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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

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January 2024
Forsan Jahshan MD, Tal Marshak MD, Jamal Qarawany MD, Boaz Markel MD, Amiel Sberro MD, Yonatan Lahav MD, Eli Layous MD, Netanel Eisenbach MD, Isaac Shochat MD, Eyal Sela MD, Ohad Ronen MD

Background: Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) refers to the backflow of acidic stomach content into the larynx, pharynx, and upper aerodigestive tract. The diagnosis of LPR is based on the patient's history and findings of the laryngoscopy associated with LPR. Other possible manifestations consistent with LPR symptoms include laryngeal cancer, vocal fold granulomas, Reinke's space edema, and vocal polyps. In this study, we compared the characteristics of patients with LPR symptoms and incidental laryngeal findings (ILF) in the laryngoscopic evaluation to those without ILF (WILF).

Objectives: Determine the characteristics of LPR-symptomatic patients with ILF versus WILF.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we examined 160 medical charts from patients referred to the otolaryngology clinic at Galilee Medical Center for LPR evaluation 2016–2018. The reflux symptoms index (RSI), reflux finding score (RFS), and demographics of the patient were collected. All patients with a positive RSI score for LPR (RSI > 9) were included, and the profiles of patients with versus without ILF on laryngoscopy examination were compared.

Results: Of the 160 patients, 20 (12.5%) had ILF during laryngoscopy. Most had vocal cord findings such as leukoplakia (20%), polyps (15%), and nodules (20%). Hoarseness, throat clearing, swallowing difficulty, breathing difficulties, and total RSI score were significantly higher in patients with ILF.

Conclusions: Evaluation of LPR symptoms may provide otolaryngologists with a tool to identify patients with other findings on fiberoptic laryngoscopy. A laryngoscopic examination should be part of the examination of every patient with LPR to enable diagnosis of incidental findings.

September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

January 2021
Eytan Cohen MD, Ili Margalit MD, Tzippy Shochat MSC, Elad Goldberg MD, and Ilan Krause MD

Background: Low folate levels are associated with megaloblastic anemia, neural tube defects, and an increased risk of cancer. Data are scarce regarding the sex aspect of this deficiency.

Objectives: To assess sex differences in folate levels in a large cohort of patients and to investigate the effect of low folate levels on homocysteine concentrations.

Methods: Data were collected from medical records of patients examined at a screening center in Israel between 2000 and 2014. Cross sectional analysis was conducted on 9214 males and 4336 females.

Results: The average age was 48.4 ± 9.5 years for males and 47.6 ± 9.4 years for females. Average folate levels were 19.2 ± 8.6 and 22.4 ±10.3 nmol/L in males and females, respectively (P < 0.001). The prevalence of folate levels below 12.2 nmol/L was 19.5% in males compared to 11.6% in females (P < 0.001). In patients with low folate levels and normal B12 levels, homocysteine levels above 15 μmol/L were found in 32.4% of males and 11.4% of females (P < 0.001). Males had a significantly higher odds ratio (OR) of having folate levels below 12.2 nmol/L: OR 1.84 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.66–2.05) in a non-adjusted model, and OR 2.02 (95%CI 1.82–2.27) adjusted for age, smoking status, body mass index, kidney function, albumin, and triglycerides levels.

Conclusions: Folate levels are lower in males compared to females, which may contribute to the higher homocysteine levels found in males and thus to their increased risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.

May 2020
Shira Goldman MD, Oranit Itshaki MD, Tzippy Shochat MSc, Anat Gafter-Gvili MD, Dafna Yahav MD, Bina Rubinovitch MD and Daniel Shepshelovich MD

Background: Recent data regarding polymicrobial bacteremia (PMB) are lacking.

Objectives: To characterize risk factors as well as clinical, microbiological, and prognostic patterns of patients with PMB in a modern hospital setting.

Methods: A single center retrospective study including all patients diagnosed with PMB during 2013 was conducted. PMB was defined as two or more organisms cultured from the blood of the same patient within 72 hours. Patients with monomicrobial infections served as controls.

Results: There were 135 episodes (2% of all bacteremia episodes) of true PMB among 123 patients during the study period. Recent invasive procedures (odds ratio [OR] 3.59, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.41–9.12, P = 0.006) and foreign bodies (OR 1.88, 95%CI 1.06–3.33, P = 0.04) were risk factors for PMB when compared with 79 patients with monomicrobial bacteremia. Central-line-associated infections were the most common infection source among patients with PMB (n=34, 28%). Enterobacteriaceae were the most commonly implicated pathogen (n=95, 77%). Non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli were significantly more common than previously reported (n=55, 45%). Although crude 30-day mortality was higher (48% vs. 33%) in PMB patients, adjusted mortality was comparable in the two groups.

Conclusions: PMB rate in our cohort was considerably lower than in previous reports. Central-line-associated infections were more common than classic PMB sources. Mortality remained high. Strategies for early identification and better care for these patients should be pursued.

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. 

June 2019
Margarita Makarov, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Tzippy Shochat MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Elizabeth Dudnik MD

Background: The main acquired resistance mechanism to first- and second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in EGFR mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the propagation of T790M clones, which can be detected in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Objectives: To analyze osimertinib outcomes according to T790M testing method.

Methods: The study comprised 33 consecutive patients with advanced EGFR mutant NSCLC who were diagnosed with a T790M mutation after progression on first- or second-generation EGFR TKIs and treated with osimertinib. The patients were divided into groups A (diagnosed by tumor testing) and B (by ctDNA testing). Osimertinib outcomes were compared between the groups.

Results: Objective response rate with osimertinib comprised 54% and 62% in groups A and B, respectively (P = 0.58). Median progression-free survival (PFS) with osimertinib was 8.9 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.8–17.5) and 9.1 months (95%Cl 5.3–12.6) in groups A and B, respectively (log-rank test 0.12, P = 0.73). Median overall survival (OS) was 13.8 months (95%CI 4.9–25.5) and 13.8 months (95%Cl 7.7–27.7) in groups A and B, respectively (log-rank test 0.09, P = 0.75). T790M testing technique did not affect PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.16, 95%CI 0.50–2.69, P = 0.73) or OS (HR = 1.16, 95%CI 0.45–3.01, P = 0.76). The proportion of patients diagnosed by ctDNA grew from 56% in 2015 to 67% in 2016–2017.

Conclusions: Our study provides a ctDNA validation for the purpose of T790M testing in EGFR mutant NSCLC.

June 2017
Yaniv Levi MD, Aaron Frimerman MD, Avraham Shotan MD, Michael Shochat MD PhD, David S Blondheim MD, Amit Segev MD, Ilan Goldenerg MD, Mark Kazatsker MD, Liubov Vasilenko MD, Nir Shlomo PhD and Simcha R Meisel MD MSc

Background: Trials have shown superiority of primary percutaneous intervention (PPCI) over in-hospital thrombolysis in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients treated within 6-12 hours from symptom onset. These studies also included high-risk patients not all of whom underwent a therapeutic intervention. 

Objectives: To compare the outcome of early-arriving stable STEMI patients treated by thrombolysis with or without coronary angiography to the outcome of PPCI-treated STEMI patients.

Methods: Based on six biannual Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Surveys comprising 5474 STEMI patients, we analyzed the outcome of 1464 hemodynamically stable STEMI patients treated within 3 hours of onset. Of these, 899 patients underwent PPCI, 383 received in-hospital thrombolysis followed by angiography (TFA), and 182 were treated by thrombolysis only.

Results: Median time intervals from symptom onset to admission were similar while door-to-reperfusion intervals were 63, 45 and 52.5 minutes for PPCI, TFA and thrombolysis only, respectively (P < 0.001). The 30-day composite endpoint of death, post-infarction angina and myocardial infarction occurred in 77 patients of the PPCI group (8.6%), 64 patients treated by TFA (16.7%), and 36 patients of the thrombolysis only group (19.8%, P < 0.001), with differences mostly due to post-infarction angina. One-year mortality rate was 27 (3%), 13 (3.4%) and 11 (6.1%) for PPCI, TFA and thrombolysis only, respectively (P = 0.12).

Conclusions: PPCI was superior to thrombolysis in early-arriving stable STEMI patients with regard to 30-day composite endpoint driven by a decreased incidence of post-infarction angina. No 1 year survival benefit for PPCI over thrombolysis was observed in early-arriving stable STEMI patients.


December 2016
Yael Shahal-Zimra PhD, Zohar Rotem MSc, Judith Chezar PhD, Tzippy Shochat MSc, Liron Ross MSc, Itai Pickholtz PhD and Esther Rabizadeh PhD

Background: Reference ranges for adult peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets have been established in a few countries. To the best of our knowledge no broad lymphocyte subset analysis of the Israeli population has been reported. 

Objectives: To establish reference ranges for healthy adults in Israel and to describe age- and gender-specific differences, if present.

Methods: Lymphocyte subsets CD3, CD3/CD4, CD3/CD8, CD3-/CD16+/CD56+, CD3/TCRαβ, CD3/TCRγδ, and CD19 were examined by flow cytometry in 326 subjects. Samples were subdivided according to age and gender.

Results: Women of all ages had a significantly higher percentage and absolute counts of CD3/CD4 cells than their male counterparts. Higher CD3/CD4 cells were observed also in the older population (> 50 years). CD3/CD8 and CD3-/CD16+/CD56+ were higher in males. Older males had a lower total lymphocyte percentage and CD19 cells compared to younger men. No significant gender-related differences were observed in percent and number of CD19, CD3/TCRαβ or CD3/TCRγδ at all ages.

Conclusions: These reference values could be useful in further studies for assessing changes that occur in different populations in human pathology.


September 2010
G. Rosner, P. Rozen, D. Bercovich, C. Shochat, I. Solar, H. Strul, R. Kariv and Z. Halpern

Background: Patients with multiple (< 100) colorectal adenomatous polyps are at increased risk for colorectal cancer. Genetic evaluation of those patients who test negative for APC gene mutation is both a clinical and economic burden but is critical for counseling and surveillance. In Israel, this is confounded by the fact that national health insurance does not fully cover genetic evaluation of APC gene exon 16.

Objectives: To perform a comprehensive genetic evaluation of APC gene mutation-negative polyposis patients with the aim of developing a future evaluation protocol.

Methods: Genetic analyses were performed in 29 APC gene mutation-negative Jewish individuals with 5 to ≥ 40 colonic adenomas who did not fulfill Amsterdam (clinical) criteria for Lynch syndrome. Analyses included completion of APC gene exon 16 sequencing, analysis for APC gene copy number variations (deletions or duplications), MUTYH gene sequencing, and microsatellite instability in CRC[1] patients fulfilling “Bethesda” (laboratory investigation) criteria for Lynch syndrome.

Results: Completion of APC gene exon 16 sequencing revealed one patient with the E1317Q polymorphism. All were normal by APC multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis. Pathogenic MUTYH mutations were found in three patients, all of North African origin; two additional patients had variants of unknown significance. One of six patients with Bethesda-positive criteria was MSI2-High with immunohistology consistent with MLH1 mutation.

Conclusions: Based on this small but well-characterized cohort with multiple colorectal adenomas, Lynch syndrome needs to be excluded if there are compatible criteria; otherwise MUTYH sequencing is probably the first step in evaluating APC-negative patients, especially for Jews of North African descent. Completing APC exon 16 sequencing and copy number variations analysis should probably be the last evaluations.


[1] CRC = colorectal cancer

October 2008
R. J. Heruti, A. Steinvil, T. Shochat, N. Saar, N. Mashav, Y. Arbel and D. Justo

Background: Erectile dysfunction is associated with treatable cardiovascular risk factors; therefore, screening for erectile dysfunction and its cardiovascular risk factors is of clinical importance.

Objectives: To detect erectile dysfunction cases and assess their severity among military personnel.

Methods: The Sexual Health Inventory for Men questionnaire was handed out to military personnel aged 25–55 years during routine examinations.

Results: A total of 19,131 men, with a mean age of 34.0 ± 7.1 years, participated in routine physical examinations during the years 2001–2005. More than half of them (n=9956, 52%) completed the SHIM[1] questionnaire. No significant differences were found between those who completed the SHIM questionnaire and those who did not, in terms of mean age, mean body mass index, and prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. One out of every four men (25.2%) suffered from erectile dysfunction, which was mild in 18.9%, mild to moderate in 4.4%, moderate in 1.1% , and severe in 0.7%. Even though treatable cardiovascular risk factors were quite prevalent in the study group (45.2% of them suffered from dyslipidemia, 25.6% smoked, 4.2% suffered from essential hypertension, and 1.6% from diabetes mellitus), erectile dysfunction was significantly associated with age and diabetes mellitus alone (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of erectile dysfunction and associated treatable cardiovascular risk factors in Israeli men aged 25–55, especially those with diabetes. 

[1] SHIM = Sexual Health Inventory for Men

April 2008
A. Vivante, N. Hirshoren, T. Shochat and D. Merkel

Background: Iron deficiency and lead poisoning are common and are often associated. This association has been suggested previously, mainly by retrospective cross-sectional studies.

Objective: To assess the impact of short-term lead exposure at indoor firing ranges, and its relationship to iron, ferritin, lead, zinc protoporphyrin, and hemoglobin concentrations in young adults.

Methods: We conducted a clinical study in 30 young healthy soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Blood samples were drawn for lead, zinc protoporphyrin, iron, hemoglobin and ferritin prior to and after a 6 week period of intensive target practice in indoor firing ranges.

Results: After a 6 week period of exposure to lead dust, a mean blood lead level increase (P < 0.0001) and a mean iron (P < 0.0005) and mean ferritin (P < 0.0625) decrease occurred simultaneously. We found a trend for inverse correlation between pre-exposure low ferritin levels and post-exposure high blood lead levels.

Conclusions: The decrease in iron and ferritin levels after short-term lead exposure can be attributed to competition between iron and lead absorption via divalent metal transport 1, suggesting that lead poisoning can cause iron depletion and that iron depletion can aggravate lead poisoning. This synergistic effect should come readily to every physician's mind when treating patients with a potential risk for each problem separately.

December 2007
T. Shochat, O. Tzchishinsky, A. Oksenberg and R. Peled

Background: The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index is a standardized self-administered questionnaire for the assessment of subjective sleep quality. It has been translated into several languages and is widely used in clinical research studies.

Objectives: To assess the reliability and validity of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Hebrew translation in a sleep clinic sample and in comparison with the Technion Mini Sleep Questionnaire.

Methods: The PSQI[1] was translated into Hebrew based on standard guidelines. The final Hebrew version (PSQI-H) was administered to 450 patients from two sleep clinics and to 61 healthy adults from the community as a non-clinical control sample. The MSQ[2] was administered to 130 patients in one sleep clinic.

Results: For the PSQI-H[3], Cronbach's-alpha scores for sleep clinic and non-clinical samples were 0.70 and 0.52 respectively and 0.72 combined. Clinical sample scores were significantly higher than the non-clinical group, indicating lower sleep quality for the former. Significant correlations were found between the MSQ subscores and PSQI-H component scores for common underlying constructs.

Conclusions: The PSQI-H differentiated between clinical and non-clinical samples and showed adequate reliability and good validity. It may be used as a standardized tool for the assessment of subjective sleep quality in clinical research studies conducted in the Hebrew-speaking population.

[1] PSQI = Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index

[2] MSQ = Mini Sleep Questionnaire

[3] PSQI-H = Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Hebrew

May 2007
R. Lev-Tzion, T. Friedman, T. Shochat, E. Gazala and Y. Wohl

Background: Numerous studies have shown an association between asthma and mental disorders. While elevated rates of asthma have been noted among psychiatric patients with anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, several studies have found elevated rates of mental disorders among asthma patients. Such studies, however, have generally relied upon questionnaires and assessment by non-specialist physicians to diagnose mental disorders and asthma.

Objectives: To examine a possible association between asthma and psychiatric diagnoses in Israeli military recruits and soldiers.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study we compared the prevalence of mental diagnoses in asthmatic recruits and soldiers to that in non-asthmatic recruits and soldiers. A total of 195,903 recruits and soldiers were examined by Israel Defense Forces recruiting offices and fitness boards. Diagnoses of asthma were based on a pulmonologist's diagnosis, including spirometry at rest and exercise testing as indicated; diagnoses of mental disorders were based on examination by a psychiatrist.

Results: The prevalence of asthma was found to be 7.8% (current) and 9.8% (lifetime). The prevalence of mental disorders was 13.4%. Current asthma was associated with an increased likelihood of any mental disorder (OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.15–1.26), and specifically with mood and anxiety disorders (1.31, 1.19–1.46), introvert personality disorders (1.20, 95% 1.12–1.28) and adjustment disorder (1.43, 1.26–1.62). Lifetime asthma was associated with an increased likelihood of the same disorders, but the association was not as powerful.

Conclusions: The results validate the previously documented association between asthma and mental disorders, using a sample of unprecedented size and improved methodology. A multidisciplinary approach to asthma that incorporates mental health professionals in the treatment of poorly controlled asthma and perhaps of asthma in general is recommended.

March 2007
A. Farfel, M.S. Green, T. Shochat, I. Noyman, Y. Levy and A. Afek

Background: Most Israeli males aged 16–17 undergo a thorough medical examination prior to recruitment into the army. During the last 50 years, extensive data have been gathered enabling a study of time trends in the prevalence of common diseases in this age group.

Objectives: To examine the current prevalence of common diseases, compare the results with those of previous cohorts, and assess the influence of the massive immigration during the 1990s.         

Methods: The health examination at the recruitment centers includes a medical history, complete physical examination, and review of medical documentation provided by the family physician. If needed, additional tests and referral to specialists are ordered. The prevalence of selected diseases and severity was drawn from the computerized database of the classification board. Two cohorts, 1992–94 and 2003–04, were examined and compared with three previous cohort studies in 1957–61, 1977–78 and 1982–84. Data were stratified according to origin and country of birth.

Results: The prevalence of asthma increased dramatically during the years from 10.2 per 1000 examinees in 1957–61 to 111.6 per 1000 examinees in 2003–04. The prevalence of tuberculosis declined and then increased from 0.6 per 1000 adolescents in 1982–84 to 2.4 per 1000 adolescents in 2003–04. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus increased from 0.2 cases per 1000 examinees in 1957–61 to 0.8 cases in 1977–78 and 1982–84 and 0.9 cases per 1000 examinees in 2003–04. The prevalence of severe heart defects and severe epilepsy declined in the last 20 years (1.4 and 1.7 cases per 1000 examinees in the 1982–84 cohort to 0.4 and 0.3 cases per 1000 examinees in the 2003–4 cohort respectively). The patterns of disease prevalence were different for immigrants: tuberculosis was more common while asthma and allergic rhinitis were less prevalent.

Conclusions: The prevalence of common diseases among adolescents in Israel has changed over the last 50 years. There is a different pattern for immigrants and for those born in Israel.


August 2006
D. Tekes-Manova, E. Israeli, T. Shochat, M. Swartzon, S. Gordon, R. Heruti, I. Ashkenazi and D. Justo
 Background: Coronary heart disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Early detection of cardiovascular risk factors and intervention may reduce consequential morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of reversible and treatable cardiovascular risk factors among 26’477 healthy Israeli adults: 23’339 men and 3138 women aged 25-55 years.

Methods: We collected data during routine examinations performed as part of a screening program for Israel Defense Force personnel.

Results: The three most prevalent cardiovascular risk factors were a sedentary lifestyle (64%), dyslipidemia (55.1%) and smoking (26.8%). Overall, 52.9% of the men and 48.4% of the women had two or more cardiovascular risk factors. Moreover, 52.4% of young adult men and 43.3% of young adult women, age 25-34 years, had two or more reversible cardiovascular risk factors.

Conclusions: In this expectedly healthy population there was a high prevalence of reversible and treatable cardiovascular risk factors in both genders and in young age. These observations stress the need for routine health examinations and lifestyle modification programs even in the young healthy Israeli population.

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