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עמוד בית
Sat, 27.02.21

February 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Andris Jumtins MD PhD, Ruta Jakusonoka MD PhD, Andris Vikmanis MD PhD, Dmitrijs Grigorjevs MD, Modris Ciems MD, Ivans Krupenko MD, and Alexander Lerner MD PhD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) crisis has affected how hospitals work and has had an effect on orthopedic surgery.

Objectives: To compare patient management and low-energy and high-energy trauma treatment at two orthopedic trauma units during the COVID-19 crisis and to clarify resource demands and preparedness in orthopedic clinics during the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at two orthopedic trauma units from 14 March 2019 to 14 April 2019 and from 14 March 2020 to 14 April 2020.

Results: The proportion of patients admitted in the multi-trauma orthopedic unit decreased by one-third, the mean time interval from admission to surgery significantly decreased, and the number of surgeries and mean length of stay in hospital decreased in 2020 compared to the same test period in 2019. In the orthopedic trauma unit, the number of patients and surgeries also decreased.

Conclusions: Our study highlights changes in orthopedic injury characteristics in two orthopedic units during the COVID-19 crisis in Latvia and compares these changes to data from the same time period one year earlier.

Gal Antman MD, Alon Tiosano MD, and Irit Bahar MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presented a major medical management challenge to ophthalmology departments throughout Israel.

Objectives: To examine the managerial challenges, actions taken, and insights of directors of ophthalmology departments in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We conducted a cross sectional survey of directors of ophthalmology departments during the COVID-19 pandemic while the Israeli population was quarantined.

Results: All 21 directors answered the survey. The majority of the COVID-19 admissions were located in the center of Israel (53%) and Jerusalem (30%). E-communication took a central role in coping with the pandemic with 80% of the directors satisfied with this form of communication; 75% reported a reduction in clinical and surgery volume of at least 25%, and 40% reported reallocations of manpower. Most of the medical staff used gloves, a face shield, disposable robe, and a mask with no uniformity across departments. Cross satisfaction was noted regarding a hospital’s ability to equip the departments. Lack of preparation for post-pandemic era was reported by all directors, but one (95%). Directors sought guidelines and uniformity regarding outpatient referral to the hospital (p = 0.035)

Conclusions: Guidelines via safe digital platforms aid in management decisions and uniformity across departments. Advanced preparation is needed to prevent adverse clinical outcomes and to maintain treatment continuum. Our results can be used to guide and help improve the preparedness of ophthalmology departments during COVID-19 and for future pandemics.

Mordehay Cordoba MD, Roi Anteby MD, Yaniv Zager MD, Yiftach Barash MD, Eyal Klang MD, Roy Nadler MD, Imri Amiel MD, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS, Nir Horesh MD, Nimrod Aviran MD, and Yoram Klein MD

Background: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic changed medical environments worldwide.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trauma-related visits to the emergency department (ED).

Methods: A single tertiary center retrospective study was conducted that compared ED attendance of patients with injury-related morbidity between March 2020 (COVID-19 outbreak) and pre-COVID-19 periods: February 2020 and the same 2 months in 2018 and 2019.

Results: Overall, 6513 patients were included in the study. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the daily number of patients visiting the ED for acute trauma declined by 40% compared to the average in previous months (P < 0.01). A strong negative correlation was found between the number of trauma-related ED visits and the log number of confirmed cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Israel (Pearson's r = -0.63, P < 0.01). In the COVID-19 period there was a significant change in the proportion of elderly patients (7% increase, P = 0.002), admissions ratio (12% increase, P < 0.001), and patients brought by emergency medical services (10% increase, P < 0.001). The number of motor vehicle accident related injury declined by 45% (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: A significant reduction in the number of trauma patients presenting to the ED occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet trauma-related admissions were on the rise

Original Articles
Nagham Gudban MSc, Itamar Yehuda PhD, William Nasir MD, Soboh Soboh MD, Snait Tamir PhD, and Arnon Blum MD

Background: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have a high rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Mediterranean diet is preferred for CVD prevention. Endothelial dysfunction is demonstrated early in T2DM.

Objectives: To study the effects of dietary intervention of T2DM patients without known CVD on endothelial function and vascular inflammation.

Methods: A prospective study enrolled 22 patients with T2DM. Patients were divided randomly into two groups: an intervention group with 12 patients (55 ± 7 years old, 6 women) and a control group with 10 patients (59 ± 10 years old, 5 women). Clinical evaluation included body mass index (BMI) and endothelial function measured by the flow mediated percent change (FMD%). Fasting blood was drawn on entry to the study and 3 months later, measuring C-reactive protein (CRP), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C%). The intervention was based on weekly telephone calls by a clinical dietitian for 3 months.

Results: In the intervention group CRP and ICAM-1 were reduced (from 4.2 ± 3.3 mg/dl to 0.4 ± 0.5 mg/dl, P = 0.01 and from 258.6 ± 98.3 ng/ml to 171.6 ± 47.7 ng/ml, P = 0.004). Endothelial function (FMD%) was improved (from 0.5 ± 8.0% to 9.5 ± 11.5%, P = 0.014). No change was observed in BMI, HbA1C%, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels in either group.

Conclusions: Patients with T2DM on the Mediterranean diet who received a weekly telephone call for 3 months improved their endothelial function with reduction of markers of inflammation.

Amir Mari MD, Tawfik Khoury MD, Mahamid Baker MD, Helal Said Ahmad MD, Fadi Abu Baker MD, and Mahmud Mahamid MD

Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as an important public health condition. The effect of Ramadan fasting on several metabolic conditions has been previously assessed.

Objectives: To assess the impact of Ramadan fasting on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) severity scores.

Methods: A retrospective, case control study was conducted in Nazareth Hospital between 2017 and 2019. We included NAFLD patients who had been diagnosed by abdominal ultrasonography. The study population was divided in two matched groups: NASH subjects who fasted all of Ramadan and NAFLD/NASH subjects who did not fast (control). Metabolic/NASH severity scores, homeostatic model assessment of β-cell function and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), NAFLD Fibrosis Score (NFS), BARD scores, and fibrosis-4 (FIB4) scores were assessed in both groups before and after the Ramadan month.

Results: The study included 155 NASH subjects, 74 who fasted and 81 who did not. Among the fasting group, body mass index decreased from 36.7 ± 7.1 to 34.5 ± 6.8 after fasting (P < 0.003), NFS declined from 0.45 ± 0.25 to 0.23 ± 0.21 (P < 0.005), BARD scores declined from 2.3 ± 0.98 to 1.6 ± 1.01 (P < 0.005), and FIB4 scores declined from 1.93 ± 0.76 to 1.34 ± 0.871 (P < 0.005). C-reactive protein decreased from 14.2 ± 7.1 to 7.18 ± 6.45 (P < 0.005). Moreover, HOMA-IR improved from 2.92 ± 1.22 to 2.15 ± 1.13 (P < 0.005).

Conclusions: Ramadan fasting improved on inflammatory markers, insulin sensitivity, and noninvasive measures for NASH severity assessment.

Kfir Siag MD, Salim Mazzawi MD, Ariel Koren MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Muhamed Masalha MD, Roy Biener MD, Nidal Moed MD, Rami Ghanayim MD, and Carina Levin MD PhD

Background: Otogenic cerebral sinus vein thrombosis (CSVT) is a rare but severe complication of otitis media in children. To date, the role of prothrombotic evaluation is still controversial.

Objectives: To report the clinical manifestations, prothrombotic evaluation, and current management of CSVT.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of nine pediatric patients with otogenic CSVT who underwent prothrombotic evaluation between 2008 and 2018.

Results: Prominent clinical features included persistent otorrhea (88.8%), signs of mastoiditis (88.8%), high fever ≥ 38.3°C (100%), a classic spiking fever pattern (55.5%), and neurological signs (55.5%). A subperiosteal abscess (66.6%) was the most common otitis media complication associated with mastoiditis and CSVT. No microorganism was identified in 55.5% of patients. Cultures collected from ear secretions had a low yield (6.25%). However, PCR assays had a high detection rate (100%; n=3). The prothrombotic evaluation demonstrated an abnormal LAC–dRVVT ratio (6/9), elevated Factor VIII (5/8) (and a combination of both in four patients), antiphospholipid antibodies (2/8), and high homocysteine levels (1/5).The surgical intervention of choice included one-sided mastoidectomy with myringotomy and ventilation-tube placement on the affected side (77.7%). There were no mortalities and no long-term sequela except chronic otitis media (22.2%).

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate good outcomes for otogenic CSVT treatment with intravenous antibiotics, anticoagulation, and conservative surgical intervention, which supports the current trend in management. The prothrombotic evaluation revealed transient inflammation-related risk factors but did not alter management. Further prospective multicenter studies are needed to determine its relevance

Gassan Moady MD MPH, Shelly Vons MD, and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy characterized by an acute reversible left ventricular dysfunction with typical apical ballooning, usually with subsequent complete spontaneous recovery. TTS shares several features with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), including clinical presentation, ECG changes, and elevated troponin.

Objectives: To identify different features that may help differentiate between TTS and ACS with presentation based on presenting symptoms and physical examination.

Methods: We compared 35 patients who TTS had been diagnosed with 60 age- and sex- matched patients with ACS (both ST and non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction) who were hospitalized in Galilee Medical Center through 2011-2015.Basic characteristics and clinical features of the two groups were compared using appropriate statistical tests.

Results: Of the patients with TTS, 21 (60%) reported an emotional trigger (60%) before admission, although they did not have increased prevalence of psychiatric disease compared to ACS patients (5.7% vs. 5%, P = 0.611). There was no difference in the type of chest pain or accompanied symptoms between the groups. Of notice, ECG changes in the TTS group were prominent in the anterior leads, and the patients presented with higher heart rate (86 ± 17 vs. 79 ± 15, P = 0.029) and lower systolic blood pressure (129 ± 26 vs. 142 ± 30, P = 0.034) on admission compared to the ACS group.

Conclusions: There was no reliable feature that could distinguish TTS from ACS based on clinical presentation. TTS should always be in the differential diagnosis in patients with acute chest pain, especially in elderly women

Dorit E. Zilberman MD, Yasmin Abu-Ghanem MD, Gil Raviv MD, Barak Rosenzweig MD, Eddie Fridman MD, Orith Portnoy MD, and Zohar A Dotan MD PhD

Background: Little is known about oncologic outcomes following robot-assisted-radical-prostatectomy (RALP) for clinical T3 (cT3) prostate cancer.

Objectives: To investigate oncologic outcomes of patients with cT3 prostate cancer treated by RALP.

Methods: Medical records of patients who underwent RALP from 2010 to 2018 were retrieved. cT3 cases were reviewed. Demographic and pre/postoperative pathology data were analyzed. Patients were followed in 3–6 month intervals with repeat PSA analyses. Adjuvant/salvage treatments were monitored. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) meant PSA levels of ≥ 0.2 ng/ml.

Results: Seventy-nine patients met inclusion criteria. Median age at surgery was 64 years. Preoperative PSA level was 7.14 ng/dl, median prostate weight was 54 grams, and 23 cases (29.1%) were down-staged to pathological stage T2. Positive surgical margin rate was 42%. Five patients were lost to follow-up. Median follow-up time for the remaining 74 patients was 24 months. Postoperative relapse in PSA levels occurred in 31 patients (42%), and BCR in 28 (38%). Median time to BCR was 9 months. The overall 5-year BCR-free survival rate was 61%. Predicting factors for BCR were age (hazard-ratio [HR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.74–0.97, P = 0.017) and prostate weight (HR 1.04, 95%CI 1.01–1.08, P = 0.021). Twenty-six patients (35%) received adjuvant/salvage treatments. Three patients died from metastatic prostate cancer 31, 52, and 78 months post-surgery. Another patient died 6 months post-surgery of unknown reasons. The 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was 92%.

Conclusions: RALP is an oncologic effective procedure for cT3 prostate cancer. Adjuvant/salvage treatment is needed to achieve optimal disease-control

Marwan Hanna Pharm D and Ram Mazkereth MD

Extremely preterm infants are at high risk for mortality and morbidity including neurodevelopmental impairment from invasive Candida infections. Prophylactic antifungal therapy has been shown to reduce both colonization and invasive candidemia in high-risk preterm infants. Prophylactic treatment should be started in the first 48 to 72 hours after birth to extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants (weighing ≤ 1000 grams at birth) or below 27 weeks gestation age with risk factors, or in any NICU with moderate (5–10%) or high (≥ 10%) rates of invasive candidiasis. Studies demonstrated the benefits of fluconazole prophylaxis regarding its safety of the short-term and long-term without the development of fungal resistance. Empiric antifungal therapy may lower mortality and improve outcomes

Case communications
Nir Hod MD MHA, Daniel Levin MD, Sophie Lantsberg MD, Gideon Sahar MD, Karen Nalbandyan MD, Aharon Yehonatan Cohen MD, and Aryeh Shalev MD
Ron Skorochod BMED Sc, Yaakov Applbaum MD, Gideon Nesher MD, and Ariella Tvito MD
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