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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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January 2024
Ravit Peretz-Machluf MD, Mayan Gilboa MD, Shiran Bookstein-Peretz MD, Omri Segal MD, Noam Regev MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Yoav Yinon MD, Shlomi Toussia-Cohen MD

Background: Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since the release of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech), there has been accumulated data about the three vaccine doses. However, information regarding obstetric and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women vaccinated with the third (booster) vaccine is limited and primarily retrospective.

Objectives: To evaluate the obstetric and early neonatal outcomes of pregnant women vaccinated during pregnancy with the COVID-19 booster vaccine compared to pregnant women vaccinated only by the first two doses.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of pregnant women who received the BNT162b2 vaccine during pregnancy. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared between pregnant women who received only the first two doses of the vaccine to those who also received the booster dose.

Results: Overall, 139 pregnant women were vaccinated during pregnancy with the first two doses of the vaccine and 84 with the third dose. The third dose group received the vaccine earlier during their pregnancy compared to the two doses group (212 vs. 315 weeks, respectively, P < 0.001). No differences in obstetric and early neonatal outcomes between the groups were found except for lower rates of urgent cesarean delivery in the third dose group (adjusted odds ratio 0.21; 95% confidence interval 0.048–0.926, P = 0.039).

Conclusions: Compared to the first two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine given in pregnancy, the booster vaccination is safe and not associated with an increased rate of adverse obstetric and early neonatal outcomes.

December 2023
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.

October 2023
Susana Mikhail Mustafa MD, Raneen Abu Shqara MD, Maya Frank Wolf MD, Oleg Shnaider MD, Sari Nahir Biderman RN MA, Limor Sharabi MA, Lior Lowenstein MD

Background: The French AmbUlatory Cesarean Section (FAUCS) technique was introduced to the Galilee Medical Center in September 2021. FAUCS was performed electively for interested women who meet the criteria.

Objectives: To evaluate the learning curve of senior surgeons performing FAUCS, the procedure short-term outcomes, and complications.

Methods: This retrospective study included 50 consecutive women who underwent FAUCS from September 2021 until March 2022 at our facility. Preoperative, intraoperative, postoperative, and demographic data were retrieved from patient electronic charts.

Results: The mean duration of surgery was 53.26 ± 11.62 minutes. This time decreased as the surgical team's experience increased: from a mean 58.26 ± 12.25 minutes for the first 15 procedures to a mean 51.17 ± 9.73 minutes for subsequent procedures. The mean visual analogue scale score for 24 hours was 1.08 ± 0.84 (on a 10-point scale). The rate of neonatal cord pH < 7.2 was 6%, and there were 11.3% cases of vacuum assisted fetal extraction. In total, 44% of the women were able to mobilize and urinate spontaneously by 4–6 hours. Complications included bladder injury (n=1), endometritis (n=1), and incisional hematoma (n=1). Overall, the maternal satisfaction rate was high; 94% of the women would recommend FAUCS to others.

Conclusions: FAUCS is a feasible procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Following the first 15 procedures performed by one surgical team, the operative time decreased considerably. Further randomized controlled studies are needed to compare this procedure to regular cesarean section and evaluate neonatal outcomes.

Keren Zloto MD, Eyal Krispin MD, Anat Shmueli MD, Eran Hadar MD, Lina Salman MD MSc

Background: The administration of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) is standard practice for management of threatened preterm birth. Its benefit, especially in small for gestational age (SGA) late preterm, is unclear.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of ACS on perinatal outcome of late preterm SGA neonates.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all women carrying a singleton gestation who had late preterm delivery (34–36 gestational weeks) of SGA neonates at a single tertiary university-affiliated medical center (July 2012–December 2017). Exclusion criteria included termination of pregnancy, intrauterine fetal death, and birth weight ≥ 10th percentile. Outcomes were compared between ACS and non-ACS treatment prior to delivery. Neonatal composite outcome included neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, respiratory distress syndrome, mechanical ventilation, and transient tachypnea.

Results: Overall, 228 women met inclusion criteria; 102 (44.7%) received ACS and 126 did not (55.3%). Median birth weight among the non-ACS group was significantly higher (1896.0 vs. 1755.5 grams P < 0.001). Rates of NICU and jaundice requiring phototherapy were higher among the ACS group (53.92% vs. 31.74%, P = 0.01; 12.74% vs. 5.55%, P = 0.05, respectively). Composite neonatal outcome was significantly higher among the ACS group (53.92% vs. 32.53%, odds ratio [OR] 2.42, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.41–4.15, P = 0.01). After adjustment for potential confounders, this association remained significant (OR 2.15, 95%CI 1.23–3.78, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: ACS given during pregnancy did not improve respiratory outcome for SGA late preterm neonates. ACS may be associated with a worse outcome.

September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

Amir Hadayer MD, Yehonatan Weinberger MD, Tal Corina Sela MD, Orly Gal-Or MD, Dov Weinberger MD, Rita Ehrlich MD

Background: During combined phacovitrectomy, it is common practice to suture the main corneal incision to prevent intraoperative and postoperative wound leak. However, it may be possible to avoid suturing using a self-sealing corneal incision technique as in standard cataract surgery.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcome, safety, and complications of combined phacovitrectomy without preventive suturing.

Methods: This retrospective case series study included consecutive patients who underwent combined phacovitrectomy between January 2018 and June 2019 for mixed indications. Surgeries were performed at a tertiary university hospital. All surgeries were performed by the same two retinal surgeons. Cataract surgery was performed first, followed by insertion of trocars and vitrectomy. Corneal sutures were not planned but were used at the discretion of the surgeon.

Results: The cohort included 106 eyes of 102 patients. Suturing of the main corneal incision was deemed necessary in five cases (5%) because of a main incision leak or anterior chamber shallowing during trocar insertion. No other complications related to the absence of prophylactic corneal sutures were encountered during surgery or follow-up.

Conclusions: Preventive corneal suturing may not be necessary in combined phacovitrectomy surgery and can be used in the few cases in which it is indicated during surgery.

Tamar Beck MD, Eyal Aviran MD, Shelly Cohn MD, David Goitein MD

Background: Long-term outcome data for bariatric surgery in patients with severe obesity (SO) (body mass index [BMI] ³ 50 kg/m2) are scarce.

Objectives: To compare perioperative morbidity and long-term outcomes between patients with SO and non-SO (NSO).

Methods: Patients with SO who underwent primary bariatric surgery with a follow-up ³ 5 years were age- and gender-matched with NSO patients in a retrospective, case-control study. Data included demographics, BMI, co-morbidities, early outcomes, current and nadir weight, co-morbidity status, and general satisfaction.

Results: Of 178 patients, 49.4% were male, mean age 44.5 ± 14 years. Mean preoperative BMI was 54.7 ± 3.6 and 41.8 ± 3.8 kg/m2 in SO and NSO, respectively (P = 0.02). Groups were similar in preoperative characteristics. Depression/anxiety was more prevalent in NSO (12.4% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.03). Obstructive sleep apnea was higher in SO (21.3% vs. 10.1%, P = 0.04). Sleeve gastrectomy was performed most often (80.9%), with a tendency toward bypass in SO (P = 0.05). Early complication rates were: 13.5% in SO and 12.4% in NSO (P = 0.82). Mean follow-up was 80.4 ± 13.3 months. BMI reduction was higher in SO (31.8 ± 5.9 vs. 26.8 ± 4.2 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and time to nadir weight was longer (22.1 ± 21.3 vs. 13.0 ± 12.0 months, P = 0.001). Co-morbidity improvement and satisfaction were similar.

Conclusions: Patients with SO benefited from bariatric surgery with reduced BMI and fewer co-morbidities. No added risk of operative complications was found compared to patients with NSO.

June 2023
Tal Bechor Ariel MD, Ben Ariel MD, Yuni Lahav MD, Moshe Yana BSc, Michael Ben-Acon MD, Nechama Sharon MD

Background: Infants younger than 6 months of age are not eligible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations. Maternal variables during pregnancy and the postnatal period may affect the clinical and laboratory course of COVID-19 positive infants.

Objective: To assess the clinical manifestation and laboratory differences in infants with three maternal variables: breastfeeding, vaccinated, and co-illness.

Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study of positive COVID-19 infants with three subgroups of maternal variables. The population included infants under 6 months of age hospitalized due to COVID-19. Data about clinical features, laboratory tests, and maternal information including vaccination status, breastfeeding status and maternal positive COVID-19 infection was gathered. All variables were compared among the three subgroups.

Results: Breastfed infants had shorter hospitalization period (mean 2.61 ± 1.378 days) compared to non-breastfed infants (mean 3.8 ± 1.549) (P = 0.051). COVID-19 infants of positive COVID-19 mothers had a higher absolute neutrophil count (mean 4.4 ± 3.8) compared to infants of COVID-19 negative mothers (mean 2.7 ± 2.4) (P = 0.042).

Conclusion: Breastfeeding was associated with shorter periods of hospitalization in COVID-19 positive infants. In addition, positive COVID-19 infants of mothers who were positive for COVID-19 are likely to have a higher absolute neutrophils count.

Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Tomer Kaplan BEMS MPH, Tammy Fink RN, Kyrill Grozovsky RN, Refael Strugo MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD

Background: A limited program for kidney donation from uncontrolled donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (uDCDD) was implemented at four hospitals in Israel in close cooperation with Magen David Adom (MDA), the national emergency medical service.

Objectives: To assess the outcome of transplantations performed between January 2017 and June 2022.

Methods: Donor data included age, sex, and cause of death. Recipient data included age, sex, and yearly serum creatinine levels. A retrospective study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases treated by MDA during 2021 were analyzed to assess their compatibility as potential uDCDD donors.

Results: In total, 49 potential donors were referred to hospitals by MDA. Consent was obtained in 40 cases (83%), organ retrieval was performed in 28 cases, and 40 kidneys were transplanted from 21 donors (75% retrieval rate). At 1-year follow-up, 36 recipients had a functioning graft (4 returned to dialysis) and mean serum creatinine 1.59 ± 0.92 mg% (90% graft survival). Outcome after transplantation showed serum creatinine levels (mg%) at 2 years 1.41 ± 0.83, n=26; 3 years 1.48 ± 0.99, n=16; 4 years 1.07 ± 1.06, n=7; and 5 years 1.12 ± 0.31, n=5. One patient died of multiple myeloma at 3 years. The MDA audit revealed an unutilized pool of 125 potential cases, 90 of whom were transported to hospitals and 35 were declared dead at the scene.

Conclusions: Transplant outcomes were encouraging, suggesting that more intensive implementation of the program may increase the number of kidneys transplanted, thus shortening recipient waiting lists.

May 2023
Shaul Pery MD, Fadi Abu Baker MD, Yael Kopelman MD

Background: Esophageal cancer is comprised of adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma and is the sixth leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Upper endoscopy may reveal a partially or completely lumen-occluding mass at diagnosis, yet the prognostic significance of such a presentation is not clear.

Objectives: To investigate whether endoscopic obstructing lesions have a meaning regarding patient prognosis.

Methods: We reviewed upper gastrointestinal endoscopic studies performed over a 20-year period (2000–2020). We compared overall survival, disease stage, histologic criteria, and anatomic location of the lesions in esophagus lumen-obstructing and non-obstructing tumors. Differences between the two groups were statistically evaluated.

Results: Sixty-nine patients were diagnosed with histologically confirmed esophageal cancer. As assessed through endoscopy, 32/69 (46%) patients had obstructive and 37/69 (54%) had non-obstructive cancers. Median survival was significantly shorter in the lumen-obstructing lesions compared with the non-obstructing lesions (3.5 months vs. 10 months, P = 0.001). Female median survival displayed a trend toward shorter survival compared to males (3.5 months vs. 10 months, P = 0.059). There was no statistically significant difference in the percentages of advanced, stage IV disease in the obstructive group and the non-obstructive group (11/32 [34.3%] and 14/37 [37.8%], respectively P = 0.80).

Conclusions: Obstructive esophageal cancers predict shorter median overall survival compared with non-obstructive cancers, without any correlation between obstruction of the lesion and tumor metastatic stage.

April 2023
Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD, Lubov Vasilenko MD, Noy Moisa BSc, Daniel Vorobiof MD

Background: Cannabis consumption is suspected of causing arrhythmias and potentially sudden death.

Objectives: To investigate prevalence and temporal relationships between cannabis use and onset of symptomatic arrhythmias among cancer patients using Belong.life, a digital patient powered network application.

Methods: Real-world data (RWD) were obtained through Belong.Life, a mobile application for cancer patients who use cannabis routinely. Patients replied anonymously and voluntarily to a survey describing their demographics, medical history, and cannabis use.

Results: In total, 354 cancer patients (77% female, 71% 50–69 years of age) replied: 33% were smokers and 49% had no co-morbidities. Fifteen had history of arrhythmias and two had a pacemaker; 64% started cannabis before or during chemotherapy and 18% had no chemotherapy. Cannabis indication was symptom relief in most patients. The mode of administration included oil, smoking, or edibles; only 35% were prescribed by a doctor. Cannabis type was delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol > 15% in 43% and cannabidiol in 31%. After starting cannabis, 24 patients (7%) experienced palpitations; 13 received anti-arrhythmic drugs and 6 received anticoagulation. Eleven needed further medical investigation. Three were hospitalized. One had an ablation after starting cannabis and one stopped cannabis due to palpitations. Seven patients (2%) reported brady-arrhythmias after starting cannabis, but none needed pacemaker implantation.

Conclusions: RWD showed that in cancer patients using cannabis, the rate of reported symptomatic tachy- and brady-arrhythmias was significant (9%) but rarely led to invasive treatments. Although direct causality cannot be proven, temporal relationship between drug use and onset of symptoms suggests a strong association.

Chen Hanna Ryder PhD, Yori Gidron PhD, Darian Ryder PhD, Yair Shmidt, Naomi Dovrat MD, Ziv Sarusi MD, Noam Welder-Segalovich MD, Matan Segalovich MD, Daniel Marmor MD, Radi Shahien MD

Background: The two cerebral hemispheres influence the immune response differently. While the left hemisphere enhances cellular immunity, the right hemisphere inhibits it.

Objectives: To determine whether immune and inflammatory markers correlated with stroke severity and hospitalization duration as a function of stroke side.

Methods: The study included 137 patients with unilateral ischemic stroke. The medical records were reviewed for demographic and clinical laboratory data, including C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell (WBC) count, its differential stroke side and stroke severity according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and length of hospital stay (LOS). We examined differences between right side (RS) and left side (LS) stroke on immune and inflammatory markers and compared correlations between these markers and NIHSS and LOS as a function of stroke side.

Results: RS stroke patients had higher CRP and monocytes than LS stroke patients. In RS stroke patients, CRP, total WBC, and lymphocyte levels positively correlated with both NIHSS and LOS, whereas levels of neutrophils were positively correlated with NIHSS alone. No correlations were found for LS stroke patients.

Conclusions: Immune-inflammatory markers correlated with stroke severity and LOS only in patients with RS stroke. Neuroimmunological processes influence short-term clinical outcomes after stroke, especially considering the differential effects of the hemispheres on immunity. Prospective studies that evaluate long-term clinical outcomes are needed. Testing the effects of anti-inflammatory treatments on prognosis of RS stroke patients should be considered.

March 2023
Batya Wizman MD, Moti Haim MD, Ido Peles, Roi Westreich MD, Amjad Abu-Salman MD, Gal Tsaban MD MPH, Natalie Yasoor, Orit Barrett MD, Yuval Konstantino MD

Background: Existing cardiac disease contributes to poor outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little information exists regarding COVID-19 infection in patients with a cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED).

Objectives: To assess the association between CIEDs and severity of COVID-19 infection.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis including 13,000 patients > 18 years old with COVID-19 infection between January and December 2020. Patients with COVID-19 who had a permanent pacemaker or defibrillator were matched 1:4 based on age and sex followed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: Forty patients with CIED and 160 patients without CIED were included in the current analysis. Mean age was 72.6 ± 13 years, and approximately 50% were females. Majority of the patients in the study arm had a pacemaker (63%), whereas only 15 patients (37%) had a defibrillator. Patients with COVID-19 and CIED presented more often with atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. They were more likely to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) and required more ventilatory support (35% vs. 18.3%). Thirty-day mortality (22.5% vs. 13.8%) and 1-year mortality (25% vs. 15%) were higher among patients with COVID-19 and CIED.

Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 and CIED had a significantly higher prevalence of co-morbidities that were associated with increased mortality. Although,CIED by itself was not found as an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality, it may serve as a warning for severe illness with COVID-19.

Sara Dichtwald MD, Nedi Varbarbut MD, Elad Dana MD, Edna Zohar MD, Nisim Ifrach MD, Brian Fredman MD

Background: Thiamine is an essential co-factor for aerobic intracellular respiration, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. Thiamine deficiency is common in the intensive care unit (ICU). Delirium is a frequent unwanted symptom among critical ill patients. Although the exact cause of ICU-associated delirium is unknown, abnormal nutrition and thiamine deficiency may contribute to the etiology.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of delirium among ICU patients who received thiamine with those who did not and to compare morbidity and mortality.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted among ICU patients admitted 2014–2018. Routine thiamine administration began in 2016. Collected data included patient demographics, medical history, indication for ICU admission, hospital admission times, ventilation days, inotropic therapy, hemodialysis, tracheostomy, 28-day mortality, and need for anti-psychotic therapy. Group A received thiamine, group B did not. All data were statistically analyzed according to type.

Results: The study included 930 patients: 465 patients in group A and 465 in group B. At admission and throughout the hospitalization severity of disease parameters was worse in group A compared to group B, including acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) score, admission lactate level, ventilation days, inotropic support, renal replacement therapy, tracheostomy, and ICU hospitalization. Group A had fewer delirium events without difference of maximal delirium score. No difference in mortality rate was observed.

Conclusions: Thiamine administration was associated with lower delirium prevalence despite longer ICU admission times and higher disease severity parameters at admission and during ICU stay.

Alla Lubovich MD, Mariana Issawy MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Doron Sudarsky MD, Edo Y. Birati MD, Offer Amir MD FACC, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC

Background: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) represents a spectrum of ischemic myocardial disease including unstable angina (UA), non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Various prognostic scores were developed for patients presenting with NSTEMI-ACS. Among these scores, the GRACE risk score offers the best discriminative performance for prediction of in-hospital and 6-month mortality. However, the GRACE score is limited and cannot be used in several ethnic populations. Moreover, it is not predictive of clinical outcomes other than mortality.

Objective: To assess the prognostic value of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and laboratory biomarkers in predicting 6-month major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), including hospitalization, recurrent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), stroke, and cardiovascular mortality in patients with NSTEMI treated with PCI.

Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive patients admitted with an initial diagnosis of NSTEMI to the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at the Tzafon Medical Center, Israel, between April 2015 and August 2018 and treated by PCI within 48 hours of admission.

Results: A total of 223 consecutive patients with NSTEMI treated by PCI were included in the study. Logarithmebrain natriuretic peptide (LogₑBNP), prior MI, and Hb levels were found to be significant predictors of any first MACCE. Only logₑBNP was found to be an independent predictor of a first MACCE event by multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: LogₑBNP is an independent predictor of worse prognosis in patients with NSTEMI. Routine evaluation of BNP levels should be considered in patients admitted with NSTEMI.

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