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Marina di Pisa, Italy

Della Nave R.,Radiodiagnostic Unit | Ginestroni A.,University of Florence | Tessa C.,Radiology Unit | Giannelli M.,Pisa Hospital | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Neuroradiology | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: HD entails damage of the WM. Our aim was to explore in vivo the regional volume and microstructure of the brain WM in HD and to correlate such findings with clinical status of the patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifteen HD gene carriers in different clinical stages of the disease and 15 healthy controls were studied with T1-weighted images for VBM and DTI for TBSS. Maps of FA, MD, and λ∥ and λ⊥ were reconstructed. RESULTS: Compared with controls, in addition to neostriatum and cortical GM volume loss, individuals with HD showed volume loss in the genu of the internal capsule and subcortical frontal WM bilaterally, the right splenium of the corpus callosum, and the left corona radiata. TBSS revealed symmetrically decreased FA in the corpus callosum, fornix, external/extreme capsule, inferior fron-to-occipital fasciculus, and inferior longitudinal fasciculus. Areas of increased MD were more extensive and included arciform fibers of the cerebral hemispheres and cerebral peduncles. Increase of the λ∥ and a comparatively more pronounced increase of the λ⊥ underlay the decreased FA of the WM in HD. Areas of WM atrophy, decreased FA, and increased MD correlated with the severity of the motor and cognitive dysfunction, whereas only the areas with increased MD correlated with disease duration. CONCLUSIONS: Microstructural damage accompanies volume decrease of the WM in HD and is correlated with the clinical deficits and disease duration. MR imaging-based measures could be considered as a biomarker of neurodegeneration in HD gene carriers.


Polito E.,University of Siena | Pichierri P.,University of Siena | Trivella F.,Pisa Hospital | Martone G.,University of Siena | Occhini R.,University of Siena
Journal of AAPOS | Year: 2011

Orbital teratoma in a newborn produces rapid and unilateral proptosis, which, combined with poor eyelid closure, may lead to corneal exposure and vision loss. Early surgical excision of the mass is recommended to preserve visual function. We report a case of an orbital teratoma masquerading as a lymphangioma in 6-month-old girl. The lesion was entirely excised using a transconjunctival approach with good cosmetic and functional results. Copyright © 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.


Giovannetti E.,VU University Amsterdam | Giovannetti E.,University of Pisa | Funel N.,Pisa Hospital | Peters G.J.,VU University Amsterdam | And 11 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2010

MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) was reported to be overexpressed and contributes to invasion and gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether miR-21 expression was associated with the overall survival (OS) of PDAC patients treated with gemcitabine and to provide mechanistic insights for new therapeutic targets. miR-21 expression was evaluated in cells (including 7 PDAC cell lines, 7 primary cultures, fibroblasts, and a normal pancreatic ductal cell line) and tissues (neoplastic specimens from 81 PDAC patients and normal ductal samples) isolated by laser microdissection. The role of miR-21 on the pharmacologic effects of gemcitabine was studied with a specific miR-21 precursor (pre-miR-21). Patients with high miR-21 expression had a significantly shorter OS both in the metastatic and in the adjuvant setting. Multivariate analysis confirmed the prognostic significance of miR-21. miR-21 expression in primary cultures correlated with expression in their respective tissues and with gemcitabine resistance. Pre-miR-21 transfection significantly decreased antiproliferative effects and apoptosis induction by gemcitabine, whereas matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/MMP-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor expression were upregulated. Addition of inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin resulted in decrease of phospho-Akt and prevented pre-miR-21-induced resistance to the proapoptotic effects of gemcitabine. miR-21 expression correlated with outcome in PDAC patients treated with gemcitabine. Modulation of apoptosis, Akt phosphorylation, and expression of genes involved in invasive behavior may contribute to the role of miR-21 in gemcitabine chemoresistance and to the rational development of new targeted combinations. ©2010 AACR.

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