Luigi Sandonato

Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Sicily, Italy

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Publications (31)43.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The authors sought to assess the incidence of new foci of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in patients treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Two readers retrospectively reviewed by consensus the follow-up MDCT studies of 125 patients (88 men and 37 women; mean age 68 years) with 141 HCCs (size 1-5.2 cm; mean 2.2 cm) treated with RFA. MDCT follow-up was performed at 1 and 3 months and every 6-12 months thereafter. Reviewers assessed: (1) the presence of new HCC foci in the same liver segment or in a different segment; (2) complete or incomplete tumour ablation; (3) tumour progression. A total of 113 new HCCs (size 0.7-4.8 cm; mean 1.7 cm) were detected in 69/125 (55.2%) patients (mean follow-up 30.38±19.14 months). Of these, 86 (76.1%) new HCCs were multiple (p<0.0001), and 92 (81.4%) occurred in a different segment from that of the treated HCC (p<0.0001). New HCCs were observed in the first 12 months, between 12 and 24 months and after 24 months in 31/69 (44.9%), 24/69 (34.8%) and 14/69 (20.3%) patients, respectively (p=0.175). Mean diseasefree interval was 16.1±16.31 (range 1-52) months. Complete tumour ablation was achieved in 132/141 (93.6%) treated HCCs, and tumour progression occurred in 29/141 (20.6%) cases. In patients with RFA-treated HCCs, MDCT follow-up revealed a high incidence of new HCCs, even after 1 year of follow-up. The new foci tended to be multiple and located in a liver segment different from that of the previously treated nodules.
    La radiologia medica 11/2011; 117(5):739-48. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hemorrhage and postoperative liver insufficiency are frequent and serious complications of hepatic resection in cirrhotic patients. The aim of this study was to assess retrospectively whether the surgical techniques using Kelly clamp crushing resection or heat coagulative necrosis with a bipolar radiofrequency device can reduce the incidence of the above complications and an eventual recurrence of neoplasia on the liver slice. We retrospectively reviewed the results of 35 patients who had undergone resection for monofocal hepatocellular carcinoma at our center. Thirteen patients (Group A) had undergone liver resection with Kelly clamp crushing resection, 22 patients (Group B) had had liver resection assisted with a bipolar radiofrequency device. Radiofrequency-assisted liver resection was associated with diminished blood loss (P < 0.0001), a lower blood transfusion rate (P < 0.005), reduced operative time (P < 0.0001), and better postoperative serum albumin levels (P < 0.03). This nonrandomized retrospective study suggests that radiofrequency-assisted liver resection is associated with better results than the Kelly clamp crushing resection technique in cirrhotic patients with focal hepatocellular carcinoma and preserved liver function. These results should now be assessed prospectively in a randomized clinical trial.
    The American surgeon 11/2011; 77(11):1490-5. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) can favor several aspects of tumorigenesis. In turn, Raf-1 Kinase Inhibitor Protein (RKIP) inhibits the oncogenic activities of MAPK and NF-κB pathways and promotes drug-induced apoptosis. Mutual influences between YY1 and RKIP may exist, and there are already separate evidences that relevant increases in YY1 and reductions in RKIP occur in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the levels of the two factors have never been concomitantly examined in HCC. We evaluated by RT-PCR the mRNA levels of YY1, YY1AP, RKIP, and survivin in 35 clinical HCCs (91% HCV-related), in their adjacent cirrhotic tissues and in 6 healthy livers. Immunohistochemical analyses were also performed. The ratio of YY1 to RKIP mRNA was constantly profoundly inverted in the tumors compared with the adjacent nontumoral tissues. A similar result occurred frequently at protein level. Hyperactivation of YY1 in tumors was corroborated by its nuclear localization and the finding that in the tumors there were also increases in YY1AP, a YY1 coactivator not expressed in normal liver, and in survivin, as a possible target of YY1. The frequent alteration in the YY1-RKIP balance might represent a marker of malignant progression and be exploited for therapeutic interventions in HCC.
    Omics: a journal of integrative biology 02/2011; 15(5):267-72. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess contrast-enhanced US (CEUS), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings and serial changes of the treated area at follow-up in patients who underwent liver resection using a bipolar radiofrequency electrosurgical device. Imaging findings of 27 patients with resected hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) (n=24) and metastases (n=3) (mean size: 2.6cm), were retrospectively evaluated. Two readers assessed: the (a) presence, (b) thickness, (c) shape and (d) echogenicity (CEUS)/attenuation (CT)/signal intensity (MR imaging) at coagulated site and the (e) presence of residual tumor of the bipolar radiofrequency electrosurgical device resection margin. Follow-up was performed with either CT (n=20) or MR imaging (n=7) and repeated in 16 patients with CT (n=7), MR imaging (n=4), or both techniques (n=5). Four patients also had a single CEUS examination. At first imaging follow-up a peripheral halo was depicted at resection site (100%). A fluid collection within the surgical area was found in 67% of patients. During the following imaging examinations a progressive involution of both findings was observed, respectively, in 81% and 62% of patients. Viable tissue was detected in three patients (11%). After liver resection with bipolar radiofrequency electrosurgical device successfully ablated tumor is demonstrated at imaging by an unenhancing partial linear peripheral halo, in most cases, surrounding a fluid collection reducing in size during follow-up.
    European journal of radiology 02/2011; 81(4):663-70. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intra- and postoperative bleeding represents an extremely serious and frequent complication of hepatic surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of TachoSil® to improve hemostasis in radiofrequency assisted minor hepatic resection. Between July 2008 and June 2010, 31 patients underwent radiofrequency assisted minor hepatic resection. At the end of the liver resection a sponge of TachoSil® was applied on the liver. The mean intraoperative bleeding from the liver was 56.1 mL (range 0-300 mL). No patients received intra- and postoperative blood transfusion. Surgical drains were removed between the first and the sixth-eight postoperative day. According to the authors Tacho-sil® is helpful to improve hemostasis and biliary leakage in patients undergoing radiofrequency assisted minor hepatic resection.
    Minerva chirurgica 12/2010; 65(6):627-33. · 0.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the main etiological factors and some clinical characteristics of patients with HCC at diagnosis and to compare them with those we described ten years ago. 179 patients were included in Group 1, while 132 patients were included in Group 2. For all patients age, sex, serum markers of hepatitis B and C viruses, alcohol consumption, serum alpha feto-protein (AFP) levels and the main liver function parameters at HCC diagnosis were recorded. Mean age was 66.0 years for Group 1 and 69.0 for Group 2 (P=0.005). HCV was responsible for 80.3% of HCC cases in Group 2 versus 72% in Group 1 (P=0.005). HBV alone and co-infection of HCV+HBV decreased, but not significantly. In Group 1 only four patients had an underlying normal liver, while in Group 2 no patients showed an underlying normal liver (P=ns). HCC was more frequently associated with Child class A in Group 2 (P=0.0001), whereas in Group 1 it was more frequently associated with class C (P=0.0001). Staging of HCC correlated inversely when patients of Groups 1 and 2 were compared (P<0.03). AFP serum levels were above normal in 72% of cases in Group 1 and in 41.5% in Group 2 (P=0.0001). This study shows that over the last decade a number of characteristics of patients with HCC in our region have changed, particularly age at onset of HCC, staging of underlying liver disease and staging of HCC.
    European Journal of Internal Medicine 04/2010; 21(2):127-30. · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease - DIG LIVER DIS. 01/2010; 42.
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    ABSTRACT: Intra- and postoperative bleeding represents an extremely serious and frequent complication of hepatic surgery. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of a radiofrequency (RF) device using heat to cause coagulative necrosis of the hepatic parenchyma to control hemostasis in minor hepatic resection. Between December 2005 and November 2007, a study was conducted of 21 patients undergoing 22 hepatic resections with the RF-assisted technique. Sixteen of these were affected by hepatocellular carcinoma and five had liver metastases from colorectal cancer. Intraoperative blood loss, the need for blood transfusion, the complication rates, operating times, and the duration of postoperative hospitalization were evaluated. Four segmentectomies and 18 tumor-ectomies were performed. The average blood loss was of 15.7 mL (range, 0-40 mL); the average operating time was 25.7 minutes (range, 12-43 minutes); the mean postoperative hospital stay was 8.2 days (range, 3-49 days) with a median of 6.0 days. The authors concluded that the RF-assisted technique can be a useful method not only for reducing blood loss and avoiding blood transfusions, but also for reducing operating time and postoperative hospitalization for minor liver resections.
    The American surgeon 12/2009; 75(12):1213-9. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocarcinogenesis is a multistep process characterized by hepatocyte inflammation, regeneration, and proliferation. These changes are believed to depend on the aberrant expression of various tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes and growth factors. Several studies have shown the involvement of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the inducible isoform of the enzymes that catalyze prostaglandin synthesis in various aspects of carcinogenesis. COX-2 has been described as being overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. Using immunohistochemistry, we studied COX-2 expression in different chronic liver diseases (CLD) including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), chronic hepatitis (CH), liver cirrhosis (LC), and HCC in a population referred to a tertiary center in western Sicily, an area moderately endemic for CLD. Sixteen NASH, 35 CH, 15 LC, and 21 HCC samples were analyzed. Positive signs of COX-2 were observed in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes and median values were 6 (3-9) for NASH, 7 (3-9) for CH, 6 (4-9) for LC, and 4 (0-7) for HCC. COX-2 expression was significantly lower in HCC than in NASH (P < 0.001), CH (P < 0.0001), and LC (P < 0.0001). In HCC we found a wide range of COX-2 expression: from no expression in poorly differentiated areas to a high expression in well-differentiated ones, with an inverse correlation between COX-2 and tumor grading, according to Edmonson (rho=-0.67, P < 0.0001). In conclusion: (a) COX-2 expression was significantly lower in HCC than in the other CLD; (b) COX-2 expression inversely correlated with tumor differentiation status. These results suggest that COX-2 expression could be related to the inflammatory phenomena present in the early phases of CLD and eventually to the induction of hepatocarcinogenesis.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 1155:293-9. · 4.38 Impact Factor
  • Atti del convegno pubblicati su European Radiology Supplements 2009;19(1), Vienna; 01/2009
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    ABSTRACT: At the present time, the best possible choice for the local management of a multifocal hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) developing on liver cirrhosis is multimodal treatment of the disease. Combined approach based on simultaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) together with limited surgical resection represents a valid choice of treatment. A 75-year-old white female patient affected of HCV-associated cirrhosis in Child-Pugh's functional class A5, developed a bifocal HCC. The patient had undergone a limited surgical resection together with simultaneous RFA, without intraoperative and postoperative surgical complications. At 36 months after surgery, still shows no sign of disease relapse. This strategy directed at the management of multifocal HCC, may prove more useful for the reduction of surgical risk and post-operative progression of the liver cirrhosis than large-scale hepatectomy, since it presents no peri-operative mortality and a complication rate of less than 10%.
    Cases Journal 01/2009; 2:7987.
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    ABSTRACT: Neoplastic seeding of hepatocellular carcinoma may arise after radiofrequency ablation. In order to clarify the real risk of seeding, we observed a prospective cohort of patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation. Ninety-three (22.9%) out of 406 consecutive patients with hepatocellular carcinoma superimposed to cirrhosis diagnosed at our Liver Unit (2000-2005) were selected for radiofrequency ablation according to the Barcelona 2000 EASL guidelines. Seventy-one patients were treated by a percutaneous approach and 22 at laparotomy. After radiofrequency ablation ultrasound scan was repeated every 3 months and spiral-computed tomography every 6 months. Overall 145 sessions were performed in 93 patients: 113 (77.9%) by a percutaneous approach and 32 (22.1%) at laparotomy. The median follow-up was 23 months (range 1-60). Only 1 of the 71 patients (1.4%; 95% C.I. 0.25-7.56) treated percutaneously and none of the 22 (0%; 95% C.I. 0-14.8) treated at laparotomy showed neoplastic seeding. In our experience the risk of seeding of hepatocellular carcinoma after radiofrequency ablation was small (1.1% per patient, 95% C.I. 0.19-5.84; 0.7% per procedure, 95% C.I. 0.12-3.80). A stringent selection of patients for radiofrequency ablation and retraction of the needle with a hot tip may have been instrumental in obtaining this low frequency.
    Digestive and Liver Disease 09/2008; 40(8):684-9. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A major problem in assessing the likelihood of survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) arises from a lack of models capable of predicting outcome accurately. To compare the ability of the Italian score (CLIP), the French classification (GRETCH) and the Barcelona (BCLC) staging system in predicting survival in patients with HCC. We included 406 consecutive patients with cirrhosis and HCC. Seventy-eight per cent of patients had hepatitis C. Independent predictors of survival were identified using the Cox model. One-hundred and seventy-eight patients were treated, while 228 were untreated. The observed mortality was 60.1% in treated patients and 84.9% in untreated patients. Among treated patients, albumin, bilirubin and performance status were the only independent variables significantly associated with survival. Mortality was independently predicted by bilirubin, alpha-fetoprotein and portal vein thrombosis in untreated patients. CLIP achieved the best discriminative capacity in the entire HCC cohort and in the advanced untreatable cases, while BCLC was the ablest in predicting survival in treated patients. Overall predictive ability of BCLC, CLIP and GRETCH staging systems was not satisfactory, and was not uniform for treated patients and untreated patients. None of the scoring systems provided confident prediction of survival in individual patients.
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 08/2008; 28(1):62-75. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: LigaSure is a bipolar diathermy system, which achieves vessel sealing with reduced thermal spread. The device has been used successfully in abdominal operations and because of its features, it has been applied recently in thyroid surgery to minimize the risk of complications such as laryngeal nerve palsy and hypocalcemia, and also to reduce the operating time. Between June and December 2005, we performed total thyroidectomy for various disorders in 105 patients. We used the LigaSure diathermy system in 53 patients and traditional hemostatic procedures in the other 52. We evaluated the demographic features, histopathological diagnosis, operating times, and relevant postoperative complications. The two study groups had similar demographic and histopathological features. The mean operating time +/- SD was not significantly shorter in the LigaSure group than in the traditional group (104 +/- 12.7 vs 110 +/- 15.6 min). None of the patients in either group suffered hemorrhage, definitive hypocalcemia, or definitive laryngeal nerve palsy. Transient hypocalcemia and transient laryngeal nerve palsy developed in 7.54% and in 1.88%, respectively, of the patients in the LigaSure group, and in 7.69% and 1.92%, respectively, of the patients in the traditional group; these differences were not significant. LigaSure is a safe and effective method of hemostasis control, but it did not reduce the incidence of complications or operating times compared with traditional hemostatic procedures; moreover, the operative costs were higher.
    Surgery Today 02/2008; 38(6):495-8. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract that are believed to originate from a neoplastic transformation of the intestinal pacemaker cells (interstitial cells of Cajal) normally found in the bowel wall or their precursors. Although the microscopic features have been known for a long time, the defining characteristic of GIST is the presence of the cell-surface antigen CD117 (KIT), which is demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. KIT, which is a growth factor transmembrane receptor, is the product of the proto-oncogene c-kit (chromosome 4). Surgical removal remains the only curative treatment for patients with GISTs. Tumor size, mitotic index, anatomic location, tumor rupture and disease-free interval are the classic characteristics used to predict the clinical course of patients who undergo complete gross resection. Most GISTs express constitutively activated mutant isoforms of KIT or kinase platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) that are potential therapeutic targets for imatinib mesylate. Imatinib mesylate is a rationally designed, molecularly specific oral anticancer agent that selectively inhibits several protein tyrosine kinases central to the pathogenesis of human cancer and which has demonstrated remarkable clinical efficacy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and malignant GISTs. More recently Sunitinib, a new KIT/PDGFRA kinase inhibitor, has been tested in patients with GIST resistant to imatinib, with promising results.
    Annals of Oncology 07/2007; 18 Suppl 6:vi136-40. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is included among the wide therapeutic tools for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), tumour with high frequency and malignancy. The approach is invasive and, beyond the discomfort for the patient, it is charged by a number of side effects and complications. In this study we report the case of renal acute failure of hypovolemic origin, as a consequence of a TACE in a patient suffering from HCC, occurred after one week of intervention. The different possible mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of this complication are discussed.
    Recenti progressi in medicina 05/2007; 98(4):232-5.
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    ABSTRACT: The authors describe the case of a large hepatocellular adenoma diagnosed in a 30-year old woman who came to us complaining of acute pain in the upper abdominal quadrants. The patient had been taking an oral contraceptive pill for the last ten years. We present the clinical features, the diagnostic work-up and the treatment prescribed.
    Journal of Medical Case Reports 02/2007; 1:57.
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2007; 46.
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    ABSTRACT: Today, giant hydatid cysts are fairly rare even in endemic areas. We describe a case of an extremely large hydatid cyst of the liver that was causing massive compression of the neighboring organs, giving rise to a subocclusive syndrome of the intestine. After considering the various approaches available for the treatment of this disease, it was decided that radical surgery was still the best therapeutic choice, especially when extremely large cysts are involved. In particular, in clinical situations where it is difficult to perform radical surgical procedures, less aggressive surgery followed by drug treatment should be the treatment of choice.
    The American surgeon 06/2006; 72(5):405-8. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies report a higher rate of papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT), indicating a possible correlation between the two diseases. We studied a group of 89 subjects undergoing surgery for thyroid carcinomas compared with a control group of 89 subjects operated on for normofunctioning goiter, and a second group of 47 patients undergoing total thyroidectomy for HT. Association with HT was found in 19 of the 71 PTC subjects (26.7%) and in 8 goiter patients (8.9%), which was a significant difference (P < 0.02). Thirteen of the HT patients, mostly with the nodular form, showed coexistent PTC (27.6%). HT and PTC coexisted in several morphological, immunohistochemical, and biomolecular aspects; increased incidence of PTC in HT patients might therefore indicate that HT is a precursor of thyroid cancer. Further studies are required, however, in order to confirm this hypothesis; until then, HT patients should undergo careful clinical and technical follow-up.
    The American surgeon 10/2005; 71(10):874-8. · 0.92 Impact Factor