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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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June 2024
Ehud Jacobzon MD, Avital Lifschitz RN, Danny Fink MD, Tal Hasin MD

Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are a staple element in contemporary treatment of advanced heart failure. LVAD surgeries are mostly done in heart transplantations centers, as a destination therapy or as a bridge to heart transplantation.

Objectives: To describe our step-by-step experience in establishing and implementing a new LVAD program in a non-heart transplant center. To give insight to our short- and long-term results of our first 25 LVAD patients.

Methods: Preliminary steps included identifying the need for a new program and establishing the leading team. Next is defining protocols for pre-operative evaluation, operating room, post-operative management, and outpatient follow-up. The leading team needs to educate other relevant units in the hospital that will be involved in the care of these patients. It is essential to work in collaboration with a heart transplant center from the very beginning. Patient selection is of major importance especially in the early experience. Initially “low risk” patients should be enrolled.

Results: We describe our first 25 LVAD patients. Our first five patients all survived beyond 2 years, with no major complications. Overall, there was one operative death due to massive GI bleeding. There were four late deaths due to septic events.

Conclusions: Establishing a new LVAD program can be successful also with small- and medium-size programs. With careful and meticulous planning LVAD implantation can be extended to more centers thus offering an excellent solution for advanced heart failure patients.

December 2023
Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

June 2023
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Tomer Kaplan BEMS MPH, Tammy Fink RN, Kyrill Grozovsky RN, Refael Strugo MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD

Background: A limited program for kidney donation from uncontrolled donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (uDCDD) was implemented at four hospitals in Israel in close cooperation with Magen David Adom (MDA), the national emergency medical service.

Objectives: To assess the outcome of transplantations performed between January 2017 and June 2022.

Methods: Donor data included age, sex, and cause of death. Recipient data included age, sex, and yearly serum creatinine levels. A retrospective study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases treated by MDA during 2021 were analyzed to assess their compatibility as potential uDCDD donors.

Results: In total, 49 potential donors were referred to hospitals by MDA. Consent was obtained in 40 cases (83%), organ retrieval was performed in 28 cases, and 40 kidneys were transplanted from 21 donors (75% retrieval rate). At 1-year follow-up, 36 recipients had a functioning graft (4 returned to dialysis) and mean serum creatinine 1.59 ± 0.92 mg% (90% graft survival). Outcome after transplantation showed serum creatinine levels (mg%) at 2 years 1.41 ± 0.83, n=26; 3 years 1.48 ± 0.99, n=16; 4 years 1.07 ± 1.06, n=7; and 5 years 1.12 ± 0.31, n=5. One patient died of multiple myeloma at 3 years. The MDA audit revealed an unutilized pool of 125 potential cases, 90 of whom were transported to hospitals and 35 were declared dead at the scene.

Conclusions: Transplant outcomes were encouraging, suggesting that more intensive implementation of the program may increase the number of kidneys transplanted, thus shortening recipient waiting lists.

March 2023
Dorit Shitenberg MD, Barak Pertzov MD, Moshe Heching MD, Yael Shostak MD, Osnat Shtraichman MD, Dror Rosengarten MD, Moshe Yeshurun MD, Yury Peysakhovich MD, Yaron Barac MD, Mordechai R. Kramer MD

Background: Late-onset pulmonary complications can occur following hematological stem cell transplantation (HSCT). In allogeneic HSCT these complications are often associated with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Lung transplantation (LTx) often remains the only viable therapeutic option in these patients.

Objectives: To describe our experience with LTx due to GVHD after HSCT and to compare the long-term survival of this group of patients to the overall survival of our cohort of LTx recipients for other indications.

Methods: We retrospectively retrieved all data on patients who had undergone LTx for end-stage lung disease as a sequela of allogeneic HSCT, between 1997 and 2021, at Rabin Medical Center in Israel.

Results: A total of 15 of 850 patients (1.7%) from our cohort of LTx recipients fulfilled the criteria of LTx as a sequela of late pulmonary complication after allogeneic HSCT. The median age at the time of HSCT was 33 years (median 15–53, range 3–60). The median time between HSCT and first signs of chronic pulmonary GVHD was 24 months (interquartile range [IQR] 12–80). The median time from HSCT to LTx was 96 months (IQR 63–120). Multivariate analysis showed that patients transplanted due to GVHD had similar survival compared to patients who were transplanted for other indications.

Conclusions: LTx for GVHD after allogeneic HSCT constitutes an important treatment strategy. The overall survival appears to be comparable to patients after LTx for other indications.

February 2023
Milton Saute MD, Ehud Raanani MD, Amir On MD, Ran Kramer MD, Liran Levy MD

Twenty years after being closed due to unfavorable results, a new lung transplant program was started at the Sheba Medical Center. The new team included an experienced lung transplant surgeon, an anesthesiologist, an intensive care specialist, and a pulmonologist with extensive experience in the field.

January 2023
Itai Kalisky MD, Yaakov Maor MD, Lilach Goldstein MD, Yael Inbar MD, Ziv Ben-Ari MD

Background: Acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD) is a neurologic complication of severe chronic liver disease (CLD) with portosystemic shunts. The proposed etiology is manganese accumulation in the brain tissue, especially in the basal ganglia. Combination of clinical manifestation, mostly extrapyramidal movement disorders, and hyperintensities on T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is diagnostic. Although liver transplantation controversial, it is suggested for AHD.

Objectives: To depict clinical and neuroimaging characteristics and response to treatments in patients diagnosed with AHD at Sheba Medical Center.

Methods: Review of patients with AHD diagnosis at the Liver Diseases Center at Sheba Medical Center between 2012 and 2017, data of clinical and neuroimaging, follow-up, and response to treatments, including liver transplantation were recorded.

Results: Five patients with diagnosis of AHD were identified, median age at diagnosis 55 years (range 45–64 years). Four patients had cirrhosis at the time of AHD diagnosis. The main risk factor for AHD was the presence of portosystemic shunts. The most prevalent clinical manifestations were movement disorders, specifically a combination of extrapyramidal and cerebellar signs including instability, rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, and cognitive impairment. Brain MRI revealed hyperintensities on T1-weighted images in the basal ganglia in all patients. Administration of antiparkinsonian drugs showed clinical improvement, whereas liver transplantation performed in two patients was not associated to neurological improvement.

Conclusions: AHD is related to portosystemic shunts. The combination of Parkinsonism and cerebellar signs and MRI pallidal lesions should alert physicians to the diagnosis. The role of liver transplantation in AHD is still controversial.

November 2022
Ela Giladi MD, Adi Rotkopf MD, Avishay Elis MD

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is frequently associated with clinical manifestations of autoimmune disorders (AD) and inflammatory responses of the immune system. The biological linkage between MDS clones and the occurrence of autoimmune manifestations is mirrored by the response of the latter to MDS modifying therapeutic approaches [1]. We encountered a rare case of MDS coexisting with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), which was effectively treated with a hypomethylating agent followed by allogenic bone marrow transplantation.

August 2022
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Eyal Katvan PhD LLM LLB, and Tamar Ashkenazi PhD RN

Background: Changes accommodating requirements of religious authorities in Israel resulted in the Brain and Respiratory Death Determination Law (BRDDL), which came into effect in 2009. These included considering patient wishes regarding the brain respiratory death determination (BRDD), mandatory performance of apnea and ancillary testing, establishment of an accreditation committee, and accreditation required for physicians performing BRDD.

Objectives: To assess the impact of the legislation from 2010–2019.

Methods: Data collected included the number of formal BRDDs and accredited physicians. Obstacles to declaring brain death and interventions applied were identified.

Results: Obstacles included lack of trained physicians to perform BRDD and interpret ancillary test results, inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing, and non-approach to next-of-kin objecting to BRDD. Interventions included physician training courses, additional ancillary test options, and legal interpretation of patient wishes for non-determination of BRD. As a result, the number of non-determinations related to next-of-kin objecting decreased (26 in 2010 to 5 in 2019), inability to perform apnea or ancillary testing decreased (33 in 2010 to 2 in 2019), and number of physicians receiving accreditation increased (210 in 2010 to 456 in 2019). Last, the consent rate for organ donation increased from 49% to 60% in 2019.

Conclusions: The initial decrease in BRDDs has reversed, thus enabling more approaches for organ donation. The increased consent rate may reflect in part the support of the rabbinate and confidence of the general public that BRDD is performed and monitored according to strict criteria.

April 2022
Noa Gal MD, Elena Didkovsky MD, Emmilia Hodak MD, and Batya B Davidovici MD

Background: Solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) are at increased risk for both skin and internal malignancies (IM). The risk of IM after the occurrence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) has been studied in the general population but very little is known about this association in SOTRs.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk of IM following a prior diagnosis of post transplantation NMSC in SOTRs.

Methods: This single center retrospective cohort study included a study population of 329 SOTRs from Rabin Medical Center who had a post-transplant diagnosis of skin malignancy, internal malignancy, or both from 2012 to 2018.

Results: In total, 135 (41.03%) SOTRs were diagnosed with IM without a preceding diagnosis of NMSC while only 42 (12.76%) patients diagnosed with IM had a preceding diagnosis of NMSC. SOTRs with a diagnosis of NMSC showed a significantly decreased risk of developing subsequent IM (hazard ratio [HR] 0.64, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.44–0.94, P = 0.02) compared to those without a prior NMSC diagnosis. Liver and lung transplant patients showed a significantly decreased risk of developing subsequent IM after a diagnosis of NMSC (HR 0.09 and 0.43, respectively). When stratified by type of IM, only patients who were diagnosed with a hematological malignancy had a significantly lower risk of developing this malignancy if they had a prior NMSC (HR 0.26).

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest a protective effect of NMSC on subsequent IM in the organ transplant population.

February 2021
December 2020
Moshe Shai Amor, Dror Rosengarten, Dorit Shitenberg, Barak Pertzov, Yael Shostak, and Mordechai Reuven Kramer

Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has poor prognosis. Anti-fibrotic treatment has been shown to slow disease progression. Lung transplantation (LTx) offers a survival benefit. The 5-year survival after LTx in IPF is between 40 and 50%

Objectives: To evaluate which IPF patients have better prognosis following LTx.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted with all IPF patients who had undergone LTx in the Rabin Medical Center between 2010 and 2018. We collected data on pre-evaluation of pulmonary function tests, echocardiographic and right heart catherization, and anti-fibrotic treatments. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis.

Results: Among148 patients who underwent LTx, 58 were double LTx (DLT) and 90 single LTx (SLT). Mean age was 58.07 ± 9.78 years; 104 males and 44 females. DLT patients had significantly lower survival rates than SLT in the short and medium term after LTx. Patients with saturation above 80% after the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) had higher survival rates. Patients over 65 years of age had a lower survival rates. Those with pulmonary hypertension (PHT) above 30 mmHg had a poorer prognosis with lower survival rates.

Conclusions: IPF patients with higher mean PHT, older age (> 65 years), and desaturation following 6MWT had lower survival rates following LTx. DLT may decrease survival rate compared to SLT just for the short and medium period of time after LTx. These results may lead to better selection of IPF patient candidates for LTx. Additional studies are warranted for choosing which patients will have better prognosis after LTx.

October 2020
Keren Tzukert MD, Roy Abel MD, Irit Mor Yosef Levi MD, Ittamar Gork MD, Liron Yosha Orpaz MD PhD, Henny Azmanov MD, and Michal Dranitzki Elhalel MD MsC
September 2020
Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Amit Segev MD and Yael Peled MD

Background: In 2006, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation amended the guidelines for the upper age limit of heart transplantation (HTx) from 55 years to 70 years and older for carefully selected patients. However, the relation of age to outcomes following of HTx has not been well studied.

Objectives: To investigate the impact of recipient age on the occurrence of rejections, vasculopathy, and mortality after HTx.

Methods: Study population comprised all consecutive 291 patients who underwent HTx between 1991–2016 and were followed at our center. Patients were categorized by age tertiles: < 46 years (mean 31.4 ± 11.7, range 16–45, n=90), 46–57 years (mean 51.4 ± 3.2, range 46–56, n=92), and ≥ 57 years (mean 61.6 ± 3.4, range 57–73, n=109).

Results: Patients aged ≥ 57 years were more often males and had more pre-HTx co-morbidities including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and history of smoking (P < 0.05) compared to the younger age groups. Kaplan-Meier analysis by age tertiles showed the rates of major rejections and vasculopathy at 15 years were similar among the three age groups. Mortality rates at 15 years were directly related to the age groups (39%, 52%, 62% log-rank, P = 0.01). However, the association between age and mortality was no longer statistically significant after multivariate analysis (hazard ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.03).

Conclusions: In a contemporary cohort of patients undergoing HTx, recipient age does not significantly impact the risk of major rejections, vasculopathy, and long-term mortality.

 

 

May 2020
Yael Peled MD, Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, and Zohar Dotan MD

Background: Heart transplantation (HT) success rate is limited by a high incidence of cancer post-HT. Data on kidney cancer following solid organ transplantation, especially HT, are limited, and only a few cases have been reported.

Objectives: To report a unique case series of detected kidney cancer following HT.

Methods: Between 1997 and 2018, 265 patients who underwent HT were enrolled and prospectively followed in the HT registry of the Sheba Medical Center.

Results: The series included 5 patients, 4 men and a woman (age range 35–50 years at HT). The patients were diagnosed with kidney tumors 6–11 years after HT (age range at diagnosis 40–72 years). Two of the men were identical twin brothers. At HT four patients received induction therapy with anti-thymocyte globulin and all received an initial immunosuppressive regimen based on cyclosporine. All male HT recipients had a history of heavy smoking. Two male patients developed allograft vasculopathy, but all had preserved heart function. The 72-year-old woman developed a kidney tumor of the native kidney 5 years after re-HT and kidney transplantation. Two patients had features of multifocal papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and eventually underwent bilateral nephrectomy, while another patient underwent left partial nephrectomy with preserved renal function.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case series study describing kidney tumors following HT. With the improving outcomes and life expectancy of HT patients, a better understanding of the factors that determine cancer risk is of the utmost importance and may have a major impact on the non-cardiac surveillance.

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