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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

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August 2023
Hila Nochomovitz MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Ori Elkayam MD PhD, David Zeltser MD, Itzhak Shapira MD, Ori Rogowski MD, Smadar Gertel PhD, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty PhD, Victoria Furer MD

Background: The parasympathetic system and its main neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, contributes to homeostasis of inflammation. Cholinergic dysregulation is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has not been investigated.

Objectives: To compare the cholinesterase activity in patients with PsA and immunocompetent controls and to explore the correlation between cholinergic status (CS) and PsA disease activity.

Methods: Serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and total cholinesterase activity were measured in patients with PsA (n=88) and matched controls (n=84). Cholinergic activity before and 3–6 months after the initiation of a biologic treatment was evaluated in seven patients with PsA.

Results: The levels of AChE and CS were similar in both PsA patients and controls. PsA patients treated with biologics had significantly lower levels of AChE and CS compared to patients treated with non-biologics: 447.4 vs. 526 substrate hydrolyzed/min/ml, P = 0.005, and 1360.9 vs. 1536, P = 0.029, respectively. We found an association between C-reactive protein levels, AChE activity (r = 0.291, P = 0.008), and cholinergic status (r = 0.247, P = 0.026) in patients with PsA but not in controls. No correlation between AChE activity, cholinergic status, and the indices of PsA disease activity was found. After initiating or switching biologic treatment in 7 patients, AChE levels remained stable.

Conclusions: We demonstrated similar cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis and controls, highlighting a potential effect of biologic treatment on cholinergic activity in patients with PsA.

Michal M. Amitai MD, Nadin Kanaan MD, Shelly Soffer MD, Lee Alper, Noa Rozendorn MD, Daniel Jacob Harrington, Uri Kopylov MD, Adi Lahat MD, Doron Yablecovitch MD, Rami Eliakim MD, Shomron Ben-Horin MD, Eyal Klang MD

Background: Jejunal disease is associated with worse prognosis in Crohn's disease. The added value of diffusion weighted imaging for evaluating jejunal inflammation related to Crohn's Disease is scarce.

Objectives: To compare diffusion weighted imaging, video capsule endoscopy, and inflammatory biomarkers in the assessment of Crohn's disease involving the jejunum.

Methods: Crohn's disease patients in clinical remission were prospectively recruited and underwent magnetic resonance (MR)-enterography and video capsule endoscopy. C-reactive protein and fecal-calprotectin levels were obtained. MR-enterography images were evaluated for restricted diffusion, and apparent diffusion coefficient values were measured. The video capsule endoscopy-based Lewis score was calculated. Associations between diffusion weighted imaging, apparent diffusion coefficient, Lewis score, and inflammatory biomarkers were evaluated.

Results: The study included 51 patients, and 27/51 (52.9%) with video capsule endoscopies showed jejunal mucosal inflammation. Sensitivity and specificity of restricted diffusion for video capsule endoscopy mucosal inflammation were 59.3% and 37.5% for the first reader, and 66.7% and 37.5% for the second reader, respectively. Diffusion weighted imaging was not statistically associated with jejunal video capsule endoscopy inflammation (P = 0.813).

Conclusions: Diffusion weighted imaging was not an effective test for evaluation of jejunal inflammation as seen by video capsule endoscopy in patients with quiescent Crohn's disease.

March 2023
Itamar Feldman MD, Ramzi Kurd MD, Gideon Nesher MD, Mohamed Zaghal MD, Gabriel S. Breuer MD

Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve and has several causes. The hallmarks of clinical manifestation are pain on movement of the eyes and decreased vision. Typical optic neuritis is an idiopathic demyelinating condition that is often associated with multiple sclerosis, affects young women, is unilateral, and has a good prognosis.

January 2023
Amir Dagan MD, Elsa Sebag MD

A 64-year-old male, with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis was being treated with methotrexate and low dose prednisone. He arrived at the clinic with bluish discoloration of the toes. Inflammatory markers and urine were normal. No history of chilblains or Raynoud's phenomena was noted. He recovered recently from mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A diagnosis of COVID toes (COVID digits) was made [Figure 1].

November 2022
Bar Pitaro Alter MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Omer Gendelman MD, Guy Shalom MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Arnon D. Cohen MD MPH, Daniela Amital MD MHA

Backgrounds: Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic vasculitic multi-systemic disease of unknown etiology. BD is characterized by recurrent attacks of oral aphthae, genital ulcers, and uveitis. BD is a multisystemic disorder and as such it may provoke various psychiatric manifestations, including depression.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between BD and depression, adjusting for established risk factors for depression.

Methods: We executed a cross-sectional study based on the Clalit Health Services database, the largest healthcare organization in Israel, serving over 4.4 million members. For this study 873 BD patients were detected and matched with 4369 controls by age and sex.

Results: The rate of depression was higher among the BD patients compared with the control group (9.39% vs 5.49%, respectively, odds ratio [OR] 1.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.37–2.31, P < 0.001). An association between BD and depression was also observed on multivariable analysis (OR 1.83, 95%CI 1.39–2.39, P < 0.001). When stratifying the data, according to established risk factors, the association between BD and depression was prominent in the youngest age group (18–39 years of age), low and high socioeconomical status, and non-smokers.

Conclusions: Establishing the association between BD and depression should influence the attitude and the treatment of BD patients, as this relationship requires a more holistic approach and a multidisciplinary treatment regimen for all patient needs.

March 2022
Lior Fortis MD, Ella Yahud MD, Ziv Sevilya PhD, Roman Nevzorov MD MPH, Olga Perelshtein Brezinov MD, Michael Rahkovich MD, Eli I Lev MD, and Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD

Background: The CHA2DS2-VASc score has been shown to predict systemic thromboembolism and mortality in certain groups in sinus rhythm (SR), similar to its predictive value with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Objectives: To compare factors of inflammation, thrombosis, platelet reactivity, and turnover in patients with high versus low CHA2DS2-VASc score in SR.

Methods: We enrolled consecutive patients in SR and no history of AF. Blood samples were collected for neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), C-reactive protein (CRP), immature platelet fraction (IPF%) and count (IPC), CD40 ligand, soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin) and E-selectin. IPF was measured by autoanalyzer and the other factors by ELISA.

Results: The study comprised 108 patients (age 58 ± 18 years, 63 women (58%), 28 (26%) with diabetes), In addition, 52 had high CHA2DS2-VASc score (³ 2 for male and ³ 3 for female) and 56 had low score. Patients with low scores were younger, with fewer co-morbidities, and smaller left atrial size. sP-selectin was higher in the high CHA2DS2-VASc group (45, interquartile ratio [IQR] 36–49) vs. 37 (IQR 28–46) ng/ml, P = 0.041]. Inflammatory markers were also elevated, CRP 3.1 mg/L (IQR 1.7–9.3) vs. 1.6 (IQR 0.78–5.4), P < 0.001; NLR 2.7 (IQR 2.1–3.8) vs. 2.1 (IQR 1.6–2.5), P = 0.001, respectively. There was no difference in E-selectin, CD40 ligand, IPC, or IPF% between the groups.

Conclusions: Patients in SR with high CHA2DS2-VASc score have higher inflammatory markers and sP-selectin. These findings may explain the higher rate of adverse cardiovascular events associated with elevated CHA2DS2-VASc score.

Ortal Tuvali MD, Gal Sella MD, Dan Haberman MD, Valeri Cuciuc MD, and Jacob George MD

The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is multifactorial, mainly driven by complex inflammatory processes. Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory drug used in a variety of clinical settings. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the role of colchicine in atherosclerotic vascular disease and more specifically, its promising impact on the outcome of patients with stable and acute coronary syndrome and to review its effect in patients undergoing angioplasty. A literature review was performed using the search terms colchicine, coronary heart disease, or acute coronary syndrome, stable coronary disease. We accessed PubMed, Google scholar, and the Cochrane Library databases to search for studies. Patients with chronic coronary disease may benefit from treatment with low dose colchicine to reduce the occurrence of a cardiovascular event. Among patients with a recent myocardial infarction, colchicine treatment was associated with reduced ischemic cardiovascular events, although without a meaningful difference in mortality. Colchicine was found to be a promising agent that can be potentially integrated into the armamentarium of treatments for patients with atherosclerotic coronary disease pending careful patient selection

October 2021
Mor Cohen-Eilig MD, Noa Bar Lis MSc, Ayelet Livneh MD, and Haim Bassan MD

Background: Cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL) is a strong indicator of subsequent motor and developmental impairments in premature infants. There is a paucity of publications on biomarkers of cPVL.

Objectives: To determine C-reactive protein (CRP) levels during the first week of life of preterm infants who later developed cPVL and to identify the association between CRP levels with perinatal factors.

Methods: We retrospectively included infants ≤ 32 weeks gestation and/or birth weights ≤ 1500 grams; 17 with a cranial ultrasound diagnosis of cPVL and 54 with normal ultrasounds. Serum CRP levels were measured during days 1-7 (CRP1–7d) of life and subdivided into two timing groups: days 1–3 (CRP1–3d) and days 4-7 (CRP4–7d).

Results: The cPVL group had significantly higher mean CRP4–7d levels compared to controls (12.75 ± 21.2 vs. 2.23 ± 3.1, respectively, P = 0.03), while CRP1–3d levels were similar. CRP1–7d levels were significantly correlated with maximal fraction of inspired oxygen during the first 12 hours of life (FiO2-12h, r = 0.51, P < 0.001]. Additional risk factors were not associated with CRP levels.

Conclusions: Our finding of elevated CRP4-7d levels and later development of cPVL supports earlier studies on the involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cPVL. Whether CRP could serve as a biomarker of cPVL and its correlation with outcomes, awaits further trials. Furthermore, the correlation between FiO2-12h and CRP1–7d levels suggest that hypoxia and/or hyperoxia may serve as a trigger in the activation of inflammation during the first days of life of preterm infants

June 2021
Omer Gendelman MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Ora Shovman MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Daniel Erez MD, Yair Levy MD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a rare small vessel vasculitis. It usually involves the respiratory tract and kidney. Rarely, tumor-resembling inflammatory changes ensue.

Objectives: To report three unique cases of GPA presenting with tumor-like lesions in various organs.

Methods: We presented three cases of GPA. Case 1 presented with typical upper respiratory symptoms of GPA and a mediastinal mass. Case 2 presented with low back pain, a large retroperitoneal mass, and nodular skin lesions. Case 3 presented with epigastric pain and a paravertebral inflammatory mass.

Results: The patients were treated successfully with rituximab.

Conclusions: Clinicians should be aware of this presentation of granulomatosis with polyangiitis, which is known as Tumefaction Wegener’s granulomatosis

Yana Kakzanov MD, Ziv Sevilya PhD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Alexander Goldman MD, and Eli I. Lev MD

Background: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common clinical entity, with a mechanism that appears to involve endothelial dysfunction of the cardiac microcirculation. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are bone marrow derived cells that are able to differentiate into functional endothelial cells and participate in endothelial surface repair.

Objectives: To compare the level and function of EPCs in patients with HFpEF compared with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and control subjects.

Methods: We enrolled 21 patients with HFpEF (LVEF ≥ 50%, age 74.5 ± 9.9 years, 43% men, 48% diabetes), 20 patients with HFrEF (LVEF < 40%, age 70 ± 11.5 years, 90% men, 60% diabetes), and 11 control subjects with cardiovascular risk factors (age 53.3 ± 6.1years, 90% men, 64% diabetes). Circulating EPC levels were evaluated by expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), CD34, and CD133 by flow-cytometry. EPCs colony forming units (CFUs) were quantified after 7 days in culture.

Results: The proportion of cells that co-expressed VEGFR-2 and CD34 or VEGFR-2 and CD133 was similar among the HFpEF and HFrEF groups, and significantly lower than in the control group. The number of EPC-CFUs was also similar among the two heart failure groups and significantly lower than the control group.

Conclusions: Patients with HFpEF, like HFrEF, have significant reduction in EPC level and function.

February 2021
Nagham Gudban MSc, Itamar Yehuda PhD, William Nasir MD, Soboh Soboh MD, Snait Tamir PhD, and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have a high rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Mediterranean diet is preferred for CVD prevention. Endothelial dysfunction is demonstrated early in T2DM.

Objectives: To study the effects of dietary intervention of T2DM patients without known CVD on endothelial function and vascular inflammation.

Methods: A prospective study enrolled 22 patients with T2DM. Patients were divided randomly into two groups: an intervention group with 12 patients (55 ± 7 years old, 6 women) and a control group with 10 patients (59 ± 10 years old, 5 women). Clinical evaluation included body mass index (BMI) and endothelial function measured by the flow mediated percent change (FMD%). Fasting blood was drawn on entry to the study and 3 months later, measuring C-reactive protein (CRP), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C%). The intervention was based on weekly telephone calls by a clinical dietitian for 3 months.

Results: In the intervention group CRP and ICAM-1 were reduced (from 4.2 ± 3.3 mg/dl to 0.4 ± 0.5 mg/dl, P = 0.01 and from 258.6 ± 98.3 ng/ml to 171.6 ± 47.7 ng/ml, P = 0.004). Endothelial function (FMD%) was improved (from 0.5 ± 8.0% to 9.5 ± 11.5%, P = 0.014). No change was observed in BMI, HbA1C%, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels in either group.

Conclusions: Patients with T2DM on the Mediterranean diet who received a weekly telephone call for 3 months improved their endothelial function with reduction of markers of inflammation.

June 2020
Charlie Bridgewood PhD, Giovanni Damiani MD, Kassem Sharif MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD MPH, Luca Quartuccio MD, Sinisa Savic and Dennis McGonagle FRCPI PhD

In the absence of definitive anti-viral therapy, there is considerable interest in mitigating against severe inflammatory reactions in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia to improve survival. These reactions are sometimes termed cytokine storm. PDE4 inhibitors (PDE4i) have anti-inflammatory properties with approved indications in inflammatory skin and joint diseases as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Furthermore, multiple animal models demonstrate strong anti-inflammatory effects of PDE4i in respiratory models of viral and bacterial infection and also after chemically mediated lung injury. The rationale for PDE4i use in COVID-19 patients comes from the multimodal mechanism of action with cytokine, chemokine, and other key pathway inhibition all achieved with an excellent safety profile. We highlight how PDE4i could be an overlooked treatment from the rheumatologic and respiratory armamentarium, which has potential beneficial immune-modulation for treating severe COVID-19 pneumonia associated with cytokine storms. The proposed use of PDE4i is also supported by age-related immune changes in inflammation severity in PDE4i modifiable pathways in primate coronavirus disease. In conclusion, over-exuberant anti-viral immune responses in older patients with COVID-19 may pose a substantial risk to patient survival and mitigation against such hyper-inflammation with PDE4i, especially with anti-viral agents, is a strategy that need to be pursed, especially in older patients

 

Mohammad Adawi MD, Tair Abu-Gabel MD, Firas Sabbah MD, Itamar Yehuda PhD, Snait Tamir PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more frequent in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared with age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. SLE is an autoimmune disease that is more prevalent in women (9:1). Women tend to develop CVD in post-menopausal years; however, women with SLE may develop endothelial dysfunction and CVD at a younger age in the pre-menopausal years.

Objectives: To study the endothelial function of adult-onset SLE patients from the north of Israel (the Galilee region) and to determine whether modern management (including biological treatments) changes the risk of developing CVD.

Methods: Thirteen females with adult-onset SLE without renal involvement were recruited to this prospective study. Clinical parameters (age, height, body mass index [BMI]), laboratory parameters (C-reactive protein [CRP] and hemoglobin level), and vascular responsiveness (flow mediated diameter percent change [FMD%]) were evaluated and compared to 11 age-matched healthy females. Student's t-test was used to find differences between the two groups.

Results: No difference was observed in adult-onset SLE female patients and their age- and sex-matched controls with regard to age (42.1 ± 11.8 years vs. 36.6 ± 10.8 years, P = NS), BMI (25 ± 1.8 kg/m2 vs. 25 ± 2.5 kg/m2, P = NS), and hemoglobin level (11.9 ± 0.9 gr% vs. 12.7 ± 1.2 gr%, P = NS). However, a significant difference was found in CRP (2.57 ± 2.2 mg vs. 0.60 ± 0.37 mg, P = 0.001), vascular responsiveness (0.94 ± 6.6 FMD% vs. 9.2 ± 8.1 FMD%, P = 0.012), and height (165.7 ± 4.5 cm vs. 171.6 ± 5.8 cm, P = 0.009).

Conclusions: Adult-onset SLE females had impaired endothelial function even though they were treated by modern protocols.

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