months after delivery.

Conclusions: Residual endothelial damage due to COVID-19 disease, even if originally mild in presentation, could predispose pregnant patients to PPCM and should be considered as a risk factor when assessing patients with new onset symptoms of heart failure. Further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis and fully determine the underlying pathophysiology. These preliminary findings warrant a high index of suspicion for PPCM in COVID-19 recoverers.

May 2023
Shoshana Amos MD, Rena Pollack MD, Inon Sarig MD, Ehud Rudis MD, Nir Hirshoren MD, Jeffrey Weinberger MD, Ariela Arad MD, Matan Fischer MD, Aviv Talmon MD, Joshua Stokar MD

Thyroid storm-related heart failure is a rare, life threatening complication of hyperthyroidism. In refractory cases, urgent thyroidectomy is required for definitive control of thyrotoxicosis. venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is a supportive measure for cardiorespiratory failure requiring continuous anticoagulation to prevent clotting. We presented two cases of thyrotoxic cardiac failure that necessitated VA-ECMO. One of the patients was successfully treated with thyroidectomy while on VA-ECMO. To the best of our knowledge, only two such cases have previously been reported.

December 2022
Nasra Idilbi PhD, Wafiq Amun MD

Background: Timely extubation is important integral part of the treatment of intensive care patients.

Objective: To evaluate hand grip strength using a Jamar Hydraulic Hand Dynamometer as a predictor of success or failure in weaning from ventilation.

Methods: This prospective study included 104 patients (62 males, 42 females) who were ventilated in the general intensive care unit (ICU), and who were alert and cooperating. They undertook a hand grip strength test using the Jamar dynamometer, within hours of extubation. Patients needing resuscitation within 72 hours were defined as failure.

Results: Success rate in weaning from ventilation was 85.6%, and 89 patients successfully weaned from ventilation. Those who were successfully weaned had stronger hand grip than those who failed. Males had a mean kg-strength 31.3 ± 11.5 vs. 23.6 ± 10.3 (P = 0.033), and in females mean kg-strength 23.14 ± 16.39 vs. 11.67 ± 10.33 (P = 0.031). A threshold value (22.5 kg-strength) was found to predict success for weaning from ventilation in the male group, with a sensitivity of 70.0% and a specificity of 62.5%. In the female group, the duration of the ventilation alone was statistically significant (P = 0.049).

Conclusions: There was a connection between hand strength and success in weaning from ventilation. A threshold value can help the medical staff to decide on extubation. Hand grip strength can predict successful weaning from ventilation and does not require high skills, time, a large staff, or high financial cost, and it does not endanger the patient.

November 2022
Regev Landau MD, Ana Belkin MD, Sapir Kon-Kfir MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD, Avishay Grupper MD, David Shimunov MD, Ben-Ami Sela PhD, Ehud Grossman MD, Gadi Shlomai MD, Avshalom Leibowitz MD

Background: Most dyspneic patients in internal medicine departments have co-morbidities that interfere with the clinical diagnosis. The role of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is well-established in the acute setting but not in hospitalized patients.

Objectives: To evaluate the additive value of BNP tests in patients with dyspnea admitted to medical wards who did not respond to initial treatment.

Methods: We searched the records of patients who were hospitalized in the department of internal medicine D at Sheba Medical Center during 2012 and were tested for BNP in the ward. Data collected included co-morbidity, medical treatments, diagnosis at presentation and discharge, lab results including BNP, re-hospitalization, and mortality at one year following hospitalization.

Results: BNP results were found for 169 patients. BNP was taken 1.7 ± 2.7 days after hospitalization. According to BNP levels, dividing the patients into tertiles revealed three equally distributed groups with a distinctive character. The higher tertile was associated with higher rates of cardiac co-morbidities, including heart failure, but not chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Higher BNP levels were related to one-year re-hospitalization and mortality. In addition, higher BNP levels were associated with higher rates of in-admission diagnosis change.

Conclusions: BNP levels during hospitalization in internal medicine wards are significantly related to cardiac illness, the existence of heart failure, and patient prognosis. Thus, BNP can be a useful tool in managing dyspneic patients in this setting.

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.

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.

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