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Li Y.,Institute of Pediatric Research | Bai Z.,Pediatric Intensive Care Unit | Pan J.,Institute of Pediatric Research | Wang J.,Institute of Pediatric Research | Feng X.,Soochow University of China
BMC Pediatrics | Year: 2015

Background: The aims of this study are to evaluate the relationship between early blood glucose concentrations and mortality and to define a 'safe range' of blood glucose concentrations during the first 24 h after pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission with the lowest risk of mortality. We further determine whether associations exist between PICU mortality and early hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia occurring within 24 h of PICU admission, even after adjusting for illness severity assessed by the pediatric risk of mortality III (PRISM III) score. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included patients admitted to PICU between July 2008 and June 2011 in a tertiary teaching hospital. Both the initial admission glucose values and the mean glucose values over the first 24 h after PICU admission were analyzed. Results: Of the 1349 children with at least one blood glucose value taken during the first 24 h after admission, 129 died during PICU stay. When analyzing both the initial admission and mean glucose values during the first 24 h after admission, the mortality rate was compared among children with glucose concentrations ≤65, 65-90, 90-110, 110-140, 140-200, and >200 mg/dL (≤3.6, 3.6-5.0, 5.0-6.1, 6.1-7.8, 7.8-11.1, and >11.1 mmol/L). Children with glucose concentrations ≤65 mg/dL (3.6 mmol/L) and >200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) had significantly higher mortality rates, indicating a U-shaped relationship between glucose concentrations and mortality. Blood glucose concentrations of 110-140 mg/dL (6.1-7.8 mmol/L), followed by 90-110 mg/dL (5.0-6.1 mmol/L), were associated with the lowest risk of mortality, suggesting that a 'safe range' for blood glucose concentrations during the first 24 h after admission in critically ill children exists between 90 and 140 mg/dL (5.0 and 7.8 mmol/L). The odds ratios of early hyperglycemia (>140 mg/dL [7.8 mmol/L]) and hypoglycemia (≤65 mg/dL [3.6 mmol/L]) being associated with increased risk of mortality were 4.13 and 15.13, respectively, compared to those with mean glucose concentrations of 110-140 mg/dL (6.1-7.8 mmol/L) (p <0.001). The association remained significant after adjusting for PRISM III scores (p <0.001). Conclusions: There was a U-shaped relationship between early blood glucose concentrations and PICU mortality in critically ill children. Both early hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia were associated with mortality, even after adjusting for illness severity. © 2015 Li et al.


Li Y.,Institute of Pediatric Research | Xiao Z.,Soochow University of China | Yan J.,Soochow University of China | Wang Q.,Soochow University of China | And 5 more authors.
Neonatology | Year: 2013

Background: Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone produced predominantly in the kidneys. The protective effect of exogenous EPO in hypoxic-ischemic brain injury has been thoroughly examined in neonates. However, the metabolism of endogenous EPO in neonates remains unclear. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the concentration of urinary EPO (uEPO) in critically ill neonates and to identify possible clinical and laboratory variables that may be associated with uEPO levels. Methods: The concentrations of EPO, cystatin-C, microalbumin, and 1-microglobulin in the first available urine sample during the initial 72 h of life were measured in 103 critically ill neonates. Clinical and laboratory data were collected for each neonate. Results: There was a positive correlation between uEPO levels and urinary levels of cystatin-C (r = 0.265, p = 0.008), microalbumin (r = 0.422, p < 0.001), and 1-microglobulin (r = 0.421, p < 0.001). The concentration of uEPO was elevated in neonates who developed acute kidney injury (AKI) during the first week of life compared with those without AKI (p = 0.002) and was also elevated in neonates with brain injury, as demonstrated by ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging, compared to neonates without brain injury (p = 0.008). An increased log10 uEPO level was associated with the occurrence of AKI (OR 2.70, p = 0.007) and brain injury (OR 2.33, p = 0.016). Conclusions: An increased urinary EPO level in the early postnatal period is significantly associated with kidney and brain injury in critically ill neonates. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Tombolan L.,University of Padua | Zampini M.,University of Padua | Casara S.,University of Padua | Boldrin E.,University of Padua | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are rare but very aggressive childhood tumors that arise as a consequence of a regulatory disruption in the growth and differentiation pathways of myogenic precursor cells. According to morphological criteria, there are two major RMS subtypes: embryonal RMS (ERMS) and alveolar RMS (ARMS) with the latter showing greater aggressiveness and metastatic potential with respect to the former. Efforts to unravel the complex molecular mechanisms underlying RMS pathogenesis and progression have revealed that microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in tumorigenesis. Methodology/Principal Findings: The expression profiles of 8 different RMS cell lines were analyzed to investigate the involvement of miRNAs in RMS. The miRNA population from each cell line was compared to a reference sample consisting of a balanced pool of total RNA extracted from those 8 cell lines. Sixteen miRNAs whose expression discriminates between translocation-positive ARMS and negative RMS were identified. Attention was focused on the role of miR-27a that is up-regulated in the more aggressive RMS cell lines (translocation-positive ARMS) in which it probably acts as an oncogene. MiR-27a overexpressing cells showed a significant increase in their proliferation rate that was paralleled by a decrease in the number of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. It was possible to demonstrate that miR-27a is implicated in cell cycle control by targeting the retinoic acid alpha receptor (RARA) and retinoic X receptor alpha (RXRA). Conclusions: Study results have demonstrated that miRNA expression signature profiling can be used to classify different RMS subtypes and suggest that miR-27a may have a therapeutic potential in RMS by modulating the expression of retinoic acid receptors. © 2015 Tombolan et al.


D'Angelo E.,University of Padua | D'Angelo E.,Institute of Pediatric Research | Fassan M.,University of Padua | Maretto I.,University of Padua | And 8 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Background: Therapeutic management of Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer (LARC) involves pre-operative chemoradiotherapy (pCRT) followed by surgery. However, after pCRT the complete pathological response is approximately 20%, whereas in 20 to 40% of patients the response is poor or absent. Methods: Cancer biopsy specimens (n= 38) and serum samples (n= 34) obtained before pCRT from 38 LARC patients were included in the study. Patients were classiied in responders (R, tumor regression grade [TRG] 1-2; n= 16) and non-responders (NR, TRG 3-5; n= 22) according to the pathological response observed upon surgery. We performed miRNA microarrays analysis on biopsy specimens, and validated the selected candidates both by qRT-PCR (tissue and serum) and by in situ hybridization (tissue, miR-125b) analyses. Results: Eleven miRNAs were signiicantly different between R and NR (miR-154, miR-409-3p, miR-127-3p, miR-214*, miR-299-5p and miR-125b overexpressed in NR; miR-33a, miR-30e, miR-338-3p, miR-200a and miR-378 decreased). In particular, miR-125b resulted to be the best candidate to discriminate the two groups (AUC of 0.9026; 95% CI, 0.7618-1.043). Additionally, miR-125b serum levels were signiicantly overexpressed in NR patients compared to R (p-value=0.0087), with an excellent discriminating power (AUC of 0.782; 95% CI, 0.6123-0.9518). Conclusions: The obtained results further support the clinical impact of miRNA analysis. High miR-125b expression in tissue and serum were associated with a poor treatment response in LARC patients, therefore miR-125b could be considered as a possible novel non-invasive biomarker of response in LARC treatment.


Wang Q.,Peoples Hospital of Xiangtan County | Dong J.,Institute of Pediatric Research | Zhu Y.,Children Hospital of Hunan Province
Journal of Pediatric Surgery | Year: 2012

Purpose: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common acquired disease of the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants, whereas probiotic supplementation might reduce NEC risk and potentially provide benefits to preterm infants. We performed an updated meta-analysis of all relevant randomized, controlled trials to assess the benefits of probiotic supplementation for preterm very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants. Methods: We searched in PubMed, Embase, and Chinese BioMedical Literature Database (CBM) databases, and 20 randomized, controlled trials (a total of 3816 preterm VLBW infants) were finally included into this meta-analysis. Incidence and relative risk (RR) were calculated using a random-effects or fixed-effects model depending on the heterogeneity of the included studies. Results: Probiotic supplement was associated with a significantly decreased risk of NEC in preterm VLBW infants (RR = 0.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24-0.46; P <.00001). Risk of death was also significantly reduced in the probiotic group (RR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.43-0.73; P <.0001). There was no difference in the risk of sepsis between the probiotic group and placebo group (RR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.71-1.15; P =.40). Conclusions: Probiotic supplement can reduce risk of NEC and mortality in preterm VLBW infants. However, the optimum type of probiotic supplement and the long-term effects need further study. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Sikora K.,University of Verona | Bedin C.,University of Padua | Vicentini C.,University of Verona | Malpeli G.,University of Verona | And 11 more authors.
International Journal of Biological Markers | Year: 2015

Background: Currently, no reliable blood-based assay for early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is available. Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) quantitation in patients’ plasma has been recently applied in monitoring several cancer types. This study evaluates the diagnostic potential of cfDNA in PDAC patients. Methods: Plasma cfDNA levels and integrity ratio were assayed using quantitative real-time PCR of Alu-repeat amplicons in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (n=50), pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (n=23), and chronic pancreatitis (n=20), as well as in healthy volunteers without evidence of pancreatic disease (n=23). Results: The total load of cfDNA, obtained by Alu83 quantitation, was the highest in PDAC patients than in any of the other patient groups (Welch t test; p<0.001) and was an average predictor of PDAC disease (AUC=0.664; CI, 0.56-0.77). A nonlinear association between Alu83 levels and subjects’ age was detected (Spearman’s rho=0.35; p<0.001) in the overall population, as well as within the PDAC patients’ group (Spearman’s rho=0.47; p<0.001). Necrosis-derived cfDNA fragments, quantitated with the Alu244 amplicon, were barely detectable in any of the samples and, in that respect, comparable between the different subject groups. CfDNA integrity estimation (Alu244/Alu83 ratio) was significantly affected by the limited detectability of plasma Alu244 levels. Conclusion: The lack of detectable levels of necrosis-derived cfDNA in pancreatic pathologies considerably affects the clinical use of such biomarker in PDAC patients. Different methods of analysis should be applied in the evaluation of the cfDNA diagnostic value in pancreas pathology. © 2014 Wichtig Publishing - eISSN 1724-6008.


Simbolo M.,University of Verona | Mafficini A.,University of Verona | Agostini M.,University of Padua | Agostini M.,Institute of Pediatric Research | And 9 more authors.
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice | Year: 2015

Background: Genetic screening in families with high risk to develop colorectal cancer (CRC) prevents incurable disease and permits personalized therapeutic and follow-up strategies. The advancement of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has revolutionized the throughput of DNA sequencing. Methods: A series of 16 probands for either familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP; 8 cases) or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC; 8 cases) were investigated for intragenic mutations in five CRC familial syndromes-associated genes (APC, MUTYH, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6) applying both a custom multigene Ion AmpliSeq NGS panel and conventional Sanger sequencing. Results: Fourteen pathogenic variants were detected in 13/16 FAP/HNPCC probands (81.3 %); one FAP proband presented two co-existing pathogenic variants, one in APC and one in MUTYH. Thirteen of these 14 pathogenic variants were detected by both NGS and Sanger, while one MSH2 mutation (L280FfsX3) was identified only by Sanger sequencing. This is due to a limitation of the NGS approach in resolving sequences close or within homopolymeric stretches of DNA. To evaluate the performance of our NGS custom panel we assessed its capability to resolve the DNA sequences corresponding to 2225 pathogenic variants reported in the COSMIC database for APC, MUTYH, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6. Our NGS custom panel resolves the sequences where 2108 (94.7 %) of these variants occur. The remaining 117 mutations reside inside or in close proximity to homopolymer stretches; of these 27 (1.2 %) are imprecisely identified by the software but can be resolved by visual inspection of the region, while the remaining 90 variants (4.0 %) are blind spots. In summary, our custom panel would miss 4 % (90/2225) of pathogenic variants that would need a small set of Sanger sequencing reactions to be solved. Conclusions: The multiplex NGS approach has the advantage of analyzing multiple genes in multiple samples simultaneously, requiring only a reduced number of Sanger sequences to resolve homopolymeric DNA regions not adequately assessed by NGS. The implementation of NGS approaches in routine diagnostics of familial CRC is cost-effective and significantly reduces diagnostic turnaround times. © 2015 Simbolo et al.


D'angelo E.,University of Padua | D'angelo E.,Institute of Pediatric Research | D'angelo E.,Euroclone S.p.a | Vicentini C.,University of Verona | And 7 more authors.
Current Drug Targets | Year: 2015

In the last 20 years, microRNAs (miRNAs) have become the most promising class of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for human cancer. From a therapeutic perspective, advances in the understanding of the molecular role of miRNAs in the pathological processes have significantly influenced the selection of new therapeutic modalities. Moreover, the intrinsic characteristics that confer stability to miRNAs in vitro, allow a longer molecular/structural resistance and activity in vivo. Preclinical models have consistently underlined the feasibility and efficacy of miRNA-based therapies, either alone or in combination with current targeted therapies. The appealing strength of such therapeutic option dwells in miRNAs’ ability to concurrently target multiple genes, frequently in the context of a specific network/pathway. This property allows miRNA-based therapy to be extremely efficient in regulating distinct biological processes relevant to normal and pathological cell homeostasis. The purpose of this review is to summarize the role of miRNAs in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis and their potential use as novel biomarkers and therapeutics. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers B.V.


PubMed | University of Padua and Institute of Pediatric Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC cancer | Year: 2016

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), which can be classified as embryonal RMS (ERMS) and alveolar RMS (ARMS), represents the most frequent soft tissue sarcoma in the pediatric population; the latter shows greater aggressiveness and metastatic potential with respect to the former. Epigenetic alterations in cancer include DNA methylation changes and histone modifications that influence overall gene expression patterns. Different tumor subtypes are characterized by distinct methylation signatures that could facilitate early disease detection and greater prognostic accuracy.A genome-wide approach was used to examine methylation patterns associated with different prognoses, and DNA methylome analysis was carried out using the Agilent Human DNA Methylation platform. The results were validated using bisulfite sequencing and 5-aza-2deoxycytidine treatment in RMS cell lines. Some in vitro functional studies were also performed to explore the involvement of a target gene in RMS tumor cells.In accordance with the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study (IRS) grouping, study results showed that distinct methylation patterns distinguish RMS subgroups and that a cluster of protocadherin genes are hypermethylated in metastatic RMS. Among these, PCDHA4, whose expression was decreased by DNA methylation, emerged as a down-regulated gene in the metastatic samples. As PCDHA4-silenced cells have a significantly higher cell proliferation rate paralleled by higher cell invasiveness, PCDHA4 seems to behave as a tumor suppressor in metastatic RMS.Study results demonstrated that DNA methylation patterns distinguish between metastatic and non-metastatic RMS and suggest that epigenetic regulation of specific genes could represent a novel therapeutic target that could enhance the efficiency of RMS treatments.


PubMed | Institute of Pediatric Research
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Neonatology | Year: 2013

Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone produced predominantly in the kidneys. The protective effect of exogenous EPO in hypoxic-ischemic brain injury has been thoroughly examined in neonates. However, the metabolism of endogenous EPO in neonates remains unclear.We aimed to evaluate the concentration of urinary EPO (uEPO) in critically ill neonates and to identify possible clinical and laboratory variables that may be associated with uEPO levels.The concentrations of EPO, cystatin-C, microalbumin, and 1-microglobulin in the first available urine sample during the initial 72 h of life were measured in 103 critically ill neonates. Clinical and laboratory data were collected for each neonate.There was a positive correlation between uEPO levels and urinary levels of cystatin-C (r = 0.265, p = 0.008), microalbumin (r = 0.422, p < 0.001), and 1-microglobulin (r = 0.421, p < 0.001). The concentration of uEPO was elevated in neonates who developed acute kidney injury (AKI) during the first week of life compared with those without AKI (p = 0.002) and was also elevated in neonates with brain injury, as demonstrated by ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging, compared to neonates without brain injury (p = 0.008). An increased log10 uEPO level was associated with the occurrence of AKI (OR 2.70, p = 0.007) and brain injury (OR 2.33, p = 0.016).An increased urinary EPO level in the early postnatal period is significantly associated with kidney and brain injury in critically ill neonates.

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