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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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September 2021
Naim Shehadeh MD, Aryeh Simmonds MD, Samuel Zangen MD, Arieh Riskin MD MHA, and Raanan Shamir MD

Background: Infants born very prematurely have functionally and structurally immature gastrointestinal tracts.

Objectives: To assess the safety and tolerability of administration of enteral recombinant human (rh) insulin on formula fed preterm infants and to assess whether enteral administration of rh-insulin enhances gastrointestinal tract maturation by reducing the time to reach full enteral feeding.

Methods: A phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study was conducted. Premature infants (26–33 weeks gestation) were randomized 1:1 to receive insulin 400 μU/ml mixed with enteral feeding or placebo added to their formula. The primary efficacy outcome measure was the number of days required to achieve full enteral feeding. Safety outcomes included adverse events and blood glucose levels.

Results: The study consisted of 33 infants randomized for the safety population and 31 for efficacy analysis. The mean time to full enteral feeding was 6.37 days (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 4.59–8.15) in the enteral rh-insulin treatment group (n=16) and 8.00 days (95%CI 6.20–9.80) in the placebo group (n=15), which represents a statistically significant reduction of 1.63 days (95%CI 0.29–2.97; P = 0.023). There was no difference in blood glucose levels between the groups and none of the participants experienced hypoglycemia. Adverse events occurred in 9/17 (53%) infants in the enteral rh-insulin group and 12/16 (75%) in the placebo group.

Conclusions: Our trial demonstrated that administration of enteral rh-insulin as supplement to enteral nutrition significantly reduced time to achieve full enteral feeding in preterm infants with a gestational age of 26–33 weeks.

Roy Rafael Dayan MD, Yosef Ayzenberg MD, Tzachi Slutsky MD, Ela Shaer MD, Alon Kaplan BMedSc, and Vladimir Zeldetz MD

Background: Limited data exist regarding the safety of ultrasound-guided femoral nerve blockade (US-FNB) in patients with hip fractures treated with anti-Xa direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC).

Objectives: To compare the safety outcomes of US-FNB to conventional analgesia in patients with hip fractures treated with anti-Xa DOAC.

Methods: This observational exploratory prospective study included 69 patients who presented to our emergency department (ED) in 3 years with hip fracture and who were treated with apixaban or rivaroxaban. Patients received either a US-FNB (n=19) or conventional analgesics (n=50) based on their preference and, and the presence of a trained ED physician qualified in performing US-FNB. Patients were observed for major bleeding events during and 30 days after hospitalization. The degree of preoperative pain and opioid use were also observed.

Results: We found no significant difference in the number of major bleeding events between groups (47.4% vs. 54.0%, P = 0.84). Degree of pain measured 3 and 12 hours after presentation was found to be lower in the US-FNB group (median visual analog scale of pain improvement from baseline of -5 vs. -3 (P = 0.002) and -5 vs.-4 (P = 0.023), respectively. Opioid administration pre-surgery was found to be more than three times more common in the conventional analgesia group (26.3% vs.80%, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Regarding patients treated with Anti-Xa DOAC, US-FNB was not associated with an increase in major bleeding events compared to conventional analgesia, although it was an effective means of pain alleviation. Larger scale randomized controlled trials are required to determine long-term safety and efficacy.

June 2021
Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Elisabetta Gerratana MD, Sara Bongiovanni MD, Rossella Talotta MD PhD, Gianfranco Miceli MD, Fausto Salaffi MD PhD, and Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini MD

Background: There is a lack of real-life clinical data for biosimilar etanercept, an anti-TNF blocking fusion protein. We describe the comparable efficacy and safety of originator and biosimilar etanercept in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in a real-life clinical setting. Our data confirm that a biosimilar etanercept can be safely used as first-line treatment as well as in patients switched from a previous originator compound.

Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of originator and biosimilar etanercept in a cohort of RA patients attending two Italian hospitals.

Methods: The study involved 81 consecutive adult RA patients treated for at least 6 months with originator or biosimilar etanercept and considered their clinical and laboratory data, concomitant medications, and adverse events at baseline, and after 3 and 6 months of treatment.

Results: Group 1 included 51 patients taking originator etanercept; group 2 included 30 taking biosimilar etanercept, including 19 who had been switched from the reference product. Despite a significant baseline difference in clinical disease activity, one-way analysis of variance showed that the two groups were clinically comparable after 6 months of treatment, and the same was true when only those receiving etanercept as first-line biological treatment were considered. Nine patients discontinued the treatment due to inefficacy or adverse events, which were never serious and were only reported in group 1.

Conclusions: The efficacy and safety profiles of originator and biosimilar etanercept are comparable in RA patients in a real-life clinical setting. Further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings

September 2020
Pnina Langevitz MD, Merav Lidar MD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Joy Feld MD, Moshe Tishler MD, Howard Amital MD, Suhail Aamar MD, Ori Elkayam MD, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra MD, Dror Mevorach MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Yair Molad MD, Ana Kuperman MD and Sharon Ehrlich MD

Background: Tocilizumab is an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist used treat moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) routes are approved for the treatment of adults with RA.

Objectives: To evaluate SC tocilizumab in a real-life clinical setting.

Methods: Our study was a multi-center, open-label, single-arm study. Participants were adults with a diagnosis of active RA, previously treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), with or without biologic agents. Participants received a weekly SC injection of tocilizumab 162 mg as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate or DMARDs for 24 weeks. Efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity were assessed.

Results: Treatment of 100 patients over 24 weeks resulted in improvement in all efficacy parameters assessed: Clinical Disease Activity Index, Disease Activity Score using 28 joint counts and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, American College of Rheumatology response scores, Simplified Disease Activity Index, tender and swollen joint counts, and patient-reported outcomes including fatigue, global assessment of disease activity, pain, and Health Assessment Quality of Life Disease Index. Improvement was achieved as early as the second week of treatment. There were 473 adverse events (AEs)/100 patient-years (PY) and 16.66 serious AEs/100 PY. The most common AEs were neutropenia (12%), leukopenia (11%), and increased hepatic enzymes (11%). Of a total of 42 PY, the rates of serious infections and AEs leading to discontinuation were 4.8, and 11.9 events/100 PY, respectively.

Conclusions: The safety, tolerability, and efficacy profile of tocilizumab SC were comparable to those reported in other studies evaluating the IV and SC routes of administration.

 

June 2020
Irene Nabutovsky PhD, Saar Ashri BSc, Amira Nachshon RNMA, Riki Tesler PhD, Yair Shapiro MD MBA, Evan Wright MD, Brian Vadasz MD, Amir Offer MD FACC, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD and Robert Klempfner MD

Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is underutilized globally despite evidence of clinical benefit. Major obstacles for wider adoption include distance from the rehabilitation center, travel time, and interference with daily routine. Tele-cardiac rehabilitation (tele-CR) can potentially address some of these limitations, enabling patients to exercise in their home environment or community.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical and physiological outcomes as well as adherence to tele-CR in patients with low cardiovascular risk and to assess exercise capacity, determined by an exercise stress test, using a treadmill before and following the 6-month intervention.

Methods: A total of 22 patients with established coronary artery disease participated in a 6-month tele-CR program. Datos Health (Ramat Gan, Israel), a digital health application and care-team dashboard, was used for remote monitoring, communication, and management of the patients.

Results: Following the 6-month tele-CR intervention, there was significant improvement in exercise capacity, assessed by estimated metabolic equivalents with an increase from 10.6 ± 0.5 to 12.3 ± 0.5 (P = 0.002). High-density lipoproteins levels significantly improved, whereas low-density lipoproteins, triglyceride, glycosylated hemoglobin, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were not significantly changed. Exercise adherence was consistent among patients, with more than 63% of patients participating in a moderate intensity exercise program for 150 minutes per week.

Conclusions: Patients who participated in tele-CR adhered to the exercise program and attained clinically significant functional improvement. Tele-CR is a viable option for populations that cannot, or elect not to, participate in center-based CR programs.

March 2020
Misgav Rottenstreich MD MBA, Ortal Reznick MD, Hen Y. Sela MD, Alexander Ioscovich MD, Sorina Grisaro Granovsky MD PhD, Carolyn F. Weiniger MD and Sharon Einav MD MSc

Background: Admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) is an objective marker of severe maternal morbidity (SMM).

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of obstetric ICU admissions in one medical center in Israel and to characterize this population.

Methods: In this retrospective study the files of women coded for pregnancy, birth, or the perinatal period and admission to the ICU were pulled for data extraction (2005–2013).

Results: During the study period, 111 women were admitted to the ICU among 120,279 women who delivered babies (0.09%). Their average age was 30 ± 6 years, most were multigravida, a few had undergone fertility treatments, and only 27% had complicated previous pregnancies. Most pregnancies (71.2%) were uneventful prior to admission. ICU admissions were divided equally between direct (usually hemorrhage) and indirect (usually cardiac disease) obstetric causes.

Conclusions: The indications for obstetrics ICU admission correlated with the proximate causes of maternal arrest observed worldwide. While obstetric hemorrhage is often unpredictable, deterioration of heart disease is foreseeable. Attention should be directed specifically toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of maternal heart disease during pregnancy in Israel.

November 2019
Marcos Harel MD, Avshalom Shalom MD, Jacob Frand MD and Lior Leibou MD

Background: The use of oral midazolam as premedication to induce anxiolysis before surgical procedures under local anesthesia is widely accepted in plastic surgery. Rhinoplasty performed under local anesthesia is known to generate high levels of perioperative anxiety, thus the use of appropriate premedication is important. Oral midazolam has been shown to be safe in various procedures. However, the safety of oral midazolam before rhinoplasty has not been evaluated.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety of premedication with oral midazolam prior to rhinoplasty by analyzing the intraoperative blood oxygen saturation levels as predictors of adverse respiratory events.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the anesthesia records of 62 patients who underwent rhinoplasty under local anesthesia and received premedication with oral midazolam for anxiolysis between March 2017 and December 2017. The median age of the patients was 25.4 years, and they were all classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists class 1. The patients received 10 mg midazolam hydrochloride orally 1 hour prior to the procedure. Oxygen blood saturation was monitored using a pulse oximeter and recorded every 15 minutes.

Results: All the patients maintained blood oxygen saturation levels above 95% (median peripheral capillary oxygen saturation 99%) on room air, and they did not require supplemental intraoperative oxygen. There were no transient hypoxemic events during and following the procedure.

Conclusions: Our study confirmed the safety of oral midazolam premedication to reduce perioperative anxiety when performing rhinoplasty under local anesthesia.

 

October 2019
Gassan Moady MD, Amitai Bickel MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Muhammad Khader MD and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Pneumatic sleeves (PS) are often used during laparoscopic surgery and for prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients who cannot receive anticoagulation treatment. There is very little information on the hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effect on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in patients with severely reduced left ventricular ejection function (LVEF).

Objectives: To determine the safety and hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effects on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

Methods: This study comprised 14 patients classified as New York Heart Association (NYHA) II–III with severely reduced LVEF (< 40%). We activated the PS using two inflation pressures (50 or 80 mmHg, 7 patients in each group) at two cycles per minute for one hour. We measured echocardiography, hemodynamic parameters, and BNP levels in each patient prior to, during, and after the PS operation.

Results: The baseline LVEF did not change throughout the activation of PS (31 ± 10% vs. 33 ± 9%, P = 0.673). Following PS activation there was no significant difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure, the pulse measurements, or central venous pressure. BNP levels did not change after PS activation (P = 0.074).

Conclusions: The use of PS, with either low or high inflation pressures, is safe and has no detrimental effects on hemodynamic parameters or BNP levels in patients with severely reduced LVEF following clinical stabilization and optimal medical therapy.

January 2017
Zev Sthoeger MD, Margalit Lorber MD, Yuval Tal MD, Elias Toubi MD, Howard Amital MD, Shaye Kivity MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Ilan Asher MD, Daniel Elbirt MD and Nancy Agmon Levin MD

Background: Anti-BLyS treatment with the human belimumab monoclonal antibody was shown to be a safe and effective therapeutic modality in lupus patients with active disease (i.e., without significant neurological/renal involvement) despite standard treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the “real-life” safety and efficacy of belimumab added to standard therapy in patents with active lupus in five Israeli medical centers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective open-labeled study of 36 lupus patients who received belimumab monthly for at least 1 year in addition to standard treatment. Laboratory tests (C3/C4, anti dsDNA autoantibodies, chemistry, urinalysis and complete blood count) were done every 3–4 months. Adverse events were obtained from patients’ medical records. Efficacy assessment by the treating physicians was defined as excellent, good/partial, or no response.

Results: The study group comprised 36 lupus patients (8 males, 28 females) with a mean age of 41.6 } 12.2 years. Belimumab was given for a mean period of 2.3 } 1.7 years (range 1–7). None of the patients discontinued belimumab due to adverse events. Four patients (11.1%) had an infection related to belimumab. Only 5 patients (13.9%) stopped taking belimumab due to lack of efficacy. The response was excellent in 25 patients (69.5%) and good/partial in the other 6 (16.6%). Concomitantly, serological response (reduction of C3/C4 and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies) was also observed. Moreover, following belimumab treatment, there was a significant reduction in the usage of corticosteroids (from 100% to 27.7%) and immunosuppressive agents (from 83.3% to 8.3%).

Conclusions: Belimumab, in addition to standard therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for active lupus patients.

April 2016
S. Sohail Ahmed MD, Emanuele Montomoli PhD, Franco Laghi Pasini MD and Lawrence Steinman MD

Despite the very high benefit-to-risk ratio of vaccines, the fear of negative side effects has discouraged many people from getting vaccinated, resulting in the reemergence of previously controlled diseases such as measles, pertussis and diphtheria. This fear has been amplified more recently by multiple epidemiologic studies that confirmed the link of an AS03-adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine (Pandemrix®, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Germany) used in Europe during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic [A(H1N1)pdm09] with the development of narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder, in children and adolescents. However, public misperceptions of what adjuvants are and why they are used in vaccines has created in some individuals a closed “black box” attitude towards all vaccines. The focus of this review article is to revisit this “black box” using the example of narcolepsy associated with the European AS03-adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine.

Luca Cantarini MD PhD, Maria L. Stromillo MD, Antonio Vitale MD, Giuseppe Lopalco MD, Giacomo Emmi MD PhD, Elena Silvestri MD, Antonio Federico MD, Mauro Galeazzi MD, Florenzo Iannone MD PhD and Nicola De Stefano MD PhD

Behçet's disease (BD) is a multi-systemic disorder of unknown etiology characterized by relapsing oral-genital ulcers, uveitis, and involvement of the articular, gastrointestinal, neurologic, and vascular systems. The choice of treatment is based on the severity of systemic involvement, clinical presentation and the site affected, and includes corticosteroids, azathioprine, interferon, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate or tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 blockers. We present a case series of four refractory BD patients successfully treated with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG). All patients fulfilled International Study Group criteria. The patients’ mean age was 38.75 ± 12.09 years and mean disease duration 10.25 ± 8.5 years. Human leukocyte antigen B51 was positive in two of four patients. In addition to oral aphthosis, all patients suffered from genital ulcers and cutaneous BD-related manifestations; central nervous system involvement and arthralgia were found in two patients. Peripheral nervous system, gastrointestinal and eye involvement occurred in 25% of cases. In all patients, previously treated according to EULAR recommendations without reaching satisfactory results, IVIG induced immediate and sustained response over time without incurring any side effects. We propose IVIG administration as an additional effective and safe treatment option in patients with severe and resistant BD.

June 2015
Shay Weiss PhD, Shmuel Yitzhaki PhD and Shmuel C. Shapira MD MPH

Abstract

During recent months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the occurrence of three major biosafety incidents, raising serious concern about biosafety and biosecurity guideline implementation in the most prestigious agencies in the United States: the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). These lapses included: a) the mishandling of Bacillus anthracis spores potentially exposing dozens of employees to anthrax; b) the shipment of low pathogenic influenza virus unknowingly cross-contaminated with a highly pathogenic strain; and c) an inventory lapse of hundreds of samples of biological agents, including six vials of variola virus kept in a cold storage room for decades, unnoticed. In this review we present the published data on these events, report the CDC inquiry’s main findings, and discuss the key lessons to be learnt to ensure safer scientific practice in biomedical and microbiological service and research laboratories.

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