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עמוד בית
Fri, 30.09.22

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May 2019
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Shirly Shohat MD, Boris Kessel MD, William P. Schecter, Alexander Beicker MD and Igor Jeroukhimov MD

Background: Selective management of stable patients with anterior abdomen stab wounds (AASWs) has become a gold standard management approach throughout the world. Evidenced-based options for supporting selective management include clinical follow-up, local wound exploration with or without diagnostic peritoneal lavage, diagnostic laparoscopy, and abdominal computerized tomography. The presence of multiple AASWs might signify a more aggressive attack and limit the safety of a selective management approach.

Objectives: To evaluate whether multiple AASWs are associated with an increased risk of intra-abdominal injury requiring emergency surgery.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all AASW patients admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel, and Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel, from 2007 to 2015. Patients were divided into two groups based on the number of stab wounds: single or multiple. Data were coded for demographics, severity of injury, presence of intra-abdominal injury, laparotomy rate, length of hospital stay (LOS), length of stay in the intensive care unit (LICU), and survival.

Results: The study included 169 patients. Of these, 143 patients had a single AASW and 26 had multiple AASWs. There were no differences between the groups regarding demographics, severity of injury, intra-abdominal penetration, specific organ injury, LOS, or LICU. There was no difference in the percentage of patients requiring laparotomy. The overall mortality was 2.36% (4/169). There was no significant difference in the mortality rate between the groups (P = 0.11).

Conclusions: The presence of multiple AASWs is not a risk factor for increased frequency and severity of intra-abdominal injury.

February 2018
Noam Shohat MD, Yossy Machluf PhD, Rivka Farkash BSc MPH, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA and Yoram Chaiter MD MSc

Background: Children and adolescents are commonly referred to an orthopedic surgeon to assess knee malalignment.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of genu varum and valgum among adolescents, and to identify correlates of these conditions.

Methods: A medical database of 47,588 candidates for military service presenting to the northern recruitment center during an 11 year period was analyzed to identify clinical knee alignment. Based on the standing skin surface intercondylar distance (ICD) or intermalleolar distance (IMD), the prevalence rates of genu varum (ICD ≥ 3 cm) and genu valgum (IMD ≥ 4 cm) were calculated. The association of gender, body mass index (BMI), and place of residence to knee alignment was studied.

Results: The rates of genu varum and valgum were 11.4% (5427) and 5.6% (2639), respectively. Genu varum was significantly more prevalent among males than females (16.2% vs. 4.4%, P < 0.001). It was also more prevalent among underweight subjects and less prevalent among overweight and obese subjects (P < 0.001). Genu valgum was significantly more prevalent among females than males (9.4% vs. 2.9%) and in overweight and obese subjects compared to those with normal BMI, while less prevalent in underweight subjects (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that genu varum was independently positively associated with male gender, underweight, and living in a rural area. Genu valgum was independently positively associated with female gender, overweight, and obesity.

Conclusions: This study establishes a modern benchmark for the cutoff and prevalence of genu varum and valgum as well as associations with gender and BMI.

June 2017
Noam Shohat MD, Dror Lindner MD, Eran Tamir MD, Yiftah Beer MD and Gabriel Agar MD

Background: The debate continues regarding the best way to manage partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

Objectives: To prospectively compare the clinical outcomes of remnant-preserving augmentation (RPA) and double-bundle reconstruction (DBR) in patients with ACL tears.

Methods: In this prospective study, we included 13 cases of RPA and 30 cases of DBR with a follow-up period of 6 months, 12 months and 24 months. We clinically compared the preoperative and postoperative range of motion, Knee Society Score (KSS), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Lysholm score, Tegner activity score, Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), thigh and calf circumference and anterior translation (Using the KT-1000 knee arthrometer). 

Results: There were no significant differences in Lysholm score, Tegner score, VAS or KSS within the two groups at any time. The KT-1000 arthrometer results were higher in the RPA group at 6 months than in the DBR group; however, it did not reach statistical significance. 

Conclusions: We found no significant differences between the two specific groups leading us to believe that RPA may play a role in reconstruction when only a single bundle is injured.


December 2016
Peter Gilbey MD, Mary C.J. Rudolf MD, Sivan Spitzer-Shohat MA and Anthony Luder MD

The unique characteristics of the next generation of medical professionals in Israel and the current model of physician employment in the country may pose a real threat to the high quality of both public clinical care and medical education in the near future, and to the continued flourishing of clinical research. According to the Israel Medical Association’s general obligations for Israeli physicians, the doctor should place the patient's interests foremost in his or her mind, before any other issue. This has led many to believe that selflessness or altruism should be among a physician’s core values. Is the application and realization of these obligations compatible with the realities of 21st century medicine? Is altruism still a legitimate part of the modern medical world? The Y generation, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, now comprise the majority of the population of residents and young specialists. They have been characterized as ambitious, self-focused, entrepreneurial, lacking loyalty to their employer, and seeking immediate gratification. Under these circumstances, is it possible to encourage or even teach altruism in medical school? Demands on physicians' time are increasing. The shortage of doctors, the growth of the population, the way in which health care is consumed, and the increasing administrative burden have all gnawed away at the time available for individual patient care. This time needs to be protected. The altruism of physicians could become the guarantee of first-rate care in the public sector. The continued existence of clinical research and high level clinical teaching also depends on the allocation of protected time. In light of the emerging generation gap and the expected dominance of Y generation physicians in the medical workforce in the near future, for whom altruism may not be such an obvious value, solutions to these predicaments are discussed.

May 2012
D. Amital, H. Amital, G. Shohat, Y. Soffer and Y. Bar-Dayan

Background: On 4 February 2008, two terrorists armed with suicide bombs arrived at the open market in the southern Israeli city of Dimona. One detonated his bomb at approximately 10:30 a.m. causing multiple casualties. Short-term emotional effects and acute stress reactions usually appear among survivors after such incidents.

Objectives: To compare the differences in emotions and in disturbances of daily life activities that emerge a couple of days following such an event and to identify patterns of stress development among resilient and low-resilient members of the population in Dimona and in the general population of Israel.

Methods: A telephone survey of two randomly selected representative samples of adults (428 Israeli residents and 250 Dimona residents) was conducted 2 days after the event.

Results: A higher prevalence of stress and fear and a lower prevalence of joy were reported among the population of Dimona compared to the general population in Israel (P < 0.05). Differences were also recorded when the population of Dimona was categorized by their personal degree of resilience (P < 0.05). A higher prevalence of disturbances in daily life activities and changes in leisure activity was found in the low-resilient population in Dimona (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that following a public terror event, self-reported low-resilient subjects have a higher prevalence of disturbances in daily life activities, as well as adverse emotional responses. These differences must be addressed by the relevant social service agencies for immediate public intervention

March 2012
Z. Mor, T. Shohat, Y. Goor and M. Dan
Background: The increase in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Israel during the last decade raises concerns regarding other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in MSM, which are yet undetermined.

Objectives: To evaluate the STD burden in MSM and heterosexuals visiting the Tel Aviv walk-in STD clinic.

Methods: Records of all male patients who attended the clinic once were reviewed to identify demographic characteristics, behavioural attributes, and test results.

Results: Between 2002 and 2008, 1064 MSM (22%) and 3755 heterosexuals (78%) visited the clinic once. Positivity rates in MSM for HIV, urethral Neisseria gonorrhoea and infectious syphilis were higher than in heterosexuals (2.5%, 2.5%. 0.7% vs. 0.6%, 1.3%, 0.3%, respectively), while urethral Chlamydia trachomatis was higher in heterosexuals than in MSM (2.7% and 1.4%, respectively). MSM tested in our clinic were younger than heterosexuals (P < 0.001), more commonly circumcised (P = 0.03) and Israeli-born (P < 0.001), used substances during sex (P = 0.04), and had prior STD (P < 0.001), a greater number of sexual partners (P < 0.001), and earlier sexual debut (P = 0.02). The final multivariate results for MSM to be diagnosed with HIV/STD were greater number of sexual contacts, previous diagnosis with STD, and infrequent use of condom during anal intercourse.

Conclusions: MSM visiting the Levinsky Clinic had higher rates of HIV/STD than heterosexual males, which correlated with their higher-risk behaviors. The unique characteristics of MSM found in our study, such as sex work, substance use, previous diagnosis of STD, multiple partners and inconsistent use of condom during anal sex should be addressed with innovative interventions to prevent STD/HIV in the gay community in Israel.
April 2011
Y. Kilim, N. Magal and M. Shohat

Background: Since the identification of the MEFV gene 198 mutations have been identified, not all of which are pathologic. The screening methods used in Israel to test patients suspected of having FMF include a kit that tests for the five main mutations (M694V, V726A, M680Ic/g, M694I, E148Q), and the sequencing of MEFV exon 10 in combination with restriction analysis for detecting additional mutations.

Objectives: To determine the contribution of testing for five additional mutations – A744S, K695R, M680Ic/t, R761H and P369S – to the molecular diagnosis of patients clinically suspected of having FMF.

Methods: A total of 1637 patients were tested for FMF mutations by sequencing exon 10 and performing restriction analysis for mutations E148Q and P369S.

Results: Nearly half the patients (812, 49.6%) did not have any detectable mutations, 581 (35.5%) had one mutation, 241 (14.7%) had two mutations, of whom 122 were homozygous and 119 compound heterozygous, and 3 had three mutations. Testing for the additional five mutations enabled us to identify 46 patients who would have been missed by the molecular diagnosis kit and 22 patients who would have been found to have only one mutation. Altogether, 4.3% of the patients would not have been diagnosed correctly by using only the kit that tests for the five main mutations.

Conclusions: This study suggests that testing for the additional five mutations as well as the five main mutations in patients with a clinical presentation of FMF adds significantly to the molecular diagnosis of FMF in the Israeli population.

December 2010
O. Baron-Epel, L. Keinan-Boker, R. Weinstein and T. Shohat

Background: During the last few decades much effort has been invested into lowering smoking rates due to its heavy burden on the population's health and on costs for the health care services.

Objectives: To compare trends in smoking rates between adult Arab men and Jewish men and women during 2000–2008.

Methods: Six random telephone surveys were conducted by the Israel Center for Disease Control in 2000–2008 to investigate smoking rates. The number of respondents was 24,976 Jews men and women and 2564 Arab men. The percent of respondents reporting being current smokers was calculated for each population group (Jews and Arabs) by age, gender and education, and were studied in relation to time.

Results: Among Jewish men aged 21–64 smoking declined during 2000–2008 by about 3.5%. In the 21–44 age group this decline occurred only among respondents with an academic education. Among Jewish women this decline also occurred at ages 21–64, and in the 45–64 age group this decline was due only to a decline in smoking among those with an academic education. Among Arab men aged 21–64 an increase in smoking rates of about 6.5% was observed among both educated and less educated respondents.

Conclusions: Smoking prevalence is declining in Israel among Jews, but not among Arab men. The larger decrease in smoking rates among academics will, in the future, add to the inequalities in health between the lower and higher socioeconomic status groups and between Arabs and Jews. This calls for tailored interventions among the less educated Jews and all Arab men.

October 2010
Y. Linhart, O. Romano-Zelekha and T. Shohat

Background: Data regarding the validity of self-reported weight and height in adolescents are conflicting.

Objectives: To evaluate the validity of self-reported weight and height among 13–14 year old schoolchildren. 

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 517 schoolchildren aged 13–14 years and compared self-reported and measured weight and height by gender, population group, parental education and crowdedness.

Results: Females under-reported their weight on average by 0.79 ± 5.46 kg (P = 0.03), resulting in underestimation of the body mass index with borderline significance (mean difference 0.28 ± 2.26 kg/m², P = 0.06). Males over-reported their height on average by 0.75 ± 5.81 cm (P = 0.03). Children from less crowded homes (≤ 1 person per room) overestimated their height more than children from more crowded homes, resulting in a significant underestimation of BMI[1] (mean difference between reported BMI and measured values was 0.30 ± 2.36 kg/m², P = 0.04). Measured BMI was a significant predictor of the difference between self-reported and measured BMI, adjusted for gender, population group, parents' education, and crowdedness (β = -0.3, P < 0.0001). As a result of this reporting bias, only 54.9% of children with overweight and obesity (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) were classified correctly, while 6.3% of children were wrongly classified as overweight and obese. The largest difference in BMI was observed in obese females (4.40 ± 4.34) followed by overweight females (2.18 ± 1.95) and underweight females (-1.38 ± 1.75). Similar findings were observed for males, where the largest difference was found among obese males (2.83 ± 3.44).

Conclusions: Studies based on self-reported weight and height in adolescents may be biased. Attempts should be made to correct this bias, based on the available data for each population.

[1] BMI = body mass index

December 2009
P. Rozen, I. Liphshitz, G. Rosner, M. Barchana, J. Lachter, S. Pel, T. Shohat, E. Santo, and the Israeli Pancreatic Cancer Consortium

Pancreatic cancer is not a common malignancy in Israel, but it is the third most common cause of cancer mortality, attributable to a lack of screening tests, inaccessibility of the pancreas, and late cancer stage at diagnosis. We reviewed the epidemiology, known risk factors and screening methods available in Israel and describe the Israeli national consortium that was established to identify persons at risk and decide on screening methods to detect and treat their early-stage pancreatic cancer. In collaboration with the Israel National Cancer Registry, we evaluated the incidence and trends of the disease in the Jewish and non-Jewish populations. The consortium reviewed known lifestyle risk habits and genetic causes, screening methodologies used and available in Israel. Overall, there are about 600 new patients per year, with the highest incidence occurring in Jewish men of European birth (age-standardized rate 8.11/105 for 2003–06). The 5 year survival is about 5%. The consortium concluded that screening will be based on endoscopic ultrasonography. Pancreatic cancer patients and families at risk will be enrolled, demographic and lifestyle data collected and a cancer pedigree generated. Risk factors will be identified and genetic tests performed as required. This concerted national program to identify persons at risk, recommend which environmental risk factors to avoid and treat, and perform endoscopic ultrasound and genetic screening where appropriate, might reduce their incidence of invasive pancreatic cancer and/or improve its prognosis


November 2008
Michal Tenenbaum, Shahar Lavi, Nurit Magal, Gabrielle J. Halpern, Inbal Bolocan, Monther Boulos, Michael Kapeliovich, Mordechai Shohat, Haim Hammerman

Background: Long QT syndrome is an inherited cardiac disease, associated with malignant arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

Objectives: To map and identify the gene responsible for LQTS[1] in an Israeli family.

Methods: A large family was screened for LQTS after one of them was successfully resuscitated from ventricular fibrillation. The DNA was examined for suspicious loci by whole genome screening and the coding region of the LQT2 gene was sequenced.

Results: Nine family members, 6 males and 3 females, age (median and interquartile range) 26 years (13, 46), who were characterized by a unique T wave pattern were diagnosed as carrying the mutant gene. The LQTS-causing gene was mapped to chromosome 7 with the A614V mutation. All of the affected members in the family were correctly identified by electrocardiogram. Corrected QT duration was inversely associated with age in the affected family members and decreased with age.
Conclusions: Careful inspection of the ECG can correctly identify LQTS in some families. Genetic analysis is needed to confirm the diagnosis and enable the correct therapy in this disease

[1] LQTS = long QT syndrome

September 2008
Y. Linhart, Z. Amitai, M. Lewis, S. Katser, A. Sheffer and T. Shohat

Background: Food-borne pharyngitis outbreaks causing substantial morbidity have been documented.

Objectives: To investigate an outbreak of food-borne Streptococcus beta hemolyticus group A pharyngitis among employees of a high-tech company.

Methods: We received a report on an unusually high rate of morbidity among employees of a company in September 2003. The Tel Aviv District Health Office conducted an epidemiological investigation of the outbreak.

Results: Among the 278 people who attended a company party, 83 people became ill. The overall attack rate was 29.8%. Information was available on 174 of 193 employees and family members who attended the party and worked in the Tel Aviv district. Forty-six of them became ill (attack rate 26.4%). The secondary attack rate was 3.8%. Most cases developed symptoms 24–48 hours following the event. Seven cases had throat cultures positive for Streptococcus beta hemolyticus group A. Three items were significantly associated with becoming sick: spring chicken (odds ratio 2.26, 95% confidence interval 1.11–4.63, P = 0.02), vegetable salad (OR[1] 2.88 95%CI[2] 1.40–5.94, P = 0.003) and corn (OR 7.73, 95%CI 3.18–18.80, P < 0.001). Eating corn remained significantly associated with pharyngitis after controlling for other food items consumed.

Conclusions: We describe the epidemiological investigation of a large food-borne outbreak of Streptococcus beta hemolyticus group A pharyngitis most probably transmitted by corn. No previous publication has implicated corn. Food handlers and the public should be aware that they can transmit diseases to others.. Physicians should be aware that streptococcal pharyngitis could be a food-borne disease and that outbreaks in a non-confined setting may be easily missed.


[1] OR = odds ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

July 2008
A. Mager, N. Koren-Morag, M. Shohat, A. Dadashev, R. Kornowski, A. Battler and D. Hasdai

Background: The C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene is associated with early onset of coronary artery disease in some populations with certain ethnic backgrounds. However, data on its effect on CAD[1] development in women are limited and conflicting.

Objectives: To investigate the effects of the MTHFR C677T mutation and ethnicity on the development and age at onset of CAD in women in Israel.

Methods: The sample included 135 Jewish women with well-documented CAD (62 Ashkenazi, 44 Oriental and 29 of other origins) in whom CAD symptoms first developed at age ≤ 65 years. DNA samples from 235 women served as the control.

Results: CAD symptoms developed later in Ashkenazi than in Oriental women or women of other origins (51.0 ± 7.0 years vs. 48.3 ± 7.5 and 46.3 ± 7.7 years, respectively, P = 0.024). Among Ashkenazi women, the T/T genotype was less common in patients in whom CAD symptoms appeared after age 50 (6.4%) than in patients with earlier CAD symptoms (25.8%, P = 0.037) and Ashkenazi control subjects (23.3%, P = 0.045). Among women from other origins, these differences were not significant. On logistic regression analysis, the T/T genotype was associated with a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of early onset (age < 50 years) of CAD (odds ratio 3.87, 95% confidence interval 1.12–13.45, adjusted for risk factors and origin) and a trend towards an influence of ethnicity (P = 0.08). Compared to Ashkenazi women, the risk of early development of CAD associated with the T/T genotype among Oriental ones was 0.46 (95%CI[2] 0.189–1.114) and in women of other origins, 5.84 (95%CI 1.76–19.34). Each additional risk factor increased the risk of earlier onset of CAD by 42% (OR[3] 1.42, 95%CI 1.06–1.89).

Conclusions: The age at onset of CAD in Israeli women is influenced by the MTHFR genotype, ethnic origin and coronary risk factors.

[1] CAD = coronary artery disease

[2] CI = confidence interval

[3] OR = odds ratio

December 2007
H.N. Baris, I. Kedar, G.J. Halpern, T. Shohat, N. Magal, M.D. Ludman and M. Shohat

Background: Fanconi anemia complementation group C and Bloom syndrome, rare autosomal recessive disorders marked by chromosome instability, are especially prevalent in the Ashkenazi* Jewish community. A single predominant mutation for each has been reported in Ashkenazi Jews: c.711+4A→T (IVS4 +4 A→T) in FACC[1] and BLMAsh in Bloom syndrome. Individuals affected by both syndromes are characterized by susceptibility for developing malignancies, and we questioned whether heterozygote carriers have a similarly increased risk.

Objectives: To estimate the cancer rate among FACC and BLMAsh carriers and their families over three previous generations in unselected Ashkenazi Jewish individuals.

Methods: We studied 42 FACC carriers, 28 BLMAsh carriers and 43 controls. The control subjects were Ashkenazi Jews participating in our prenatal genetic screening program who tested negative for FACC and BLMAsh. All subjects filled out a questionnaire regarding their own and a three-generation family history of cancer. The prevalence rates of cancer among relatives of FACC, BLMAsh and controls were computed and compared using the chi-square test.

Results: In 463 relatives of FACC carriers, 45 malignancies were reported (9.7%) including 10 breast (2.2%) and 13 colon cancers (2.8%). Among 326 relatives of BLMAsh carriers there were 30 malignancies (9.2%) including 7 breast (2.1%) and 4 colon cancers (1.2%). Controls consisted of 503 family members with 63 reported malignancies (12.5%) including 11 breast (2.2%) and 11 colon cancers (2.2%).

Conclusions: We found no significantly increased prevalence of malignancies among carriers in at least three generations compared to the controls.

* Jews of East European origin

[1] FACC = Fanconi anemia complementation group C

July 2007
O.Tavor, M.Shohat and S.Lipitz

Background: The measurement of maternal serum human chorionic gonadotropin as a predictor of fetuses with Down syndrome has been in use since 1987.

Objectives: To determine the correlation between extremely high levels of hCG[1] at mid-gestation and maternal and fetal complications.

Methods: The study group consisted of 75 pregnant women with isolated high levels of hCG (> 4 MOM) at mid-gestation, and the control group comprised 75 randomly selected women with normal hCG levels (as well as normal alpha-fetoprotein and unconjugated estriol levels). The data collected included demographic details, fetal anomalies, chromosomal aberrations, pregnancy complications, and results of neonatal tests.

Results: There was a significant increase in the frequency of fetal anomalies (detected by ultrasound), low birth weight and neonatal complications in the study group. We also found an increased rate of fetal/neonatal loss proportional to the increasing levels of hCG (up to 30% in levels exceeding 7 MOM).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated an increased frequency of obstetric complications that was closely associated with raised hCG levels. The study also raises questions about the accuracy of the Down syndrome probability equation in the presence of extremely high levels of hCG where data on the frequency of Down syndrome is severely limited.

[1] hCG = human chorionic gonadotropin

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