• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

Search results


March 2024
Rottem Kuint MD, Henny Azmanov MD, Adi Shalom MD, Neville Berkman MBBCh

Background: Bronchiectasis is an obstructive chronic lung disease characterized by structural changes in large and small airways, namely permanent widening of bronchial lumen resulting in chronic inflammation and infection. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental mycobacteria that may cause human infection or colonization with over 150 species identified to date. Bronchiectasis with NTM colonization or infection is often encountered but with varying prevalence and unknown clinical or prognostic significance.

Objectives: To find the prevalence of NTM among patients with bronchiectasis in the Jerusalem district. To assess whether there were clinical differences between patients with bronchiectasis who were isolated with NTM and those without.

Methods: In this retrospective observational research study, we reviewed all computerized medical charts of patients over 18 years of age, who were diagnosed with bronchiectasis at Hadassah Medical Centers in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2017. We assessed the prevalence of NTM pulmonary disease. To compare patients with and without NTM, we reviewed and analyzed clinical, radiological, and microbiological data of all NTM patients and a group of controls in a 4:1 ratio.

Results: Prevalence of NTM among bronchiectasis patients was 5.1%, slightly lower than previously reported in Israel. We did not find clinically or radiological significant differences in patients with NTM disease compared to controls. This result included a similar number of exacerbations, hospitalization rates, number of lobes involved, and pulmonary function tests.

Conclusions: Bronchiectasis patients with isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa experienced more exacerbations than patients with other isolates, consistent with previous studies.

December 2020
Rottem Kuint MD, Polina Cohen Goichman MD, Ahuva Mizrachi MD, Raphael Breuer MD, Avraham Abutbul MD, Neville Berkman MBBCh FRCP, and Zvi Gregorio Fridlender MD

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) is a common and debilitating condition, often accompanied by other co-morbidities. The Hadassah Medical Center’smulti-disciplinary approach in treating COPD patients in a one-stop shopfor COPD patients is the first of its kind in Israel. It includes pulmonary physicians, a nurse coordinator, dietitian, psychotherapist, physiotherapist, and a smoking cessation program.

Objectives: To characterize efficacy of such a program in COPD patients

Methods: Demographic and clinical data from patients referred to the Hadassah COPD center, including co-morbidities, baseline symptoms (using the CAT questioner), spirometry results, 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) test and current treatment were collected and compared to the same data after 6–12 months of treatment.

Results: Some 154 patients were evaluated; mean age 64 years; 67% male; 53% current smokers. Only 74% received chronic treatment for COPD. Average body mass index was 28, CAT score 21.3, and mean FEV1 was 1.38 liters (53% of predicted).The mean exacerbation rate during the year prior to referral was 1.72 with a 1.07 annual admission rate. Following treatment, a small increase was noted in FEV1 to 1.47 liters, 54.4% of predicted; improvement in CAT scores to 16.5 with improvement seen in 70% of patients, and a 42 meter increase in the 6MWD (from 344 to 386 meters) with some improvement of effort capacity in 77% of patients. The rate of smokers decreased to 21%, and 97% of patients received medical treatment for COPD.

Conclusions: Multidisciplinary approach is feasible and efficacious in patients with COPD.

August 2017
Amiram Nir MD and Neville Berkman MD

Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a significant consequence of congenital heart disease (CHD). Its presence and severity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. 

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical and demographic characteristics of adults with congenital heart diseases (ADCHD) and PAH at a single center. 

Methods: A prospective registry of all patients with PAH was conducted between 2009 and 2015. 

Results: Thirty-two patients were identified. The mean age at the last visit was 44 years (range 19–77 years). The prevalence of PAH among all ADCHD patients was 6% (95% confidence interval 4.3%–8.4%). A much higher prevalence (53%) was found in patients with Down syndrome. Most patients with PAH had moderate or severe disease. Fifteen patients (47%) were treated with pulmonary vasodilators and 6 (19%) with combination therapy. The average World Health Organization functional class was 2.6. Morbidity included cerebral vascular accident or transient ischemic attack in 22% (mostly in patients with right-to-left shunt) and arrhythmia in 37% of the patients. During a median follow-up of 3.5 years, 5 patients (15.6%) died. Of 13 women with no mental retardation, 11 were or had been married and all had children (between 1 and 13, mean 3.3). 

Conclusions: Patients with congenital heart disease and PAH have significant morbidity and mortality. PAH is more prevalent in patients with Down syndrome. While pulmonary pressure during the reproductive years was not always known, 27% of women with PAH at the time of the study were multiparous.

 

November 2009
A. Neville, Z. Liss, A. Lahad, B. Porter and P. Shvartzman

Background: Low back pain is a common problem managed by primary care physicians and orthopedic specialists.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of new LBP[1] episodes in patients who chose to visit either an orthopedist or a general practitioner.

Methods: All patients visiting the orthopedist or physician during the study period were screened for a new complaint of LBP. After the initial visit the patients were interviewed by phone by means of a structured questionnaire, with a follow-up interview one month later. The study was performed at Clalit Health Services primary care and consultation clinics. A random sample of 125 GPs[2] and 17 orthopedists were chosen. Consecutively recruited were 166 patients who visited the GP and 75 the orthopedist. The main outcome measures evaluated were perceived complaint severity and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning, problem resolution, and health services utilization.

Results: Patients who decided to first visit the orthopedist indicated a higher disturbance to everyday functioning (75% vs. 70%, P < 0.01), were invited for further follow-up visits (6% vs. 51%, P < 0.05) and had more computed tomography and bone scans (20 vs. 3%, P < 0.001 and 9 vs. 2%, P < 0.05, respectively). Health status after one month showed that patients who chose the GP were more likely to have their problem solved (36 vs. 17%, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Symptom resolution for a new LBP complaint was significantly higher in patients who decided on the GP, even when controlling for severity of illness and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning.






[1] LBP = low back pain



[2] GP = general practitioner


October 2008
A. Neville, R. Peleg, Y. Singer, M. Sherf and P. Shvartzman

Background: The prevalence of chronic pain in the general population ranges from 10% to over 40%, depending on the definition and the population studied. No large study has been conducted in Israel.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of patients with chronic pain, and characterize them in a large community random sample.

Methods: We conducted a survey of Clalit Health Services members, interviewing them by phone. A random sample of 4063 Clalit members, 25 years or older and Hebrew speakers, were screened for chronic pain, defined as: any pain or discomfort that in the last 6 months has persisted continuously or intermittently for more than 3 months.

Results: Eight percent (n=325) refused to participate. Of the 3738 included in the study, 1722 (46%) reported chronic pain in at least one site. Most of the patients were over 50 years old (62%) (mean age 56 ± 16, range 27–97 years). Women suffered significantly more than men, as did those who were older, less educated and born in Israel and Eastern Europe. Prevalent painful sites were the back (32%), limbs (17%) and head (13%). More than a third reported severe pain and impaired life activities. Only 4.8% of the patients suffering from chronic pain were referred to pain specialists and 11% used complementary medicine. A logistic regression model showed that women and patients with lower education level were the only significant variables predicting higher life impact index and higher pain severity.

Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of chronic pain in the study population. Chronic pain causes severe disturbance to quality of life. A low rate of referral to pain specialists and complementary medicine was observed.

June 2007
Z.M. Sthoeger, A. Eliraz, I. Asher, N. Berkman, D. Elbirt

Background: Patients with severe persistent asthma despite GINA 2002 step 4 treatment are at risk for asthma-related morbidity and mortality. This study constitutes the Israeli arm of the international INNOVATE study.

Objectives: To determine the efficacy and safety of Xolair® as an add-on treatment in patients with severe persistent asthma.

Methods: Asthma patients (age 12–75 years) not controlled with high dose inhaled corticosteroids and long-active beta-2 agonists were randomized to receive either Xolair® or placebo for 28 weeks in a double-blind study in two Israeli centers.

Results: Thirty-three patients, 20 females and 13 males, mean age 54 ± 11.7 years, were included in the Israeli arm of the INNOVATE study. There were neither major adverse events nor withdrawals from the study. Xolair® (omalizumab) significantly reduced the rate of clinically significant asthma exacerbations (55% reduction) and all asthma-related emergency visits (53% reduction).
Conclusions: In patients with severe persistent difficult-to-treat asthma, despite regular treatment with LABA[1] and inhaled corticosteroids (GINA 2002 step 4), Xolair® is a safe and effective treatment







[1] LABA = long-active beta-2 agonists


March 2004
A. Cahn, V. Meiner, E. Leitersdorf and N. Berkman

Background: Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare disorder, characterized by progressive pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure. It may be familial or sporadic. Mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor II (BMPR2), a member of the transforming growth factor-beta receptor superfamily of receptors, underlie many cases of the disorder.

Objectives: To perform molecular analysis of a patient with familial PPH[1] and provide her and her family with suitable genetic counseling.

Methods: DNA was extracted from 10 ml whole blood, and the BMPR2 gene was screened for mutations. Individual exons were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. Mutation confirmation and molecular characterization of additional family members was performed using restriction enzyme analysis followed by appropriate genetic counseling.

Results: We identified a novel T to C missense mutation expected to result in substitution of arginine for a conserved cysteine in the ligand-binding domain of BMPR2. Screening of family members demonstrated the presence of the mutation in the father and a younger asymptomatic sister of the index patient.

Conclusions: Molecular diagnosis in PPH allows for identification of at-risk family members and raises the option of earlier diagnosis and possibly instituting earlier treatment in affected individuals. However, molecular screening of asymptomatic family members raises difficult ethical questions that can only be resolved by conducting large multicenter prospective studies in BMPR2 carriers.






[1] PPH = primary pulmonary hypertension


November 2003
N. Berkman, A. Avital, E. Bardach, C. Springer, R. Breuer and S. Godfrey

Background: Leukotriene antagonist therapy in asthmatic patients alleviates symptoms and improves exercise tolerance, however the effect of these drugs on bronchial provocation tests and exhaled nitric oxide levels are less clearly established.


Objective: To determine the effect of montelukast treatment on airway hyperresponsiveness to exercise, methacholine and adenosine-5’-monophosphate and on exhaled nitric oxide levels in steroid-naive asthmatics.


Methods: Following a 2 week run-in period, 20 mild to moderate asthmatics were enrolled in an open label 6 week trial of oral montelukast-sodium therapy. Bronchial hyperreactivity (exercise, methacholine and adenosine-5’-monophosphate challenges) and exhaled nitric oxide levels were measured before and after the 6 week period.

Results: Montelukast treatment resulted in a significant improvement in exercise tolerance: median DFEV1 20.0% (range 0–50) prior to treatment vs. 15.0% (range 0–50) post-treatment (P = 0.029). A significant difference was also observed for exhaled NO[1] following therapy: median NO 16.0 ppb (range 7–41) vs. 13.0 (range 4.8–26) (P = 0.016). No change was seen in baseline lung function tests (FEV1, MEF50) or in the bronchial responsiveness (PC20) for methacholine and adenosine-5’-monophosphate.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the leukotriene antagonist, montelukast-sodium, reduces bronchial hyperreactivity in response to exercise and reduces exhaled nitric oxide levels but has little effect on bronchial responsiveness to methacholine and adenosine challenges.






[1] NO = nitric oxide


September 2000
Pesach Shvartzman, MD, Elena Rivkind, MD, Anat Neville, MBA, Michael Friger, PhD and Ami D. Sperber, MD, MSPH,

Background: First-degree relatives of colorectal cancer patients are the largest groups of individuals at increased risk for colorectal cancer.

Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and behavior to disease prevention and colorectal cancer screening among first-degree relatives of colon cancer patients.

Methods: A descriptive, point-prevalence epidemiological study was conducted among 215 first-degree relatives of survivors of colorectal cancer in the southern (Negev) region of Israel. Variables included perceived health status, knowledge about cancer screening, compliance rates with colorectal cancer screening, and interest in participation in early detection programs in the future.

Results: The mean age of the respondents was 47.9111.2 years, and 54% were males. Only 58 (27%) remembered having been encouraged to undergo an early detection test. In the previous year only 15% underwent fecal occult blood tests, while 9% had a barium enema and 14% an endoscopic examination of the colon by sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. A total of 49% of the asymptomatic respondents were unaware of recommendations for screening, and only 38.3% expressed any interest in participating in early detection programs in the future. Only 19% of respondents over the age of 50 and 8% of respondents over age 60 were interested in participating compared with 49% under the age of 50 (P0.0001).

Conclusion: A minority of first-degree relatives of colorectal cancer patients reported having been counseled to undergo screening, although most had seen their family physician in the previous 3 years. Primary care physicians should be more active in informing at-risk patients and encouraging them to undergo periodic screening.

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel