[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor beta is a pleiotropic cytokine which plays a central role in the homeostasis of the immune system. A complex dysregulation of its signaling occurs in Loeys-Dietz syndrome, a monogenic disorder caused by mutations of transforming growth factor beta receptors type 1 or type 2, characterized by skeletal involvement, craniofacial abnormalities, and arterial tortuosity with a strong predisposition for aneurysm and dissection. In addition, several immunologic abnormalities have been described in these patients, including an increased risk of allergic disorders as well as eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders. The occurrence of inflammatory bowel disorders has been also reported, but it is poorly documented. We describe two unrelated children with Loeys-Dietz syndrome affected by severe chronic inflammatory colitis appearing at an early age. The intestinal disease presented similar features in both patients, including a histopathological picture of non-eosinophilic chronic ulcerative colitis, striking elevation of inflammatory markers, and a distinctly severe clinical course leading to failure to thrive, with resistance to multiple immunosuppressive treatments. One of the patients also presented autoimmune thyroiditis. Our report confirms that chronic ulcerative colitis may be associated with Loeys-Dietz syndrome. This finding suggests that an alteration of transforming growth factor beta signaling may by itself predispose to inflammatory colitis in humans, and represent an invaluable model to understand inflammatory bowel diseases.
Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 01/2014; · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pediatric-onset Crohn disease is more aggressive than adult-onset disease, has high rates of resistance to existing drugs, and can lead to permanent impairments. Few trials have evaluated new drugs for refractory Crohn disease in children.
To determine whether thalidomide is effective in inducing remission in refractory pediatric Crohn disease.
Multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of 56 children with active Crohn disease despite immunosuppressive treatment, conducted August 2008-September 2012 in 6 pediatric tertiary care centers in Italy.
Thalidomide, 1.5 to 2.5 mg/kg per day, or placebo once daily for 8 weeks. In an open-label extension, nonresponders to placebo received thalidomide for an additional 8 weeks. All responders continued to receive thalidomide for an additional minimum 52 weeks.
Primary outcomes were clinical remission at week 8, measured by Pediatric Crohn Disease Activity Index (PCDAI) score and reduction in PCDAI by ≥25% or ≥75% at weeks 4 and 8. Primary outcomes during the open-label follow-up were clinical remission and 75% response.
Twenty-eight children were randomized to thalidomide and 26 to placebo. Clinical remission was achieved by significantly more children treated with thalidomide (13/28 [46.4%] vs 3/26 [11.5%]; risk ratio [RR], 4.0 [95% CI, 1.2-12.5]; P = .01; number needed to treat [NNT], 2.86). Responses were not different at 4 weeks, but greater improvement was observed at 8 weeks in the thalidomide group (75% response, 13/28 [46.4%] vs 3/26 [11.5%]; RR, 4.0 [95% CI, 1.2-12.5]; NNT = 2.86; P = .01; and 25% response, 18/28 [64.2%] vs 8/26 [30.8%]; RR, 2.1 [95% CI, 1.1-3.9]; NNT = 2.99; P = .01). Of the nonresponders to placebo who began receiving thalidomide, 11 of 21 (52.4%) subsequently reached remission at week 8 (RR, 4.5 [95% CI, 1.4-14.1]; NNT = 2.45; P = .01). Overall, 31 of 49 children treated with thalidomide (63.3%) achieved clinical remission, and 32 of 49 (65.3%) achieved 75% response. Mean duration of clinical remission in the thalidomide group was 181.1 weeks (95% CI, 144.53-217.76) vs 6.3 weeks (95% CI, 3.51-9.15) in the placebo group (P < .001). Cumulative incidence of severe adverse events was 2.1 per 1000 patient-weeks, with peripheral neuropathy the most frequent severe adverse event.
In children and adolescents with refractory Crohn disease, thalidomide compared with placebo resulted in improved clinical remission at 8 weeks of treatment and longer-term maintenance of remission in an open-label follow-up. These findings require replication to definitively determine clinical utility of this treatment.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00720538.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 11/2013; 310(20):2164-73. · 29.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often associated with extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs) such as optic neuritis (ON), although this has been described in only a few adult patients so far, all of whom were affected with Crohn's disease (CD). Furthermore, ON and demyelinating diseases have been demonstrated to be more frequent in IBD patients than in control populations. In our current case report, we describe a child with active CD who developed sudden blindness due to bilateral ON that was not related to any known cause, and that promptly responded to a high dose of steroids. Investigations and a clinical follow-up have so far ruled out the development of demyelinating diseases in this patient. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ON in a pediatric patient with CD. Possible explanations for this case include an episodic EIM of an active bowel disease, an associated autoimmune disorder such as a recurrent isolated ON, the first manifestation of multiple sclerosis, or another demyelinating disease that could appear in a later follow-up.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 10/2011; 17(38):4344-6. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic intestinal failure is a condition causing severe impairment of intestinal functions; long-term total parenteral nutrition is required to provide adequate nutritional support.
This is a 15-year follow-up study of paediatric patients with intestinal failure receiving long-term home parenteral nutrition.
Thirty-six patients were included in the study, all aged <16 years. Total parenteral nutrition and home parenteral nutrition were administered respectively to 100.97 and 85.20 patients-year. Today, 12 out of 36 patients are still on parenteral nutrition. A total of 99 central venous catheters were inserted, for mean 2.75 catheters/patient. The overall incidence rates of catheter-related complications was 1.79 per 1000 days-catheter for sepsis and 3.37 per 1000 days-catheter for mechanical complications. Two multivariate Cox-models have been used to examine the role of some predictors for septic or mechanical complications. The only risk factor for septic complications was the indication for parenteral nutrition, and the only predictor of mechanical complications was the insertion period.
Our experience in the treatment of paediatric patients with gastrointestinal diseases confirms that long-term parenteral nutrition has become a safe and appropriate method in the treatment of severe chronic intestinal failure.
Digestive and Liver Disease 01/2011; 43(1):28-33. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of major metabolites of thiopurine drugs is a widely used tool for assessing treatment efficacy and toxicity in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We report the laboratory and clinical validation of a simple and reliable high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for the measurement of 6-thioguanine nucleotides (6-TGN) and 6-methylmercaptopurine (6-MMP) on paediatric patients with IBD. The aim of this paper is to develop and validate a method for the measurement of 6-TGN and 6-MMP applicable to routine practice and to evaluate the usefulness of the TDM of thiopurine drugs in children with IBD attending our Gastroenterology Unit. The HPLC method was validated following international guidelines starting from red blood cells (RBC) and whole blood (WB). A comparison between RBC and WB was assessed. The usefulness of TDM was then evaluated using the new method from WB in 47 paediatric patients with IBD treated with thiopurine drugs. WB and RBC resulted in interchangeable matrices. The majority of patients had the metabolite levels inside the therapeutic ranges. A moderate correlation was found between 6-MMP concentration and the dose of thiopurines. A higher percentage of non responders was found among patients with lower levels of 6-TGN. Toxicity was found in eight patients and was evaluated in respect to the metabolite concentration. The described HPLC method is applicable to routine practice and it is suitable for its use in multicentric studies. Our results of TDM on paediatric IBD patients can contribute to clarify its role in their therapeutic management.
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 25(2):435-44. · 2.99 Impact Factor