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.