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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

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July 2022
Ivelin Koev MD, Aharon Bloch MD, Elisha Ouzan MD, Donna R. Zwas MD, Iddo Z. Ben-Dov MD, PhD, and Israel Gotsman MD

Background: Advanced heart failure (HF) carries a high rate of recurrent HF hospitalizations and a very high mortality rate. Mechanical devices and heart transplantation are limited to a select few. Dialysis may be a good alternative for advanced HF patients with volume overload despite maximal pharmacological therapy.

Objectives: To assess the net clinical outcome of peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis in patients with advanced HF.

Methods: We analyzed all advanced HF patients who were referred for dialysis due to volume overload in our institution. Patients were followed for complications, HF hospitalizations, and survival.

Results: We assessed 35 patients; 10 (29%) underwent peritoneal dialysis and 25 (71%) underwent hemodialysis; 71% were male; median (interquartile range) age was 74 (67–78) years. Estimated glomerular filtration rate was 20 (13–32) ml/min per 1.73 m2. New York Heart Association functional capacity was III. Median follow-up time was 719 days (interquartile range 658–780). One-year mortality rate was 8/35 (23%) and overall mortality rate was 16/35 (46%). Three patients (9%) died during the first year due to line or peritoneal dialysis related sepsis, and 6 (17%) died during the entire follow-up. The median number of HF hospitalizations was significantly reduced during the year on dialysis compared to the year prior to dialysis (0.0 [0.0–1.0] vs. 2.0 [0.0–3.0], P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Dialysis is reasonably safe and significantly reduced HF hospitalization in advanced HF patients. Dialysis could be a good alternative for advanced HF patients with intractable volume overload.

February 2014
Chrystalleni Mylonas, Shifra T. Zwas, Galina Rotenberg, Gal Omry and Ohad Cohen
Background: To prevent the unwarranted effects of post-thyroidectomy hypothyroidism prior to radiodine (RAI) ablation, patients with well-differentiated thyroid cancer can currently undergo this treatment while in a euthyroid state. This is achieved with the use of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) injections prior to the ablation. 

Objectives: To demonstrate the efficacy of rhTSH in radioiodine thyroid ablation in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for well-differentiated thyroid cancer with different levels of risk, treated with rhTSH prior to remnant ablation with radioiodine.  

Results: Seventeen patients with thyroid cancer were studied and followed for a median of 25 months (range 8–49 months). Ablation (defined as stimulated thyroglobulin < 1 mg/ml, negative neck ultrasonography, and radioiodine scan) was successful in 15 patients (88.2%). One of the patients was lost to follow-up.

Conclusions: The use of rhTSH with postoperative radioiodine ablation may be an efficient tool for sufficient thyroid remnant ablation, avoiding hypothyroidal state in the management of thyroid cancer patients.

March 2013
A. Shauer, I. Gotsman, A. Keren, D.R. Zwas, Y. Hellman, R. Durst and D. Admon
 Acute myocarditis is one of the most challenging diseases to diagnose and treat in cardiology. The true incidence of the disease is unknown. Viral infection is the most common etiology. Modern techniques have improved the ability to diagnose specific viral pathogens in the myocardium. Currently, parvovirus B19 and adenoviruses are most frequently identified in endomyocardial biopsies. Most patients will recover without sequelae, but a subset of patients will progress to chronic inflammatory and dilated cardiomyopathy. The pathogenesis includes direct viral myocardial damage as well as autoimmune reaction against cardiac epitopes. The clinical manifestations of acute myocarditis vary widely – from asymptomatic changes on electrocardiogram to fulminant heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Magnetic resonance imaging is emerging as an important tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients, and for guidance of endomyocardial biopsy. In the setting of acute myocarditis endomyocardial biopsy is required for the evaluation of patients with a clinical scenario suggestive of giant cell myocarditis and of those who deteriorate despite supportive treatment. Treatment of acute myocarditis is still mainly supportive, except for giant cell myocarditis where immunotherapy has been shown to improve survival. Immunotherapy and specific antiviral treatment have yet to demonstrate definitive clinical efficacy in ongoing clinical trials. This review will focus on the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic approach to the patient with clinically suspected acute myocarditis, and an evidence-based treatment strategy for the acute and chronic form of the disease.


August 2011
I. Gotsman, D. Zwas, Z. Zemora, R. Jabara, D. Admon, C. Lotan and A. Keren

Background: Patients with heart failure (HF) have a poor prognosis. Heart failure centers with specialized nurse-supervised management programs have been proposed to improve prognosis.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcome of patients with HF treated at a multidisciplinary HF center of Clalit Health Services in Jerusalem in collaboration with Hadassah University Hospital.

Methods: We evaluated clinical outcome including hospitalizations and death in all HF patients followed at the HF center for 1 year.

Results: Altogether, 324 patients were included and followed at the HF center; 58% were males with a mean age of 76 ± 11 years, and 58% were in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class 3-4. The overall 1 year survival rate was 91% and the 1 year hospitalization rate 29%. Comparing patients in the HF center to the whole cohort of patients with a diagnosis of HF (N=6618) in Clalit Health Services in Jerusalem demonstrated a similar 1 year survival rate: 91% vs. 89% respectively but with a significantly reduced hospitalization rate: 29% vs. 42% respectively (P < 0.01). Cox regression analysis demonstrated that treatment in the HF center was a significant predictor of reduced hospitalization after adjustment for other predictors (hazard ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval 0.530.80, P < 0.0001). A subset of patients that was evaluated (N=78) showed significantly increased compliance. NYHA class improved in these patients from a mean of 3.1 ± 0.1 to 2.6 ± 0.1 after treatment (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Supervision by dedicated specialized nurses in a HF center increased compliance, improved functional capacity in HF patients, and reduced hospitalization rate. HF centers should be considered part of the standard treatment of patients with symptomatic HF.

February 2009
T. Davidson, O. Goitein, A. Avigdor, S. Tzila Zwas and E. Goshen

Background: Venous thromboembolism is a well-recognized and relatively frequent complication of malignancy, whereas tumor thrombosis is a rare complication of solid cancers. Correct diagnosis of tumor thrombosis and its differentiation from VTE[1] can alter patient management and prevent unnecessary long-term anticoagulation treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the contribution of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography to the diagnosis of tumor thrombosis and its differentiation from VTE.

Methods: PET/CT[2] scans from 11 patients with suspected tumor thrombosis were retrospectively evaluated. Suspicion arose from positive PET/CT in eight cases, or from findings on contrast-enhanced CT in three patients. Criteria for positivity of PET/CT included increased focal or linear uptake of 18F-FDG[3] in the involved vessel. Findings were categorized as PET/CT positive, or PET/CT negative and compared to contrast-enhanced or ultrasound Doppler, pathology where available, and clinical follow-up.

Results: Eight occult tumor thromboses were identified by PET/CT-positive scans. Underlying pathologies included pancreatic, colorectal, renal cell, and head-neck squamous cell carcinoma, as well as lymphoma (4 patients). Three thrombotic lesions on contrast-enhanced CT were PET/CT negative, due to VTE (2 patients) and leiomyomatosis. Accuracy of PET/CT to differentiate between tumor thrombosis and benign VTE was 100% in this small study.

Conclusions: Contrast-enhanced CT defines the extent of thrombotic lesions, while the functional information from PET/CT characterizes the lesions. It appears that PET/CT may be helpful in the diagnosis of occult tumor thrombosis and its differentiation from VTE.

[1] VTE = venous thromboembolism

[2] PET/CT = positron emission tomography/computed tomography

[3] FDG = fluorodeoxyglucose

November 2005
A. Yellin, S.T. Zwas, J. Rozenman, D.A. Simansky and E. Goshen
Background: Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy has been used widely for the evaluation of neuroendocrine tumors in the gastrointestinal tract. Its use for detecting and staging thoracic carcinoids is only sporadically reported.
Objectives: To evaluate the possible roles of SRS[1] in the management of proven or suspected pulmonary carcinoids. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all patients undergoing SRS for known or suspected pulmonary carcinoids in a tertiary referral center during a 10 year period. During this period 89 patients underwent resection of pulmonary carcinoids and SRS was used for detection, staging or localization purposes in 8 of them (9%). Scans were labeled true positive, true negative, false positive, or false negative in comparison with histologic or follow-up results. 

Results: SRS was true positive in 6/6 lung locations; true positive in 2/8, true negative in 4/8 and false positive in 2/8 lymph node locations; and true positive in 1/8, true negative in 6/8 and false negative in 1/8 distant locations. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and accuracy were 90%, 83%, 83%, 91% and 87% respectively. The scans were strongly positive in the tumors and involved lymph nodes. SRS correctly localized an occult secreting pulmonary carcinoid. Granulomatous and reactive lymph nodes showed increased uptake. SRS was accurate in ruling out distant metastases. 

Conclusions: SRS is effective for visualizing and localizing pulmonary carcinoids. It assists in the staging of these tumors by detecting lymph node involvement and confirming or ruling out distant metastases. Inflamatory areas in the lung or lymph nodes may be falsely positive.

[1] SRS = somatostatin receptor scintigraphy

May 2003
M. Ben Haim, S.T. Zwas, Y. Munz, D. Rosin, E.L. Shabtai, J. Kuriansky, D. Olchovsky, O. Zmora, A. Scarlat, A. Ayalon and M. Shabtai

Background: Primary hyperparathyroidism in elderly patients is usually associated with additional co-morbidity that increases operative risk, and thus many geriatric patients are denied the benefit of surgery for a single parathyroid adenoma.

Objectives:  To evaluate the safety and efficacy of accurate single photon emission computed tomography sestamibi scintigraphy, enabling precise localization of a single adenoma, in the geriatric population

Methods: Twenty-two patients aged 70 years and over with biochemically proven PHPT[1] and with a single parathyroid adenoma identified by localization studies (sestamibi SPECT[2] scan and ultrasonography) underwent 23 operations over 29 months (out of a total of 140 patients operated upon during the same period). Immediate preoperative sestamibi scintigraphy and marking of focal adenoma uptake followed by intraoperative hand-held gamma probe were used for the removal of the parathyroid adenoma by unilateral minimal access surgery. Associated major co-morbid conditions and pre- and postoperative calcium, phosphorus and parathormone levels were recorded. Indications for surgery were listed and operative and postoperative complications were noted. The patients were followed for a mean period of 17.7 months using the same parameters.

Results: The 22 patients with PHPT had a mean age of 76.3 ± 5.9 years (range 70–88 years)  and a female to male ratio of 13:9. Associated co-morbidity included ischemic heart disease (n=15), hypertension (n=22), non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (n=9), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n=3), and previous neck surgery (n=3). Mean preoperative serum calcium, phosphorous and PTH[3] were 11.7 ± 1.3 mg/dl, 2.5 ± 0.5 mg/dl and 160.9 ± 75.4 pg/ml respectively. In 20 of the 22 patients, surgery was successful in curing PHPT (91%). One patient had persistent hypercalcemia due to a missed adenoma, and repeat operation (by focused minimal access surgery) was successfully performed 2 weeks later. There were no complications and no morbidity postoperatively. Mean postoperative serum calcium, phosphorous and PTH were 9.6 ± 1.2 mg/dl, 3.0 ± 0.5 mg/dl and 35.2 ± 24 pg/ml respectively. In all patients, serum calcium levels remained normal (9.7 ± 1.3 mg/ml) after long-term follow-up (mean 17.7 ± 9.6 months).

Conclusions: Minimally invasive, radio-guided focused parathyroidectomy for a single adenoma is a safe and effective method to cure hyperparathyroidism in the elderly. Success of surgery is directly related to the surgeon's experience and to the precise localization marking provided by sestamibi scintigraphic SPECT localization and concurrent sonographic findings.

[1] PHPT = primary hyperparathyroidism

[2] SPECT = single photon emission computed tomography

[3] PTH = parathormone

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