Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit

Parma, Italy

Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit

Parma, Italy
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Ariani A.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | Silva M.,University of Parma | Seletti V.,University of Parma | Bravi E.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | And 24 more authors.
Rheumatology (United Kingdom) | Year: 2017

Objective. In this multicentre study, we aimed to evaluate the capacity of a computer-assisted automated QCT method to identify patients with SSc-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) with high mortality risk according to validated composite clinical indexes (ILD-Gender, Age, Physiology index and du Bois index). Methods. Chest CT, anamnestic data and pulmonary function tests of 146 patients with SSc were retrospectively collected, and the ILD-Gender, Age, Physiology score and DuBois index were calculated. Each chest CT underwent an operator-independent quantitative assessment performed with a free medical image viewer (Horos). The correlation between clinical prediction models and QCT parameters was tested. A value of P<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results. Most QCT parameters had a statistically different distribution in patients with diverging mortality risk according to both clinical prediction models (Plt;0.01). The cut-offs of QCT parameters were calculated by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, and most of them could discriminate patients with different mortality risk according to clinical prediction models. Conclusion. QCT assessment of SSc-ILD can discriminate between well-defined different mortality risk categories, supporting its prognostic value. These findings, together with the operator independence, strengthen the validity and clinical usefulness of QCT for assessment of SSc-ILD. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved.


Silva M.,University of Parma | Bravi E.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | Saracco M.,Rheumatology Unit | Parisi S.,Azienda Ospedaliera Citta della Salute e della Science di Turin | And 12 more authors.
Modern Rheumatology | Year: 2015

Purpose. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) related to systemic sclerosis (SSc) is assessed with pulmonary functional tests (PFTs) and semi-quantitative scores based on extent of ILD detectable on chest computed tomography (CT). CT quantitative indexes (QCTIs) are promising tools to assess extent of ILD. This study's aim is to evaluate the validity of QCTI compared with that of chest CT standard evaluation and PFTs. Moreover, QCTI differences between patients subgroups according to prognostic stratifications were investigated. Methods. ILD-SSc of patients from six rheumatological clinics was routinely assessed with chest CT and PFTs. Patients were clustered according to prognosis based on functional and/or radiological examinations. Finally, chest CTs were processed with OsiriX in order to obtain QCTI. Results. Two hundred fifty-seven SSc patients were enrolled. QCTI correlation between extent of ILD and PFTs range from - 0.60 to 0.58 and from - 0.54 to 0.52, respectively. The majority of QCTI have a different distribution in patients subgroups based on prognosis. Most of QCTI discriminate patients with an ILD severity leading to a poor prognosis. Conclusions. QCTI assessment of ILD-SSc is comparable to the evaluation based on chest CT and/or PFTs. QCTI values corresponding to severe ILD were identified. QCTIs are excellent candidates for a new and more reliable SSc-ILD assessment. © 2015 Japan College of Rheumatology.


Sainaghi P.P.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Sainaghi P.P.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | Bellan M.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Nerviani A.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2013

Objective. To compare 3 different cholecalciferol supplementation regimens in patients with rheumatic diseases. Methods. One hundred fifty-four patients who completed a 6-month course of cholecalciferol supplementation, of whom 111 had an autoimmune/inflammatory rheumatic disease (ARD) and 43 osteoarthritis (NARD), were retrospectively identified from a database of 872 consecutive adult patients who attended a tertiary level immuno-rheumatology clinic from 2007 to 2010. Patients with renal failure or primary hyperparathyroidism were excluded. Plasma 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations were evaluated at baseline and after completion of treatment with (i) a single oral dose of cholecalciferol 300,000 IU, followed by oral cholecalciferol 800-1000 IU daily for 6 months [high-dose loading treatment (HLT) group; n = 40]; (ii) a single oral dose of cholecalciferol 100,000 IU, followed by daily oral cholecalciferol as above [low-dose loading treatment (LLT) group; n = 30]; or (iii) daily oral cholecalciferol as above but without the loading dose [standard therapy (ST); n = 84]. Results. The rates of serum 25(OH)D and PTH normalization (defined as values > 75 nmol/l and < 72.9 pg/ml, respectively) were as follows: HLT, 52.5% (95% CI 37.5-68.5) and 69.2% (95% CI 54.7-83.3); LLT, 36.7% (95% CI 19.7-54.3) and 53.8% (95% CI 36.2-71.8); ST, 31.0% (95% CI 21.1-40.9) and 35.0% (95% CI 14.1-55.9). All regimes increased 25(OH)D (p < 0.001) but only HLT reduced PTH (p < 0.01) in comparison to baseline. The ARD group had a similar 25(OH)D increase but a smaller PTH reduction than the NARD (p < 0.05). Conclusion. An HLT cholecalciferol regimen is needed to correct hypovitaminosis D of patients with rheumatic diseases, with superior 25(OH)D normalization and PTH suppression rates at 6 months. Copyright © 2013 The Journal of Rheumatology.


Ariani A.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | Lumetti F.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | Silva M.,University of Parma | Santilli D.,Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents | Year: 2014

The pulmonary fibrosis extent in systemic sclerosis (SSc) has a prognostic value. Chest Computed Tomography (CT) is the gold standard to detect an interstitial lung disease (ILD). Semi-quantitative scores and quantitative methods can estimate the ILD. The first ones have a considerable inter-intra-observer variability, while quantitative scores, based on distribution of lung attenuation parameters (also called CT indexes), can be obtained through expensive and not so user-friendly software. The aim of this work is to investigate whether a DICOM-viewer open-source software (OsiriX) can obtain CT indexes correlating with semi-quantitative scores. Sixty-three chest CTs of ILD-SSc patients were assessed with two semi-quantitative methods (visual extent and limited/extensive ILD grading) and then blindly processed with OsiriX to obtain the distribution parameters of lung attenuation (kurtosis, skewness and mean). Semiquantitative assessment and CT indexes were compared through the Spearman rank test and Mann-Whitney test. All CT indexes showed a statistically significant correlation of moderate degree with the visual extent semi-quantitative assessment (p-value < 0.05). Skewness was the lung attenuation distribution parameter with the strongest correlation (r =-0.378, p-value = 0.0023). Moreover, CT indexes of patients with an extensive and limited disease were statistically different (p < 0.01). CT indexes correlating with a radiological semi-quantitative ILD assessment can be obtained through OsiriX. CT indexes can be considered very helpful to discriminate patients with extensive and limited ILD. Copyright © by BIOLIFE, s.a.s.


PubMed | University of Parma and Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit
Type: | Journal: The clinical respiratory journal | Year: 2016

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) is the first cause of death related to Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). The ILD severity can be assessed with clinical, functional and radiological outcome. Nevertheless none of them is completely validated in clinical practice. Recently a new radiological evaluation based on Quantitative Computed Tomography Indexes (QCTI) was proposed on the basis of voxel-wise quantitative analysis of chest CT.The main aim of this study is to verify if QCTI can identify SSc patients with significant oxygen desaturation during the 6 min walking test. The discrimination performance of QCTI and the other clinical, functional and radiological outcomes was also investigated.Sixty three SSc patients were enrolled and underwent clinical, functional and radiological assessment. Inspiratory chest CT of each patient was evaluated with both a visual score and a dedicated software for segmentation of the lung in order to obtained QCTI.Patients with or without severe oxygen desaturation showed different QCTI, CT visual score and functional outcomes (P<0.05). In particular, QCTI and functional outcomes showed almost the same discriminating ability.QCTI detect SSc patients with a severe oxygen desaturation after exercise as well as functional and other radiological outcomes. It is remarkable that QCTI are the only outcome without intra- or inter-reader variability because they are obtained with an algorithm. These findings bring out the QCTI as a concrete tool in SSc-ILD assessment.


PubMed | Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Modern rheumatology | Year: 2015

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) related to systemic sclerosis (SSc) is assessed with pulmonary functional tests (PFTs) and semi-quantitative scores based on extent of ILD detectable on chest computed tomography (CT). CT quantitative indexes (QCTIs) are promising tools to assess extent of ILD. This studys aim is to evaluate the validity of QCTI compared with that of chest CT standard evaluation and PFTs. Moreover, QCTI differences between patients subgroups according to prognostic stratifications were investigated.ILD-SSc of patients from six rheumatological clinics was routinely assessed with chest CT and PFTs. Patients were clustered according to prognosis based on functional and/or radiological examinations. Finally, chest CTs were processed with OsiriX in order to obtain QCTI.Two hundred fifty-seven SSc patients were enrolled. QCTI correlation between extent of ILD and PFTs range from - 0.60 to 0.58 and from - 0.54 to 0.52, respectively. The majority of QCTI have a different distribution in patients subgroups based on prognosis. Most of QCTI discriminate patients with an ILD severity leading to a poor prognosis.QCTI assessment of ILD-SSc is comparable to the evaluation based on chest CT and/or PFTs. QCTI values corresponding to severe ILD were identified. QCTIs are excellent candidates for a new and more reliable SSc-ILD assessment.


PubMed | University of Parma and Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit
Type: Clinical Trial | Journal: Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents | Year: 2014

The pulmonary fibrosis extent in systemic sclerosis (SSc) has a prognostic value. Chest Computed Tomography (CT) is the gold standard to detect an interstitial lung disease (ILD). Semi-quantitative scores and quantitative methods can estimate the ILD. The first ones have a considerable inter-intraobserver variability, while quantitative scores, based on distribution of lung attenuation parameters (also called CT indexes), can be obtained through expensive and not so user-friendly software. The aim of this work is to investigate whether a DICOM-viewer open-source software (OsiriX) can obtain CT indexes correlating with semi-quantitative scores. Sixty-three chest CTs of ILD-SSc patients were assessed with two semi-quantitative methods (visual extent and limited/extensive ILD grading) and then blindly processed with OsiriX to obtain the distribution parameters of lung attenuation (kurtosis, skewness and mean). Semiquantitative assessment and CT indexes were compared through the Spearman rank test and Mann-Whitney test. All CT indexes showed a statistically significant correlation of moderate degree with the visual extent semi-quantitative assessment (p-value less than 0.05). Skewness was the lung attenuation distribution parameter with the strongest correlation (r =-0.378, p-value = 0.0023). Moreover, CT indexes of patients with an extensive and limited disease were statistically different (p less than 0.01). CT indexes correlating with a radiological semi-quantitative ILD assessment can be obtained through OsiriX. CT indexes can be considered very helpful to discriminate patients with extensive and limited ILD.

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