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עמוד בית Fri, 23.08.19

April 2018


Focus
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA and Konrad Kwiet PhD

The discovery of Jewish babies who were born in Nazi concentration camps and survived seems miraculous, but this phenomenon did occur toward the end of World War II. The lives of a small group of mothers and surviving children are of both historical and medical interests. Their survival shows additional support for the hypothesis that maternal nutrition can induce metabolic syndrome and bone demineralization in their offspring. Information obtained through direct contact with some of the surviving children is the basis for this article.

Irit Ohana RN PhD, Hava Golander PhD and Yoram Barak MD MHA

Aging has been associated with perceived lowering of health, especially in post-traumatic individuals. The effects may be more complex or even different for Holocaust survivors as they age due to their inherited resilience and life perspective. A cross-sectional study was conducted of Holocaust survivors and a matched comparison group recruited from the general Israeli population. All participants underwent a personal interview and completed the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale and a survey of subjective Likert-scale questions about perceived health. The study comprised 214 older adults: 107 Holocaust survivors and 107 comparison participants; 101 women and 113 men. The mean age for the participants was 80.7 ± 4.7 years (range 68–93). Holocaust survivors did not differ from comparison subjects in general health measures (mean 51.50 ± 3.06 vs. 52.27 ± 3.24, respectively). However, the Holocaust survivors' subjective health was significantly lower, F (2,211) = 4.18, P < 0.05, and associated with decreased quality of life. The present study demonstrates the complex interplay between general and subjective health and suggests that future interventions need to focus on improving the psychological and social well-being of Holocaust survivors to achieve successful aging.

Israel's Humanitarian Aid
Original Articles
Joseph Menczer MD, Osnat Elyashiv MD, Erez Ben-Shem MD, Ofri Peled MD and Tally Levy MD MHA

Background: Uterine carcinosarcoma (UCS) is a rare tumor with a poor prognosis. An elevated thrombocyte count and thrombocytosis were found to be associated with poor prognosis in several gynecological tumors. Data regarding an elevated thrombocyte count and thrombocytosis, particularly in UCS, are scarce.

Objectives: To assess the frequency of a preoperative elevated thrombocyte count and of thrombocytosis in UCS patients and their association with clinicopathological prognostic factors and survival.

Methods: The preoperative thrombocyte count of 29 consecutive verified USC patients diagnosed in our medical center from January 2000 to July 2015 was recorded, and clinicopathological data of these patients were abstracted from hospital files. 

Results: Thrombocytosis was found in two patients (6.8 %) and both died of the disease. An elevated thrombocyte count was found in nine patients (31.0%). The percentage of patients with the poor prognostic factors who had a preoperative elevated thrombocyte count was not statistically different from those without these risk factors. The cumulative survival of patients with an elevated count was 22.1 months and that of those without an elevated count was 31.1 months. This difference was statistically not significant (P = 0.85). There was also no difference between the groups regarding the progression free survival.

Conclusions: No association between an elevated thrombocyte count and prognosis was found. Larger studies are needed to clarify this issue.

Ildikó Pál MD, Árpád Illés MD PhD, Lajos Gergely MD PhD, Tibor Pál, Zita Radnay MD, Zoltán Szekanecz MD PhD, Erika Zilahi MD PhD and László Váróczy MD PhD

Background: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) accounts for 30% of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) and 80% of agressive lymphomas. Besides the traditional International Prognostic Index (IPI), some other factors may also influence the prognosis of DLBCL patients.

Objectives: To study how the genetic polymorphisms in the metabolic pathway influence the event-free and overall survivals and therapeutic responses in DLBCL.

Methods: The study was comprised of 51 patients (32 men, 19 women). The average age was 53.1 years. DLBCL was diagnosed between 2011 and 2016 and the average follow-up time was 3.78 years. These patients received 1–8 cycles (an average of 6.2 cycles) of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristin, prednisolon (R-CHOP) immunochemotherapy. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the genetic polymorphisms of CYP2E1, GSTP1, NAT1, and NAT2 genes.

Results: Our results showed that the polymorphisms of CYP2E1, GSTP1, and NAT1 genes did not influence the prognosis of DLBCL patients significantly. In terms of the NAT2 gene, GG homozygous patients showed slightly better therapeutic response and survival results compared to those bearing an A allele; however, the differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Our results could not confirm that genetic polymorphism in metabolic pathways has any predictive role in DLBCL. 

 

Elias Toubi MD, Shmuel Kivity MD, Yael Graif MD, Avner Reshef MD, Jaco Botha MSc, Irmgard Andresen MD, for the IOS Study Group

Background: Management of patients with hereditary angioedema with C1-inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is evolving worldwide. Evaluating the Israeli experience may provide valuable insights.

Objectives: To compare demographics and icatibant treatment patterns and outcomes in patients with C1-INH-HAE enrolled in the Icatibant Outcome Survey (IOS) in Israel with those in other countries.

Methods: The IOS is an ongoing observational study that prospectively monitors real-world icatibant safety/tolerability and treatment outcomes.

Results: By July 2016, 58 patients from Israel and 594 patients from other countries were enrolled. Median age at diagnosis (16.7 vs. 21.3 years, P = 0.036) and median delay between symptom onset and diagnosis (0.8 vs. 6.6 years, P = 0.025) were lower in Israel compared with other countries, respectively. Differences in attack severity were not significant (P = 0.156); however, during follow-up, Israeli patients were less likely to miss > 7 days of work/school due to C1-INH-HAE-related complications (P = 0.007). A trend was also shown in Israel for earlier time to treatment (median 0.5 vs. 1.3 hours, P = 0.076), attack duration was shorter (median 5.0 vs. 9.0 hours, P = 0.026), and patients more often self-administered icatibant (97.2% vs. 87.5%, P = 0.003), respectively. However, Israeli patients were less likely to treat attacks (P = 0.036). Whereas patients in Israel reported exclusive use of danazol for long-term prophylaxis, those in other countries used various agents, including C1-INH.

Conclusions: Recognition of C1-INH-HAE and timeliness of icatibant treatment appear more favorable, and attack duration shorter, in Israel compared with other countries.

Amos Levi MD, Dorit Leshem-Lev Phd, Adaya Weissler-Snir MD, Tal Hasin MD, Israel Mats MD, Daniel Murninkas MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Eli I. Lev MD and Tuvia Ben-Gal, MD

Background: Circulating endothelial progenitor cells have an important role in the process of vascular repair. Impaired recruitment and function of endothelial progenitor cells is related to the pathophysiology of congestive heart failure. Endothelial progenitor cells have been shown to express the mineralocorticoid receptor. 

Objectives: To investigate the effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists on endothelial progenitor cells in patients with heart failure. 

Methods: Twenty-four patients with compensated heart failure, who were not under mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist therapy, were recruited. Either eplerenone (n=8) or spironolactone (n=16) therapy was initiated. Circulating endothelial progenitor cell level, identified as the proportion of mononuclear cells expressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), CD133, and CD34, was evaluated by flow cytometry at baseline and after 8 weeks. Following 7 days of culture, colonies were counted by microscopy and MTT assay was performed on randomly selected patients (n=12) to estimate viability.

Results: Both median CD34+/VEGFR2+ and median CD133+/VEGFR2+ increased significantly (P = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively). However, the number of colonies and viability of the cells after therapy (as assessed by the MTT assay) was not significantly different compared with the baseline. 

Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that mineralocorticoid receptor blockade may enhance endothelial progenitor cells recruitment in patients with compensated heart failure.

Mahmoud Abu–Shakra MD, Devy Zisman MD, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Howard Amital MD, Yair Levy MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Moshe Tishler MD, Yair Molad MD, Suhail Aamar MD, Itzhak Roser MD, Nina Avshovich MD, Daphna Paran MD, Tatiana Reitblat MD, Reuven Mader MD, Hillel Savin MD, Joshua Friedman MD, Nicky Lieberman MD and Sharon Ehrlich MD

Background: Chronic fatigue is common among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), affecting quality of life. Osteoporosis is a prevalent co-morbidity in RA patients.

Objectives: To assess the effect of long-term treatment with tocilizumab on fatigue and bone mineral density (BMD) in RA patients with inadequate response to synthetic or biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. 

Methods: In this multicenter, open-label, non-controlled, single-arm study, patients ≥ 18 years of age received intravenous tocilizumab 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks for 96 weeks. The primary outcome was the change in Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Fatigue score from baseline to weeks 24, 48, 72, and 96. BMD was assessed before and 96 weeks after treatment. 

Results: The study comprised 145 patients (mean age 53.4 ± 13.4 years, 83.4% women). Of these, 88 (60.7%) completed the 2 year treatment period. The mean FACIT-Fatigue score improved consistently starting from week 4 and showed a statistically significant increase of 5.0 ± 9.7, 6.8 ± 10.5, 7.3 ± 10.9, and 7.3 ± 10.4 from baseline to weeks 24, 48, 72, and 96, respectively (P < 0.0001). Mean BMD of femoral neck and total spine remained stable. Disease activity, acute phase reactants, and composite efficacy measures decreased during the study, while hemoglobin levels increased. Adverse events and serious adverse events were as expected for the known and previously described data.

Conclusions: Tocilizumab therapy for 2 years significantly and clinically decreased fatigue. BMD remained stable and no new safety issue was reported. 

 

Anne Graham Cummiskey MBBS, Amit Segev MD, Michael Segel MD, Jonathan Buber MD, Victor Guetta MD, Israel M. Barbash MD, Dan Elian MD, Elad Asher MD, Ori Vaturi MD and Paul Fefer MD

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of exercise hemodynamics during right heart catheterization (RHC) in the diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction (DD). Little data exists regarding exercise hemodynamics during RHC in symptomatic systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. 

Objectives: To assess the added diagnostic value of using exercise hemodynamics during RHC in assessment of patients with symptomatic SSc.

Methods: We performed 22 RHCs in 17 SSc patients with dyspnea and/or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Exercise was performed in 15 RHCs using isotonic arm exercises while holding a 1 kg weight in each hand. Measurements of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP), and cardiac output (CO) were taken at rest and during peak exercise. 

Results: Normal resting RHC (PAP 22 ± 3 mmHg, PAWP 11 ± 3 mmHg) was found in seven cases. Of these, exercise induced elevation in PAP was found in three (38 ± 7 mmHg), and exercise induced elevation in PAWP was found in four (24 ± 6 mmHg). Elevated resting PAP was found in 15 (41 ± 11 mmHg) with minor changes in exercise. Of the 22 RHCs, elevation of the PAWP was found in 11 (50%), half of which were in response to exercise. 

Conclusions: In symptomatic SSc patients, exercise hemodynamics provides important information on diastolic dysfunction that is not available with non-invasive testing. Findings on exercise RHC can explain patient symptoms in up to 50% of cases. Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of patient symptoms can aid in tailoring the correct therapy for each.

Shimi Barda PhD, Tomer Bar-Noy MD, Amnon Botchan MD, Ofer Lehavi MD, Haim Yavetz MD and Ron Hauser MD

Background: Male infertility is solely responsible for approximately 20% of all infertility in couples. Various factors have been proposed as having a negative effect on sperm quality; however, the reasons for the global decline in sperm parameters during the last few decades are still controversial. 

Objectives: To investigate the fluctuations of semen parameters (sperm concentration, motility, and morphology) in three sperm quality groups and to examine the trends of those parameters in the same men over time. 

Results: Our data showed deterioration in all semen parameters assessed in the group of men originally considered as having normal semen values according to the 2010 criteria of the World Health Organization. In contrast, we found significant improvement over time in all semen parameters in the group of men with severe oligo-terato-asthenozoospermia. 

Conclusions: Our results suggest that, although there were changes in sperm quality over time in the groups assessed, the clinical significance is negligible and does not necessarily justify a change in the therapeutic approach to infertility or sperm cryopreservation. 

 

Reviews
Malke Borow JD, Baruch Levi MA and Rivka Carmi MD

In this article, we offer a brief summary of the report from the Task Force for the Promotion of the Status of Women in Medicine in Israel. The task force, formed by the Israel Medical Association in 2013, published a comprehensive report in May 2015 dedicated to the promotion of equal opportunities for female doctors in the Israeli healthcare system and in the academic world. The aim of this paper is to present the work of the task force and to highlight its main principles and recommendations against the backdrop of the gender revolution in the Israeli healthcare system and worldwide.

 

Case Communication
Raja Hakim MD, Nimrod Rozen MD PhD, Andrea Zatkova PhD, Judit Krausz MD, Irit Elmalah MD and Ronen Spiegel MD
Vitaly Finkelshtein MD, Yair Lampl MD, Mordechai Lorberboym MD, Andrew Kanner MD, Dominique Ben-Ami Raichman MD, Ron Dabby MD and Amir Tanay MD
הבהרה משפטית: כל נושא המופיע באתר זה נועד להשכלה בלבד ואין לראות בו ייעוץ רפואי או משפטי. אין הר"י אחראית לתוכן המתפרסם באתר זה ולכל נזק שעלול להיגרם. כל הזכויות על המידע באתר שייכות להסתדרות הרפואית בישראל. מדיניות פרטיות
ז'בוטינסקי 35 רמת גן, בניין התאומים 2 קומות 10-11, ת.ד. 3566, מיקוד 5213604. טלפון: 03-6100444, פקס: 03-5753303