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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.04.24

Search results


March 2024
Rottem Kuint MD, Henny Azmanov MD, Adi Shalom MD, Neville Berkman MBBCh

Background: Bronchiectasis is an obstructive chronic lung disease characterized by structural changes in large and small airways, namely permanent widening of bronchial lumen resulting in chronic inflammation and infection. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental mycobacteria that may cause human infection or colonization with over 150 species identified to date. Bronchiectasis with NTM colonization or infection is often encountered but with varying prevalence and unknown clinical or prognostic significance.

Objectives: To find the prevalence of NTM among patients with bronchiectasis in the Jerusalem district. To assess whether there were clinical differences between patients with bronchiectasis who were isolated with NTM and those without.

Methods: In this retrospective observational research study, we reviewed all computerized medical charts of patients over 18 years of age, who were diagnosed with bronchiectasis at Hadassah Medical Centers in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2017. We assessed the prevalence of NTM pulmonary disease. To compare patients with and without NTM, we reviewed and analyzed clinical, radiological, and microbiological data of all NTM patients and a group of controls in a 4:1 ratio.

Results: Prevalence of NTM among bronchiectasis patients was 5.1%, slightly lower than previously reported in Israel. We did not find clinically or radiological significant differences in patients with NTM disease compared to controls. This result included a similar number of exacerbations, hospitalization rates, number of lobes involved, and pulmonary function tests.

Conclusions: Bronchiectasis patients with isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa experienced more exacerbations than patients with other isolates, consistent with previous studies.

Shiri Zarour MD, Esther Dahan MD, Dana Karol MD, Or Hanoch, Barak Cohen MD, Idit Matot MD

Background: Survivors of critical illness are at increased risk of long-term impairments, referred to as post-intensive care unit (ICU) syndrome (PICS). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among ICU survivors with reported rates of up to 27%. The prevalence of PTSD among Israeli ICU survivors has not been reported to date.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of new onset PTSD diagnosed in a post-ICU clinic at a tertiary center in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, single center, cohort study. Data were collected from medical records of all patients who visited the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center post-ICU clinic between October 2017 and June 2020. New onset PTSD was defined as PTSD diagnosed by a certified board psychiatrist during the post-ICU clinic visit. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Overall, 39 patients (mean age 51 ± 17 years, 15/39 females [38%]) attended the post-ICU clinic during the study period. They were evaluated 82 ± 57 days after hospital discharge. After excluding 7 patients due to missing proper psychiatric analysis, 32 patients remained eligible for the primary analysis. New PTSD was diagnosed in one patient (3%).

Conclusions: We found lower incidence of PTSD in our cohort when compared to existing literature. Possible explanations include different diagnostic tools and low risk factors rate. Unique national, cultural, and/or religious perspectives might have contributed to the observed low PTSD rate. Further research in larger study populations is required to establish the prevalence of PTSD among Israeli ICU survivors.

December 2023
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.

September 2023
Galit Almoznino DMD MSc MHA MPH, Maayan Sherman DMD, Doron J. Aframian DMD PhD, Yaron Haviv DMD PhD

Migraine is very common headache disorder, usually starting at a young age with a higher prevalence in females. In this narrative review, we summarize the prevalence, burden, and socio-demographic characteristics of migraineurs worldwide and specifically in Israel. We searched standard electronic bibliographic databases, including MEDLINE (via PubMed), Embase, Google Scholar, and Up to Date using combinations of search terms and reviewed the articles we found. The factors reviewed included prevalence and incidence, burden, sex differences, age distribution, cognitive function, socioeconomic status, religion, country of origin, and urban vs. rural dwelling.

July 2023
Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD, Lior Fisher MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Abdulla Watad MD, Kassem Sharif MD

Background: Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are inflammatory mediated myopathies characterized by progressive symmetric proximal muscle weakness and associated with extra-muscular involvement. Central nervous system complications are rarely reported with these diseases.

Objectives: To investigate the association between dementia and PM/DM.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a database from Clalit Health Care, the largest health maintenance organization in Israel. Patients with a first recorded diagnosis of PM/DM were included and were compared with age- and sex-matched controls by a ratio of 1:5. The prevalence of dementia among PM/DM patients compared to controls was assessed using a univariate and a multivariable model. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association of different factors with dementia within the PM/DM cohort.

Results: The study included 2085 PM/DM cases (17.0%) and 10,193 age- and sex-matched controls (83.0%). During the follow-up time, 36 PM/DM patients were diagnosed with dementia compared to 160 controls, with a univariate hazard ratio (HR) of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.77–1.58). Within the PM/DM cohort, significant predictors for the development of dementia included increased age at diagnosis (5 years increment; OR 1.86, 95%CI 1.57–2.21, P < 0.001) and treatment with glucocorticoids (OR 5.40, 95%CI 1.67–17.67, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: In our cohort, inflammatory myopathies were not associated with dementia. Age and treatment with glucocorticoids were associated with dementia. If dementia is diagnosed in patients with inflammatory myopathies, other systemic causes should be investigated.

April 2023
Tal Yahalomi MD, Joseph Pikkel MD, Roee Arnon MD, Daniel Malchi MD, Aviv Vidan MD, Michael Kinori MD

Background: In developed countries, amblyopia has an estimated prevalence rate of 1–4%, depending on the socioeconomic gradient. Previous studies performed on pediatric populations in Ethiopia demonstrated amblyopia rates up to 16.7.

Objectives: To assess rates of amblyopia, refractive errors, strabismus, and other eye pathologies among Ethiopian-born children and adolescents who immigrated to Israel compared to Israeli-born children.

Methods This observational cross-sectional study included children and adolescents 5–19 years of age who immigrated to Israel up to 2 years before data collection and lived in an immigration center. Demographic data and general health status of the children were obtained from the parents, and a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination was performed. Results were compared to Israeli-born children.

Results: The study included 223 children and adolescents: 87 Ethiopian-born and 136 Israeli-born. The rate of amblyopia in the Ethiopian-born group vs. Israeli-born was 3.4% and 4.4%, respectively. Even after controlling for age, there was still no significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.99).

Conclusions: Despite originating from a country with limited resources and fewer medical facilities, the amblyopia rate in Jewish Ethiopian immigrants was not higher, and even mildly lower, compared to Israeli-born children.

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.

March 2023
Ariel Tessone MD, Moti Harats MD

Background: In late 2019, a new strain of coronavirus (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) spread rapidly throughout the world. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a pandemic-related surge in the demand for aesthetic surgery compared to the same popularity of procedures prior to the pandemic.

Objectives: To determine whether this phenomenon also occurred in Israel.

Methods: We collected data from three leading private medical centers in Tel Aviv. Data were compared for the years 2019 and 2020 by surgical procedure. Number of orthopedic, gynecologic, and hand procedures served as control data.

Results: We present a detailed pandemic-related timeline relevant to aesthetic surgery in Israel. Overall, the demand for aesthetic surgery increased, with a marked trend toward body contouring procedures.

Conclusions: The Israeli aesthetic surgery market was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a post-closure surge. The popularity and number of procedures are unique to the Israeli market.

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.

December 2022
Reem Abbasi MPH, Ruthie Harari-Kremer MSc, Alon Haim MD, Raanan Raz PHD

Background: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation and delayed growth in children. Several prenatal and environmental factors might be associated with the disease.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of permanent CH and transient congenital hypothyroidism (TCH) in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the Israeli national newborn screening program database from 2011 to 2015. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to assess the association of the demographic and gestational factors with the CH and TCH.

Results: Of the 889,033 live births screened between 2011 and 2015, 860 were diagnosed with CH (9.76 per 10,000 live births) and 298 with TCH (3.35 per 10,000 live births). In multivariate analyses, CH was positively associated with female sex, gestational ages < 38 or > 39 weeks, birth weight < 3000 grams, and winter birth. A decreased risk of TCH was detected in Arabs and neonates from high socioeconomic areas. An increased risk was independently associated with gestational ages < 38 weeks, low birth weight, and winter birth.

Conclusions: Several demographic, gestational, and geographical factors are associated with the development of CH and TCH. Future studies are needed to further investigate the pathogenesis in Israel.

July 2022
Adnan Zaina MD, Ilan Shimon MD, Ali Abid MD,Eldad Arad MD,Elzbieta Baron MD, Elena Golden MD, Michal Gershinsky MD, Nariman Saba Khazen MD, Mohammed Abu Saleh MD, Noga Roguin Maor MD, Orit Bardicef MD, Yulia Pauker MD and Sameer Kassem MD

Background: National registries for acromegaly and population-based data make an important contribution to disease understanding and management. Data concerning the epidemiology of acromegaly in Israel is scanty.

Objectives: To evaluate the epidemiology of acromegaly in different industrial areas in northern Israel.

Methods: Data from adult patients diagnosed with acromegaly from 2000 to 2020, living in Haifa and the western Galilee District were collected using the electronic database and medical records from Clalit Health Services. The prevalence of acromegaly in three distinct areas and overall were reported. In addition, other epidemiological data including associated co-morbidities, pituitary tumor size, and treatment modalities were collected.

Results: We identified 77 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acromegaly. The overall prevalence was 155 cases/106 inhabitants without statistically significant differences between the three areas. The mean age at diagnosis was 50 ± 1.8 years and the male to female ratio was 1.1. Macroadenoma and microadenoma were identified in 44 (57%) and 25 (33%), respectively. The frequency rate of acromegaly-associated co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, carpal tunnel syndrome, and osteoporosis was similar to previously reported studies. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 29 ± 5.6 kg/m2 .Obesity, with a BMI ≥ of 30 kg/m2, was found in 29 patients (38%). The majority of patients underwent transsphenoidal surgery 67 (87%). Normalized insulin-like growth factor 1 was reported in 64 (83%).

Conclusions: A high prevalence of acromegaly was found in northern Israel. The pituitary microadenoma frequency rate is the highest reported.

May 2022
Carmel Kasher MD, Orit Rozenberg PhD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Hana Kahanov-Edelstein, and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) have close interaction with confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Infection rates reported among HCWs is between 3% and 17%, and asymptomatic HCWs are a potential source of nosocomial transmission to vulnerable patients and colleagues. Universal mask use and good supply of personal protective equipment was implemented early at our institution.

Objectives: To determine the rate of infection by the serologic status of HCWs during first three COVID-19 waves, based on occupation and risk of exposure, compared to Israeli general population.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study at Emek Medical Center from April 2020 to April 2021. A total of 101 HCWs volunteered to be followed at six time points by a serology test and a questionnaire.

Results: A total of 101 HCWs completed six serologic tests. All participants were seronegative at the four initial tests. The cumulative seropositivity rate for COVID-19 in HCWs was 9.9% (10/101). Only three seropositive HCWs (2.97%) were hospital-acquired.

Conclusions: Seroprevalence and seroconversion dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in 101 HCWs during COVID-19 outbreaks at Emek Medical Center were similar to the epidemiological curve of positive polymerase chain reaction results of the Israeli population, as published by the Israeli Ministry of Health, at each time point. Universal mask use and infection control measures may have contributed to a low hospital infection rate.

December 2021
Sâmara Paula Ferreira Mota Colares MSc, Guilherme Moura Colares MD, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD, and Carlos Ewerton Maia Rodrigues MD PhD

Background: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a narrowing of the lumbar canal causing lower back pain, gluteal pain, and neurogenic claudication. LSS has been associated with cardiovascular co-morbidities. Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a pro-inflammatory condition involving a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is increasingly prevalent worldwide.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of MetS in patients with LSS, compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls, and to explore potential associations between MetS and LSS-related clinical parameters and cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study including 64 patients diagnosed as symptomatic LSS (NASS criteria) and 32 controls. MetS was diagnosed using the 2009 Harmonizing criteria adjusted for South Americans. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for MetS. The level of statistical significance was set at 5%.

Results: The prevalence of MetS was significantly higher in the LSS group than in the control group (76.6% vs. 31.3%; P < 0.001). LSS patients displayed greater waist circumference (P = 0.003), blood glucose levels (P = 0.009) and arterial pressure (P < 0.001) than controls. The variables with independent influence on MetS in the logistic regression model were: diabetes (P = 0.008), blood glucose (P = 0.004), and body mass index (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: MetS was significantly more prevalent among LSS patients, and diabetes and elevated body mass index were found to be risk factors for MetS in these LSS patients

April 2021
Bethlehem Mengesha MD, Daniela Levi MD, Moran Kroonenberg MD, Ronit Koren MD, Ahuva Golik MD, and Shlomit Koren MD

Background: Hypomagnesemia (serum magnesium level < 1.7 mg/dl) occurs more frequently in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).Serum magnesium levels are not routinely tested in hospitalized patients, including in hospitalized patients with T2DM.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of hypomagnesemia among hospitalized T2DM patients treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and/or diuretics.

Methods: A total of 263 T2DM patients hospitalized in general departments were included in the study and were further divided into four groups: group 1 (patients not treated with PPIs or diuretics), group 2 (patients treated with PPIs), group 3 (patients treated with diuretics), and group 4 (patients treated with both PPIs and diuretics).  Blood and urine samples were taken during the first 24 hours of admission. Electrocardiogram was performed on admission.

Results: Of the 263 T2DM patients, 58 (22.1%) had hypomagnesemia (serum magnesium level < 1.7 mg/dl). Patients in group 2 had the lowest mean serum magnesium level (1.79 mg/dl ± 0.27). Relatively more patients with hypomagnesemia were found in group 2 compared to the other groups, although a statistically significant difference was not observed. Significantly more patients in group 3 and 4 had chronic renal failure. Patients with hypomagnesemia had significantly lower serum calcium levels.

Conclusions: Hospitalized T2DM patients under PPI therapy are at risk for hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia

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