• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Thu, 18.04.24

Search results

October 2023
Rotem Tal-Ben Ishay MD MPH, Kobi Faierstein MD, Haim Mayan MD, Noya Shilo MD

Background: At the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presented a new burden on healthcare systems.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the outcome of non-COVID patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study at a tertiary medical center in Israel. From December 2018 until June 2022, 6796 patients were hospitalized in the internal medicine wards. Patients were grouped based on their admission date: admitted during COVID waves (waves group), admitted between waves (interim group), and admitted during the same months in the previous year (former-year group).

Results: Mortality during hospitalization and 30-day mortality were higher in the waves group compared to the interim and former-year groups (41.4% vs. 30.5% and 24%, 19.4% vs. 17.9% and 12.9%, P < 0.001). In addition, 1-year mortality was higher in the interim group than in the waves and former-year group (39.1 % vs. 32.5% and 33.4%, P = 0.002). There were significant differences in the readmissions, both at 1 year and total number. The waves group had higher rates of mechanical ventilation and noradrenaline administration during hospitalization. Moreover, the waves group exhibited higher troponin levels, lower hemoglobin levels, and more abnormalities in liver and kidney function.

Conclusions: Hospitalized non-COVID patients experienced worse outcomes during the peaks of the pandemic compared to the nadirs and the preceding year, perhaps due to the limited availability of resources. These results underscore the importance of preparing for large-scale threats and implementing effective resource allocation policies.

September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

November 2022
Regev Landau MD, Ana Belkin MD, Sapir Kon-Kfir MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD, Avishay Grupper MD, David Shimunov MD, Ben-Ami Sela PhD, Ehud Grossman MD, Gadi Shlomai MD, Avshalom Leibowitz MD

Background: Most dyspneic patients in internal medicine departments have co-morbidities that interfere with the clinical diagnosis. The role of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is well-established in the acute setting but not in hospitalized patients.

Objectives: To evaluate the additive value of BNP tests in patients with dyspnea admitted to medical wards who did not respond to initial treatment.

Methods: We searched the records of patients who were hospitalized in the department of internal medicine D at Sheba Medical Center during 2012 and were tested for BNP in the ward. Data collected included co-morbidity, medical treatments, diagnosis at presentation and discharge, lab results including BNP, re-hospitalization, and mortality at one year following hospitalization.

Results: BNP results were found for 169 patients. BNP was taken 1.7 ± 2.7 days after hospitalization. According to BNP levels, dividing the patients into tertiles revealed three equally distributed groups with a distinctive character. The higher tertile was associated with higher rates of cardiac co-morbidities, including heart failure, but not chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Higher BNP levels were related to one-year re-hospitalization and mortality. In addition, higher BNP levels were associated with higher rates of in-admission diagnosis change.

Conclusions: BNP levels during hospitalization in internal medicine wards are significantly related to cardiac illness, the existence of heart failure, and patient prognosis. Thus, BNP can be a useful tool in managing dyspneic patients in this setting.

November 2021
Dana Zelnik Yovel MD, Galina Goltsman MD, Itamar Y love MD, Noam Darnell MD, and Micha J. Rapoport MD

Background: The recent increase in enterococcal urinary tract infections (EUTI) and the potential morbidity and mortality associated with inappropriate antimicrobial treatment underscores the need for early risk assessment and institution of appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy.

Objectives: To identify high-risk features associated with hospitalized patients with EUTI.

Methods: Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and bacteriological data of 285 patients hospitalized with UTI during 2016 were retrieved from the computerized database of Shamir Medical Center. Patients were divided into two groups: EUTI and non-EUTI (NEUTI), according to the presence or absence of enterococcus in the urine culture. The features of the two groups were compared.

Results: We obtained 300 urine cultures from 285 patients. Of the total, 80 patients (26.6%) had EUTI and 220 patients (73.3%) had NEUTI. A higher prevalence of urinary multi-bacterial cultures was found in EUTI compared to NEUTI patients (P < 0.01). Higher prevalence of permanent indwelling urinary catheter and dementia were found in hospitalized patients with community-acquired EUTI and nosocomial EUTI respectively (P = 0.02, P = 0.016) compared to patients with NEUTI.

Conclusions: Indwelling urinary catheter and dementia are risk factors for EUTI in patients with community and hospital acquired infection, respectively

March 2017
W. Nseir MD, S. Artul MD, S. Abu Rajab MD, J. Mograbi RN, N. Nasralla MD and M. Mahamid MD
October 2016
Ofir Har-Noy MD, Bun Kim MD, Rivi Haiat, Tal Engel MD, Bella Ungar MD, Rami Eliakim MD, Won Ho Kim MD, Jae Hee Cheon MD PhD and Shomron Ben-Horin MD

Background: Although 5-amino-salycilic acids (5-ASA) are often used with corticosteroid treatment in moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis, the value of continuing/initiating 5-ASA in this clinical setting has not been explored. 

Objectives: To investigate the impact of a combination 5-ASA+corticosteroid therapy on the outcome of hospitalized patients with acute moderate-severe ulcerative colitis. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients hospitalized with moderate-severe ulcerative colitis in two centers, Israel and South Korea. Patients were classified into those who received 5-ASA and corticosteroids and those who received corticosteroids alone. Analysis was performed for each hospitalization event. The primary outcome was the rate of treatment failure defined as the need for salvage therapy (cyclosporin-A/infliximab/colectomy). The secondary outcomes were 30 days re-admission rates, in-hospital mortality rates, time to improvement, and length of hospitalization. 

Results: We analyzed 209 hospitalization events: 151 patients (72%) received 5-ASA+corticosteroids and 58 (28%) corticosteroids alone. On univariate analysis the combination therapy group had a lower risk for treatment failure (11% vs. 31%, odds ratio 0.28, 95% confidence interval 0.13–0.59, P = 0.001). However, this difference disappeared on multivariate analysis, which showed pre-admission oral corticosteroid treatment to be the most significant factor associated with the need for salvage therapy. 

Conclusions: A signal for possible benefit of a combination 5-ASA and corticosteroids therapy was found, but was confounded by the impact of pre-admission corticosteroid treatment. 


July 2012
S. Giryes, E. Leibovitz, Z. Matas, S. Fridman, D. Gavish, B. Shalev, Z. Ziv-Nir, Y. Berlovitz and M. Boaz
Background: Depending on the definition used, malnutrition is prevalent among 20¨C50% of hospitalized patients. Routine nutritional screening is necessary to identify patients with or at increased risk for malnutrition. The Nutrition Risk Screening (NRS 2002) has been recommended as an efficient tool to identify the risk of malnutrition in adult inpatients.

Objectives: To utilize the NRS 2002 to estimate the prevalence of malnutrition among newly hospitalized adult patients, and to identify risk factors for malnutrition.

Methods: During a 5 week period, all adult patients newly admitted to all inpatient departments (except Maternity and Emergency) at Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, were screened using the NRS 2002. An answer of yes recorded for any of the Step 1 questions triggered the Step 2 screen on which an age-adjusted total score ¡Ý 3 indicated high malnutrition risk.

Results: Data were obtained from 504 newly hospitalized adult patients, of whom 159 (31.5%) were identified as high risk for malnutrition. Malnutrition was more prevalent in internal medicine than surgical departments: 38.6% vs. 19.1% (P < 0.001). Body mass index was within the normal range among subjects at high risk for malnutrition: 23.9 ¡À 5.6 kg/m2 but significantly lower than in subjects at low malnutrition risk: 27.9 ¡À 5.3 kg/m2 (P < 0.001). Malnutrition risk did not differ by gender or smoking status, but subjects at high malnutrition risk were significantly older (73.3 ¡À 16.2 vs. 63.4 ¡À 18.4 years, P < 0.001). Total protein, albumin, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, hemoglobin and %lymphocytes were all significantly lower, whereas urea, creatinine and %neutrophils were significantly higher in patients at high malnutrition risk.

Conclusions: Use of the NRS 2002 identified a large proportion of newly hospitalized adults as being at high risk for malnutrition. These findings indicate the need to intervene on a system-wide level during hospitalization.
February 2011
T. Berlin, A. Meyer, P. Rotman-Pikielny, A. Natur and Y. Levy

Background: Many patients in the internal medicine ward have anemia. The etiology for the anemia may be multifactorial and, in the setting of inflammatory process when the ferritin is increased, it is difficult to diagnose iron deficiency anemia. Soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) had been suggested as an indicator for iron deficiency. No study has investigated the meaning of high sTfR as the only positive marker of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) caused by gastrointestinal tract (GIT) bleeding in hospitalized patients.

Objectives: To demonstrate the importance of high levels of sTfR as a marker for further GIT investigation in cases of anemia where the level of ferritin was normal or increased

Methods: We retrospectively assessed all patients in an internal medicine ward in our facility with anemia, high sTfR[1] levels (> 5.0 mg/L) and normal or high ferritin levels who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy.

Results: Of 32 patients with anemia and normal or high ferritin levels and high sTfR, 22 patients (68%) had findings that explained IDA[2] (in some patients more than one finding). Those findings were colonic polyps (n=9), carcinoma of colon (n=4), duodenal ulcer (n=4), carcinoma of stomach (n=3), colitis (n=3), atrophic gastritis (n=1), erosive gastritis (n=1) and angiodysplasia (n=1).

Conclusions: High sTfR may be a good indicator of IDA caused by GIT[3] bleeding when the ferritin level is normal or high. GIT investigation is warranted in such cases.

[1] sTfR = soluble transferrin receptor

[2] IDA = iron deficiency anemia

[3] GIT = gastrointestinal tracgt

October 2010
A. Shlomai, A. Nutman, T. Kotlovsky, V. Schechner, Y. Carmeli and H. Guzner-Gur

Background: A pandemic (H1N1) influenza A virus was identified in 2009.

Objectives: To investigate predictors for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection among hospitalized patients with a flu-like illness and to identify parameters suggesting a severe clinical course.

Methods: We analyzed a cohort of all patients hospitalized during a 2 month period with a flu-like syndrome who were tested for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 infection. Demographic, clinical and laboratory, along with outcome parameters, were recorded and compared between pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus-positive and negative hospitalized patients.

Results: Of the 179 examined hospitalized patients suspected of having pandemic (H1N1) 2009 infection 65 (36%) were found positive. These patients tended to be younger and had significantly fewer comorbidities. In addition, they had a significantly higher frequency of fever (94%), cough (86%) and myalgia (29%). Furthermore, age < 65 years and cough were independent predictors for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus positivity in a multivariate regression analysis. Notably, 14 of the 65 positive patients (21.5%) had acute respiratory insufficiency requiring treatment in the intensive care unit. These patients were neither older nor previously sicker than patients with non-severe disease, but were distinguished by augmented inflammatory markers, significant lymphopenia associated with disease severity, and overall mortality of 21.4%.

Conclusions: Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus-positive hospitalized patients tend to be younger and have fewer comorbidities as compared to compatible negative patients. A significant number of relatively young and previously healthy positive patients might develop severe disease associated with a robust inflammatory reaction and significant lymphopenia.

August 2010
F. Shibli, B. Chazan, O. Nitzan, E. Flatau, H. Edelstein, O. Blondheim, R. Raz and R. Colodner

Background: Community-acquired pneumonia is a common infection and is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Most patients with CAP[1] are treated empirically.

Objectives: To identify common pathogens causing CAP in hospitalized patients in northern Israel and to evaluate the correlation between etiology and disease severity.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study of patients with CAP hospitalized at HaEmek Medical Center, Afula. We collected demographic, clinical and laboratory data (blood and sputum cultures, serology, pneumococcal urinary antigen test, and respiratory multiplex-polymerase chain reaction from nasopharyngeal swab), and radiologic evaluation was performed.

Results: A total of 126 patients and 24 controls were enrolled. At least one pathogen was identified in 84 cases (66.7%), more than one in 43 patients (34.1%), and no pathogens in 42 (33.3%). Typical bacteria were found in 23 (18.3%), atypical bacteria in 66 (52.4%), and viruses in 42 (33.3%). The number (%) of patients with pathogens isolated was: Chlamydophila pneumoniae 26 (20.6%), Streptococcus pneumoniae 23 (18.3%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae 23 (18.3%), influenza virus A-B 20 (15.9%), Coxiella burnetti 8 (6.3%), and parainfluenza and adenovirus 13 (10.3%) each. A correlation was found only between a high PORT score on admission and S. pneumoniae, although atypical pathogens did not show class predominance.

Conclusions: S. pneumoniae, M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae were the most common pathogens isolated, while co-infection was very frequent. PORT score did not predict any of the pathogens involved. The choice of empiric antimicrobial treatment for CAP should be made according to local epidemiologic data.

[1] CAP = community-acquired pneumonia

August 2009
L. Shema, L. Ore, R. Geron and B. Kristal

Background: Radiological procedures utilizing intravascular contrast media are being widely applied for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This has resulted in increasing incidence of procedure-related contrast-induced nephropathy. In Israel, data on the incidence of CIN[1] and its consequences are lacking.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of CIN among hospitalized patients in the Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya (northern Israel), and to explore the impact of CIN on mortality and length of stay.

Methods: The study group was a historical cohort of 1111 patients hospitalized during the year 2006 who underwent contrast procedure and whose serum creatinine level was measured before and after the procedure. Data were electronically extracted from different computerized medical databases and merged into a uniform platform using visual basic application.

Results: The occurrence of CIN among hospitalized patients was 4.6%. Different CIN rates were noticed among various high risk subgroups such as patients with renal insufficiency and diabetes mellitus (14.1%–44%). Average in-hospital length of stay was almost twice as long among patients with CIN compared to subjects without this condition. Furthermore, the in-hospital death rate among CIN patients was 10 times higher. A direct association was observed between severity of CIN based on the RIFLE classification and risk of mortality.

Conclusions: Low CIN occurrence was demonstrated in the general hospitalized patients (4.6%), and high rates (44%) in selected high risk subgroups of patients (with renal insufficiency or diabetes mellitus). Furthermore, prolonged length of stay and high in-hospital mortality were directly related to CIN severity.

[1] CIN = contrast-induced nephropathy

June 2009
E. Zimlichman, M. Szyper-Kravitz, A. Unterman, A. Goldman, S. Levkovich and Y. Shoenfeld
May 2009
L. Shema, L. Ore, R. Geron and B. Kristal

Background: Acute kidney injury remains a common significant clinical problem. Yet there are scant data in Israel on the incidence of hospital-acquired AKI[1] and on diagnosis validity.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of AKI among hospitalized patients in the Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya, compare discharge summaries to laboratory diagnosis, and investigate the impact of AKI on mortality and length of stay.

Methods: Computerized medical and laboratory data of 34,802 hospitalized subjects were collected. AKI was diagnosed according to three different definitions. We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of AKI based on ICD-9 diagnosis compared to patient's laboratory data as the gold standard.

Results: The overall AKI annual incidence rate was 1–5.1%, depending on the AKI definition used. The incidence of AKI based on ICD-9 diagnosis was significantly lower compared to the laboratory-based diagnosis. Average in-hospital length of stay was 2.4 times longer among patients with AKI compared to subjects without this condition. Furthermore, the in-hospital death rate among AKI patients was 14 times higher than among non-AKI hospitalized subjects, with a positive association between AKI severity and risk of death.

Conclusions: Using AKI laboratory diagnosis as the gold standard revealed ICD-9 diagnosis to be 9.1% sensitive and 99.4% specific. Hospital-acquired AKI is a major contributor to prolonged length of stay and high mortality rates; therefore, interventions to reduce in-hospital disease incidence are required.

[1] AKI = acute kidney injury

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel