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Caputo F.,SS Annunziata Hospital | Caputo F.,University of Bologna | Grignaschi A.,University of Bologna | Addolorato G.,Catholic University of Rome | Bernardi M.,University of Bologna
European Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2014

Almost 10% of the world's population is affected by alcohol use disorders, and the treatment of alcohol dependence (AD) still remains a challenge. Patients with AD can differ in many traits. Three drugs (disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate) have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of AD, and in some European countries sodium oxybate is also approved for this purpose. Combined pharmacological therapy has not provided such convincing results. Considering the fact that the ideal and effective drug for all types of alcoholic patients does not exists, the future challenge will be to identify a personalized approach. Recent data has shown that this objective can be achieved by investigating the genetic variability of the patient. Moreover, the use of replacement molecules can probably be considered an advantageous therapeutic opportunity (i.e. sodium oxybate). In addition, reduction of alcohol consumption is increasingly accepted as a viable treatment goal, and the use of nalmefene as-needed (a pharmacological approach similar to naltrexone, but, possibly, with lower hepatotoxicity) may help in the treatment of AD. Thus, it is important to stress that a pharmacological approach to treat AD should be preceded by the definition of patient characteristics; this may help in the choice of the most appropriate drug and it can be done more easily when more pharmacological options approved for the treatment of AD are also available. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.


Sengupta P.P.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Pedrizzetti G.,University of Trieste | Kilner P.J.,Imperial College London | Kheradvar A.,University of California at Irvine | And 4 more authors.
JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging | Year: 2012

Blood flow patterns are closely linked to the morphology and function of the cardiovascular system. These patterns reflect the exceptional adaptability of the cardiovascular system to maintain normal blood circulation under a wide range of workloads. Accurate retrieval and display of flow-related information remains a challenge because of the processes involved in mapping the flow velocity fields within specific chambers of the heart. We review the potentials and pitfalls of current approaches for blood flow visualization, with an emphasis on acquisition, display, and analysis of multidirectional flow. This document is divided into 3 sections. First, we provide a descriptive outline of the relevant concepts in cardiac fluid mechanics, including the emergence of rotation in flow and the variables that delineate vortical structures. Second, we elaborate on the main methods developed to image and visualize multidirectional cardiovascular flow, which are mainly based on cardiac magnetic resonance, ultrasound Doppler, and contrast particle imaging velocimetry, with recommendations for developing dedicated imaging protocols. Finally, we discuss the potential clinical applications and technical challenges with suggestions for further investigations. © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation.


Pedrizzetti G.,University of Trieste | Domenichini F.,University of Florence | Tonti G.,Ss Annunziata Hospital
Annals of Biomedical Engineering | Year: 2010

The blood flow in the human left ventricle is known to develop a vortical motion that should facilitate the ejection of blood into the primary circulation. This study shows that such a rotary motion can be totally reversed after the implant of a prosthetic valve. This phenomenon, in agreement with clinical observation, appears mostly imputable to the symmetry of the implant. The reversed rotation increases energy dissipation and modifies the pressure distribution with the potential development of new pathologies. The results provide preliminary, physically based, elements for the improvement of surgical procedures or prosthesis. © 2010 Biomedical Engineering Society.


Caputo F.,SS Annunziata Hospital | Bernardi M.,University of Bologna
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2010

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) represents the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Ethanol as well as benzodiazepines (BDZs) and some anticonvulsant drugs directly affect GABAA receptors inducing similar anxiolytic, sedativehypnotic, and anticonvulsant effects. Since BDZs have proven their efficacy in ameliorating symptoms and in decreasing the risk of seizures and delirium tremens, they are the drugs of choice for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). However, due to their addictive potential and lack of safety when combined with alcohol, BDZs are usually not recommended for the maintenance of alcohol abstinence. Other GABA-ergic medications represent potentially promising drugs useful in the treatment of AWS and in maintaining alcohol abstinence. Indeed, available studies have demonstrated that clomethiazole, gabapentin and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) present a similar efficacy to BDZs in suppressing AWS. In addition, current evidence also indicates that gabapentin and GHB do not have significant interactions with ethanol that render them safe to use in maintaining alcohol abstinence. Moreover, gabapentin and valproic acid may be beneficial in maintaining alcohol abstinence in alcoholics with psychiatric co-morbidity. Pregabalin, neurosteroids, tiagabine, and vigabatrin need further clinical evidence of efficacy, safety and tolerability. Thus, given the importance of GABA-ergic mechanisms in the development and maintenance of alcohol dependence, and the very interesting results currently achieved, more research on GABAergic agents is warranted. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


Rivera F.,SS Annunziata Hospital
Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology | Year: 2016

Background: Intra-articular (IA) injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) into the hip joint appears to be safe and well tolerated but only a small number of randomized clinical trials in humans has been published. The objective of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single IA injection of high-molecular-weight (2800 kDa) HA (Coxarthrum) for hip osteoarthritis. Materials and methods: All patients received a single IA administration of 2.5 % sodium hyaluronate (75 mg/3 mL) of high molecular weight. Fluoroscopy requires an iodized contrast medium (iopamidol, 1 ml) which highlights the capsule before administering HA. Patients were evaluated before IA injection (T0), after 3 months, after 6 months and after 1 year from injection. Results were evaluated by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI II), Harris Hip Score and a visual analog scale of pain (pain VAS). All treated patients were considered for statistical analysis. Results: Two hundred seven patients were included at T0. The mean age was 67 years (range 46–81). Regarding BPI severity score, changes in pain between T0 and the three following visits were statistically highly significant (p < 0.001). Changes in pain score compared to the previous visit were statistically significant for the worst pain in the second quarter post-intervention (p = 0.037) and for mean pain in the second semester post-intervention (p = 0.043) The evolution of the Harris Hip Score was statistically highly significant (p < 0.001) between T0 and the following visits (T0 + 3 months, T0 + 6 months and T0 + 12 months); after a significant change between T0 and T0 + 3 months, the score remained stable. The evolution of the pain VAS showed a statistically highly significant improvement (p < 0.001) between T0 and T0 + 3 months; thereafter it remained stable from the first quarter post-intervention. No serious adverse event was noted; 12 cases (0.5 %) of pain associated with transient synovitis are noteworthy. Conclusion: This study shows that a single IA injection of Coxarthrum is effective from the third month and that the results are stable or continue to improve up to 1 year. Level of evidence: IV. © 2015, The Author(s).


Antonielli E.,Ss Annunziata Hospital
European Journal of Emergency Medicine | Year: 2015

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence and degree of spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) in the left atrium and of left atrial appendage (LAA) contractility before and after cardioversion (CV) in patients with recent-onset atrial fibrillation (AF). METHODS: Our study included 56 patients divided into two groups: group 1, comprising 32 clinically stable patients who were admitted to the Emergency Department with less than or equal to 48 h duration AF, and who underwent transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE)-guided CV; and the control group (group 2), comprising 24 patients admitted to the Cardiological Department for elective TEE-guided CV of greater than 48 h AF. All patients underwent repeat TEE within 1 h after successful CV. RESULTS: Patients with recent-onset AF (group 1) showed no thrombogenic milieu at baseline without any evidence of atrial stunning after successful CV. SEC mean grade (0–3 grading) was 0.09±0.3 versus 0.12±0.4 after CV (P=0.98), and LAA flow velocity was 60.7±19.4 versus 56.7±20.5 cm/s after CV (P=0.07). Group 2 patients showed a significantly higher degree of SEC compared with those in group 1 (0.09±0.3 vs. 0.66±0.7, P=0.0093) and significantly lower LAA flow velocities (60.7±19.4 vs. 32.5±12.4, P<0.0001), with significant worsening after successful CV (SEC degree: 0.66±0.9 vs. 1.37±0.9, P=0.0093; LAA flow velocity: 32.5±12.4 vs. 20.4±12.7 cm/s, P<0.0001). CONCLUSION: The absence of thrombogenic milieu and of left atrial stunning after CV in patients with recent-onset AF favours early CV without anticoagulation, at least in patients with a low thromboembolic risk profile. These patients could be soon discharged from the urgent care. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Rivera F.,SS Annunziata Hospital
Orthopedics | Year: 2014

Viscosupplementation is the intra-articular administration of preparations containing hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate intended to restore the normal biological properties of hyaluronic acid normally found in synovial fluid. Infiltration of hyaluronic acid in the arthritic hip is a more recent technique than viscosupplementation of the knee due to the greater technical difficulty of infiltration to the hip, which requires fluoroscopic or ultrasound guidance. The introduction of high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid in the treatment permits a single administration and has helped diffuse hip infiltration treatment. A single infiltration reduces patient discomfort caused by the procedure and allows treatment of a larger number of patients. Although the literature has unequivocally proven the possibility of reducing pain in patients affected by hip arthritis following infiltration, the molecular weight and density, the number of infiltrations required for long-term results, and the most appropriate indications for infiltration treatment have yet to be clarified. Selecting the patient is the first obstacle to be overcome. Therefore, infiltration should be considered as an option for patients with initial pain symptoms who have not yet been listed for joint prosthesis surgery. The radiographic criteria require at least a partly preserved joint space, and the clinical criteria of persistent hip pain and full joint mobility seem to be sufficiently effective for selection.


Leonardi F.,SS Annunziata Hospital | Rivera F.,SS Annunziata Hospital
Orthopedics | Year: 2014

This article describes a patient in whom a broken cerclage wire migrated from the left hip into the left ventricle. A 71-year-old woman was admitted to the authors' hospital for preoperative examination before femoral hernia repair. Chest radiograph showed a metallic wire in the left ventricle. Twenty-four years earlier, she had a revision arthroplasty. During revision surgery, fragments of the osteotomy were fixed to the femur with multiple cerclage wires. During the past 5 years, radiographic follow-up showed progressive multiple ruptures of cerclage wires. The cerclage wiring was not removed because the patient had no related clinical symptoms. Radiograph of the left hip showed a well-fixed cemented acetabular ring and an uncemented femoral stem with a healed trochanteric osteotomy. All cerclage wires were broken into multiple parts, and it was very difficult to determine which part had migrated into the heart. Thoracic computed tomography scan showed wire that had migrated into the anterior left ventricular myocardial wall at the atrioventricular level. The patient had no clinical symptoms. Electrocardiogram showed a normal sinus rhythm and right bundle branch block. Because of the high risk of surgical left ventriculotomy associated with searching for wire that had migrated into the myocardial wall, patient monitoring was planned. Definitive management of this complication constitutes a dilemma. Although this complication is highly unusual, the possibility of intracardiac migration of broken wire should be considered when deciding on prophylactic surgical removal of hardware after fracture or osteotomy healing.


De Benedetto F.,Ss Annunziata Hospital | Sevieri G.,University of Padua
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine | Year: 2013

Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are a leading cause of morbidity and also represent a cause of death in some parts of the world. The treatment of RTIs implies a continuous search for stronger therapies and represents an economical burden for health services and society. In this context the prevention of infections is absolutely required. The use of bacterial lysates as immuno-modulators to boost immunological response is widely debated. Aim of this review is to summarize the main clinical studies on the effect of the bacterial lysate OM-85 in treating RTIs in susceptible subjects - namely children and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-affected adults. Results from clinical trials and recent systematic reviews are reported. The results show that mean number of RTIs decreases upon treatment with OM-85, as measured by frequency of exacerbations or number of antibiotic courses. Data from systematic reviews indicated that OM-85 is particularly beneficial in children at high risk of RTIs. In COPD-affected adults, clinical studies showed that treatment with OM-85 reduced exacerbations, although systematic reviews did not legitimate the protective effect of OM-85 toward COPD as significant. The use of OM-85 could be efficacious in reducing exacerbation frequency of RTIs in children and adults at risk. However further high-quality studies are needed to better explain the mechanism of action and confirm the beneficial results of OM85. © 2013 De Benedetto and Sevieri; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Sperandeo M.,University of Foggia | Rotondo A.,University of Naples 2 | Guglielmi G.,University of Foggia | Catalano D.,University of Catania | And 2 more authors.
Radiologia Medica | Year: 2014

Interest in transthoracic ultrasound (US) procedures increased after the availability of portable US equipment suitable for use at the patient’s bedside. It is possible to detect space-occupying lesions of the pleura, pleural effusion, focal or diffuse pleural thickening and subpleural lesions of the lung, even in emergency settings. Transthoracic US is useful as a guidance system for thoracentesis and peripheral lesion biopsy, where it minimises the occurrence of pneumothorax and haemorrhage. Transthoracic US imaging is strongly influenced by physical interaction of the ultrasonic beam at the tissue/air interface, which gives rise to reverberations classified as simple (A-line), ‘‘comet tail’’ and ‘‘ring down’’(B-line) artifacts. Although these artifacts can be suggestive of a disease condition, they are essentially imaging errors present even in normal subjects and in empty-pleura post-pneumonectomy patients. In order to clarify some confusion and to report on the state of the art, we present a review of the literature on transthoracic US in diseases of the pleura and peripheral lung regions and our own clinical experience over 3 decades. The review focuses on quality assurance procedures and their value in diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring and warns against possible inappropriate indications and misleading information. Thoracic US is much more than ‘‘fishing for the moon in the well’’. © Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2014.

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