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עמוד בית
Wed, 05.10.22

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December 2021
Yana Davidov MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Yael Inbar MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Mariya Likhter MD, Tania Berdichevski MD PhD, Sima Katsherginsky BA, Avishag Hassid MA, Keren Tsaraf MA, Dana Silverberg BSc, and Ziv Ben Ari MD

Background: New direct acting antiviral agent (DAA) therapies are associated with a high sustained virological response rate (SVR) in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. The understanding of the impact of SVR on fibrosis stage is limited.

Objectives: To determine the effect of treatment with the DAAs on long-term liver fibrosis stages, as determined by shear-wave elastography (SWE) or FibroTest©.

Methods: Fibrosis stage was determined at baseline and at 6-month intervals after end of treatment (EOT), using two‐dimensional SWE or FibroTest©; APRI and FIB-4 scores.

Results: The study comprised 133 SVR12 patients. After a median follow-up of 15 months (range 6–33), liver fibrosis stage decreased by at least 1 stage in 75/133 patients (56%). Cirrhosis reversal was observed in 24/82 (29%). Repeated median liver stiffness SWE values in cirrhotic patients were 15.1 kPa at baseline (range 10.5–100), 13.4 kPa (range 5.5–51) at 6 months, and 11.4 kPa (range 6.1–35.8) at 12 months after EOT, P = 0.01. During the second year after EOT, no statistically significant differences in liver fibrosis stage in 12, 18, and 24 months were found. Splenomegaly was the only significant negative predictor of liver fibrosis regression during all time points of repetitive noninvasive assessment.

Conclusions: Following successful DAA treatment, the majority of our HCV patients with advanced fibrosis demonstrated significant improvement, as assessed by non-invasive methods. Advanced fibrosis stage was a negative predictor of fibrosis regression. Longer follow-up periods are required to further establish the impact of DAAs treatment in HCV patients with advanced fibrosis

January 2019
Ariel S. Berkowitz MD, Tzahi Neuman MD, Shahar Frenkel MD PhD, Ron Eliashar MD, Jeffrey M. Weinberger MD and Nir Hirshoren MD
June 2018
Nadav Shinhar, Dana Marcoviciu and Dror Dicker

Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a multifactorial disease in which genetic susceptibility and environmental factors induce pancreatic β-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. Additional factors such as hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia have roles in β-cell dysfunction and disease progression. The phenomenon of lipid-induced pancreatic β-dysfunction, designated as lipotoxicity, has been observed in several in vitro and in vivo experiments; however, there is still no solid evidence for the occurrence of this event in humans. The toxic effect of high lipid levels on β-cell function consists of impaired insulin gene expression, apoptosis, and reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.

Objectives: To demonstrate the importance of treating hypertriglyceridemia in reducing glucose intolerance and the need for insulin therapy in hospitalized diabetic patients.

Methods: We evaluated five clinical case reports and conducted a detailed literature review via the PubMed search engine.

Results: Reduction in elevated blood triglyceride and glucose levels in hospitalized diabetic patients resulted in a rapid decline in glucose levels and in the need for insulin therapy.

Conclusions: A decrease in high triglyceride levels in “lipotoxic” diabetic patients may improve insulin intolerance and glucose homeostasis and reduce the need for insulin therapy.

May 2014
Lidia V. Gabis MD and John Pomeroy MD
Background:  Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) represent a common phenotype related to multiple etiologies, such to genetic, brain injury (e.g., prematurity), environmental (e.g., viral, toxic), multiple or unknown causes. 

Objectives: To devise a clinical classification of children diagnosed with ASD according to etiologic workup.

Methods: Children diagnosed with ASD (n=436) from two databases were divided into groups of symptomatic, cryptogenic or idiopathic, and variables within each database and diagnostic category were compared.

Results: By analyzing the two separate databases, 5.4% of the children were classified as symptomatic, 27% as cryptogenic and 67.75% as idiopathic. Among other findings, the entire symptomatic group demonstrated language delays, but almost none showed evidence for regression. Our results indicate similarities between the idiopathic and cryptogenic subgroups in most of the examined variables, and mutual differences from the symptomatic subgroup. The similarities between the first two subgroups support prior evidence that most perinatal factors and minor physical anomalies do not contribute to the development of core symptoms of autism. Conclusions: Differences in gender and clinical and diagnostic features were found when etiology was used to create subtypes of ASD. This classification could have heuristic importance in the search for an autism gene(s).

July 2013
D. Leibovici, S. Shikanov, O.N. Gofrit, G.P. Zagaja, Y. Shilo and A.L. Shalhav
 Background: Recommendations for active surveillance versus immediate treatment for low risk prostate cancer are based on biopsy and clinical data, assuming that a low volume of well-differentiated carcinoma will be associated will a low progression risk. However, the accuracy of clinical prediction of minimal prostate cancer (MPC) is unclear.

Objectives: To define preoperative predictors for MPC in prostatectomy specimens and to examine the accuracy of such prediction.

Methods: Data collected on 1526 consecutive radical prostatectomy patients operated in a single center between 2003 and 2008 included: age, body mass index, preoperative prostate-specific antigen level, biopsy Gleason score, clinical stage, percentage of positive biopsy cores, and maximal core length (MCL) involvement. MPC was defined as < 5% of prostate volume involvement with organ-confined Gleason score ≤ 6. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to define independent predictors of minimal disease. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis was used to define cutoff values for the predictors and measure the accuracy of prediction.

Results: MPC was found in 241 patients (15.8%). Clinical stage, biopsy Gleason`s score, percent of positive biopsy cores, and maximal involved core length were associated with minimal disease (OR 0.42, 0.1, 0.92, and 0.9, respectively). Independent predictors of MPC included: biopsy Gleason score, percent of positive cores and MCL (OR 0.21, 095 and 0.95, respectively). CART showed that when the MCL exceeded 11.5%, the likelihood of MPC was 3.8%. ;Conversely, when applying the most favorable preoperative conditions (Gleason ≤ 6, < 20% positive cores, MCL ≤ 11.5%) the chance of minimal disease was 41%.

Conclusions: Biopsy Gleason score, the percent of positive cores and MCL are independently associated with MPC. While preoperative prediction of significant prostate cancer was accurate, clinical prediction of MPC was incorrect 59% of the time. Caution is necessary when implementing clinical data as selection criteria for active surveillance. 

December 2007
M. Mikulecky and J. Strestik

Background: In the course of occurrence of cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoidal hemorrhage episodes, periodicities resembling those found in the solar and geomagnetic activity were found by Kováč and Mikulecký (2005).

Objectives: To investigate putative relationships between two indices of solar activity and one index of geomagnetic activity on one side and the occurrence of cerebral infarction on the other.

Methods: In addition to the 192 monthly cases out of 6100 new cases of cerebral infarction that occurred between January 1989 and December 2004, monthly averages for Wolf numbers, solar flares index and Ap index were included in the analysis. The cross-correlation between each cosmo-geophysical variable on the one hand and the number of new cases of the disease on the other was computed. The quadratic regression with the chosen time delay was also studied using, separately, the Wolf numbers, solar flares and Ap index as the explanatory variable and the number of cases of cerebral infarction as the responding variable.

Results: Significantly negative correlation coefficients between the monthly means of the Wolf numbers, of solar flares and of Ap index on the one hand and monthly numbers of new cases of the disease on the other were found for the delays between -6 and +17 months. The cross-regression results for the delay of +5 months (infarction delayed after each cosmo-geophysical variable by 5 months) displayed a linear decrease except for the Wolf numbers where the parabolic decrease of cases was significant.

Conclusions: An increased intensity of the studied cosmo-geophysical parameters appears to be significantly connected with decreased occurrence of cerebral infarctions, and vice versa. This effect seems to last up to 17 months. The results are supported by a few similar findings in the literature. Putative cosmo-biomedical connections warrant further study to verify them in larger samples and longer time scales. If confirmed, their mechanisms should be elucidated.

January 2004
A. Shmueli and J. Shuval

Background: Complementary and alternative medical care has gained increasing popularity in western societies in recent years.

Objectives: To provide a cross-sectional and temporal (2000 vs. 1993) analysis of the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Israel.

Methods: The subjects studied represented the Israeli Jewish urban population aged 45–75 years. Full sit-down interviews were conducted with 2,003 respondents in 1993 and 2,505 respondents in 2000.

Results: For 1993, 6% of the population reported on consultations with CAM[1] providers during the previous year. For 2000, that proportion increased to 10%. Being a woman, having higher education, enjoying better economic status, being younger, living in a big city, and being dissatisfied with specialists’ care were all positively related to the use of non-conventional medicine, particularly in 2000. In both years, more than 50% of the consultations were with acupuncturists and homeopaths. However, chiropractors have doubled their market shares, and lower back pain became the leading problem for which care was sought. The main reason for consulting CAM was a reluctance to use too many drugs or to undergo an invasive procedure. However, a significant proportion of the users continue to use conventional medicine concurrently. Seventy-five percent in 2000 and 60% in 1993 reported that the treatment helped.

Conclusions: Between 1993 and 2000, CAM in Israel changed from an infant industry into a mainstream medical commodity, reflected in both prevalence and different patterns of consumption.

[1] CAM = complementary and alternative medicine

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