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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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June 2024
Ran Ben David MD, Iftach Sagy MD PhD, Alan Jotkowitz MD, Leonid Barski MD

Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute metabolic, life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus with a mortality rate that now stand at less than 1%. Although mortality is coupled with the etiology of DKA, literature on the influence of DKA etiology on patient outcome is scarce.

Objectives: To study different triggers for DKA and their effect on outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study that include 385 DKA patients from 2004 to 2017. The study compared demographics, clinical presentation, and mortality rates by different precipitating factors.

Results: Patients with DKA due to infections had a higher risk to develop in-hospital mortality after controlling for age and sex (odds ratio 4.40, 95% confidence interval 1.3514.30), had a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score, a higher risk of being mechanical ventilated (14% vs. 3%, P < 0.01), and a longer duration of hospitalization (5 days vs. 3 days, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: It is crucial to find the triggers that precipitate DKA and start the treatment as early as possible in addition to the metabolic aspect of the treatment especially when the trigger is an infectious disease.

Milana Gelman MD, Tzipora Galperin MD, Esther Maor-Sagie MD, Yochai Yoeli MD, Mordechai Hallak MD, Rinat Gabbay-Benziv MD, Amir Naeh MD

Background: The prevalence of pregestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) in women of reproductive age has surged globally, contributing to increased rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a crucial marker for diagnosing and monitoring PGDM, with periconceptional levels influencing the risk of congenital anomalies and complications.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between periconceptional HbA1c levels and perinatal complications in pregnant women with poorly controlled PGDM.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of pregnancies between 2010 and 2019, HbA1c > 6% at 3 months prior to conception or during the first trimester. Outcomes of periconceptional HbA1c levels were compared.

Results: The cohort included 89 women: 49 with HbA1c 6–8%, 29 with HbA1c 8–10%, and 11 with HbA1c > 10%. Higher HbA1c levels were more prevalent in type 1 diabetics and were associated with increased end-organ damage risk. Women with elevated HbA1c levels tended toward unbalanced glucose levels during pregnancy. The cohort exhibited high rates of preterm delivery, hypertensive disorders, cesarean delivery, and neonatal intensive care unit admission. Overall live birth rate was 83%. While a significant correlation was found between HbA1c levels and preterm delivery, no consistent association was observed with other adverse outcomes.

Conclusions: Periconceptional glycemic control in PGDM pregnancies is important. Elevated HbA1c levels are associated with increased risks of adverse outcomes. Beyond a certain HbA1c level, risks of complications may not proportionally escalate.

May 2024
Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eyal Nachum MD, Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Long-term support with a HeartMate 3 (HM3) left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has improved outcomes of patients with end-stage heart failure. However, there is a paucity of data on the outcomes of patients who underwent concomitant cardiac surgical procedure (CCSP) during HM3-LVAD implantation.

Objectives: To assess our single-center experience with patients who underwent CCSP during the implantation of an HM3-LVAD.

Methods: From December 2016 until April 2022, 131 adult patients underwent HM3-LVAD implantation. A total of 23 patients underwent CCSP during the HM3-LVAD implantation+CCSP, and 108 underwent only HM3-LVAD implantation (HM3-only).

Results: The median age was 59 ± 11 years (range 54-67), 82% (n=108) were male, and 76% (n=100) were implanted as a bridge-to-transplant. The concomitant procedures performed during the implantation included 8 aortic valve repairs/replacements, 14 tricuspid valve repairs, 4 patent foramen ovales or atrial septal defect closures, and 3 other cardiac procedures. The mean cardiopulmonary bypass time was 113 ± 58 minutes for the HM3-only group and 155 ± 47 minutes for the HM3+CCSP group (P = 0.007). The mortality rates at 30 days, 6 months, and 12 months post-implantation were 2 (9%), 5 (22%), and 6 (26%) respectively for the HM3+CCSP group, and 7 (6%), 18 (17%), and 30 (28%) for the HM3-only group (P = 0.658, 0.554, and 1.000).

Conclusions: Our experience demonstrated no significant difference in the 30-day, 6-month, and 12-month mortality rates for patients who underwent a CCSP during HM3-LVAD implantation compared to patients who did not undergo CCSP during HM3-LVAD implantation.

Oshrit Hoffer PhD, Moriya Cohen BS, Maya Gerstein MD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD, Yael Richenberg MD, Shay Nathanson MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis in children. However, distinguishing GAS from viral pharyngitis is sometimes difficult. Unnecessary antibiotic use contributes to unwanted side effects, such as allergic reactions and diarrhea. It also may increase antibiotic resistance. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a machine learning algorithm on the clinical evaluation of bacterial pharyngitis in children.

Methods: We assessed 54 children aged 2–17 years who presented to a primary healthcare clinic with a sore throat and fever over 38°C from 1 November 2021 to 30 April 2022. All children were tested with a streptococcal rapid antigen detection test (RADT). If negative, a throat culture was performed. Children with a positive RADT or throat culture were considered GAS-positive and treated antibiotically for 10 days, as per guidelines. Children with negative RADT tests throat cultures were considered positive for viral pharyngitis. The children were allocated into two groups: Group A streptococcal pharyngitis (GAS-P) (n=36) and viral pharyngitis (n=18). All patients underwent a McIsaac score evaluation. A linear support vector machine algorithm was used for classification.

Results: The machine learning algorithm resulted in a positive predictive value of 80.6 % (27 of 36) for GAS-P infection. The false discovery rates for GAS-P infection were 19.4 % (7 of 36).

Conclusions: Applying the machine-learning strategy resulted in a high positive predictive value for the detection of streptococcal pharyngitis and can contribute as a medical decision aid in the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P.

April 2024
Limor Adler MD MPH, Or Tzadok Zehavi MD, Miriam Parizade PhD, Yair Hershkovitz MD, Menashe Meni Amran MD, Robert Hoffman MD, Tal Hakmon Aronson MD, Erela Rotlevi MD, Bar Cohen MPH, Ilan Yehoshua MD

Background: The prevalence of Group A streptococcus (GAS) carriage among adults is studied less than in children. The variability of reported carriage rates is considerably large and differs among diverse geographic areas and populations.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of GAS carriage among adults in Israel.

Methods: In this prospective study, conducted in a large healthcare maintenance organization in Israel, we obtained pharyngeal cultures from adults attending the clinic without upper respiratory tract complaints or fever. Patient data included sex, age, number of children, and religious sectors.

Results: From May to December 2022, eight family physicians collected a total of 172 throat swabs (86% response rate). The median age was 37 years (range 18–65); 72.7% were females, 22.7% were ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and 69.2% had children. The prevalence of GAS carriage was 6.98%, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 3.7%–11.9%. GAS carriers were younger (31.7 vs. 39.3 years, P = 0.046), and the majority were ultra-Orthodox Jews (58.3% vs. 20%, P = 0.006). All GAS carriers were from lower socioeconomic status. When assessing risk factors for GAS carriage using multivariate analysis, only being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was positively related to GAS carriage (adjusted odds ratio 5.6, 95%CI 1.67–18.8).

Conclusion: Being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was the single variable associated with a GAS carriage, which may be related to having many children at home and living in overcrowded areas. Primary care physicians in Israel should recognize this situation when examining patients with sore throats, mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Eden Gerszman MD, Esther Kazlow MD, Victoria Vlasov MD, Dvir Froylich MD, Jacob Dickstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Ahmad Mahamid MD

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a group of rare, heterogenous neoplasms that maintain unique morphologic and clinical features of neuroendocrine neoplasia and account for approximately 0.5% of all newly diagnosed malignancies. NETs are divided into two groups based on their histopathological morphology: well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs). Well differentiated NETs are classified as G1, G2, or G3 based on their proliferation rate, whereas NECs are highly proliferative and poorly differentiated by definition [1]. Neuroendocrine neoplasms can occur almost anywhere in the body; however, they are most often seen in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and lungs [2]. The extrahepatic bile duct is one of the rarest primary sites for NETs, accounting for 0.1% to 0.2% of NETs of the gastrointestinal tract [3]. Signet ring cell bile duct NETs are extremely uncommon and have no established incidence and prognosis due to their rarity. There is sparse information available regarding these tumors, and only a few cases have been reported in the literature to date. In this report, we presented the clinical course and surgical management of a 31-year-old female patient with a Klatskin signet ring cell NET.

Avi Ohry MD

Being in captivity as a prisoner of war (POW) and held by a hostile government usually occurs after a war. In general, wounded POWs do not receive proper medical treatment while being imprisoned or confined in a jail or a camp. War captivity could mean isolation, constant interrogations, humiliation, torture, malnutrition, starvation, and poor hygienic conditions. Immediately, or sometimes years after repatriation, mental and physical problems appear, which disturb the POW's social, family, and work networks. The suggested post-captivity condition assembles, under one umbrella, the various phenomena and complications after war captivity.

March 2024
Joseph Mendlovic MD MHA, Yuval Dadon MD MBA MPH, Francis B. Mimouni MD

Background: According to Hamas sources, many Israeli hostages in Gaza were killed by indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes, together with a large number of Palestinian citizens.

Objectives: To verify whether the estimated death rate of Israeli hostages was similar to the estimated death rate of Gaza citizens from these acts of war.

Methods: We used two estimates of hostage death rates, one obtained from Israeli intelligence sources, and one published by a Hamas spokesperson. We used the Palestinian casualty rates published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. We compared death rates using Fisher's exact test.

Results: By 30 December 2023, the rate of Israeli hostage death was 23/238 (9.7%) according to Israeli intelligence sources, and 60/238 (25.2%) according to Hamas. Both figures are strikingly and significantly higher than the death rate among Palestinians, estimated to be 19,667/2.2 million (0.89%) by 19 December 2023 (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Israeli airstrikes as the cause of death of Israeli hostages are implausible unless they were specifically exposed to these strikes more than Palestinian citizens.

December 2023
Chen Kugel MD, Dana Arnheim MD, Arad Dotan BSc, Maya Furman MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

On 7 October 2023, a large-scale invasion by armed Hamas terrorists occurred in southern Israel. Approximately 1500 militants breached the Gaza security barrier using tractors, RPGs, and explosives. Concurrently, the terrorists utilized various means including armed vehicles, motorized paragliders, sea incursions, and a massive rocket attack launched toward Israel. On entering Israeli territory, the militants dispersed and targeted several towns, kibbutzim (collective communities), and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military bases near Gaza. This strategy resulted in a death toll exceeded 1300 civilians and soldiers. In addition, more than 240 individuals were abducted. This attack occurred in one day. In this article, we introduce the Israeli National Institute of Forensic Medicine, which specialized in forensic analysis during mass casualty incidents, and pivotal role it played on 7 October. We present a detailed discussion on methods, challenges, and adaptations the institute took in response to the event of 7 October.

Ron Ben Elyahu MD, Basel Khateeb MD, Eyal Yaacobi MD, Ezequiel Palmanovich MD, Omer Marom MD, David Segal MD, Michael Markushevich MD, Nissim Ohana MD, Yaron S. Brin MD

Background: Hip fractures are a public health problem that disproportionately affects the elderly. Displaced femoral neck fractures were treated historically with hemiarthroplasty, but the use of total hip arthroplasty (THA) is increasing showing superior long-term results.

Objectives: To assess whether THA has superior short-term results compared to bipolar hemiarthroplasty for displaced femoral neck fractures.

Methods: Two groups of active older patients underwent either cementless bipolar hemiarthroplasty or THA for displaced femoral neck fracture. All patients were operated on using the direct lateral approach to the hip joint. Patients were assessed using the Harris Hip Score at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up.

Results: We included 40 patients ages 65–85 years; 18 underwent bipolar hemiarthroplasty and 22 THA. The number of women in each group was similar, as was mean age: 73.1 ± 4.2 years in the hemiarthroplasty group and 71.0 ± 3.7 in THA. Harris Hip Score on hospital discharge was similar in both groups. Walking ability at discharge was better in the THA cohort and they were discharged sooner: 5.2 ± 1.3 vs. 6.4 ± 1.7 days following hemiarthroplasty (P = 0.021). At 6 weeks follow-up, the mean Harris Hip Score was higher in the THA group (78.6 ± 11 vs. 61.5 ± 17 for hemiarthroplasty, P < 0.001). Patients in the THA group walked longer distances, needed less support while walking, and reported less pain.

Conclusions: Better short-term results at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up after THA contributed to earlier patient independence and shorter hospital stays.

Yael Weintraub MD, Raffi Lev-Tzion MD, Jacob Ollech MD, Hagar Olshaker MD, Irit Rosen MD, Shlomi Cohen MD, David Varssano MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Manar Matar MD

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) medications are the most frequently used biologicals to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Little is known about the ocular side effects of this drug category. We present a case series of six young patients with Crohn disease (CD) and no previous ophthalmologic manifestations who developed blepharitis after commencing treatment with anti-TNFα therapy. Six otherwise healthy patients with CD, with no history of allergies or prior ocular complaints, developed blepharitis at a median of 7.5 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα therapy. All ophthalmic findings were treated topically. The ocular symptoms of two of the patients resolved shortly after discontinuation of the anti-TNFα treatment. The other four presented with relapsing-remitting symptoms. Blepharitis is a common ocular disease in the general population and an extra-intestinal manifestation in patients with IBD. It may be an adverse effect of anti-TNFα therapy in this patient population.

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.

Andrei Braester MD, Celia Suriu MD, Luiza Akria MD, Moran Zarfati MD, Najib Dally, Masad Barhoum MD

Cognitive impairment due to different types of anemia is well-known. We reviewed the links between different types of anemia and the mechanism of cognition impairment as well as the direct involvement of micronutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and copper on cognitive function. Anemia can lead to cognitive impairment, yet the current health policy usually requires patient involvement in the treatment decision-making. Therefore, can an anemic patient be a partner to shared decision-making concerning the recommended treatment?

October 2023
Rotem Tal-Ben Ishay MD MPH, Kobi Faierstein MD, Haim Mayan MD, Noya Shilo MD

Background: At the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presented a new burden on healthcare systems.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the outcome of non-COVID patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study at a tertiary medical center in Israel. From December 2018 until June 2022, 6796 patients were hospitalized in the internal medicine wards. Patients were grouped based on their admission date: admitted during COVID waves (waves group), admitted between waves (interim group), and admitted during the same months in the previous year (former-year group).

Results: Mortality during hospitalization and 30-day mortality were higher in the waves group compared to the interim and former-year groups (41.4% vs. 30.5% and 24%, 19.4% vs. 17.9% and 12.9%, P < 0.001). In addition, 1-year mortality was higher in the interim group than in the waves and former-year group (39.1 % vs. 32.5% and 33.4%, P = 0.002). There were significant differences in the readmissions, both at 1 year and total number. The waves group had higher rates of mechanical ventilation and noradrenaline administration during hospitalization. Moreover, the waves group exhibited higher troponin levels, lower hemoglobin levels, and more abnormalities in liver and kidney function.

Conclusions: Hospitalized non-COVID patients experienced worse outcomes during the peaks of the pandemic compared to the nadirs and the preceding year, perhaps due to the limited availability of resources. These results underscore the importance of preparing for large-scale threats and implementing effective resource allocation policies.

Dror Dicker MD, Orly Tamir PhD MSc MHA, Gabriella Lieberman-Segal MD, Roy Eldor MD PhD, Moran Accos-Carmel RD MAN, Tatyana Kolobov PhD, Avraham Karasik MD

Background: In 2019, 1 mg subcutaneous semaglutide was registered for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. Recognition of its effect on weight has led to its use as a treatment for obesity.

Objectives: To explore physicians’ pre-therapy considerations, therapy practices, and attitudes regarding subcutaneous semaglutide for weight loss.

Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was disseminated to physicians who prescribed semaglutide 1-mg for weight loss using an authorized off-label path.

Results: In total, 127 physicians completed the questionnaire. As for pretreatment requirements, in the absence of diabetes, 30% requested a minimal body mass index of 30 kg/m2. Additional requirements were documented lifestyle-change effort (67%) and prior weight loss medication use (13%). Half of the physicians regarded calorie restriction, and 23% considered physical activity as necessary for weight loss while on therapy. As for dose, most physicians (78%) started with a 0.25-mg weekly injection, 57% doubled the dose monthly, and all others recommended doubling when side effects subsided. Regarding weight loss goal, 43% of the physicians set a personal goal with each patient while 26% limited the goal to 10% of initial weight. Fewer than 50% of physicians discussed treatment duration with their patients, and 52% of patients discontinued therapy in the first 3 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were price, lack of effect, and fear of long-term side effects.

Conclusions: The diverse approaches regarding off-label use of semaglutide for weight reduction highlight the necessity to guide physicians and standardize treatment regimen.

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