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עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

Search results


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
Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eilon Ram MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Jonathan Frogal MD, Shany Levin MA, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Unfractionated heparin is the preferred anticoagulant used during open heart surgeries, including left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In cases in which patients are heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive (HIT+), the accepted practice has been to substitute heparin with bivalirudin. This practice may be associated with significant bleeding and adverse outcomes.

Objectives: To review our experience with HIT+ patients who were heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis negative (HITT-) and who underwent HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation using heparin intraoperatively rather than bivalirudin.

Methods: From 2016 to 2022, 144 adult patients were implanted with HeartMate 3 LVAD at our center. Among them, 7 were detected as HIT+ but HITT- and therefore were prescribed intraoperatively with heparin and treated pre- and postoperatively with bivalirudin. We reviewed the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative characteristics as well as short-term mortality and the complication rates of these HIT+ patients.

Results: The median age of our cohort was 56 years (51–60), 71% were male (n=5), all were INTERMACS Level 1, and most were bridged to transplant (n=6, 86%). The 30-day mortality rate post-implantation was 0%. The average 24-hour chest drain postoperative output was 1502.86 ± 931.34 ml. There were no intraoperative pump thromboses, perioperative thromboses, cerebrovascular accidents, or gastrointestinal bleeding within the first 24 hours postoperative. One patient required a revision due to bleeding.

Conclusions: Intraoperative unfractionated heparin may be administered to patients who are HIT+ and HITT- while undergoing LVAD implantation. However, further investigation is required.

August 2023
Netta Shoenfeld BA, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, David R. Serfaty MD, Revital Mann MD, Bat-Sheva Porat Katz MD, Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: While several studies have noted smell impairment in schizophrenia, it is unclear whether this impairment extends to acute psychosis and whether it is associated with more severe illness as expressed in extended hospitalization.

Objectives: To evaluate the olfactory function of patients in an acute psychotic state and correlate it with clinical symptomatology and length of hospitalization.

Methods: Olfactory function was assessed in 20 patients with schizophrenia in their first week of hospital admission for acute psychosis compared with matched controls. Olfaction was evaluated via three stages: threshold, discrimination, and identification of different odors utilizing the Sniffin' Sticks test battery.

Results: Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower on total smell score, discrimination, and identification abilities. A significant association was observed between hospitalization duration and total smell score and smell discrimination. No significant associations between smell and clinical symptomatology were observed.

Conclusions: Study observations confirm impaired sense of smell in schizophrenia patients and suggest that smell impairment may be a potential marker of more serious illness as expressed in longer hospital stay.

March 2023
Nimrod Sachs MD, Lotem Goldberg MD, Yoel Levinsky MD, Yotam Dizitzer MD, Yoav Vardi MD, Irit Krause MD, Oded Scheuerman MD, Gilat Livni MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Havatzelet Bilavsky-Yarden MD

Background: During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, less isolation of common winter viruses was reported in the southern hemisphere.

Objectives: To evaluate annual trends in respiratory disease-related admissions in a large Israeli hospital during and before the pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records from November 2020 to January 2021 (winter season) was conducted and compared to the same period in two previous years. Data included number of admissions, epidemiological and clinical presentation, and isolation of respiratory pathogens.

Results: There were 1488 respiratory hospitalizations (58% males): 632 in 2018–2019, 701 in 2019–2020, and 155 in 2020–2021. Daily admissions decreased significantly from a median value of 6 (interquartile range [IQR] 4–9) and 7 per day (IQR 6–10) for 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, respectively, to only 1 per day (IQR 1–3) in 2020–2021 (P-value < 0.001). The incidence of all respiratory viruses decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no hospitalizations due to influenza and only one with respiratory syncytial virus. There was also a significant decline in respiratory viral and bacterial co-infections during the pandemic (P-value < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a significant decline in pediatric respiratory admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible etiologies include epidemiological factors such as mask wearing and social distancing, in addition to biological factors such as viral interference. A herd protection effect of adults and older children wearing masks may also have had an impact.

February 2023
Shir Schlosser BMedSc, Svetlana Zalmanov MD, Raphael M. Pfeffer MD, Yoav Lipski MD, Vladislav Grinberg MD, Yael Kalmus RN, Daphne Levin PhD, Keren Hod RD PhD, Merav A. Ben David MD

Background: Anal squamous cell carcinoma (ASqCC) is a rare malignancy, traditionally treated with combined chemoradiation, with a continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin C (MMC). Replacing intravenous (IV) 5-FU with oral capecitabine (oral fluoropyrimidine) has been reported as a non-inferior treatment option. However, these data are scarce, with variable results.

Objectives: To examine the outcome of patients with ASqCC treated with either IV 5-FU or capecitabine concomitantly with radiation therapy. To compare treatment side effects, local recurrence, and general outcome.

Methods: We reviewed charts of patients who were diagnosed with stage I–III ASqCC. All participating patients received chemoradiation at the Assuta Medical Center between 2011 and 2019.

Results: In this study, 43 patients with ASqCC were eligible; 14 received 5-FU and 29 were treated with capecitabine. Basic characteristics were similar between the two groups, with longer follow-up for the 5-FU group. Six months following treatment, 100% (13/13 with adequate follow-up) of the 5-FU group had complete clinical response, compared to 84% in the capecitabine group (21/24), P = 0.143. The local recurrence incidence was higher in the 5-FU group at 23% (7, 10, 26 months following therapy, and none in the capecitabine group (P = 0.088). Although local and hematological toxicities were similar between groups, one patient receiving capecitabine died during chemoradiotherapy.

Conclusions: Oral capecitabine demonstrated non-inferior disease control in ASqCC treated with chemoradiotherapy. We recommend oral capecitabine over continuous IV 5-FU in locally and locally advanced ASqCC. Close monitoring of side effects is required to reduce major toxicity.

Gassan Moady MD MPH, Alexander Shturman MD, Elias Daud MD, Gal Rubinstein MD, Dror Leviner MD, Shaul Atar MD

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) often develops following stressors such as cardiac surgery. It may be fatal in rare cases. Our 70-year-old female patient presented with a rare case of tricuspid valve papillary fibroelastoma, which was complicated by fatal TTS after successful resection. The patient had a right atrial mass that was investigated with computed tomography and transesophageal echocardiography (TTE). She was scheduled for surgery. Pathology findings were consistent with papillary fibroelastoma of the tricuspid valve. Three weeks after successful surgery, the patient was admitted due to cardiogenic shock with echocardiographic findings of apical ballooning and left ventricular outflow tract obstruction consistent with TTS. The patient died one hour after her admission despite optimal medical therapy.

January 2023
Mohamad Suki MD, Fadi Abu Baker MD, Shaul Pery MD, Moran Levin MD, Smadar Nephrin, Amani Beshara MD, Baruch Ovadia MD, Oren Gal MD, Yael Kopelman MD

Background: Polyp detection rate (PDR) is a convenient quality measure indicator. Many factors influence PDR, including the patient's background, age, referral (ambulatory or hospitalized), and bowel cleansing.

Objectives: To evaluate whether years of professional experience have any effect on PDR.

Methods: A multivariate analysis of a retrospective cohort was performed, where both patient- and examiner-related variables, including the experience of doctors and nurses, were evaluated. PDR, as the dependent variable was calculated separately for all (APDR), proximal (PPDR), and small (SPDR) polyps.

Results: Between 1998 and 2019, 20,996 patients underwent colonoscopy at a single center. After controlling for covariates, the experience of both doctors and nurses was not found to be associated with APDR (odds ratio [OR] 0.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.98–1.00, P = 0.15 and OR 1.03, 95%CI 1.02–1.04, P < 0.0001, respectively). However, after 2.4 years of colonoscopy experience for doctors, and 9.5 years of experience for nurses, a significant increase in APDR was observed. Furthermore, results revealed no association for PPDR and SPDR, as well.

Conclusions: Years of colonoscopy experience for both doctors and assisting nurses were not associated with APDR, PPDR, and SPDR. In doctors with 2.4 years of experience and nurses with 9.5 years of experience, a significant increase in APDR was observed.

October 2022
Shaden Nashashibi, MD, Ofir Priesler, MD, Uriel Levinger, MD, George Habib, MD MPH

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in more than four million deaths globally. In addition to the lower respiratory system, a wide range of major organ injuries have been reported among patients infected with COVID-19. These injuries include cardiac involvement. The spectrum of cardiac manifestations includes cardiac injury, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, acute coronary syndrome, myocarditis, tachyarrhythmias, and bradyarrhythmia [1]. Different degrees of atrioventricular blocks have been reported [2].

The pathogenesis of these complications is not fully understood. Differentmechanisms are proposed, including direct myocyte injury, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis, cytokine storm, plaque destabilization, and and/or hypoxia [3]. Many countries have worked toward mass vaccination using the Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccine, including Israel. We report a case of high degree atrioventricular block (AVB) following vaccination with the COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccine.

Ofira Zloto, M.D., Oded Sagiv, M.D., Ayelet Priel, M.D., Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, M.D., Amir Tirosh, M.D. , Nancy Agmon-Levin, M.D., Shiran Madgar, M.D., Tal Serlin, M.D., Halit Winter, M.D. Ruth Huna-Baron, M.D., Tamara Wygnanski-Jaffe, M.D., Guy Ben Simon, M.D.

Background: Little is known about the success of multidisciplinary thyroid eye disease (TED) clinic.

Objectives: To present the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of patients treated in a multidisciplinary TED clinic.

Methods: A medical record review of all patients who attended a TED clinic was performed. Data included demographics, medical history, laboratory tests, visual function tests, ocular examinations, clinical activity score (CAS), and assessment of quality-of-life (QOL).

Results: Clinic visits included 132 patients seen during 385 appointments at a TED clinic (mean 12 appointments per patient). Management of TED included medical treatments for 48 patients (36.3%) and surgical treatment for 56 (42.4%). There was a positive significant correlation between the CAS and thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) activity at the first visit and at the last follow-up visit (P < 0.01 and P < 0.02, respectively). However, no correlation was found between the CAS and the thyroid-stimulating hormone levels or between the free triiodothyronine (fT3) and fT4 levels at the first or last visit. There was a significant negative correlation between the CAS and color vision (-0.347, P < 0.01, Pearson correlation) at the first visit, but not between the CAS and visual acuity and visual field at either the first or last visit. Changes in the QOL and the CAS scores were significantly negatively correlated (-0.240, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Treatment and management decisions for TED should be based on multiple parameters including clinical examinations by ophthalmologists and endocrinologists, laboratory tests, and CAS and QOL scores.

May 2022
Nomy Levin-Iaina MD, Avital Angel-Korman MD, Adi Leiba MD MHA, Esther Peres MD, Gabriel Bryk PhD, Vladimir Rapoport MD, Zeev Katzir MD, Yoram Yagil MD, and Tal Brosh-Nissimov MD MHA

Background: The reduced immune response of maintenance hemodialysis patients to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines is a major concern.

Objectives: To analyze the late (6 months after full vaccination) antibody response and compare it to early post-vaccination titer.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter prospective study of 13 hemodialysis units in Israel.

Results: We demonstrated that the low titers observed among ESRD patients 2–3 months after vaccination with the Comirnaty vaccine (median 63.8 AU/ml) declined to critically lower values 6 months after full vaccination. (Mediananti S antibodies, 31 AU/ml). Seropositivity significantly declined among hemodialysis patients from 89% to 74% (P < 0.0001), although it did not significantly change among controls.

Conclusions: We recommend all patients on hemodialysis receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine 6 months after the second dose.

 

April 2022
Victor G. Levin BSc, Ayal Romem MD MHA, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Ori Wand MD, David Dahan MD, and David Shitrit MD

Background: Endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is a frequently used method for obtaining tissue samples for the diagnosis of various respiratory conditions, including lung cancer staging. In most cases, EBUS-TBNA is performed under moderate sedation (MS). However, in cases of respiratory compromised patients, if this procedure is performed, it is conducted under general anesthesia (GA).

Objective: To assess the diagnostic yield of EBUS-TBNA among respiratory compromised patients.

Methods: Data of consecutive patients (n=191) who underwent EBUS-TBNA at our medical center between January 2019 and December 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. Respiratory compromised patients underwent GA and patients without respiratory compromise were mostly moderately sedated (MS). Characteristics, diagnostic yield, and complication rates were compared.

Results: Diagnostic yield was similar between the two sedation modes (89% in GA group and 78% in the MS group, P = 0.11). The number of total samples obtained per procedure was significantly higher in the GA vs. the MS group (4.1 ± 2.1 vs. 2.1 ± 1.33, P < 0.01). The overall complication rate was 13% and 20.9% in the GA vs. the MS groups, respectively (P = 0.14), with the most frequent complication being minor bleeding. Interestingly, while the number of brushings, bronchoalveolar lavage, and endobronchial biopsy were similar, the percent of subjects who underwent transbronchial biopsy was significantly higher in the GA group (49% vs. 24.2%, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: EBUS-TBNA performed under GA among respiratory compromised patients is safe and has similar diagnostic yield to that of patients without a respiratory compromise

February 2021
Kfir Siag MD, Salim Mazzawi MD, Ariel Koren MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Muhamed Masalha MD, Roy Biener MD, Nidal Moed MD, Rami Ghanayim MD, and Carina Levin MD PhD

Background: Otogenic cerebral sinus vein thrombosis (CSVT) is a rare but severe complication of otitis media in children. To date, the role of prothrombotic evaluation is still controversial.

Objectives: To report the clinical manifestations, prothrombotic evaluation, and current management of CSVT.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of nine pediatric patients with otogenic CSVT who underwent prothrombotic evaluation between 2008 and 2018.

Results: Prominent clinical features included persistent otorrhea (88.8%), signs of mastoiditis (88.8%), high fever ≥ 38.3°C (100%), a classic spiking fever pattern (55.5%), and neurological signs (55.5%). A subperiosteal abscess (66.6%) was the most common otitis media complication associated with mastoiditis and CSVT. No microorganism was identified in 55.5% of patients. Cultures collected from ear secretions had a low yield (6.25%). However, PCR assays had a high detection rate (100%; n=3). The prothrombotic evaluation demonstrated an abnormal LAC–dRVVT ratio (6/9), elevated Factor VIII (5/8) (and a combination of both in four patients), antiphospholipid antibodies (2/8), and high homocysteine levels (1/5).The surgical intervention of choice included one-sided mastoidectomy with myringotomy and ventilation-tube placement on the affected side (77.7%). There were no mortalities and no long-term sequela except chronic otitis media (22.2%).

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate good outcomes for otogenic CSVT treatment with intravenous antibiotics, anticoagulation, and conservative surgical intervention, which supports the current trend in management. The prothrombotic evaluation revealed transient inflammation-related risk factors but did not alter management. Further prospective multicenter studies are needed to determine its relevance

Nir Hod MD MHA, Daniel Levin MD, Sophie Lantsberg MD, Gideon Sahar MD, Karen Nalbandyan MD, Aharon Yehonatan Cohen MD, and Aryeh Shalev MD
January 2021
Natav Hendin BSc, Gabriel Levin MD, Abraham Tsur MD, Hadas Ilan MD, Amihai Rottenstreich MD, and Raanan Meyer MD

Background: The sonographic assessment of estimated fetal weight (EFW) is essential for identification of fetuses in weight extremes and aids in peripartum management. However, there are inconsistent reports regarding EFW accuracy.

Objective: To examine maternal and fetal determinants associated with unreliable EFW.

Methods: A retrospective case-control study was conducted at a single, tertiary medical center between 2011 and 2019. All term, singleton deliveries with a sonographic EFW within 2 weeks of delivery were included. Unreliable EFW was defined as > 500 grams discordance between it and the actual birth weight. We allocated the study cohort into two groups: unreliable EFW (cases) and accurate EFW (controls).

Results: Overall, 41,261 deliveries met inclusion criteria. Of these, 1721 (4.17%) had unreliable EFW. The factors positively associated with unreliable EFW included body mass index > 30 kg/m2, weight gain > 20 kg, higher amniotic fluid index, pregestational diabetes, gestational age > 410/7, and birth weight ≥ 4000 grams. On multiple regression analysis, pregestational diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 2.22, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.56–3.17, P < 0.001) and a higher birth weight (OR 1.91, 95%CI 1.79–2.04, P < 0.001) were independently associated with unreliable EFW. On analysis of different weight categories, pregestational diabetes was associated with unreliable EFW only among birth weights ≥ 3500 grams (OR 3.28, 95%CI 1.98–5.44, P< 0.001) and ≥ 4000 grams (OR 4.27, 95%CI 2.31–7.90, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Pregestational diabetes and increased birth weight are independent risk factors for unreliable EFW and should be considered when planning delivery management.

Uriel Levinger MD, Shoshana Hadar MD, and George Habib MD
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