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עמוד בית
Fri, 23.02.24

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December 2008
Y. Michowitz, S. Kisil, H. Guzner-Gur, A. Rubinstein, D. Wexler, D. Sheps, G. Keren, J. George

Background: Myeloperoxidase levels were shown to reflect endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, atherosclerosis and oxidative stress.

Objectives: To examine the role of circulating myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte-derived enzyme, as a predictor of mortality in patients with congestive heart failure.

Methods: Baseline serum MPO[1] levels were measured in 285 consecutive CHF[2] patients and 35 healthy volunteers. N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and high sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations were also measured. The primary outcome endpoint was overall mortality.

Results: MPO levels were significantly elevated in patients with CHF compared to healthy volunteers (P = 0.01). During a mean follow-up of 40.9 ± 11.3 months there were 106 deaths. On a univariate Cox regression analysis MPO levels were of marginal value (P = 0.07) whereas NT-proBNP[3] was of considerable value (P < 0.0001) in predicting all-cause mortality. By dividing our cohort according to NT-proBNP levels into high, intermediate and low risk groups a clear difference in mortality was shown. By further dividing the patient cohort according to MPO levels above or below the median (122.5 ng/ml), mortality prediction improved in the patients with intermediate NT-proBNP values.

Conclusions: MPO levels are elevated in CHF and correlate with disease severity. MPO has an additive predictive value on mortality in patients with intermediate NT-proBNP levels.



[1] MPO = myeloperoxidase

[2] CHF = congestive heart failure

[3] NT-proBNP = N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide

March 2008
I. Gotsman, S. Rubonivich and T. Azaz-Livshits

Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers improve prognosis in congestive heart failure and are the treatment of choice in these patients; despite this, the rates of ACE-I[1] usage in heart failure patients remain low in clinical practice.

Objectives: To evaluate the rate of ACE-I/ARB[2] treatment in hospitalized patients with CHF[3], and analyze the reasons for non-treatment.

Methods: We prospectively evaluated 362 consecutive patients hospitalized with CHF. Patients were evaluated for ACE-I/ARB usage at discharge and were followed for 1 year.

Results: At hospital discharge 70% of the patients were prescribed ACE-I/ARB treatment. Only 69% received recommended target or sub-target dosages, proven to improve prognosis. This decreased to 63% and 59% at 6 months and 12 months of follow-up respectively, due to a shift from sub-target levels to low dosages. Justified reasons for under-treatment were apparent in only 25% not optimally treated discharged patients and this decreased to 12% and 4% at 6 and 12 months follow-up, respectively. Common reasons for non-treatment at discharge were hyperkalemia and elevation in serum creatinine, while hypotension and cough were more prominent at follow-up. Clinical parameters associated with increased treatment rates were ischemic heart disease and the absence of chronic renal failure. Patients receiving treatment had lower hospitalization and mortality rates.

Conclusions: ACE-I/ARB treatment is still underutilized in patients discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of CHF. Increasing the awareness of the importance of these drugs may increase the number of patients treated.

[1] ACE-I = angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors

[2] ARB = angiotensin receptor blockers

[3] CHF = congestive heart failure

February 2008
O. Amir, H. Paz, R. Ammar, N. Yaniv J.E. Schliamser and B.S. Lewis
Background: Serum natriuretic peptide levels are useful diagnostic and prognostic markers in patients with acute decompensated heart failure, but have been little used to stratify urgency of treatment in the outpatient situation.

Objectives: To examine the use of natriuretic peptide to guide priority of patient referral to a heart failure center.

Methods: We analyzed data from 70 consecutive patients with chronic heart failure (NYHA class 2-4) referred for first evaluation in a specialized outpatient heart failure center. Serum NT-proBNP[1] was measured at the initial patient visit. We examined correlates and predictive value of mid- and upper tertile NT-proBNP for mortality in comparison with other known prognostic indicators using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results: Mortality at 6 months was 26.0% in patients with upper tertile (> 1958 pg/ml) NT-proBNP, 8.7% in the middle tertile group and 0% in the lowest tertile (P = 0.017). Patients with upper tertile serum NT-proBNP levels (group 3) had lower left ventricular ejection fraction, were more often in atrial fibrillation (P = 0.04) and more often had renal failure (P = 0.03). Age-adjusted logistic regression analysis identified upper tertile serum NT-proBNP level as the strongest independent predictor of 6 month mortality with a sixfold risk of early death (adjusted odds ratio 6.08, 95% confidence interval 1.58–47.13, P = 0.04). NT-proBNP was a more powerful predictor of prognosis than ejection fraction and other traditional outcome markers.

Conclusions: In heart failure patients referred to an outpatient specialized heart failure center, an upper tertile NT-proBNP level identified patients at high risk for mortality. A single high > 550 pg/ml NT-proBNP measurement appears to be useful for selecting patients for care in a heart failure center, and a level > 2000 pg/ml for assigning patients to high priority management.

[1] NT-proBNP = - N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide

December 2007
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

B. S. Lewis, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, S. Behar, D. A. Halon, V. Boyko, J. Leor, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, A. Porath, M. Mittelman, A. Caspi and M. Garty

Background: Heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function is a major cause of cardiac disability.

Objectives: To examine the prevalence, characteristics and late clinical outcome of patients hospitalized with HF-PSF[1] on a nationwide basis in Israel.

Methods: The Israel nationwide HF survey examined prospectively 4102 consecutive HF patients admitted to 93 internal medicine and 24 cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in the country. Echocardiographic LV function measurements were available in 2845 patients (69%). The present report relates to the 1364 patients who had HF-PSF (LV ejection fraction ≥ 40%).

Results: Mortality of HF-PSF patients was high (in-hospital 3.5%, 6 months 14.2%, 12 months 22.0%), but lower than in patients with reduced systolic function (all P < 0.01). Mortality was higher in patients with HF as the primary hospitalization diagnosis (16.0% vs. 12.5% at 6 months, P = 0.07 and 26.2% vs. 18.0% at 12 months, P = 0.0002). Patients with HF-PSF who died were older (78 ± 10 vs. 71 ± 12 years, P < 0.001), more often female (P = 0.05) and had atrial fibrillation more frequently (44% vs. 33%, P < 0.01). There was also a relationship between mortality and pharmacotherapy: after adjustment for age and co-morbid conditions, mortality was lower in patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (P = 0.0003) and angiotensin receptor blockers (P = 0.002) and higher in those receiving digoxin (P = 0.003) and diuretic therapy (P = 0.009).

Conclusions: This nationwide survey highlights the very high late mortality rates in patients hospitalized for HF without a decrease in systolic function. The findings mandate a focus on better evidence-based treatment strategies to improve outcome in HF-PSF patients.


[1] HF-PSF = heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function

December 2006
A. Jotkowitz, A. Porath, A. Shotan, M. Mittelman, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, B.S. Lewis, A. Caspi, S. Gottlieb and M. Garty, for the Steering Committee of the Israeli Heart Failure National Survey 2003

Background: Despite significant advances in the therapy of heart failure, many patients still do not receive optimal treatment.

Objectives: To document the standard of care that patients hospitalized with HF[1] in Israel received during a 2 month period.

Methods: The Heart Failure Survey in Israel 2003 was a prospective 2 month survey of patients admitted to all 25 public hospitals in Israel with a diagnosis of HF.

Results: The mean age of the 4102 patients was 73 years and 43% were female. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme/angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers both declined from NYHA class I to IV (68.8% to 50.6% for ACE[2]-inhibitor/ARB[3] and 64.1% to 52.9% for beta blockers, P < 0.001 for comparisons). The percentage of patients by NYHA class taking an ACE-inhibitor or ARB and a beta blocker at hospital discharge also declined from NYHA class I to IV (47.5% to 28.8%, P < 0.002 for comparisons). The strongest predictor of being discharged with an ACE-inhibitor or ARB was the use of these medications at hospital admission. Negative predictors for their usage were age, creatinine, disease severity class, and functional status.

Conclusions: Despite the dissemination of guidelines many patients did not receive optimal care for HF. Reasons for this discrepancy need to be identified and modified.

[1] HF = heart failure

[2] ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme

[3] ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker

October 2006
E. Kaluski, Z. Gabara, N. Uriel, O. Milo, M. Leitman, J. Weisfogel, V. Danicek, Z. Vered and G. Cotter
 Background: External counter-pulsation is a safe and effective method of alleviating angina pectoris, but the mechanism of benefit is not understood.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of external counter-pulsation therapy in heart failure patients.

Methods: Fifteen symptomatic heart failure patients (subsequent to optimal medical and device therapy) underwent 35 hourly sessions of ECPT[1] over a 7 week period. Before and after each ECPT session we performed pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and brachial artery function studies, administered a quality of life questionnaire, and assessed exercise tolerance and functional class.

Results: Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1 ± 5.8%. ECPT was safe and well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in pro-BNP[2] levels (from 2245 ± 2149 pcg/ml to 1558 ± 1206 pcg/ml, P = 0.022). Exercise duration (Naughton protocol) improved (from 720 ± 389 to 893 ± 436 seconds, P = 0.0001), along with functional class (2.63 ± 0.6 vs. 1.93 ± 0.7, P = 0.023) and quality of life scores (54 ± 22 vs. 67 ± 23, P = 0.001). Nitroglycerine-mediated brachial vasodilatation increased (11.5 ± 7.3% vs. 15.6 ± 5.2%, P =0.049), as did brachial flow-mediated dilation (8.35 ± 6.0% vs. 11.37 ± 4.9%, P = 0.09).

Conclusions: ECPT is safe for symptomatic heart failure patients and is associated with functional and neurohormonal improvement. Larger long-term randomized studies with a control arm are needed to confirm these initial encouraging observations.


[1] ECPT = external counter-pulsation therapy

[2] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide

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
I.M. Barbash and J. Leor

Ventricular remodeling and heart failure are the inevitable consequences of myocardial infarction. Current options to cure myocardial infarction and subsequent heart failure suffer from specific limitations. Thus, alternative, additional long-term therapeutic strategies are needed to cure this costly and deadly disease. Cardiac regeneration is a promising new therapeutic option. Through cellular and molecular therapies, the concept of in situ "growing" heart muscle, vascular tissue and manipulating the extracellular matrix environment promises to revolutionize the approach of treating heart disease. Recent studies have suggested that stem cells resident within the bone marrow or peripheral blood can be recruited to the injured heart. The regeneration of damaged heart tissue may include the mobilization of progenitor or stem cells to the damaged area or stimulation of a regenerative program within the organ. There is now evidence accumulating that the heart contains resident stem cells that can be induced to develop into cardiac muscle and vascular tissue. The present review aims to describe the potential, the current status and the future challenges of myocardial regeneration by adult stem cells.


March 2006
D. Bar-Zohar, B. Sagie, N. Lubezky, M. Blum, J. Klausner and S. Abu-Abeid

Background: Peritoneal dialysis is a widely accepted route for renal replacement. With the advent of endoscopy, many surgical techniques for the prevention of catheter failure have been proposed.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic Tenckhoff catheter implantation, using the pelvic fixation technique.

Methods: Data analysis was retrospective. All procedures were performed under general anesthesia. A double-cuffed catheter was inserted using two 5 mm trocars and one 10 mm trocar, fixing its internal tip to the dome of the bladder and its inner cuff to the fascia. Catheter failure was defined as persistent peritonitis/exit-site/tunnel infection, severe dialysate leak, migration or outflow obstruction.

Results: LTCI[1] was performed in 34 patients. Mean patient age was 65 ± 17 years. In 12 of the 34 patients the indication for LTCI was end-stage renal failure combined with NYHA class IV congestive heart failure. Operative time was 35 ± 15 minutes. A previous laparotomy was performed in 9 patients. Hospital stay was 1.5 ± 0.6 days. The first continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis was performed after 20 ± 12 days. Median follow-up time was 13 months. There were several complications, including 5 (14%) exit-site/tunnel infections, 27 episodes (0.05 per patient-month) of bacterial peritonitis, 3 (9%) incisional hernias, 1 case of fatal intraabdominal bleeding, 2 (5.8%) catheter migrations (functionally significant), and 10 (30%) cases of catheter plugging, 8 of which were treated successfully by instillation of urokinase and 2 surgically. A complication-mandated surgery was performed in 8 patients (23.5%). The 1 year failure-free rate of the catheter was 80.8%. One fatal intraabdominal bleeding was recorded.
Conclusions: LTCI is safe, obviating the need for laparotomy in high risk patients. Catheter fixation to the bladder may prevent common mechanical failures

[1] LTCI = laparoscopic Tenckhoff catheter implantation

T. Berlin, A. Lubina, Y. Levy and Y. Shoenfeld
December 2005
S. Viskin, M. Berger, M. Ish-Shalom, N. Malov, M. Tamari, M. Golovner, M. Kehati, D. Zeltser A. Roth.

Background: Chlorpromazine is a dopamine-receptor antagonist antipsychotic agent. Because of its strong alpha-blocking and sedative actions, it has also been used as emergency therapy for extreme arterial hypertension. Published reports to date have included very small numbers of patients (i.e., 5–30).

Objectives: To analyze data on almost 500 patients who received intravenous chlorpromazine for the emergency treatment of uncontrolled symptomatic hypertension in the pre-hospital setting.

Methods: We reviewed data from 496 consecutive patients who received intravenous chlorpromazine as emergency therapy for uncontrolled symptomatic hypertension. Chlorpromazine was injected intravenously. The dose was 1 mg every 2–5 minutes until the systolic pressure was -<140 mmHg and the diastolic pressure -<100 mmHg with alleviation of symptoms.

Results: The mean dose of chlorpromazine administered was 4.5 +- 5 mg (range 1–50 mg). Only 33 patients (7%) required >10 mg. Chlorpromazine reduced the systolic blood pressure from 222.82 +- 26.31 to 164.93 +- 22.66 mmHg (P < 0.001) and the diastolic blood pressure from 113.5 +- 16.63 to 85.83 +- 11.61 mmHg (P < 0.001). The sinus rate decreased from 97.9 +- 23.5 to 92.2 +- 19.7 beats per minute (P < 0.001). These results were achieved within the first 37 +- 11 minutes.

Conclusions: Intravenous chlorpromazine is safe and effective when used as emergency treatment for uncontrolled symptomatic hypertension.


June 2005
M. Arad, H. Lahat and D. Freimark
 Familial cardiomyopathies represent a substantial portion of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in clinical practice. Diversity of clinical presentations and variability in penetrance lead to under-recognition of this disease entity as an inherited disorder. The mechanisms by which mutations in different genes perturb cardiac function and lead to pathologic remodeling help understand the molecular pathways in disease pathogenesis and define the potential targets for therapeutic interventions. Appreciating when DCM[1] is inherited might spare unnecessary diagnostic efforts and, instead, help give appropriate attention to the timely detection of subclinically affected family members. Establishing preventive therapy in asymptomatic family members showing early signs of cardiac dysfunction might prevent death and slow down progression to end-stage heart failure.


[1] DCM = dilated cardiomyopathy

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