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עמוד בית
Sun, 21.04.24

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November 2020
Elias Toubi MD and Zahava Vadasz MD PhD

Innate and adaptive immune response dysregulations are equally involved in the induction of autoimmunity. Toll-like receptors play a leading role in the activation of innate immune cells, thus priming auto-reactive T cells. Th17 cells and related cytokines are widely involved in many immune-mediated diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, the recent introduction of anti-IL-17  therapies should be further evaluated. Janus kinase inhibitors and Fc receptor-targeting drugs are some of the new therapeutic strategies that are being implemented when old classical therapies lack sufficient beneficial outcomes

April 2019
Lazaros I. Sakkas MD PhD, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos MD PhD, Dimitrios Boumpas MD, Zisis Mamouris PhD, Athanasios Gkoutzourelas MD, Athanasios Mavropoulos PhD, Zisis Tsouris PhD, Stamatis-Nickοlaos Liossis MD, Dimitrios Daoussis MD, Dimitrios Vasilopoulos MD, Maria Tektonidou MD, Athanasios Tzioufas MD, George Efthymiou BSc, Efthymios Dardiotis MD, George Kitas MD PhD, Κassem Sharif MD, Miri Blank MD, Dimitrios Karussis MD, Doron Rimar MD, Gleb Slobodin MD, Bat-Sheva Porat-Katz MD, Zahava Vadasz MD PhD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Elias Toubi MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
April 2018
Elias Toubi MD, Shmuel Kivity MD, Yael Graif MD, Avner Reshef MD, Jaco Botha MSc, Irmgard Andresen MD, for the IOS Study Group

Background: Management of patients with hereditary angioedema with C1-inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is evolving worldwide. Evaluating the Israeli experience may provide valuable insights.

Objectives: To compare demographics and icatibant treatment patterns and outcomes in patients with C1-INH-HAE enrolled in the Icatibant Outcome Survey (IOS) in Israel with those in other countries.

Methods: The IOS is an ongoing observational study that prospectively monitors real-world icatibant safety/tolerability and treatment outcomes.

Results: By July 2016, 58 patients from Israel and 594 patients from other countries were enrolled. Median age at diagnosis (16.7 vs. 21.3 years, P = 0.036) and median delay between symptom onset and diagnosis (0.8 vs. 6.6 years, P = 0.025) were lower in Israel compared with other countries, respectively. Differences in attack severity were not significant (P = 0.156); however, during follow-up, Israeli patients were less likely to miss > 7 days of work/school due to C1-INH-HAE-related complications (P = 0.007). A trend was also shown in Israel for earlier time to treatment (median 0.5 vs. 1.3 hours, P = 0.076), attack duration was shorter (median 5.0 vs. 9.0 hours, P = 0.026), and patients more often self-administered icatibant (97.2% vs. 87.5%, P = 0.003), respectively. However, Israeli patients were less likely to treat attacks (P = 0.036). Whereas patients in Israel reported exclusive use of danazol for long-term prophylaxis, those in other countries used various agents, including C1-INH.

Conclusions: Recognition of C1-INH-HAE and timeliness of icatibant treatment appear more favorable, and attack duration shorter, in Israel compared with other countries.

January 2017
Zev Sthoeger MD, Margalit Lorber MD, Yuval Tal MD, Elias Toubi MD, Howard Amital MD, Shaye Kivity MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Ilan Asher MD, Daniel Elbirt MD and Nancy Agmon Levin MD

Background: Anti-BLyS treatment with the human belimumab monoclonal antibody was shown to be a safe and effective therapeutic modality in lupus patients with active disease (i.e., without significant neurological/renal involvement) despite standard treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the “real-life” safety and efficacy of belimumab added to standard therapy in patents with active lupus in five Israeli medical centers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective open-labeled study of 36 lupus patients who received belimumab monthly for at least 1 year in addition to standard treatment. Laboratory tests (C3/C4, anti dsDNA autoantibodies, chemistry, urinalysis and complete blood count) were done every 3–4 months. Adverse events were obtained from patients’ medical records. Efficacy assessment by the treating physicians was defined as excellent, good/partial, or no response.

Results: The study group comprised 36 lupus patients (8 males, 28 females) with a mean age of 41.6 } 12.2 years. Belimumab was given for a mean period of 2.3 } 1.7 years (range 1–7). None of the patients discontinued belimumab due to adverse events. Four patients (11.1%) had an infection related to belimumab. Only 5 patients (13.9%) stopped taking belimumab due to lack of efficacy. The response was excellent in 25 patients (69.5%) and good/partial in the other 6 (16.6%). Concomitantly, serological response (reduction of C3/C4 and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies) was also observed. Moreover, following belimumab treatment, there was a significant reduction in the usage of corticosteroids (from 100% to 27.7%) and immunosuppressive agents (from 83.3% to 8.3%).

Conclusions: Belimumab, in addition to standard therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for active lupus patients.

August 2016
Aharon Kessel MD, Yael Graif MD, Zahava Vadasz MD, Vered Schichter-Konfino MD, Meital Almog MD, Shai Cohen MD, Valery Teplitski MD, Nili Stein MPH, Ilaria Baiardini PhD, Marcus Maurer MD and Elias Toubi MD

Background: Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common disabling disorder. The CU-Q2oL (Chronic Urticaria Quality of Life Questionnaire) is a specific questionnaire for evaluating quality of life in CU patients. It consists of 23 items divided into six quality-of-life dimensions. It was initially developed in Italy and later validated in other countries.

Objectives: To validate and adapt the CU-Q2oL to the Hebrew language in order to make it suitable for use in Israel. 

Methods: The CU-Q2oL questionnaire was translated to Hebrew. A group of 119 CU patients were asked to complete this version, in addition to the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and Urticaria Activity Score (UAS) questionnaires. A factorial analysis was performed to identify CU-Q2oL subscales, internal consistency and convergent validity assessment, as well as factors determining quality-of-life scores.

Results: The factor analysis identified six scales of the Israeli CU-Q2oL: (i) sleep and concentration, (ii) function and mental status, (iii) embarrassment and clothing limitations, (iv) itching, (v) eating behavior and medication side effects, and (vi) swelling, which accounted for 77% of the data variance. Five scales showed good internal consistency over 0.81. The mean ± SD score of CU-Q2oL in our patients with CIU was 41 ± 21.7. We found a strong positive correlation between the overall scores of CU-Q2oL and DLQI questionnaires (r = 0.8, P < 0.01). Additionally, we found a positive correlation between UAS and both CU-Q2oL and DLQI (r = 0.62, P < 0.01, and r = 0.53, P < 0.01, respectively). 

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the Israeli CU-Q2oL questionnaire is suitable for both clinical use and research in Israel.

 

December 2015
Vered Schichter-Konfino MD, Zahava Vadasz MD and Elias Toubi MD
April 2015
Vered Schichter-Konfino MD, Katalin Halasz, Galia Grushko, Ayelet Snir PhD, Tharwat Haj PhD, Zahava Vadasz MD PhD, Aharon Kessel MD, Israel Potasman MD and Elias Toubi MD

Abstract

Background: The mass influx of immigrants from tuberculosis-endemic countries into Israel was followed by a considerable increase in the incidence of tuberculosis (TB). All contacts of active TB patients are obliged to be screened by tuberculin skin tests (TST) and, if found positive, prophylactic treatment is considered.

Objectives: To assess the utility of interferon-gamma (IFNγ)-release assay with a prolonged follow-up in preventing unnecessary anti-TB therapy in individuals with suspected false positive results.

Methods: Between 2008 and 2012 the QuantiFERON TB gold-in-tube test (QFT-G) was performed in 278 sequential individuals who were mostly TST-positive and/or were in contact with an active TB patient. In all, whole blood was examined by the IFNγ-release assay. We correlated the TST diameter with the QFT-G assay and followed those patients with a negative assay.

Results: The QFT-G test was positive in only 72 (42%) of all 171 TST-positive individuals. There was no correlation between the diameter of TST and QFT-G positivity. Follow-up over 5 years was available in 128 (62%) of all QFT-G-negative individuals. All remained well and none developed active TB.

Conclusions: A negative QFT-G test may obviate the need for anti-TB therapy in more than half of those with a positive TST.

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