• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Doctors card
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Tue, 06.06.23

Search results

January 2023
Itai Kalisky MD, Yaakov Maor MD, Lilach Goldstein MD, Yael Inbar MD, Ziv Ben-Ari MD

Background: Acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD) is a neurologic complication of severe chronic liver disease (CLD) with portosystemic shunts. The proposed etiology is manganese accumulation in the brain tissue, especially in the basal ganglia. Combination of clinical manifestation, mostly extrapyramidal movement disorders, and hyperintensities on T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is diagnostic. Although liver transplantation controversial, it is suggested for AHD.

Objectives: To depict clinical and neuroimaging characteristics and response to treatments in patients diagnosed with AHD at Sheba Medical Center.

Methods: Review of patients with AHD diagnosis at the Liver Diseases Center at Sheba Medical Center between 2012 and 2017, data of clinical and neuroimaging, follow-up, and response to treatments, including liver transplantation were recorded.

Results: Five patients with diagnosis of AHD were identified, median age at diagnosis 55 years (range 45–64 years). Four patients had cirrhosis at the time of AHD diagnosis. The main risk factor for AHD was the presence of portosystemic shunts. The most prevalent clinical manifestations were movement disorders, specifically a combination of extrapyramidal and cerebellar signs including instability, rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, and cognitive impairment. Brain MRI revealed hyperintensities on T1-weighted images in the basal ganglia in all patients. Administration of antiparkinsonian drugs showed clinical improvement, whereas liver transplantation performed in two patients was not associated to neurological improvement.

Conclusions: AHD is related to portosystemic shunts. The combination of Parkinsonism and cerebellar signs and MRI pallidal lesions should alert physicians to the diagnosis. The role of liver transplantation in AHD is still controversial.

Asher Korzets MB BS, Ze’ev Korzets MB BS, Boris Zingerman MD

We clarified the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges associated with pseudohypertension in very elderly patients. Pseudohypertension is diagnosed when cuff blood pressure measurements for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure are significantly higher than direct intra-arterial blood pressure recordings. Pseudohypertension is considered a manifestation of combined intimal and medial arterial calcifications. Non-invasive diagnosis is extremely difficult, but pseudohypertension should be considered in certain groups of very elderly hypertensive patients. Importantly, most of the very elderly patients diagnosed with pseudohypertension present with hypertension, especially isolated systolic hypertension, and this condition should be treated. Treatment must be undertaken cautiously (start low, go slow), with a recommended target blood pressure ≤ 150/80 mmHg. Orthostatism should be measured routinely, both by the patient and the attending physician.

October 2022
Natav Hendin B.Sc., Raanan Meyer, M.D., Ravit Peretz-Machluf, B.Sc., Ettie Maman, M.D., Micha Baum, M.D.

Background: Gestational hypertensive (GH) disorders remain a major obstetric problem.

Objective: To evaluate the incidence of gestational hypertensive disorders among participants undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI) after exposure to various levels of sperm from sperm donation (SD).

Methods: A retrospective case-control study was conducted at a single tertiary medical center between 2011 and 2019. Participants conceived via IUI using SD from a single sperm bank and had a successful singleton birth. Group 1 conceived during 1–2 cycles of IUI from the same sperm donor; whereas Group 2 after 3+ cycles.

Results: Overall 171 patients (Group 1 = 81, Group 2 = 90) met inclusion criteria. Participants showed no differences in age, chronic medical conditions, or history of pregnancy complications. The groups differed in gravidity and parity. The factors positively associated with Group 1 included either preeclampsia or GH (11 [13.5%] vs. 1 [1.1%], P = 0.001) and GH alone (8 [9.9%] vs. 1 [1.1%], P = 0.014). Newborns from Group 1 had a statistically significant lower birth weight than those from Group 2 (3003 grams ± 564.21 vs. 3173 grams ± 502.59, P = 0.039). GH was more prevalent in Group 1 (P = 0.008) than a control group of 45,278 participants who conceived spontaneously. No significant differences were observed between Group 2 and the control group.

Conclusions: The incidence of GH and preeclampsia in participants was higher among those exposed to 1–2 cycles than those exposed to 3+ cycles of IUI.

May 2022
Moria Mahanaimy MD MPH, Uriah Finkel MA, Noam Barda MD PhD, Eytan Roitman MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Adi Berliner Senderey MSc MPH, and Becca Feldman ScD

Background: The association between use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) inhibitors and both SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of severe COVID-19 has been presented in the recent medical literature with inconsistent results.

Objectives: To assess the association between RAAS inhibitor use and two outcomes: infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Model 1) and severe COVID-19 among those infected (Model 2).

Methods: We accessed used electronic health records of individuals from Israel who were receiving anti-hypertensive medications for this retrospective study. For Model 1 we used a case-control design. For Model 2 we used a cohort design. In both models, inverse probability weighting adjusted for identified confounders as part of doubly robust outcome regression.

Results: We tested 38,554 individuals for SARS-CoV-2 who had hypertension and were being treated with medication; 691 had a positive test result. Among those with a positive test, 119 developed severe illness. There was no association between RAAS inhibitor use and a positive test. Use of RAAS inhibitors was associated with a decreased risk for severe COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.47, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.29–0.77) compared with users of non-RAAS anti-hypertensive medication. The association remained significant when use of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (adjusted OR 0.46, 95%CI 0.27–0.77) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (adjusted OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.16–0.95) were analyzed separately.

Conclusions: Among individuals with hypertension using RAAS inhibitors, we found a lower risk of severe disease compared to those using non-RAAS anti-hypertensive medications. This finding suggests that RAAS inhibitors may have a protective effect on COVID-19 severity among individuals with medically treated hypertension.

March 2022
Avital Angel-Korman MD, Vladimir Rapoport MD, and Adi Leiba MD

Hypertension and cancer are both common due to the aging of the population and the advances in medical treatment which result in increased survival of cancer patients today. More patients with cancer; therefore, present with hypertension, which is attributed to different factors, including genetics and age as well as the type of tumor and cancer-related treatments. Given the increased cardiovascular and mortality risk related to hypertension, it is important to appropriately identify and treat hypertension, particularly in the population of vulnerable cancer patients. In this article we discuss the epidemiology, different etiologies, and approaches to the management of hypertension in cancer patients.

December 2020
Moshe Shai Amor, Dror Rosengarten, Dorit Shitenberg, Barak Pertzov, Yael Shostak, and Mordechai Reuven Kramer

Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has poor prognosis. Anti-fibrotic treatment has been shown to slow disease progression. Lung transplantation (LTx) offers a survival benefit. The 5-year survival after LTx in IPF is between 40 and 50%

Objectives: To evaluate which IPF patients have better prognosis following LTx.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted with all IPF patients who had undergone LTx in the Rabin Medical Center between 2010 and 2018. We collected data on pre-evaluation of pulmonary function tests, echocardiographic and right heart catherization, and anti-fibrotic treatments. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis.

Results: Among148 patients who underwent LTx, 58 were double LTx (DLT) and 90 single LTx (SLT). Mean age was 58.07 ± 9.78 years; 104 males and 44 females. DLT patients had significantly lower survival rates than SLT in the short and medium term after LTx. Patients with saturation above 80% after the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) had higher survival rates. Patients over 65 years of age had a lower survival rates. Those with pulmonary hypertension (PHT) above 30 mmHg had a poorer prognosis with lower survival rates.

Conclusions: IPF patients with higher mean PHT, older age (> 65 years), and desaturation following 6MWT had lower survival rates following LTx. DLT may decrease survival rate compared to SLT just for the short and medium period of time after LTx. These results may lead to better selection of IPF patient candidates for LTx. Additional studies are warranted for choosing which patients will have better prognosis after LTx.

Michael J. Segel MD, Dafna Somech RN BA, Irene M. Lang MD, and Amit Segev MD

Background: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare, distinct pulmonary vascular disease caused by chronic obstruction of major pulmonary arteries, which can be cured by pulmonary endarterectomy. However, many CTEPH patients are not surgical candidates. Balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) is an emerging technique used to treat inoperable CTEPH.

Objectives: To describe the first Israeli experience with BPA for inoperable CTEPH.

Methods: In 2017 we established a BPA program at our institution. We reviewed the outcomes to date of BPA in our center.

Results: Forty-seven BPA procedures were performed in five patients with inoperable CTEPH (4–17 procedures/patient). Mean pulmonary artery pressure improved in all patients (median decrease 17 mmHg, range 10–26 mmHg). Pulmonary vascular resistance also improved (median decrease 11 Woods Units/m2, range 8–16 Woods Units/m2). Cardiac output increased in 4 of 5 patients and decreased in one. Functional capacity improved from New York Heart Association (NYHA) III to II in four patients; one patient was NYHA II at baseline without change after BPA. Six-minute walking distance improved by a median of 97 meters. (range 21–197 meters). Hemodynamic and functional improvements were sustained at follow-up 5–11 months after the last BPA procedure. BPA enabled 2 of 3 patients treated with parenteral prostanoids to be switched to oral therapy. There were no major complications.

Conclusions: We successfully established BPA as a treatment for inoperable CTEPH in our center. BPA resulted in hemodynamic and clinical improvements that were sustained over time.

November 2020
Katya Dolnikov MD, Gai Milo MD, Suheir Assady MD, Robert Dragu MD, Yolanda Braun-Moscovici MD, and Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD
August 2019
Michael J. Segel MD, Alexander Kogan MD, Sergey Preissman MD, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, Aaron Lubetsky MD MSc, Paul Fefer MD, Hans-Joachim Schaefers MD and Ehud Raanani MD

Background: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare, distinct pulmonary vascular disease, which is caused by chronic obstruction of major pulmonary arteries. CTEPH can be cured by pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). PEA for CTEPH is a challenging procedure, and patient selection and the perioperative management are complex, requiring significant experience.

Objectives: To describe the establishment of a national CTEPH–PEA center in Israel and present results of surgery.

Methods: In this study, we reviewed the outcomes of PEA in a national referral, multi-disciplinary center for CTEPH–PEA. The center was established by collaborating with a high-volume center in Europe. A multidisciplinary team from our hospital (pulmonary hypertension specialist, cardiac surgeon, cardiac anesthesiologist and cardiac surgery intensivist was trained under the guidance of an experienced team from the European center.

Results: A total of 38 PEA procedures were performed between 2008 and 2018. We included 28 cases in this analysis for which long-term follow-up data were available. There were two hospital deaths (7%). At follow-up, median New York Heart Association (NYHA) class improved from III to I (P < 0.0001), median systolic pulmonary pressure decreased from 64 mmHg to 26 mmHg (P < 0.0001), and significant improvements were seen in right ventricular function and exercise capacity.

Conclusions: A national center for performance of a rare and complex surgical procedure can be successfully established by collaboration with a high-volume center and by training a dedicated multidisciplinary team.

September 2018
Ainat Klein MD, Gad Dotan MD and Anat Kesler MD

Background: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder of unknown etiology. Its occurrence in the general population is 1/100,000, and 20/100,000 among overweight women of childbearing age. Familial occurrence is reportedly uncommon and not well-characterized.

Objectives: To describe a familial association with IIH.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all familial cases of IIH examined in the neuro-ophthalmology clinic of our medical center between January 2006 and June 2013.

Results: Of a total of 520 patients with IIH, 15 had other family members with IIH (from seven different families). The family relation was a mother and daughter in two families, a brother and sister in four families, and an aunt and two first-degree cousins in the seventh family. Symptoms, course of disease, and risk factors were similar among the relatives of all seven families, except for the age at diagnosis, which was different in one family. All of the adult patients of six families were obese (body mass index 25–35 kg/m2), and all of the members of the other family were morbidly obese. There was no association between other systemic risk factors and IIH.

Conclusions: IIH occurrence within a family is more common than previously believed, and its incidence in families is more common than in the general population. The clinical course appears to be similar in family members. Our findings suggest a genetic predisposition. Further investigation of familial cases may yield useful information on the pathogenesis and genetic nature of this condition.

April 2018
Anne Graham Cummiskey MBBS, Amit Segev MD, Michael Segel MD, Jonathan Buber MD, Victor Guetta MD, Israel M. Barbash MD, Dan Elian MD, Elad Asher MD, Ori Vaturi MD and Paul Fefer MD

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of exercise hemodynamics during right heart catheterization (RHC) in the diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction (DD). Little data exists regarding exercise hemodynamics during RHC in symptomatic systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. 

Objectives: To assess the added diagnostic value of using exercise hemodynamics during RHC in assessment of patients with symptomatic SSc.

Methods: We performed 22 RHCs in 17 SSc patients with dyspnea and/or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Exercise was performed in 15 RHCs using isotonic arm exercises while holding a 1 kg weight in each hand. Measurements of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP), and cardiac output (CO) were taken at rest and during peak exercise. 

Results: Normal resting RHC (PAP 22 ± 3 mmHg, PAWP 11 ± 3 mmHg) was found in seven cases. Of these, exercise induced elevation in PAP was found in three (38 ± 7 mmHg), and exercise induced elevation in PAWP was found in four (24 ± 6 mmHg). Elevated resting PAP was found in 15 (41 ± 11 mmHg) with minor changes in exercise. Of the 22 RHCs, elevation of the PAWP was found in 11 (50%), half of which were in response to exercise. 

Conclusions: In symptomatic SSc patients, exercise hemodynamics provides important information on diastolic dysfunction that is not available with non-invasive testing. Findings on exercise RHC can explain patient symptoms in up to 50% of cases. Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of patient symptoms can aid in tailoring the correct therapy for each.

January 2018
Gad Dotan MD, Eyal Cohen MD, Ainat Klein MD and Anat Kesler MD

Background: Recent evidence suggests that olfaction is impaired in patients with pseudotumor cerebri (PTC).

Objectives: To measure suprathreshold olfactory function by using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), assessing its usefulness for routine clinical use.

Methods: Forty PTC patients underwent USPIT olfactory testing.

Results: Twenty-nine out of 40 (73%) PTC patients (36 women, 4 men; mean age 34 years) had reduced suprathreshold smell sensation according to UPSIT scores: 19 (47%) had mild microsmia, 9 (23%) had moderate microsmia, and one (3%) was classified as having severe microsmia. The mean UPSIT score of all patients was 32.4 (95% confidence interval 31.4–33.4). Multivariate regression analysis found that UPSIT scores were not related to disease activity, disease duration, initial intracranial pressure (ICP), or visual function.

Conclusions: Many PTC patients have reduced suprathreshold olfactory dysfunction that can be discovered by UPSIT, a rapidly administered smell test, which is suitable for clinical office use.

August 2017
Amiram Nir MD and Neville Berkman MD

Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a significant consequence of congenital heart disease (CHD). Its presence and severity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. 

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical and demographic characteristics of adults with congenital heart diseases (ADCHD) and PAH at a single center. 

Methods: A prospective registry of all patients with PAH was conducted between 2009 and 2015. 

Results: Thirty-two patients were identified. The mean age at the last visit was 44 years (range 19–77 years). The prevalence of PAH among all ADCHD patients was 6% (95% confidence interval 4.3%–8.4%). A much higher prevalence (53%) was found in patients with Down syndrome. Most patients with PAH had moderate or severe disease. Fifteen patients (47%) were treated with pulmonary vasodilators and 6 (19%) with combination therapy. The average World Health Organization functional class was 2.6. Morbidity included cerebral vascular accident or transient ischemic attack in 22% (mostly in patients with right-to-left shunt) and arrhythmia in 37% of the patients. During a median follow-up of 3.5 years, 5 patients (15.6%) died. Of 13 women with no mental retardation, 11 were or had been married and all had children (between 1 and 13, mean 3.3). 

Conclusions: Patients with congenital heart disease and PAH have significant morbidity and mortality. PAH is more prevalent in patients with Down syndrome. While pulmonary pressure during the reproductive years was not always known, 27% of women with PAH at the time of the study were multiparous.


May 2017
Francesca Cainelli MD, Dair Nurgaliev MD PhD, Kadischa Nurgaliyeva MD, Tatyana Ivanova-Razumova MD, Denis Bulanin PhD and Sandro Vento MD
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 3566, Ramat Gan 5213604 Israel