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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

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January 2024
Yehuda Shoenfeld MD, Joshua Shemer MD, Gad Keren MD

Twenty-five years ago, we, the undersigned together with the chairman of the Israel Medical Association at the time, Prof. Yoram Blachar, and the Secretary General of the Israel Medical Association, Adv. Leah Wapner, joined forces to found an Israeli medical journal in English. The purpose of this journal was to present to the world Israeli clinical medicine and medical research. That journal is none other than the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ), and in 2023 its 300th issue was published. In 2024 we keep going, taking pride in the fact that every one of those past 300 issues has been published and dispatched on time, without delay, regardless of any circumstances.

February 2023
Aviv Barzilai MD MSc, Hila Greenbaum MD MPH, Monica Huszar MD, Sergei Ikher MD, Avner Shemer MD, Sharon Baum MD

Background: Diagnosis of onychomycosis is based on potassium hydroxide (KOH), direct smear, culture, and polymerase chain reaction. Nail clippings are rarely used as a diagnostic tool.

Objectives: To evaluate nail clippings for the diagnosis of onychomycosis and to compare it to KOH smears.

Methods: Nail clipping specimens of 39 patients were collected: 34 with onychomycosis proved by positive culture and 5 from normal nails. The specimens were submitted to histological processing and then stained with periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) and Grocott-Gomori's methenamine silver (GMS) stains. For each nail, KOH smear was also performed. Two pathologists who had no information on the KOH smear and the culture results evaluated the nail clipping histology for the presence of fungal element. Their assessment was compared to the KOH smear and culture results.

Results: Of the 34 specimens that had positive culture, 25 were dermatophytes, 5 were molds, and 4 were candida. Clipping specimens were positive in 30 cases (88%): 23/25 dermatophyte, 4/5 molds, and 3/4 candida. Pathologists were able to classify the pathogens into dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes based on the morphology. PAS stain results were the same as GMS in evaluation of the nail specimen. KOH smear was positive in 29 nails (85%): 20/25 dermatophytes, all 5 molds, and 4 candida. In all five nails where the culture was negative, both clipping and KOH smear did not show fungal elements.

Conclusion: Nail clippings can serve as a rapid, inexpensive, and reliable method for evaluation of onychomycosis, comparable to KOH smear, with the advantage of pathogen group identification.

August 2022
Nir Tsur MD, Omri Frig BSc, Orna Steinberg-Shemer MD, Hannah Tamary MD, Noga Kurman MD, Aviram Mizrachi MD, and Aron Popovtzer MD

Background: Recent studies show a high risk of developing malignancy in patients with Fanconi anemia. The most common solid tumor in this condition is head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and there is often uncertainty and about disease behavior as well as chemotherapy and radiation response.

Objectives: To describe and characterize HNSCC among Fanconi anemia patients on the Israeli Fanconi Registry

Methods: Our study population included patients in Israel's inherited bone marrow failure registry who were diagnosed with Fanconi anemia between1980 and 2016. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient charts.

Results: From the collected data, HNSCC was confirmed in 6/111 (5.4%) Fanconi anemia patients; 1 (17%) had classic HNSCC risk factors of tobacco abuse and 4 (56%) had undergone primary surgery. The 3 (50%) receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy had mild side effects, while half developed metachronous primary malignancy, and all developed > 2 primary malignancies. The overall median survival of the patients in our study was 14 (0.5–57) months.

Conclusions: Fanconi anemia patients have a very high risk of developing HNSCC. Proactive screening for malignancies is needed for the head and neck regions. We also found that chemoradiotherapy can be used safely in high-stage cancers.

June 2022
Royi Barnea PhD, Ruti Berger PhD, Yossi Weiss PhD MPH, and Joshua Shemer MD

Overuse of healthcare services is a common phenomenon defined as: “a healthcare service that is provided under circumstances in which its potential for harm exceeds the possible benefit.” It is expressed in the gap between desired services and available ones and is accompanied by high financial and human life costs. One-fifth to one-third of patients receives unnecessary, ineffective, or potentially harmful treatments or services. One of the greatest challenges to understanding overuse is the lack of definition for appropriate use. Apart from the physical and mental damage caused by overuse or improper use of medical services, this phenomenon has many implications, such as increasing waiting times for services, creating long queues, and incurring considerable financial costs as over 10% of hospital expenses are used to correct medical errors or preventable infections. Government intervention through economic arrangements such as deductibles and pre-authorization of services by the insurer are partially effective in reducing the overuse of health services. Additional solutions include ensuring safety and quality of care as well as shared decision-making.

November 2019
March 2019
Yehuda Shoenfeld MD, Joshua Shemer MD, Gad Keren MD
December 2018
Dvir Shalem, Asaf Shemer, Ora Shovman MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR and Shaye Kivity MD

Background: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disease of the peripheral nervous system with a typical presentation of acute paralysis and hyporeflexia. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (PLEX) are treatments that have proven to expedite recuperation and recovery of motor function.

Objectives: To describe our experience at one tertiary medical center treating GBS with IVIG and to compare the efficacy of IVIG as the sole treatment versus combined therapy of IVIG and plasma exchange.

Methods: We reviewed the records of all patients diagnosed with GBS and treated with IVIG at the Sheba Medical Center from 2007 to 2015 and collected data on patient demographics, disease onset and presentation, and treatments delivered. The motor disability grading scale (MDGS) was used to evaluate the motor function of each patient through the various stages of the disease and following therapy.

Results: MDGS improvement from admission until discharge was statistically significant (P < 0.001), as was the regainment of motor functions at 3 and 12 months follow-up compared to the status during the nadir of the disease. The effectiveness of second-line treatment with IVIG following PLEX failure and vice versa was not statistically significant (P > 0.15).

Conclusions: The majority of patients included in this study experienced a significant and rapid improvement of GBS following treatment with IVIG. Combined therapy of PLEX and IVIG was not proven to be effective in patients who encountered a failure of the first-line treatment.

July 2018
Asaf Shemer B.Med.Sc, Liron Talmi MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Gil Har-Zahav MD and Raz Somech MD PhD
January 2018
December 2014
Orna Steinberg Shemer MD MSc and Hannah Tamary MD
July 2014
Boaz Amichai MD, Marcelo H. Grunwald MD, Batya Davidovici MD and Avner Shemer MD

Background: Tinea pedis is a common chronic skin disease; the role of contaminated clothes as a possible source of infection or re-infection has not been fully understood. The ability of ultraviolet light to inactivate microorganisms has long been known and UV is used in many applications.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectivity of sun exposure in reducing fungal contamination in used clothes.

Methods: Fifty-two contaminated socks proven by fungal culture from patients with tinea pedis were studied. The samples were divided into two groups: group A underwent sun exposure for 3 consecutive days, while group B remained indoors. At the end of each day fungal cultures of the samples were performed.

Results: Overall, there was an increase in the percentage of negative cultures with time. The change was significantly higher in socks that were left in the sun (chi-square for linear trend = 37.449, P < 0.0001).

* Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1913

Conclusions: Sun exposure of contaminated clothes was effective in lowering the contamination rate. This finding enhances the current trends of energy saving and environmental protection, which recommend low temperature laundry.

October 2013
I. Abadi-Korek, J. Glazer, A. Granados, O. Luxenburg, M.R. Trusheim, N. Hakak and J. Shemer
January 2011
L. Leibenson, S. Banani, A. Borer, M. Meirovitz, Y. Shemer Avni, D. Singer, F. Schlaeffer, M. Leibenson, T. Silberstein, A. Wiznitzer and K. Riesenberg

Background: Concomitant human immunodeficiency virus and human papillomavirus infection increases both HPV[1] persistence and the risk of invasive cervical cancer. An estimation of HPV prevalence among HIV[2]-positive women in Israel would contribute to improving care for this population and preventing morbidity and mortality related to cervical cancer.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HPV infection and cervical cytology abnormalities, and to assess the possible influence of HIV infection on HPV carriage in HIV-positive women attending the Infectious Disease Clinic at Soroka University Medical Center.

Methods: The study population included 84 HIV-seropositive women. They were examined by a gynecologist and screened for HPV genotyping, and Pap smears were obtained for cervical cytology. Demographic, behavioral, and HIV infection variables were also recorded and analyzed.

Results: Forty-nine (58.3%) of the study participants were HPV-positive; 34 of them had oncogenic genotypes. Young age (< 16 years) at first sexual intercourse was the only variable significantly associated with HPV infection (P < 0.05). Abnormal cervical cytology was present in 17 women (20.3%); 21 women were referred to colposcopy, which was abnormal in 9 (10.7%).

Conclusions: The prevalence of HPV carriage among HIV-positive woman in our study was slightly higher than published elsewhere. The prevalence of pathological cervical cytology was much higher than in the general population. An extremely high prevalence of pathological colposcopies requiring further treatment was found. Screening for HPV and premalignant changes in the uterine cervix is highly recommended in the HIV-seropositive population. We suggest that colposcopy be considered part of the routine workup in HIV-seropositive woman.






[1] HPV = human papillomavirus



[2] HIV = human immunodeficiency virus


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