Gian L Scapoli

Universita degli studi di Ferrara, Ferrare, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (21)68.29 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Wound healing in venous leg ulcer (VLU) is a multi-step process involving complex pathways. Scanty knowledge at molecular level hinders clinical assessment and treatment. Anomalous handling of local iron overload, as well as unbalancing in matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and transglutaminase, has a recognized role in VLU establishment. We selected a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes (HFE, FPN1, MMP12, and FXIII) involved in VLU to identify potentially prognostic markers by means of DNA-array technology. The DNA-array-genotyping was assessed in 638 subjects for the following SNPs: HFE (C282Y, H63D), FPN1 (-8CG), MMP12 (-82AG) and FXIII (V34L). Of the subjects, 221 were affected by VLU (171 primary and 50 post-thrombosis), 112 by severe chronic venous disease (CVD) (CEAP, C3-C4), while 305 were matched healthy controls. The HFE and FXIII SNPs had been previously genotyped by conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-methods on the same group of subjects (J Vasc Surg 2005;42:309; J Vasc Surg 2006;44:554; J Vasc Surg 2006;44:815). For the purpose of DNA-array, they were re-genotyped by means of array-techniques resulting in a 100% matching. Intergroup statistical comparisons were performed. In the risk computation, the FPN1 -8GG genotype had an overall CVD risk of 4.3 (95% CI, 1.6-12) and a VLU risk of 5.2 (95% CI, 1.9-15) virtually the same among primary VLU (4.98; 95% CI, 1.82-14.9). The MMP12-82AA genotype had a VLU risk of 1.96 (95% CI, 1.18-3.2) only in primary VLU (P = .01). In the genotype-ulcer size association studies, from a subgroup of 167 cases, we observed a smaller mean ulcer size in the MMP12 GG-genotype compared with the other genotypes (P = .001). Combining the present results with our previous published data on the same population, we suggest them to apply as tentative prognostic indicators in primary CVD. By analyzing simultaneously selected SNPs, it might be possible to glean precious information in predicting VLU onset or in stratifying patients according to their potential to heal. Although significant, our findings must be considered preliminary and the proposed prognostic indicators considered with caution, before ulterior more extensive studies in different populations can eventually confirm the present findings.
    Journal of vascular surgery: official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter 12/2009; 50(6):1444-51. DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2009.07.103 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) represents the leading cause of blindness in Western populations. The majority of severe vision loss occurs in the exudative form of AMD, characterized by the development of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) beneath the fovea. Photodynamic therapy with verteporfin (PDT-V) represents one of the most largely employed modality that maybe achieves the subfoveal CNV inactivation in AMD patients. Although several ocular factors have been hitherto investigated as predictors, these researches have weakly contributed to PDT-V optimization. As PDT-V benefit is determined by CNV photothrombosis, we have retrospectively studied several coagulation-balance gene polymorphisms as predictors of PDT-V efficacy. Ninety Caucasian patients with neovascular AMD were subdivided in responder and nonresponder, on the basis of CNV responsiveness to PDT-V application. Six gene polymorphisms, that is factor V G1691A, prothrombin G20210A, factor XIII-A G185T, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T, methionine synthase A2756G, and methionine synthase reductase A66G, were genotyped in the entire cohort. Logistic regression models showed that PDT-V responders were more prevalent within patients with prothrombin G20210A mutation [odds ratio (OR)=5.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.2, 27.2), P=0.03], and within methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677T carriers [OR=6.9, 95% CI (2.7, 18.1), P<0.001]. Conversely, PDT-V nonresponders were overrepresented in carriers for factor XIII-A 185T [OR=0.13, 95% CI (0.05, 0.36), P<0.001]. These results provide evidences for the presence of pharmacogenetic relationship between peculiar coagulation-balance gene polymorphisms and different levels of PDT-V effectiveness in patients with AMD-related CNV.
    Pharmacogenetics and Genomics 12/2007; 17(12):1039-46. DOI:10.1097/FPC.0b013e3282f12a4e · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Common methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene variants (MTHFR C677T and A1298C) have been described to have opposite effects on cancer patients. They may reduce cancer susceptibility and increase drug-related toxicity when folate antagonists (e.g. methotrexate) are utilized. We analyzed 110 patients with high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), 68 of whom were eligible for a chemotherapy combination containing methotrexate (MACOP-B) and 42 for chemotherapy without methotrexate (CHOP). Patients were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction and stratified by MTHFR variants. These data were related to the toxicity (WHO grade GO-4) that the patients suffered and their survival. Overall 64 cases (58.2%) developed some form of toxicity and 23 (20.9%) had grade 3/4 toxicity. When considering toxicity of any grade (grade 1-4), the 677TT genotype was significantly over-represented among cases with mucositis (OR=4.85; 95% CI, 1.47-15.97; p=0.009) and those with hepatic toxicity (OR=3.43; 95% CI, 0.99-11.86; p=0.052). Sub-analyses in the group treated with MACOP-B showed a slight increase in the risk of developing mucositis (OR=5.22; 95% CI, 1.20-27.27; p=0.03), and a strong increase in the risk of hepatic toxicity (OR=7.08; 95% CI, 1.38-36.2; p=0.019) and thrombocytopenia (OR=7.69, 95% CI 1.0-58.94; p=0.05). Interestingly, compared to the risk of developing toxicity of any grade, the risk of developing severe (grade 3/4) mucositis was almost doubled in the whole group of cases with 677TT (OR=8.13; 95% CI 1.61-41.04; p=0.011) and dramatically increased in the MACOP-B-treated cases with this gene variant (OR=24.6; 95% CI 2.49-87.41; p=0.001). There were significant results for 1298CC cases exclusively for mucositis (any grade, OR=5.33; 95% CI, 1.25-22.70; p=0.023 and OR=9.15; 95% CI, 1.14-73.41; p=0.037; for the whole group and the MACOP-B-treated group, respectively). Similarly, the risk of 1298CC patients developing severe mucositis increased (OR=9.24; 95% CI, 1.47-58.0; p=0.017 and OR=11.53; 0.93-143.18; p=0.057; in the whole group and in the MACOP-B-treated group, respectively). Event-free survival analysis revealed a lower probability of event-free survival at 5 years for 677T-carriers (log-ranks, p=0.05 and p=0.07 in the whole group and in the MACOP-B-treated group, respectively). More significant results were obtained when 1298CC cases were excluded from the reference group (log-ranks, p=0.03 and p=0.04, respectively). No significant associations were found in the CHOP-treated group. Our data suggest that MTHFR gene variants play a critical role in NHL outcome, possibly by interfering with the action of methotrexate with significant effects on toxicity and survival. Genotyping of folate pathway gene variants might be useful to enable reduction of chemotherapy toxicity and/or to improve survival by indicating when dose adjustments or alternative treatments are necessary.
    Haematologica 05/2007; 92(4):478-85. DOI:10.3324/haematol.10587 · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many factors impair healing of chronic venous ulcer (CVU), and many theories have been proposed to explain their pathogenesis. Coagulation factor XIII (FXIII) influences tissue regeneration and angiogenesis with effects on wound healing. Because FXIII properties depend upon its genetic variants, we investigated whether intragene polymorphisms may have modulating effects on the CVU area. The study included 121 patients with nonhealing CVUs (CEAP clinical class C6) that included 67% with primary chronic venous disease (CVD), 26% with post-thrombotic ulcers, and 7% with mixed ulcer origin. Polymerase chain reaction was used to genotype them for Val34Leu, Pro564Leu, and Tyr204Phe variants in the FXIII-A subunit gene and for His95Arg variant in the FXIII-B subunit gene. The same variants were analyzed in 102 controls, healthy subjects who were case-matched by age and gender. Genotype distribution for all polymorphisms investigated was not significantly different between cases and controls. Conversely, our CVU cases had a mean ulcer area inversely related with the presence of both Leu34 and Leu564 alleles (ValVal, 12.3 +/- 22.4 cm2 vs LeuLeu, 3.9 +/- 2.6 cm2, P = .002; ProPro, 10.2 +/- 21.2 cm2 vs LeuLeu, 2.9 +/- 1.4 cm2, P = .002). In combined analysis, those cases who were wild-type for both variants (ValVal34/ProPro564) had a further increase in mean ulcer size compared with cases carrying both variants (Leu34/Leu564) (13.3 +/- 27.1 cm2 vs 5.2 +/- 5.6 cm2; P = .034). No correlation exists between FXIII genotypes and the prevalence of chronic venous ulcers, thus demonstrating that FXIII polymorphisms have no role in ulcer development. In contrast, FXIII-gene variants, in particular the non-wild-type alleles Leu34 and Leu564, were associated with a smaller venous ulcer surface and might have favorable effects on reparative processes.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 11/2006; 44(4):815-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2006.06.006 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Role of superficial venous surgery in reducing the time it takes for ulcers to heal is still controversial, although all studies confirm a significant reduction in ulcer recurrences. Recently, the HFE-C282Y and FXIII-V34L gene variants demonstrated a role in the risk of venous ulceration in primary chronic venous disorder (CVD) and in modulating lesion size in chronic venous ulcer (CVU), respectively. This study was conducted to investigate the role of HFE-C282Y and FXIII (V34L and P564L) gene variants in ulcer healing time after superficial venous surgery, by assessing the outcome of a cohort of homogeneous CVU patients. The study selected 91 patients affected by primary CVU (CEAP C6, Ep, Asp, Pr), with the exclusion of any other comorbidity factor involved in delayed healing process, who underwent surgery. We assessed the ulcer area and the healing time. Patients were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction for FXIII (V34L and P564L) and for HFE-C282Y substitutions. Globally, CVU cases had a postoperative mean healing time of 8.5 +/- 5.7 weeks. For the subset of cases above and below the median value (M = 8.0 weeks), FXIII-V34L genotype distribution significantly differed (P < .0001). In addition, Kaplan-Meier analysis yielded specific healing time profiles for the different FXIII-V34L classes of genotype (P = .00001), with an increased risk of delayed healing for the FXIII-VV genotype (hazard ratio, 4.14; 95% confidence interval, 2.1 to 8.2; P = .00005). Although FXIII-P54L genotype distributions did not differ, homozygous 564LL cases (P = .005) and double carriers for both FXIII variants (P < .0001), had a significantly reduced healing time vs wild types. No differences in healing time were observed between carriers and noncarriers of the HFE-C282Y variant, whereas when these cases were stratified by FXIII-V34L genotypes, the L34 carriers had a significantly shorter healing time, irrespective of the HFE genotype. The FXIII-34L variant was significantly associated with shorter healing time after superficial venous surgery, suggesting a role in the healing and tissue regeneration phases. Conversely, HFE-C282Y, despite its role in ulcer establishment, did not affect the postoperative healing time. In perspective, the identification of patients with a poor prognosis may give clinicians the opportunity to modify management and to target tailored therapies in the view of a new and alternative concept of treatment based on pharmacogenomics.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 09/2006; 44(3):554-62. DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2006.05.011 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic venous disease (CVD) is the most common vascular disorder, progressing in approximately 10% of cases toward chronic venous leg ulceration, whereas the hemochromatosis gene (HFE) C282Y mutation is the most common recognized genetic defect in iron metabolism. Because CVD leads to local iron overload in the affected legs, we investigated whether two common HFE mutations could increase the risk of chronic venous leg ulceration. This was a case-control study at the Vascular Diseases Center, University of Ferrara, Italy. From a cohort of 980 consecutive patients affected by severe CVD (CEAP clinical classes C4 to C6) we selected 238 cases with the exclusion of any other comorbidity factor potentially involved in wound etiology (group A). They were subdivided into group B, including 137 patients with ulcer (classes C5 and C6: 98 primary and 39 postthrombotic cases), and group C, including 101 cases with no skin lesions (class C4). They were completely matched for sex, age, and geographic origin with 280 healthy controls (group D). A total of 518 subjects were polymerase chain reaction genotyped for HFE mutations (C282Y and H63D). We assessed the risk of ulceration by comparing the prevalence of ulcer in homogenous cases with and without the HFE variants. Other main outcome measures were the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the genetic test in CVD cases. C282Y mutation significantly increases the risk of ulcer in primary CVD by almost seven times (odds ratio, 6.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.45-30.8; P = .01). Application of the HFE test in primary CVD demonstrated increased specificity and positive predictive values (98% and 86%, respectively), with negligible sensitivity and negative predictive values. The overlap of primary CVD and the C282Y mutation consistently increases the risk of developing venous leg ulceration. These data, which have been confirmed in other clinical settings, suggest new strategies for preventing and treating primary CVD. The number of patients affected by primary CVD is so great that the vast majority of ulcers are also related to this common problem. On the other hand, there is not a reliable way for identifying in advance, from the broad base of primary CVD patients (20-40% of the general population), the high risk minority (10% of primary CVD cases) who will develop a venous ulcer. In such cases, a simple C282Y blood genetic test demonstrated an elevated specificity in predicting ulcer development (98%, CI 95%, 92.8-99.7). The genetic test could be applied starting from the C2 class, varicose veins, the most common situation observed in clinical practice. In perspective, the presence of the C282Y mutation would strengthen the indications and priorities for surgical correction of superficial venous insufficiency.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 09/2005; 42(2):309-14. DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2005.04.003 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To verify the prevalence of Val34Leu polymorphism in factor XIII A-chain gene (FXIII Val34Leu) in patients with spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage (SCH). Nonrandomized case-control study. One hundred seven white patients suffering from one or more episodes of idiopathic SCH and 107 healthy subjects were matched for age and gender, and genotyped for FXIII Val34Leu. Anamnestic, ophthalmologic, cardiovascular, and serologic examinations were performed. Frequency of FXIII mutated allele (Leu34) was significantly higher in SCH patients than in controls. Computing together heterozygotes (Val/Leu) and homozygotes (Leu/Leu), genotype distribution was statistically different. In a conditional logistic regression model, the comparison of the three separated genotypes, performed among 25 patients with recurrent idiopathic SCHs and controls, gave significant differences for both Val/Leu and Leu/Leu variables. Both homozygosity and heterozygosity for FXIII Val34Leu predispose to idiopathic SCH, emphasizing the role of Leu34 allele as inherited risk factor for spontaneous, especially recurrent, SCHs.
    American Journal of Ophthalmology 10/2004; 138(3):481-4. DOI:10.1016/j.ajo.2004.03.017 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low Factor XIII (FXIII) activity has been reported in the blood of patients with chronic venous leg ulcer (CVU). In vivo studies have described increased wound healing in CVU patients treated with FXIII concentrate, and in vitro studies have shown increased regenerative capacity in FXIII-treated fibroblasts. In addition, a common G-to-T polymorphism in the FXIIIA-subunit gene (V34L) significantly increases the activity and modifies the cross-linking properties of the FXIII molecule and this variant has been investigated as a protective factor against thrombosis, a recognized risk factor for CVU establishment. Therefore, the role of FXIII levels, FXIII V34L, FVR506Q, and FIIG20210A, common gene polymorphisms in the pathogenesis of CVU was investigated. Ninety-one patients with CVU and 195 healthy controls (91 of them sex- and age-matched) were PCR-genotyped for the FXIIIV34L, FVR506Q, and FIIG20210A substitutions and FXIIIA-subunit levels were determined by immuno-electrophoresis. The extent of the venous ulcer surface in patients was measured by computer software. The allele frequency and the genotype distribution of the FXIII polymorphism did not show significant differences between the whole group of cases and controls as well as prothrombin variants did. On the contrary, the FVR506Q variant (FV Leiden) allele was more frequent in patients, yielding a significant OR value of 5.93 (95 percent CI, 1.83-19.17; p= 0.003). Considering only CVU cases secondary to a post-thrombotic syndrome (n= 24), FV Leiden yielded a greater OR value of 16.08 (95 percent CI, 4.33-59.6; p < 0.0001). When the CVU cases were stratified by the three possible FXIII genotypes, a significant trend toward a lower mean value of the ulcerated area was clearly evident as the number of the polymorphic alleles (L34) increased in the genotype of patients (VV = 11.9 cm(2,)+/- 23.6; VL = 6.1 cm(2,)+/- 6.9; LL = 4.1 cm(2,)+/- 2.8; p= 0.01). On the other hand, FXIIIA antigen levels were similar between CVU cases and matched controls, but 11 percent of cases had FXIII deficiency (FXIIIA </= 0.65 U/ml; p= 0.003) and they showed a greater mean extension of the lesion if compared with the remaining cases without FXIIIA deficiency (14.5 cm(2), +/- 20.2 vs. 9.0 cm(2), +/- 6.3; p= 0.08). We conclude that FXIII antigen levels and FXIII V34L polymorphism may play a crucial role in the complex cascade of CVU pathophysiology, being significantly related to the CVU progression and extension because of the direct effects they have on the FXIII molecular activity.
    Wound Repair and Regeneration 09/2004; 12(5):512-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1067-1927.2004.012503.x · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Folate and methionine metabolism is involved in DNA synthesis and methylation processes. Polymorphisms in the genes of folate metabolism enzymes have been associated with some forms of cancer. In a case-control study, we evaluated whether four common polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR C677T and A1298C), methionine synthase (MS A2756G), and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR A66G) genes may have a role in altering susceptibility to adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). We analyzed DNA of 120 adult ALL, 200 NHL, and 257 healthy control subjects. Individual carrying the MTHFR 677TT genotype showed a 3.6-fold decreased ALL risk [odds ratio (OR) 0.28, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.12-0.72] than wild-types. Similarly, MS 2756GG individuals showed a 5.0-fold decreased ALL risk (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.02-1.45) than wild-types. In combined results, subjects with the MTHFR 677CT/TT and MS 2756AG/GG genotypes revealed a 3.6-fold ALL risk reduction (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.14-0.58) and those with the MTHFR 677TT and MTRR 66AG genotypes revealed a 4.2-fold ALL risk reduction (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.06-0.81). Finally, those with the MS 2756AG/GG and MTRR 66AG/GG genotypes revealed a 2.2-fold ALL risk reduction (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.10-0.85). Single analysis for NHL did not show any significant difference for all the polymorphisms investigated, but in the low-grade NHL subgroup, we found a 2.0-fold risk reduction for the MTRR 66GG homozygous genotype (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.25-0.99), which was higher (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.14-0.85) when analyzed in combination with MS 2756AA genotype. These data are in accordance with the hypothesis that polymorphisms in the genes for folate and methionine metabolism might play a greater role in the occurrence of ALL than NHL by influencing DNA synthesis and/or DNA methylation.
    Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 06/2004; 13(5):787-94. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are overexpressed in venous leg ulcers, determining a breakdown of the main extracellular matrix (ECM) components owing mainly to collagenase activities, and so playing a crucial role in ulcer pathogenesis. The authors studied the effects of coagulation factor XIII (FXIII), which cross-links collagen and other ECM components, in human fibroblast cultured cells in the presence and in the absence of matrix metalloproteinases from Clostridium histolyticum collagenase. Clostridium collagenase at concentrations of 2.0, 1.0, and 0.5 mg/mL was added to normal human dermal fibroblasts cultured in the presence of 0.0, 1.0, and 5.0 U/mL of FXIII concentrate (Fibrogammin P, Aventis Behring). Cell counting and metabolically active fibroblast evaluation in the cultures were monitored for 72 hours, by means of trypan-blue dye and MTT test, respectively. The MTT test showed that at the highest collagenase concentration (2.0 mg/mL), the cell number decreased more than 95% in 72 hours of treatment and no significant differences were observed regardless of the FXIII concentrations utilized. At lower collagenase concentration (1.0 mg/mL), in absence or in presence of FXIII (1.0 U/mL), the cell number decreased by about 80% in 72 hours. In contrast, in the presence of higher FXIII levels (5.0 U/mL), cells suffered globally significantly less collagenase effects (p = 0.011) and the gain was appreciable at each time tested. Finally, at 0.5 mg/mL of collagenase concentration, in the absence of FXIII, the cell number decreased by about 60% in 72 hours, whereas in presence of FXIII 1.0 U/mL and 5.0 U/mL, cells decreased significantly less, by about 35% and 20%, respectively (p < 0.025 and p < 0.01, respectively). These data were also confirmed by direct cell counting utilizing the trypan-blue test. Factor XIII contrasts effectively the detrimental action of Clostridium collagenases in human fibroblast cultured cells. These results support several in vivo reports about the effectiveness of its topical application in order to enhance the venous ulcer healing processes.
    Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 01/2004; 38(5):431-8. · 0.77 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 07/2003; 1:P0296-P0296. DOI:10.1111/j.1538-7836.2003.tb03436.x · 5.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To report on the occurrence of frequent episodes of spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage (SCH) in patients with the Leu 34 allele of the coagulation factor XIII (FXIII), known to be associated with high hemorrhagic risk. Observational case series. Five young adults who had suffered from recurrent idiopathic SCH not associated with any recognized ocular and systemic hemorrhagic risk factor were investigated. Accurate anamnestic, ophthalmologic, hematologic, and serologic examinations were performed, together with blood pressure measurements, electrocardiogram (ECG), and 24-hour Holter ECG recordings. FXIII Val34Leu polymorphism was studied by DNA chain polymerase reaction. DNA analyses showed that the hemorrhagic mutated Leu34 allele was present in four of our selected patients: two mutated homozygotes (Leu/Leu) and two heterozygotes (Val/Leu). In the last subject this polymorphism was not detected. All the other clinical evaluations did not disclose any significant abnormality. The FXIII Val34Leu mutation may be associated with an increased risk for spontaneous episodes of SCH.
    American Journal of Ophthalmology 01/2003; 134(6):927-9. DOI:10.1016/S0002-9394(02)01812-3 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate simultaneously a defect affecting the protein C/protein S (PC/PS) anticoagulant pathway is possible thanks to a methodological approach (ProC(R) Global; Dade Behring) based on the activation of endogenous plasma PC by a snake venom extract. Factor V (FV) Leiden, the most frequent cause of hereditary thrombosis, is well detected by the test with sensitivity of 100% irrespective of the presence/absence of thrombosis in the subjects investigated. The test is also suited to detect PC or PS defect, but in this case the in vitro impairment of the PC/PS pathway is less pronounced particularly for PS defects (sensitivity for PC and PS defect, 85-100 and 30-90%, respectively). In this study, we hypothesized that the lower sensitivity described for PS defect, compared with those of PC and FV Leiden defects, could also be related to the clinical condition of the subject investigated (symptomatic/asymptomatic) rather than solely to the PS plasma activity/level. Therefore, we analyzed 126 subjects with single congenital defects in the PC/PS pathway: 46 subjects with PS deficiency (26 thrombotic cases and 20 asymptomatic relatives), 40 subjects with PC deficiency (25 thrombotic cases and 15 asymptomatic relatives), and 40 heterozygous FV Leiden subjects (25 thrombotic cases and 15 asymptomatic relatives). By a cut-off of normalized Agkistrodon contortix snake venom ratio of 0.84, the sensitivity in the whole group of cases (sensitivity a) was 76.1, 95.0 and 100%, respectively, for PS, PC and FV Leiden defects. The test failed to detect 11 (23.9%) among the 46 PS-deficient subjects, and all these cases except two belonged to the asymptomatic subgroup (9/20; 45%). Excluding the 20 asymptomatic relatives, the new sensitivity (sensitivity b) for the PS defect was 92.3%. The comparison of the sensitivity in the symptomatic PS cases and in the asymptomatic ones was significantly different (P = 0.010). Among the 40 PC-deficient subjects, only two (5.0%) were not detected by the test and they belonged indifferently to the two subgroups. Finally, none of the 40 FV Leiden heterozygotes were misdiagnosed by the test. These results suggest that in symptomatic PS-deficient cases the test could reflect a post-thrombotic effect and/or reveal potential unidentified prothrombotic influences assessing a prothrombotic risk condition.
    Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis 01/2002; 12(8):691-7. DOI:10.1097/00001721-200112000-00011 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of a common polymorphism in the factor XIII A-subunit gene (FXIII Val34Leu) has been recently investigated as a protective genetic factor against arterial and venous thrombosis. In addition, the less frequent Leu34 allele has been described as a risk factor for intracerebral hemorrhage. We evaluated the prevalence of this polymorphism by PCR in three case-control studies of patients diagnosed as having primary intracerebral hemorrhage (PCH, n = 130), coronary heart diseases (CHD, n = 240; myocardial infarction/no myocardial infarction, 120/120), and cerebrovascular diseases (CVD, n = 240; cerebral infarction/transient ischaemic attack, 120/120). The matched control groups consisted of patients admitted to the hospital without history of vascular disease. In addition, 200 healthy subjects were investigated. The frequency of the mutated allele (Leu34) was higher in patients with PCH than in controls (33.8% vs. 23.1%, P = 0.009) and lower in CHD and CVD patients compared to controls (18.1% vs. 25.2%, P = 0.010 and 17.3% vs. 24.2%, P = 0.011, respectively). Moreover, among the patients with CHD, the Leu34 allele was underrepresented in cases with myocardial infarction than without (12.9% vs. 23.3%, P = 0.004) and than in controls (12.9% vs. 25.2%, P < 0.001). Similar findings were obtained in patients with CVD comparing the cases with cerebral infarction versus cases with transient ischaemic attack (12.5% vs. 22.1%, P = 0.008) and versus controls (12.5% vs. 24.2%, P < 0.001). Finally, considering altogether the groups of ischaemic patients (CHD and CVD, n = 480), it was noted a trend towards a higher mean age of the clinical onset in homozygotes for the Leu allele than in the wild types (P = 0.078). This study indicates that in our population possession of the FXIII Val34Leu mutation predisposes to the occurrence of primary intracerebral hemorrhage and protects against cerebral and myocardial infarction. A wider modulatory role in the progression and onset of atherothrombotic diseases could be ascribed to FXIII Val34Leu.
    American Journal of Hematology 07/2001; 67(3):183-8. DOI:10.1002/ajh.1104 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two G-to-A mutations at positions 1691 of the factor V (FV) gene and 20210 of the prothrombin (FII) gene have been associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism. We report a thrombosis-prone family in which one subject--the propositus who exhibited combined heterozygous FV G1691A and FII G20210A mutations--showed spontaneous and early clinical onset (at 23 years), recurrences of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. His asymptomatic father carried the FII G20210A substitution and his mother, characterized by an isolated thrombotic episode on occasion of surgery (at 48 years), carried the FV G1691A substitution. In the maternal lineage, one of the propositus' uncles had thrombosis on occasion of a bone fracture (at 65 years) despite the absence of known prothrombotic defects. A sister of the propositus carried the FII G20210A and the brother the FV G1691A mutation. They have been asymptomatic until now. The propositus' two children, 20 and 16 years old, both carry the FV G1691A substitution and have been asymptomatic until now. The plasma levels of FII were higher in carriers of the FII G20210A allele if compared with noncarriers, and the activated protein C resistance phenotype, associated with the FV Leiden mutation, showed a complete correlation with the FV G1691A mutation. Despite the very limited number of thrombotic cases involved in this survey, which does not allow statistically sound conclusions, the data obtained from this family suggest that the synergy of inherited factors and transient risk conditions could play a key role in the occurrence of thrombotic accidents.
    Haemostasis 01/2001; 31(2):99-105. DOI:10.1159/000048050
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperhomocysteinemia, due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, is considered to be a risk factor for vascular disease. Individuals with the thermolabile variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), due to homozygous C677T MTHFR gene mutation, have significantly raised plasma levels of homocysteine and may be at increased risk of vascular disease. However, it is still controversial a direct association between C677T homozygosity and the occurrence of vascular disease is still controversial. To clarify the contribution of C677T MTHFR mutation in arterial occlusive disease (AOD) or venous thromboembolism (VTE), we performed a case-controlled study including 160 cases with AOD and 180 cases with VTE attending our referral center and compared them with 200 matched healthy controls. MTHFR gene mutation was evaluated by PCR and odds ratios (OR) and the 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to estimate the risk for venous or arterial thrombosis. There was a high prevalence of homozygotes for the mutated MTHFR allele among the whole group of cases with arterial disease (OR = 2.35, p = 0.001). Considering the AOD cases with and those without associated risk factors for arterial disease separately the difference remained significant only in the latter group (p = 0.168 and P<0.001 respectively). In contrast, the prevalence of mutated homozygotes among the whole group of cases with VTE was not significantly different from that in the control group (OR = 1.67; p = 0.070). Excluding VTE cases with inherited thrombophilia or with circumstantial risk situations the value increased in both subgroups (OR = 2.26; p = 0.006 and OR = 2.03; p = 0.033 respectively). Considering only VTE cases with neither inherited thrombophilia nor circumstantial risk situations the risk increased further (OR = 2.57; p = 0.017). These data suggest that in selected patients homozygosity for the MTHFR mutation increases the risk of both arterial and venous thromboses and that differences in selection criteria for the patient group may be responsible in part for the controversial association of the MTHFR mutation and vascular disease.
    Haematologica 10/1999; 84(9):824-8. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have indicated that mild to moderate hyperhomocystinemia is a common cause of arterial occlusive disease. Whether hyperhomocystinemia per se is an independent risk factor for vein thromboembolism (VTE) is still somewhat controversial. Both genetic and nutritional factors influence plasma homocysteine levels. Therefore, we evaluated plasma total homocysteine (tHcy), folate, and vitamin B12 levels and established, by polymerase chain reaction, the presence of the C677T mutation (A223V) in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in 220 cases with VTE without well-established prothrombotic defects. As a control group, 220 healthy subjects from the same geographic area as the cases were investigated. Hyperhomocystinemia was defined as a plasma tHcy level above the 95th percentile in the controls (18.05 micromol/L). Hyperhomocystinemia was found in 16% of cases (odds ratio=3.59; P<0.001); deficiencies of folate (<2.47 ng/mL) or vitamin B12 (<165 pg/mL), defined as values below the 5th percentile in controls, were found in 17.7% (P<0.001) and 12.3% (P=0.015) of cases, respectively. The homozygous condition for the MTHFR mutation (VV) was present in 28.2% of cases and 17.7% of controls (odds ratio=1.82; P=0.013). Comparing only the idiopathic forms of VTE (n=80/220; 36.3%) with normal controls, individuals with hyperhomocystinemia, or individuals homozygous for MTHFR mutation increased the odds ratios to 4.03 (P=0.005) and 2.11 (P=0.018), respectively. No statistically significant difference was observed in the MTHFR genotype distribution of cases and controls with hyperhomocystinemia (P=0.386); however, the normal MTHFR genotype (AA) appeared in control subjects only when tHcy levels were below the 80th percentile (10.57 micromol/L) of the distribution, whereas in case patients, it was present at the highest tHcy levels. A strong association between mutated homozygosity (VV), low folate levels, and hyperhomocystinemia was found in both groups. We conclude that in patients with VTE who do not have coexisting prothrombotic defects, hyperhomocystinemia increases the risk of developing idiopathic and venous thrombosis; the homozygous condition for the MTHFR mutation confers a moderate risk but, together with low folate levels, it is the main determinant of mild hyperhomocystinemia in normal and thromboembolic populations.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 07/1999; 19(7):1761-7. DOI:10.1161/01.ATV.19.7.1761 · 5.53 Impact Factor
  • Donato Gemmati, Maria L. Serino, Gian L. Scapoli
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying a defect affecting the protein C/protein S (PC/PS) anticoagulant system, using a single global test, has recently become possible thanks to a new methodological approach based on the activation of endogenous plasma PC by Protac, derived from Agkistrodon Contortix snake venom (ACV). The introduction of a commercial test (ProC Global), ACV-based, provides a useful tool for the screening of thrombotic patients since the most frequent causes of inherited thrombophilia are found in the PC/PS system. The test provides information only on the global activity of the anticoagulant pathway but not on PC and PS activity or on the factor V related conditions (e.g., FV Leiden). The present study shows that by carrying out the test alternating the presence of PC-, PS-, or FV-deficient plasma and using appropriate amounts of ACV, it is possible to increase the specificity of the test to correctly evaluate respectively the PC or PS activities or the activated protein C resistance condition (APC-R). These simple modifications applied to the original commercial test allow to detect exactly, using a single, basic methodology, the principal defects affecting the PC/PS anticoagulant pathway. Furthermore, carrying out the tests on an automated coagulometer, in combination or not with the classic ProC Global assay, it is possible to use a unique reagent profile to simultaneously investigate in the same or different samples, the PC, PS, and APC-R defect.
    Thrombosis Research 12/1998; 92(3):141-8. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(98)00120-0 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a thrombotic family with combined type I antithrombin deficiency and factor V Leiden (factor V-R506Q) in which the proposita, affected by recurrent venous and arterial thrombosis, was also characterized by mild hyperhomocysteinemia (28 micromol/l; normal <18.5 micromol/l). Her two thrombotic sisters, with normal antithrombin levels and factor V molecules, showed hyperhomocysteinemia (51 and 30 micromol/l, respectively). Four other members of the family had the combined antithrombin/factor V Leiden defect and two of them had thrombosis. The common A223V mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene, responsible for the thermolabile variant of the enzyme, was found to be heterozygous in the proposita; the two sisters were homozygous and heterozygous, respectively. The heterozygous sister also had a high titre of antiphospholipid antibodies (85 units of immunoglobulin G antiphospholipid antibody/ml). Furthermore, low plasma folate levels were found in the three hyperhomocysteinemic subjects of the family. This family with several prothrombotic defects is a clear example of the polyfactorial nature of thrombophilia.
    Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis 04/1998; 9(2):173-6. DOI:10.1097/00001721-199803000-00008 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hemostatic parameters of 495 beta-thalassemic patients (421 with thalassemia major and 74 with thalassemia intermedia) were analyzed, to assess their association with the described thrombophilic condition and to verify the role of additional risk factors (e.g. persistent postsplenectomy thrombocytosis, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, estrogen-progestin treatment and atrial fibrillation). The prevalence of thromboembolic accidents was 5.2% and in four patients (15.3%) inherited or acquired predisposing defects were recognized. The incidence of thromboembolic events and the associated relative risk due to hemocoagulative abnormalities in these patients are discussed.
    Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 02/1998; 11 Suppl 3:915-21. · 0.71 Impact Factor