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Rome, Italy

Pacifico L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Nobili V.,Pediatric Hospital | Anania C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Verdecchia P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Chiesa C.,National Research Council Italy
World Journal of Gastroenterology

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a range of liver histology severity and outcomes in he absence of chronic alcohol use. The mildest form is simple steatosis in which triglycerides accumulate within hepatocytes. A more advanced form of NAFLD, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, includes inflammation and liver cell injury, progressive to cryptogenic cirrhosis. NAFLD has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in children and adolescents. The recent rise in the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity likely explains the NAFLD epidemic worldwide. NAFLD is strongly associated with abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia, and most patients have evidence of insulin resistance. Thus, NAFLD shares many features of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), a highly atherogenic condition, and this has stimulated interest in the possible role of NAFLD in the development of atherosclerosis. Accumulating evidence suggests that NAFLD is associated with a significantly greater overall mortality than in the general population, as well as with increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), independently of classical atherosclerotic risk factors. Yet, several studies including the pediatric population have reported independent associations between NAFLD and impaired flow-mediated vasodilatation and increased carotid artery intimal medial thickness-two reliable markers of subclinical atherosclerosis-after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and MetS. Therefore, the rising prevalence of obesity-related MetS and NAFLD in childhood may lead to a parallel increase in adverse cardiovascular outcomes. In children, the cardiovascular system remains plastic and damage-reversible if early and appropriate interventions are established effectively. Therapeutic goals for NAFLD should address nutrition, physical activity, and avoidance of smoking to prevent not only end-stage liver disease but also CVD. © 2011 Baishideng. All rights reserved. Source

Antonelli M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Hasselblatt M.,University of Munster | Haberler C.,Medical University of Vienna | Di Giannatale A.,Pediatric Hospital Giannina Gaslini | And 7 more authors.
Brain Pathology

Recent gene expression microarray analyses have indicated that claudin-6 is specifically expressed in atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs), suggesting a role as a positive diagnostic marker in addition to SMARCB1 (INI1) loss, which is encountered in the majority of AT/RTs. In order to investigate the potential of claudin-6 as a diagnostic marker, expression was investigated in 59 AT/RTs and 60 other primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors, including primitive neuroectodermal tumors, medulloblastomas, choroid plexus tumors, and both pediatric and adult low- and high-grade gliomas using immunohistochemistry. Claudin-6 was expressed in 17/59 AT/RTs (29%), but also in a variety of other primary CNS tumors, including 60% of medulloblastomas and 21% of malignant gliomas. Even though high staining scores (2+ or 3+) were more often encountered in AT/RTs (Chi-square 4.177; P = 0.041), the overall frequency of claudin-6 staining was not significantly higher in AT/RTs as compared with the other tumors (17/59 vs. 16/60; Chi-square = 0.328; P = 0.567). In a subgroup of 43 AT/RT patients, of which follow-up data were available, claudin-6 expression did not show any correlation with survival. In conclusion, claudin-6 immunohistochemistry is of limited sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of AT/RT and does not correlate with clinical behavior. © 2011 International Society of Neuropathology. Source

Barba C.,University of Florence | Parrini E.,University of Florence | Coras R.,University Hospital | Galuppi A.,University of Florence | And 10 more authors.

Objective To report on six patients with SCN1A mutations and malformations of cortical development (MCDs) and describe their clinical course, genetic findings, and electrographic, imaging, and neuropathologic features. Methods Through our database of epileptic encephalopathies, we identified 120 patients with SCN1A mutations, of which 4 had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of MCDs. We collected two further similar observations through the European Task-force for Epilepsy Surgery in Children. Results The study group consisted of five males and one female (mean age 7.4 ± 5.3 years). All patients exhibited electroclinical features consistent with the Dravet syndrome spectrum, cognitive impairment, and autistic features. Sequencing analysis of the SCN1A gene detected two missense, two truncating, and two splice-site mutations. Brain MRI revealed bilateral periventricular nodular heterotopia (PNH) in two patients and focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) in three, and disclosed no macroscopic abnormality in one. In the MRI-negative patient, neuropathologic study of the whole brain performed after sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), revealed multifocal micronodular dysplasia in the left temporal lobe. Two patients with FCD underwent epilepsy surgery. Neuropathology revealed FCD type IA and type IIA. Their seizure outcome was unfavorable. All four patients with FCD exhibited multiple seizure types, which always included complex partial seizures, the area of onset of which co-localized with the region of structural abnormality. Significance MCDs and SCN1A gene mutations can co-occur. Although epidemiology does not support a causative role for SCN1A mutations, loss or impaired protein function combined with the effect of susceptibility factors and genetic modifiers of the phenotypic expression of SCN1A mutations might play a role. MCDs, particularly FCD, can influence the electroclinical phenotype in patients with SCN1A-related epilepsy. In patients with MCDs and a history of polymorphic seizures precipitated by fever, SCN1A gene testing should be performed before discussing any epilepsy surgery option, due to the possible implications for outcome. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 International League Against Epilepsy. Source

Hasselblatt M.,University of Munster | Gesk S.,University of Kiel | Oyen F.,University of Hamburg | Rossi S.,Pediatric Hospital | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology

Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) are highly aggressive brain tumors of early childhood poorly responding to therapy. The majority of cases show inactivation of SMARCB1 (INI1, hSNF5, BAF47), a core member of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. We here report the case of a supratentorial AT/RT in a 9-month-old boy, which showed retained SMARCB1 staining on immunohistochemistry and lacked genetic alterations of SMARCB1. Instead, the tumor showed loss of protein expression of another SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex member, the ATPase subunit SMARCA4 (BRG1) due to a homozygous SMARCA4 mutation [c.2032C>T (p.Q678X)]. Our findings highlight the role of SMARCA4 in the pathogenesis of SMARCB1-positive AT/RT and the usefulness of antibodies directed against SMARCA4 in this diagnostic setting. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Abdel-Moneim A.S.,Taif University | Abdel-Moneim A.S.,Beni Suef University | Kamel M.M.,Taif University | Kamel M.M.,Cairo University | And 2 more authors.

Human bocavirus (HBoV) was recently discovered in children with respiratory distress and/or diarrhea. To our knowledge, no previous study has reported the existence of bocavirus in Saudi Arabia. Swabs samples from 80 children with respiratory tract infections were examined for the presence of HBoV. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used as a sensitive method to detect the HBoV. Direct gene sequencing was used to determine the genotype of the detected virus isolates. HBoV was detected in 22.5% of the examined patients. The NP1 partial gene sequence from all patients showed that the circulated strains were related to HBoV-1 genotype. Most of HBoV infected patients showed evidence of mixed coinfection with other viral pathogens. The current study clearly demonstrated that genetically conserved HBoV1 circulates in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly, most of the HBoV1 infected cases were associated with high rates of co-infections with other viruses. © 2013 Abdel-Moneim et al. Source

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