Sofia Vakalopoulou

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Saloníki, Central Macedonia, Greece

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Publications (45)135.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Blood transfusion many times works in a life-saving way when a patient is facing a critical situation. However, some patients, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, may refuse their administration because it opposes to their religion beliefs. Thus, clinicians are forced to respect patients' preferences and seek other treatments in order to overcome the obstacle of the transfusion. In 1989, recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure. This is an amino acid glycol-protein that stimulates red blood cell production in the same manner as endogenous erythropoietin. Other treatment indications approved by the FDA include anemia due to chronic kidney disease, anemia secondary to zidovudine therapy in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection, and anemia secondary to cancer chemotherapy. The drug also has been used for many off-label indications. Many Jehovah's Witnesses have accepted rHuEPO as a treatment option to maintain and enhance erythropoiesis. This paper reports the case of a 57-year-old Jehovah's Witness man, who was diagnosed with severe anemia due to aggressive non Hodgkin lymphoma and refused transfusion of blood; thanks to the treatment with rHuEPO he has managed to complete chemotherapy and has survived a life threatening situation.
    11/2014; 6(4):5600. DOI:10.4081/hr.2014.5600
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    ABSTRACT: Although haemophilia is not considered among the classic causes of secondary osteoporosis, the present meta-analysis provides strong evidence that men with haemophilia have a significant reduction in both lumbar spine and femoral bone mineral density, which appears to begin in childhood. Haemophilia is not considered among the classic causes of secondary osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature for case-control trials that have studied bone mass in males with haemophilia and to meta-analyze the best evidence available. Electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL were systematically searched for case-control trials that have studied bone mass in men or boys with haemophilia. Standardized mean difference (SMD) for bone mineral density (BMD) in the lumbar spine was the main study outcome and SMD in femoral neck and total hip BMD the secondary ones. Patient and control characteristics, such as age, body mass index (BMI), level of physical activity and blood-borne infections were recorded as possible predictors of the main outcome. Thirteen studies were included in the systematic review and ten in the main outcome meta-analysis. Men with haemophilia demonstrated reduced lumbar spine [random effects SMD [95 % confidence interval (CI)] = -0.56 (-0.84, -0.28), between-study heterogeneity (I (2)) = 51 %] and femoral neck BMD [random effects SMD (95 % CI) = -0.82 (-1.21, -0.44), I (2) = 63 %] compared with controls, which indicated a large and clinically significant association. Similar results were obtained for children [random effects SMD (95 % CI) = -0.92 (-1.77, -0.07), I (2) = 92 %]. No evidence of publication bias was detected. There was no evidence that age, BMI, level of physical activity or presence of blood-borne infections predicted lumbar spine BMD. This meta-analysis shows that men with haemophilia present a significant reduction in both lumbar spine and hip BMD, which appears to begin in childhood.
    Osteoporosis International 07/2014; 25(10). DOI:10.1007/s00198-014-2773-7 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    Blood Cancer Journal 02/2014; 4:e187. DOI:10.1038/bcj.2014.9 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate platelet function in patients with thalassaemia and to detect any relation to chelation treatment (deferasirox or deferiprone/deferiprone plus desferioxamine). Thirty-three transfusion-dependent patients with thalassaemia were included. The investigation consisted of aggregation testing of platelet-rich plasma by light transmission aggregometry (LTA) with the use of 5 agonists as well as the global test of haemostasis by means of the PFA-100 platelet function analyser. In 66.67% of the patients, there was reduced LTA to at least one agonist and in 18.18% there was reduced LTA to two or more agonists. The PFA-100 test was prolonged in 60.6% of the cases. An abnormal LTA and a prolonged PFA-100 time were recorded in 33.3% of the patients and 27.4% had a normal aggregation and PFA-100 test. No correlation between chelation regimen and either LTA or PFA-100 test was found. The abnormal LTA can be explained either by the release of ADP from the haemolysed red blood cells, which leads to defective platelet aggregation, or by the presence of two platelet populations. An in vitro effect without an in vivo impact could be an alternative explanation. In patients with thalassaemia, the reduced LTA and the prolonged PFA-100 closure time could be an in vitro effect and has a close correlation to the bleeding phenotype of each patient. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Acta Haematologica 01/2014; 132(1):45-48. DOI:10.1159/000355817 · 0.99 Impact Factor
  • Haemophilia 10/2013; 20(1). DOI:10.1111/hae.12284 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilia A and B have been associated with increased prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD). However, the utility of bone turnover markers (BTM) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate bone metabolism in men with haemophilia and to investigate associations between BTM and bone disease. Serum N- (NTX-I), C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase band-5b (TRAP-5b), as bone resorption markers, and osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (b-ALP), as bone formation markers, were assessed. Seventy men with haemophilia A (n = 59) or B (n = 11) were studied. Patients with low BMD had significantly higher b-ALP concentrations compared with those with normal BMD (12.8 ± 1.60 vs. 9.72 ± 0.58 μg/L, P = 0.009), without any differences in the other BTM. NTX-I and CTX-I concentrations were negatively associated with oestradiol levels and hip BMD and positively with human immunodeficiency virus infection, number of affected joints and arthropathy scores. B-ALP and OC concentrations were negatively associated with hip BMD, severity of haemophilia and fracture history, and positively with the number of affected joints and testosterone concentrations. After multivariate analysis, NTX-I levels remained negatively associated with oestradiol levels, whereas b-ALP concentrations negatively correlated with the level of physical activity and positively with the number of affected joints. Increased bone metabolism exists in men with haemophilia and low BMD. Increased b-ALP levels may identify patients at high risk for fracture. Increased number of target joints, low physical activity and low oestradiol concentrations are independently associated with increased bone metabolism.
    Haemophilia 10/2013; 20(2). DOI:10.1111/hae.12271 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conflicting data exist regarding the role of leptin in bone metabolism. The purpose of the present study was to investigate serum leptin concentrations in male patients with haemophilia A and B, a disease known to be associated with low bone mass. Eighty-one male patients, aged 45.4 ±15 years, were screened. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN) and total hip (TH). Low bone mass was diagnosed in 20 patients (24.7%). Serum leptin concentrations were strongly associated with body weight (r s = 0.457, p = 0.0001) and body mass index (BMI) (r s = 0.491, p = 0.0001). In unadjusted analysis leptin was inversely associated with BMD in LS (r s = -0.255, p = 0.023), but not in FN and TH (r s = -0.205, p = 0.068 and r s = -0.191, p = 0.090, respectively). However, after adjusting for BMI and body weight, leptin was inversely associated with BMD in FN (F 1,76 = 7.727, p = 0.007, β = -0.371, ΔR (2) = 0.089) and TH (F 1,76 = 4.533, p = 0.036, β = -0.290, ΔR (2) = 0.054), but not in LS (F 1,75 = 2.076, p = 0.154, β = -0.202, ΔR (2) = 0.026). No association was found between age, presence of HBV, HCV or HIV infection or alkaline phosphatase and leptin levels. Our study showed a negative association between circulating leptin levels and bone mass in males, independently of body weight and BMI.
    Archives of Medical Science 06/2013; 9(3):459-465. DOI:10.5114/aoms.2013.35341 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilia A and B have been associated with increased prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD). However, no study has so far evaluated the effects of anti-osteoporotic therapy on BMD in haemophilia.The primary endpoint of this prospective study was to estimate the effect of 12-month therapy of oral ibandronate 150 mg/month on BMD in patients with haemophilia A and B. Secondary endpoint was its effect on turnover markers (BTM) of bone resorption [serum C-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (sCTX), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase band 5b] and bone formation (osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase. Ten adult patients with T-score < -2.5 SD or Z-score < -2 and/or increased risk of fracture according to FRAX model were included. All received 1,000 mg/day calcium carbonate with 800 IU/d cholecalciferol. Males with haemophilia A (n=7) or B (n=3) (mean age 43.5 ± 13.5 years) were studied. Ibandronate resulted in an increase in lumbar BMD (from 0.886 ± 0.169 to 0.927 ± 0.176 g/cm2, 4.7%, p=0.004). No change in BMD of total hip (from 0.717 ± 0.128 to 0.729 ± 0.153 g/cm2, p=0.963) or femoral neck (0.741 ± 0.135 to 0.761 ± 0.146 g/cm2, p=0.952) was noticed. Ibandronate led to a decrease in sCTX (from 0.520 ± 0.243 to 0.347 ± 0.230 ng/ml, -29.9%, p=0.042). No change was observed in other BTM. Ibandronate was generally well-tolerated. In conclusion, ibandronate significantly improved BMD in lumbar spine and reduced bone resorption in adults with haemophilia at increased risk of fracture. Its effect on hip BMD and bone formation markers was not significant.
    Thrombosis and Haemostasis 06/2013; 110(2). DOI:10.1160/TH13-01-0030 · 5.76 Impact Factor
  • Haemophilia 05/2013; 19(5). DOI:10.1111/hae.12187 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ghoshy et al. in their recent review in European Journal of Haematology (1) tried to present data about the prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with haemophilia A and B and analyze the pathophysiology of this entity proposing appropriate management. The authors report data of small studies and refer mainly to the association of low BMD with hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and their treatment (interferon-α, anti-retroviral therapy). They also refer to the possible role of vitamin K and the interaction between factor VIII-von Willebrand and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK) ligand (RANKL), in the induction of osteoclastogenesis (1). © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
    European Journal Of Haematology 01/2013; 90(5). DOI:10.1111/ejh.12083 · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis Research 01/2013; 131:S102. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(13)70143-9 · 2.43 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis Research 01/2013; 131:S99. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(13)70133-6 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilia A and B has been associated with increased prevalence of low bone mass (67-86%). The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of bone disease in haemophiliacs and its association with potential risk factors. Adult patients with haemophilia A and B followed-up in the Haemophilia Centre of Northern Greece were included. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN), total hip (TH) and great trochanter (GT). One-hundred four male patients (aged 45.8 ± 15.1 years) and 50 controls (aged 44.9 ± 12.8 years) were screened. Low BMD was diagnosed in 28 patients (26.9%) and 10 controls (20%) (p=0.0001). Patients had lower BMD in TH (p=0.007), FN (p=0.029) and GT (p=0.008) than controls, without differences in LS. BMD was positively associated with the severity of haemophilia, history of herpes virus C or human immunodeficiency virus and level of physical activity, and negatively with the level of arthropathy. In multiple-regression analysis, only the level of physical activity and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] significantly predicted BMD. Half of the patients had vitamin D deficiency. In conclusion, our study showed increased prevalence of low BMD in haemophiliacs. The levels of physical activity and 25(OH)D independently predicted low BMD.
    Thrombosis and Haemostasis 03/2012; 107(3):545-51. DOI:10.1160/TH11-08-05563 · 5.76 Impact Factor
  • Leukemia Research 05/2011; 35. DOI:10.1016/S0145-2126(11)70313-7 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Foxp3(+) T regulatory cells (Tregs) and Th17 cells accumulate synchronously at tumor sites during cancer progression, where their interplay is apparently affecting the efficiency of the antitumor response. In myelodysplastic syndromes, a hematopoietic malignancy of myeloid origin, Tregs are highly increased in the late stages of the disease (L-MDS), but the mechanisms driving Treg expansion and the interaction between Treg and Th17 cell dynamics are still unknown. We demonstrate that the proliferative capacity of Tregs is deficient during the early MDS stages (E-MDS), while in L-MDS it returns to normal levels. In addition, synchronously to Treg expansion, L-MDS patients exhibit increased numbers of functionally competent bone marrow IL-17(+) and FOXP3(+)/IL-17(+) cells, in contrast to E-MDS patients, where Th17 cells are significantly decreased and hypofunctional. Our findings suggest similar kinetics of Treg and Th17 cells between MDS and solid tumors, indicating a common immune pathogenetic pathway between diverse cancer types.
    Clinical Immunology 03/2011; 139(3):350-9. DOI:10.1016/j.clim.2011.03.001 · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis Research 02/2011; 127. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(11)70125-6 · 2.43 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis Research 02/2011; 127. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(11)70124-4 · 2.43 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis Research 02/2011; 127. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(11)70126-8 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim:  Spur cell anemia (SCA) is a form of acquired hemolytic anemia seen in patients with advanced cirrhosis and particularly in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the incidence of spur cells and spur cell anemia in patients with advanced liver disease and to correlate the presence of spur cell anemia with survival.Methods:  During a 33-month period, all patients with advanced cirrhosis (Child–Pugh–Turcott score [CPT]≥7] who were hospitalized in our department for various reasons were included in this study.Results:  A total of 54 patients were included in the study; 26 patients had spur cells on peripheral blood smear (median 4, range 1–14). Patients with spur cells had more advanced liver disease compared with those without spur cells (CPT score, P < 0.0001 and MELD score, P < 0.0001), lower hemoglobin levels (P < 0.0001), higher bilirubin levels (total/unconjugated, P < 0.0001), higher reticulocyte count (P < 0.0001) and more prolonged international normalized ratio (INR; P < 0.0001). Patients with 5% spur cells or more had more advanced disease compared with patients with 1–4% spur cells (CPT score, P = 0.004 and MELD score, P = 0.003), lower hemoglobin levels (P = 0.033), more elevated bilirubin levels (total/unconjugated, P = 0.006) and more prolonged INR (P = 0.04). Three-month survival was lower in patients with spur cells compared with patients without spur cells (P = 0.017 and P = 0.104, respectively). Patients with 5% spur cells or more had lower 3-month survival compared with those with 1–4% spur cells (P = 0.014).Conclusion:  Presence of spur cells in patients with advanced cirrhosis is not always accompanied by spur cell anemia. The presence of 5% spur cells or more and/or hemolytic anemia is associated with poor prognosis and these patients might have to be given priority for liver transplantation.
    Hepatology Research 01/2010; 40(2):161 - 170. DOI:10.1111/j.1872-034X.2009.00590.x · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Afibrinogenemia is a rare bleeding disorder with an estimated prevalence of 1:1,000,000. It is an autosomal recessive disease resulting from mutations in any of the 3 genes that encode the 3 polypeptide chains of fibrinogen and are located on the long arm of chromosome 4. Spontaneous bleeding, bleeding after minor trauma and excessive bleeding during interventional procedures are the principal manifestations. We review the management of afibrinogenemia. Replacement therapy is the mainstay of treatment of bleeding episodes in these patients and plasma-derived fibrinogen concentrate is the agent of choice. Cryoprecipitate and fresh frozen plasma are alternative treatments that should be used only when fibrinogen concentrate is not available. Secondary prophylactic treatment may be considered after life-threatening bleeding whereas primary prophylactic treatment is not currently recommended. We also discuss alternative treatment options and the management of surgery, pregnancy and thrombosis in these patients. The development of new tests to identify higher risk patients and of safer replacement therapy will improve the management of afibrinogenemia in the future.
    Vascular Health and Risk Management 10/2009; 5:843-8.

Publication Stats

188 Citations
135.72 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2014
    • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
      • • Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine II
      • • Department of Internal Medicine II
      Saloníki, Central Macedonia, Greece
  • 2011
    • Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki
      • Department of Medical Laboratory Studies
      Saloníki, Central Macedonia, Greece
  • 2005
    • Hippokration General Hospital, Thessaloniki
      Saloníki, Central Macedonia, Greece
  • 2004–2005
    • Hippokration General Hospital, Athens
      Athínai, Attica, Greece