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עמוד בית
Sun, 26.05.24

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May 2023
Marina Leitman MD FESC, Isabella Pilcha MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc, Zoe Haitov MD

Background: Traditionally, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has been performed under moderate sedation and local pharyngeal anesthesia. Respiratory complications during the TEE can occur.

Objectives: To test the effectiveness of low-dose midazolam combined with verbal sedation during TEE.

Methods: The study comprised 157 consecutive patients who underwent TEE under mild conscious sedation. All patients received local pharyngeal anesthesia and low doses of midazolam combined with verbal sedation. The course of TEE and clinical characteristics of the patients were analyzed.

Results: The mean age was 64 ± 15.3 years, 96 males (61%). In 6% of the patients, low dose midazolam in combination with verbal sedation was insufficient and propofol was administrated. In women under 65 years of age with normal renal function, there was a 40% risk of low-dose midazolam being ineffective (P = 0.0018).

Conclusions: In most patients, TEE can be conducted easily using low-dose midazolam combined with verbal sedation. Some patients need deeper sedation with anesthetic agents like propofol. These patients tended to be younger, in good general health, and more often female.

May 2021
Sagi Gleitman MD MEM, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA, Offer Amir MD FACC, and Diab Ghanim MD
August 2019
Marina Leitman MD, Yan Topilsky MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc, Shemy Carasso MD, Sara Shimoni MD, Sorel Goland MD, Sagit Ben Zekry MD, Alik Sagie MD, Noah Liel Cohen MD, Chaim Yosefy MD and Rоnen Beeri MD

The output settings of echocardiographic systems should be set to the full (original) frame rate and lossless compression (e.g., run-length encoding) in order to transmit echocardiographic videos so that they retain their original quality. In addition, monitors and display cards of echocardiography systems and workstations should be able to support an adaptive refresh rate for displaying video at an arbitrary frame rate, including a high frame rate (90+ fps) without dropping frames and preserving the original frame duration. Currently, the only available option for echocardiography monitors is 144–165 Hz (or higher) based on adaptive frame rate G-Sync or FreeSync technology monitors. These monitors should be accompanied by compatible display cards. Echocardiography systems and workstation video playback software should support G-Sync or FreeSync adaptive frame rate technology to display echocardiography videos at their original frame rates without the effects of jitter and frame drops. Echocardiography systems should support an online display of the videos on the workstations during acquisition with the original quality. The requirements for web-based workstations are the same as for desktops workstations. Hospital digital networks should provide transmission and long-term archiving of the echocardiographic videos in their original acquisition quality.

September 2018
Marina Leitman MD, Marina Levitan MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: A cardiac restrictive filling patterns are associated with unfavorable prognoses. Cardiac interventions may change the natural history of patients.

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of restrictive filling pattern in routine echocardiographic examinations and their association with morbidity and mortality.

Methods: The clinical and echocardiographic data of patients with newly diagnosed restrictive filling pattern were analyzed and summarized.

Results: Among 8000 patients who underwent an echocardiographic examination in our hospital in 2013, a restrictive filling pattern was identified in 256. Of these, 134 showed a restrictive filling pattern that was newly diagnosed. Mean age was 69 years. Hypertension, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease were found in 81%, 60%, and 53%, respectively. Left ventricular ejection fraction was 42% ± 16%. Severe valvular abnormalities were found in 18%. During follow-up (29 ± 15 months), 40% of patients died. The strongest predictor of mortality (73%) was moderate or more advanced aortic stenosis, P = 0.005. Renal failure was an important independent predictor of mortality (53%, P < 0.05). A very high E/E' ratio ≥ 20, was another independent mortality predictor (50%, P < 0.03). Patients who died were less likely to have undergone cardiac interventions than those who survived (26% vs. 45%, P < 0.03).

Conclusions: Prevalence of restrictive filling among echocardiographic studies is 3.2%. In a half of these, the restrictive filling pattern is a new diagnosis. Patients who are diagnosed with a new restrictive filling pattern have higher mortality rates. Patients with restrictive filling should be evaluated thoroughly for possible coronary artery or valvular heart disease.

May 2017
Marina Leitman MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc, Eli Peleg MD, Therese Fuchs MD, Ziad Gabara MD and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: In recent years cardioversion of atrial fibrillation has become a routine procedure, enabling symptomatic functional improvement in most cases. However, some patients develop complications after cardioversion. Identifying these individuals is an important step toward improving patient outcome.

Objectives: To characterize those patients who may not benefit from cardioversion or who may develop complications following cardioversion.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 186 episodes of cardioversion in 163 patients with atrial fibrillation who were admitted to our cardiology department between 2008 and 2013 based on their clinical and echocardiographic data. Patients were divided into two groups: those with uncomplicated cardioversion, and those who developed complications after cardioversion.

Results: Of the 186 episodes, cardioversion was done in 112 men (60%) and 74 women (40%), P < 0.00001. Complications after cardioversion occurred in 25 patients (13%). These patients were generally older (72 vs. 65 years, P < 0.01), were more often diabetic (52% vs. 27%, P = 0.005), had undergone emergency cardioversion (64% vs. 40%, P = 0.01), had left ventricular hypertrophy (left ventricular mass 260 vs. 218 g, P = 0.01), had larger left atrium (left atrial volume 128 vs. 102 ml, P < 0.009), and more often died from complications of cardioversion (48% vs. 16%). They had significant mitral regurgitation (20% vs. 4%, P = 0.03) and higher pulmonary artery pressure (50 vs. 42 mm Hg, P < 0.02).

Conclusions: People with complications after cardioversion tend to be older, are more often diabetic and more often have severe mitral regurgitation. In these patients, the decision to perform cardioversion should consider the possibility of complications.

July 2016
Marina Leitman MD, Eli Peleg MD, Ruthie Shmueli and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: The search for the presence of vegetations in patients with suspected infective endocarditis is a major indication for trans-esophageal echocardiographic (TEE) examinations. Advances in harmonic imaging and ongoing improvement in modern echocardiographic systems allow adequate quality of diagnostic images in most patients.

Objectives: To investigate whether TEE examinations are always necessary for the assessment of patients with suspected infective endocarditis. 

Methods: During 2012–2014 230 trans-thoracic echo (TTE) exams in patients with suspected infective endocarditis were performed at our center. Demographic, epidemiological, clinical and echocardiographic data were collected and analyzed, and the final clinical diagnosis and outcome were determined. 

Results: Of 230 patients, 24 had definite infective endocarditis by clinical assessment. TEE examination was undertaken in 76 of the 230 patients based on the clinical decision of the attending physician. All TTE exams were classified as: (i) positive, i.e., vegetations present; (ii) clearly negative; or (iii) non-conclusive. Of the 92 with clearly negative TTE exams, 20 underwent TEE and all were negative. All clearly negative patients had native valves, adequate quality images, and in all 92 the final diagnosis was not infective endocarditis. Thus, the negative predictive value of a clearly negative TTE examination was 100%.

Conclusions: In patients with native cardiac valves referred for evaluation for infective endocarditis, an adequate quality TTE with clearly negative examination may be sufficient for the diagnosis.

 

July 2015
Marina Leitman MD, Laurian Copel MD, Simcha Rosenblatt MD, Josef Gurevich MD and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC
September 2013
T. Fuchs, A. Torjman, L. Galitzkaya, M. Leitman and R. Pilz-Burstein

Background: Sudden death in athletes can occur during sport activities and is presumably related to ventricular arrhythmias.

Objectives: To investigate the long-term follow-up of athletes with ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test.

Methods: From a database of 56,462 athletes we identified 192 athletes < 35 years old who had ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test. Ninety athletes had ≥ 3 ventricular premature beats (VPB) (group A) and 102 athletes had ventricular couplets or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) during an exercise test (group B). A control group of 92 athletes without ventricular arrhythmias was randomly selected from the database (group C). Of the 192 athletes 39 returned for a repeat exercise test after a mean follow-up period of 70 ± 25 months and they constitute the study population.

Results: Twelve athletes from group A, 21 from group B and 6 from group C returned for a repeat exercise test. The athletes reached a significantly lower peak heart rate during their follow-up exercise test (P = 0.001). More athletes were engaged in competitive sports during their initial exercise test than in the follow-up test (P = 0.021). Most of the athletes who had VPB and/or ventricular couplets and/or NSVT during their initial exercise test had far fewer ventricular arrhythmias in the follow-up exercise test (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Athletes engaged in competitive sports are more likely to develop ventricular arrhythmias during exercise. These arrhythmias subside over time when athletes are engaged in non-competitive sports. 

June 2012
T. Fuchs, M. Leitman, I. Zysman, T. Amini and A. Torjman

Background: Microvolt T-wave alternans (MTWA) measures subtle beat-to-beat fluctuations in the T-wave amplitude. It was found to be associated with cardiac electrical instability in patients with ischemic and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Objectives: To investigate the reproducibility of the MTWA test results in patients with ischemic heart disease.

Methods: The study group comprised patients with ischemic heart disease who participated in a rehabilitation program at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. MTWA was measured during a bicycle exercise test at the first encounter and repeated after one week.

Results: Of the 40 study patients with coronary artery disease, 4 had an indeterminate result and were excluded from the data analysis; 5 had a positive MTWA in the first and second study (14%), 27 had a negative MTWA in the first and second study (75%), and 4 had a negative MTWA in the first study and a positive MTWA in the second study (11%). Overall, there was a correlation between the results of the first and the second study in 89% of the patients (kappa = 0.652, P = 0.0001).

Conclusions: MTWA measurements are reproducible in the short term in patients with coronary artery disease.

December 2011
T. Fuchs, A. Torjman, L. Galitzkaya, M. Leitman and R. Pilz-Burstein

Background: Sudden death in athletes can occur during sport activities and is presumably related to ventricular arrhythmias. There are no guidelines concerning athletes who develop ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test. It is unclear whether they should be allowed to continue with their competitive activity or not.

Objectives: To investigate the long-term follow-up of athletes with ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test.

Methods: From a database of 56,462 athletes we identified 192 athletes, less than 35 years old, who had ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test. Ninety athletes had ≥ 3 ventricular premature beats (group A) and 102 athletes had ventricular couplets or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia during an exercise test (group B). A control group of 92 athletes without ventricular arrhythmias was randomly selected from the database (group C).

Results: All athletes, except one who died from a dilated cardiomyopathy, were alive during a follow-up period of 70 ± 25 months. An abnormal echocardiogram was obtained in seven athletes from group A (10%), four from group B (5%), and one from group C (3%) (not significant). An abnormal echocardiogram was more likely to be present in competitive athletes (P = 0.001) and in female athletes (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Our results showed that ventricular arrhythmias during exercise are more commonly associated with cardiovascular abnormalities in young competitive athletes and in female athletes. When present, they necessitate a thorough investigation and follow-up.
 

April 2007
M. Leitman, P. Lysyansky, J. Gurevich, MD, Z. Friedman, E. Sucher, S. Rosenblatt, E. Kaluski, R. Krakover, T. Fuchs and Z. Vered

Background: Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function includes calculation of ejection fraction and regional wall motion analysis. Recently, speckle imaging was introduced for quantification of left ventricular function.

Objectives: To assess LVEF[1] by speckle imaging and compare it with Simpson’s method, and to assess the regional LV strain obtained by speckle imaging in relation to conventional echocardiographic scores.

Methods: Thirty consecutive patients, 28 with regional LV dysfunction, underwent standard echocardiographic evaluation. LV end-diastolic volume, LV end-systolic volume and EF were calculated independently by speckle imaging and Simpson’s rule. The regional peak systolic strain presented by speckle imaging as a bull's-eye map was compared with the conventional visual estimate of echo score.

Results: Average EDV[2] obtained by speckle imaging and by Simpson’s method were 85.1 vs. 92.7 ml (P = 0.38), average ESV[3] was 49.4 vs. 48.8 ml (P = 0.94), calculated EF was 43.9 vs. 50.5% (P = 0.08). The correlation rate with Simpson’s rule was high: 0.92 for EDV, 0.96 for ESV, and 0.89 for EF. The peak systolic strain in two patients without wall motion abnormality was 17.3 ± 4.7; in normal segments of patients with regional dysfunction, peak systolic strain (13.4 ± 4.9) was significantly higher than in hypokinetic segments  (10.5 ± 4.5) (P < 0.000001). The strain in hypokinetic segments was significantly higher than in akinetic segments (6.2 ± 3.6) (P < 0.000001).

Conclusions: Speckle imaging can be successfully used for the assessment of LV volumes and EF. Bull's-eye strain map, created by speckle imaging, can achieve an accurate real-time segmental wall motion analysis.

 






[1] LV = left ventricular ejection fraction

[2] EDV = end-diastolic volume

[3] ESV = end-systolic volume


October 2006
E. Kaluski, Z. Gabara, N. Uriel, O. Milo, M. Leitman, J. Weisfogel, V. Danicek, Z. Vered and G. Cotter
 Background: External counter-pulsation is a safe and effective method of alleviating angina pectoris, but the mechanism of benefit is not understood.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of external counter-pulsation therapy in heart failure patients.

Methods: Fifteen symptomatic heart failure patients (subsequent to optimal medical and device therapy) underwent 35 hourly sessions of ECPT[1] over a 7 week period. Before and after each ECPT session we performed pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and brachial artery function studies, administered a quality of life questionnaire, and assessed exercise tolerance and functional class.

Results: Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1 ± 5.8%. ECPT was safe and well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in pro-BNP[2] levels (from 2245 ± 2149 pcg/ml to 1558 ± 1206 pcg/ml, P = 0.022). Exercise duration (Naughton protocol) improved (from 720 ± 389 to 893 ± 436 seconds, P = 0.0001), along with functional class (2.63 ± 0.6 vs. 1.93 ± 0.7, P = 0.023) and quality of life scores (54 ± 22 vs. 67 ± 23, P = 0.001). Nitroglycerine-mediated brachial vasodilatation increased (11.5 ± 7.3% vs. 15.6 ± 5.2%, P =0.049), as did brachial flow-mediated dilation (8.35 ± 6.0% vs. 11.37 ± 4.9%, P = 0.09).

Conclusions: ECPT is safe for symptomatic heart failure patients and is associated with functional and neurohormonal improvement. Larger long-term randomized studies with a control arm are needed to confirm these initial encouraging observations.


 





[1] ECPT = external counter-pulsation therapy

[2] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide


March 2005
M. Leitman, E. Peleg, R. Krakover, E. Sucher, S. Rosenblath, R. Zaidentstein and Z. Vered
November 2004
M. Leitman, V. Shir, E. Peleg, S. Rosenblatt, E. Sucher, R. Krakover, E. Kaluski and Z. Vered

Background: Cardiac rupture is a rare but ominous complication of myocardial infarction.

Objectives: To study the clinical presentation, medical course, outcome and echocardiographic predictors of patients with myocardial rupture.

Methods: We evaluated 15 consecutive patients with cardiac rupture during a 4 year period in our department. The current report explores the presence of potential risk factors, timing, relation to the thrombolysis, coronary interventions and outcome.

Results: The index event in all patients was first ST elevation myocardial infarction. In seven patients rupture occurred in the first 24 hours. Pericardial effusion on admission with a clot was present in three patients. Five patients received thrombolytic therapy. Only three patients underwent coronary angioplasty, but in one case it was performed late and in two patients the culprit artery could not be opened. Six patients reached the operating room, of whom three survived.

Conclusions: The lack of early mechanical reperfusion in acute myocardial infarction and thrombolytic therapy are risk factors for cardiac rupture. Pericardial effusion on admission and evidence of a clot are echocardiographic indicators of cardiac rupture and should alert the medical team to further assess the possibility of cardiac rupture.
 

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