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עמוד בית
Wed, 19.06.24

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December 2023
Nitzan Maixner MD PhD, Yulian Weissbuch MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Zehavit Kirshenboim MD

Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is a medical emergency requiring rapid diagnosis and intervention to avoid irreversible neurological damage [1]. While MSCC is best diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this modality is often limited and is usually preceded by a computed tomography (CT) scan of the spine.

August 2023
Hila Nochomovitz MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Ori Elkayam MD PhD, David Zeltser MD, Itzhak Shapira MD, Ori Rogowski MD, Smadar Gertel PhD, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty PhD, Victoria Furer MD

Background: The parasympathetic system and its main neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, contributes to homeostasis of inflammation. Cholinergic dysregulation is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has not been investigated.

Objectives: To compare the cholinesterase activity in patients with PsA and immunocompetent controls and to explore the correlation between cholinergic status (CS) and PsA disease activity.

Methods: Serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and total cholinesterase activity were measured in patients with PsA (n=88) and matched controls (n=84). Cholinergic activity before and 3–6 months after the initiation of a biologic treatment was evaluated in seven patients with PsA.

Results: The levels of AChE and CS were similar in both PsA patients and controls. PsA patients treated with biologics had significantly lower levels of AChE and CS compared to patients treated with non-biologics: 447.4 vs. 526 substrate hydrolyzed/min/ml, P = 0.005, and 1360.9 vs. 1536, P = 0.029, respectively. We found an association between C-reactive protein levels, AChE activity (r = 0.291, P = 0.008), and cholinergic status (r = 0.247, P = 0.026) in patients with PsA but not in controls. No correlation between AChE activity, cholinergic status, and the indices of PsA disease activity was found. After initiating or switching biologic treatment in 7 patients, AChE levels remained stable.

Conclusions: We demonstrated similar cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis and controls, highlighting a potential effect of biologic treatment on cholinergic activity in patients with PsA.

July 2023
Maayan Diti Machnes MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD, Maya Gerstein MD, Yiska Loewenberg Weisband MD, Moriya Cohen MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS), the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis, is sometimes difficult to distinguish clinically from viral pharyngitis. Despite the high prevalence of viral pharyngitis in children, antibiotic treatment is common.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) on antibiotic prescription in children with GAS pharyngitis (GAS-P) at a large pediatric community clinic.

Methods: Antibiotic prescription data were collected from October 2016 to March 2017 (pre-intervention period) and from October 2017 to March 2018 (post-intervention period). The intervention was a one-day seminar for primary care pediatricians on the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P in children according to national guidelines.

Results: The overall prevalence of testing differed between the two time periods. There was a decrease in children who did not undergo any testing (from 68% to 63%), an increase in streptococcal rapid antigen detection testing (28% to 32%), and a slight increase in throat cultures (3% to 4%) (p = 0.02). There was no change in the types of antibiotics prescribed before and after the intervention (p = 0.152).

Conclusions: The ASP resulted in a slight reduction in the percentage of children who did not undergo laboratory testing for GAS-P and a slight reduction in the percentage of children who received antibiotic treatment. The ASP did not reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and macrolides.

October 2022
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.

April 2022
Natalia Gavrilova MD, Maria Lukashenko MD, Leonid Churilov MD, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
December 2021
Benjamin Russell MD, Yoram Klein MD, Uri Rimon MD, Zehavit Kirshenboim MD, Nir Horesh MD, and Yaniv Zager MD
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.

May 2020
Edward Itelman MD, Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Amitai Segev MD, Chen Avaky MD, Liat Negru MD, Dor Cohen MD, Natia Turpashvili MD, Sapir Anani MD, Eyal Zilber MD, Nir Lasman MD, Ahlam Athamna MD, Omer Segal MD, Tom Halevy MD, Yehuda Sabiner MD, Yair Donin MD, Lital Abraham MD, Elisheva Berdugo MD, Adi Zarka MD, Dahlia Greidinger MD, Muhamad Agbaria MD, Noor Kitany MD, Eldad Katorza MD, Gilat Shenhav-Saltzman MD and Gad Segal MD

Background: In February 2020, the World Health Organisation designated the name COVID-19 for a clinical condition caused by a virus identified as a cause for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. The virus subsequently spread worldwide, causing havoc to medical systems and paralyzing global economies. The first COVID-19 patient in Israel was diagnosed on 27 February 2020.

Objectives: To present our findings and experiences as the first and largest center for COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: The current analysis included all COVID-19 patients treated in Sheba Medical Center from February 2020 to April 2020. Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological data gathered during their hospitalization are presented.

Results: Our 162 patient cohort included mostly adult (mean age of 52 ± 20 years) males (65%). Patients classified as severe COVID-19 were significantly older and had higher prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes. They also had significantly higher white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low folic acid blood levels were more common amongst severe patients (18.2 vs. 12.9 vs. 9.8, P = 0.014). The rate of immune compromised patients (12%) in our cohort was also higher than in the general population. The rate of deterioration from moderate to severe disease was high: 9% necessitated non-invasive oxygenation and 15% were intubated and mechanically ventilated. The mortality rate was 3.1%.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients present a challenge for healthcare professionals and the whole medical system. We hope our findings will assist other providers and institutions in their care for these patients.

February 2020
Doron Rimar MD, Yonatan Butbul Aviel MD, Aharon Gefen MD, Neta Nevo MD, Shai S. Shen-Orr PhD, Elina Starosvetsky PhD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Michael Rozenbaum MD, Lisa Kaly MD, Nina Boulman MD, Gleb Slobodin MD and Tsila Zuckerman MD

Background: Autologous hematological stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a novel therapy for systemic sclerosis (SSc) that has been validated in three randomized controlled trials.

Objectives: To report the first Israeli experience with HSCT for progressive SSc and review the current literature.

Methods: Five SSc patients who were evaluated in our department and were treated by HSCT were included. Medical records were evaluated retrospectively. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were recorded. Continuous data are presented as the mean ± standard deviation. Categorical variables are presented as frequencies and percentages.

Results: Five SSc patients were treated with HSCT. Four patients were adults (mean age 53 ± 12 years) and one was a 12-year-old pediatric patient. All patients were female. HSCT was initiated 1.4 ± 0.8 years after diagnosis. Two patients were RNA POLIII positive, two were anti-topoisomerase 1 positive, and one only antinuclear antibodies positive. All patients had skin and lung involvement. The mean modified Rodnan Skin Score was 29 ± 4.7 before HSCT, which improved to 10.4 ± 9.6 after HSCT. The forced vital capacity improved from 68 ± 13% to 90 ± 28%. Diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide increased by 6%. Among severe adverse events were cyclophosphamide-related congestive heart failure, antithymocyte globulin-related capillary leak syndrome, and scleroderma renal crisis. All symptoms completely resolved with treatment without sequela. No treatment related mortality was recorded.

Conclusions: HSCT is an important step in the treatment of progressive SSc in Israel. Careful patient selection reduces treatment related morbidity and mortality.

November 2019
Elisha Goshen-Gottstein MD, Ron Shapiro MD, Chaya Shwartz MD, Aviram Nissan MD, Bernice Oberman Msc, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS and Eyal Zimlichman MD MSc

Background: Anastomotic leakage (AL) is a major complication following colorectal surgery, with many risk factors established to date. The incidence of AL varies in the medical literature and is dependent on research inclusion criteria and diagnostic criteria.

Objectives: To determine the incidence of and the potential risk factors for AL following colorectal surgery at a single academic medical center.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all operative reports of colorectal procedures that included bowel resection and primary bowel anastomosis performed at Sheba Medical Center during 2012. AL was defined according to the 1991 United Kingdom Surgical Infection Study Group criteria. Data were assessed for leak incidence within 30 days. In addition, 17 possible risk factors for leakage were analyzed. A literature review was conducted.

Results: This cohort study comprised 260 patients, and included 261 procedures performed during the study period. The overall leak rate was 8.4%. In a univariate analysis, male sex (odds ratio [OR] 3.37, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21–9.43), pulmonary disease (OR 3.99, 95%CI 1.49–10.73), current or past smoking (OR 2.93, 95%CI 1.21–7.10), and American Society of Anesthesiologist score ≥ 3 (OR 3.08, 95%CI 1.16–8.13) were associated with an increased risk for anastomotic leakage. In a multivariate analysis, male gender (OR 3.62, 95%CI 1.27–10.33) and pulmonary disease (OR 4.37, 95%CI 1.58–12.10) were associated with a greater risk.

Conclusions: The incidence of AL in the present study is similar to that found in comparable series. Respiratory co-morbidity and male sex were found to be the most significant risk factors.

June 2019
Hagar Interator MSx RD, Avivit Brener MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Inbar Safra MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Moshe Leshno MD PhD, Raanan Shamir MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: In Israel, coronary heart disease mortality rates are significantly higher among the Arab population than the Jewish population. Dyslipidemia prevention should begin in childhood.

Objectives: To identify sociodemographic disparities in the preventive health measurement of lipid profile testing and lipoprotein levels among Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 1.2 million children and adolescents insured by Clalit Health Services between 2007 and 2011 was conducted using sociodemographic data and serum lipid concentrations.

Results: Overall, 10.1% individuals had undergone lipid testing. Those with male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 0.813, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.809–0.816), Arab ethnicity (OR = 0.952, 95%CI 0.941–0.963), and low socioeconomic status (SES) (OR = 0.740, 95%CI 0.728–0.752) were less likely to be tested. By 2010, differences among economic sectors narrowed and Arab children were more likely to be tested (OR = 1.039, 95%CI 1.035–1.044). Girls had higher total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels compared to boys (P < 0.001). Jewish children had higher cholesterol and low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, as well as lower triglyceride levels than Arabs (P < 0.001). Children with low SES had lower cholesterol, low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found that boys, Arab children, and those with low SES were less likely to be tested. Over time there was a gradual reduction in these disparities. Publicly sponsored healthcare services can diminish disparities in the provision of preventive health among diverse socioeconomic groups that comprise the national population.

April 2019
Yulia Gamerman MPT, Moshe Hoshen MD, Avner Herman Cohen MD, Zhana Alter PT, Luzit Hadad PT and Itshak Melzer PT PhD

Background: Falls while turning are associated with increased risk of hip fracture in older adults. Reliable and clinically valid methods for turn ability assessments are needed.

Objectives: To explore the inter-observer reliability and known group validity of the TURN 180 test.

Methods: We divided 78 independent older adults (mean age 76.6 ± 6.5 years) into three groups: non-fallers, infrequent fallers (1–2 falls per year), and recurrent fallers (> 2 falls per year). Participants underwent performance-based tests: Timed Up and Go (TUG), Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA), and Berg Balance Scale (BBS). TUG was videotaped for later analysis of the TURN 180 test by two blinded observers.

Results: A significant difference was found in the TURN 180 test parameters among the groups (P < 0.04). TURN 180 was highly correlated with TUG (r = 0.81–0.89, P < 0.001) and BBS (r = -0.704–0.754, P < 0.0001) and moderately with POMA (r = -0.641–0.698, P < 0.0001). The number of steps was found to be the strongest parameter to determine fallers among older adults (specificity 96.3%, sensitivity 40%). Inter-rater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.91–0.96, P < 0.0001) was found to be excellent for the number of steps, time taken to accomplish a turn, and total test score categories.

Conclusions: The TURN 180 test is highly reliable and can identify the older adults who fall. Our results show that the TURN 180 test can serve as a good performance-based examination for research or clinical setting.

December 2017
Sandra Benizri, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Noam D. Kitrey, Dan Carter, Elinor Goshen and Yehonathan Sharabi

A 47 year old man presented with a combination of dry mouth and lightheadedness while standing. His medical background was unremarkable except for cigarette smoking and hyperlipidemia. Sjögren’s syndrome was ruled out, and he was referred for evaluation of orthostatic hypotension, which by then included syncopal episodes and injuries. Additional symptoms included dry eyes, constipation, reduced sweating, and erectile dysfunction. After excluding medications and structural cardiac abnormalities as causes of orthostatic hypotension, a clinical autonomic evaluation was performed. The pattern of beat-to-beat blood pressure associated with performance of the Valsalva maneuver, and a low plasma norepinephrine level that did not increase in response to standing, established that the orthostatic hypotension was neurogenic. Treatment with an alpha-adrenoceptor agonist and fludrocortisone yielded partial improvement. After systemic diseases involving autonomic failure were excluded, cardiac sympathetic neuroimaging was performed by 123I-metaliodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scanning. The normal uptake seen in the heart indicated intact post ganglionic sympathetic innervation. There were no signs of central neurodegeneration or peripheral neuropathy. Because of symptoms and signs of both parasympathetic and sympathetic failure without denervation, an autonomic ganglionopathy was considered. A high titer of antibody to the neuronal nicotinic receptor, which mediates ganglionic neurotransmission, was obtained. The diagnosis of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG) was made, and the management strategy shifted to first lowering the antibody burden by plasma exchanges and then instituting chronic anti-autoimmune treatment with rituximab and a low dose of cortiosteroid. The patient showed remarkable improvement.

November 2017
Tima Davidson MD, Amit Druyan MD, Elinor Goshen MD and Merav Lidar MD

Background: Facial rejuvenation using different dermal and sub-dermal injectable compounds is a popular cosmetic procedure which may pose a diagnostic dilemma to the radiologist.

Objectives: To describe the appearance of cosmetic facial fillers on PET-CT.

Methods: All PET-CT exams performed between January 2015 and May 2017 in which findings suggestive of prior facial filler procedures was evident and where anamnestic confirmation with the patient was possible were reviewed.

Results: We describe five females who had undergone facial filler procedures leading to calcifications around the mouth and nasolabial triangle.

Conclusions: Familiarity with the appearance of such cosmetic procedures on PET-CT is of paramount importance in order to avoid misinterpretation of the findings leading to unnecessary apprehension and work-up.

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