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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

Search results

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.

Fadi Hassan MD, Mohammad E. Naffaa MD

Since the introduction of the international study group (ISG) criteria for the diagnosis of Behçet's disease (BD) in the early 1990s by Yazici and colleagues [1] and the international criteria for BD (ICBD) by Davatchi and colleagues in 2014 [2], great progress has been achieved in the diagnosis of BD with fairly high sensitivity and specificity rates. However, a small, but very challenging and unique minority might not fulfill these criteria, at least at presentation. These patients are most challenging as they may present with life-threatening vascular or neurological manifestations. If the diagnosis BD is delayed, the risk for morbidity and even mortality might be increased. Therefore, we should aim for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

March 2024
Joseph Mendlovic MD MHA, Yuval Dadon MD MBA MPH, Francis B. Mimouni MD

Background: According to Hamas sources, many Israeli hostages in Gaza were killed by indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes, together with a large number of Palestinian citizens.

Objectives: To verify whether the estimated death rate of Israeli hostages was similar to the estimated death rate of Gaza citizens from these acts of war.

Methods: We used two estimates of hostage death rates, one obtained from Israeli intelligence sources, and one published by a Hamas spokesperson. We used the Palestinian casualty rates published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. We compared death rates using Fisher's exact test.

Results: By 30 December 2023, the rate of Israeli hostage death was 23/238 (9.7%) according to Israeli intelligence sources, and 60/238 (25.2%) according to Hamas. Both figures are strikingly and significantly higher than the death rate among Palestinians, estimated to be 19,667/2.2 million (0.89%) by 19 December 2023 (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Israeli airstrikes as the cause of death of Israeli hostages are implausible unless they were specifically exposed to these strikes more than Palestinian citizens.

Shiri Zarour MD, Esther Dahan MD, Dana Karol MD, Or Hanoch, Barak Cohen MD, Idit Matot MD

Background: Survivors of critical illness are at increased risk of long-term impairments, referred to as post-intensive care unit (ICU) syndrome (PICS). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among ICU survivors with reported rates of up to 27%. The prevalence of PTSD among Israeli ICU survivors has not been reported to date.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of new onset PTSD diagnosed in a post-ICU clinic at a tertiary center in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, single center, cohort study. Data were collected from medical records of all patients who visited the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center post-ICU clinic between October 2017 and June 2020. New onset PTSD was defined as PTSD diagnosed by a certified board psychiatrist during the post-ICU clinic visit. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Overall, 39 patients (mean age 51 ± 17 years, 15/39 females [38%]) attended the post-ICU clinic during the study period. They were evaluated 82 ± 57 days after hospital discharge. After excluding 7 patients due to missing proper psychiatric analysis, 32 patients remained eligible for the primary analysis. New PTSD was diagnosed in one patient (3%).

Conclusions: We found lower incidence of PTSD in our cohort when compared to existing literature. Possible explanations include different diagnostic tools and low risk factors rate. Unique national, cultural, and/or religious perspectives might have contributed to the observed low PTSD rate. Further research in larger study populations is required to establish the prevalence of PTSD among Israeli ICU survivors.

February 2024
David J. Ozeri MD, Adiel Cohen MD, Noa Bacharach MD, Offir Ukashi MD, Amit Oppenheim MD

Background: Completing internal medicine specialty training in Israel involves passing the Israel National Internal Medicine Exam (Shlav Aleph), a challenging multiple-choice test. multiple-choice test. Chat generative pre-trained transformer (ChatGPT) 3.5, a language model, is increasingly used for exam preparation.

Objectives: To assess the ability of ChatGPT 3.5 to pass the Israel National Internal Medicine Exam in Hebrew.

Methods: Using the 2023 Shlav Aleph exam questions, ChatGPT received prompts in Hebrew. Textual questions were analyzed after the appeal, comparing its answers to the official key.

Results: ChatGPT 3.5 correctly answered 36.6% of the 133 analyzed questions, with consistent performance across topics, except for challenges in nephrology and biostatistics.

Conclusions: While ChatGPT 3.5 has excelled in English medical exams, its performance in the Hebrew Shlav Aleph was suboptimal. Factors include limited training data in Hebrew, translation complexities, and unique language structures. Further investigation is essential for its effective adaptation to Hebrew medical exam preparation.

December 2023
Gabriel Levin MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Yoav Brezinov MD

Background: The Gaza–Israeli conflict poses challenges for unbiased reporting due to its complexity and media bias. We explored recent scientific publications to understand scholarly discourse and potential biases surrounding this longstanding geopolitical issue.

Objectives: To conduct a descriptive bibliometric analysis of PubMed articles regarding the recent Gaza–Israeli conflict.

Methods: We reviewed 1628 publications using keywords and medical subject headings (MeSH) terms related to Gaza, Hamas, and Israel. We focused on articles written in English. A team of researchers assessed inclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through a third researcher.

Results: Among 37 publications, Lancet, BMJ, and Nature were prominent journals. Authors from 12 countries contributed, with variety of publication types (46% correspondence, 32% news). Pro-Gaza perspectives dominated (43.2%), surpassing pro-Israel (21.6%) and neutral (35.1%) viewpoints. Pro-Gaza articles exhibited higher Altmetric scores, indicating increased social media impact. Pro-Israel publications were predominantly authored by Israelis.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pro-Gaza perspectives underscores challenges in maintaining impartiality. Higher social media impact for pro-Gaza publications emphasizes the need for nuanced examination. Addressing bias is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of this complex conflict and promoting balanced reporting.

November 2023
Ibrahim Zvidi MD, Ram Dickman MD, Doron Boltin MBBS

Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) prevalence varies according to both geographical region and ethnicity. The interplay between these two factors has been poorly studied.

Objectives: To determine the positivity rate of H. pylori infection among Jewish and Arab patients who live in a mixed urban center in Israel.

Methods: Between November 2009 and September 2014, dyspeptic patients referred to a gastroenterology clinic in Lod, Israel, were enrolled in a prospective study. For each patient, clinical and epidemiological data were collected and a noninvasive or endoscopy-based test for H. pylori was performed.

Results: A total of 429 consecutive patients (322 Jewish and 107 Arabs), mean age 45 years (range 15–91 years) were included; 130 males. Overall positivity for H. pylori was 42.4% (182/429). The positivity rate of H. pylori was 38.8% for Jews (125/322) and 53.2% for Arabs (57/107) in Lod (P < 0.01). When immigrants were excluded, the difference in H. pylori positivity did not reach statistical significance (45.0% [77/171] vs. 53.2% [57/107], P = 0.217, in Jews and Arabs, respectively).

Conclusions: H. pylori infection was more common in Arabs that Jews in the mixed city of Lod, Israel. This finding may suggest that non-environmental factors were responsible for the observed difference in H. pylori positivity.

October 2023
Yaniv Steinfeld MD, Omri Besor MD, Yaniv Yonai MD, Yaron Berkovich MD, Elad Apt MD, Nadav Rinott , Yaniv Keren MD

Background: Websites serve as a source of medical information for a large part of the public, some claim to be a substitute for a physician’s consultation. Many patients meet a physician after conducting internet research. Medical staff are concerned that internet sources of information are unreliable and may lead to erroneous decisions by patients.

Objectives: To examine the reliability of web-based sources of information (through the Google™ search engine) regarding five common orthopedic complaints and injuries.

Method: We performed a search of five common orthopedic complaints and injuries using the Google search engine. The reliability of web-based information was measured by the DISCERN tool, which is a valid and verified tool for examining the reliability of medical information sources to the public. The reliability of 47 websites was examined by two orthopedic surgeons and two senior residents.

Results: The overall average score given to the sites was 2.8, on a scale of 1 to 5. We found that the higher the site appeared in the search results, the higher the quality of its information. Commercial sites scored higher than general internet information sources.

Conclusions: The internet network is a very broad source of information. For those who lack scientific education and training it is not easy to distinguish between reliable and unreliable or biased sources. The trend of searching for medical information and self-healing is increasing. We must strengthen the network with reliable sources by creating official scientific position papers by medical teams and promoting them online.

August 2023
Ori Wand MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Shitrit MD

Biological therapies with monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the management of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Combining biological treatments is very rarely indicated and may theoretically result in severe adverse effects, specifically, an increased tendency toward infectious diseases. We present the case of a woman in whom combination therapy with canakinumab for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and mepolizumab for chronic eosinophilic pneumonia was successfully employed.

June 2023
Majdi Halabi MD, Hagar Drimer-Shabtai MD, Inna Rosenfeld MD, Adi Sharabi-Nov MA MPH, Mussa Saad MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Ziad Abuiznait MD, Ayelet Armon-Omer PhD, Zippi Regev-Avraham PhD, Zeev Israeli MD

Background: Implantable loop recorders (ILRs) are a central tool in the evaluation of unexplained syncope. These devices record and store electrocardiograms, both automatically and on patient-dependent activation. Therefore, obtaining optimal diagnostic results relies on a patient's comprehension and collaboration.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of ethnic background and mother-tongue language on the diagnostic yield (DY) of ILRs.

Methods: Patients at two medical centers in Israel, who had ILRs as part of syncope workup were included. Inclusion criteria were age over 18 years and an ILR for at least one year (or less if the cause of syncope was detected). Patient demographics, ethnic background, and previous medical history were recorded. All findings from ILR recordings, activation mode (manual vs. automatic), and treatment decisions (none, ablation, device implantation) were collected.

Results: The study comprised 94 patients, 62 Jews (i.e., ethnic majority) and 32 non-Jews (i.e., ethnic minority). While baseline demographic characteristics, medical history, and drug therapy were similar in both groups, Jewish patients were significantly older at the time of device implantation: 64.3 ± 16.0 years of age vs. 50.6 ± 16.9, respectively; (P < 0.001). Arrhythmias recorded in both groups as well as treatment decisions and device activation mode were similar. Total follow-up time from device implantation was longer in the non-Jewish vs. the Jewish group (17.5 ± 12.2 vs. 24.0 ± 12.4 months, respectively; P < 0.017).

Conclusions: The DY of ILR implanted for unexplained syncope did not seem to be influenced by patient's mother-tongue language or ethnicity.

May 2023
Hagit Hemi RN, Olga Morelli MD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Alexander Sagie MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD

Background: Cancellation of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) tests leads to inefficient use of echocardiography laboratory (echo lab) time and wastes resources.

Objectives: To identify the causes of same-day TEE cancellations in hospitalized patients, to formulate a TEE order screening protocol, and to evaluate its efficacy at implementation.

Methods: We performed a prospective analysis of inpatients referred to a single tertiary hospital echo lab for TEE study by inpatient wards. A comprehensive screening protocol emphasizing active participation of all links directly involved in the chain of inpatient TEE referral was developed and implemented. Comparison of pre- and post-implementation of the new screening protocol on two consecutive periods of 6 months on TEE cancellation rates out of total ordered TEEs stratified by cause categories was performed.

Results: In total, 304 inpatient TEE procedures were ordered during the initial observation period; 54(17.8%) were canceled on the same day. The most common cancellation reasons were equally respiratory distress and patient not in fasted state (20.4% of total cancellations and 3.6% of all scheduled TEEs for each cause). Following implementation of the new screening process, total TEEs ordered (192) and cancelled (16) dropped significantly. A decrease in the rate of each cancellation category was observed, with statistical significance achieved for the overall cancellation rate (8.3% vs. 17.8%, P = 0.003), but not for the individual cancellation categories in split analysis.

Conclusions: A concerted effort to implement a comprehensive screening questionnaire significantly reduced same-day cancellations of scheduled TEEs.

Haim Krespin MD, Lior Saban MD, Eran Israeli MD, Mordechai Shimonov MD, Tomer Greener MD

Pancreaticopleural fistula (PPF) is a rare complication of pancreatitis and usually constitutes a diagnostic challenge. There are many causes for recurrent and chronic pancreatitis, with the main etiology being alcohol and choledocholithiasis [1]. However, the association between pancreatic divisum (PD), a common congenital anomaly of the pancreas that is rarely symptomatic, and complications of pancreatitis is still not firmly established [2]. Furthermore, the optimal management of PPF is still uncertain due to its rarity [3]. We describe a rare case of a 45-year-old woman with recurrent pancreatitis that presented with a PPF on the background of PD, successfully managed with conservative treatment. The purpose of this report is to highlight the rare association between PPF and PD together with the excellent response to conservative therapy.

April 2023
Avshalom Oziri MD, Michael Schnapper MD, Adi Ovadia MD, Shirli Abiri MD, Gila Meirson MD, Ilona Brantz RN, Osnat Blass Oziri, Diana Tasher MD, Avigdor Mandelberg MD, Ilan Dalal MD

Background: The global refugee crises have raised concerns among medical communities worldwide; nonetheless, access to healthcare has rarely been studied even though refugees are a medically high-risk group.

Objectives: To compare pediatric department admission rates from the pediatric emergency department (PED) of refugees and Israelis.

Methods: We compared data from refugee and Israeli children admitted to the pediatric department at Wolfson Medical Center in Israel between 2013–2017.

Results: A total of 104,244 patients (aged 0–18 years) came to the PED. Admission rate to the pediatric department for refugees was 695/2541 (27%) compared to 11,858/101,703 (11.7%) Israeli patients (P < 0.001). Hospital stay for patients 0–2-years of age was 3.22 ± 4.80 days for refugees vs. 2.78 ± 3.17 for Israelis (P < 0.03). Re-admission rate within 7 days was 1.3% for refugees and 2.6% for Israelis (P < 0.05). Dermatological diseases (e.g., impetigo and cellulitis) were more frequent in refugees (23.30% vs. 13.15%, P < 0.01); however, acute gastroenteritis and respiratory diagnoses were more common in Israelis (18.52% vs. 11.72%, P < 0.05 and 14.84% vs. 6.26%, P < 0.01, respectively). Neurological diseases (e.g., febrile convulsions) were also more frequent in Israelis (7.7% vs. 3%, P < 0.05). Very significantly, 23% of refugees had no healthcare coverage, while only 0.2% of the Israelis had none (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found significant morbidity in refugees compared to the local Israeli pediatric population, highlighting the need for different approaches for each population.

Gad Shaked MD, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Guy Golani MD, Adi Segal BMedSc, Ilia Replyanski MD, Moti Klein MD, Yair Binyamin MD, Amit Frenkel MD MHA

Background: Massive, non-compressible bleeding is a leading cause of preventable trauma mortality. Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) is a minimally invasive procedure in which a balloon catheter is maneuvered into the aorta to temporarily occlude large vessels and enable stabilization of the exsanguinating patient.

Objectives: To present experiences in assimilating REBOA at a single level 1 trauma center in Israel, to evaluate the technical aspects of the procedure, and to describe patient characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study comprised civilians admitted with hemorrhagic shock to our trauma department who were treated with REBOA between November 2017 and July 2021. Descriptive statistics of the patients, characteristics of the injuries and patient outcomes are presented.

Results: The study included 22 patients (median age 30.1 years, 21 male). The mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) before REBOA inflation was 59.6 ± 11.4 mmHg, and the mean SBP measured after the procedure was 115.2 ± 26.3 mmHg. In 20 patients (91%), the SBP was normalized (> 90 mmHg) shortly after inflation of the balloon, and they survived the treatment in the trauma department; 15 (75%) survived the first 30 days.

Conclusions: REBOA is an effective method for the initial resuscitation and hemorrhage control of patients with massive, non-compressible bleeding and is relatively easy to assimilate in a hospital. The achievement of immediate normalization of SBP enables medical personnel to correct physiological parameters and obtain accurate imaging before proceeding to the operating theater.

December 2022
Lior Charach MD, Gideon Charach MD, Eli Karniel MD, Dorin Bar Ziv MD, Leonid Galin MD, Weintraub M MD, Itamar Grosskopf MD

Background: APOE genotype strongly affects plasma lipid levels and risk for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Studies of apo-e allelic and APOE genotype frequencies among several populations have revealed interesting ethnic variations that might affect cardiovascular morbidity and cognition deterioration.

Objectives: To evaluate apo-e allelic frequency among Israeli newborns based on known variances in apo-e allelic frequencies in different countries.

Methods: We examined 498 consecutive neonates born at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Umbilical cord blood was sampled for genotyping and lipids. Birth weights were recorded. Demographics and parental risk factors for atherosclerosis were obtained from the mothers.

Results: Most parents were native-born Israelis. Other countries of origin of grandparents were Morocco, Russia, and Iraq. The prevalence of APOE genotypes in Israel is APOE 2/2: 1.4%, APOE 2/3: 8.2%, APOE 3/3: 77.7%, and APOE 4/4: 11.8%. There were no associations of APOE genotype with parental country of origin. However, there was a tendency for APOE 3/4 to be more frequent in newborns of parents of Asian and African origin. Genotype 3/3 was more frequent in newborns whose parents came from Europe and America (78%) compared to those from Asia or Africa (69%).

Conclusions: It is important to determine risk factors such as APOE genotype for evaluation of premature atherosclerosis. Determining genetic and environmental risk factors may facilitate earlier treatment and prevent heart and brain atherosclerosis. APOE genotypes did not appear to affect total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or triglyceride levels in newborns.

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