• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Doctors card
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Mon, 15.08.22

July 2022


FOCUS
Abdulrahman Elsalti MD, Abdulkarim Alwani MD, Isa Seida MD, Mahmoud Alrais MD, Ravend Seida MD, Sevval Nil Esirgun MD, Tunahan Abali MD, Zeynep Kiyak MD, and Naim Mahroum MD
Avi Ohry MD and Esteban González-López MD PhD

Dr. Joseph Weill was a French Jewish doctor who made significant contributions to the knowledge of hunger disease in the refugee camps in southern France during World War II. He was involved with the clandestine network of escape routes for Jewish children from Nazi-occupied France to Switzerland

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Carla Caffarelli MD PhD, Paolo Cameli MD, Miriana D’Alessandro MD, Elena Bargagli MD, Bruno Fredian MD, and Stefano Gonnelli MD

Background: Some studies have shown that patients who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 also have low levels of vitamin D. It is known that vitamin D can reduce the risk of infections and down regulate the immune/inflammatory reaction.

Objectives: To investigate the association between vitamin D status and lymphocyte subpopulations in hospitalized pneumonia COVID-19 patients.

Methods: In 33 positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients with radiologic evidence of interstitial pneumonia and in 16 healthy control subjects matched for age, sex, and seasonality lymphocyte subpopulations and vitamin D levels were evaluated.

Results: The majority of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (70.8%) presented vitamin D deficiency. The percentages of neutrophils presented a negative correlation (r = -0.74; P < 0.001), whereas the percentages of lymphocytes presented a positive correlation (r = 0.43; P < 0.01) with 25(OH)D. Moreover, vitamin D levels were positively correlated with CD3+ (r = 0.37, P < 0.05), CD4+ (r = 0.41, P < 0.05), CD8+ (r = 0.32, P < 0.07), and CD19+ (r = 0.38, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: This preliminary study confirms the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a reduction of lymphocyte subsets and altered T-lymphocyte activation. This finding may contribute to clarify the mechanisms by which vitamin D influences the course and outcome of COVID-19 pneumonia.

Ori Wand MD, David Dahan MD, Naveh Tov PhD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Daniel A. King MD, and David Shitrit MD
João Gouveia MD, Carolina Barros MD, Mónica Caldeira MD, Caldeira Ferreira MD, and Rafael Freitas MD
Magdi Zoubi MD, Ashraf Hejly MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, and Naim Mahroum MD
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Adnan Zaina MD, Ilan Shimon MD, Ali Abid MD,Eldad Arad MD,Elzbieta Baron MD, Elena Golden MD, Michal Gershinsky MD, Nariman Saba Khazen MD, Mohammed Abu Saleh MD, Noga Roguin Maor MD, Orit Bardicef MD, Yulia Pauker MD and Sameer Kassem MD

Background: National registries for acromegaly and population-based data make an important contribution to disease understanding and management. Data concerning the epidemiology of acromegaly in Israel is scanty.

Objectives: To evaluate the epidemiology of acromegaly in different industrial areas in northern Israel.

Methods: Data from adult patients diagnosed with acromegaly from 2000 to 2020, living in Haifa and the western Galilee District were collected using the electronic database and medical records from Clalit Health Services. The prevalence of acromegaly in three distinct areas and overall were reported. In addition, other epidemiological data including associated co-morbidities, pituitary tumor size, and treatment modalities were collected.

Results: We identified 77 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acromegaly. The overall prevalence was 155 cases/106 inhabitants without statistically significant differences between the three areas. The mean age at diagnosis was 50 ± 1.8 years and the male to female ratio was 1.1. Macroadenoma and microadenoma were identified in 44 (57%) and 25 (33%), respectively. The frequency rate of acromegaly-associated co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, carpal tunnel syndrome, and osteoporosis was similar to previously reported studies. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 29 ± 5.6 kg/m2 .Obesity, with a BMI ≥ of 30 kg/m2, was found in 29 patients (38%). The majority of patients underwent transsphenoidal surgery 67 (87%). Normalized insulin-like growth factor 1 was reported in 64 (83%).

Conclusions: A high prevalence of acromegaly was found in northern Israel. The pituitary microadenoma frequency rate is the highest reported.

Amit Frenkel MD MHA, Victor Novack MD PhD, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Moti Klein MD MPH, and Jacob Dreiher MD PhD MPH

Background: Low serum albumin is known to be associated with mortality in sepsis, as it reflects effects of nutrition, catabolism, and edema.

Objectives: To examine the association of albumin levels with in-hospital mortality in adults with sepsis, stratified by age groups.

Methods: This nationwide retrospective cohort study comprised patients admitted with sepsis to intensive care units in seven tertiary hospitals during 2003–2011. Only patients with available serum albumin levels at hospital admission and one week after were included. Patients with an intra-abdominal source of sepsis were excluded. The association between sepsis and mortality was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: The study included 3967 patients (58.7% male, median age 69 years). Mean serum albumin levels were 3.1 ± 0.7 g/dl at admission and 2.4 ± 0.6 g/dl one week later. In a multivariate logistic regression model, serum albumin one week after admission was inversely associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.55–0.73 per 1 g/dl). In an age-stratified analysis, the association was stronger with younger age (OR 0.44 for patients aged < 45 years, 0.60 for patients aged 45–65 years, and 0.67 for patients aged > 65 years). Serum albumin on admission was not associated with in-hospital mortality.

Conclusions: The decline in serum albumin one week after admission is a stronger predictor of mortality in younger patients. Older patients might have other reasons for low serum albumin, which reflect chronic co-morbidity rather than acuity of disease.

Gal Peleg MD, Ilaria Sterbizzi M. Psych PhD, Roni Peleg MD, and Yulia Treister-Goltzman MD MPH

Background: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric disease that is refractory to treatment. To date, there is no effective pharmacological therapy and existing psychotherapy treatment is only partially effective. In neuropsychological terms, AN is characterized by cognitive inflexibility and an overly detailed processing style. Creating artwork and drawing requires integrative thinking that encompasses the big picture.

Objectives: To describe preliminary observations of drawing treatment modality based on precise scientific drawing.

Methods: The artwork method is based on the classic work by squares and on additional techniques from scientific drawing. The method was developed and implemented in a sheltered home for patients with eating disorders in Parma, Italy. Five patients, four women and one man, agreed to participate in a 10-session workshop as a part of multidisciplinary intervention. The ages of participants were 17–28 years and all had presented with AN for several years.

Results: Using the method of copying drawings on squares made it possible to identify features that were common to all the patients, such as focusing on the external form of the drawing rather than on the internal details, exerting strong pressure on the pencil without consideration of the need for future corrections, drawing distorted perceptions of curves, and the adding of significant volume.

Conclusions: Precise scientific drawing could be a useful instrument in the understanding and correction of a patient’s distorted world and self-perspective. More evidence could be provided by further studies with a larger sample and a control group.

Firas Kassem MD, Muhamed Masalha MD, Ameen Biadsee MD, Ben Nageris MD, Ronit Kagan DMD, and Ariela Nachmani PhD

Background: Dysphagia is a common symptom with diverse etiologies and refers to disorders of the process of swallowing food or fluids. Many studies have reported the anatomical and functional differences between men and women in swallowing in healthy patients; however, sex discrepancies in symptomatic patients have not often been studied.

Objectives: To compare the performance of men and women with dysphagia using videofluoroscopy.

Methods: To compare the performance of men and women with dysphagia using videofluoroscopy.

Results: A total of 203 patients met the inclusion criteria, 106 men (52%) and 97 women (48%). Men complained significantly more about choking on liquids (P = 0.002) and in swallowing pills (P = 0.004) compared to women. Men had more abnormalities in the pharyngeal phase (P = 0.015) and at the upper esophageal sphincter (P = 0.056). The prevalence of aspiration, penetration, and barium residue in the hypopharynx and in the vallecula were significantly greater in men as well.

Conclusions: In patients with dysphagia, women had fewer subjective symptoms and performed better than men in videofluoroscopy especially in the pharyngeal phase. These differences are probably due to different anatomical and functional swallowing characteristics. A better understanding of these discrepancies can be useful in offering tailored treatment in clinical practice.

Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

Ivelin Koev MD, Aharon Bloch MD, Elisha Ouzan MD, Donna R. Zwas MD, Iddo Z. Ben-Dov MD, PhD, and Israel Gotsman MD

Background: Advanced heart failure (HF) carries a high rate of recurrent HF hospitalizations and a very high mortality rate. Mechanical devices and heart transplantation are limited to a select few. Dialysis may be a good alternative for advanced HF patients with volume overload despite maximal pharmacological therapy.

Objectives: To assess the net clinical outcome of peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis in patients with advanced HF.

Methods: We analyzed all advanced HF patients who were referred for dialysis due to volume overload in our institution. Patients were followed for complications, HF hospitalizations, and survival.

Results: We assessed 35 patients; 10 (29%) underwent peritoneal dialysis and 25 (71%) underwent hemodialysis; 71% were male; median (interquartile range) age was 74 (67–78) years. Estimated glomerular filtration rate was 20 (13–32) ml/min per 1.73 m2. New York Heart Association functional capacity was III. Median follow-up time was 719 days (interquartile range 658–780). One-year mortality rate was 8/35 (23%) and overall mortality rate was 16/35 (46%). Three patients (9%) died during the first year due to line or peritoneal dialysis related sepsis, and 6 (17%) died during the entire follow-up. The median number of HF hospitalizations was significantly reduced during the year on dialysis compared to the year prior to dialysis (0.0 [0.0–1.0] vs. 2.0 [0.0–3.0], P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Dialysis is reasonably safe and significantly reduced HF hospitalization in advanced HF patients. Dialysis could be a good alternative for advanced HF patients with intractable volume overload.

CASE COMMUNICATION
Moshe Herskovitz MD, Rachel Ben Hayun MD, and Judith Aharon MD
IMAGING
LETTERS
Orna Tal MD MHA, Yaron Connelly MA, Tami Karni MD, Arnona Ziv MBA, Giora Kaplan PhD, and Baruch Velan PhD
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