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עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

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November 2022
Raymond Farah MD, Nicola Makhoul MD, Alexander Samohvalov MD, William Nseir MD

Background: An increased serum glucose level is a common finding among patients admitted to hospital with acute illness, including the intensive care unit (ICU), even without a history of previous diabetes mellitus (DM). Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is not only a diagnostic tool for DM but may also has prognostic value for diabetic and non-diabetic populations.

Objectives: To assess the relationship between HbA1c level on admission and clinical outcome among patients admitted to the ICU due to cardiopulmonary disorders with hyperglycemia.

Methods: Patients consecutively admitted to the ICU due to cardiopulmonary disorders who presented with hyperglycemia at admission were evaluated during a 6-month period. HbA1c and serum glucose levels were tested on admission and during the first 24–48 hours of hospitalization. Patients were divided according to HbA1c and compared in term of demographics. We evaluated the effect of HbA1c levels at admission on the clinical outcomes.

Results: Of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders who presented with hyperglycemia at admission to the ICU, 73 had HbA1c levels ≥ 6%, 92 had HbA1c levels < 6%: 63/165 (38.2%) known as diabetic patients. The 30-day all-cause mortality was higher in the group with high HbA1c levels; 38/73 vs. 32/98 (P = 0.02). Increased length of stay in the ICU and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score were associated with HbA1c ≥ 6% (P < 0.022 and P < 0.026), respectively

Conclusions: HbA1c ≥ 6% has an important clinical prognostic value among diabetic and non-diabetic patients with cardiopulmonary disorders and hyperglycemia.

April 2021
Maged Makhoul MD, Roberto Lorusso MD, Elham Bidar MD, Rashad Zayad MD, and Ehsan Natour MD
June 2018
Raymond Farah, Rola Khamisy-Farah and Nicola Makhoul

Background: Accurate diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is crucial to its proper management and to combating antibiotic resistance. Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) have been shown to distinguish pneumonia from other pathological conditions and can be used to control the severity of infection during admission.

Objective: To investigate an association between consecutive measurements of CRP and the severity of CAP in hospitalized patients.

Methods: A total of 500 patients with CAP were admitted to the hospital. Traditional markers of inflammation including CRP, leukocyte count, body temperature, were measured on the first, second, and fifth days of hospitalization. Correlations between these measures and the length of the hospital stay were calculated.

Results: Mean levels of CRP, body temperature, and leukocyte count were significantly lower on the second day after hospital admission and even lower on the fifth day. A positive correlation of medium strength was found between the level of CRP on the second day of hospitalization and the length of hospital stay (P < 0.001, rs = 0.447), and a negative correlation was noted between the decrease in CRP level from the first to second day and the length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: CRP levels correlated with body temperature and leukocyte count, traditional markers of inflammation. A greater decrease in CRP level between the first and second day of hospitalization was associated with shorter hospital stay and rapid improvement. These findings support the use of CRP as a marker for the severity and complication of CAP.

July 2016
Irena Ulanovsky MD, Morya Shnaider, Yuval Geffen PhD, Tatiana Smolkin MD, Tatyana Mashiah MA and Imad R. Makhoul MD PhD

Background: Due to a shortage of individualized erythromycin ointment (IEO), we switched to shared erythromycin drops (SED). Following this change, nurses claimed observing more cases of eye discharge. 

Objectives: To test whether switching from IEO to SED affected the rate of neonatal conjunctivitis (NC).

Methods: The study group included 14,916 neonates > 35 weeks of gestation, further divided into two birth periods of 12 months each: 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013 (IEO) and 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2015 (SED). We compared the two birth periods with regard to three variables: clinical NC (number of conjunctival swabs/1000 neonates), bacterial NC (number of culture-positive swabs/1000 neonates), and bacterial growth percentage (number of culture-positive swabs/100 samples).  

Results: Compared to 2012–2013, the period 2014–2015 included fewer cesarean deliveries and shorter length of stay (LOS). Clinical NC, bacterial NC and bacterial-growth percentage were not different between the two periods. Variables that were independently significantly associated with increased clinical NC included male gender (OR 1.48, CI 1.21–1.81) and LOS (OR 1.24, CI 1.18–1.29). LOS was associated with bacterial NC (OR 1.19, CI 1.11–1.28). Coagulase-negative staphylococci, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the prevalent pathogens, though without difference between periods. 

Conclusions: Rates of clinical NC, bacterial NC and bacterial-growth percentage were not different between the study periods. Switching from IEO to SED had no effect on the NC rate.

 

January 2015
Avi Rubinov MD, Nir Seider MD, Eedy Mezer MD, Liron Berkovitz MD, Eytan Z. Blumenthal MD and Imad R. Makhoul MD PhD
February 2012
N. Moustafa-Hawash, T. Smolkin, A. Ilivitzki, A. Zimberg-Bossira, A. Gildish, R. Gershoni-Baruch and I.R. Makhoul
December 2011
T. Smolkin, I. Ulanovsky, S. Blazer and I.R. Makhoul
October 2011
R. Farah and N. Makhoul

Background: Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a major problem worldwide and are usually the main indication for mechanical ventilation (MV), especially in the intensive care unit (ICU). The rate of weaning failure is also high and prolonged MV leads to complications of intubation. The goal is to wean these patients as soon as possible.

Objective: To determine the optimal time necessary to start the weaning process.

Methods: In an attempt to determine the length of MV and stay in the ICU, we compared the length of MV, weaning, re-intubations and discharge during a 10 month period. This study included 122 patients on MV due to severe exacerbation of COPD who were not suitable for non-invasive ventilation. For each patient serial arterial blood gases were measured at admission and during hospitalization. PeCO2 (mixed expired CO2) was tested using a Datex S/5 instrument at follow-up.

Results: The study population comprised all patients who required MV; of these 122, 108 were ventilated from 6 to 140 hours (average 48 ± 42), 9 needed more than 168 hours, and 5 died due to severe ventilation-associated pneumonia. No correlation was found between pH, PCO2 and length of MV; these findings did not contribute to evaluation of the patient’s condition nor did they enable us to predict the length of treatment necessary.

Conclusion: Most of the patients (93%) ventilated for acute respiratory failure due to COPD required MV for only 6–90 hours.

September 2011
O. Robicsek, B. Makhoul, E. Klein, B. Brenner and G. Sarig

Background: Whereas procoagulation abnormalities in acute stress are well established, little is known about the mechanism of hypercoagulation in chronic stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is crucial, given the fact that chronic coagulation disturbances have been associated with increased morbidity and premature mortality due to thromboembolism and cardiovascular disorders, complications recently described in PTSD patients.

Objectives: To explore the mechanisms of hypercoagulation in chronic PTSD.

Methods: Thirty patients diagnosed with chronic PTSD were enrolled and compared with a control group matched for age, gender and ethnicity. Hypercoagulation state was evaluated by levels of fibrinogen, D-dimer, prothrombin fragment F 1+2, von Willebrand factor (vWF) antigen, factor VIII activity, activated protein C resistance, ProC Global assay, and tissue factor antigen. Psychiatric evaluation was performed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview and Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS).

Results: vWF antigen levels were significantly higher in patients with chronic PTSD compared with the controls (121.3 ± 42 vs. 99.7 ± 23, respectively, P = 0.034). Higher levels of vWF antigen and factor VIII activity were found in patients with severe chronic PTSD (CAPS > 80), compared to controls and patients with chronic PTSD and less severe symptoms (CAPS ≤ 80). However, no differences were observed in any other studied coagulation parameters between patients and controls.

Conclusions: Increased levels of vWF antigen and factor VIII activity were documented in severe chronic PTSD. These findings suggest that the higher risk of arterial and venous thromboembolic events in PTSD patients could be related to endothelial damage or endothelial activation.
 

April 2011
R. Farah and N, Makhoul

Background: Community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization is a severe illness with high mortality, especially if the appropriate treatment is delayed. Sometimes diagnosis is difficult due to an equivocal clinical picture or chest film, or to accompanying diseases that mask or simulate pneumonia.

Objectives: To assess the usefulness of certain inflammatory markers to differentiate pulmonary edema from pneumonia throughout the hospital stay in patients admitted for pneumonia or pulmonary edema of non-infectious origin and to monitor the response to treatment.

Methods: The study group comprised 50 patients admitted for pneumonia, 50 admitted for pulmonary edema and 30 healthy individuals. Blood samples for determination of leukocyte count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, sCD14 and oxidized fibrinogen were drawn upon admission, at 48 and 72 hours after admission, and at discharge from the intensive care unit.

Results: The levels of sCD14 were similar in both patient groups but higher than control levels during the first 48 hours (P < 0.03). They decreased gradually with hospital stay. The concentration of oxidized fibrinogen was similar in both patient groups and significantly lower than that of the healthy control group throughout the hospitalization period.

Conclusions: Oxidized fibrinogen and sCD14 are not reliable markers for the diagnosis of pneumonia, for its differential diagnosis from pulmonary edema, and for patient follow-up throughout hospitalization. The finding of elevated levels of oxidized fibrinogen in the group of healthy controls warrants further study to identify the factors responsible for altering fibrinogen oxidation. The other markers are more indicative.
 

March 2010
O. Kobo, M. Hammoud, N. Makhoul, H. Omary and U. Rosenschein

Background: Renal artery stenosis is one of the most frequent causes of secondary hypertension. Appropriate methods for screening, diagnosis and therapy are currently under debate.

Objectives: To evaluate and recommend methods for screening and diagnosing renal artery stenosis, and to assess the clinical outcomes of renal artery stenting.

Methods: A total of 450 patients undergoing non-emergent coronary angiography fulfilled the selection criteria for selective renal arteriography; those with severe (luminal narrowing ≥ 70%) renal artery stenosis underwent percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with renal artery stenting.

Results: Of 166 patients (36.9%) with renal artery stenosis, 41 (9.1%) had severe stenosis that required renal artery stenting, and 83% had ostial renal stenosis. The primary success rate was 100% and there were no complications. During the follow-up period, two patients required a second PTRA[1]. After stent deployment, significant reductions were observed in systolic and diastolic pressures (P < 0.001 and P = 0.01, respectively) and in the number of antihypertensive drugs used by the patients (P < 0.001). These reductions were sustained during follow-up. Hypertension was cured (systolic blood pressure < 130 mmHg) in 9 (21.4%) and improved in 27 (64.3%) patients. Plasma creatinine did not change significantly.

Conclusions: Selective renal angiography is an effective diagnostic tool for identifying symptomatic cases of renal artery stenosis in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Our finding of a high success rate and low complication rate supports the use of primary renal artery stenting in symptomatic patients with renal artery stenosis.






[1] PTRA = percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty


February 2010
O. Kobo, M. Hammoud, N. Makhoul, H. Omary and U. Rosenschein

Background: There are several treatment options for simple bone cysts, with treatment depending mainly on the experience and preference of the surgeon and the extension and location of the cyst.

Objectives: To assess our experience with the surgical treatment of bone cyst lesions in pediatric patients at one institution by the same group of surgeons.

Methods: The study group comprised 60 patients (43 boys, 17 girls) treated surgically for monostatic lesions between January 2002 and July 2007. The mean age at surgery was 11.8 years (range 4–17 years). Mean follow-up was 4.2 years. Most of the lesions were located at the proximal humerus. Patients were divided into five groups according to treatment method: a) corticosteroids (methylprednisolone 40-80 mg) (n=26); b) curettage and bone grafting (fibula or iliac crest) (n=16); c) aspiration of the bone cavity and subsequent bone marrow transplantation (n=10); d) internal preventive fixation using an elastic stable intramedullary nail (n=5); and e) curettage and implantation of a synthetic cancellous bone substitute (pure beta-tricalcium phosphate substitute, ChronOS®, Synthes, Switzerland) (n=3).

Results: Treatment success was evaluated by the Capanna criteria. Successful results were observed in 68% (18 complete healing, 23 healing with residual radiolucent areas), 30% recurrence rate, and no response to treatment in one patient (2%). We recorded recurrence in 50% of the children treated by corticosteroid injection, and one child did not respond to treatment.

Conclusions: The best results were achieved in children treated by curettage and the subsequent use of an osteoconductive material, and in children treated with elastic intramedullary nail fixation. Despite our limited experience with calcium-triphosphate bone substitute, the treatment was mostly successful. Because of the short follow-up, further observation and evaluation are necessary.

March 2009
B. Makhoul, E. Braun, M. Herskovitz, R. Ramadan, S. Haddad and N. Krivoy

Background: West Nile virus, the etiologic agent of West Nile fever, is an emerging mosquito-borne disease. WNV[1] was recognized as a cause of severe human meningo-encephalitis in elderly patients during outbreaks in various parts of the world.

Objectives: To analyze WNV encephalitis therapy and its outcome after prescribing hyperimmune gammaglobulin therapy.

Methods: Eight subjects with WNV encephalitis were treated with supportive therapy and 5 days of IVIG[2] 0.4 g/kg/day containing high WNV antibodies obtained from healthy blood donors.

Results: Patients who were treated with IVIG as soon as possible exhibited an improvement in their symptoms. All subjects presented with high fever, progressive confusion and headaches, nausea and vomining. The Glasgow Coma Screen for six patients ranged between 8 and 13 and all were discharged with a score of 15. The remaining two subjects died during their hospitalization.

Conclusions: In severe WNV infection, where the disease affects the central and/or peripheral nervous system, early intervention with IVIG together with supportive treatment is recommended.





[1] WNV = West Nile virus

[2] IVIG = intravenous hyperimmune gammaglobulin

January 2009
I.R. Makhoul, H. Sprecher, R. Sawaid, P. Jakobi, T. Smolkin, P. Sujov, I. Kassis and S. Blazer

Background: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines, prolonged rupture of membranes mandates intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis for group B Streptococcus whenever maternal GBS[1] status is unknown.

Objectives: To evaluate the local incidence, early detection and outcome of early-onset GBS sepsis in 35–42 week old neonates born after PROM[2] to women with unknown GBS status who were not given intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis.

Methods: During a 1 year period, we studied all neonates born beyond 35 weeks gestation with maternal PROM ≥ 18 hours, unknown maternal GBS status and without prior administration of IAP[3]. Complete blood count, C-reactive protein, blood culture and polymerase chain reaction amplification of bacterial 16S rRNA gene were performed in blood samples collected immediately after birth. Unfavorable outcome was defined by one or more of the following: GBS bacteremia, clinical signs of sepsis, or positive PCR[4].

Results:  Of the 3616 liveborns 212 (5.9%) met the inclusion criteria. Only 12 (5.7%) of these neonates presented signs suggestive of sepsis. PCR was negative in all cases. Fifty-eight neonates (27.4%) had CRP[5] > 1.0 mg/dl and/or complete blood count abnormalities, but these were not significantly associated with unfavorable outcome. Early-onset GBS sepsis occurred in one neonate in this high risk group (1/212 = 0.47%, 95% CI 0.012–2.6). 

Conclusions: In this single-institution study, the incidence of early-onset GBS sepsis in neonates born after PROM of ≥ 18 hours, unknown maternal GBS status and no intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis was 0.47%.

 






[1] GBS = Group B Streptococcus



[2] PROM = prolonged rupture of membranes



[3] IAP = intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis



[4] PCR = polymerase chain reaction



[5] CRP = C-reactive protein



 
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