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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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June 2024
Ran Ben David MD, Iftach Sagy MD PhD, Alan Jotkowitz MD, Leonid Barski MD

Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute metabolic, life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus with a mortality rate that now stand at less than 1%. Although mortality is coupled with the etiology of DKA, literature on the influence of DKA etiology on patient outcome is scarce.

Objectives: To study different triggers for DKA and their effect on outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study that include 385 DKA patients from 2004 to 2017. The study compared demographics, clinical presentation, and mortality rates by different precipitating factors.

Results: Patients with DKA due to infections had a higher risk to develop in-hospital mortality after controlling for age and sex (odds ratio 4.40, 95% confidence interval 1.3514.30), had a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score, a higher risk of being mechanical ventilated (14% vs. 3%, P < 0.01), and a longer duration of hospitalization (5 days vs. 3 days, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: It is crucial to find the triggers that precipitate DKA and start the treatment as early as possible in addition to the metabolic aspect of the treatment especially when the trigger is an infectious disease.

November 2023
Nitsa Nacasch MD, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Ilanit Wul BA, Michael Polliack MD, Mark Weiser MD

On Saturday, 7 October 2023, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, our entire country woke to a reality of the worst terror attacks it has ever known, despite its long history of wars and terror. These horrific attacks included killing and burning babies, children, women, men, and the elderly; raping women; beheading babies; destroying settlements; and kidnapping more than 240 civilians and soldiers. The severe traumatic events created different circles of those exposed to trauma. In each group, the intensity of the trauma was different and had different characteristics.

March 2023
Elena Chernomordikov MD, Keren Rouvinov MD, Wilmosh Mermershtain MD, Konstantin Lavrenkov MD PhD

Background: Bicalutamide monotherapy (BMT) is an option for androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in patients with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer (LIR-PC). Painful gynecomastia (PG) is a common side effect of BMT. Few therapeutic options are available for preventing BMT-induced PG.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and side effects of single fraction (SF) prophylactic breast irradiation (PBI) to prevent painful gynecomastia (PG) in patients LIR-PC treated with BMT.

Methods: We reviewed the results of bilateral PBI in a prospective cohort of LIR-PC patients who received 150 mg bicalutamide daily as a first-line treatment for at least 12 months. A single fraction of 8 Gy was administered to both breasts by a stationary field of 10 × 10 cm, using 10–15 MeV electron beam. PBI was commenced on the same day as BMT, but prior to the first dose of bicalutamide. A radiotherapy treatment plan was designed to cover breast tissue by the 90% isodose line. Subsequent monthly physical examinations were scheduled for all patients during the first year of BMT to evaluate any PG symptoms.

Results: Seventy-six patients received BMT and PBI, 80% (61/76) showed no signs of PG; 20% (15/76) experienced mild gynecomastia. The main adverse effect of PBI was grade 1 radiation dermatitis.

Conclusions: PBI using a SF of 8 Gy is an effective, safe, and low-cost strategy for the prevention of BMT-induced PG in LIR-PC patients.

Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Howard Amital MD MHA

Fibromyalgia is one of the most significant causes of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, heavily burdening both individual patients and the healthcare system. Hence, reducing the prevalence of the disorder is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the etiology and the exact risk factors leading to the development of fibromyalgia are not clearly known, making its prevention difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, there are numerous risk markers that are associated with an increased probability of the disease, such as obesity, psychological and physical stress, exposure to traumatic life events, certain infectious disorders, and co-morbid rheumatic and psychiatric disorders. It is reasonable to assume that targeting preventable risk markers may suppress consequent emergence of fibromyalgia, but studies investigating primary prevention on fibromyalgia are scarce. In this review, we examined several studies that discuss proven methods to prevent fibromyalgia, including maintenance of a normal body mass index, regular physical exercise, and psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

June 2022
Adi Isaacson MD and Amnon Lahad MD, MPH

Background: Traditionally, the task of health promotion and early detection screening has been the purview of health maintenance organizations through the family physician. For some years, it has become popular for private health organizations to offer a concentrated day of comprehensive medical testing, which is promoted as a perk by many organizations to their employees. What do these programs offer? Are the tests that are offered evidence based?

Objectives: To describe a concentrated day of comprehensive medical testing program in view of current evidence base medicine (EBM) recommendations.

Methods: We reviewed official internet sites of the most popular concentrated days of comprehensive medical testing and compared the tests offered to the recommendation of several Israeli and international guidelines.

Results: Many tests performed at director screening days do not follow EBM recommendations. Tests like mammography, colonoscopy, bone density, and prostate-specific antigen tests are often offered outside of the recommended age and risk groups and without pretest consultation.

Conclusions: We recommend against routine general health examinations for healthy adults. The most important treatment is not screening and early detection but real prevention. We recommend turning these director screening days into real investments in future health by changing the focus from diagnosis to treatment through prevention. One-on-one conversations, explanations, and most importantly tools to encourage lifestyle changes, will really make a difference.

January 2022
Nariman Saba Khazen MD, Andrew Brash MD, Miri Steier MD, Dennis Kunichoff MsC, and Ronit Wollstein MD

Background: Identifying and treating patients with fragility fractures may be effective in prevention of subsequent fractures because a first fragility fracture often predicts a second fracture.

Objectives: To evaluate a multidisciplinary anti-osteoporotic clinic for patients with prior distal radius fragility fractures (DRFF). To assess whether addressing this early fracture may prevent a second fracture.

Methods: A retrospective case-control study was performed. Cases included patients treated surgically for DRFF who were assessed at a tertiary, multidisciplinary, fracture-prevention clinic. Controls were a series of similarly treated patients who did not attend the clinic. The primary outcome measure was a second fracture.

Results: Average follow-up was 42 months for the treated group and 85 months for the untreated group. The treated group received more treatment for osteoporosis than controls; however, despite one new fracture in the treated group and six new fractures in the control group, there was no significant difference in fracture occurrence.

Conclusions: This pilot study supports the effectiveness of our multidisciplinary anti-osteoporotic clinic in treating osteoporosis but not in reducing subsequent fractures. Further study with larger cohorts and longer follow-up is needed to improve our ability to implement effective prevention of fragility fractures.

May 2021
Kamal Masarweh MD, Clari Felszer-Fisch MD, Eric Shinwell MD, Jamal Hasanein MD, Marina Peniakov MD, Scott A. Weiner MD, Bella Lurye-Marcu MD, Dan Miron MD

Background: The incidence of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in Israel is 0.7%. Only 10–15% are symptomatic. Valganciclovir has been shown to improve hearing and neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonates with symptomatic congenital CMV infection. Targeted examination of infants who fail routine neonatal hearing screening or have clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of symptomatic congenital CMV infection may be a cost-effective approach.

Objectives: To assess the possibility of targeted examination for the detection of newborns with symptomatic congenital CMV infection.

Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in 2014–2015 at two medical centers in northern Israel. Included were all newborns who were tested in the first 3 days of life by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for urine CMV DNA (n=692), either for failure the hearing screening (n=539, 78%), clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of symptomatic congenital CMV infection, or primary CMV infection during pregnancy (n=153, 22%).

Results: During the study period 15,433 newborns were born. The predicted rate of infection was 10–15% (symptomatic) of 0.7% of newborns, namely 0.07–0.105% or 10–15 infants. In fact, 15 infants (0.11%, 95% confidence interval 0.066–0.175) were diagnosed with symptomatic congenital CMV infection, 2/539 (0.37%) in the failed hearing group and 13/153 (8%) in the clinical/laboratory findings group. The incidence of symptomatic congenital CMV infection was within the predicted range.

Conclusions: Targeted examination of only 4.5% (n=692) of newborns detected the predicted number of infants with symptomatic congenital CMV infection in whom valganciclovir therapy is recommended

April 2021
Uri Gabbay MD MPH, Doron Carmi MD MHA, Aviva Mimouni-Bloch MD, Bat El Goldstein MD, Lital Keinan-Boker MD MPH, and Joseph Meyerovitch MD

Background: Evaluation of children's anthropometrics poses challenges due to age-related changes. The main focus is on height and weight. However, since weight is height-dependent, body mass index (BMI) is the best surrogate measurement of adiposity. Israel has not developed national growth tables; therefore, researchers and clinicians utilize either World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tables as benchmarks.

Objectives: To evaluate the anthropometrics of Israeli children benchmarked by CDC and WHO tables.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of the 1987–2003 birth cohort (age 4–18 years) from Clalit Health Services databases. Anthropometrics were retrieved twice: at study entry and one year later. We evaluated them as separate cohorts. Gender-specific age-matched median height and BMI were compared with CDC and WHO height and BMI tables.

Results: The study consisted of 15,650, mean age at study entry 9.5 years (range 4–18). Gender-specific median heights of the Israeli children were similar to CDC and WHO values at younger ages, but were slightly shorter than the age-matched CDC and WHO toward the age of final height in both cohorts. However, gender-specific median BMI was considerably and statistically significant higher compared to CDC and WHO values consistently along the entire age range in both cohorts.

Conclusions: Israeli children were slightly shorter toward the age of final height, compared to WHO and CDC. However, BMI in Israeli children was significantly higher compared to the CDC and WHO consistently along the age range, which raises an alarm regarding obesity patterns

March 2021
Moran Slavin MD, Shmuel Avital MD, Yael Einbinder MD, Barak Benjamin MD, and Roye Inbar MD

Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a treatment option for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and cardiorenal syndrome (CRS).

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of this patient population.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of patients who underwent an open or laparoscopic insertion of a PD catheter at our institution between 2009 and 2017. Data included demographics, peri-operative parameters, and long-term outcome. Patient and technique survival curves are presented, including subgroup analysis by method of catheter insertion and techniques for infection prevention.

Results: The study population included 95 men and 42 women, aged 65.7 ± 12.4 years. Mean follow-up was 34.6 ± 27.3 months. Open insertion was performed in 113 cases, while 24 underwent laparoscopic insertion. There was no difference in technique survival between these groups (P = 0.943). Removal of the catheter was required in 66% of patients. Median technique survival was 12.1 months. Two-year technique survival was 37% and 5-year technique survival was 12%. The leading cause for catheter removal was infection (69%). Application of measures for prevention of infections were significantly associated with prolonged technique survival (P = 0.001). Technique survival after 2 years was 38% with the application of a single measure and 57% with the application of two measures (P = 0.001). CRS patients (n=24) had a significantly lower overall survival rate (2-year survival 20% vs. 74%, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: The method of catheter insertion has no effect on technique survival. Prevention of infections is the most significant factor for improving the technique survival rates.

August 2020
Raanan Meyer MD, Gabriel Levin MD, Natav Hendin BSc and Eldad Katorza MD

Background: Channeling medical resources for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) management can potentially endanger routine healthcare practices. As a preventive measure, a department of obstetrics and gynecology in Israel constructed a separate, designated complex for its COVID-19-exposed patients.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic infection control measures on obstetric care in the obstetrical emergency department and delivery unit.

Methods: The authors collected data retrospectively from February 2020 to March 2020 and compared it to data of a parallel period in 2019.

Results: From 1 February 2020 to 28 March 2020, 3897 women were referred to the emergency department (ED), compared to 4067 the previous year. Mean duration of treatment until decision and referral indications did not differ between 2020 and 2019 (207 vs. 220 minutes, P = 0.26; urgent referrals 58.8% vs. 59.2%, P = 0.83). A per-week comparison showed a significant reduction in ED referrals only in the last week of the period (337 [2020] vs. 515 [2019], P < 0.001). The proportion of women admitted to the delivery unit in active labor was significantly higher in the last three weeks (39.1% vs. 28.2%, P = 0.005). During February and March 2020, 1666 women delivered, compared to 1654 during February and March 2019. The proportion of types and modes of delivery did not differ. In a per-week comparison, the number of deliveries did not differ (mean 208 vs. 206, P = 0.88).

Conclusions: With timely preparation and proper management, negative impact of COVID-19 can be reduced in obstetrical emergency departments.

May 2020
Michal Natan PhD, Gila Jacobi, Ehud Banin PhD and Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc

Background: Although indwelling catheters are increasingly used in modern medicine, they can be a source of microbial contamination and hard-to-treat biofilms, which jeopardize patient lives. At times 70% ethanol is used as a catheter-lock solution due to its bactericidal properties. However, high concentrations of ethanol can result in adverse effects and in malfunction of the catheters.

Objective: To determine whether low concentrations of ethanol can prevent and treat biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Methods: Ethanol was tested at a concentration range of 0.625–80% against laboratory and clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa for various time periods (2–48 hours). The following parameters were evaluated following ethanol exposure: prevention of biofilm formation, reduction of biofilm metabolic activity, and inhibition of biofilm regrowth.

Results: Exposing P. aeruginosa to twofold ethanol gradients demonstrated a significant biofilm inhibition at concentrations as low as 2.5%. Treating pre-formed biofilms of P. aeruginosa with 20% ethanol for 4 hours caused a sharp decay in the metabolic activity of both the laboratory and clinical P. aeruginosa isolates. In addition, treating mature biofilms with 20% ethanol prevented the regrowth of bacteria encased within it.

Conclusions: Low ethanol concentrations (2.5%) can prevent in vitro biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa. Treatment of previously formed biofilms can be achieved using 20% ethanol, thereby keeping the catheters intact and avoiding complications that can result from high ethanol concentrations.

January 2020
Miri Schamroth Pravda MD, Nili Schamroth Pravda MD, Yitzhak Beigel MD, Shlomi Matetzky MD and Roy Beigel MD

In this review, the authors re-examine the role of aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. They discuss the history of the use of aspirin in primary prevention, the current guidelines, and the recent evidence surrounding aspirin use as primary prevention in special populations such as those with moderate cardiovascular risk, diabetes mellitus, and the elderly


Osher Cohen MD and Enrique Freud MD

Falling from a height accounts for 14.1% of all hospital admissions for traumatic injury. In 5% of cases, the injury is severe or critical, and in 1.5%, it is fatal. The dangers of falling have been recognized since time immemorial. Indeed, the Bible instructs us to build a parapet around the roof of our home so that, “…you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from it” (Deuteronomy 22:8). This commandment highlights the relatively simple and practical means by which we can prevent falls. It is also one of a series of ethical laws that are presented to help us understand and obey the larger Biblical precepts of loving one’s neighbor and guarding the sanctity of life. The concept teaches us that it is the responsibility of all individuals to be cognizant of others and to avoid harming people through negligence or carelessness. The aim of this article is to explain the commandment to build a parapet in the context of the risk of falling from a height and to expand on its wider implications. The present work was prompted in part by the alarming increase in fatal and near-fatal accidents in Israel in two particular populations.

February 2019
Lital Oz-Alcalay MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc, Aharona Glatman-Freedman MD MPH, Sarit Weisman-Demri MD, Alexander Lowenthal MD and Gilat Livni MD MHA

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-related bronchiolitis is a common cause of morbidity in young infants. The recommendations for its passive prevention by palivizumab are currently under intensive debate.

Objectives: To elucidate the optimal prevention strategy by studying the morbidity of RSV disease under the current recommendations for palivizumab prophylaxis in Israel.

Methods: We collected demographic and clinical data of all children hospitalized with microbiologically confirmed RSV bronchiolitis during 2015–2016 at Schneider Children's Medical Center. The seasonality of RSV disease was also studied for the period 2010–2017 in sentinel clinics scattered throughout Israel.

Results: Of the 426 hospitalized children, 106 (25%) had underlying diseases but were not eligible for palivizumab prophylaxis according to the current criteria in Israel. Their course was severe, with a mean hospital stay of 6.7 days and a 12% admission rate to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Palivizumab-eligible children who did not receive the prophylaxis before hospitalization had the most severe course, with 22% admitted to the PICU. More children were diagnosed with RSV disease in October than in March among both hospitalized and ambulatory children; 44% of the palivizumab-eligible hospitalized children were admitted in the last 2 weeks of October, before 1 November which is the recommended date for starting palivizumab administration in Israel.

Conclusions: According to the results of the present study we suggest advancing RSV prophylaxis in Israel from 1 November to mid-October. The precise palivizumab-eligible categories should be reconsidered.

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