C Ricella

The American University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (9)19.23 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the leading indication for lung transplantation; however, these patients rarely gain priority on the waiting list until very late. The clinical status can be improved by surgical lung volume reduction; this procedure, although carries significant morbidity, has been repeatedly advocated as a bridge. Recently, bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) has been proposed to improve functional parameters in patients with emphysema; however, it has never been reported as a bridge to lung transplantation so far. We hereby report our experience with BLVR as a bridge to lung transplantation in four patients (males, mean age 51 years). All patients underwent unilateral BLVR (two right upper lobe (RUL), one right lower lobe (RLL), and one left upper lobe (LUL); mean 3.5 valves per patient). No morbidity and mortality were observed. Three out of the four patients successfully reached transplantation after 6, 7, and 6 months, respectively. Two patients received single-lung transplantation and one sequential double-lung transplantation. The fourth patient died of respiratory failure 13 months after valve placement. BLVR was able to reduce the residual volume and improve the 6-min walking test and Medical Research Council (MRC) score. BLVR allowed to improve the functional status and quality of life of these patients. In a selected group of COPD patients awaiting lung transplantation, the reported short- to medium-term objective improvement may play an important role to ameliorate the clinical status and reach the time of surgery.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 03/2011; 39(3):364-7. DOI:10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.06.005 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Airway complications (AC) are considered a serious cause of morbidity after lung transplantation (LT). Mechanical dilatation, laser vaporization, and silicone stent placement usually solve it. However, the use of self-expandable metallic stents (SENS) may be indicated in selected cases. Ten lung transplant recipients with AC were treated with SENS. Six patients underwent LT for cystic fibrosis, 2 for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, 1 for bronchiectasis, and 1 for emphysema. All patients received at least 1 treatment attempt with dilatation and silicone stent placement. The indications for SENS placement were the presence of a tortuous airway axis with stenosis and malacia of the right main bronchus in 5 patients; a long stenosis of the main and intermediate right bronchus involving the upper lobe orifice in 3 patients; or malacia that could not be stabilized with silicone stents in 3 cases. In 1 patient the procedure was bilateral. Functional improvement was immediate with a mean forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV(1)) gain of 35%. No stent dislocation was observed. Symptoms did not occur again in 5 patients with previous recurrent episodes of pneumonia. One stenosis, which was due to the ingrowth of granulation tissue occurred at 6 months after the procedure, was successfully treated with mechanical dilatation and laser vaporization. The deployment of SENS in a selected group of patients with AC after LT was easy, safe, and effective.
    Transplantation Proceedings 05/2010; 42(4):1279-80. DOI:10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.03.092 · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung transplantation (LT) represents the only available therapy for selected patients affected by end-stage pulmonary disease. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPBP) is used, when required, during single and sequential double lung transplantation; however, it increases the risk of bleeding, early graft dysfunction, failure, and other potential side effects. We report our experience with 145 patients who underwent lung transplantations, among whom 34 required intraoperative CPBP. The indications for LT among these 34 patients were cystic fibrosis (n = 22), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n = 3), bronchiectasis (n = 2), primary pulmonary hypertension (n = 1), fibrosis (n = 2), pulmonary microlithiasis (n = 1), and retransplantation for obliterative bronchilitis (n = 3). CPBP was planned in 12 cases (group I) and unplanned in 22 (group II). The main reason for planning CPBP was primary and secondary pulmonary hypertension (mean pulmonary artery pressure >or=25 mm Hg). Acute right ventricular failure, hemodynamic instability, arterial desaturation, and increased pulmonary artery pressure were mandatory for unplanned CPBP. Among the 34 CPBP patients, the 30-day mortality rate was 35% (12/34) including 9 (70%) in group II (unplanned CPBP). The leading cause of death was multiorgan failure. The 1-year survival rates were 67% and 36%, and the 3-year survival rates were 47% and 18% for groups I and II, respectively. In conclusion, even if it represents a useful tool in the management of critical events, the use of unscheduled CPBP during LT procedures is associated with an increased postoperative morbidity and mortality.
    Transplantation Proceedings 05/2010; 42(4):1281-2. DOI:10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.03.114 · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bronchogenic cysts are uncommon congenital anomalies of foregut origin usually located within the mediastinum and the lung and rarely diagnosed in adults. Surgical excision is recommended to establish diagnosis based on histologic examination, alleviate symptoms if present, and prevent future complications. Thoracoscopic approach is becoming the primary therapeutic option. Between January 1995 and July 2008, 30 patients with mediastinal bronchogenic cyst (MBC) underwent thoracoscopic operation (19 male, 11 female with a mean age of 39 years, range 19-59 years). Symptoms were present in 11 patients (37). The cysts averaged 5.2 cm in their greatest diameter (range 3-10.5 cm). In two cases thoracoscopy was converted to thoracotomy because of major pleural adhesions. There were no operative deaths and no intra-operative complications. Postoperative course was uneventful in all cases and the 28 patients who underwent thoracoscopy were discharged after a mean of 3.7 days (range 2-5 days). Considering the low conversion and complication rate, thoracoscopic excision of bronchogenic mediastinal cyst should be considered the primary therapeutic option.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 06/2009; 36(2):357-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ejcts.2009.03.041 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung transplantation represents the only therapeutic option for patients affected by end-stage cystic fibrosis (CF). We performed 76 lung transplantations in 73 patients from 1996-2007. The mean time on the waiting list was 10+/-6 months. The median follow-up after the transplantation was 69.3 months. Twenty-one transplants (27.6%) were performed under cardiopulmonary bypass. Perioperative mortality, excluding retransplants, was 16.4% (12 patients) and the causes of death were sepsis, primary graft failure, and myocardial infarction. The overall survival was 74.5%+/-5%, 62.9%+/-5%, 54.1%+/-6%, and 43.4%+/-6% at 1, 3, 5, and 10 years, respectively. The accurate selection of potential recipients and the correct timing of referral and transplantation are factors that play crucial roles to obtain satisfactory results in term of improvement of quality of life and long-term survival.
    Transplantation Proceedings 07/2008; 40(6):2001-2. DOI:10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.05.029 · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several prognostic factors like age, gender, histology, stage, type of operation, associated disorders and administration of induction therapy have been evaluated to assess the risk of postoperative complications and outcome in patients with resectable lung cancer. Anemia is a frequent condition in this subset of patients being estimated up to 50%. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effect of preoperative anemia on early outcome after lung cancer resection. One-hundred thirty nine consecutive patients undergoing surgery for non small cell lung cancer were retrospectively considered. The mean age was 64.8+/-11.6 years. No patient received blood transfusions or administration of erythropoetin preoperatively. Overall, we performed 96 lobectomies, 14 pneumonectomies, 2 bilobectomies and 27 atypical resections. A subset of 27 patients (19.4%) (group I) had a preoperative value of Hb less than 12 g/dl (10.4+/-1.9 g/dL). Seven patients of them were stage IA (26%), 9 stage IB (33.3%), 2 stage IIA (7.4%), 6 stage IIB (22.2%), 2 stage IIIA (7.4%) and 1 stage IIIB (3.7%). Age, gender, stage, type of operation, induction chemotherapy, comorbidities were evaluated by univariate analysis comparing patients with and without preoperative anaemia. The two groups were homogenous regarding demographic characteristics. Three patients (11.1%) in group I and 2 (1.8%) in group II required blood transfusions after surgery (P=0.01); 4 of them received pneumonectomy (P<0.0001). The overall morbidity was 17.9% (25/139); the most frequent complication was persistent air leakage, followed by retention of secretions. No statistically significant difference was observed between the 2 groups about early mortality (1 patient-3.7% in group I and 2 patients-1.8% in group II) and postoperative complications (5 patients-18.5% in group I and 20 patients-17.9% in group II). Preoperative anaemia is not a risk factor for an increased rate of postoperative complications and should not be considered a contraindication to surgery.
    Minerva chirurgica 12/2007; 62(6):431-5. · 0.68 Impact Factor

  • The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 12/2007; 134(5):1369-71. DOI:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2007.04.071 · 4.17 Impact Factor

  • The Annals of thoracic surgery 12/2007; 84(5):1767. DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2006.11.008 · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the last 2 decades, long-term survival after lung transplantation has significantly improved. However, among the complications related to the continuous administration of immunosuppressive drugs, malignancy plays an important role. We retrospectively revisited our series of patients to report our experience. From January 1991 we performed 134 lung transplantations in 128 recipients (mean age, 33.4 +/- 13.5 years). In all patients the first-line immunosuppressive regimen was based on a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine or tacrolimus), an antimetabolic agent (azathioprine), and steroids. Five patients (4.2%) developed malignancy and the mean time of occurrence after the transplantation was 46.4+/-23 months. The mean age was 41 +/- 16 years (P = not significant [ns]). The tumors were as follows: laryngeal cancer (radiotherapy), colon cancer (surgery plus adjuvant chemotherapy), gastric cancer (surgery plus adjuvant chemotherapy), endobronchial non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (endoscopic resection plus chemoradiotherapy), and cutaneous and visceral Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) (chemotherapy). All patients have reduced the dose of immunosuppressive drugs; in 1 of them, tacrolimus was changed to rapamycin. Two patients died because of neoplastic dissemination, another 1 due to obliterans bronchiolitis. The 2 patients with NHL and KS are alive at 6 and 9 months, respectively, without signs of recurrence. Malignancies after lung transplantation represent an important problem. A multidisciplinary approach is mandatory to obtain satisfactory results in terms of improved quality of life and long-term survival.
    Transplantation Proceedings 07/2007; 39(6):1983-4. DOI:10.1016/j.transproceed.2007.05.036 · 0.98 Impact Factor