• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Doctors card
  • Follow us
עמוד בית Wed, 19.02.20

February 2020

Original Articles
Hussein Zaitoon MD, Ellen Bamberger MD, Liat Yaniv MD, Bracha Mendelson MD, Isaac Srugo MD and Irina Chistyakov MD

Background: The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-13 (PCV-13) has reduced the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Objective: To characterize true positive blood cultures of children who presented to our hospital following implementation of the PCV-13 vaccine.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on positive blood cultures of children presenting with fever from 2010–2017. Subjects were divided into two age groups: a younger group 3–36 months and an older group 3–18 years. Patients were classified as either having or not having a focus of infection at the time of their bacteremia. Pneumococcal isolates were typed at Israel's Streptococcal Reference Laboratory.

Results: The samples included 94 true positive blood cultures. Focal infection with concomitant bacteremia was more common than bacteremia without a focus both overall: 67/94 (71%) vs. 27/94 (28.7%), P <0.001 as well as in the two groups: 32/48 (66%) vs. 16/48 (33%), P = 0.02 in the younger group and 35/46 (76%) vs. 11/46 (24%), P = 0.001 in the older group. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common pathogen overall, 27/94 (29%), and in the younger group, 21/48 (44%), but rare in the older group, 6/46 (13%). In the latter, Brucella species predominated, 12/46 (26%), along with Staphylococcus aureus 12/46 (26%).

Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with other studies reporting decreased pneumococcal bacteremia, bacteremia primarily accompanying focal infection, and changing etiological agents among PCV-13-vaccinated children. Brucella species was prominent in older children with osteoarticular infections. Ongoing surveillance is warranted to better understand the implications of PCV-13.

Lina Salman MD, Avi Ben-haroush MD, Gad Sabah MD, Ariella Jakobson-Setton MD, Daliah Tsoref MD, Oded Raban MD, Effi Yeoshoua MD and Ram Eitan MD

Background: The treatment of elderly patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma is challenging due to a high morbidity.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical course and outcome of elderly patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT).

Methods: A retrospective study of all patients with stage IIIC and IV ovarian carcinoma receiving NACT in one medical center (between 2005 and 2017). The study group criteria age was above 70 years. The control group criteria was younger than 70 years old at diagnosis. Demographics and treatment outcomes were compared between groups. Primary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Overall, 105 patients met the inclusion criteria, 71 patients (67.6%) were younger than 70 years and 34 patients (32.4%) older. Rates of interval cytoreduction were significantly higher in younger patients (76.1% vs. 50.0%, P = 0.01). Of those who underwent interval cytoreduction, no difference was found in rates of optimal debulking between groups (83.35% vs. 100%, P = 0.10). Using a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, no significant differences were observed between groups in PFS or OS, P > 0.05. Among the elderly group alone, patients who underwent interval cytoreduction had significantly longer PFS than those without surgical intervention (0.4 ± 1.7 vs. 19.3 ± 19.4 months, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Elderly patients with ovarian carcinoma who received NACT undergo less interval cytoreduction than younger patients, with no difference in PFS and OS. However, among the elderly, interval cytoreduction is associated with significantly higher PFS.

Lev Freidkin MD, Uri Landes MD, Nili Schamroth Pravda MD, Dan Aravot MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD and Aviv Mager MD

Background: Post-pericardiotomy syndrome (PPS) is a major cause of pericarditis, yet data on the risk of recurrence are limited, and the impact of steroids and colchicine in this context is unknown.

Objectives: To examine the effect of prednisone and colchicine on the rate of recurrence of PPS.

Methods: Medical files of patients diagnosed with PPS were reviewed to extract demographic, echocardiographic, X-ray imaging, and follow-up data.

Results: The study comprised 132 patients (57% men), aged 27–86 years. Medical treatment included prednisone in 80 patients, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents in 41 patients, colchicine monotherapy in 2 patients, and no anti-inflammatory therapy in 9 patients. Fifty-nine patients were given colchicine for prevention of recurrence. The patients were followed for 5–110 months (median 64 months). Recurrent episodes occurred in 15 patients (11.4%), 10 patients had a single episode, 4 patients had two episodes, and one patient had three episodes. The rate of recurrence was lower in patients receiving colchicine compared to patients who did not (8.5% vs. 13.7%), and in patients not receiving vs. receiving prednisone (7.7% vs. 13.8%) but the differences were non-significant. Twenty-three patients died and there were no recurrence-related deaths.

Conclusions: The rate of recurrence after PPS is low and multiple recurrences are rare. The survival of patients with recurrent PPS is excellent. Prednisone pre-treatment was associated with a numerically higher rate of recurrence and colchicine treatment with a numerically lower rate, but the differences were non-significant.

Moti Harats MD, Josef Haik MD MPH, Michelle Cleary RN, PhD, Ilan Vashurin MD, Uri Aviv MD and Rachel Kornhaber RN PhD

Background: Rapid and selective bromelain-based enzymatic debridement provides a non-surgical alternative for the eschar removal in deep burns, which allows for early debridement of large surface areas, accurate evaluation of burn and wound depth, and the need for skin grafting.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of application of a bromelain-based selective enzymatic debridement (Nexobrid®) beyond the manufacturer’s guidelines for use in burns > 48 hours as well as chemical, electrical, and pediatric burns, and chronic wounds

Methods: This retrospective review included records collected between January 2017 and April 2019, from male and female patients aged 8 months to 99 years with deep burns or wounds treated with bromelain-based selective enzymatic debridement.

Results: Of the 33 patients who received the bromelain-based selective enzymatic debridement agent beyond the manufacturer’s guidelines, 25 (76%) were observed to have successful debridement of the eschar, 8 (24%) were observed to have little effect on the burn eschar. Sixteen required further surgery after debridement. Clinical data on the use of bromelain-based selective enzymatic debridement agents are limited, but these results suggest the capacity to effectively debride burns > 48 hours (late presentation burns), use for pediatrics and for chemical and electrical burns, and apply to hard to heal full thickness chronic wounds.

Conclusions: Bromelain-based selective enzymatic debridement was found to be an effective treatment modality beyond the recommended guidelines including late presentation burns and chronic wounds. This debridement method warrants further consideration when making clinical decisions concerning burn and wound care.

Avi Ohayon MD, Saleh Esa MD and Alexander Rubowitz MD

Background: There are several ways to remove silicone oil (SO) from the vitreous cavity.

Objective: To describe a simple, safe and inexpensive method of 2-port SO removal.

Method: Medical charts of 33 patients who underwent SO removal combined with cataract extraction were retrospectively reviewed, from a cohort of 119 patients who had silicone oil removal. The primary outcome was the rate of re-detachment, secondary outcomes included visual acuity (VA) and intraoperative and postoperative complications.

Results: Mean follow-up time was 27.6 months (0.25–147 ± 33.1), and mean tamponade duration prior to SO removal was 16.77 months (4–51.5 ± 14.6). The re-detachment rate was 3% (one patient). Postoperatively, seven patients (20%) had epiretinal membrane (ERM), eight patients had posterior capsule opacification (24%), and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) was diagnosed in two patients (6%). Compared to the mean VA (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [LogMAR]) at the preoperative examination, the mean VA (LogMAR) improved significantly at the last visit when including all ranges of VA (n=32, LogMAR 1.52 vs. 1.05 P = 0.0002 [Student's t-test] and P = 0.001 [Wilcoxon test]).

Conclusions: The technique described is fast and simple, keeping the posterior capsule intact in pseudophakic patients, which is advantageous in the event of future re-detachment necessitating SO reinjection. Rates of re-detachment and postoperative ERM and PVR were low. Furthermore, our method does not require the use of a surgical microscope with posterior segment viewing systems, or opening a full disposable vitrectomy set, thus drastically reducing the procedure's cost.

Gideon Charach MD, Eli Karniel MD, Itamar Grosskopf MD and Lior Charach MD

Background: Internal thoracic impedance (ITI) measurement is a sensitive method for detecting preclinical pulmonary edema and pleural effusion.

Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of this non-invasive method for detecting early pleural effusion among geriatric patients and to monitor increased ITI during its resolution.

Methods: This prospective, controlled study was conducted between July 2012 and August 2015. The study comprised 70 patients aged 65 to 94 years; and 39 of the patients had pleural effusion. ITI was measured continuously with a RS-207 monitor. The predictive value of ITI monitoring was determined based on a total of eight measurements taken at 12-hour intervals over 84 hours.

Results: As a result of medical treatment, the median ITI of the study group increased from 31 (interquartile range [IQR] 28–33 ohms) to 41 ohms (IQR 38–41 ohms; P < 0.001) compared to non-significant changes in the control group. Average respiratory rate (per minute) in the study group decreased from 29 (IQR 28–34) to 19 (IQR 18–20).

Conclusions: ITI monitoring is efficient for diagnosis and for ongoing clinical evaluation of the treatment of elderly patients with pleural effusion. Timely treatment may prevent serious complications of effusions avoiding extended hospitalization.

Tawfik Khoury MD, Anas Kadah MD, Amir Mari MD, Wisam Sbeit MD, Ariel Drori MD and Mahmud Mahamid MD

Background: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) may be associated with other autoimmune diseases. Autoantibodies are common in AIH suggesting their potential role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Among these autoantibodies, thyroid autoantibodies have been reported in patients with chronic hepatitis, with greater prevalence in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction among patients with AIH.

Methods: In this case-control, retrospective study, we examined patients diagnosed with AIH according to both the original and revised international AIH group scoring systems. Patients with other hepatic pathologies were excluded AIH was evaluated as an independent risk factor for thyroid disease by a logistic regression model. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted using hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism as the dependent variables.

Results: Our cohort comprised 163 patients diagnosed with AIH and 1104 healthy age- and gender-matched controls. Hypothyroidism was more prevalent among those with AIH compared to controls (17.7% vs. 5%, respectively, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.68–2.48, P <  0.001). Hyperthyroidism was more prevalent in AIH patients compared to controls (odds ratio 3.2% and 1.2%, respectively, 95%CI 1.68–2.47, P <  0.001). Using a multivariate logistic analysis, we found an independent association between AIH and hypothyroidism but not with hyperthyroidism.

Conclusions: Thyroid dysfunction is more prevalent in patients with AIH. Whether thyroid dysfunction is the cause or a risk factor for AIH, or vice versa, is still unclear. Screening for thyroid dysfunction is warranted after AIH is diagnosed.

Doron Rimar MD, Yonatan Butbul Aviel MD, Aharon Gefen MD, Neta Nevo MD, Shai S. Shen-Orr PhD, Elina Starosvetsky PhD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Michael Rozenbaum MD, Lisa Kaly MD, Nina Boulman MD, Gleb Slobodin MD and Tsila Zuckerman MD

Background: Autologous hematological stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a novel therapy for systemic sclerosis (SSc) that has been validated in three randomized controlled trials.

Objectives: To report the first Israeli experience with HSCT for progressive SSc and review the current literature.

Methods: Five SSc patients who were evaluated in our department and were treated by HSCT were included. Medical records were evaluated retrospectively. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were recorded. Continuous data are presented as the mean ± standard deviation. Categorical variables are presented as frequencies and percentages.

Results: Five SSc patients were treated with HSCT. Four patients were adults (mean age 53 ± 12 years) and one was a 12-year-old pediatric patient. All patients were female. HSCT was initiated 1.4 ± 0.8 years after diagnosis. Two patients were RNA POLIII positive, two were anti-topoisomerase 1 positive, and one only antinuclear antibodies positive. All patients had skin and lung involvement. The mean modified Rodnan Skin Score was 29 ± 4.7 before HSCT, which improved to 10.4 ± 9.6 after HSCT. The forced vital capacity improved from 68 ± 13% to 90 ± 28%. Diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide increased by 6%. Among severe adverse events were cyclophosphamide-related congestive heart failure, antithymocyte globulin-related capillary leak syndrome, and scleroderma renal crisis. All symptoms completely resolved with treatment without sequela. No treatment related mortality was recorded.

Conclusions: HSCT is an important step in the treatment of progressive SSc in Israel. Careful patient selection reduces treatment related morbidity and mortality.


Despite advances in therapeutic modalities, especially with biologic treatments, the number of hospitalizations due to complications for Crohn's disease did not decrease. We examined the prevalence and possible predictive factors of hospitalizations in Crohn's disease. A systematic literature search was conducted until 31 October 2018. Relevant studies were screened according to established protocol. Retrospective cohort studies describing hospitalizations of Crohn's disease patients were included. Meta-analysis was performed by using comprehensive meta-analysis software. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were calculated for the number of patients hospitalized. Twelve studies published before 31 March 2018 fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were comprised of 23 data-sets and included 4421 patients from six countries. A funnel plot demonstrates a moderate publication bias. We reported the event rates for the number of patients hospitalized, in a follow-up survey of 20,987 patient-years, and for the patients who underwent surgery in a follow-up of 5061 patient-years, with ORs of 0.233 with 95%CI 0.227–0.239, and 0.124 with 95%CI 0.114–0.135 (P < 0.001), respectively. Thus, when collecting the data from 12 cohort studies we found that hospitalization takes place in 23.3% of the patients, and operation in 12.4% along their disease duration. Patients with Crohn's disease may be hospitalized due to exacerbation of their inflammatory disease, because of non-inflammatory disease (such as fistula or stricture), or due to medical complications. The goal of therapy should be to keep the Crohn's disease patients in their natural environment and out of the hospital and to prevent surgery as much as possible.

Case communications
Gal Aviel MD, Victoria Doviner MD, Rivka Pollak-Dresner MD, Avraham Rivkind MD and Shmuel Chen MD PhD
Helal Said Ahmad MD, Mahmud Mahamid MD, Qusai Jawabreh RN, Tawfik Khoury MD and Amir Mari MD
In Appreciation
Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 3566, Ramat Gan 5213604 Israel