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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

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May 2024
Oren Biham MD, Shira Sophie Hudes BA, Aviya Kedmi MD, Uriel Wachsman MD, Mohamed Abo Sbet MD, Eduard Ling MD PhD, Lior Zeller MD

Inflammatory myopathies include polymyositis, necrotizing autoimmune myositis, dermatomyositis, juvenile inflammatory myopathy, and inclusion body myositis. These diseases are classified based on the different clinical and pathological characteristics unique to each of them [1]. Dermatomyositis is a rare disease with an incidence of 6–10 cases/1,000,000 a year with the highest incidence in the 7th decade of life as reported by a Norwegian cohort in a Caucasian population [2].

Diagnosis of dermatomyositis is based on typical signs and symptoms combined with laboratory results, imaging, and electromyography findings and muscle biopsy. Historically, the diagnosis of dermatomyositis was based on the classification criteria named after Bohan and Peter published in 1975. Many other classification criteria were proposed subsequently, the latter by the European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology (EULAR/ACR), which were published in 2020 [3].

The clinical features of dermatomyositis are diverse. Skin manifestations can accompany or precede muscle weakness. Classical skin findings include periorbital heliotrope rash and a rash of the upper chest, back, and shoulders, known as the V sign and shawl sign respectively, as well as the Gottron's papules on the knuckles. Another skin appearance is subcutaneous calcifications that break periodically through the skin causing ulcerations. Dermatomyositis usually manifests as a symmetrical proximal muscle weakness but can present with preserved strength called amyopathic dermatomyositis [1].

March 2024
Mohammad Haydar MD, Uriel Levinger MD, George Habib MD MPH

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) is a cardiomyopathy that develops rapidly and is usually caused by mental or physical stress. It is usually a transient cardiomyopathy. The presumed cause of the onset of the syndrome is the increase and extreme secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine due to extreme stress. An infectious disease such as sepsis can also be the cause [1].

One of the most widespread diagnostic tools is the revised version of Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Criteria for TTS (2008) [2], which incorporates transient wall-motion abnormalities, absence of a potential coronary culprit, myocarditis, and pheochromocytoma. The prognosis for TTS is usually favorable and resolves with complete recovery in 4–8 weeks in more than 90% of patients.

October 2022
Shaden Nashashibi, MD, Ofir Priesler, MD, Uriel Levinger, MD, George Habib, MD MPH

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in more than four million deaths globally. In addition to the lower respiratory system, a wide range of major organ injuries have been reported among patients infected with COVID-19. These injuries include cardiac involvement. The spectrum of cardiac manifestations includes cardiac injury, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, acute coronary syndrome, myocarditis, tachyarrhythmias, and bradyarrhythmia [1]. Different degrees of atrioventricular blocks have been reported [2].

The pathogenesis of these complications is not fully understood. Differentmechanisms are proposed, including direct myocyte injury, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis, cytokine storm, plaque destabilization, and and/or hypoxia [3]. Many countries have worked toward mass vaccination using the Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccine, including Israel. We report a case of high degree atrioventricular block (AVB) following vaccination with the COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccine.

January 2021
Uriel Levinger MD, Shoshana Hadar MD, and George Habib MD
November 2020
Zeev Perles MD, Yuval Ishay MD, Amiram Nir MD, Sagui Gavri MD, Julius Golender MD, Asaf Ta-Shma MD, Ibrahim Abu-Zahira MD, Juma Natsheh MD, Uriel Elchalal MD, Dror Mevorach MD, and Azaria JJT Rein MD

Fetal complete atrioventricular block (CAVB) is usually autoimmune mediated. The risk of developing CAVB is 2% to 3% in anti-Ro/SS-A seropositive pregnancies and it increases 10 times after previous CAVB in siblings. Despite being a rare complication, CAVB carries a 20% mortality rate and substantial morbidity, as about 65% of newborns will eventually need life-long pacing. Once found, fetal CAVB is almost always irreversible, despite aggressive immunotherapy. This poor outcome prompted some research groups to address this situation. All groups followed anti-Ro/SS-A seropositive pregnancies on a weekly basis during the second trimester of pregnancy and tried to detect first degree atrioventricular block (AVB) using accurate echocardiographic tools, assuming they may characterize the initiation of the immune damage to the A-V conduction system, at which point the process might still be reversible. Some of the groups treated fetuses with first degree AVB with maternal oral fluorinated steroids. We summarized the results of all groups, including our group. We describe a case of a fetus that developed CAVB 6 days after normal sinus rhythm (NSR), who under aggressive dexamethasone therapy gradually reverted to NSR. This fetus had a previous sibling with CAVB. We assumed the immune damage to the conduction system in this small group of fetuses with a previous CAVB sibling may have occurred more quickly than usual. We therefore recommend a twice-weekly follow-up with these fetuses

October 2020
Dana Elhadad MD PhD, Yotam Bronstein MD, Moshe Yana, Harel Baris MD, Uriel Levinger MD, Maurice Shapiro MD, and Nechama Sharon MD

Background: There is limited clinical information on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients in Israel.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics, outcomes, and potential associations of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective study of 58 consecutive laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to Laniado Hospital, Israel, between 14 March 2020 and 14 May 2020. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data on admission were collected and analyzed, and the association to subsequent respiratory failure was assessed.

Results: Mean age of patients was 70.7 ± 16.9 years (53% males, 47% females.); 74% had at least one co-morbidity. Most patients were of Jewish Ashkenazi descent. During hospitalization 15 patients (mean age 78.18 ± 10.35 years); 80% male, 73% Sephardi descent developed respiratory failure rates of 60% occurring on average 10.6 days following intubation. Laboratory tests at admission displayed a significant increase in C-reactive protein (CRP) and creatine kinase (CK) and a decrease in absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) in patients who eventually developed respiratory failure (163.97 mg/L, 340.87 IU/L, 0.886 K/μl vs. 50.01 mg/L and 123.56 IU/L, 1.28 K/μl, respectively). Multivariate logistic analysis revealed an integrated parameter of CRP, CK, and ALC highly correlated with respiratory failure. Receiver operating characteristic curve revealed the area under the curve of CRP, CK, and ALC and the integrated parameter to be 0.910, 0.784, and 0.754, respectively. CRP was the strongest predictor to correlate with respiratory failure.

Conclusions: CRP, CK, and ALC levels on admission could possibly be used to detect high-risk patients prone to develop respiratory failure.

September 2020
Eliyakim Hershkop MD, Mordechai A Levin MD, Jonathan Nuriel MA, Sheldon I. Hershkop MD and Eyal Fruchter MD

Background: Dependence on technology and electronic media devices (EMDs) is a significant phenomenon of modern life with many people experiencing adverse symptoms during abstention. Orthodox Jews abstain from using all forms of EMDs for 25 consecutive hours every week on the Sabbath but do not appear to experience significant adverse reactions during this abstention.

Objectives: To better examine whether Sabbath observant Jews experience fewer and less severe adverse symptoms while abstaining from EMDs on the Sabbath compared to weekdays.

Methods: Ten Sabbath observant Jews abstained from using all forms of EMDs for 25 hours on a Sabbath and again on a weekday. At the end of each 25-hour period participants completed a 12-item Likert-type scale self-assessment of 1–5, once as a report of their condition at 10:00 and again after 25 hours of abstaining. The authors compared the mean results of Sabbath and weekday using Wilcoxon signed ranks test. P ≤ 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Overall, discomfort on Sabbath was less than on weekdays. A statistically significant decrease on the Sabbath was found at both the 10:00 reporting time and after 25 hours in anxiety, restlessness, thoughts and plans of using devices, and overall difficulty to abstain. Significance was found for feelings of not knowing what to do with time (10:00) and moodiness and irritability, being drawn to devices, and cravings achieved significance (after 25 hours).

Conclusions: Sabbath observant Jews reported statistically significant less adverse reactions while abstaining from EMDs on the Sabbath compared to on a weekday.

December 2017
Noam Meiri MD, Amichi Ankri (medical clown), Faten Ziadan MA, Itay Nahmias (medical clown), Muriel Konopnicki MD, Zeev Schnapp MD, Omer Itzhak Sagi MD, Mohamad Hamad Saied MD and Giora Pillar MD PhD

Background: A good physical exam is necessary to help pediatricians make the correct diagnosis and can save unnecessary imaging or invasive procedures. Distraction by medical clowns may create the optimal conditions for a proper physical examination.

Methods: Children aged 2–6 years who required physical examination in the pediatric emergency department were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two groups: physical exam by a pediatrician in the presence of caregivers vs. physical exam with the assistance of a medical clown. Outcome measures consisted of the level of child's discomfort, anxiety, and the quality of the physical examination.

Results: Ninety three children participated. Mean age was 3.3 ± 3.6 years (range 2–6). The duration of the physical exam was similar between the clown and control groups (4.6 ± 1.4 minutes vs. 4.5 ± 1.1 minutes (P = 0.64). The duration of discomfort was shorter in the clown group (0.2 ± 0.6 minutes) than the control group(1.6 ± 2.0 minutes, P = 0.001). In the medical clown group, 94% of pediatricians reported that the medical clown improved their ability to perform a complete physical examination. A trend of less hospitalization in the medical clown group was also noticed (11.3% in the medical clown group vs. 18.3% in the control group, P = 0.1); however, further study is required to verify this observation.

Conclusions: Integration of a medical clown in physical examination improves the overall experience of the child and the caregivers and helps the pediatrician to perform a complete physical examination.

August 2017
Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Marco Corda MD, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini MD, Francesco Caso MD, PhD and Maurizio Turiel MD
May 2017
Michael Findler MD, Jeremy Molad MD, Natan M Bornstein MD and Eitan Auriel MD MSc

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and a common cause of ischemic stroke. Stroke patients with AF have been shown to have a poorer neurological outcome than stroke patients without AF.

Objectives: To determine the impact of pre-existing AF on residual degree of disability in patients treated with IV thrombolysis.

Methods: In this case-control study, data of 214 stroke patients (63 with AF and 151 without AF) were collected from the National Acute Stroke Israeli Registry, a nationwide quadrennial stroke database. Stroke severity and outcome were compared using the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) on admission and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) on admission and discharge. Demographics and stroke characteristics were also compared between the groups.

Results: Stroke severity, as determined by NIHSS at admission, was higher in the AF group than the non-AF. In the group of patients who were treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), more patients had favorable outcomes (mRS = 0–1 on discharge) in the non-AF group than in the AF group (P = 0.058, odds ratio = 2.217, confidence interval 0.973 to 5.05).

Conclusions: Our study suggests worse outcome in thrombolized patients with AF compared to non-AF stroke patients. Therefore, AF itself can be a poor prognostic factor for tPA sensitivity regarding the chance of revascularization and recovery after intravenous tPA.

September 2016
Rotem Sivan-Hoffmann MD, Benjamin Gory MD MSc, Muriel Rabilloud MD PhD, Dorin N. Gherasim MD, Xavier Armoiry PharmD PhD, Roberto Riva MD, Paul-Emile Labeyrie MD MSc, Udi Gonike-Sadeh MD, Islam Eldesouky MD and Francis Turjman MD PhD

Mechanical thrombectomy with stent retrievers is now the reference therapy for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in the anterior circulation in association with thrombolysis. We conducted an extensive systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the clinical and angiographic outcomes of stent-retriever thrombectomy in patients with acute anterior circulation stroke. Available literature published to date on observational studies and three randomized trials (MR CLEAN, ESCAPE, and EXTEND-IA) involving the stent-retriever device were reviewed. Successful recanalization and favorable clinical outcome were defined by a TICI ≥ 2b and modified Rankin Scale score of ≤ 2 at 90 days following AIS, respectively. A total of 2067 patients harboring an anterior circulation stroke were treated with a stent retriever: 433 patients from 3 randomized trials involving the device and 1634 patients from observational studies. Mean NIH Stroke Scale score on admission was 16.6, and mean time from onset to recanalization was 300 minutes. Successful recanalization was achieved in 82% (95%CI 77–86, 31 studies). The 90 day favorable outcome was achieved in 47% (95%CI 42–5.2, 34 studies) with an overall mortality rate of 17% (95%CI 13–20, 31 studies). Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage was identified in 6% (95%CI 4–8, 32 studies). In patients with AIS caused by a proximal intracranial occlusion of the anterior circulation, stent-retriever thrombectomy is safe and restores brain reperfusion in four of five treated patients, allowing favorable clinical outcome in one of two AIS patients with large vessel occlusion. 

October 2011
A. Gadoth, E. Aurie, H. Shaim and N.M. Bornstein

Background: In the past, carotid endarterectomy (CEA) was the only modality for invasive intervention in cases of carotid stenosis. Due to improvements in endovascular techniques (stenting), there is a growing debate regarding the preferred procedure for carotid intervention.

Objectives: To compare the 30 day complication rate after CEA and carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) in a tertiary medical center in Israel between the years 2008 and 2010.

Methods: We reviewed the medical charts of all the patients who underwent either CEA or CAS of the internal carotid artery due to symptomatic and asymptomatic stenosis during the period 20082010 (total of 128 patients).

Results: There was no difference between the groups in the rate of severe complications in the peri-procedural period. Mild complications were non-significantly more common in the CEA group (17%) compared to the CAS group (7.1%).

Conclusions: There was no significant difference in the mild and severe complications rate between CEA and CAS in the peri-procedural period.

December 2010
U. Nussinovitch, U. Katz, M. Nussinovitch and N. Nussinovitch

Background: Familial dysautonomia is a hereditary disease characterized by dysfunction of the sensory and autonomic nervous systems. Studies in patients with familial dysautonomia have shown that abnormal cardiac autonomic denervation might influence repolarization. Autonomic tone also affects atrial conduction parameters and P-wave dispersion, which are predictive of atrial fibrillation.

Objectives: To examine the possible association of familial dysautonomia with abnormal atrial conduction and P-wave dispersion.

Methods: The study population included 12 patients with familial dysautonomia and age and sex-matched control subjects. All participants underwent a 12-lead electrocardiogram under strict conditions. P-wave lengths and P-wave dispersion were computed from a randomly selected beat and an averaged beat using designated computer software.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in minimal, maximal, and average P-wave duration or P-wave dispersion for a randomly selected beat. P-wave dispersion for an averaged beat was also similar. During 6 months follow-up, no supraventricular arrhythmias were documented in either group.

Conclusions: We found that patients with familial dysautonomia had P-wave dispersion parameters not significantly different from those of controls. Further research is required to clarify the effects of dysautonomia on atrial conduction in familial dysautonomia.

October 2010
A. Blatt, R. Svirski, G. Morawsky, N. Uriel, O. Neeman, D. Sherman, Z. Vered and R. Krakover

Background: Little is known of the outcome of pregnant patients with previously diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy. These patients are usually firmly advised against continuation of the pregnancy.

Objectives: To examine the usefulness of serial echocardiographic follow-up and plasma N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide levels in the management of pregnant women with preexisting DCM[1].

Methods: We prospectively enrolled pregnant women with DCM either known or diagnosed in the first trimester. Clinical examination and serial echocardiography studies at baseline, 30 weeks gestation, peripartum, and 3 and 18 months postpartum were performed. Blinded NTproBNP[2] levels were obtained at 30 weeks, delivery and 3 months postpartum.

Results: Between June 2005 and October 2006 we enrolled seven women who fulfilled the study criteria. Delivery and postpartum were complicated in 3 patients (42%): 2 with acute heart failure, which resolved conservatively, and 1 with major pulmonary embolism. The left ventricular ejection fraction was stable throughout the pregnancy (35% ± 2.8 at baseline, 33% ± 2.9 at 30 weeks) and postpartum (35% ± 2.8 at 1 day, 34% ± 3.1 at 90 days). Similar stable behavior was observed regarding left ventricular dimensions: LV[3] end-systolic diameters 43.3 ± 2.7 mm and LV end-diastolic diameters 57.3 ± 3.3 mm at baseline compared with 44.1 ± 3.1 mm and 58.7 ± 3.1 mm postpartum, respectively. The NT-ProBNP levels rose significantly peripartum in all three patients with complications.

Conclusions: Serial NT-proBNP levels, as compared to echocardiography, may be a better clinical tool in monitoring and management of pregnant women with preexisting DCM. An early rise in NT-ProBNP level appears to predict the occurrence of adverse events.

[1] DCM = dilated cardiomyopathy

[2] NTproBNP = N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide

[3] LV = left ventricular

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