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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

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August 2014
Menachem Rottem MD, Ramit Segal MD, Shmuel Kivity MD, Laliv Shamshines MD, Yael Graif MD, Meir Shalit MD, Aharon Kessel MD, Josef Panasoff MD, Shai Cohen MD, Elias Toubi MD and Nancy Agmon-Levin MD

Background: Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a common, debilitating disease that is frequently resistant to standard therapy. Omalizumab, anti-immunoglobulin-E humanized monoclonal antibody, was recently shown to be effective in treating resistant CSU.

Objectives: To investigated the treatment of CSU with omalizumab in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter retrospective analysis of patients with refractory CSU treated with omalizuamb in Israel during 2012–2013. Complete improvement was defined as resolution of symptoms with no need for other medications, or satisfactory when patients’ condition improved but required regular or intermittent doses of antihistamines.

Results: Forty-three patients received omalizumab off-label for refractory CSU. Their mean age was 45 ± 12 years and CSU duration was 4.3 ± 4 years. In this cohort, 98% were unsuccessfully treated with high dose H(1)-antihistamines, 88% with systemic glucocorticoids and 30% with cyclosporine and/or other immune-modulators. Fourteen patients received only one injection of omalizumab, while the other 29 received on average of 4.3 ± 3.2 injections; 30 patients received 150 mg/month and 13 received 300 mg/month. Following omalizumab therapy, disease remitted within weeks in 86% of patients, of whom half achieved complete remission. The latter was associated with usage of high dose omalizumab, 300 mg/month vs. 150 mg/month (P = 0.02) and repeated therapy (i.e., multiple injections vs. a single injection) (P = 0.0005).

Conclusions: Omalizumab is an effective and safe treatment for refractory CSU with rapid onset of action for inducing and maintaining remission. Treating CSU patients mandates an individual approach, because while low dose omalizumab will suffice for some patients others might need higher doses and prolonged therapy. 

November 2008
Ophir Lavon, MD, Yael Lurie, MD and Yedidia Bentur, MD

Background: Scombroid fish poisoning is an acute illness caused by consumption of fish containing high concentrations of histamine. Improper handling of fish leads to bacterial contamination. Bacterial enzymes convert histidine to histamine. Symptoms develop quickly and resemble an immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic reaction. The diagnosis is often missed. Serious complications (e.g., bronchospasm, hypotension) are infrequent.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of scombroid fish poisoning in Israel as reported to the National Poison Information Center.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective poison center chart review from January 2005 to December 2007.

Results: During the study period, 21 events of scombroid poisoning involving 46 patients were recorded. Tuna was the commonest fish consumed (84.7%). Clinical manifestations developed within 20 minutes in 65.2% of the patients. The main clinical manifestations included rash (41%), flushing (37%), gastrointestinal complaints (37%) and headache (30.4%). About 25% had abnormal vital signs; two patients developed hypotension. Treatment was supportive and included mainly H1-antagonists (65.2%) and fluids (13%). Five patients were initially misdiagnosed as having an allergic reaction and were treated with corticosteroids (four patients) and epinephrine (one patient).

Conclusions: Scombroid fish poisoning should be suspected in patients with histamine-like manifestations that are temporally related to fish (mainly tuna) consumption, especially in outbreaks. Although scombroid poisoning is often self-limited and responds well to antihistamines, prolonged observation may be required as severe toxicity can supervene. Proper handling of fish and urgent notification of the Ministry of Health are mandatory in order to prevent this potentially serious public heath problem.
 

December 2005
J.A. Bernstein

Urticaria is defined as intense. itching welts caused by allergic reactions to internal and external agents.

K. Sade, S. Kivity, E. Fireman, Y. Schwartz, S. Kivity.

Background: The anti-inflammatory effect of montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, in patients with bronchial asthma is not entirely clear. Basophils can release a variety of mediators, including histamine and leukotriens, which most likely play an active part in the late allergic response.

Objectives: To study the effect of montelukast (10 mg/day) on histamine and cysteinyl leukotriene release from basophils taken from 12 mild atopic asthmatic patients who were given the drug for 4 weeks.

Methods: Basophils were withdrawn at baseline, and after 48 hours, 1 week, and 4 weeks of therapy. Histamine was measured by a radioenzymatic method and leukotrienes by immunologic assay. Histamine and cysLT release was measured spontaneously and following stimulation with interleukin-3 and anti-immunoglobulin E. Spirometry and symptom score were measured before and during treatment.

Results: During the treatment with montelukast there were no significant changes in spontaneous, IL-3 and anti-IgE‑induced histamine release. cysLT release decreased significantly only after 4 weeks of treatment (from 2899 ± 550 pg/ml at baseline to 2225 ± 430 pg/ml at 4 weeks, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Montelukast does not seem to affect the release of histamine from basophils but mildly inhibits the cysLT release seen after 4 weeks of treatment.

March 2001
Boaz Amichai, MD, Marcelo H. Grunwald, MD and Lesley Brenner, BSc
Boaz Amichai, MD, Marcelo H. Grunwald, MD and Lesley Brenner, BSc

Cancer is a multi-step disease involving a series of genetic alterations that result in the loss of control of cell proliferation and differentiation. Such genetic alterations could emerge from the activation of oncogenes and the loss or malfunctioning of tumor suppressor gene activity. Our understanding of cancer has greatly increased through the use of DNA tumor viruses and their transforming proteins as a biological tool to decipher a cascade of events that lead to deregulation of cell proliferation and subsequent tumor formation. For the past ten years our laboratory has focused on the molecular biology of the human neurotropic papovavirus, JCV. This virus causes progressive multifocal Ieukoencephalopathy, a fatal neuro­degenerative disease of the central nervous system in immunocompromised patients. JCV is a common human virus that infects more than 80% of humans but does not induce any obvious clinical symptoms. The increased incidence of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and the use of immunosuppressive chemotherapy have dramatically raised the incidence of PML. The coincidental occurrence of malignant astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in PML patients, coupled with the induction of glioblastoma in JCV-intected non­human primates, provides intriguing speculation on the association between JCV and CNS malignancies. In this report we discuss clinical data and laboratory observations pointing to the direct involvement of JCV in cancer.

December 2000
Maya Koren Michowitz, MD, Yoav Michowitz, MD, Ronit Zaidenstien, MD and Ahuva Golik, MD
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