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January 2024
Ravit Peretz-Machluf MD, Mayan Gilboa MD, Shiran Bookstein-Peretz MD, Omri Segal MD, Noam Regev MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Yoav Yinon MD, Shlomi Toussia-Cohen MD

Background: Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since the release of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech), there has been accumulated data about the three vaccine doses. However, information regarding obstetric and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women vaccinated with the third (booster) vaccine is limited and primarily retrospective.

Objectives: To evaluate the obstetric and early neonatal outcomes of pregnant women vaccinated during pregnancy with the COVID-19 booster vaccine compared to pregnant women vaccinated only by the first two doses.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of pregnant women who received the BNT162b2 vaccine during pregnancy. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared between pregnant women who received only the first two doses of the vaccine to those who also received the booster dose.

Results: Overall, 139 pregnant women were vaccinated during pregnancy with the first two doses of the vaccine and 84 with the third dose. The third dose group received the vaccine earlier during their pregnancy compared to the two doses group (212 vs. 315 weeks, respectively, P < 0.001). No differences in obstetric and early neonatal outcomes between the groups were found except for lower rates of urgent cesarean delivery in the third dose group (adjusted odds ratio 0.21; 95% confidence interval 0.048–0.926, P = 0.039).

Conclusions: Compared to the first two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine given in pregnancy, the booster vaccination is safe and not associated with an increased rate of adverse obstetric and early neonatal outcomes.

December 2023
Yael Weintraub MD, Raffi Lev-Tzion MD, Jacob Ollech MD, Hagar Olshaker MD, Irit Rosen MD, Shlomi Cohen MD, David Varssano MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Manar Matar MD

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) medications are the most frequently used biologicals to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Little is known about the ocular side effects of this drug category. We present a case series of six young patients with Crohn disease (CD) and no previous ophthalmologic manifestations who developed blepharitis after commencing treatment with anti-TNFα therapy. Six otherwise healthy patients with CD, with no history of allergies or prior ocular complaints, developed blepharitis at a median of 7.5 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα therapy. All ophthalmic findings were treated topically. The ocular symptoms of two of the patients resolved shortly after discontinuation of the anti-TNFα treatment. The other four presented with relapsing-remitting symptoms. Blepharitis is a common ocular disease in the general population and an extra-intestinal manifestation in patients with IBD. It may be an adverse effect of anti-TNFα therapy in this patient population.

September 2023
Shlomit Tamir MD, Marva Dahan Shemesh MD, David Margel MD, Yaara Bar PhD, Maxim Yakimov MD, Yael Rapson MD, Ahuva Grubstein MD, Eli Atar MD, Ofer Benjaminov MD

Background: Age-related changes in multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) of the prostate have been reported in the general population but not in screening cohorts.

Objectives: To evaluate age-related changes on prostatic mpMRI in a screening cohort of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Methods: Asymptomatic BRCA1/2 mutation carriers underwent mpMRI as part of a screening program. All included patients were followed for 3 years with no evidence of prostate cancer. mpMRIs were retrospectively evaluated by two abdominal radiologists for peripheral zone (PZ) patterns on T2 (homogenous hyperintensity, wedge-shaped hypointensities, patchy hypointensities, or diffuse hypointensity), and transition zone (TZ) pattern on T2 (homogenous, heterogeneous, nodular). Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of PZ and TZ were measured. Statistical analysis was performed using a predefined age cutoff of 50 years old.

Results: Overall, 92 patients were included: 38 in the younger age group (40–49 years) and 54 in the older age group (50–69 years). PZ homogenous hyperintensity and wedge-shaped hypointensities were more common in the older patients, whereas diffuse hypointensity was more common in younger patients (P < 0.001 for both readers) with substantial inter-reader agreement between the readers (kappa=0.643). ADC values were lower in young patients in the PZ (P < 0.001) and TZ (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Age-related differences in mpMRI were validated in BRCA mutation carriers. As some features overlap with prostatic carcinoma, awareness is crucial, specifically to diffuse T2 hypointensities of the PZ and lower ADC values in the PZ and TZ, which are more common in younger patients.

April 2021
Shlomi Rayman MD, Haggai Benvenisti MD, Gali Westrich MD, Gal Schtrechman MD, Aviram Nissan MD, and Lior Segev MD

Background: Medical registries have been shown to be an effective way to improve patient care and reduce costs. Constructing such registries entails extraneous effort of either reviewing medical charts or creating tailored case report forms (CRF). While documentation has shifted from handwritten notes into electronic medical records (EMRs), the majority of information is logged as free text, which is difficult to extract.

Objectives: To construct a tool within the EMR to document patient-related data as codified variables to automatically create a prospective database for all patients undergoing colorectal surgery.

Methods: The hospital's EMR was re-designed to include codified variables within the operative report and patient notes that documented pre-operative history, operative details, postoperative complications, and pathology reports. The EMR was programmed to capture all existing data of interest with manual completion of un-coded variables.

Results: During a 6-month pilot study, 130 patients underwent colorectal surgery. Of these, 104 (80%) were logged into the registry on the same day of surgery. The median time to log the rest of the 26 cases was 1 day. Forty-two patients had a postoperative complication. The most common cause for severe complications was an anastomotic leak with a cumulative rate of 12.3%.

Conclusions: Re-designing the EMR to enable prospective documentation of surgical related data is a valid method to create an on-going, real-time database that is recorded instantaneously with minimal additional effort and minimal cost

Bethlehem Mengesha MD, Daniela Levi MD, Moran Kroonenberg MD, Ronit Koren MD, Ahuva Golik MD, and Shlomit Koren MD

Background: Hypomagnesemia (serum magnesium level < 1.7 mg/dl) occurs more frequently in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).Serum magnesium levels are not routinely tested in hospitalized patients, including in hospitalized patients with T2DM.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of hypomagnesemia among hospitalized T2DM patients treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and/or diuretics.

Methods: A total of 263 T2DM patients hospitalized in general departments were included in the study and were further divided into four groups: group 1 (patients not treated with PPIs or diuretics), group 2 (patients treated with PPIs), group 3 (patients treated with diuretics), and group 4 (patients treated with both PPIs and diuretics).  Blood and urine samples were taken during the first 24 hours of admission. Electrocardiogram was performed on admission.

Results: Of the 263 T2DM patients, 58 (22.1%) had hypomagnesemia (serum magnesium level < 1.7 mg/dl). Patients in group 2 had the lowest mean serum magnesium level (1.79 mg/dl ± 0.27). Relatively more patients with hypomagnesemia were found in group 2 compared to the other groups, although a statistically significant difference was not observed. Significantly more patients in group 3 and 4 had chronic renal failure. Patients with hypomagnesemia had significantly lower serum calcium levels.

Conclusions: Hospitalized T2DM patients under PPI therapy are at risk for hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia

September 2020
Arieh Riskin MD PhD, Omer Itzchaki BSc, David Bader MD MHA, Adir Iofe MD, Arina Toropine MD and Shlomit Riskin-Mashiah MD MPH

Background: The incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing in parallel to the worldwide obesity and type 2 diabetes pandemic. Both GDM and pre-gestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) are associated with short- and long-term consequences in the offspring. There are few recent studies addressing outcomes of newborns born to women diagnosed with GDM and PGDM in Israel.

Objectives: To assess perinatal complications in offspring of women with GDM and PGDM.

Methods: The authors conducted a single-center retrospective case-control study of outcomes of all newborns whose mothers had been diagnosed with diabetes in pregnancy compared to randomly assigned controls born on the same date, whose mothers had no diabetes.

Results: In the study period 2015–2017, 526 mothers diagnosed with GDM or PGDM and their newborn infants were identified. The authors randomly assigned 526 control infants. The rate of women with diabetes in pregnancy was 5.0%. Mothers with GDM and PGDM had higher rates of pre-eclampsia, multiple pregnancies, and preterm deliveries. Mothers with PGDM had significantly higher rates of intrauterine fetal demise (4.3%), congenital anomalies (12.8%), and small-for-gestational-age neonates (10.6%) compared to controls (0%, 3.2%, and 4.2%, respectively, P < 0.001). The risks for preterm or cesarean delivery, large-for-gestational-age neonate, respiratory morbidity, hypoglycemia, and polycythemia were increased in offspring of mothers with diabetes, especially PGDM.

Conclusions: Despite all the advancements in prenatal care, diabetes in pregnancy, both PGDM and GDM, is still associated with significant morbidities and complications in offspring. Better preconception and inter-pregnancy care might reduce these risks

January 2020
Elizabeth Dudnik MD, Aaron M. Allen MD, Natalia Michaeli MD, Aleksandra Benouaich-Amiel MD, Tzippy Shochat, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Inbar Finkel MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Shlomit Yust-Katz MD

Background: Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) exclusion in favor of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) staging and surveillance in the management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is controversial yet accepted by some centers. The use of MRI suggests performing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatment for limited brain metastases. Data regarding SRS efficacy in this setting is limited.

Objectives: To assess intracranial objective response rate (iORR), progression-free survival (iPFS), intracranial failure patterns, overall survival (OS) and time-to-whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT)/death, whichever occurred first (TTWD) with SRS in SCLC.

Methods: The study comprised 10 consecutive SCLC patients with brain metastases treated with SRS and followed-up at Davidoff Cancer center between Aug 2012 and March 2019. Brain MRI images were reviewed by a neuro-radiology specialist.

Results: iORR was 57% as assessed by response assessment in neuro-oncology brain metastases. Intracranial progression developed in 8 patients. Median iPFS was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.7–7.2). In-site, off-site and combined pattern of intracranial failure was seen in 0, 5, and 3 patients, respectively; median number of new brain lesions following SRS was 4 (range, 1–12). SRS was performed 10 additional times in 6 patients (median number of lesions irradiated per round was 1, range 1–5). WBRT was administered in 3 patients. Median TTWD was 20.9 months (95% CI, 1.9–26.8). Median OS since SRS administration was 23.2 months (95% CI, 4.2–not reached).

Conclusions: MRI surveillance with multiple rounds of SRS may serve a reasonable alternative to PCI or therapeutic WBRT in SCLC. 

Miri Schamroth Pravda MD, Nili Schamroth Pravda MD, Yitzhak Beigel MD, Shlomi Matetzky MD and Roy Beigel MD

In this review, the authors re-examine the role of aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. They discuss the history of the use of aspirin in primary prevention, the current guidelines, and the recent evidence surrounding aspirin use as primary prevention in special populations such as those with moderate cardiovascular risk, diabetes mellitus, and the elderly

 

November 2018
Shlomit Koren MD, Michael Yoshpa MD, Ronit Koren MD, Dror Cantrell MD and Micha J. Rapoport MD

Background: Basal-bolus (BB) insulin treatment is increasingly used in poorly controlled diabetes patients during hospitalization and is commonly recommended at discharge; however, the extent of adherence with this recommendation is unknown.

Objectives: To determine short-term adherence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients discharged from internal medicine wards with recommendation for BB insulin treatment.

Methods: Prescription (primary physician adherence) and purchase (patient adherence) of long-acting and short-acting insulins during the first month following discharge from internal medicine wards was determined in 153 T2DM patients. Adherence was defined as full if prescription/purchase of both basal (long-acting) and bolus (short-acting) insulin was completed, and as partial if only one kind of insulin (basal or bolus) was prescribed/purchased. Association between demographic and clinical parameters and adherence was determined.

Results: Full adherence with discharge instructions was higher for primary physicians than for patients )79.1% vs. 69.3%, respectively, P = 0.0182). Pre-hospitalization hemoglobin A1C was significantly associated with adherence by both patients and primary physicians (full-adherence group 9.04% ± 2.04%; no-adherence group 7.51% ± 1.35%, P = 0.002). Age was negatively associated with adherence of both primary physicians and patients; however, this association did not reach statistical significance. Patients with certain background diseases such as atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, and chronic heart failure had significantly worse adherence (P < 0.05). When the sole cause of admission was diabetes, full adherence (100%) of both primary physicians and patients was found.

Conclusions: Short-term adherence with discharge recommendation for BB insulin treatment is associated with pre-hospitalization patient characteristics.

March 2018
Ronit Koren MD, Yifat Wiener MD, Karen Or MD, Carlos A. Benbassat MD and Shlomit Koren MD

Background: Previous surveys demonstrated variations in the clinical practices relating to the treatment and screening of maternal thyroid dysfunction.

Objectives: To study the current practices in the management of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and thyroid nodules during pregnancy of obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and endocrinologists in Israel.

Methods: An electronic questionnaire was sent by email to all members of the Israeli Endocrine Society and the Israel Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Questionnaires included demographic data and clinical scenarios with questions regarding the screening and management of pregnant women with SCH, hypothyroxinemia, and a palpable thyroid nodule. The questionnaire for OB/GYNs was slightly modified.

Results: We received 90 responses from endocrinologists and 42 responses from OB/GYNs. Among endocrinologists, 39% would repeat a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test of 2.9 mU/L with normal free thyroxine and treat with thyroxine if the second result was above 2.5 mU/L. Among OB/GYNs, 73% would manage a woman with SCH at the beginning of her pregnancy by themselves and only 22% would start thyroxine after a first TSH result above 2.5 mU/L. Concerning screening, 57% endocrinologists and 71% OB/GYNs recommended screening for thyroid dysfunction in every woman at the beginning of her pregnancy. Among endocrinologists, 54% would order an ultrasound for a palpable thyroid nodule and perform a fine needle aspiration only for suspicious lesions.

Conclusions: The medical approach to thyroid disease in pregnant women remains a matter of controversy. Our results support the need for larger and prospective clinical studies.

 

June 2017
Ronen Goldkorn MD, Alexey Naimushin MD, Roy Beigel MD, Ekaterina Naimushin, Michael Narodetski MD and Shlomi Matetzky MD

Background: While patients presenting to emergency departments (ER) with chest pain are increasingly managed in chest pain units (CPU) that utilize accelerated diagnostic protocols for risk stratification, such as single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), data are lacking regarding the prognostic implications of mildly abnormal scans in this population.

Objectives: To evaluate the prognostic implications of mildly abnormal SPECT MPI results in patients with acute chest pain.

Methods: Of the 3753 chest pain patients admitted to the CPU at the Leviev Heart Center, Sheba Medical Center 1593 were further evaluated by SPECT MPI. Scans were scored by extent and severity of stress-induced perfusion defects, with 1221 patients classified as normal, 82 with myocardial infarction without ischemia, 236 with mild ischemia, and 54 with more than mild ischemia. Mild ischemia patients were further classified to those who did and did not undergo coronary angiography within 7 days.

Results: Mild ischemia patients who underwent coronary angiography were more likely to be male (92% vs. 81%, P = 0.01) and to have left anterior descending ischemia (67% vs. 42%, P = 0.004). After 50 months, these patients returned less often to the ER with chest pain (53% vs. 87%, P < 0.001) and had a lower combined endpoint of acute coronary syndrome and death (8% vs. 16%, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Compared to patients with chronic stable angina, patients presenting with acute chest pain exhibiting mildly abnormal SPECT MPI findings should perhaps undergo a more aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic approach.

May 2017
Shlomit Koren MD, Shani Zilberman-Itskovich MD, Ronit Koren MD, Keren Doenyas-Barak MD and Ahuva Golik MD

Background: Concerns about metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA) prohibit the use of metformin in a large subset of diabetic patients, mostly in patients with chronic kidney disease. Increasing evidence suggests that the current safety regulations may be overly restrictive.

Objectives: To examine the association between chronic metformin treatment and lactate level in acute illness on the first day of admission to an internal medicine ward.

Methods: We compared diabetic and non-diabetic hospitalized patients treated or not treated with metformin in different sets of kidney function.

Results: A total of 140 patients participated in the study, 54 diabetic patients on chronic metformin treatment, 33 diabetic patients without metformin and 53 patients with no diabetes. Most participants were admitted for conditions that prohibit metformin use, such as heart failure, hypoxia and sepsis. Average lactate level was significantly higher in the diabetes + metformin group compared to the diabetes non-metformin group. Metformin treatment was not associated with higher than normal lactate level (hyperlactatemia) or low pH. No patient was hospitalized for lactic acidosis as the main diagnosis.

Conclusions: Chronic metformin treatment mildly increases lactate level, but does not induce hyperlactatemia or lactic acidosis in acute illness on the first day of admission to an internal medicine ward. These data support the expansion of metformin use.

September 2016
Rinat Yerushalmi MD, Shulamith Rizel MD, Dalia Zoref MD, Eran Sharon MD, Ram Eitan MD, Gad Sabah MD, Ahuva Grubstein MD, Yael Rafson MD, Maya Cohen MD, Ada Magen MD, Iehudit Birenboim MD, David Margel MD, Rachel Ozlavo BSc MBA, Aaron Sulkes MD, Baruch Brenner MD and Shlomit Perry PhD

Women who carry the BRCA gene mutation have an up to 80% chance of developing cancer, primarily of breast and ovarian origin. Confirmation of carrier status is described by many women as an overwhelming, life-changing event. Healthy individuals harboring a BRCA mutation constitute a high risk population with unique needs, often overlooked by health authorities. As such, we felt the need to create a specialized service dedicated specifically to this high risk population. The clinic staff comprises an experienced multidisciplinary team of health professionals who can support the medical and emotional needs of this population. Since its inception in 2001 the clinic has served 318 women. The mean age of patients is 46 years. With a median follow-up of 46 months, 21 women have developed malignancies, including 17 breast cancers, 1 ovarian cancer and 3 additional cancers. All but one of the patients above the age of 40 underwent bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO). The median and mean ages at BSO were 46.5 and 48 years, respectively (range 33–68). However, only 28.3% underwent bilateral preventive mastectomy. A multidisciplinary clinic for BRCA mutation carriers provides a “home” for this unique population with unmet needs. The high rate of BSO in women before natural menopause indicates that both the medical community and this population are aware of international guidelines supporting this procedure. We believe that a dedicated clinic, with a multidisciplinary team, is likely to contribute to the health, quality of life and survival of BRCA carriers.

July 2016
Avivit Brener MD, Eran Mel MD, Shlomit Shalitin MD, Liora Lazar MD, Liat de Vries MD, Ariel Tenenbaum MD, Tal Oron MD, Alon Farfel MD, Moshe Phillip MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are exempt from conscript military service, but some volunteer for national service. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of national service (military or civil) on metabolic control and incidence of acute diabetes complications in young adults with T1D. 

Methods: Clinical and laboratory data of 145 T1D patients were retrieved from medical records. The cohort comprised 76 patients volunteering for national service and 69 non-volunteers. Outcome measures were HbA1c, body mass index-standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS), insulin dosage, and occurrence of severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). 

Results: Metabolic control was similar in volunteers and non-volunteers: mean HbA1c at various time points was: 7.83 ± 1.52% vs. 8.07% ± 1.63 one year before enlistment age, 7.89 ± 1.36% vs. 7.93 ± 1.42% at enlistment age, 7.81 ± 1.28% vs. 8.00 ± 1.22% one year thereafter, 7.68 ± 0.88% vs. 7.82 ± 1.33% two years thereafter, and 7.62 ± 0.80% vs. 7.79 ± 1.19% three years thereafter. There were no significant changes in HbA1c from baseline throughout follow-up. BMI and insulin requirements were similar and remained unchanged in volunteers and controls: mean BMI-SDS one year before enlistment age was 0.23 ± 0.83 vs. 0.29 ± 0.95, at enlistment age 0.19 ± 0.87 vs. 0.25 ± 0.98, one year thereafter 0.25 ± 0.82 vs. 0.20 ± 0.96, two years thereafter 0.10 ± 0.86 vs. 0.15 ± 0.94, and three years thereafter 0.20 ± 0.87 vs. 0.16 ± 0.96. Mean insulin dose in U/kg/day one year before enlistment age was 0.90 ± 0.23 vs. 0.90 ± 0.37, at enlistment age 0.90 ± 0.28 vs. 0.93 ± 0.33, one year thereafter 0.86 ± 0.24 vs. 0.95 ± 0.33, two years thereafter 0.86 ± 0.21 vs. 0.86 ± 0.29, and three years thereafter 0.87 ± 0.23 vs. 0.86 ± 0.28. There were no episodes of severe hypoglycemia or DKA in either group. 

Conclusions: Our data indicate that during voluntary national service young adults with T1D maintain metabolic control similar to that of non-volunteers. 

 

January 2016
Haim Bassan MD, Shimrit Uliel-Sibony MD, Shlomit Katsav BSc, Mira Farber BSc and Riva Tauman MD

Background: It has been suggested that sleep disordered breathing (SDB) during pregnancy may adversely influence maternal as well as fetal well being.

Objectives: To examine the effect of maternal SDB on neonatal neurological examination and perinatal complications.

Methods: Pregnant women of singleton uncomplicated pregnancies were prospectively recruited from a community and hospital low risk obstetric surveillance. All participants completed a sleep questionnaire in the second trimester and underwent ambulatory sleep evaluation (WatchPAT, Itamar Medical, Caesarea, Israel). They were categorized as SDB (apnea hypopnea index > 5) and non-SDB. Maternal and newborn records were reviewed and a neonatal neurologic examination was conducted during the first 48 hours. 

Results: The study group included 44 women and full-term infants; 11 of the women (25%) had SDB. Mean maternal age of the SDB and non-SDB groups was 32.3 ± 2.8 and 32.5 ± 4.7 years, respectively (P = 0.86). Mean body mass index before the pregnancy in the SDB and non-SDB groups was 25.8 ± 4.7 and 22.0 ± 2.5 kg/m2, respectively (P = 0.028). No differences were found between infants born to mothers with SDB and non-SDB in birth weight (3353.8 ± 284.8 vs. 3379.1 ± 492.4 g), gestational age (39.5 ± 0.9 vs. 39.2 ± 1.5 weeks), 5 minute Apgar scores (9.8 ± 0.6 vs. 9.9 ± 0.3), and neurologic examination scores (95.2 ± 3.9 vs. 94.6 ± 4.1). P value for all was not significant. 

Conclusions: Our preliminary results suggest that maternal mild SDB during pregnancy has no adverse effect on neonatal neurologic examination or on perinatal complications. 

 

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