[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) due to C1-inhibitor (C1-INH) deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is a rare disease, with a reported prevalence of about 1 : 50 000. C1-INH-HAE causes disabling symptoms, which may be life-threatening if swelling affects upper airways. Diagnostic procedures are now well established and the role of bradykinin as the main mediator of plasma outflow eliciting angioedema formation has been clearly elucidated.
Increased understanding of the pathogenesis of C1-INH-HAE allowed in recent years the development of new drugs targeted to inhibit bradykinin synthesis (Ecallantide) or activity (Icatibant). At the same time, a recombinant C1-INH concentrate (Ruconest) was produced from the milk of transgenic rabbits and two plasma-derived C1-INHs (Berinert, Cinryze) underwent controlled trials to obtain marketing authorization. In 2012, an Italian network for C1-INH-HAE (ITACA) was established by physicians of 17 HAE reference centres to collect data from Italian patients and to homogenize and improve the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the disease.
Although there is a widespread agreement on therapeutic goals and treatment of C1-INH-HAE acute attacks, different approaches to prophylaxis are still present among HAE experts. The clinical experience of ITACA on a large population of C1-INH-HAE patients followed for several years may help in identifying the most effective strategies for the management of the disease.
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 08/2015; 15:383-391. DOI:10.1097/ACI.0000000000000186. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:
Icatibant, a selective bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist for the treatment of acute hereditary angio-oedema (HAE) attacks in adults, can be administered by health care professionals (HCPs) or self-administered. This analysis compared characteristics and outcomes of acute HAE attacks treated with self-administered and HCP-administered icatibant in a real-world setting.
The Icatibant Outcome Survey (Shire, Zug, Switzerland; NCT01034969) is an international observational study monitoring the safety and effectiveness of icatibant treatment. Descriptive retrospective analyses were performed (February 2008 to December 2012).
Icatibant was used in 652 attacks in 170 patients with HAE type I/II. Most icatibant injections were self-administered (431/652, 68.5%). The proportion of self-treated attacks increased over time (40.3% in 2009 vs. 89.7% in 2012). The median time to administration was significantly shorter in self- versus HCP-treated attacks (1.5 vs. 2.4 h; p = 0.016). Earlier treatment (<2 h after onset) was significantly associated with a shorter median time to resolution (2.5 vs. 5.0 h; p = 0.032) and attack duration (3.0 vs. 14.0 h; p < 0.0001), regardless of administration method. Patients self-administered icatibant for attacks of all severities; overall, 34.7% of severe and 30.2% of very severe attacks were HCP treated. Logistic regression analysis did not find use of long-term prophylaxis, attack location or gender to be predictive for self-administration.
The proportion of HAE attacks treated with self-administered icatibant increased over time. Patients successfully self-administered icatibant for a wide variety of HAE attacks, demonstrating that icatibant is generally well tolerated and effective for self-administration. Self-administration of icatibant provides a complementary option to HCP administration, enabling optimization of patient care.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 06/2015; 167(1):21-8. · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder, due to C1-inhibitor deficiency, which causes episodic swellings of subcutaneous tissues, bowel walls and upper airways which are disabling and potentially life-threatening. We evaluated n = 17 patients with confirmed HAE diagnosis in basal and crisis state and n = 19 healthy subjects. The samples were tested for IL-17, FGFb, G-CSF and GM-CSF, using Bio-plex kit. Data analysis was performed via nonparametric Spearman's correlations and two sets of linear mixed models. When comparing HAE subjects during basal and crisis states, we found out significantly (i.e., p value <0.05) higher values in crisis states rather than in basal states for the three growth factors and cytokine IL-17. When comparing healthy subjects versus HAE patients at basal state, we found out significantly higher values in HAE subjects only for GM-CSF, FGFb and IL-17, but not for G-CSF. In HAE patients, there is a connection between IL-17 and growth factors. The low-grade inflammation in absence of attacks is demonstrated by constant higher amount of IL-17, FGFb and GM-CSF with respect to healthy patients. This could indicate that in this disease there is a level of activation that maintains the system in a "tick-over state," that can be activate by several stimuli that are able to induce a increase in inflammatory mediators during the acute attack.
Clinical and Experimental Medicine 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10238-015-0340-y · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary angioedema due to C1-inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE type I) or dysfunction (C1-INH-HAE type II) is a rare disease characterized by recurrent episodes of edema with an estimated frequency of 1:50,000 in the global population without racial or gender differences. In this study we present the results of a nationwide survey of C1-INH-HAE patients referring to 17 Italian centers, the Italian network for C1-INH-HAE, ITACA.
Italian patients diagnosed with C1-INH-HAE from 1973 to 2013 were included in the study. Diagnosis of C1-INH-HAE was based on family and/or personal history of recurrent angioedema without urticaria and on antigenic and/or functional C1-INH deficiency.
983 patients (53% female) from 376 unrelated families were included in this survey. Since 1973, 63 (6%) patients diagnosed with C1-INH-HAE died and data from 3 patients were missing when analysis was performed. Accordingly, the minimum prevalence of HAE in Italy in 2013 is 920:59,394,000 inhabitants, equivalent to 1:64,935. Compared to the general population, patients are less represented in the early and late decades of life: men start reducing after the 5th decade and women after the 6th. Median age of patients is 45 (IQ 28-57), median age at diagnosis is 26 years (IQ 13-41). C1-INH-HAE type 1 are 87%, with median age at diagnosis of 25 (13-40); type 2 are 13% with median age at diagnosis of 31 (IQ 16-49). Functional C1INH is ≤50% in 99% of patients. Antigen C1INH is ≤50% in 99% of type 1. C4 is ≤50% in 96% of patients. The chance of having C1-INH-HAE with C4 plasma levels >50% is < 0.05.
This nationwide survey of C1-INH-HAE provides for Italy a prevalence of 1:64,935. C1-INH-HAE patients listed in our database have a shorter life expectancy than the general population. An increased awareness of the disease is needed to reduce this discrepancy. Measurement of C4 antigen can exclude diagnosis of C1-INH-HAE with an accuracy > 95%. This parameter should be therefore considered for initial screening in differential diagnosis of angioedema.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The For Angioedema Subcutaneous Treatment (FAST)-2, a phase III, double-blind, randomized, multicenter, placebo-controlled study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00500656), established the efficacy and safety of single injections of icatibant, a bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist, in the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks. Here, we evaluate the efficacy and safety of repeated treatment with icatibant in adult patients experiencing HAE attacks during the FAST-2 open-label extension (OLE) phase.
Patients completing the controlled phase were eligible to participate in the OLE phase and receive open-label icatibant (30 mg subcutaneously) for the treatment of cutaneous, abdominal, and/or laryngeal HAE attack(s) severe enough to warrant treatment. Time to onset of symptom relief was calculated for each attack. Descriptive analyses (median, 95% CIs) were performed for all attacks; post hoc analyses were conducted in patients with at least five icatibant-treated attacks throughout the FAST-2 OLE phase. Safety was also monitored.
Fifty-four patients received icatibant for 374 attacks (176 cutaneous, 168 abdominal, and 30 laryngeal). For cutaneous and/or abdominal attacks (attacks 2-5), the median times to onset of symptom relief ranged between 2.0 and 2.5 h. For all laryngeal attacks, the median times to regression (start of improvement) of symptoms ranged between 0.3 and 4.0 h. Post hoc analyses showed that the overall median time to onset of symptom relief was 2.0 h. Overall, 89.8% of attacks resolved with a single icatibant injection. No drug-related serious adverse events were reported.
These findings have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of repeated icatibant treatment for HAE attacks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L’angioedema ereditario è causato da una carenza genetica di C1-inibitore, fattore che regola una serie di pathways infiammatori. I pazienti affetti da HAE hanno crisi intermittenti caratterizzate da edemi cutanei o mucosali legati a un malfunzionamento del meccanismo di controllo della produzione locale di bradichinina. L’edema solitamente evolve in diverse ore e persiste per 2–5 giorni. Oltre all’angioedema oro-facciale, edemi non accompagnati a dolore possono colpire i distretti periferici con conseguente alterazione dei connotati e interferenza con il lavoro e altre attività della vita quotidiana. L’angioedema del tratto gastrointestinale e dei visceri addominali causa dolore severo spesso associato a ostruzione edematosa dell’intestino e vomito. Circa il 2% degli edemi coinvolge la laringe e può rivelarsi fatale se non trattato; circa il 50% dei pazienti ha, nel corso della vita, attacchi laringei.
Indicazioni per le analisi includono il sospetto clinico o la storia familiare positiva per HAE. è raccomandato, laddove possibile, uno screening comprendente il dosaggio del C4, del C1 inibitore proteina antigenica (C1 quantitativo) e del C1 inibitore funzionale.
Il trattamento degli attacchi acuti include in Italia, al momento, i seguenti farmaci: concentrato plasmatico di C1-inibitore per infusione endovenosa (dosaggio 20 UI/kg di peso corporeo); icatibant (antagonista della bradichinina) per somministrazione sottocutanea addominale (30 mg/3 ml). La profilassi può essere fatta con androgeni attenuati, agenti antifibrinolitici (acido tranexamico) o concentrato plasmatico di C1 inibitore.
Rivista Italiana della Medicina di Laboratorio 09/2012; 8(3). DOI:10.1007/s13631-012-0058-8
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate seroprevalence of B. henselae infection both in Sicilian children and healthy blood donors. Furthermore, circulation of Bartonella in the natural reservoir was also studied. Two hundred forty-three children, living in Sicily (Palermo), affected by various diseases, without clinical features suggesting B. henselae infection, together with 122 healthy blood donors were serologically investigated for IgG and IgM antibodies by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). One hundred twenty stray and 62 pet cats were also analyzed only for IgG. Among children 25.1% had IgG antibodies to B. henselae; 18.5% showed a titer 1:64, 2.4% 1:128, 2.4% 1:256, 0.8% 1:512, 0.4% 1:1024, and 0.4% 1:5120. Among healthy blood donors 11.4% had IgG class antibodies to B. henselae; 9.8% showed a titer 1:64 and 1.6% 1:128. All the human serum samples did not show positive results for B. henselae IgM class antibodies. Stray cats (68.3%) and pet cats (35.4%) also had IgG class antibodies to B. henselae. We demonstrated high frequency of serologic evidence of past B. henselae infection, in young Italian children, affected by various diseases, apparently free of any clinical features suggesting B. henselae infection. This observation is supported by high circulation of Bartonella in cats.
Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry 01/2012; 33(1):18-25. DOI:10.1080/15321819.2011.591476 · 0.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The background of this article is as follows: Few data are available about the persistence of serum-specific IgG antibodies to L. infantum after acute VL. The objective of this article is to evaluate the persistence of antibodies against L. infantum in patients healed from acute VL, and the kinetic of the same antibodies observed in 2 cases of VL relapse and 2 cases of resistance to therapy. The methods which we used to obtain our objective are the following: 55 apparently immunocompetent, HIV-negative patients were examined for antibodies to L. infantum by IFAT over 14 years period, and we got the following results: Serum-specific IgG antibodies titers decrease slowly, but constantly. In the patients with a diagnosis of VL relapse, the kinetic of antibodies was characterized by an initial reduction, and a subsequent antibody levels rapidly increase, while in the patients with a clinical and parasitological diagnosis of VL not responding to specific therapy, we demonstrated persistent high level of antibodies to L. infantum. Finally, we conclude that specific antibodies to L. infantum might persist for many years, and decrease slowly, but steadily. The persistence of these specific antibodies is not related to poor therapeutic response or prognosis, but an acute increase in their levels might be a sentinel of a VL relapse, while persistence of high antibody levels could suggest a resistance to therapy.
Clinical and Experimental Medicine 06/2011; 12(2):127-32. DOI:10.1007/s10238-011-0150-9 · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to analyze the acute inflammatory response after implantation of a heavyweight mesh of polypropylene (PP) compared with a composite mesh of light PP and polyglactin 910 (PG) in patients undergoing inguinal hernioplasty. A total of 30 male patients with inguinal hernia were included in the study and divided into 2 groups (PP and PP-PG) according to the mesh used. Changes of leukocytes, cytokines, growth factors, and acute phase proteins were evaluated in the sera. Leukocytes and acute phase proteins were significantly increased postoperatively in both groups, and the values were slightly higher in the PP group. Cytokine levels were significantly increased postoperatively in both groups; a slight increase was observed in the PP-PG group, especially for the proinflammatory cytokine. Growth factors decreased significantly in both groups immediately after surgery. The authors found that the use of the mesh is a stimulator of inflammatory response, and the 2 types of mesh induce a similar inflammatory response.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary angioedema is characterized by recurrent attacks of angioedema of the skin, larynx, and gastrointestinal tract. Bradykinin is the key mediator of symptoms. Icatibant is a selective bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist.
In two double-blind, randomized, multicenter trials, we evaluated the effect of icatibant in patients with hereditary angioedema presenting with cutaneous or abdominal attacks. In the For Angioedema Subcutaneous Treatment (FAST) 1 trial, patients received either icatibant or placebo; in FAST-2, patients received either icatibant or oral tranexamic acid, at a dose of 3 g daily for 2 days. Icatibant was given once, subcutaneously, at a dose of 30 mg. The primary end point was the median time to clinically significant relief of symptoms.
A total of 56 and 74 patients underwent randomization in the FAST-1 and FAST-2 trials, respectively. The primary end point was reached in 2.5 hours with icatibant versus 4.6 hours with placebo in the FAST-1 trial (P=0.14) and in 2.0 hours with icatibant versus 12.0 hours with tranexamic acid in the FAST-2 trial (P<0.001). In the FAST-1 study, 3 recipients of icatibant and 13 recipients of placebo needed treatment with rescue medication. The median time to first improvement of symptoms, as assessed by patients and by investigators, was significantly shorter with icatibant in both trials. No icatibant-related serious adverse events were reported.
In patients with hereditary angioedema having acute attacks, we found a significant benefit of icatibant as compared with tranexamic acid in one trial and a nonsignificant benefit of icatibant as compared with placebo in the other trial with regard to the primary end point. The early use of rescue medication may have obscured the benefit of icatibant in the placebo trial. (Funded by Jerini; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00097695 and NCT00500656.)
New England Journal of Medicine 08/2010; 363(6):532-41. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa0906393 · 55.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The levels of soluble CD4 (sCD4), sCD8 and β2-microglobulin (β2-M) were measured in sera from patients with visceral leishmaniasis during the course of infection. Levels of sCD4. sCD8 and β2-M were raised significantly above levels In normal sera and returned to the normal range after recovery. The decrease in the levels of CDS was related to a reduction of anaemia, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. In contrast, sCD4 levels fluctuated during the period of infection. β2-M returned within normal range more rapidly than sCD8 secretion. Our results suggest that T cells are activated during infection, and that it is also possible that the raised levels of these soluble molecules play a role in the impairment of protective immunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Among human rickettsial diseases caused by micro-organisms of the genus Rickettsia (Order Rickettsiales; Family Rickettsiaceae), transmitted to human hosts through arthropod vectors, Mediterranean Spotted Fever, or Boutonneuse Fever, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are considered to be important infectious diseases due to continued prevalence in the developed world, and potentially fatal outcome in severe cases. Proliferation of rickettsiae, at the site of the tick bite, results in focal epidermal and dermal necrosis (tache noire). Rickettsiae then spread via lymphatic vessels to the regional lymph nodes, and, via the bloodstream, to skin, brain, lungs, heart, liver, spleen and kidneys. The pathogen invades and proliferates in the endothelial cells of small vessels, target cells of rickettsial infection, destroying them, and spreading the infection to the endothelia of the vascular tree. The damage of the endothelium, and the subsequent endothelia dysfunction, is followed by the activation of acute phase responses, with alteration in the coagulation and in the cytokine network, together with a transient immune dysregulation, characterized by the reduction in peripheral CD4+ T lymphocytes.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 04/2008; 22(2):131-9. · 2.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was the detection of asymptomatic coronary re-stenosis after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
We studied 26 subjects who had been recently implanted with a paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent by both a conventional exercise test and the determination of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels.
At control coronary angiography, nine months after initial PCI, six patients had re-stenosis and 20 were re-stenosis free. We found that re-stenosis was best predicted by the combination of a basal plasma BNP level > or = 50 pg/ml and a positive or uncertain conventional exercise test (positive likelihood ratio of the combination = 10). The best predictor of absence of re-stenosis was a low (< 50 pg/ml) plasma BNP level (negative likelihood ratio = 0.26).
Accordingly, basal BNP level testing can be recommended in the follow-up evaluation of coronary patients after PCI, to improve both the detection and the exclusion of asymptomatic re-stenosis.
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 12/2007; 8(12):1020-3. DOI:10.2459/JCM.0b013e3280bad8a5 · 1.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowing the dynamics of growth factor and cytokine secretion within the site of a surgical operation is important, as they play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of wound healing and are a target for modifying the repair response. The aim of this study was to evaluate the production of several cytokines and growth factors in the drainage wound fluid from patients undergoing incisional hernia repair: namely, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1alpha, IL-1 ra, interferon-gamma, vascular endothelial growth factors and basic fibroblast growth factor. Ten female patients with abdominal midline incisional hernia undergoing surgical repair were included in this study. In all cases, a closed-suction drain was inserted in the wound below the fascia and removed on postoperative day 4. Wound fluid was collected on postoperative days 1-4 and the amount was recorded each time. Growth factors and cytokines production was evaluated as the whole amount produced over a 24-hour period. In all patients, the amount of drain fluid from surgical wounds was more copious the first day after surgery, it decreased significantly afterward. The presence of all cytokines was highest on postoperative day 1, decreasing over the following days. More specifically, the production of IL-1 ra, IL-6, IL-1alpha, and IL-10 on postoperative day 1 fell sharply on postoperative days 3 and 4, whereas, after an initial reduction, interferon-gamma showed an increase from day 2 onward. Vascular endothelial-derived growth factor production increased progressively after the operation reaching statistical significance only on day 4. As for basic fibroblast growth factor, it showed an opposite pattern: it was higher on postoperative day 1 decreasing thereafter. This analysis of cytokine and growth factor production in the drain fluid will lead us to a better evaluation of the events that follow a surgical wound and to a better understanding of the healing process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of old and oldest old patients undergoing surgery of varying severity is increasing. Ageing is a process that changes the performances of most physiological systems and increases susceptibility to diseases and death; accordingly, host responses to surgical stress are altered with ageing and the occurrence of age-related increase in susceptibility to post-operative complications has been claimed. Twenty-four male patients undergoing Lichtenstein (LH) hernioplasty for unilateral inguinal hernia were included in this study and divided in two groups (Young and Old respectively), according to their age. As expression of the acute phase response, we measured changes in concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines Tumor necrosis factor-alpha and Interleukin-1beta, leukocytes, acute phase proteins C-reactive protein and alpha 1-antitrypsin. Elderly humans showed prolonged and strong inflammatory activity compared to younger subjects in response to surgical stress, indicating that the acute-phase response to surgical stress of elderly humans varies from that of the young, showing initial hyperactivity and a delayed termination of the response. Thus, the acute phase response to surgical stress is higher in old subjects, but the clinical significance of this remains unclear. It is not known whether a causal relationship exists between this stronger acute phase response and the increases in susceptibility to post-operative complications observed in aged patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is strongly influenced by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF), whose production is also regulated by interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-10. The aim of this study was to evaluate the modifications of serum VEGF, b-FGF, IFN-gamma and IL-10 levels in patients with inguinal hernia undergoing hernioplasty with the Lichtenstein technique (LH) using polypropylene mesh or with Bassini open conventional inguinal hernia repair (BH).
Randomly, 16 patients underwent BH, and 16 were treated with the LH technique using polypropylene mesh. Blood samples were collected 24 h prior to surgery and then 6, 24, 48 and 168 h postoperatively. The serum concentrations of VEGF, b-FGF, IFN-gamma and IL-10 were evaluated.
In BH patients, a peak of VEGF synthesis at 6 h with a normalization of this parameter 24 h after surgery has been observed. In the same subjects, b-FGF synthesis increased after surgery reaching significant levels 48 h later. On the contrary, in LH patients, a decrease in the serum VEGF and b-FGF concentrations was detected after surgery and their increase afterwards. IL-10 was increased in both groups 6 h after operation and declined to preoperative levels 24 h afterwards. IFN-gamma enhanced in LH patients 6 h after surgery, whereas no modifications were detected in BH subjects.
This preliminary study shows that VEGF and b-FGF modifications, associated with alterations of cytokine secretion, are detectable in human undergoing hernioplasty, and suggests that they could somehow influence in the wound-healing process.
Langenbeck s Archives of Surgery 12/2005; 390(6):528-33. DOI:10.1007/s00423-005-0578-z · 2.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokines are part of a family of molecules involved in the initiation, control and termination of the events that occurs in wound healing process. Aim of this study was to evaluate the production of some cytokines [interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1alpha, IL-1ra, interferon (IFN)-gamma] in the drainage wound fluid from patients undergoing incisional hernia repair.
Ten female patients with abdominal midline incisional hernia undergoing to surgical repair were included in this study. In all cases a closed suction drain was placed in the wound below the fascia and it was removed on the 4th postoperative day. Wound fluid was collected on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th day and its amount in each time was recorded. The production of IL-6, IL-10, IL-1alpha, IL-1ra and IFN-gamma were evaluated as quantity produced in 24 hour.
In all patients the amount of drain fluid from surgical wound was highest on the 1st day after surgery, afterwards there is a significant reduction. The production of all cytokines evaluated was highest on the 1st day decreasing on the 2nd day except for IL-1alpha that not show any modification. The produciton of IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-1alpha and IL-10 was significantly reduced on the 3rd and 4th postoperative day in comparison with the respectively values recorded on the 1st day, whereas IFN-gamma levels were similar.
The dosage of cytokines in the drain fluid led us to better evaluated the events that follow surgical wound and their analysis offers further information in the role of cytokines in healing process, with the goal to get supportive treatments to promote the best evolution.