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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

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June 2024
Ehud Jacobzon MD, Avital Lifschitz RN, Danny Fink MD, Tal Hasin MD

Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are a staple element in contemporary treatment of advanced heart failure. LVAD surgeries are mostly done in heart transplantations centers, as a destination therapy or as a bridge to heart transplantation.

Objectives: To describe our step-by-step experience in establishing and implementing a new LVAD program in a non-heart transplant center. To give insight to our short- and long-term results of our first 25 LVAD patients.

Methods: Preliminary steps included identifying the need for a new program and establishing the leading team. Next is defining protocols for pre-operative evaluation, operating room, post-operative management, and outpatient follow-up. The leading team needs to educate other relevant units in the hospital that will be involved in the care of these patients. It is essential to work in collaboration with a heart transplant center from the very beginning. Patient selection is of major importance especially in the early experience. Initially “low risk” patients should be enrolled.

Results: We describe our first 25 LVAD patients. Our first five patients all survived beyond 2 years, with no major complications. Overall, there was one operative death due to massive GI bleeding. There were four late deaths due to septic events.

Conclusions: Establishing a new LVAD program can be successful also with small- and medium-size programs. With careful and meticulous planning LVAD implantation can be extended to more centers thus offering an excellent solution for advanced heart failure patients.

May 2024
Jen Barak Levitt MD, Shira Barmatz MD, Shira Fisch-Gilad MD, Yossef H. Taieb MD, Adam Dalal MD, Khashayar Afshari MD, Nazgol Haddadi MD, Dana Tzur Bitan MD, Arnon Dov Cohen MD PhD, Daniel Mimouni MD, Emmilia Hodak MD, Shany Sherman MD

Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease involving apocrine gland-bearing regions. There is an under-representation of non-Caucasians in epidemiologic studies of HS. The characteristics of HS in Israeli Arabs have not yet been studied.

Objectives: To investigate the demographic and clinical profile of HS in the Israeli Arab population.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted in two cohorts of patients with HS in Israel. The patients were derived from the database of a large health management organization (n=4191, 639 Arabs; population-based) and a major tertiary medical center (n=372, 49 Arabs). Demographic and clinical data were compared between ethnic groups.

Results: The prevalence of HS in Israeli Arabs was found to be 0.5%, fivefold higher than in Jews. Arab patients were younger (35.3 vs. 40.5 years, P < 0.001) and mostly male (52% vs. 35.7%, p < 0.001), with lower rates of co-morbidities, including smoking (40.8% vs. 55.7%, p < 0.001), hyperlipidemia, and depression as well as a higher rate of dissecting cellulitis (10.2% vs. 1.9%, p = 0.008). HS was more severe in Arabs, but of shorter duration, with mainly axillary involvement (79.6% vs. 57.9%, p = 0.004). Treatment with hormones was more common in Jews, and with biologic agents in Arabs.

Conclusions: The findings suggest a different phenotype of HS in Arabs, warranting further study.

April 2024
Gideon Eshel MD, Gerhard Baader MD, Eran Kozer MD

Background: On 7 April 1933, the Nazi Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service was enacted. The law triggered the dismissal of most Jewish medical staff from German universities. A few Jewish professors in Berlin were permitted to continue their academic activity with restrictions. Those professors were gradually dismissed as laws and restrictions were enforced.

Objectives: To identify the last Jewish medical professors who, despite severe restrictions, continued their academic duties and prepared students for their examinations in Berlin after the summer of 1933.

Methods: We reviewed dissertations written by the medical faculty of Berlin from 1933 to 1937 and identified Jewish professors who mentored students during those years.

Results: Thirteen Jewish tutors instructed dissertations for the medical examinations after the Nazi regime seized power. They were employees of different university hospitals, including the Jewish hospitals. We did not identify Aryan students instructed by Jewish professors. The professors were active in different medical disciplines. Half of the reviewed dissertations were in the disciplines of surgery and gynecology. The last Jewish tutors were dismissed in October 1935. However, some of their studies were submitted for examination after that date.

Conclusions: After the Nazi regime seized power, academic activities and medical research by Jewish professors declined but did not stop. However, these professors worked with only Jewish students on their theses. Most dissertations were approved and examined after the Jewish academics were dismissed by the university, in some cases even after they left Germany.

February 2024
Nadav Loebl MSc, Eytan Wirtheim MD, Leor Perl MD

Background: The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to significantly influence the future of medicine. With the accumulation of vast databases and recent advancements in computer science methods, AI's capabilities have been demonstrated in numerous areas, from diagnosis and morbidity prediction to patient treatment. Establishing an AI research and development unit within a medical center offers multiple advantages, particularly in fostering research and tapping into the immediate potential of AI at the patient's bedside.

Objectives: To outline the steps taken to establish a center for AI and big data within an innovation center at a tertiary hospital in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of projects developed in the field of AI at the Artificial Intelligence Center at the Rabin Medical Center, examining trends, clinical domains, and the predominant sectors over a specific period.

Results: Between 2019 and 2023, data from 49 AI projects were gathered. A substantial and consistent growth in the number of projects was observed. Following the inauguration of the Artificial Intelligence Center we observed an increase of over 150% in the volume of activity. Dominant sectors included cardiology, gastroenterology, and anesthesia. Most projects (79.6%) were spearheaded by physicians, with the remainder by other hospital sectors. Approximately 59.2% of the projects were applied research. The remainder were research-based or a mix of both.

Conclusions: Developing technological projects based on in-hospital medical data, in collaboration with clinicians, is promising. We anticipate the establishment of more centers dedicated to medical innovation, particularly involving AI.

Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

December 2023
Jlal Bathish MD MPH, Yael Alshanki MD, Yves Bitton MD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease characterized by restricted airflow, changes of lung tissues, and breathing difficulties [1]. Most patients are treated at home to maintain a stable lifestyle and quality of life [2].

An important feature of COPD is exacerbation, which is an acute worsening of symptoms that can result in decreased pulmonary functions, increased risk of death, and poorer quality of life. The frequency and severity of each exacerbation results in further worsening of pulmonary function [3]. Depression in COPD patients may cause objective impairment in function and decreased adherence to therapeutic interventions [4].

Acute stress disorder is characterized by acute reaction in the first month following exposure to a traumatic event such as threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault. Symptoms include intrusion, dissociation, negative mood avoidance, and arousal [5]. Stress on a more continuous basis can significantly debilitate a person's emotional and physical wellbeing, lead to depression and weakened immune system, and influence patients with already stressful and progressive conditions such as COPD.

We present a patient previously diagnosed with COPD who experienced an acute terror attack, which was a major and stressful event that caused severe exacerbation of the disease.

November 2023
Ibrahim Osman MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Low-risk venous thromboembolism (VTE) patients are advised to be discharged from the emergency department (ED) on direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) treatment. There is no data on whether this recommendation is followed in Israel.

Objectives: To characterize newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED, their anticoagulation treatment at the ED, the recommended discharge protocol, and patient adherence.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study, which included all newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED. Collected data included demographic and clinical background; anticoagulation treatment at the ED, recommended discharge protocol and its subsequent adherence, patient subsequent, recommended hematological evaluation, and adverse events.

Results: The study group included 443 patients, 89% with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Approximately three-quarters were treated with anticoagulants in the ED, 98% with enoxaparin. At discharge, anticoagulants were recommended for all; 49% continued enoxaparin, 47% DOACs, and 4% warfarin. After 4 weeks, 67% were treated with DOACs, 22% with enoxaparin, 5% with warfarin. Approximately 6% discontinued all treatment. After 12 weeks, 90% of the patients who were taking DOACs adhered to the protocol, whereas only 70% and 50% among the enoxaparin and warfarin users, respectively, did. Only 56% were referred for hematological evaluation. The 12-week rate of adverse reactions was approximately 2%. The use of DOACs and the recommendation for further hematological evaluation increased over time.

Conclusions: Clinician training regarding discharge of VTE patients from the ED should continue.

Amit Frenkel MD MHA, Ran Abuhasira MD PhD, Lior Fisher Med.Sc, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Alexander Zlotnik MD PhD, Victor Novack MD PhD, Moti Klein MD MPH

Background: Younger patient age and relatively good prognosis have been described as factors that may increase caregiver motivation in treating patients with septic shock in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Objectives: To examine whether clinical teams tended to achieve unnecessarily higher map arterial pressure (MAP) values in younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of patients presenting with septic shock who were treated with noradrenaline and hospitalized in a general ICU between 2006 and 2018. The patients were classified into four age groups: 18-45 (n=129), 46-60 (n=96), 61-75 (n=157), and older than 75 years (n=173). Adjusted linear mixed models and locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOWESS) curves were used to assess associations and potential non-linear relationships, respectively, of age group with MAP and noradrenaline dosage.

Results: The cohort included 555 patients. An inverse relation was observed between average MAP value and age. Among patients aged 18–45 years, the average MAP was 4.7 mmHg higher (95% confidence interval 3.4–5.9) than among patients aged > 75 years (P-value <0.001) after adjustment for sex, death in the intensive care unit, and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores.

Conclusions: Among patients with septic shock, the titration of noradrenaline by staff led to a higher average MAP for younger patients. Although the MAP target is equal for all age groups, staff may administer noradrenaline treatment according to a higher target of MAP due to attitudes toward patients of different ages, despite any evidence that such practice is beneficial.

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.

Susana Mikhail Mustafa MD, Raneen Abu Shqara MD, Maya Frank Wolf MD, Oleg Shnaider MD, Sari Nahir Biderman RN MA, Limor Sharabi MA, Lior Lowenstein MD

Background: The French AmbUlatory Cesarean Section (FAUCS) technique was introduced to the Galilee Medical Center in September 2021. FAUCS was performed electively for interested women who meet the criteria.

Objectives: To evaluate the learning curve of senior surgeons performing FAUCS, the procedure short-term outcomes, and complications.

Methods: This retrospective study included 50 consecutive women who underwent FAUCS from September 2021 until March 2022 at our facility. Preoperative, intraoperative, postoperative, and demographic data were retrieved from patient electronic charts.

Results: The mean duration of surgery was 53.26 ± 11.62 minutes. This time decreased as the surgical team's experience increased: from a mean 58.26 ± 12.25 minutes for the first 15 procedures to a mean 51.17 ± 9.73 minutes for subsequent procedures. The mean visual analogue scale score for 24 hours was 1.08 ± 0.84 (on a 10-point scale). The rate of neonatal cord pH < 7.2 was 6%, and there were 11.3% cases of vacuum assisted fetal extraction. In total, 44% of the women were able to mobilize and urinate spontaneously by 4–6 hours. Complications included bladder injury (n=1), endometritis (n=1), and incisional hematoma (n=1). Overall, the maternal satisfaction rate was high; 94% of the women would recommend FAUCS to others.

Conclusions: FAUCS is a feasible procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Following the first 15 procedures performed by one surgical team, the operative time decreased considerably. Further randomized controlled studies are needed to compare this procedure to regular cesarean section and evaluate neonatal outcomes.

Rotem Gindelskhi Sagiv MD, Vicktoria Vishnevskia-Dai MD

Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS) is a rare congenital complex vascular multisystem disorder characterized by bony and soft-tissue hypertrophy. It is famous for its hallmarks like port-wine stains and varicose veins. The syndrome is sporadic, although rare familial cases have been reported [1]. The most common ophthalmological alterations encountered in KTS are conjunctival telangiectasia, anterior chamber malformation, raised episcleral venous pressure with associated glaucoma, and choroidal hemangiomas [2].

The purpose of this report is to raise awareness of KTS and its diverse scale of expressions as well as complications. This study was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards set by the Declaration of Helsinki. The patient gave signed informed consent.

Rachel Shemesh MD, Tal Serlin MD, Moroz Iris MD, Vicktoria Vishnevskia-Dai MD

Uveal melanoma (UM) affects approximately six individuals per million per year in the United States, with similar rates in Mediterranean countries. Although it appears to have a low prevalence, it is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults. Clinically, it presents in most patients as a painless loss or distortion of vision, although it may also be accidentally discovered at routine ophthalmic examination. Associated risk factors include fair skin tone, light eye color, presence of a choroidal nevus, oculodermal melanocytosis (nevus of ota), dysplastic nevus syndrome, and germline BRCA-associated protein 1 mutations (BAP1 mutations) [1].

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.

Avishay Elis MD, Ella Giladi MD, Ahmad Raiyan MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) or with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common diagnosis in patients hospitalized in the department of internal medicine. Recently, the therapeutic regimens were updated, as the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors became an integral part of the therapeutic regimen for either HFrEF or HFpEF.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of CHF patients hospitalized in the department of medicine.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study that included all patients hospitalized in the departments of medicine at the Rabin Medical Center, Israel, between 2016 and 2019. Demographic and clinical background, in-hospital procedures, discharge regimens, and outcome parameters were evaluated according to HFrEF/HFpEF.

Results: The cohort included 4458 patients. The majority (97%) presented with a preexisting diagnosis, whereas HF was an active condition in only half of them. The rates of HFrEF/HFpEF were equal. In most cases, the trigger of the exacerbation could not be determined; however, infection was the most common cause. There were basic differences in the demography, clinical aspects, and therapeutic regimens at discharge between HFrEF and HFpEF. Both conditions were associated with high in hospital mortality (8%) and re-admissions rates (30 days [20%], 90 days [35%]) without any difference between them.

Conclusions: HFrEF/HFpEF patients differed by demographics and co-morbidities. They were equally represented among patients admitted to medical wards and had similar prognosis. For both diagnoses, hospitalization should be considered for updating therapeutic regimens, especially with SGLT2 inhibitors.

August 2023
Sheer Shabat MD, Ronit Grinbaum MD, Yoram Kluger MD, Haggi Mazeh MD, Zvi Ackerman MD, Orit Pappo MD, Offir Ben-Ishay MD

Background: Signet ring cell carcinoma (SRCC) is classified as an undifferentiated gastric carcinoma with poor prognosis. Early SRCCs are associated with improved prognosis.

Objectives: To describe the outcomes of incidental SRCC.

Methods: In this case series, 900 medical charts of patients with SRCC were screened to identify patients with incidental SRCC, defined as diagnosed in random, non-focal-lesion-targeted biopsies.

Results: Six patients were diagnosed with incidental SRCC and underwent gastrectomy. The final pathology of five patients revealed one or more small foci of early SRCC without lymphovascular invasion. Only one patient had no evidence of malignancy. The median follow-up after surgery was 4.2 years (50 months, range 37–90 months). No deaths or recurrences were recorded during the follow-up period. These results resemble the reported survival rate for early SRCC.

Conclusions: An aggressive surgical approach in incidental gastric SRCC patients is recommended, as they have a chance for long-term survival.

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