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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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December 2023
Nitzan Maixner MD PhD, Yulian Weissbuch MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Zehavit Kirshenboim MD

Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is a medical emergency requiring rapid diagnosis and intervention to avoid irreversible neurological damage [1]. While MSCC is best diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this modality is often limited and is usually preceded by a computed tomography (CT) scan of the spine.

September 2022
David Segal MD MPH, Nitzan Shakarchy-Kaminsky MD MSc, Yair Zloof MD, Tomer Talmy MD, Galina Shapiro MD PHD, Irina Radomislensky BSc, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Erez Karp MD MHA, and Avi Benov MD MHA; Israel Trauma Group

Background: Medical organizations worldwide aim for equity and diversity in the medical profession to improve care quality. Data on whether the caregiver gender affects outcomes in the prehospital setting are essential but scarce compared to available in-hospital studies.

Objective: To analyze the rates of missed injuries in the prehospital setting and determine whether these rates were associated with the gender of the on-field physician or paramedic.

Methods: A retrospective record review was conducted, which included trauma records documented in two trauma registries, the prehospital Israel Defense Forces-Trauma Registry (IDF-TR), and the in-hospital Israeli National Trauma Registry (INTR). Missed injuries were defined as injuries documented in the INTR but not in the IDF-TR. A multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess the association between provider’s gender and missed injuries.

Results: Of 490 casualties, 369 (75.3%) were treated by teams that included only male paramedics or physicians. In 386 (78.8%) cases, a physician was a part of the prehospital team. In all, 94 (19.2%) casualties sustained injuries that were missed by the prehospital medical team. Missed injuries were not associated with the gender of the paramedic or physician (odds ratio 1.242, 95% confidence interval 0.69–2.193).

Conclusions: No association was found between the gender of the medical provider in the prehospital setting and the rate of missed injuries. These results should encourage prehospital emergency medical systems to aim for a balanced and diverse caregiver population.

September 2021
Yulia Gendler RN PhD, Emmanuelle Seguier-Lipszyc MD, Ari Silbermintz MD, Moshe Hain MD, Yoram Stern MD, Dragan Kravarusic MD, Keren Politi MD, Gabriel Amir MD PhD, Jacob Katz MD, Yelena Zeitlin MD, Sylvia Grozovski MD, Yifat Nitzan SLP, Yuliana Eshel MHA, Adi Shimoni OTR, Yifat Fischer DVM, Dana Serfaty MSc, Tami Shnayderman BPT, Kian Assi BSW, Lior Barbash MBA, and Patrick Stafler MD

Background: Aerodigestive clinics are run by interdisciplinary medical and surgical teams, and provide complex care coordination and combined endoscopies.

Objectives: To describe the design and patient population of the first pediatric aerodigestive center in Israel.

Methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study was conducted describing patients followed in the aerodigestive clinic of Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, a tertiary pediatric hospital, between its inception in January 2017 and June 2020.

Results: During the study period, 100 patients were seen at the combined respiratory and digestive (NoAM) clinic, with a total of 271 visits. Median age at first assessment was 29.5 months (range 3–216). Fifty-six patients (56%) had esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula. Thirty-nine patients had an identified genetic disorder, 28 had a primary airway abnormality, 28 were oxygen dependent, and 21 were born premature. Fifty-two patients underwent triple endoscopy, consisting of flexible bronchoscopy, rigid bronchoscopy, and gastroscopy. In 33 patients, esophageal dilatation was necessary. Six patients underwent posterior tracheopexy at a median of 6 months of age (range 5 days to 8 years) all with ensuing symptom improvement. The total mean parental satisfaction score on a Likert-type scale of 1–5 (5 = highest satisfaction) was 4.5.

Conclusions: A coordinated approach is required to provide effective care to the growing population of children with aerodigestive disorders. The cross fertilization between multiple disciplines offers a unique opportunity to develop high quality and innovative care. Outcome measures must be defined to objectively measure clinical benefit.

July 2018
Rashed Abu-Saleh MD, Orna Nitzan MD, Walid Saliba MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Yoram Keness PhD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Hana Edelstein, Naama Schwartz PhD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Skin colonization of microorganisms in blood cultures (BCs) are generally considered clinically non-significant and can be the source of a true infection, particularly in immunosuppressed patients.

Objectives: To study the epidemiology and risk factors for bacteremia caused by contaminants.

Methods: This retrospective, descriptive study is based on adult BCs collected (2004–2013) and categorized as positive (True bacteremia [TrueB] or contamination) or negative. Clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics of BCs positive for the six most common potential contaminant pathogens (PCPs) that can cause TrueB and contamination (Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus [CoNS], Streptococcus viridans, Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium spp., Bacillus spp., Clostridium spp.) were assessed. Ninety-two TrueB were identified vs. 196 contaminations (1:2 ratio).

Results: From 74,014 BCs, PCPs were found in 3735 samples, of which 3643 (97.5%) were contaminations and 92 (2.5%) were TrueB. The overall rate of BC contamination decreased during the study period from 6.7% to 3.8%. CoNS was the most common PCP. Bacillus spp. were only contaminants. Clostridium spp. and Streptococcus viridans were more often TrueB. In a multivariate model, predictors of TrueB included high creatinine levels, Streptococcus viridans in BC, and multiple positive BCs. A single culture of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination.

Conclusions: Ten years of data on BCs, focusing on six PCPs, demonstrates a significant, yet insufficient reduction in the rate of contamination. High creatinine level, isolation of Streptococcus viridans, and multiple positive BCs were predictors of TrueB, while growth of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination. This model could assist in diagnostic and therapeutic decision making.

January 2016
Zaher Atamna MD, Bibiana Chazan MD, Orna Nitzan MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Hila Kfir MD, Merav Strauss PhD, Naama Schwartz PhD and Arie Markel MD

Background: Recent studies show that vaccination of health care workers (HCW) might reduce influenza transmission and mortality among hospitalized patients. No studies have compared the incidence of laboratory-proven influenza in vaccinated versus unvaccinated hospital HCW. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of influenza vaccination among hospital HCW and to examine the attitudes of this population towards influenza vaccination.

Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study between 1 January and 30 April 2014 of 1641 HCW at our medical center; 733 were vaccinated and 908 not vaccinated. A random sample of 199 subjects was obtained: 97 vaccinated and 102 non-vaccinated. Participating individuals were contacted on a weekly basis during the flu season and were asked to report any respiratory or flu symptoms and, if positive, to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for influenza. 

Results: In the general HCW population, vaccination was more frequent among physicians 298/498 (58%) than among nurses (324/862 (38%) and among males than females. Flu symptoms were reported by 20 of 199 participants, 13 in the non-vaccinated group (12.7%) and 7 in the vaccinated group (7.2%). A positive PCR test for influenza A virus was present in 4 of 20 people tested (20%). All positive cases were from the non-vaccinated group (P = 0.0953). 

Conclusions: Non-vaccinated HCW showed a higher, although not statistically significant, tendency for contracting laboratory-proven influenza than the vaccinated population. The main reasons for vaccination and non-vaccination were personal beliefs and habits. Education efforts are needed to improve compliance. Larger studies could further clarify this issue.


December 2015
Dan Levy Faber MD, Ronen Galili MD, Orna Nitzan MD and Erez Sharoni MD
January 2015
Orna Nitzan MD, Yoram Kennes PHD, Raul Colodner PHD, Walid Saliba MD MPH, Hana Edelstein, Raul Raz MD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, there has been renewed interest in old drugs that have fallen into disuse because of toxic side effects. One such drug is chloramphenicol. Data on the use and susceptibility patterns to chloramphenicol in developed countries in recent years are limited.

Objectives: To assess the susceptibility of bacteria to chloramphenicol, and evaluate the use of chloramphenicol in Israeli hospitals as influenced by infectious disease specialists’ attitudes with regard to its potential harms.

Methods: A national survey was conducted in all Israeli hospitals. Questionnaires were sent to the directors of infectious disease units and included items on chloramphenicol susceptibility in clinical isolates, use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of inpatients, local recommendations for use of chloramphenicol, and concerns regarding side effects.

Results: Chloramphenicol is used in 83.3% of hospitals, mostly for the treatment of aspiration pneumonia. While 22.2% of infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol should be avoided because of dangerous side effects, 88.9% believe there is a place for chloramphenicol in the treatment of patients in this era of increasing antibiotic resistance. Chloramphenicol susceptibility is routinely assessed in 44.4% of hospitals, with high susceptibility rates found among gram-positive, gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria.

Conclusions: In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance, many Israeli infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol has a role in the treatment of respiratory tract and other infections in hospitalized patients.

August 2010
F. Shibli, B. Chazan, O. Nitzan, E. Flatau, H. Edelstein, O. Blondheim, R. Raz and R. Colodner

Background: Community-acquired pneumonia is a common infection and is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Most patients with CAP[1] are treated empirically.

Objectives: To identify common pathogens causing CAP in hospitalized patients in northern Israel and to evaluate the correlation between etiology and disease severity.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study of patients with CAP hospitalized at HaEmek Medical Center, Afula. We collected demographic, clinical and laboratory data (blood and sputum cultures, serology, pneumococcal urinary antigen test, and respiratory multiplex-polymerase chain reaction from nasopharyngeal swab), and radiologic evaluation was performed.

Results: A total of 126 patients and 24 controls were enrolled. At least one pathogen was identified in 84 cases (66.7%), more than one in 43 patients (34.1%), and no pathogens in 42 (33.3%). Typical bacteria were found in 23 (18.3%), atypical bacteria in 66 (52.4%), and viruses in 42 (33.3%). The number (%) of patients with pathogens isolated was: Chlamydophila pneumoniae 26 (20.6%), Streptococcus pneumoniae 23 (18.3%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae 23 (18.3%), influenza virus A-B 20 (15.9%), Coxiella burnetti 8 (6.3%), and parainfluenza and adenovirus 13 (10.3%) each. A correlation was found only between a high PORT score on admission and S. pneumoniae, although atypical pathogens did not show class predominance.

Conclusions: S. pneumoniae, M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae were the most common pathogens isolated, while co-infection was very frequent. PORT score did not predict any of the pathogens involved. The choice of empiric antimicrobial treatment for CAP should be made according to local epidemiologic data.

[1] CAP = community-acquired pneumonia

June 2010
O. Nitzan, U. Suponitzky, Y. Kennes, B. Chazan, R. Raz, R. Colodner

Background: Due to increasing antimicrobial resistance there has been renewed interest in old drugs that have fallen into disuse because of toxic side effects.

Objectives: To evaluate the susceptibility profile, in our hospital, of Enterobacteriaceae and Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates to chloramphenicol and to compare them with the susceptibility to amoxicillin-clavulanate.

Methods: All isolates of Enterobacteriaceae and S. pneumoniae recovered in our lab during a one year period were tested for susceptibility to chloramphenicol and amoxicillin-clavulanate or penicillin, respectively.

Results: Of 413 Enterobacteriaceae isolates, 182 (44.1%) were resistant to amoxicillin-clavulanate, but only 76 (18.4%) were resistant to chloramphenicol. Of 189 isolates of S. pneumoniae, 4 (2.1%) were highly resistant to penicillin and 73 (38.8%) were partially resistant, while only 2 (1.1%) were resistant to chloramphenicol. None of the 24 S. pneumoniae isolates causing invasive diseases exhibited resistance to chloramphenicol.

Conclusions: In an era of increasing resistance to many antibiotic preparations, chloramphenicol might have a role in the treatment of intraabdominal and respiratory tract infections.

October 2009
B. Chazan ,R. Raz, N. Teitler, O. Nitzan, H. Edelstein and R. Colodner

Background: Identification of pathogens and their susceptibility to antimicrobials is mandatory for successful empiric antibiotic treatment.

Objectives: To compare the clinical characteristics of patients with bacteremia, as well as the bacterial distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility in community, hospital and long-term care facilities during two periods (2001–2002 and 2005–2006).

Methods: The study was conducted at the HaEmek Medical Center, a community 500-bed teaching hospital in northern Israel serving a population of ~500,000 inhabitants. All episodes of bacteremia (n=1546) during two 2 year periods (2001–2 and 2005–6) were prospectively recorded, evaluated and compared (755 in 2001–2 and 791 in 2005–6).

Results: In both periods the urinary tract was the main port of entry in community and long-term care facility bacteremia, while the urinary tract – primary and catheter-related – were similar in frequency as sources of hospital bacteremia. Escherichia coli was the most frequent pathogen isolate. No significant changes in the frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing bacteria were seen between the two 2 year periods (2001–2 and 2005–6). The susceptibility of non-ESBL[1]-producing E. coli decreased for some antibiotics while non-ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae susceptibility profile improved in the same period. A non-statistically significant trend of increased resistance in gram-negative isolates to quinolones, piperacillin and piperacillin-tazobactam was observed, but most isolates still remained highly susceptible to carbapenems. There was a small increase in mortality rate in hospital bacteremia during the second period.

Conclusions: Continuous surveillance is imperative for monitoring the local epidemiology and for developing local treatment guidelines.


[1] ESBL = extended-spectrum beta-lactamase

July 2008
D. Dicker, Y. Belnic, R. Goldsmith, D. Nitzan Kaluski

Background: It has been suggested that increased calcium intake plays a role in preventing obesity and promoting weight loss.

Objectives: To assess the association between calcium intake, body mass index and waist circumference in Israel.

Methods: MABAT is a cross-sectional survey based on a random sample of 3246 Israelis aged 25 to 64. Of the 3246 survey participants, height and weight measurements were recorded for 2782 (1371 men and 1411 women). These were divided into three groups according to their BMI[1] (group A ≤ 24.9, group B 25–29.9, and group C ≥ 30) and given a 24 hour food consumption recall questionnaire. Waist circumference was measured in 2601 participants (1760 men and 841 women) and was considered to be excessive if ≥102 cm for men or 88 cm for women.

Results: The mean calcium intake was 511.5 ± 301.8 mg for group A, 499.4 ± 283.7 mg for group B, and 464.7 ± 280.1 mg for group C (group A significantly differed from group C, P < 0.002). The mean daily milk consumption in group A was higher than in groups B and C (103.4 ± 147.5, 85.7 ± 122.25, and 84.5 ± 135.1 g, respectively; P < 0.01). There was no correlation between daily dietary calcium intake and waist circumference for men but women with a waist circumference below 88 cm consumed significantly more dietary calcium than those with a waist circumference ≥ 88 cm (P < 0.03).

Conclusions: The study confirms the inverse relationship between daily dietary calcium intake and obesity. This linkage relates to the intake of milk, but not to other dairy products.

[1] BMI = body mass index

September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

April 2006
L. Kaplun, Y. Ivantsiv, A. Bakhrat, R. Tzirkin, K. Baranes, N. Shabek, and D. Raveh

We describe a unique E3, the F-box protein, Ufo1, of yeast. Ufo1 recruits the mating switch endonuclease, Ho, to the SCF complex for ubiquitylation. In addition to the F-box and WD40 protein-protein interaction domains found in all F-box proteins, Ufo1 has a unique domain comprising multiple copies of the ubiquitin-interacting motif. Ufo1 interacts with the UbL-UbA protein, Ddi1, via its UIMs[1], and this is required for turnover of SCF Ufo1 complexes. This is a novel function for an UbL-UbA protein. Deletion of the genomic UFO1 UIMs is lethal and our data indicate that Ufo1ΔUIM acts as a dominant negative leading to inhibition of the SCF pathway of substrate degradation and to cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, we found that Ddi1 is required for the final stages of degradation of Ho endonuclease. In the absence of Ddi1, Ho does not form a complex with the 19S RP and is stabilized. Stabilization of Ho leads to perturbation of the cell cycle and to the formation of multi-budded cells. Our experiments uncover a novel role for the ubiquitin-proteasome system in maintenance of genome stability.

[1] UIM = ubiquitin-interacting motif

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