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עמוד בית
Sun, 26.05.24

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August 2023
Ori Wand MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Shitrit MD

Biological therapies with monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the management of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Combining biological treatments is very rarely indicated and may theoretically result in severe adverse effects, specifically, an increased tendency toward infectious diseases. We present the case of a woman in whom combination therapy with canakinumab for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and mepolizumab for chronic eosinophilic pneumonia was successfully employed.

July 2022
Ori Wand MD, David Dahan MD, Naveh Tov PhD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Daniel A. King MD, and David Shitrit MD
April 2022
Victor G. Levin BSc, Ayal Romem MD MHA, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Ori Wand MD, David Dahan MD, and David Shitrit MD

Background: Endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is a frequently used method for obtaining tissue samples for the diagnosis of various respiratory conditions, including lung cancer staging. In most cases, EBUS-TBNA is performed under moderate sedation (MS). However, in cases of respiratory compromised patients, if this procedure is performed, it is conducted under general anesthesia (GA).

Objective: To assess the diagnostic yield of EBUS-TBNA among respiratory compromised patients.

Methods: Data of consecutive patients (n=191) who underwent EBUS-TBNA at our medical center between January 2019 and December 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. Respiratory compromised patients underwent GA and patients without respiratory compromise were mostly moderately sedated (MS). Characteristics, diagnostic yield, and complication rates were compared.

Results: Diagnostic yield was similar between the two sedation modes (89% in GA group and 78% in the MS group, P = 0.11). The number of total samples obtained per procedure was significantly higher in the GA vs. the MS group (4.1 ± 2.1 vs. 2.1 ± 1.33, P < 0.01). The overall complication rate was 13% and 20.9% in the GA vs. the MS groups, respectively (P = 0.14), with the most frequent complication being minor bleeding. Interestingly, while the number of brushings, bronchoalveolar lavage, and endobronchial biopsy were similar, the percent of subjects who underwent transbronchial biopsy was significantly higher in the GA group (49% vs. 24.2%, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: EBUS-TBNA performed under GA among respiratory compromised patients is safe and has similar diagnostic yield to that of patients without a respiratory compromise

August 2021
Omer Marom MD, Eyal Yaacobi MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Yaron Brin MD, Shimon Cohen MD, David Segal MD, and Nissim Ohana MD

Background: Proximal femoral fractures (PFF) are among the most common injuries in the elderly population treated by orthopedic surgeons. Postoperative complications, especially infections, are of great importance due to their effect on patient mortality and morbidity and healthcare costs.

Objectives: To assess the main causes for postoperative infection among PFF patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of PFF patients in our medical center between 2015 and 2017. Patients were divided into two groups based on whether there was postoperative infection during immediate hospitalization and 30 days after surgery. Factors such as time from admission to surgery, duration of surgery, and length of stay were analyzed. Groups were analyzed and compared using a t-test, chi-squared and Fisher’s exact tests.

Results: Of 1276 patients, 859 (67%) underwent closed reduction internal fixation, 67 (5%) underwent total hip arthroplasty, and 350 (28%) underwent hemiarthroplasty. Of the total, 38 patients (3%) were diagnosed with postoperative infection. The demographics and co-morbidities were similar between the two study groups. The incident of infection was the highest among patients undergoing hemiarthroplasty (6%, P < 0.0001). Length of hospitalization (15 vs. 8 days, P = 0.0001) and operative time (117 vs. 77 minutes, P = 0.0001) were found to be the most significant risk factors for postoperative infection.

Conclusions: Predisposition to postoperative infections in PPF patients was associated with prolonged length of surgery and longer hospitalization. We recommend optimizing fast discharge, selecting the appropriate type of surgery, and improving surgical planning to reduce intraoperative delays and length of surgery.

May 2021
Anat Zalmanovich MD, Ronen Ben-Ami MD, Galia Rahav MD, Danny Alon MD, Allon Moses MD, Karen Olshtain-Pops MD, Miriam Weinberger MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Katzir MD, Bat-Sheva Gottesman MD, Michal Chowers MD

Background: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is an opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. Clusters of PJP, especially among organ transplant recipients in clinic settings were described. Data regarding nosocomial PJP infection among inpatients are limited.

Objectives: To assess the magnitude and characteristics of inpatient healthcare-associated PJP infection (HCA-PJP) in HIV-negative patients.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of hospitalized PJP patients was performed to identify HCA-PJP. The study was performed at six medical centers in Israel from 2006 to 2016. HCA-PJP was defined as cases of hospital-onset or those with documented contact with a PJP patient. We reviewed and cross-matched temporal and spatial co-locations of patients. Clinical laboratory characteristics and outcomes were compared.

Results: Seventy-six cases of PJP were identified. Median age was 63.7 years; 64% men; 44% hematological malignancies; 18% inflammatory diseases; and 61% steroid usage. Thirty-two patients (42%) were defined as HCA-PJP: 18/32 (23.6%) were hospitalized at onset and 14/32 (18.4%) had a previous encounter with a PJP patient. Time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was shorter in HCA-PJP vs. community-PJP (3.25 vs. 11.23 days, P = 0.009). In multivariate analysis, dyspnea at presentation (odds ratio [OR] 16.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.78–157.95) and a tendency toward higher rate of ventilator support (72% vs. 52%, P = 0.07, OR 5.18, 95%CI 0.7–30.3) were independently associated with HCA-PJP, implying abrupt disease progression in HCA-PJP.

Conclusion: HCA-PJP was common. A high level of suspicion for PJP among selected patients with nosocomial respiratory infection is warranted. Isolation of PJP patients should be considered

December 2020
Daniel Erez MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Daniel A. King MD, Mahmood Abu-akel MD, Zamir Dovrish MD, and David Shitrit MD

Background: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) tends to occur in young adults without underlying lung diseases and is usually followed by limited symptoms, while secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) is a complication of a pre-existing lung disease. Surprisingly, for such common conditions, there is a considerable inconsistency regarding management guidelines.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk factors for spontaneous pneumothoraxes and to summarize outcomes and complications based on our clinical experience.

Methods: This retrospective study group was comprised of 250 consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who were diagnosed with spontaneous pneumothorax and hospitalized at the Meir Medical Center (2004–2017). Data on demographic characteristics, indicating symptoms, chest X-rays, and chest computed tomography (CT) results were collected. Our experience and outcomes were then compared to a large multicenter study.

Results: Most of the patients were male (85%) and past or current smokers; 69% presented with PSP, while the rest were SSP. No occupational relation was noted. About 55% of the cases presented with a moderate or large pneumothorax (over 1/3 hemithorax). Most patients (56%) required chest tube drainage and 20% undergone surgery. Nearly 10% presented with a recurrent pneumothorax with the mean time to recurrence being 11 ± 20 days. Although the length of hospital stay of patients that underwent surgery was the longest (P < 0.001) for both PSP and SSP, the recurrence rate was actually reduced, suggesting some benefit for the surgical treatment option.

Conclusions: Our experience showed that the traditional approach to the PSP treatment should be further considered, as previously suggested.

October 2020
Emil Abd El-Qader MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Zamir Dovrish MD, Daniel A. King MD, David Dahan MD, Ori Wand and David Shitrit MD

Background: Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience frequent exacerbations and need to be hospitalized, resulting in an economic and social burden. Although data exist regarding reasons of frequent hospitalizations, there is no data available about the impact on the length of stay (LOS).

Objectives: To characterize the causes of prolonged hospitalizations in COPD patients.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of patients who were diagnosed and treated in the pulmonary department for severe COPD exacerbations. All patient demographic data and medical history were collected. Data regarding the disease severity were also collected (including Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD] criteria, pulmonologist follow-up, prior hospitalizations, and LOS).

Results: The study comprised 200 patients, average age 69.5 ± 10.8 years, 61% males. Of these patients, 89 (45%) were hospitalized for up to 4 days, 111 (55%) for 5 days or more, and 34 (17%) for more than 7 days. Single patients had longer LOS compared with married patients (48% vs. 34%, P = 0.044). Multivariate analysis showed that the number of prior hospital admissions in the last year was a predictor of LOS (P = 0.038, odds ratio [OR] = 0.807, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 0.659–0.988), as well as the use of non-invasive respiratory support by bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) during the hospitalization (P = 0.024, OR = 4.662, 95%CI = 1.229–17.681).

Conclusions: Fewer previous hospitalizations due to COPD exacerbations and the need for non-invasive respiratory support by BiPAP were found as predictors of longer LOS.

October 2019
Mahmud Mahamid MD, Ariella Bar-Gil Shitrit MD, Hana Amara MD, Benjamin Koslowsky MD, Rami Ghantous RN and Rifaat Safadi MD

Background: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two major classic presentations of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Studies have shown a wide variation in the incidence and prevalence attributed to different geographic and ethnic populations.

Objectives: To assess the clinical characteristics of IBD among Arabs in Israel and to compare them to characteristics of IBD among Ashkenazi Jews.

Methods: This retrospective, comparative study compared the clinical characteristics of IBD among 150 Arabs from the Holy Family Hospital and the Nazareth Hospital EMMS, both located in Nazareth, Israel, to those of 97 age- and sex-matched Ashkenazi Jewish patients from Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

Results: The Arab cohort, which included 106 patients (70%) with Crohn's disease and 44 (29%) with ulcerative colitis, was compared to 97 Ashkenazi patients (81% with Crohn's disease and 17% with ulcerative colitis) (P < 0.05). Alcohol consumption was found in both groups, but Arabs smoked more (46% vs. 12%, respectively, P < 0.05). Obstructive phenotype was lower in Arabs (10% vs. 32%, P < 0.05). 5-aminosalicylic acid and anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha were prescribed for the Arab and Ashkenazi groups (89% and 21%, respectively). The need for surgical intervention due to disease severity and/or complications was not significant (22% vs. 24%).

Conclusions: Despite similar reports of NOD2/CARD15 mutations, Crohn's disease is more common than ulcerative colitis within the Arab-Israeli population. Increased smoking rates may explain milder disease severities in Arabs, as reflected by lower obstructive pattern and frequent use of milder therapeutic modalities.

March 2019
Daniel Erez MD, Matthew Koslow MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Zamir Dovrish M, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Dahan MD, Daniel King MD, and David Shitrit MD

Background: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the third most frequently occurring cardiovascular disease. However, the clinical presentation in patients with PE is variable.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of radiological findings detected in contrast-enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA) and their significance in patients with PE; and to assess whether the CTA findings differed in patients receiving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) therapy from those who did not.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed CTA scans of 186 patients diagnosed with acute PE. Incidental findings on CTA scan were assessed, including mediastinal and parenchymal lymph nodes, pleural effusion, space-occupying lesions, consolidations, emphysema, and pericardial effusion.

Results: Patients receiving tPA (19.9%) were less likely to have pleural effusion (29.7% vs. 50.3%, P = 0.024). Other CTA findings did not differ between the tPA and non-tPA groups, including lung infiltrates (40.5% vs. 38.9, P = 0.857), space-occupying lesions (5.4% vs. 6.7%, P = 1), pericardial effusion (8.1% vs. 8.7%, P = 1), emphysema (21.6% vs. 17.4%, P = 0.557), lung (18.9% vs. 24.2%, P = 0.498), and mediastinal ( 24.3% vs. 25.5%, P = 0.883) lymph nodes, respectively.

Conclusion: The prevalence of pleural effusion (unilateral or bilateral) was higher in patients not treated with tPA. Therefore, in patients with a borderline condition, the presence of pleural effusion could support the decision not to give tPA treatment.

October 2018
David Dahan MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Ester Fizitsky MD, Miriam Almagor MD and David Shitrit MD

Background: Sepsis is a common cause of hospitalization, particularly in intensive care units (ICUs), and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Diagnosis is often difficult due to the absence of characteristic clinical signs (e.g., fever and leukocytosis); therefore, additional markers, in addition to C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cell (WBC) count, are needed.

Objectives: To prospectively link resting energy expenditure (REE) with CRP, WBC count, and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores in ICU patients. Such a correlation may suggest REE measurement as an additional parameter for sepsis diagnosis.

Methods: Our study comprised 41 ventilated consecutive patients > 18 years of age. Patient demographic data, height, actual body weight, and SOFA scores were collected at admission. REE was measured by indirect calorimetry. REE, CRP, and WBC measurements were collected at admission, on day three after admission, and 1 week later or as clinically indicated.

Results: Comparison of the REE and CRP changes revealed a significant correlation between REE and CRP changes (r = 0.422, P = 0.007). In addition, CRP changes also correlated with the changes in REE (r = 0.36, P = 0.02). Although no significant correlations in REE, WBC count, and SOFA score were found, a significant trend was observed.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to link REE and CRP levels, indicative of severe infection. Further study is needed to establish these findings.

June 2018
Bat-Sheva Gottesman MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Katzir MD and Michal Chowers MD

Background: Increasing antibiotic resistance in the community results in greater use of empiric broad spectrum antibiotics for patients at hospital admission. As a measure of antibiotic stewardship it is important to identify a patient population that can receive narrow spectrum antibiotics.

Objectives: To evaluate resistance patterns of Escherichia coli bloodstream infection (BSI) from strictly community-acquired infection and the impact of recent antibiotic use on this resistance.

Methods: This single center, historical cohort study of adult patients with E. coli BSI was conducted from January 2007 to December 2011. Patients had no exposure to any healthcare facility and no chronic catheters or chronic ulcers. Data on antibiotic use during the previous 90 days was collected and relation to resistance patterns was assessed.

Results: Of the total number of patients, 267 BSI cases met the entry criteria; 153 patients (57%) had bacteria sensitive to all antibiotics. Among 189 patients with no antibiotic exposure, 61% of isolates (116) were pan-sensitive. Resistance to any antibiotic appeared in 114 patients and 12 were extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers. Quinolone use was the main driver of resistance to any antibiotic and to ESBL resistance patterns. In a multivariate analysis, older age (odds ratio 1.1) and quinolone use (odds ratio 7) were independently correlated to ESBL.

Conclusions: At admission, stratification by patient characteristics and recent antibiotic use can help personalize primary empirical therapy.

August 2015
Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Openhaim MD, Sharon Reisfeld MD, Yossi Paitan PhD, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Yehuda Carmeli MD and Michal Chowers MD

Background: Isolation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in healthy individuals is not common in Israel. In our hospital, about 30% of MRSA isolates were SCCmec types IV and V.

Objectives: To identify the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients carrying MRSA SCCmec type IV or V, and to compare them with each other and with those of patients with SCCmec types I-III.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study that included 501 patients from whom MRSA was isolated: 254 with SCCmec type I, II, or III, and 243 isolates from SCCmec types IV or V. 

Results: MRSA was isolated from surveillance cultures in 75% of patients and from a clinical site in 25%. The majority of our study population was elderly, from nursing homes, and with extensive exposure to health care. First, we compared characteristics of patients identified through screening. Statistically significant predictors of SCCmec V vs. IV were Arab ethnicity (OR 7.44, 95%CI 1.5–37.9) and hospitalization in the year prior to study inclusion (OR 5.7, 95%CI 1.9–16.9). No differences were found between patients with SCCmec types I-III and patients with SCCmec type IV or V. Analysis of the subset of patients who had clinical cultures yielded similar results. 

Conclusions: SCCmec types IV and V were common in the hospital setting although rare in the community. It seems that in Israel, SCCmec IV and V are predominantly health care-associated MRSA. 


November 2009
A. Amital, D. Shitrit, B.D. Fox, Y. Raviv, L.Fuks, I. Terner and M.R. Kramer

Background: Blunt chest trauma can cause severe acute pulmonary dysfunction due to hemo/pneumothorax, rib fractures and lung contusion.

Objectives: To study the long-term effects on lung function tests after patients' recovery from severe chest trauma.

Methods: We investigated the outcome and lung function tests in 13 patients with severe blunt chest trauma and lung contusion.

Results: The study group comprised 9 men and 4 women with an average age of 44.6 ± 13 years (median 45 years). Ten had been injured in motor vehicle accidents and 3 had fallen from a height. In addition to lung contusion most of them had fractures of more than three ribs and hemo/pneumothorax. Ten patients were treated with chest drains. Mean intensive care unit stay was 11 days (median 3) and mechanical ventilation 19 (0–60) days. Ten patients had other concomitant injuries. Mean forced expiratory volume in the first second was 81.2 ± 15.3%, mean forced vital capacity was 85 ± 13%, residual volume was 143 ± 33.4%, total lung capacity was 101 ± 14% and carbon monoxide diffusion capacity 87 ± 24. Post-exercise oxygen saturation was normal in all patients (97 ± 1.5%), and mean oxygen consumption max/kg was 18 ± 4.3 ml/kg/min (60.2 ± 15%). FEV1[1]. was significantly lower among smokers (71.1 ± 12.2 vs. 89.2 ± 13.6%, P = 0.017). There was a non-significant tendency towards lower FEV1 among patients who underwent mechanical ventilation.

Conclusions: Late after severe trauma involving lung contusion, substantial recovery is demonstrated with improved pulmonary function tests. These results encourage maximal intensive care in these patients. Further larger studies are required to investigate different factors affecting prognosis.



[1] FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in the first second

February 2008
A. Grubstein, O. Benjaminov, D. Ben Dayan, D. Shitrit, M. Cohen and M.R. Kramer

Background: Diseases causing increased pulmonary pressure will subsequently cause a dilation of the pulmonary arteries and right heart chambers.

Objectives: To assess the capability of computed tomography angiography and high resolution CT to diagnose and estimate the severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension as compared with standard means of right heart catheterization, echocardiography and pulmonary function tests.

Methods: The study included 38 patients with PHT[1] who underwent CT angiography and HRCT[2] as part of their routine evaluation. Diagnose included: primary PHT (n=20), Eisenmenger syndrome (n=6), scleroderma (n=3), thromboembolic disease (n=3), and others (n=6). Mean pulmonary artery pressure was 58 mmHg (range 39–92 mmHg) by catheterization and peak systolic pressure 79 mmHg (range 40–135) by echocardiography. Findings for the diameters of the main pulmonary artery and its main branches, the ascending aorta, the right atria and ventricle as well as the position of the interventricular septum were compared with 22 chest CT scans as compared to patients with no known clinical history of pulmonary hypertension, performed for other reasons (trauma, oncology follow-up) during the study period. Correlations were also calculated with recent right heart catheterization, echocardiography and pulmonary function tests of the study group.

Results: Mean main pulmonary artery diameter in the study group was 3.55 ± 0.66 cm, pulmonary artery/ascending aorta ratio 1.2 ± 0.29, right pulmonary artery 2.63 ± 0.49 cm, left pulmonary artery 2.57 ± 0.5 cm. All diameters were significantly different from the control group (P < 0.0001). Main and right pulmonary artery diameters correlated to the pressure measurement by echocardiography (P = 0.001). Bronchial collaterals were found in 11 patients (30%). The position of the interventricular septum correlated well with the echocardiography study.

Conclusions: The size of the main pulmonary artery on CT angiography has a good predictive value regarding the severity of PHT.

[1] PHT = pulmonary arterial hypertension

[2] HRCT = high resolution computed tomography

September 2006
R. Yerushalmi, E. Fenig, D. Shitrit, D. Bendayan, A. Sulkes, D. Flex and M.R. Kramer

Background: Endobronchial stents are used to treat symptomatic patients with benign or malignant airway obstructions.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and outcome of airway stent insertion for the treatment of malignant tracheobronchial narrowing.

Methods: The files of all patients with malignant disease who underwent airway stent insertion in our outpatient clinic from June 1995 to August 2004 were reviewed for background data, type of disease, symptoms, treatment, complications, and outcome.

Results: Airway stents were used in 34 patients, including 2 who required 2 stents at different locations, and one who required 2 adjacent stents (total, 37 stents). Ages ranged from 36 to 85 years (median 68). Primary lung cancer was noted in 35% of the patients and metastatic disease in 65%. Presenting signs and symptoms included dyspnea (82%), cough (11.7%), hemoptysis (9%), pneumonia (5.9%), and atelectasis (3%). The lesions were located in the left mainstem bronchus (31%), trachea (26%), right mainstem bronchus (26%), subglottis (14.3%), and bronchus intermedius (2.9%). Conscious sedation alone was utilized in 73% of the patients, allowing for early discharge. Eighteen patients (50%) received brachytherapy to the area of obstruction. Complications included stent migration (one patient) and severe or minimal bleeding (one patient each). Ninety-four percent of the patients reported significant relief of their dyspnea. Three of the four patients who had been mechanically ventilated before the procedure were weaned after stent insertion. Median survival from the time of stent placement was 6 months (range 0.25–105 months).

Conclusion: Stent placement can be safely performed in an outpatient setting with conscious sedation. It significantly relieves the patient's symptoms and may prolong survival.

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