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עמוד בית
Sat, 13.07.24

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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

October 2021
Udi Nussinovitch MD PhD, Omer Gendelman MD, Shiri Rubin MD, Yair Levy MD, Vicktoria Vishnevskia Dai MD, Avi Livneh MD, and Merav Lidar MD

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease that may affect the heart and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). There is little knowledge regarding the degree of ANS involvement in SSc patients with unknown cardiac disease.

Objectives: To evaluate cardiac and pupillary autonomic functions in patients before cardiac involvement has emerged.

Methods: The study comprised 19 patients with SSc and 29 healthy controls. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis for time and frequency domains, as well as deep breathing test and Ewing maneuvers, were performed in all patients. Automated pupillometry for the evaluation of pupillary diameter and pupillary light reflex was completed in 8 SSc patients and 21 controls.

Results: Both groups had similar characteristics, except for medications that were more commonly or solely prescribed for SSc patients. Compared with control subjects, the SSc patients had significantly lower HRV parameters of NN50 (15.8 ± 24.4 vs. 33.9 ± 33.1, P = 0.03), pNN50 (4.9 ± 7.4% vs.10.8 ± 10.8%, P = 0.03), and triangular index (11.7 ± 3.4 vs. 15.7 ± 5.8, P = 0.02). Abnormal adaptive responses in heart rate changes were recorded during deep breathing tests and Ewing maneuvers. There was no significant difference in any of the pupillometric indices or other HRV parameters within groups.

Conclusions: SSc patients may manifest cardiac autonomic dysfunction, while their autonomic pupillary function is seemingly spared. The role of certain medications, the significance of differential organ involvement, as well as the prognostic value of our findings should be evaluated in future studies

Yishai Levy MD and David Levy

An arginine-rich apolipoprotein was discovered 50 years ago and became known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 10 years later. ApoE is associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and mediates the clearance of these lipoproteins from the plasma. The ApoE-deficient hypercholesterolemic mice are an excellent platform for experimental atherosclerosis because they are similar to human pathology with regard to an atherogenic diet. ApoE is mainly produced in the liver and central nervous system cells. Three alleles determine six ApoE phenotypes with different metabolic effects and plasma cholesterol levels. Type III dysbetalipoproteinemia is associated with wide-spread atherogenesis with a defective ApoE2 resulting in delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. ApoE4 substantially increases the risk including age of onset, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, much effort has been directed to the elucidation of the pathogenic role of ApoE related to amyloid β (Aβ) acquisition in the brain. The ApoE trail passing from an enigmatic protein to a major player in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is reviewed

June 2021
Omer Gendelman MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Ora Shovman MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Daniel Erez MD, Yair Levy MD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a rare small vessel vasculitis. It usually involves the respiratory tract and kidney. Rarely, tumor-resembling inflammatory changes ensue.

Objectives: To report three unique cases of GPA presenting with tumor-like lesions in various organs.

Methods: We presented three cases of GPA. Case 1 presented with typical upper respiratory symptoms of GPA and a mediastinal mass. Case 2 presented with low back pain, a large retroperitoneal mass, and nodular skin lesions. Case 3 presented with epigastric pain and a paravertebral inflammatory mass.

Results: The patients were treated successfully with rituximab.

Conclusions: Clinicians should be aware of this presentation of granulomatosis with polyangiitis, which is known as Tumefaction Wegener’s granulomatosis

August 2020
Yuval Levy MD MHA, Yael Frenkel Nir MD, Avinoah Ironi MD, Hindy Englard RN MSc, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Galia Rahav MD, Arnon Afek MD and Ehud Grossman MD

Background: Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, is a tertiary hospital located in the center of Israel. It is the largest hospital in Israel and was the first to face coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients in the country at the beginning of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on our triage method in the emergency department (ED). Our goal was to keep the main hospitalization buildings clean of infection by separating COVID-19 positive patients from COVID-19 negative patients.

Methods: We divided our ED into two separate sections: a regular non-COVID-19 ED and an advanced biological ED. We created clear protocols of triage for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. We reviewed the data of patients admitted to our ED during the month of March and analyzed the results of our triage method in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients.

Results: During the month of March 2020, 7957 patients were referred to our ED. Among them 2004 were referred to the biological ED and 5953 were referred to the regular ED. Of the 2004 patients referred to the biological ED, 1641 (81.8%) were sampled for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction of whom 143 (8.7%) were positive. Only two COVID-19 positive patients unintentionally entered the main clean hospital, making our triage almost full proof.

Conclusions: Our triage method was successful in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients and maintained the regular hospital clean of COVID-19 allowing treatment continuation of regular non-COVID-19 patients.

July 2020
Michal Levmore-Tamir MD, Giora Weiser MD, Elihay Berliner MD, Matityahu Erlichman MD, Carmit Avnon Ziv MD, Floris Levy-Khademi MD

Background: Stress hyperglycemia (SH) is a common finding in patients in pediatric emergency departments (PED) and has been related to increased morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of SH among children visiting the PED. To identify which diseases predispose patients to SH and whether they indicate a worse outcome.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the medical records of all children aged 0–18 years who visited the PED during the years 2010–2014 and who had a glucose level of ≥ 150 mg/dl. Data collected included age, gender, weight, blood glucose level, presence or absence of a pre-existing or a new diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and previous treatment with medications affecting blood glucose levels or with intravenous fluids containing dextrose. Data were collected regarding hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, discharge diagnosis, and survival status.

Results: The study population included 1245 children with SH, which comprised 2.6% of all patients whose blood glucose level was measured in the PED during the study period. The mean age of children with SH was 49 months; 709 (56.9%) were male. The mean blood glucose level was 184 mg/dl. The rate of hospitalization was 57.8%. The mean duration of hospital stay was 5.6 days and mortality rate was 0.96%. The majority were diagnosed with a respiratory illness.

Conclusions: SH is a common phenomenon among children evaluated in the PED and is associated with a high incidence of hospitalization. It may serve as an additional clinical indicator of disease severity.

May 2020
Edward Itelman MD, Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Amitai Segev MD, Chen Avaky MD, Liat Negru MD, Dor Cohen MD, Natia Turpashvili MD, Sapir Anani MD, Eyal Zilber MD, Nir Lasman MD, Ahlam Athamna MD, Omer Segal MD, Tom Halevy MD, Yehuda Sabiner MD, Yair Donin MD, Lital Abraham MD, Elisheva Berdugo MD, Adi Zarka MD, Dahlia Greidinger MD, Muhamad Agbaria MD, Noor Kitany MD, Eldad Katorza MD, Gilat Shenhav-Saltzman MD and Gad Segal MD

Background: In February 2020, the World Health Organisation designated the name COVID-19 for a clinical condition caused by a virus identified as a cause for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. The virus subsequently spread worldwide, causing havoc to medical systems and paralyzing global economies. The first COVID-19 patient in Israel was diagnosed on 27 February 2020.

Objectives: To present our findings and experiences as the first and largest center for COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: The current analysis included all COVID-19 patients treated in Sheba Medical Center from February 2020 to April 2020. Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological data gathered during their hospitalization are presented.

Results: Our 162 patient cohort included mostly adult (mean age of 52 ± 20 years) males (65%). Patients classified as severe COVID-19 were significantly older and had higher prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes. They also had significantly higher white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low folic acid blood levels were more common amongst severe patients (18.2 vs. 12.9 vs. 9.8, P = 0.014). The rate of immune compromised patients (12%) in our cohort was also higher than in the general population. The rate of deterioration from moderate to severe disease was high: 9% necessitated non-invasive oxygenation and 15% were intubated and mechanically ventilated. The mortality rate was 3.1%.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients present a challenge for healthcare professionals and the whole medical system. We hope our findings will assist other providers and institutions in their care for these patients.

October 2019
Philip Lawson MD, Noam Nissan MD PhD, Renata Faermann MD, Osnat Halshtok MD, Anat Shalmon MD, Michael Gotleib MD, Merav Akiva Ben David MD and Miri Sklair Levy MD

Background: Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease representing less than 1% of breast cancers. In the absence of a screening program, such as for females, the diagnostic workup is critical for early detection of MBC.

Objectives: To summarize our institutional experience in the workup of male patients referred for breast imaging, emphasizing the clinical, imaging, and histopathological characteristics of the MBC cohort.

Methods: All male patients who underwent breast imaging between 2011 and 2016 in our institution were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, radiological, and histopathological data were collected and statistically evaluated. All images were reviewed using the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.

Results: 178 male patients (average age 61 years, median age 64), underwent breast imaging in our institution. The most common indication for referral was palpable mass (49%) followed by gynecomastia (16%). Imaging included mostly mammography or ultrasound. Biopsies were performed on 56 patients, 38 (68%) were benign and 18 (32%) were malignant. In all, 13 patients had primary breast cancer and 5 had metastatic disease to the breast. Palpable mass at presentation was strongly associated with malignancy (P = 0.007).

Conclusion: Mammography and ultrasound remain the leading modalities in breast imaging among males for diagnostic workup of palpable mass, with gynecomastia being the predominant diagnosis. However, presentation with palpable mass was also associated with malignancy. Despite a notable MBC rate in our cohort, the likelihood of cancer is low in young patients and in cases of gynecomastia.

February 2019
Einat Levy MSc MD, Eyal Sela MD, Vadim Letichevsky MD and Ohad Ronen MD

Background: The currently accepted treatment for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is systemic steroids as first-line and intratympanic steroids as salvage therapy. Intratympanic (IT) treatment is applied worldwide in many different ways with no universally accepted protocol.

Objectives: To present the current disparity in ISSHL management and to discuss the necessity for establishing a common national protocol.

Methods: In 2014 we conducted a national survey by sending questionnaires on ISSHL management to otologists in every otolaryngology department in the country.

Results: The majority of otolaryngology departments (56%) admit patients with sudden sensorineural hearing. Almost two-thirds (61%) of departments recommend supplementary initial treatment in addition to systemic steroids. None of the medical centers offer intratympanic steroid treatment as primary therapy, but 94% offer this treatment as a salvage therapy. Fewer than half the medical centers (44%) consider the maximal period for intratympanic therapy to be 4 weeks since hearing loss appears. Almost half (48%) the departments use intratympanic steroids once every 5–7 days, usually in an ambulatory setting. Almost half (44%) the medical centers tend to use not more than four courses of IT steroids. In 44% of departments an audiogram is performed at the beginning and at the end of the intratympanic course.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a variability among Israeli medical centers in many aspects of intratympanic treatment. We believe this reinforces the need for a comparative international study in order to establish a standard protocol.

January 2019
Ayelet Grupper MD, Moshe Shashar MD, Talia Weinstein MD PhD, Orit Kliuk Ben Bassat MD, Shoni Levy MD, Idit F. Schwartz MD, Avital Angel MD, Aharon Baruch MD, Avishay Grupper MD, Gil Chernin MD and Doron Schwartz MD

Background: Dialysate purity contributes to the inflammatory response that afflicts hemodialysis patients.

Objectives: To compare the clinical and laboratory effects of using ultrapure water produced by a water treatment system including two reverse osmosis (RO) units in series, with a system that also includes an ultrapure filter (UPF).

Methods: We performed a retrospective study in 193 hemodialysis patients during two periods: period A (no UPF, 6 months) and period B (same patients, with addition of UPF, 18 months), and a historical cohort of patients treated in the same dialysis unit 2 years earlier, which served as a control group.

Results: Mean C-reactive protein, serum albumin and systolic blood pressure worsened in period B compared to period A and in the controls.

Conclusions: A double RO system to produce ultrapure water is not inferior to the use of ultrapure filters.

Sagee Tal MD, Yochai Adir MD, Nili Stein MPH, Hadar Shalom MSc, Orit Lache MSc, Andrew Levy MD, PhD and Michal Shteinberg MD

Background: Frequent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbators are at a higher risk of adverse health outcomes when compared to infrequent exacerbators. A COPD frequent exacerbator phenotype and its definition has been reported. Haptoglobin (Hp) polymorphism has been associated with differing clinical outcomes in cardiovascular and renal disease. The Hp 2-2 phenotype has been found to have bacteriostatic properties, while the Hp 1-1 phenotype was found to be associated with infections.

Objectives: To determine the correlation in haptoglobin phenotypes and the frequent exacerbator status compared to COPD non-exacerbators.

Methods: Inclusion criteria included previous diagnosis of COPD and presence of at least two documented exacerbations of COPD in the previous 12 months (frequent exacerbator group) or absence of such exacerbations in the previous 24 months (non-exacerbator group). Descriptive data was analyzed using Fisher's exact test and the nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis test. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed.

Results: The multivariate logistic regression yielded a model in which haptoglobin phenotype did not have a statistically significant association with frequent exacerbator status. Smoking status was found to be negatively related with the frequent exacerbator status (odds ratio [OR] 0.240, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 0.068–0.843, P = 0.03). Number of pack-years was negatively related to being a frequent exacerbator (OR 0.979, 95%CI 0.962–0.996, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: We found no relationship between haptoglobin polymorphism and frequent exacerbator status. However, frequent exacerbator status had a statistically significant association with COPD Assessment Test scores and pack-years and a negative correlation with current smoking status.

December 2018
Raviv Allon BsC, Yahav Levy MD, Idit Lavi MA, Aviv Kramer MD, Menashe Barzilai MD and Ronit Wollstein MD

Because fragility fractures have an enormous impact on the practice of medicine and global health systems, effective screening is imperative. Currently, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which has limited ability to predict fractures, is being used. We evaluated the current literature for a method that may constitute a better screening method to predict fragility fractures. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound to evaluate screening methods to predict fragility fractures. We found that ultrasound had sufficient data on fracture prediction to perform meta-analysis; therefore, we analyzed prospective ultrasound cohort studies. Six study populations, consisting of 29,299 individuals (87,296 person-years of observation) and including 992 fractures, were analyzed. MRI was found to be sensitive and specific for osteoporosis, but its use for screening has not been sufficiently evaluated and more research is needed on cost, accessibility, technical challenges, and sensitivity and specificity. CT could predict fracture occurrence; however, it may be problematic for screening due to cost, exposure to radiation, and availability. Ultrasound was found to predict fracture occurrence with an increased risk of 1.45 (95% confidence interval 1.21–1.73) to fracture. Ultrasound has not replaced DXA as a screening tool for osteoporosis, perhaps due to operator-dependency and difficulty in standardization of testing.

July 2018
Tima Davidson, Michal M. Ravid, Ella Nissan, Mirriam Sklair-Levy, Johnatan Nissan and Bar Chikman

Background: When a breast lesion is suspected based on a physical exam, mammography, or ultrasound, a stereotactic core needle biopsy (CNB) is usually performed to help establish a definitive diagnosis. CNBs are far less invasive than excisional biopsies, with no need for general anesthetics or hospitalization, and no recovery period. However, since only samples of the mass are removed in a CNB and not the whole mass, sampling errors can occur.

Objectives: To compare the degree of agreement between the pathological data from CNBs and excisional biopsies from a single tertiary referral hospital.

Methods: The concordance of pathological data was compared in patients who underwent CNBs and had their surgical procedures at the same medical center.

Results: From the 894 patients who underwent CNBs, 254 (28.4%) underwent subsequent excisional biopsies at our medical center. From the total of 894 patients, 227 (25.3%) who underwent a CNB were diagnosed with a malignancy, with the rest of the CNBs being diagnosed as benign pathologies. The pathological findings in the CNBs and in the excisional biopsies concurred in 232/254 (91.3%) of the cases.

Conclusions: A CNB to confirm mammographic or clinical findings of breast lesions is an accurate method to establish a pathological diagnosis of breast lesions. The accuracy is higher for invasive carcinomas than for non-invasive cancers. Excisional biopsies are necessary for lesions with anticipated sampling errors or when the core needle biopsy findings are discordant with clinical or mammographic findings.

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