L. Perl, M. Vaturi, A. Assali, Y. Shapira, E. Bruckheimer, T. Ben-Gal, H. Vaknin-Assa, A. Sagie and R. Kornowski
Background: Mitral regurgitation (MR) causes increased morbidity and mortality in heart failure patients and is often associated with augmented surgical risk.
Objectives: To assess the preliminary results of transcatheter mitral valve leaflet repair (TMLR) in a single academic center.
Methods: Data were collected prospectively in the cardiology department of Rabin Medical Center in 2012. Ten consecutive patients (age 69.3 ± 15.9 years, ejection fraction 36.5 ± 9.4) who were poor surgical candidates with severe functional MR underwent general anesthesia, followed by trans-septal puncture and a TMLR procedure using the MitraClip device.
Results: All 10 patients were considered to have severe functional MR prior to TMLR treatment and were all symptomatic; the mean New York Heart Association (NYHA) class was 3.4 ± 0.5. The MR severity was 4 ± 0. There were no immediate complications or failures of the procedure. One patient died on day 5 due to massive gastrointestinal bleeding. Immediately following TMLR all 10 patients showed a profound MR reduction to a mean severity grade of 1.6 ± 0.6. At one month after the procedure, NYHA had decreased to an average of 1.7 ± 1.0 and was at least grade 2 in all but one patient. After 6 months the MR remained ≤ 2 in six of eight patients, with a NYHA average of 1.4 ± 0.5.
Conclusions: The MitraClip procedure was shown to be relatively safe, providing significant clinical benefits to a relatively sick population with severe MR. It is therefore an important alternative to surgery in these high risk patients.
A. Finkelstein, E.Y. Birati, Y. Abramowitz, A. Steinvil, N. Sheinberg, S. Biner, S. Bazan, Y. Ben Gal, A. Halkin, Y. Arbel, E. Ben-Assa, E. Leshem-Rubinow, G. Keren and S. Banai
Background: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has recently become an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement in selected patients with high operative risk.
Objectives: To investigate the 30 day clinical outcome of the first 300 consecutive patients treated with transfemoral TAVI at the Tel Aviv Medical Center.
Methods: The CoreValve was used in 250 patients and the Edwards-Sapien valve in 50 patients. The mean age of the patients was 83 ± 5.3 years (range 63–98 years) and the mean valve area 0.69 ± 0.18 cm2 (range 0.3–0.9 cm2); 62% were women.
Results: The procedural success rate was 100%, and 30 day follow-up was done in all the patients. The average Euro-score for the cohort was 26 ± 13 (range 1.5–67). Total in-hospital mortality and 30 day mortality were both 2.3% (7 patients). Sixty-seven patients (22%) underwent permanent pacemaker implantation after the TAVI procedure, mostly due to new onset of left bundle brunch block and prolonged PR interval or to high degree atrioventricular block. The rate of stroke was 1.7% (5 patients). Forty-one patients (13.7%) had vascular complications, of whom 9 (3%) were defined as major vascular complications (according to the VARC definition).
Conclusions: The 30 day clinical outcome in the first 300 consecutive TAVI patients in our center was favorable, with a mortality rate of 2.3% and low rates of stroke (1.7%) and major vascular complications (3%).
B. Sakem, K. Matozan, U.E. Nydegger, G. Weigel, A. Griesmacher and L. Risch
Background: Anti-red blood cell antibodies, free light chains (FLC) and prothrombotic proteins (PTP) may co-elute with intact immunogIobulin (IgG), and may be the cause of adverse reactions to intravenous immunoglobulin preparations (IVIG).
Objectives: To investigate the presence of residual amounts of these components in IVIG and their effects on ABO blood group agglutination.
Methods: Iso-agglutinin anti-A and anti-B activity was determined with a direct hemagglutination assay of red blood cell (RBC) suspensions from 1% of 46 blood donors together with the serial dilutions of five IVIG (IV1, IV2, IV3, IV4, IV5). Anti-A1 monoclonal antibody was used to confirm reactivity with the A1-reference RBC. The selected IVIG were diluted to a final concentration of 25 mg/ml in 0.15 M NaCl and 0.01 M phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), pH 7.4, with or without a further twofold dilution in a low ionic strength solution.
Results: A variation up to fivefold in the titer strength of anti-A/B activity was observed between the IVIG preparations. A2-type RBC required higher IVIG inputs when tested in 0.15 M NaCl. The differences in FLC kappa and lambda concentrations were as high as > 400 mg/L among the various IVIG. Only IV1 had a significantly high level of antiphospholipid IgG antibodies (18 U/ml). We demonstrated the presence of anti-RBC antibodies, FLC and PTP in IVIG preparations.
Conclusions: Our findings provide clear evidence that IVIG may harbor pathophysiological substrates with a potential risk for adverse effects such as iatrogenic hemolysis, FLC-associated disorders, and thromboembolism.
L. Avisar, A. Shiyovich, L. Aharonson-Daniel and L. Nesher
Background: Sudden cardiac death is the most common lethal manifestation of heart disease and often is the first and only indicator. Prompt initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) undoubtedly saves lives. Nevertheless, studies report a low competency of medical students in CPR, mainly due to deterioration of skills following training.
Objectives: To evaluate the retention of CPR skills and confidence in delivering CPR by preclinical medical students.
Methods: A questionnaire and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) were used to assess confidence and CPR skills among preclinical, second and third-year medical students who had passed a first-aid course during their first year but were not retrained since.
Results: The study group comprised 64 students: 35 were 1 year after training and 29 were 2 years after training. The groups were demographically similar. Preparedness, recollection and confidence in delivering CPR were significantly lower in the 2 years after training group compared to those 1 year after training (P < 0.05). The mean OSCE score was 19.8 ± 5.2 (of 27) lower in those 2 years post- training than those 1 year post-training (17.8 ± 6.35 vs. 21.4 ± 3.4 respectively, P = 0.009). Only 70% passed the OSCE, considerably less in students 2 years post-training than in those 1 year post-training (52% vs. 86%, P < 0.01). Lowest retention was found in checking safety, pulse check, airway opening, rescue breathing and ventilation technique skills. A 1 year interval was chosen by 81% of the participants as the optimal interval for retraining (91% vs. 71% in the 2 years post-training group vs. the 1 year post- training group respectively, P = 0.08).
Conclusions: Confidence and CPR skills of preclinical medical students deteriorate significantly within 1 year post-training, reaching an unacceptable level 2 years post-training. We recommend refresher training at least every year.
O. Eyal, M. Aharon, R. Safadi and M. Dranitzki-Elhalel
Background: Vitamin D deficiency was shown to be prevalent among renal transplant recipients in northern countries, but little is known regarding risk factors.
Objectives: To test vitamin D levels in kidney transplant recipients residing closer to the equator, compare them to levels in liver transplant recipients and hemodialysis patients, and identify possible risk factors.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study 103 kidney transplant recipients, 27 liver transplant recipients and 50 hemodialysis patients followed at our institute were tested for vitamin D levels. Demographic data, medical history and current treatment were recorded from the medical files.
Results: Inadequate vitamin D levels (< 30 ng/ml) were found in 75% of all patients and 75% of all kidney transplant recipients. Vitamin D levels were higher among dialysis patients than transplant recipients, though deficiency rates were similar. No association was found between kidney function and vitamin deficiency. Deficiency was associated with higher prednisone doses, use of mycophenolate sodium, tacrolimus, and iron supplements, or lower doses of vitamin D supplementation.
Conclusions: Despite potential higher ultraviolet B exposure, inadequate vitamin D levels were prevalent in our study group. Importantly, some immunosuppressive medications were associated with vitamin D deficiency and high doses of vitamin D were associated with less deficiency.
R. Blecher, Z. Wasrbrout, Y. Arama, R. Kardosh, G. Agar and Y. Mirovsky
Background: Osteoporosis is considered the most common bone disease in humans and the most common cause of fractures.
Objectives: To identify possible risk factors associated with a decreased level of care for osteoporosis among patients presenting acutely with the major types of fragility fractures, but also among patients who remain undertreated following their discharge.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective questionnaire-based cohort study. We searched our databases for patients admitted acutely with proximal humerus, distal forearm, thoracolumbar spine, and proximal femur fractures. A questionnaire was used to evaluate osteoporotic care including a referral to DEXA and any associated prescribed medication.
Results: The study group included 114 patients or their caregivers. The osteoporosis care rate rose from 56.1% (n=64) before admission to 71% (n=81) at follow-up. Significant risk factors associated with a decreased care rate prior to admission were the presence of fewer than three comorbidities, and a combination of male gender and young age. Continued neglect at follow-up was associated with the opposite risk factors, such as older age, multiple comorbidities, and polypharmacy. An additional finding was that treated patients had a significantly increased likelihood of presenting with vertebral fractures.
Conclusions: While the association of osteoporosis with the elderly may decrease its screening rates among younger and healthier patients, fragility fractures may be viewed as “end-stage” bone disease, rendering osteoporotic care inefficient.
N. Markovits, D. Kurnik, H. Halkin, L. Guranda, A. Cohen, .M. Katz, D. Olchovsky, H. Mayan and R. Loebstein
Background: “Body packers” swallow multiple packets filled with illicit drugs, mainly cocaine, in order to smuggle them across international borders. In recent years, an increasing number of body packers have been hospitalized after their detention by the police upon arrival in Israel.
Objectives: To characterize the clinical features and outcomes of body packers hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series of body packers hospitalized between January 2010 and October 2012 in our medical center. Electronic medical records and imaging files were reviewed to extract clinical, laboratory and radiological data as well as details on medical treatments.
Results: We identified 23 body packers (mean age 38 ± 10 years), 20 of whom smuggled cocaine from South America. The number of packets transported ranged from 1 to 242 (median 42) and duration of hospitalization from 1 to 14 days (median 2). Two subjects required surgical intervention. All others were treated conservatively by polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage solution, laxatives, or watchful waiting. Ten patients underwent a urinary screen for illicit drugs, 7 of whom tested positive for cocaine and 2 for cannabinoids. Abdominal X-rays were performed in all patients at admission, and 14 had follow-up imaging, including abdominal CT scans without contrast media in 8.
Conclusions: The main treatment goals for body packers are the rapid excretion of drug packets and early detection of complications, i.e., drug intoxication and bowel obstruction. We suggest the use of a structured treatment approach for the in-hospital management of body packers.