• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

Search results


February 2024
Orly Gal-Or MD, Alon Tiosano MD, Inbar Perchik BSc, Yogev Giladi MD, Irit Bahar MD

Artificial intelligence in ophthalmology is used for automatic diagnosis, data analysis, and predicting responses to possible treatments. The potential challenges in the application and assimilation of artificial intelligence include technical challenges of the algorithms, the ability to explain the algorithm, and the ability to diagnose and manage the medical course of patients. Despite these challenges, artificial intelligence is expected to revolutionize the way ophthalmology will be practiced. In this review, we compiled recent reports on the use and application of deep learning in various fields of ophthalmology, potential challenges in clinical deployment, and future directions.

Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

January 2024
Ravit Peretz-Machluf MD, Mayan Gilboa MD, Shiran Bookstein-Peretz MD, Omri Segal MD, Noam Regev MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Yoav Yinon MD, Shlomi Toussia-Cohen MD

Background: Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since the release of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech), there has been accumulated data about the three vaccine doses. However, information regarding obstetric and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women vaccinated with the third (booster) vaccine is limited and primarily retrospective.

Objectives: To evaluate the obstetric and early neonatal outcomes of pregnant women vaccinated during pregnancy with the COVID-19 booster vaccine compared to pregnant women vaccinated only by the first two doses.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of pregnant women who received the BNT162b2 vaccine during pregnancy. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared between pregnant women who received only the first two doses of the vaccine to those who also received the booster dose.

Results: Overall, 139 pregnant women were vaccinated during pregnancy with the first two doses of the vaccine and 84 with the third dose. The third dose group received the vaccine earlier during their pregnancy compared to the two doses group (212 vs. 315 weeks, respectively, P < 0.001). No differences in obstetric and early neonatal outcomes between the groups were found except for lower rates of urgent cesarean delivery in the third dose group (adjusted odds ratio 0.21; 95% confidence interval 0.048–0.926, P = 0.039).

Conclusions: Compared to the first two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine given in pregnancy, the booster vaccination is safe and not associated with an increased rate of adverse obstetric and early neonatal outcomes.

Amnon Gil MD, Daniel Kushnir MD, Victor Frajewicki MD

Background: There are conflicting data on the significance of hyperuricemia or hyperuricosuria in urolithiasis formation and on the need for medical treatment.

Objectives: To assess the significance of hyperuricemia or hyperuricosuria in urolithiasis formation, particularly when hyperuricemia occurs with normal uricosuria.

Methods: The electronic medical records of patients treated in Haifa and the Western Galilee district of Clalit Health Services, Israel, were retrospectively screened for diagnosis of nephrolithiasis or renal or urinary tract/bladder calculi between February 2014 and April 2019. The diagnosis was confirmed by ultrasonography or computed tomography. The study group included patients with one of these diagnoses. Patients in the control group did not have these diagnoses. The inclusion criterion for all patients was the presence of both serum and urinary uric acid levels.

Results: The study group included 359 patients and the control group 267. After adjustment by logistic regression, we found no significant differences in the prevalence of hyperuricosuria in the study group (14.8%) compared to the control group (9.7%), odds ratio (OR) 1.54 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.74–3.2, P = 0.245). No significant differences between the groups were observed for hyperuricemia prevalence (45.4% vs. 55.1%, respectively, OR 0.82, 95%CI 0.54–1.25, P = 0.355), nor among those without hyperuricosuria (OR 0.83, 95%CI 0.52–1.33, P = 0.438) and after propensity score matching (OR 0.93, 95%CI 0.66–1.3, P = 0.655).

Conclusions: There were no significant differences in hyperuricemia or hyperuricosuria between the two groups of patients or in hyperuricemia among participants without hyperuricosuria.

December 2023
Roy Bitan MD, Michal Youngster MD, Ana Umanski MD, Sarita Kaufman MD, Alon Kedem MD, Sarit Avraham MD, Gil Yerushalmi MD, Ariel Hourvitz MD, Itai Gat MD

Background: Sperm banks initially focused on providing sperm donation (SD) to heterosexual couples grappling with severe male infertility. Notable advancements in fertility treatments and sociological trends have broadened the scope of SD toward single women and same sex female couples.

Objectives: To evaluate SD recipient characteristics over the last three decades in Israel according to demographic parameters.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 5489 women who received SD between January 1992 and December 2021 from a tertiary referral center. We divided the overall period into six groups of five years each. A comparison of demographic characteristics of women who received SD in different periods was performed according to age at the beginning of the treatment, marital status (single women and same sex female couples, heterosexual couples), and ethnic origin.

Results: The average age of women who received SD was 37.02 ± 5.36 years. The average patient age rose from 35.08 years in 1992–1997 to 37.43 years in 2017–2021 (P-value < 0.01). The use of SD was more common among single women and same sex female couples compared to heterosexual couples in later years. Regarding single and same sex female couple, the percentage of SD recipients increased radically from 33% to 88.1% (P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Modern sperm banks treat older patients in non-heterosexual relationships. These trends encompass not only medical implications (e.g., in vitro fertilization vs. intrauterine insemination) but also delve into the personal and sociological impact experienced by both patients and offspring.

October 2023
Gilad Rotem MD, Amir Arami MD, Iana Leineman MD, Alon Covo MD

Psoriatic arthritis can present with significant hand and wrist deformity and dysfunction [1]. The development of newer biological therapies has resulted in higher rates of remission [2]. However, surgical intervention is still indicated in pain, disability, and severe deformation cases. The management of patients with rheumatic diseases has a controversial history, characterized by rheumatologists and hand surgeons debating the efficacy of surgical interventions. Some surgeons attribute the controversial results to “too little and too late” referral of patients from rheumatologists [3]. While the availability of new and more effective medication has changed the indications and postponed surgical intervention, it is important to remember that surgery is often more effective when used preventively in the early stages than when forced to salvage. In the following case, we present a patient with psoriatic arthritis who presented with advanced-stage debilitating hand deformity and was treated surgically.

September 2023
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.

July 2023
Mikhal E. Cohen MD PhD, Roni Eichel MD, Gustavo Rajz MD, Gilad Yahalom MD

Background: Little is known about phenotypical variations among ethnic groups in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in Israel. Clinical characteristics of non-Ashkenazi Jews (NAJ) are scantly described.

Objectives: To describe clinical aspects of PD in ethnic groups in Israel, focusing on NAJ and Ashkenazi Jews (AJ).

Methods: In this cross-sectional retrospective study, we collected demographic, genetic, and clinical characteristics of patients from different ethnic Jewish backgrounds. Ethnic groups included AJ; North African Jews (NAFJ); oriental Jews (OJ) originating from Iran, Iraq, and Buchara; Balkan Jews; Yemenite Jews (YJ); and Jews of mixed origin. Clinical characteristics included hyposmia, urinary complaints, constipation, and rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder. Cognitive complaints, motor features, levodopa-induced dyskinesia, and motor fluctuations were collected. Motor part of the MDS-UPDRS and Hoehn and Yahr scores were collected.

Results: The study comprised 174 PD Jewish patients (63.2% AJ, 56.4% males). The age at onset was 65.3 ± 10.2 years; 106 patients (60.9%) were genotyped (17 glucocerebrosidase [16.0%], 13 leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 [LRRK2] [12.3%]). Rates of hyposmia were significantly higher in AJ than NAJ (56.6% vs. 39.5%, respectively, P = 0.003). No significant differences were found in motor features in all variables. Of 13 AJ patients carrying the LRRK2 mutation, only one had hyposmia. Three patients with LRRK2 were NAJ.

Conclusions: Hyposmia is less prevalent in PD patients of NAJ origin than in AJ. The rate of hyposmia in NAFJ patients is particularly low. The rate of other non-motor features is similar between NAJ and AJ patients.

Gilad Rotem MD, Amir Arami MD

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a collection of symptoms and signs caused by compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Symptoms include paresthesia and/or numbness in the median nerve distribution, aching in the thenar eminence, and weakness at later stages. CTS is the most common entrapment neuropathy with a prevalence of 1–5%, and even higher among females, manual workers, and the elderly. Therefore, many patients with signs and symptoms of CTS refer to their primary care physician who should recognize, diagnose, and provide initial treatment.

May 2023
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Haytham Katas MD, Ariel Banai MD, Keren-Lee Rozenfeld MD, Dana Lewit MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Gil Bornstein MD, Shmuel Banai MD, Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, baseline neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) may reflect the severity of renal impairment. No data exists on serial changes in serum NGAL levels in CKD patients before and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Objectives: To evaluate serial serum NGAL levels relation to contrast induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) following PCI.

Methods: The study included 58 patients with CKD who underwent elective PCI. Plasma NGAL measurements were performed before (pre-NGAL) and 24 hours following (post-NGAL) PCI. Patients were followed for CI-AKI and changes in NGAL levels. Receiver operator characteristic identified the optimal sensitivity and specificity for pre-NGAL levels compared with post-NGAL for patients with CI-AKI.

Results: Overall CI-AKI incidence was 33%. Both pre-NGAL (172 vs. 119 ng/ml, P < 0.001) and post-NGAL (181 vs. 121 ng/ml, P < 0.001) levels were significantly higher in patients with CI-AKI, but no significant changes were detected. Pre-NGAL levels were similar to post-NGAL levels in predicting CI-AKI (area under the curve 0.753 vs. 0.745). Optimal cutoff value for pre-NGAL was 129 ng/ml (sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 72%, P < 0.001). Post-NGAL levels > 141 ng/ml were independently associated with CI-AKI (hazard ratio [HR] 4.86, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.34–17.64, P = 0.02) with a strong trend for post-NGAL levels > 129 ng/ml (HR 3.46, 95%CI 1.23–12.81, P = 0.06).

Conclusions: In high-risk patients, pre-NGAL levels may predict CI-AKI. Further studies on larger populations are needed to validate the use of NGAL measurements in CKD patients.

April 2023
Maali Abu-Omer, Gilad Chayen, Ron Jacob

Background: Children with forearm fractures who present to the emergency department (ED) often need a closed reduction. In our institution, until 2017, pediatric trauma patients presented to the general trauma ED (GTED) where no sedation services for pediatric patients were available. From 2017, patients presented to the pediatric emergency department (PED) where closed reductions were performed under sedation when appropriate.

Objectives: To compare GTED and PED with regard to length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization rates of pediatric patients with forearm fractures who needed a closed reduction.

Methods: Our retrospective observational study was conducted at a regional hospital. The study population consisted of all patients younger than 18 years of age who presented to the ED with a forearm fracture that needed a closed reduction. The primary outcome measure was the hospitalization rate. The secondary outcome measure was LOS in the ED.

Results: The study comprised 165 patients with forearm fractures who needed a closed reduction; 79 presented to the GTED, and 96 presented to the PED. Hospitalization rates were lower for patients undergoing closed reduction under sedation in the PED compared to the GTED (6.3% and 21.5%, respectively; P = 0.003). Median ED LOS was longer among patients undergoing sedation in the PED compared to the GTED (237 vs. 168 minutes respectively, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Sedation for forearm fracture reduction in a hospital’s PED was associated with a decrease of more than three times in hospitalization rate. Despite the need for more resources, PED LOS was only mildly increased.

Avshalom Oziri MD, Michael Schnapper MD, Adi Ovadia MD, Shirli Abiri MD, Gila Meirson MD, Ilona Brantz RN, Osnat Blass Oziri, Diana Tasher MD, Avigdor Mandelberg MD, Ilan Dalal MD

Background: The global refugee crises have raised concerns among medical communities worldwide; nonetheless, access to healthcare has rarely been studied even though refugees are a medically high-risk group.

Objectives: To compare pediatric department admission rates from the pediatric emergency department (PED) of refugees and Israelis.

Methods: We compared data from refugee and Israeli children admitted to the pediatric department at Wolfson Medical Center in Israel between 2013–2017.

Results: A total of 104,244 patients (aged 0–18 years) came to the PED. Admission rate to the pediatric department for refugees was 695/2541 (27%) compared to 11,858/101,703 (11.7%) Israeli patients (P < 0.001). Hospital stay for patients 0–2-years of age was 3.22 ± 4.80 days for refugees vs. 2.78 ± 3.17 for Israelis (P < 0.03). Re-admission rate within 7 days was 1.3% for refugees and 2.6% for Israelis (P < 0.05). Dermatological diseases (e.g., impetigo and cellulitis) were more frequent in refugees (23.30% vs. 13.15%, P < 0.01); however, acute gastroenteritis and respiratory diagnoses were more common in Israelis (18.52% vs. 11.72%, P < 0.05 and 14.84% vs. 6.26%, P < 0.01, respectively). Neurological diseases (e.g., febrile convulsions) were also more frequent in Israelis (7.7% vs. 3%, P < 0.05). Very significantly, 23% of refugees had no healthcare coverage, while only 0.2% of the Israelis had none (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found significant morbidity in refugees compared to the local Israeli pediatric population, highlighting the need for different approaches for each population.

March 2023
Nimrod Sachs MD, Lotem Goldberg MD, Yoel Levinsky MD, Yotam Dizitzer MD, Yoav Vardi MD, Irit Krause MD, Oded Scheuerman MD, Gilat Livni MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Havatzelet Bilavsky-Yarden MD

Background: During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, less isolation of common winter viruses was reported in the southern hemisphere.

Objectives: To evaluate annual trends in respiratory disease-related admissions in a large Israeli hospital during and before the pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records from November 2020 to January 2021 (winter season) was conducted and compared to the same period in two previous years. Data included number of admissions, epidemiological and clinical presentation, and isolation of respiratory pathogens.

Results: There were 1488 respiratory hospitalizations (58% males): 632 in 2018–2019, 701 in 2019–2020, and 155 in 2020–2021. Daily admissions decreased significantly from a median value of 6 (interquartile range [IQR] 4–9) and 7 per day (IQR 6–10) for 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, respectively, to only 1 per day (IQR 1–3) in 2020–2021 (P-value < 0.001). The incidence of all respiratory viruses decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no hospitalizations due to influenza and only one with respiratory syncytial virus. There was also a significant decline in respiratory viral and bacterial co-infections during the pandemic (P-value < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a significant decline in pediatric respiratory admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible etiologies include epidemiological factors such as mask wearing and social distancing, in addition to biological factors such as viral interference. A herd protection effect of adults and older children wearing masks may also have had an impact.

Johnatan Nissan, Anna Blokh MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD MPH, Harald Heidecke PhD, Gilad Halpert PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is estimated to affect 2–4% of the general population. While FMS has some known environmental and genetic risk factors, the disorder has no clear etiology. A common coexisting disorder with FMS is small fiber neuropathy (SFN). High levels of serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) binding to trisulfated-heparin-disaccharide (TS-HDS) were recently found to be associated with SFN.

Objectives: To evaluate potential differences in anti-TS-HDS antibody titers in women with FMS compared to healthy controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated 51 female participants: 30 with a diagnosis of FMS and 21 healthy controls who had been recruited at the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. All of the participants were older than 18 years of age. Anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were measured in their sera using the enzyme immunoassay technique.

Results: The mean anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were significantly lower in the FMS group, compared with the control group (7.7 ± 5 vs. 13.2 ± 8.6 U/ml, respectively; P = 0.013).

Conclusions: There is a possible association between FMS and anti-TS-HDS IgM. This association might be the missing link for the coexistence of SFN and FMS, but further study should be performed to assess this association and this auto-antibody characteristic.

Ofira Zloto MD, Irit Barequet MD, Orit Ezra Nimni MD, Yoav Berger MD, Juliana Gildener-Leapman MD, Gal Antman MD, Noa Avni-Zauberman MD

Background: The cornea is one of the most densely innervated in the body. Pterygium surgery includes removal of the pterygium tissue from the cornea and conjunctiva followed by autologous conjunctival grafting.

Objectives: To examine the change in corneal and conjunctival sensation post-pterygium surgery.

Methods: This prospective study included patients with primary pterygium. We collected and analyzed demographic data, visual acuity (VA), refraction, quantified sensation, and corneal tomography. Comparison in sensation in the cornea, conjunctiva, and conjunctival autograft was recorded the day of surgery and at least 6 months postoperatively.

Results: Nine patients participated in the study. Mean follow-up time was 9 months (9 ± 3.3, 6–12.4). No complications were documented during or following surgery and no recurrences were found. Statistically significant increases in corneal sensation in the nasal corneal and in the nasal conjunctival areas were noted by the end of follow-up compared to before surgery (P = 0.05, paired samples t-test). There was a significant correlation between the increase in nasal corneal and conjunctival sensation with improved Schirmer testing outcomes and tear break-up time after surgery (P = 0.05, P = 0.01, Pearson correlation). There was a positive correlation between the changes in nasal corneal sensation after surgery and improved changes in VA (P = 0.02, Pearson correlation).

Conclusions: We found improvement in sensation 9 months after pterygium surgery, which may be due to reinnervation of the cornea and conjunctival autograft from the neighboring non-injured nerve fibers. Larger studies with confocal microscopy should be conducted for further analysis.

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 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel