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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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October 2023
Yaniv Steinfeld MD, Omri Besor MD, Yaniv Yonai MD, Yaron Berkovich MD, Elad Apt MD, Nadav Rinott , Yaniv Keren MD

Background: Websites serve as a source of medical information for a large part of the public, some claim to be a substitute for a physician’s consultation. Many patients meet a physician after conducting internet research. Medical staff are concerned that internet sources of information are unreliable and may lead to erroneous decisions by patients.

Objectives: To examine the reliability of web-based sources of information (through the Google™ search engine) regarding five common orthopedic complaints and injuries.

Method: We performed a search of five common orthopedic complaints and injuries using the Google search engine. The reliability of web-based information was measured by the DISCERN tool, which is a valid and verified tool for examining the reliability of medical information sources to the public. The reliability of 47 websites was examined by two orthopedic surgeons and two senior residents.

Results: The overall average score given to the sites was 2.8, on a scale of 1 to 5. We found that the higher the site appeared in the search results, the higher the quality of its information. Commercial sites scored higher than general internet information sources.

Conclusions: The internet network is a very broad source of information. For those who lack scientific education and training it is not easy to distinguish between reliable and unreliable or biased sources. The trend of searching for medical information and self-healing is increasing. We must strengthen the network with reliable sources by creating official scientific position papers by medical teams and promoting them online.

July 2023
Yaron Niv MD AGAF FACG, Michael Kuniavsky RN PhD, Olga Bronshtein RN MSc, Nethanel Goldschmidt MSc, Shuli Hanhart MSc, Alexander Konson RN PhD, Hannah Mahalla BSc

Background: Up to half the patients diagnosed with acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presented with gastrointestinal symptoms. Gastric mucosal cells, enterocytes, and colonocytes express the viral entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and coreceptor transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and are prone to infection. Direct infection of gastrointestinal epithelial cells has been demonstrated. COVID-19 disease was first diagnosed in Israel at the end of February 2020 with 842,536 confirmed cases and 6428 deaths by the end of June 2021. In our multicenter, retrospective cohort study, we looked for gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in two periods and correlated them with mortality. Period 1 included the first and second waves and the original virus. Period 2 represented the third wave and the alpha variant.

Objectives: To reveal gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in two periods and correlate them with mortality.

Methods: From 22,302 patients hospitalized in general medical centers, we randomly selected 3582 from Period 1 and 1106 from Period 2. The study was performed before vaccinations were available.

Results: Gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and taste/smell loss were significantly more prevalent during Period 1. Thirty-day mortality and in-hospital mortality were significantly higher in Period 2 than in Period 1, 25.20% vs. 13.68%, and 21.17% vs. 12.87%, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Thirty-day mortality and in-hospital mortality rates were 1.84 and 1.64 times higher from 6 November 2020 to 15 January 2021, the alpha variant, and in negative correlation with gastrointestinal symptoms.

April 2023
Lena Busch PhD, Carsten Schriek MD, Matthias Paul MD FESC FHFA, Harald Heidecke PhD

Background: Myalgic encephalomyelits/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is an acquired disease with symptoms of fatigue and pain. In pathogenesis, the induction of autoantibodies (AAB) against G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), such as β-adrenergic receptors (β-AdR), has been suspected. GPCR-AAB correlate with symptom severity and autonomic dysfunction in ME/CFS.

Objectives: To describe symptoms and treatment of a patient presenting with infection-triggered ME/CFS demonstrating that levels of β-AdR-AAB underlie modulation over time, correlating with the severity of symptoms.

Methods: At T1 and T2, GPCR-AAB were measured and questionnaires assessing symptom severity were completed. TSHDS-IgM-AAB were tested, and SF density was analyzed via skin probe.

Results: At T2, elevated levels of β-AdR-AAB were found, corresponding with an aggravation of fatigue and pain symptoms. Elevated TSHDS-IgM-AAB were found, which corresponded with reduced fiber density from the skin probe.

Conclusions: The levels of β-AdR-AAB in post-infectious ME/CFS can be modulated. Future studies might target interventions to reduce these AAB.

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.

April 2021
Berko Sikirov MD, Bernard Werner MD, Oren Kaufman MD, Anton Steinberg MD, Victor Gershuni MD, Fredrich Maizlin MD, Yitzhak Yochilis MD, Eliahu Soleiman MD, Bruno Ostfeld MD, Gideon Shapira MD, and Michail Chester MD
December 2020
Oren Elyah MD and Sumit Chatterji MD FRCP

Background: Our 1600-bed teaching hospital opened the first physician-led specialist pleural service in Israel in November 2016. Thoracentesis is one of the frequently performed procedures in clinic.

Objectives: To review the incidence of thoracentesis-related symptoms, complications, and risk factors in a specialist pleural clinic.

Methods: Prospective analysis was conducted of 658 ultrasound-assisted thoracenteses between November 2016 and November 2019. Data were collected on patient demographics, clinical characteristics, procedural aspects, symptoms, complications, and additional interventions required.

Results: Of the procedures, 24% were accompanied by a reported symptom of any intensity or duration. Cough and chest discomfort were noted in 56.4% and 52% of these cases, respectively. Large-volume drainage was associated with symptoms (P = 0.002). Ultrasound-estimated effusion volume before drainage predicted pain (P = 0.001) and pneumothorax (P = 0.021). Of 8 cases of pneumothorax, 6 were due to non-expandable lung. Two patients were hospitalized (0.3%), and one required a chest drain.

Conclusions: Symptoms are a common feature of thoracentesis even when performed by experienced operators in ideal settings. Complications, however, are rare when the procedure is performed with bedside ultrasound and attention is paid to patient-reported symptoms and volume drained. Specialist pleural clinics provide a good model for a standardized approach to safe performance of this common procedure.

July 2019
Yarden Yavne MD, Anas Kabaha MD, Tsufit Rosen NDSF, Irit Avisar RN LLB MHA, Hedi Orbach MD, Daniela Amital MD MHA and Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of unknown etiology that is characterized by widespread pain, which severely impairs quality of life. Several forms of occupational and alternative therapy have demonstrated beneficial effects in fibromyalgia patients.

Objective: To assess the effects of participation in a floral design course on physical and psychiatric symptoms in a cohort of fibromyalgia patients.

Methods: This study was conducted as an observational study. Women diagnosed with fibromyalgia over the age of 18 were recruited to participate in one of two 12-week flower design (floristry) courses. Demographic details, disease activity indices, and anxiety and depression scores were calculated for all participants at baseline, week 12, and study completion. Physical and mental health of the two groups were compared throughout the study time-points.

Results: The study was completed by 61 female fibromyalgia patients who were included in the final analyses; 31 patients participated in the first floristry course and 30 in the second. Significant improvements in the 36-Item Short Form Survey physical and mental health components, visual analog scale, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores for the entire study population and for each group separately could be seen following participation in each floristry course.

Conclusions: Participation in a floristry course may lead to a significant improvement in pain and psychiatric symptoms in fibromyalgia patients. These findings highlight the potential benefit of utilizing occupational therapy programs, such as a floristry course, for improving quality of life in fibromyalgia.

June 2018
J.F. de Carvalho, F.A.G. da Rocha Araújo, L.M.A. da Mota, R.B. Aires and R.P. de Araujo

Background: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency have been reported in fibromyalgia. However, to the best of our knowledge, only one study has evaluated the role of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] supplementation on fibromyalgia symptoms.

Objectives: To analyze the effects of 3 months of 25(OH)D supplementation on symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Methods: This study included 11 female patient. Demographic and clinical data, tender points, visual analog scale results, and pre- and post-serum levels of 25(OH)D supplementation were analyzed. The levels of 25(OH)D were measured by a radioimmunologic test.

Results: Patients with fibromyalgia diagnosis and 25(OH)D values ≤ 30 ng/ml were recruited to receive 50,000 IU of oral vitamin D once every week for 3 months. The disease was diagnosed based on the American College of Rheumatology criteria. The median age of all patients was 48.5 (28–67) years and 63.4% were Caucasian. Disease duration varied from 1–10 years. The 25(OH)D levels increased significantly after 3 months, 18.4 (15.5–25.8) ng/ml vs. 33.8 (28–58) ng/ml, P = 0.01. Interestingly, an improvement of visual analog scale scores was observed at 3 months, 90 (0–100) vs. 30 (0–80), P = 0.002. Eight patients (72.2%) responded that they experienced a very significant improvement in symptoms. In addition, a trend for reduction of the number of tender points was observed after 3 months, 17 (11–18) vs. 10 (0–18), P = 0.07.

Conclusions: The 25(OH)D levels and disease symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia and vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency seem to improve with vitamin D supplementation.

January 2018
Jaber Mustafa MD, Ilan Asher MD and Zev Sthoeger MD

Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT) is defined as thrombosis of the deep venous system (subclavian, axillary, brachial, ulnar, and radial veins), which drains the upper extremities. It can be caused by thoracic outlet anatomic obstruction, such as Paget–Schroetter syndrome, (primary) or by central intravenous catheters (secondary). UEDVT may be asymptomatic or present with acute severe pain and arm swelling. Clinical suspicion should be confirmed by diagnostic imaging procedures such as duplex ultrasound, computed tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging. UEDVT is managed by anticoagulant treatment. In addition to that, early thrombolysis aimed at preventing post-deep vein thrombosis syndrome and thoracic outlet decompression surgery should be given to patients with primary UEDVT. Anticoagulation without thrombolysis is the treatment of choice for patients with catheter-related thrombosis. Mandatory functioning catheters can remain in place with anticoagulant treatment. All other catheters should be immediately removed. The management of patients with UEDVT requires an experience multidisciplinary team comprised of internists, radiologists, hematologists, and vascular surgeons. Understanding the risk factors for the development of UEDVT, the diagnostic procedures, and the treatment modalities will improve the outcome of those patients.

December 2014
Vera Stejskal PhD
Background: The multiple symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia resemble those described in patients suffering from autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). It has been suggested that chronic metal-induced inflammation might play a role both in CFS and fibromyalgia as well as in ASIA. Humans are exposed to metals mainly through the release of metal ions from corroding dental restorations and orthopedic implants, food, vaccines and jewelry. Metals readily bind to sulphur and other groups in the mitochondria, enzymes and cell proteins. Metal-bound proteins are recognized by the immune system of susceptible subjects and might trigger an abnormal immune response, including allergy and autoimmunity.

Objectives:  To study three subjects with CFS and two with fibromyalgia, all of whom suspected metal exposure as a trigger for their ill health.

Methods: We measured delayed-type hypersensitivity to metals (metal allergy) using a validated lymphocyte transformation test, LTT-MELISA®. All patients except one were sensitized to metals present in their dental restorations. The remaining patient reacted to metals in his skull implant. The removal of sensitizing metals resulted in long-term health improvement. Nine healthy controls matched for gender and age showed only marginal reactivity to the metals tested.

Conclusions: Patients with CFS and fibromyalgia are frequently sensitized to metals found in the environment or used in dentistry and surgery. This allergy to metals might initiate or aggravate non-specific symptoms in metal-sensitized patients.
June 2013
O. Ben-Ishay, E. Brauner, Z. Peled, A. Othman, B. Person and Y. Kluger
 Background: Colon cancer is common, affecting mostly older people. Since age is a risk factor, young patients might not be awarded the same attention as older ones regarding symptoms that could imply the presence of colon cancer.

Objectives: To investigate whether young patients, i.e., under age 50, complain of symptoms for longer than older patients until the diagnosis of colon cancer is established.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, patients were divided into two groups: < 50 years old (group 1) and ≥ 50 (group 2). All had undergone surgery for left or right colon cancer during the 1 year period January 2000 through December 2009 at one medical center. Rectal and sigmoid cancers were excluded. Data collected included age, gender, quantity and quality of complaints, duration of complaints, in-hospital versus community diagnosis, pathological staging, the side of colon involved, and overall mortality. The main aim was the quality and duration of complaints. Secondary outcomes were the pathological stage at presentation and the mortality rate.

Results: The study group comprised 236 patients: 31 (13.1%) were < 50 years old and 205 (86.9%) were ≥ 50 years. No significant difference was found in the quantity and quality of complaints between the two groups. Patients in group 1 (< 50 years) complained for a longer period, 5.3 vs. 2.4 months (P = 0.002). More younger patients were diagnosed with stage IV disease (38.7% vs. 21.5%, P = 0.035) and fewer had stage I disease (3.2% vs. 15.6%, P = 0.06); the mortality rates were similar (41.9% vs. 39%). Applying a stepwise logistic regression model, the duration of complaints was found to be an independent predictor of mortality (P = 0.03, OR 1.6, 95% CI 1–3.6), independently of age (P = 0.003) and stage (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Younger patients are more often diagnosed with colon cancer later, at a more advanced stage. Alertness to patients’ complaints, together with evaluation regardless of age but according to symptoms and clinical presentation are crucial. Large-scale population-based studies are needed to confirm this trend. 

E.D. Amster, S.S. Fertig, U. Baharal, S. Linn, M.S. Green, Z. Lencovsky and R.S. Carel
 Background: From 2 to 5 December 2010, Israel experienced the most severe forest fire in its history, resulting in the deaths of 44 rescue workers. Little research exists on the health risks to emergency responders during forest fires, and there is no published research to date on occupational health among firefighters in Israel.

Objectives: To describe the exposures experienced by emergency responders to smoke, fire retardants and stress; the utilization of protective equipment; and the frequency of corresponding symptoms during and following the Carmel Forest fire.

Methods: A cohort of 204 firefighters and 68 police who took part in rescue and fire-abating activities during the Carmel Forest fire were recruited from a representative sample of participating stations throughout the country and interviewed regarding their activities during the fire and their coinciding symptoms. Unpaired two-sample t-test compared mean exposures and symptom frequency for firefighters and police. Chi-square estimates of OR and 95% CI are provided for odds of reporting symptoms, incurring injury or being hospitalized for various risk factors.

Results: Of the study participants, 87% reported having at least one symptom during rescue work at the Carmel Forest fire, with eye irritation (77%) and fatigue (71%) being the most common. Occupational stress was extremely high during the fire; the average length of time working without rest was 18.4 hours among firefighters.

Conclusions: Firefighters and police were exposed to smoke and occupational stress for prolonged periods during the fire. Further research is needed on the residual health effects from exposure to forest fires among emergency responders, and to identify areas for improvement in health preparedness.  

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