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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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August 2023
Ori Wand MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Shitrit MD

Biological therapies with monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the management of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Combining biological treatments is very rarely indicated and may theoretically result in severe adverse effects, specifically, an increased tendency toward infectious diseases. We present the case of a woman in whom combination therapy with canakinumab for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and mepolizumab for chronic eosinophilic pneumonia was successfully employed.

November 2022
Niv Izhaki MD, Shay Perek MD, Mahmoud Agbaria BSc, Ayelet Raz-Pasteur MD

Pneumonia patients are susceptible to autonomic nervous system changes. Ultrashort HRV (usHRV) is the measurement of cyclic changes in heart rate over a period < 5 minutes.

Objectives: To describe usHRV in patients with pneumonia and assess the correlation with mortality.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis, which included patients diagnosed with pneumonia in the emergency department (ED). UsHRV indices were calculated from a 10-second ED electrocardiogram and correlated with mortality utilizing logistic and Cox regressions.

Results: The study comprised 240 patients. Mortality rates over 30, 90, and 365 days were 13%, 18%, and 30%, respectively. usHRV frequency-domain parameters had significant univariate correlations with mortality. Normalized low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) were correlated with 30-, 90-, and 365-day mortality in an opposite direction (odds ratio [OR] 0.094, P = 0.028 vs. OR 4.589, P =0.064; OR 0.052, P = 0.002 vs. OR 6.975, P =0.008; OR 0.055, P < 0.001 vs. OR 7.931, P < 0.001; respectively). Survival analysis was conducted for a follow-up median period of 5.86 years (interquartile range 0.65–9.77 years). Univariate Cox proportional hazard regression revealed time-domain indices with significant correlation with survival (SDNN and RMSSD; hazard ratio [HR] 1.005, 1.005; P = 0.032, P = 0.005; respectively) as well as frequency-domain parameters (normalized LF, HF, LF/HF ratio, and total power; HR 0.102, 5.002, 0.683, 0.997, respectively; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: usHRV may predict mortality in pneumonia patients and serve as a novel risk stratification tool.

Muhammad Awwad MD, Yury Peysakhovich MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Assaf Issachar MD, Noa Eliakim Raz MD

Candida species inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Isolation of Candida from the respiratory tract has been found and reflects colonization, particularly among mechanically ventilated patients [1]. However, the existence of candida as a respiratory pathogen was previously doubted. Candida pneumonia is a rare and challenging-to-diagnose entity. We present a histopathologically confirmed case of necrotizing Candida pneumonia and lung abscess in a solid organ transplant recipient.

July 2022
Carla Caffarelli MD PhD, Paolo Cameli MD, Miriana D’Alessandro MD, Elena Bargagli MD, Bruno Fredian MD, and Stefano Gonnelli MD

Background: Some studies have shown that patients who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 also have low levels of vitamin D. It is known that vitamin D can reduce the risk of infections and down regulate the immune/inflammatory reaction.

Objectives: To investigate the association between vitamin D status and lymphocyte subpopulations in hospitalized pneumonia COVID-19 patients.

Methods: In 33 positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients with radiologic evidence of interstitial pneumonia and in 16 healthy control subjects matched for age, sex, and seasonality lymphocyte subpopulations and vitamin D levels were evaluated.

Results: The majority of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (70.8%) presented vitamin D deficiency. The percentages of neutrophils presented a negative correlation (r = -0.74; P < 0.001), whereas the percentages of lymphocytes presented a positive correlation (r = 0.43; P < 0.01) with 25(OH)D. Moreover, vitamin D levels were positively correlated with CD3+ (r = 0.37, P < 0.05), CD4+ (r = 0.41, P < 0.05), CD8+ (r = 0.32, P < 0.07), and CD19+ (r = 0.38, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: This preliminary study confirms the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a reduction of lymphocyte subsets and altered T-lymphocyte activation. This finding may contribute to clarify the mechanisms by which vitamin D influences the course and outcome of COVID-19 pneumonia.

June 2021
Milena Tocut MD, Ziv Rozman MD, Hagai Dekel MD, and Arie Soroksky MD
May 2021
Anat Zalmanovich MD, Ronen Ben-Ami MD, Galia Rahav MD, Danny Alon MD, Allon Moses MD, Karen Olshtain-Pops MD, Miriam Weinberger MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Katzir MD, Bat-Sheva Gottesman MD, Michal Chowers MD

Background: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is an opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. Clusters of PJP, especially among organ transplant recipients in clinic settings were described. Data regarding nosocomial PJP infection among inpatients are limited.

Objectives: To assess the magnitude and characteristics of inpatient healthcare-associated PJP infection (HCA-PJP) in HIV-negative patients.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of hospitalized PJP patients was performed to identify HCA-PJP. The study was performed at six medical centers in Israel from 2006 to 2016. HCA-PJP was defined as cases of hospital-onset or those with documented contact with a PJP patient. We reviewed and cross-matched temporal and spatial co-locations of patients. Clinical laboratory characteristics and outcomes were compared.

Results: Seventy-six cases of PJP were identified. Median age was 63.7 years; 64% men; 44% hematological malignancies; 18% inflammatory diseases; and 61% steroid usage. Thirty-two patients (42%) were defined as HCA-PJP: 18/32 (23.6%) were hospitalized at onset and 14/32 (18.4%) had a previous encounter with a PJP patient. Time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was shorter in HCA-PJP vs. community-PJP (3.25 vs. 11.23 days, P = 0.009). In multivariate analysis, dyspnea at presentation (odds ratio [OR] 16.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.78–157.95) and a tendency toward higher rate of ventilator support (72% vs. 52%, P = 0.07, OR 5.18, 95%CI 0.7–30.3) were independently associated with HCA-PJP, implying abrupt disease progression in HCA-PJP.

Conclusion: HCA-PJP was common. A high level of suspicion for PJP among selected patients with nosocomial respiratory infection is warranted. Isolation of PJP patients should be considered

March 2021
Ariel Kenig MD, Ofer Perzon MD, Yuval Tal MD PhD, Sigal Sviri MD, Avi Abutbul MD, Marc Romain MD, Efrat Orenbuch-Harroch MD, Naama Elefant MD, and Aviv Talmon MD
December 2020
Rashed Shkeiri MD, Sonia Schneer MD, Amir Avarmovich MD, and Yochai Adir MD

Background: Transbronchial cryobiopsy (TBC) has recently emerged for the assessment of diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD) as a less invasive procedure than surgical lung biopsy. The diagnostic usefulness and safety of TBC is still controversial.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and diagnostic yield of TBC in a peripheral community medical center.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients with DPLD who underwent TBC from January 2015 to January 2020.

Results: The study comprised 97 patients. Three samples were taken from each patient with an average diameter of 0.59 cm. The histologic diagnostic yield was 54% (52 of 97 procedures). The most frequent histopathologic diagnoses were usual interstitial pneumonia in 13 patients (13%). Bleeding was observed in 19 cases (19%) and only one patient (1%) had severe bleeding. Pneumothorax developed in seven patients (7%) and one patient (1%) suffered from Interstitial lung disease exacerbation.

Conclusions: TBC was found to be safe; however, the diagnostic yield was rather low compared to other studies, which emphasizes the need for interstitial lung disease centers with expert in this field.

August 2020
Shay Brikman MD, Amir Bieber MD and Guy Dori MD PhD

In this review we described the values of commonly available HScore laboratory markers in patients with coronavirus-19 (COVID-19)-pneumonia associated cytokine storm syndrome (CPN-CSS) and compared results with those of other forms cytokine storm syndrome (O-CSS) to determine a pattern for CPN-CSS. Twelve CPN-CSS studies and six O-CSS studies were included. CPN-CSS typically obtained a single HScore value (e.g., aspartate transaminase > 30 U/L) while failing all other HScore criteria. A typical pattern for CPN-CSS was revealed when compared to O-CSS: lymphopenia vs. pancytopenia and increased vs. decreased fibrinogen. Findings, other than HScore commonly found in CPN-CSS studies, showed elevated lactate dehydrogenase, D-dimer, and C-reactive protein. Although CPN-CSS studies describe severely ill patients, the HScore markers are typically less toxic that O-CSS

June 2020
Charlie Bridgewood PhD, Giovanni Damiani MD, Kassem Sharif MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD MPH, Luca Quartuccio MD, Sinisa Savic and Dennis McGonagle FRCPI PhD

In the absence of definitive anti-viral therapy, there is considerable interest in mitigating against severe inflammatory reactions in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia to improve survival. These reactions are sometimes termed cytokine storm. PDE4 inhibitors (PDE4i) have anti-inflammatory properties with approved indications in inflammatory skin and joint diseases as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Furthermore, multiple animal models demonstrate strong anti-inflammatory effects of PDE4i in respiratory models of viral and bacterial infection and also after chemically mediated lung injury. The rationale for PDE4i use in COVID-19 patients comes from the multimodal mechanism of action with cytokine, chemokine, and other key pathway inhibition all achieved with an excellent safety profile. We highlight how PDE4i could be an overlooked treatment from the rheumatologic and respiratory armamentarium, which has potential beneficial immune-modulation for treating severe COVID-19 pneumonia associated with cytokine storms. The proposed use of PDE4i is also supported by age-related immune changes in inflammation severity in PDE4i modifiable pathways in primate coronavirus disease. In conclusion, over-exuberant anti-viral immune responses in older patients with COVID-19 may pose a substantial risk to patient survival and mitigation against such hyper-inflammation with PDE4i, especially with anti-viral agents, is a strategy that need to be pursed, especially in older patients


December 2018
Ori Samuel Duek MD BSBME, Yeela Ben Naftali MD, Yaron Bar-Lavie MD, Hany Bahouth MD and Yehuda Ullmann MD

Background: Pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in burn patients with inhalation injuries. An increased risk of pneumonia has been demonstrated in trauma and burn patients urgently intubated in the field vs. emergency departments (EDs).

Objectives: To compare intubation setting (field vs. ED) and subsequent development of pneumonia in burn patients and to evaluate the indication for urgent intubation outside the hospital setting.

Methods: A retrospective medical records review was conducted on all intubated patients presenting with thermal (study group, 118 patients) or trauma (control group A, 74 patients) injuries and admitted to the intensive care unit of a level I trauma and burn center at a single institution during a 15 year period. Control group B (50 patients) included non-intubated facial burn patients hospitalized in the plastic surgery department.

Results: Field intubation was less frequent (37% field vs. 63% ED), although it was more frequent in larger burns (total body surface area > 50%; 43% field vs. 27% ED). More field intubated patients developed pneumonia during hospitalization (65% field vs. 36% ED [burns]; 81% field vs. 45% ED [multi-trauma]; 2% non-intubated, P < 0.05), with a significantly higher all-cause mortality (49% field vs. 24% ED, P < 0.05) and dramatically lower rates of extubation within 3 days (7% field vs. 27% ED, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Field intubation is associated with a higher risk of subsequent development of pneumonia in burn and multi-trauma patients and should be applied with caution, only when airway patency is at immediate risk.

June 2018
Raymond Farah, Rola Khamisy-Farah and Nicola Makhoul

Background: Accurate diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is crucial to its proper management and to combating antibiotic resistance. Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) have been shown to distinguish pneumonia from other pathological conditions and can be used to control the severity of infection during admission.

Objective: To investigate an association between consecutive measurements of CRP and the severity of CAP in hospitalized patients.

Methods: A total of 500 patients with CAP were admitted to the hospital. Traditional markers of inflammation including CRP, leukocyte count, body temperature, were measured on the first, second, and fifth days of hospitalization. Correlations between these measures and the length of the hospital stay were calculated.

Results: Mean levels of CRP, body temperature, and leukocyte count were significantly lower on the second day after hospital admission and even lower on the fifth day. A positive correlation of medium strength was found between the level of CRP on the second day of hospitalization and the length of hospital stay (P < 0.001, rs = 0.447), and a negative correlation was noted between the decrease in CRP level from the first to second day and the length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: CRP levels correlated with body temperature and leukocyte count, traditional markers of inflammation. A greater decrease in CRP level between the first and second day of hospitalization was associated with shorter hospital stay and rapid improvement. These findings support the use of CRP as a marker for the severity and complication of CAP.

March 2018
Tal Corina Sela MD, Ofrat Beyar Katz MD, Tamar Tadmor MD, Jacob Bejar and Elad Schiff MD
January 2018
Michalle Soudack MD, Semion Plotkin MD, Aviva Ben-Shlush MD, Lisa Raviv-Zilka MD, Jeffrey M. Jacobson MD, Michael Benacon MD and Arie Augarten MD

Background: Opinions differ as to the need of a lateral radiograph for diagnosing community acquired pneumonia in children referred to the emergency department. A lateral radiograph increases the ionizing radiation burden but at the same time may improve specificity and sensitivity in this population.

Objectives: To determine the value of the frontal and lateral chest radiographs compared to frontal view stand-alone images for the management of children with suspected community acquired pneumonia seen in a pediatric emergency department.

Methods: Chest radiographs from 451 children with clinically suspected pneumonia were retrospectively reviewed. Interpretation of frontal views was compared to interpretation of combined frontal and lateral view, the latter being the gold standard.

Results: Findings consistent with bacterial pneumonia were diagnosed in 94 (20.8%) of the frontal stand-alone radiographs and in 109 (24.2%) of the combined frontal and lateral radiographs. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the frontal radiograph alone were 86.2%, 93.9%, 81.7%, and 95.5%, respectively. False positive and false negative rates were 15% and 21%, respectively, for the frontal view alone. The number of lateral radiographs needed to diagnose one community acquired pneumonia was 29.

Conclusions: The lateral chest radiograph improves the diagnosis of pediatric community acquired pneumonia to a certain degree and may prevent overtreatment with antibiotics.

March 2017
W. Nseir MD, S. Artul MD, S. Abu Rajab MD, J. Mograbi RN, N. Nasralla MD and M. Mahamid MD
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