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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

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June 2024
Mahmoud Massalha MD, Sharon Reisfeld MD

Background: Gram-negative bloodstream infections (GN-BSI) are life threatening. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy and source control when indicated improve survival. Dementia is an independent risk factor for death and is associated with increased risk for infections, especially in advanced stages. Data about the best diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for patients with dementia and GN-BSI are lacking.

Objectives: To evaluate patients with dementia and GN-BSI and determine whether diagnostic imaging improves clinical outcomes.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with GN-BSI, during 2019–2022. Patients with or without a diagnosis of dementia were compared. Outcomes were in-hospital mortality and recurrent bacteremia. Demographic, clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic data were collected and analyzed.

Results: A total of 87 patients with dementia and 130 without were included. Patients with dementia received appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy in 38% of cases compared to 62% of patients without dementia, P < 0.001. Imaging studies were performed in half of patients in both groups. In the dementia group, 17% had abnormal findings that required source control versus 30% in the control group (P = 0.049). Source control was performed in 15% of patients with dementia versus 28% of patients without dementia (P = 0.032). Mortality was 27.6% in the dementia group versus 22.3% in the control group (P = 0.42).

Conclusions: In patients with dementia and GN-BSI, imaging studies have lower effect on clinical outcomes. Imaging studies should be performed in selected cases only and not conducted routinely.

May 2024
Tal Frenkel Rutenberg MD, Alon Ben Uri MD, Omer Slevin MD, Yona Kosashvili MD, Franck Atlan MD, Sorin Daniel Iordache MD

Background: Pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis (PFT) is a common and severe hand infection. Patients who present early can be treated with intravenous antibiotics.

Objectives: To determine whether PFT caused by animal bites and treated with antibiotics leads to a different outcome than other disease etiologies due to the extensive soft tissue insult and different bacterial flora.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 43 consecutive patients who presented with PFT between 2013 and 2020. The 10 patients who presented with PFT following an animal bite were compared to those who presented with PFT caused by any other etiology.

Results: Patients who were bitten pursued medical attention sooner: 1.9 ± 1.4 days compared with 5.3 ± 4.7 days (P = 0.001). Despite the quicker presentation, patients from the study group received similar antibiotic types and duration as controls. All patients were initially treated with intravenous antibiotics under surveillance of a hand surgeon. One patient (10%) from the study group and four controls (12%) were treated surgically (P = 1). Average follow-up was 17 ± 16 days. At the end of follow-up, one (10%) patient from the study group and three (9%) controls sustained mild range of motion limitation and one (3%) patient from the control group had moderate limitations (P = 0.855).

Conclusions: Intravenous antibiotic treatment, combined with an intensive hand surgeon follow-up, is a viable option for the treatment of PFT caused by animal bites.

April 2024
Afik Tibi MD, Ziyad Khamaysi MD, Emily Avitan-Hersh MD PhD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) causes a wide spectrum of acute infections and immune-related diseases, most of which include a dermatological presentation. However, dermatological findings have a wide range of other possible etiologies. The diagnosis of GAS-related disease requires an indication of preceding GAS infection by direct culture or by measuring antistreptolysin O (ASLO) titer.

Objectives: To explore the correlation between ASLO positivity and dermatological diseases.

Methods: We analyzed clinical data from all cases of patients over 18 years of age who underwent ASLO testing between the years 2016 and 2020 in the Department of Dermatology at Rambam Health Care Campus.

Results: Of 152 adult patients with ASLO tests, 100 had diagnoses that were potentially related to streptococcal infection. Vasculitis and psoriasis were the most suspected diagnoses. Positive ASLO test was found in 44 (29%) patients. The diagnoses showing the highest ratio of positive ASLO were psoriasis (60%), erythema nodosum (46%), skin infections (43%), Sweet syndrome (33%), and vasculitis (15%). Psoriasis types included plaque psoriasis (8 patients), guttate psoriasis (3 patients), and palmoplantar pustulosis and erythroderma (2 patients each).

Conclusions: Although the applicability of ASLO for the spectrum of dermatological diseases remains unclear, our results enhance the practical relevance of the test. We showed a higher prevalence of positive ASLO tests in psoriasis and erythema nodosum cases and a lower prevalence in vasculitis. Notably, ASLO was positive in all psoriasis subtypes, suggesting high utility of the test for psoriasis.

March 2024
Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD, Dina Qaraen Saloni MD, Mevaseret Avital MD, Naama Pines MD, Itai Gross MD, Giora Wieser MD, Saar Hashavya MD

Background: Hypothermia, as a sign of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in children and infants older than 90 days is poorly characterized, especially in the post-pneumococcal vaccine era.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of SBI in children and infants presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED) with reported or documented hypothermia.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted of all well-appearing children aged 0–16 years who presented with a diagnosis of hypothermia at two tertiary PEDs from 2010 to 2019.

Results: The study comprised 99 children, 15 (15.2%) age 0–3 months, 71 (71.7%) 3–36 months, and 13 (13.1%) > 36 months. The youngest age group had increased length of stay in the hospital (P < 0.001) and increased rates of pediatric intensive care unit admissions (P < 0.001). Empirical antibiotic coverage was initiated in 80% of the children in the 0–3 months group, 21.1% in the 3–36 months group, and 15.4% in > 36 months (P < 0.001). Only one case of SBI was recorded and no bacteremia or meningitis. Hypothermia of unknown origin was the most common diagnosis in all age groups (34%, 42%, 46%), respectively, followed by bronchiolitis (26%) and hypoglycemia (13.3%) for 0–3 month-old children, unspecified viral infection (20%) and otitis media (7%) for 3–36-month old, and unspecified viral infection (23%) and alcohol intoxication (15.2%) in > 36 months.

Conclusion: There is a low incidence of SBI in well-appearing children presenting to the PED with hypothermia and a benign course and outcome in those older than 3 months.

Rottem Kuint MD, Henny Azmanov MD, Adi Shalom MD, Neville Berkman MBBCh

Background: Bronchiectasis is an obstructive chronic lung disease characterized by structural changes in large and small airways, namely permanent widening of bronchial lumen resulting in chronic inflammation and infection. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental mycobacteria that may cause human infection or colonization with over 150 species identified to date. Bronchiectasis with NTM colonization or infection is often encountered but with varying prevalence and unknown clinical or prognostic significance.

Objectives: To find the prevalence of NTM among patients with bronchiectasis in the Jerusalem district. To assess whether there were clinical differences between patients with bronchiectasis who were isolated with NTM and those without.

Methods: In this retrospective observational research study, we reviewed all computerized medical charts of patients over 18 years of age, who were diagnosed with bronchiectasis at Hadassah Medical Centers in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2017. We assessed the prevalence of NTM pulmonary disease. To compare patients with and without NTM, we reviewed and analyzed clinical, radiological, and microbiological data of all NTM patients and a group of controls in a 4:1 ratio.

Results: Prevalence of NTM among bronchiectasis patients was 5.1%, slightly lower than previously reported in Israel. We did not find clinically or radiological significant differences in patients with NTM disease compared to controls. This result included a similar number of exacerbations, hospitalization rates, number of lobes involved, and pulmonary function tests.

Conclusions: Bronchiectasis patients with isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa experienced more exacerbations than patients with other isolates, consistent with previous studies.

Mohammad Haydar MD, Uriel Levinger MD, George Habib MD MPH

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) is a cardiomyopathy that develops rapidly and is usually caused by mental or physical stress. It is usually a transient cardiomyopathy. The presumed cause of the onset of the syndrome is the increase and extreme secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine due to extreme stress. An infectious disease such as sepsis can also be the cause [1].

One of the most widespread diagnostic tools is the revised version of Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Criteria for TTS (2008) [2], which incorporates transient wall-motion abnormalities, absence of a potential coronary culprit, myocarditis, and pheochromocytoma. The prognosis for TTS is usually favorable and resolves with complete recovery in 4–8 weeks in more than 90% of patients.

October 2023
Wakar Garra MD, Yair Levy MD

Nocardia species are gram-positive aerobic bacteria, usually acquired by inhalation or traumatic percutaneous inoculation [1,2]. It is a rare opportunistic infection that mainly occurs in immunocompromised hosts, patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), organ transplant recipients, and long-term corticosteroid treated patients [1,2]. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. The increased use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors has been accompanied by increased risk of different opportunistic infections including reactivation of tuberculosis, viral hepatitis B and C, listeria, fungal and bacterial infections [3,4]. To date, there are scarce case reports regarding nocardial infection with anti-TNF, particularly during the first 6 months of treatment.

We present a case of nocardial tenosynovitis of the hand in a patient with psoriatic arthropathy who was followed in our rheumatology clinic in Meir medical center in Israel after treatment with an anti TNF therapy.

August 2023
Noam Savion MD, Noa Guzner MD, Saar Hashavya MD, Shimon Reif MD, Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD

Background: Brucellosis is an endemic infection affecting the Mediterranean Basin, Arabian Peninsula, India, Mexico, and South America. Data on brucellosis infections in children are limited.

Objectives: To review and characterize the clinical presentation of pediatric patients diagnosed with brucellosis in a tertiary medical center.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted on all pediatric patients from January 2010 to December 2020 admitted to the pediatric department with a diagnosis of brucellosis based on a positive serology test or growth of Brucella bacteria in blood culture.

Results: The study comprised 53 children aged 0–18 years. The mean age at presentation was 11.01 ± 4.91 years; 39 male (73.6%). Pre-infection exposure to unpasteurized milk or unvaccinated livestock was reported in 37 (69.8%). Fever was present in 64.6%, followed by arthralgia (49%), loss of appetite (42.3%), and weight loss (24.6%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 52.8% and included abdominal pain (34.6%), nausea (28.3%), vomiting (24.5%), and diarrhea (2.6%). Eight patients experienced pancytopenia (15.1%). The median length of intravenous antibiotic treatment was 7 days (range 3–14 days) and for oral antibiotic treatment 6 weeks (range 2–24 weeks). Most patients were initially treated with intravenous gentamycin (90.5%) and long-term oral antibiotics, most commonly doxycycline. Two (3.7%) required admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. No mortality was documented, and all cases of relapses were successfully treated.

Conclusions: Pediatric brucellosis is an acute febrile disease often associated with rheumatologic complaints. Patients 8–18 years of age also presented with headache, weight loss, and night sweats.

March 2023
Nimrod Sachs MD, Lotem Goldberg MD, Yoel Levinsky MD, Yotam Dizitzer MD, Yoav Vardi MD, Irit Krause MD, Oded Scheuerman MD, Gilat Livni MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Havatzelet Bilavsky-Yarden MD

Background: During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, less isolation of common winter viruses was reported in the southern hemisphere.

Objectives: To evaluate annual trends in respiratory disease-related admissions in a large Israeli hospital during and before the pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records from November 2020 to January 2021 (winter season) was conducted and compared to the same period in two previous years. Data included number of admissions, epidemiological and clinical presentation, and isolation of respiratory pathogens.

Results: There were 1488 respiratory hospitalizations (58% males): 632 in 2018–2019, 701 in 2019–2020, and 155 in 2020–2021. Daily admissions decreased significantly from a median value of 6 (interquartile range [IQR] 4–9) and 7 per day (IQR 6–10) for 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, respectively, to only 1 per day (IQR 1–3) in 2020–2021 (P-value < 0.001). The incidence of all respiratory viruses decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no hospitalizations due to influenza and only one with respiratory syncytial virus. There was also a significant decline in respiratory viral and bacterial co-infections during the pandemic (P-value < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a significant decline in pediatric respiratory admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible etiologies include epidemiological factors such as mask wearing and social distancing, in addition to biological factors such as viral interference. A herd protection effect of adults and older children wearing masks may also have had an impact.

Batya Wizman MD, Moti Haim MD, Ido Peles, Roi Westreich MD, Amjad Abu-Salman MD, Gal Tsaban MD MPH, Natalie Yasoor, Orit Barrett MD, Yuval Konstantino MD

Background: Existing cardiac disease contributes to poor outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little information exists regarding COVID-19 infection in patients with a cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED).

Objectives: To assess the association between CIEDs and severity of COVID-19 infection.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis including 13,000 patients > 18 years old with COVID-19 infection between January and December 2020. Patients with COVID-19 who had a permanent pacemaker or defibrillator were matched 1:4 based on age and sex followed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: Forty patients with CIED and 160 patients without CIED were included in the current analysis. Mean age was 72.6 ± 13 years, and approximately 50% were females. Majority of the patients in the study arm had a pacemaker (63%), whereas only 15 patients (37%) had a defibrillator. Patients with COVID-19 and CIED presented more often with atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. They were more likely to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) and required more ventilatory support (35% vs. 18.3%). Thirty-day mortality (22.5% vs. 13.8%) and 1-year mortality (25% vs. 15%) were higher among patients with COVID-19 and CIED.

Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 and CIED had a significantly higher prevalence of co-morbidities that were associated with increased mortality. Although,CIED by itself was not found as an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality, it may serve as a warning for severe illness with COVID-19.

February 2023
Tal Tobias MD, Dani Kruchevsky MD, Yehuda Ullmann MD, Joseph Berger MD, Maher Arraf MD, Liron Eldor MD

Background: Implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR) is the most common method of reconstruction for breast cancer. Bacterial infection is a well-known risk with reported rates ranging from 1% to 43%. The most common pathogens of breast implant infection described in the literature are Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. However, the prevalence of other pathogens and their antibiotic sensitivity profile differs profoundly in different parts of the world.

Objectives: To review the current literature and protocols with respect to our region and to determine a more accurate antibiotic protocol aimed at our specific local pathogens.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all cases of clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction in our institution from June 2013 to June 2019, as well as review of microbiologic data from around the world based on current literature.

Results: A total of 28 patients representing 28 clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction were identified during the studied period. Thirteen patients (46.4%) had a positive bacterial culture growth, with P. aeruginosa being the most common microorganism identified (46.1%). Review of international microbiological data demonstrated significant variation at different places and time periods.

Conclusions: Microbiological data in cases of infected breast reconstructions should be collected and analyzed in every medical center and updated every few years due to the variations observed. These data will help to adjust the optimal empirical antibiotic regimens given to patients presenting with infections after breast reconstruction.

January 2023
Shoshana Amos MD, Hila Elinav MD, Elchanan Parnasa MD

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), first identified in 2019, constitutes a global major public health burden. Most of morbidity and mortality is derived by the severe inflammatory reaction (cytokine release syndrome) that ensues in later stages. Baricitinib, a selective JAK inhibitor primarily used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [1], was shown to reduce mortality in COVID-19 hospitalized patients in combination with remdesivir [2].

November 2022
Izabella Elgardt MD, Or Carmi MD, Yair Levy MD

At the end of 2019, the world faced a new virus–coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–which quickly became a pandemic. It has become clear that the COVID-19 virus can affect various body systems. Over time, we are finding more and more diverse manifestations of the course of the disease itself, its consequences, and complications. There have been several studies and reviews describing circulating antibodies in patients infected with COVID-19 (e.g., antinuclear antibodies [ANA], anti-cardiolipin, anti-B2 glycoprotein, perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies [p-ANCA], cytoplasmic ANCA [c-ANCA]). The development of autoimmune disorders has been reported (e.g., Graves' disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), immune thrombocytopenia [ITP], diabetes mellitus [DM] type 1, psoriasis). There are descriptions of COVID-19 associated vasculitis include Kawasaki-like symptoms in children and immunoglobulin A (IgA) vasculitis in children and adults [1].

Shada Azem MD, Roy Raphael MD, Shir Raibman-Spector MD, Kobi Faierstein MD, Amir Givon MD, Haim Mayan MD

Intravesicular administration of Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), a live attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, has long been used as adjuvant therapy for treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder carcinoma. BCG is usually well tolerated; however, infectious complications can range from 1–5% of cases. Infectious complications of BCG [1] can be divided into localized disease, which is considered a late onset disease occurring 3 months following treatment such as cystitis, Epididymo-orchitis, and pyelonephritis. Another form is a systemic disease, which is an early onset manifestation including sepsis syndrome that usually occurs directly after treatment and is the most common form of disseminated BCG infection.

October 2022
Ron Skorochod B.MED.SC, David Raveh MD, Yonit Wiener-Well MD, Bashar Fteiha MD, Shimon Shteingart PhD, Yitzhak Skorochod MD

Background: The hepatobiliary system is a sterile micro-environment. Bacterial infection in this system is most commonly associated with anaerobes as well as gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Biliary infections with Staphylococcus aureus are poorly characterized.

Objectives: To depict the clinical characteristics and outcome of patients with S. aureus infection of the hepatobiliary system.

Methods: Medical records of patients with bile cultures positive for S. aureus from January 2006 to November 2020 were extracted from the computerized database of a hospital in Israel.

Results: We analyzed the results of 28 cases that were found in the database. The mean age of study patients was 62.2 ± 19 years. Hypertension, dyslipidemia, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and benign prostatic hypertrophy were the most common co-morbidities (57.1%, 32.1%, 25%, 25%, and 25%, respectively). Fourteen of the methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bile cultures (82.3%) were a result of primary S. aureus biliary infections (no other source for S. aureus infection) and the remainder were of a secondary infection. Eight of the MRSA cultures (47.1%) were from hospital acquired infections. Increased hospital mortality in patients with S. aureus hepatobiliary infection was associated with hypertension (P = 0.04), bedridden status (P = 0.01), and nursing home residence (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Hepatobiliary infection with S. aureus can manifest in a variety of ways. S. aureus should be especially considered in patients who are bedridden, present with hypertension, or live in nursing homes because of their association with in-hospital mortality resulting from this entity.

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