Pulmonology Unit

Como, Italy

Pulmonology Unit

Como, Italy
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Zanotti R.,Section of Hematology | Lombardo C.,Allergy Unit | Passalacqua G.,University of Genoa | Caimmi C.,Section of Rheumatology | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Background: Systemic mastocytosis is a clonal mast cell (MC) disease that can lead to potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions caused by excessive MC mediator release. The prevalence of mastocytosis in patients with Hymenoptera venom allergy is high, and thus the disease should be suspected in patients with severe reactions caused by Hymenoptera stings and increased serum basal tryptase (SBT) levels. Objective: We sought to evaluate the presence of clonal MC disorders in patients seen at our mastocytosis center with Hymenoptera sting-induced anaphylaxis, documented hypotension, absence of urticaria pigmentosa, and normal SBT levels. Methods: Twenty-two patients with Hymenoptera sting- induced anaphylaxis, without skin lesions, and with tryptase levels of less than 11.4 ng/mL underwent bone marrow evaluation. Bone mineral density was assessed in those patients with ascertained mastocytosis. Results: In 16 of 22 patients, a diagnosis of indolent mastocytosis could be established, and 1 patient had a monoclonal MC activation syndrome. Patients with mastocytosis had higher SBT levels (P =.03) but only rarely had angioedema/urticaria associated with hypotension (P =.004). Conclusions: The absence of urticaria or angioedema in severe reactions to Hymenoptera stings with hypotension might represent the most relevant factor in identifying patients with mastocytosis, regardless of their serum tryptase levels. © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.


Mondoni M.,San Paolo Hospital | Sorino C.,Cervello | Sorino C.,Pulmonology Unit | Solidoro P.,A.O. Citta della Salute E della Science di Turin
Minerva Medica | Year: 2015

Lung volume reduction coil (LVRC) treatment is a minimally-invasive technique planned to achieve an improvement of exercise capacity and pulmonary function in subjects with advanced emphysema and hyperinflation. It has been proposed together with other bronchoscopic lung volume reduction approaches to reduce lung hyperinflation in emphysema as less invasive alternatives to LVRS and are currently under clinical investigation. Following the successful early experiences in previous pilot trials, recent studies allow further investigation into the feasibility, safety and efficacy of LVR coil treatment in a multi-center setting in a larger group of patients. According to this studies we can state that LVR coil treatment results in significant clinical improvements in patients with severe emphysema, in multicenter analysis, with a good safety profile and sustained results for up to 1 year. The literature on endobronchial coils continues to look promising with an acceptable safety profile, and positive long-term follow-up data are certainly more and more available. However, further well-designed, blinded, placebo (or sham) controlled trials, and even randomized trials against LVRS (lung volume reduction surgery), are needed before routine clinical use can be recommended. This is true not only for endobronchial coils, but also for the whole field of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction.


Poletti V.,Pulmonology Unit | Casoni G.L.,Pulmonology Unit | Gurioli C.,Pulmonology Unit | Ryu J.H.,Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Tomassetti S.,Pulmonology Unit
Respirology | Year: 2014

In 1963, the first bronchoscopic lung biopsy was performed. Less than 10 years later, the technique of transbronchial lung biopsy using a flexible bronchoscope was introduced into clinical practice, significantly reducing the rate of major complications and the rate of surgical lung biopsies in patients with diffuse parenchymal lung diseases. The diagnostic yield of transbronchial lung biopsy varies among various parenchymal lung diseases. In pulmonary sarcoidosis and lymphangitis carcinomatosa, a diagnosis can be obtained in up to 80% of patients. This method is considered inadequate, however, in identifying more complex histological patterns such as usual interstitial pneumonitis or nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis. Introduction of the 'jumbo forceps' and of a more 'surgically oriented' procedural setting (patients deeply sedated and intubated) allowed larger and more numerous lung specimens to be obtained without a significant increase of complications such as pneumothorax or bronchial bleeding. However, the possibility to obtain enough parenchymal tissue for a morphological diagnosis of complex patterns remained unmet. Recently, the use of cryoprobes has achieved a significant impact on this issue allowing to obtain large quantity of tissue. Recent studies document that with transbronchial cryobiopsies the diagnosis of usual interstitial pneumonitis can be made confidently by pathologists with a good inter-observer agreement. Pneumothorax is the main complication (reported in up to one fourth of cases in some series); bronchial bleeding is easily controlled using Fogarty balloon. Transbronchial cryobiopsy is a promising new technique that may become a valid alternative to surgical lung biopsy in the near feature. © 2014 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.


Martinez M.,Pulmonology Unit | Rochat I.,University of Geneva | Corbelli R.,University of Geneva | Tissieres P.,University of Geneva | And 2 more authors.
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2011

Objective: To report early blood exchange transfusion in malignant pertussis and a favorable clinical outcome. Setting: A pediatric intensive care unit in a tertiary hospital in Geneva, Switzerland. Design: A descriptive case report. Patient: An 8-wk-old girl was diagnosed with malignant pertussis (extreme leukocytosis, seizures, pneumonia, and secondary severe hypoxic respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension). After administration of a one-volume blood exchange transfusion, a rapid decrease in white blood cell count (from 119,000/mm to 36,500/mm) was observed and followed by clinical improvement and favorable outcome despite the initial presence of all described risk factors associated with a high mortality. Conclusion: The use of exchange blood transfusion early in the course of the disease might help to prevent a fatal outcome of malignant pertussis. Copyright © 2011 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies.


Kirenga B.J.,Pulmonology Unit | Kirenga B.J.,Makerere University | Worodria W.,Pulmonology Unit | Worodria W.,Makerere University | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Year: 2013

SETTING: A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinic in a setting of high tuberculosis (TB) and HIV prevalence. OBJECTIVE: To study the incidence of and factors associated with tuberculin skin test (TST) conversion in HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART). DESIGN: Prospective cohort study of TST-negative, ART-naïve HIV patients (CD4 cell count < 250 cells/μl) without active TB. TST was repeated at 2 months and, if negative, at 6 months. TST positivity was defined as an induration of ≥5 mm. Clinical examination, chest X-ray and CD4 cell counts were performed at baseline and follow-up. Proportions and incidence of TST conversion were calculated, and logistic regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: Of the 142 patients, 105 (75.5%) were females. The mean age was 35.9 years (standard deviation 8.1) and the median CD4 cell count was 119 cells/μl (interquartile range 42-168). The incidence of TST conversion was 30.2/100 person years (95%CI 19.5-46.8). Conversion was not associated with clinical, CD4 cell count or chest radiography findings. CONCLUSIONS: A high incidence of TST conversion was observed, supporting the World Health Organization recommendation to provide isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) to all HIV patients in high TB prevalence settings. If case-control programmes choose to provide IPT only to TST-positive patients, repeat TST should be considered following initiation of ART. © 2013 The Union.


Mondoni M.,University of Milan | Sotgiu G.,University of Sassari | Bonifazi M.,Marche Polytechnic University | Bonifazi M.,Pulmonology Unit | And 6 more authors.
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2016

Fluoroscopy-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) has long been used in the diagnosis of peripheral pulmonary lesions (PPLs), although its diagnostic performance varies considerably. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the accuracy of TBNA in the diagnosis of PPLs, comparing its diagnostic yield with transbronchial biopsy (TBB) and assessing the main predictors of a successful aspirate. In 18 studies, the overall TBNA yield was 0.53 (95% CI 0.44-0.61). TBNA showed a higher accuracy when directly compared to TBB (0.60 (95% CI 0.49-0.71) versus 0.45 (95% CI 0.37-0.54)). The subgroup analyses documented a higher TBNA yield when the computed tomography (CT) bronchus sign was present (0.70 (95% CI 0.63-0.77) versus 0.51 (95% CI 0.38-0.64)), when rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) was performed (0.62 (95% CI 0.43-0.79) versus 0.51 (95% CI 0.42-0.60)), in the case of malignant lesions (0.55 (95% CI 0.44-0.66) versus 0.17 (95% CI 0.11-0.24)) and for lesions >3 cm (0.81 (95% CI 0.73-0.87) versus 0.55 (95% CI 0.47-0.63)). Conventional TBNA is a useful sampling technique for the diagnosis of PPL, with a higher diagnostic yield than TBB. The presence of CT bronchus sign, an underlying malignant process, lesion size >3 cm and ROSE employment are predictors of a higher yield. Copyright © ERS 2016.


PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, Ferrarotto Hospital, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico S.Matteo, The Second University of Naples and Pulmonology Unit
Type: | Journal: International journal of cardiology | Year: 2016

Conventional hemodynamic parameters are considered to be the gold standard indices of outcome in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); on the contrary, few data support the hypothesis that the pulsatile component of right ventricular afterload provides important prognostic information. The aim of the study was to investigate the prognostic significance of pulmonary arterial compliance (PCa) after therapy initiation or escalation in PAH patients.A cohort of 419 consecutive PAH patients (308 naive and 111 prevalent) underwent right heart catheterisation (RHC) prior to initiating or escalating PAH-targeted therapy. RHC was repeated in 255 patients (61%) after 4 to 12months of therapy as 62 patients (15%) died and 102 (24%) did not undergo a follow-up RHC within the first year.After the follow-up RHC, 63 patients died over a median follow-up period of 39months. At multivariate analysis, age>50years old, male gender, etiology associated with systemic sclerosis, persistence of WHO class III/IV, and reduced PCa at follow-up RHC were the independent parameters significantly associated with poor prognosis. At ROC analysis, the optimal cut-off point of PCa to predict survival was 1.4mL/mmHg (AUC 0.73, sensitivity 81.8%, specificity 58.8%).In PAH patients hospitalized to initiate or to escalate PAH-specific therapy, failure to improve PCa after therapy is a strong hemodynamic predictor of poor prognosis.


PubMed | Pulmonology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine | Year: 2013

Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the highest and most active volcano in Europe. During the sustained eruption that occurred in October-November 2002 huge amounts of volcanic ash fell on a densely populated area south-east of Mount Etna in Catania province. The volcanic ash fall caused extensive damage to infrastructure utilities and distress in the exposed population. This retrospective study evaluates whether or not there was an association between ash fall and acute health effects in exposed local communities.We collected the number and type of visits to the emergency department (ED) for diseases that could be related to volcanic ash exposure in public hospitals of the Province of Catania between October 20 and November 7, 2002. We compared the magnitude of differences in ED visits between the ash exposure period in 2002 and the same period of the previous year 2001.We observed a significant increase of ED visits for acute respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and ocular disturbances during the ash exposure time period.There was a positive association between exposure to volcanic ash from the 2002 eruption of Mount Etna and acute health effects in the Catania residents. This study documents the need for public health preparedness and response initiatives to protect nearby populations from exposure to ash fall from future eruptions of Mount Etna.


PubMed | University of Southampton, University of Catania, Pulmonology Unit, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and University of Naples Federico II
Type: | Journal: BMC medicine | Year: 2015

It has been suggested that circulating fibrocytes and endothelial cells actively participate in the intense remodelling of the pulmonary vasculature in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Indeed, fibrotic areas exist that have fewer blood vessels, whereas adjacent non-fibrotic tissue is highly vascularized. The number of circulating endothelial cells (CEC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) might reflect the balance between vascular injury and repair. Thus, fibrocytes as well as endothelial cells could potentially be used as biomarkers of disease progression and treatment outcome.Peripheral blood samples were collected from 67 patients with a multidisciplinary diagnosis of IPF and from 45 age-matched and sex-matched healthy volunteers. Buffy coat was isolated according to standard procedures and at least 20 million cells were stained with different monoclonal antibodies for the detection of CEC, EPC and circulating fibrocytes. For the detection of CEC and EPC, cells were stained with anti-CD45, anti-CD34, anti-CD133, anti-CD14, anti-CD309 and with the viability probe Far-Red LIVE/DEAD. For the detection of circulating fibrocytes, cells were first stained with LIVE/DEAD and the following monoclonal antibodies: anti-CD3, anti-CD19, anti-CD45, anti-CD34 and anti-CD14, then cells were fixed, permeabilized and stained with fluorochrome-conjugated anti-collagen I monoclonal antibodies.Patients with IPF displayed almost undetectable levels of circulating fibrocytes, low levels of CEC, and normal levels of EPC. Patients treated with nintedanib displayed higher levels of CEC, but lower levels of endothelial cells expressing CD309 (the type II receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor). Treatment with both nintedanib and pirfenidone reduced the percentage of CEC and circulating fibrocytes.Levels of CEC were reduced in patients with IPF as compared to healthy individuals. The anti-fibrotic treatments nintedanib and pirfenidone further reduced CEC levels. These findings might help explain the mechanism of action of these drugs and should be explored as predictive biomarkers in IPF.


PubMed | University of Catania, Pulmonology Unit and University of Siena
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine | Year: 2015

Kartagener Syndrome (KS) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder, resulting in a group of clinical manifestations, including bronchiectasis, chronic pansinusitis and situs inversus.We hereby reviewed eight cases of this rare entity selected from patients attending our outpatients Respiratory Unit since 2006. Samples of respiratory epithelium were obtained with the method of nasal brushing and sent to a specialized center in order to be studied with electron microscopy. At least 50 cross sections of different cilia from different cells were observed in each specimen to study the axonemal structure. Electron micrographs were taken at a magnification of X 50,000 to determine the orientation of the cilia and at a magnification of X 110,000 to study the axonemal pattern. The incidence of abnormal cilia was expressed as a percentage.We observed different ultrastructural defects in our KS patients, including absence of outer dynein arms, absence of outer and inner dynein arms, and absence of the central pair with transposition of a peripheral doublet into the central position. Patients follow up lasted till 2014, however two patients with more severe clinical behavior died before.This is a review of a case series, yet our data has shown that nasal brushing with ultrastructural pathological differentiation may be useful to identify patients with high risk and to develop more complex clinical presentations.

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