M T Gervasi

University-Hospital of Padova, Padua, Veneto, Italy

Are you M T Gervasi?

Claim your profile

Publications (29)75.27 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM) are a family of hamartomatous disorders due to the uncontrolled overgrowth of the terminal bronchioles. Congenital pulmonary airway malformations can co-exist with cardiovascular and/or urogenital malformations, but their association with thoracopulmonary malformations is extremely rare. We report the first case of CPAM type I, co-existing with tracheo-esophageal fistula and corpus callosum agenesis.
    Fetal and pediatric pathology 03/2012; 31(3):169-75. · 0.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While mainly based on the use of fluorinated steroids, there is no standard management of anti-Ro/La-related congenital heart block (CHB). This is a report concerning two consecutive cases of anti-Ro/La-related second-degree block treated with betamethasone (4 mg/day), weekly plasmapheresis, and intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs; 1 g/kg) administered every 15 days, a therapy that was begun shortly after CHB was detected and continued until delivery. The newborns were also treated with IVIG (1 g/kg) soon after birth and continued fortnightly until the anti-Ro/La antibody levels became undetectable. In both cases second-degree AV block reverted to a stable sinus rhythm with a first-degree atrioventricular (AV) block. Moreover, there was no recurrence of CHB when therapy was suspended, as confirmed by a 29 month and an eight month follow-up, respectively.
    Lupus 12/2011; 21(6):666-71. · 2.78 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective. Current guidelines for the treatment of patients with obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) rec-ommend low dose aspirin (LDA) and prophylactic doses of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). Most clini-cians use a fixed dosage of LMWH in pregnant APS women despite the fact that there are no clinical trials estab-lishing that fixed doses are more effica-cious than adjusted ones in preventing pregnancy complications. The efficacy and safety of adjusted single daily dos-es of LMWH (nadroparin) combined with LDA have thus been evaluated in 33 consecutive pregnancies in women with diagnosed obstetric APS. Methods. LMWH doses were aug-mented as the pregnancies progressed and maternal/foetal weight increased. 70–80–90 U/Kg doses ranging between 3800 and 6650 U were administered daily during the first, second and third trimesters, respectively. LDA (100 mg/ day) was also prescribed. Results. Pregnancy outcome was suc-cessful in 97% of the patients studied, who delivered, between the 29 th and 41 st weeks of gestation (mean 37.4 ± 2.1 SD), 32 infants with a mean birth weight of 3084 g ± 514 SD. One woman (3%) experienced a spontaneous abor-tion at the 8 th week of gestation. Conclusion. The high live birth rate, the satisfactory mean gestational age and weight at birth and the absence of major pregnancy/neonatal-associated complications indicate that adjusted, once daily doses of LMWH together with LDA could be an efficacious treat-ment option for pregnant APS patients with no history of thrombosis. Introduction Diagnosis of obstetric antiphospholip-id syndrome (APS) is defined by preg-nancy morbidity criteria consisting of late foetal loss, premature birth and re-current early abortions and laboratory detection of antiphospholipid antibod-ies (aPL), such as lupus anticoagulant (LA), and/or anticardiolipin (aCL), and/or anti-β 2 glycoprotein I (aβ 2 GPI) antibodies (1, 2). Current guidelines for the treatment of pregnant APS patients with a history of pregnancy morbidity
    Clinical and experimental rheumatology 05/2011; 29(3):551-554. · 2.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Women with a sonographic short cervix in the mid-trimester are at increased risk for preterm delivery. This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy and safety of using micronized vaginal progesterone gel to reduce the risk of preterm birth and associated neonatal complications in women with a sonographic short cervix. This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that enrolled asymptomatic women with a singleton pregnancy and a sonographic short cervix (10-20 mm) at 19 + 0 to 23 + 6 weeks of gestation. Women were allocated randomly to receive vaginal progesterone gel or placebo daily starting from 20 to 23 + 6 weeks until 36 + 6 weeks, rupture of membranes or delivery, whichever occurred first. Randomization sequence was stratified by center and history of a previous preterm birth. The primary endpoint was preterm birth before 33 weeks of gestation. Analysis was by intention to treat. Of 465 women randomized, seven were lost to follow-up and 458 (vaginal progesterone gel, n=235; placebo, n=223) were included in the analysis. Women allocated to receive vaginal progesterone had a lower rate of preterm birth before 33 weeks than did those allocated to placebo (8.9% (n=21) vs 16.1% (n=36); relative risk (RR), 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33-0.92; P=0.02). The effect remained significant after adjustment for covariables (adjusted RR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.31-0.91; P=0.02). Vaginal progesterone was also associated with a significant reduction in the rate of preterm birth before 28 weeks (5.1% vs 10.3%; RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.25-0.97; P=0.04) and 35 weeks (14.5% vs 23.3%; RR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.42-0.92; P=0.02), respiratory distress syndrome (3.0% vs 7.6%; RR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.17-0.92; P=0.03), any neonatal morbidity or mortality event (7.7% vs 13.5%; RR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.33-0.99; P=0.04) and birth weight < 1500 g (6.4% (15/234) vs 13.6% (30/220); RR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.26-0.85; P=0.01). There were no differences in the incidence of treatment-related adverse events between the groups. The administration of vaginal progesterone gel to women with a sonographic short cervix in the mid-trimester is associated with a 45% reduction in the rate of preterm birth before 33 weeks of gestation and with improved neonatal outcome.
    Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 04/2011; 38(1):18-31. · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cervical mucus plug (CMP) differs from the cervical secretions of non-pregnant women, and is the ultimate sealant of the uterine cavity during pregnancy. Although several studies have analyzed biochemical properties of large glycoproteins in the CMP, comprehensive information about its protein composition is yet unavailable. We hypothesized that protein profiling of the CMP could provide key clues to its physiological functions in pregnancy. For this purpose, five CMPs obtained from women in labor at term were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Out of 291 total proteins identified, 137 were detected in two or more samples, which included S100A8, S100A9, and complement proteins (C3, C4a, C4b, C6, and C8g). Several proteins, which have not been described in the cervical mucus of non-pregnant women or in cervicovaginal fluids, such as CD81 antigen and pregnancy zone protein, were also identified. Gene ontology analysis of identified proteins showed significant enrichment of 28 biological processes such as 'activation of plasma proteins involved in acute inflammatory response' and 'positive regulation of cholesterol esterification'. We report the proteome of CMPs from pregnant women at term for the first time, and the overall findings strongly suggest an important role for the CMP in the maintenance of pregnancy and parturition.
    Journal of proteomics 02/2011; 74(6):817-28. · 5.07 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity (MIAC) has been detected in women with preterm labor, preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM), and in patients at term with PROM or in spontaneous labor. Intrauterine infection is recognized as a potential cause of fetal growth restriction; yet, the frequency of MIAC in pregnancies with small-for-gestational-age (SGA) fetuses is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency, diversity and relative abundance of microbes in amniotic fluid (AF) of women with an SGA neonate using a combination of culture and molecular methods. AF from 52 subjects with an SGA neonate was analyzed with both cultivation and molecular methods in a retrospective cohort study. Broad-range and group-specific PCR assays targeted small subunit rDNA, or other gene sequences, from bacteria, fungi and archaea. Results of microbiologic studies were correlated with indices of the host inflammatory response. 1) All AF samples (n=52) were negative for microorganisms based on cultivation techniques, whereas 6% (3/52) were positive based on PCR; and 2) intra-amniotic inflammation was detected in one of the three patients with a positive PCR result, as compared with three patients (6.1%) of the 49 with both a negative culture and a negative PCR (P=0.2). MIAC is detected by PCR in some patients with an SGA fetus who were not in labor at the time of AF collection.
    Journal of Perinatal Medicine 09/2010; 38(5):495-502. · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the value of bilateral uterine artery notching in the second trimester in the risk assessment for preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) without preeclampsia. This prospective cohort study included 4190 singleton pregnancies that underwent ultrasound examination between 23 and 25 weeks' gestation. The 95th percentiles of the mean pulsatility index (PI) and resistive index (RI) of both uterine arteries were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to determine if bilateral uterine artery notching is an independent explanatory variable for the occurrence of preeclampsia, early-onset preeclampsia (<or=34 weeks), late-onset preeclampsia (>34 weeks), gestational hypertension, and delivery of an SGA neonate without preeclampsia, while controlling for confounding factors. (1) The prevalence of preeclampsia, early-onset preeclampsia, late-onset preeclampsia, SGA, and gestational hypertension were 3.4%, 0.5%, 2.9%, 10%, and 7.9%, respectively; (2) 7.2% of the study population had bilateral uterine artery notching; and (3) bilateral uterine artery notching was an independent explanatory variable for the development of preeclampsia (odds ratio [OR], 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI],1.28-3.36), early-onset preeclampsia (OR, 4.47; 95% CI, 1.50-13.35), and gestational hypertension (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.02-2.26), but not for late-onset preeclampsia or SGA. Bilateral uterine notching between 23 and 25 weeks' gestation is an independent risk factor for the development of early-onset preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. Thus, bilateral uterine artery notching should be considered in the assessment of risk for the development of these pregnancy complications.
    Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 07/2010; 29(7):1103-15. · 1.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Women with a fetal death at the time of diagnosis have higher maternal plasma concentrations of the anti-angiogenic factor, soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (sVEGFR)-1, than women with a normal pregnancy. An important question is whether these changes are the cause or consequence of fetal death. To address this issue, we conducted a longitudinal study and measured the maternal plasma concentrations of selective angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors before the diagnosis of a fetal death. The anti-angiogenic factors studied were sVEGFR-1 and soluble endoglin (sEng), and the angiogenic factor, placental growth factor (PlGF). This retrospective longitudinal nested case-control study included 143 singleton pregnancies in the following groups: (1) patients with uncomplicated pregnancies who delivered a term infant with an appropriate weight for gestational age (n=124); and (2) patients who had a fetal death (n=19). Blood samples were collected at each prenatal visit, scheduled at 4-week intervals from the first trimester until delivery. Plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-1, sEng, and PlGF were determined by specific and sensitive ELISA. A linear mixed-effects model was used for analysis. (1) The average profiles of analyte concentrations as a function of gestational age for sVEGFR-1, sEng and PlGF were different between women destined to have a fetal death and those with a normal pregnancy after adjusting for covariates (p<0.05); (2) Plasma sVEGFR-1 concentrations in patients destined to have a fetal death were significantly lower between 7 and 11 weeks of gestation and became significantly higher than those of women with a normal pregnancy between 20 and 37 weeks of gestation (p<0.05); (3) Similarly, plasma sEng concentrations of women destined to have a fetal death were lower at 7 weeks of gestation (p=0.04) and became higher than those of controls between 20 and 40 weeks of gestation (p<0.05); (4) In contrast, plasma PlGF concentrations were higher among patients destined to develop a fetal death between 7 and 14 weeks of gestation and became significantly lower than those in the control group between 22 and 39 weeks of gestation (p<0.05); (5) The ratio of PlGF/(sVEGFR-1 × sEng) was significantly higher in women destined to have a fetal death between 7 and 13 weeks of gestation (94-781%) and significantly lower (44-75%) than those in normal pregnant women between 20 and 40 weeks of gestation (p<0.05); (6) Similar results were obtained when patients with a fetal death were stratified into those who were diagnosed before or after 37 weeks of gestation. Fetal death is characterised by higher maternal plasma concentrations of PlGF during the first trimester compared to normal pregnancy. This profile changes into an anti-angiogenic one during the second and third trimesters.
    The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 05/2010; 23(12):1384-99. · 1.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relationship between the antiphospholipid profile and clinical characteristics of pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and neonatal outcome. We retrospectively considered 109 treated pregnancies of 93 patients with primary APS and reviewed the medical records of their 111 infants. Neonatal outcome was assessed using the following variables: weeks of gestational age at delivery, percentiles of birth weight, Apgar score at 5 minutes, need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the delivery room, time in the neonatal intensive care unit, infections, and other neonatal complications. Univariate statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between APS maternal features and neonatal outcome parameters. When maternal APS features and variables of infant outcome were analyzed, it was evident that lupus anticoagulant (LAC), triple antiphospholipid positivity, and history of vascular thrombosis were significantly associated with some parameters of a poor infant outcome. History of pregnancy morbidity alone was, instead, significantly correlated to the variables of favorable neonatal outcome. There seems to be more than one kind of pregnant woman with APS. Even when treated with a second-line therapy plan, mothers with LAC and/or triple antiphospholipid positivity and/or previous thromboembolism seem to have a high probability of poor neonatal outcome, whereas those with pregnancy morbidity alone, treated with conventional drugs, seem to have a high probability of favorable outcome.
    Arthritis care & research. 03/2010; 62(3):302-7.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adipokines have been implicated in metabolic regulation and the immune response thus providing a molecular mechanism for the interaction between these two systems. Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) is a novel adipokine that plays a role in the pathophysiology of obesity-induced insulin resistance, as well as in the modulation of inflammation. The aim of this study was to determine whether there are changes in maternal plasma concentrations of RBP4 in pregnant women with acute pyelonephritis. This cross-sectional study included pregnant women in the following groups: 1) normal pregnancy (n=80); 2) pyelonephritis (n=39). Maternal plasma RBP4 concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassays. Non-parametric statistics were used for analyses. 1) The median maternal plasma RBP4 concentration was lower in patients with acute pyelonephritis than in those with a normal pregnancy (3709.6 ng/mL, interquartile range (IQR) 2917.7-5484.2 vs. 9167.6 ng/mL, IQR 7496.1- 10,384.1, P<0.001; 2) the median maternal plasma RBP4 concentration did not differ significantly between patients with acute pyelonephritis who had a positive blood culture and those with a negative culture (3285.3 ng/mL, IQR 2274.1-4741.1 vs. 3922.6 ng/mL, IQR 3126.8-5547.1, respectively, P=0.2); and 3) lower maternal plasma RBP4 concentrations were independently associated with pyelonephritis after adjustment for confounding factors. In contrast to what has been reported in preeclampsia, acute pyelonephritis during pregnancy is associated with lower maternal plasma RBP4 concentrations than in normal pregnancy. This finding suggests that the acute maternal inflammatory process associated with pyelonephritis is fundamentally different from that of the chronic systemic inflammatory process suggested in preeclampsia, in which RBP4 concentrations were found to be elevated.
    Journal of Perinatal Medicine 02/2010; 38(4):359-66. · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Resistin, originally described as an adipokine, has emerged as a potent pro-inflammatory protein associated with both acute and chronic inflammation. Moreover, resistin has been proposed as a powerful marker of sepsis severity, as well as a predictor of survival of critically ill non-pregnant patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether pyelonephritis during pregnancy is associated with changes in maternal plasma resistin concentrations. This cross-sectional study included the following groups: (i) normal pregnant women (n = 85) and (ii) pregnant women with pyelonephritis (n = 40). Maternal plasma resistin concentrations were determined by ELISA. Non-parametric statistics was used for analyses. (i) The median maternal plasma resistin concentration was higher in patients with pyelonephritis than in those with a normal pregnancy (P < 0.001); (ii) among patients with pyelonephritis, the median maternal resistin concentration did not differ significantly between those with and without a positive blood culture (P = 0.3); (iii) among patients with pyelonephritis who were diagnosed with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), those who fulfilled > or =3 criteria for SIRS had a significantly higher median maternal plasma resistin concentration than those who met only two criteria; and (iv) maternal WBC count positively correlated with circulating resistin concentration (r = 0.47, P = 0.02). Hyperresistinemia is a feature of acute pyelonephritis during pregnancy. The results of this study support the role of resistin as an acute-phase protein in the presence of bacterial infection during pregnancy.
    American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 02/2010; 63(5):358-69. · 3.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia and pregnancies complicated by small-for-gestational age (SGA) neonates share several underlying mechanisms of disease. However, while an exaggerated systemic maternal inflammatory response is regarded as one of the hallmarks of the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, the presence of a similar systemic intra-vascular inflammation in mothers of SGA neonates without hypertension is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine phenotypic and metabolic changes in granulocytes and monocytes of women who develop preeclampsia and those who deliver an SGA neonate, compared to normal pregnant women. This cross-sectional study included patients with a normal pregnancy (n = 33), preeclampsia (n = 33), and an SGA without preeclampsia (n = 33), matched for gestational age at blood sample collection. Granulocyte and monocyte phenotypes were determined by flow cytometry, using monoclonal antibodies against selective cluster of differentiation (CD) antigens. The panel of antibodies included the following: CD11b, CD14, CD16, CD18, CD49d, CD62L, CD64, CD66b, and HLA-DR. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (iROS) were assessed at the basal state and after stimulation (oxidative burst). Results were reported as mean channel brightness (MCB) or intensity of detected fluorescence. Analysis was conducted with non-parametric statistics. A p-value < 0.01 was considered statistically significant. (1) Women who delivered an SGA neonate had a higher MCB of CD11b in granulocytes and monocytes than those with a normal pregnancy (p < 0.001 for both); (2) patients with preeclampsia had a lower median MCB of CD62L in granulocytes (p = 0.006) and a higher median basal iROS and oxidative burst in monocytes than women with an SGA neonate (p = 0.003 and p = 0.002, respectively). Pregnancies complicated by the delivery of an SGA neonate are characterized by a higher activation of maternal peripheral leukocytes than in normal pregnancies, but lower than in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia.
    The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 11/2009; 23(6):476-87. · 1.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are a group of disorders characterised by chronic or relapsing inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract of variable severity. A chronic medication is often needed and management of fertile women is a crucial point because of the possible adverse effects associated with the administered drugs and the disease itself. The risk of pregnancy-related complications and the disease behaviour during pregnancy depends mainly on disease activity at time of conception. So, it is very important to plan the pregnancy and reach and maintain a clinical remission of the disease before conception. Drugs usually used in IBD treatment include 5- aminosalicylic acid compounds, corticosteroids, azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine, cyclosporine A, mesalazine, and antibiotics such as metronidazole and ciprofloxacin. Management of IBD in pregnancy at present is not standardised or supported by strong evidence. In this report, we summarise the available data, mainly derived from retrospective and case-control studies, about IBD management in pregnancy, focusing mostly on the safety of drugs during gestation and peripartum.
    Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 10/2009; 8(6):695-707. · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acute chorioamnionitis is a response to amniotic fluid (AF) infection. However, it remains unclear whether substantial bacterial propagation in the chorioamniotic membranes (CAMs) precedes microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity (MIAC), which is inconsistent with characteristic 'amniotropic neutrophil migration' in acute chorioamnionitis. This study was performed to determine whether CAMs have widespread bacterial infection during MIAC and whether bacteria normally colonize CAMs. AF pellets and CAMs from the following groups were studied: group 1, patients with positive (n=18) or negative (n=22) AF cultures; group 2, patients with or without acute chorioamnionitis in which the amnion and chorion were studied separately (n=60); and group 3, patients at term who underwent a cesarean delivery (n=30). SYTO 9/propidium iodide fluorescent staining and fluorescent in situ hybridization for 16S rRNA were performed. Real-time quantitative PCR for 16S rDNA and PCR for genital mycoplasmas were also conducted. Bacteria were more frequently detected in AF than in CAMs of patients with positive AF culture (100 vs. 33%; P<0.0001). Bacteria were detected more frequently in CAMs as the severity of chorioamnionitis increased (P<0.01). The median 16S rRNA gene copy number in the amnion was significantly greater than in the chorion (group 2; P<0.0001). Bacteria were not detected in CAMs or AF in women at term before labor (group 3). A fraction of patients with chorioamnionitis or MIAC did not have bacteria in CAMs. Collectively, the findings herein indicate that MIAC does not follow widespread infection of CAMs, but precedes it. We propose a model of MIAC: the initial stage is intra-amniotic bacterial invasion through a discrete region of the CAMs, followed by intra-amniotic proliferation, and bacterial invasion of CAMs primarily extends from the amniotic fluid. This study emphasizes the importance of assessing the intra-amniotic compartment for diagnosis and treatment of preterm birth.
    Laboratory Investigation 06/2009; 89(8):924-36. · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS) is present in a fraction of fetuses exposed to intra-amniotic infection and is associated with the impending onset of labor and multisystem organ involvement. Neonates born with funisitis, the histologic counterpart of fetal systemic inflammation, are at increased risk for cerebral palsy and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The aim of this study was to determine whether fetal and maternal granulocytes and monocytes have the phenotypic and metabolic characteristics of activation in cases with FIRS. A case-control study was conducted with umbilical cord and maternal blood samples obtained from patients who delivered preterm with (n=30) and without funisitis (n=15). The phenotypic characteristics of granulocytes and monocytes were examined using flow cytometry and monoclonal antibodies including CD11b, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD18, CD49d, CD62L, CD64, CD66b, and HLA-DR. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (iROS) were measured at the basal state and after stimulation (oxidative burst). A P<0.01 was considered statistically significant. (1) Funisitis was associated with a significant increase in the median mean channel brightness (MCB) of CD14, CD64, and CD66b on granulocytes and the MCB of CD64 on monocytes collected from umbilical cord blood. (2) The basal iROS production and oxidative burst were higher in the umbilical cord monocytes of neonates with funisitis than in those without funisitis. (3) There were no differences in the immunophenotype, basal iROS production, and oxidative burst in maternal granulocytes or monocytes between the study groups. Fetal systemic inflammation is associated with phenotypic and metabolic changes consistent with activation in fetal immune cells but not in maternal blood.
    Journal of Perinatal Medicine 06/2009; 37(5):543-52. · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Conventional treatment of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) pregnancies with aspirin and/or heparin is sometimes unable to counteract maternal and/or fetal complications. In this article we report the cases of two patients who were unresponsive to conventional treatment for APS during their first pregnancy, and who were treated in the following pregnancy with plasma exchange and immunoadsorption respectively, in addition to conventional therapy. Both patients had a history of thrombotic events, a previous pregnancy loss at the 11th week of gestation and the same antiphospholipid antibody profile (lupus anticoagulant activity and high titers of immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-beta2 glycoprotein I and IgG anticardiolipin antibodies). Patient 1 was treated from the fourth week of her second pregnancy with weekly plasma exchange. Due to fetal growth restriction and oligohydramnios in the 26th week she delivered, by cesarean section, a healthy female infant weighing 730 g who survived. Patient 2 was treated from the seventh week of her second pregnancy with twice a week protein A immunoadsorption. The pregnancy proceeded normally until the 36th week, when, due to slight intrauterine growth restriction, she delivered a healthy baby girl weighing 2375 g by cesarean section. Anti-beta2 glycoprotein I antibody trends were similar during both types of treatment. On the basis of our findings obtained from only two cases it is impossible to define the best aphaeretic treatment of APS high risk pregnancies. Nevertheless, as a whole these data suggest better disease control using the immunoadsorption technique as compared to plasma exchange, despite their apparently similar anti-beta2 glycoprotein I antibody removal capabilities.
    Therapeutic apheresis and dialysis: official peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Apheresis, the Japanese Society for Apheresis, the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy 05/2009; 13(2):157-60. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maternal endothelial dysfunction and intravascular inflammation have been implicated in the mechanisms of disease responsible for the clinical syndrome of pre-eclampsia. Recently, the activation of the innate limb of the immune response (neutrophils and monocytes) in the fetal circulation has been reported in neonates born to mothers with pre-eclampsia. Natural killer (NK) cells are identified morphologically as a subpopulation of lymphocytes, but functionally as one component of the innate immune system. NK cells participate in the control of viral or bacterial infection, regulation of hematopoiesis, production of cytokines and cytotoxicity of neoplastic cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that the innate system is required for mounting an adequate adaptive response. NK cells, originally defined as effector cells of the innate immune system, may also play a role as regulatory cells for the adaptive immune system. This study was designed to determine the proportion of the NK cell subset of lymphocytes in umbilical cord blood of neonates born to mothers with and without pre-eclampsia. A cross-sectional study including neonates of mothers with (n = 48) and those without pre-eclampsia (control group) (n = 72) was conducted. Pre-eclampsia was diagnosed in the presence of hypertension and proteinuria. The control group consisted of neonates (premature and term) with no evidence of acute inflammation within the extraplacental membranes (chorioamnionitis). Umbilical cord blood was collected at the time of delivery, and assayed using monoclonal antibodies for selective cluster differentiation (CD) antigens in order to determine the proportion of NK cells as a percentage of total lymphocytes. The immunophenotypic characteristic was determined using flow cytometry, and NK cells were identified by positivity of CD16 and CD56 without CD3 (CD3-/CD56+16+). Log transformation of the percentage of NK cells was performed. Parametric statistics were used for analysis. Multiple regression analysis was utilized to examine the contribution of potentially confounding factors on the proportion of NK cells. A p value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Neonates born to mothers with pre-eclampsia had a significantly higher percentage of NK cells (CD3-/CD56+16+) than those in the control group (pre-eclampsia, mean +/- SD 17 +/- 9% vs. control, mean +/- SD 12 +/- 7.5%; p = 0.001). Multiple regression analysis suggested that umbilical cord blood pH of < 7.2, labor with vaginal delivery and maternal pre-eclampsia were associated with an increased percentage of NK cells in umbilical cord blood. Pre-eclampsia is associated with a higher NK cell (CD3-/CD56+16+) subset of lymphocytes in umbilical cord blood than in the control group. This difference cannot be explained by fetal acidosis or the presence of labor.
    Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 11/2003; 14(5):305-12. · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The causes of fetal death are largely unknown. CD4 T cells have been classified according to the expression of the CD45 isoforms into 'naive-like' T cells (CD45RA) and 'memory-like' T cells (CD45RO). An increase in the percentage of the CD45RO has been interpreted as indicating prior antigenic exposure of the host and, in newborns, evidence of infection. The purpose of this study was to determine whether unexplained fetal death was associated with a change in the proportion of 'naive-like' and 'memory-like T cells' in the maternal blood, as determined by the CD45 isoforms on the surface of CD4+ lymphocytes. A prospective study was conducted to compare the CD45 sub-population of lymphocytes in patients with intrauterine fetal death (n = 26) and normal pregnancy (n = 89). The percentages of CD45RA+, CD45RO+ and CD45RA+/CD45RO+ on CD4+ T lymphocytes were determined in maternal blood using flow cytometry and monoclonal antibodies. Results were reported as a percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes. Non-parametric statistics were used for analysis. A p value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Patients with intrauterine fetal death had a higher percentage of CD45RO+ CD4+ T lymphocytes than normal pregnant women (fetal death: median 57.7%, range 35.4-78.6 vs. normal pregnancy: median 49.9%, range 19.1-86.8; p = 0.004). Fetal death was associated with a lower median percentage of CD45RA+ CD4+ lymphocytes than in normal pregnant women (fetal death: median 32.3%, range 15.3-58.0 vs. normal pregnancy: median 40.2%, range 11.2-67.3; p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in the percentage of cells with dual expression (CD45RA+/CD45RO+) between the study groups. Prior exposure to microbial products (bacterial or viral) or other unidentified antigens may result in a shift of the sub-population of 'naive-like' T cells to 'memory-like' T cells in mothers with unexplained fetal death.
    Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 10/2003; 14(4):241-6. · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intrauterine inflammation has been implicated in the mechanisms responsible for preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM). However, it is unclear whether this inflammatory process remains localized to the uterus, at the site of membrane rupture, or extends to the maternal compartment. Flow cytometric analysis is a sensitive method to assess the presence and magnitude of in vivo inflammation. This study was conducted to determine whether preterm PROM is associated with changes in the phenotypic and metabolic characteristics of maternal granulocytes and monocytes consistent with the presence of maternal intravascular inflammation. A prospective cross-sectional study was performed including patients with preterm PROM (n = 43) and normal pregnancy (n = 51). Maternal intravascular inflammation was studied using flow cytometry. Maternal blood was assayed to determine granulocyte and monocyte phenotype using monoclonal antibodies, which included cluster differentiation (CD) markers CD11b, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD18, CD49d, CD62L, CD64, CD66b and human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR. The quantities of basal intracellular reactive oxygen species (iROS) and oxidative burst was assessed. Statistical analysis was conducted with the use of non-parametric methods. A p value < 0.01 was considered significant. Preterm PROM was associated with a significant increase in the median mean channel brightness (MCB) of CD11b, CD14, CD64 and CD66b on granulocytes and median MCB of CD11b on monocytes. The oxidative burst and the stimulation index in both cell types were higher in preterm PROM than in normal pregnancy (p < 0.01). Preterm PROM is associated with phenotypic and metabolic changes in circulating granulocytes and monocytes.
    Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 03/2002; 11(3):171-5. · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Experimental and clinical studies support a role for the fetus in the control of the onset of labor. Fetal systemic inflammation, but not a maternal inflammatory response, has been linked to the onset of preterm labor and delivery on the basis of the determination of inflammatory cytokines in fetal and maternal blood. We propose that parturition requires fetomaternal cooperation and that inflammation is an integral part of the parturitional process. This study used flow cytometry, a sensitive technique for the detection of intravascular inflammation, to assess whether maternal inflammation is present in preterm labor. A prospective cross-sectional study was performed including patients with preterm labor (n = 55) and women with normal pregnancy (n = 50). Intravascular inflammation was studied by using flow cytometry. Maternal blood was assayed to determine granulocyte and monocyte phenotype by using monoclonal antibodies, which included the following cluster of differentiation (CD) markers: CD11b, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD18, CD49d, CD62L, CD64, CD66b, and HLA-DR. Oxidative burst and generation of basal intracellular oxygen radical species were assessed. Statistical analysis was conducted with the use of nonparametric methods. A P value of <.01 was considered statistically significant. Preterm labor was associated with a significant increase in the median mean channel brightness of CD11b, CD15, and CD66b on granulocytes and median mean channel brightness of CD11b and CD15 on monocytes. The ratio of oxidative burst over basal intracellular oxygen radical species in both granulocytes and monocytes was increased in preterm labor (P <. 01). Preterm labor with intact membranes is associated with phenotypic and metabolic changes of maternal granulocytes and monocytes.
    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 11/2001; 185(5):1124-9. · 3.88 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

740 Citations
75.27 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2011
    • University-Hospital of Padova
      • UOC di Ostetricia e Ginecologia
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 2010
    • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      • Division of Intramural Research (DIR)
      Maryland, United States
  • 2000–2010
    • Wayne State University
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Detroit, MI, United States
  • 2000–2002
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States