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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

December 2023


IRON SWORDS
Dana Brin MD, Vera Sorin MD, Noam Tau MD, Matan Kraus MD, Tom Sonin MD, Yiftach Barash MD, Evgeni Druskin MD, Eyal Klang MD, Christine Dan-Lantsman MD, Daniel Raskin MD, Elena Bekker MD, Shai Shrot MD, Amit Gutkind PhD, Olga Shouchat MD, Edith M. Marom MD, Michal M. Amitai MD

In this study, we analyzed computed tomography (CT) radiological findings from trauma treated at a single hospital in the aftermath of the terror attack in Israel on 7 October 2023. The study includes images from 34 consecutive patients, consisting of 33 males and 1 female, ranging in age from 19 to 68 years. The majority of these patients underwent both chest-abdominal-pelvic (76%) and head and neck CT scans (64.7%). Key findings highlight a high incidence of head and neck injuries (55.9%), chest trauma (44.1%), and various injuries such as soft tissue lacerations (100%), fractures particularly skull fractures at 32.4%, and brain hemorrhages (23.5%). The limitations of this study include its single-center scope and the focus on stable patients, which may bias the representation of injury types. This case series provides critical insights into the radiological impacts of large-scale terror events, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive preparedness and research in the field of mass-casualty incident response.

Chen Kugel MD, Dana Arnheim MD, Arad Dotan BSc, Maya Furman MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

On 7 October 2023, a large-scale invasion by armed Hamas terrorists occurred in southern Israel. Approximately 1500 militants breached the Gaza security barrier using tractors, RPGs, and explosives. Concurrently, the terrorists utilized various means including armed vehicles, motorized paragliders, sea incursions, and a massive rocket attack launched toward Israel. On entering Israeli territory, the militants dispersed and targeted several towns, kibbutzim (collective communities), and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military bases near Gaza. This strategy resulted in a death toll exceeded 1300 civilians and soldiers. In addition, more than 240 individuals were abducted. This attack occurred in one day. In this article, we introduce the Israeli National Institute of Forensic Medicine, which specialized in forensic analysis during mass casualty incidents, and pivotal role it played on 7 October. We present a detailed discussion on methods, challenges, and adaptations the institute took in response to the event of 7 October.

Moshe Salai MD, Yoram Sandhaus MD, Ahuva Golik MD, Naomi Rahimi-Levene MD, Hana Castel MD, Zachi Grossman MD, Avinoam Tzabari MD, Eitan Lunenfeld MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD, Talma Kushnir PhD

The ancient, Biblical, holy Ten Commandments were presented to humanity to serve as guidelines for relationships between individuals and the deity they worship as well as a benchmark for living in civilized communities, irrespective of religious affiliation. The commandments are also embedded in medical education taught to medical students and other health professions throughout the world. Thus, the Ten Commandments are embedded in the medical communications curriculum at Adelson School of Medicine, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel. Unfortunately, most of these commandments were desecrated during the violent, hostile, merciless, and ruthless attack inflicted by the Hamas terror organization on villages, rural communities, and cities in southern Israel on 7 October 2023. We define the Ten Commandments in terms of medical education and describe their desecration by Hamas terrorists before and during the Iron Swords war.

Roni Eichel MD, Felix Benninger MD, Michael Teitcher MD

Since the horrific terrorist attacks of 7 October 2023 in Israel perpetrated by the Hamas terrorist group and the ensuing Iron Swords war, there has been another war raging in prominent medical journals in the form of editorials and letters to the editor. Multiple publications filled with misinformation and propaganda have questioned Israel’s right to defend herself, have implicitly or explicitly provided justification for the terror, and have even questioned the legitimacy of Israel’s existence. Rather than serve as a source of frustration and despondency due to abandonment by our colleagues, we believe this situation should serve as a call to action. Israeli physicians cannot afford to passively cede the arena of political advocacy to parties with anti-Israel and even antisemitic bias. Doing so would be devastating to Israeli medicine and to the quality of care we deliver to our patients.

Gabriel Levin MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Yoav Brezinov MD

Background: The Gaza–Israeli conflict poses challenges for unbiased reporting due to its complexity and media bias. We explored recent scientific publications to understand scholarly discourse and potential biases surrounding this longstanding geopolitical issue.

Objectives: To conduct a descriptive bibliometric analysis of PubMed articles regarding the recent Gaza–Israeli conflict.

Methods: We reviewed 1628 publications using keywords and medical subject headings (MeSH) terms related to Gaza, Hamas, and Israel. We focused on articles written in English. A team of researchers assessed inclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through a third researcher.

Results: Among 37 publications, Lancet, BMJ, and Nature were prominent journals. Authors from 12 countries contributed, with variety of publication types (46% correspondence, 32% news). Pro-Gaza perspectives dominated (43.2%), surpassing pro-Israel (21.6%) and neutral (35.1%) viewpoints. Pro-Gaza articles exhibited higher Altmetric scores, indicating increased social media impact. Pro-Israel publications were predominantly authored by Israelis.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pro-Gaza perspectives underscores challenges in maintaining impartiality. Higher social media impact for pro-Gaza publications emphasizes the need for nuanced examination. Addressing bias is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of this complex conflict and promoting balanced reporting.

Jlal Bathish MD MPH, Yael Alshanki MD, Yves Bitton MD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease characterized by restricted airflow, changes of lung tissues, and breathing difficulties [1]. Most patients are treated at home to maintain a stable lifestyle and quality of life [2].

An important feature of COPD is exacerbation, which is an acute worsening of symptoms that can result in decreased pulmonary functions, increased risk of death, and poorer quality of life. The frequency and severity of each exacerbation results in further worsening of pulmonary function [3]. Depression in COPD patients may cause objective impairment in function and decreased adherence to therapeutic interventions [4].

Acute stress disorder is characterized by acute reaction in the first month following exposure to a traumatic event such as threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault. Symptoms include intrusion, dissociation, negative mood avoidance, and arousal [5]. Stress on a more continuous basis can significantly debilitate a person's emotional and physical wellbeing, lead to depression and weakened immune system, and influence patients with already stressful and progressive conditions such as COPD.

We present a patient previously diagnosed with COPD who experienced an acute terror attack, which was a major and stressful event that caused severe exacerbation of the disease.

ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Nadav Cohen MD, Bracha Cohen MD, Debjyoti Karmakar MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Ariel Zilberlicht MD

Background: Cases of second trimester pregnancy loss can be treated either pharmacologically or by surgical evacuation. Misoprostol, an E1-prostaglandin analog, is used to facilitate the evacuation of the uterus.

Objectives: To determine the risk factors associated with patients who were treated with five or more repeated doses of misoprostol.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients treated with vaginal misoprostol at our institution between December 2016 and October 2021 for second trimester pregnancy loss.

Results: In total, 114 patients were eligible for analysis; 83 were treated with < 5 doses and 31 with ≥ 5. We recorded each case in which repeated doses were administered, irrespective of predetermined conditions such as gravidity, parity, maternal age, or gestational age. Moreover, cases of five or more misoprostol dosing were not associated with an increased complications rate, except for the increased duration of hospitalization (3.1 vs. 2.2 days, P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Repeated dosing could not be predicted before treatment among those treated with vaginally administered misoprostol for second trimester pregnancy loss. However, low complication rates of repeated dosing may reassure both physicians and patients regarding safety, efficacy, and future fertility.

Ron Ben Elyahu MD, Basel Khateeb MD, Eyal Yaacobi MD, Ezequiel Palmanovich MD, Omer Marom MD, David Segal MD, Michael Markushevich MD, Nissim Ohana MD, Yaron S. Brin MD

Background: Hip fractures are a public health problem that disproportionately affects the elderly. Displaced femoral neck fractures were treated historically with hemiarthroplasty, but the use of total hip arthroplasty (THA) is increasing showing superior long-term results.

Objectives: To assess whether THA has superior short-term results compared to bipolar hemiarthroplasty for displaced femoral neck fractures.

Methods: Two groups of active older patients underwent either cementless bipolar hemiarthroplasty or THA for displaced femoral neck fracture. All patients were operated on using the direct lateral approach to the hip joint. Patients were assessed using the Harris Hip Score at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up.

Results: We included 40 patients ages 65–85 years; 18 underwent bipolar hemiarthroplasty and 22 THA. The number of women in each group was similar, as was mean age: 73.1 ± 4.2 years in the hemiarthroplasty group and 71.0 ± 3.7 in THA. Harris Hip Score on hospital discharge was similar in both groups. Walking ability at discharge was better in the THA cohort and they were discharged sooner: 5.2 ± 1.3 vs. 6.4 ± 1.7 days following hemiarthroplasty (P = 0.021). At 6 weeks follow-up, the mean Harris Hip Score was higher in the THA group (78.6 ± 11 vs. 61.5 ± 17 for hemiarthroplasty, P < 0.001). Patients in the THA group walked longer distances, needed less support while walking, and reported less pain.

Conclusions: Better short-term results at hospital discharge and at 6 weeks follow-up after THA contributed to earlier patient independence and shorter hospital stays.

Roy Bitan MD, Michal Youngster MD, Ana Umanski MD, Sarita Kaufman MD, Alon Kedem MD, Sarit Avraham MD, Gil Yerushalmi MD, Ariel Hourvitz MD, Itai Gat MD

Background: Sperm banks initially focused on providing sperm donation (SD) to heterosexual couples grappling with severe male infertility. Notable advancements in fertility treatments and sociological trends have broadened the scope of SD toward single women and same sex female couples.

Objectives: To evaluate SD recipient characteristics over the last three decades in Israel according to demographic parameters.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 5489 women who received SD between January 1992 and December 2021 from a tertiary referral center. We divided the overall period into six groups of five years each. A comparison of demographic characteristics of women who received SD in different periods was performed according to age at the beginning of the treatment, marital status (single women and same sex female couples, heterosexual couples), and ethnic origin.

Results: The average age of women who received SD was 37.02 ± 5.36 years. The average patient age rose from 35.08 years in 1992–1997 to 37.43 years in 2017–2021 (P-value < 0.01). The use of SD was more common among single women and same sex female couples compared to heterosexual couples in later years. Regarding single and same sex female couple, the percentage of SD recipients increased radically from 33% to 88.1% (P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Modern sperm banks treat older patients in non-heterosexual relationships. These trends encompass not only medical implications (e.g., in vitro fertilization vs. intrauterine insemination) but also delve into the personal and sociological impact experienced by both patients and offspring.

Mohamad Suki MD, Fadi Abu-baker MD, Amani Beshara MD, Baruch Ovadia MD, Oren Gal MD, Yael Kopelman MD

Background: With age, colorectal cancer (CRC) prevalence rises. The elderly (> 75 years), and the very elderly (> 85 years) are especially vulnerable. The advantages of screening must be assessed in the context of diminished life span and co-morbidities.

Objective: To compare CRC findings in colonoscopies that were performed following a positive fecal occult blood test/fecal immunochemical test (FOBT/FIT) in both elderly and very elderly age groups with those of younger patients.

Methods: We identified colonoscopies conducted between 1998 and 2019 following a positive stool test for occult blood in asymptomatic individuals. A finding of malignancy was compared between the two patient age groups. Furthermore, a sub-analysis was performed for positive malignancy findings in FOBT/FIT among patients > 85 years compared to younger than < 75 years.

Results: We compared the colonoscopy findings in 10,472 patients: 40–75 years old (n=10,146) vs. 76–110 years old (n=326). There was no significant difference in prevalence of CRC detection rate between the groups following positive FOBT/FIT (2.1% vs. 2.7%, P = 0.47). Similar results for non-significant differences were obtained in the sub-analysis compared to malignancy detection rates in the very elderly 0% (n=0) vs. 2.1% for < 75 years old (n=18), P = 0.59.

Conclusions: Although the prevalence of CRC increases with age, no significant increase in the detection rate of CRC by FOBT was found in either the elderly or very elderly age groups. Screening colonoscopies in elderly patients should be performed only after careful consideration of potential benefits, risks, and patient preferences.

Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

CASE COMMUNICATIONS
Nitzan Maixner MD PhD, Yulian Weissbuch MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Zehavit Kirshenboim MD

Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is a medical emergency requiring rapid diagnosis and intervention to avoid irreversible neurological damage [1]. While MSCC is best diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this modality is often limited and is usually preceded by a computed tomography (CT) scan of the spine.

Rotem Liran MD, Wakar Garra MD, Or Carmi MD, Yair Levy MD, Yael Einbinder MD

Higher potency bisphosphonates, typically intravenous formulations, are given at lower doses for postmenopausal women. The treatment has improved compliance compared to daily oral therapy. Since bisphosphonates are exclusively excreted via the kidneys, intravenous formulation has been associated with deterioration of renal function, specifically in the setting of preexisting renal disease or concomitant use of nephrotoxic agents [1].

REVIEWS
Ehud Galron MD, Rayna Boyarsky MD, Ido Solt MD, Chen Ben David MD, Eyal Gal MD

Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-based reaction to dietary gluten. CD can present with a diverse array of symptoms. Many CD patients have no symptoms at all. Thus, a great number of atypical cases of CD remain undiagnosed, leading to a risk of long-term complications. Some atypical symptoms of CD such as pregnancy complications, infertility, recurrent abortions, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm delivery, and severe preeclampsia have been investigated in undiagnosed and diagnosed pregnant women with CD. Nutrient deficiency and autoimmune pathogenic mechanisms have been hypothesized to be the explanation of these adverse pregnancy outcomes. Recently, an association between obstetric complications and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies titers in women with CD has been reported. While the adverse effects of CD on the reproductive system are well investigated, there are only a few reports in the literature on the effect of pregnancy and puerperium on CD. We reviewed the published literature on the adverse effects and pathophysiology of CD in reproductive disorders and the effect of pregnancy and puerperium on the manifestation of CD.

Yael Weintraub MD, Raffi Lev-Tzion MD, Jacob Ollech MD, Hagar Olshaker MD, Irit Rosen MD, Shlomi Cohen MD, David Varssano MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Manar Matar MD

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) medications are the most frequently used biologicals to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Little is known about the ocular side effects of this drug category. We present a case series of six young patients with Crohn disease (CD) and no previous ophthalmologic manifestations who developed blepharitis after commencing treatment with anti-TNFα therapy. Six otherwise healthy patients with CD, with no history of allergies or prior ocular complaints, developed blepharitis at a median of 7.5 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα therapy. All ophthalmic findings were treated topically. The ocular symptoms of two of the patients resolved shortly after discontinuation of the anti-TNFα treatment. The other four presented with relapsing-remitting symptoms. Blepharitis is a common ocular disease in the general population and an extra-intestinal manifestation in patients with IBD. It may be an adverse effect of anti-TNFα therapy in this patient population.

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