S Stuard

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

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Publications (61)145.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: AIM:he aim of this pilot, single-blinded study was to evaluate the efficacy of a proprietary, dietary supplement Lady Prelox® for supporting and improving sexual function in generally healthy, post-menopausal women. METHODS: The Lady Prelox® and placebo control groups were comparable at inclusion with regard to the total Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) score, as well as for the six individual FSFI domains, with 40 women (50.1±3.1 years) and 43 women (51.2±2.3 years), respectively. RESULTS:At baseline the women in the verum group presented with a mean total FSFI score of 44.6±24.1 which increased significantly already after four weeks treatment with Lady Prelox® to 70.9±18.5 and further increased to 71.7±23.9 after completion of the eight-week trial period. In the control group the mean total FSFI was 44.1±22.8 at inclusion and non-significantly increased to 45±21.4 after four weeks and 47.4±21.8 after eight weeks, respectively. The treatment with Lady Prelox® was comparatively significantly more effective than placebo after both four and eight weeks of treatment (P<0.05). The individual six FSFI domains related to desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain did all respond favourably to treatment with Lady Prelox®; however, with only marginable higher scores in the placebo group. Four women in each group dropped out because of inabilities to attend scheduled check-ups. No adverse effects were reported. CONCLUSION: This study opens an interesting perspective for women experiencing moderate sexual function impairment and suggests a promising new treatment option. Further studies with larger numbers of women, including also premenopausal and perimenopausal women are warranted.
    Panminerva medica 11/2012; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the improvement of diabetic microangiopathy in patients suffering from this condition since at least five years, and whose disease was managed without insulin. Curcumin, the orange pigment of turmeric, has recently received increasing attention because of its antioxidant properties, mediated by both direct oxygen radical quenching and by induction of anti-oxidant responses via Nrf2 activation. This aspect, combined with the beneficial effects on endothelial function and on tissue and plasma inflammatory status, makes curcumin potentially useful for the management of diabetic microangiopathy. To further evaluate this, Meriva, a lecithinized formulation of curcumin, was administered at the dosage of two tablets/day (1 g Meriva/day) to 25 diabetic patients for four weeks. A comparable group of subjects followed the best possible management for this type of patients. All subjects in the treatment and control group completed the follow-up period; there were no dropouts. In the treatment group, at four weeks, microcirculatory and clinical evaluations indicated a decrease in skin flux (P<0.05) at the surface of the foot, a finding diagnostic of an improvement in microangiopathy, the flux being generally increased in patients affected by diabetic microangiopathy. Also, a significant decrease in the edema score (P<0.05) and a corresponding improvement in the venoarteriolar response (P<0.05) were observed. The PO2 increased at four weeks (P<0.05), as expected from a better oxygen diffusion into the skin due to the decreased edema. These findings were present in all subjects using Meriva, while no clinical or microcirculatory effects were observed in the control group. Meriva was, in general, well tolerated, and these preliminary findings suggest the usefulness of this curcumin formulation for the management of diabetic microangiopathy, opening a window of opportunities to be evaluated in more prolonged and larger studies. The molecular mechanisms involved in the beneficial effects of curcumin on microcirculation and edema are also worth investigation.
    Panminerva medica 09/2011; 53(3 Suppl 1):43-9. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to test mf Odondovis Calcium® as a food supplement in a 3-month product evaluation study measuring how the low jaw bone density, could be improved. The upper jaw density was tested with an ultrasound method, evaluating the grey scale median of the images (GSM). Seventy nine subjects were enrolled; 22 normal subjects (group A) and 57 with upper jaw osteoporosis (according to DEXA values). Patients were divided into 2 groups (group B and C, respectively 28 and 29 cases). These subjects were treated with what was considered the' best treatment' and in the group B only was added mf Odontovis Calcium®, consisting of calcium salts, Vitamin D and physiological modulators with antioxidant activity. This treatment continued for 3 months. The GSM of osteoporotic patients was significantly lower in comparison with GSM in normal subjects. No changes were observed (between the inclusion and 3 month values) in normal subjects and minimal, non-significant changes were observed in control osteoporosis patients. Before-after treatment values of GSM in treatment patients showed a significant increase (P<0.022) at 3 months. The increase in GSM in these patients was significantly higher (P<0.05) in comparison with control patient with osteoporosis. The Tolerability of the product was very good and the compliance corresponded to 98%. the jaw density in patients with osteoporosis is increased in only 3 months with supplementation with mf Odontovis Calcium®. Long-term clinical implications should be observed in more prolonged studies.
    Panminerva medica 09/2011; 53(3 Suppl 1):83-7. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thymocytes that express the complete CD3-T-cell receptor (TCR) complex are CD4- and CD8-. The CD4+ T-cell population can be subdivided into at least two quite distinct subsets, TH1 and TH2 cells, based upon cytokine expression. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) appears to be required for optimal proliferation of T cells in response to antigen and it seems that in the absence of IL-1, TH2 clones proliferate less in response to antigen. Tenidap is an antirheumatic agent that has an inhibitory effect on IL-1 production. In these studies, we show that isolated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) treated in vitro with Tenidap (15 micrograms/mL) for 48-h incubations significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced the present of CD4+ expression compared with untreated cells (control), as determined by cytofluorimetric analysis. Lipopolysaccharide and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin were used as positive controls. When the cells were tested for CD3 or CD8 receptor expression, no differences were found between the untreated PBMCs and the treated (15 micrograms/mL Tenidap) cells. No change was found when cells were incubated for 72 h. Moreover, our data show a strong dose-dependent inhibitory effect of Tenidap (15 micrograms/mL) on IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, and leukotriene B4 secretion in PBMCs treated overnight. The increased CD4+ expression by Tenidap in PBMCs may suggest an important role for this new antirheumatic agent in immunity and may hold future therapeutic promise for diseases involving IL-1 and leukotriene B4 as mediators.
    Biochemistry and Cell Biology 01/2011; 72(9-10):397-402. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the aftermath of large natural and manmade disasters, the need for continuing maintenance haemodialysis (HD) in end-stage renal disease patients of the disaster area and care including dialysis for patients suffering from acute kidney injury (AKI) due to crush syndrome are the two most important nephrological problems. We report on how renal patients and renal care personnel faced emergency in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck the Italian town of L'Aquila and a surrounding district, on Monday 6 April 2009, causing 308 deaths, some 1500 injured and 66,000 people to be displaced. The Dialysis Centre in the town did not collapse but was seriously damaged and out of action, making it necessary to move 88 patients on regular dialysis treatment to the closest available facilities to continue treatment. This was all the more urgent in that 45 patients of the Monday-Wednesday-Friday batch were coming off the long interdialytic interval, with possible medical problems (i.e. high increase in weight gain, blood pressure, etc.). In spite of manifold difficulties (including road interruption and shortage of means of transportation, problems in establishing contact between patients and care personnel due to failure of phone and electronic communication and the limited number of available dialysis posts), no patient missed any scheduled HD session. This was obtained thanks to the transfer of patients to neighbouring functioning units, often with extra dialysis shifts. In 3 days, a provisional Dialysis Centre was set up in an inflatable military-style tent, enabling 780 dialysis sessions to be performed safely on patients who had opted to return to L'Aquila. The tent facility was replaced by a rigid modular structure, insulated as living accommodation, containing 13 dialysis machines (20 from 17 November) functioning in HD or on-line haemodiafiltration. Ten cases of crush-related AKI needing dialysis treatment were recorded, the ratio of dialysed victims to number of deaths (32.4: 10 cases/308 deaths, 1000×) being the highest value yet reported. Fasciotomy was performed in six patients but none of the patients had to be amputated. Intermittent HD was used in most cases as the single modality of renal replacement therapy. All patients survived and recovered renal function on discontinuing dialysis treatment. Serum creatinine returned to normal values upon discharge from hospital or during the follow-up period. Each earthquake is different and may pose issues that will require unanticipated response efforts. Advance planning and rescue coordination, flexibility and creativity in the emergency situation, as well as the hard work and dedication of the entire dialysis care community, contributed to the remarkably positive outcome of dialysis-needing patients in the aftermath of the Aquila earthquake.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 01/2011; 26(8):2595-603. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of colostrum (ARD Colostrum) in association with the immunomodulator Bifivir in the prevention of flu episodes compared with anti-flu vaccination. The registry groups included no prevention, vaccination, vaccination+immunomodulators, and immunomodulators only. Groups were comparable for age and sex distribution. In the group without prevention there were 8 major episodes and 12 minor episodes out of 34 subjects (8-12/34); in the vaccination group the respective figures were 8-13/38; in the group treated with a combination of vaccination and immunomodulators (ARD Colostrum + Bifivir) the figures were 4-9/33; and in the group treated with immunomodulators only there were 11 viral episodes (3-8) in 36 subjects. The episodes in the vaccination+immunomodulators and immunomodulators only groups were significantly lower compared with the other two groups (P<0.05). The number of episodes registered with the immunnomodulators was significantly lower than those observed in patients using vaccination or no prevention (P<0.05). The number of days of disease was higher in untreated controls compared to the groups treated with immunomodulators (P<0.05) and 2 times higher in the vaccination group compared to the same groups (P<0.05). The average relative costs were significantly lower (2.3 times) in the immunomodulators groups in comparison with the other groups (P<0.05). No problems concerning tolerability or side effects were observed during the study. Compliance was very good. In conclusion, the administration of immunomodulators is very cost effective and appears to be more effective than vaccination to prevent flu.
    Panminerva medica 12/2010; 52(4):269-75. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of standardized French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol in patients with severe chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). 98 subjects with symptomatic CVI and edema were randomly assigned to one group treated with 150 mg Pycnogenol a day only, another group with stockings only and a third group with both Pycnogenol and elastic stockings. The average ambulatory venous pressure (AVP) at inclusion was 58+/-7 mm Hg (range 48-60 mm Hg) with a refilling time (RT)<12 s (average 7+/-2 s). The duration of the disease was on average 6.0+/-3.1 years. There were no differences in AVP or RT among the 3 groups at inclusion and microcirculatory and clinical evaluations were comparable. After 8 weeks treatment there was a significant decrease of rate of ankle swelling, resting flux, transcutaneous pO(2) and clinical symptom scores in all groups with significantly better results for the combination treatment. Pycnogenol alone was more effective than compression alone for all parameters (p<0.05). No side-effects were observed; compliance and tolerability were very good. This study corroborates a significant clinical role for Pycnogenol in the management, treatment and control of CVI also in combination with compression.
    Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 09/2010; 17(11):835-9. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the clinical efficacy of Venoruton (O-(beta-hydroxyethyl)-rutosides) (HR) (Novartis Consumer Healthcare) in subjects with severe chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Patients were included in an average 8-month follow-up registry. At the end of the study 3 spontaneous groups emerged: a group treated with HR 2 g/day, a second group with HR 1 g/day and elastic stockings, and another group with stockings only. The age range was between 45 and 55. The 3 resulting groups were comparable clinically and for age/sex distribution. There were no differences in ambulatory venous pressure (AVP) at inclusion; microcirculatory and clinical evaluations were comparable. At 8 months there was a decrease in skin resting flux in all groups. Better results (P<0.05) were obtained in the group using the higher dosage and the associated treatment. Stockings alone were less effective (P<0.05). There was significant decrease (P<0.05) in capillary filtration (RAS) in all groups with an advantage in the combination group (P<0.021). HR alone was more effective (P<0.05) than compression alone. There was an improvement in the symptomatic score in all groups with better results (P<0.5) in the combined group; HR alone was more effective (P<0.025) than compression alone. The clinical severity score was reduced (P<0.05) in all groups with better results in the combined group. HR alone was more effective (P<0.05) than compression alone. The venous disability score indicated that HR alone was more effective (P<0.025) than compression. No side effects or tolerability problems were observed with HR. Compliance of HR was also very good. A cost comparison was made considering a comparable control groups (cost of best standard management=100%). Cost in group A was 44% of standard costs; cost in group B (HR+stockings) was 48% of standard costs, and cost in group C (stockings only) was 67% (P<0.05). The study confirms the long-term efficacy of HR in CVI patients. Controlling signs/symptoms and edema in CVI with HR also prevents the most severe complications of CVI.
    Panminerva medica 06/2010; 52(2 Suppl 1):43-8. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated benefits of Pycnogenol(R) as an adjunct to hypotensive medication in metabolic syndrome patients with micro-albuminurea. Fifty eight patients were treated with Ramipril and a subgroup received Pycnogenol in addition for six months. Colour Doppler duplex ultrasound was employed for cortical flow measurements. Blood pressure decreased with Ramipril from 188.8/95.2 to 128.2/90.2, with additional Pycnogenol from 189.3/97.2 to 122.2/85.3 (P<0.05). Kidney function improved in both groups, with 24 hour urinary albumin decreasing from 88.8 to 68.9 mg with Ramipril and from 89.3 to 42.2 mg with additional Pycnogenol (P<0.05). In both groups treatment lowered serum creatinine, with combination treatment being significantly more effective. Cortical flow velocities significantly increased with Ramipril from systolic 17.2 +/- 3.1 to 23.8 +/- 2.0 cms-1 and diastolic 4.2+/-2.8 to 2.0+/-3.1 cms-1. The addition of Pycnogenol was more effective, improving cortical flow from systolic 18.2+/-2.2 to 27.2+/-2.9 cms-1 and diastolic 4.1+/-2.2 to 9.8+/-2.1 cms-1 (P>0.05). C-reactive protein (CRP) levels decreased marginally with Ramipril, but significantly with Pycnogenol from 2.17 to 1.62 mg/dL. Pycnogenol significantly lowered fasting blood glucose to 102.3 +/- 11.2 mg/mL and HbA1c to 6.9 +/- 0.3 %. The Pycnogenol group showed a significantly lowered BMI, from baseline 26.5+/-0.9 to 25.0+/-1.2 kgm-2, without reaching statistical significance versus control. Only a limited improvement of blood lipid profile was found in both groups. Pycnogenol should be further investigated for kidney function.
    Panminerva medica 06/2010; 52(2 Suppl 1):27-32. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular access for hemodialysis can be provided by a native arteriovenous fistula (AVF), a synthetic arteriovenous graft (AVG), or a central venous catheter. The mature, native fistula is considered the preferred type of vascular access. This study evaluates the results of a retrospective registry assessing topically applied heparin (added to antiplatelet therapy) efficacy in patients with newly created AVF. To the current "best treatment", a number of patients also added topical heparin spray, a formulation containing a high concentration of heparin sodium for topical administration. At present, the average followup time is 7.9 months (range 3-12). In all patients using topical heparin, AVF remained patent and suitable for dialysis at three months. One fistula occluded at six months, and one more become unsuitable for dialysis. In patients using only antiplatelets, three fistulas occluded at three months and another two at six months of follow-up. In all, after six months of follow-up, there were two patients using heparin for whom the dialysis access was not suitable for dialysis; in the group treated with antiplatelets only, the access could not be used any longer in six patients. Addition of heparin reduced the risk for patency loss by 16.7% at three months and by 22.2% at six months. The risk of reduced dialysis suitability of the fistula was reduced by 27.6% and 22.2%, respectively. The odds for the loss of fistula patency and dialysis suitability at six months follow-up in patients treated with antiplatelet versus combined treatment was 6.5 and 4, respectively. Also, the number of patients needed to treat (NNT) with the addition of heparin spray to achieve AVF patency and suitability at three and/or six months suggests the benefit of combined adjuvant medical treatments for prevention of early AV shunt failure. The safety and tolerability of both treatments were good. Considering these results, it appears that topically applied heparin may sustain AVF patency and suitability for dialysis.
    Panminerva medica 06/2010; 52(2 Suppl 1):33-6. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the paper was to describe a new formula (Antilip®) consisting of very low dosages of polyglucosamine, phytosterols and Monascus purpureus. It was given to subjects affected by high cholesterol levels. The formula was used in combination with mild physical exercise (8 MET/h/week) and mild diet (reduction of cholesterol intake through foods containing <80 mg/100 g). The product combination was tested in an 8-week registry study, comparing those subjects to 33 subjects with no Antilip® treatment but following the same mild exercise training and diet. Results showed that Antilip® was effective in significantly reducing the total cholesterol levels from 268+/-23.2 to 201+/-11.4, whereas in the control group the reduction was almost absent (from 273+/-27 to 267+/-28). Data shows that Antilip® is a safe and effective treatment for hypercholesterolemia.
    Panminerva medica 06/2010; 52(2 Suppl 1):15-9. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effects of Pycnogenol as an adjunct to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitor ramipril treatment of hypertensive patients presenting with early signs of renal function problems. One group of 26 patients was medicated with 10 mg ramipril per day only; a second group of 29 patients took Pycnogenol in addition to the ACE inhibitor over a period of 6 months. At trial end, a lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure was found in both groups, with a significant further reduction of diastolic pressure in the group given Pycnogenol in addition to ramipril. The major aim of this study was the investigation of kidney-protective effects of Pycnogenol. Urinary albumin decreased from 87 +/- 23 to 64 +/- 16 mg/d with ramipril only. Additional Pycnogenol lowered albumin significantly better from 91 +/- 25 to 39 +/- 13 mg/day (P < .05). In both groups, serum creatinine was lowered; however, only in the combination treatment group did the effect reached statistical significance. In both groups, CRP levels decreased from 2.1 to 1.8 with ramipril and from 2.2 to 1.1 with the ramipril-Pycnogenol combination; the latter reached statistical significance. Kidney cortical flow velocity was investigated by Doppler color duplex ultrasonography. Both systolic and diastolic flow velocities increased significantly after 6 months medication with ramipril. The addition of Pycnogenol to the regimen statistically significantly further enhanced kidney cortical flow velocities, by 8% for diastolic flow and 12% for systolic flow, relative to values found for the group taking ramipril only. The protective effects of Pycnogenol for initial kidney damage found in this study warrant further research with a larger number of patients and over a longer period of time.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 03/2010; 15(1):41-6. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: On 6 April 2009, an earthquake struck the city of L'Aquila and the surrounding Abruzzo mountains. The disaster left 66,000 people homeless, while 1500 were wounded and 298 died. Although Europe as a whole is not so often affected by massive earthquakes, Italy is an exception with 12 earthquakes with an intensity >6.0 on the Richter scale during the last 100 years. This article offers preliminary information on the L'Aquila earthquake. For the time being, nine AKI patients who needed dialysis treatment are known. In all of them, kidney function recovered. This positive result can be attributed to the efficient and intensive rescue efforts coupled to the availability of disaster plans that had been developed in advance. This article stresses the importance of (i) advance planning of disaster rescue; (ii) the inclusion in these plans of approaches for kidney problems and their complications; (iii) the formulation of recommendations supporting (para-)medical professionals in their preventive, therapeutic and logistic approach to massive incidences of crush.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 07/2009; 24(10):3251-5. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A public change to healthier lifestyles with more physical activity and better nutrition, including caloric restriction, is required to address the obesity epidemic. Weight loss can be achieved by caloric restrictions; current research suggests that this may be achieved by consumption of slowly absorbed carbohydrates owing to the resulting prolonged satiety. Our rationale was to prolong the satiety of overweight volunteers by supplementation with a proprietary formulation Glucaffect which delays absorption of carbohydrates. Glucaffect provides potent alpha-glucosidase inhibitors of herbal source such Pycnogenol, Madeglucyl and various others which obstruct absorption of carbohydrates, such as starch. Fifty overweight subjects received either Glucaffect or an inactive control product for eight weeks. Consumption of Glucaffect was found to statistically significantly lower blood-fasting glucose from baseline 145.3 mg/dL to 101.1 mg/dL (-30.4%) and Hba1c from 7.59% to 6.33% as compared to the control group where values decreased only marginally. The weight and the body mass index (BMI) decreased significantly from an average of 88.5 kg (BMI 26.8 kg/m2) to 81.3 kg (BMI 24.5 kg/m2) as compared to the control group. In conclusion, Glucaffect enabled subjects with metabolic syndrome to achieve healthy BMI and blood glucose levels. Glucaffect was well tolerated and no subject dropped out.
    Phytotherapy Research 04/2009; 23(12):1673-7. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted with the aim of showing the effects of Pycnogenol on controlling jet-lag symptoms. Oral Pycnogenol, 50 mg tablets 3 times/die, for 7 days starting 2 days prior to the flight was used. The study was divided into two separate parts. In study 1 the most common complaints of patients with jet-lag were evaluated with a rating scale consisting in of a scoring system. In study 2 a brain CT scan was performed after the flight in order to assess minimal brain edema (MBE) in association with typical signs and symptoms, observed in previous published flight studies. Study one included 38 subjects treated with Pycnogenol and 30 controls. The symptomatic jet-lag related total score was significantly lower (indicating a lower level of jet-lag) in the Pycnogenol group. The average duration of any jet lag symptom following the flight was significantly reduced from 39.3 (SD=0.8) hours in controls to an average of 18.2 (SD=3.3) hours in the Pycnogenol group (P<0.05). Study 2 included 34 subjects treated with Pycnogenol and 31 controls. The main observation was the brain CT scan performed within 28 hours after the end of the flight. The difference between the Pycnogenol and the control groups was statistically significant (P<0.05) for all items assessed including the cerebral edema score obtained by CT scan. The short-term memory was significantly altered in the control group and associated to edema and swelling of the lower limbs. The score (and the level of edema) was comparatively higher in a subgroup of hypertensive subjects in the control group. Minor alterations of cardiac function were observed in association with de-stabilisation of blood pressure. Fatigue was also significantly higher in the control group in comparison with the Pycnogenol group. A number of spontaneously reported symptoms was also scored and there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the Pycnogenol and control groups. In conlusion, Pycnogenol was useful to control jet-lag and minimal brain edema.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 10/2008; 56(5 Suppl):3-9. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ankle sprains mainly caused by accidents or strenuous sport activities can often be quite painful and impair motility. If not treated immediately and correctly, sprains may lead to severe complications. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy and safety of topically applied ketoprofen versus orally administered ketoprofen in 20 patients with grade I ankle sprain and 34 patients with grade II sprain. The patients were divide into in two treatment groups and received either topically applied ketoprofen treatment (ketoprofen 10% spray-gel; Prontoflex; 360 mg/die) or orally administered ketoprofen treatment (ketoprofen tablets; 3x50 mg/die). Treatment duration was one week. After 3 and 7 days of treatment, reduction of spontaneous pain and pain on active movement in the Prontoflex group was significantly bigger greater in the oral treatment group, irrespective of sprain severity. Regarding secondary parameters as mobility impairment and ankle swelling topically applied ketoprofen treatment turned out to be significantly superior to orally administered ketoprofen treatment. Additionally, Prontoflex was well tolerated, whereas ketoprofen tablets caused gastrointestinal side effects in some patients. The good efficacy in pain reduction and absence of side effects in the present study distinguished the topically applied ketoprofen as a favorable treatment for patients with accidental or sport soft tissue injuries.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 10/2008; 56(5 Suppl):47-53. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: NPT tests in the pharmacy. Blood testing can be made with NPT (near patient testing) directly in the pharmacy. Most tests can be made with a single drop of blood (i.e. from a finger) and results are comparable with results from blood test obtained with standard vein blood samples. NPT is basically used for: 1 - evaluating the risk of a disease. 2 evaluating or confirming the presence of a disease. 3 to manage and monitor treatments. The social role of the pharmacy in NPT (particularly in cardiovascular screening) is very important as the pharmacy is an institution with capillary diffusion in the territory. The pharmacy often constitutes an important, first-level consultancy point for the population, particularly where health institutions are far away (small villages) or not easily accessible. Rules for NPT. Guidelines for NPT testing in the pharmacy have been proposed and discussed in a consensus meeting (Spoleto, 2007). NPT guidelines suggest operating management and technical procedures and indicate prospective lines of action defining new roles for the pharmacy. Coagulation tests can be now made in the pharmacy at a very low cost and with an efficacy comparable to blood tests obtained with a vein sample. Results can be read in seconds. This test is also available for personal use and home testing. NPT: The Clinical Study. The evaluation of the results of a clinical study (patients with venous thrombosis/pulmonary embolisation, patients with fibrillation and patients with artificial cardiac valves) indicates that costing is very favourable for NPT which may reduce costs and improve management of many clinical conditions and their monitoring. Training and control systems help NPT testing to be reliable and useful to screen and manage most clinical and risk conditions. The clinical study also shows the positive correlation between NPT tests and standard' tests. In conclusion NPT tests are now very reliable and cost-effective and can be used for screening, diagnosis and to monitor treatments.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 10/2008; 56(5 Suppl):11-20. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A large variety of adverse reactions are well known to frequently occur during chemotherapy and radiotherapy in oncology. Specific medications exist to target individual side effects. The aim of this study was to explore in a pilot trial whether supplementation with French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol could alleviate side effects and improve patient's quality of life. Cancer patients who previously underwent surgery and who were in view of their pathology in relatively good condition, both physically and psychologically, were recruited for this study and divided into two groups. These patients received their first cycle of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, which lasted from 10 days up to 1 month. Then one group of patients received 150 mg Pycnogenol, the control group comparable placebo in a single-blinded fashion. The authors studied the occurrence of side effects and made attempts to judge their severity on a semi-quantitative visual analogue scale over a 2 months period starting after patients completed their first cycle of chemo- or radiotherapy, respectively. Twenty five radiotherapy patients receiving Pycnogenol showed a decreased frequency of essentially all investigated side-effects as compared to 21 patients receiving placebo, though in many categories the difference was limited. The most apparent improvements of acute side effects related to decreased soreness and ulceration in the mouth and throat as well as less dryness of the mouth and the eyes. A decreased incidence of nausea /vomiting, diarrhoea, edema and weakness was noticed, which was reflected by semi-quantitative evaluation suggesting that severity was only half or even less pronounced than in the control group. Only one case of deep vein thrombosis occurred in the Pycnogenol group whereas 2 cases of superficial vein thromboses and one case of deep vein thrombosis occurred in the control group (2.9% vs 10%). Thirty four chemotherapy patients were supplemented with Pycnogenol and another 30 patients were in the control group. For all patients this was the first chemotherapy treatment period. The Pycnogenol group presented with a lowered incidence of all investigated side effects as compared to the control group, though in many cases to a limited extent. The most prominent improvements were found for nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss. Semi-quantitative evaluation showed that here again symptom severity was half or less pronounced than in the control group. Various further symptoms improved such as cognitive impairment and also cardiotoxicity and neutropenia. Effects on anemia could not be investigated as several patients received erythrocyte transfusion. In the Pycnogenol group one case of superficial vein thrombosis was indentified while 3 cases of superficial vein thromboses and one deep vein thrombosis were detected in the control group (4% vs 19%). In both chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients Pycnogenol lowered the requirement for medication to address side effects. This was reflected by less days of hospitalisation the patients required. The authors did not investigate a possible interference with the anti-neoplastic efficacy of chemo- and radiotherapy. This possibility requires attention in future studies with Pycnogenol. From their previous clinical experience the authors suggest that alleviation of side effects described in this study results from Pycnogenol activities related to endothelial protection, and anti-inflammatory anti-edema activities. The results of this pilot trial warrant further prospective studies with larger number of patients to validate benefits more specifically with regard to type of malignancy and treatment regimen.
    Panminerva medica 10/2008; 50(3):227-34. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients (with venous or arterial disease) are particularly affected by even minor sprains as edema, swelling are more disabling and cause a more severe clinical picture. In such vulnerable population, it is imperative to rehabilitate the patient in shortest possible time to regain the functionality of the injured joint and thus assure ambulation. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of locally applied and orally administered ketoprofen in a group of 41 patients with vascular diseases of lower limbs with accidental grade I ankle sprain. Forty one patients were included in this study and divided into in three treatment groups: ketoprofen 10% spray gel* (360 mg/die), oral ketoprofen (tablets, 25 mg t.i.d. and control group (no pharmacological treatment). The duration of treatment was one week. The three groups of patients were comparable for age and sex distribution and for the clinical characteristics at inclusion. After seven days of treatment all patients experienced reduction of symptoms (pain at rest and on active movement, swelling) which was significant only in patients treated by topical, local application of ketoprofen. The effects of oral treatment were not significantly different from those observed in untreated controls. The minimal effort treadmill testing showed significant increase in pain-free walking distance in patients who applied the medication locally in comparison to the other groups. The tolerability of locally applied ketoprofen was good and no side effects were noted. The observed clinical outcomes of the patients included in this small, pilot study indicated that locally applied ketoprofen 10% spray gel is effective in relieving the pain and other symptoms of ankle sprain in vascular patients.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 10/2008; 56(5 Suppl):39-46. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fingerprints (FP), characteristic of humans, are impressions due to skin marks (ridges) on fingertips. Ridges are present on fingers/hands forming curved lines of different sizes/patterns. The point where a line stops or splits is defined typica' (their number/amount constitute identification patterns). FP are permanent and unique. This study compared FP patterns with cardiovascular risk factors: 7 main types of FP were used: 1. Arch: lines form waves from one site to the other side. 2. Tentarch: like arches but with a rising stick in the middle. 3. Loop: lines coming from one site returning in the middle to the same site. 4. Double loop: like loops but with two loops inside: one standing, one hanging. 5. Pocked loop: like the loop but with a small circle in the turning point. 6. Whorl: lines make circles. 7. Mixed figure: composed of different figures. There are two kinds of real typica: A. Ending line; B. Splitting lines (bifurcations). Several combinations may result. Ultrasound evaluation of carotid/femoral arteries in asymptomatic subjects. Arteries were evaluated with high-resolution ultrasound at the bifurcations. Four classes were defined: 1: normal intima-media (IMT) complex; 2: IMT thickening; 3: non-stenosing plaques (<50% stenosis); 4: stenosing plaque (>50%). Subjects in classes 1, 2, 3 were included into the analysis made comparing FP patterns and ultrasound. RESULTS: For each FP pattern: A. the main proportion of subjects with cardiovacular risk factors (91%) had arches (41.2%) and loops (either single, 38.2% or double 11.7% for a total of 49.9%). B. The remaining classes were statistically less important. C. The number of ridges per square mm was comparable in all pattern classes. D. The analysis of typica and other ridges characteristics requires a more elaborated system. Future research must define simple, low cost screening methods for preselection of subjects at higher cardiovascular risk or for exclusion of low risk subjects. The evaluation of fingerprint pattern may be useful to define risk groups.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 10/2008; 56(5 Suppl):21-7. · 0.43 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

412 Citations
145.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2012
    • Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
      • Division of Oral Surgery
      Chieta, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2006–2010
    • Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
      • Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies
      Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
    • University of Münster
      • Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry
      Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 1995
    • French Institute of Health and Medical Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France