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עמוד בית
Tue, 25.06.24

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February 2022
Erez Marcusohn MD, Maria Postnikov MD, Ofer Kobo MD, Yaron Hellman MD, Diab Mutlak MD, Danny Epstein MD, Yoram Agmon MD, Lior Gepstein MD PHD, and Robert Zukermann MD

Background: The diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AFIB) related cardiomyopathy relies on ruling out other causes for heart failure and on recovery of left ventricular (LV) function following return to sinus rhythm (SR). The pathophysiology underlying this pathology is multifactorial and not as completely known as the factors associated with functional recovery following the restoration of SR.

Objectives: To identify clinical and echocardiographic factors associated with LV systolic function improvement following electrical cardioversion (CV) or after catheter ablation in patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF) related to AFIB and normal LV function at baseline.

Methods: The study included patients with preserved EF at baseline while in SR whose LVEF had reduced while in AFIB and improved LVEF following CV. We compared patients who had improved LVEF to normal baseline to those who did not.

Results: Eighty-six patients with AFIB had evidence of reduced LV systolic function and improved EF following return to SR. Fifty-five (64%) returned their EF to baseline. Patients with a history of ischemic heart disease (IHD), worse LV function, and larger LV size during AFIB were less likely to return to normal LV function. Multivariant analysis revealed that younger patients with slower ventricular response, a history of IHD, larger LV size, and more significant deterioration of LVEF during AFIB were less likely to recover their EF to baseline values.

Conclusions: Patients with worse LV function and larger left ventricle during AFIB are less likely to return their baseline LV function following the restoration of sinus rhythm.

June 2021
Yana Kakzanov MD, Ziv Sevilya PhD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Alexander Goldman MD, and Eli I. Lev MD

Background: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common clinical entity, with a mechanism that appears to involve endothelial dysfunction of the cardiac microcirculation. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are bone marrow derived cells that are able to differentiate into functional endothelial cells and participate in endothelial surface repair.

Objectives: To compare the level and function of EPCs in patients with HFpEF compared with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and control subjects.

Methods: We enrolled 21 patients with HFpEF (LVEF ≥ 50%, age 74.5 ± 9.9 years, 43% men, 48% diabetes), 20 patients with HFrEF (LVEF < 40%, age 70 ± 11.5 years, 90% men, 60% diabetes), and 11 control subjects with cardiovascular risk factors (age 53.3 ± 6.1years, 90% men, 64% diabetes). Circulating EPC levels were evaluated by expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), CD34, and CD133 by flow-cytometry. EPCs colony forming units (CFUs) were quantified after 7 days in culture.

Results: The proportion of cells that co-expressed VEGFR-2 and CD34 or VEGFR-2 and CD133 was similar among the HFpEF and HFrEF groups, and significantly lower than in the control group. The number of EPC-CFUs was also similar among the two heart failure groups and significantly lower than the control group.

Conclusions: Patients with HFpEF, like HFrEF, have significant reduction in EPC level and function.

July 2020
Osnat Itzhaki Ben Zadok MD MSc, Daniel Murninkas MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD PhD, Henri Jino MD, Esther Yohananov RN, Shlomo Birkenfeld MD and David Hasdai MD

Background: Heart failure (HF) patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are frequently treated with sub-optimal doses of angiotensin converting enzyme-inhibitors (ACE-Is), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and beta blockers (BBs).

Objectives: To determine factors associated with attaining upper-range doses in patients with HFrEF.

Methods: We examined treatment in patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 40% in a community-based, dedicated heart-failure clinic. Upper-range doses were defined as ≥ 75% of target recommended doses by heart failure society guidelines.

Results: The majority of the 215 patients were men (82%); median age at presentation 73 years (interquartile range [IQR] 65–78) and LVEF of 30% (IQR 25–35%). Following the up-titration program, 41% and 35% of patients achieved upper-range doses of ACE-Is/ARBs and BBs, respectively. Higher body mass index (BMI) was the only parameter found to be associated with achieving upper-range doses of ACE-I/ARBs (odds ratio [OR] 1.13, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.05–1.22, P = 0.001). More patients achieved this target as BMI increased, with a sharp decline in the highest obesity category (BMI ≥ 40 m2/kg). Attaining upper-range doses of BBs was associated with pre-existing diabetes mellitus (DM) (OR 2.6, 95%CI 1.34–5.19, P = 0.005); women were associated with attaining lower BBs doses (OR 0.34, 95%CI 0.13–0.90, P = 0.031).

Conclusions: Achieving upper-range doses of ACE-Is/ARBs and BBs in HFrEF outpatients in a treatment up-titration program were associated with greater BMI and DM, respectively. These findings may serve as benchmarks for up-titration programs.

June 2020
Veacheslav Zilbermints MD, Oren Israeli MD, Binyamin Ben Abraham MD, Tuvia Ben-Gal MD, Victor Rubchevsky MD, Dan Aravot MD, Hanoch Kashtan MD, Nikolai Menasherov MD and David Aranovich MD

Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are used more commonly in patients with advanced-stage heart failure. Some of these patients may require elective or urgent abdominal surgical procedures.

Objectives: To determine the outcomes of the management of LVAD-supported patients who underwent elective and urgent abdominal surgical procedures in our institution.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted on 93 patients who underwent LVAD implantation between August 2008 and January 2017. All abdominal surgeries in these patients were studied, and their impact on postoperative morbidity and mortality was evaluated.

Results: Ten patients underwent abdominal surgical procedures. Of these procedures, five were emergent and five were elective. The elective cases included one bariatric surgery for morbid obesity, one hiatal hernia repair, two cholecystectomies, and one small bowel resection for a carcinoid tumor. The emergency cases included suspected ischemic colitis, right colectomy for bleeding adenocarcinoma, laparotomy due to intraabdominal bleeding, open cholecystectomy for gangrenous cholecystitis, and laparotomy for sternal and abdominal wall infection. All patients undergoing elective procedures survived. Of the five patients who underwent emergency surgery, three died (60%, P = 0.16) and one presented with major morbidity. One of the two survivors required reintervention. In total, 12 interventions were performed on this group of patients.

Conclusions: It is safe to perform elective abdominal procedures for LVAD-supported patients. The prognosis of these patients undergoing emergency surgery is poor and has high mortality and morbidity rates.

April 2020
Yael Peled MD, Eilon Ram MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR

The innovation that has taken place in medicine, combined with state-of-the-art technological developments, provides therapeutic options for patients in conditions that were previously considered incurable. This promotion at the same time presents us with new ethical challenges. In this article, we review the journey through life of an advanced heart failure patient, covering a variety of potential clinical and ethics subjects in the field of heart failure treatment. We review the ethical principles of the Hippocratic Oath against the background of the realities of practicing medicine and of the enormous advances in therapeutics.  

January 2020
Michal Shani MD MPH, Elisha Ozan MD, Yafit Duani MD, Andre Keren MD, Orna Gootman RN, Doron Komaneshter PhD and Israel Gotsman MD

Background: Heart failure centers with specialized nurse-supervised management programs have been proposed to improve prognosis. The Heart Failure Center in Beit Shemesh, Israel, is located within a large primary care facility. The specialist team supervised the managememt of patients both within the frame of the center and while they were hospitalized.

Objectives: To evaluate the health services utilization by heart failure patients treated at a heart failure center and their clinical outcome.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we compared the clinical outcome of patients treated at a heart failure center to patients who received the standard care in 2013–2014. The clinical outcome included primary care visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and death.

Results: The study comprised 430 heart failure patients; 82 were treated at the heart failure center and 348 under standard care. At baseline, no significant differences were seen in clinical parameters between the groups. Healthcare utilization was higher among the study group. No significant changes in healthcare utilization were found. During follow-up, patients treated in a heart failure center were more likely to get recommended heart failure medications. Mortality was significantly lower in patients treated in the heart failure center compared with those receiving standard care 3.6% vs. 24%, respectively (P = 0.001), hazard ratio 0.19, 95% confidence interval 0.06–0.62, P = 0.005.

Conclusions: Joint management of heart failure by primary clinics and a specialized community heart failure center reduced mortality. There was no decrease in healthcare utilizations among heart failure center patients, despite the reduction in mortality.

October 2019
Gassan Moady MD, Amitai Bickel MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Muhammad Khader MD and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Pneumatic sleeves (PS) are often used during laparoscopic surgery and for prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients who cannot receive anticoagulation treatment. There is very little information on the hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effect on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in patients with severely reduced left ventricular ejection function (LVEF).

Objectives: To determine the safety and hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effects on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

Methods: This study comprised 14 patients classified as New York Heart Association (NYHA) II–III with severely reduced LVEF (< 40%). We activated the PS using two inflation pressures (50 or 80 mmHg, 7 patients in each group) at two cycles per minute for one hour. We measured echocardiography, hemodynamic parameters, and BNP levels in each patient prior to, during, and after the PS operation.

Results: The baseline LVEF did not change throughout the activation of PS (31 ± 10% vs. 33 ± 9%, P = 0.673). Following PS activation there was no significant difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure, the pulse measurements, or central venous pressure. BNP levels did not change after PS activation (P = 0.074).

Conclusions: The use of PS, with either low or high inflation pressures, is safe and has no detrimental effects on hemodynamic parameters or BNP levels in patients with severely reduced LVEF following clinical stabilization and optimal medical therapy.

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.

May 2018
Ronen Zalts MD, Tomer Twizer MD, Ronit Leiba BsC and Amir Karban MD

Background: The identification of the etiology of a pleural effusion can be difficult. Measurement of serum B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is helpful in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) as a cause of respiratory failure, but pleural fluid BNP measurement is still not part of the workup for pleural effusion.

Objectives: To identify the correlation between pleural fluid BNP levels and clinical diagnosis.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data from 107 patients admitted to the department of internal medicine between November 2009 and January 2015 were obtained from medical records. Patients underwent a diagnostic thoracocentesis as part of their evaluation. They were grouped according to final diagnosis at discharge and clinical judgment of the attending physician.

Results: Serum BNP levels were significantly higher in the CHF patients compared to patients with non-cardiac causes of pleural effusion (1519.2 and 314.1 respectively, P < 0.0001). Mean pleural fluid BNP was also significantly higher in the CHF patients (1063.2 vs. 208.3, P < 0.0001). Optional cutoff points to distinguish between cardiac and non-cardiac etiology of pleural effusion were 273.4 pg/ml (sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 72.3%, accuracy 76.7%) or 400 pg/ml (sensitivity 78.6%, specificity 86.2%, accuracy 83.0%). A strong correlation was found between serum BNP and pleural fluid BNP levels.

Conclusions: High levels of serum BNP in patients presenting with pleural effusion suggest CHF. In cases with doubt regarding the etiology of pleural effusion, high levels of pleural fluid BNP can support the diagnosis, but are not superior to serum BNP levels.

Batsheva Tzadok MD, Shay Shapira and Eran Tal-Or MD

Background: When a patient arrives at the emergency department (ED) presenting with symptoms of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), it is possible to reach a definitive diagnosis through many different venues, including medical history, physical examination, echocardiography, chest X-ray, and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has become a mainstream tool for diagnosis and treatment in the field of emergency medicine, as well as in various other departments in the hospital setting. Currently, the main methods of diagnosis of ADHF using POCUS are pleural B-lines and inferior vena cava (IVC) width and respiratory variation.

Objectives: To examine the potential use and benefits of bedside ultrasound of the jugular veins in the evaluation of dyspneic patients for identification of ADHF.

Methods: A blood BNP level was drawn from each participant at time of recruitment. The area and size of the internal jugular vein (IJV) during inspiration and expiration were examined.

Results: Our results showed that the respiratory area change of the IJVs had a specificity and sensitivity of nearly 70% accuracy rate in indentifying ADHF in our ED.

Conclusions: Ultrasound of the IJV may be a useful tool for the diagnosis of ADHF because it is easy to measure and requires little skill. It is also not affected by patient body habitus.

Roman Nevzorov MD, Avital Porter MD, Shanie Mostov DVM, Shirit Kazum MD, Alon Eisen MD, Gustavo Goldenberg MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD, Jairo Kusniec MD, Gregory Golovchiner MD, Boris Strasberg MD and Moti Haim MD

Background: Gender-related differences (GRD) exist in the outcome of patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Objectives: To assess GRD in patients who underwent CRT.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of 178 patients who were implanted with a CRT in a tertiary center 2005–2009 was analyzed. Primary outcome was 1 year mortality. Secondary endpoints were readmission and complication rates.

Results: No statistically significant difference was found in 1 year mortality rates (14.6% males vs. 11.8% females, P = 0.7) or in readmission rate (50.7% vs. 41.2%, P = 0.3). The complication rate was only numerically higher in women (14.7% vs. 5.6%, P = 0.09). Men more often had CRT-defibrillator (CRT-D) implants (63.2% vs. 35.3%, P = 0.003) and had a higher rate of ischemic cardiomyopathy (79.2% vs. 38.2%, P < 0.001). There was a trend to higher incidence of ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia in men before CRT implantation (29.9% vs. 14.7%, P = 0.07%). A higher proportion of men upgraded from implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to CRT-D, 20.8% vs. 8.8%, P = 0.047. On multivariate model, chronic renal failure was an independent predictor of 1 year mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 3.6; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.4–9.5), CRT-D had a protective effect compared to CRT-pacemaker (HR 0.3, 95%CI 0.12–0.81).

Conclusions: No GRD was found in 1 year mortality or readmission rates in patients treated with CRT. There was a trend toward a higher complication rate in females. Men were implanted more often with CRT-D and more frequently underwent upgrading of ICD to CRT-D.

 

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.

September 2017
Efrat Orenbuch-Harroch MD, Eli Ben-Chetrit MD, Natalia Simanovsky MD, David Katz MD and Eldad Ben-Chetrit MD
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