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עמוד בית
Mon, 26.02.24

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June 2023
Genya Aharon-Hananel MD PhD, Galia Zacay MD, Noam Tau MD, Yael Levy-Shraga MD, Amit Tirosh MD, Iris Vered MD, Liana Tripto-Shkolnik MD

Background: Trabecular bone score (TBS) reflects vertebrae microarchitecture and assists in fracture risk assessment. The International Society of Clinical Densitometry postulates that the role of TBS in monitoring antiresorptive therapy is unclear. Whether changes in TBS correlate with bone resorption measured by bone turnover markers is not known.

Objectives: To determine whether longitudinal changes in TBS correlate with C-terminal telopeptide (CTX) of type I collagen.

Methods: Examinees with two bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were detected via the institutional database. Over 5.8% change in TBS was considered least significant and patients were grouped accordingly (increment, decrement, or unchanged). CTX, BMD, co-morbidities, incident fractures, and medication exposure were compared between the groups by Kruskal-Wallis. The correlation between TBS and BMD change and CTX in a continuous model was analyzed by Pearson's correlation coefficient.

Results: In total, 110 patients had detailed medical records. In 74.5%, TBS change was below least significant change. Two other TBS categories, fracture incidence or medication exposure, did not differ by CTX. In the continuous model, BMD and TBS change was positively correlated (r = 0.225, P = 0.018). A negative correlation was observed between BMD change and CTX. The decrease in BMD level was associated with higher CTX (r = -0.335, P = 0.004). No correlation was observed between CTX and TBS.

Conclusions: No correlation between TBS dynamics and bone resorption marker was found. Clinical interpretation and implication of longitudinal TBS changes should be further explored.

March 2023
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.

February 2023
Dante Antonelli MD, Youri Rabkin MD, Yoav Turgeman MD, Mohamed Jabaren MD

Background: Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP1-RA) are new antidiabetic drugs that are recommended by current guidelines as a class I novel glucose-lowering treatment that improves cardiovascular outcome in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), particularly in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Objectives: To evaluate adherence to the current guidelines for treatment with SGLT2i and GLP1-RA drugs in patients referred to ambulatory consultant cardiology clinics with pre-existing T2DM.

Methods: We studied consecutive new patients with a pre-existing diagnosis of T2DM who were referred to the Clalit Health Services ambulatory consultant cardiology clinic over a 6-month period. The recorded information included demographics, co-morbidities, and prescribed drugs at patient admission.

Results: During the study period, 1782 patients visited our outpatient cardiology clinic. At screening, T2DM was present in 428 patients (24%); 77 (18%) were being treated with SGLT2i, and 39 (9.1%) with GLP1-RA. Patients receiving SGLT2i and GLP1-RA were younger and had more coronary artery disease, lower mean left ventricular ejection fraction, and higher mean estimated glomerular filtration rates than those who were not receiving these drugs. HbA1C was > 7 in 205 (47.9%) patients and > 7.5 in 136 patients (31.8%). Body mass index was > 30 kg/m2 in 231 (54%) patients.

Conclusions: GLP1-RA and SGLT2i drugs were found to be administered more frequently than previously reported, but they are not yet satisfactorily prescribed.

November 2022
Regev Landau MD, Ana Belkin MD, Sapir Kon-Kfir MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD, Avishay Grupper MD, David Shimunov MD, Ben-Ami Sela PhD, Ehud Grossman MD, Gadi Shlomai MD, Avshalom Leibowitz MD

Background: Most dyspneic patients in internal medicine departments have co-morbidities that interfere with the clinical diagnosis. The role of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is well-established in the acute setting but not in hospitalized patients.

Objectives: To evaluate the additive value of BNP tests in patients with dyspnea admitted to medical wards who did not respond to initial treatment.

Methods: We searched the records of patients who were hospitalized in the department of internal medicine D at Sheba Medical Center during 2012 and were tested for BNP in the ward. Data collected included co-morbidity, medical treatments, diagnosis at presentation and discharge, lab results including BNP, re-hospitalization, and mortality at one year following hospitalization.

Results: BNP results were found for 169 patients. BNP was taken 1.7 ± 2.7 days after hospitalization. According to BNP levels, dividing the patients into tertiles revealed three equally distributed groups with a distinctive character. The higher tertile was associated with higher rates of cardiac co-morbidities, including heart failure, but not chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Higher BNP levels were related to one-year re-hospitalization and mortality. In addition, higher BNP levels were associated with higher rates of in-admission diagnosis change.

Conclusions: BNP levels during hospitalization in internal medicine wards are significantly related to cardiac illness, the existence of heart failure, and patient prognosis. Thus, BNP can be a useful tool in managing dyspneic patients in this setting.

October 2019
Gassan Moady MD, Amitai Bickel MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Muhammad Khader MD and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Pneumatic sleeves (PS) are often used during laparoscopic surgery and for prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients who cannot receive anticoagulation treatment. There is very little information on the hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effect on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in patients with severely reduced left ventricular ejection function (LVEF).

Objectives: To determine the safety and hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effects on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

Methods: This study comprised 14 patients classified as New York Heart Association (NYHA) II–III with severely reduced LVEF (< 40%). We activated the PS using two inflation pressures (50 or 80 mmHg, 7 patients in each group) at two cycles per minute for one hour. We measured echocardiography, hemodynamic parameters, and BNP levels in each patient prior to, during, and after the PS operation.

Results: The baseline LVEF did not change throughout the activation of PS (31 ± 10% vs. 33 ± 9%, P = 0.673). Following PS activation there was no significant difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure, the pulse measurements, or central venous pressure. BNP levels did not change after PS activation (P = 0.074).

Conclusions: The use of PS, with either low or high inflation pressures, is safe and has no detrimental effects on hemodynamic parameters or BNP levels in patients with severely reduced LVEF following clinical stabilization and optimal medical therapy.

July 2019
Darja Kanduc PhD

Background: Although cross-reactions between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) autoantigens occur, a complete analysis of the potential EBV peptide cross-reactome has not been performed.

Objectives: To analyze the whole EBV proteome searching for peptides common to SLE-related proteins and endowed with an immunological potential.

Methods: Fifty-one SLE-related proteins were analyzed for hexapeptide sharing with EBV proteome using publicly available databases.

Results: An extremely high number of hexapeptides are shared between 34 human SLE autoantigens and EBV proteins. The peptide sharing mostly occurs with complement components C4 and Interleukin-10 (IL-10).

Conclusion: This study thoroughly describes the EBV vs. SLE autoantigens peptide overlap and powerfully supports cross-reactivity as a major mechanism in EBV-associated SLE etiopathogenesis.

May 2018
Ronen Zalts MD, Tomer Twizer MD, Ronit Leiba BsC and Amir Karban MD

Background: The identification of the etiology of a pleural effusion can be difficult. Measurement of serum B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels is helpful in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) as a cause of respiratory failure, but pleural fluid BNP measurement is still not part of the workup for pleural effusion.

Objectives: To identify the correlation between pleural fluid BNP levels and clinical diagnosis.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data from 107 patients admitted to the department of internal medicine between November 2009 and January 2015 were obtained from medical records. Patients underwent a diagnostic thoracocentesis as part of their evaluation. They were grouped according to final diagnosis at discharge and clinical judgment of the attending physician.

Results: Serum BNP levels were significantly higher in the CHF patients compared to patients with non-cardiac causes of pleural effusion (1519.2 and 314.1 respectively, P < 0.0001). Mean pleural fluid BNP was also significantly higher in the CHF patients (1063.2 vs. 208.3, P < 0.0001). Optional cutoff points to distinguish between cardiac and non-cardiac etiology of pleural effusion were 273.4 pg/ml (sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 72.3%, accuracy 76.7%) or 400 pg/ml (sensitivity 78.6%, specificity 86.2%, accuracy 83.0%). A strong correlation was found between serum BNP and pleural fluid BNP levels.

Conclusions: High levels of serum BNP in patients presenting with pleural effusion suggest CHF. In cases with doubt regarding the etiology of pleural effusion, high levels of pleural fluid BNP can support the diagnosis, but are not superior to serum BNP levels.

Batsheva Tzadok MD, Shay Shapira and Eran Tal-Or MD

Background: When a patient arrives at the emergency department (ED) presenting with symptoms of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), it is possible to reach a definitive diagnosis through many different venues, including medical history, physical examination, echocardiography, chest X-ray, and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has become a mainstream tool for diagnosis and treatment in the field of emergency medicine, as well as in various other departments in the hospital setting. Currently, the main methods of diagnosis of ADHF using POCUS are pleural B-lines and inferior vena cava (IVC) width and respiratory variation.

Objectives: To examine the potential use and benefits of bedside ultrasound of the jugular veins in the evaluation of dyspneic patients for identification of ADHF.

Methods: A blood BNP level was drawn from each participant at time of recruitment. The area and size of the internal jugular vein (IJV) during inspiration and expiration were examined.

Results: Our results showed that the respiratory area change of the IJVs had a specificity and sensitivity of nearly 70% accuracy rate in indentifying ADHF in our ED.

Conclusions: Ultrasound of the IJV may be a useful tool for the diagnosis of ADHF because it is easy to measure and requires little skill. It is also not affected by patient body habitus.

April 2018
Vitaly Finkelshtein MD, Yair Lampl MD, Mordechai Lorberboym MD, Andrew Kanner MD, Dominique Ben-Ami Raichman MD, Ron Dabby MD and Amir Tanay MD
April 2016
Nicola A. Pascarelli PhD, Sara Cheleschi PhD, Giovanni Bacaro PhD, Giacomo M. Guidelli MD, Mauro Galeazzi MD and Antonella Fioravanti MD PhD

Background: Balneotherapy is one of the most commonly used non-pharmacological approaches for osteoarthritis (OA). Recent data indicate that some biomarkers could be useful to predict OA progression and to assess therapeutic response.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of mud-bath therapy on serum biomarkers in patients with knee OA. 

Methods: The study group comprised 103 patients with primary symptomatic bilateral knee OA who were randomly assigned to receive a cycle of mud-bath therapy over a period of 2 weeks or to continue their standard therapy alone. Clinical and biochemical parameters were assessed at baseline and after 2 weeks. Clinical assessments included global pain score on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index (WOMAC) subscores for knee OA. Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide type II collagen (CTX-II), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) serum levels were assessed by ELISA.

Results: At the end of mud-bath therapy we observed a statistically significant improvement in VAS and WOMAC subscores. Serum levels of COMP, MPO and hsCRP did not show any significant modification in both groups, while a significant increase (P < 0.001) in CTX-II serum levels was observed in the mud-bath group after the treatment.

Conclusions: A cycle of mud-bath therapy added to usual treatment had a beneficial effect on pain and function in patients with knee OA. The evaluation of serum biomarkers showed only a significant increase of CTX-II, perhaps due to an increase of cartilage turnover induced by thermal stress.

September 2014
Smadar Gertel MD and Howard Amital MD MHA

The major autoantigens in the inflamed synovium in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are citrullinated peptides. Citrullinated peptides are employed in diagnostic kits for detection of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA), a serological marker with high specificity and sensitivity in the diagnosis of RA, and have been included in the new ACR/EULAR classification criteria for RA. ACPA-positive RA patients suffer from an erosive and more aggressive disease compared to ACPA-negative patients. In view of the mounting indications that ACPA plays a seminal role in the pathogenesis of RA, it might be valuable to pursue a specific treatment aiming ACPA as a target. We found that citrullinated peptides, which contain a unique amino acid, citrulline, alter the protein structure within the connective tissue, leading to tolerance breakdown and triggering the autoimmune response in RA. However, with different doses and routes of administration, citrullinated peptides can promote immune tolerance rather than induction of disease. 

January 2014
Joao L. P. Vaz, Mirhelen M. Abreu and Roger A. Levy
 Background: The presence of anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibody (ACPA) has a high specificity and predictive value for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some studies have shown decreased titers of this antibody after treatment with infliximab.

Objectives: To assess the changes in ACPA titers in patients with RA after treatment with infliximab as a first biological agent, and to correlate these variations with non-infusion-related adverse effects.

Methods: In a prospective multicenter observational study involving 48 research centers, we assessed 139 patients with established moderate-to-severe RA diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria. Samples were collected before and 6–12 months after treatment.

Results: The mean age of the study patients was 50.6 years old, and 118 were female (84.9%). Statistically significant variations in ACPA titers were noted in 47 patients (before and after treatment) (P = 0.012). Overall, ACPA titers were decreased in 32 (65.3%) and increased in 15 (34.7%). No correlation was found between severe or mild adverse effects in patients presenting variations in ACPA titers.

Conclusions: The present study showed that infliximab affected ACPA titers, promoting mainly a decrease; however, this was not related to the occurrence of non-infusion-related adverse effects.

September 2013
K. Goldman, S.Gertel and H. Amital
 Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) are detected in the sera of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and have a profound role in diagnosis of the disease. In this review we discuss the different cohorts of RA patients in whom the presence, sensitivity and specificity of ACPA were evaluated. The significance of ACPA in the pathogenesis and prognosis RA is also interpreted. Recent advances in the understanding of molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of RA have led to the identification of novel biologic agents that are now widely used in patients with RA

 

May 2013
E. Nahum, U. Pollak, O. Dagan, G. Amir, G. Frenkel and E. Birk
 Background: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) has been shown to have prognostic value for morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery. Less is known about its prognostic value in infants.

Objectives: To investigate the predictive value of BNP levels regarding the severity of the postoperative course in infants undergoing surgical repair of congenital heart disease.

Methods: We conducted a prospective comparative study. Plasma BNP levels in infants aged 1–12 months with congenital heart disease undergoing complete repair were measured preoperatively and 8, 24 and 48 hours postoperatively. Demographic and clinical data included postoperative inotropic support and lactate level, duration of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit (ICU) and hospitalization stay.

Results: Cardiac surgery was performed in 19 infants aged 1-12 months. Preoperative BNP level above 170 pg/ml had a positive predictive value of 100% for inotropic score ≥ 7.5 at 24 hours (specificity 100%, sensitivity 57%) and 48 hours (specificity 100%, sensitivity 100%), and was associated with longer ICU stay (P = 0.05) and a trend for longer mechanical ventilation (P = 0.12). Similar findings were found for 8 hours postoperative BNP above 1720 pg/ml. BNP level did not correlate with measured fractional shortening.

Conclusions: In infants undergoing heart surgery, preoperative and 8 hour BNP levels were predictive of inotropic support and longer ICU stay. These findings may have implications for preplanning ICU loads in clinical practice. Further studies with larger samples are needed.

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