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עמוד בית
Sat, 13.07.24

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June 2023
Reudor Grinberg MD, Sivan Perl MD, Itzhack Shpirer MD, Noam Natif MD, Benjamin D. Fox BM BS

Background: The DES-obstructive sleep apnea (DES-OSA) score uses morphological characteristics to predict the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

Objectives: To validate DES-OSA scores on the Israeli population. To identify patients requiring treatment for OSAS. To evaluate whether additional parameters could improve the diagnostic value of DES-OSA scores.

Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study on patients attending a sleep clinic. Polysomnography results were examined independently by two physicians. DES-OSA scores were calculated. STOP and Epworth questionnaires were administered, and data on cardiovascular risk was extracted.

Results: We recruited 106 patients, median age 64 years, 58% male. DES-OSA scores were positively correlated with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) (P < 0.001) and were significantly different between the OSAS severity groups. Interobserver agreement for calculating DES-OSA was very high between the two physicians (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.86). DES-OSA scores ≤ 5 were associated with high sensitivity and low specificity (0.90 and 0.27, respectively) for moderate to severe OSAS. In univariate analysis, only age was significantly correlated with the presence of OSAS (OR 1.26, P = 0.01). Age older than 66 years as a single point in the DES-OSA score slightly improved the sensitivity of the test.

Conclusions: DES-OSA is a valid score based solely on physical examination, which may be useful for excluding OSAS requiring therapy. DES-OSA score ≤ 5 effectively ruled out moderate to severe OSAS. Age older than 66 years as an extra point improved the sensitivity of the test.

December 2022
Perl Sivan MD, Natif Noam MD, Shpirer Isaac MD, Shihab Murad MD, Fox Benjamin BM BS

Background: Severe asthma affects up to 20,000 citizens of Israel. Novel biological therapies, which individually have been proven to reduce asthma morbidity in clinical trials, have become available in recent years. Comparative data among different drugs are scarce.

Objectives: To describe and compare the clinical outcomes of biological therapies in severe asthma patients treated at Shamir Medical Center.

Methods: We conducted a cohort study based on a review of cases treated with monoclonal antibodies for severe asthma at our center. Data were extracted for demographics, eosinophil count, lung function (FEV1), exacerbation rate, and median dose of oral prednisone. Between-drug comparison was conducted by repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: The cohort included 62 patients receiving biological therapy. All biologic drugs were found to reduce exacerbation rate [F(1, 2) = 40.4, P < 0.0001] and prednisone use [F(1, 4) = 16, P < 0.001] significantly. ANOVA revealed no difference of efficacy endpoints between the different drugs. Eosinophil count was significantly reduced post-biologic treatment in the anti-interleukin-5 agents (P < 0.001) but not under treatment with omalizumab and dupilumab.

Conclusions: All of the biological therapies were effective for improving clinical outcomes. None of the agents was clearly superior to any other. These data emphasize the need for severe asthma patients to be seen by pulmonary medicine specialists and offered, where appropriate, biological therapies.

October 2012
R. Karplus, M. Weinberger, R. Zaidenstein, L. Goldshtein, N. Natif and G. Gayer

Background: During an influenza pandemic, clinicians need easily available clinical and laboratory criteria to distinguish influenza from similar respiratory illnesses. We compared A/H1N1/2009-polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive and matched PCR-negative hospitalized patients with suspected H1N1 influenza to identify factors that could assist physicians at patient admission.

Objectives: To identify factors significantly associated with A/H1N1/2009 infection.

Methods: A group of 145 patients with PCR-confirmed A/H1N1 2009 influenza admitted between 27 May 2009 and 3 December 2009 was matched with 145 PCR-negative patients by age, epidemiological week and pregnancy status. Epidemiological and clinical parameters and radiological findings on initial chest X-ray were compared between the two groups.

Results: Asthma (PCR+ 26%, PCR- 12%, P = 0.006) and military service (PCR+ 13%, PCR- 4%, P = 0.15) were associated with PCR-positive status in non-pregnant patients. At presentation, fever, cough, myalgia and fulfilling the pandemic influenza case definition were significantly more frequent in non-pregnant PCR+ patients (62/90/43/59% in PCR+ versus 38/69/30/35% in PCR-). In pregnant patients, fever and fulfilling the case definition were significantly associated with PCR-positive status. Mean leukocyte and absolute lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in both pregnant and non-pregnant PCR-positive patients. Significantly more PCR-negative non-pregnant patients (43% vs. 22% PCR+, P = 0.004) had abnormal chest X-ray (CXR) findings on presentation. In PCR-positive patients, patchy consolidation and interstitial infiltrates were the most common abnormalities.

Conclusions: Under the conditions generated by the A/H1N1/2009 pandemic, radiological findings did not distinguish reliably between influenza and other febrile respiratory illnesses. Asthma, military service, the pandemic case definition (particularly fever, cough and myalgia) and lymphopenia were associated with confirmed H1N1 infection.
 

April 2005
E. Bamberger, R. Madeb, J. Steinberg, A. Paz, I. Satinger, Z. Kra-0z, O. Natif and I. Srugo
Background: Although the current literature attributes most cases of hematospermia to an infectious agent, identification of the specific pathogens involved has been limited.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of different pathogens in patients presenting to our sexually transmitted disease clinic with hematospermia.

Methods: Between January 1999 and January 2000, 16 patients presented to our STD[1] clinic with hematospermia after other non-infectious pathologies had been excluded by a referring physician. After obtaining informed consent, subjects completed a questionnaire addressing symptoms and sexual behavior. First void urine samples, as well as genitourinary and serum specimens were tested for Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum and Herpes simplex virus. Standard bacterial cultures were also performed.

Results: Laboratory testing detected a pathogen in 12 of the 16 males presenting with hematospermia. The sexually transmitted pathogens detected were Herpes simplex virus in 5 patients (42%), Chlamydia trachomatis in 4 (33%), Enterococcus fecalis in 2 (17%), and Ureaplasma urealyticum in 1 (8%). In all cases in which a pathogen was identified, the appropriate antimicrobial agent was administered. Symptoms resolved for each patient following antimicrobial therapy. During a 1 year follow-up, all 12 patients remained free of disease.

Conclusions: Recent advances in microbiologic diagnostic techniques have facilitated the detection of pathogens in patients with hematospermia, thereby enhancing the efficacy of treatment.

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[1] STD = sexually transmitted disease

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