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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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April 2024
Limor Adler MD MPH, Or Tzadok Zehavi MD, Miriam Parizade PhD, Yair Hershkovitz MD, Menashe Meni Amran MD, Robert Hoffman MD, Tal Hakmon Aronson MD, Erela Rotlevi MD, Bar Cohen MPH, Ilan Yehoshua MD

Background: The prevalence of Group A streptococcus (GAS) carriage among adults is studied less than in children. The variability of reported carriage rates is considerably large and differs among diverse geographic areas and populations.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of GAS carriage among adults in Israel.

Methods: In this prospective study, conducted in a large healthcare maintenance organization in Israel, we obtained pharyngeal cultures from adults attending the clinic without upper respiratory tract complaints or fever. Patient data included sex, age, number of children, and religious sectors.

Results: From May to December 2022, eight family physicians collected a total of 172 throat swabs (86% response rate). The median age was 37 years (range 18–65); 72.7% were females, 22.7% were ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and 69.2% had children. The prevalence of GAS carriage was 6.98%, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 3.7%–11.9%. GAS carriers were younger (31.7 vs. 39.3 years, P = 0.046), and the majority were ultra-Orthodox Jews (58.3% vs. 20%, P = 0.006). All GAS carriers were from lower socioeconomic status. When assessing risk factors for GAS carriage using multivariate analysis, only being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was positively related to GAS carriage (adjusted odds ratio 5.6, 95%CI 1.67–18.8).

Conclusion: Being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was the single variable associated with a GAS carriage, which may be related to having many children at home and living in overcrowded areas. Primary care physicians in Israel should recognize this situation when examining patients with sore throats, mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews.

September 2023
Shiri Keret MD, Aniela Shouval MD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Doron Rimar MD, Michael Lurie MD, Gleb Slobodin MD

Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) are a group of rare, autoimmune, systemic diseases with a large spectrum of clinical phenotypes. The diagnosis and management of myositis demand an integrated evaluation of different clinical, laboratory, and pathological findings in various organs. Recent developments in IIM research, especially in the serological testing and pathology fields, has led to a new classification and better recognition of patients with early or extra-muscular disease, with improvement in clinical care and prognosis.

February 2023
Lee Yaari MD, Shay Zion Ribenzaft MD, Mohamed Kittani MD, Mustafa Yassin MD, Barak Haviv MD

Background: Previous epidemiological studies on shoulder instability evaluated specific and relatively small subgroups of patients.

Objectives: To determine the incidence rate of primary shoulder dislocations.

Methods: Cohort analysis of electronic health records from 2004 to 2019 was conducted in a urban district of a major health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel. Patients presented with primary shoulder dislocation that was treated with closed reduction in any medical facility within the district. Overall incidence density rates (IDR) of primary shoulder dislocations and stabilization surgeries were determined.

Results: Over a period of 16 years 13,158 patients underwent closed reduction of primary shoulder dislocation. Of those, 712 shoulder stabilization surgeries were performed (5%). The IDR of primary shoulder dislocations were 124 per 100,000 person-years. The IDR of primary shoulder stabilizations were 7 per 100,000 person-years. The peak in the number of dislocations was observed in those 20–29 years old and ≥ 60 years of. In patients under 59 years old, dislocations were more common in men. In those ≥ 60 years of age, dislocations were more common in women. Most shoulder stabilization surgeries were performed on young patients. The annual mean time from the first dislocation to stabilization surgery linearly declined to 6 months in 2019.

Conclusions: The IDR of primary shoulder dislocations calculated from the largest HMO in Israel were 124 per 100,000 person-years. Shoulder dislocations had bimodal age distribution. Overall, 5% of the patients (mainly young) with shoulder dislocations underwent shoulder stabilization surgery during the study period.

October 2022
Miri Zektser MD, Anat Rabinovich MD, Uri Grinbaum MD, Tzvi Porges MD, Aya Gozlan MD, Anna Gourevitch MD, Kayed Al-Athamen MD, Orit Barrett MD, Ido Peles MD, Tehila Kaisman-Elbaz MD, Etai Levi MD

Background: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is a rare aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There are limited data on the management of PCNSL outside of clinical trials.

Objectives: To report experience with three main high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX)-based protocols for PCNSL treatment at one medical center.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the medical records of patients diagnosed with PCNSL who were treated at Soroka Medical Center between 2007 and 2019.

Results: The study included 36 patients, median age 64.9 years; 33 patients received a HDMTX backbone induction therapy, 21 (58.3%) received consolidation treatment in addition. In the entire cohort, 25 patients (75.7%) achieved complete remission (CR, CRu-unconfirmed), with mean progression-free survival (PFS) 32 ± 6.9 months and median overall survival (OS) 59.6 ± 12.4 months. More aggressive regiment such as combination of rituximab, HDMTX, cytarabine and thiotepa had better responses 5 (100%) CR, but also a higher incidence of side effects such as neutropenic fever 5 (100%). In subgroup analysis by age (younger vs. older than 60 years), the PFS was 24.2 vs. 9.3 months, and OS was 64.1 vs. 19.4 months, respectively.

Conclusions: A difference in CR and PFS favored a more aggressive protocol, but the toxicity of the multiagent combinations was significantly higher. The prognosis in younger was better than in older patients, with higher rates of CR, PFS, and OS, although not statistically significant. Overall treatment outcomes are encouraging; however, there is a real need for an adaptive approach for older patients and balancing among the effectiveness and side effects.

September 2022
Omri Shental MD MHA, Ilan Y. Mitchnik MD, Edward Barayev MD MHA, Lior Solomon MD, Liron Gershovitz MD, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Avi Benov MD MHA, and Yuval Ran MD MHA MPA

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) led to two nationwide lockdowns in Israel, reducing both supply and demand for medical services in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). IDF soldiers serve on bases within Israel, and most of them return home at the end of the day, similar to other armies in the world.

Objectives: To analyze the health services provided by the IDF with regard to policy changes during lockdowns.

Methods: We compared medical encounters between different services provided by the IDF Medical Corps. We related them to specific time periods: pre-first lockdown, first lockdown (and corresponding timeframes of the previous 3 years), between lockdowns, second lockdown, and post-second lockdown.

Results: Compared to past periods, we found a similar reduction of 27–30% in primary care medical encounter rates during the two lockdowns: 42–43% in sick days and 50–54% in referrals to the emergency department. Referral rates to all specialist medical encounters and elective surgeries decreased significantly during the first lockdown period and increased 1.2–3.5 times during the second lockdown.

Conclusions: A continuance of the shift to telehealth is required to withstand a future lockdown, with a full supply of secondary medical services attuned to core medical issues relevant for combat personnel. A liberal sick leave policy is required to eliminate unnecessary in-person visits, thus reducing the risk of infection.

August 2022
Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
June 2022
Ron Feldman PT MSc, Tamar Pincus MPhil MSc PhD, and Noa Ben Ami PT PhD

Background: Self-management, an active life routine, and adherence to physical activity are effective in the management of low back pain (LBP). However, delivering effective education and reassurance to patients can be a difficult for practitioners. The enhanced transtheoretical model intervention (ETMI) has shown to be successful and cost effective. The intervention focuses on educating practitioners to reassure patients, empower them to increase physical activity, and improve their self-efficacy.

Objectives: To assess whether ETMI can be implemented among primary care practitioners and to examine whether it reduces pain, disability, and fear avoidance as well as decreasing healthcare utilization. This protocol outlines the methodology for the implementation of ETMI through a hybrid implementation–effectiveness design.

Methods: Two qualitative and mixed-method studies provided a basis for an implementation prospective cohort study. Discussions are followed by a prospective cohort study with pre-and post-intervention measures as well as descriptions retrieving economic and therapeutic outcome data from the Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) databases. In addition, a fourth qualitative study was conducted at the midpoint of the implementation to evaluate the process by measuring the perceptions and practice of practitioners. The intervention group was 220 primary care practitioners and their patients (~n=10,000) from the central district of MHS. The control data was provided by other care districts with similar socioeconomic makeup (~n=40,000).

Conclusions: We evaluated the process and outcomes of the implementation of ETMI. We investigated the relationship between the care received (ETMI against treatment as usual) and healthcare utilization, costs, and patient-clinical outcomes.

September 2021
Michal Shani MD MPH, Doron Comaneshter PhD, and Alex Lustman MD MPH

Background: Oral anticoagulants (OAC) reduce the risk for stroke and death from all causes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF)

Objective: To explore adherence rates of OAC among patients with NVAF in long-term use in a real-world setting and to examine patient characteristics associated with good adherence.

Methods: We conducted a population-based cohort study with members of Clalit Health Services, Israel. All patients aged ≥ 30 years with a diagnosis of NVAF before 2016 who were treated with OAC were included. We included patients who filled at least one prescription per year in the three consecutive years 2016–2018. We analyzed all prescriptions that were filled for the medications from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. We considered purchasing of at least nine monthly prescriptions during 2017 as good medication adherence.

Results: We identified 26,029 patients with NVAF who were treated with OAC; 10,284 (39.5%) were treated with apixaban, 6321 (24.3%) with warfarin, 6290 (24.1%) with rivaroxaban, and 3134 (12.0%) with dabigatran. Rates of good medication adherence were 88.9% for rivaroxaban, 84.9% for apixaban, 83.6% for dabigatran, and 55.8% for warfarin (P < 0.0001). Advanced age was associated with higher adherence rates (P < 0.001). Socioeconomic status was not associated with medication adherence. Good adherence with OAC was associated with lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and glucose levels.

Conclusions: Adherence rates to OAC in chronic use among patients with chronic NAVF are high. Investing in OAC adherence may have a wider health impact than expected.

March 2021
David Zahler MD, Ilan Merdler MD, Keren-Lee Rozenfeld MD, Gil Shenberg MD, Assi Milwidsky MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Shmuel Banai MD, Yaron Arbel MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) was shown to be associated with an increased risk for new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) in ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI); however, the optimal time frame to measure CRP for risk stratification is not known.

Objectives: To evaluate the relation between the change in CRP over time (CRP velocity [CRPv]) and new-onset AF among STEMI patients treated with primary PCI.

Methods: We included 801 STEMI patients who underwent PCI between 2007 and 2017 and had their CRP measured with a wide range assay (wr-CRP) at least twice during the 24 hours after admission. CRPv was defined as the change in wr-CRP concentration (mg/l) divided by the change in time (in hours) between the two measurements. Patient medical records were reviewed for occurrence of new-onset AF.

Results: New onset AF occurred in 45 patients (6%). Patients with new onset AF had significantly higher median CRPv (1.27 vs. 0.43 mg/l/h, P = 0.002). New-onset AF during hospitalization occurred in 3.4%, 4.5 %, and 9.1% of patients in the first, second and third CRPv tertiles, respectively (P for trend = 0.006). In a multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for clinical variables the odds ratios for new onset AF was 1.93 (95% confidence interval 1.0–3.59, P = 0.04) for patients in the third CRPv tertile.

Conclusion: CRPv might be an independent and rapidly measurable biomarker for new-onset AF following primary PCI in STEMI patients.

Lisa Kaly MD, Igor Bilder MD, Michael Rozenbaum MD, Nina Boulman MD, Doron Rimar MD, Abid Awisat MD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Haya Hussein MD, Amal Silawy MD, Tamar Gaspar MD, and Gleb Slobodin MD
December 2020
Daniel Erez MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Daniel A. King MD, Mahmood Abu-akel MD, Zamir Dovrish MD, and David Shitrit MD

Background: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) tends to occur in young adults without underlying lung diseases and is usually followed by limited symptoms, while secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) is a complication of a pre-existing lung disease. Surprisingly, for such common conditions, there is a considerable inconsistency regarding management guidelines.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk factors for spontaneous pneumothoraxes and to summarize outcomes and complications based on our clinical experience.

Methods: This retrospective study group was comprised of 250 consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who were diagnosed with spontaneous pneumothorax and hospitalized at the Meir Medical Center (2004–2017). Data on demographic characteristics, indicating symptoms, chest X-rays, and chest computed tomography (CT) results were collected. Our experience and outcomes were then compared to a large multicenter study.

Results: Most of the patients were male (85%) and past or current smokers; 69% presented with PSP, while the rest were SSP. No occupational relation was noted. About 55% of the cases presented with a moderate or large pneumothorax (over 1/3 hemithorax). Most patients (56%) required chest tube drainage and 20% undergone surgery. Nearly 10% presented with a recurrent pneumothorax with the mean time to recurrence being 11 ± 20 days. Although the length of hospital stay of patients that underwent surgery was the longest (P < 0.001) for both PSP and SSP, the recurrence rate was actually reduced, suggesting some benefit for the surgical treatment option.

Conclusions: Our experience showed that the traditional approach to the PSP treatment should be further considered, as previously suggested.

October 2020
Haim Shmuely MD, Shimon Topaz MD, Rita Berdinstein PhD, Jacob Yahav MD, and Ehud Melzer MD

Background: Antimicrobial resistance is the main determinant for Helicobacter pylori treatment failure. Regional antimicrobial susceptibility testing is essential for appropriate antibiotic selection to achieve high eradication rates.

Objectives: To assess primary and secondary H. pylori resistance in isolates recovered from Israeli naïve and treatment failures. To identify predictors of resistance.

Methods: In this retrospective study, in vitro activity of isolated H. pylori in Israel was tested against metronidazole, clarithromycin, tetracycline, amoxicillin, and levofloxacin in 128 isolates: 106 from treatment failures and 22 from naïve untreated patients. The minimal inhibitory concentration values were determined according to the Etest instructions. Treatment failures previously failed at least one treatment regimen.

Results: No resistance to amoxicillin and tetracycline was detected. Resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin was high in H. pylori isolates both from treated and untreated patients: 68.9%, 68.2% for metronidazole (P = 0.95); 53.8%, 59.1% for clarithromycin (P = 0.64), respectively. Dual resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole was seen in 45.3% and 50%, respectively (P = 0.68). Resistance to levofloxacin was detected in two (1.9%) isolates from treated patients. Simultaneous resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole, and levofloxacin was seen in an isolate from a treated patient. Age was the only predictor of resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin.

Conclusion: The resistance rates to both single and dual metronidazole and clarithromycin in isolates recovered from both Israeli naïve and treated patients is high. Low resistance renders levofloxacin an attractive option for second or third line treatment. Therapeutic outcome would benefit from susceptibility testing after treatment failure.

June 2020
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Mustafa Gabarin MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Sivan Letourneau MD, David Zahler MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD, Yishay Szekely MD, Shmuel Banai MD and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for primary reperfusion in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has largely been superseded byf primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and is estimated to be performed in ≤ 5% of STEMI cases.

Objectives: To compare early CABG (within 30 days following admission) and primary PCI outcomes following STEMI.

Methods: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized with acute STEMI for early reperfusion therapy between January 2008 and June 2016. Short- and long-term outcomes were assessed for patients with STEMI undergoing primary PCI vs. early CABG as reperfusion therapy.

Results: The study comprised 1660 STEMI patients, 38 of whom (2.3%) underwent CABG within 30 days of presentation. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was more than twice as high in the CABG group (7.5%) than in the PCI group (3.3%); however, it did not reach statistical significance. Similar results were demonstrated for mortality rates beyond 30 days (22% vs. 14%, P = 0.463). All patients undergoing CABG beyond 72 hours following admission survived past 2 years. Multivariate analysis found no differences between the two groups in long-term mortality risk. propensity score matched long-term mortality comparison (30 days–2 years) yielded a 22% mortality rate in the CABG groups compared with 14% in the PCI group (P < 0.293).

Conclusion: Early CABG was performed in only a minority of STEMI patients. This high-risk patient population demonstrated worse outcomes compared to patients undergoing PCI. Performing surgery beyond 72 hours following admission may be associated with lower risk.

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