Ruth de Francisco

Hospital Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

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Publications (19)73.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Factors associated with performance of interferon-γ release assays (IGRA) and the tuberculin skin test (TST) in screening for latent tuberculosis infection in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are still poorly understood. The influence of peripheral T-cell subset counts on the results also remain unclear. Prospective single-center study in 205 patients with IBD. Latent tuberculosis infection screening included a chest radiograph, TST (retest if negative), and 2 IGRAs: QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) and TSPOT-TB (TSPOT). T-cell subpopulations were determined by flow cytometry. Twenty-one (10.2%) patients had an abnormal chest radiograph, 55 (26.8%) had a positive TST, 16 (7.8%) had a positive QFT-GIT, and 25 (12.6%) had a positive TSPOT. TST positivity was lower in patients on ≥2 immunosuppressants compared with the controls (5-aminosalicylic acid treatment) (10.4% versus 38.2%, respectively) (P = 0.0057). No other drugs influenced TST or IGRA positivity. In patients on corticosteroid treatment, anti-TNF treatment, or ≥2 immunosuppressants, IGRAs detected 10 cases of latent tuberculosis infection not identified by TST. TSPOT and QFT-GIT increased yield by 56% and 22%, respectively. No significant differences in T-cell subpopulations were found between patients with positive or negative TST or TSPOT results. However, patients with positive QFT-GIT findings had more CD8 T cells (mean, 883 ± 576 versus 484 ± 385 cells per microliter in patients with negative results) (P = 0.022). IGRAs can improve TST-based screening in patients with IBD on immunosuppressive therapy. A low CD8 count can affect QFT-GIT results. We suggest combining TSPOT and TST screening in patients with IBD on immunosuppressants.
    Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 12/2013; · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a debilitating immune disorder that impairs function and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). A goal of IBD treatment is mucosal healing, but it is not known whether it achieves normalization of the patients' perception of health. This can be assessed by using a cut-off scoring threshold of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questonnaire-36 (IBDQ-36). To determine whether patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in clinical remission and with mucosal healing normalize their HRQOL. This is a multicentric, prospective, observational, cross-sectional study of patients who are in stable clinical remission and having mucosal healing. Patients completed the IBDQ-36, the EuroQol-5D, and the Daily Fatigue Impact Scale fatigue questionnaires. Complete restoration of health was believed to have occurred when the global score in the IBDQ-36 was at least 209 points. A total of 115 patients (48 with CD, 67 with UC) were included. The median activity index (the Harvey-Bradshaw or the colitis activity index) was 1.0 and the median endoscopic index (Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn's disease or Mayo) was 0. Eighty percent of the patients (79% in CD and 82% in UC patients, P=NS) normalized their HRQOL. Type of treatment was not related to normalization of HRQOL. The lack of restoration of health was significantly related to fatigue and anxiety/depression. Mucosal healing is associated with a normalization of the perception of health by most IBD patients independently of treatment. However, a significant group of patients do not achieve restoration of HRQOL, which reinforces the necessity of a global care addressed to all patient concerns to achieve patients' complete health restoration.
    European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology 04/2012; 24(7):762-9. · 1.66 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2011; 140(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Beclometasone dipropionate (BDP) is a relatively new topically acting oral steroid to treat mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC). We estimate that 20,000 patients have received oral BDP in Spain in the last two years. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral BDP in clinical practice. Retrospective and multicenter study that included 434 patients with active UC treated with BDP. The partial Mayo Clinic score (pMS, 0-9) was used to measure disease activity. Remission was defined as post-treatment pMS of 0 or 1; response as a decrease in pMS of 3 points or 2 points and >30%, and failure as lack of remission or response. BDP dose was 5 mg/day in 88% of patients and mean treatment duration was 6.2 weeks. BDP achieved remission in 44.4%, response in 22.3% and failed in 33.2% of patients. Mean pMS decreased from 4.9 ± 1.3 to 2.4 ± 2.3 (p<0.0001). Remission rate was higher in mild and moderate than in severe UC (p<0.043) and tended to be higher in left-sided and extensive UC than in proctitis (p<0.06). Failure was less frequent in patients treated for >4 weeks (p<0.02). Mild adverse events were reported in 7.6% of patients. BDP induces response or remission in two thirds of active UC patients, with a good safety profile. Patients with mild to moderate, left-sided or extensive UC, receiving BDP for more than 4 weeks are most likely to benefit from this treatment.
    Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 12/2010; 4(6):629-36. · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma is a vascular tumor caused by human herpesvirus-8 infection. Iatrogenic Kaposi's sarcoma often occurs in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. To date, a few cases of colonic Kaposi's sarcoma have been reported in ulcerative colitis patients treated with immunomodulators. We describe a 65-year-old male diagnosed with left-sided ulcerative colitis who was treated with methotrexate and low-dose steroids for greater than 6 years. He presented with several papular, violet lesions on both legs. Colonoscopy revealed the presence of multiple reddish, elevated lesions in the sigmoid colon and rectum. Histological evaluation of skin and colonic biopsies showed findings suggestive of Kaposi's sarcoma; immunohistochemistry for human herpesvirus-8 was positive in the colonic lesions. To avoid the need for further immunosuppressive treatment, the patient underwent a colectomy. Following immunomodulator discontinuation, the patient experienced spontaneous regression of his skin lesions. With the present case, we wish to stress the important interaction of immunosuppressive therapy (mainly corticosteroids) used in ulcerative colitis patients in relation to the development of colonic Kaposi's sarcoma. Human herpesvirus-8 infection should be recognized as a possible opportunistic infection in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
    Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 11/2010; 4(5):586-90. · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the frequency and the clinical and laboratory characteristics of relapsing acute pancreatitis (AP) associated with gluten enteropathy (GE). We prospectively examined all acute pancreatitis cases admitted to our Department in 2006. We recorded a total of 185 patients. With recurring forms, 40 (22%) in all, we used a clinical-lab protocol including serologic and genetic markers, and duodenal biopsy to rule out GE. A total of 34 patients (18%) met clinical-biological criteria for GE (group1), and were compared to the remaining non-GE AP cases (n=161) (group2). Mean age in the GE group was 54 +/- 25 years, slightly younger than group 2 (61 +/- 14) (NS). There was a mild predominance of women (50%) in group 1 versus group 2 (38.5%) (NS). Seven patients in group 1 (20%) had severe AP, as compared to 27 (17%) in group 2 (NS). The presence of cholelithiasis in group 1 involved 6 cases (18%), which was significantly lower than in group 2--72 cases (45%) (p < 0.05). Four patients with GE developed pseudocysts (12%) versus 13 (8%) in group 2 (NS). Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) was elevated only in 3 patients (9%). Nine patients (34%) were DQ2 (+) and 4 (12%) DQ8 (+); the rest (54%) were all negative for both markers. From an endoscopic perspective there was diffuse duodenitis in 32 patients (95%). Duodenal biopsies revealed villous atrophy (Marsh 3) in 2 patients (6%); submucosal inflammatory infiltration (Marsh 2) in 10 (29.4%); increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (Marsh 1) in 8 cases (23.5%), and normal mucosa (Marsh 0) in 14 patients (41.2%). Response to GFD after 1 year was excellent in 30 patients (88%). Relapsing AP with GE represents a relatively common association that is indistinguishable from other APs from a clinical-evolutive standpoint, except for a lower presence of cholelithiasis (p < 0.05). A specific diagnostic protocol is much needed in the identification of these patients since GFD is the only effective therapy to prevent new AP events from developing.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 12/2008; 100(12):746-51. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: to describe the frequency and the clinical and laboratory characteristics of relapsing acute pancreatitis (AP) associated with gluten enteropathy (GE). Patients and methods: we prospectively examined all acute pancreatitis cases admitted to our Department in 2006. We recorded a total of 185 patients. With recurring forms, 40 (22%) in all, we used a clinical-lab protocol including serologic and genetic markers, and duodenal biopsy to rule out GE. Results: a total of 34 patients (18%) met clinical-biological criteria for GE (group 1), and were compared to the remaining non-GE AP cases (n = 161) (group 2). Mean age in the GE group was 54 ± 25 years, slightly younger than group 2 (61 ± 14) (NS). There was a mild predominance of women (50%) in group 1 versus group 2 (38.5%) (NS). Seven patients in group 1 (20%) had severe AP, as compared to 27 (17%) in group 2 (NS). The presence of cholelithiasis in group 1 involved 6 cases (18%), which was significantly lower than in group 2 - 72 cases (45%) (p < 0.05). Four patients with GE developed pseudocysts (12%) versus 13 (8%) in group 2 (NS). Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) was elevated only in 3 patients (9%). Nine patients (34%) were DQ2 (+) and 4 (12%) DQ8 (+); the rest (54%) were all negative for both markers. From an endoscopic perspective there was diffuse duodenitis in 32 patients (95%). Duodenal biopsies revealed villous atrophy (Marsh 3) in 2 patients (6%); submucosal inflammatory infiltration (Marsh 2) in 10 (29.4%); increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (Marsh 1) in 8 cases (23.5%), and normal mucosa (Marsh 0) in 14 patients (41.2%). Response to GFD after 1 year was excellent in 30 patients (88%). Conclusions: relapsing AP with GE represents a relatively common association that is indistinguishable from other APs from a clinical-evolutive standpoint, except for a lower presence of cholelithiasis (p < 0.05). A specific diagnostic protocol is much needed in the identification of these patients since GFD is the only effective therapy to prevent new AP events from developing.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 01/2008; 100(12). · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 06/2006; 98(5):387-9. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 05/2006; 98(5):387-389. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss the case of a 17-year-old male who at the age of 7 was diagnosed with celiac disease (CD) together with ulcerative colitis (UC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The patient was treated with gluten-free diet and immunosuppressive drugs (azathioprine), and currently remains asymptomatic. The patient's younger, 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with CD when she was 1.5 years old, and at 7 years she developed type-I diabetes mellitus, which was difficult to control. A family study was made, and both parents were found to be affected with silent CD. All were DQ2 (+). In relation to the case and family study, we provide a series of comments related to CD and its complications.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 01/2006; 97(12):907-13. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss the case of a 17-year-old male who at the age of 7 was diagnosed with celiac disease (CD) together with ulcerative colitis (UC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The patient was treated with gluten-free diet and immunosuppressive drugs (azathioprine), and currently remains asymptomatic. The patient's younger, 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with CD when she was 1.5 years old, and at 7 years she developed type-I diabetes mellitus, which was difficult to control. A family study was made, and both parents were found to be affected with silent CD. All were DQ2 (+). In relation to the case and family study, we provide a series of comments related to CD and its complications.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 12/2005; 97(12):907-913. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    Ramon Pérez, Luis Rodrigo, Rosa Pérez, Ruth de Francisco
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 07/2005; 11(23):3647-8. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: infliximab has clearly demonstrated its efficacy in the short-term treatment of fistulizing Crohn' disease. We present here the results of retreatment and long-term maintenance therapy. Patients and methods: eighty one consecutive patients with active fistulizing Crohn' disease, in whom previous treatments had failed, were treated with infliximab. All patients received as the initial treatment of 5 mg/kg i.v. infusions (weeks 0, 2, and 6). Those patients who failed to respond after the initial cycle (group 1, n= 25), or those who relapsed after having responded (group 2, n=13), received retreatment with three similar doses (weeks 0,2, and 6). Those who responded to retreatment were included in a long-term maintenance programme (n=44), with repeated doses (5 mg/kg i.v. infusions) every eight weeks for 1-2 years. Results: in the initial treatment 56% of the patients responded partially; this response being complete in 44%. In the retreatment, 28% of group 1 (non-responders) presented a complete response, compared to 77% in group 2 (relapsers) (p< 0.0001). In the maintenance treatment, the global response was 88% (39/44). The mean number of doses per patient was 4.4 ± 2 (range 1-9) with a duration of 36 ± 12 weeks (range 8-72). Adverse effects were not significantly increased in either treatment. Conclusions: both retreatment and long-term maintenance therapy with infliximab, are highly effective and well tolerated in fistulizing Crohn' disease patients.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 08/2004; 96(8):548-558. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infliximab has clearly demonstrated its efficacy in the short-term treatment of fistulizing Crohn's disease. We present here the results of retreatment and long-term maintenance therapy. Eighty one consecutive patients with active fistulizing Crohn's disease, in whom previous treatments had failed, were treated with infliximab. All patients received as the initial treatment of 5 mg/kg i.v. infusions (weeks 0, 2, and 6). Those patients who failed to respond after the initial cycle (group 1, n = 25), or those who relapsed after having responded (group 2, n = 13), received retreatment with three similar doses (weeks 0,2, and 6). Those who responded to retreatment were included in a long-term maintenance programme (n = 44), with repeated doses (5 mg/kg i.v. infusions) every eight weeks for 1-2 years. In the initial treatment 56% of the patients responded partially; this response being complete in 44%. In the retreatment, 28% of group 1 (non-responders) presented a complete response, compared to 77% in group 2 (relapsers) (p < 0.0001). In the maintenance treatment, the global response was 88% (39/44). The mean number of doses per patient was 4.4 +/- 2 (range 1-9) with a duration of 36 +/- 12 weeks (range 8-72). Adverse effects were not significantly increased in either treatment. Both retreatment and long-term maintenance therapy with infliximab, are highly effective and well tolerated in fistulizing Crohn's disease patients.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 08/2004; 96(8):548-54; 554-8. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2003; 124(4). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the case of a 63-year-old woman who had undergone 7 months of treatment with Nimesulide (100 mg/b.i.d.) for symptomatic osteoarthritis. The patient was admitted to our unit with a clinical picture of progressive jaundice over 3 weeks. Clinical and analytical studies revealed acute liver failure, this being confirmed by liver biopsy, which showed submassive necrosis. Serological tests for different viral agents causing hepatitis were all negative. In addition, she presented a picture of severe haemolytic anaemia resistant to several treatments and needed multiple transfusions. Twenty-three days after admission, the patient presented hepatic encephalopathy and received an orthotopic liver transplant on day 25. The evolution after transplantation was good and the patient continues in good health with no evidence of haemolysis almost 2 years later. Liver toxicity due to Nimesulide is well known, but to our knowledge the occurrence of haemolytic anaemia has not been related to this drug previously. For these reasons, Nimesulide has been restricted or removed from the market in several countries in recent months.
    Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2002; 37(11):1341-3. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNF-alpha), has been effective in the treatment of patients with active Crohn's disease and with fistulas. We investigated the effect of infliximab on circulating cytokines and acute phase proteins in patients with fistulas to determine the clinical response to anti-TNF-alpha. A total of 36 patients with fistulizing Crohn's disease were selected for study. Serum from patients was drawn before the infusion on day 0 and at wk 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 after completion of treatment. Circulating concentrations of TNF-alpha, interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), and IL-6 were measured by ELISA. The functional activity of circulating TNF-alpha was assessed by the WEHI 164 TNF-alpha bioassay. Acute phase proteins were also determined. Elevated TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, and acute phase proteins were observed in patients with Crohn's disease. Of the patients with fistulas, 22 (61.1%) responded to treatment. Before receiving infliximab, higher levels of serum TNF-alpha were found in patients who did not respond to infliximab compared with those who did (median interquartile range 26, 0-245 pg/ml; n = 14 vs 0, 0-22 pg/ml, n = 22). Patients showed no change in circulating levels of TNF-alpha during the course of the study. This treatment produces a clinical improvement in about two-thirds of CD patients with fistulas. The circulating levels of TNF-alpha are associated with the response to infliximab and could help to identify patients who would benefit from anti-TNF-alpha treatment.
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology 10/2002; 97(9):2350-6. · 7.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNF-α), has been effective in the treatment of patients with active Crohn’s disease and with fistulas. We investigated the effect of infliximab on circulating cytokines and acute phase proteins in patients with fistulas to determine the clinical response to anti-TNF-α.METHODS:A total of 36 patients with fistulizing Crohn’s disease were selected for study. Serum from patients was drawn before the infusion on day 0 and at wk 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 after completion of treatment. Circulating concentrations of TNF-α, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and IL-6 were measured by ELISA. The functional activity of circulating TNF-α was assessed by the WEHI 164 TNF-α bioassay. Acute phase proteins were also determined.RESULTS:Elevated TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and acute phase proteins were observed in patients with Crohn’s disease. Of the patients with fistulas, 22 (61.1%) responded to treatment. Before receiving infliximab, higher levels of serum TNF-α were found in patients who did not respond to infliximab compared with those who did (median interquartile range 26, 0–245 pg/ml; n = 14 vs 0, 0–22 pg/ml, n = 22). Patients showed no change in circulating levels of TNF-α during the course of the study.CONCLUSIONS:This treatment produces a clinical improvement in about two-thirds of CD patients with fistulas. The circulating levels of TNF-α are associated with the response to infliximab and could help to identify patients who would benefit from anti-TNF-α treatment.
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology 01/2002; 97(9):2350-2356. · 7.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the characteristics of hepatotoxicity due to ticlopidine. We describe all the case of hepatotoxicity attributed to ticlopidine and reported to the Register of drug associated hepatopathies. We also obtained data from MEDLINE and the Spanish Medical Index regarding cases reported during the period 1982 2001. We reported twelve cases of hepatopathy related to the use of ticlopidine. These made up 5% of all the cases notified to the Register. Eighty three percent of the patients were male, and of an average age of 68 years. Sixty six percent required hospital admission. The latent period varied between 2 and 13 weeks. The liver lesion was of cholestatic type in 75% of the cases, hepatocellular in 16.6% and mixed in 8.3%. Twenty five percent of the patients had received sub therapeutic doses. Ticlopidine is often related to hepatotoxicity. This seems to be due to an idiosyncratic mechanism and is mainly cholestatic. The use of lower dosage than that recommended means that the desired therapeutic effect is not attained but does not protect against the development of hepatotoxicity. Doctors who use this drug should be aware of this so as to establish the true risk benefit relation.
    Revista de neurologia 01/2001; 33(11):1014-20. · 1.18 Impact Factor