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עמוד בית
Fri, 31.05.24

Search results

January 2024
Maya Schwartz-Lifshitz MD, Stav Bloch Priel MD, Noam Matalon MD, Yehonathan Hochberg MD, Dana Basel MD, Doron Gothelf MD

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant global turmoil, including changes in social and societal conduct such as lockdowns, social isolation, and extensive regulations. These changes can be major sources of stress. The first wave of the pandemic (April–May 2020) was a time of global uncertainty. We evaluated symptom severity among 29 Israeli children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Our previous study found that most of these participants did not experience an exacerbation of symptoms.

Objective: To re-evaluate the OCD symptoms of 18 participants from the original group of 29 children and adolescents during three time points: before the pandemic, during the first wave, and 2 years later.

Methods: Obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) were assessed using the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI), a functional questionnaire, and the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-child version (OCI-CV).

Results: OCS in patients did not change significantly during the three time points. Participants reported minimal changes in their general functioning 2 years after the outbreak of COVID-19 and showed minimal change in OCI-CV scale scores.

Conclusions: Our results indicated clinical stability of OCD symptoms among most of the participants.

May 2023
Hagit Hemi RN, Olga Morelli MD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Alexander Sagie MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD

Background: Cancellation of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) tests leads to inefficient use of echocardiography laboratory (echo lab) time and wastes resources.

Objectives: To identify the causes of same-day TEE cancellations in hospitalized patients, to formulate a TEE order screening protocol, and to evaluate its efficacy at implementation.

Methods: We performed a prospective analysis of inpatients referred to a single tertiary hospital echo lab for TEE study by inpatient wards. A comprehensive screening protocol emphasizing active participation of all links directly involved in the chain of inpatient TEE referral was developed and implemented. Comparison of pre- and post-implementation of the new screening protocol on two consecutive periods of 6 months on TEE cancellation rates out of total ordered TEEs stratified by cause categories was performed.

Results: In total, 304 inpatient TEE procedures were ordered during the initial observation period; 54(17.8%) were canceled on the same day. The most common cancellation reasons were equally respiratory distress and patient not in fasted state (20.4% of total cancellations and 3.6% of all scheduled TEEs for each cause). Following implementation of the new screening process, total TEEs ordered (192) and cancelled (16) dropped significantly. A decrease in the rate of each cancellation category was observed, with statistical significance achieved for the overall cancellation rate (8.3% vs. 17.8%, P = 0.003), but not for the individual cancellation categories in split analysis.

Conclusions: A concerted effort to implement a comprehensive screening questionnaire significantly reduced same-day cancellations of scheduled TEEs.

January 2023
Yehonatan Azulai BA, Shepard Schwartz MD, Eyal Heiman MD, Elihay Berliner MD, Giora Weiser MD

Background: Clinical dysentery causes hundreds of thousands of deaths annually worldwide. However, current recommendations reserve antibiotics for those either clinically sick or with highly suspected cases of shigellosis. This treatment stems from rising antibiotic resistance. Children diagnosed with clinical dysentery in the pediatric emergency department (PED) are regarded more cautiously.

Objectives: To explore the use of antibiotics in children diagnosed with clinical dysentery in the PED.

Methods: A retrospective case study of children with clinical dysentery at a single PED during the years 2015 and 2018. Demographics as well as clinical findings were compared to culture results and antibiotic treatment.

Results: The study included 281 children who were diagnosed with clinical dysentery during the study period; 234 (83%) were treated with antibiotics. However, cultures were positive in only 162 cases (58%). Only 32% were Shigella spp. Younger age, fever, and leukocytosis were related to antibiotic treatment.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of clinical dysentery is misgiven commonly in the PED leading to widespread use of antibiotics when not indicated. This treatment may impact antibiotic resistance patterns. Further studies and interventions are necessary to create clear guidelines in the PED setting.

February 2022
Itay Zoarets MD, Yehonatan Nevo MD, Chaya Schwartz MD, Moti Cordoba BSc, Udi Shapira BSc, Motti Gutman MD FACS, and Oded Zmora MD FACS FASCRS

Background: Pilonidal sinus is a chronic, inflammatory condition. Controversy exists regarding the best surgical  management for pilonidal sinus, including the extent of excision and type of closure of the surgical wound.

Objectives: To assess the short- and long-term outcomes and success rate of the trephine procedure for the treatment of pilonidal sinus.

Method: A retrospective observational cohort study was conducted at a single center. Patients who underwent trephine procedure between 2011 and 2015 were included. Data collection included medical records review and a telephone interview to establish long-term follow-up.

Results: A total of 169 patients underwent the trephine technique for the repair of pilonidal sinus. Follow-up included 113 patients, median age 20 years. Initial postoperative period, 35.6% recalled no pain and 58.6% reported a mild to moderate pain. Postoperative complications included local infection (7.5%) and mild bleeding (15.1%). On early postoperative follow-up, 47.1% recalled no impairment in quality of life, and 25%, 21.2 %, and 6.7% had mild, moderate and sever disturbance respectively. The median time to return to work or school was 10 days. At a median follow-up of 29 months (IQR 19–40), recurrence rate was 45.1% (51/113), and 38 (33.9%) of the patients underwent another surgical procedure. Overweight, smoking, and family history were associated with higher recurrence rate.

Conclusion: The trephines technique has a significant long-term recurrence rate. Short-term advantages include low morbidity, enhanced recovery, and minimal to mild postoperative impairment to quality of life. The trephine procedure may be justified as a first treatment of pilonidal disease

June 2020
Yonit Wiener-Well MD, Mustafa Hadeedi MD, Yuval Schwartz MD, Amos M. Yinnon MD and Gabriel Munter MD

Background: Antibiotic stewardship programs are necessary to test the appropriateness of local guidelines for empirical antibiotic treatment by audits.

Objectives: To assess whether compliance to local guidelines achieved a higher rate of appropriate antibiotic treatment and reduced morbidity and mortality, and whether infectious disease counseling improved the rate of appropriate treatment.

Methods: Our cohort comprised 294 patients with proven bacteremia. Data were retrieved from medical records including diagnosis, empiric antibiotic treatment, and outcomes.

Results: The empirical treatment was consistent with bacterial susceptibility in 227 patients (77%), and matched in 64% of the time to the first line, and another 24% to the second line of institutional guidelines. A strong correlation was found between appropriate empiric treatment according to bacterial susceptibility and reduced mortality (odds ratio [OR] 0.403, P = 0.007). A similar correlation was found with the choice of appropriate antibiotics according to local guidelines (OR 0.392, P = 0.005). Infectious disease consultation was related to an increase in the rate of appropriateness of treatment according to guidelines (85% vs.76%, P = 0.005). A tendency to increased appropriateness was related to microbial susceptibility (87% vs. 74%, P = 0.07).

Conclusions: In this study, initiation of appropriate empiric antibiotic therapy, according to the hospital's guidelines, was found associated with reduced mortality in patients with bacteremia.

October 2019
Adi Elias MD, Rudi Hamoudi MD, Naama Schwartz PHD, Gilat Ron MPH and Mazen Elias MD

Background: Recurrent miscarriages are associated with a high prevalence of thrombophilia. Use of a calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT) can serve as a universal test for thrombophilia.

Objectives: To examine whether thrombin generation measured by CAT is elevated during the first trimester in women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages.

Methods: This study comprised 25 pregnant women with recurrent pregnancy loss referred for thrombophilia screening and treated with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). Thrombin generation parameters were measured in women who had miscarriages or live births and who were diagnosed as positive or negative for thrombophilia.

Results: Of the pregnancies, 76% resulted in live birth and 24% ended in miscarriages. Among the women, 76% were positive for thrombophilia. Thrombin generation parameters between pregnancies that ended in miscarriage compared to live births were not significantly different, and CAT parameters failed to predict pregnancy outcome. Although the CAT parameters demonstrated a trend toward a hypercoagulable state in women with thrombophilia, there was no statistical significance (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Women with unexplained pregnancy loss demonstrated similar thrombin generation in the first trimester, regardless of the pregnancy outcome. CAT parameters failed to predict pregnancy outcome in women with recurrent unexplained pregnancy loss. Our results should be interpreted with caution due to the small number of participants.

May 2019
Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Abid Assali MD, Mordehay Vatury MD, Leor Perl MD, Hana Vaknin-Assa MD and Alexander Sagie MD

Background: The MitraClip procedure is becoming an acceptable alternative for high-risk patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) due to functional (FMR) or degenerative (DMR) disease and suitable mitral anatomy.

Objectives: To evaluate the results of MitraClip at our institute in carefully selected patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records and echocardiography data from January 2012 to December 2017.

Results: A total of 39 MitraClip procedures in 37 patients (aged 75 ± 12 years, 9 women) was performed. Twenty-four patients presented with FMR, 12 with DMR, and 1 with combined pathology. One-day post-procedure MR was moderate to low in 86.1% of patients, with immediate device success in 88.8%. MR at 1 year was moderate to low in 79% at 1 year. Survival at 1 year was 86% and at 2 years 69.4%. Peri-procedural (< 1 week) death and MitraClip failure occurred in one and three patients, respectively. New York Heart Association score improved to class 1 or 2 in 37% of patients at 1 year vs. one patient at baseline. Post-procedural systolic pulmonary pressure was reduced from 53 (range 48–65) to 43 (range 36–52) mmHg at 1 month with a subsequent plateau at follow-up, to 41 (34–57) mmHg at 6 months, and to 47 (38–50) at 12 months.

Conclusions: MitraClip in severe MR resulted in modest improvement in functional status and pulmonary pressure with a small risk of immediate procedural complications. Outcomes are encouraging considering the natural course of MR and the risks of surgical intervention.

March 2019
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Nona Kovler MD, Gal Neuman MD, Bella Gurevych MD, Paul Sofer MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH

Background: The Israel Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24-hour telephone consultations on clinical toxicology and drug and reproductive toxicology. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and provides laboratory services. In 2014, nurse specialists in poison information joined the IPIC.

Objectives: To report the epidemiology of poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We present computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC for 2017.

Results: A total of 39,928 poison exposure cases were recorded, reflecting increases of 226.3% and 26.7% compared with 1995 and 2012, respectively. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 47.0% of cases; 80.4% of calls were made by the public and 17.8% by physicians; 74.2% of exposures were unintentional and 7.3% intentional. Pharmaceuticals were involved in 51.4% of cases, chemicals in 36.9%, bites and stings in 2.2%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.5%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products, and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.3%, mainly due to insecticides, drugs of abuse, and corrosives. Three fatalities were recorded (due to colchicine, organophosphates, and volatile substance inhalant abuse).

Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have markedly increased in Israel, contributing substantially to morbidity. The IPIC prevented unnecessary referrals to emergency departments. Its database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory, and its activities adequately supported by national resources.

January 2019
Ayelet Grupper MD, Moshe Shashar MD, Talia Weinstein MD PhD, Orit Kliuk Ben Bassat MD, Shoni Levy MD, Idit F. Schwartz MD, Avital Angel MD, Aharon Baruch MD, Avishay Grupper MD, Gil Chernin MD and Doron Schwartz MD

Background: Dialysate purity contributes to the inflammatory response that afflicts hemodialysis patients.

Objectives: To compare the clinical and laboratory effects of using ultrapure water produced by a water treatment system including two reverse osmosis (RO) units in series, with a system that also includes an ultrapure filter (UPF).

Methods: We performed a retrospective study in 193 hemodialysis patients during two periods: period A (no UPF, 6 months) and period B (same patients, with addition of UPF, 18 months), and a historical cohort of patients treated in the same dialysis unit 2 years earlier, which served as a control group.

Results: Mean C-reactive protein, serum albumin and systolic blood pressure worsened in period B compared to period A and in the controls.

Conclusions: A double RO system to produce ultrapure water is not inferior to the use of ultrapure filters.

November 2018
Naim Abu Freha MD MHA, Wafi Badarna MD, Muhammad Abu Tailakh RN MPH PhD, Heba Abu Kaf MD, Alex Fich MD, Doron Schwartz MD, Arik Segal, Jabir Elkrinawi and Amir Karban MD

Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) prevalence is increasing among Bedouin Arabs in Israel. This population is known to have a high rate of consanguinity. NOD2/CARD15 mutations are well-studied in IBD.

Objectives: To investigate the frequency of NOD2/CARD15 mutations in IBD Bedouin patients and their relevance to disease phenotype.

Methods: The IBD-Arab cohort in southern Israel included 68 patients, of which 25 Crohn's disease (CD) patients and 25 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients consented to participate (72%). Blood samples were obtained from all participants who were genotyped for NOD2/CARD15 variants Arg702Trp, Gly908Arg, and Leu1007fsinsC.

Results: The NOD2/CARD15 mutation frequency was higher in Crohn's disease than in ulcerative colitis patients. Carrier frequency for the Gly908Arg mutation in CD and UC patients was 8/25 (32%) and 3/25 (12%), respectively (P = 0.08). Neither the Arg702Trp nor Leu1007fsinsC mutation was found in our cohort. No homozygous/compound heterozygote mutations were found. Genotype-phenotype analysis revealed that CD patients carrying the Gly908Arg mutation were younger at diagnosis, 22.8 ± 4.5 vs. 28.82 ± 9.1 years (P = 0.04). All carriers were males, compared with 41.2% in non-carriers (P = 0.005). NOD2/CARD15 mutation carriers with UC were older, 67.0 ± 24.5 years compared with 41.2 ± 12.3 years (P = 0.006). No other associations regarding disease localization or other clinical parameter were found.

Conclusions: The frequency of NOD2/CARD15 gene mutations is high in CD and UC among Bedouin Arab IBD patients and is associated with younger age at onset in CD and male gender.

August 2018
Amihai Rottenstreich MD, Adi Schwartz, Yosef Kalish MD, Ela Shai PhD, Liat Appelbaum MD, Tali Bdolah-Abram and Itamar Sagiv MD

Background: Risk factors for bleeding complications after percutaneous kidney biopsy (PKB) and the role of primary hemostasis screening are not well established.

Objectives: To determine the role of primary hemostasis screening and complication outcomes among individuals who underwent PKB.

Methods: We reviewed data of 456 patients who underwent PKB from 2010 to 2016 in a large university hospital. In 2015, bleeding time (BT) testing was replaced by light transmission aggregometry (LTA) as a pre-PKB screening test.

Results: Of the 370 patients who underwent pre-PKB hemostasis screening by BT testing, prolonged BT was observed in 42 (11.3%). Of the 86 who underwent LTA, an abnormal response was observed in 14 (16.3%). Overall, 155 (34.0%) patients experienced bleeding: 145 (31.8%) had minor events (hemoglobin fall of 1–2 g/dl, macroscopic hematuria, perinephric hematoma without the need for transfusion or intervention) and 17 (3.7%) had major events (hemoglobin fall > 2 g/dl, blood transfusion or further intervention). Abnormal LTA response did not correlate with bleeding (P = 0.80). In multivariate analysis, only prolonged BT (P = 0.0001) and larger needle size (P = 0.005) were identified as independent predictors of bleeding.

Conclusions: Bleeding complications following PKB were common and mostly minor, and the risk of major bleeding was low. Larger needle size and prolonged BT were associated with a higher bleeding risk. Due to the relatively low risk of major bleeding and lack of benefit of prophylactic intervention, the use of pre-PKB hemostasis screening remains unestablished.

July 2018
Rashed Abu-Saleh MD, Orna Nitzan MD, Walid Saliba MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Yoram Keness PhD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Hana Edelstein, Naama Schwartz PhD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Skin colonization of microorganisms in blood cultures (BCs) are generally considered clinically non-significant and can be the source of a true infection, particularly in immunosuppressed patients.

Objectives: To study the epidemiology and risk factors for bacteremia caused by contaminants.

Methods: This retrospective, descriptive study is based on adult BCs collected (2004–2013) and categorized as positive (True bacteremia [TrueB] or contamination) or negative. Clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics of BCs positive for the six most common potential contaminant pathogens (PCPs) that can cause TrueB and contamination (Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus [CoNS], Streptococcus viridans, Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium spp., Bacillus spp., Clostridium spp.) were assessed. Ninety-two TrueB were identified vs. 196 contaminations (1:2 ratio).

Results: From 74,014 BCs, PCPs were found in 3735 samples, of which 3643 (97.5%) were contaminations and 92 (2.5%) were TrueB. The overall rate of BC contamination decreased during the study period from 6.7% to 3.8%. CoNS was the most common PCP. Bacillus spp. were only contaminants. Clostridium spp. and Streptococcus viridans were more often TrueB. In a multivariate model, predictors of TrueB included high creatinine levels, Streptococcus viridans in BC, and multiple positive BCs. A single culture of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination.

Conclusions: Ten years of data on BCs, focusing on six PCPs, demonstrates a significant, yet insufficient reduction in the rate of contamination. High creatinine level, isolation of Streptococcus viridans, and multiple positive BCs were predictors of TrueB, while growth of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination. This model could assist in diagnostic and therapeutic decision making.

December 2017
Nili Elior MD, Diana Tasher MD, Elli Somekh MD, Michal Stein MD, Orna Schwartz Harari MA and Avigdor Mandelberg MD

Background: Nebulized hypertonic saline (HS) treatment is unavailable to large populations worldwide.

Objectives: To determine the bacterial contamination and electrolyte concentrations in homemade (HM-HS) vs. pharmacy made (PM-HS).

Methods: We conducted three double-blind consecutive trials: 50 boiled-water homemade 3%-HS (B-HM-HS) bottles and 50 PM-HS. The bottles were cultured after 48 hours. Electrolyte concentrations were measured in 10 bottles (5 per group). Forty bottles (20 per group) were distributed to volunteers for simulation of realistic treatment by drawing 4 ml HS three times daily. From each bottle, 4 ml samples were cultured after 1, 5, and 7 days. Volunteers prepared 108 bottles containing 3%-HS, sterilizing them using a microwave oven (1100–1850W). These bottles were cultured 24 hours, 48 hours, and 1 month after preparation.

Results: Contamination rates of B-HM-HS and PM-HS after 48 hours were 56% and 14%, respectively (P = 0.008). Electrolyte concentrations were similar: 3.7% ± 0.4 and 3.5% ± 0.3, respectively (P = NS). Following a single day of simulation B-HM-HS bottles were significantly more contaminated than PM-HS bottles: 75% vs. 20%, respectively (P < 0.01). By day 7, 85% of PM-HS bottles and 100% of B-HM-HS bottles were contaminated (P = 0.23). All 108 microwave-oven prepared bottles (MICRO-HS) were sterile, which was significantly better than the contamination rate of B-HM-HS and PM-HS (P < 0.001). Calculated risk for a consecutive MICRO-HS to be infected was negligible.

Conclusion: Microwave preparation provides sterile HS with adequate electrolyte concentrations, and is a cheap, fast, and widely available method to prepare HS.


Jad Khatib MD, Naama Schwartz PhD and Naiel Bisharat MD PhD

Background: In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Health distributed guidelines for improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge among hospital staff. The impact of these guidelines on survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unclear.

Objectives: To compare rates of incidence and survival to discharge after IHCA, preceding and subsequent to issuance of the guidelines: 1995–2005 and 2006–2015.

Methods: Data were retrieved from the computerized records of patients who had an IHCA and underwent CPR. In addition, we retrieved data available from the hospital's resuscitation committee that included number, type, methods of training in CPR refresher courses, type and number of audits carried out during the past 10 years, and type of CPR quality assessments.

Results: From 1995 to 2015, IHCA incidence increased from 0.7 to 1.7 per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001), while survival rate did not increase (P = 0.37). Survival for shockable rhythms increased from 15.4 to 30.2% (P = 0.05) between the two time periods. The ratio of non-shockable to shockable rhythms increased from 2.4 to 4.6 (P = 0.01) between the two time periods.

Conclusions: Overall IHCA survival did not improve following the issuance of guidelines requiring CPR refresher courses, although survival improved for patients with initial shockable dysrhythmia. A decrease of events with initial shockable dysrhythmia, an increase with acute renal failure, and a decrease occurring in intensive care units contributed to understanding the findings. We found that CPR refresher courses were helpful, although an objective measure of their effectiveness is lacking.


February 2016
Efrat Ben-Shalom MD, Ori Toker MD and Shepard Schwartz MD

Background: Hypernatremic dehydration is a common and potentially life-threatening condition in children. There is currently no consensus as to the optimal strategy for fluid management. Objectives: To describe the relationship between the type, route and rate of fluids administered and the rate of decline in serum sodium (Na+) concentration. 

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all children under the age of 2 years who were hospitalized with hypernatremic dehydration (serum Na+ ≥ 155 mEq/L) in Shaare Zedek Medical Center during the period 2001–2010. Collected data of 62 subjects included initial and subsequent serum Na+ levels, and rate and Na+ concentration of all intravenous and oral fluids administered until the serum Na+ reached ≤ 150 mEq/L.

Results: Median initial serum Na+ was 159.5 mEq/L (IQR 157–163, maximal value 170). The median rate of decline in serum Na+ until serum Na+ reached 150 mEq/L was 0.65 mEq/L/hr (IQR 0.45–0.95). Forty-two children received hypotonic oral fluids which accounted for approximately one-quarter of all fluids they received. There was no significant difference in the rate of decline in serum Na+ between those who consumed oral fluids and those who did not. Neither was there a correlation between the rate of IV fluids, receipt of oral fluids or the degree of dehydration, with the rate of decline in serum Na+. No child experienced an apparent short-term adverse outcome. 

Conclusions: A cumulative rate of 5.9 ml/kg/hr of IV fluid administration may reduce the serum Na+ to an acceptable rate (0.65 mEq/L/hr). Fluid therapy comprising up to 25% hypotonic oral fluids and 75% IV fluids high in Na+ concentration was not associated with any short-term adverse outcome in our patient population. 


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