Elisabetta Castagna

Santa Croce e Carle General Hospital, Coni, Piedmont, Italy

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Publications (14)38.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, treatment patterns and outcome in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. We analyzed clinical, pathological and therapeutic data from 256 consecutive patients, examined at S. Croce Hospital in Cuneo-Piedmont, with a diagnosis of HCC between 30(th) June 2000 and 1(st) July 2010. We analyzed the hospital imaging database and examined all medical records, including the diagnosis code for HCC (155.0 according to the ICD-9M classification system), both for inpatients and outpatients, and discovered 576 relevant clinical records. After the exclusion of reports relating to multiple admissions for the same patient, we identified 282 HCC patients. Moreover, from this HCC series, we excluded 26 patients: 1 patient because of an alternative final diagnosis, 8 patients because of a lack of complete clinical data in the medical record and 17 patients because they were admitted to different health care facilities, leaving 256 HCC patients. To highlight possible changes in HCC patterns over the ten-year period, we split the population into two five-year groups, according to the diagnosis period: 30(th) June 2000-30(th) June 2005 and 1(st) July 2005-1(st) July 2010. Patients underwent a 6-mo follow up. Two hundred and fifty-six HCC patients were included (male/female 182/74; mean age 70 years), 133 in the first period and 123 in the second. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was the most common HCC risk factor (54.1% in the first period, 50.4% in the second; P = 0.63); in the first period, 21.8% of patients were alcoholics and 15.5% were alcoholics in the second period (P > 0.05); the non-viral/non-alcoholic etiology rate was 3.7% in the first period and 20.3% in the second period (P < 0.001). Child class A patients increased significantly in the second period (P < 0.001). Adjusting for age, gender and etiology, there was a significant increase in HCC surveillance during the second period (P = 0.01). Differences between the two periods were seen in tumor parameters: there was an increase in the number of unifocal HCC patients, from 53 to 69 (P = 0.01), as well as an increase in the number of cases where the HCC was < 3 cm [from 22 to 37 (P = 0.01)]. The combined incidence of stage Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer 0 (very-early) and A (early) HCC was 46 (34.6%) between 2000-2005, increasing to 62 (50.4%) between 2005-2010 (P = 0.01). Of the patients, 62.4% underwent specific treatment in the first group, which increased to 90.2% in the second group (P < 0.001). Diagnosis period (P < 0.01), Barcelona-Clinic Liver Cancer stage (P < 0.01) and treatment per se (P < 0.05) were predictors of better prognosis; surveillance was not related to survival (P = 0.20). This study showed that, between 2000-2005 and 2005-2010, the number of HCV-related HCC decreased, non-viral/non alcoholic etiologies increased and of surveillance programs were more frequently applied.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 06/2013; 19(21):3207-16. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v19.i21.3207 · 2.43 Impact Factor
  • 04/2013; 3(3). DOI:10.4081/itjm.2009.136
  • The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 04/2013; DOI:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31828ffe43 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    Internal and Emergency Medicine 06/2011; 6(3):263-5. DOI:10.1007/s11739-010-0394-5 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the last years a trend towards proximalization of colorectal carcinomas (CRC) has been reported. This study aims to evaluate the distribution of CRC and adenomatous polyps (ADP) to establish the presence of proximalization and to assess the potential predictors. We retrieved histology reports of colonic specimens excised during colonoscopy, considering the exams performed between 1997 and 2006 at Cuneo Hospital, Italy. We compared the proportion of proximal lesions in the period 1997-2001 and in the period 2002-2006. Neoplastic lesions were detected in 3087 people. Proximal CRC moved from 25.9% (1997-2001) to 30.0% (2002-2006). Adjusting for sex and age, the difference was not significant (OR 1.23; 95% CI: 0,95-1,58). The proximal ADP proportion increased from 19.2% (1997-2001) to 26.0% (2002-2006) (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.17-1.89). The corresponding figures for advanced proximal ADP were 6.6% and 9.5% (OR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.02-2.17). Adjusting for gender, age, diagnostic period, symptoms and number of polyps the prevalence of proximal advanced ADP was increased among people ≥ 70 years compared to those aged 55-69 years (OR 1.49; 95% CI: 1.032.16). The main predictor of proximal advanced neoplasia was the number of polyps detected per exam (> 1 polyp versus 1 polyp: considering all ADP: OR 2.16; 95% CI: 1.59-2.93; considering advanced ADP OR 1.63; 95% CI: 1.08-2.46). Adjusting for these factors, the difference between the two periods was no longer significant. CRC do not proximalize while a trend towards a proximal shift in adenomas was observed among people ≥ 70 years.
    BMC Gastroenterology 11/2010; 10:139. DOI:10.1186/1471-230X-10-139 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    Internal and Emergency Medicine 10/2010; 6(3):271-3. DOI:10.1007/s11739-010-0466-6 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of a critical pathway in the early stratification and management of patients with chest pain and suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the Emergency Department (ED). An observational study was performed enrolling all patients with non-traumatic chest pain and suspected ACS who presented during a one-year period in the ED, where a critical pathway with five-level risk stratification, based on risk factors, characteristics of pain and ECG, was implemented. Patients were prospectively evaluated for rates of death, unstable angina, myocardial infarction or revascularization procedure occurring during admission or in the 30 days following discharge from the ED. Receiver-Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve was used to measure the accuracy of the stratification method. Overall, 1813 patients were enrolled: 475 patients (26.1%, 95% CI: 24.0-28.1 ) were admitted and 1338 (73.8%, 95% CI: 71.7-75.8) were discharged. Main outcomes occurred in 233 (49.9%, 95% CI: 47.5-52.2) of patients admitted and in 6 (0.4%, 95% CI: 0.06-0.7) of those discharged. The risk stratification system showed a good accuracy with an AUC-ROC curve of 0.90 (95% CI: 0.88-0.93). A total of 1541 (85%) patients were managed according to critical pathway. Adverse events were significantly fewer in patients discharged according to pathway criteria than in those who were not (0.27% vs. 1.37%, difference: 1.1% CI 95%: 0.06-2.1), without significant increase of inappropriate admissions. A critical pathway, based on clinical and ECG features, is a safe and accurate tool to stratify and manage the patients with non-traumatic chest pain and suspected ACS in the ED.
    Minerva medica 04/2010; 101(2):73-80. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major health problem worldwide. The incidence of HCC is increasing in Europe and in the United States. HCC is currently the leading cause of death among cirrhotic patients. Cirrhosis is the strongest and the most common risk factor for HCC. Surveillance for HCC is widely practiced and can be recommended for certain at-risk groups. Among serological screening test, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is the best known (cut-off 20 ng/mL, sensitivity 60%, specificity 91%). The radiological screening test most widely used is ultrasonography (sensitivity 65–80%, specificity >90%). The tests used to diagnose HCC include radiology, biopsy and AFP. Detection of hepatic mass within a cirrhotic liver is highly suspicious of HCC. If AFP is greater than 200 ng/mL and the radiological appearance of the mass is suggestive for HCC, the likelihood that the lesion is HCC is high. The Barcelona-Clinic-Liver-Cancer staging system identifies patients with early HCC who may benefit from curative therapies, those at intermediate or advanced disease stage who may benefit from palliative treatments, as well as those at end-stage with a very poor life expectancy. Today many patients are diagnosed at an early stage. The therapies that offer a high rate of complete responses and potential cure are surgical resection, transplantation and percutaneous ablation. Among non-curative therapies the only one that has been shown to positively impact survival is transarterial chemoembolization. Several steps have to be taken to improve effectiveness of HCC therapy. These include patient education on risk factors for HCC and implementation of screening programs, increasing the number of patients diagnosed in early stage.
    Italian Journal of Medicine 09/2009; 3(3):136-147. DOI:10.1016/j.itjm.2008.10.001
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    ABSTRACT: Carcinoids are tumors derived from neuroendocrine cells and often produce functional peptide hormones. Approximately 54.5% arise in the gastrointestinal tract and frequently metastasize to the liver. Primary hepatic carcinoid tumors (PHCT) are extremely rare; only 95 cases have been reported. A 65-year-old man came to our attention due to occasional ultrasound findings in absence of clinical manifestations. His previous medical history, since 2003, included an echotomography of the dishomogeneous parenchymal area but no focal lesions. A computed tomography scan performed in 2005 showed an enhanced pseudonodular-like lesion of about 2 cm. Cholangio-magnetic resonance imaging identified the lesion as a possible cholangiocarcinoma. No positive findings were obtained with positron emission tomography. Histology suggested a secondary localization in the liver caused by a low-grade malignant neuroendocrine tumor. Immunohistochemistry was positive for anti chromogranin antibodies, Ki67 antibodies and synaptophysin. Octreoscan scintigraphy indicated intense activity in the lesion. Endoscopic investigations were performed to exclude the presence of extrahepatic neoplasms. Diagnosis of PHCT was established. The patient underwent left hepatectomy, followed by hormone therapy with sandostatine LAR. Two months after surgery he had a lymph nodal relapse along the celiac trunk and caudate lobe, which was histologically confirmed. The postoperative clinical course was uneventful, with a negative follow-up for hematochemical, clinical and radiological investigations at 18 mo post-surgery. Diagnosis of PHCT is based principally on the histopathological confirmation of a carcinoid tumor and the exclusion of a non-hepatic primary tumor. Surgical resection is the recommended primary treatment for PHCT. Recurrence rate and survival rate in patients treated with resection were 18% and 74%, respectively.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 06/2009; 15(19):2418-22. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pasteurellosis is a zoonosis often caused by cat or dog bites or scratches, or by direct exposure to their secretions. Pasteurella multocida is the main pathogen involved in infections through domestic animal bites; generally a local infection characterized by its particular virulence with consequent rapid onset. Serious infection has also been reported in persons affected by comorbidity without domestic animal bite injuries. Here we report the case of a woman with lower limb exudating vesicular skin ulcers affected by liver cirrhosis, bilateral knee arthritis, septicemia with positive blood culture and synovial fluid culture for Pasteurella multocida. The etiology of Pasteurella multocida must be borne in mind in cases of sepsis in immunodeficient individuals, such as the cirrhotic patient, as well as exposure to domestic animals.
    Advances in Medical Sciences 05/2009; 54(1):109-12. DOI:10.2478/v10039-009-0005-8 · 0.96 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2009; 136(5). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(09)63555-1 · 13.93 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 03/2008; 40. DOI:10.1016/S1590-8658(08)60334-5 · 2.89 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 03/2008; 40. DOI:10.1016/S1590-8658(08)60500-9 · 2.89 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 03/2008; 40. DOI:10.1016/S1590-8658(08)60319-9 · 2.89 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

37 Citations
38.07 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2011
    • Santa Croce e Carle General Hospital
      Coni, Piedmont, Italy
  • 2009–2010
    • Azienda Sanitaria Ospedaliera S.Croce e Carle Cuneo
      Coni, Piedmont, Italy
    • Università degli Studi di Torino
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy