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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.03.24

Search results

December 2023
Roy Bitan MD, Michal Youngster MD, Ana Umanski MD, Sarita Kaufman MD, Alon Kedem MD, Sarit Avraham MD, Gil Yerushalmi MD, Ariel Hourvitz MD, Itai Gat MD

Background: Sperm banks initially focused on providing sperm donation (SD) to heterosexual couples grappling with severe male infertility. Notable advancements in fertility treatments and sociological trends have broadened the scope of SD toward single women and same sex female couples.

Objectives: To evaluate SD recipient characteristics over the last three decades in Israel according to demographic parameters.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 5489 women who received SD between January 1992 and December 2021 from a tertiary referral center. We divided the overall period into six groups of five years each. A comparison of demographic characteristics of women who received SD in different periods was performed according to age at the beginning of the treatment, marital status (single women and same sex female couples, heterosexual couples), and ethnic origin.

Results: The average age of women who received SD was 37.02 ± 5.36 years. The average patient age rose from 35.08 years in 1992–1997 to 37.43 years in 2017–2021 (P-value < 0.01). The use of SD was more common among single women and same sex female couples compared to heterosexual couples in later years. Regarding single and same sex female couple, the percentage of SD recipients increased radically from 33% to 88.1% (P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Modern sperm banks treat older patients in non-heterosexual relationships. These trends encompass not only medical implications (e.g., in vitro fertilization vs. intrauterine insemination) but also delve into the personal and sociological impact experienced by both patients and offspring.

April 2022
Michal Bromberg MD MPH, Lital Keinan-Boker MD PhD, Lea Gur-Arie MPH, Hanna Sefty MSc, Michal Mandelboim PhD, Rita Dichtiar MPH, Zalman Kaufman MSc, and Aharona Glatman-Freedman MD MPH

Background: Guidelines for pandemic preparedness emphasize the role of sentinel and syndromic surveillance in monitoring pandemic spread.

Objectives: To examine advantages and obstacles of utilizing a sentinel influenza surveillance system to monitor community severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activity based on Israel's experience from mid-March to mid-May 2020.

Methods: Several modifications were applied to the influenza surveillance system. The clinical component relied mainly on pneumonia and upper respiratory infection (URI) consultations with primary care physicians as well as visits to emergency departments (ED) due to pneumonia. The virological data were based on nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from symptomatic patients who visited outpatient clinics.

Results: By week 12 of the pandemic, the crude and age-specific primary physician consultation rates due to URI and pneumonia declined below the expected level, reaching nadir that lasted from week 15 until week 20. Similarly, ED visits due to pneumonia were significantly lower than expected from weeks 14 and 15 to week 20. The virological surveillance started on week 13 with 6/253 of the swabs (2.3%) positive for SARS-CoV-2. There was a peak of 13/225 positive swabs on week 145.8%. During weeks 17–20, none of the swabs (47–97 per week) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. This trend was similar to national data.

Conclusions: The virological component of the surveillance system showed the SARS-CoV-2 community spread, but had low sensitivity when virus activity was low. The clinical component, however, had no yield. Sentinel surveillance can assist in monitoring future novel pandemics and should be augmented in revised preparedness plans.

April 2021
Berko Sikirov MD, Bernard Werner MD, Oren Kaufman MD, Anton Steinberg MD, Victor Gershuni MD, Fredrich Maizlin MD, Yitzhak Yochilis MD, Eliahu Soleiman MD, Bruno Ostfeld MD, Gideon Shapira MD, and Michail Chester MD
April 2019
Alexander Gamus MSc, Hanna Kaufman MD and Gabriel Chodick PhD

Background: Lower extremities ulcers (LEU) are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. With longer life expectancy, the prevalence of LEU in developed countries is assumed to grow, necessitating an increased demand for treatment by specialists. 

Objectives: To compare the effectiveness of a telemedicine video conferencing modality with the conventional face-to-face treatment of LEU. 

Methods: The study was conducted in conjunction with a two-million member healthcare organization in Israel (Maccabi Healthcare Services). Consecutive visits of patients to wound care specialists during a 12-month observation period reviewed in 2015 were valuated. A nurse-assisted setting was implemented during all treatment sessions. The same specialist supervised patients in both modalities. 

Results: A sample of 111 patients (n=55 in the telemedicine group; n=56 in the face-to-face group) with 593 visits was analyzed. No significant difference in healing of LEU (78.2% in telemedicine vs. 75.0% in face-to-face) was detected, P = 0.823. A reduced number of visits in telemedicine (4.36 ± 2.36) compared to the face-to-face care (6.32 ± 4.17) was shown, P = 0.003. Non-inferiority of telemedicine demonstrated within the Δ = 15% range limits and 80% statistical power was demonstrated. 

Conclusions: Compared to the usual face-to-face method, synchronous video conferencing-based telemedicine may be a feasible and efficient method for LEU management. 


January 2016
Yariv Goldstein MD, Oleg Dolkart PhD, Ehud Kaufman MD, Eyal Amar MD, Zachary T. Sharfman MSc, Ehud Rath MD, Gavriel Mozes MD and Eran Maman MD

Background: The popularity of bicycle riding for recreation, exercise and transportation has grown enormously in recent years, which has led to an increased incidence of bicycle-related injuries. While these injuries involve mainly the musculoskeletal system, data on shoulder-specific injuries incurred while bike riding are lacking. Classifying these shoulder injuries may provide insight and assistance in the creation and implementation of effective protective gear and measures. 

Objectives: To investigate the types and mechanisms of shoulder injuries among cyclists.

Methods: This study retrospectively examined all cyclists who incurred shoulder injuries while riding and were admitted to the emergency department and shoulder clinic between January 2008 and November 2013. The study included 157 subjects with various bicycle-related shoulder injuries treated with either conservative or surgical measures. 

Results: Eighty-four percent of injuries were caused by a direct blow to the shoulder, 7% by falling on an outstretched hand, 6% were traction injuries, and 3% were due to hyper-abduction. Nine different clinical types of injury were observed; the most common injuries were clavicle fractures (32%), followed by acromioclavicular joint dislocations (22%), rotator cuff tears (22%), and humeral fractures (8%). Fifty-one percent of subjects were managed with conservative care and the remaining patients required surgical interventions. 

Conclusions: The shoulder injuries incurred while riding a bicycle span the entire spectrum of shoulder injuries and often result in debilitating conditions. Although the use of helmets is increasing, there is currently no effective protective gear or measures to prevent riders from suffering shoulder injuries. 


May 2010
R. Stackievicz, H. Paran, J. Bernheim, M. Shapira, N. Weisenberg, T. Kaufman, E. Klein and M. Gutman

Background: The prognostic significance of biologic markers in women with ductal carcinoma in situ is not fully understood. HER2/neu is a marker of prognostic significance that is routinely assessed in invasive cancer but its correlation with clinical outcome in DCIS[1] is still obscure.

To evaluate the significance of HER-2/neu expression as a prognostic marker in DCIS.

Clinical and pathologic data from 84 patients treated for DCIS were analyzed. HER-2/neu expression was determined by immunohistochemical staining. Histopathologic parameters (nuclear grade, histologic subtype, necrosis, calcifications, margins) were reviewed by an experienced pathologist. Local recurrence and/or metastatic spread were used as endpoints to determine the prognostic significance of HER-2/neu expression.

With a median follow-up of 94.8 months, nine recurrences were reported. Neither univariate nor multivariate analysis showed a significant correlation between HER-2/neu expression and disease recurrence or the time to disease recurrence. Although HER-2/neu expression demonstrated a significant association with high nuclear grade (P < 0.0001) and comedo subtype (P < 0.0001), there was no correlation between these histologic features and recurrence rate. The correlation between high nuclear grade and disease recurrence approached statistical significance (P = 0.07).

Conclusions: No significant association was found between HER-2/neu expression in DCIS and disease recurrence. However, HER-2/neu correlated with negative markers such as nuclear grading and comedo necrosis, and its role should therefore be investigated in larger studies.


[1] DCIS = ductal carcinoma in situ


October 2008
L. Keinan-Boker, L. Lerner-Geva, B. Kaufman and D. Meirow

The frequency of pregnancy-associated breast cancer, a rare but serious occurrence, may increase in light of the secular trends for lower parity in general and for an older age at first full-term delivery in particular. Data on PABC[1] in individuals who are at high risk for breast cancer are limited. A computerized search of PUBMED showed that the reported incidence of PABC is 1:3000 pregnancies; it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and its prognosis is inferior compared to non-PABC. Carriers of mutations in the genes BRCA1/2 may present a specific high risk group for PABC especially at younger ages. Women treated with fertility treatment drugs may be at a higher risk for PABC as well.  

[1] PABC = pregnancy-associated breast cancer

November 2007
Y. Laitman, B. Kaufmann, E. Levy Lahad, M.Z. Papa and E. Friedman

Background: Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for only 20–40% of familial breast cancer cases. The CHEK2 gene encodes a checkpoint kinase, involved in response to DNA damage, and hence is a candidate gene for breast cancer susceptibility. Indeed, the CHEK2*1100delC truncating mutation was reported in a subset of mostly North European breast cancer families. The rate of the CHEK2*1100delC variant in the Ashkenazi* Jewish population was reported to be 0.3%.

Objectives: To evaluate whether CHEK2 germline mutations contribute to a breast cancer predisposition in Ashkenazi-Jewish high risk families.

Methods: High risk Ashkenazi Jewish women, none of whom was a carrier of the predominant Jewish mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2, were genotyped for germline mutations in the CHEK2 gene by exon-specific polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of abnormally migrating fragments.

Results: Overall, 172 high risk women were genotyped: 75 (43.6%) with breast cancer (average age at diagnosis 49.6 ± 9.6 years, mean ± SD) and 97 asymptomatic individuals (age at counseling 48.3 ± 8.2 years). No truncating mutations were noted and four previously described missense mutations were detected (R3W 1.2%, I157T 1.2%, R180C 0.6% and S428F 5%), one silent polymorphism (E84E 20.5%) and one novel missense mutation (Y424H 1.2%). Segregation analysis of the I157T and S428F mutations (shown to affect protein function) with the cancer phenotype showed concordance for the CHK2*I157T mutation, as did two of three families with the CHK2*S428F mutation.

Conclusions: CHEK2 missense mutations may contribute to breast cancer susceptibility in Ashkenazi Jews.


*  Of East European descent

Y. Segev, O. Lavie, Y. Goldberg, Y. Kaufman, G. Peer, S. Gips, D. Eizenberg and R. Auslander
January 2007
Z. Kaufman, W-K. Wong, T. Peled-Leviatan, E. Cohen, C. Lavy, G. Aharonowitz, R. Dichtiar, M. Bromberg, O. Havkin, E. Kokia and M.S. Green

Background: Syndromic surveillance systems have been developed for early detection of bioterrorist attacks, but few validation studies exist for these systems and their efficacy has been questioned.

Objectives: To assess the capabilities of a syndromic surveillance system based on community clinics in conjunction with the WSARE[1] algorithm in identifying early signals of a localized unusual influenza outbreak.

Methods: This retrospective study used data on a documented influenza B outbreak in an elementary school in central Israel. The WSARE algorithm for anomalous pattern detection was applied to individual records of daily patient visits to clinics of one of the four health management organizations in the country.

Results: Two successive significant anomalies were detected in the HMO’s[2] data set that could signal the influenza outbreak. If data were available for analysis in real time, the first anomaly could be detected on day 3 of the outbreak, 1 day after the school principal reported the outbreak to the public health authorities.

Conclusions: Early detection is difficult in this type of fast-developing institutionalized outbreak. However, the information derived from WSARE could help define the outbreak in terms of time, place and the population at risk.

[1] WSARE = What’s Strange About Recent Events

[2] HMO = health management organization

September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

August 2006
Z. Kaufman, G. Aharonowitz, R. Dichtiar and M.S. Green
Background: Early clinical signs of influenza caused by a pandemic strain will presumably not differ significantly from those caused by other respiratory viruses. Similarly, early signs of diseases that may result from bioterrorism are frequently non-specific and resemble those of influenza-like illness. Since the time window for effective intervention is narrow, treatment may need to be initiated prior to a definitive diagnosis. Consequently, planning of medications, manpower and facilities should also account for those who would be treated for an unrelated acute illness.

Objectives: To estimate usual patterns of acute illness in the community as a baseline for integration into pandemic influenza and bioterrorism preparedness plans.

Methods: Between 2000 and 2003 we conducted 13 telephone surveys to estimate the usual incidence and prevalence of symptoms of acute illness in the community.

Results: On average, 910 households were included in each of the surveys, representing about 3000 people. The compliance rates for full interviews ranged from 72.3% to 86.0%. In winter, on average, about 2% of the Israeli population (individuals) suffered each day from fever of ≥ 38ºC, and about 0.8% during the other months. The prevalence of cough was higher, 9.2% in winter and 3% during summer. Daily incidence of fever ranged from about 0.4% per day in winter to about 0.2% in the fall. The prevalence and incidence of both fever and cough were highest for infants followed by children aged 1–5 years.

Conclusions: These background morbidity estimates can be used for planning the overall treatment requirements, in addition to actual cases, resulting from pandemic influenza or a bioterrorist incident.

February 2006
A. Peretz, H. Checkoway, J.D. Kaufman, I. Trajber and Y. Lerman

Evidence that crystalline silica is associated with an increased rate of lung cancer led the International Agency for Research on Cancer to conclude in 1997 that crystalline silica is a known human carcinogen. In Israel too, crystalline silica is considered as such. The decision raised a debate in the scientific arena, and a few scientists have questioned the basis upon which causality was determined. We review the literature regarding the level of evidence of crystalline silica carcinogenicity.

July 2002
Manfred S. Green, MD, PhD and Zalman Kaufman, MSc

The appearance of “new” infectious diseases, the reemergence of “old” infectious diseases, and the deliberate introduction of infectious diseases through bioterrorism has highlighted the need for improved and innovative infectious disease surveillance systems. A review of publications reveals that traditional current surveillance systems are generally based on the recognition of a clear increase in diagnosed cases before an outbreak can be identified. For early detection of bioterrorist-initiated outbreaks, the sensitivity and timeliness of the systems need to be improved. Systems based on syndromic surveillance are being developed using technologies such as electronic reporting and the internet. The reporting sources include community physicians, public health laboratories, emergency rooms, intensive care units, district health offices, and hospital admission and discharge systems. The acid test of any system will be the ability to provide analyses and interpretations of the data that will serve the goals of the system. Such analytical methods are still in the early stages of development.

March 2001
Elizabeth Fireman, MD, Mordechai R. Kramer, MD, Nathan Kaufman, MD, Joachin Muller-Quernheim, MD and Yehuda Lerman, MD, MPH
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