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עמוד בית
Wed, 31.05.23

March 2023

Itamar Feldman MD, Ramzi Kurd MD, Gideon Nesher MD, Mohamed Zaghal MD, Gabriel S. Breuer MD

Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve and has several causes. The hallmarks of clinical manifestation are pain on movement of the eyes and decreased vision. Typical optic neuritis is an idiopathic demyelinating condition that is often associated with multiple sclerosis, affects young women, is unilateral, and has a good prognosis.

Nimrod Sachs MD, Lotem Goldberg MD, Yoel Levinsky MD, Yotam Dizitzer MD, Yoav Vardi MD, Irit Krause MD, Oded Scheuerman MD, Gilat Livni MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Havatzelet Bilavsky-Yarden MD

Background: During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, less isolation of common winter viruses was reported in the southern hemisphere.

Objectives: To evaluate annual trends in respiratory disease-related admissions in a large Israeli hospital during and before the pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records from November 2020 to January 2021 (winter season) was conducted and compared to the same period in two previous years. Data included number of admissions, epidemiological and clinical presentation, and isolation of respiratory pathogens.

Results: There were 1488 respiratory hospitalizations (58% males): 632 in 2018–2019, 701 in 2019–2020, and 155 in 2020–2021. Daily admissions decreased significantly from a median value of 6 (interquartile range [IQR] 4–9) and 7 per day (IQR 6–10) for 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, respectively, to only 1 per day (IQR 1–3) in 2020–2021 (P-value < 0.001). The incidence of all respiratory viruses decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no hospitalizations due to influenza and only one with respiratory syncytial virus. There was also a significant decline in respiratory viral and bacterial co-infections during the pandemic (P-value < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a significant decline in pediatric respiratory admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible etiologies include epidemiological factors such as mask wearing and social distancing, in addition to biological factors such as viral interference. A herd protection effect of adults and older children wearing masks may also have had an impact.

Batya Wizman MD, Moti Haim MD, Ido Peles, Roi Westreich MD, Amjad Abu-Salman MD, Gal Tsaban MD MPH, Natalie Yasoor, Orit Barrett MD, Yuval Konstantino MD

Background: Existing cardiac disease contributes to poor outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little information exists regarding COVID-19 infection in patients with a cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED).

Objectives: To assess the association between CIEDs and severity of COVID-19 infection.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis including 13,000 patients > 18 years old with COVID-19 infection between January and December 2020. Patients with COVID-19 who had a permanent pacemaker or defibrillator were matched 1:4 based on age and sex followed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: Forty patients with CIED and 160 patients without CIED were included in the current analysis. Mean age was 72.6 ± 13 years, and approximately 50% were females. Majority of the patients in the study arm had a pacemaker (63%), whereas only 15 patients (37%) had a defibrillator. Patients with COVID-19 and CIED presented more often with atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. They were more likely to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) and required more ventilatory support (35% vs. 18.3%). Thirty-day mortality (22.5% vs. 13.8%) and 1-year mortality (25% vs. 15%) were higher among patients with COVID-19 and CIED.

Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 and CIED had a significantly higher prevalence of co-morbidities that were associated with increased mortality. Although,CIED by itself was not found as an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality, it may serve as a warning for severe illness with COVID-19.

Ariel Tessone MD, Moti Harats MD

Background: In late 2019, a new strain of coronavirus (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) spread rapidly throughout the world. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a pandemic-related surge in the demand for aesthetic surgery compared to the same popularity of procedures prior to the pandemic.

Objectives: To determine whether this phenomenon also occurred in Israel.

Methods: We collected data from three leading private medical centers in Tel Aviv. Data were compared for the years 2019 and 2020 by surgical procedure. Number of orthopedic, gynecologic, and hand procedures served as control data.

Results: We present a detailed pandemic-related timeline relevant to aesthetic surgery in Israel. Overall, the demand for aesthetic surgery increased, with a marked trend toward body contouring procedures.

Conclusions: The Israeli aesthetic surgery market was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a post-closure surge. The popularity and number of procedures are unique to the Israeli market.

Johnatan Nissan, Anna Blokh MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD MPH, Harald Heidecke PhD, Gilad Halpert PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is estimated to affect 2–4% of the general population. While FMS has some known environmental and genetic risk factors, the disorder has no clear etiology. A common coexisting disorder with FMS is small fiber neuropathy (SFN). High levels of serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) binding to trisulfated-heparin-disaccharide (TS-HDS) were recently found to be associated with SFN.

Objectives: To evaluate potential differences in anti-TS-HDS antibody titers in women with FMS compared to healthy controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated 51 female participants: 30 with a diagnosis of FMS and 21 healthy controls who had been recruited at the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. All of the participants were older than 18 years of age. Anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were measured in their sera using the enzyme immunoassay technique.

Results: The mean anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were significantly lower in the FMS group, compared with the control group (7.7 ± 5 vs. 13.2 ± 8.6 U/ml, respectively; P = 0.013).

Conclusions: There is a possible association between FMS and anti-TS-HDS IgM. This association might be the missing link for the coexistence of SFN and FMS, but further study should be performed to assess this association and this auto-antibody characteristic.

Mahmud Mahamid MD, Bashar Fteiha MD, Eran Goldin, William Nseir MD

Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent chronic liver disorders. Acute cholangitis (AC) is a life-threatening illness.

Objective: To determine whether NAFLD is a risk factor for the severity of AC.

Methods: We retrospectively studied hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of AC over 5 years. Patients were divided into a NAFLD group and a non-NAFLD group. We compared the two groups with regard to demographic characteristics, co-morbidities, laboratory data, and severity of AC (including Charlson Comorbidity Index [CCI] and Tokyo Consensus meeting criteria).

Results: In all, 298 of 419 hospitalized patients diagnosed with AC met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 73/298 (24.5%) were in the NAFLD group. NAFLD group patients were younger and more likely to be diabetic and obese than the non-NAFLD group. Participants in the NAFLD presented with higher serum C-reactive protein and higher liver enzymes (P < 0.05, for each parameter) and with more events of organ dysfunction (P < 0.001) and bacteremia (P < 0.005). Regarding the severity of AC according to Tokyo Consensus, among the NAFLD group more patients presented with Grade II (39.7 vs. 33.3%, P < 0.001) and Grade III (23.3 vs. 18.3, P < 0.001) cholangitis. More Grade I cholangitis was found among the non-NAFLD group (48.4 vs. 37%, P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that NAFLD was independently associated with severe AC, Grade III (odds ratio 3.25, 95% confidence interval 1.65–6.45, P = 0.038).

Conclusions: NAFLD is an independent risk factor for the severity of AC.

Ofira Zloto MD, Irit Barequet MD, Orit Ezra Nimni MD, Yoav Berger MD, Juliana Gildener-Leapman MD, Gal Antman MD, Noa Avni-Zauberman MD

Background: The cornea is one of the most densely innervated in the body. Pterygium surgery includes removal of the pterygium tissue from the cornea and conjunctiva followed by autologous conjunctival grafting.

Objectives: To examine the change in corneal and conjunctival sensation post-pterygium surgery.

Methods: This prospective study included patients with primary pterygium. We collected and analyzed demographic data, visual acuity (VA), refraction, quantified sensation, and corneal tomography. Comparison in sensation in the cornea, conjunctiva, and conjunctival autograft was recorded the day of surgery and at least 6 months postoperatively.

Results: Nine patients participated in the study. Mean follow-up time was 9 months (9 ± 3.3, 6–12.4). No complications were documented during or following surgery and no recurrences were found. Statistically significant increases in corneal sensation in the nasal corneal and in the nasal conjunctival areas were noted by the end of follow-up compared to before surgery (P = 0.05, paired samples t-test). There was a significant correlation between the increase in nasal corneal and conjunctival sensation with improved Schirmer testing outcomes and tear break-up time after surgery (P = 0.05, P = 0.01, Pearson correlation). There was a positive correlation between the changes in nasal corneal sensation after surgery and improved changes in VA (P = 0.02, Pearson correlation).

Conclusions: We found improvement in sensation 9 months after pterygium surgery, which may be due to reinnervation of the cornea and conjunctival autograft from the neighboring non-injured nerve fibers. Larger studies with confocal microscopy should be conducted for further analysis.

Sara Dichtwald MD, Nedi Varbarbut MD, Elad Dana MD, Edna Zohar MD, Nisim Ifrach MD, Brian Fredman MD

Background: Thiamine is an essential co-factor for aerobic intracellular respiration, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. Thiamine deficiency is common in the intensive care unit (ICU). Delirium is a frequent unwanted symptom among critical ill patients. Although the exact cause of ICU-associated delirium is unknown, abnormal nutrition and thiamine deficiency may contribute to the etiology.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of delirium among ICU patients who received thiamine with those who did not and to compare morbidity and mortality.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted among ICU patients admitted 2014–2018. Routine thiamine administration began in 2016. Collected data included patient demographics, medical history, indication for ICU admission, hospital admission times, ventilation days, inotropic therapy, hemodialysis, tracheostomy, 28-day mortality, and need for anti-psychotic therapy. Group A received thiamine, group B did not. All data were statistically analyzed according to type.

Results: The study included 930 patients: 465 patients in group A and 465 in group B. At admission and throughout the hospitalization severity of disease parameters was worse in group A compared to group B, including acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) score, admission lactate level, ventilation days, inotropic support, renal replacement therapy, tracheostomy, and ICU hospitalization. Group A had fewer delirium events without difference of maximal delirium score. No difference in mortality rate was observed.

Conclusions: Thiamine administration was associated with lower delirium prevalence despite longer ICU admission times and higher disease severity parameters at admission and during ICU stay.

Elena Chernomordikov MD, Keren Rouvinov MD, Wilmosh Mermershtain MD, Konstantin Lavrenkov MD PhD

Background: Bicalutamide monotherapy (BMT) is an option for androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in patients with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer (LIR-PC). Painful gynecomastia (PG) is a common side effect of BMT. Few therapeutic options are available for preventing BMT-induced PG.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and side effects of single fraction (SF) prophylactic breast irradiation (PBI) to prevent painful gynecomastia (PG) in patients LIR-PC treated with BMT.

Methods: We reviewed the results of bilateral PBI in a prospective cohort of LIR-PC patients who received 150 mg bicalutamide daily as a first-line treatment for at least 12 months. A single fraction of 8 Gy was administered to both breasts by a stationary field of 10 × 10 cm, using 10–15 MeV electron beam. PBI was commenced on the same day as BMT, but prior to the first dose of bicalutamide. A radiotherapy treatment plan was designed to cover breast tissue by the 90% isodose line. Subsequent monthly physical examinations were scheduled for all patients during the first year of BMT to evaluate any PG symptoms.

Results: Seventy-six patients received BMT and PBI, 80% (61/76) showed no signs of PG; 20% (15/76) experienced mild gynecomastia. The main adverse effect of PBI was grade 1 radiation dermatitis.

Conclusions: PBI using a SF of 8 Gy is an effective, safe, and low-cost strategy for the prevention of BMT-induced PG in LIR-PC patients.

Alla Lubovich MD, Mariana Issawy MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Doron Sudarsky MD, Edo Y. Birati MD, Offer Amir MD FACC, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC

Background: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) represents a spectrum of ischemic myocardial disease including unstable angina (UA), non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Various prognostic scores were developed for patients presenting with NSTEMI-ACS. Among these scores, the GRACE risk score offers the best discriminative performance for prediction of in-hospital and 6-month mortality. However, the GRACE score is limited and cannot be used in several ethnic populations. Moreover, it is not predictive of clinical outcomes other than mortality.

Objective: To assess the prognostic value of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and laboratory biomarkers in predicting 6-month major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), including hospitalization, recurrent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), stroke, and cardiovascular mortality in patients with NSTEMI treated with PCI.

Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive patients admitted with an initial diagnosis of NSTEMI to the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at the Tzafon Medical Center, Israel, between April 2015 and August 2018 and treated by PCI within 48 hours of admission.

Results: A total of 223 consecutive patients with NSTEMI treated by PCI were included in the study. Logarithmebrain natriuretic peptide (LogₑBNP), prior MI, and Hb levels were found to be significant predictors of any first MACCE. Only logₑBNP was found to be an independent predictor of a first MACCE event by multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: LogₑBNP is an independent predictor of worse prognosis in patients with NSTEMI. Routine evaluation of BNP levels should be considered in patients admitted with NSTEMI.

Eyal Leibovitz MD, Mona Boaz PhD, Israel Khanimov MD, Gary Mosiev MD, Mordechai Shimonov MD

Background: Despite its wide use, evidence is inconclusive regarding the effect of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) in patients with chronic diseases and dementia among hospitalized patients with malnutrition.

Objectives: To examine the effect of PEG insertion on prognosis after the procedure.

Methods: This retrospective analysis of medical records included all adult patients who underwent PEG insertion between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013 during their hospitalization. For each PEG patient, two controls similar in age, sex, referring department, and underlying condition were randomly selected from the entire dataset of patients admitted. The effect of PEG on mortality and repeated admissions was examined.

Results: The study comprised 154 patients, 49 referred for PEG insertion and 105 controls (mean age 74.8 ± 19.8 years; 72.7% females; 78.6% admitted to internal medicine units). Compared to controls, the PEG group had a higher 2-year mortality rate (59.2% vs. 17.1%, P < 0.001) but the 2-year readmission rate did not differ significantly (44.9% vs. 56.2% respectively, P = 0.191). Regression analysis showed PEG was  associated with increased risk of the composite endpoint of death or readmission (hazard ratio 1.514, 95% confidence interval 1.016–2.255, P = 0.041). No specific characteristic of admission was associated with increased likelihood of death or readmission. Among readmitted patients, reasons for admission and baseline laboratory data, including albumin and cholesterol, did not differ between the PEG patients and controls.

Conclusions: In-hospital PEG insertion was associated with increased mortality at 2 years but had no effect on readmissions.

Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

Dorit Shitenberg MD, Barak Pertzov MD, Moshe Heching MD, Yael Shostak MD, Osnat Shtraichman MD, Dror Rosengarten MD, Moshe Yeshurun MD, Yury Peysakhovich MD, Yaron Barac MD, Mordechai R. Kramer MD

Background: Late-onset pulmonary complications can occur following hematological stem cell transplantation (HSCT). In allogeneic HSCT these complications are often associated with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Lung transplantation (LTx) often remains the only viable therapeutic option in these patients.

Objectives: To describe our experience with LTx due to GVHD after HSCT and to compare the long-term survival of this group of patients to the overall survival of our cohort of LTx recipients for other indications.

Methods: We retrospectively retrieved all data on patients who had undergone LTx for end-stage lung disease as a sequela of allogeneic HSCT, between 1997 and 2021, at Rabin Medical Center in Israel.

Results: A total of 15 of 850 patients (1.7%) from our cohort of LTx recipients fulfilled the criteria of LTx as a sequela of late pulmonary complication after allogeneic HSCT. The median age at the time of HSCT was 33 years (median 15–53, range 3–60). The median time between HSCT and first signs of chronic pulmonary GVHD was 24 months (interquartile range [IQR] 12–80). The median time from HSCT to LTx was 96 months (IQR 63–120). Multivariate analysis showed that patients transplanted due to GVHD had similar survival compared to patients who were transplanted for other indications.

Conclusions: LTx for GVHD after allogeneic HSCT constitutes an important treatment strategy. The overall survival appears to be comparable to patients after LTx for other indications.

Sergei Elber-Dorozko MD, Yackov Berkun MD, Abraham Zlotogorski MD, Alexander Maly MD, Ariel Tenenbaum MD

IgA vasculitis, formerly known as Henoch–Schönlein purpura (HSP), is the most common systemic vasculitis in children. It is defined as palpable purpura in the absence of coagulopathy or thrombocytopenia and one or more of the following criteria: abdominal pain, arthritis or arthralgia, biopsy of affected tissue demonstrating predominant IgA deposition, and renal involvement with proteinuria and hematuria or red cell casts [1].

Abedallh Hamad MD, Frida Shemesh MD, Avi Ohry MD, Yekaterina Slutzky MD, Valeria Kaplan RN MA, Svetlana Kartoon MD, Raphael Joseph Heruti MD

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), or toxic epidermal necrolysis, is a rare syndrome that develops after an allergic reaction to a medication [1,2]. It affects the skin and the mucocutaneous tissue. Individuals diagnosed with SJS are rarely referred to a rehabilitation medicine (RM) facility.

The annual prevalence of SJS is about one in one million. The skin is covered with blisters. Usually, it affects about 10 % of body surface area. The patients are treated usually by ophthalmologists, dermatologists, allergologists, and immunologists. When severe complications occur, plastic surgeons and intensive care physicians may also be involved. Few publications were found that linked SJS with comprehensive rehabilitation treatment [3-5].

Dana Arnheim MBBS BA, Arad Dotan BSc, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

The interplay between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autoimmunity is well known. One of the contributors leading to immune disorders is autonomic dysregulation, which is characterized by attenuated parasympathetic and elevated sympathetic systems. In this review, we described evidence regarding the relationship between stress, PTSD, autonomic dysfunction, and autoimmunity. Stress is a physiological response, which is functional for our being. The implication of dysfunction in stress response may be a cause of disease development. We described the fundamental role of the pathological high levels of stress in PTSD as a mediator factor that contributes to autonomic dysfunction, which as a result may lead to autoimmunity. Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes are some of the autoimmune diseases PTSD patients are at higher risk of developing. Notably, some autoimmune diseases are shown to increase the susceptibility to develop PTSD, which may indicate a bidirectional influence. In addition, we elaborated on stress as a major component in both fibromyalgia and PTSD, as there are overlaps between the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia and PTSD. Underlying chronic low-grade inflammation, which characterizes PTSD patients, may be a potential target and biomarker in treating PTSD patients. We believe that chronic low-grade inflammation, high concentrations of cytokines, and other inflammatory biomarkers, which characterize PTSD patients, may be potential targets and biomarkers in the treatment of PTSD patients and part of the PTSD diagnostic criteria.

Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Howard Amital MD MHA

Fibromyalgia is one of the most significant causes of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, heavily burdening both individual patients and the healthcare system. Hence, reducing the prevalence of the disorder is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the etiology and the exact risk factors leading to the development of fibromyalgia are not clearly known, making its prevention difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, there are numerous risk markers that are associated with an increased probability of the disease, such as obesity, psychological and physical stress, exposure to traumatic life events, certain infectious disorders, and co-morbid rheumatic and psychiatric disorders. It is reasonable to assume that targeting preventable risk markers may suppress consequent emergence of fibromyalgia, but studies investigating primary prevention on fibromyalgia are scarce. In this review, we examined several studies that discuss proven methods to prevent fibromyalgia, including maintenance of a normal body mass index, regular physical exercise, and psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Yoav Siegler MD, Chen Ben David MD, Zeev Weiner MD, Ido Solt MD

Late, preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) presents a major obstetrical challenge balancing between iatrogenic prematurity and risk of prolonged rupture of membranes. In recent years, the pendulum has been shifting toward expectant management until gestation week 37 + 0. We examined the latest guidelines and major trials and summarized optimal management. We addressed the major dilemmas of women with PPROM during gestation weeks 34 + 0 to 36 + 6.

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