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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.04.24

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May 2023
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Haytham Katas MD, Ariel Banai MD, Keren-Lee Rozenfeld MD, Dana Lewit MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Gil Bornstein MD, Shmuel Banai MD, Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, baseline neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) may reflect the severity of renal impairment. No data exists on serial changes in serum NGAL levels in CKD patients before and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Objectives: To evaluate serial serum NGAL levels relation to contrast induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) following PCI.

Methods: The study included 58 patients with CKD who underwent elective PCI. Plasma NGAL measurements were performed before (pre-NGAL) and 24 hours following (post-NGAL) PCI. Patients were followed for CI-AKI and changes in NGAL levels. Receiver operator characteristic identified the optimal sensitivity and specificity for pre-NGAL levels compared with post-NGAL for patients with CI-AKI.

Results: Overall CI-AKI incidence was 33%. Both pre-NGAL (172 vs. 119 ng/ml, P < 0.001) and post-NGAL (181 vs. 121 ng/ml, P < 0.001) levels were significantly higher in patients with CI-AKI, but no significant changes were detected. Pre-NGAL levels were similar to post-NGAL levels in predicting CI-AKI (area under the curve 0.753 vs. 0.745). Optimal cutoff value for pre-NGAL was 129 ng/ml (sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 72%, P < 0.001). Post-NGAL levels > 141 ng/ml were independently associated with CI-AKI (hazard ratio [HR] 4.86, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.34–17.64, P = 0.02) with a strong trend for post-NGAL levels > 129 ng/ml (HR 3.46, 95%CI 1.23–12.81, P = 0.06).

Conclusions: In high-risk patients, pre-NGAL levels may predict CI-AKI. Further studies on larger populations are needed to validate the use of NGAL measurements in CKD patients.

January 2022
Zach Rozenbaum MD, Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Keren Lee-Rozenfeld MD, Shmuel Banai MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: The extent and impact of obesity as an isolated risk factor for coronary artery disease is not clear since co-morbidities serve as confounders and may mask this association.

Objectives: To examine whether obesity is associated with extensive coronary artery disease among metabolically healthy patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and to explore the outcomes according to body mass index (BMI).

Methods: We stratified STEMI patients who had a metabolically healthy phenotype and available weight and height data according to BMI: 18.5–25 kg/m² (lean), 25.01–30 kg/m² (overweight), and > 30 kg/m² (obese).

Results: Overall 381 patients were included, 42% lean, 41% overweight, and 17% obese. Patients with increased BMIs had higher levels of low-density proteins and triglycerides (P < 0.05). Obese patients presented with the lowest rates of multi-vessel disease (12.9% vs. 22.9% for overweight and 28% for lean). In a univariable analysis, obese patients were 60% less likely to be diagnosed with multi-vessel disease (odds ratio 0.4, 95% confidence interval 0.2–0.9, P = 0.021) compared to lean patients. The association remained significant in a multivariable model adjusted for baseline characteristics (P = 0.029). There were no differences in 30-day or long-term mortality (median follow-up 3.2 years) among the groups (P > 0.1 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: Metabolically healthy phenotype obesity was associated with lower rates of multi-vessel disease despite higher levels of triglycerides. However, this association did not translate into increased mortality.

July 2020
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Aviram Hochstadt, Amichai Sheffy MD, Sharon Ohayon MD MHA, Itamar Loewenstein MD and Daniel Trotzky MD

Background: Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is associated with worse patient outcomes.

Objectives: To determine whether physician assistants (PAs), fairly recently integrated into the Israeli healthcare system, improve patient outcomes and ED timings.

Methods: We compared patients seen by physicians with patients seen by PAs and then by physicians between January and December 2018 using propensity matching. Patients were matched for age, gender, triage level, and decision to hospitalize. Primary endpoints included patient mortality, re-admittance. and leaving on own accord rates. Secondary endpoints were ED timing landmarks.

Results: Patients first seen by PAs were less likely to leave on their own accord (MD1 1.5%, PA 1.0%, P = 0.015), had lower rates of readmission within 48 hours (MD1 2.1%, PA 1.5%, P= 0.028), and were quicker to be seen, to have medications prescribed, and to undergo imaging without differences in timings until decisions were made or total length of stay. Patients seen by a physician with the assistance of a PA were attended to quicker (MD2 47.79 minutes, range 27.70–78.82 vs. MD + PA 30.59 minutes, range 15.77–54.85; P < 0.001) without statistically significant differences in primary outcomes. Mortality rates were similar for all comparisons.

Conclusions: Patients first seen by PAs had lower rates of re-admittance or leaving on their own accord and enjoyed shorter waiting times. Pending proper integration into healthcare teams, PAs can further improve outcomes in EDs and patient satisfaction.

June 2020
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Mustafa Gabarin MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Sivan Letourneau MD, David Zahler MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD, Yishay Szekely MD, Shmuel Banai MD and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for primary reperfusion in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has largely been superseded byf primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and is estimated to be performed in ≤ 5% of STEMI cases.

Objectives: To compare early CABG (within 30 days following admission) and primary PCI outcomes following STEMI.

Methods: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized with acute STEMI for early reperfusion therapy between January 2008 and June 2016. Short- and long-term outcomes were assessed for patients with STEMI undergoing primary PCI vs. early CABG as reperfusion therapy.

Results: The study comprised 1660 STEMI patients, 38 of whom (2.3%) underwent CABG within 30 days of presentation. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was more than twice as high in the CABG group (7.5%) than in the PCI group (3.3%); however, it did not reach statistical significance. Similar results were demonstrated for mortality rates beyond 30 days (22% vs. 14%, P = 0.463). All patients undergoing CABG beyond 72 hours following admission survived past 2 years. Multivariate analysis found no differences between the two groups in long-term mortality risk. propensity score matched long-term mortality comparison (30 days–2 years) yielded a 22% mortality rate in the CABG groups compared with 14% in the PCI group (P < 0.293).

Conclusion: Early CABG was performed in only a minority of STEMI patients. This high-risk patient population demonstrated worse outcomes compared to patients undergoing PCI. Performing surgery beyond 72 hours following admission may be associated with lower risk.

March 2011
M. Waisbourd, M. Goldstein and A. Loewenstein

Background: Intravitreal injections of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs bevacizumab (Avastin®) and ranibizumab (Lucentis®) became the mainstay of treatment for various retinal pathologies, but there is no consensus among ophthalmologists on the precise use of these drugs.

Objectives: To describe the current application of anti-VEGF[1] drugs among retinal specialists in Israel.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent via email to all 62 members of the Israeli Society of Retinal Specialists. The survey included 34 questions on various aspects of the use of anti-VEGF drugs: diagnosis, treatment, follow-up of different retinal pathologies, and the measures taken for ensuring sterile administration of the intravitreal injections.

Results: Fifty members (80%) completed the survey. Most of them (56%) offered both bevacizumab and ranibizumab to their patients for age-related macular degeneration, but 70% were influenced by the patient’s socioeconomic status. Three consecutive monthly injections were usually recommended (58%) for the first 3 months, and treatment was extended as long as subretinal or intraretinal fluids persisted (57%). Over two-thirds (68%) switched the drugs after the 3-monthly series if the first one yielded no improvement in fluid status. The routine practice for intravitreal injection (> 80%) involved the wearing of sterile gloves, using an eyelid speculum, and administering povidone-iodine pretreatment and topical antibiotics after treatment.

Conclusions: Intravitreal VEGF administration varies widely among Israeli retinal specialists. The current survey is intended to assist Israeli ophthalmologists in establishing their own treatment strategy for patients with retinal pathologies.  






[1] VEGF = vascular endothelial growth factor


February 2006
A. Barak, M. Regenbogen, M. Goldstein and A. Loewenstein

Background: Diabetic macular edema causes visual loss in almost one-third of diabetic patients. There is currently no treatment for the accompanying cystoid foveal changes.

Objectives: To assess the clinical outcome, i.e., change in visual acuity, in patients treated with steroids for long-standing diabetic macular edema with foveal cystoid changes.

Methods: In the ophthalmology department of a tertiary care university‑affiliated medical center and the ophthalmology service of a health management organization, 46 diabetic subjects (56 eyes) who had diabetic macular edema with cystoid foveal changes received one intravitreal injection of 4 mg triamcinolone acetonide.

Results: The mean baseline (pre‑injection) visual acuity of 0.21 increased to 0.31 and 0.48 at 1 and 3 months, respectively, after which it decreased to 0.33 at 6 months. The mean intraocular pressure was 15.07 mmHg at baseline, 15.83 at day 1, gradually rising to 17.16, 18.38 and 18.57 mmHg at 1, 3 and 6 months respectively. Three patients suffered immediate visual decline after the injection.

Conclusions: Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide may be a therapeutic option for long‑standing diabetic macular edema with foveal cystoid changes.
 

December 2002
David Varssano MD, Adi Michaeli-Cohen MD and Anat Loewenstein MD

Background: Pterygium is a common disease in Israel. Different surgical techniques are used to manage it with varying degrees of success.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a conjunctival autograft after excision of pterygium.

Methods: Excision followed by conjunctival autograft was used to treat 40 eyes of 40 patients with pterygium. The surgical results were evaluated retrospectively. Follow-up continued for a median of 296 days (range 6±1,056); 26 cases were followed for more than 100 days (average 418 days) and comprised the study cohort. All reported procedures were performed consequentially and by one surgeon in the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel between 1 June 1997 and 31 March 2000.

Results: There were two recurrences of pterygium (2/26, 7.7%) 2 months postoperatively. There were no major complications. Super-ficial corneal vessels (without concurrent fibrosis) appeared in 10 of 17 cases sutured with nylon, but none occurred in any of the seven grafts sutured with vicryl (P = 0.068). The average LogMAR-corrected visual acuity of the study group improved slightly, from 6/16.5 to 6/11 (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Excision of pterygium with a conjunctival autograft is a safe and effective operation, with no procedure-specific added surgical risks. The relatively long surgical time and microsurgical methods required to perform the procedure properly have hindered its acceptance as the mainstream approach to pterygium management. Long-term follow-up is needed for better discernment of the surgical results in Israel.
 

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