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עמוד בית
Mon, 06.02.23

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November 2011
E. Greenberg, I. Treger and J. Schwarz

Background: Little is known of the risk factor disparities in first stroke among Jewish and Arab patients undergoing rehabilitation in Israel.

Objectives: To investigate the age, gender and risk factor disparities in first stroke among Jewish (immigrant and non-immigrant) and Arab patients undergoing rehabilitation and to compare the prevalence and odds ratio of stroke risk factors in these patients.

Methods: The database of the Department of Neurological Rehabilitation C at Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center was used to investigate first ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients admitted for hospital rehabilitation over a 15 year period, January 1993 to December 2008. Particular attention was paid to age, gender and risk factor disparities.

Results: The 2000 patients with first stroke who were included in the study were grouped as Jewish (immigrant and non-immigrant) and Arab (237 Arabs, 370 non-immigrant Jews and 1393 immigrant Jews). A high percentage of Arab patients were found to have hypertension and diabetes mellitus, while a high percentage of Jewish immigrants had stenosis of the internal carotid artery.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated some differences in the effect of risk factors between the groups. It may be important to address such differences when developing stroke preventative strategies in this population of Jewish and Arab stroke survivors in Israel.

October 2011
T. Wolak, A. Belkin, V. Ginsburg, G. Greenberg, O. Mayzler, A. Bolotin, E. Paran and G. Szendro

Background: Percutaneous angioplasty (PTA) and stenting is an established procedure for the treatment of hypertension caused by atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. However recently, the decision whether or not to perform this procedure has raised considerable debate.

Objectives: To examine the association between the basic clinical and radiological characteristics of candidates for renal artery PTA and the clinical outcome of the procedure in terms of improvement of blood pressure control and renal function.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty (PTRA) and stent implantation in a tertiary medical center during the period 2000–2007. The clinical and radiological data were extracted from the medical file of each patient. Blood pressure measurements and creatinine level were recorded before the procedure and 1 month, 6 months, 12 months and 18 months after PTRA.

Results: Thirty-two patients were included in the final statistical analysis. The mean age of the study population was 66.6 ± 8.8 years old and 75% were men. There was a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure 1 month after the procedure: 160.5 ± 24.7 vs. 141.8 ± 23.6 mmHg and 83.8 ± 12.9 vs. 68.8 ± 11.8 mmHg respectively (P < 0.001). The reduction in blood pressure was constant throughout the follow-up period and was evident 18 months after the procedure: 160.5 ± 24.7 vs. 135.0 ± 35.1 mmHg and 83.8 ± 12.9 vs. 71.3 ± 16.5 mmHg respectively (P < 0.001). However, no improvement in renal function was observed at any time during the follow-up period. We could not demonstrate an association between clinical or radiological features and the clinical outcome after PTRA.

Conclusions: Our findings show that PTRA[1] can be considered an effective procedure for improving blood pressure control in patients with atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS) and resistant hypertension. This research, together with previous studies, strengthens the knowledge that the decline in glomerular filtration rate seen in many patients with ARAS is non-reversible and is not improved by PTRA.

[1] PTRA = percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty

June 2011
O. Chechik, R. inbar, B. Danino, R. Lador, R. Greenberg and S. Avital

Background: The effect of anti-platelet drugs on surgical blood loss and perioperative complications has not been studied in depth and the management of surgical patients taking anti-platelet medications is controversial.

Objective: To assess the effect of anti-platelet therapy on perioperative blood loss in patients undergoing appendectomy either laparoscopically or via open surgery.

Methods: We reviewed the files of all patients > 40 years old who underwent open or laparoscopic appendectomies from 2007 to 2010. Excluded were patients with short hospitalization and no follow-up of hemoglobin level, patients on warfarin treatment and patients who underwent additional procedures. Estimation of blood loss was based on decrease in hemoglobin level from admission to discharge. Risk factors for blood loss, such as anti-platelet therapy, age, gender, surgical approach, surgical time, surgical findings and complications, were analyzed.

Results: The final cohort included 179 patients (mean age 61 ± 14 years, range 40–93) of whom 65 were males. The mean perioperative hemoglobin decrease was 1.59 ± 1.07 mg/dl (range 0–5 mg/dl). Thirty-nine patients received anti-platelet therapy prior to surgery and 140 did not. No significant differences in decrease of hemoglobin level were found between patients receiving anti-platelet therapy and those who were not (1.73 ± 1.21 vs. 1.55 ± 1.02 mg/dl, P = 0.3). In addition, no difference was found between patients on anti-platelet therapy operated laparoscopically and those operated in an open fashion (1.59 ± 1.18 vs. 2.04 ± 1.28 mg/dl, P = 0.29). Five patients required blood transfusions, two of whom were on anti-platelet therapy. Blood loss was significantly greater in patients with a perforated appendicitis and in those with an operative time of more than one hour.

Conclusions: Anti-platelet therapy does not pose a risk for increased blood loss following emergent appendectomy performed either laparoscopically or in an open fashion.

May 2011
L. Shen, Y. Matsunami, N. Quan, K. Kobayashi, E. Matsuura and K. Oguma

Background: Major changes in the evaluation and treatment of curable colorectal cancer (CRC) have emerged in the last two decades. These changes have led to better patient outcome over time.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of these changes as reflected in the difference in long-term outcome of a consecutive group of recently laparoscopically operated curable CRC[1] patients and a consecutive group of patients operated 20 years earlier in the same department.

Methods: Data of the new group were taken from our prospectively collected data of patients who underwent elective laparoscopic surgery for CRC in recent years. Data regarding patients operated on 20 years ago were retrieved from previous prospectively collected data on the long-term survival of CRC patients operated in the same department.

Results: The recently operated group comprised 203 patients and the previous group 199 patients. Perioperative mortality was 0.5% in the new group versus 1.5% in the old group (not significant). There were more early-stage and more proximal tumors in the recently operated group. A Kaplan-Meier 5-year survival analysis revealed no difference between stage I patients of the two groups. However, there was a significant increase in 5-year survival in the new group for stage II (85% vs. 63%, P = 0.004) and for stage III patients (57% vs. 39%, P = 0.01). This trend was maintained after removing the rectal cancer patients from the calculated data.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated improved survival for stage II and III CRC patients over a 20-year period in the same medical center. This change most likely reflects advances both in imaging techniques leading to more accurate staging and in adjuvant treatments.

[1] CRC = colorectal cancer

April 2011
R. Inbar, E. Santo, A. El-Abid Subchi, J. Korianski, Z. Halperin, R. Greenberg and S. Avital


Background: Esophageal perforations and postoperative esophageal leaks are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality and pose a difficult therapeutic challenge. 

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of removable self-expanding metallic stents (SEMS) as a treatment for postoperative leaks and perforations of the esophagus and stomach.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all patients in one medical center who underwent temporary insertion of a covered plastic stent for postoperative leaks and perforations of the esophagus and stomach from June 2009 to February 2010. Data were retrieved from hospital and outpatient clinical data charts. Data included indication for insertion, post-insertion outcome including stent complications, and follow-up after stent removal.

Results: The indications for stent insertion were postoperative leak in four patients and postoperative esophagopleural fistula in one patient. Three of the patients had a leak at the gastro-esophageal junction following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. In all cases the stent insertion was completed successfully. In three patients the stent migrated distally. In two of these three it was repositioned or replaced endoscopically, and in the third it was excreted in the feces. Stents were removed electively after 6 to 7 weeks. All patients recovered fully and were discharged from the hospital.

Conclusions: SEMS insertion may have an important role in the management of postoperative leaks and perforations of the esophagus and stomach and should be considered in such cases.

December 2009
S. Weitzman, S. Greenfield, J. Billimek, H. Tabenkin, P. Schvartzman, E. Yehiel, H. Tandeter, S. Eilat‎-Tsanani and S.H. Kaplan

Background: Research on synergistic effects of patient-targeted interventions combined with physician-targeted interventions has been limited.

Objectives: To compare a combined physician-patient intervention to physician feedback alone on a composite outcome of glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control.

Methods: In this cluster study 417 patients with adult-type 2 diabetes from four primary care clinics were randomized to receive either a physician-only intervention or a combined physician-plus-patient intervention. Physicians in all clinics received diabetes-related quality performance feedback during staff meetings. Patients at combined-intervention clinics also received a letter encouraging them to remind their doctors to address essential aspects of diabetes care at the next visit. At 1 year follow-up, outcome measurements included hemoglobin A1c, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and systolic blood pressure; the proportion of patients with HbA1c[1] < 9%, LDL[2] < 130 mg/dl and SBP[3] < 140 mmHg both as separate outcomes and combined.

Results: After adjusting for patient characteristics and baseline measures, follow-up levels of HbA1c (7.5% vs. 7.8%, P = 0.09), LDL (104.7 vs. 110.7 mg/dl, P < 0.05) and SBP (135.6 vs. 139.9, P = 0.10) were marginally better for combined-intervention patients compared to physician-only intervention patients. Significantly more patients in the combined-intervention (38.8%) than physician-only intervention (24.2%) met all three targets (HbA1c < 9%, LDL < 130 mg/dl and SBP < 140 mmHg) as a single combined outcome (adjusted odds ratio 2.4, P < .01).

Conclusions: Compared to physician-feedback alone, a dual intervention combining a patient letter with physician feedback produced modest improvements in glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control individually, but substantial improvement in a combined measure of these three outcomes together. Using composite outcomes may detect meaningful improvements in the management of complex chronic disease. 


[1] HbA1c = hemoglobin A1c

[2] LDL = low density lipoprotein

[3] SBP = systolic blood pressure

May 2009
H. Mazeh, A. Greenstein, K. Swedish, S. Arora, H. Hermon, I. Ariel, C. Divino, H.R Freund and .K. Weber

Background: Fine needle aspiration is the main diagnostic tool used to assess thyroid nodules.

Objectives: To correlate FNA[1] cytology results with surgical pathological findings in two teaching medical centers across the Atlantic.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 484 patients at Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem and Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, by means of both preoperative FNA cytology and a final histopathological report. Results compared FNA diagnosis, histological findings and frozen section results (Mt. Sinai only).

Results: The sensitivity value of FNA at Hadassah was 83.0% compared with 79.1% at Mt. Sinai (NS). Specificity values were 86.6 vs. 98.5% (P < 0.05), negative predictive value 78.7 vs. 77.6% (NS) and positive predictive value 89.7 vs. 98.6% (P < 0.05), respectively. "Follicular lesion" was diagnosed on FNA in 33.1% of the patients at Hadassah and in 21.5% at Mt Sinai (P < 0.005) with a malignancy rate of 42.5 vs. 23.1% (P < 0.05), respectively. Frozen section was used in 190 patients at Mt. Sinai (78.5%) with sensitivity and specificity values of 72.3% and 100%. Frozen section results altered the planned operative course in only 6 patients (2.5%). Follicular carcinoma was diagnosed in 12 patients at Hadassah vs. 2 patients at Mt. Sinai (P p <0.05).

Conclusion: The sensitivity of FNA at the two institutions was comparable. While malignancy on frozen section is highly specific, it should be used selectively for suspicious FNA results. Follicular lesions and the rate of malignancy in such lesions were more common at Hadassah, favoring a more aggressive surgical approach.

[1] FNA = fine needle aspiration

November 2008
B. Bar-Oz, M. Goldman, E. Lahat, R. Greenberg, M. Avgil, A. Blay, A. Herman, M. Berkovitch

Background: Medication errors are a common cause of morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To evaluate the rate of acknowledgment of medication errors as reported by physicians working in the community and in hospitals.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to 9320 active physicians (about 48% community physicians, 17% hospital physicians and 35% working in both places), with questions on the rate and type of medication errors that they had encountered during their professional career. The questions specified errors in dosage, type of medicine (wrong indication), route of administration and drug interactions.

Results: Only 627 physicians (6.7%) responded. Of these, nearly 79% admitted having made an error in prescribing medication; the majority admitted to more than one error. Physicians with fewer years of experience admitted having made a mistake more than did physicians with more experience (P = 0.019). Pediatricians and geriatricians made more dosage mistakes (P = 0.02), while family physicians and psychiatrists made more mistakes in drug interactions (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: It is possible that indifference, fear of identification, or lack of awareness may have contributed to the low response rate despite the fact that the questionnaire was anonymous. Educational programs should be implemented in medical schools to encourage physicians to report errors before the onset of adverse reactions.

I. Greenberg-Wolff et al

Background: Cardiac computed tomography scans influde several extra-cardiac structures such as mediastinum, lung parenchyma and upper abdominal organs. A variety of abnormalities in those structures might be clinically important and in some cases might explain the patient's complaints.

Objectives: To analyze consecutive cardiac computed tomography examinations for the prevalence and clinical significance of extra-cardiac findings.

Methods: Cardiac CT scans of 134 sequential patients (104 males, 30 females) aged 20–77 years (mean 54 years) with suspected coronary artery disease were prospectively and independently reviewed by a consensus of two radiologists for the presence of lung, mediastinal, pleural, upper abdominal and skeletal abnormalities. CT scans with extra-cardiac abnormalities were divided into two groups: group A – defined as "clinically significant" or "potentially significant findings" – consisted of patients requiring further evaluation or follow-up, and group B – "clinically non-significant findings."

Results: Extra-cardiac abnormalities were found in 103 of the 134 patients (76.8%). Group A abnormalities were found in 52/134 patients (39%), while group B abnormalities were seen in 85/134 (63%). The most common abnormalities in group A were non-calcified lung nodules (> 4 mm) noted in 17/134 patients (13%), followed by enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes (> 10 mm) in 14/134 (10%), diaphragmatic hernia (2 cm) in 12/134 (9%), moderate or severe degenerative spine disease in 12/134 (9%), and emphysema and aortic aneurysm in 6 patients each (4.5%). A malignant lung tumor was noted in one patient.

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of non-cardiac abnormalities in patients undergoing CCT[1]. Clinically significant or potentially significant findings can be expected in 40% of patients who undergo CCT, and these will require further evaluation and follow-up. The reporting radiologist should be experienced in chest imaging and aware of the large variety of non-cardiac findings in CCT that might explain the patient's complaints. 

[1] CCT = coronary computed tomography

May 2008
November 2007
E. Nesher, R. Greenberg, S. Avital, Y Skornick and S. Schneebaum

Background: Peritoneal carcinomatosis is an advanced form of cancer with poor prognosis that in the past was treated mainly palliatively. Today, the definitive approach to peritoneal surface malignancy involves peritonectomy, visceral resection and perioperative intra-abdominal hyperthermic chemotherapy. The anticipated results range from at least palliative to as far as intent to cure. Proper patient selection is mandatory.

Objectives: To determine whether cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy can extend survival, and with minor complications only, in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Methods: Twenty-two IPHP[1] procedures were performed in 17 patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis in our institution between 1998 and 2007: 6 had pseudomyxoma peritonei, 5 had colorectal carcinoma, 3 had ovarian cancer and 3 had mesotheliomas. All patients underwent cytoreductive surgery, leaving only residual metastasis < 1 cm in size. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy was administered through four large catheters (2F) using a closed system of two pumps, a heat exchanger and two filters. After the patient’s abdominal temperature reached 41°C, 30–60 mg mitomycin C was circulated intraperitoneally for 1 hour.

Results: The patients had a variety of anastomoses. None demonstrated anastomotic leak and none experienced major complications. Six patients had minor complications (pleural effusion, leukopenia, fever, prolonged paralytic ileus, sepsis), two of which may be attributed to chemotherapy toxicity (leukopenia). There was no perioperative mortality. Some patients have survived more than 5 years.

Conclusions: IPHP is a safe treatment modality for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. It has an acceptable complications rate and ensures a marked improvement in survival and in the quality of life in selected patients.


[1] IPHP = intraperitoneal hyperthermic perfusion

September 2007
J. Baron, D. Greenberg, Z. Shorer, E. Herskhovitz, R. Melamed and M. Lifshitz
April 2007
M. Garty, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, M. Mittelman, A. Porath, B.S. Lewis, E. Grossman, S. Behar, J. Leor, M. S. Green, R. Zimlichman and A. Caspi

Background: Despite improved management of heart failure patients, their prognosis remains poor.

Objectives: To characterize hospitalized HF[1] patients and to identify factors that may affect their short and long-term outcome in a national prospective survey.

Methods: We recorded stages B-D according to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definition of HF patients hospitalized in internal medicine and cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in Israel.

Results: During March-April 2003, 4102 consecutive patients were recorded. Their mean age was 73 ± 12 years and 57% were males; 75.3% were hypertensive, 50% diabetic and 59% dyslipidemic; 82% had coronary artery disease, 33% atrial fibrillation, 41% renal failure (creatinine ³ 1.5 mg/dl), and 49% anemia (hemoglobin £ 12 g/dl). Mortality rates were 4.7% in-hospital, 7.6% at 30 days, 18.7% at 6 months and 28.1% at 12 months. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased 1 year mortality rate was associated with New York Heart Association III–IV (odds ratio 2.07, 95% confidence interval 1.78–2.41), age (for 10 year increment) (OR[2] 1.41, 95% CI[3] 1.31–1.52), renal failure (1.79, 1.53–2.09), anemia (1.50, 1.29–1.75), stroke (1.50, 1.21–1.85), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.25, 1.04–1.50) and atrial fibrillation (1.20, 1.02–1.40).

Conclusions: This nationwide heart failure survey indicates a high risk of long-term mortality and the urgent need for the development of more effective management strategies for patients with heart failure discharged from hospitals.


[1] HF = heart failure

[2] OR = odds ratio

[3] CI = confidence interval

N. Lipovetzky, H. Hod, A. Roth, Y. Kishon, S. Sclarovsky and M. S. Green

Background: Previous studies found some factors such as physical exertion, anger and heavy meals to be triggers for acute coronary syndrome.

Objectives: To estimate the relative risk of an ACS[1] episode associated with positive and negative emotional experiences and anger as potential work-related triggers.

Methods: A total of 209 consecutive patients were interviewed a median of 2 days after a cardiac event that occurred at work or up to 2 hours later. The case-crossover design was used. Positive and negative emotional experiences and anger episodes in the hours immediately before the onset of ACS were compared with episodes in the comparable hours during the previous workday. For anger the episodes were compared with the usual frequency at work during the previous year. Positive and negative emotional experiences were assessed by the PANAS questionnaire (Positive and Negative Affect Scale), and anger by the Onset Anger Scale.

Results: The relative risks of an acute coronary event during the first hour after exposure to negative and positive emotional experiences were RR[2] = 14.0 (95% confidence interval 1.8–106.5) and RR = 3.50 (95% CI[3], 0.7–16.8) respectively and RR = 9.0 (95% CI, 1.1–71) for an episode of anger. Using conditional logistic regression analysis, the highest relative risk was associated with negative emotional experiences.

Conclusions: Negative emotional experiences and anger at work can trigger the onset of an ACS episode. This could have implications for recognizing a cardiac event as a work accident. The implementation of stress-reduction programs in the workplace or use of preventive medications in workers at high risk for coronary heart disease should be investigated.

[1] ACS = acute coronary syndrome

[2] RR = relative risk

[3] CI = confidence interval

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