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Di Marco F.,Respiratory Unit | Di Marco F.,University of Milan | Terraneo S.,Respiratory Unit | Terraneo S.,University of Milan | And 19 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

The advent of pharmacological therapies for lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) has made early diagnosis important in women with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), although the lifelong cumulative radiation exposure caused by chest computer tomography (CT) should not be underestimated. We retrospectively investigated, in a cohort of TSC outpatients of San Paolo Hospital (Milan, Italy) 1) the role of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) for LAM diagnosis, 2) the association between LAM and other features of TSC (e.g. demography, extrapulmonary manifestations, genetic mutations, etc.), and 3) the characteristics of patients with multifocal micronodular pneumocyte hyperplasia (MMPH). Eighty-six women underwent chest CT scan; pulmonary involvement was found in 66 patients (77%; 49% LAM with or without MMPH, and 28% MMPH alone). LAM patients were older, with a higher rate of pneumothorax, presented more frequently with renal and hepatic angiomyolipomas, and tended to have a TSC2 mutation profile. PFTs, assessed in 64% of women unaffected by cognitive impairments, revealed a lower lung diffusion capacity in LAM patients. In multivariate analysis, age, but not PFTs, resulted independently associated with LAM diagnosis. Patients with MMPH alone did not show specific clinical, functional or genetic features. A mild respiratory impairment was most common in LAM-TSC patients: In conclusions, PFTs, even if indicated to assess impairment in lung function, are feasible in a limited number of patients, and are not significantly useful for LAM diagnosis in women with TSC. © 2016 Di Marco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Olivieri F.,Marche Polytechnic University | Ricci S.,Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Unit | Procopio A.D.,Marche Polytechnic University | Antonicelli R.,Cardiology Unit
Biomarkers | Year: 2013

Biomarkers play a critical role in the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), especially in patients with atypical clinical and/or electrocardiographic presentation or co-morbidities, like the elderly. High-sensitivity assays based on specific biomarkers (e.g. cardiac troponins) enabling earlier AMI diagnosis have recently become available in clinical practice. Although no single biomarker of myocardial necrosis is ever likely to afford AMI diagnosis, a combination including different biomarkers for necrosis and ischemia, like new circulating molecules (microRNAs), could enhance diagnostic specificity. We review the recent literature on conventional and novel AMI biomarkers, with special emphasis on circulating microRNAs. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.


Ranieri G.,Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Unit | Ammendola M.,University of Catanzaro | Marech I.,Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Unit | Laterza A.,Cancer Institute Giovanni Paolo II | And 5 more authors.
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2015

AIM: To evaluate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tryptase in hepatocellular cancer (HCC) before and after trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE). METHODS: VEGF and tryptase serum concentrations were assessed from 71 unresectable HCC patients before and after hepatic TACE performed by binding DC-Beads® to doxorubicin. VEGF levels were examined for each serum sample using the Quantikine Human VEGF-enzyme-linked immuno-absorbent assay (ELISA), whereas tryptase serum concentrations were assessed for each serum sample by means of fluoro-enzyme immunoassay (FEIA) using the Uni-CAP100 tool. Differences between serum VEGF and tryptase values before and after TACE were evaluated using Student t test. Person's correlation was used to assess the degree of association between the two variables. RESULTS: VEGF levels and serum tryptase in HCC patients before TACE had a mean value and standard deviation (SD) of 114.31 ± 79.58 pg/mL and 8.13 ± 3.61 ìg/L, respectively. The mean levels and SD of VEGF levels and serum tryptase in HCC patients after TACE were 238.14 ± 109.41 pg/mL and 4.02 ± 3.03 ìg/L. The changes between the mean values of concentration of VEGF and tryptase before treatment and after treatment was statistically significant (P < 0.000231 and P < 0.00124, by Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney respectively). A significant correlation between VEGF levels before and after TACE and between tryptase levels before and after TACE was demonstrated (r = 0.68, P = 0.003; r = 0.84, P = 0.000 respectively). CONCLUSION: Our pilot results suggest that the higher serum VEGF levels and the lower tryptase levels following TACE may be potential biomarkers changing in response to therapy. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.


Marech I.,Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Unit | Gadaleta C.D.,Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Unit | Ranieri G.,Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Unit
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2014

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most frequent renal tumor and its incidence is increasing worldwide. Tumor angiogenesis is known to play a crucial role in the etiopathogenesis of RCC and over the last few years an even deeper knowledge of its contribution in metastatic RCC development has led to the development of numerous molecular targeting agents (such as sunitinib, sorafenib, pazopanib, axitinib, tivozanib, and dovitinib). The above agents are principally directed against vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) members and also against c-Kit receptor (c-KitR). The role of c-kitR inhibition on clear cell RCC (ccRCC), the main RCC subtype, is less well established. Whether c-kitR activation through its ligand, stem cell factor (SCF) contributes significantly to the effects of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) treatment remains to be established. It is important to underscore that the c-KitR is expressed on mast cells (MCs) and cancer cells. After an examination of the c-KitR/SCF pathway, we review here the principal studies that have evaluated c-Kit expression in RCC. Moreover, we summarize some investigations that have observed the distribution of MCs in primary renal cancer and in adjacent normal tissue with appropriate histological immunohistochemical techniques. We also focus on few studies that have evaluated the correlation between RCC proliferation, MC count and microvessel density (MVD), as hallmarks of tumor angiogenesis. Thus, the aim of this review of the literature is to clarify if c-KitR expression, MC count and MVD could have prognostic significance and the possible predictive therapeutic implications in RCC. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Mangiafico S.,University of Florence | Pracucci G.,University of Florence | Saia V.,University of Florence | Nencini P.,University of Florence | And 51 more authors.
Neurological Sciences | Year: 2015

Endovascular treatment (ET) showed to be safe in acute stroke, but its superiority over intravenous thrombolysis is debated. As ET is rapidly evolving, it is not clear which role it may deserve in the future of stoke treatments. Based on an observational design, a treatment registry allows to study a broad range of patients, turning into a powerful tool for patients’ selection. We report the methodology and a descriptive analysis of patients from a national registry of ET for stroke. The Italian Registry of Endovascular Treatment in Acute Stroke is a multicenter, observational registry running in Italy from 2010. All patients treated with ET in the participating centers were consecutively recorded. Safety measures were symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, procedural adverse events and death rate. Efficacy measures were arterial recanalization and 3-month good functional outcome. From 2008 to 2012, 960 patients were treated in 25 centers. Median age was 67 years, male gender 57 %. Median baseline NIHSS was 17. The most frequent occlusion site was Middle cerebral artery (46.9 %). Intra-arterial thrombolytics were used in 165 (17.9 %) patients, in 531 (57.5 %) thrombectomy was employed, and 228 (24.7 %) patients received both treatments. Baseline features of this cohort are in line with data from large clinical series and recent trials. This registry allows to collect data from a real practice scenario and to highlight time trends in treatment modalities. It can address unsolved safety and efficacy issues on ET of stroke, providing a useful tool for the planning of new trials. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Italia.

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