Pneumology Unit

Santa Maria Nuova, Italy

Pneumology Unit

Santa Maria Nuova, Italy

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Ottonello G.,Bambino Gesu Children Hospital Research Institute | Testa M.B.C.,Bambino Gesu Children Hospital Research Institute | Mastella C.,Fondazione Ospedale Policlinico Maggiore Mangiagalli e Regina Elena | Rava L.,Bambino Gesu Children Hospital Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Spinal muscular atrophy type 1 (SMA1) is a progressive disease and is usually fatal in the first year of life. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed of SMA1 patients and their outcomes according to the following choices: letting nature take its course (NT); tracheostomy and invasive mechanical ventilation (TV); continuous noninvasive respiratory muscle aid (NRA), including noninvasive ventilation; and mechanically assisted cough. RESULTS: Of 194 consecutively referred patients enrolled in this study (103 males, 91 females), NT, TV, and NRA were chosen for 121 (62.3%), 42 (21.7%), and 31 (16%) patients, respectively. Survival at ages 24 and 48 months was higher in TV than NRA users: 95% (95% confidence interval: 81.8%-98.8%) and 67.7% (95% confidence interval: 46.7%-82%) at age 24 months (P < .001) and 89.43% and 45% at age 48 months in the TV and NRA groups, respectively (P < .001). The choice of TV decreased from 50% (1992-1998) to 12.7% (2005-2010) (P < .005) with a nonstatistically significant increase for NT from 50% to 65%. The choice of NRA increased from 8.1% (1999-2004) to 22.7% (2005-2010) (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term survival outcome is determined by the choice of the treatment. NRA and TV can prolong survival, with NRA showing a lower survival probability at ages 24 and 48 months. Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Sotgiu G.,University of Sassari | Alffenaar J.W.C.,University of Groningen | Centis R.,World Health Organization | D'Ambrosio L.,World Health Organization | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

In this article we describe the key role of tuberculosis (TB) treatment, the challenges (mainly the emergence of drug resistance), and the opportunities represented by the correct approach to drug dosage, based on the existing control and elimination strategies. In this context, the role and contribution of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is discussed in detail. Treatment success in multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB cases is low (62%, with 7% failing or relapsing and 9% dying) and in extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB cases is even lower (40%, with 22% failing or relapsing and 15% dying). The treatment of drug-resistant TB is also more expensive (exceeding €50000 for MDR-TB and €160000 for XDR-TB) and more toxic if compared to that prescribed for drug-susceptible TB. Appropriate dosing of first- and second-line anti-TB drugs can improve the patient's prognosis and lower treatment costs. TDM is based on the measurement of drug concentrations in blood samples collected at appropriate times and subsequent dose adjustment according to the target concentration. The 'dried blood spot' technique offers additional advantages, providing the rationale for discussions regarding a possible future network of selected, quality-controlled reference laboratories for the processing of dried blood spots of difficult-to-treat patients from reference TB clinics around the world. © 2014 The Authors.


Esposito S.,Pediatric Clinic 1 | Marchese A.,University of Genoa | Tozzi A.E.,IRCCS Bambino Gesu Hospital | Rossi G.A.,Pneumology Unit | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

This study was conducted to evaluate the association between pneumococcal DNA load and parapneumonic pleural effusion (PPE) in children with community-acquired pneumonia. Bacterial load was quantified and related to the presence of PPE with or without empyema in 72 otherwise healthy children aged ≤5 years who were hospitalised because of radiographically confirmed CAP and showed a real-time polymerase chain reaction that was positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae. The proportion of children with a high bacterial load (i.e. ≥265 DNA copies/mL) was larger among the subjects with PPE than those without it. Multivariate analysis showed that a high bacterial load was significantly associated with PPE (OR 8.65; 95 % CI 1.10-67.8 vs a bacterial load of <125 copies/mL). Children with infection due to pneumococcal serotype 19A were at highest risk of developing PPE (OR 7.44; 95 % CI 1.10-50.4 vs all other typeable serotypes). The patients with CAP due to pneumococcal serotypes that are not included in the 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV13) were more frequently affected by PPE than those with infections associated with serotypes included in the vaccine, except for serotype 19A. Bacterial loads of ≥265 DNA copies/mL are significantly associated with PPE, and serotype 19A is significantly associated with a high bacterial load and the development of PPE. The mean bacterial load of the patients with empyema was higher than that of patients with simple PPE. Although further studies are required, it seems that serotypes not included in PCV13 can play a major role in causing a higher bacterial load and PPE. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Esposito S.,University of Milan | Marchese A.,IRCCS Bambino Gesu Hospital | Tozzi A.E.,IRCCS Bambino Gesu Hospital | Rossi G.A.,Pneumology Unit | And 5 more authors.
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal | Year: 2012

Background: This study was designed to determine the proportion of bacteremic pneumococcal cases in a group of pediatric subjects with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), the importance of the different serotypes and the impact of the currently available pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). Methods: The study involved children who were ≤5 years with radiographically confirmed CAP admitted to hospital in Italy between September 2008 and March 2011. A diagnosis of laboratory-confirmed bacteremic pneumococcal CAP was made in the presence of a culture and/or real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae. Results: A total of 510 children were included in the study. Pneumococcal CAP was diagnosed in 73 cases (14.3%): S. pneumoniae was identified by means of positive real-time PCR in 67 cases (91.8%), a positive blood culture in 1 (1.4%) and both in 5 (6.8%). Complicated pneumonia was observed significantly more often in the pneumococcal-positive cases (P = 0.02) and empyema was the main complication (P = 0.007). Serotype 19A was most frequently encountered (17 cases; 25.8%), followed by serotypes 14 (10 cases, 15.1%), 4 (5 cases, 7.6%) and 3 (4 cases, 6.1%). The theoretical coverage offered by the available PCVs was calculated to be 31% for PCV7, 37% for PCV10 and 71% for PCV13. Conclusions: In Italy, bacteremic pneumococcal CAP accounts for a significant number of CAP cases in children who were ≤5 years, with serotypes 19A and 14 being the most frequent. This suggests that PCV13 is the best means of preventing pneumococcal CAP. © 2012 by Lippincott Williams ∧ Wilkins.


Sollini M.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | Farioli D.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | Froio A.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | Chella A.,Pneumology Unit | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Year: 2013

INTRODUCTION: The demonstration of type 2 somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents the rationale for the use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) to determine SSTR expression, and select patients suitable for peptide radioreceptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) in extensive-disease stage (ED) SCLC. METHODS: We evaluated 24 ED-SCLC patients with radiolabeled SST-analog PET/CT. Lesions at PET/CT scan were semiquantitatively scored (from 0 to 3+) and compared with contrast-enhanced CT findings. Patients scored as 3+ were admitted to PRRT after dosimetric evaluation. Average injected activity/cycle was 2.6 GBq (yttrium-PRRT) or 6.0 GBq (lutetium-PRRT). PRRT efficacy was clinically and radiologically assessed. RESULTS: PET/CT was negative in four of 24 patients, whereas in the remaining 20 cases uptake was scored as 1+ in seven of 20, 2+ in one of 20, and 3+ in 12 of 20. Primary tumor lesions showed uptake in 16 of 24 patients. Uptake in metastatic lesions was observed in four of four adrenals, two of five brain, 12 of 16 bone, three of eight liver, and 17 of 20 lymph node lesions. Of the 12 patients eligible for PRRT, 11 were eventually treated and four of 11 patients received multiple PRRT administrations. Dosimetry resulted in a BED for kidney of 7.5 Gy (range, 4-21); bone marrow provisional dosage was 0.43 Gy (range, 0.1-1.7). Hematological PRRT toxicity occurred in three of 11 patients. No clinical or objective responses were observed with disease progression occurring approximately 48 days (range, 9-32) after PRRT. CONCLUSION: Radiolabeled SST-analog PET/CT demonstrated enhanced SSTR expression in 50% of cases. Nevertheless, PRRT in ED-SCLC was ineffective, suggesting the need to anticipate or combine PRRT in a multimodality approach. © 2013 by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.


Nobili V.,HepatoMetabolic Diseases Unit | Cutrera R.,Pneumology Unit | Liccardo D.,HepatoMetabolic Diseases Unit | Pavone M.,Pneumology Unit | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2014

Rationale: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are frequently encountered in obese children. Whether OSAS and intermittent hypoxia are associated with liver injury in pediatric NAFLD is unknown. Objectives: To assess the relationship of OSAS with liver injury in pediatric NAFLD. Methods: Sixty-five consecutive children with biopsy-proven NAFLD (age, mean ± SD, 11.7 ± 2.1 yr; 58% boys; body mass index z score, 1.93 ± 0.61) underwent a clinical-biochemical assessment and a standard polysomnography. Insulin sensitivity, circulating proinflammatory cytokines, markers of hepatocyte apoptosis (cytokeratin-18 fragments), and hepatic fibrogenesis (hyaluronic acid) were measured. Liver inflammatory infiltrate was characterized by immunohistochemistry for CD45, CD3, and CD163, surface markers of leukocytes, T cells, and activated macrophage/Kupffer cells, respectively. OSAS was defined by an apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) greater than or equal to 1 event/h, and severe OSAS was defined by an AHI greater than or equal to 5 events/h. Measurements and Main Results: Fifty-five percent of children with NAFLD had nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and 34% had significant (stage F ≥ 2) fibrosis. OSAS affected 60% of children with NAFLD; the presence and severity of OSAS were associated with the presence of NASH (odds ratio, 4.89; 95% confidence interval, 3.08-5.98; P = 0.0001), significant fibrosis (odds ratio, 5.91; 95% confidence interval, 3.23-7.42; P = 0.0001), and NAFLD activity score (b, 0.347; P = 0.029), independently of body mass index, abdominal adiposity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. This relationship held also in nonobese children with NAFLD. The duration of hemoglobin desaturation (SaO2 < 90%) correlated with increased intrahepatic leukocytes and activated macrophages/Kupffer cells and with circulating markers of hepatocyte apoptosis and fibrogenesis. Conclusions: In pediatric NAFLD, OSAS is associated with biochemical, immunohistochemical, and histological features of NASH and fibrosis. The impact of hypoxemia correction on liver disease severity warrants evaluation in future trials. Copyright © 2014 by the American Thoracic Society.


Cannas A.,L Spallanzani National Institute For Infectious Diseases Inmi | Calvo L.,L Spallanzani National Institute For Infectious Diseases Inmi | Chiacchio T.,Translational Research Unit | Cuzzi G.,Translational Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Background: blood cytokines and chemokines have been proposed as biomarkers for tuberculosis (TB). Recently, some immune mediators found in the urine of patients with renal dysfunctions have also been suggested as potential biomarkers. Finding biomarkers for TB in urine would present several advantages over blood in terms of collection and safety. The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of cytokines and chemokines in the urine of patients with pulmonary TB at the time of diagnosis. In a subgroup, the evaluation was also performed during TB treatment and at therapy completion. Patients with lung diseases other than TB, and healthy subjects were also enrolled.Methods: urine samples from 138 individuals, after exclusion of renal dysfunctions, were collected during an 18 month-period. Among them, 58 received a diagnosis of pulmonary TB, 28 resulted having lung diseases other than TB, and 34 were healthy subjects. Moreover, 18 TB patients, 9 of whom were tested 2 months after AFB smear sputum reversion and 9 of whom were cured of TB were also included. Cytokines and chemokines in urine were evaluated using a Cytometric-Bead-Array-Flex-Set. IP-10 detection in 49 subjects was also carried out in parallel by using an Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA).Results: IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-8, MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES were poorly detected in all urine samples. Conversely, IP-10 was consistently detected in urine and its level was significantly increased in patients with lung disease compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.001). Increased IP-10 levels were found in both pulmonary TB and lung diseases other than TB. Moreover lower IP-10 levels were found in cured-TB patients compared to the levels at the time of diagnosis, and this difference was close to significance (p = 0.06). Interestingly, we demonstrated a significant correlation between the data obtained by flow cytometry and ELISA (r20.82, p < 0.0001).Conclusions: IP-10, in contrast to IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-8, MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES, is detectable in the urine of patients with pulmonary diseases in the absence of renal dysfunctions. Moreover, the IP-10 level in cured-TB patients is comparable to that found in healthy subjects. More studies are needed to further investigate the clinical utility of these findings. © 2010 Cannas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Menzella F.,Pneumology Unit | Lusuardi M.,S Sebastiano Hospital | Galeone C.,Pneumology Unit | Zucchi L.,Pneumology Unit
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine | Year: 2015

Patients with severe asthma or COPD have often a suboptimal symptom control due to inadequate treatment. A better understanding of pathogenetic mechanisms, phenotypes, endotypes and the new technologies available in the fields of molecular biology and immunogenetics have made it possible to synthesize specific monoclonal antibodies virtually able to interact with any target antigen, or to open a way for new therapeutic target options. At the moment, the only biologic drug available in clinical practice is omalizumab. To overcome the limits of omalizumab, the research has focused on new monoclonal antibodies presenting higher avidity for IgE (e.g. ligelizumab and lumiximab) and ability to interact also with low affinity IgE receptor (FceRII). At present, many new biological drugs with different mechanisms of action and targets are matter of research. It is very important to identify the asthmatic phenotype in order to select the most appropriate drug for the individual patient. The most promising agents are targeted against cytokines of Th2 pattern and related receptors, such as IL-2 (daclizumab) and IL-13 (lebrikizumab) or IL-5 in patients with hypereosinophilia (mepolizumab, reslizumab and benralizumab). Other interesting drugs have as a target TNF-ci or its soluble receptor (infliximab, golimumab and etanercept) or IL-1 (canakinumab), a cytokine with an important systemic proinflammatory action. Finally, the discovery of increased levels of C5a in the airways of asthmatic patients has led to the synthesis of a specific monoclonal antibody (eculizumab). Further help should come from the identification of biomarkers that can guide in choosing the best treatment for the individual patient, such as IgE for omalizumab or periostin for lebrikizumab. © 2015 Menzella et al.


Scarpazza P.,Pneumology Unit | Incorvaia C.,Pulmonary Rehabilitation | Melacini C.,Pneumology Unit | Cattaneo R.,Pneumology Unit | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of COPD | Year: 2013

Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) was introduced as an alternative to invasive mechanical ventilation for acute respiratory failure caused from exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the 1980s, and its use gradually rose worldwide. Seventy-eight patients (57 males, mean age 78.3 ± 9.2 years) undergoing NIV were evaluated. Of them, 48 (62.3%) had acute hypercapnic respiratory failure because of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, and the remaining 30 had acute hypercapnic respiratory failure from other causes, mainly cardiac failure. All patients were treated by NIV using the bi-level positive airway pressure set up at high pressure/high backup rate. NIV was successful in 67 subjects (85.9%) and the patients were discharged, 57 of whom continued NIV at home and ten had spontaneous breathing. NIV was unsuccessful in eleven patients, ten of whom died and one was successfully treated by invasive mechanical ventilation. Signifcant differences were detected for a higher basal Glasgow Coma Scale score in successfully treated patients (P = 0.007), a higher basal Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score in unsuccessfully treated patients (P = 0.004), and a lower pH after 1 hour in unsuccessfully treated patients (P = 0.015). These fndings show a very high rate of success of NIV in patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure not only from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but also from cardiac failure. This suggests that the use of invasive mechanical ventilation may be further reduced, with a decrease in its known complications as well. © 2013 Scarpazza et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


PubMed | Pneumology Unit
Type: | Journal: Therapeutics and clinical risk management | Year: 2016

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways with variable clinical severity from very mild and occasional symptoms to recurrent critical exacerbations, at risk of fatal or near-fatal outcome, in a small percentage of patients. Within the different inflammatory cascades involved in asthma, eosinophils play a central role in the pathogenesis and largely influence disease severity. Interleukin-5 (IL-5) is the main cytokine controlling eosinophil activity and proliferation at the site of inflammation. Mepolizumab was the first biological humanized anti-IL-5 monoclonal antibody tested in randomized clinical trials on eosinophilic asthma and other eosinophilic diseases. On the basis of several positive clinical efficacy data, it has recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma. Unfortunately, high costs are at present a critical issue. Future studies will probably help in the correct selection of a potential responder phenotype, allowing the prescription of this promising therapy to appropriate patients and best define cost-effectiveness issues.

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