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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

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May 2022
Carmel Kasher MD, Orit Rozenberg PhD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Hana Kahanov-Edelstein, and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) have close interaction with confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Infection rates reported among HCWs is between 3% and 17%, and asymptomatic HCWs are a potential source of nosocomial transmission to vulnerable patients and colleagues. Universal mask use and good supply of personal protective equipment was implemented early at our institution.

Objectives: To determine the rate of infection by the serologic status of HCWs during first three COVID-19 waves, based on occupation and risk of exposure, compared to Israeli general population.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study at Emek Medical Center from April 2020 to April 2021. A total of 101 HCWs volunteered to be followed at six time points by a serology test and a questionnaire.

Results: A total of 101 HCWs completed six serologic tests. All participants were seronegative at the four initial tests. The cumulative seropositivity rate for COVID-19 in HCWs was 9.9% (10/101). Only three seropositive HCWs (2.97%) were hospital-acquired.

Conclusions: Seroprevalence and seroconversion dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in 101 HCWs during COVID-19 outbreaks at Emek Medical Center were similar to the epidemiological curve of positive polymerase chain reaction results of the Israeli population, as published by the Israeli Ministry of Health, at each time point. Universal mask use and infection control measures may have contributed to a low hospital infection rate.

April 2022
Elyasaf Hofi B Sc Pharm, Mordekhay Medvedovsky MD PhD, Mais Nassar MD, Naomi Kahana Levy PhD, Sara Eyal PhD, and Dana Ekstein MD PhD

Background: Patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) are especially prone to having antiseizure medications (ASMs) withdrawal seizures (WS).

Objectives: To clarify whether WS in JME patients are caused by a high tendency of non-adherence from seizure-free patients or by a constitutive increased sensitivity to drug withdrawal.

Methods: Epilepsy patients followed in a tertiary epilepsy clinic between 2010 and 2013 were included in the study. WS prevalence was compared between drug-responsive and drug-resistant JME patients and patients with other types of epilepsy.

Results: The study included 23 JME patients (16 drug-responsive and 7 drug-resistant) and 138 patients with other epilepsies (74 drug-responsive and 64 drug-resistant). JME patients were younger and included more women than non-JME patients. Significantly more WS were seen in JME than in non-JME patients (P = 0.01) and in the drug-resistant fraction of JME patients in comparison to drug-resistant non-JME patients (P = 0.02). On logistic regression, the type of epilepsy, but not the patient’s sex, was found to significantly predict WS. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of WS between drug-responsive and drug-resistant JME patients. The main ASM discontinued in JME was valproic acid (VPA), especially in women.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest a higher sensitivity of JME patients to withdrawal of medications. It is important to educate JME patients about treatment adherence and to explain to their physicians how to carefully reduce or replace ASMs to mitigate the morbidity and mortality related to ASM withdrawal

May 2021
Lea Kahanov MD, José E. Cohen MD, Shifra Fraifeld MBA, Cezar Mizrahi MD, Ronen R. Leker MD, Samuel Moscovici MD, and Sergey Spektor MD PhD

Background: Superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery microvascular bypass (STA-MCA MVB) is an important strategy for the management of selected patients.

Objective: To present our 19-year experience with STA-MCA MVB.

Methods: Data for consecutive patients who underwent STA-MCA MVB from 2000–2019 due to moyamoya/moyamoya-like disease, complex intracranial aneurysms, or intractable brain ischemia due to internal carotid artery or MCA occlusive disease with repeated ischemic events were retrospectively analyzed under a waiver of informed consent. Key surgical steps and the important role of neuroendovascular interventions are presented. Surgical results and late outcomes were analyzed.

Results: The study included 32 patients (17 women [53%], 15 men [47%]), mean age 42.94 years (range 16–66). The patients underwent 37 STA-MCA MVB procedures during the study period: 22 with moyamoya/moyamoya-like disease (69%) underwent 27 surgeries (five bilateral); 7 patients with complex aneurysms (22%) and 3 patients with vascular occlusive disease (9%) underwent unilateral bypass. Five of seven aneurysms were treated with coiling or flow-diverter stent implant prior to bypass surgery; two were clipped during the bypass procedure. There were no surgical complications, no perioperative mortality, and no death from complications related to neurovascular disease at late follow-up. Transient neurological deficits following 7/37 surgeries (19%) resolved with no permanent neurologic sequelae. Transient ischemic attacks occurred only in the immediate postoperative period in four patients (11%).

Conclusions: In specific cases, STA-MCA MVB is a feasible and clinically effective procedure. It is important to preserve this technique in the surgical armamentarium

August 2012
R. Eichel, D. Arkadir, S.T. Khoury, A. Werber, S. Kahana-Merhavi, J.M. Gomori, T. Ben-Hur, J.E. Cohen and R.R. Leker
Background: Only 0.5% of stroke patients in Israel are treated with endovascular multi-modal reperfusion therapy (MMRT) each year.

Objectives: To assess our experience with MMRT over the last decade.

Methods: We analyzed data from our stroke registry of patients undergoing MMRT during 2002¨C2011. All patients underwent multi-parametric imaging studies including subtraction angiography according to a predetermined algorithm. Stroke severity was measured with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). Disability was measured with the modified Ranking Scale (mRS) and classified as favorable (mRS ¡Ü 2) or unfavorable. Target vessel recanalization was determined with the thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) scale.

Results: During the study period 204 patients were treated 166 of them had complete data sets including mRS scores at 90 days and were included in the analysis. Favorable outcomes at 90 days post-stroke were observed in 37% of patients and the mortality rate was 25%. Patients with favorable outcomes were younger, had significantly lower NIHSS scores on admission and discharge, and more often had complete target vessel recanalization (TIMI 3). On regression analysis the only factor associated with favorable outcome was TIMI 3, whereas increasing age and NIHSS scores on admission and discharge were predictors of poor outcome.

Conclusions: Our data show that MMRT can be successfully implemented in patients with severe stroke in Israel. More than a third of our patients with severe ischemic strokes who could not receive acute treatment were functionally independent after MMRT, demonstrating that this procedure is an important alternative for patients who are not candidates for intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or do not achieve recanalization with tPA.
March 2012
O.S. Cohen, I. Prohovnik, A. D. Korczyn, R. Inzelberg, Z. Nitsan, S. Appel, E. Kahana, H. Rosenmann and J. Chapman

Background: While myoclonus and ataxia are considered common in patients with familial Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (fCJD), other movement disorders are less prevalent.

Objectives: To systemically evaluate the frequency of extrapyramidal signs and movement disorders in patients with fCJD.

Methods: A detailed neurological examination, with special emphasis on movement disorders and extrpyramidal signs, was conducted in 43 consecutive symptomatic CJD patients (26 males and 17 females mean age 58.7 ± 8.9 yrs, range 43–77 years) carrying the E200K mutation in the PRNP gene.

Results: Limb or gait ataxia was noted in 38 patients (88%) (37 patients, 86%, had ataxia at presentation). Myoclonus was evident in 25/43 patients (58%) (21 patients, 49%, at presentation). In 95% of the patients (41/43) (37/43, 86% at presentation) at least one extrapyramidal sign throughout the disease course was noted, the most prevalent being rigidity (28/43, 65% of the patients and 22/43, 51% at presentation), followed by the glabellar sign (24/43, 56% of the patients and 22/43, 51% at presentation), bradykinesia (19/43, 44% and 15/43, 35% at presentation), dystonia (15/43, 35% 12/43, 28% at presentation) and tremor (13/43, 30% 12/43, 28% at presentation).

Conclusions: In this unique population of fCJD patients, myoclonus was less prevalent than previously reported while other extrpyramidal signs were common and occurred at a relatively early stage of the disease. The high prevalence of movement disorders can be added to other phenomena characteristic of this familial disorder among Libyan Jews. Whether this is attributable to the E200K mutation itself or to some other mechanism has still to be elucidated.

January 2007
I. Hekselman, N.R. Kahan, M. Ellis, E. Kahan

Background: Ethnicity has been associated with variance in warfarin treatment regimens in various settings.

Objectives: To determine whether ethnicity is associated with variance in patient management in Israel.

Methods: Data were extracted from the electronic patient records of Clalit Health Services clinics in the Sharon Shomron region. The study group comprised all patients treated with warfarin who performed international normalized ratio tests for at least 6 months in 2003. The proportion of tests of each patient within the target range was calculated, as was the crude average rates and 95% confidence intervals for Jewish and Arab patients. The data were then stratified by patient's gender, specialty of attending physician, patient's age, and the country where the physician studied medicine.

Results: We identified 2749 Jews and 293 Arabs who met the inclusion criteria of the study. The crude average rate of patients’ INR[1] tests within the target range was 62.3% among Jews (95% CI[2] 61.5–63.1) and 52.7% (95% CI 49.9–55.5) among Arabs. When stratified by gender, age, and the treating physician's specialty and country of education, the stratum-specific rates among Jewish patients were consistently higher than among Arabs.

Conclusions: These results suggest that cultural differences regarding adherence to recommendations for drug therapy in addition to genetic factors may be associated with this variance.

[1] INR = international normalized ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

December 2004
K.Y. Mumcuoglu, S. Magdassi, J. Miller, F. Ben-Ishai, G. Zentner, V. Helbin, F. Kahana and A. Ingber

Background: Head lice move easily from head to head. The lack of safe, effective repellents leads to reinfestation.

Objectives: To test the efficacy of a slow-release citronella formulation as a repellent against the head louse.

Methods: During 4 months in 2003 a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind clinical study was conducted in four elementary schools; 103 children were treated with the test formulation and 95 with a placebo.

Results: A significant difference was observed during the second examination 2 months later, when 12.0% of the children treated with the test repellent and 50.5% of those treated with placebo were infested with lice. A significant difference was also observed at the third examination 2 months later, when 12.4% of the children treated with the test repellent and 33.7% treated with placebo were infested. Overall, there were significant differences between those treated with the repellent and those treated with the placebo (15.4% and 55.1% respectively, P < 0.0001). Side effects were observed in 4.4% of children who disliked the odor of the formulation, and an additional 1.0% who complained of a slight itching and burning sensation.

Conclusions: Use of an effective repellent could significantly lower the incidence of reinfestations, which would lower expenditure on lice control, including pediculicides, combs and products for nit removal, and the time spent on treatment and removal of the nits.

October 2004
N.R. Kahan, E. Kahan, D-A. Waitman and D.P. Chinitz

Background: Until recently trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was the drug recommended in the Leumit Health Fund for the empiric treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women. However, due to increased uropathogen resistance to this drug, the fund has designated nitrofurantoin as its new drug of choice.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential economic impact of implementing this new pharmaco-policy.

Methods: Using data derived from the electronic patient records of the Leumit Health Fund we identified all non-recurrent cases of women aged 18–49 with a diagnosis of acute cystitis or UTI[1] without risk factors for complicated UTI and empirically treated with antibiotics throughout 2003. The final sample comprised 5,489 physician-patient encounters. The proportion of cases treated with each individual drug was calculated, and the excess expenditure due to non-adherence to the new guideline from the perspective of the health fund was evaluated using 5 days of therapy with nitrofurantoin as the reference treatment.

Results: Ofloxacin was the most frequently prescribed drug (30.24%), followed by TMP-SMX[2] (22.43%), cephalexin (15.08%), and nitrofurantoin (12.59%). The observed net aggregate drug expenditure was 2.3 times greater than expected had all cases been treated with nitrofurantoin according to the guideline duration of 5 days. The cost of treatment in 53% of the cases exceeded the expected cost of the guideline therapy.

Conclusions: Successful implementation of the new drug policy will likely improve quality of care and reduce costs to the health fund.

[1] UTI = urinary tract infection

[2] TMP-SMX = trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

July 2002
Jehuda Hiss, MD, Maya Freund, PhD, Uzi Motro, PhD and Tzipi Kahana

Background: The majority (n = 445) of the Israeli and Palestinian fatal victims of the El Aqsa Intifada was examined at the National Center of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv. Analysis of the trauma sustained and the anthropologic profile of both the victims and the perpetrators elucidates the trends and contrasts them with the phenomenon in the past.

Objectives: The purpose of the forensic investigation of mass casualty incidents is manifold: establishing the minimal number of individuals involved, identifying the victims and perpetrators, collecting material evidence, and determining the modus operandi.

Methods: The postmortem examination includes external description of the bodies and their injuries, photo-documentation, and sampling of tissues. Radiography, dental examination, and a ten-print card of each cadaver are also recorded.

Results: The modus operandi of the current Intifada is somewhat different from that of the previous wave of terrorism and includes more road shootings and vehicular terrorism. In addition, three suicide bombers using explosive devices detonated within crowded areas were young women, and the age of the perpetrators has increased from up to 35 years to individuals as old as 47, thus greatly enlarging the potential number of suicide terrorists. Virologic and biologic tests have been introduced to examine the tissues of the suicide bombers since they are possible sources of contagion to the wounded victims.

Conclusion: The results of the medico-legal investigation of victims and perpetrators of terrorism enable us to establish the modus operandi and the profile of potential perpetrators, which can help in the prevention of similar attacks. Documentation of the different types of injuries in fatal victims of explosion and shooting contributes to improving the awareness of the medical staff treating the wounded of similar attacks. Further investigation into the reliability of virologic and biologic tests conducted on postmortem tissue is recommended.

June 2002
E. Michael Sarrell, MD, Avigdor Mandelberg, MD, Herman Avner Cohen, MD and Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH

Background: Primary care physicians' adherence to accepted asthma guidelines is necessary for the proper care of asthma patients.

Objectives: To investigate the compliance of primary care physicians with clinical guidelines for asthma treatment and their participation in related educational programs, and to evaluate the influence of their employment status.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 1,000 primary care practitioners (pediatricians and family physicians) in Israel.

Results: The response rate was 64%. Of the physicians who participated, 473 (75%) had read and consulted the guidelines but only 192 (29%) had participated in an educational program on asthma management in the last 12 months. The younger the responding physician (fewer years in practice), the more likely his/her attendance in such a program (P<0.0001). After consulting the guidelines 189 physicians (40%) had modified their treatment strategies. Significantly more self-employed than salaried physicians had read the guidelines and participated in educational programs; physicians who were both self-employed and salaried fell somewhere between these groups. This trend was not influenced by years in practice.

Conclusions: All primary care physicians should update their knowledge more often. The publication of guidelines on asthma must be followed by their proper dissemination and utilization. Our study suggests that major efforts should be directed at the population of employed physicians.

December 2001
Tamar Peled MSc, Michael Weingarten BM BCh, Noemi Varsano MSc, Andre Matalon MD, Adi Fuchs MD, Robert D. Hoffman MD, Charna Zeltcer MD, Ernesto Kahan MD MPH, Ella Mendelson PhD and Tiberio A. Swartz MD MPH

Background: Each winter influenza activity is a major cause of morbidity and mortality both in Israel and worldwide.

Objectives: To identify the influenza viruses active in Israel during the winter season and to assess the extent of influenza morbidity.

Methods: Information was collected on a population of 18,684 individuals enrolled in two community clinics in central Israel. It included the total number of visits for acute respiratory infection – including influenza and influenza-like illness (ARI/flu-like) – during a 20 week surveillance period (23 November 1997 to 27 March 1998) and the percent of influenza virus isolates in nasopharyngeal specimens from a sample of patients with ARI/flu-like collected on a weekly basis during the same period.

Results: A total of 5,947 visits for ARI/flu-like were recorded among 18,684 enrolled patients in two community clinics (18.1%). The progressive increase in the number of visits for ARI/flu-like reached a peak on week 2/98 with 597 visits and a rate of 31.95 visits per 1,000 population. After this, a decrease to the initial values was evident by week 12/98. Most affected patients were in the age groups 5–14 and 65 years and over, with a rate of 733.5 and 605.3 visits per 1,000 population, respectively. Influenza virus was isolated from 92 of the 426 nasopharyngeal specimens (21.6%). The most commonly detected strain was A/Sydney/5/97(H3N2) like (77.2%). The peak rate of isolates was recorded at the beginning of January (01/98).

Conclusions: A/Sydney/5/97(H3N2) like-strain was the dominant influenza virus. Its presence did not prevent the simultaneous activity of influenza A/H1N1 virus. The dynamic of the clinical disease as expressed by the weekly visit rate for ARI/flu-like was similar to the temporal pattern of the virological findings. The extent of morbidity suggests moderate epidemic activity.

Yaacov Fogelman MD and Ernesto Kahan MD MPH

Background: The prevalence of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and its pharmacologic treatment have increased dramatically in the past decade in the United States and Britain. We examined the use of methylphenidate hydrochloride for the treatment of ADHD in children in northern Israel.

Methods: We evaluated all prescriptions for methylphenidate filled in 1999 for children aged 5–18 years residing in northern Israel who were insured by Clalit Health Services, a health maintenance organization that covers approximately 70% of the population.

Results: Methylphenidate was prescribed to 1.45% of the children in northern Israel in 1999, an increase of 20% in the overall prevalence of methylphenidate use since 1992. Eighty-two percent were boys. The rate of prescription varied widely by type of settlement, from 0.2% in Arab cities and towns to 5.7% in kibbutzim. Primary care physicians wrote 78% of all the prescriptions.

Conclusions: The increase in methylphenidate use was much smaller in northern Israel than in most other developed regions and countries. More efforts at diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit disorders may need to be directed at Arab populations and those with inadequate medical services.

October 2001
Sigal Ringel, MD, Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH, Revital Greenberg, Shlomo Arieli, MD, Amihood Blay and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD

Background: Many women stop smoking before or during pregnancy, or while breast-feeding (nursing).

Objectives: To assess the relation between breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Methods: A survey was conducted among 920 women attending family health clinics (group 1) and a maternity department (group 2) on their breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Results: A total of 156 women (16.95%) smoked during pregnancy. A significant correlation was found between breast-feeding and not smoking after delivery (P=0.009 in group 1, P=0.03 in group 2). A higher tendency to nurse was found among women with an uneventful pregnancy, who vaginally delivered a singleton at term weighing 2,500-4000 g, and who received guidance on breast-feeding.

Conclusion: Professional guidance in favor of breast­feeding is crucial to increase the rate of nursing. Encouraging breast-feeding will probably decrease the rate of cigarette smoking.

October 2000
Stanley Rabin PhD, Ernesto Kahan MD MPH, Simon Zalewsky MD, Barbara Rabin MA, Michael Hertz MD, Ofra Mehudar BA and Eliezer Kitai MD

Background: *Previous descriptive studies have demonstrated the problematic nature of physicians' attitudes toward battered women. However, little empirical research has been done in the field, especially among the various medical specialties.

Objectives: To compare the approach and feelings of competence regarding the care of battered women between primary care and non-primary care physicians. The non-primary care physicians who are likely to encounter battered women in the ambulatory setting are gynecologists and orthopedists.

Methods: A self-report questionnaire formulated for this study was mailed to a random sample of 400 physicians working in ambulatory clinics of the two main health maintenance organizations in Israel (300 primary care physicians, 50 gynecologists and 50 orthopedists).

Results: In both physician groups, treating battered women tended to evoke more negative emotional states than treating patients with infectious disease. The most prevalent mood state related to the management of battered women was anger at her situation. Primary care physicians experienced more states of tension and confusion than non-primary care physicians and had lower perceived self-efficacy and self-competence in dealing with battered women.

Conclusions: Though both physician groups exhibited negative feelings when confronting battered women, the stronger emotion of the primary care physicians may indicate greater sensitivity and personal awareness. We believe that more in-service training should be introduced to help physicians at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels to cope both emotionally and professionally with these patients.

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