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עמוד בית
Wed, 06.12.23

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April 2021
Alona Bin-Nun MD, Cathy Hammerman MD, Francis B Mimouni MD, Netanel Wasserteil MD, and Yair M. Kasirer MD

Background: Many countries have adopted a mandatory routine pulse oximetry screening of newborn infants to identify babies with otherwise asymptomatic critical congenital heart disease (CCHD).

Objectives: To describe the current status of pulse oximetry CCHD screening in Israel, with a special emphasis on the experience of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Methods: We review the difficulties of the Israeli Medical system with adopting the SaO2 screening, and the preliminary results of the screening at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, both in terms of protocol compliance and CCHD detection.

Results: Large scale protocol cannot be implemented in one day, and regular quality assessment programs must take place in order to improve protocol compliance and identify the reasons for protocol failures.

Conclusions: Quality control reviews should be conducted soon after implementation of the screening to allow for prompt diagnosis and quick resolution

May 2020
Edward Itelman MD, Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Amitai Segev MD, Chen Avaky MD, Liat Negru MD, Dor Cohen MD, Natia Turpashvili MD, Sapir Anani MD, Eyal Zilber MD, Nir Lasman MD, Ahlam Athamna MD, Omer Segal MD, Tom Halevy MD, Yehuda Sabiner MD, Yair Donin MD, Lital Abraham MD, Elisheva Berdugo MD, Adi Zarka MD, Dahlia Greidinger MD, Muhamad Agbaria MD, Noor Kitany MD, Eldad Katorza MD, Gilat Shenhav-Saltzman MD and Gad Segal MD

Background: In February 2020, the World Health Organisation designated the name COVID-19 for a clinical condition caused by a virus identified as a cause for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. The virus subsequently spread worldwide, causing havoc to medical systems and paralyzing global economies. The first COVID-19 patient in Israel was diagnosed on 27 February 2020.

Objectives: To present our findings and experiences as the first and largest center for COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: The current analysis included all COVID-19 patients treated in Sheba Medical Center from February 2020 to April 2020. Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological data gathered during their hospitalization are presented.

Results: Our 162 patient cohort included mostly adult (mean age of 52 ± 20 years) males (65%). Patients classified as severe COVID-19 were significantly older and had higher prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes. They also had significantly higher white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low folic acid blood levels were more common amongst severe patients (18.2 vs. 12.9 vs. 9.8, P = 0.014). The rate of immune compromised patients (12%) in our cohort was also higher than in the general population. The rate of deterioration from moderate to severe disease was high: 9% necessitated non-invasive oxygenation and 15% were intubated and mechanically ventilated. The mortality rate was 3.1%.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients present a challenge for healthcare professionals and the whole medical system. We hope our findings will assist other providers and institutions in their care for these patients.

March 2018
Narin N. Carmel-Neiderman MD, Idan Goren MD, Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Tal Frenkel Rutenberg MD, Irina Barbarova MD, Avigal Rapoport MD, Dor Lotan MD, Erez Ramaty MD, Naama Peltz-Sinvani MD, Adi Brom MD, Michael Kogan MD, Yulia Panina MD, Maya Rosman MD, Carmel Friedrich MD, Irina Gringauz MD, Amir Dagan MD, Iris Kliers MD, Tomer Ziv-Baran PhD and Gad Segal MD

Background: Accurate pulse oximetry reading at hospital admission is of utmost importance, mainly for patients presenting with hypoxemia. Nevertheless, there is no accepted or evidence-based protocol for such structured measuring.

Objectives: To devise and assess a structured protocol intended to increase the accuracy of pulse oximetry measurement at hospital admission.

Methods: The authors performed a prospective comparison of protocol-based pulse-oximetry measurement with non-protocol based readings in consecutive patients at hospital admission. They also calculated the relative percentage of improvement for each patient (before and after protocol implementation) as a fraction of the change in peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) from 100%.

Results: A total of 460 patients were recruited during a 6 month period. Implementation of a structured measurement protocol significantly changed saturation values. The SpO2 values of 24.7% of all study participants increased after protocol implementation (ranging from 1% to 21% increase in SpO2 values). Among hypoxemic patients (initial SpO2 < 90%), protocol implementation had a greater impact on final SpO2 measurements, increasing their median SpO2 readings by 4% (3–8% interquartile range; P < 0.05). Among this study population, 50% of the cohort improved by 17% of their overall potential and 25% improved by 50% of their overall improvement potential. As for patients presenting with hypoxemia, the median improvement was 31% of their overall SpO2 potential.

Conclusions: Structured, protocol based pulse-oximetry may improve measurement accuracy and reliability. The authors suggest that implementation of such protocols may improve the management of hypoxemic patients.

November 2016
Alona Bin-Nun MD, Netanel Wasserteil MD, Rizeq Nakhash MD and Cathy Hammerman MD
August 2016
Shimon Izhakian MD, Walter G. Wasser MD, Baruch Vainshelboim PhD, Benjamin D. Fox BM BS and Mordechai R. Kramer MD FCCP

Background: Studies in lung transplantation demonstrate that the ancestry and gender dissimilarities of donor–recipients lead to a decrease in survival of the recipient. 

Objectives: To evaluate the survival of lung transplant recipients in Israel based on whether the donors and recipients are of Jewish or Arab ancestry as well as survival based on gender match or mismatch.

Methods: We performed a retrospective observational cohort study of 345 lung transplant recipients at the Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel between January 1997 and January 2013. We compared the survival of lung transplant recipients in two ancestry categories: ancestry matched (Jewish donors to Jewish recipients or Arab donors to Arab recipients) and ancestry mismatched (Jewish donors to Arab recipients and vice versa). We also compared the survival among the four gender donor and recipient combinations (male to male, female to female, male to female, and female to male). 

Results: Survival analysis revealed no significant differences between the two ancestry groups (P = 0.51) and among the four gender combinations (P = 0.58). On Cox multivariate analysis, younger donor age was the only significant parameter for longer survival (hazards ratio 1.025, 95% confidence interval 1.012–1.037).

Conclusions: Gender and ancestry mismatches in these two Israeli populations do not appear to alter the clinical outcomes following lung transplantation.


July 2016
Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Pia Raanani MD, Ran Kornowski MD and Zaza Iakobishvili MD PhD
July 2014
Aharon Erez MD, Omri Shental MD, Joseph Z. Tchebiner MD, Michal Laufer-Perl MD, Asaf Wasserman MD, Tal Sella MD and Hanan Guzner-Gur MD

Background: Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is elevated in various diseases. 

Objectives: To analyze serum LDH as a distinguishing clinical biomarker and as a predictor of in-hospital outcome in admitted medical patients.

Methods: We analyzed a cohort of all 158 patients with very high isolated LDH (LDH ≥ 800 IU/ml – without concomitant elevations of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase) – admitted to our internal medicine department during a 3 year period. Epidemiologic and clinical data, as well as the final diagnosis and outcome were recorded and compared with those of a cohort of all 188 consecutive control patients.

Results: Very high isolated LDH was a distinguishing biomarker for the presence of cancer (27% vs. 4% in the LDH group and controls respectively, P < 0.0001), liver metastases (14% vs. 3%, P < 0.0001), hematologic malignancies (5% vs. 0%, P = 0.00019), and infection (57% vs. 28%, P < 0.0001). Very high isolated LDH was a marker for a severe prognosis, associated with more admission days (9.3 vs. 4.1, P < 0.0001), significantly more in-hospital major complications, and a high mortality rate (26.6% vs. 4.3%, P < 0.0001). Finally, very high isolated LDH was found in a multivariate regression analysis to be an independent predictor of mortality.

Conclusions: The presence of very high isolated LDH warrants thorough investigation for the presence of severe underlying disease, mostly metastatic cancer, hematologic malignancies and infection. Moreover, it is a marker for major in-hospital complications and is an independent predictor of mortality in admitted medical patients. 

October 2012
A. Wasserman, J. Ben-Shoshan, M. Entin-Meer, S. Maysel-Auslender, H. Guzner-Gur and G. Keren

Background: Atherosclerosis is a well-established inflammatory disease in which T helper 1 (Th1) cells play a key role. Regulatory T (Treg) cells drive a shift from Th1 to Th2 response and were shown to be reduced in atherosclerosis. ST2/interleukin (IL)-33 signal was found to promote Th2 response, attenuating atherosclerotic plaque progression.

Objectives: To evaluated the effect of IL-33 on Treg cell number.

Methods: We employed flow cytometry to determine Treg cell number, as well as ST2 levels, among splenocytes of C57BL/6J vs ApoE-/- mice. Soluble ST2 (sST2) levels were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. 

Results: IL-33 contributed to an increase in Treg cells, but this association was attenuated in ApoE knockout (ApoE-/-) atherosclerotic mice. As a possible mechanism we demonstrated a reduction in the levels of CD4+ST2+ cells by flow cytometry, which is cotemporary to the previously described decrease in Treg cells in ApoE-/- mice. Additionally, the serum level of the soluble ST2 (sST2) decoy receptor was higher in ApoE-/- mice than in control animals.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that a repressed ST2/IL-33 signaling may contribute to the decrease in Treg cells observed in atherosclerosis.

September 2011
I. Rabin, A. Kapiev, B. Chikman, Z. Halpern, N. Poluksht, I. Wassermann, J. Sandbank and A. Halevy

Background: Gastric stump cancer is often described as a tumor with a poor prognosis and low resectability rates.

Objectives: To compare the pathological characteristics of gastric stump cancer patients with those of patients with proximal gastric cancer.

Methods: This retrospective study was based on the demographic and pathological data of patients diagnosed with gastric cancer and treated at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center during an 11 year period. The patients were divided into two groups: those undergoing proximal gastrectomy for proximal gastric cancer and those undergoing total gastrectomy for gastric stump cancer.

Results: Patients with gastric stump cancer were predominantly male, older (P = 0.202, not significant), and had a lower T stage with less signet-ring type histology, fewer harvested and fewer involved lymph nodes (P = 0.03, statistically significant) and less vascular/lymphatic involvement than patients with proximal gastric cancer.

Conclusions: The lower incidence of involved lymph nodes and lymphovascular invasion in gastric stump cancer as compared to proximal gastric cancer in this study may imply that the prognosis of gastric stump cancer may be better than that of proximal gastric cancer. However, to verify this assumption a study comparing patient survival is required.

December 2010
A. Kapiev, I. Rabin, R. Lavy, B. Chikman, Z. Shapira, H. Kais, N. Poluksht, Y. Amsalam, Z. Halpern, I. Markon, I. Wassermann and A. Halevy

Background: Gastric cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer death. The treatment approach varies, and preoperative staging is therefore crucial since an exploratory laparotomy for unresectable gastric cancer will be followed by an unacceptably high morbidity and mortality rate.

Objectives: To assess the added value of diagnostic laparoscopy to conventional methods of diagnosis such as computed tomography in avoiding unnecessary laparotomies.

Methods: A retrospective study on 78 patients scheduled for curative gastrectomy based on CT staging was conducted. DL[1] was performed prior to exploratory laparotomy.

Results: In 23 of 78 patients (29.5%), unexpected peritoneal spread not detected on preoperative CT was found. Fifty-five patients underwent radical gastrectomy, 15 patients were referred for downstaging and 8 patients underwent a palliative procedure.

Conclusions: Based on our results, DL should be considered in all gastric cancer patients scheduled for curative gastrectomy.

[1] DL = diagnostic laparoscopy

November 2010
B. Chikman, R. Lavy, T. Davidson, I. Wassermann, J. Sandbank, N. Siegelmann-Danieli and A. Halevy

Background: Infiltrating ductal carcinoma and infiltrating lobular carcinoma account for more than 90% of all invasive breast cancer histological types. The rate of ILC[1] is reported to be increasing steadily in the United States and Europe.

Objectives: To describe the trend in the incidence of ILC in a large cohort of patients who underwent surgery in a single institution over an 18 year period.

Methods: Our comprehensive database of 2175 consecutive patients with invasive breast cancer diagnosed during the period 1992–2009 served for the analysis. Several potential factors associated with lobular carcinoma as compared with ductal carcinoma were evaluated.

Results: During this period, a 2.4-fold increase in the incidence of pure ILC was noted, from 4.6% in the years 1992–1994 to 10.9% in 2004–2006, followed by a modest decrease to 8.7% in 2007–2009. A significant association of lobular malignancies with external hormonal use was noted, including hormone replacement therapy exposure in patients diagnosed at age 50–64, and ovarian overstimulation during in vitro fertilization in those diagnosed at age 50 or less.  

Conclusions: Better diagnostic tools – such as the liberal use of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging – and more accurate pathological definition for ILC type appear to influence the changes in the incidence of ILC in the subgroups of invasive breast cancer.

[1] ILC = infiltrating lobular carcinoma

September 2010
I. Jeroukhimov, N. Poluksht, N. Siegelmann-Danieli, R. Lavy, I. Wassermann, Z. Halpern, R. Gold-Deutch and A. Halevy

Background: One of the ominous complications following proximal gastrectomy or total gastrectomy is a leak from the esophagogastric or esophagojejunal anastomosis. An upper gastrointestinal swallow study is traditionally performed to confirm the anastomotic patency and lack of any leak before oral feeding can be initiated.

Objectives: To challenge the routine use of UGISs[1] following proximal or total gastrectomy in order to check the integrity of the gastroesophageal or jejunoesophageal anastomosis.

Methods: The charts of 99 patients who underwent PG[2] or TG[3]  for malignant pathology were retrospectively reviewed. UGISs were performed on day 6 following surgery using a water-soluble material.

Results: The UGISs were normal in 95 patients, with none displaying any complication related to the gastroesophageal or jejunoesophageal anastomosis. All four patients who experienced a leak from the anastomosis had an early stormy postoperative course.

Conclusions: Routine use of an UGIS to detect a leak following PG or TG is not justified. UGIS should be performed whenever signs of abdominal sepsis develop following this type or surgery.

[1] UIGS = upper gastrointestinal swallow study

[2] PG = proximal gastrectomy

[3] TG = total gastrectomy

N. Wasserberg

The laparoscopic approach to the treatment of colon and rectal cancer was controversial long after it was accepted for benign conditions. Laparoscopic cancer resection should meet appropriate oncologic standards and achieve a long-term oncologic outcome at least equivalent to that of open resection. Several international randomized controlled trials have provided adequate data to ascertain the oncologic quality of laparoscopic colon resection, showing a benefit in short-term outcome over open resection. The use of laparoscopic resection for rectal cancer is awaiting further investigation.

April 2010
A. Stepansky, R. Gold-Deutch, N. Poluksht, P. Hagag, C. Benbassat, A. Mor, D. Aharoni, I. Wassermann, Z. Halpern and A. Halevy

Background: Hypocalcaemia following thyroid and parathyroid surgery is a well-recognized potential complication.

Objectives: To determine the utility of intraoperative quick parathormone assay in predicting severe hypocalcemia development following parathyroidectomy for a single-gland adenoma causing primary hyperparathyroidism.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed. IO-QPTH[1] values were measured at time 0 (T0) before incision, and 10 (T10) and 30 minutes (T30) following excision of the hyperfunctioning gland. Percent decrease in IO-QPTH at 10 minutes (T10), maximum percent decrease of IO-QPTH value, and lowest actual IO-QPTH value obtained at surgery were used to determine any correlation with the development of postoperative hypocalcemia requiring treatment.

Results: Percent decrease in IO-QPTH at 10 minutes, maximum percent decrease in IO-QPTH and lowest IO-QPTH value did not correlate with the lowest postoperative calcium levels measured 18 hours after surgery (r = 0.017, P = 0.860 r = 0.018, P = 0.850 and r = 0.002, P = 0.985 respectively). For the purposes of our analysis, patients were subdivided into three groups. Group 1 comprised 68 patients with normal calcium levels (serum Ca 8.6¨C10.3 mg/dl) Group 2 had 28 patients with hypocalcemia (8.1¨C8.6 mg/dl) Group 3 included 12 patients with severe hypocalcemia (calcium level ¡Ü 8.0 mg/dl) requiring calcium supplementation due to symptoms of hypocalcemia. There was no difference between the three groups in the lowest IO-QPTH value (P = 0.378), percent decrease in IO-QPTH (P = 0.305) and maximum percent decrease in IO-QPTH (P = 0.142).

Conclusions: IO-QPTH evaluation was not useful in predicting the group of patients susceptible to develop severe postoperative hypocalcemia. 

[1] IO-QPTH = intraoperative quick parathormone

February 2009
I. Rabin, B. Chikman, R. Lavy, J. Sandbank, M. Maklakovsky, R. Gold-Deutch, Z. Halpren, I. Wassermann and A. Halevy

Background: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms of the human gastrointestinal tract.

Objectives: To review our accumulated experience using surgery to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Methods: We reviewed all patient charts and histological diagnoses of leiomyomas, leiomyosarcomas, leiomyoblastomas and schwannomas. Only tumors that displayed c-kit (CD117) immunopositivity were defined as GISTs[1].

Results: The study group comprised 40 female and 53 male patients (age 26–89 years); 40.9% of the tumors were classified as malignant, 39.8% as benign, and 19.4% as of uncertain malignancy. Fifty-six GISTs were located in the stomach (60.2%), 29 in the small bowel (31.2%), 4 in the duodenum (4.3%), 2 in the colon (2.1%) and 2 in the rectum (2.1%). Incidental GISTs were found in 23.7% of our patients. Mean overall survival time for malignant gastric GISTs was 102.6 months (95% confidence interval 74.2–131.1) as compared to 61.4 months mean overall survival for malignant small bowel GISTs (95% CI[2] 35.7–87) (P = 0.262). The mean disease-free survival period for patients with malignant gastric GISTs was 97.5 months (95% CI 69.7–125.2) as compared to only 49.6 months (95% CI 27.4–71.7) for patients with small bowel malignant GISTs (P = 0.041).

Conclusions: We found a high percentage of incidental GISTs. Gastric GISTs are more common than small bowel GISTs. Patients with malignant gastric GISTs have a significantly better prognosis than patients with malignant small bowel GISTs. A statistically significant correlation was found between age and malignant potential of the GIST.

[1] GISTs = gastrointestinal stromal tumors

[2] CI = confidence interval

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