Barbara Parma

San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (16)44.3 Total impact

  • Digestive and Liver Disease 10/2010; 42. DOI:10.1016/S1590-8658(10)60615-9 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) is a gluten-dependent enteropathy. The current standard for diagnosing CD involves obtaining 4 biopsy samples from the descending duodenum. It has been suggested that duodenal bulb biopsies may also be useful. To assess the utility of bulbar biopsies for the diagnosis of CD in pediatric patients. Prospective study. Single center. Forty-seven consecutively enrolled pediatric patients with celiac serologies and a clinical suspicion of CD. All patients underwent EGD, and 4 biopsy samples were obtained from the duodenal bulb and 4 from the descending duodenum of each child. The pathologist blindly reported the Marsh histological grade for the diagnosis of CD of the bulb and descending duodenum. The diagnosis of CD was histologically confirmed in 89.4% (42/47) of the cases of biopsy samples obtained from the descending duodenum and in all 47 obtained from the bulb. In 35 patients (74.5%), histology was the same in the bulb and duodenum; in 11 (23.4%) cases, the grade of atrophy was higher in the bulb than in the descending duodenum, and 5 (10.6%) had bulb histology positive for CD but negative duodenal findings. One child (2.1%) had a higher histological grade in the duodenum than in the bulb. The diagnostic gain with bulbar biopsies was 10.6%. Small sample and absence of a comparison group (asymptomatic children with normal CD antibodies). We suggest examining 4 biopsy samples from the duodenal bulb and 4 from the descending duodenum to improve diagnostic accuracy of CD.
    Gastrointestinal endoscopy 09/2010; 72(3):564-8. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2010.05.021 · 5.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that the presence of serum IgA antibodies against actin filaments (AAA) in patients with celiac disease (CD) is strongly associated with mucosal damage and severe degrees of villous atrophy.The aims of the present study were (1) to verify the effectiveness of IgA-AAA in newly diagnosed CD patients in a clinical setting (2) to compare the immunofluorescence assay with ELISA assay; (3) to compare the correlation of our IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG-Ab) class with mucosal intestinal lesions. 90 patients underwent endoscopy and multiple biopsies for suspected CD on the basis of symptoms, in presence of positive tTG-Ab tests. Twenty biopsied and 25 not-biopsied subjects with negative tTG-Ab were tested as control groups. IgA-AAA assays were performed by indirect immunofluorescence using rat epithelial intestinal cells, and by ELISA with a commercial kit. tTG-Ab assay was a radio-binding assay. Intestinal specimens were collected by upper endoscopy and the histological study was done according to the Marsh's classification modified by Oberhuber (M/O). Auto-antibodies assays and histological evaluation have been performed blindly by skilled operators. CD diagnosis was confirmed in 82 patients (type I M/O in 2 patients, IIIA in 18 patients, IIIB in 29 patients and IIIC in 33 patients). Two patients with type 1 lesion in presence of positive tTG-Ab and abdominal complaints, started a gluten free diet. The rate of IgA-AAA positivity (sensitivity) by IFI and ELISA in histologically proven celiac disease patients, were 5.5% and 25% patients in IIIA, 27.5% and 34.4% patients in IIIB, 78.8% and 75% in IIIC patients, respectively.Patients with normal or nearly normal mucosa, regardless of tTG-Ab status, presented negative IgA-AAA IFI assay. On the other hand, 1 patient with normal mucosa but positive tTG-Ab, also presented positive IgA-AAA ELISA. All healthy non biopsied controls had negative IgA-AAA. tTG-Ab serum concentration was significantly correlated with more severe intestinal lesion (IIIB, IIIC M/O). IgA-AAA may be undetectable in presence of severe mucosal damage. Histology is still necessary to diagnose celiac disease and IgA-AAA cannot be included in usual screening tests, because it has little to offer if compared to the well-established tTG-Ab.IgA-AAA could be an adjunctive, very useful tool to support the diagnosis of CD in case of suboptimal histology, when the biopsy is to be avoided for clinical reasons, or in case of negative parents' consensus.
    Italian Journal of Pediatrics 03/2010; 36(1):25. DOI:10.1186/1824-7288-36-25 · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 10/2009; 41. DOI:10.1016/S1590-8658(09)60545-4 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • E Masci · B Mangiavillano · B Parma · A Mariani
    Digestive and Liver Disease 08/2009; 42(2). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2009.07.001 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease is a common condition with many atypical manifestations, where histology serves as the "gold standard" for diagnosis. A useful new technique, optical coherence tomography, can depict villous morphology in detail, using light waves. This study examined the correlation between the sensitivity and specificity of optical coherence tomography in pediatric patients undergoing esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy for the diagnosis of celiac disease. A total of 134 children were prospectively enrolled, 67 with a serological suspicion of celiac disease (group 1) and 67 with negative histology for celiac disease (group 2). During a diagnostic esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy we acquired multiple images and films in the four quadrants of the second part of the duodenum, and biopsies were taken in the area where optical coherence tomography had been done. Three patterns of villous morphology were considered: pattern 1=no atrophy (types 0, 1 or 2 of the Marsh classification); pattern 2=mild atrophy (type 3a or 3b); pattern 3=marked atrophy (type 3c). The diagnosis of celiac disease was histologically confirmed in all 67 children with positive antiendomysium and/or antitransglutaminase antibodies. Optical coherence tomography correlated with pattern 1 histology in 11/11 cases, pattern 2 in 30/32 (93.8%) and pattern 3 in 22/24 (91.6%). Sensitivity and specificity were 82% and 100%. In the control group there was 100% concordance between optical coherence tomography and histology. The overall concordance between optical coherence tomography and histology in determining patchy lesions was 75%. Optical coherence tomography could be a helpful diagnostic tool in children with mild or marked villous atrophy for diagnosing celiac disease during upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, avoiding biopsies. However, duodenal biopsies are mandatory if the optical coherence tomography shows normal villous morphology in patients with positive antibodies.
    Digestive and Liver Disease 05/2009; 41(9):639-43. DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2009.02.002 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 04/2009; 69(5). DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2009.03.050 · 5.37 Impact Factor
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy 03/2009; 69(2):388-9; author reply 390. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2008.06.014 · 5.37 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 10/2008; 40(10). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2008.07.177 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 10/2008; 40(10). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2008.07.230 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Graziano Barera · Barbara Parma · Stefano Mora
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated lifelong enteropathy characterized by an abnormal T-cell response to gluten (a complex protein contained in wheat, rye and barley) in genetically susceptible individuals. CD is the most frequent food intolerance and it can occur at any age. During childhood, clinical manifestations of untreated CD include malabsorption (chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive and abdominal distention), but the clinical picture can also include a wide spectrum of atypical gastrointestinal and systemic symptoms. Many complications of the disease, which were originally described chiefly in adults, can nowadays be observed in children and adolescents. This review presents an overview of the clinical picture and complications of untreated CD in children.
    Pediatric Health 08/2008; 2(4):431-441. DOI:10.2217/17455111.2.4.431
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 10/2007; 39(10). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2007.07.116 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 10/2007; 39(10). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2007.07.086 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the sensitivity and specificity of IgA and IgG tissue-transglutaminase antibodies assay, the pattern of antibody decline after gluten withdrawal and their modifications with reference to dietary compliance. We studied sera from 143 untreated coeliac children and adolescents (8.8+/-6.1 years), 212 sera from 97 of those patients after gluten withdrawal, and 64 control subjects with non-coeliac intestinal disorders (6.8+/-4.8 years). Samples were tested for IgA and IgG class tissue-transglutaminase antibodies by radiobinding assay, using human-derived tissue-transglutaminase, and for IgA anti-endomysium antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence on monkey oesophagus. Untreated coeliac patients had significantly higher titres of IgA and IgG tissue-transglutaminase antibodies than controls (p<0.00001); the diagnostic sensitivity was 95.8% and 99.3%, respectively, and the specificity was 95.3%. Three patients with selective IgA deficiency were positive for IgG tissue-transglutaminase antibodies. The concordance rate between IgA tissue-transglutaminase antibodies and anti-endomysium antibodies was 98.1%. Patients on gluten-free diet showed a significant decrease in IgA and IgG tissue-transglutaminase antibodies with respect to untreated patients (p<0.0001). Tissue-transglutaminase was more sensible than anti-endomysium antibodies to detect small amounts of gluten intake when the compliance was poor. The recombinant human tissue-transglutaminase antibodies assay is a highly sensitive and specific test for diagnosis of coeliac disease, and it is useful in monitoring the compliance to gluten-free diet.
    Digestive and Liver Disease 02/2006; 38(2):98-102. DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2005.10.020 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • La Pediatria medica e chirurgica: Medical and surgical pediatrics 27(6):48-51.
  • G M Tronconi · B Parma · G Barera
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    ABSTRACT: It is known that celiac disease is characterized by a huge variety of clinical forms ranging from classical ones to silent forms, potential ones and to an increased number of cases of gluten-sensitivity. The latter is an abnormal non-allergic sensibility to gluten. Clinical manifestations can be very different without a severe intestinal damage (Marsh/Oberhuber 0-I) and this condition seems to benefit from a gluten free diet. Cases of gluten-sensitivity appear very interesting in the search of histological markers with elevated specificity, which are able to identify slight and early gluten dependent enteropathy, especially in at risk patients for celiac disease even before classical autoantibodies appear: for instance, this is the case of intraepithelial lymphocytes T-cell receptor gamma delta and mucosal deposits of class IgA anti transglutaminase antibodies. Other studies are investigating transglutaminase isoenzimes (different from tissue one), that can be identified in patients with gluten dependent symptoms without classical autoantibodies. Forms of gluten allergy have a different pathogenesis from celiac disease and are represented by "backer's asthma" or by classical allergy to wheat proteins. Clinical manifestations can vary from anaphylactic reactions to dermatological, respiratory and intestinal symptoms. Also in these cases the therapeutic approach is based on gluten free diet.
    La Pediatria medica e chirurgica: Medical and surgical pediatrics 32(5):211-5.