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עמוד בית
Tue, 18.06.24

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August 2020
Máté Hidvégi PhD and Michele Nichelatti PhD

Background: The 2019 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic continued into 2020, and the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) associated death toll increased.

Objectives: To analyze COVID-19 death rates in European countries or regions to determine whether there was a significant association between bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination policy and lower rates of COVID-19 related deaths.

Methods: Certain Northern European countries or regions had low death rates regardless of BCG policy. The authors assumed the consumption of foods containing salmiak (NH4Cl) was a common and peculiar cause of the reduced COVID-19 related death rates in these countries, because NH4Cl is a known lysosomotropic agent, which has been indicated to inhibit or prevent SARS-CoV infection. To check the possible effectiveness of salmiak consumption against COVID-19 related death, the authors used a linear regression model with the death rate as the dependent variable and BCG-policy and salmiak consumption score as independent variables.

Results: Using least squares regression and a robust standard error algorithm, the authors found a significant effect exerted by the independent variables (P < 0.0005 for BCG and P = 0.001 for salmiak). Salmiak score alone was significant (P = 0.016) when using least squares regression with robust error algorithm. 

Conclusions: The results seem to confirm an association between BCG-positive vaccination policy and salmiak consumption, and lower death rates from COVID-19. Implementing BCG vaccination policy and fortification of foods with salmiak (NH4Cl) may have a significant impact on the control of SARS-CoV epidemic.

March 2008
April 2007
A. Eisen, A. Tenenbaum, N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne, J. Shemesh, A. Golan, E. Z. Fisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD[1]. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.

Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC[2] and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.

Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.

 






[1] CHD = coronary heart disease



[2] CC = coronary calcification


April 2004
D. Weisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal, E.Z. Fisman, A. Tenenbaum, D. Tanne and Y. Adler
July 2002
Jehuda Hiss, MD, Maya Freund, PhD, Uzi Motro, PhD and Tzipi Kahana

Background: The majority (n = 445) of the Israeli and Palestinian fatal victims of the El Aqsa Intifada was examined at the National Center of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv. Analysis of the trauma sustained and the anthropologic profile of both the victims and the perpetrators elucidates the trends and contrasts them with the phenomenon in the past.

Objectives: The purpose of the forensic investigation of mass casualty incidents is manifold: establishing the minimal number of individuals involved, identifying the victims and perpetrators, collecting material evidence, and determining the modus operandi.

Methods: The postmortem examination includes external description of the bodies and their injuries, photo-documentation, and sampling of tissues. Radiography, dental examination, and a ten-print card of each cadaver are also recorded.

Results: The modus operandi of the current Intifada is somewhat different from that of the previous wave of terrorism and includes more road shootings and vehicular terrorism. In addition, three suicide bombers using explosive devices detonated within crowded areas were young women, and the age of the perpetrators has increased from up to 35 years to individuals as old as 47, thus greatly enlarging the potential number of suicide terrorists. Virologic and biologic tests have been introduced to examine the tissues of the suicide bombers since they are possible sources of contagion to the wounded victims.

Conclusion: The results of the medico-legal investigation of victims and perpetrators of terrorism enable us to establish the modus operandi and the profile of potential perpetrators, which can help in the prevention of similar attacks. Documentation of the different types of injuries in fatal victims of explosion and shooting contributes to improving the awareness of the medical staff treating the wounded of similar attacks. Further investigation into the reliability of virologic and biologic tests conducted on postmortem tissue is recommended.

January 2000
Alexander Tenenbaum MD PhD, Alexander Garniek MD, Joseph Shemesh MD, Chaim I. Stroh MD, Yacov Itzchak MD PhD, Zvi Vered MD, Michael Motro MD and Enrique Z. Fisman MD

Background: Protruding aortic atheromas are a potential source of stroke and systemic emboli. The single modality currently available for their detection has been transesophageal echocardiography. However, TEE does not allow full visualization of the upper part of the ascending aorta and proximal aortic arch.

Objectives: To investigate whether double helical computerized tomography- both with and without contrast injection - may represent a useful technique for noninvasive detection of PAA in stroke patients.

Methods: Forty consecutive patients ≥50 years of age who sustained a recent ischemic stroke and/or systemic emboli (within 15 days after the onset of the event) were enrolled in the study and underwent TEE and DHCT without contrast injection using thin slice acquisition (3.2 mm thickness and 1.5 mm reconstruction increment). In addition, the last eight consecutive patients, after obtaining an unenhanced scan, underwent a contrast-enhanced DHCT following peripheral intravenous injection of a small amount of contrast material (15 ml of diatrizoate).

Results: PAAs were demonstrated by TEE in 18 patients (45%); in 16 of them (89%) the atheromas were recognized by DHCT. Of the 22 patients without PAA on TEE, DHCT confirmed their absence in 18 (82%). DHCT yielded a sensitivity of 89%, a specificity of 82%, and an overall accuracy of 85%. The total number of protruding plaques detected by TEE was 43, of which 41 (95%) were correctly identified by DHCT. The mean thickness of the plaques was 5.6±2.4 mm on TEE, and 5.4±2.3 on DHCT (P=NS), with a good correlation between the modalities (γ=0.84). Contrast-enhanced DHCT scans demonstrated absolute equivalence to TEE in aortic areas defined as "clearly visualized by TEE." DHCT detected PAA between the distal ascending aorta and the proximal arch in seven patients; these atheromas were not included in the comparative analysis. In these "occult" areas, DHCT may be superior to TEE.

Conclusions: DHCT without contrast injection using thin slice acquisition may become a useful modality for rapid noninvasive detection of PAA. Contrast-enhanced DHCT scans significantly improve imaging quality and may be superior to TEE in the upper ascending aorta and the proximal arch (areas not well visualized by TEE).

 

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TEE= transesophgeal echocardiography

PAA= protruding aortic atheroma

DHCT= dual helical computerized tomography
 

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