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עמוד בית
Tue, 19.01.21

November 2020


Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dana Ekstein MD PhD, Iris Noyman MD, Firas Fahoum MD MSc, Moshe Herskovitz MD, Ilan Linder MD, Bruria Ben Zeev MD, and Sara Eyal PhD

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and its management in patients with epilepsy can be complex. Prescribers should consider potential effects of investigational anti-COVID-19 drugs on seizures, immunomodulation by anti-seizure medications (ASMs), changes in ASM pharmacokinetics, and the potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The goal of the Board of the Israeli League Against Epilepsy (the Israeli Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy, ILAE) was to summarize the main principles of the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 in patients with epilepsy. This guide was based on current literature, drug labels, and drug interaction resources. We summarized the available data related to the potential implications of anti-COVID-19 co-medication in patients treated with ASMs. Our recommendations refer to drug selection, dosing, and patient monitoring. Given the limited availability of data, some recommendations are based on general pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic principles and might apply to additional future drug combinations as novel treatments emerge. They do not replace evidence-based guidelines, should those become available. Awareness to drug characteristics that increase the risk of interactions can help adjust anti-COVID-19 and ASM treatment for patients with epilepsy

Eyal Aviran MD, Shachar Laks MD FACS, Haggai Benvenisti MD, Saed Khalilieh MD, Dan Assaf MD, Nimrod Aviran MD, David Hazzan MD, Yoram Klein MD, Amir Cohen MD, Mordechai Gutman MD, Aviram Nissan MD, and Lior Segev MD

Background: As part of the effort to control the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outbreak, strict emergency measures, including prolonged national curfews, have been imposed. Even in countries where healthcare systems still functioned, patients avoided visiting emergency departments (EDs) because of fears of exposure to COVID-19.

Objective: To describe the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on admissions of surgical patients from the ED and characteristics of urgent operations performed.

Methods: A prospective registry study comparing all patients admitted for acute surgical and trauma care between 15 March and 14 April 2020 (COVID-19) with patients admitted in the parallel time a year previously (control) was conducted.

Results: The combined cohort included 606 patients. There were 25% fewer admissions during the COVID-19 period (P < 0.0001). The COVID-19 cohort had a longer time interval from onset of symptoms (P < 0.001) and presented in a worse clinical condition as expressed by accelerated heart rate (P = 0.023), leukocyte count disturbances (P = 0.005), higher creatinine, and CRP levels (P < 0.001) compared with the control cohort. More COVID-19 patients required urgent surgery (P = 0.03) and length of ED stay was longer (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 epidemic, fewer patients presented to the ED requiring acute surgical care. Those who did, often did so in a delayed fashion and in worse clinical condition. More patients required urgent surgical interventions compared to the control period. Governments and healthcare systems should emphasize to the public not to delay seeking medical attention, even in times of crises

Original Articles
Ilona Voskoboynikov-Ugortsev MPH, Yaakov Rosenfeld MD MPH, and Lital Keinan Boker MD PhD MPH

Background: A thorough informed consent (IC) process is required before in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments can begin because these treatments are by and large elective and they have expectable and preventable complications, such as ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome and multi-fetal pregnancies.

Objectives: To empirically examine whether patient knowledge and understanding of potential hazards associated with IVF treatment are better after the IC process compared to before. The authors hypothesized that patients' better understanding of potential complications would be translated and expressed as rational choices of treatment alternatives.

Methods: Responses of 48 IVF patients after IC process (study group) from two IVF units in northern Israel were compared to those of 46 patients before IVF (control group).

Only women undergoing IVF for first time who were older than 18 years of age were eligible for the study.

Results: Socio-demographic parameters were found to be quite similar between the study group and the control group. Contrary to our expectations, in the study group 12 women (25.5%) considered delivery of a single baby as their optimal result, compared to 15 (32.6%) in the control group. Furthermore, preferences shifted toward triplets: eight patients (17%) after IC considered this option as their best result, compared to only five patients (11%) before IC.

Conclusions: IC process goals are not achieved under current practices, at least as far as IVF treatment are concerned. New tools and incentives should be implemented to meet the requirements dictated by the laws regarding patient rights.

Amir Mari MD, Tawfik Khoury MD, Mahmud Mahamid MD, Shorbaji Akram MD, Yael Kopelman MD, and Fadi Abu Baker MD

Background: While the routine performance of terminal ileum (TI) intubation during colonoscopy procedures is perceived to have a low yield, its utility during colonoscopies performed for specific indications have not been well studied.

Objectives: To assess the diagnostic yield of an indication-based ileoscopy in real-life practice.

Methods: The authors reviewed endoscopic reports of patients who underwent colonoscopies over an 8-year period (2011–2018) and had routine ileoscopy during these procedures. Demographic data, indications for colonoscopy, and endoscopic findings were documented. Diagnostic yield and odds ratio for TI findings were calculated.

Results: Over 30,000 colonoscopy reports performed during the study period were reviewed. Ilesocopy was performed in 1800 patients, 216 patients had findings in the TI (ileitis or ulcers). TI findings were more prevalent in younger ages (38.3 ± 17.6 vs. 43.6 ± 20, P < 0.05). The greatest yield of ileoscopy was evident when performed for the evaluation of chronic abdominal pain and diarrhea (14.4% vs. 9.3%, odds ratio [OR] 1.62, P < 0.05). Positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) (OR 0.1, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.02–0.5, P = 0.005) and constipation (OR 0.44, 95%CI 0.2–0.9, P = 0.04) were negatively associated with TI findings.

Conclusions: Ileoscopy may have the greatest utility in evaluating suspected inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, but may not add value to the evaluation of constipation and positive FOBT

Hezzy Shmueli MD, Arie Steinvil MD, Galit Aviram MD, Sileman Moaad MD, Adam Sharon MD, Achiude Bendet MD, Simon Biner MD, Yacov Shacham MD, Jack Sherez MD, Ricki Megidish MD, Yifat Hasin MD, Ester Elazar MD, Sevan Letourneau-Shesaf MD, Gad Keren MD ,Shlomo Berliner MD, and Yan Topilsky MD

Background: Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is considered to be one of the most common cardiovascular diseases with considerable mortality. Conflicting data imply possible role for echocardiography in assessing this disease.

Objectives: To determine which of the echo parameters best predicts short-term and long-term mortality in patients with PE.

Methods: We prospectively enrolled 235 patients who underwent computed tomography of pulmonary arteries (CTPA) and transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE) within < 24 hours. TTE included a prospectively designed detailed evaluation of the right heart including right ventricular (RV) myocardial performance index (RIMP), RV end diastolic and end systolic area, RV fractional area change, acceleration time (AT) of pulmonary flow and visual estimation. Interpretation and performance of TTE were blinded to the CTPA results.

Results: Although multiple TTE parameters were associated with PE, all had low discriminative capacity (AUC < 0.7). Parameters associated with 30-day mortality in univariate analysis were acceleration time (AT) < 81 msec (P = 0.04), stroke volume < 44 cc (P = 0.005), and RIMP > 0.42 (P = 0.05). The only RV independent echo parameter associated with poor long-term prognosis (adjusted for significant clinical, and routine echo associates of mortality) was RIMP (hazard ratio 3.0, P = 0.04). The only independent RV echo parameters associated with mortality in PE patients were RIMP (P = 0.05) and AT (P = 0.05). Addition of RIMP to nested models eliminated the significance of all other parameters assessing RV function.

Conclusions: Doppler-based parameters like pulmonary flow AT, RIMP, and stroke volume, have additive value in addition to visual RV estimation to assess prognosis in patients with PE.

Eias Kassem MD, Sigal Eilat-Adar PhD, Mahmood Sindiani Med, and Sigal Ben-Zaken PhD

Background: Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health. Because peak bone mass accrual occurs during childhood and adolescence, vitamin D insufficiency during this period of life could cause adverse health outcomes.

Objectives: To explore the potential sex differences in anthropometric indicators and vitamin D status among primary school-age children.

Methods: A modified food-frequency intake questionnaire was completed by 116 pre-pubertal children (52 girls, 64 boys). Body measurements were recorded and blood was drawn to assess vitamin D status. All children were of Arab-Israeli origin and lived in villages or rural areas in the north-east area of Israel.

Results: Prevalence of obesity was higher among girls (34%) compared to boys (21.9%, P = 0.018). All the children were vitamin D insufficient, and 80% were deficient. Plasma vitamin D was significantly higher among boys (12.4 ng/ml) compared to girls (9.1 ng/ml, P < 0.01). A significant negative correlation was found between vitamin D status and weight percentile for girls (r = -0.43, P < 0.05) but not for boys. There was a trend toward a statistically significant inverse correlation between vitamin D status and body fat percent in the girls (r = -0.37, P = 0.07). Sex frameworks are important for the understanding of the determinants of health and the development of effective health promotion programs.

Conclusions: Pre-pubertal girls in Arab villages should be provided with tailor-made nutrition and physical activity programs for promoting health.

Uri Aviv MD, Ariel Berl M, Josef Haik MD MPH, Ariel Tessone MD, and Moti Harats MD

Background: Burn injuries are an extreme form of traumatic injury and are a global health issue. The Israeli National Burn Unit at the Sheba Medical Center, a tertiary level 1 trauma center and hence the national referral center, treats burn patients admitted both directly and referred from other medical centers. The transfer and handover of patients is a critical step in patient care. In Israel, to date, there is no standardized and accepted transfer request form for burn patients from one medical facility to another.

Objectives: To construct a transfer request form to be used in all future burn patient referrals.

Methods: After reviewing publicly available international transfer forms and comparing them to the admission checklist used at our unit, a structured transfer request form was constructed.

Results: After a pilot study period, testing the form in various scenarios and adapting it, the first standardized transfer form for burn patients in Israel in both English and Hebrew was implemented beginning May 2020.

Conclusions: Implementation of a standardized transfer process will improve communication between healthcare professionals to help maintain a continuum of care. We believe that implementation of a burn transfer form in all future referrals can standardize and assure better care for burn patients, thus improving overall patient care.

Reviews
Noa Sabag MD Alexander Yakobson MD and Eldad Silberstein MD

Malignant melanoma is one of the most extensively studied diseases in the last few decades. The outcome of these studies and the treatment changes that followed have dramatically altered the landscape of not only melanoma therapy, but all solid tumors. In this review we presented the recent advances of surgical and adjuvant management of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma. This review focuses on stage III melanoma since this stage of disease requires surgical treatment as well as adjuvant therapy

Zeev Perles MD, Yuval Ishay MD, Amiram Nir MD, Sagui Gavri MD, Julius Golender MD, Asaf Ta-Shma MD, Ibrahim Abu-Zahira MD, Juma Natsheh MD, Uriel Elchalal MD, Dror Mevorach MD, and Azaria JJT Rein MD

Fetal complete atrioventricular block (CAVB) is usually autoimmune mediated. The risk of developing CAVB is 2% to 3% in anti-Ro/SS-A seropositive pregnancies and it increases 10 times after previous CAVB in siblings. Despite being a rare complication, CAVB carries a 20% mortality rate and substantial morbidity, as about 65% of newborns will eventually need life-long pacing. Once found, fetal CAVB is almost always irreversible, despite aggressive immunotherapy. This poor outcome prompted some research groups to address this situation. All groups followed anti-Ro/SS-A seropositive pregnancies on a weekly basis during the second trimester of pregnancy and tried to detect first degree atrioventricular block (AVB) using accurate echocardiographic tools, assuming they may characterize the initiation of the immune damage to the A-V conduction system, at which point the process might still be reversible. Some of the groups treated fetuses with first degree AVB with maternal oral fluorinated steroids. We summarized the results of all groups, including our group. We describe a case of a fetus that developed CAVB 6 days after normal sinus rhythm (NSR), who under aggressive dexamethasone therapy gradually reverted to NSR. This fetus had a previous sibling with CAVB. We assumed the immune damage to the conduction system in this small group of fetuses with a previous CAVB sibling may have occurred more quickly than usual. We therefore recommend a twice-weekly follow-up with these fetuses

Elias Toubi MD and Zahava Vadasz MD PhD

Innate and adaptive immune response dysregulations are equally involved in the induction of autoimmunity. Toll-like receptors play a leading role in the activation of innate immune cells, thus priming auto-reactive T cells. Th17 cells and related cytokines are widely involved in many immune-mediated diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, the recent introduction of anti-IL-17  therapies should be further evaluated. Janus kinase inhibitors and Fc receptor-targeting drugs are some of the new therapeutic strategies that are being implemented when old classical therapies lack sufficient beneficial outcomes

Case communications
Vera Santos Felisberto MD, Ana R. Delgado MD, Hermengarda Pinto MD, and Paulo Morais MD
Katya Dolnikov MD, Gai Milo MD, Suheir Assady MD, Robert Dragu MD, Yolanda Braun-Moscovici MD, and Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD
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