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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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September 2019
Atzmon Tsur MD, Nael Shakeer MD and Ronit Geron MD

Background: The potential for full rehabilitation following amputation among end-stage renal disease patients is poor.

Objectives: To evaluate the functional outcomes and survival among amputees treated with hemodialysis at the end of the rehabilitation procedure.

Methods: We recruited 46 patients after lower limb amputation. Of these individuals, 19 (41.3%) were treated with dialysis and 27 (58.7%) were non-dialysis-dependent patients (NDDP). Both groups were divided into three sub-groups according to their independence with regard to activities of daily living (ADL) and their ability to walk with prostheses.

Results: The survival of lower limb amputees treated with dialysis was shorter compared to NDDP. Survival after amputation among the NDDP who were fully or partially independent in ADL and with regard to mobility, was longer compared to the non-mobile amputees as with the patients treated with dialysis.

Conclusions: Survival was significantly longer in lower limb amputees NDDP and shorter in patients who did not achieve a certain level of functioning.

July 2019
Hadar Simchony, Gil Diamant PhD, Zvi Ram MD and Ilan Volovitz PhD

Background: Tumor treating fields (TTFields) are low-intensity, intermediate frequency electric fields that affect proliferating cells. TTFields are FDA approved for treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma. Combining TTFields with immunotherapy is a rational approach due to their different mechanisms of action (MOA) and to the ability of TTFields to induce immunogenic cell death. Conversely, TTFields may interfere with immune functions critical for effective T-cell responses.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of TTFields on pivotal antitumoral T-cell functions.

Methods: T-cells from healthy donor peripheral blood (PB) or from viably dissociated human glioblastoma samples were cultured under normal or TTFields conditions, with or without superantigen stimulation. Multiparametric flow cytometry (8-color) was used to assess T-cell responses by monitoring select pivotal functions: proliferation (CFSE), IFNγ secretion, cytotoxic degranulation (CD107a), and activation/exhaustion (PD-1). Cellular viability was assessed in a dedicated assay. A chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell-based assay directly evaluated cellular cytotoxicity.

Results: Activated PB T-cells and tumor-infiltrating T-cells (TILs) preserved all monitored anti- tumoral functions under TTFields, apart from proliferation. This finding also applied specifically to PD-1 + TILs, comprised predominantly of tumor antigen-specific cells. Activated T-cells that attempted to proliferate under TTFields demonstrated decreased viability, in line with TTField MOA. Small or no reduction in viability was found in T-cells that did not attempt to proliferate, whether activated or resting.

Conclusions: All monitored anti-tumoral T cell functions, except for proliferation, were unhindered by TTFields. Our results support further investigation into combinations of TTFields with T-cell based immunotherapeutic approaches.

June 2019
Alex Konstantinovsky MD, Snait Tamir PhD, Giora Katz MD, Orna Tzischinsky PhD, Nina Kuchersky MD, Nava Blum PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a syndrome associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may predict cardiovascular events in men presenting with this syndrome. It has been shown to be associated with a higher rate of acute myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality, vascular inflammation, and impaired endothelial function. In this review we present the literature findings and describe the mechanistic pathways that are known to be involved in this syndrome and its related clinical consequences.

May 2019
Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Abid Assali MD, Mordehay Vatury MD, Leor Perl MD, Hana Vaknin-Assa MD and Alexander Sagie MD

Background: The MitraClip procedure is becoming an acceptable alternative for high-risk patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) due to functional (FMR) or degenerative (DMR) disease and suitable mitral anatomy.

Objectives: To evaluate the results of MitraClip at our institute in carefully selected patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records and echocardiography data from January 2012 to December 2017.

Results: A total of 39 MitraClip procedures in 37 patients (aged 75 ± 12 years, 9 women) was performed. Twenty-four patients presented with FMR, 12 with DMR, and 1 with combined pathology. One-day post-procedure MR was moderate to low in 86.1% of patients, with immediate device success in 88.8%. MR at 1 year was moderate to low in 79% at 1 year. Survival at 1 year was 86% and at 2 years 69.4%. Peri-procedural (< 1 week) death and MitraClip failure occurred in one and three patients, respectively. New York Heart Association score improved to class 1 or 2 in 37% of patients at 1 year vs. one patient at baseline. Post-procedural systolic pulmonary pressure was reduced from 53 (range 48–65) to 43 (range 36–52) mmHg at 1 month with a subsequent plateau at follow-up, to 41 (34–57) mmHg at 6 months, and to 47 (38–50) at 12 months.

Conclusions: MitraClip in severe MR resulted in modest improvement in functional status and pulmonary pressure with a small risk of immediate procedural complications. Outcomes are encouraging considering the natural course of MR and the risks of surgical intervention.

April 2019
Shai Shimony MD, Heftziba Green MD, Gideon Y. Stein MD PhD, Alon Grossman MD, Ruth Rahamimov MD and Shmuel Fuchs MD

Background: Kidney transplantation is associated with early improvement in cardiac function and structure; however, data on cardiac adaptation and its relation to kidney allograft function remain sparse.

Objectives: To investigate the relationship between post-transplant kidney function and echocardiographic measures in patients with normal/preserved pre-transplant cardiac structure and function.

Methods: The study included 113 patients who underwent kidney transplantation at a single tertiary medical center from 2000 to 2012. The patients were evaluated by echocardiography before and after transplantation, and the relation between allograft function and echocardiographic changes was evaluated. Echocardiography was performed at a median of 510 days after transplantation.

Results: The post-transplantation estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was directly correlated with left ventricular (LV) systolic function and inversely correlated with LV dimensions, LV wall thickness, left atrial diameter, and estimated systolic pulmonary arterial pressure. In patients with significant allograft dysfunction (eGFR ≤ 45 ml/min), LV hypertrophy worsened, with no improvement in LV dimensions. In contrast, in patients with preserved kidney function, there was a significant reduction in both LV diameter and arterial pulmonary systolic pressure.

Conclusions: Our results show that in kidney transplant recipients, allograft function significantly affects cardiac structure and function. Periodic echocardiographic follow-up is advisable, especially in patients with kidney graft dysfunction.

February 2019
Arnon Blum MD, Nina Pastukh MSc, Rizak Sirchan MA, Nava Blum PhD, Lev Chernikoff MD and Vladimir Vaispapir MD

Background: Endothelial progenitor cells may have a role in ongoing endothelial repair. Impaired mobilization or depletion of these cells may contribute to progression of vascular disease. Our hypothesis was that endothelial progenitor cells would be suppressed in patients with acute cerebrovascular event based on our previous study that found severe endothelial dysfunction in those patients.

Objectives: To study the ability of patients with acute stroke to build colonies of endothelial progenitor cells.

Methods: We studied the number of colony-forming units of endothelial progenitor cells (CFU-EPCs) from the peripheral blood of 22 male patients with a first-time acute stroke (age 58.09 ± 9.8 years) and 13 healthy men (34 ± 6.7 years), 8 female patients with a first-time acute stroke (54.6 ± 10.3 years) and 6 healthy women (38.3 ± 11.6 years). Endothelium-dependent function was assessed by high-resolution ultrasonography of the brachial artery that measured the change in diameter of the artery by flow-mediated diameter percent change (FMD%). All patients had strokes demonstrated by a brain computed tomography (CT) scan done on admission. Peripheral blood was drawn soon after admission and was processed for endothelial progenitor cells in culture.

Results: Thirty patients without known cardiovascular risk factors and who did not take any medications were admitted with a first-time acute stroke. All demonstrated a strong correlation between CFU-EPCs grown in culture and endothelial dysfunction (r = 0.827, P < 0.01). Endothelial dysfunction with an FMD% of -2.2 ± 9.7% was noted in male patients vs. 17.5 ± 6.8% in healthy males (P = 0.0001), and -7.2 ± 10.1% in female patients vs. 25.1 ± 7.1% in healthy females (P = 0.0001). CFU-EPCs were 5.5 ± 6.3 in men with stroke vs. 23.75 ± 5.3 in healthy males (P = 0.0001), and 7.6 ± 4.9 in women with stroke vs. 22.25 ± 6.7 in healthy females (P = 0.0004).

Conclusions: Patients with acute stroke had an impaired ability to grow CFU-EPCs in culture and exhibited endothelial dysfunction. The novelty of this study was the discovery of the phenomenon of depressed numbers of EPCs and the poor ability to grow colonies of EPCs in the first 24 hours of the cerebrovascular event.

September 2018
Marina Leitman MD, Marina Levitan MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: A cardiac restrictive filling patterns are associated with unfavorable prognoses. Cardiac interventions may change the natural history of patients.

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of restrictive filling pattern in routine echocardiographic examinations and their association with morbidity and mortality.

Methods: The clinical and echocardiographic data of patients with newly diagnosed restrictive filling pattern were analyzed and summarized.

Results: Among 8000 patients who underwent an echocardiographic examination in our hospital in 2013, a restrictive filling pattern was identified in 256. Of these, 134 showed a restrictive filling pattern that was newly diagnosed. Mean age was 69 years. Hypertension, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease were found in 81%, 60%, and 53%, respectively. Left ventricular ejection fraction was 42% ± 16%. Severe valvular abnormalities were found in 18%. During follow-up (29 ± 15 months), 40% of patients died. The strongest predictor of mortality (73%) was moderate or more advanced aortic stenosis, P = 0.005. Renal failure was an important independent predictor of mortality (53%, P < 0.05). A very high E/E' ratio ≥ 20, was another independent mortality predictor (50%, P < 0.03). Patients who died were less likely to have undergone cardiac interventions than those who survived (26% vs. 45%, P < 0.03).

Conclusions: Prevalence of restrictive filling among echocardiographic studies is 3.2%. In a half of these, the restrictive filling pattern is a new diagnosis. Patients who are diagnosed with a new restrictive filling pattern have higher mortality rates. Patients with restrictive filling should be evaluated thoroughly for possible coronary artery or valvular heart disease.

Dror Lakstein MD, Ornit Cohen BEng Msc, Efrat Daglan MD, Yaron Haimovich MD and Zachary Tan MD FRCSC

Background: Mortality and decrease in function after hip fracture are significantly related to patient factors including age, gender, co-morbidities, and mental status. Several studies demonstrated ethnic disparities in incidence, mortality, and functional outcome after hip fractures in the United States.

Objectives: To assess the relationship between ethnicity and hip fracture incidence and outcomes of mortality, functional change, and perioperative complications in the Israeli population.

Methods: We reviewed our institutional hip fracture registry for all patients from 2014–2015. Patients with incomplete data, < 60 years of age, or pathologic and periprosthetic fractures were excluded. Our study comprised 693 patients. Ethnicity was based on country of birth. Specifically, for those born in Israel, the nationality of either Jewish or Arab was further dichotomized. Perioperative complications, mortality, and mobility status at 1 year follow-up were recorded. The ethnicities of 27,130 patients admitted to the medicine and surgical wards during the same time interval served as a control group for the hip fracture cohort.

Results: Immigrants from Europe and America had the highest incidence of hip fractures. Fracture types varied in incidence in groups with 70% of extracapsular hip fractures occurring in Arabs and immigrants from Eastern countries, compared to 60% in immigrants from Western countries and the former Soviet Union. Mortality, perioperative complications, and mobility at 1 year were similar in all ethnic groups.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated significant differences in incidence and fracture characteristic among ethnicities, but no difference in patient outcome. These findings differed from the available North American studies.

 

August 2018
Anan Younis MD, Dov Freimark MD, Robert Klempfner MD, Yael Peled MD, Yafim Brodov MD, Ilan Goldenberg MD and Michael Arad MD

Background: Cardiac damage caused by oncological therapy may manifest early or many years after the exposure.

Objectives: To determine the differences between sub-acute and late-onset cardiotoxicity in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) recovery as well as long-term prognosis.

Methods: We studied 91 patients diagnosed with impaired systolic function and previous exposure to oncological therapy. The study population was divided according to sub-acute (from 2 weeks to ≤ 1 year) and late-onset (> 1 year) presentation cardiotoxicity. Recovery of LVEF of at least 50% was defined as the primary end point and total mortality was the secondary end point.

Results: Fifty-three (58%) patients were classified as sub-acute, while 38 (42%) were defined as late-onset cardiotoxicity. Baseline clinical characteristics were similar in the two groups. The mean LVEF at presentation was significantly lower among patients in the late-onset vs. sub-acute group (28% vs. 37%, respectively, P < 0.001). Independent predictors of LVEF recovery were trastuzumab therapy and a higher baseline LVEF. Although long-term mortality rates were similar in the groups with sub-acute and late-onset cardiotoxicity, improvement of LVEF was independently associated with reduced mortality.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that early detection and treatment of oncological cardiotoxicity play an important role in LVEF recovery and long-term prognosis.

Ohad Gluck MD, Liliya Tamayev MD, Maya Torem MD, Jacob Bar MD, Arieh Raziel MD and Ron Sagiv MD

Background: Laparoscopic salpingectomy is strongly related to successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.

Objectives: To compare the ovarian reserve, including anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) levels, in patients who underwent salpingectomy before IVF to IVF patients who had not been salpingectomized.

Methods: In this retrospective study, medical records of women who were treated by the IVF unit at our institute were reviewed. We retrieved demographic data, surgical details, and data regarding the ovarian reserve. Details of 35 patients who were treated by IVF after salpingectomy were compared to 70 IVF patients with no history of salpingectomy treatment. Nine women underwent IVF treatment before and after having salpingectomy, and their details were included in both groups.

Results: The levels of AMH, follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and progesterone were not significantly different in the groups. The antral follicular count (AFC), number of oocytes retrieved, amount of gonadotropin administered for ovarian stimulation, and number of embryos transferred (ET) were also not significantly different.

Conclusions: Salpingectomy does not seem to affect ovarian reserve in IVF patients.

June 2018
Robert Klempfner MD, Boaz Tzur MD, Avi Sabbag MD, Amira Nahshon MA, Nelly Gang MD, Ilan Hay MD, Tamir Kamerman MA, Hanoch Hod MD, Ilan Goldenberg MD and David Rott MD

Background: About half of all patients with heart failure are diagnosed with heart failure preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Until now, studies have failed to show that medical treatment improves the prognosis of patients with HFpEF.

Objectives: To evaluate changes in exercise capacity of patients with HFpEF compared to those with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) following an exercise training program.

Methods: Patient data was retrieved from a multi-center registry of patients with heart failure who participated in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Patients underwent exercise testing and an echocardiogram prior to entering the program and were retested6  months later.

Results: Of 216 heart failure patients enrolled in the program, 170 were diagnosed with HFrEF and 46 (21%) with HFpEF. Patients with HFpEF had lower baseline exercise capacity compared to those with HFrEF. Participating in a 6 month exercise program resulted in significant and similar improvement in exercise performance of both HFpEF and HFrEF patients: an absolute metabolic equivalent (MET) change (1.45 METs in HFrEF patients vs. 1.1 in the HFpEF group, P = 0.3).

Conclusions: An exercise training program resulted in similar improvement of exercise capacity in both HFpEF and HFrEF patients. An individualized, yet similarly structured, cardiac rehabilitation program may serve both heart failure groups, providing safety and efficacy.

April 2018
Amos Levi MD, Dorit Leshem-Lev Phd, Adaya Weissler-Snir MD, Tal Hasin MD, Israel Mats MD, Daniel Murninkas MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Eli I. Lev MD and Tuvia Ben-Gal, MD

Background: Circulating endothelial progenitor cells have an important role in the process of vascular repair. Impaired recruitment and function of endothelial progenitor cells is related to the pathophysiology of congestive heart failure. Endothelial progenitor cells have been shown to express the mineralocorticoid receptor. 

Objectives: To investigate the effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists on endothelial progenitor cells in patients with heart failure. 

Methods: Twenty-four patients with compensated heart failure, who were not under mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist therapy, were recruited. Either eplerenone (n=8) or spironolactone (n=16) therapy was initiated. Circulating endothelial progenitor cell level, identified as the proportion of mononuclear cells expressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), CD133, and CD34, was evaluated by flow cytometry at baseline and after 8 weeks. Following 7 days of culture, colonies were counted by microscopy and MTT assay was performed on randomly selected patients (n=12) to estimate viability.

Results: Both median CD34+/VEGFR2+ and median CD133+/VEGFR2+ increased significantly (P = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively). However, the number of colonies and viability of the cells after therapy (as assessed by the MTT assay) was not significantly different compared with the baseline. 

Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that mineralocorticoid receptor blockade may enhance endothelial progenitor cells recruitment in patients with compensated heart failure.

Anne Graham Cummiskey MBBS, Amit Segev MD, Michael Segel MD, Jonathan Buber MD, Victor Guetta MD, Israel M. Barbash MD, Dan Elian MD, Elad Asher MD, Ori Vaturi MD and Paul Fefer MD

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of exercise hemodynamics during right heart catheterization (RHC) in the diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction (DD). Little data exists regarding exercise hemodynamics during RHC in symptomatic systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. 

Objectives: To assess the added diagnostic value of using exercise hemodynamics during RHC in assessment of patients with symptomatic SSc.

Methods: We performed 22 RHCs in 17 SSc patients with dyspnea and/or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Exercise was performed in 15 RHCs using isotonic arm exercises while holding a 1 kg weight in each hand. Measurements of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP), and cardiac output (CO) were taken at rest and during peak exercise. 

Results: Normal resting RHC (PAP 22 ± 3 mmHg, PAWP 11 ± 3 mmHg) was found in seven cases. Of these, exercise induced elevation in PAP was found in three (38 ± 7 mmHg), and exercise induced elevation in PAWP was found in four (24 ± 6 mmHg). Elevated resting PAP was found in 15 (41 ± 11 mmHg) with minor changes in exercise. Of the 22 RHCs, elevation of the PAWP was found in 11 (50%), half of which were in response to exercise. 

Conclusions: In symptomatic SSc patients, exercise hemodynamics provides important information on diastolic dysfunction that is not available with non-invasive testing. Findings on exercise RHC can explain patient symptoms in up to 50% of cases. Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of patient symptoms can aid in tailoring the correct therapy for each.

January 2018
Oshrat E. Tayer-Shifman MD, Yigal Bar-On MSc, David Pereg MD and Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD

Background: Physical inactivity is a pivotal factor in the development and progression of various chronic diseases. However, most fitness facilities exclude unhealthy individuals. Therefore, an exercise program that admits such patients is imperative.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a fitness facility that admits adult subjects with multiple chronic diseases.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective screening of patient records from the Medical Fitness Facility at Meir Medical Center, Israel. Intake of subjects was done by a multidisciplinary team. For each individual, personalized diet and exercise plans were developed and patients attended the facility twice a week. Each participant was evaluated at enrolment and after 4 months for well-being, metabolic parameters, exercise capacity, and laboratory blood tests.

Results: A total of 838 individuals were enrolled, mean age 57 years. Their medical conditions included dyslipidemia (48.8%), hypertension (37.6%), and diabetes mellitus (24.9%), followed by musculoskeletal problems (arthropathy 19%, lower back pain 16.1%) and ischemic heart disease (13.4%). Less common diagnoses were vascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, and malignancy. Only 40.5% of participants adhered to the regimen with advanced age being the best predictor for adherence. At the follow-up visit, body mass index was lower (31.2 vs. 30.2 kg/m2, P <0.0001), exercise capacity increased (measured as maximal MET; 7.1 vs. 8.1, P < 0.0001), and well-being improved (measured by Short Form Survey [SF-36]; 69.3 vs. 76.0, P <0.0001).

Conclusions: We show that a fitness program for patients with multiple chronic diseases is feasible and effective in improving prognostic parameters, albeit significantly challenged by adherence limitations.

Gad Dotan MD, Eyal Cohen MD, Ainat Klein MD and Anat Kesler MD

Background: Recent evidence suggests that olfaction is impaired in patients with pseudotumor cerebri (PTC).

Objectives: To measure suprathreshold olfactory function by using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), assessing its usefulness for routine clinical use.

Methods: Forty PTC patients underwent USPIT olfactory testing.

Results: Twenty-nine out of 40 (73%) PTC patients (36 women, 4 men; mean age 34 years) had reduced suprathreshold smell sensation according to UPSIT scores: 19 (47%) had mild microsmia, 9 (23%) had moderate microsmia, and one (3%) was classified as having severe microsmia. The mean UPSIT score of all patients was 32.4 (95% confidence interval 31.4–33.4). Multivariate regression analysis found that UPSIT scores were not related to disease activity, disease duration, initial intracranial pressure (ICP), or visual function.

Conclusions: Many PTC patients have reduced suprathreshold olfactory dysfunction that can be discovered by UPSIT, a rapidly administered smell test, which is suitable for clinical office use.

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