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Publications (15)23.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Early withdrawal of steroids after liver transplantation has benefits, but rarely is total avoidance of steroids used. We evaluated long-term results of patients with ab initio monotherapy with cyclosporin (CYA) vs. tacrolimus (TAC), in randomized and cohort studies. We evaluated long-term outcomes in 66 adults randomized to TAC or CYA and 94 subsequent patients who received TAC. Protocol liver biopsies were performed. Rejection was treated with three 1 g/d methylprednisolone. Further rejection after two courses of methylprednisolone was defined as monotherapy failure. Actuarial five-yr survival was 68% in TAC and 70% CYA. Monotherapy failed in 8% TAC and 13% CYA patients; no rejection in 24% TAC and 19% CYA patients; 42% TAC and 33% CYA patients were not exposed to any steroids. Rejection episodes were less with TAC, compared to CYA: mean 1.8 vs. 2.5, p = 0.042. Chronic rejection occurred in only 4 (11%) CYA patients. During follow-up of median 97 months (range: 0.06-145), there were 16 (44%) deaths in CYA and 48 (39%) in TAC patients (p > 0.05). TAC monotherapy ab initio is a viable immunosuppressive strategy in liver transplantation and was associated with lower rejection rates and renal complications, compared to CYA.
    Clinical Transplantation 07/2011; 25(4):614-24. · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Late intrahepatic hematoma is a rare complication of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedure. We describe a patient with Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS), who presented with a large inrahepatic hematoma 13 days after TIPS. Review of the literature reveals only two previous cases, both occurring in patients with BCS and presenting after a similar time interval. This potentially serious complication appears to be specific for TIPS in BCS.
    CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology 01/2007; 30(5):1065-9. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential prognostic value for survival of nutritional status in cirrhotics after adjusting Child-Pugh classification and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease has not been evaluated. We used Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression models to identify factors associated with mortality in a cohort of 222 cirrhotics [M/F:145/77 median age 52 (18-68) years] with prospectively collected nutritional parameters as well as modified subjective global nutritional assessment, Royal Free Hospital-Subjective Global Assessment index. Follow-up was censored at the time of transplantation. Other variables were ones in Child-Pugh and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores, age, aetiology of cirrhosis and renal function. Pretransplant mortality (Kaplan-Meier) was 21% by 2 years (135 patients were transplanted). Among the nutritional parameters, only Royal Free Hospital-Subjective Global Assessment remained significantly associated with mortality in multivariable models (P = 0.0006). The final model included the following variables: urea (P = 0.0001), Royal Free Hospital-Subjective Global Assessment (P = 0.003), age (P = 0.0001), Child-Pugh grade (P = 0.009) and prothrombin time (P = 0.003). The results were similar when the Child-Pugh grade was replaced by the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score in the model, and whether a competing risks model was used. Nutritional indices add significantly to both Child-Pugh grade and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores when assessing the patient prognosis.
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 09/2006; 24(4):563-72. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reducing immunosuppression not only reduces complications but also may lessen recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation. HCV-infected cirrhotic patients randomised to tacrolimus monotherapy (MT) or triple therapy (TT) using tacrolimus 0.1 mg/kg/day, azathioprine 1 mg/kg/day, and prednisolone 20 mg/day, tapering over 3 months. Twenty-seven patients (MT) and 29 (TT)--median follow up 661 days (range, 1-1603). Rejection episodes (protocol/further biopsies) within first 3 months and use of empirical treatment were evaluated. New rejection was diagnosed if repeat biopsy (5-day interval) did not show improvement. Treated rejection episodes: 20 MT (15 biopsy-proven) vs. 24 TT (21 biopsy-proven), with 19 (MT) vs. 24 (TT) methylprednisolone boluses. Overall: 35 episodes (MT) and 46 (TT). Fewer MT patients had histological rejection (70%) than TT patients (86%), with fewer episodes of rejection (18.5% vs. 10%), and more moderate rejection (22% vs. 41%). The MT group had higher early tacrolimus levels. Rates of renal dysfunction, retransplantation, and death were not significantly different. Tacrolimus monotherapy is a viable immunosuppressive strategy in HCV-infected liver transplant recipients.
    Transplant Infectious Disease 04/2006; 8(1):3-12. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We systematically reviewed the evidence for determining the best radiological imaging for characterizing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhotic patients in 997 articles between 1995 and 2001. We selected only prospective and retrospective cohorts of patients, excluding both case reports and studies without separate data on HCC. Only 29 studies, comprising 918 patients, fulfilled the inclusion criteria: 10 used the explanted liver as the reference standard of diagnosis. All except one, either found no statistically significant difference between imaging modalities or had no direct comparison of sensitivity between different modalities of imaging; 16 studies evaluated HCC among cirrhotic patients and had biopsy or imaging as the reference standard for diagnosis. However, no one imaging technique was shown to be superior. In two studies, data of a HCC subgroup was derived from the studies evaluating different kinds of focal hepatic lesions. No conclusion could be drawn because of the small sample size. One study addressed the issue of therapeutic impact. The evidence for choosing the best modality of imaging for characterizing HCC in cirrhotic patients is inadequate. Large multicentre studies with defined reference standards for diagnosis, and studies evaluating therapeutic impact are needed.
    British Journal of Radiology 09/2004; 77(920):633-40. · 1.22 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2004; 40:6-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Late hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) is a rare complication after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), conventionally described as occurring more than 30 days after surgery. Only a few reports document its course. In a consecutive series of 634 OLTs (704 grafts), 11 patients (1.7%) had late HAT, diagnosed a median of 6 months (range, 1.8 to 79 months) after OLT. Clinical variables were compared with those of 415 patients without HAT who had a complete database and follow-up, including cytomegalovirus (CMV) surveillance. At presentation, 11 patients had fever, 4 patients had jaundice. Hepatic abscesses were present in 6 patients (3 patients with biliary leak), 4 patients had biliary tree necrosis (2 patients with biliary leak), and 1 patient had no biliary complications. Five patients (45%) underwent accessory hepatic artery anastomosis versus 73 patients (17%) without HAT (P <.05). Five patients (45%) with late HAT had CMV infection versus 14% without HAT (P <.05). Two episodes of late HAT (11 and 79 months) occurred in patients who underwent re-OLT for early HAT (3.9%). Re-OLT was performed in 8 patients a median of 11 days (range, 3 to 37 days) after diagnosis (preceded by intravenous antibiotics and percutaneous drainage). The other 3 patients underwent partial hepatectomy (1 patient), external percutaneous drainage as unfit for surgery (1 patient), and antibiotic therapy only (1 patient). Death occurred in 4 patients who underwent re-OLT (50%) because of septicemia at 11, 23, and 60 days after re-OLT and 17 days after a third OLT. There was one late death (30 months) after partial hepatectomy (hepatitis C recurrence) and one death 6 months after long-term biliary drainage because of sepsis. The 5 survivors have good health with normal liver function test results at a median 52 months (range, 6 to 57 months). In conclusion, late HAT presents with fever caused by hepatic abscesses or biliary leak associated with biliary ischemia and necrosis. CMV infection and accessory hepatic artery anastomosis are risk factors for late HAT in our cohort. Early intervention followed by re-OLT can salvage patients.
    Liver Transplantation 06/2003; 9(6):605-11. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) are the first-line immunosuppressive agents administered after liver transplantation, but they cause renal impairment. Two recent randomized trials report cellular rejection and liver graft loss when mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) monotherapy was used as a renal-sparing agent. Our experience with MMF in the same setting but with longer follow-up is described. In 45 patients with serum creatinine more than 120 micromol/L or creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min, 2 g MMF per day was administered (median 29 months, 1-49 months) either as monotherapy (with all other immunosuppression withdrawn in 1 month) in 16 patients (group I) or in combination with low-dose CNI (trough tacrolimus </=5 ng/mL, cyclosporin A </=50 ng/mL) in 29 patients (18 patients without [group II] and 11 patients with [group III] previous refractory rejection [rejection after two episodes of treated rejection]). In group I (median interval receiving MMF, 33 months), only one patient (6%) experienced cellular rejection, and serum creatinine normalized in five of eight patients long term. In group II (median follow-up 26.5 months), none of 18 experienced rejection, and serum creatinine normalized in 6 of 10 long term. In group III (median follow-up 34 months), 5 of 11 patients (45%) experienced further rejection, one was not steroid responsive, and serum creatinine normalized in four of eight patients long term. There was no graft loss or death as a result of rejection. Our cohort with prolonged follow-up showed significant improvement in renal function with both MMF monotherapy and in combination with low-dose CNI with minimal rejection (five of six steroid responsive) and no graft loss. MMF substitution is a therapeutic strategy that deserves more extensive use in liver transplantation.
    Transplantation 01/2003; 75(2):186-90. · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2003; 38:44-44.
  • Maria L Raimondo, Andrew K Burroughs
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    ABSTRACT: Orthotopic liver transplantation is a life saving and life enhancing procedure. The development of immunosuppressive drugs has contributed to the high rate of success in terms of both patient and graft survival. However, the considerable adverse effects of these therapies are affecting long-term outcomes of transplant recipients. Complications related to immunosuppression are responsible for the majority of deaths in patients surviving more than 1 year. Therefore, the search for an optimal immunosuppressive regimen has become of paramount importance. The liver has proved to be an 'immunologically privileged' organ, capable in several animal models to be accepted as an allograft without any intervention on the immune system of the recipient. In some human liver allografts acceptance of the new organ is recognised after withdrawal of immunosuppressants, but prior identification of such individuals is not yet possible, thus negating this management option. Graft-recipient interaction is peculiar in liver transplantation: acute cellular rejection does not always need to be treated, and if it is not severe, appears to be associated with a better survival of both patient and graft. In the last decade there has been an evolution of immunosuppressive protocols, driven by empirical observation and a deeper understanding of immunological events after transplant. However, most modifications have been made because of the necessity to reduce long-term drug related morbidity and mortality. Withdrawal of corticosteroids has proven to be safely achievable in most patients, with no deleterious effects on patient or graft survival but with a great benefit in terms of reduction of incidence of metabolic and cardiovascular complications. Long-term 'steroid-free' regimens are therefore now widely used. Patients with stable graft function can be easily maintained using a single drug usually after 6 or 12 months and usually with a calcineurin inhibitor. The more evolved step of using monotherapy ab initio has also proven to be effective in a few studies and needs to be explored further. In the future new strategies will be designed to help the development of tolerance of the allograft, selectively stimulating instead of suppressing the immune reaction of the recipient.
    Drugs 02/2002; 62(11):1587-97. · 4.13 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2002; 36:193-193.
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2002; 36:32-32.
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2002; 36:53-53.
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2001; 34:215-215.
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2001; 34:215-215.