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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

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June 2007
M. Paul, A. Gafter-Gvili, L. Leibovici, J. Bishara, I. Levy, I. Yaniv, I. Shalit Z, Samra, S. Pitlik, H. Konigsberger and M. Weinberger

Background: The epidemiology of bacteremic febrile neutropenia differs between locations and constitutes the basis for selection of empiric antibiotic therapy for febrile neutropenia.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of bacteremia among patients with neutropenia in a single center in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a prospective data collection on all patients with neutropenia (< 500/mm3) and clinically significant bacteremia or fungemia during the period 1988–2004.

Results: Among adults (462 episodes) the most common bloodstream isolate was Esherichia coli. Gram-negative bacteria predominated throughout the study period and the ratio between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteremia increased from 1.7 to 2.3 throughout the study period. Among children (752 episodes), the ratio between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteremia reversed from 1.2 to 0.7, due to increasing prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylcoccal bacteremia. Both among adults and children, the length of hospital stay prior to bacteremia had a major impact on the pathogens causing bacteremia and their antibiotic susceptibilities. The prevalence of E. coli decreased with time in hospital, while the rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter spp., Acinetobacter spp., Enterococcus spp. and Candida spp. increased. Resistance to broad-spectrum empiric monotherapy in our center was observed in > 40% of Gram-negative bacteria when bacteremia was acquired after 14 days in hospital.
Conclusions: Improved infection-control measures for neutropenic cancer patients in our center are needed. Empiric antibiotic treatment should be tailored to patients’ risk for multidrug-resistant organisms. Individual hospitals should monitor infection epidemiology among cancer patients to guide empiric antibiotic treatment

April 2007
M. Shechter, I. Marai, S. Marai, Y. Sherer, B-A. Sela, M. S. Feinberg, A. Rubinstein and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Endothelial dysfunction is recognized as a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis and it has a prognostic value.

Objectives: To detect the long-term association of peripheral vascular endothelial function and clinical outcome in healthy subjects and patients with cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We prospectively assessed brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in 110 consecutive subjects (46 CVD[1] patients and 64 healthy controls), mean age 57 ± 11 years; 68 were men. After an overnight fast and discontinuation of all medications for ≥ 12 hours, percent improvement in FMD and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation were assessed using high resolution ultrasound.

Results: %FMD[2] but not %NTG[3] was significantly lower in CVD patients (9.5 ± 8.0% vs. 13.5 ± 8.0%, P = 0.012) compared to healthy controls (13.4 ± 8.0% vs. 16.7 ± 11.0%, P = 0.084; respectively). In addition, an inverse correlation between %FMD and the number of traditional CVD risk factors was found among all study participants (r = -0.23, P = 0.015) and healthy controls (r = -0.23, P = 0.036). In a mean follow-up of 15 ± 2 months, the composite CVD endpoints (all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure or angina pectoris, stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting and percutaneous coronary interventions) were significantly more common in subjects with FMD < 6% compared to subjects with FMD > 6% (33.3% vs. 12.1%, P < 0.03, respectively).
Conclusions: Thus, brachial artery %FMD provides important prognostic information in addition to that derived from traditional risk factor assessment







[1] CVD = cardiovascular disease



[2] %FMD = percent improvement in flow-mediated dilation



[3] %NTG = percent improvement in nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation


February 2007
D. Heymann, Y. Shilo, A. Tirosh, L. Valinsky, S. Vinker

Background: In 2003 a total of 43 soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces committed suicide; only 20% of them were known to the IDF[1] mental health services. Somatic symptoms are often the only presentation of emotional distress during the primary care visit and may be the key to early identification and treatment.

Objectives: To examine whether the information in the medical records of soldiers can be used to identify those suffering from anxiety, affective or somatoform disorder.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study using the information in the electronic medical records of soldiers who during their 3 year service developed affective disorder, anxiety, or somatoform disorder. A control group was matched for recruitment date, type of unit and occupation in the service, and the Performance Prediction Score. The number and reasons for physician visits were collated.

Results: The files of 285 soldiers were examined: 155 cases and 130 controls. The numbers of visits (mean SD) during the 3 and 6 month periods in the case and control groups were 4.7 ± 3.3 and 7.1 ± 5.0, and 4.1 ± 2.9 and 5.9 ± 4.6 respectively. The difference was statistically significant only for the 6 month period (P < 0.05). The variables that remained significant, after stepwise multivariate regression were the Performance Prediction Score and the presenting complaints of back pain and diarrhea.

Conclusions: These findings may spur the development of a computer-generated warning for the primary care physician who will then be able to interview his or her patient appropriately and identify mental distress earlier. 






[1] IDF = Israel Defense Force


December 2005
O. Shovman, Y. Sherer, R. Gerli, B. Gilbourd, F. Luccioli, E. Bartoloni, F. F. D. Monache, Y. Shoenfeld.

Background: Heat shock proteins are highly conserved immunodominant antigens found in various species. Humoral immune responses to mycobacterial HSP65[1] and human HSP60 have been established in a number of human autoimmune diseases.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of antibodies to HSP60 kDa and HSP65 kDa in patients with Sjogren's syndrome as compared to normal subjects.

Methods: Thirty-seven patients with SS[2] were compared with normal controls. The antibodies against human HSP60 were measured by the Anti-Human (IgG/IgM) HSP60 ELISA kit. IgGs[3] and IgMs to mycobacterial HSP65 were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with mycobacterial recombinant HSP65 antigens.

Results: The levels of both anti-HSP60 and -HSP65 were lower among patients compared with controls. IgG autoantibodies to HSP60 were significantly different between groups: 162 ± 55.1 ng/ml in controls versus 112.3 ± 30.6 ng/ml in SS patients (P < 0.001). The levels among controls of anti-HSP65 IgM isotype were also significantly higher than among patients: 111.6 ± 33.4 U/ml versus 96.1 ± 8.9 U/ml (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: The results of the present study show that the levels of different isotypes of anti- HSP60 and HSP65 antibodies were lower in patients with SS than in normal subjects. Additional studies on larger patient populations are required to evaluate the prevalence of these autoantibodies in SS patients.

 






[1] HSP = heat shock protein

[2] SS = Sjogren's syndrome



[3] Ig = immunoglobulin


August 2004
A. Lorber, A. Khoury, Y. Schwartz, Y. Braver, A. Klein-Kremer and L. Gelernter-Yaniv
December 2003
L.R. Saidel-Odes and Y. Almog

Background: The Dead Sea in Israel has a very high mineral content. Near-drowning in the Dead Sea is expected to result in severe electrolyte abnormalities and respiratory failure. Previous limited studies reported a high mortality rate.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical and biochemical manifestations and disease outcome of near-drowning in the Dead Sea.

Methods: Data were abstracted from the archives of Soroka University Medical Center. The cohort comprised 69 patients who nearly drowned in the Dead Sea.

Results: The median age of the patients was 68 years (range 21–84). There were two major manifestations of near-drowning in the Dead Sea: electrolyte imbalance and acute lung injury. Serum calcium, magnesium and phosphorus (but not sodium, potassium and chloride) were abnormal in most patients. Median serum electrolyte levels (and range) on admission were 10.9 mEq/dl (9–24) for calcium, 4.3 mEq/dl (1–30) for magnesium, and 4.1 mEq/dl (2–9) for phosphorus. These levels quickly normalized with forced diuresis within 24 hours. Acute lung injury – namely, hypoxic bilateral pneumonitis – occurred in 29 patients. Mechanical ventilation was required in 11 patients. Sixty-five patients recovered fully, while the remaining 4 had minor sequelae.

Conclusions: Near-drowning in the Dead Sea is a syndrome of severe electrolyte abnormalities and lung injury. Early treatment, with forced diuresis and supportive care, results in prompt recovery.

July 2003
R. Satran and Y. Almog

Sepsis is an infection-induced inflammatory syndrome that results in a complex network of adaptive and maladaptive alterations in homeostatic mechanisms. Severe sepsis, defined as sepsis associated with acute organ failure, is a serious disease with a mortality rate of 30–50%. The coagulation system, through complex interactions, has an important role in the final outcome of the sepsis-induced inflammatory cascade. A fine and delicate balance that normally exists between anticoagulant mechanisms and the procoagulant response is altered in sepsis. Activated protein C, an endogenous vitamin K-dependent anticoagulant, plays a major role in the down-regulation of the procoagulant arm. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Endothelial damage during sepsis impairs the endothelium-dependent activation of protein C, thus shifting the balance towards thrombosis. This shift may contribute to the development of sepsis-related multi-organ failure. Evidence suggesting that activation of the coagulation system may contribute to sepsis-related morbidity and mortality has led to extensive research attempting to correct the hemostatic defects seen in septic patients. Indeed, a recent randomized controlled trial demonstrated a reduction in overall mortality in patients with severe sepsis treated with APC[1]. In this review we discuss the pathogenesis of the coagulopathy of sepsis, as well as the new therapeutic approaches aimed at correcting the defects in the coagulation system.






[1] APC = activated protein C


February 2003
N. Maimon and Y. Almog

Patients with a compromised immune system suffer a wide variety of insults. Interstitial lung changes are one of the most common and serious complications in this group of patients. The morbidity rate reaches 50% and up to 90% if endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation are necessary. Opportunistic and bacterial infections are common causes of pulmonary infiltrates and must be distinguished from other conditions such as drug reactions, volume overload, pulmonary hemorrhage, and malignant diseases. Accurate and prompt diagnosis of potentially treatable causes can be life-saving. Non-invasive diagnostic methods for evaluation are often of little value, and an invasive procedure - such as bronchoalveolar lavage, transbronchial biopsy or even open lung biopsy - is therefore performed to obtain a histologic diagnosis. Yet, even when a specific diagnosis is made it may not improve the patient’s survival. Numerous textbook and review articles have focused on the management of this condition. The present review attempts to provide a comprehensive and systematic picture of current knowledge and an integrated approach to these challenging patients.

January 2003
V. Klaitman and Y. Almog

Sepsis is an inflammatory syndrome caused by infection. Consequently, anti-inflammatory therapies in sepsis have been a subject of extensive research and corticosteroids have been used for years in the therapy of severe infections. However, studies conducted in the 1980s failed to demonstrate any beneficial effects of high dose, short-term steroid therapy in sepsis and this therapy was therefore abandoned during the last decade. Recently, a new concept has emerged with more promising results - low dose, long-term hydrocortisone therapy – and this approach is now being evaluated in the treatment of septic shock. It is supported by the observation that many sepsis patients have relative adrenal insufficiency. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effects of steroids and their ability to improve reactivity to catecholamines further contribute to their effects in sepsis. Large randomized clinical trials will be required to determine the exact role of corticosteroids in septic shock.

November 2002
Avinoam Shuper, MD, Batia Stark, MD, Liora Kornreich, MD, Ian J. Cohen, MBChB, Gali Avrahami, MD and Isaac Yaniv, MD

The addition of methotrexate to treatment protocols in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been found beneficial in preventing central nervous system relapse. However, MTX[1] itself may be associated with neurologic morbidities, the most significant of which is leukoencephalopathy. The present study describes the clinical spectrum of leukoencephalopathy, which ranges from a subclinical disease manifested only radiologically to a progressive, devastating encephalopathy. The interaction of MTX with other components of the treatment protocol is discussed, as is the effect of leucovorin. A summary is presented of the metabolic pathways that may be involved in the development of MTX toxicity. Researchers are still seeking a biochemical marker to aid in the determination of the amount of MTX that may be safely administered.

__________________________



[1] MTX = methotrexate


October 2002
Hannah Tamary, MD, Raanan Bar-Yam, BSc, Michal Zemach, MD, Orly Dgany, PhD, Lea Shalmon, MSc and Isaac Yaniv, MD

Fanconi anemia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized clinically by congenital abnormalities, progressive bone marrow failure, and a predisposition to malignancy. FA cells are sensitive to DNA cross-linking agents. Complementation analysis of FA cells using somatic cell fusion has facilitated the identification of eight complementation groups, suggesting that FA is a genetically heterogeneous disorder. Six genes (FANCA, FANCC, FANCD2, FANCE, FANGF, FANCG) have been cloned so far. The majority of affected patients belong to FA group A. Of the 32 unrelated Israeli patients with FA that we studied, 6 carried the FANCC mutations and 15 the FANCA mutations. Among the Jewish patients, ethnic-related mutations were common. Recent cumulative evidence suggests that the FA proteins are repair proteins. FANCC, FANCA and FANCG bind and interact in a protein complex found in the cytoplasm and nucleus of normal cells. FANCD2 exists in two isoforms; the long active form, FANCD2-L, is absent from FA cells of all complementation groups. FANCD2 co-localized with BRCA1 in unclear foci, probably as part of a large genomic surveillance complex. Studies using FANCA and FANCC knockout mice suggest that bone marrow precursors express interferon-g hypersensitivity and show progressive apoptosis. The definition of the molecular basis of FA in many affected families now enables prenatal diagnosis.

February 2001
Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD, Yaniv Dhemer, MD, Yaakov George, MD and Dror Harats, MD
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