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עמוד בית
Sun, 03.03.24

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November 2023
Jonathan Eisenberger BSc, Shmuel Somer BSc, Eilon Ram MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Jonathan Frogal MD, Shany Levin MA, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Jeffrey Morgan MD

Background: Unfractionated heparin is the preferred anticoagulant used during open heart surgeries, including left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In cases in which patients are heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive (HIT+), the accepted practice has been to substitute heparin with bivalirudin. This practice may be associated with significant bleeding and adverse outcomes.

Objectives: To review our experience with HIT+ patients who were heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis negative (HITT-) and who underwent HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation using heparin intraoperatively rather than bivalirudin.

Methods: From 2016 to 2022, 144 adult patients were implanted with HeartMate 3 LVAD at our center. Among them, 7 were detected as HIT+ but HITT- and therefore were prescribed intraoperatively with heparin and treated pre- and postoperatively with bivalirudin. We reviewed the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative characteristics as well as short-term mortality and the complication rates of these HIT+ patients.

Results: The median age of our cohort was 56 years (51–60), 71% were male (n=5), all were INTERMACS Level 1, and most were bridged to transplant (n=6, 86%). The 30-day mortality rate post-implantation was 0%. The average 24-hour chest drain postoperative output was 1502.86 ± 931.34 ml. There were no intraoperative pump thromboses, perioperative thromboses, cerebrovascular accidents, or gastrointestinal bleeding within the first 24 hours postoperative. One patient required a revision due to bleeding.

Conclusions: Intraoperative unfractionated heparin may be administered to patients who are HIT+ and HITT- while undergoing LVAD implantation. However, further investigation is required.

October 2023
Keren Zloto MD, Eyal Krispin MD, Anat Shmueli MD, Eran Hadar MD, Lina Salman MD MSc

Background: The administration of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) is standard practice for management of threatened preterm birth. Its benefit, especially in small for gestational age (SGA) late preterm, is unclear.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of ACS on perinatal outcome of late preterm SGA neonates.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all women carrying a singleton gestation who had late preterm delivery (34–36 gestational weeks) of SGA neonates at a single tertiary university-affiliated medical center (July 2012–December 2017). Exclusion criteria included termination of pregnancy, intrauterine fetal death, and birth weight ≥ 10th percentile. Outcomes were compared between ACS and non-ACS treatment prior to delivery. Neonatal composite outcome included neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, respiratory distress syndrome, mechanical ventilation, and transient tachypnea.

Results: Overall, 228 women met inclusion criteria; 102 (44.7%) received ACS and 126 did not (55.3%). Median birth weight among the non-ACS group was significantly higher (1896.0 vs. 1755.5 grams P < 0.001). Rates of NICU and jaundice requiring phototherapy were higher among the ACS group (53.92% vs. 31.74%, P = 0.01; 12.74% vs. 5.55%, P = 0.05, respectively). Composite neonatal outcome was significantly higher among the ACS group (53.92% vs. 32.53%, odds ratio [OR] 2.42, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.41–4.15, P = 0.01). After adjustment for potential confounders, this association remained significant (OR 2.15, 95%CI 1.23–3.78, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: ACS given during pregnancy did not improve respiratory outcome for SGA late preterm neonates. ACS may be associated with a worse outcome.

August 2023
Shimrit Yaniv-Salem MD, Lianne Dym MD, Lior Nesher MD, Doron Zahger MD, Aryeh Shalev MD, Hezzy Shmueli MD

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare but potentially devastating complication of pregnancy. Although the pathophysiology of PPCM is not fully understood, there are known risk factors for developing PPCM, which are maternal and gestation related. In the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we witnessed an elevated incidence of PPCM among COVID-19 survivors.

Objectives: To present a single-center case series of three patients diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy after recovered from COVID-19 during the index pregnancy.

Methods: In this single center case study, all patients diagnosed with PPCM at our institute during the examined time frame were included. Electronic medical records were studied.

Results: Three patients previously diagnosed with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 disease during pregnancy presented with PPCM before or shortly after delivery. Patients underwent testing to rule out residual COVID-19 myocarditis, were treated pharmacologically and with wearable defibrillators as needed, and were examined in follow-up 1–9 months after delivery.

Conclusions: Residual endothelial damage due to COVID-19 disease, even if originally mild in presentation, could predispose pregnant patients to PPCM and should be considered as a risk factor when assessing patients with new onset symptoms of heart failure. Further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis and fully determine the underlying pathophysiology. These preliminary findings warrant a high index of suspicion for PPCM in COVID-19 recoverers.

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.

Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Haytham Katas MD, Ariel Banai MD, Keren-Lee Rozenfeld MD, Dana Lewit MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Gil Bornstein MD, Shmuel Banai MD, Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, baseline neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) may reflect the severity of renal impairment. No data exists on serial changes in serum NGAL levels in CKD patients before and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Objectives: To evaluate serial serum NGAL levels relation to contrast induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) following PCI.

Methods: The study included 58 patients with CKD who underwent elective PCI. Plasma NGAL measurements were performed before (pre-NGAL) and 24 hours following (post-NGAL) PCI. Patients were followed for CI-AKI and changes in NGAL levels. Receiver operator characteristic identified the optimal sensitivity and specificity for pre-NGAL levels compared with post-NGAL for patients with CI-AKI.

Results: Overall CI-AKI incidence was 33%. Both pre-NGAL (172 vs. 119 ng/ml, P < 0.001) and post-NGAL (181 vs. 121 ng/ml, P < 0.001) levels were significantly higher in patients with CI-AKI, but no significant changes were detected. Pre-NGAL levels were similar to post-NGAL levels in predicting CI-AKI (area under the curve 0.753 vs. 0.745). Optimal cutoff value for pre-NGAL was 129 ng/ml (sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 72%, P < 0.001). Post-NGAL levels > 141 ng/ml were independently associated with CI-AKI (hazard ratio [HR] 4.86, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.34–17.64, P = 0.02) with a strong trend for post-NGAL levels > 129 ng/ml (HR 3.46, 95%CI 1.23–12.81, P = 0.06).

Conclusions: In high-risk patients, pre-NGAL levels may predict CI-AKI. Further studies on larger populations are needed to validate the use of NGAL measurements in CKD patients.

May-Tal Rofe-Shmuel MD, Michael Shapira MD, Gad Keren MD

Romidepsin is an intravenously administered antineoplastic agent, which acts by inhibiting histone deacetylases, thus preventing removal of acetyl groups from histones. The accrual of acetyl groups on histones causes cell cycle arrest and apoptotic cell death. It was approved for use in the United States in 2009 for treatment of refractory or relapsed cutaneous and peripheral T cell lymphomas [1-3].

The most common side effects are mild to moderate in severity and include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, myelosuppression (e.g., anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia), elevated liver enzymes, constipation, and rash. More severe adverse events can include marked neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, serious infections such as line sepsis, acute renal failure, tumor lysis syndrome, and cardiac arrhythmias [1].

December 2022
Ze'ev Itsekson Hayosh MD, Eiman Abu Bandora MD, Natalia Shelestovich MD, Maya Nulman MD, Mati Bakon MD, Gal Yaniv MD, Boris Khaitovitch MD, Shmuel Balan MD, Alexandra Gerasimova MD, Tali Drori MD, Stefan Mausbach MD, Yvonne Schwammenthal MD, Arnon Afek MD, Joab Chapman MD, Efrat Shavit Stein MD, David Orion MD

Endovascularly retrieved clots may be a potential resource for diagnosing stroke etiology. This method may influence secondary prevention treatment. We measure thrombin activity eluted by serially washing clots. We concluded that an assay measuring the change in thrombin in clots retrieved during acute stroke endovascular thrombectomy procedures may serve as a diagnostic marker of the origin of the clot. The suggested mechanism for these differences may be the clot location before its retrieval, with high blood flow causing thrombin washout in atherosclerotic clots, in contrast to atrium appendage low blood flow retaining high thrombin levels.

November 2022
Rivka Sheinin MD, Ana Rita Nogueira MD, Nicola L. Bragazzi MD PhD, Abdulla Watad MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Tal Gonen MD, Kassem Sharif MD, Yehuda Kameri MD PhD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Daniela Amital MD MHA, Hofit Cohen MD

Background: Statin-induced myalgia is defined as muscle pain without elevation of serum creatine phosphokinase levels and is a well-known complaint among statin users. Chronic pain syndromes affect a high percentage of the population. These pain syndromes may confound the reports of statin-induced myalgia.

Objectives: To compare the occurrence of chronic pain among patients on statin therapy who developed myalgia with those who did not.

Methods: This study included 112 statin-treated patients, who were followed at the lipid center at Sheba Medical Center. Fifty-six patients had a diagnosis of statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS) and 56 did not. Verified questionnaires were used to assess the diagnoses of fibromyalgia, pain intensity, functional impairment, anxiety, and depression in the study population.

Results: Patients with statin myalgia were more likely to fulfil the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia than patients without statin myalgia (11 [19.6%] vs. 0, respectively). Patients in the SAMS group exhibited higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with the control group. Female sex, higher scores on the Brief Pain Inventory pain intensity scale, and a Hamilton rating scale level indicative of an anxiety disorder were found to be significant predictors for fibromyalgia in patients presenting with statin myalgia.

Conclusions: A significant percentage of patients diagnosed with statin myalgia fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia depression or anxiety disorder. Detection of these patients and treatment of their primary pain disorders or psychiatric illnesses has the potential to prevent unnecessary cessation of effective statin therapy.

Bar Pitaro Alter MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Omer Gendelman MD, Guy Shalom MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Arnon D. Cohen MD MPH, Daniela Amital MD MHA

Backgrounds: Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic vasculitic multi-systemic disease of unknown etiology. BD is characterized by recurrent attacks of oral aphthae, genital ulcers, and uveitis. BD is a multisystemic disorder and as such it may provoke various psychiatric manifestations, including depression.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between BD and depression, adjusting for established risk factors for depression.

Methods: We executed a cross-sectional study based on the Clalit Health Services database, the largest healthcare organization in Israel, serving over 4.4 million members. For this study 873 BD patients were detected and matched with 4369 controls by age and sex.

Results: The rate of depression was higher among the BD patients compared with the control group (9.39% vs 5.49%, respectively, odds ratio [OR] 1.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.37–2.31, P < 0.001). An association between BD and depression was also observed on multivariable analysis (OR 1.83, 95%CI 1.39–2.39, P < 0.001). When stratifying the data, according to established risk factors, the association between BD and depression was prominent in the youngest age group (18–39 years of age), low and high socioeconomical status, and non-smokers.

Conclusions: Establishing the association between BD and depression should influence the attitude and the treatment of BD patients, as this relationship requires a more holistic approach and a multidisciplinary treatment regimen for all patient needs.

Adi Lichtenstein MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Doron Comaneshter MD, Arnon D. Cohen MD, Howard Amital MD

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness with associated neuropsychological symptoms such as fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, and depression. Osteoporosis is defined as a reduction of bone density. Previous studies to determine an association of FMS with osteoporosis showed mixed results, partially due to small sample sizes and lack of statistical power.

Objectives: To evaluate the association of FMS with osteoporosis.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study utilizing the database from Israel’s largest health maintenance organization. FMS patients were compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Data were analyzed using chi-square and t-tests. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed the association between osteoporosis and FMS. Spearman’s rho test was used for correlation.

Results: We utilized data from 14,296 FMS patients and 71,324 age- and sex-matched controls. Spearman's rho test showed a significant correlation between FMS and osteoporosis (correlation coefficient 0.55, P < 0.001). A logistic regression for osteoporosis showed an odds ratio [OR] of 1.94 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.83–2.06, P < 0.001) for FMS compared to controls and found higher body mass index to be slight protective (OR 0.926, 95%CI 0.92–0.93, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: There is a significant correlation between FMS and osteoporosis. Early detection of predisposing factors for osteoporosis in FMS patients and implementation of suitable treatments and prevention measures (such as dietary supplements, resistance or weight bearing exercise, and bone-mineral enhancing pharmacological therapy) may reduce both occurrence rate and severity of osteoporosis and its complications, such as fractures.

October 2022
June 2022
Yael Steinfeld-Mass PT MSc, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, Shmuel Fay MD, Eli Pinchevsky MD, Liron Gershovitz MD, and Noa Ben Ami PT PhD

Background: Over the past several years there has been a marked increase in the number of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers having hip arthroscopy based on magnetic resonance arthrography diagnosis of hip labral tears and/or impingement.

Objectives: To detail characteristics of soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy and assess outcomes and rate of return to duty.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy 2018 to 2020, and soldiers referred for hip arthroscopy during 2021. Demographic, medical, and military service data were collected from the computerized patient record.

Results: Our study comprised 117 soldiers (29% combatants, 24% females) who underwent hip arthroscopy, mean age 22 ± 3 years, range 18–42; 45% had physiotherapy before surgery; 31% were diagnosed during or within 3 months of having back pain and 20% had been referred for psychological assistance (not related to the hip pain); 15.4% had serious adverse events. The mean time to return to any duty (including clerical work) was 8.0 ± 0.6 months; 56% of the soldiers never returned to service and were discharged from the military. During the one-year follow-up, only 6% returned to their full pre-symptom activity.

Conclusions: The short-term results of IDF soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy during the study period were much inferior to those reported among athletes. The lack of specificity of the diagnostic tools (history, examination, and imaging) used to determine whether surgery for hip pain is likely to be beneficial in this population may be contributing to over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

April 2022
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Shir Frydman MD, Svetlana Sirota MSc, Amir Halkin MD, Arie Steinvil MD, Ella Toledano MD, Maayan Konigstein MD, Batia Litmanowicz MD, Samuel Bazan MD, Atalia Wenkert BA, Sapir Sadon BA, Shmuel Banai MD, Ariel Finkelstein MD, and Yaron Arbel MD

Background: Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a simple and cost-effective marker of inflammation. This marker has been shown to predict cardiac arrhythmias, progression of valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure decompensation, acute kidney injury, and mortality in cardiovascular patients. The pathologic process of aortic stenosis includes chronic inflammation of the valve and therefore biomarkers of inflammation might offer additive prognostic value.

Objectives: To evaluate NLR and its association with long term mortality in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) patients.

Methods: We evaluated data of 1152 consecutive patient from the Tel Aviv Medical Center TAVI registry who underwent TAVI. Data included baseline clinical, demographic, and echocardiographic findings; procedural complications; and post-procedure mortality. Patients were compared by using the median NLR value (4.1) and evaluated for long-term mortality.

Results: Patients with NLR above the median had higher mortality rates (26.4% vs. 16.3%, P < 0.001) at 3 years post-procedure. A multivariable analysis found NLR to be an independent risk factor for mortality (hazard ratio = 1.47, 95% confidence interval 1.09–1.99, P = 0.013). In addition, high NLR was linked to complicationsduring and after the procedure.

Conclusion: NLR is an independent prognostic marker among TAVI patients. This marker may represent an increased inflammatory response and should be added to previous known prognostic factors.

January 2022
Zach Rozenbaum MD, Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Keren Lee-Rozenfeld MD, Shmuel Banai MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: The extent and impact of obesity as an isolated risk factor for coronary artery disease is not clear since co-morbidities serve as confounders and may mask this association.

Objectives: To examine whether obesity is associated with extensive coronary artery disease among metabolically healthy patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and to explore the outcomes according to body mass index (BMI).

Methods: We stratified STEMI patients who had a metabolically healthy phenotype and available weight and height data according to BMI: 18.5–25 kg/m² (lean), 25.01–30 kg/m² (overweight), and > 30 kg/m² (obese).

Results: Overall 381 patients were included, 42% lean, 41% overweight, and 17% obese. Patients with increased BMIs had higher levels of low-density proteins and triglycerides (P < 0.05). Obese patients presented with the lowest rates of multi-vessel disease (12.9% vs. 22.9% for overweight and 28% for lean). In a univariable analysis, obese patients were 60% less likely to be diagnosed with multi-vessel disease (odds ratio 0.4, 95% confidence interval 0.2–0.9, P = 0.021) compared to lean patients. The association remained significant in a multivariable model adjusted for baseline characteristics (P = 0.029). There were no differences in 30-day or long-term mortality (median follow-up 3.2 years) among the groups (P > 0.1 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: Metabolically healthy phenotype obesity was associated with lower rates of multi-vessel disease despite higher levels of triglycerides. However, this association did not translate into increased mortality.

December 2021
Ben Sadeh MD, Tamar Itach MD, Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Shir Frydman MD, Samuel Morgan BSc, David Zahler MD, Yogev Peri MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD MPH, Yotam Pasternak MD MSc, Yan Topilsky MD,Shmuel Banai MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is associated with adverse prognosis in various patient populations, but currently no data is available about the prevalence and prognostic implication of TR in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients.

Objectives: To investigate the possible implication of TR among STEMI patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of STEMI patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and its relation to major clinical and echocardiographic parameters. Patient records were assessed for the prevalence and severity of TR, its relation to the clinical profile, key echocardiographic parameters, in-hospital outcomes, and long-term mortality. Patients with previous myocardial infarction or known previous TR were excluded.

Results: The study included 1071 STEMI patients admitted between September 2011 and May 2016 (age 61 ± 13 years; predominantly male). A total of 205 patients (19%) had mild TR while another 32 (3%) had moderate or greater TR. Patients with significant TR demonstrated worse echocardiographic parameters, were more likely to have in-hospital complications, and had higher long-term mortality (28% vs. 6%; P < 0.001). Following adjustment for significant clinical and echocardiographic parameters, mortality hazard ratio of at least moderate to severe TR remained significant (hazard ratio 2.44; 95% confidence interval 1.06–5.62; P = 0.036) for patients with moderate-severe TR.

Conclusions: Among STEMI patients after primary PCI, the presence of moderate-severe TR was independently associated with adverse outcomes and significantly lower survival rate

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