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עמוד בית
Wed, 27.09.23

July 2023

Yaron Niv MD AGAF FACG, Michael Kuniavsky RN PhD, Olga Bronshtein RN MSc, Nethanel Goldschmidt MSc, Shuli Hanhart MSc, Alexander Konson RN PhD, Hannah Mahalla BSc

Background: Up to half the patients diagnosed with acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presented with gastrointestinal symptoms. Gastric mucosal cells, enterocytes, and colonocytes express the viral entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and coreceptor transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and are prone to infection. Direct infection of gastrointestinal epithelial cells has been demonstrated. COVID-19 disease was first diagnosed in Israel at the end of February 2020 with 842,536 confirmed cases and 6428 deaths by the end of June 2021. In our multicenter, retrospective cohort study, we looked for gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in two periods and correlated them with mortality. Period 1 included the first and second waves and the original virus. Period 2 represented the third wave and the alpha variant.

Objectives: To reveal gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in two periods and correlate them with mortality.

Methods: From 22,302 patients hospitalized in general medical centers, we randomly selected 3582 from Period 1 and 1106 from Period 2. The study was performed before vaccinations were available.

Results: Gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and taste/smell loss were significantly more prevalent during Period 1. Thirty-day mortality and in-hospital mortality were significantly higher in Period 2 than in Period 1, 25.20% vs. 13.68%, and 21.17% vs. 12.87%, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Thirty-day mortality and in-hospital mortality rates were 1.84 and 1.64 times higher from 6 November 2020 to 15 January 2021, the alpha variant, and in negative correlation with gastrointestinal symptoms.

Mikhal E. Cohen MD PhD, Roni Eichel MD, Gustavo Rajz MD, Gilad Yahalom MD

Background: Little is known about phenotypical variations among ethnic groups in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in Israel. Clinical characteristics of non-Ashkenazi Jews (NAJ) are scantly described.

Objectives: To describe clinical aspects of PD in ethnic groups in Israel, focusing on NAJ and Ashkenazi Jews (AJ).

Methods: In this cross-sectional retrospective study, we collected demographic, genetic, and clinical characteristics of patients from different ethnic Jewish backgrounds. Ethnic groups included AJ; North African Jews (NAFJ); oriental Jews (OJ) originating from Iran, Iraq, and Buchara; Balkan Jews; Yemenite Jews (YJ); and Jews of mixed origin. Clinical characteristics included hyposmia, urinary complaints, constipation, and rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder. Cognitive complaints, motor features, levodopa-induced dyskinesia, and motor fluctuations were collected. Motor part of the MDS-UPDRS and Hoehn and Yahr scores were collected.

Results: The study comprised 174 PD Jewish patients (63.2% AJ, 56.4% males). The age at onset was 65.3 ± 10.2 years; 106 patients (60.9%) were genotyped (17 glucocerebrosidase [16.0%], 13 leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 [LRRK2] [12.3%]). Rates of hyposmia were significantly higher in AJ than NAJ (56.6% vs. 39.5%, respectively, P = 0.003). No significant differences were found in motor features in all variables. Of 13 AJ patients carrying the LRRK2 mutation, only one had hyposmia. Three patients with LRRK2 were NAJ.

Conclusions: Hyposmia is less prevalent in PD patients of NAJ origin than in AJ. The rate of hyposmia in NAFJ patients is particularly low. The rate of other non-motor features is similar between NAJ and AJ patients.

Alexander Ioscovich MD, Dmitry Greenman MD, Ilya Goldin MD, Sorina Grisaru-Granovsky MD PhD, Yaacov Gozal MD, Boris Zukerman MD, Fayez Khatib MD, Aharon Tevet MD

Background: Morbidly adherent placentation (MAP) increases the risk for obstetric hemorrhage. Cesarean hysterectomy is the prevalent perioperative approach. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is a minimally invasive and relatively simple endovascular procedure to temporarily occlude the aorta and control below diaphragm bleeding in trauma. It has been effectively used to reduce obstetric hemorrhage.

Objectives: To evaluate whether REBOA during cesarean delivery (CD) in women with morbidly adherent placentation is a safe and effective treatment modality.

Methods: We introduced REBOA for CD with antepartum diagnosis of MAP in 2019 and compared these patients (RG) to a standard approach group (SAG) treated in our center over the preceding year, as a control. All relevant data were collected from patient electronic files.

Results: Estimated blood loss and transfusion rates were significantly higher in SAG; 54.5% of SAG patients received four RBC units or more vs. one administered in RG. No fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate, or platelets were administered in RG vs. mean 3.63, 6, and 3.62 units, respectively in SAG. Ten SAG patients (90.9%) underwent hysterectomy vs. 3 RG patients (30%). Five SAG patients (45%) required post-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) admission vs. no RG patients. Bladder injury occurred in five SAG cases (45%) vs. 2 RG (20%). One RG patient had a thromboembolic event. Perioperative lactate levels were significantly higher in SAG patients.

Conclusions: Use of REBOA during CD in women with MAP is safe and effective in preventing massive bleeding, reducing the rate of hysterectomy, and improving patient outcome.

Zach Rozenbaum MD, Orly Sapir MD, Yoav Granot MD, Joshua H. Arnold MD MS, Simon Biner MD, Yan Topilsky MD, Michal Laufer-Perl MD

Background: Small left atria (LA) is associated with an increased risk of mortality.

Objectives: To determine whether the attributed risk of mortality is influenced by the underlying etiologies leading to decreased volumes.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients with an available LA volume index (LAVI) as measured by echocardiography who came to our institution between 2011 and 2016. Individuals with small LA (LAVI < 16 ml/m2) were included and divided according to the etiology of the small LA (determined or indeterminate) and investigated according to the specific etiology.

Results: The cohort consisted of 288 patients with a mean age of 56 ± 18 years. An etiology for small LA was determined in 84% (n=242). The 1-year mortality rate of the entire cohort was 20.5%. Patients with indeterminate etiology (n=46) demonstrated a lower mortality rate compared with determined etiologies (8.7% vs. 22.7%, P = 0.031). However, following propensity score adjustments for baseline characteristics, there was no significant difference between the groups (P = 0.149). The only specific etiology independently associated with 1-year mortality was the presence of space occupying lesions (odds ratio 3.26, 95% confidence interval 1.02–10.39, P = 0.045).

Conclusions: Small LA serve as a marker for negative outcomes, and even in cases of undetected etiology, the prognosis remains poor. The presence of small LA should alert the physician to a high risk of mortality, regardless of the underlying disease.

Michael Goldenshluger MD, Carmel Margalit BSc, Afek Kodesh MS4, Ephraim Katz MD, David Hazzan MD, Lior Segev MD

Background: Perianal abscesses require immediate incision and drainage (I&D). However, prompt bedside drainage is controversial as it may compromise exposure and thorough anal examination.

Objectives: To examine outcomes of bedside I&D of perianal abscesses in the emergency department (ED) vs. the operating room (OR).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all patients presented to the ED with a perianal abscesses between January 2018 and March 2020. Patients with Crohn’s disease, horseshoe or recurrent abscesses were excluded.

Results: The study comprised 248 patients; 151 (60.89%) underwent I&D in the OR and 97 (39.11%) in the ED. Patients elected to bedside I&D had smaller abscess sizes (P = 0.01), presented with no fever, and had lower rates of inflammatory markers. The interval time from diagnosis to intervention was significantly shorter among the bedside I&D group 2.13 ± 2.34 hours vs. 10.41 ± 8.48 hours (P < 0.001). Of patients who underwent I&D in the OR, 7.3% had synchronous fistulas, whereas none at bedside had (P = 0.007). At median follow-up of 24 months, recurrence rate of abscess and fistula formation in patients treated in the ED were 11.3% and 6.2%, respectively, vs. 19.9% and 15.23% (P = 0.023, 0.006). Fever (OR 5.71, P = 0.005) and abscess size (OR 1.7, P = 0.026) at initial presentation were risk factors for late fistula formation.

Conclusions: Bedside I&D significantly shortens waiting time and does not increase the rates of long-term complications in patients with small primary perianal abscesses.

Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD, Lior Fisher MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Abdulla Watad MD, Kassem Sharif MD

Background: Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are inflammatory mediated myopathies characterized by progressive symmetric proximal muscle weakness and associated with extra-muscular involvement. Central nervous system complications are rarely reported with these diseases.

Objectives: To investigate the association between dementia and PM/DM.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a database from Clalit Health Care, the largest health maintenance organization in Israel. Patients with a first recorded diagnosis of PM/DM were included and were compared with age- and sex-matched controls by a ratio of 1:5. The prevalence of dementia among PM/DM patients compared to controls was assessed using a univariate and a multivariable model. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association of different factors with dementia within the PM/DM cohort.

Results: The study included 2085 PM/DM cases (17.0%) and 10,193 age- and sex-matched controls (83.0%). During the follow-up time, 36 PM/DM patients were diagnosed with dementia compared to 160 controls, with a univariate hazard ratio (HR) of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.77–1.58). Within the PM/DM cohort, significant predictors for the development of dementia included increased age at diagnosis (5 years increment; OR 1.86, 95%CI 1.57–2.21, P < 0.001) and treatment with glucocorticoids (OR 5.40, 95%CI 1.67–17.67, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: In our cohort, inflammatory myopathies were not associated with dementia. Age and treatment with glucocorticoids were associated with dementia. If dementia is diagnosed in patients with inflammatory myopathies, other systemic causes should be investigated.

Moran Drucker Iarovich MD, Yael Inbar, MD, Sara Apter MD, Eli Konen MD MHA, Eyal Klang MD, Marrianne Michal Amitai MD

Background: Perivascular cuffing as the sole imaging manifestation of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an under-recognized entity.

Objectives: To present this rare finding and differentiate it from retroperitoneal fibrosis and vasculitis.

Methods: Patients with abdominal vasculature cuffing were retrospectively collected (January 2011 to September 2017). We evaluated vessels involved, wall thickness, length of involvement and extra-vascular manifestations.

Results: Fourteen patients with perivascular cuffing were retrieved: three with celiac and superior mesenteric artery (SMA) perivascular cuffing as the only manifestation of surgically proven PDAC, seven with abdominal vasculitis, and four with retroperitoneal fibrosis. PDAC patients exhibited perivascular cuffing of either or both celiac and SMA (3/3). Vasculitis patients showed aortitis with or without iliac or SMA cuffing (3/7) or cuffing of either or both celiac and SMA (4/7). Retroperitoneal fibrosis involved the aorta (4/4), common iliac (4/4), and renal arteries (2/4). Hydronephrosis was present in 3/4 of retroperitoneal fibrosis patients. PDAC and vasculitis demonstrated reduced wall thickness in comparison to retroperitoneal fibrosis (PDAC: 1.0 ± 0.2 cm, vasculitis: 1.2 ± 0.5 cm, retroperitoneal fibrosis: 2.4 ± 0.4 cm; P = 0.002). There was no significant difference in length of vascular involvement (PDAC: 6.3 ± 2.1 cm, vasculitis: 7.1 ± 2.6 cm, retroperitoneal fibrosis: 8.7 ± 0.5 cm).

Conclusions: Celiac and SMA perivascular cuffing can be the sole finding in PDAC and may be indistinguishable from vasculitis. This entity may differ from retroperitoneal fibrosis as it spares the aorta, iliac, and renal arteries and demonstrates thinner walls and no hydronephrosis.

Ravit Bassal PhD, Varda Shalev MD, Vered H. Eisenberg MD, Orit Stein-Reisner MD, Eduardo Schejter MD

Background: Depression has been shown to be associated with cervical tumors (CTs), an association mostly demonstrated in studies in which temporality could not have been ascertained.

Objectives: To study the association between depression and CTs and the influence of co-morbidities of this association in a large cohort study.

Methods: A retrospective computer-based cohort study was conducted. The cohort included 357,450 female members of Maccabi Healthcare Services. The cohort was classified as depressed or non-depressed using the International Classification of Diseases 9/10 codes. For each subgroup, demographic characteristics, behavioral characteristics, co-morbidities, and CTs diagnosis were obtained. The burden of co-morbidities was defined as the sum of major co-morbidities. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis due to over-dispersion to estimate the relative risk (RR) for CTs with 95% confidence interval (95%CI).

Results: Depression was diagnosed in 15,789 women. Among this group, CTs were diagnosed in 1585 (10.0%). Among the 341,661 non-depressed, CTs were diagnosed in 4185 (1.2%). After adjustment to age and socioeconomic status, the association between depression and CTs was RR=9.2 (95%CI 8.7–9.9, P-value < 0.0001). The association between depression and CTs increased as the burden of clinical conditions increased (P-value < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Women with depression are at a higher risk for CTs, especially among those who have several co-morbidities. Tighter gynecology surveillance is crucial among these women.

Sophia Eilat-Tsanani MD, Nebal Abu Ahmad MD, Moamena Agbaria MD

Background: In Israel, breast cancer prevalence is lower among Arab than Jewish women, but incidence is increasing among Arab women at a younger age.

Objectives: To explore differences between Arab and Jewish women with breast cancer with respect to age at diagnosis, associated risk factors, and use of hormonal medications.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective database study comparing Arab and Jewish women with breast cancer focusing on age at diagnosis, smoking history, obesity, and previous hormonal medication usage, including oral combined contraceptive pills (OCCP), progestogens, hormonal medications for treatment of infertility, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Results: The study included 2494 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer during 2004–2015. Age at diagnosis was lower among Arab women (50.7 ± 13.1 years vs. 55.4 ± 12.6 years, P < 0.0001). The rate of smoking was higher among Jewish women (16.0% vs. 4.3%, P < 0.0001). The rate of obesity was higher in Arab women older than 50 years at diagnosis (59.0% vs. 42.4%, P < 0.0001). Arab women demonstrated a lower overall chance of previous use of all types of hormonal medications (odds ratio [OR] 0.6, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.6–0.8) compared to Jewish women. Arab women were more likely to have used progestogens (OR 1.7, 95%CI 1.4–2.2) and medications for treatment of infertility (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.5–3.4) and less likely OCCP (OR 0.4, 95%CI 0.3–0.6) and HRT (OR 0.4, 95%CI 0.3–0.5).

Conclusions: Previous use of hormonal medications may contribute to incidence of breast cancer in Arab women.

Maayan Diti Machnes MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD, Maya Gerstein MD, Yiska Loewenberg Weisband MD, Moriya Cohen MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS), the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis, is sometimes difficult to distinguish clinically from viral pharyngitis. Despite the high prevalence of viral pharyngitis in children, antibiotic treatment is common.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) on antibiotic prescription in children with GAS pharyngitis (GAS-P) at a large pediatric community clinic.

Methods: Antibiotic prescription data were collected from October 2016 to March 2017 (pre-intervention period) and from October 2017 to March 2018 (post-intervention period). The intervention was a one-day seminar for primary care pediatricians on the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P in children according to national guidelines.

Results: The overall prevalence of testing differed between the two time periods. There was a decrease in children who did not undergo any testing (from 68% to 63%), an increase in streptococcal rapid antigen detection testing (28% to 32%), and a slight increase in throat cultures (3% to 4%) (p = 0.02). There was no change in the types of antibiotics prescribed before and after the intervention (p = 0.152).

Conclusions: The ASP resulted in a slight reduction in the percentage of children who did not undergo laboratory testing for GAS-P and a slight reduction in the percentage of children who received antibiotic treatment. The ASP did not reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and macrolides.

Aaron Hanukoglu MD, Dorit Lev MD

Children affected with Poland syndrome are born with missing or underdeveloped muscles (typically pectoralis major) on one side of the body. Breast abnormalities such as unilateral hypoplasia or agenesis of the breast and nipple may also occur. Other muscles on the affected side, including other muscles in the chest wall, shoulder, arm, and hand, may be missing or underdeveloped [1]. Ribs may be noticeable due to the loss of subcutaneous fat. Sparse or absent axillary and pectoral hairs are a common manifestation of this syndrome.

Gilad Rotem MD, Amir Arami MD

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a collection of symptoms and signs caused by compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Symptoms include paresthesia and/or numbness in the median nerve distribution, aching in the thenar eminence, and weakness at later stages. CTS is the most common entrapment neuropathy with a prevalence of 1–5%, and even higher among females, manual workers, and the elderly. Therefore, many patients with signs and symptoms of CTS refer to their primary care physician who should recognize, diagnose, and provide initial treatment.

Moisey Moldavsky MD DSc

The portraits of mothers of artists are a distinct genre of female portrait art. Whereas most female portraits were commissioned, the mother portraits were the painter's initiative and reflection of sentiments. In several portraits of the mothers of artists, in particular Rembrandt’s paintings, age-related changes are depicted by the masters and their contemporaries. To some extent, they explain the feelings of James Abbott McNeil Whistler, expressed by the color pattern of the title of his mother portrait, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1.

Avi Ohry MD

This letter was inspired by the book The Road to the Open by the Austrian Jewish physician, author, and playwright Arthur Schnitzler [1]. In the Viennese fin-de-siecle era, with its famous physicians (Sigmund Freud, Josef Breuer, Róbert Bárány), musicians (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Joseph Haydn, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Johann Strauss II), and artists (Ernst and Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele), Schnitzler described the antisemitic atmosphere and the intellectual community's influence.

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