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Di Bona D.,Unita Operativa di Immunoematologia e Medicina Trasfusionale | Plaia A.,University of Palermo | Leto-Barone M.S.,University of Palermo | La Piana S.,University of Palermo | And 2 more authors.
JAMA Internal Medicine | Year: 2015

IMPORTANCE: Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SARC) have shown a modest clinical benefit compared with placebo. Furthermore, indirect comparison by meta-analyses showed that subcutaneous immunotherapy is more effective than SLIT. Despite these data, SLIT has become the most prescribed treatment of SARC in Europe in recent years, and it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of SARC to grass pollen in the United States on April 1, 2014. OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of the grass pollen sublingual tablets licensed as drugs in the treatment of patients with SARC to grass pollen. DATA SOURCES: Computerized bibliographic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov (from inception to April 30, 2014) were supplemented with a manual search of reference lists. STUDY SELECTION: Randomized clinical trials were included if they compared the grass pollen SLIT tablets approved by regulatory authorities in the European Union and the United States for SARC with placebo. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Data on populations, interventions, and outcomes were extracted from each RCT according to the intent-to-treat method by 2 independent observers and were combined using the method by DerSimonian and Laird. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end point was the difference in the symptom score and medication score between SLIT and placebo. We pooled data using random-effects meta-analysis, with standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% CIs reported. RESULTS: Data were available in 13 RCTs for the symptom score (4659 patients) and in 12 RCTs for the medication score (4558 patients). We found a small treatment benefit in the symptom score (SMD, -0.28; 95% CI, -0.37 to -0.19; P < .001) and in the medication score (SMD, -0.24; 95% CI, -0.31 to -0.17; P < .001). Adverse events were reported in 1384 of 2259 patients (61.3%) receiving SLIT and in 477 of 2279 patients (20.9%) receiving placebo. Seven patients in the SLIT group reported treatment-related adverse events requiring epinephrine. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Findings show a small benefit of the grass pollen sublingual tablets in reducing symptoms and in decreasing the use of symptomatic medication (antihistamines and corticosteroids) in patients with SARC. Considering the low magnitude of the benefit, the convenience and easy administration do not seem to be sufficient reasons for the choice of SLIT. Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Urbani S.,Unita Operativa di Immunoematologia e Medicina Trasfusionale | Fagnoni F.,Unita Operativa di Immunoematologia e Medicina Trasfusionale | Missale G.,Unita Operativa di Malattie Infettive Ed Epatologia | Franchini M.,Unita Operativa di Immunoematologia e Medicina Trasfusionale
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2010

Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is characterized by the presence of HBV DNA in serum and/or in the liver of patients negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Occult infection may impact in several different clinical contexts including the risk of HBV transmission with transfusion or transplantation, and endogenous viral reactivation. The gold standard test for detection of occult infection is the amplification of HBV DNA. However, the serological assay for the long-lasting antibody response to the highly immunogenic HBV core antigen (anti-HBc) represents a qualified candidate as a surrogate for DNA amplification, or for increasing overall sensitivity when assessing the risk of occult hepatitis in peripheral blood. The risk of occult hepatitis associated with anti-HBc seropositivity has been demonstrated extensively, and the presence of antibody response to HBc can be considered a sentinel marker of occult HBV infection. © 2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York.

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