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Paola, Italy

The therapeutic role of mediastinal radiotherapy and stem cell transplantation (SCT) in lymphoblastic lymphoma (LL) remains controversial. In a risk-oriented design, we adopted a flexible treatment program in which (1) patients with persistent mediastinal abnormality, evaluated by post-induction computed chest tomography, received mediastinal irradiation; and (2) those with persistence of minimal residual disease (MRD), evaluated by MRD analysis of the bone marrow, underwent SCT. Twenty-eight out of 30 patients (T-lineage, n = 24; B-lineage, n = 6) achieved a complete response. Of 21 patients with mediastinal mass, 13 (62%) achieved a complete response after chemotherapy alone, while 6 (28.5%) required additional irradiation. Eleven patients were evaluated for MRD: 6 were negative and 5 positive. On the basis of MRD findings and clinical risk characteristics, 14 patients underwent SCT, 13 received maintenance chemotherapy, and 1 had local radiotherapy. Five patients relapsed. Among the 14 non-irradiated patients with T-LL, the mediastinal recurrence rate was only 7%. After a median follow-up of 3.9 years, 21 patients who responded were alive without recurrence (75%). The projected 5-year survival, disease-free survival, and relapse rate were 72%, 77%, and 18%, respectively. This program induced high remission and survival rates, indicating the feasibility and the benefits potentially associated with a selective, response-oriented policy of mediastinal irradiation and a concurrent MRD-based strategy to assign adult LL patients to SCT.

Biffi M.,University of Bologna | Bertaglia E.,Ospedale Civile | Padeletti L.,University of Florence | Varbaro A.,Medtronic | And 3 more authors.
Heart Rhythm | Year: 2013

Background: Phrenic nerve stimulation (PNS), occurring in 33%-37% of the patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), is a limiting factor when implanting left ventricular (LV) leads from coronary veins. Objective: To test the hypothesis that PNS occurence is related to bipolar electrode spacing. Methods: During standard CRT defibrillator implant procedures, a 5-F diagnostic electrophysiology catheter with 10 electrodes, spaced 2-5-2 mm, was positioned in a cardiac vein suitable for permanent LV lead placement. Pacing in the unipolar configuration identified the site with the lowest PNS threshold. PNS and left ventricular pacing (LVP) thresholds were then measured in different configurations at 0.5 ms: unipolar, each LV electrode served as the cathode in turn; and bipolar with different electrode spacing, cathode being the electrode with the lowest unipolar PNS threshold. Results: From February to September 2010, 40 patients undergoing CRT implantation were enrolled in 4 centers in Italy. It was possible to identify PNS and perform a complete set of measurements in 23 patients. A bipolar electrode spacing of 2 mm resulted in higher PNS thresholds in bipolar configurations han did a bipolar electrode spacing of≥5 mm. However, no significant increase in the LVP threshold was observed (P = ns). Conclusions: This experience suggests that LVP with a bipolar electrode spacing of 2 mm significantly increases the PNS threshold without affecting the LVP threshold, thereby increasing the possibility of delivering CRT when the LV lead is placed in proximity to the phrenic nerve. © 2013 Heart Rhythm Society.

Valle R.,Ospedale Civile
Contributions to Nephrology | Year: 2010

The key management goals for the stabilization of patients admitted for acutely decompensated heart failure (ADHF) include relief of congestion and restoration of hemodynamic stability. Nevertheless, in spite of clinical improvement, many patients are discharged with hemodynamic congestion. In response to volume expansion, the heart secretes the brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) with a biological action that counter-regulates the activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Since BNP is released by increased volume load and wall stretch, and declines after treatment with drugs of proven efficacy, on the basis of an improvement in filling pressures the level of BNP has been proposed as a 'measure' of congestion. The BNP level of a patient who is admitted with ADHF comprises two components: a baseline, euvolemic 'dry' BNP level and a level induced by volume or pressure overload ('wet' BNP level). So, the prognostic value of BNP during hospitalization depends on the time of measurement: from the lowest on admission when congestion is present (wet BNP) to the highest on clinical and instrumental stability (dry BNP), following the achievement of normohydration, as determined by fluid volume measurement. Euvolemia can be set as the primary goal of treatment for ADHF with dry BNP concentration as a target for discharge other than improvement of symptoms, because high BNP levels predict rehospitalization and death. Discharge criteria utilizing both BNP and hydration status measurement which account for the heterogeneity of the patient population and incorporate different strategies of care should be developed. This could in the next future offer an aid in monitoring heart failure patients or actively guiding optimal titration of therapy. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Ronco C.,International Renal Research Institute | Kaushik M.,International Renal Research Institute | Valle R.,Ospedale Civile | Aspromonte N.,San Filippo Neri Hospital | Peacock W.F.,Cleveland Clinic
Seminars in Nephrology | Year: 2012

Cardio-Renal syndrome may occur as a result of either primarily renal or cardiac dysfunction. This complex interaction requires a tailored approach to manage the underlying pathophysiology while optimizing the patient's symptoms and thus providing the best outcomes. Patients often are admitted to the hospital for signs and symptoms of congestion and fluid overload is the most frequent cause of subsequent re-admission. Fluid management is of paramount importance in the strategy of treatment for heart failure patients. Adequate fluid status should be obtained but a target value should be set according to objective indicators and biomarkers. Once the fluid excess is identified, a careful prescription of fluid removal by diuretics or extracorporeal therapies must be made. While delivering these therapies, adequate monitoring should be performed to prevent unwanted effects such as worsening of renal function or other complications. There is a very narrow window of optimal hydration for heart failure patients. Overhydration can result in myocardial stretching and potential decompensation. Inappropriate dehydration or relative reduction of circulating blood volume may result in distant organ damage caused by inadequate perfusion. We suggest consideration of the "5B" approach. This stands for balance of fluids (reflected by body weight), blood pressure, biomarkers, bioimpedance vector analysis, and blood volume. Addressing these parameters ensures that the most important issues affecting symptoms and outcomes are addressed. Furthermore, the patient is receiving the best possible care while avoiding unwanted side effects of the treatment. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Savonitto S.,Ospedale Niguarda Ca Granda | Caracciolo M.,Ospedale Niguarda Ca Granda | Cattaneo M.,University of Milan | De Servi S.,Ospedale Civile
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis | Year: 2011

About 5% of patients undergoing coronary stenting need to undergo surgery within the next year. The risk of perioperative cardiac ischemic events, particularly stent thrombosis (ST), is high in these patients, because surgery has a prothrombotic effect and antiplatelet therapy is often withdrawn in order to avoid bleeding. The clinical and angiographic predictors of ST are well known, and the proximity to an acute coronary syndrome adds to the risk. The current guidelines recommend delaying non-urgent surgery for at least 6 weeks after the placement of a bare metal stent and for 6-12 months after the placement of a drug-eluting stent, when the risk of ST is reduced. However, in the absence of formal evidence, these recommendations provide little support with regard to managing urgent operations. When surgery cannot be postponed, stratifying the risk of surgical bleeding and cardiac ischemic events is crucial in order to manage perioperative antiplatelet therapy in individual cases. Dual antiplatelet therapy should not be withdrawn for minor surgery or most gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures. Aspirin can be safely continued perioperatively in the case of most major surgery, and provides coronary protection. In the case of interventions at high risk for both bleeding and ischemic events, when clopidogrel withdrawal is required in order to reduce perioperative bleeding, perioperative treatment with the short-acting intravenous glycoprotein IIb-IIIa inhibitor tirofiban is safe in terms of bleeding, and provides strong antithrombotic protection. Such surgical interventions should be performed at hospitals capable of performing an immediate percutaneous coronary intervention at any time in the case of acute myocardial ischemia. © 2011 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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