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עמוד בית
Sun, 03.03.24

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February 2024
Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

January 2024
Yael Dreznik MD, Maya Paran MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Efrat Avinadav MD, Dragan Kravarusic MD

Background: The management of complicated appendicitis is inconclusive. Guidelines have not been established for the use of personalized antibiotic treatment.

Objectives: To investigate specific risk factors to consider during the initial first-choice antibiotic therapy in children with complicated appendicitis.

Methods: This study included all pediatric patients younger than 18 years of age who underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy during 2012–2022 at a single tertiary medical center.

Results: In total, 300 pediatric patients underwent laparoscopic appendectomy due to complicated appendicitis. The patients were treated with ceftriaxone + metronidazole (CM). For 57 (19%) patients, the empirical treatment was changed to tazobactam/piperacillin (TP) due to resistant bacteria or clinical deterioration. The presence of generalized peritonitis during surgery and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels above 20 mg/L at admission were identified as risk factors for changing the antibiotic regimen from CM to TP.

Conclusions: Generalized peritonitis and CRP > 20 gr/L were highly correlated with changing the antibiotic regimen to TP. For such patients, initial treatment with TP may result in clinical improvement and shorter hospitalization. 

December 2023
Rotem Liran MD, Wakar Garra MD, Or Carmi MD, Yair Levy MD, Yael Einbinder MD

Higher potency bisphosphonates, typically intravenous formulations, are given at lower doses for postmenopausal women. The treatment has improved compliance compared to daily oral therapy. Since bisphosphonates are exclusively excreted via the kidneys, intravenous formulation has been associated with deterioration of renal function, specifically in the setting of preexisting renal disease or concomitant use of nephrotoxic agents [1].

November 2023
Ibrahim Osman MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Low-risk venous thromboembolism (VTE) patients are advised to be discharged from the emergency department (ED) on direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) treatment. There is no data on whether this recommendation is followed in Israel.

Objectives: To characterize newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED, their anticoagulation treatment at the ED, the recommended discharge protocol, and patient adherence.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study, which included all newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED. Collected data included demographic and clinical background; anticoagulation treatment at the ED, recommended discharge protocol and its subsequent adherence, patient subsequent, recommended hematological evaluation, and adverse events.

Results: The study group included 443 patients, 89% with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Approximately three-quarters were treated with anticoagulants in the ED, 98% with enoxaparin. At discharge, anticoagulants were recommended for all; 49% continued enoxaparin, 47% DOACs, and 4% warfarin. After 4 weeks, 67% were treated with DOACs, 22% with enoxaparin, 5% with warfarin. Approximately 6% discontinued all treatment. After 12 weeks, 90% of the patients who were taking DOACs adhered to the protocol, whereas only 70% and 50% among the enoxaparin and warfarin users, respectively, did. Only 56% were referred for hematological evaluation. The 12-week rate of adverse reactions was approximately 2%. The use of DOACs and the recommendation for further hematological evaluation increased over time.

Conclusions: Clinician training regarding discharge of VTE patients from the ED should continue.

Andrei Braester MD, Celia Suriu MD, Luiza Akria MD, Moran Zarfati MD, Najib Dally, Masad Barhoum MD

Cognitive impairment due to different types of anemia is well-known. We reviewed the links between different types of anemia and the mechanism of cognition impairment as well as the direct involvement of micronutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and copper on cognitive function. Anemia can lead to cognitive impairment, yet the current health policy usually requires patient involvement in the treatment decision-making. Therefore, can an anemic patient be a partner to shared decision-making concerning the recommended treatment?

October 2023
Dror Dicker MD, Orly Tamir PhD MSc MHA, Gabriella Lieberman-Segal MD, Roy Eldor MD PhD, Moran Accos-Carmel RD MAN, Tatyana Kolobov PhD, Avraham Karasik MD

Background: In 2019, 1 mg subcutaneous semaglutide was registered for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. Recognition of its effect on weight has led to its use as a treatment for obesity.

Objectives: To explore physicians’ pre-therapy considerations, therapy practices, and attitudes regarding subcutaneous semaglutide for weight loss.

Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was disseminated to physicians who prescribed semaglutide 1-mg for weight loss using an authorized off-label path.

Results: In total, 127 physicians completed the questionnaire. As for pretreatment requirements, in the absence of diabetes, 30% requested a minimal body mass index of 30 kg/m2. Additional requirements were documented lifestyle-change effort (67%) and prior weight loss medication use (13%). Half of the physicians regarded calorie restriction, and 23% considered physical activity as necessary for weight loss while on therapy. As for dose, most physicians (78%) started with a 0.25-mg weekly injection, 57% doubled the dose monthly, and all others recommended doubling when side effects subsided. Regarding weight loss goal, 43% of the physicians set a personal goal with each patient while 26% limited the goal to 10% of initial weight. Fewer than 50% of physicians discussed treatment duration with their patients, and 52% of patients discontinued therapy in the first 3 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were price, lack of effect, and fear of long-term side effects.

Conclusions: The diverse approaches regarding off-label use of semaglutide for weight reduction highlight the necessity to guide physicians and standardize treatment regimen.

Wakar Garra MD, Yair Levy MD

Nocardia species are gram-positive aerobic bacteria, usually acquired by inhalation or traumatic percutaneous inoculation [1,2]. It is a rare opportunistic infection that mainly occurs in immunocompromised hosts, patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), organ transplant recipients, and long-term corticosteroid treated patients [1,2]. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. The increased use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors has been accompanied by increased risk of different opportunistic infections including reactivation of tuberculosis, viral hepatitis B and C, listeria, fungal and bacterial infections [3,4]. To date, there are scarce case reports regarding nocardial infection with anti-TNF, particularly during the first 6 months of treatment.

We present a case of nocardial tenosynovitis of the hand in a patient with psoriatic arthropathy who was followed in our rheumatology clinic in Meir medical center in Israel after treatment with an anti TNF therapy.

September 2023
Ivan Gur MD MPH MHA, Ronen Zalts MD, Monia Azzam MD, Khetam Hussein MD, Ami Neuberger MD, Eyal Fuchs MD

Background: At the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many patients presented with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, requiring ventilatory support. One treatment method was the addition of a reservoir mask to a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) (dual oxygenation).

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of combining reservoir mask on top of a high-flow nasal cannula.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of adult patients who were admitted due to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic to Rambam Health Care Campus. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality. Secondary endpoints were incidence of invasive positive pressure ventilation initiation and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Patients who received positive pressure ventilation for reasons other than hypoxemic respiratory failure or who were transferred to another facility while still on HFNC were excluded.

Results: The final analysis included 333 patients; 166 were treated with dual oxygenation and 167 with HFNC only (controls). No significant differences in baseline characteristics were noted between the groups. The dual oxygenation group was slightly older (69.2 ± 14.8 years vs. 65.6 ± 15.5 years, P = 0.034). The 30-day mortality (24.1% vs. 36.5%, P = 0.013), rates of invasive positive pressure ventilation (47% vs. 59.3%, P = 0.024), and ICU admissions (41.6% vs. 52.7%, P = 0.042) were all significantly lower in the dual oxygenation group.

Conclusions: The addition of reservoir masks to HFNC may improve the oxygenation and overall prognosis in patients with severe hypoxemia due to COVID-19.

June 2023
Jonathan Abraham Demma MD, Lisandro Luques MD PhD, Lior Cohen MD, Uri P. Dior MD, Gad Marom MD, Asaf Kedar MD, Naama Lev Cohain MD, Alon Pikarsky MD, Gidon Almogy MD, Liat Appelbaum MD

Background: Abdominal pathology in pregnant patients is a frequent challenge for emergency department physicians. Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice but is inconclusive in approximately one-third of cases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming increasingly available, even in acute settings. Multiple studies have defined the sensitivity and specificity of MRI in this population.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of MRI findings in pregnant patients presenting with acute abdominal complaints to the emergency department.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single institution. Data were collected on pregnant patients who underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints between 2010 and 2019 at a university center. Patient demographics, diagnosis at admission, ultrasound and MRI findings, and discharge diagnosis were recorded and evaluated.

Results: In total, 203 pregnant patients underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints during the study period. MRI was found without pathology in 138 cases (68%). In 65 cases (32%), the MRI showed findings that could explain the patient's clinical presentation. Patients presenting with long-standing abdominal pain (> 24 hours), fever, leukocytosis, or elevated C-reactive protein values were at a significantly increased risk of having an acute pathology. In 46 patients (22.6%), MRI findings changed the primary diagnosis and management while in 45 patients (22.1%) MRI findings improved characterization of the suspected pathology.

Conclusions: MRI is helpful when clinical and sonographic findings are inconclusive, leading to changes in patient management in more than one-fifth of patients.

May 2023
Ola Gutzeit MD MSc, Zvi Millo MD, Naftali Justman MD, Natali Constantinescu MD, Ido Solt MD

Background: Uterine tachysystole during labor can lead to a decrease in fetal oxygen saturation and intracerebral oxygen saturation. Acute tocolysis using atosiban can inhibit uterine smooth muscle activity, potentially improving fetal status and facilitating vaginal delivery or allowing time to prepare for operative delivery.

Objectives: To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes in cesarean and vaginal deliveries following atosiban administration during fetal prolonged deceleration and tachysystole at gestational age 37 0/7 to 43 0/7 weeks.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, descriptive retrospective cohort study at a large tertiary referral center.

Results: Of the 275 patients treated with atosiban, 186 (68%) delivered vaginally (either spontaneous delivery or instrumental delivery) and 89 (32%) underwent a cesarean delivery. In a univariate analysis, cesarean delivery was associated with higher body mass index (27.9 ± 4.3 vs. 30.2 ± 4.8, P = 0.003). Second stage atosiban administration was associated with vaginal delivery (89.3% vs. 10.7%, P = 0.01). Cesarean delivery was associated with lower Apgar at 1 and 5 minutes and a higher rate of neonatal intensive care unit admissions. The incidence of PPH among women treated with atosiban in our study (2.3–4.3%) was higher than the incidence reported in the literature (1–3%)  

Conclusions: Atosiban may be an effective acute intervention for non-reassuring fetal heart rate during tachysystole, increasing the rate of vaginal delivery and potentially reducing the need for cesarean delivery. However, the potential risk of postpartum hemorrhage should be taken into consideration.

Yaniv Zager MD, Yuri Goldes MD, Dan Assaf MD, Nadav Zilka MD, Roi Anteby MD, Yehonatan Nevo MD, Liran Barda MD, Avinoam Nevler MD

Background: The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has demonstrated prognostic value in various malignant conditions, including gastric adenocarcinoma. However, chemotherapy may affect NLR.

Objectives: To evaluate the prognostic value of NLR as an accessory decision-making tool in terms of operating patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with resectable gastric cancer.

Methods: We collected oncologic, perioperative, and survival data of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma who underwent curative intent gastrectomy and D2 lymphadenectomy between 2009 and 2016. The NLR was calculated from preoperative laboratory tests and classified as high (> 4) and low (≤ 4). The t-test, chi-square, Kaplan-Meier analysis, and Cox multivariate regression models were used to assess associations of clinical, histologic, and hematological variables with survival.

Results: For 124 patients the median follow-up was 23 months (range 1–88). High NLR was associated with greater rate of local complication (r=0.268, P < 0.01). The rate of major complications (Clavien-Dindo ≥ 3) was higher in the high NLR group (28% vs. 9%, P = 0.022). Among the 53 patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, those with low NLR had significantly improved disease-free survival (DFS) (49.7 vs. 27.7 months, P = 0.025). Low NLR was not significantly associated with overall survival (mean survival, 51.2 vs. 42.3 months, P = 0.19). Multivariate regression identified NLR group (P = 0.013), male gender (P = 0.04), and body mass index (P = 0.026) as independently associated with DFS.

Conclusions: Among gastric cancer patients planned for curative intent surgery who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, NLR may have prognostic value, particularly regarding DFS and postoperative complications.

Haim Krespin MD, Lior Saban MD, Eran Israeli MD, Mordechai Shimonov MD, Tomer Greener MD

Pancreaticopleural fistula (PPF) is a rare complication of pancreatitis and usually constitutes a diagnostic challenge. There are many causes for recurrent and chronic pancreatitis, with the main etiology being alcohol and choledocholithiasis [1]. However, the association between pancreatic divisum (PD), a common congenital anomaly of the pancreas that is rarely symptomatic, and complications of pancreatitis is still not firmly established [2]. Furthermore, the optimal management of PPF is still uncertain due to its rarity [3]. We describe a rare case of a 45-year-old woman with recurrent pancreatitis that presented with a PPF on the background of PD, successfully managed with conservative treatment. The purpose of this report is to highlight the rare association between PPF and PD together with the excellent response to conservative therapy.

April 2023
Sorin Daniel Iordache MD, Tal Frenkel Rutenberg MD, Yaakov Pizem B PT, Arnon Ravid B PT, Ori Firsteter B PT

Background: Physiotherapy can help treat of trigger fingers (TF).

Objectives: To compare efficacy of fascial manipulation (FM) and traditional physiotherapy (TP) techniques in treatment of TF.

Methods: Nineteen patients were randomized in the FM group and 15 in the TP group. All patients underwent eight physiotherapy sessions. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH) and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, staging of stenosing tenosynovitis (SST) classification, triggering frequency, grip and pinch strength were recorded before and after treatment. We surveyed participants at 6 months for recurrence, further treatment, and the VAS and QuickDASH scores. The primary outcome measure was reduction in QuickDASH and VAS scores.

Results: Both FM and TF improved the QuickDASH and VAS scores at 6 months follow-up, without a significant difference. The QuickDASH score in the FM group improved from 28.4 ± 17.1 to 12.7 ± 16.3; TF scores improved from 27 ± 16.7 to 18.8 ± 29.4 (P = 0.001). The VAS score improved from 5.7 ± 2.1 to 1.2 ± 2.1 and from 4.8 ± 1.8 to 2 ± 2.6 for both groups, respectively (P < 0.001). SST and grip strength also improved following treatment, regardless of modality. At 6 months, four patients (22%) with an SST score of 1, three (30%) with a score of 2, and two (40%) with a score of 3A underwent additional treatment.

Conclusions: Both FM and TP techniques are effective for the treatment of TF and should be considered for patients who present with SST scores of 1 or 2.

March 2023
Abedallh Hamad MD, Frida Shemesh MD, Avi Ohry MD, Yekaterina Slutzky MD, Valeria Kaplan RN MA, Svetlana Kartoon MD, Raphael Joseph Heruti MD

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), or toxic epidermal necrolysis, is a rare syndrome that develops after an allergic reaction to a medication [1,2]. It affects the skin and the mucocutaneous tissue. Individuals diagnosed with SJS are rarely referred to a rehabilitation medicine (RM) facility.

The annual prevalence of SJS is about one in one million. The skin is covered with blisters. Usually, it affects about 10 % of body surface area. The patients are treated usually by ophthalmologists, dermatologists, allergologists, and immunologists. When severe complications occur, plastic surgeons and intensive care physicians may also be involved. Few publications were found that linked SJS with comprehensive rehabilitation treatment [3-5].

February 2023
Tal Tobias MD, Dani Kruchevsky MD, Yehuda Ullmann MD, Joseph Berger MD, Maher Arraf MD, Liron Eldor MD

Background: Implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR) is the most common method of reconstruction for breast cancer. Bacterial infection is a well-known risk with reported rates ranging from 1% to 43%. The most common pathogens of breast implant infection described in the literature are Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. However, the prevalence of other pathogens and their antibiotic sensitivity profile differs profoundly in different parts of the world.

Objectives: To review the current literature and protocols with respect to our region and to determine a more accurate antibiotic protocol aimed at our specific local pathogens.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all cases of clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction in our institution from June 2013 to June 2019, as well as review of microbiologic data from around the world based on current literature.

Results: A total of 28 patients representing 28 clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction were identified during the studied period. Thirteen patients (46.4%) had a positive bacterial culture growth, with P. aeruginosa being the most common microorganism identified (46.1%). Review of international microbiological data demonstrated significant variation at different places and time periods.

Conclusions: Microbiological data in cases of infected breast reconstructions should be collected and analyzed in every medical center and updated every few years due to the variations observed. These data will help to adjust the optimal empirical antibiotic regimens given to patients presenting with infections after breast reconstruction.

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