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San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

Eslam M.,University of Sydney | Leung R.,University of Sydney | Romero-Gomez M.,Hospital Universitario Of Valme | Mangia A.,Ospedale Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2014

Background & Aims Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the interferon lambda 3 (IFNL3, previously known as IL28B) region are the strongest baseline predictors of sustained virologic response (SVR) to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy in hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection. Whether IFNL3 SNPs influence treatment response in genotype 2 and 3 (HCV-2/3) infection remains controversial. This study sought to clarify in a large cohort, whether SNPs in the IFNL3 region are associated with treatment response in HCV-2/3 patients. Methods The cohort comprised 1002 HCV-2/3 Caucasians patients treated with pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin who underwent genotyping for the SNPs rs12979860 and rs8099917. Results Overall, 736 (73.5%) patients achieved SVR (81.9%, 67.9%, and 57.8% for rs12979860 CC, CT, and TT [p = 0.0001]; 78%, 68.7%, and 46.3% for rs8099917 TT, TG, and GG [p = 0.0001]). By logistic regression, both rs12979860 CC and rs8099917 TT were independent predictors of SVR with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.39 (1.19-3.81) p = 0.0001 and OR 1.85 (1.15-2.23) p = 0.0001, respectively. IFNL3 responder genotypes were more frequent in relapsers than null-responders (p = 0.0001 for both SNPs). On-treatment rapid virological response (RVR) was predictive of SVR only in those individuals with IFNL3 non-responder genotypes (rs12979860 CT/TT and rs8099917 TG/GG). Conclusions This adequately powered study in patients with HCV genotypes 2 or 3 infection clearly demonstrates that IFNL3 genotypes are the strongest baseline predictor of SVR, in keeping with the known association for genotype 1 infection. IFNL3 genotyping can aid in therapeutic decision making for these patients.


Zuccarello D.,University of Padua | Dallapiccola B.,Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital | Novelli A.,Ospedale Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza | Foresta C.,University of Padua
European Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2010

A mosaic ring chromosome 22 (mos 46,XY,r(22)[93]/45,XY,-22[7]) was found in an euploid azoospermic otherwise phenotypically normal individual. Testicular cytological analysis showed hypospermatogenesis with a complete spermatogonial arrest. The majority of subjects with constitutional r(22) are dysmorphic and mentally retarded due to deletion of a sizable segment of the chromosome 22q. Only a few cases of r(22) chromosome are known in which deletion of the very distal telomeric regions is associated with unremarkable phenotype and fertility, both in males and females. The present patient is the first example of male infertility associated with this cytogenetic anomaly. It is likely that infertility arose from a mechanical block of meiosis, resulting from pairing failure of chromosomes 22, similarly to azoospermia occurring in few known males with r(21) chromosomes. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Scillitani A.,Ospedale Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza
Journal of endocrinological investigation | Year: 2011

Carboxyl-terminal PTH fragments (C-PTH), are generated by both direct secretion from parathyroids in relation to serum calcium levels and catabolism of PTH operated by the Kupffer cells in the liver. These molecular fragments have been till recently regarded as inert byproducts of PTH metabolism, since they do not interact with the PTH/PTH-related peptide (rP) receptor, which mediates the classical hormone actions. Current findings instead indicate that C-PTH would interact with a putative C-PTH receptor. This way, C-PTH seem to exert specific effects on calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism, opposite to those of the synthetic agonist of PTH/PTHrP receptor (i.e. PTH 1-34). In vitro and in vivo data actually indicate that C-PTH, by interacting with specific receptors, could have an anti-calcemic action, as well as a pro-apoptotic effect on both osteocytes and osteoclasts. This in turn could result in a reduced activity of the latter cells, with a consequent inhibition of bone resorption.


Aucella F.,Ospedale Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza
Giornale italiano di nefrologia : organo ufficiale della Società italiana di nefrologia | Year: 2012

The dialysis population continues to increase in age and also the number of comorbidities is on the rise in this population. Replacement therapy techniques need to take these clinical challenges into account. Hemofiltrate reinfusion (HFR) is a type of hemodiafiltration where the replacement fluid consists of ultrafiltrate from the patient regenerated through a cartridge containing hydrophobic styrene resin. HFR may offer a good compromise between the optimization of toxin removal and the possible loss of beneficial physiological substances. Patients with a high comorbidity rate benefit in terms of reduced inflammation and improved nutrition. Moreover, the recent development of HFR Aequilibrium, a dialysis technique based on the combination of HFR with dialysate Na+ and UF profiles, has proved to be effective in stabilizing the intradialytic hemodynamics and to be a useful tool in the dialysis routine. HFR appears to be a useful technique for patients with complex risk factors such as malnutrition, inflammation and atherosclerosis.


Boeckxstaens G.E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Annese V.,Ospedale Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza | Des Varannes S.B.,University of Nantes | Chaussade S.,Cochin University Hospital | And 8 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: Many experts consider laparoscopic Heller's myotomy (LHM) to be superior to pneumatic dilation for the treatment of achalasia, and LHM is increasingly considered to be the treatment of choice for this disorder. METHODS: We randomly assigned patients with newly diagnosed achalasia to pneumatic dilation or LHM with Dor's fundoplication. Symptoms, including weight loss, dysphagia, retrosternal pain, and regurgitation, were assessed with the use of the Eckardt score (which ranges from 0 to 12, with higher scores indicating more pronounced symptoms). The primary outcome was therapeutic success (a drop in the Eckardt score to ≤3) at the yearly follow-up assessment. The secondary outcomes included the need for retreatment, pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter, esophageal emptying on a timed barium esophagogram, quality of life, and the rate of complications. RESULTS: A total of 201 patients were randomly assigned to pneumatic dilation (95 patients) or LHM (106). The mean follow-up time was 43 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 40 to 47). In an intention-to-treat analysis, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the primary outcome; the rate of therapeutic success with pneumatic dilation was 90% after 1 year of follow-up and 86% after 2 years, as compared with a rate with LHM of 93% after 1 year and 90% after 2 years (P = 0.46). After 2 years of follow-up, there was no significant between-group difference in the pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter (LHM, 10 mm Hg [95% CI, 8.7 to 12]; pneumatic dilation, 12 mm Hg [95% CI, 9.7 to 14]; P = 0.27); esophageal emptying, as assessed by the height of barium-contrast column (LHM, 1.9 cm [95% CI, 0 to 6.8]; pneumatic dilation, 3.7 cm [95% CI, 0 to 8.8]; P = 0.21); or quality of life. Similar results were obtained in the per-protocol analysis. Perforation of the esophagus occurred in 4% of the patients during pneumatic dilation, whereas mucosal tears occurred in 12% during LHM. Abnormal exposure to esophageal acid was observed in 15% and 23% of the patients in the pneumatic-dilation and LHM groups, respectively (P = 0.28). CONCLUSIONS: After 2 years of follow-up, LHM, as compared with pneumatic dilation, was not associated with superior rates of therapeutic success. (European Achalasia Trial Netherlands Trial Register number, NTR37, and Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN56304564.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society.

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