Galliera Hospital

Genova, Italy

Galliera Hospital

Genova, Italy
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Giusti A.,Galliera Hospital | Bianchi G.,ASL
RMD Open | Year: 2015

Complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS-I) is a common and disabling disorder affecting a peripheral limb, usually developing after a trauma to an extremity. CRPS-I is characterised by presence of spontaneous pain, allodynia and hyperalgesia, disproportionate to the inciting event and by a variety of autonomic disturbances and trophic abnormalities. The pathophysiology of CRPS-I has not been fully understood. Experimental models have suggested that an initial triggering event may produce the release of proinflammatory neuropeptides and cytokines, generating a sort of neurogenic inflammation. Thereafter, increased microvascular permeability and intramedullary pressure, reduced oxygen extraction and cellular hypoxia maintain and make the disease worse, producing metabolic tissue acidosis. In this context, it is probable that, far from being a key player, the sympathetic nervous system contributes interacting with these mechanisms and producing vasomotor disturbances. Bisphosphonates (BPs) are potent inhibitors of osteoclastic activity widely used for the management of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases. Their primary pharmacological action is the reduction of bone turnover. An enhanced osteoclastic activity has never been clearly demonstrated in CRPS-I. Therefore, it is likely that the positive effects of BPs in this condition are not related to their antiresorptive properties, but to a more complex interaction between these pharmacological agents and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying CRPS-I. Results of several clinical trials have suggested the potential beneficial effects of BPs in CRPS-I. In five randomised controlled trials, oral and intravenous alendronate and intravenous clodronate, pamidronate and neridronate demonstrated to be effective in reducing pain and improving physical function in patients presenting with CRPS-I, with a good profile of safety and tolerability. Although these trials have a number of limitations, including the small samples enrolled, there is sufficient evidence to support the use of BPs as agents of choice in the management of CRPS-I.


Binda G.A.,Galliera Hospital | Arezzo A.,University of Turin | Serventi A.,San Giacomo Hospital | Bonelli L.,Italian National Cancer Institute
British Journal of Surgery | Year: 2012

Background: The natural history of acute diverticulitis (AD) is still unclear. This study investigated the recurrence rate, and the risks of emergency surgery, associated stoma and death following initial medical or surgical treatment of AD. Methods: The Italian Study Group on Complicated Diverticulosis conducted a 4-year multicentre retrospective and prospective database analysis of patients admitted to hospital for medical or surgical treatment of AD and then followed for a minimum of 9 years. The persistence of symptoms, recurrent episodes of AD, new hospital admissions, medical or surgical treatment, and their outcome were recorded during follow-up. Results: Of 1046 patients enrolled at 17 centres, 743 were eligible for the study (407 recruited retrospectively and 336 prospectively); 242 patients (32A·6 per cent) underwent emergency surgery at accrual. After a mean follow-up of 10·7 years, rates of recurrence (17·2 versus 5·8 per cent; P < 0·001) and emergency surgery (6·9 versus 1·3 per cent; P = 0·021) were higher for medically treated patients than for those treated surgically. Among patients who had initial medical treatment, age less than 40 years and a history of at least three episodes of AD were associated with an increased risk of AD recurrence. There was no association between any of the investigated parameters and subsequent emergency surgery. The risk of stoma formation was below 1 per cent and disease-related mortality was zero in this group. The disease-related mortality rate was 0·6 per cent among patients who had surgical treatment. Conclusion: Long-term risks of recurrent AD or emergency surgery were limited and colectomy did not fully protect against recurrence. © 2011 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.


Becattini C.,University of Perugia | Agnelli G.,University of Perugia | Schenone A.,Galliera Hospital | Eichinger S.,Medical University of Vienna | And 8 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: About 20% of patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism have a recurrence within 2 years after the withdrawal of oral anticoagulant therapy. Extending anticoagulation prevents recurrences but is associated with increased bleeding. The benefit of aspirin for the prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism is unknown. METHODS:In this multicenter, investigator-initiated, double-blind study, patients with first-ever unprovoked venous thromboembolism who had completed 6 to 18 months of oral anticoagulant treatment were randomly assigned to aspirin, 100 mg daily, or placebo for 2 years, with the option of extending the study treatment. The primary efficacy outcome was recurrence of venous thromboembolism, and major bleeding was the primary safety outcome. RESULTS:Venous thromboembolism recurred in 28 of the 205 patients who received aspirin and in 43 of the 197 patients who received placebo (6.6% vs. 11.2% per year; hazard ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36 to 0.93) (median study period, 24.6 months). During a median treatment period of 23.9 months, 23 patients taking aspirin and 39 taking placebo had a recurrence (5.9% vs. 11.0% per year; hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.92). One patient in each treatment group had a major bleeding episode. Adverse events were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Aspirin reduced the risk of recurrence when given to patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism who had discontinued anticoagulant treatment, with no apparent increase in the risk of major bleeding. (Funded by the University of Perugia and others; WARFASA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00222677.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.


Tonni G.,Guastalla Civil Hospital | Lituania M.,Galliera Hospital
Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine | Year: 2012

The purpose of this pictorial essay is to report on the application of OmniView (GE Healthcare, Zipf, Austria), new 3-dimensional sonographic software, and its application in the prenatal sonographic study of the fetal hard and soft palates. We will show that this novel technique is easy and feasible, requires a limited learning curve, and provides correct volume interrogation of the region of interest. The OmniView algorithm may be useful in training programs, and volume data sets can be interpreted by experts in remote sites. Future prospective studies with consecutive patients will be necessary to evaluate whether the routine application of OmniView will increase the prenatal diagnosis of facial clefting, especially those with isolated palate defects. © 2012 by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.


Giusti A.,Galliera Hospital | Bianchi G.,La Colletta Hospital
Clinical Interventions in Aging | Year: 2014

With the aging of the population worldwide, osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures are becoming a serious health care issue in the Western world. Although less frequent than in women, osteoporosis in men is a relatively common problem. Hip and vertebral fractures are particularly relevant, being associated with significant mortality and disability. Since bone loss and fragility fractures in men have been recognized as serious medical conditions, several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been undertaken in males with osteoporosis to investigate the anti-fracture efficacy of the pharmacological agents commonly used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. Overall, treatments for osteoporosis in men are less defined than in women, mainly due to the fact that there are fewer RCTs performed in male populations, to the relatively smaller sample sizes, and to the lack of long-term extension studies. However, the key question is whether men are expected to respond differently to osteoporosis therapies than women. The pharmacological properties of bisphosphonates, teriparatide, denosumab, and strontium ranelate make such differentiation unlikely, and available clinical data support their efficacy in men with primary osteoporosis as well as in women. In a series of well-designed RCTs, alendronate, risedronate, zoledronic acid, and teriparatide were demonstrated to reduce the risk of new vertebral fractures in men presenting with primary osteoporosis (including osteoporosis associated with low testosterone levels) and to improve the bone mineral density (BMD). In preliminary studies, ibandronate, denosumab, and strontium ranelate also showed their beneficial effects on surrogate outcomes (BMD and markers of bone turnover) in men with osteoporosis. Although direct evidence about their non-vertebral anti-fracture efficacy are lacking, the effects of bisphosphonates, denosumab, teriparatide, and strontium ranelate on surrogate outcomes (BMD and markers of bone turnover) were similar to those reported in pivotal RCTs undertaken in postmenopausal women, in which vertebral and non-vertebral anti-fracture efficacy have been clearly demonstrated. In conclusion, sufficient data exist to support the use of these pharmacological agents in men with primary osteoporosis. Further RCTs are warranted to establish their long-term efficacy and safety. © 2015 Giusti and Bianchi.


Giusti A.,Galliera Hospital | Bianchi G.,La Colletta Hospital
Reumatismo | Year: 2014

As a result of population ageing worldwide, osteoporotic fractures are becoming a serious problem in the western world. Osteoporotic fractures are associated with a significant burden in terms of morbidity, mortality, and economic costs. Although less frequent than in women, male osteoporosis is also a relatively common problem. Since bone loss and fragility fractures in men have been recognized as a serious medical condition, over the last two decades several studies have investigated a number of aspects related to the pathogenesis, diagnosis and assessment, prevention and treatment of male osteoporosis. A better understanding of factors underlying increased bone fragility in men has led to the definition of appropriate screening and diagnostic strategies, and the development of treatments that have shown to improve bone mineral density and, in some cases, reduce fracture risk in men as well as in women. This review will summarize recent findings on male osteoporosis with a particular focus on risk factors and causes of bone loss, and available therapeutic options.


We report the case of a 6-year-old child with stage 4 neuroblastoma, previously treated with chemotherapy, which relapsed in the right mandibular branch, right submandibular lymph nodes, and bone marrow. These sites of recurrence were detected on diagnostic (123)I-MIBG and confirmed by (18)F-DOPA-PET/CT, which revealed the following 2 additional sites of disease: in the skull base and the left supraclavicular lymph nodes. The patient was scheduled for radioiodine therapy and received a total dose of 7400 MBq (200 mCi) of (131)I-MIBG. The whole-body scan, acquired 72 hours later, revealed all sites of disease detected by (18)F-DOPA-PET/CT, including those negative on (123)I-MIBG scan.


Bisphosphonates are potent inhibitors of bone resorption, widely used for the management of osteoporosis and fracture prevention. Recent evidence suggests that bisphosphonates may have beneficial effects in the treatment of thalassemia-associated osteoporosis, a complex and multifactorial conditison. Here we summarise available data about the efficacy and tolerability of bisphosphonates in beta-thalassemic patients. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of bisphosphonates in beta-thalassemia were identified searching PubMed. Studies were reviewed to retrieve relevant clinical information. The following variables were considered to assess the safety and efficacy of bisphosphonates—bone mineral density (BMD), markers of bone turnover, incidence of fragility fracture, bone pain, back pain, and clinical adverse events. Five RCTs were identified, investigating alendronate, clodronate, zoledronic acid and neridronate. All bisphosphonates produced a significant decrease of the markers of bone turnover. Alendronate, neridronate, and zoledronic acid significantly improved BMD at the lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip. Zoledronic acid and neridronate were also shown to reduce bone and back pain. Probably due to the small sample sizes and to the short duration of the trials, it was not possible to establish the anti-fracture efficacy of bisphosphonates; however, they were well tolerated and adverse events were rare but expected on the basis of previous studies. Sufficient evidence exists to support the use of bisphosphonates in the management of thalassemia-associated osteoporosis (to prevent bone loss and improve the BMD). Further research is warranted to establish their anti-fracture efficacy and long-term safety. © 2014, The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer Japan.


Bertagna F.,University of Brescia | Treglia G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Piccardo A.,Galliera Hospital | Giubbini R.,University of Brescia
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Context: Thyroid incidentaloma diagnosed by 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D- glucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (F-18-FDG-PET/CT) is defined as a thyroid uptake incidentally and newly detected in a patient studied for nonthyroid purpose. In this review, we have comprehensively analyzed the diagnostic and clinical significance of F-18-FDG-PET/CT thyroid incidentalomas revealed during studies performed for an unrelated and nonthyroid purpose. Evidence Acquisition: Acomprehensive literature research of the PubMed/MEDLINE databases was conducted to find relevant published articles about the F-18-FDG-PET or F-18-FDG-PET/CT thyroid incidentalomas. Evidence Synthesis: All studies considered in this review have investigated a very large number of patients, achieving overall about 147,505 units. The pooled incidence of thyroid incidentalomas detected by F-18-FDG-PET or PET/CT was 2.46% (95% confidence interval, 1.68-3.39%). The malignancy ratio was 34.6% (95% confidence interval, 29.3-40.2%). Conclusion: F-18-FDG-PET/CT thyroid incidentaloma is a relevant clinical finding; diffuse uptakes and most focal uptakes are commonly caused by benign diseases, whereas about one third of focal uptakes are malignant; the most frequent malignant histological type responsible for F-18-FDG-PET/CT thyroid incidentaloma is papillary thyroid carcinoma. Copyright © 2012 by The Endocrine Society.


Pontali E.,Galliera Hospital | Matteelli A.,University of Brescia | Migliori G.B.,World Health Organization
Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine | Year: 2013

Purpose of review: This review discusses the recent evidence on epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB), an area where solutions for better diagnosis and treatment continually develop. Recent findings: The prevalence of drug resistance has been constantly rising during the recent years. It has peaked in eastern European countries such as Belarus, where a record of 35.5% MDR-TB amongst new cases have been reported from Minsk. New diagnostic tools are becoming available. Xpert MTB/RIF is by far the most promising of these new techniques. Clinical management of drug-resistant TB is still cumbersome. However, after over 40 years of neglect, new drugs are becoming readily available: delamanid, bedaquiline, and PA-824 combined into innovative regimens raise hopes for substantially higher success rates. Summary: The innovative diagnostic tools recently validated are changing the traditional paradigms of TB diagnosis, for too long based on sputum smear, culture, and drug susceptibility testing. New anti-TB compounds, which can be combined with several 'old' drugs with new indications, are gradually modifying the chances of cure for MDR-TB cases. Although initial evidence appears promising, the market use of new drugs must be accompanied by a serious public health approach aimed at preventing the development of further drug resistance. Copyright © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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