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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

August 2023


POSITION STATEMENTS
Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

Recognizing myocarditis is a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge due to the heterogeneity of its clinical presentation and the wide range of etiologies. There is a lack of uniformity among position papers and guidelines from various professional societies regarding the definition and diagnostic workout, including recommendations for performing endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) and medical management, especially the use of immunosuppressive regimens [1-3]. Moreover, there is significant variability among medical centers in Israel in the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to acute myocarditis. The purpose of this position paper is to present ways to standardize the management of acute myocarditis in Israel [4] by providing up-to-date definitions of the clinical categories of myocarditis, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic approaches that correspond to the realities of our healthcare system.

Andre Keren MD, Rabea Asleh MD PhD MHA, Edo Y. Birati MD, Tuvia Ben Gal MD, Michael Arad MD

In the position statement on the definition and diagnosis of acute myocarditis on page XXX of this issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ), we discussed contemporary criteria for definition of acute myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathy [1-6]. We also addressed current diagnostic methods including indications for endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) [7-21]. In this position statement, we discuss the management approaches during hospitalization and following hospital discharge, including specific forms of myocarditis and recommendations for returning to physical activity after myocarditis [21-36].

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Shimrit Yaniv-Salem MD, Lianne Dym MD, Lior Nesher MD, Doron Zahger MD, Aryeh Shalev MD, Hezzy Shmueli MD

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare but potentially devastating complication of pregnancy. Although the pathophysiology of PPCM is not fully understood, there are known risk factors for developing PPCM, which are maternal and gestation related. In the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we witnessed an elevated incidence of PPCM among COVID-19 survivors.

Objectives: To present a single-center case series of three patients diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy after recovered from COVID-19 during the index pregnancy.

Methods: In this single center case study, all patients diagnosed with PPCM at our institute during the examined time frame were included. Electronic medical records were studied.

Results: Three patients previously diagnosed with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 disease during pregnancy presented with PPCM before or shortly after delivery. Patients underwent testing to rule out residual COVID-19 myocarditis, were treated pharmacologically and with wearable defibrillators as needed, and were examined in follow-up 1–9 months after delivery.

Conclusions: Residual endothelial damage due to COVID-19 disease, even if originally mild in presentation, could predispose pregnant patients to PPCM and should be considered as a risk factor when assessing patients with new onset symptoms of heart failure. Further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis and fully determine the underlying pathophysiology. These preliminary findings warrant a high index of suspicion for PPCM in COVID-19 recoverers.

ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Sheer Shabat MD, Ronit Grinbaum MD, Yoram Kluger MD, Haggi Mazeh MD, Zvi Ackerman MD, Orit Pappo MD, Offir Ben-Ishay MD

Background: Signet ring cell carcinoma (SRCC) is classified as an undifferentiated gastric carcinoma with poor prognosis. Early SRCCs are associated with improved prognosis.

Objectives: To describe the outcomes of incidental SRCC.

Methods: In this case series, 900 medical charts of patients with SRCC were screened to identify patients with incidental SRCC, defined as diagnosed in random, non-focal-lesion-targeted biopsies.

Results: Six patients were diagnosed with incidental SRCC and underwent gastrectomy. The final pathology of five patients revealed one or more small foci of early SRCC without lymphovascular invasion. Only one patient had no evidence of malignancy. The median follow-up after surgery was 4.2 years (50 months, range 37–90 months). No deaths or recurrences were recorded during the follow-up period. These results resemble the reported survival rate for early SRCC.

Conclusions: An aggressive surgical approach in incidental gastric SRCC patients is recommended, as they have a chance for long-term survival.

Noam Savion MD, Noa Guzner MD, Saar Hashavya MD, Shimon Reif MD, Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD

Background: Brucellosis is an endemic infection affecting the Mediterranean Basin, Arabian Peninsula, India, Mexico, and South America. Data on brucellosis infections in children are limited.

Objectives: To review and characterize the clinical presentation of pediatric patients diagnosed with brucellosis in a tertiary medical center.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted on all pediatric patients from January 2010 to December 2020 admitted to the pediatric department with a diagnosis of brucellosis based on a positive serology test or growth of Brucella bacteria in blood culture.

Results: The study comprised 53 children aged 0–18 years. The mean age at presentation was 11.01 ± 4.91 years; 39 male (73.6%). Pre-infection exposure to unpasteurized milk or unvaccinated livestock was reported in 37 (69.8%). Fever was present in 64.6%, followed by arthralgia (49%), loss of appetite (42.3%), and weight loss (24.6%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 52.8% and included abdominal pain (34.6%), nausea (28.3%), vomiting (24.5%), and diarrhea (2.6%). Eight patients experienced pancytopenia (15.1%). The median length of intravenous antibiotic treatment was 7 days (range 3–14 days) and for oral antibiotic treatment 6 weeks (range 2–24 weeks). Most patients were initially treated with intravenous gentamycin (90.5%) and long-term oral antibiotics, most commonly doxycycline. Two (3.7%) required admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. No mortality was documented, and all cases of relapses were successfully treated.

Conclusions: Pediatric brucellosis is an acute febrile disease often associated with rheumatologic complaints. Patients 8–18 years of age also presented with headache, weight loss, and night sweats.

Maya Shina MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Guy Rozen MD MHA, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, David Planer MD, Ronny Alcalai MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC, Offer Amir MD FACC

Background: Among the most frequent complications following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is hemostasis imbalance that presents either as thromboembolic or bleeding. Deviations in platelet count (PC) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are markers of hemostasis imbalance.

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of pre- and post-procedural PC and MPV fL 1-year all-cause mortality in patients who underwent TAVR.

Methods: In this population-based study, we included 236 TAVR patients treated at the Tzafon Medical Center between 1 June 2015 and 31 August 2018. Routine blood samples for serum PC levels and MPV fL were taken just before the TAVR and 24-hour post-TAVR. We used backward regression models to evaluate the predictive value of PC and MPV in all-cause mortality in TAVR patients.

Results: In this study cohort, MPV levels 24-hour post-TAVR that were greater than the cohort median of 9 fL (interquartile range 8.5–9.8) were the strongest predictor of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.343, 95% confidence interval 1.059–1.703, P-value 0.015). A statistically significant relationship was seen in the unadjusted regression model as well as after the adjustment for clinical variables.

Conclusions: Serum MPV levels fL 24-hour post-procedure were found to be meaningful markers in predicting 1-year all-cause mortality in patients after TAVR.

Hila Nochomovitz MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Ori Elkayam MD PhD, David Zeltser MD, Itzhak Shapira MD, Ori Rogowski MD, Smadar Gertel PhD, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty PhD, Victoria Furer MD

Background: The parasympathetic system and its main neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, contributes to homeostasis of inflammation. Cholinergic dysregulation is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has not been investigated.

Objectives: To compare the cholinesterase activity in patients with PsA and immunocompetent controls and to explore the correlation between cholinergic status (CS) and PsA disease activity.

Methods: Serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and total cholinesterase activity were measured in patients with PsA (n=88) and matched controls (n=84). Cholinergic activity before and 3–6 months after the initiation of a biologic treatment was evaluated in seven patients with PsA.

Results: The levels of AChE and CS were similar in both PsA patients and controls. PsA patients treated with biologics had significantly lower levels of AChE and CS compared to patients treated with non-biologics: 447.4 vs. 526 substrate hydrolyzed/min/ml, P = 0.005, and 1360.9 vs. 1536, P = 0.029, respectively. We found an association between C-reactive protein levels, AChE activity (r = 0.291, P = 0.008), and cholinergic status (r = 0.247, P = 0.026) in patients with PsA but not in controls. No correlation between AChE activity, cholinergic status, and the indices of PsA disease activity was found. After initiating or switching biologic treatment in 7 patients, AChE levels remained stable.

Conclusions: We demonstrated similar cholinesterase activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis and controls, highlighting a potential effect of biologic treatment on cholinergic activity in patients with PsA.

Michal M. Amitai MD, Nadin Kanaan MD, Shelly Soffer MD, Lee Alper, Noa Rozendorn MD, Daniel Jacob Harrington, Uri Kopylov MD, Adi Lahat MD, Doron Yablecovitch MD, Rami Eliakim MD, Shomron Ben-Horin MD, Eyal Klang MD

Background: Jejunal disease is associated with worse prognosis in Crohn's disease. The added value of diffusion weighted imaging for evaluating jejunal inflammation related to Crohn's Disease is scarce.

Objectives: To compare diffusion weighted imaging, video capsule endoscopy, and inflammatory biomarkers in the assessment of Crohn's disease involving the jejunum.

Methods: Crohn's disease patients in clinical remission were prospectively recruited and underwent magnetic resonance (MR)-enterography and video capsule endoscopy. C-reactive protein and fecal-calprotectin levels were obtained. MR-enterography images were evaluated for restricted diffusion, and apparent diffusion coefficient values were measured. The video capsule endoscopy-based Lewis score was calculated. Associations between diffusion weighted imaging, apparent diffusion coefficient, Lewis score, and inflammatory biomarkers were evaluated.

Results: The study included 51 patients, and 27/51 (52.9%) with video capsule endoscopies showed jejunal mucosal inflammation. Sensitivity and specificity of restricted diffusion for video capsule endoscopy mucosal inflammation were 59.3% and 37.5% for the first reader, and 66.7% and 37.5% for the second reader, respectively. Diffusion weighted imaging was not statistically associated with jejunal video capsule endoscopy inflammation (P = 0.813).

Conclusions: Diffusion weighted imaging was not an effective test for evaluation of jejunal inflammation as seen by video capsule endoscopy in patients with quiescent Crohn's disease.

Narin N. Carmel Neiderman MD MSc, Nir Halevy MD, Tal Kas MD, Anat Wengier MD, Ahmad Safadi MD, Avraham Abergel MD

Background: Nasal obstruction is one of the most common complaints in the practice of rhinology.

Objective: To adapt the Nasal Obstruction Scale Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaire to Hebrew (H-NOSE) and to assess its sensitivity and specificity.

Methods: Candidates for surgical intervention due to isolated nasal obstruction and healthy volunteers (controls) were included in the validation. The English NOSE questionnaire was translated into Hebrew and re-translated for translation validity. Patients completed the H-NOSE questionnaire before and after surgery for nasal obstruction. The same questionnaire was completed by the controls. Test–retest reliability was performed within 2 weeks. Psychometric properties (reliability, reproducibility, validity, and responsiveness) were assessed by a test–retest procedure, internal consistency, correlation to the Hebrew Sino-Nasal Outcome Tool 22 (He-SNOT-22), and response sensitivity.

Results: In total, 179 patients with nasal obstruction and 74 controls completed the questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha score was 0.93 for internal consistency. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity (< 90%) and area under the curve was 0.97. We found no significant difference in test–retest reliability. The difference between the pre- and postoperative questionnaire scores was highly significant (13.9 ± 4.0 vs. 3.2 ± 4.1, respectively, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The H-NOSE questionnaire demonstrated reliable internal consistency, sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. The Hebrew version differentiated between patients and heathy controls and was easy to administer. This instrument is useful for Hebrew speaking patients who undergo surgery for nasal obstruction.

Netta Shoenfeld BA, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, David R. Serfaty MD, Revital Mann MD, Bat-Sheva Porat Katz MD, Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: While several studies have noted smell impairment in schizophrenia, it is unclear whether this impairment extends to acute psychosis and whether it is associated with more severe illness as expressed in extended hospitalization.

Objectives: To evaluate the olfactory function of patients in an acute psychotic state and correlate it with clinical symptomatology and length of hospitalization.

Methods: Olfactory function was assessed in 20 patients with schizophrenia in their first week of hospital admission for acute psychosis compared with matched controls. Olfaction was evaluated via three stages: threshold, discrimination, and identification of different odors utilizing the Sniffin' Sticks test battery.

Results: Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower on total smell score, discrimination, and identification abilities. A significant association was observed between hospitalization duration and total smell score and smell discrimination. No significant associations between smell and clinical symptomatology were observed.

Conclusions: Study observations confirm impaired sense of smell in schizophrenia patients and suggest that smell impairment may be a potential marker of more serious illness as expressed in longer hospital stay.

CASE COMMUNICATION
Ori Wand MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, David Shitrit MD

Biological therapies with monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the management of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Combining biological treatments is very rarely indicated and may theoretically result in severe adverse effects, specifically, an increased tendency toward infectious diseases. We present the case of a woman in whom combination therapy with canakinumab for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and mepolizumab for chronic eosinophilic pneumonia was successfully employed.

Elchanan Parnasa MD, Fadi Kharouf MD, Limor Rubin MD

Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is defined as the repeated occurrence of elevated body temperature above 38.3°C (101°F) lasting for at least 3 weeks with no clear diagnosis despite a thorough investigation of more than one-week duration. FUO cases could be categorized into three major etiologies: infectious, neoplastic, and systemic inflammatory. Despite novel diagnostic modalities, clinicians still encounter a significant number of unresolved FUO cases, accounting for as many as 50% of cases [1]. Prolonged futile FUO investigations may be a source of frustration for many clinicians [2]. We described a unique cause for FUO that shares the complexity of the diagnostic workup and emphasizes the importance of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) modality in the process of investigating FUO.

Roy Bitan MD, Ophir Freund MD, David Zeltser MD, Sivan Ebril MD

Acute or chronic aortic dissection is considered a rare emergency, with an estimated rate of 2.9 to 5 cases per 100,000 patients each year. This condition is most prevalent in males older than 65 years of age with a history of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and previous cardiac surgery [1,2]. To confirm the diagnosis, imaging is used, often by computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the chest. Although prompt treatment is required, patients often present with non-specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain or neurologic deficits, resulting in the early diagnosis of less than 20% and a high mortality rate [1].

LETTERS
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, Marina-Portia Anthony MBBS BSc (Med) MPH FRANZCR

A review of the literature on the effect of immune modulation on the skeleton shows disappointing results.

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