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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.07.24

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January 2024
Milena Tocut MD, Amir Tanay MD, Gisele Zandman-Goddard MD

Paraneoplastic syndromes are reported in 8–15% of patients diagnosed with cancer [1]. They are defined as syndromes that occur due to an underlying malignancy, which has yet to be diagnosed, or at the time of the diagnosis and less frequently following the diagnosis of a malignancy. Several mechanisms are involved including autocrine and paracrine mediators, hormones, peptides, cytotoxic lymphocytes, and cytokines [1,2].

Bassam Abboud MD, Ron Dar MD, Zakhar Bramnick MD, Moaad Farraj MD

Gastric perforation secondary to foreign body ingestion is rare. While obvious signs of acute abdomen usually lead to a prompt diagnosis by emergency department (ED) staff, this can be delayed in non-responsive or mentally disabled patients. An altered pain perception has been described in schizophrenia, as part of a complex phenomenon, which is thought to be unrelated to changes in nociceptive pathways. Cognitive impairment and negative symptoms may strongly influence the patient’s expression of pain [1].

Adnan Zaina MD, Sami Hussein MD

The cause of death for Pharaoh Tutankhamun (ca. 1330–1324 BCE) is still unknown despite the advancement in modern paleopathology and the introduction of computed tomography mummy examination and modern molecular pathology, including PCR-based gene analysis. Many speculations regarding his unexpected death have been published, including crush injury, infectious diseases such as malaria, and hereditary disease. We discuss for the first time all these events that could have ultimately caused Tutankhamun's sudden death, particularly sickle cell disease, which can cause osteonecrosis and lead to walking disability, bone deformities, and fragility. Malaria-associated tropical splenomegaly, as an acquired infectious disease, and the crush injury, which represents an acute event, were verified by a left distal femur fracture that contributed to splenic rupture as a major fatal event. We highlight important issues that can provide clinicians and clinical care practitioners with a broad vision while analyzing such cases.

George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, W. Randall Albury PhD

A dramatic portrait bust of the physician Gabriele da Fonseca (1586? to 1668) at prayer is considered by art historians to be one of the finest late works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), the preeminent sculptor of 17th century Rome. This statue is of medical as well as artistic interest. First, Fonseca is shown wearing his physician’s robe, thus celebrating his successful career as a leading medical figure in Rome, holding both Papal and university appointments at the highest level. In addition, the positioning of the statue in a special chapel designed by Bernini highlights Fonseca’s role as an influential participant in the introduction of quinine into Europe as a cure for malaria. Last, an examination of the statue’s hands identifies a number of pathologies and anatomical anomalies that raise interesting questions, regrettably unanswerable given the information presently available, concerning Fonseca’s illnesses and cause of death.

December 2023
Dana Brin MD, Vera Sorin MD, Noam Tau MD, Matan Kraus MD, Tom Sonin MD, Yiftach Barash MD, Evgeni Druskin MD, Eyal Klang MD, Christine Dan-Lantsman MD, Daniel Raskin MD, Elena Bekker MD, Shai Shrot MD, Amit Gutkind PhD, Olga Shouchat MD, Edith M. Marom MD, Michal M. Amitai MD

In this study, we analyzed computed tomography (CT) radiological findings from trauma treated at a single hospital in the aftermath of the terror attack in Israel on 7 October 2023. The study includes images from 34 consecutive patients, consisting of 33 males and 1 female, ranging in age from 19 to 68 years. The majority of these patients underwent both chest-abdominal-pelvic (76%) and head and neck CT scans (64.7%). Key findings highlight a high incidence of head and neck injuries (55.9%), chest trauma (44.1%), and various injuries such as soft tissue lacerations (100%), fractures particularly skull fractures at 32.4%, and brain hemorrhages (23.5%). The limitations of this study include its single-center scope and the focus on stable patients, which may bias the representation of injury types. This case series provides critical insights into the radiological impacts of large-scale terror events, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive preparedness and research in the field of mass-casualty incident response.

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.

Moshe Salai MD, Yoram Sandhaus MD, Ahuva Golik MD, Naomi Rahimi-Levene MD, Hana Castel MD, Zachi Grossman MD, Avinoam Tzabari MD, Eitan Lunenfeld MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD, Talma Kushnir PhD

The ancient, Biblical, holy Ten Commandments were presented to humanity to serve as guidelines for relationships between individuals and the deity they worship as well as a benchmark for living in civilized communities, irrespective of religious affiliation. The commandments are also embedded in medical education taught to medical students and other health professions throughout the world. Thus, the Ten Commandments are embedded in the medical communications curriculum at Adelson School of Medicine, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel. Unfortunately, most of these commandments were desecrated during the violent, hostile, merciless, and ruthless attack inflicted by the Hamas terror organization on villages, rural communities, and cities in southern Israel on 7 October 2023. We define the Ten Commandments in terms of medical education and describe their desecration by Hamas terrorists before and during the Iron Swords war.

Gabriel Levin MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Yoav Brezinov MD

Background: The Gaza–Israeli conflict poses challenges for unbiased reporting due to its complexity and media bias. We explored recent scientific publications to understand scholarly discourse and potential biases surrounding this longstanding geopolitical issue.

Objectives: To conduct a descriptive bibliometric analysis of PubMed articles regarding the recent Gaza–Israeli conflict.

Methods: We reviewed 1628 publications using keywords and medical subject headings (MeSH) terms related to Gaza, Hamas, and Israel. We focused on articles written in English. A team of researchers assessed inclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through a third researcher.

Results: Among 37 publications, Lancet, BMJ, and Nature were prominent journals. Authors from 12 countries contributed, with variety of publication types (46% correspondence, 32% news). Pro-Gaza perspectives dominated (43.2%), surpassing pro-Israel (21.6%) and neutral (35.1%) viewpoints. Pro-Gaza articles exhibited higher Altmetric scores, indicating increased social media impact. Pro-Israel publications were predominantly authored by Israelis.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pro-Gaza perspectives underscores challenges in maintaining impartiality. Higher social media impact for pro-Gaza publications emphasizes the need for nuanced examination. Addressing bias is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of this complex conflict and promoting balanced reporting.

Jlal Bathish MD MPH, Yael Alshanki MD, Yves Bitton MD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease characterized by restricted airflow, changes of lung tissues, and breathing difficulties [1]. Most patients are treated at home to maintain a stable lifestyle and quality of life [2].

An important feature of COPD is exacerbation, which is an acute worsening of symptoms that can result in decreased pulmonary functions, increased risk of death, and poorer quality of life. The frequency and severity of each exacerbation results in further worsening of pulmonary function [3]. Depression in COPD patients may cause objective impairment in function and decreased adherence to therapeutic interventions [4].

Acute stress disorder is characterized by acute reaction in the first month following exposure to a traumatic event such as threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault. Symptoms include intrusion, dissociation, negative mood avoidance, and arousal [5]. Stress on a more continuous basis can significantly debilitate a person's emotional and physical wellbeing, lead to depression and weakened immune system, and influence patients with already stressful and progressive conditions such as COPD.

We present a patient previously diagnosed with COPD who experienced an acute terror attack, which was a major and stressful event that caused severe exacerbation of the disease.

Nadav Cohen MD, Bracha Cohen MD, Debjyoti Karmakar MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Ariel Zilberlicht MD

Background: Cases of second trimester pregnancy loss can be treated either pharmacologically or by surgical evacuation. Misoprostol, an E1-prostaglandin analog, is used to facilitate the evacuation of the uterus.

Objectives: To determine the risk factors associated with patients who were treated with five or more repeated doses of misoprostol.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients treated with vaginal misoprostol at our institution between December 2016 and October 2021 for second trimester pregnancy loss.

Results: In total, 114 patients were eligible for analysis; 83 were treated with < 5 doses and 31 with ≥ 5. We recorded each case in which repeated doses were administered, irrespective of predetermined conditions such as gravidity, parity, maternal age, or gestational age. Moreover, cases of five or more misoprostol dosing were not associated with an increased complications rate, except for the increased duration of hospitalization (3.1 vs. 2.2 days, P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Repeated dosing could not be predicted before treatment among those treated with vaginally administered misoprostol for second trimester pregnancy loss. However, low complication rates of repeated dosing may reassure both physicians and patients regarding safety, efficacy, and future fertility.

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.

Roy Bitan MD, Michal Youngster MD, Ana Umanski MD, Sarita Kaufman MD, Alon Kedem MD, Sarit Avraham MD, Gil Yerushalmi MD, Ariel Hourvitz MD, Itai Gat MD

Background: Sperm banks initially focused on providing sperm donation (SD) to heterosexual couples grappling with severe male infertility. Notable advancements in fertility treatments and sociological trends have broadened the scope of SD toward single women and same sex female couples.

Objectives: To evaluate SD recipient characteristics over the last three decades in Israel according to demographic parameters.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 5489 women who received SD between January 1992 and December 2021 from a tertiary referral center. We divided the overall period into six groups of five years each. A comparison of demographic characteristics of women who received SD in different periods was performed according to age at the beginning of the treatment, marital status (single women and same sex female couples, heterosexual couples), and ethnic origin.

Results: The average age of women who received SD was 37.02 ± 5.36 years. The average patient age rose from 35.08 years in 1992–1997 to 37.43 years in 2017–2021 (P-value < 0.01). The use of SD was more common among single women and same sex female couples compared to heterosexual couples in later years. Regarding single and same sex female couple, the percentage of SD recipients increased radically from 33% to 88.1% (P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Modern sperm banks treat older patients in non-heterosexual relationships. These trends encompass not only medical implications (e.g., in vitro fertilization vs. intrauterine insemination) but also delve into the personal and sociological impact experienced by both patients and offspring.

Mohamad Suki MD, Fadi Abu-baker MD, Amani Beshara MD, Baruch Ovadia MD, Oren Gal MD, Yael Kopelman MD

Background: With age, colorectal cancer (CRC) prevalence rises. The elderly (> 75 years), and the very elderly (> 85 years) are especially vulnerable. The advantages of screening must be assessed in the context of diminished life span and co-morbidities.

Objective: To compare CRC findings in colonoscopies that were performed following a positive fecal occult blood test/fecal immunochemical test (FOBT/FIT) in both elderly and very elderly age groups with those of younger patients.

Methods: We identified colonoscopies conducted between 1998 and 2019 following a positive stool test for occult blood in asymptomatic individuals. A finding of malignancy was compared between the two patient age groups. Furthermore, a sub-analysis was performed for positive malignancy findings in FOBT/FIT among patients > 85 years compared to younger than < 75 years.

Results: We compared the colonoscopy findings in 10,472 patients: 40–75 years old (n=10,146) vs. 76–110 years old (n=326). There was no significant difference in prevalence of CRC detection rate between the groups following positive FOBT/FIT (2.1% vs. 2.7%, P = 0.47). Similar results for non-significant differences were obtained in the sub-analysis compared to malignancy detection rates in the very elderly 0% (n=0) vs. 2.1% for < 75 years old (n=18), P = 0.59.

Conclusions: Although the prevalence of CRC increases with age, no significant increase in the detection rate of CRC by FOBT was found in either the elderly or very elderly age groups. Screening colonoscopies in elderly patients should be performed only after careful consideration of potential benefits, risks, and patient preferences.

Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

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.

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