Nesrin Ghanem-Zoubi MD, Johad Khoury MD, Merav Arnon MD, Danny Zorbavel MD, Yuval Geffen PhD and Mical Paul MD
Background: With the widespread use of antifungal agents, the frequency of non-albicans Candida (NAC) blood-stream infections (BSI) is increasing.
Objectives: To describe the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and risk factors for NAC BSI, focusing on prior antifungal and immunosuppressive therapy.
Methods: The authors conducted an observational, retrospective cohort study among adult patients with candidemia at the Rambam Health Care Campus, a tertiary medical center in Israel, between 2009 and 2015. Comparisons between patients with Candidemia albicans and NAC candidemia were performed. Regression analysis, with NAC BSI as the dependent variable and significant risk factors for NAC as independent variables, was performed.
Results: A total of 308 episodes of candidemia were included. C. albicans was isolated in 30.8% of patients (95/308), while NAC spp. were isolated in the rest. Significant independent risk factors for NAC included immunosuppression therapy (odds ratio [OR] 0.38, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.19–0.76) and previous azole use (OR 0.2, 95%CI 0.06–0.710). The interaction between prior azole and immunosuppression therapy in the model was not significant, and after its inclusion in the model only immunosuppression remained significantly associated with NAC. In the subgroup of patients who did not receive prior azoles, immunosuppression therapy, neutropenia, and bone marrow transplantation were significantly associated with NAC.
Conclusions: Independent of previous azole treatment, immunosuppressive therapy was a significant risk factor for NAC in our cohort.
Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Abid Assali MD, Mordehay Vatury MD, Leor Perl MD, Hana Vaknin-Assa MD and Alexander Sagie MD
Background: The MitraClip procedure is becoming an acceptable alternative for high-risk patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) due to functional (FMR) or degenerative (DMR) disease and suitable mitral anatomy.
Objectives: To evaluate the results of MitraClip at our institute in carefully selected patients.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records and echocardiography data from January 2012 to December 2017.
Results: A total of 39 MitraClip procedures in 37 patients (aged 75 ± 12 years, 9 women) was performed. Twenty-four patients presented with FMR, 12 with DMR, and 1 with combined pathology. One-day post-procedure MR was moderate to low in 86.1% of patients, with immediate device success in 88.8%. MR at 1 year was moderate to low in 79% at 1 year. Survival at 1 year was 86% and at 2 years 69.4%. Peri-procedural (< 1 week) death and MitraClip failure occurred in one and three patients, respectively. New York Heart Association score improved to class 1 or 2 in 37% of patients at 1 year vs. one patient at baseline. Post-procedural systolic pulmonary pressure was reduced from 53 (range 48–65) to 43 (range 36–52) mmHg at 1 month with a subsequent plateau at follow-up, to 41 (34–57) mmHg at 6 months, and to 47 (38–50) at 12 months.
Conclusions: MitraClip in severe MR resulted in modest improvement in functional status and pulmonary pressure with a small risk of immediate procedural complications. Outcomes are encouraging considering the natural course of MR and the risks of surgical intervention.
Michael S. Schimmel MD, Francis B. Mimouni MD, Avraham Steinberg MD and Moshe Y. Kasirer MD
Background: Israel's population is diverse, with people of different religions, many of whom seek spiritual guidance during ethical dilemmas. It is paramount for healthcare providers to be familiar with different religious approaches.
Objectives: To describe the attitudes of the three major monotheistic religions when encountering four complex neonatal situations.
Methods: A questionnaire related to four simulated cases was presented to each participant: a non-viable extremely premature infant (case 1), a severely asphyxiated term infant with extensive brain damage (case 2), a small preterm infant with severe brain hemorrhage and likely extensive brain damage (case 3), and a term infant with trisomy 21 syndrome and a severe cardiac malformation (case 4).
Results: Major differences among the three religious opinions were found in the definition of viability and in the approach towards quality of life.
Conclusions: Neonatologists must be sensitive to culture and religion when dealing with major ethical issues in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Shahar Blechman MD, Yariv Fruchtman MD, Zvi H. Perry MD PhD, Julia Mazar PhD, Miriam Ben Harosh MD, Abuquidar Abed MD, Nurit Rozenberg PhD, Gila Kenet MD and Eugene Leibovitz MD
Background: Congenital factor VII deficiency is a rare recessive autosomal bleeding disorder with a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations.
Objectives: To compare the clinical and laboratory findings in Jewish and Bedouin patients with factor VII deficiency.
Methods: The clinical and laboratory findings of patients with factor VII deficiency treated at Soroka Medical Center, a tertiary hospital in Israel, from 2005 to 2015 were analyzed regarding blood factor levels, illness severity, treatment administration, and disease outcome.
Results: Seventy-eight patients were enrolled (1:13,000 of the population in southern Israel) of whom 26 were diagnosed with severe factor VII deficiency (1:40,000). Sixty (76.9%) patients were Jewish and 18 (23.1%) were Bedouin. In univariable analysis, Bedouin patients exhibited a more severe illness, with significantly higher complication and fatality rates, and required more preventive treatment than the Jewish patients.
Conclusions: The prevalence of congenital factor VII deficiency (including severe deficiency) in the Jewish and Bedouin populations of southern Israel is higher than previously reported. The clinical spectrum of the disease was found to be more severe in the Bedouin population.
Hussein Sliman MD, Avinoam Shiran MD, Dallit Mannheim MD, Eyal Avraham MD, Ron Karmeli MD, Nader Khader MD, Barak Zafrir MD, Ronen Rubinshtein MD and Ronen Jaffe MD
Background: Access-site bleeding is a common complication of transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Percutaneous stent-graft implantation within the femoral artery may achieve hemostasis and avert the need for more invasive surgical vascular repair; however, failure to advance a guidewire antegradely via the injured vessel may preclude stent delivery. While retrograde stent-graft delivery from the distal vasculature may potentially enable percutaneous control of bleeding, this approach has not been reported.
Objectives: To assess the feasibility of a retrograde approach for stent-graft implantation in the treatment of access-site bleeding following transfemoral TAVI.
Methods: A prospective TAVI registry was analyzed. Of 349 patients who underwent TAVI, transfemoral access was used in 332 (95%). Access-site injury requiring stent-graft implantation occurred in 56 (17%). In four patients (7%), antegrade wiring across the site of vascular injury was not possible and a retrograde approach for stent delivery was used.
Results: Distal vascular access was achieved via the superficial femoral or profunda artery. Retrograde advancement of a polymer-coated 0.035” wire to the abdominal aorta, followed by stent-graft delivery to the common femoral artery, achieved hemostasis in all cases. During a median (interquartile range) follow-up period of 198 (618) days (range 46–2455) there were no deaths and no patient required additional vascular interventions.
Conclusions: A retrograde approach for stent-graft delivery is feasible and allows percutaneous treatment of a common femoral artery injury following TAVI in patients who are not suitable for the conventional antegrade approach.
Ariel Rokach MD MHA, Ayal Romem MD MHA, Nissim Arish MD, Hava Azulai MD, Chen Chen MD, Milka Bertisch BPT MPE and Gabriel Izbicki MD
Background: Pulmonary rehabilitation has shown significant benefit for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The effect on non-COPD pulmonary patients is less well established.
Objectives: To determine whether pulmonary rehabilitation is also beneficial for non-COPD pulmonary patients.
Methods: Clinical and demographic data on non-COPD pulmonary patients who participated in our institutional pulmonary rehabilitation program between January 2009 and December 2016 were collected. Participants engaged in a 60-minute, twice-weekly, ambulatory hospital-based program lasting 12 to 24 sessions. Sessions included both endurance and muscle training as well as healthy lifestyle educational activities. The six-minute walk test (6MWT) and the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) were conducted before and after the rehabilitation program.
Result: We recruited 214 non-COPD patients, of whom 153 completed at least 12 sessions. Of these, 59 presented with interstitial lung disease (ILD), 18 with non-ILD restrictive lung defects, 25 with asthma, 30 with lung cancer, and 21 with other conditions (e.g., pulmonary hypertension, bronchiectasis) The groups demonstrated significant improvement in 6MWT and in SGRQ scores. Non-COPD patients gained a 61.9 meter (19%) improvement in the 6MWT (P < 0.0001) and 8.3 point reduction in their SGRQ score (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Pulmonary rehabilitation is effective in non-COPD pulmonary patients. As such, it should be an integral part of the treatment armament provided to the vast majority of those suffering from chronic respiratory disease.
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Shirly Shohat MD, Boris Kessel MD, William P. Schecter, Alexander Beicker MD and Igor Jeroukhimov MD
Background: Selective management of stable patients with anterior abdomen stab wounds (AASWs) has become a gold standard management approach throughout the world. Evidenced-based options for supporting selective management include clinical follow-up, local wound exploration with or without diagnostic peritoneal lavage, diagnostic laparoscopy, and abdominal computerized tomography. The presence of multiple AASWs might signify a more aggressive attack and limit the safety of a selective management approach.
Objectives: To evaluate whether multiple AASWs are associated with an increased risk of intra-abdominal injury requiring emergency surgery.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all AASW patients admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel, and Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel, from 2007 to 2015. Patients were divided into two groups based on the number of stab wounds: single or multiple. Data were coded for demographics, severity of injury, presence of intra-abdominal injury, laparotomy rate, length of hospital stay (LOS), length of stay in the intensive care unit (LICU), and survival.
Results: The study included 169 patients. Of these, 143 patients had a single AASW and 26 had multiple AASWs. There were no differences between the groups regarding demographics, severity of injury, intra-abdominal penetration, specific organ injury, LOS, or LICU. There was no difference in the percentage of patients requiring laparotomy. The overall mortality was 2.36% (4/169). There was no significant difference in the mortality rate between the groups (P = 0.11).
Conclusions: The presence of multiple AASWs is not a risk factor for increased frequency and severity of intra-abdominal injury.
Nadja Kobold MD, Barbara Jenko PhD, Matija Tomšič MD PhD, Vita Dolžan MD PhD and Sonja Praprotnik MD PhD
Background: Methotrexate is the most frequently administered first-line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The disease-modifying effects of methotrexate are mainly associated with enhanced release of free adenosine. The downstream anti-inflammatory effects of adenosine are mediated via its binding to adenosine receptor 2A (ADORA2A) and 3 (ADORA3). Many clinically important single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were reported in ADORA2A and ADORA3 genes.
Objectives: To investigate whether tagging ADORA2A and ADORA3 polymorphisms influences methotrexate treatment in RA.
Methods: In total, 212 RA patients treated with methotrexate were genotyped for tagging ADORA2A (rs2298383, rs8141793, rs2236624, rs5751876, rs35320474, and rs17004921) and ADORA3 SNPs (rs2298191, rs1544223, rs78594984, rs35511654, rs2229155, rs3393, and rs3394).
Results: RA patients who carried ADORA3 rs35511654 G allele showed a tendency toward better response to methotrexate treatment (P = 0.054). Carriers of ADORA2A polymorphic allele rs2298383 (P = 0.011), rs2236624 (P = 0.027), rs5751876 (P = 0.018), and rs35320474 (P = 0.026) were less likely to experience methotrexate induced adverse events. All associations remained significant after adjustment for clinical factors. The effects of these polymorphisms were also significant in haplotype analyses.
Conclusions: Polymorphisms in the ADORA2A gene may influence methotrexate treatment response and may be considered as a potential biomarker for methotrexate treatment in rheumatoid arthritis.
Mahmud Mahamid MD, Amir Mari MD, Tawfik Khoury MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD, Majeed Ghantous MD, Omar Abu-Elhija MD and Abdulla Watad MD
Background: The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori varies geographically by age, race, and socioeconomic status (SES). However, the impact of ethnicity on endoscopic outcomes in infected individuals is not well known.
Objectives: To assess the impact of ethnicity among Israelis with biopsy-proven H. pylori infection.
Methods: A retrospective study, including patients who underwent gastroscopy and were diagnosed histologically with H. pylori infection, was conducted. Information on demographics, SES, medications, and co-morbidities were extracted from medical records. Univariate (Student's t-test, chi-square test) and multivariate (multinomial and logistic) regression analysis were conducted to examine the predictors of the clinical outcome.
Results: The study included 100 Israeli Jews and 100 Israeli Arabs diagnosed with biopsy-proven H. pylori infection. At univariate analysis, the number of households was higher among Arabs (P < 0.001), whose family income and parental education were lower than among Jews (P < 0.001 for both variables). The response to amoxicillin and clarithromycin differed between the two groups, being higher among Jews (P < 0.001).In clinical outcomes (gastritis severity, gastric and duodenal ulcer, intestinal metaplasia, atrophic gastritis, and MALT), no statistically significant differences could be detected between Jews and Arabs. Concerning intestinal metaplasia, lack of consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs resulted a statistically significant protective factor (odds ratio 0.128, 95% confidence interval 0.024–0.685, P = 0.016).
Conclusions: Although in the literature ethnicity seems to be a risk factor for H. pylori colonization, no statistical significance was detected in various endoscopic and histological findings related to H. Pylori infection between Israeli Arabs and Jews.