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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

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December 2023
Rotem Liran MD, Wakar Garra MD, Or Carmi MD, Yair Levy MD, Yael Einbinder MD

Higher potency bisphosphonates, typically intravenous formulations, are given at lower doses for postmenopausal women. The treatment has improved compliance compared to daily oral therapy. Since bisphosphonates are exclusively excreted via the kidneys, intravenous formulation has been associated with deterioration of renal function, specifically in the setting of preexisting renal disease or concomitant use of nephrotoxic agents [1].

October 2023
Wakar Garra MD, Yair Levy MD

Nocardia species are gram-positive aerobic bacteria, usually acquired by inhalation or traumatic percutaneous inoculation [1,2]. It is a rare opportunistic infection that mainly occurs in immunocompromised hosts, patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), organ transplant recipients, and long-term corticosteroid treated patients [1,2]. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. The increased use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors has been accompanied by increased risk of different opportunistic infections including reactivation of tuberculosis, viral hepatitis B and C, listeria, fungal and bacterial infections [3,4]. To date, there are scarce case reports regarding nocardial infection with anti-TNF, particularly during the first 6 months of treatment.

We present a case of nocardial tenosynovitis of the hand in a patient with psoriatic arthropathy who was followed in our rheumatology clinic in Meir medical center in Israel after treatment with an anti TNF therapy.

August 2023
Narin N. Carmel Neiderman MD MSc, Nir Halevy MD, Tal Kas MD, Anat Wengier MD, Ahmad Safadi MD, Avraham Abergel MD

Background: Nasal obstruction is one of the most common complaints in the practice of rhinology.

Objective: To adapt the Nasal Obstruction Scale Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaire to Hebrew (H-NOSE) and to assess its sensitivity and specificity.

Methods: Candidates for surgical intervention due to isolated nasal obstruction and healthy volunteers (controls) were included in the validation. The English NOSE questionnaire was translated into Hebrew and re-translated for translation validity. Patients completed the H-NOSE questionnaire before and after surgery for nasal obstruction. The same questionnaire was completed by the controls. Test–retest reliability was performed within 2 weeks. Psychometric properties (reliability, reproducibility, validity, and responsiveness) were assessed by a test–retest procedure, internal consistency, correlation to the Hebrew Sino-Nasal Outcome Tool 22 (He-SNOT-22), and response sensitivity.

Results: In total, 179 patients with nasal obstruction and 74 controls completed the questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha score was 0.93 for internal consistency. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity (< 90%) and area under the curve was 0.97. We found no significant difference in test–retest reliability. The difference between the pre- and postoperative questionnaire scores was highly significant (13.9 ± 4.0 vs. 3.2 ± 4.1, respectively, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The H-NOSE questionnaire demonstrated reliable internal consistency, sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. The Hebrew version differentiated between patients and heathy controls and was easy to administer. This instrument is useful for Hebrew speaking patients who undergo surgery for nasal obstruction.

June 2023
Genya Aharon-Hananel MD PhD, Galia Zacay MD, Noam Tau MD, Yael Levy-Shraga MD, Amit Tirosh MD, Iris Vered MD, Liana Tripto-Shkolnik MD

Background: Trabecular bone score (TBS) reflects vertebrae microarchitecture and assists in fracture risk assessment. The International Society of Clinical Densitometry postulates that the role of TBS in monitoring antiresorptive therapy is unclear. Whether changes in TBS correlate with bone resorption measured by bone turnover markers is not known.

Objectives: To determine whether longitudinal changes in TBS correlate with C-terminal telopeptide (CTX) of type I collagen.

Methods: Examinees with two bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were detected via the institutional database. Over 5.8% change in TBS was considered least significant and patients were grouped accordingly (increment, decrement, or unchanged). CTX, BMD, co-morbidities, incident fractures, and medication exposure were compared between the groups by Kruskal-Wallis. The correlation between TBS and BMD change and CTX in a continuous model was analyzed by Pearson's correlation coefficient.

Results: In total, 110 patients had detailed medical records. In 74.5%, TBS change was below least significant change. Two other TBS categories, fracture incidence or medication exposure, did not differ by CTX. In the continuous model, BMD and TBS change was positively correlated (r = 0.225, P = 0.018). A negative correlation was observed between BMD change and CTX. The decrease in BMD level was associated with higher CTX (r = -0.335, P = 0.004). No correlation was observed between CTX and TBS.

Conclusions: No correlation between TBS dynamics and bone resorption marker was found. Clinical interpretation and implication of longitudinal TBS changes should be further explored.

February 2023
Milton Saute MD, Ehud Raanani MD, Amir On MD, Ran Kramer MD, Liran Levy MD

Twenty years after being closed due to unfavorable results, a new lung transplant program was started at the Sheba Medical Center. The new team included an experienced lung transplant surgeon, an anesthesiologist, an intensive care specialist, and a pulmonologist with extensive experience in the field.

January 2023
Naama Hermann MD, Pnina Mor CNM PhD, Orit Kaidar-Person MD, Rinat Bernstein-Molho MD, Mali Brodsky RN MSc, Dana Madorsky Feldman MD, Anath A. Flugelman MD MPH MA, Hadar Aboody Nevo MD, Danna Meshoulam Avital MD, Miri Sklair-Levy MD, Eitan Friedman MD PhD, Tanir M. Allweis MD

Background: Population screening for the BRCA mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish women was recently implemented in Israel and is expected to lead to a 10-fold increase in the diagnosis of asymptomatic carriers. Performing the screening follow-up within multidisciplinary dedicated clinics for carriers is recommended for early detection and risk reduction.

Objectives: To determine the availability, capacity, and practices of dedicated screening clinic for BRCA carriers in Israel.

Methods: A telephone-based survey of all public hospitals in Israel was conducted October 2020 to August 2021 to determine whether they had a dedicated clinic. Dedicated clinics were defined as multidisciplinary screening clinics offering at least breast and gynecological screening and risk reducing services on site. The clinic director or nurse navigator answered a questionnaire about screening practices followed by a semi-structured interview.

Results: Of the ten dedicated BRCA clinics found in Israel, nine participated. Approximately 4500 BRCA carriers are currently being followed. No specialized clinics are available in the southern district or in the northernmost half of the northern district of Israel, leading to a disparity between periphery and center. Screening recommendations, although asserted as adhering to international guidelines, vary among clinics including age at initiating of clinical exam, use of adjunct imaging modalities, and follow-up during lactation and after risk reducing surgery.

Conclusions: There is a suboptimal distribution of dedicated clinics for BRCA carriers in Israel. Nationally centralized attempt to create guidelines that will unify screening practices is warranted, especially considering the expected increase in demand.

November 2022
Izabella Elgardt MD, Or Carmi MD, Yair Levy MD

At the end of 2019, the world faced a new virus–coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–which quickly became a pandemic. It has become clear that the COVID-19 virus can affect various body systems. Over time, we are finding more and more diverse manifestations of the course of the disease itself, its consequences, and complications. There have been several studies and reviews describing circulating antibodies in patients infected with COVID-19 (e.g., antinuclear antibodies [ANA], anti-cardiolipin, anti-B2 glycoprotein, perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies [p-ANCA], cytoplasmic ANCA [c-ANCA]). The development of autoimmune disorders has been reported (e.g., Graves' disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), immune thrombocytopenia [ITP], diabetes mellitus [DM] type 1, psoriasis). There are descriptions of COVID-19 associated vasculitis include Kawasaki-like symptoms in children and immunoglobulin A (IgA) vasculitis in children and adults [1].

Katya Meridor MD, Pnina Rotman-Pikielny MD, Or Carmi MD, Myriam Werner MD, Yair Levy MD

Background: Patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) are at increased risk for autoimmune thyroid diseases, but information regarding thyroid nodules and cancer in SSc is scarce.

Objectives: To evaluate the thyroid gland in patients with SSc at a single Israeli center.

Methods: Thyroid workup was conducted in consecutive SSc patients: thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (fT4), anti-thyroid peroxidase, and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, as well as thyroid ultrasound and fine needle aspiration (FNA) when appropriate.

Results: Fifty patients, mean age 51.3 ± 13.5 years (44 women) were evaluated. Ten were previously diagnosed with thyroid disease. Median TSH level was 2.0 (normal range 0.23–4 mIU/l) and median fT4 level was 1.0 (normal range 0.8–2.0 ng/dL). Among the 40 thyroid disorder-naive patients, 3 had subclinical hypothyroidism and 5 had positive anti-thyroid antibodies; 22 (44%) had 1–6 thyroid nodules, which were ≥ 1 cm in 12 (24%). Accordingly, six patients underwent FNA, and five were diagnosed as colloid nodules and one as papillary carcinoma.

Conclusions: New cases of clinically significant autoimmune thyroid disease were not detected in our cohort of patients with SSc. Nevertheless, almost half had thyroid nodules. The clinical significance of these findings and their relation to thyroid cancer remains to be determined.

David Levy MD, Mayan Eitan MD, Mark Vitebskiy MD, Yona Kitay-Cohen MD, Fabiana Benjaminov MD

A 70-year-old male arrived at the emergency department (ED) with symptoms of fever, shivering, and sweating for 3 days. A dry cough started a week before admission. There were no other referring symptoms. The patient, a farmer by occupation, denied any animal bite or exposure, travel abroad, consumption of uncooked meat, or drink of unpasteurized milk products. In the ED, his vital signs showed hypotension with blood pressure of 70/40 mmHg, pyrexia of 39.4°C, and tachycardia of 100 beats per minute. On physical examination, the patient shivered. On auscultation, fast heart sounds were heard.

July 2022
Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

June 2022
Doron Garfinkel MD, and Yuval Levy MD

Background: There has been a rapid increase in vulnerable subpopulations of very old with co-morbidity, dementia, frailty, and limited life expectancy. Being treated by many specialists has led to an epidemic of inappropriate medication use and polypharmacy (IMUP) with negative medical and economic consequences. For most medications there are no evidence-based studies in older people and treatments are based on guidelines proven in much younger/healthier populations.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the benefits of reducing IMUP by poly-de-prescribing (PDP) outweighs the negative outcomes in older people with polypharmacy.

Methods: The Garfinkel method and algorithm were used in older people with polypharmacy (≥ 6 prescription drugs).

Results: We found that in nursing departments, of 331 drugs de-prescribed only 32 (10%) had to be re-administered. Annual mortality and severe complications requiring referral to acute care facility were significantly reduced in PDP (P < 0.002). In community dwelling older people, successful de-prescribing was achieved in 81% with no increase in adverse events or deaths. Those who de-prescribed ≥ 3 prescription drugs showed significantly more improvement in functional and cognitive status, sleep quality, appetite, serious complications, quality of life, and general satisfaction compared to controls who stopped ≤ 2 medications (P < 0.002). Rates of hospitalization and mortality were comparable. Clinical improvement by polydeprescribing was usually evident within 3 months and persisted for several years. The main barrier to polydeprescribing was physician’s unwillingness to deprescribe (P < 0.0001)

Conclusions: Applying the Garfinkel method of PDP may improve the lives of older people and save money.

Shir Rubinstein Levy B Med Sc, Gilad Halpert PhD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been known for thousands of years for their promising potential as analgesics. Chronic pain is a common complaint among many patients with rheumatic conditions. These disorders have revisited the medical approach toward cannabis and its potential role in pain relief. In addition, in recent years, information has mounted about the immunomodulatory effects of cannabis. In this review we discuss findings on the benefits cannabis may have in rheumatic and autoimmune disorders.

May 2022
Issac Levy MD, Dolev Dollberg MD, Ron Berant MD, and Ronit Friling MD

Background: Data on how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected consultations in ophthalmic departments are sparse.

Objectives: To examine the epidemiology of ophthalmic consultations in a large pediatric emergency medicine department (PED) during the first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in Israel.

Methods: The database of a tertiary pediatric medical center was retrospectively reviewed for patients aged < 18 years who attended the PED from 17 March to 30 April 2020 (first COVID-19 lockdown) and the corresponding period in 2019. Background, clinical, and disease-related data were collected from the medical charts and compared between groups.

Results: The study included 757 PED visits. There were no significant differences in demographics between the groups. The 2020 period was characterized by a decrease in PED visits (by 52%), increase in arrivals during late afternoon and evening (P = 0.013), decrease in visits of older children (age 5–10 year), and proportional increase in younger children (age 1–5 years) (P = 0.011). The most common diagnoses overall and during each period was trauma followed by conjunctivitis and eyelid inflammation. The mechanisms of trauma differed (P = 0.002), with an increase in sharp trauma and decrease in blunt trauma in 2020 (P < 0.001 for both). In 2020, 95% of traumatic events occurred in the home compared to 54% in 2019 (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Parents need to learn appropriate preventive and treatment measures to prevent serious and long-term ophthalmic injury while minimizing their exposure to the COVID-19. PEDs and ophthalmic pediatric clinics should consider increasing use of telemedicine and the availability of more senior physicians as consultants during such times.

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

January 2022
Brice Nguedia Vofo MD, Ana Navarrete MD, Jaime Levy MD, and Itay Chowers MD

Background: In response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, routine clinical visits to the ophthalmic emergency department (OED) were deferred, while emergency cases continued to be seen.

Objectives: To assess the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for ophthalmic emergencies.

Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of patients who presented to the OED during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted. The proportions of traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent presentations in 2020 were compared to those of the same time period in 2019. Duration of chief complains and best-corrected visual acuity were also assessed.

Results: There were 144 OED visits in 2020 compared to 327 OED visits during the same 3-week-period in 2019. Lower mean age of OED patients was present in 2020. Logarithmic expression (LogMAR) best corrected visual acuity (BVCA) was similar in both years. In 2020 there was a reduction in traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent cases compared to 2019 (15.4% reduction, P = 0.038; 57.6% reduction, P = 0.002; 74.6% reduction, P = 0.005, respectively). There was a higher proportion of same-day presentations at commencement of symptoms in 2020 compared with 2019 (52.8% vs. 38.8%, respectively P = 0.006).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OED visits at a tertiary hospital dropped by more than half. Although the drop in visits was mostly due to decrease in non-traumatic-non-urgent cases, there was also decrease in non-traumatic-urgent presentations with possible important visual consequences. Additional studies should elucidate what happened to these patients

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