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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

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April 2023
Yishai Mintzker MD, Limor Adler MD, Linoy Gabay MPH, Tamar Banon MSc

Background: Intrathoracic cancer can cause hyponatremia, but it is uncertain whether mild hyponatremia in the outpatient setting should be regarded as an early sign of intrathoracic cancer.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk of undiagnosed intrathoracic cancer in patients with new persistent mild hyponatremia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the electronic health record database of a large healthcare organization. The hyponatremia group included patients with sodium concentration of 130–134 mmol/L twice, after a previous normal value and without previous history of cancer or diseases related to hyponatremia. A control group with normal sodium concentration was matched by sex, age, and year of testing. We measured specific intrathoracic cancer incidence during 3 years of follow-up after sodium concentration test date. A logistic regression was used to adjust for further clinical information including smoking history, symptoms, and medications.

Results: The study comprised 1539 participants with mild hyponatremia and 7624 matched controls. New intrathoracic cancer diagnosis was more common in the hyponatremia group during a 3-year follow-up; 1.49% in the hyponatremia group and 0.39% in the control group, crude odds ratio (OR) 3.84, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 2.22–6.63. After adjustment, hyponatremia remained a significant risk factor for the diagnosis of intrathoracic cancer; adjusted OR 3.61, 95%CI 2.08–6.28.

Conclusions: New mild persistent hyponatremia might be a significant predictive marker to a yet undiagnosed intrathoracic cancer.

October 2021
Yishai Levy MD and David Levy

An arginine-rich apolipoprotein was discovered 50 years ago and became known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 10 years later. ApoE is associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and mediates the clearance of these lipoproteins from the plasma. The ApoE-deficient hypercholesterolemic mice are an excellent platform for experimental atherosclerosis because they are similar to human pathology with regard to an atherogenic diet. ApoE is mainly produced in the liver and central nervous system cells. Three alleles determine six ApoE phenotypes with different metabolic effects and plasma cholesterol levels. Type III dysbetalipoproteinemia is associated with wide-spread atherogenesis with a defective ApoE2 resulting in delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. ApoE4 substantially increases the risk including age of onset, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, much effort has been directed to the elucidation of the pathogenic role of ApoE related to amyloid β (Aβ) acquisition in the brain. The ApoE trail passing from an enigmatic protein to a major player in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is reviewed

January 2020
Alina Weissmann-Brenner MD, Anna Mitlin MD, Chen Hoffman MD, Reuven Achiron MD, Yishai Salem MD and Eldad Katorza MD

Background: Congenital heart defects (CHD) may be associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities mainly due to brain hypoperfusion. This defect is attributed to the major cardiac operations these children underwent, but also to hemodynamic instability during fetal life. Advances in imaging techniques have identified changes in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)in children with CHD.

Objectives: To examine the correlation between CHD and brain injury using fetal brain MRI.

Methods: We evaluated 46 fetuses diagnosed with CHD who underwent brain MRI. CHD was classified according to in situs anomalies, 4 chamber view (4CV), outflow tracts, arches, and veins as well as cyanotic or complex CHD. We compared MRI results of different classes of CHD and CHD fetuses to a control group of 113 healthy brain MRI examinations.

Results: No significant differences were found in brain pathologies among different classifications of CHD. The anteroposterior percentile of the vermis was significantly smaller in fetuses with abnormal 4CV. A significantly higher biparietal diameter was found in fetuses with abnormal arches. A significantly smaller transcerebellar diameter was found in fetuses with abnormal veins. Compared to the control group, significant differences were found in overall brain pathology in cortex abnormalities and in extra axial findings in the study group. Significantly higher rates of overall brain pathologies, ventricle pathologies, cortex pathologies, and biometrical parameters were found in the cyanotic group compared to the complex group and to the control group.

Conclusions: Fetuses with CHD demonstrate findings in brain MRI that suggest an in utero pathogenesis of the neurological and cognitive anomalies found during child development.

April 2010
T. Eidlitz-Markus, M. Mukamel, Y. Haimi-Cohen, J. Amir and A. Zeharia

Background: Pathologic breast conditions are rare in childhood and adolescence. The spectrum of breast disease in the pediatric age group is different from that in adults, and most lesions are benign

Objectives: To describe the causes and characteristics of breast asymmetry in adolescents with normal endocrine profiles and sexual development.

Methods: The files of patients with a diagnosis of breast asymmetry referred to a tertiary pediatric center from 1990 to 2007 were reviewed for history and findings on physical examination with or without imaging, treatment and outcome.

Results: Eleven patients aged 12.5 to 18 years were identified. The cause of the breast asymmetry was traced to unpreventable medical factors in eight patients (physiologic, Poland anomaly, scleroderma), preventable/iatrogenic factors in two patients (chest tissue biopsy, thoracic drain), and possible combined medical-iatrogenic factors in one patient (scoliosis treated by a body brace). All patients were referred for breast reconstruction after full breast development.

Conclusions: Severe breast asymmetry in adolescence may be due to congenital factors, diseases involving the breast tissue, or to the effects of medical treatment, and may have severe adverse psychological and social implications. To prevent iatrogenic breast asymmetry, physicians should be made aware of the sensitivity of the breast tissue and should avoid unnecessary tests/procedures that involve the chest wall. In most cases a precise medical history and physical examination can differentiate between physiologic and non-physiologic causes.

October 2009
N. Markovits, A. Ben Amotz and Y. Levy

Background: Fat tissue mediates the production of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative products, which are key steps in the development of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Antioxidant-rich diets protect against chronic diseases, but antioxidants may interfere with pro-inflammatory signals.

Objectives: To investigate the effect of the potent tomato-derived antioxidant carotenoid, lycopene, on plasma antioxidants (carotenoids and vitamin E), inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha), and oxidation products (conjugated dienes).

Methods: Eight obese patients (body mass index 37.5 ± 2.5 kg/m2) were compared with a control group of eight lean, age and gender-matched subjects (BMI[1] 21.6 ±  0.6 kg/m2), before and after 4 weeks of lycopene supplementation (tomato-derived Lyc-O-Mato) (30 mg daily).

Results: Plasma carotenoids were significantly reduced in the obese compared to control subjects (0.54 ± 0.06 vs. 0.87 ± 0.08 mg/ml, P < 0.01). CRP[2] levels were significantly higher (6.5 vs. 1.1 mg/L, P = 0.04) in obese vs. controls, as were IL-6[3] and conjugated dienes (3.6 and 7.9-fold, respectively). CRP, IL-6 and conjugated dienes correlated with BMI, while IL-6 and conjugated dienes correlated inversely with carotenoids (P < 0.05). Following lycopene treatment, a significant elevation of plasma carotenoids (1.79 vs. 0.54 ug/ml) and specifically lycopene (1.15 vs 0.23 ug/ml) (P < 0.001) occurred in the treatment vs. placebo group, respectively. Markers of inflammation and oxidation products were not altered by lycopene.
Conclusions: Obese patients showed abnormally higher markers of inflammation and oxidation products and lower plasma carotenoids. The lack of reduction of pro-inflammatory markers could be attributed to the short period of the study and the small number of participants. More studies are needed on the protective qualities of natural antioxidant-rich diets against obesity-related co-morbidities.

[1]BMI = body mass index

[2] CRP = C-reactive protein

[3] IL = interleukin

April 2009
Ofir Chechik, MD and Yishai Rosenblatt, MD.

Background: Fracture of the scaphoid is the most common fracture of a carpal bone. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of SF[1] might be challenging. Plain X-rays that fail to demonstrate a fracture line while clinical findings suggest the existence of such a fracture is not uncommon. Currently there is no consensus in the literature as to how a clinically suspected SF should be diagnosed, immobilized and treated.

Objectives: To assess the current status of diagnosis and treatment of clinically suspected scaphoid fractures in Israeli emergency departments

Methods: We conducted a telephonic survey among orthopedic surgeons working in Israeli EDs[2] as to their approach to the diagnosis and treatment of occult SF.

Results: A total of 42 orthopedic surgeons in 6 hospital EDs participated in the survey. They reported performing a mean of 2.45 ± 0.85 clinical tests, with tenderness over the snuffbox area being the sign most commonly used.  A mean of 4.38 ± 0.76 X-ray views were ordered for patients with a clinically suspected SF. The most common combination included posterior-anterior, lateral, semipronated and semisupinated oblique views. All participating surgeons reported immobilizing the wrists of patients with occult fractures in a thumb spica cast based on their clinical findings. Upon discharge from the ED patients were advised to have another diagnostic examination as follows: 29 (69%) repeated X-rays series, 18 (43%) were referred to bone scintigraphy and 2 (5%) to computed tomography; none were referred to magnetic resonance imaging.

Conclusions: No consensus was found among Israeli orthopedic surgeons working in EDs regarding the right algorithm for assessment of clinically suspected SF. There is a need for better guidelines to uniformly dictate the order and set of tests to be used in the assessment of occult fractures.

[1] SF = scaphoid fracture

[2] ED = Emergency Department


February 2009
C. Stein-Zamir, E. Tallen-Gozani, N. Abramson, H. Shoob, R. Yishai, V. Agmon, A. Reisfeld, L. Valinsky and E. Marva

Background: Foodborne Salmonella enterica outbreaks constitute both a threat to public health and an economic burden worldwide.

Objectives: To characterize the pathogen(s) involved and possible source of infection of an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in a banqueting hall in Jerusalem.

Methods: We conducted interviews of guests and employees of the banqueting hall, and analyzed food items, samples from work surfaces and stool cultures.

Results: Of 770 persons participating in three events on 3 consecutive days at a single banqueting hall, 124 were interviewed and 75 reported symptoms. Salmonella enterica, serovar Enteritidis, phage type C-8, was isolated from: 10 stool cultures (eight guests, one symptomatic employee and one asymptomatic employee) and a sample of a mayonnaise-based egg salad. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis[c1]  of the isolates revealed an identical pattern in the outbreak isolates, different from SE C-8 controls. A culture-positive, asymptomatic employee was linked to all three events. After a closure order, allowing for cleaning of the banqueting hall, revision of food preparation procedures and staff instruction on hygiene, the banqueting hall was reopened with no subsequent outbreaks.

Conclusions: It is often difficult to pinpoint the source of infection in S. enterica outbreaks. Using molecular subtyping methods, a link was confirmed between patients, a food handler, (presumably a carrier) and a food item – all showing an identical specific Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Testing asymptomatic as well as symptomatic food handlers in outbreak investigations is imperative. Pre- and post-hiring screening might be considered as preventive measures; hygiene and sanitation education are essential.


September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

May 2006
L. Moerman, A. Leventhal, P.E. Slater, E. Anis, R. Yishai and E. Marva

Background: Pertussis is the only vaccine-preventable disease that has re-emerged in Israel. The reported crude incidence of the disease increased 16-fold since 1998.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of pertussis and to explain the substantial increase in reported pertussis incidence in Israel in recent years.

Methods: Crude and specific pertussis incidence by age, patient immunization status, hospitalization rate and national immunization coverage rate were calculated from information provided by the public health offices of the Ministry of Health.

Results: The reported crude incidence of pertussis increased from 1–2/100,000 in 1994–98 to 23/100,000 in 2004. The trend was observed in all age groups, being most prominent in infants under age 1 year and in children aged 5–14. The incidence of pertussis was substantially higher in unvaccinated and partly vaccinated compared to fully vaccinated persons. Fifteen percent of notified cases were hospitalized, but in infants under age 1 year the hospitalization rate was 50%. National pertussis immunization coverage by age 2 years was stable during the last 10 years.

Conclusions: There are several possible explanations for the re-emergence of pertussis in Israel. The most plausible reason seems to be the waning of vaccine-induced immunity in face of infrequent natural exposure to the infectious agent and lack of a pertussis vaccine booster dose after age 1.

August 2002
Alla Reitman, MD, Ilana Friedrich, MD, Ami Ben-Amotz, PhD and Yishai Levy, MD

Background: Obesity is among the well-established risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the exact mechanisms are not well understood. Low concentrations of vitamins (fat soluble antioxidants and B vitamins) are linked to accelerated atherosclerosis through increased oxidative stress and homocysteine.

Objective: To compare plasma antioxidant vitamins (carotenoids and vitamin E), B vitamins (folic acid and B12) and homocysteine – all linked to increased cardiovascular morbidity – between patients with severe obesity and lean control subjects.

Methods: We investigated plasma carotenoids, vitamin E, folic acid, B12, and homocysteine in 25 obese patients and their age-matched controls (body mass index 38 ± 3 vs. 21 ± 2 kg/m2), respectively), related to BMI[1] and plasma insulin.

Results: Patients with obesity had normal B vitamins and a non-significant decrease in plasma homocysteine as compared to controls (9.4 ± 2.6 vs. 11.4 ± 4.8 mmol/L, P = 0.07). There was a significant decrease in both plasma carotenoids and vitamin E (0.69 ± 0.32 vs. 1.25 ± 0.72 and 24 ± 10 vs. 33 ± 14 mg/ml, respectively; P < 0.01). Both vitamins were inversely related to BMI and plasma insulin, which was significantly increased in patients with obesity (22 ± 21 vs. 6 ± 2 mU/ml, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Obese patients with BMI above 35 kg/m2 show low plasma antioxidants (carotenoids and vitamin E). This may result in increased oxidative stress and consequently enhanced atherosclerosis in these patients.

[1] BMI = body mass index

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