Jonathan Abraham Demma MD, Lisandro Luques MD PhD, Lior Cohen MD, Uri P. Dior MD, Gad Marom MD, Asaf Kedar MD, Naama Lev Cohain MD, Alon Pikarsky MD, Gidon Almogy MD, Liat Appelbaum MD
Background: Abdominal pathology in pregnant patients is a frequent challenge for emergency department physicians. Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice but is inconclusive in approximately one-third of cases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming increasingly available, even in acute settings. Multiple studies have defined the sensitivity and specificity of MRI in this population.
Objectives: To evaluate the use of MRI findings in pregnant patients presenting with acute abdominal complaints to the emergency department.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single institution. Data were collected on pregnant patients who underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints between 2010 and 2019 at a university center. Patient demographics, diagnosis at admission, ultrasound and MRI findings, and discharge diagnosis were recorded and evaluated.
Results: In total, 203 pregnant patients underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints during the study period. MRI was found without pathology in 138 cases (68%). In 65 cases (32%), the MRI showed findings that could explain the patient's clinical presentation. Patients presenting with long-standing abdominal pain (> 24 hours), fever, leukocytosis, or elevated C-reactive protein values were at a significantly increased risk of having an acute pathology. In 46 patients (22.6%), MRI findings changed the primary diagnosis and management while in 45 patients (22.1%) MRI findings improved characterization of the suspected pathology.
Conclusions: MRI is helpful when clinical and sonographic findings are inconclusive, leading to changes in patient management in more than one-fifth of patients.
Dorit Ravid MD, Michal Kovo MD PhD, Sophia Leytes MD, Yael Yagur MD, Maty Fakterman MD, Omer Weitzner MD
Background: Treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been shown to improve both maternal and neonatal outcomes. For women with GDM who require glucose-lowering medication, insulin is regarded as the drug of choice by most medical societies. Oral therapy, with metformin or glibenclamide, is a reasonable alternative in certain medical circumstances.
Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of insulin detemir (IDet) vs. glibenclamide for GDM when glycemic control cannot be achieved through lifestyle modification and diet.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of 115 women with singleton pregnancy and GDM treated with IDet or glibenclamide. GDM was diagnosed via the two-step oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) of 50 grams glucose, followed by 100 grams. Maternal characteristics and outcomes (preeclampsia and weight gain) and neonatal outcomes (birth weight and percentile, hypoglycemia, jaundice, and respiratory morbidity) were compared between groups.
Results: In total, 67 women received IDet and 48 glibenclamide. Maternal characteristics, weight gain, and the incidence of preeclampsia were similar in both groups. Neonatal outcomes were also similar. The proportion of large for gestational age (LGA) infants was 20.8% in the glibenclamide group compared to 14.9% in the IDet group (P = 0.04).
Conclusions: In pregnant women with GDM, glucose control on IDet yielded comparable results as on glibenclamide, except for a significantly lower rate of LGA neonates.
Yotam Bronstein MD, Dana Elhadad MD, Eyas Midlij MD, Moshe Yana MD, Daniel Yakubovich MD, Nechama Sharon MD
Background: Factor VII (FVII) deficiency is characterized by normal activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and prolonged prothrombin time (PT) values. It is diagnosed by determining protein level and coagulation activity (FVII:C). FVII:C measurements are expensive and time consuming.
Objectives: To analyze correlations between PT, international normalized ratio (INR), and FVII:C in pediatric patients before otolaryngology surgery and to establish alternative methods for identifying FVII deficiency.
Methods: FVII:C data were collected from 96 patients with normal aPTT and prolonged PT values during preoperative otolaryngology surgery coagulation workup between 2016 and 2020. We compared demographic and clinical parameters using Spearman correlation coefficient and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis to determine the accuracy of PT and INR values to predict FVII deficiency.
Results: The median values of PT, INR and FVII:C were 13.5 seconds, 1.14, and 67.5%, respectively. In total, 65 participants (67.7%) displayed normal FVII:C compared to 31 (32.3%) with decreased FVII:C. A statistically significant negative correlation was observed between FVII:C and PT values and between FVII:C and INR. Despite statistically significant ROC of 0.653 for PT (P-value = 0.017, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.529–0.776) and 0.669 for INR (P-value = 0.08, 95%CI 0.551–0.788), we were unable to determine an optimal cutoff point to predict FVII:C deficiency with high sensitivity and high specificity.
Conclusions: We could not identify a PT or INR threshold to best predict clinically relevant FVII:C levels. When PT is abnormal, determining FVII:C protein levels is needed for diagnosing FVII deficiency and considering surgical prophylactic treatment.
Reudor Grinberg MD, Sivan Perl MD, Itzhack Shpirer MD, Noam Natif MD, Benjamin D. Fox BM BS
Background: The DES-obstructive sleep apnea (DES-OSA) score uses morphological characteristics to predict the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
Objectives: To validate DES-OSA scores on the Israeli population. To identify patients requiring treatment for OSAS. To evaluate whether additional parameters could improve the diagnostic value of DES-OSA scores.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study on patients attending a sleep clinic. Polysomnography results were examined independently by two physicians. DES-OSA scores were calculated. STOP and Epworth questionnaires were administered, and data on cardiovascular risk was extracted.
Results: We recruited 106 patients, median age 64 years, 58% male. DES-OSA scores were positively correlated with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) (P < 0.001) and were significantly different between the OSAS severity groups. Interobserver agreement for calculating DES-OSA was very high between the two physicians (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.86). DES-OSA scores ≤ 5 were associated with high sensitivity and low specificity (0.90 and 0.27, respectively) for moderate to severe OSAS. In univariate analysis, only age was significantly correlated with the presence of OSAS (OR 1.26, P = 0.01). Age older than 66 years as a single point in the DES-OSA score slightly improved the sensitivity of the test.
Conclusions: DES-OSA is a valid score based solely on physical examination, which may be useful for excluding OSAS requiring therapy. DES-OSA score ≤ 5 effectively ruled out moderate to severe OSAS. Age older than 66 years as an extra point improved the sensitivity of the test.
Chen Buxbaum MD, Mark Katson MD, Moshe Herskovitz MD
Background: The annual incidence of epilepsy increases with age, from nearly 28 per 100,000 by the age of 50 years to 139 per 100,000 by the age of 75 years. Late-onset epilepsy differs from epilepsy at a young age in the prevalence of structural-related epilepsy, types of seizures, duration of seizures, and presentation with status epilepticus.
Objectives: To check the response to treatment in patients with epilepsy with age of onset of 50 years and older.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study. The cohort included all patients referred to the Rambam epilepsy clinic between 1 November 2016 and 31 January 2018 with epilepsy onset at age 50 years or older and at least one year of follow-up at the recruitment time point and epilepsy not caused by a rapidly progressive disease.
Results: At recruitment, most patients were being treated with a single antiseizure medication (ASM); 9 of 57 patients (15.7%) met the criteria for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). The mean duration of follow-up was 2.8 ± 1.3 years. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 7 of 57 patients (12.2%) had DRE at the last follow-up.
Conclusions: Late-onset epilepsy, which is defined as a first diagnosis in patients older than 50 years of age, is easy to control with monotherapy. The percentage of DRE in this group of patients is relatively low and stable over time.
Yaron Niv MD FACG AGAF, Theodore Rokkas MD PhD FACG AGAF FEBGH
Background: Mucins, heavily glycosylated glycoproteins, are synthesized by mucosal surfaces and play an important role in healthy and malignant states. Changes in mucin synthesis, expression, and secretion may be a primary event or may be secondary to inflammation and carcinogenesis.
Objectives: To assess current knowledge of mucin expression in the small bowel of celiac disease (CD) patients and to determine possible associations between mucin profile and gluten-free diet.
Method: Medical literature searches of articles in English were conducted using the terms mucin and celiac. Observational studies were included. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results: Of 31 articles initially generated by a literature search, 4 observational studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria remained eligible for meta-analysis. These studies included 182 patients and 148 controls from four countries (Finland, Japan, Sweden, United States). Mucin expression was significantly increased in small bowel mucosa of CD patients than in normal small bowel mucosa (odds ratio [OR] 7.974, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] (1.599–39.763), P = 0.011] (random-effect model). Heterogeneity was significant: Q = 35.743, df (Q) = 7, P < 0.0001, I2 = 80.416%. ORs for MUC2 and MUC5AC expression in the small bowel mucosa of untreated CD patients were 8.837, 95%CI 0.222–352.283, P = 0.247 and 21.429, 95%CI 3.883–118.255, P < 0.0001, respectively.
Conclusions: Expression of certain mucin genes in the small bowel mucosa of CD patients is increased and may serve as a diagnostic tool and assist in surveillance programs.
Ibrahim Marai MD, Josef Steier MD, lia Novic MD, Ali Sakhnini MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon, Batsheva Tzadok MD
Background: The evaluation of syncope in emergency departments (EDs) and during hospitalization can be ineffective. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines were established to perform the evaluation based on risk stratification.
Objectives: To investigate whether the initial screening of syncope adheres to the recent ESC guidelines.
Methods: Patients with syncope who were evaluated in our ED were included in the study and retrospectively classified based on whether they were treated according to ESC guidelines. Patients were divided into two groups according to the ESC guideline risk profile: high risk or low risk.
Results: The study included 114 patients (age 50.6 ± 21.9 years, 43% females); 74 (64.9%) had neurally mediated syncope, 11 (9.65%) had cardiac syncope, and 29 (25.45%) had an unknown cause. The low-risk group included 70 patients (61.4%), and the high-risk group included 44 (38.6%). Only 48 patients (42.1%) were evaluated according to the ESC guidelines. In fact, 22 (36.7%) of 60 hospitalizations and 41 (53.2%) of 77 head computed tomography (CT) scans were not mandatory according to guidelines. The rate of unnecessary CT scans (67.3% vs. 28.6%, respectively, P = 0.001) and unnecessary hospitalization (66.7% vs. 6.7%, respectively, P < 0.02) were higher among low-risk patients than high-risk patients. Overall, a higher percentage of high-risk patients were treated according to guidelines compared to low-risk patients (68.2% vs. 25.7% respectively, P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Most syncope patients, particularly those with a low-risk profile, were not evaluated in accordance with the ESC guidelines.
Majdi Halabi MD, Hagar Drimer-Shabtai MD, Inna Rosenfeld MD, Adi Sharabi-Nov MA MPH, Mussa Saad MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Ziad Abuiznait MD, Ayelet Armon-Omer PhD, Zippi Regev-Avraham PhD, Zeev Israeli MD
Background: Implantable loop recorders (ILRs) are a central tool in the evaluation of unexplained syncope. These devices record and store electrocardiograms, both automatically and on patient-dependent activation. Therefore, obtaining optimal diagnostic results relies on a patient's comprehension and collaboration.
Objectives: To evaluate the effect of ethnic background and mother-tongue language on the diagnostic yield (DY) of ILRs.
Methods: Patients at two medical centers in Israel, who had ILRs as part of syncope workup were included. Inclusion criteria were age over 18 years and an ILR for at least one year (or less if the cause of syncope was detected). Patient demographics, ethnic background, and previous medical history were recorded. All findings from ILR recordings, activation mode (manual vs. automatic), and treatment decisions (none, ablation, device implantation) were collected.
Results: The study comprised 94 patients, 62 Jews (i.e., ethnic majority) and 32 non-Jews (i.e., ethnic minority). While baseline demographic characteristics, medical history, and drug therapy were similar in both groups, Jewish patients were significantly older at the time of device implantation: 64.3 ± 16.0 years of age vs. 50.6 ± 16.9, respectively; (P < 0.001). Arrhythmias recorded in both groups as well as treatment decisions and device activation mode were similar. Total follow-up time from device implantation was longer in the non-Jewish vs. the Jewish group (17.5 ± 12.2 vs. 24.0 ± 12.4 months, respectively; P < 0.017).
Conclusions: The DY of ILR implanted for unexplained syncope did not seem to be influenced by patient's mother-tongue language or ethnicity.
Mustafa Gabarin MD, Yoav Arnson MD, Yoram Neuman MD, Ziad Arow MD, Abid Assali MD, David Pereg MD
Background: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are the treatment of choice for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation; however, bleeding risk remains significant. We reported a single-center experience with 11 patients who presented with hemorrhagic cardiac tamponade while treated with DOACs.
Objectives: To evaluate the characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients under DOACs with cardiac tamponade.
Methods: We retrospectively identified 11 patients treated with DOACs admitted with pericardial tamponade in our cardiology unit during 2018–2021.
Results: The mean age was 84 ± 4 years; 7 males. Atrial fibrillation was the indication for anticoagulation in all cases. DOACs included apixaban (8 patients), dabigatran (2 patients), and rivaroxaban (1 patient). Urgent pericardiocentesis via a subxiphoid approach under echocardiography guidance was successfully performed in 10 patients. One patient was treated with urgent surgical drainage with a pericardial window. Reversal of anticoagulation using prothrombin complex concentrate and idarucizumab was given before the procedure to 6 patients treated with apixaban and one patient treated with dabigatran. One patient, initially treated with urgent pericardiocentesis, underwent pericardial window surgery due to re-accumulation of blood in the pericardium. The pericardial fluid analysis demonstrated hemopericardium. Cytology tests were negative for malignant cells in all cases. Discharge diagnoses regarding the cause of hemopericardium included pericarditis (3 patients) and idiopathic (8 patients). Medical therapy included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (1 patient), colchicine (3 patients), and steroids (3 patients). No patient died during hospitalization.
Conclusions: Hemorrhagic cardiac tamponade is a rare complication of DOACs. We found good short-term prognosis following pericardiocentesis.
Jonathan D. Cohen MBBCh FCP (SA), Tomer Kaplan BEMS MPH, Tammy Fink RN, Kyrill Grozovsky RN, Refael Strugo MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Tamar Ashkenazi RN PhD
Background: A limited program for kidney donation from uncontrolled donation after cardiocirculatory determination of death (uDCDD) was implemented at four hospitals in Israel in close cooperation with Magen David Adom (MDA), the national emergency medical service.
Objectives: To assess the outcome of transplantations performed between January 2017 and June 2022.
Methods: Donor data included age, sex, and cause of death. Recipient data included age, sex, and yearly serum creatinine levels. A retrospective study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases treated by MDA during 2021 were analyzed to assess their compatibility as potential uDCDD donors.
Results: In total, 49 potential donors were referred to hospitals by MDA. Consent was obtained in 40 cases (83%), organ retrieval was performed in 28 cases, and 40 kidneys were transplanted from 21 donors (75% retrieval rate). At 1-year follow-up, 36 recipients had a functioning graft (4 returned to dialysis) and mean serum creatinine 1.59 ± 0.92 mg% (90% graft survival). Outcome after transplantation showed serum creatinine levels (mg%) at 2 years 1.41 ± 0.83, n=26; 3 years 1.48 ± 0.99, n=16; 4 years 1.07 ± 1.06, n=7; and 5 years 1.12 ± 0.31, n=5. One patient died of multiple myeloma at 3 years. The MDA audit revealed an unutilized pool of 125 potential cases, 90 of whom were transported to hospitals and 35 were declared dead at the scene.
Conclusions: Transplant outcomes were encouraging, suggesting that more intensive implementation of the program may increase the number of kidneys transplanted, thus shortening recipient waiting lists.
Genya Aharon-Hananel MD PhD, Galia Zacay MD, Noam Tau MD, Yael Levy-Shraga MD, Amit Tirosh MD, Iris Vered MD, Liana Tripto-Shkolnik MD
Background: Trabecular bone score (TBS) reflects vertebrae microarchitecture and assists in fracture risk assessment. The International Society of Clinical Densitometry postulates that the role of TBS in monitoring antiresorptive therapy is unclear. Whether changes in TBS correlate with bone resorption measured by bone turnover markers is not known.
Objectives: To determine whether longitudinal changes in TBS correlate with C-terminal telopeptide (CTX) of type I collagen.
Methods: Examinees with two bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were detected via the institutional database. Over 5.8% change in TBS was considered least significant and patients were grouped accordingly (increment, decrement, or unchanged). CTX, BMD, co-morbidities, incident fractures, and medication exposure were compared between the groups by Kruskal-Wallis. The correlation between TBS and BMD change and CTX in a continuous model was analyzed by Pearson's correlation coefficient.
Results: In total, 110 patients had detailed medical records. In 74.5%, TBS change was below least significant change. Two other TBS categories, fracture incidence or medication exposure, did not differ by CTX. In the continuous model, BMD and TBS change was positively correlated (r = 0.225, P = 0.018). A negative correlation was observed between BMD change and CTX. The decrease in BMD level was associated with higher CTX (r = -0.335, P = 0.004). No correlation was observed between CTX and TBS.
Conclusions: No correlation between TBS dynamics and bone resorption marker was found. Clinical interpretation and implication of longitudinal TBS changes should be further explored.