[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diarrhoea is an alteration of normal bowel movement characterized by an increase in the water content, volume, or frequency of stools. Diarrhoea needs to be classified according to the trends over time (acute or chronic) and to the characteristics of the stools (watery, fatty, inflammatory). Secretory diarrhoeas, mostly acute and of viral aetiology in more than 70% of cases, are by far the most important subtype of diarrhoeas in terms of frequency, incidence and mortality (over 2.5 million deaths/year in developing countries). Natural and synthetic opiates such as morphine, codeine, and loperamide which react with endogenous opiates (enkephalins, beta-endorphins, dynorphins) mainly act on intestinal motility and slow down transit. An antidiarrhoeal drug developed in recent years, racecadotril, acts as an enkephalinase inhibitor. Clinical studies have shown that it is just as effective as loperamide in resolving acute diarrhoea but with greater reduction in pain and abdominal distension. Some studies have explored the prevalence of diarrhoea in old age. An epidemiological study carried out in Italy by 133 General Practitioners on 5515 elderly outpatients reported a prevalence of diarrhoea, defined according to the Rome criteria, of 9.1%. Infectious diseases (19%) and drug use (16%) were the most common causes of diarrhoea in old age. Regardless of the cause, the treatment of elderly patients with diarrhoea must include rehydration and nutritional support. Every year, more than 50 million tourists travel from industrialized countries to places where hygiene levels are poor. At least 75% of those travelling for short periods mention health problems, and in particular traveller's diarrhoea.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 08/2009; 15(27):3341-8. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While lifestyle modifications are currently used as first-line treatment for subjects with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the pathogenetic role of lifestyle factors and consequently, the efficacy of lifestyle measures is controversial. Our aim was to systematically review the pathogenetic link between overweight/obesity, dietary habits, physical activity and GERD, and the beneficial effect of specific recommended changes, by means of the available literature from the 1999 to the present. Obesity, in particular, abdominal obesity, plays a key role in determining GERD symptoms and complications through mechanical and metabolic effects. Controlled weight loss (by diet or surgery) is effective in improving GERD symptoms. No definitive data exist regarding the role of diet and, in particular, of specific foods or drinks, in influencing GERD clinical manifestations. Moderate physical activity seems to be beneficial for GERD, while vigorous activity may be dangerous in predisposed individuals. In conclusion, being obese/overweight and GERD-specific symptoms and endoscopic features are related, and weight loss significantly improves GERD clinical-endoscopic manifestations. The role of dietary behavior, mainly in terms of specific dietary components, remains controversial. Mild routine physical activity in association with diet modifications, i.e. a diet rich in fiber and low in fat, is advisable in preventing reflux symptoms.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 05/2009; 15(14):1690-701. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract We studied the oesophageal motor function in 19 patients with reflux oesophagitis before and after 3–6 months of treatment with high-dose H2-receptor antagonists to compare the results in healed vs unhealed patients. At the end of treatment, the frequency of transient lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) relaxations unassociated with a peristaltic sequence was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the healed group in fed conditions compared both with its baseline and with the unhealed one. The frequency of primary peristalsis was significantly increased (P < 0.01) particularly in the healed group (P < 0.05). On the other hand, failed peristalsis decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after treatment in the healed patients in fasting conditions.Our data suggest that oesophageal dysmotility observed in those patients who do not heal with high-dose H2-receptor antagonists, may be due to either the persistence of the mucosal lesions or to the presence of a primary motor disorder, whereas in those who heal, these abnormalities may represent a consequence of the oesophageal mucosal lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A multicentric observational study was performed to update the available information on reflux oesophagitis in Italy.
In phase I, the number and severity of reflux oesophagitis diagnosed in 1 year (2003) were reported together with the associated endoscopic findings. In phase II, oesophagitis patients consecutively referred in a 3-month period were analysed. A multivariate analysis was used to identify the risk factors for severe oesophagitis.
253,992 upper endoscopies were collected. The overall prevalence of oesophagitis was 14.8% and the endoscopic findings associated with oesophagitis were hiatus hernia (46.3%), duodenal ulcer (10.7%), gastric ulcer (3.6%) and Barrett's oesophagus (2.9%). In phase II, 1542 reflux oesophagitis patients were analysed (60.3% males; mean age 50.7 +/-16.6 years). Only 53.4% of patients reported heartburn and/or regurgitation as main complaint. Severe symptoms, age > 50 years, hiatus hernia and male gender were identified as independent predictors of severe oesophagitis.
Oesophagitis is the most frequent among the peptic diseases of the upper gastro-intestinal tract. Only half of the oesophagitis patients reported typical reflux symptoms as dominant. Advanced age, male gender, severe symptoms and hiatus hernia were independent risk factors for severe disease.
Digestive and Liver Disease 06/2008; 40(6):405-11. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-lymphocyte activation within atherosclerotic plaque, and widespread to the myocardium, has been shown in patients with acute coronary syndromes.
To investigate the presence of T-lymphocyte infiltrate at different stages of acute coronary syndromes by studying patients with sudden coronary death, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and healed infarction, in comparison with patients with myocarditis and patients with non-ischaemic heart failure.
72 cases were studied at autopsy: 12 dying of sudden coronary death (group 1), 12 dying <4 weeks (group 2) and 12 dying >4 months after AMI (group 3), 12 with active lymphocytic myocarditis (group 4), 12 with hypertensive heart disease (group 5), and 12 control subjects (group 6). Light microscopy was performed to measure the number of activated T-lymphocytes (CD3+/DR+) in the myocardium and coronary artery wall, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in the myocardium.
Activated T-lymphocyte infiltrates and ICAM-1 myocardial expression in both remote and peri-infarction regions and activated T-lymphocytes within the epicardial coronary artery wall of both the infarct- and non-infarct-related arteries were found in groups 1, 2 and 3, whereas myocardial, but not coronary, infiltrates were found in groups 4 (p<0.001 vs groups 1, 2 and 3 for coronary infiltrates). Groups 5 and 6 had no evidence of myocardial or coronary inflammation (p<0.001 vs groups 1, 2 and 3).
The study shows the presence of a lymphocytic infiltrate in both coronary arteries and myocardium and a proinflammatory phenotype shift in the myocardium associated with acute coronary thrombosis in patients dying suddenly, shortly, or even late after coronary thrombosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a relatively common condition with a prevalence ranging from 10% to 20% in Western
countries and 5% to 10% in Asian populations . In a recent evidence-based consensus , GERD was defined as a condition
that develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms or complications. This global definition emphasizes
the syndromic nature of the disease and subdivides the patients in different groups depending on the presence of mucosal complications
(ie, esophagitis, metaplasia, stenosis) and on the prevalent clinical manifestations (ie, typical reflux symptoms or extraesophageal/supraesophageal
syndromes). General practitioners, gastroenterologists, and specialists from different branches of medicine generally share
the management of GERD patients, and basically they need to address the following four issues.
Current Gastroenterology Reports 04/2007; 9(1):1-2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic persistent cough is a common and disabling disorder and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is considered to be the third leading cause, after asthma and postnasal drip. Therefore, patients with unexplained chronic persistent cough usually undergo a stepwise evaluation to establish the existence of a reflux disease.
To identify the most cost-effective diagnostic approach to assess gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in patients with unexplained chronic persistent cough.
Direct and indirect costs associated with six diagnostic strategies using 24-h oesophageal pH-metry, oesophago-gastroduodenoscopy and the proton pump inhibitors test in different sequences, were evaluated using a decision tree model. If the first test was positive, the diagnostic work-up was stopped, if negative the patient proceeded to the second test, and so on. Clinical data from an observational prospective trial conducted in 51 patients with unexplained chronic persistent cough were used in the economic model.
All six strategies had the same clinical effectiveness (78.4%). The diagnostic work-up with the lowest cost was the proton pump inhibitors test followed by pH-metry and then oesophago-gastroduodenoscopy with a total cost of euro 211.08 (direct euro 142.93, indirect euro 68.15).
This study shows that the lowest cost is the strategy where proton pump inhibitors test is performed as first investigation. Implementation of this diagnostic work-up may lead to cost savings in the management of patients with chronic persistent cough.
Digestive and Liver Disease 08/2006; 38(7):452-8. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare two different daily doses of lansoprazole given for 12 weeks and to assess the role of gastrointestinal (GI) investigations as criteria for selecting patients.
Out of 45 patients referred for unexplained chronic persistent cough, 36 had at least one of the GI investigations (endoscopy, 24-h esophageal pH-metry and a 4-week trial of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy) positive and were randomly assigned to receive either 30 mg lansoprazole o.d. or 30 mg lansoprazole b.i.d. for 12 weeks. Symptoms were evaluated at baseline (visit 1) after the PPI test (visit 2) and after the 12-week lansoprazole treatment period (visit 3).
Thirty-five patients completed the study protocol. Twenty-one patients (60.0%) reported complete relief from their cough with no difference between the two treatment groups (58.8% and 61.1% had no cough in 30 mg lansoprazole and 60 mg lansoprazole groups, respectively). More than 80% of the patients who had complete relief from their cough at the end of the treatment showed a positive response to the PPI test.
Twelve weeks of lansoprazole treatment even at a standard daily dose, is effective in patients with chronic persistent cough. A positive response to an initial PPI test seems to be the best criterion for selecting patients who respond to therapy.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 02/2006; 12(1):82-8. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that impaired coronary and myocardial blood flow are linked with increased myocyte apoptosis, thus establishing a link between pressure overload and left ventricular (LV) remodelling.
Peak diastolic coronary blood flow velocity (CBFV) was evaluated at transthoracic Doppler echocardiography, and signal intensity (SI) and the rate of SI rise (beta) were measured at myocardial contrast echocardiography in 11 patients with severe aortic stenosis and LV hypertrophy. In the same patients, biopsies were obtained from the anterolateral LV free wall during surgery and analysed for cardiomyocyte apoptosis. LV mass corrected CBFV (CBFVI) was significantly lower in patients than in controls (median 0.100 cm.g/s (interquartile range 0.07-0.115) v 0.130 cm.g/s (0.130-0.160), p = 0.002). Similarly, SI*beta was significantly lower in patients than in controls (11 1/s (8-66) v 83 1/s (73-95), p = 0.001). Apoptotic rate was increased in aortic stenosis more than 100-fold versus controls (1.2% (0.8-1.4) v 0.01% (0.01-0.01), p < 0.001) and inversely correlated with lower CBFVI and SI*beta (r = -0.77, p = 0.001 for both).
Patients with severe aortic stenosis and LV hypertrophy have impaired myocardial perfusion, which is associated with enhanced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Impaired myocardial perfusion and the ensuing oxygen demand-supply imbalance may, at least partially, be responsible for increased apoptosis and possible transition to heart failure, thus establishing a link between pressure overload, LV remodelling, and heart failure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental evidence suggests that lung cancer development and progression can be linked to an increased proliferation rate.
To evaluate the immunohistochemical expression of seven components of the cell cycle machinery in a series of well characterised non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens (n = 105).
Multivariate analysis revealed that simultaneous loss of expression of three of these factors--cyclin D1, the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p16, and the tumour suppressor retinoblastoma protein Rb2/p130--correlated with survival, confirming the hypothesis that the cyclin D1-p16-retinoblastoma tumour suppressor pathway is inactivated in most lung cancer samples.
These results suggest that loss of control of cell cycle checkpoints is a common occurrence in lung cancer and support the idea that functional cooperation between different cell cycle regulatory proteins constitutes another level of regulation in cell growth control and tumour suppression.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 08/2005; 58(7):734-9. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artificial neural networks (ANN) are modelling mechanisms that are highly flexible and adaptive to solve the non-linearity inherent in the relationship between symptoms and underlying pathology.
To assess the efficacy of ANN in achieving a diagnosis of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) using oesophagoscopy or pH-metry as a diagnostic gold standard and discriminant analysis as a statistical comparator technique in a group of patients with typical GORD symptoms and with or without GORD objective findings (e.g. a positive oesophagoscopy or a pathological oesophageal pH-metry).
The sample of 159 cases (88 men, 71 women) presenting with typical symptoms of GORD, were subdivided on the basis of endoscopy and pH-metry results into two groups: GORD patients with or without oesophagitis, group 1 (N=103), and pH and endoscopy-negative patients in whom both examinations were negative, group 2 (N=56). A total of 101 different independent variables were collected: demographic information, medical history, generic health state and lifestyle, intensity and frequency of typical and atypical symptoms based on the Italian version of the Gastroesophageal Reflux Questionnaire (Mayo Clinic). The diagnosis was used as a dependent variable. Different ANN models were assessed.
Specific evolutionary algorithms selected 45 independent variables, concerning clinical and demographic features, as predictors of the diagnosis. The highest predictive performance was achieved by a 'back propagation' ANN, which was consistently 100% accurate in identifying the correct diagnosis compared with 78% obtained by traditional discriminant analysis.
On the basis of this preliminary work, the use of ANN seems to be a promising approach for predicting diagnosis without the need for invasive diagnostic methods in patients suffering from GORD symptoms.
European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 07/2005; 17(6):605-10. · 1.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lansoprazole is an H+, K+-adenosine triphosphatase proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used for management of acid-related disorders. Lansoprazole has been reformulated as an oro-dispersible tablet (LODT) that quickly dissolves in the mouth without water. In healthy adults the safety and bioavailability of LODT 15-30 mg, taken without water or dispersed in water, were found to be comparable with those of lansoprazole 15-30 mg capsules. Moreover, the bioavailability of LODT administered without water has been found to be similar to that of water-dispersed LODT given via a nasogastric tube. In a clinical study, the vast majority of patients found the mouth feel of LODT acceptable and almost all found it easy to take. A comparison of LODT with esomeprazole in a small group of patients with non-erosive reflux disease showed similar decreases in symptoms from baseline and no significant difference between groups. In conclusion, LODT is effective, bioequivalent to the capsule formulation and acceptable to patients. LODT offers an alternative dose administration method to all patients requiring a PPI, especially those who have difficulty swallowing, and may increase patient convenience and compliance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is a key feature in postinfarction remodelling leading to progressive myocyte loss. Both proapoptotic and antiapoptotic factors contribute to the delicate balance between death and survival. The survivin pathway has emerged as essential in the control of apoptosis, although its role in heart disease is unknown.
To evaluate survivin expression after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Survivin expression was assessed immunohistochemically in the peri-infarct and remote viable myocardium in 17 consecutive patients who died 1-30 weeks after AMI and in four control hearts.
Survivin was expressed by myocytes in the peri-infarct area in eight patients and in the remote region in 13 patients. The rate of survivin expression after AMI was significantly higher in the remote versus peri-infarct regions and compared with control hearts. Its expression was inversely associated with the presence of dilated cardiopathy and of apoptosis, independently from the gross pathology infarct size.
Survivin myocardial expression after AMI may be associated with the survival of at risk myocardium and may be indicative of more favourable remodelling after AMI. These findings identify a potential new target for the treatment of postinfarction remodelling.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 01/2005; 57(12):1321-4. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hibernomas are rare benign tumours that arise most often in adults from the remnants of fetal brown adipose tissue. They usually affect muscle and subcutaneous tissue and are asymptomatic and slow growing. The distribution of this tumour follows the sites of persistence of brown fat. Out of more then 100 cases described in the word literature only three hybernomas were mediastinal. A recent clinicopathological study of 170 cases from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology confirmed the exceptionality of the intrathoracic location. This report describes a very rare case of mediastinal hibernoma in a young man.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 10/2004; 57(9):993-4. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was undertaken to analyse the potential prognostic value of the immunohistochemical expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and p27 in 29 malignant mesotheliomas already screened for the expression of p21 and p53.
Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the expression of COX-2 and p27. The correlation with survival of these factors and of p21 and p53 expression was assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses.
A positive statistically significant correlation was found between p27 and p21 expression (p<0.0001), but there was a negative correlation between COX-2 expression and both p27 (p = 0.001) and p21 (p<0.0001). No statistically significant correlation was recorded between p53 and all the other immunohistochemical parameters. Univariate analysis showed that overall survival was strongly influenced by p21, p27, and COX-2 expression, but multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that the only immunohistochemical parameter to influence overall survival of patients with mesothelioma was COX-2.
These findings suggest that COX-2 expression may be a useful prognostic parameter for mesothelioma.