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March 2021
David Zahler MD, Ilan Merdler MD, Keren-Lee Rozenfeld MD, Gil Shenberg MD, Assi Milwidsky MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Shmuel Banai MD, Yaron Arbel MD, and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) was shown to be associated with an increased risk for new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) in ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI); however, the optimal time frame to measure CRP for risk stratification is not known.

Objectives: To evaluate the relation between the change in CRP over time (CRP velocity [CRPv]) and new-onset AF among STEMI patients treated with primary PCI.

Methods: We included 801 STEMI patients who underwent PCI between 2007 and 2017 and had their CRP measured with a wide range assay (wr-CRP) at least twice during the 24 hours after admission. CRPv was defined as the change in wr-CRP concentration (mg/l) divided by the change in time (in hours) between the two measurements. Patient medical records were reviewed for occurrence of new-onset AF.

Results: New onset AF occurred in 45 patients (6%). Patients with new onset AF had significantly higher median CRPv (1.27 vs. 0.43 mg/l/h, P = 0.002). New-onset AF during hospitalization occurred in 3.4%, 4.5 %, and 9.1% of patients in the first, second and third CRPv tertiles, respectively (P for trend = 0.006). In a multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for clinical variables the odds ratios for new onset AF was 1.93 (95% confidence interval 1.0–3.59, P = 0.04) for patients in the third CRPv tertile.

Conclusion: CRPv might be an independent and rapidly measurable biomarker for new-onset AF following primary PCI in STEMI patients.

June 2020
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Mustafa Gabarin MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Sivan Letourneau MD, David Zahler MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD, Yishay Szekely MD, Shmuel Banai MD and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for primary reperfusion in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has largely been superseded byf primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and is estimated to be performed in ≤ 5% of STEMI cases.

Objectives: To compare early CABG (within 30 days following admission) and primary PCI outcomes following STEMI.

Methods: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized with acute STEMI for early reperfusion therapy between January 2008 and June 2016. Short- and long-term outcomes were assessed for patients with STEMI undergoing primary PCI vs. early CABG as reperfusion therapy.

Results: The study comprised 1660 STEMI patients, 38 of whom (2.3%) underwent CABG within 30 days of presentation. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was more than twice as high in the CABG group (7.5%) than in the PCI group (3.3%); however, it did not reach statistical significance. Similar results were demonstrated for mortality rates beyond 30 days (22% vs. 14%, P = 0.463). All patients undergoing CABG beyond 72 hours following admission survived past 2 years. Multivariate analysis found no differences between the two groups in long-term mortality risk. propensity score matched long-term mortality comparison (30 days–2 years) yielded a 22% mortality rate in the CABG groups compared with 14% in the PCI group (P < 0.293).

Conclusion: Early CABG was performed in only a minority of STEMI patients. This high-risk patient population demonstrated worse outcomes compared to patients undergoing PCI. Performing surgery beyond 72 hours following admission may be associated with lower risk.

August 2012
A. Shturman, A. Bickel and S. Atar

Background: The prognostic value of P-wave duration has been previously evaluated by signal-averaged ECG (SAECG) in patients with various arrhythmias not associated with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Objectives: To investigate the clinical correlates and prognostic value of P-wave duration in patients with ST elevation AMI (STEMI).

Methods: The patients (n=89) were evaluated on the first, second and third day after admission, as well as one week and one month post-AMI. Survival was determined 2 years after the index STEMI.

Results: In comparison with the upper normal range of P-wave duration (< 120 msec), the P-wave duration in STEMI patients was significantly increased on the first day (135.31 ¡À 29.29 msec, P < 0.001), up to day 7 (127.17 ¡À 30.02 msec, P = 0.0455). The most prominent differences were observed in patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ¡Ü 40% (155.47 ¡À 33.8 msec), compared to LVEF > 40% (128.79 ¡À 28 msec) (P = 0.001). P-wave duration above 120 msec was significantly correlated with increased complication rate namely, sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmia (36%), congestive heart failure (41%), atrial fibrillation (11%), recurrent angina (14%), and re-infarction (8%) (P = 0.012, odds ratio 4.267, 95% confidence interval 1.37¨C13.32). P-wave duration of 126 msec on the day of admission was found to have the highest predictive value for in-hospital complications including LVEF < 40% (area under the curve 0.741, P < 0.001).  However, we did not find a significant correlation between P-wave duration and mortality after multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: P-wave duration as evaluated by SAECG correlates negatively with LVEF post- STEMI, and P-wave duration above 126 msec can be utilized as a non-invasive predictor of in-hospital complications and low LVEF following STEMI.

April 2011
A. Lubovich, H. Hamood, S. Behar and U. Rosenschein

Background: Rapid reperfusion of an infarct-related artery is crucial for the successful treatment of ST elevation myocardial infarction. Every effort should be made to shorten door-to-balloon time.

Objectives: To investigate whether bypassing the emergency room (ER) has a positive influence on door-to-balloon time in patients presenting with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and whether the reduction in door-to-balloon time improves patients’ clinical outcome.

Methods: We analyzed data of 776 patients with STEMI[1] from the 2004 and the 2006 Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Survey (ACSIS) registry. The ACSIS[2] is a biennial survey on acute myocardial infarction performed in all 25 intensive cardiac care units in Israel during a 2-month period. Twenty-five percent of patients (193 of 776) arrived directly to the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) and 75% (583 of 776) were assessed first in the ER[3]. We compared door-to-balloon time, ejection fraction, 30 days MACE (major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events) and 30 days mortality in the two study groups.

Results: There was significantly shorter door-to-balloon time in the direct ICCU group as compared with the ER group (45 vs. 79 minutes, P < 0.002). Patients in the direct ICCU group were more likely to have door-to-balloon time of less than 90 minutes in accordance with ACC/AHA guidelines (88.7% vs. 59.2%, P < 0.0001). Moreover, patients in the direct ICCU group were less likely to have left ventricular ejection fraction < 30% (5.4% vs. 12.2%, P = 0.045) and less likely to have symptoms of overt congestive heart failure. Lastly, 30 days MACE[4] was significantly lower in the direct ICCU group (22 vs. 30%, P < 0.004).

Conclusions: There is significant reduction of the door-to-balloon time in the direct ICCU admission strategy. This reduction translates into improvement in clinical outcome of patients. It is reasonable to apply the direct ICCU strategy to patients with STEMI.






[1] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction



[2] ACSIS = Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Survey



[3] ER = emergency room



[4] MACE = major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events


April 2007
N. Uriel,G. Moravsky, A. Blatt, A. Tourovski, Z. Gabara, I. Yofik, V. Danicek, A. Hendler, R. Braunstein, R. Krakover, Z. Vered and E. Kaluski

Background: Spontaneous coronary reperfusion occurs in 7–27% of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction, and is an independent predictor of myocardial salvage, percutaneous coronary intervention success, and improved outcome.

Objectives: To determine the optimal PCI[1] time for patients admitted to the hospital due to STEMI[2] with SCR[3].

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients admitted to the coronary care unit between July 2002 and November 2004 with a diagnosis of STEMI with SCR.

Results: The study group comprised 86 patients. There was not a single reinfarction episode during an observation period of 6579 patient hours. Cardiac catheterization was executed early (< 24 hours from pain onset) in 26 patients and late (> 24 hours) in 55. Pre-PCI angiographic TIMI flow 2–3 was seen in > 95% in both groups. PCI was performed more frequently in the “early” group (P = 0.024), while multi-vessel coronary artery disease (P = 0.094) requiring coronary bypass surgery (P = 0.056) was observed more frequently in the “late catheterization” group. Myocardial infarction and angina pectoris at 30 days occurred more frequently in the early catheterization group (P = 0.039), however no difference in any major adverse cardiac events was detected during long-term follow-up (491 ± 245 days).

Conclusions: Reinfarction after STEMI with SCR is a rare event. Early PCI in patients with STEMI and SCR, even when executed with aggressive anti-platelet therapy, seems to result in an excess of early MACE, without any long-term advantage. Prospective randomized trials should determine the optimal PCI timing for these patients.








[1] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

[2] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction

[3] SCR = spontaneous coronary reperfusion


December 2003
A. Wolak, H. Gilutz, G. Amit, C. Cafri, R. Ilia and D. Zahger

Background: Reperfusion practices have changed markedly over the last few years with the introduction of primary percutaneous coronary intervention. This technique has gained growing popularity in Israel, but little published data are available regarding the delays to primary PCI[1] in real life in this country.

Objectives: To examine temporal trends in time to reperfusion achieved in a large tertiary center over 6 years.

Results: Between 1997 and 2002, 1,031 patients were admitted to our hospital with ST elevation myocardial infarction. Of these, 62% underwent thrombolysis and 38% primary PCI. The proportion of patients referred for primary PCI increased steadily, from 14% in 1997 to 68% in 2002. Door to treatment time among patients referred for thrombolysis or primary PCI was 54 ± 42 and 117 ± 77 minutes, respectively (P < 0.00001). The door to needle time in patients given thrombolysis remained virtually unchanged during the study period at around 54 minutes. In contrast, the door to balloon time has progressively and substantially decreased, from 175 ± 164 minutes in 1997 to 96 ± 52 minutes in 2002.

Conclusions: There is a steady increase in the proportion of patients referred for primary PCI than for thrombolysis. The door to needle delay in patients given thrombolysis substantially exceeds the recommended time. The door to balloon time has declined considerably but still slightly exceeds the recommended time. Given the inherent delay between initiation of lysis and arterial recanalization, it appears from our experience that PCI does not substantially delay arterial reperfusion as compared to thrombolysis. Efforts should continue to minimize delays to reperfusion therapy.






[1] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention


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