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עמוד בית
Thu, 30.05.24

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June 2023
Majdi Halabi MD, Hagar Drimer-Shabtai MD, Inna Rosenfeld MD, Adi Sharabi-Nov MA MPH, Mussa Saad MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Ziad Abuiznait MD, Ayelet Armon-Omer PhD, Zippi Regev-Avraham PhD, Zeev Israeli MD

Background: Implantable loop recorders (ILRs) are a central tool in the evaluation of unexplained syncope. These devices record and store electrocardiograms, both automatically and on patient-dependent activation. Therefore, obtaining optimal diagnostic results relies on a patient's comprehension and collaboration.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of ethnic background and mother-tongue language on the diagnostic yield (DY) of ILRs.

Methods: Patients at two medical centers in Israel, who had ILRs as part of syncope workup were included. Inclusion criteria were age over 18 years and an ILR for at least one year (or less if the cause of syncope was detected). Patient demographics, ethnic background, and previous medical history were recorded. All findings from ILR recordings, activation mode (manual vs. automatic), and treatment decisions (none, ablation, device implantation) were collected.

Results: The study comprised 94 patients, 62 Jews (i.e., ethnic majority) and 32 non-Jews (i.e., ethnic minority). While baseline demographic characteristics, medical history, and drug therapy were similar in both groups, Jewish patients were significantly older at the time of device implantation: 64.3 ± 16.0 years of age vs. 50.6 ± 16.9, respectively; (P < 0.001). Arrhythmias recorded in both groups as well as treatment decisions and device activation mode were similar. Total follow-up time from device implantation was longer in the non-Jewish vs. the Jewish group (17.5 ± 12.2 vs. 24.0 ± 12.4 months, respectively; P < 0.017).

Conclusions: The DY of ILR implanted for unexplained syncope did not seem to be influenced by patient's mother-tongue language or ethnicity.

November 2020
Ilona Voskoboynikov-Ugortsev MPH, Yaakov Rosenfeld MD MPH, and Lital Keinan Boker MD PhD MPH

Background: A thorough informed consent (IC) process is required before in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments can begin because these treatments are by and large elective and they have expectable and preventable complications, such as ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome and multi-fetal pregnancies.

Objectives: To empirically examine whether patient knowledge and understanding of potential hazards associated with IVF treatment are better after the IC process compared to before. The authors hypothesized that patients' better understanding of potential complications would be translated and expressed as rational choices of treatment alternatives.

Methods: Responses of 48 IVF patients after IC process (study group) from two IVF units in northern Israel were compared to those of 46 patients before IVF (control group).

Only women undergoing IVF for first time who were older than 18 years of age were eligible for the study.

Results: Socio-demographic parameters were found to be quite similar between the study group and the control group. Contrary to our expectations, in the study group 12 women (25.5%) considered delivery of a single baby as their optimal result, compared to 15 (32.6%) in the control group. Furthermore, preferences shifted toward triplets: eight patients (17%) after IC considered this option as their best result, compared to only five patients (11%) before IC.

Conclusions: IC process goals are not achieved under current practices, at least as far as IVF treatment are concerned. New tools and incentives should be implemented to meet the requirements dictated by the laws regarding patient rights.

December 2009
E. Shneyer, A. Strulov and Y. Rosenfeld

Background: According to the Israeli immunization schedule 1 year old babies should receive two concomitant vaccinations: MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), and DTap-Hib-IPV (diphtheria tetanus acellular pertussis-Haemophilus influenzae type b-poliomyelitis). However, about one-third of infants in Israel receive these vaccinations separately. Nurses at a primary care prevention clinic in Israel observed that the separate mode of vaccination is associated with a lower rate of side effects.

Objectives: To validate this observation and determine whether it represents an exception or the rule.

Methods: A nested prospective follow-up study was conducted in a primary care clinic in Israel. The survey included 191 mothers and their offspring born during 2004/2005. The mothers were interviewed over the telephone 2 weeks after the day of vaccination.

Results: The rate of adverse effects in children who received the injections separately was significantly lower than among those who were vaccinated simultaneously (40% vs. 57%).

Conclusions: It may be necessary to reconsider the current vaccination policy regarding concomitant injections.

July 2009
Y. Rosenfeld and A. Strulov

Background: The rate in Israel of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures is the highest among industrialized countries. The procedure has the potential to make treated patients forever happy, should the desired result occur. It also entails, however, numerous potential complications. Patients who are candidates for the procedure should fully understand potential desired and undesired results, and should give their consent based on this understanding. The question whether currently used informed consent forms for these procedures indeed serve this purpose is, however, open.

Objectives: To explore the usefulness of informed consent forms for IVF&ET[1] that are currently used in Israel to represent the potential benefits and risks of the procedures to the patients.

Methods: Informed consent forms for IVF&ET were scrutinized for accuracy, clarity and relevance, by comparison to relevant medical literature. IVF&ET informed consent forms were also assessed whether they fulfill the requirements of the Israeli Law of Patient's Rights.

Results: Currently used "informed" consent forms for IVF&ET were found to be fundamentally inaccurate and outdated. In some cases (number of embryos to be transferred), the information is grossly obscure. In other cases (alternative management) there are glaring omissions.

Conclusions: Informed consent forms for IVF&ET that are currently used in Israel do not adequately serve their stated purpose. Potential risks and benefits are not presented clearly and alternative management strategies are also missing. Thus, they do not fulfill their social, ethical or legal goals. Updating these forms is urgently needed. New versions should clearly distinguish between common (controllable) and uncommon (uncontrollable) complications.

[1] IVF&ET = in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer

November 2008
Eran Kozer, MD, Rachel Bar-Hamburger, MD, Noa Y. Rosenfeld, MD, Irena Zdanovitch, MD, Mordechai Bulkowstein, MD and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD.

Background: Clinicians’ impression of adolescents' alcohol or drug involvement may underestimate substance-related pathology.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics of adolescents presenting to the pediatric emergency department due to substance abuse and to determine whether physicians can reliably identify these patients.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of all patients aged 12–18 years presenting to a pediatric emergency department between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006 for whom a urine drug screen or ethanol blood levels was ordered. According to departmental protocol urine drug screen and ethanol levels are taken for specific indications. Based on the history and clinical findings the pediatrician in the ED[1] assessed on a 5-point likelihood scale the possibility that the patients’ symptoms were related to substance abuse.

Results: Of the 139 patients in the study group 40 (30%) tested positive for ethanol or drugs of abuse. The median age was 16. Compared with patients who tested negative, there were more patients with decreased level of consciousness among patients who tested positive for ethanol or drugs (5% vs. 33% respectively, P < 0.001). The median physician estimate for the likelihood of substance abuse was 5 in patients who tested positive and 2 in patients who tested negative (P < 0.001). The likelihood of a positive drug/ethanol test was not affected by age or gender.
Conclusions: Since the likelihood of substance abuse is higher in patients presenting with a low level of consciousness, physicians may accurately assess the likelihood of substance abuse in these patients

[1] ED = emergency department

September 2008
March 2008
Z. Mor, A. Adler, A. Leventhal, I. Volovic, E. Rosenfeld, M.N. Lobato and D. Chemtob

Background: The crowded environment of correctional facilities may enhance infectious diseases transmission, such as tuberculosis.

Objectives: To define the tuberculosis burden in prisons in Israel, a country of low TB[1] incidence (7.9 cases:100,000 population in 2004), in which about 13,000 inmates are being incarcerated annually, and to recommend policy adaptations for TB control.

Methods: All prison clinic lung records from 1998 through 2004 in Israel were reviewed to identify pulmonary TB patients. Additionally, we reviewed TB epidemiological investigation files from one northern prison (years 2002 through 2005) to evaluate possible transmission of the disease.

Results: During the study period 23 Israeli inmates had pulmonary TB (25 cases/100,000 prisoners), which was 3.5 times higher than for the general population. Of those, 18 (78%) were born in the Former Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel after 1990. Four pulmonary TB cases in the evaluated prison were reported, and 22% (149/670) of all inmates and staff were referred for treatment of latent TB infection.

Conclusions: To prevent future TB cases, we recommend new prevention measures, including a symptom questionnaire for all new inmates and selective tuberculin skin testing for inmates infected with human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS, those who inject drugs, and those who emigrated from the former Soviet Union after 1990. New staff should be screened by the two-step tuberculin skin test and annual symptoms questionnaire thereafter. Incarceration may be used as a point of detection for TB and a window of opportunity for treatment in this hard-to-reach population. 

[1] TB =tuberculosis

July 2006
Y. Turgeman, P. Levahar, I. Lavi, A. Shneor, R. Colodner, Z. Samra, L. Bloch and T. Rosenfeld
 Background: Adult calcific aortic stenosis is a well-known clinical entity but its pathophysiology and cellular mechanism have yet to be defined.

Objectives: To determine whether there is an association between the presence and severity of adult calcific aortic stenosis and Chlamydia pneumoniae seropositivity

Methods: Forty adult patients (23 women, 17 men) were divided into three groups according to echocardiographic aortic valve area: Group A – 7 symptomatic subjects (age 67 ± 7 years) with normal aortic valve and normal coronary angiogram, Group B – 16 patients (age 73 ± 6) with moderate ACAS[1] (AVA[2]> 0.8 £ 1.5 cm2), and Group C – 17 patients (age 76 ± 7) with severe ACAS (AVA £ 0.8 cm2). We tested for immunoglobulins M, G and A as retrospective evidence of C. pneumoniae infection using the micro-immunofluorescence method. Past C. pneumoniae infection was defined by IgG titer > 16 £ 512.

Results: No patients in Group A showed positive Ig[3] for C. pneumoniae. IgM was not detected in any of the patients with ACAS (groups B and C) while 2 of 17 patients (12%) in group C showed IgA for the pathogen. High titers of IgG were found in 14 of 33 (42%) of the patients with moderate or severe ACAS: 5 of 16 (31%) in group B and 9 of 17 (53%) in group C (P = 0.2). Both groups had the same prevalence of coronary artery disease (66%). AVA was lower in IgG-seropositive patients than in the seronegative group (0.88 ± 0.3 cm2 vs. 1.22 ± 0.4 cm2, respectively, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Past C. pneumoniae infection may be associated with a higher prevalence and greater severity of ACAS.


[1] ACAS = adult calcific aortic stenosis

[2] AVA = aortic valve area

[3] Ig = immunoglobulin

March 2005
D. Antonelli, S. Atar, N.A. Freedberg and T. Rosenfeld
Background: Torsade de pointes is rarely associated with chronic amiodarone treatment, despite the effect of amiodarone on QT interval prolongation.

Objective: To identify risk factors and associated conditions that may cause TdP[1] in patients on chronic amiodarone treatment.

Methods: We reviewed the data of six consecutive patients on chronic amiodarone treatment who were admitted to the intensive cardiac care unit due to syncope and TdP.

Results: The patients’ median age was 73.5 years, and five were women. Concomitantly, loratadine was given to two patients and trazodone to one patient. Associated and attributing conditions to the development of TdP were hypokalemia in three patients, drug-induced bradycardia in one and reduced left ventricular function in four.

Conclusions: TdP associated with chronic amiodarone treatment may occur when amiodarone is co-administered with drugs that may potentially prolong QT interval. Additional risk factors for amiodarone-associated TdP include female gender, hypokalemia, reduced left ventricular function and bradycardia.


[1] TdP = torsade de pointes

February 2003
Y. Turgeman, S. Atar, K. Suleiman, A. Feldman, L. Bloch, N. A. Freedberg, D. Antonelli, M. Jabaren and T. Rosenfeld

Background: Current clinical guidelines restrict catheterization laboratory activity without on-site surgical backup. Recent improvements in technical equipment and pharmacologic adjunctive therapy increase the safety margins of diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterization.

Objective: To analyze the reasons for urgent cardiac surgery and mortality in the different phases of our laboratory’s activity in the last 11 years, and examine the impact of the new interventional and therapeutic modalities on the current need for on-site cardiac surgical backup.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the mortality and need for urgent cardiac surgery (up to 12 hours post-catheterization) through five phases of our laboratory’s activity: a) diagnostic (years 1989–2000), b) valvuloplasties and other non-coronary interventions (1990–2000), c) percutaneous-only balloon angioplasty (1992–1994), d) coronary stenting (1994–2000), and e) use of IIb/IIIa antagonists and thienopiridine drugs (1996–2000).

Results: Forty-eight patients (0.45%) required urgent cardiac surgery during phase 1, of whom 40 (83%) had acute coronary syndromes with left main coronary artery stenosis or the equivalent, and 8 (17%) had mechanical complications of acute myocardial infarction. Two patients died (0.02%) during diagnostic procedures. In phase 2, eight patients (2.9%) were referred for urgent cardiac surgery due to either cardiac tamponade or severe mitral regurgitation, and two patients (0.7%) died. The combined need for urgent surgery and mortality was significantly lower in phase 4 plus 5 as compared to phase 3 (3% vs. 0.85%, P = 0.006).

Conclusion: In the current era using coronary stents and potent antithrombotic drugs, after gaining experience and crossing the learning curve limits, complex cardiac therapeutic interventions can safely be performed without on-site surgical backup.

April 2001
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