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עמוד בית
Thu, 30.05.24

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August 2018
Yoav Michowitz MD, Jeremy Ben-Shoshan MD, Oholi Tovia-Brodie MD, Aharon Glick MD and Bernard Belhassen MD

Background: The incidence, characteristics, and clinical significance of catheter-induced mechanical suppression (trauma) of ventricular arrhythmias originating in the outflow tract (OT) area have not been thoroughly evaluated.

Objectives: To determine these variables among our patient cohort.

Methods: All consecutive patients with right ventricular OT (RVOT) and left ventricular OT (LVOT) arrhythmias ablated at two medical centers from 1998 to 2014 were included. Patients were observed for catheter-induced trauma during ablation procedures. Procedural characteristics, as well as response to catheter-induced trauma and long term follow-up, were recorded.

Results: During 288 ablations of OT arrhythmias in 273 patients (RVOT n=238, LVOT n=50), we identified 8 RVOT cases (3.3%) and 1 LVOT (2%) case with catheter-induced trauma. Four cases of trauma were managed by immediate radiofrequency ablation (RFA), three were ablated after arrhythmia recurrence within a few minutes, and two were ablated after > 30 minutes without arrhythmia recurrence. Patients with catheter-induced trauma had higher rates of repeat ablations compared to patients without: 3/9 (33%) vs. 12/264 (0.45%), P = 0.009. The three patients with arrhythmia recurrence were managed differently during the first ablation procedure (immediate RFA, RFA following early recurrence, and delayed RFA). During the repeat procedure of these three patients, no catheter trauma occurred in two, and in one no arrhythmia was observed.

Conclusions: Significant catheter-induced trauma occurred in 3.1% of OT arrhythmias ablations, both at the RVOT and LVOT. Arrhythmia suppression may last > 30 minutes and may interfere with procedural success. The optimal mode of management following trauma is undetermined.

May 2018
Eran Leshem MD, Michael Rahkovich MD, Anna Mazo MD, Mahmoud Suleiman MD, Miri Blich MD, Avishag Laish-Farkash MD, Yuval Konstantino MD, Rami Fogelman MD, Boris Strasberg MD, Michael Geist MD, Israel Chetboun MD, Moshe Swissa MD, Michael Ilan MD, Aharon Glick MD, Yoav Michowitz MD, Raphael Rosso MD, Michael Glikson MD and Bernard Belhassen MD

Background: Limited information exists about detailed clinical characteristics and management of the small subset of Brugada syndrome (BrS) patients who had an arrhythmic event (AE).

Objectives: To conduct the first nationwide survey focused on BrS patients with documented AE.

Methods: Israeli electrophysiology units participated if they had treated BrS patients who had cardiac arrest (CA) (lethal/aborted; group 1) or experienced appropriate therapy for tachyarrhythmias after prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation (group 2).

Results: The cohort comprised 31 patients: 25 in group 1, 6 in group 2. Group 1: 96% male, mean CA age 38 years (range 13–84). Nine patients (36%) presented with arrhythmic storm and three had a lethal outcome; 17 (68%) had spontaneous type 1 Brugada electrocardiography (ECG). An electrophysiology study (EPS) was performed on 11 patients with inducible ventricular fibrillation (VF) in 10, which was prevented by quinidine in 9/10 patients. During follow-up (143 ± 119 months) eight patients experienced appropriate shocks, none while on quinidine. Group 2: all male, age 30–53 years; 4/6 patients had familial history of sudden death age < 50 years. Five patients had spontaneous type 1 Brugada ECG and four were asymptomatic at ICD implantation. EPS was performed in four patients with inducible VF in three. During long-term follow-up, five patients received ≥ 1 appropriate shocks, one had ATP for sustained VT (none taking quinidine). No AE recurred in patients subsequently treated with quinidine.

Conclusions: CA from BrS is apparently a rare occurrence on a national scale and no AE occurred in any patient treated with quinidine.

January 2018
Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD, Avi Sabbag MD, Michael Glikson MD, Aharon Glick MD, Vladimir Khalameizer MD, Amos Katz MD and Yoav Michowitz MD

Background: Multiform fascicular tachycardia (FT) was recently described as a ventricular tachycardia (VT) that has a reentrant mechanism using multiple fascicular branches and produces alternate fascicular VT forms. Ablating the respective fascicle may cause a change in the reentrant circuit resulting in a change in morphology. Ablation of the septal fascicle is crucial for successful treatment.

Objectives: To describe four cases of FT in which ablation induced a change in QRS morphologies and aggravated clinical course.

Methods: Four out of 57 consecutive FT cases at three institutions were retrospectively analyzed and found to involve multiform FT. These cases underwent electrophysiological study, fascicular potential mapping, and electroanatomical mapping. All patients initially had FT with right bundle branch block (RBBB) and superior axis morphology.

Results: Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) targeting the distal left posterior fascicle (LPF) resulted in a second VT with an RBBB-inferior axis morphology that sometimes became faster and/or incessant and/or verapamil-refractory in characteristics. RFCA in the upper septum abolished the second VT with no complications and uneventful long-term follow-up.

Conclusions: The change in FT morphology during ablation may be associated with a change in clinical course when shifting from one route to another and may aggravate symptoms. Targeting of the proximal conduction system (such as bifurcation, LPF, left anterior fascicle, high septal/auxiliary pathway) may serve to solve this problem.

October 2016
Shimon M. Glick MD

Jewish medical ethics is a term coined by the late Lord Rabbi Immanuel Jacobovits in the mid-20th century. Its principles and emphases differ in some significant ways from the currently accepted axioms in Western secular ethics. The emphasis is lesser on autonomy and more on the value of human life and on communitarianism. The Israel Patient's Rights Law reflects these differences from the Western norms.

Yuval Glick MD, Erez N. Baruch MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD, Amy L. Berg MD, Dror Yifrah MBA MHA, Avraham Yitzhak MD, David Dagan MD MHA and Tarif Bader MD MHA

Background: During the past 6 years the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps (IDF-MC) deployed three humanitarian delegation field hospitals (HDFHs) in disaster zones around the globe: Haiti (2010), the Philippines (2013), and Nepal (2015). 

Objectives: To compare the activity of these HDFHs and the characteristics of the patients they served.

Methods: This retrospective study was based on the HDFHs’ operation logs and patients medical records. The study population included both the staff who participated and the patients who were treated in any of the three HDFHs.

Results: The Philippine HDFH was a "hybrid" type, i.e., it was integrated with a local hospital. Both the Haitian and the Nepali HDFHs were the "stand-alone" type, i.e., were completely autonomic in resources and in function. The Nepali HDFH had a larger staff, departed from Israel 4 hours earlier and was active 7 hours earlier as compared to the Haitian one. In total, 5465 patients, 55% of them female, were treated in the three HDFHs. In Haiti, Nepal and the Philippines, disaster-related injuries accounted for 66%, 26% and 2% of the cases, respectively. Disaster-related injuries presented mainly in the first days of the HDFHs' activity.

Conclusions: The next HDFH should be planned to care for a significant proportion of routine medical illnesses. The IDF-MC continuous learning process will enable future HDFHs to save more lives as we "extend a helping hand" to foreign populations in crisis. 


February 2016
Oholi Tovia-Brodie MD, Yoav Michowitz MD, Aharon Glick MD, Raphael Rosso MD and Bernard Belhassen MD

Background: Left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) arrhythmias are increasingly recognized. Data regarding the distribution of the sites of origin (SOO) of the arrhythmias are sparse.

Objectives: To describe the clinical characteristics of patients with LVOT arrhythmias and the distribution of their SOO. 

Methods: All 42 consecutive patients with LVOT arrhythmias who underwent radiofrequency (RF) ablation during the period 2000–2014 were included. SOO identification was based on mapping activation, pace mapping and a 3D mapping system in eight patients. 

Results: The study group comprised 28 males (66.7%) and 14 females, the mean age was 55 ±15.4 years. Most patients (76%) were symptomatic. All suffered from high grade ventricular arrhythmias. Left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (ejection fraction ≤ 50%) was observed in 15 patients (35.7%), of whom 14 (93.3%) were males. The left coronary cusp (LCC) was the most common arrhythmia SOO (64.3%). Other locations were the right coronary cusp (RCC), the junction of the RCC-LCC commissure, aortic-mitral continuity, endocardial-LVOT, and a coronary sinus branch. Acute successful ablation was achieved in 29 patients (69%) and transient arrhythmia abolition in 40 (95.2%). There was a trend for a higher success rate using cooled tip ablation catheters as compared to standard catheters. The ablation procedure significantly improved LV function in all patients with tachycardiomyopathy. 

Conclusions: LVOT arrhythmias mostly originate from the LCC and are associated with LV dysfunction in 36% of patients. Knowledge regarding the prevalence of the anatomic origin of the LVOT arrhythmias may help achieve successful ablation. The use of cooled tip ablation catheters might have beneficial effects on the success rate of the procedure.


April 2014
Oded Shamriz MD, Inbal Cohen-Glickman PharmD, Shimon Reif MD and Eyal Shteyer MD
 With growing awareness of the importance of pain control in all procedures, the use of lidocaine-prilocaine cream (EMLA) for all ages is increasing. Lidocaine-prilocaine cream has been implicated as a cause of methemoglobinemia. Diagnostic clues may be oxygen-resistant cyanosis and an oxygen ‘‘saturation gap’’ between arterial blood saturation and pulse oximetry. Treatment with intravenous methylene blue is often effective. Since EMLA is often mistakenly considered risk-free it is routinely applied by medical staff in the emergency room. Subsequent to the case of EMLA-induced methemoglobinemia in an 8 year old girl we wish to alert the medical community to this phenomenon, and in this work review the relevant literature.

September 2012
S.M. Glick and A.B. Jotkowitz

The recent paper by Giubilini and Minerva suggesting the ethical permissibility of infanticide of normal newborns, calling it “postbirth abortion,” represents a dangerous deterioration of generally accepted ethical norms. Their proposal represents a clear example of the so-called slippery slope and we caution against abandoning the age-old traditions of the medical profession assigning intrinsic value to human life from birth. This article discusses the proposed concept, makes comparisons with earlier similar trends of thought, and highlights the dangers of the proposal.

September 2009
B. Belhassen, T. Ohayon-Tsioni, A. Glick and S. Viskin

Background: The predictive value of electrophysiologic studies depends on the aggressiveness of the programmed ventricular stimulation protocol.

Objectives: To assess if non-inducibility with an "aggressive" protocol of PVS[1] identifies post-infarction patients with low ejection fraction (EF[2] ≤ 30%) who may safely be treated without implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

Methods: We studied 154 patients during a 9 year period. Our aggressive PVS protocol included: a) stimulus current five times the diastolic threshold (≤ 3 mA) and b) repetition of double and triple extrastimulation at the shortest coupling intervals that capture the ventricle.

Results: Sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias were induced in 116 patients (75.4%) and 112 (97%) of them received an ICD[3] (EPS[4]+/ICD+ group). Of the 38 non-inducible patients, 34 (89.5%) did not receive an ICD (EPS-/ICD- group). In comparison to the EPS+/ICD+ group, EPS-/ICD- group patients were older (69 ± 10 vs. 65 ± 10 years, P < 0.05), had a lower EF (23 ± 5% vs. 25 ± 5%,  P < 0.05) and a higher prevalence of left bundle branch block (45.5% vs. 20.2%, P < 0.005). Follow-up was longer for EPS+/ICD+ patients (40 ± 26 months) than for EPS-/ICD- patients (27 ± 22 months) (P = 0.011). Twelve EPS+/ICD+ patients (10.7%) and 5 EPS-/ICD- patients (14.7%) died during follow-up (P = 0.525). Kaplan-Meier survival curves did not show a significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.18).
Conclusions: The mortality rate in patients without inducible VTAs[5] using an aggressive PVS protocol and who did not undergo subsequent ICD implantation is not different from that of patients with inducible arrhythmias who received an ICD. Using this protocol, as many as one-fourth of primary prevention ICD implants could be spared without compromising patient prognosis

[1] PVS = programmed ventricular stimulation

[2] EF = ejection fraction

[3] ICD = implantable cardioverter defibrillator

[4] EPS electrophysiologic study

[5] VTA = ventricular tachyarrhythmias

April 2007
B. Belhassen, O. Rogowski, A. Glick, S. Viskin, M. Ilan, R. Rosso and M. Eldar

Background: Radiofrequency ablation has been suggested as first-line therapy in the management of accessory pathways. There are limited data on the results of ablation over years of experience.

Objectives: To assess the results and complications following RFA[1] of APs[2] performed in our institution over a 14 year period.

Methods: RFA was performed using deflectable electrode catheters positioned at the mitral or tricuspid annulus. The site of the AP was localized by electrophysiological study and radiofrequency energy was applied via the tip of the catheter

Results: The study cohort comprised 508 consecutive patients (64.2% males, mean age 33.6 ± 15.1 years) who underwent 572 RFA procedures for ablating 534 APs. A single AP was found in 485 (95.5%) patients while multiple APs were noted in 23 patients (4.5%). The APs were manifest, concealed or intermittent in 46.8%, 44.4% and 8.8% of cases, respectively. AP distribution was as follows: left free wall (56.6%), posteroseptal (23%), right anteroseptal (7.9%), right free wall (6.2%), midseptal (3.4%) and right atriofascicular (3.0%). Acute successful rates for a first or multiple ablation attempts were 93.1% and 95.3%, respectively. At a first ablation attempt, acute success and failure rates were the highest for midseptal (100%) and right atriofascicular (12.5%) APs respectively. Right anteroseptal APs were associated with the highest rate (23.9%) of discontinued or non-attempted procedures. Recurrent conduction in an AP after an initial successful ablation was observed in 9.9% of cases; it was the highest (24.2%) for right free wall APs and the lowest (5.0%) for left free wall APs. During follow-up (85 ± 43 months), definite cure of the AP was achieved in 94.9% of cases following a single or multiple procedures: midseptal (100%), left free wall (98%), right free wall (97%), posteroseptal (92.7%), right atriofascicular (87.5%) and right anteroseptal (78.5%). A non-fatal complication occurred in 18 patients (3.5%), more frequently in females (6.6%) than in males (1.8%) (P < 0.01). The two major complications (pericardial effusion and myocardial ischemic events) mainly occurred during RFA of a left free wall AP using a retrograde aortic approach. Catheter-induced mechanical trauma to APs was observed in 56 cases (10.5%). Mechanical trauma mainly involved right atriofascicular (43.8%) and right anteroseptal (38.1%) APs and contributed to the low success rate of RFA at these AP locations. During the 14 year period, our learning curve was achieved quickly in terms of success rate, although the most significant complications were observed at the beginning of our experience.

Conclusions: The results of this study confirm the efficacy and safety of RFA and suggest that it is a reasonable first-line therapy for the management of APs at any location.

[1] RFA = radiofrequency ablation

[2] AP = accessory pathway

July 2006
I. Topilski, O. Rogowski, A. Glick, S. Viskin, M. Eldar and B. Belhassen
 Background: Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia is the most frequent cause of regular, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. Radiofrequency ablation of the slow pathway has been recommended as first-line therapy for curing AVNRT[1].

Objectives: To report a 14 year experience of RFA[2] of the slow pathway in patients with AVNRT treated in our laboratory.

Methods: A total of 901 consecutive patients (aged 9–92, mean 50.8 ± 18.2 years) underwent RFA of the slow pathway. All patients had sustained AVNRT induced with or without intravenous administration of isoproterenol. A standard electrophysiologic method with three diagnostic and one ablation catheter was used in 317 patients (35.2%); in the remaining 584 patients (64.8%), only two electrode catheters (one diagnostic, one ablation) were used ("two-catheter approach").

Results: Catheter ablation of the slow pathway abolished AVNRT induction in 877 patients (97.3%). In 14 patients (1.6%) the procedure was discontinued while in 10 (1.1%) the procedure failed. In 864 patients (95.9%) there were no complications. Transient or permanent AV block occurred during the procedure in 31 patients (3.4%), of whom 8 (0.9%) eventually required pacemaker insertion (n=7) or upgrade of a previously implanted VVI pacemaker (n=1) during the month following the procedure. The number of catheters used did not significantly affect the rate of results or complications of the ablation procedure. The success and complication rates remained stable over the years, although a significant trend for increased age and associated heart disease was observed during the study period.

Conclusions: The results of this single-center large study, which included patients with a wide age range, showed results similar to those of previous studies. The use of a "two-catheter approach" (one diagnostic and one ablation) was as effective and safe as a multi-catheter approach.


[1] AVNRT = atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia

[2] RFA = radiofrequency ablation

June 2006
A. Glick, Y. Michowitz, G. Keren and J. George
 Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy is a modality with proven morbidity and mortality benefit in advanced systolic heart failure. Nevertheless, not all patients respond favorably to CRT[1]. Natriuretic peptides and inflammatory markers are elevated in congestive heart failure and reflect disease severity.

Objectives: To test whether an early change in neurohormonal and inflammatory markers after implantation can predict the clinical response to CRT.

Methods: The study group included 32 patients with advanced symptomatic systolic heart failure and a prolonged QRS complex and who were assigned to undergo CRT. Baseline plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide and high sensitivity C-reactive protein were determined in the peripheral venous blood and coronary sinus. Post-implantation levels were determined 2 weeks post-procedure in the PVB[2]. Baseline levels and their change in 2 weeks were correlated with all-cause mortality and hospitalization for congestive heart failure.

Results: At baseline, coronary sinus levels of BNP[3] but not hsCRP[4] were significanly elevated compared to the PVB. Compared to baseline levels, BNP and hsCRP decreased significantly within 2 weeks after the implantation (BNP mean difference 229.1 ± 102.5 pg/ml, 95% confidence interval 24.2–434, P < 0.0001; hsCRP mean difference 5.2 ± 2.4 mg/dl, 95% CI[5] 0.3–10.1, P = 0.001). During a mean follow-up of 17.7 ± 8.2 months 6 patients died (18.7%) and 12 (37.5%) were hospitalized due to exacerbation of CHF[6]. Baseline New York Heart Association and CS[7] BNP levels predicted CHF-related hospitalizations. HsCRP levels or their change over 2 weeks did not predict all-cause mortality or hospitalizations.

Conclusions: BNP levels in the CS and peripheral venous blood during biventricular implantation and 2 weeks afterwards predict cilinical response and may guide patient management.


[1] CRT = cardiac resynchronization therapy

[2] PVB = peripheral venous blood

[3] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide

[4] hs-CRP = high sensitivity C-reactive protein

[5] CI = confidence interval

[6] CHF = congestive heart failure

[7] CS = coronary sinus

April 2006
E. Rabinovich, D. Bussi, I. Shapira, G. Alalouf, C. Lipson, Y. Elkabetz, M. Glickman, M. Bajorek and S. Bar-Nun
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