D De Amicis

Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Chieta, Abruzzo, Italy

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Publications (15)53.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hip osteoarthritis is very common and costly. The European League Against Rheumatology Committee agenda asks for research to investigate treatments able to slow down the progression of hip osteoarthritis (OA), to delay joint replacement, and to determine the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-surgical and surgical treatment modalities as well as criteria relating to the indications for and timing of total hip replacement (THR). After publishing the results of a randomized controlled trial and a cohort study on the efficacy of Intra-articular sodium hyaluronate (MW 1,500-2,000 kDa) on symptomatic hip OA, we performed this retrospective study in patients suffering from hip OA treated with ultrasound-guided intra-articular injections of HyalOne (Hyalubrix 60 Italian brand name) involving a group of THR expert orthopedic surgeons to appraise whether or not considered eligible for THR and the frequency and timing of THR. Six orthopedists, not routinely performing hip intra-articular injections, each independently assessed whether 176 patients suffering from hip OA and treated with ultrasound-guided intra-articular injections of sodium hyaluronate (MW 1,500-2,000 kDa) were candidates for THR according to the clinical data (age, body mass index, Pain Visual Analog Scale, Lequesne Algofunctional Index, global patient assessment, global physician assessment, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug intake, and hip X-ray) collected at the first intra-articular sodium hyaluronate injection visit and provided as anonymous electronic data. At 24 months, 159 out of 76 (90 %) patients did not undergo to THR. At 48 months, 82 % (N = 144) of the study population treated with intra-articular hyaluronic acid avoided THR. In the group of 93 patients considered candidates for THR (that is, in which 4, 5, or 6 orthopedic surgeons agreed that the patient was a suitable candidate for THR), only 17 had undergone THR, with survival results of 82 % at 24 months. At 48 months, this percentage reduced to 66 % in this group. In the other groups of patients (in which respectively 3, 2, 1 or no surgeons were in agreement that the patient was a candidate for THR) arthroplasty is not recorded. Sodium hyaluronate (MW 1,500-2,000 kDa) given by ultrasound-guided injection seems to delay THR in the real context of actual overall management of symptomatic hip OA patients. Although further studies are necessary to confirm these data and to identify outcome predictors, hip viscosupplementation should be considered as conservative treatment to perform before proposing patients for THR.
    Clinical Rheumatology 06/2012; 31(8):1187-96. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The intrinsic pathogenetic mechanisms of tendinopathies are largely unknown and whether inflammation or degeneration has the prominent role is still a matter of debate. Assuming that there is a continuum from physiology to pathology, overuse may be considered as the initial disease factor; in this context, microruptures of tendon fibers occur and several molecules are expressed, some of which promote the healing process, while others, including inflammatory cytokines, act as disease mediators. Neural in-growth that accompanies the neovessels explains the occurrence of pain and triggers neurogenic-mediated inflammation. It is conceivable that inflammation and degeneration are not mutually exclusive, but work together in the pathogenesis of tendinopathies.
    Arthritis research & therapy 02/2009; 11(3):235. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of titanium plates and screws for osteosynthesis is considered to be an effective treatment for different kinds of fractures in orthopedic surgery. The aim of the present study is to test the ability of titanium screws to promote the growth of osteoblasts obtained from human amniotic fluid stem cells (AFS). Osteoblastic differentiation was assessed by RT-PCR of specific markers such as COL1, ONC, OPN, OCN, OPG, BMP-4 and Runx2. Mineralization was demonstrated by the presence of red depositions. Adherent cells were found to cover the whole surface of titanium screw by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The result indicates the excellent growth of osteoblasts obtained from amniotic fluid on a titanium surface and could represent an important point in view of a possible therapeutic application of AFS cells.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 01/2009; 23(4):277-9. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-32, a newly-discovered proinflammatory cytokine that activates the p38MAPK and NF-kappaB pathways, is an important player in innate and adaptive immune response. IL-32, a cytokine produced mainly by T, natural killer, and epithelial cells induces significant amounts of TNFalpha and MIP-2 and increases the production of both cytokines in a dose-dependent manner. IL-32 has been implicated in inflammatory disorders, mycobacterium tuberculosis infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and influenza A virus infection, as well as in some autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn?s disease and in human stomach cancer, human lung cancer and breast cancer tissues. Moreover, it has been reported that IL-32 has pro-inflammatory effects on myeloid cells and causes the differentiation of osteoclast precursors into multinucleated cells expressing specific osteoclast markers. We recently found that human IL-32 has the capacity to provoke histamine release in human-derived cord blood mast cells (HDCBMC), but not in LAD 2 cells nor in rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMC), showing that IL-32 may be specie specific and act more in mature human mast cells (HDCBMC) than in transformed mast cells (LAD 2 cells). Certainly, IL-32 is another potent proinflammatory cytokine, however, the specific role of this newly-discovered protein in the network of cytokine biology remains to be determined.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 01/2009; 23(3):141-7. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-33, a member of IL-1 family, induces the differentiation of T-cells (depending on the phosphorylation of MAPKs and NF-kB) and is involved in T-cell mediated immune responses. IL-33 is also involved in the production of IL-5, IL-4 and IL-13 and several chemokines. In this editorial we show the importance of IL-33 in allergic diseases and its role as an inflammatory cytokine. In addition, the induction of certain chemokines by IL-33 may candidate this new cytokine as a mediator in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and may prove to be a therapeutic target for the prevention of these diseases.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 01/2009; 23(1):11-4. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder is of interest neurochemically because it represents a relatively homogeneous disorder with regard to disease development, abnormal cognitive development and intellectual development disturbance. A consistent finding in autistic children is a high number of mast cells and a high level of serotonin which is also found at elevated concentrations in the urine of autistic patients. In addition, a dysfunction of clinical conditions, such as gastrointestinal and immunological symptoms, is frequently noted in autistic children, however, IgE does not appear to be prevalent in these children but probably an increase of cytokines/chemokines produced by mast cells at an early age may play an important role. Therefore an immune hypothesis, involving also autoimmunity, is one possible pathogenetic mechanism in autism. In conclusion, mast cell activation could contribute to immune and neuroinflammatory abnormalities that are evident in patients with autism spectrum disorders.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2009; 22(1):15-9. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Carpometacarpal osteoarthritis (CMC-OA) is a disabling condition, characterized by pain and functional impairment. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of a single ultrasoundguided injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) in patients suffering from CMC-OA. Eighteen patients with CMC-OA, grade 2-3 Kellgren and Lawrence score, attending the Orthopaedic Department of the University Hospital of Chieti, were enrolled. They underwent clinical evaluation at baseline and after one month follow-up, evaluating: grading of pain (VAS at rest and during activities), function (Dreiser Index), grip and pinch strengths Jamar dynamometer), as well as NSAIDs consumption. Each patient received a single ultrasound- guided injection of HA into the articular CMC joint. The results were that pain at rest and during activities decreased from 1.8 +/= 1.07 to 0.5 +/= 0.68 (p < 0.001) and from 8.05 +/= 0.94 to 4.15 +/= 1.42 (p < 0.001), respectively. Dreiser Functional Index showed a significant improvement (+11.59 percent; p < 0.004), as well as pulp pinch strength (24.07 percent; p < 0.001). The consumption of NSAIDs was also clearly reduced, from 16 to 7 patients (-45 percent) and from 2.45 +/= 1.98 to 1.15 +/= 1.30 tablets per week (p < 0.02). Mild local side effects, lasting less than 3 hours, were observed only in 2 cases. A single ultrasound guided injection of HA is a safe and effective procedure in CMC-OA, with a significant improvement in terms of pain and function. However, studies with larger samples and longer term follow-up are warranted.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2009; 22(2):455-60. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viscosupplementation (VS) with hyaluronic acid (HA) is largely used for knee osteoarthritis therapy, but the evidences for its usefulness in hip osteoarthritis (OA) are limited. In this review, an extensive search of published trials on VS in hip OA was performed. From the selected papers the following data were extracted: sample size, inclusion/exclusion criteria, treatment procedures, evaluation methods, follow-up duration and clinical outcomes. The level of evidence was low in quite all the trials (no placebo controlled groups). A reduction of pain and an improvement of function after 3 months, persistent in the long term (12-18 months), was observed. Patients with mild morphological alterations responded better to therapy. Side effects were negligible, and were limited to pain and a sensation of heaviness in the injection site. No clear differences among Low (LMW) and High Molecular Weight (HMW) HA preparations were found in the clinical outcomes. However, for HMW-HA preparations, a lower number of injections was, in general, necessary in order to reach the therapeutic effect. Despite the initial promising results, some questions still remain open : 1) the characteristics of responders must be more precisely defined; 2) the treatment schedules, at present mainly based on the individual clinical experience, need a proper and accepted standardization. Finally, larger and placebo controlled trials are necessary to confirm the efficacy of VS in hip OA.
    Upsala journal of medical sciences 02/2008; 113(3):261-77. · 0.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells play an important role in innate and acquired immunity and are thought to be the cellular origin of most proteases and cytokines. Substance P (SP) and its receptor, NK-1R, play critical roles in immune regulation in human and animal models of inflammation. We used mature human cord blood mast cells (HCBMC) differentiated from cord blood CD34+ precursor activated with SP in culture. Our data indicate that Substance P strongly activates mature HCBMC in releasing CXCL8 expression and secretion (Control: 1.200 +/- 1.0; SP: 4.10 +/- 0.90; P < 0.01). Moreover, in a RT-PCR, HCBMC expressed CXCL8 mRNA after Substance P activation. Since calcium ionophore A23187 is a pharmacological activator that raises cytosolic free calcium ion concentraion and stimulates mast cells in the production and secretion of proinflammatory compounds, it was used as positive control. In addition, we found that HCBMCs generate the transcription of histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the enzyme responsible for the generation of histamine from histidine, after SP treatment. Since CXCL8 is a member of the CXC chemokine subfamily with potent chemotactic activity and is a primary inflammatory cytokine we conclude that our results, obtained from HCBMC cultures, a good and valid model in vitro, support the concept that the neurogenic system modulates inflammatory events by Substance P-mediated HCBMC chemokine CXCL8 release. The expression, synthesis and release of CXCL8 suggest an increase of inflammatory process in vivo mediated by the recruitment and infiltration of inflammatory cells in inflamed tissues.
    Clinical and investigative medicine. Medecine clinique et experimentale 02/2008; 31(6):E362-72. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tridecapeptide neurotensin (NT) acts in the mammalian brain as a primary neurotransmitter or neuromodulator of classical neurotransmitters. Morphological and functional in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the existence of close interactions between NT and dopamine both in limbic and in striatal brain regions. Additionally, biochemical and neurochemical evidence indicates that in these brain regions NT also plays a crucial role in the regulation of the aminoacidergic signalling. Immune cells, such as lymphocytes, macrophages and mast cells are reported to be activated by neuropeptides, such as neurotensin; this activation leads to cytokine and immunoglobulin production. In addition, neurotensin increases calcium level and the production of nitric oxide. Therefore neurotensin is deeply involved in immunity and inflammation but its real function still remains to be elucidated.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2008; 21(2):255-9. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 02/2007; 21(1-2):1-4. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteochondroma is one of the most common benign tumors of the axial skeleton. Location of a solitary exostosis in the scapula is relatively rare. We report the case of an osteochondroma of the scapula in a 13-year-old boy. Because of the atypical location with nonspecific shoulder pain, the diagnosis is often made late. CT is necessary to determine the correct position of the osteochondroma. Despite the young age of the patient, surgical excision of the exostosis was performed, because of an arising thoracic pressure pain. The outcome was good, the patient noticed disappearance of previous painful symptoms, and a normal profile of the scapula was gained.
    Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology 01/2007; 8(1):33-35.
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells play a role in various physiological functions: innate and acquired immunity, epithelium remodelling and proliferation, angiogenesis, cancer, inflammation and infections. Mast cells are activated by cross-linking of FcERI molecules, which are involved in the binding of multivalent antigens to the attached IgE molecules, resulting in a variety of responses including the immediate release of potent inflammatory mediators. In addition, mast cell biology consists in the capability to secrete preformed mediators which include biogenic amines and newly synthetized mediators, which include lipid-derived mediators and cytokines. It has been reported that parasite infections induce a systemic immunomodulatory network, including regulatory T cells, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which might play a key role in the allergic phenotype. Here, in this article, we revisited the relationship between mast cells and infections.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 23(4):231-8. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a nifedipine gel in patients with primary or secondary Raynaud?s phenomenon. Photopletismography was the instrumental examination test used to evaluate recovery time (time necessary for recuperation of normal capillary circulation) in 17 patients with primary or secondary Raynaud?s phenomenon before and after the application of the gel. It emerged that of the 17 patients who used the gel, in 3 cases the recovery time was reduced, in 9 cases the recovery time was cancelled (no spasm occurred), in 5 cases the recovery time was not modified. Therefore, in more than 70 percent of patients the drug had a positive effect. Besides, 50 percent of the patients referred an improvement of the subjective symptomatology with reduction of cooling, torpidity, ache and paresthesias of the fingers. The results obtained, even if related to a restricted number of patients and to a brief interval of time, show the effectiveness of this drug in patients with primary or secondary Raynaud?s phenomenon. We believe that these results, presented here for the first time, are important for investigators involved in the study of Raynaud?s disease.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 20(3-4):59-65. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The main therapeutic approaches for inflammatory periodontal diseases include the mechanical treatment of root surfaces. Multi-center clinical trials have demonstrated that the adjunctive use of a chlorhexidine (CHX) chip is effective in improving clinical results compared to scaling and root planing (SRP) alone. However, some recent studies failed to confirm these clinical results, nor have any data been reported regarding the capability of the CHX chip in affecting the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in the gingival crevicular fluid (GCF). This enzyme has been related to a condition of destructive activity of periodontitis. The aim of this study is to provide further data on the clinical and biochemical effects of CHX chips when used as an adjunct to SRP. Eighty-two systemically healthy patients, aged 31-63, with moderate and advanced periodontitis were recruited from the departments of Periodontology of the University of Chieti. In each patient 2 experimental sites, located in two symmetric quadrants, were chosen with a probing depth of > or = 5 mm and bleeding on probing. The 2 sites were selected randomly at the split-mouth level; control sites received SRP alone, and test sites SRP plus 1 CHX chip. Clinical indices, including probing depth (PPD), clinical attachment level (CAL), bleeding on probing (BOP), and the ALP activity in GCF were evaluated at baseline and after 6 months. Alkaline phosphatase activity was assayed spectrophotometrically. The PPD and CAL were significantly lower at 6 months as compared to the baseline scores in both treatments (p less than 0.01). The PPD reduction was 2.7 mm in the CHX+SRP group and 1.9 mm in the SRP alone group. The CHX+SRP group showed a significantly greater gain of clinical attachment (mean: 1.4 mm) in comparison with the SRP group (mean: 0.9; p less than 0.05). No differences were observed in the decrease of the percent of BOP-positive sites between the experimental groups. Conversely, the CHX+SRP group underwent a significantly greater decrease (p less than 0.01) of the GCF-ALP activity 6 months after treatment in comparison with the SRP alone group. The adjunctive use of the CHX chip resulted in a significant improvement of pocket reduction and clinical attachment gain as compared with SRP alone. These results were concomitant with a significantly greater reduction of the GCF-ALP activity levels.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 22(1):63-72. · 5.18 Impact Factor