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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

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March 2023
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.

Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

January 2023
Muhamed Masalha MD, Lev Shlizerman MD, Salim Mazzawi MD, Ophir Handzel MD, Firas Kassem MD, Daniel Briscoe MD, Kfir Siag MD

Background: Chronic suppurative otitis media is a long-standing middle ear infection with a perforated tympanic membrane. Tympanoplasty is the mainstay of treatment. Most surgeons prefer to operate on dry ears; however, this may be difficult to achieve.

Objectives: To investigate the effect of otorrhea and positive cultures on the outcome of tympanoplasty.

Methods: This retrospective analysis reviewed patients with chronic suppurative otitis media who underwent tympanoplasty 2008–2015. Patients were divided into three groups: active discharge and bacterial growth, active discharge without bacterial growth, and no ear discharge. Surgical outcomes were compared among the groups.

Results: Among 101 patients included, 43 ears (42.6%) had discharge preoperatively, 58 (57.4%) were dry. Overall closure rate was 81.2% (82/101). Preoperative active discharge closure rate was 88.3% (38/43) and without discharge 75.9% (44/58). There were 38 positive cultures preoperatively and five negative cultures. Cultures were not obtained in 58 cases. Success rates were 89.5%, 80%, and 75.9%, respectively. No significant difference was found between patients who had positive or negative cultures before the procedure (P > 0.48) or among the three groups (P = 0.25). The most common bacteria were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=17), followed by Staphylococcus species (n=10). None was significantly associated with operative failure (P = 0.557). The postoperative air threshold difference was not affected by culture results (P = 0.3).

Conclusions: Tympanoplasty success rates and postoperative air threshold differences were not affected by the presence of preoperative otorrhea or positive ear cultures. Surgery can be performed even when the ear is not dry.

Maya Yakir MD, Adi Brom MD, Amitai Segev MD, Gad Segal MD

Background: The prognosis of long-term clinical outcomes for each patient is of utmost importance.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between rates of family attendance during rounds and long-term outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a historic cohort study.

Results: We followed 200 consecutive patients for a median of 19 months. Within the group of patients that had family members present in > 75% of rounds, the 30-day re-hospitalization rate was tenfold higher (P = 0.017). The overall prognosis (including median survival length) of patients who had the highest rates of family attendance (> 75%) was significantly worse compared to patients who had lower rates (P = 0.028). High rates of family attendance were found to correlate with other established risk factors for long-term mortality, including advanced age (r = 0.231, P = 0.001) and in-hospital delirium.

Conclusions: High family attendance during physician rounds in an internal medicine department is associated with worse patient prognosis.

August 2022
Ido Tzanani MD MPH, Daniel Bendayan MD, Anat Jaffe MD PHD, and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the risk factors for progression from latent to active tuberculosis. However, the effect of DM on subsequent tuberculosis treatment is still inconclusive.

Objectives: To compare tuberculosis treatment outcomes and the rate of drug resistance of tuberculosis patients with or without DM.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted between 2005 and 2015 at the only tuberculosis ward in Israel. All 80 tuberculosis patients who had DM and were hospitalized during the study period were included in this study, as were a randomized sample of 213 tuberculosis patients without DM. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient files in the hospital and clinics after discharge.

Results: Tuberculosis patients with DM were more often older and more likely to be Israeli citizens with a lower socioeconomic status than patients without DM. No statistically significant differences were found in clinical presentation, radiological findings, and sputum smear tests between the two groups. Culture converting times were prolonged in patients with DM compared to normoglycemic patients. Multidrug drug resistance tuberculosis was more common among normoglycemic tuberculosis patients than tuberculosis patients with DM (9.2% vs. 1.6%, P = 0.12). Treatment success rates were 76.2% and 83.1% for tuberculosis patients with or without DM, respectively (P = 0.18). DM was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis predicting treatment success, which controlled for age, citizenship, compliance, addictions, and chronic diseases.

Conclusions: The presence of DM does not necessarily affect tuberculosis treatment outcomes as long as treatment compliance is optimal.

Ilan Rozenberg MD, Sydney Benchetrit MD, Michael Raigorodetsky MD, Simone Fajer MD, Ali Shnaker MD, Naomi Nacasch MD, Yael Einbinder MD, Tali Zitman-Gal PhD, Keren Cohen-Hagai MD

Background: Reliable vascular access is a fundamental tool for providing effective hemodialysis. Vascular access dysfunction is associated with increased morbidity and mortality among hemodialysis patients. Current vascular access guidelines strongly recommend creating an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) as the first option; however, a substantial proportion of new AVFs may not be usable.

Objectives: To assess possible predictors of primary and secondary failure of vascular access.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included all vascular access sites created at Meir Medical Center from 2006 through 2012. Vascular access site, primary and secondary failure rates, and relevant demographic and clinical data were recorded during 60 months of follow-up.

Results: A total of 612 vascular accesses were created and followed for a median of 32 ± 29.4 months. Of these, 490 (80%) were suitable for initiating hemodialysis. Vascular access site was the most important predictor of primary failure but did not predict secondary failure. Co-morbidities such as diabetes mellitus and congestive heart failure, as well as the use of antiplatelet agents did not predict primary or secondary failure. Preoperative vascular mapping using Doppler ultrasonography was performed in 36.4% of cases and was not associated with lower rates of primary or secondary failure.

Conclusions: Vascular access site is an important predictor of primary failure. We did not find a benefit of pre-operative vessel mapping or chronic antiplatelet therapy in terms of decreasing primary and secondary failure rates. Physicians should carefully consider the characteristics of the patient and blood vessels before creating vascular access in patients requiring chronic hemodialysis.

July 2022
Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

May 2022
Olga Vera-Lastra MD, Erik Cimé-Aké MD, Alberto Ordinola Navarro MD, Joel Eduardo Morales-Gutiérrez MD, Orestes de Jesús Cobos-Quevedo MD, Jorge Hurtado-Díaz MD, María Lucero Espinoza-Sánchez MD, Ana Lilia Peralta-Amaro MD, María Pilar Cruz-Domínguez MD, Gabriela Medina MD, Antonio Fraga-Mouret MD, Jesus Sepulveda-Delgado MD, and Luis J. Jara MD

Background: Patients with autoimmune disease (AID) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could have higher mortality due to the co-morbidity and the use of immunosuppressive therapy.

Objectives: To analyze the risk factors and outcomes of patients with AID and COVID-19 versus a control group.

Methods: A prospective cohort study included patients with and without AID and COVID-19. Patients were paired by age and sex. Clinical, biochemical, immunological treatments, and outcomes (days of hospital stay, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], oxygen at discharge, and death) were collected.

Results: We included 226 COVID-19 patients: 113 with AID (51.15 ± 14.3 years) and 113 controls (53.45 ± 13.3 years). The most frequent AIDs were Rheumatoid arthritis (26.5%), systemic lupus erythematosus (21%), and systemic sclerosis (14%). AID patients had lower lactate dehydrogenas, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, IMV (P = 0.027), and oxygen levels at discharge (P ≤ 0.0001) and lower death rates (P ≤ 0.0001). Oxygen saturation (SaO2) ≤ 88% at hospitalization provided risk for IMV (RR [relative risk] 3.83, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.1–13.6, P = 0.038). Higher creatinine and LDH levels were associated with death in the AID group. SaO2 ≤ 88% and CO-RADS ≥ 4 were risk factors for in-hospital mortality (RR 4.90, 95%CI 1.8–13.0, P = 0.001 and RR 7.60, 95%CI 1.4–39.7, P = 0.016, respectively). Anticoagulant therapy was protective (RR 0.36, 95%CI 0.1–0.9, P = 0.041)

Conclusions: Patients with AID had better outcomes with COVID-19 than controls. Anticoagulation was associated with a lower death in patients with AID.

December 2021
Yuval Avda MD, Jonathan Modai MD, Igal Shpunt MD, Michael Dinerman MD, Yaniv Shilo MD, Roy Croock MD, Morad Jaber MD, Uri Lindner MD, and Dan Leibovici MD

Background: Patients with high-risk prostate cancer are at higher risk of treatment failure, development of metastatic disease, and mortality. There is no consensus on the treatment of choice for these patients, and either radical prostatectomy (RP) or external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is recommended. Surgery is less common as the initial treatment for high-risk patients, possibly reflecting the concerns regarding morbidity as well as oncological and functional outcomes. Another high-risk group includes patients with failure of previous EBRT or focal treatment. For these patients, salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP) can be offered.

Objectives: To describe our experience with surgery of high-risk patients and SRP.

Methods: This cohort included all high-risk patients undergoing RP or SRP at our institution between January 2012 and December 2019. We reviewed the electronic medical charts and collected pathological, functional, and oncological outcomes.

Results: Our cohort included 39 patients; average age was 67.8 years, and average follow-up duration was 40.9 months. The most common postoperative morbidity was transfusion of packed cells. There were no life-threatening events or postoperative mortality. Continence was preserved (zero to one pad) in 76% of the patients. Twenty-three patients (59%) had undetectable prostate specific antigen levels following the surgery, 11 (30%) were treated with either adjuvant or salvage EBRT, and 12 patients (31%) were found with no evidence of disease and no additional treatment was needed.

Conclusions: Radical prostatectomy and SRP are safe options for patients presenting with high-risk prostate cancer, with good functional and oncological outcomes.

August 2021
Nissan Amzallag MD MHA, Shai Factor MD, Ittai Shichman MD, Tomer Ben-Tov MD, and Amal Khoury MD

Background: Surgery for hip fractures within 48 hours of admission is considered standard. During the lockdown period due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, our medical staff was reduced.

Objectives: To compare the demographics, treatment pathways, and outcomes of patients with hip fractures during the COVID-19 epidemic and lockdown with the standard at routine times.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of all patients who were treated surgically for hip fracture in a tertiary center during the COVID-19 lockdown period between 01 March and 01 June 2020 and the equivalent period in 2019. Demographic characteristics, time to surgery, surgery type, hospitalization time, discharge destination, postoperative complications, and 30- and 90-day mortality rates were collected for all patients.

Results: During the COVID-19 period, 105 patients were operated due to hip fractures compared to 136 in the equivalent period with no statistical difference in demographics. The rate of surgeries within 48 hours of admission was significantly higher in the COVID-19 period (92% vs. 76%, respectively; P = 0.0006). Mean hospitalization time was significantly shorter (10 vs. 12 days, P = 0.037) with diversion of patient discharge destinations from institutional to home rehabilitation (P < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between the COVID-19 period and lower 90-day mortality rates (P = 0.034). No statistically significant differences in postoperative complications or 30-day mortality rates were noted.

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 epidemic, despite the limited staff and the lack of therapeutic sequence, there was no impairment in the quality of treatment and a decrease in 90-day mortality was noted.

Gal Barkay MD, Amit Zabatani MD, Shay Menachem MD, Batia Yaffe MD, and Amir Arami MD

Background: Acute extremity compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency for which timely diagnosis is essential.

Objectives: To assess whether the time from the initial insult to the fasciotomy of compartment syndrome of the upper extremity affects outcomes and to examine the differences between compartment syndrome secondary to fractures and that resulting from a non-fracture etiology with regard to the time from insult to fasciotomy and the long-term patient outcomes.

Methods: Patients presented with documented fasciotomy treatment following acute upper extremity compartment syndrome and a minimum of 6 months follow-up. Patient information included demographics, cause of compartment syndrome, method of diagnosis, and outcome on follow-up.

Results: Our study was comprised of 25 patients. Fasciotomies were performed for compartment syndrome caused by fracture in 11 patients (44%), and due to insults other than fractures in 14 patients (56%). The average time to fasciotomy in patients without a fracture was 10.21 hours and 16.55 hours with a fracture. Fasciotomy performed more than 24 hours from the initial insult was not found to significantly affect long-term sequelae compared to fasciotomy performed earlier than 24 hours from the initial insult. The non-fracture group had more long-term sequelae than the fracture group (13/15 patients and 5/11 patients, respectively).

Conclusions: Most injuries treated for fasciotomy of compartment syndrome were non-fracture related, with more complications found in patients with non-fracture related injuries. Time interval from insult to fasciotomy did not affect outcome and was longer in the fracture group, suggesting longer monitoring in this group and supporting fasciotomy even with late presentation.

February 2021
Dorit E. Zilberman MD, Yasmin Abu-Ghanem MD, Gil Raviv MD, Barak Rosenzweig MD, Eddie Fridman MD, Orith Portnoy MD, and Zohar A Dotan MD PhD

Background: Little is known about oncologic outcomes following robot-assisted-radical-prostatectomy (RALP) for clinical T3 (cT3) prostate cancer.

Objectives: To investigate oncologic outcomes of patients with cT3 prostate cancer treated by RALP.

Methods: Medical records of patients who underwent RALP from 2010 to 2018 were retrieved. cT3 cases were reviewed. Demographic and pre/postoperative pathology data were analyzed. Patients were followed in 3–6 month intervals with repeat PSA analyses. Adjuvant/salvage treatments were monitored. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) meant PSA levels of ≥ 0.2 ng/ml.

Results: Seventy-nine patients met inclusion criteria. Median age at surgery was 64 years. Preoperative PSA level was 7.14 ng/dl, median prostate weight was 54 grams, and 23 cases (29.1%) were down-staged to pathological stage T2. Positive surgical margin rate was 42%. Five patients were lost to follow-up. Median follow-up time for the remaining 74 patients was 24 months. Postoperative relapse in PSA levels occurred in 31 patients (42%), and BCR in 28 (38%). Median time to BCR was 9 months. The overall 5-year BCR-free survival rate was 61%. Predicting factors for BCR were age (hazard-ratio [HR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.74–0.97, P = 0.017) and prostate weight (HR 1.04, 95%CI 1.01–1.08, P = 0.021). Twenty-six patients (35%) received adjuvant/salvage treatments. Three patients died from metastatic prostate cancer 31, 52, and 78 months post-surgery. Another patient died 6 months post-surgery of unknown reasons. The 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was 92%.

Conclusions: RALP is an oncologic effective procedure for cT3 prostate cancer. Adjuvant/salvage treatment is needed to achieve optimal disease-control

December 2020
Daniel Erez MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Daniel A. King MD, Mahmood Abu-akel MD, Zamir Dovrish MD, and David Shitrit MD

Background: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) tends to occur in young adults without underlying lung diseases and is usually followed by limited symptoms, while secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) is a complication of a pre-existing lung disease. Surprisingly, for such common conditions, there is a considerable inconsistency regarding management guidelines.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk factors for spontaneous pneumothoraxes and to summarize outcomes and complications based on our clinical experience.

Methods: This retrospective study group was comprised of 250 consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who were diagnosed with spontaneous pneumothorax and hospitalized at the Meir Medical Center (2004–2017). Data on demographic characteristics, indicating symptoms, chest X-rays, and chest computed tomography (CT) results were collected. Our experience and outcomes were then compared to a large multicenter study.

Results: Most of the patients were male (85%) and past or current smokers; 69% presented with PSP, while the rest were SSP. No occupational relation was noted. About 55% of the cases presented with a moderate or large pneumothorax (over 1/3 hemithorax). Most patients (56%) required chest tube drainage and 20% undergone surgery. Nearly 10% presented with a recurrent pneumothorax with the mean time to recurrence being 11 ± 20 days. Although the length of hospital stay of patients that underwent surgery was the longest (P < 0.001) for both PSP and SSP, the recurrence rate was actually reduced, suggesting some benefit for the surgical treatment option.

Conclusions: Our experience showed that the traditional approach to the PSP treatment should be further considered, as previously suggested.

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.

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