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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

September 2023


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

Ljudmila Stojanovich PhD, Natasa Stanisavljevic PhD, Aleksandra Djokovic PhD, Milomir Milanovic PHD, Jovica Saponjski PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

Background: Data are scarce on the immunogenicity of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD).

Objectives: To measure the immunoglobulin G (IgG) response after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunization and to evaluate clinical characteristics associated with seropositivity.

Methods: Samples were collected after the second and third doses of the three different types of vaccines in ARD patients. Seroconversion rates and IgG antibody S1/S2 titers were measured.

Results: The type of ARD diagnosis and previous treatment had no significant impact on the serum IgG antibody levels measured after the second (P = 0.489 and P = 0.330, respectively) and boost dose (P = 0.441 and P = 0.446, respectively). What made a significant difference regarding serum IgG antibody levels after the second dose was the type of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The difference was highly statistically significant for all vaccine types (P = 0.001 with the highest odds ratio for the mRNA vaccine). After the boost with the mRNA vaccine, all patients achieved a high level of serum IgG antibody levels (t = 10.31, P = 0.001). No ARD patients experienced serious post-vaccinal reactions. Eight patients developed COVID-19 before the boost dose.

Conclusions: In ARDs patients, the highest level of serum IgG antibody against S1/S2 proteins was achieved with the mRNA vaccine, irrespective of the therapy applied or the type of the disease. We recommend a booster dose with mRNA vaccine in all ARDs for the highest SARS-CoV-2 protection without serious post-vaccinal reactions observed.

Ivan Gur MD MPH MHA, Ronen Zalts MD, Monia Azzam MD, Khetam Hussein MD, Ami Neuberger MD, Eyal Fuchs MD

Background: At the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many patients presented with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, requiring ventilatory support. One treatment method was the addition of a reservoir mask to a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) (dual oxygenation).

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of combining reservoir mask on top of a high-flow nasal cannula.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of adult patients who were admitted due to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic to Rambam Health Care Campus. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality. Secondary endpoints were incidence of invasive positive pressure ventilation initiation and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Patients who received positive pressure ventilation for reasons other than hypoxemic respiratory failure or who were transferred to another facility while still on HFNC were excluded.

Results: The final analysis included 333 patients; 166 were treated with dual oxygenation and 167 with HFNC only (controls). No significant differences in baseline characteristics were noted between the groups. The dual oxygenation group was slightly older (69.2 ± 14.8 years vs. 65.6 ± 15.5 years, P = 0.034). The 30-day mortality (24.1% vs. 36.5%, P = 0.013), rates of invasive positive pressure ventilation (47% vs. 59.3%, P = 0.024), and ICU admissions (41.6% vs. 52.7%, P = 0.042) were all significantly lower in the dual oxygenation group.

Conclusions: The addition of reservoir masks to HFNC may improve the oxygenation and overall prognosis in patients with severe hypoxemia due to COVID-19.

ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Shlomit Tamir MD, Marva Dahan Shemesh MD, David Margel MD, Yaara Bar PhD, Maxim Yakimov MD, Yael Rapson MD, Ahuva Grubstein MD, Eli Atar MD, Ofer Benjaminov MD

Background: Age-related changes in multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) of the prostate have been reported in the general population but not in screening cohorts.

Objectives: To evaluate age-related changes on prostatic mpMRI in a screening cohort of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Methods: Asymptomatic BRCA1/2 mutation carriers underwent mpMRI as part of a screening program. All included patients were followed for 3 years with no evidence of prostate cancer. mpMRIs were retrospectively evaluated by two abdominal radiologists for peripheral zone (PZ) patterns on T2 (homogenous hyperintensity, wedge-shaped hypointensities, patchy hypointensities, or diffuse hypointensity), and transition zone (TZ) pattern on T2 (homogenous, heterogeneous, nodular). Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of PZ and TZ were measured. Statistical analysis was performed using a predefined age cutoff of 50 years old.

Results: Overall, 92 patients were included: 38 in the younger age group (40–49 years) and 54 in the older age group (50–69 years). PZ homogenous hyperintensity and wedge-shaped hypointensities were more common in the older patients, whereas diffuse hypointensity was more common in younger patients (P < 0.001 for both readers) with substantial inter-reader agreement between the readers (kappa=0.643). ADC values were lower in young patients in the PZ (P < 0.001) and TZ (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Age-related differences in mpMRI were validated in BRCA mutation carriers. As some features overlap with prostatic carcinoma, awareness is crucial, specifically to diffuse T2 hypointensities of the PZ and lower ADC values in the PZ and TZ, which are more common in younger patients.

Amir Hadayer MD, Yehonatan Weinberger MD, Tal Corina Sela MD, Orly Gal-Or MD, Dov Weinberger MD, Rita Ehrlich MD

Background: During combined phacovitrectomy, it is common practice to suture the main corneal incision to prevent intraoperative and postoperative wound leak. However, it may be possible to avoid suturing using a self-sealing corneal incision technique as in standard cataract surgery.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical outcome, safety, and complications of combined phacovitrectomy without preventive suturing.

Methods: This retrospective case series study included consecutive patients who underwent combined phacovitrectomy between January 2018 and June 2019 for mixed indications. Surgeries were performed at a tertiary university hospital. All surgeries were performed by the same two retinal surgeons. Cataract surgery was performed first, followed by insertion of trocars and vitrectomy. Corneal sutures were not planned but were used at the discretion of the surgeon.

Results: The cohort included 106 eyes of 102 patients. Suturing of the main corneal incision was deemed necessary in five cases (5%) because of a main incision leak or anterior chamber shallowing during trocar insertion. No other complications related to the absence of prophylactic corneal sutures were encountered during surgery or follow-up.

Conclusions: Preventive corneal suturing may not be necessary in combined phacovitrectomy surgery and can be used in the few cases in which it is indicated during surgery.

Tamar Beck MD, Eyal Aviran MD, Shelly Cohn MD, David Goitein MD

Background: Long-term outcome data for bariatric surgery in patients with severe obesity (SO) (body mass index [BMI] ³ 50 kg/m2) are scarce.

Objectives: To compare perioperative morbidity and long-term outcomes between patients with SO and non-SO (NSO).

Methods: Patients with SO who underwent primary bariatric surgery with a follow-up ³ 5 years were age- and gender-matched with NSO patients in a retrospective, case-control study. Data included demographics, BMI, co-morbidities, early outcomes, current and nadir weight, co-morbidity status, and general satisfaction.

Results: Of 178 patients, 49.4% were male, mean age 44.5 ± 14 years. Mean preoperative BMI was 54.7 ± 3.6 and 41.8 ± 3.8 kg/m2 in SO and NSO, respectively (P = 0.02). Groups were similar in preoperative characteristics. Depression/anxiety was more prevalent in NSO (12.4% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.03). Obstructive sleep apnea was higher in SO (21.3% vs. 10.1%, P = 0.04). Sleeve gastrectomy was performed most often (80.9%), with a tendency toward bypass in SO (P = 0.05). Early complication rates were: 13.5% in SO and 12.4% in NSO (P = 0.82). Mean follow-up was 80.4 ± 13.3 months. BMI reduction was higher in SO (31.8 ± 5.9 vs. 26.8 ± 4.2 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and time to nadir weight was longer (22.1 ± 21.3 vs. 13.0 ± 12.0 months, P = 0.001). Co-morbidity improvement and satisfaction were similar.

Conclusions: Patients with SO benefited from bariatric surgery with reduced BMI and fewer co-morbidities. No added risk of operative complications was found compared to patients with NSO.

Alon Abraham MD, Beatrice Abramovich PhD, Tamar Banon MSc, Clara Weil MSc, Gabriel Chodick PhD, Nurit Birman MD, Yaara Fainmesser MD, Vivian E. Drory MD

Background: There is an unmet need for real-world data regarding laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers must identify specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS and understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS as well as possible subclinical disease manifestations.

Objectives: To valuate the role of laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of patients with ALS in Israel so that specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS can be identified and for possible subclinical disease manifestations. To understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS.

Methods: At the ALS clinic at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 259 ALS patients insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services and seen between January 1998 and December 2017 were included. Comparisons of demographics, co-morbidities, medications taken, history of trauma, and laboratory tests prior to disease onset were performed between patients and 1295 matched controls.

Results: Prior to disease presentation, ALS patients had a higher frequency of hypertension and cardiovascular disease; presented more frequently with trauma and viral infections; more frequently used analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, antibiotics, and antiviral medications; and had higher creatine kinase levels.

Conclusions: ALS patients showed higher frequency of cardiovascular disease prior to diagnosis, as well as higher frequency of trauma, infections, and pain medication usage.

Avishay Elis MD, Ella Giladi MD, Ahmad Raiyan MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) or with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common diagnosis in patients hospitalized in the department of internal medicine. Recently, the therapeutic regimens were updated, as the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors became an integral part of the therapeutic regimen for either HFrEF or HFpEF.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of CHF patients hospitalized in the department of medicine.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study that included all patients hospitalized in the departments of medicine at the Rabin Medical Center, Israel, between 2016 and 2019. Demographic and clinical background, in-hospital procedures, discharge regimens, and outcome parameters were evaluated according to HFrEF/HFpEF.

Results: The cohort included 4458 patients. The majority (97%) presented with a preexisting diagnosis, whereas HF was an active condition in only half of them. The rates of HFrEF/HFpEF were equal. In most cases, the trigger of the exacerbation could not be determined; however, infection was the most common cause. There were basic differences in the demography, clinical aspects, and therapeutic regimens at discharge between HFrEF and HFpEF. Both conditions were associated with high in hospital mortality (8%) and re-admissions rates (30 days [20%], 90 days [35%]) without any difference between them.

Conclusions: HFrEF/HFpEF patients differed by demographics and co-morbidities. They were equally represented among patients admitted to medical wards and had similar prognosis. For both diagnoses, hospitalization should be considered for updating therapeutic regimens, especially with SGLT2 inhibitors.

Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Mariateresa Cirillo MD, Valeria D’Amico MD, Javier Rodríguez-Carrio PhD, Marco Corda MD, Alessandra Alciati MD

Background: Several studies have shown that patients with fibromyalgia present with neuroendocrine, inflammatory, and coagulation features linked to cardiovascular disease development. However, the exact profile of cardiovascular risk factors and events in fibromyalgia remains to be defined.

Objectives: To compare the profile of cardiovascular risk factors and events between fibromyalgia outpatients and the general population in Italy.

Methods: Cardiovascular risk factors and events in fibromyalgia females were collected using the criteria adopted in the CUORE Project.

Results: The study comprised 62 female fibromyalgia patients and 4093 female controls from 35 to 75 years of age. The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, transient ischemic attack, and cardiovascular total burden was significantly higher in fibromyalgia females than in the general Italian population. No difference was found in blood fasting glucose, triglycerides, total and fractionated cholesterol levels, body mass index, and metabolic syndrome (MetS). The MetS rate was underestimated for methodological aspects.

Conclusions: Fibromyalgia is associated with an increased cardiovascular burden, probably through a specific risk factor profile.

CASE COMMUNICATION
Nurit Yaakobi-Simhayoff MD, Sagui Gavri MD, Julius Golander MD, Azaria JJT Rein MD

Congenital cardiac tumors are rare in neonates. A rhabdomyoma, the most common neonatal cardiac tumor, tends to regress in the first year of life. Indications for intervention include hemodynamic compromise and intractable arrhythmias. To the best of our knowledge, rhabdomyoma-induced ischemia has not yet been reported. We report a case of a neonate with multiple rhabdomyomas with myocardial infarction related to compression of a coronary artery.

Doron Merims MD, Tania Boguslavsky MD

Only two approaches are currently accepted for patients with advanced dementia who are unable to eat independently or refuse to eat. One is feeding by either nasogastric tube (NGT) or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). The other is to avoid artificially feeding the patient to spare the prolonged suffering associated with these procedures. The second approach is generally reserved for patients with terminal malignant diseases and is less common in patients with advanced dementia, especially when their life expectancy is unknown. PEG and NGT nutrition can lead to complications such as the likelihood of patients pulling out feeding tubes due to cognitive impairment. Various studies have shown that this feeding approach can be distressing to patients and does not extend life expectancy compared to spoon-feeding [1,2].

Netanel Eisenbach MD, Yoav Hoffman MD, Tatyana Arzumanov MD, Eyal Sela MD, Maayan Gruber MD

Adenoid surgery (adenoidectomy) is one of the most common pediatric surgical procedures. Complications of this surgery include anesthetic issues, bleeding, pain, dysphagia, and velopharyngeal insufficiency. The intraoperative complications are usually the most urgent and therefore require prompt identification and resolution. Tension pneumothorax (TPX) is a rare intraoperative. We present the first case in the English literature, to the best of our knowledge, of TPX during adenoid/tonsil surgery.

EDITORIALS
Adi Hertz MD, Scott Ehrenberg MD, Howard Amital MD MHA

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain syndrome primarily characterized by fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairment. Its etiology remains elusive despite ongoing research and has multifactorial elements. It has been shown that traumatic events and neuro-inflammation, autoimmunity, and genetic factors contribute to the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia syndrome.

Recent evidence has pointed to a bi-directional link between cardiovascular disease, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, and metabolic syndrome (MetS), together with the presence of fibromyalgia [1].

REVIEWS
Galit Almoznino DMD MSc MHA MPH, Maayan Sherman DMD, Doron J. Aframian DMD PhD, Yaron Haviv DMD PhD

Migraine is very common headache disorder, usually starting at a young age with a higher prevalence in females. In this narrative review, we summarize the prevalence, burden, and socio-demographic characteristics of migraineurs worldwide and specifically in Israel. We searched standard electronic bibliographic databases, including MEDLINE (via PubMed), Embase, Google Scholar, and Up to Date using combinations of search terms and reviewed the articles we found. The factors reviewed included prevalence and incidence, burden, sex differences, age distribution, cognitive function, socioeconomic status, religion, country of origin, and urban vs. rural dwelling.

Shiri Keret MD, Aniela Shouval MD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Doron Rimar MD, Michael Lurie MD, Gleb Slobodin MD

Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) are a group of rare, autoimmune, systemic diseases with a large spectrum of clinical phenotypes. The diagnosis and management of myositis demand an integrated evaluation of different clinical, laboratory, and pathological findings in various organs. Recent developments in IIM research, especially in the serological testing and pathology fields, has led to a new classification and better recognition of patients with early or extra-muscular disease, with improvement in clinical care and prognosis.

LETTERS
Arnon Blum MD MSc

I read with great interest the important paper describing silicone breast illness as a classic example of autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvant (ASIA) [1]. I would like to add from our experience another side effect of breast implant: silicone granulomatous lymphadenopathy [2].

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