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עמוד בית
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September 2018
Marina Leitman MD, Marina Levitan MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: A cardiac restrictive filling patterns are associated with unfavorable prognoses. Cardiac interventions may change the natural history of patients.

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of restrictive filling pattern in routine echocardiographic examinations and their association with morbidity and mortality.

Methods: The clinical and echocardiographic data of patients with newly diagnosed restrictive filling pattern were analyzed and summarized.

Results: Among 8000 patients who underwent an echocardiographic examination in our hospital in 2013, a restrictive filling pattern was identified in 256. Of these, 134 showed a restrictive filling pattern that was newly diagnosed. Mean age was 69 years. Hypertension, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease were found in 81%, 60%, and 53%, respectively. Left ventricular ejection fraction was 42% ± 16%. Severe valvular abnormalities were found in 18%. During follow-up (29 ± 15 months), 40% of patients died. The strongest predictor of mortality (73%) was moderate or more advanced aortic stenosis, P = 0.005. Renal failure was an important independent predictor of mortality (53%, P < 0.05). A very high E/E' ratio ≥ 20, was another independent mortality predictor (50%, P < 0.03). Patients who died were less likely to have undergone cardiac interventions than those who survived (26% vs. 45%, P < 0.03).

Conclusions: Prevalence of restrictive filling among echocardiographic studies is 3.2%. In a half of these, the restrictive filling pattern is a new diagnosis. Patients who are diagnosed with a new restrictive filling pattern have higher mortality rates. Patients with restrictive filling should be evaluated thoroughly for possible coronary artery or valvular heart disease.

May 2017
Marina Leitman MD, Vladimir Tyomkin MSc, Eli Peleg MD, Therese Fuchs MD, Ziad Gabara MD and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: In recent years cardioversion of atrial fibrillation has become a routine procedure, enabling symptomatic functional improvement in most cases. However, some patients develop complications after cardioversion. Identifying these individuals is an important step toward improving patient outcome.

Objectives: To characterize those patients who may not benefit from cardioversion or who may develop complications following cardioversion.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 186 episodes of cardioversion in 163 patients with atrial fibrillation who were admitted to our cardiology department between 2008 and 2013 based on their clinical and echocardiographic data. Patients were divided into two groups: those with uncomplicated cardioversion, and those who developed complications after cardioversion.

Results: Of the 186 episodes, cardioversion was done in 112 men (60%) and 74 women (40%), P < 0.00001. Complications after cardioversion occurred in 25 patients (13%). These patients were generally older (72 vs. 65 years, P < 0.01), were more often diabetic (52% vs. 27%, P = 0.005), had undergone emergency cardioversion (64% vs. 40%, P = 0.01), had left ventricular hypertrophy (left ventricular mass 260 vs. 218 g, P = 0.01), had larger left atrium (left atrial volume 128 vs. 102 ml, P < 0.009), and more often died from complications of cardioversion (48% vs. 16%). They had significant mitral regurgitation (20% vs. 4%, P = 0.03) and higher pulmonary artery pressure (50 vs. 42 mm Hg, P < 0.02).

Conclusions: People with complications after cardioversion tend to be older, are more often diabetic and more often have severe mitral regurgitation. In these patients, the decision to perform cardioversion should consider the possibility of complications.

Sa’ar Minha MD, Tali Taraboulos MD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD, Eran Kalmanovich MD, Zvi Vered MD and Alex Blatt MD MSc
July 2016
Marina Leitman MD, Eli Peleg MD, Ruthie Shmueli and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: The search for the presence of vegetations in patients with suspected infective endocarditis is a major indication for trans-esophageal echocardiographic (TEE) examinations. Advances in harmonic imaging and ongoing improvement in modern echocardiographic systems allow adequate quality of diagnostic images in most patients.

Objectives: To investigate whether TEE examinations are always necessary for the assessment of patients with suspected infective endocarditis. 

Methods: During 2012–2014 230 trans-thoracic echo (TTE) exams in patients with suspected infective endocarditis were performed at our center. Demographic, epidemiological, clinical and echocardiographic data were collected and analyzed, and the final clinical diagnosis and outcome were determined. 

Results: Of 230 patients, 24 had definite infective endocarditis by clinical assessment. TEE examination was undertaken in 76 of the 230 patients based on the clinical decision of the attending physician. All TTE exams were classified as: (i) positive, i.e., vegetations present; (ii) clearly negative; or (iii) non-conclusive. Of the 92 with clearly negative TTE exams, 20 underwent TEE and all were negative. All clearly negative patients had native valves, adequate quality images, and in all 92 the final diagnosis was not infective endocarditis. Thus, the negative predictive value of a clearly negative TTE examination was 100%.

Conclusions: In patients with native cardiac valves referred for evaluation for infective endocarditis, an adequate quality TTE with clearly negative examination may be sufficient for the diagnosis.

 

July 2015
Marina Leitman MD, Laurian Copel MD, Simcha Rosenblatt MD, Josef Gurevich MD and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC
December 2010
A. Blatt, S. Minha, G. Moravsky, Z. Vered and R. Krakover

Background: Appropriate antibiotic use is of both clinical and economic significance to any health system and should be given adequate attention. Prior to this study, no in-depth information was available on antibiotic use patterns in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Objectives: To describe the use and misuse of antibiotics and their associated costs in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Methods: We analyzed the charts of 657 discharged patients and 45 admitted patients who received antibiotics in Hadassah Medical Center’s emergency department during a 6 week period (29 April – 11 June 2007). A prescription was considered appropriate or inappropriate if the choice of antibiotic, dose and duration by the prescribing physician after diagnosis was considered suitable or wrong by the infectious diseases consultant evaluating the prescriptions according to Kunin’s criteria.

Results: The overall prescribing rate of antibiotics was 14.5% (702/4830) of which 42% were broad- spectrum antibiotics. The evaluated antibiotic prescriptions numbered 1105 (96 prescriptions containing 2 antibiotics, 2 prescriptions containing 3 antibiotics), and 54% of them were considered appropriate. The total inappropriate cost was 3583 NIS[1] (1109 USD PPP[2]) out of the total antibiotic costs of 27,300 NIS (8452 USD PPP). The annual total antibiotic cost was 237,510 NIS (73,532 USD PPP) and the annual total inappropriate cost was 31,172 NIS (9648 USD PPP). The mean costs of inappropriate prescriptions were highest for respiratory (112 NIS, 35 USD PPP) and urinary tract infection (93 NIS, 29 USD PPP). There were more cases when the optimal cost was lower than the actual cost (N=171) than when optimal cost was higher than the actual cost (N=9). In the first case, the total inappropriate costs were 3805 NIS (1,178 USD PPP), and in the second case, -222 NIS (68.7 USD PPP).

Conclusions: The use of antibiotics in emergency departments should be monitored, especially in severely ill patients who require broad-spectrum antibiotics and for antibiotics otherwise restricted in the hospital wards. Our findings indicate that 12% of the total antibiotic costs could have been avoided if all prescriptions were optimal.






[1] NIS = New Israeli Shekel



[2] USD PPP = US dollar purchasing power parity


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


October 2008
February 2008
April 2007
N. Uriel,G. Moravsky, A. Blatt, A. Tourovski, Z. Gabara, I. Yofik, V. Danicek, A. Hendler, R. Braunstein, R. Krakover, Z. Vered and E. Kaluski

Background: Spontaneous coronary reperfusion occurs in 7–27% of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction, and is an independent predictor of myocardial salvage, percutaneous coronary intervention success, and improved outcome.

Objectives: To determine the optimal PCI[1] time for patients admitted to the hospital due to STEMI[2] with SCR[3].

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients admitted to the coronary care unit between July 2002 and November 2004 with a diagnosis of STEMI with SCR.

Results: The study group comprised 86 patients. There was not a single reinfarction episode during an observation period of 6579 patient hours. Cardiac catheterization was executed early (< 24 hours from pain onset) in 26 patients and late (> 24 hours) in 55. Pre-PCI angiographic TIMI flow 2–3 was seen in > 95% in both groups. PCI was performed more frequently in the “early” group (P = 0.024), while multi-vessel coronary artery disease (P = 0.094) requiring coronary bypass surgery (P = 0.056) was observed more frequently in the “late catheterization” group. Myocardial infarction and angina pectoris at 30 days occurred more frequently in the early catheterization group (P = 0.039), however no difference in any major adverse cardiac events was detected during long-term follow-up (491 ± 245 days).

Conclusions: Reinfarction after STEMI with SCR is a rare event. Early PCI in patients with STEMI and SCR, even when executed with aggressive anti-platelet therapy, seems to result in an excess of early MACE, without any long-term advantage. Prospective randomized trials should determine the optimal PCI timing for these patients.








[1] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

[2] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction

[3] SCR = spontaneous coronary reperfusion


M. Leitman, P. Lysyansky, J. Gurevich, MD, Z. Friedman, E. Sucher, S. Rosenblatt, E. Kaluski, R. Krakover, T. Fuchs and Z. Vered

Background: Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function includes calculation of ejection fraction and regional wall motion analysis. Recently, speckle imaging was introduced for quantification of left ventricular function.

Objectives: To assess LVEF[1] by speckle imaging and compare it with Simpson’s method, and to assess the regional LV strain obtained by speckle imaging in relation to conventional echocardiographic scores.

Methods: Thirty consecutive patients, 28 with regional LV dysfunction, underwent standard echocardiographic evaluation. LV end-diastolic volume, LV end-systolic volume and EF were calculated independently by speckle imaging and Simpson’s rule. The regional peak systolic strain presented by speckle imaging as a bull's-eye map was compared with the conventional visual estimate of echo score.

Results: Average EDV[2] obtained by speckle imaging and by Simpson’s method were 85.1 vs. 92.7 ml (P = 0.38), average ESV[3] was 49.4 vs. 48.8 ml (P = 0.94), calculated EF was 43.9 vs. 50.5% (P = 0.08). The correlation rate with Simpson’s rule was high: 0.92 for EDV, 0.96 for ESV, and 0.89 for EF. The peak systolic strain in two patients without wall motion abnormality was 17.3 ± 4.7; in normal segments of patients with regional dysfunction, peak systolic strain (13.4 ± 4.9) was significantly higher than in hypokinetic segments  (10.5 ± 4.5) (P < 0.000001). The strain in hypokinetic segments was significantly higher than in akinetic segments (6.2 ± 3.6) (P < 0.000001).

Conclusions: Speckle imaging can be successfully used for the assessment of LV volumes and EF. Bull's-eye strain map, created by speckle imaging, can achieve an accurate real-time segmental wall motion analysis.

 






[1] LV = left ventricular ejection fraction

[2] EDV = end-diastolic volume

[3] ESV = end-systolic volume


October 2006
E. Kaluski, Z. Gabara, N. Uriel, O. Milo, M. Leitman, J. Weisfogel, V. Danicek, Z. Vered and G. Cotter
 Background: External counter-pulsation is a safe and effective method of alleviating angina pectoris, but the mechanism of benefit is not understood.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of external counter-pulsation therapy in heart failure patients.

Methods: Fifteen symptomatic heart failure patients (subsequent to optimal medical and device therapy) underwent 35 hourly sessions of ECPT[1] over a 7 week period. Before and after each ECPT session we performed pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and brachial artery function studies, administered a quality of life questionnaire, and assessed exercise tolerance and functional class.

Results: Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1 ± 5.8%. ECPT was safe and well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in pro-BNP[2] levels (from 2245 ± 2149 pcg/ml to 1558 ± 1206 pcg/ml, P = 0.022). Exercise duration (Naughton protocol) improved (from 720 ± 389 to 893 ± 436 seconds, P = 0.0001), along with functional class (2.63 ± 0.6 vs. 1.93 ± 0.7, P = 0.023) and quality of life scores (54 ± 22 vs. 67 ± 23, P = 0.001). Nitroglycerine-mediated brachial vasodilatation increased (11.5 ± 7.3% vs. 15.6 ± 5.2%, P =0.049), as did brachial flow-mediated dilation (8.35 ± 6.0% vs. 11.37 ± 4.9%, P = 0.09).

Conclusions: ECPT is safe for symptomatic heart failure patients and is associated with functional and neurohormonal improvement. Larger long-term randomized studies with a control arm are needed to confirm these initial encouraging observations.


 





[1] ECPT = external counter-pulsation therapy

[2] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide


June 2005
R. Krakover, A. Blatt, A. Hendler, I. Zisman, M. Reicher, J. Gurevich, E. Peleg, Z. Vered and E. Kaluski
 Background: Coronary sinus is a venous conduit with dynamic and unclear function with regard to coronary circulation.  

Objectives: To describe the dynamic changes of the coronary sinus during the cardiac cycle.

Methods: The angiographic feature of the coronary sinus was evaluated in 30 patients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic coronary angiography.

Results: Prolonged angiographic imaging following coronary injections permitted accurate demonstration of the coronary sinus in all 30 patients. We report, for the first time, that the coronary sinus can be divided into two angiographic functional/anatomic portions, upper and lower. The lower part is prone to a highly dynamic contraction/relaxation pattern, observed in 12 of the 30 patients, while 10 patients had normal and 8 had low contractile pattern on angiography. Clinical assessment of these patients did not identify an association with this motion pattern.

Conclusions: The coronary sinus is an important anatomic/functional structure that should be further investigated in patients with various forms of heart disease.

March 2005
M. Leitman, E. Peleg, R. Krakover, E. Sucher, S. Rosenblath, R. Zaidentstein and Z. Vered
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