Giuseppina Zirilli

Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Sicily, Italy

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Publications (18)22.78 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: Primary gonadal failure may occur in most individuals with Turner syndrome (TS). Since ovaries in TS girls undergo premature apoptosis and cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is now feasible, it would be useful to identify a reliable marker of ovarian reserve in these patients. We planned to evaluate ovarian function in a group of TS patients by measuring both traditional markers and inhibin B and to compare these results with those of a control group. Study design: We enrolled 23 patients with TS and 17 age-matched healthy girls. The median age of our TS patients was 17.6 years. Three out of the 23 patients (13%) showed spontaneous pubertal development and regular menstrual cycles; the remaining 20 (86.9%) presented with primary amenorrhea. Results: The median level of inhibin B in the TS patients with primary amenorrhea was 42 pg/mL and did not differ significantly among the different subgroups in relation to karyotype. The median inhibin B level in the control group was significantly higher than in the TS girls with primary amenorrhea (83 vs. 42 pg/mL, p<0.00001). In the three patients with TS and spontaneous menstrual cycles, the inhibin B levels were significantly higher when compared to the values of the TS girls with primary amenorrhea. Conclusion: TS patients with primary amenorrhea have significantly lower levels of inhibin B than TS girls with spontaneous puberty and healthy controls. Inhibin B does not correlate with follicle-stimulating hormone/luteinizing hormone. If our results are confirmed in further studies, inhibin B could become a first-line screening test for assessing ovarian reserve and a longitudinal marker of the possible decline of ovarian function in TS.
    Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 11/2014; · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a case of a 15-month-old female child admitted to our hospital because of fever, rash, neurological signs (oscillation between states of irritability and drowsiness), palpebral edema and drooping eyelid, appeared 10 days after the vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella. Brain MRI images showed multiple bilateral hyperintense lesions in the white matter typical of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), an autoimmune demyelinating disorder with inflammatory lesions of the central nervous system, due to viral antigens or vaccines. In the mean time, because of patient's vague phenotypic manifestations, suggestive of a genetic defect, array comparative genomic hybridization was carried out which showed the presence of a microdeletion 22q11.21, linked to the DiGeorge syndrome. Our case suggests that pediatric cases of post-vaccination ADEM, in which neurological signs persist, should be investigated for genetic phenotypical features, in order to exclude the presence of a genetic syndrome or disease.
    Vaccine. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In a short girl with celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), the suspect of an associated pituitary lesion was suggested by the finding of a thyroid function pattern that was not compatible with HTrelated hypothyroidism (low FT4 with normal TSH). This case report reinforces the view that the finding of a normal TSH in presence of a low FT4 should always alert pediatricians and raise the suspect of central hypothyroidism, even when a primary thyroid disease has been already identified. In this case TSH deficiency played a critical role in disclosing diagnosis of craniopharyngioma (CP). Therefore, the subsequent workup was directed towards investigating pituitary function and morphology. Endocrinological investigations evidenced a picture of TSH and other pituitary hormone deficiency, whereas magnetic resonance imaging revealed an intrasellar CP. Therefore, in this case TSH deficiency played a key-role in disclosing CP diagnosis. Conclusions: the finding of a normal TSH in presence of a low FT4 should always alert pediatricians and raise the suspect of CH, even when a primary thyroid disease has been already identified.
    Minerva pediatrica 05/2014; · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GH-IGF-I axis is mainly involved in the complex process of somatic growth but emerging evidence suggests that it also influences hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) function. We report some data regarding long-term auxological and pubertal outcome of five female patients with hereditary forms of GH-IGF-I deficiency (Laron and GH-gene deletion syndrome) and a mean age of 23.4±5.3 yr (range 19-32). All the patients received recombinant human IGF-I (rhIGF-I, Pharmacia and Upjohn, Stockholm, Sweden, and rhIGF-I, Genentech, San Francisco, CA, USA) from a mean age of 8.6 yr (range 3.2-14.2) up to the final height. Final height was very disappointing (≤ -5.0 SD scores) and lower than target height in all the patients. Pubertal onset was delayed in most of them but menarche occurred spontaneously in all the patients. Median age at menarche was 15.1 yr. Menstrual cycles were regular for several years. Median duration of gynecological follow- up was 8.3 yr with the longest span of 17.2 yr. We can assert that GH-IGF-I axis has an essential role in promoting linear growth in humans and its physiological action cannot be replaced by pharmacological treatment in most patients with hereditary forms of IGF-I insufficiency as demonstrated by their subnormal final height. Our clinical observations can also support an essential role of IGF-I in genitalia growth but not in the function of HPG axis as demonstrated by the maintenance of regular menstrual cycles in the presence of subnormal levels of IGF-I after treatment discontinuation.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 04/2011; 34(4):292-5. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data about the natural evolution of subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) in pediatric age are very scanty. Moreover all the available reports in both aged and young patients were based on unselected study populations including also patients with either thyroid disorders or other pathological causes that are well known to be able to affect SH development and evolution. Aim of the study by Wasniewska et al was to prospectively evaluate for the first time the natural course of SH in children and adolescents with no underlying diseases and no risk factors that might interfere with the progression of SH. On the basis of the 2-year follow-up results, the Authors concluded that: a) the natural course of TSH values in a pediatric population with idiopathic SH is characterized by a progressive decrease over time; b) the majority of patients (88%) normalized or maintained unchanged their TSH; and c) TSH changes were not associated with changes of either FT4 values or clinical status or auxological parameters. Study design of this study is very accurate and the results are robust, thus supporting the Authors' conclusions.
    Italian Journal of Pediatrics 01/2010; 36:11. · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To prospectively evaluate the course of subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) in children and adolescents with no underlying diseases and no risk factors, which might interfere with the progression of SH. Clinical status, thyroid function, and autoimmunity were prospectively evaluated at entry and after 6, 12, and 24 months in 92 young patients (mean age 8.1+/-3.0 years) with idiopathic SH. During the study, mean TSH levels showed a trend toward a progressive decrease while FT(4) levels remained unchanged. Overall, 38 patients normalized their TSH (group A): 16 patients between 6 and 12 months, and 22 patients between 12 and 24 months. Among the remaining 54 patients, the majority maintained TSH within the baseline values (group B), whereas 11 exhibited a further increase in TSH above 10 mU/l (group C). Baseline TSH and FT(4) levels were similar in the patients who normalized TSH, compared with those with persistent hyperthyrotropinemia. Even in the patients of group C, both TSH and FT(4) at entry were not different with respect to those of groups A and B. No patients showed any symptoms of hypothyroidism during follow-up and no changes in both height and body mass index were observed throughout the observation period. (a) The natural course of TSH values in a pediatric population with idiopathic SH is characterized by a progressive decrease over time; (b) the majority of patients (88%) normalized or maintained unchanged their TSH; and (c) TSH changes were not associated with either FT(4) values or clinical status or auxological parameters.
    European Journal of Endocrinology 01/2009; 160(3):417-21. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Journal of endocrinological investigation 01/2009; 31(12):1137-8. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of this paper is to report about a 35-year old man suffering from beta-Thalassemia major and longstanding untreated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, who was referred because of a recent onset and painful bilateral gynecomastia, with no palpable testicular masses. Due to the finding of a solid mass at left testis ultrasonography, monolateral testicular exeresis was performed and histology revealed a Leydig Cell Tumour and testicular microlithiasis. Post-surgical restoration of testosterone/estradiol ratio under testosterone therapy was followed by a very rapid reduction of gynecomastia. Our report confirms the usefulness of scrotal ultrasonography for finding an occult testicular tumour in a patient with painful and recent onset bilateral gynecomastia and underlines: a) the important role of testosterone/estradiol ratio in the pathophysiology of gynecomastia; b) the questionable significance of testicular microlithiasis as marker of testis tumours; c) the possible association between beta-Thalassemia and tumoral pathologies.
    Acta bio-medica: Atenei Parmensis 01/2009; 80(3):286-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies on menarcheal age (MA) in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) have shown conflicting results about the effects of DM, but most lack a control group. The present study design is peculiar in that it covers a study population of 73 intensively treated menarcheal adolescents with premenarcheal onset of T1DM (Group A), whose MA was compared with that recorded in three control populations: the first one consisting of 280 healthy adolescents, the second one consisting of 20 T1DM adolescents with postmenarcheal DM onset (Group B) and the third one represented by the respective mothers. MA of Group A patients was significantly delayed when compared with the respective mothers, healthy controls and Group B patients. By contrast MA of Group B girls was superimposable to the one of both their respective mothers and healthy controls. In Group A MA was strongly related (p<0.0005) to HbA1c at the time of menarche and to average HbA1c concentrations during the last years before menarche. In Group A no relationship between patients' and mothers' MAs was found, whilst such a correlation was significant in Group B. (a) MA is significantly delayed in girls with premenarcheal presentation of T1DM, even if intensively treated; (b) menarcheal retardation is more severe in the patients with suboptimal metabolic control at the time of menarche; and (c) MA in premenarcheal presenting T1DM is irrespective of maternal MA, age and HbA1c concentrations at DM presentation, body mass index and daily insulin dose at menarche.
    Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 06/2008; 19(1):35-8. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is a common clinical problem, particularly in adulthood and the elderly. Its prevalence is conditioned by several etiological and risk factors. The highest age- and sex-specific rates are in women over 60. SH may be associated with manifestations of mild thyroid failure, which may reverse under levothyroxine (L-T4) therapy. The risk of progression to overt hypothyroidism is distinctly higher in cases with underlying thyroid disease. A population routine screening is not generally recommended, but screening is encouraged in high-risk groups. L-T4 therapy may be indicated in subjects with TSH levels which are repeatedly and consistently elevated (>10 microIU/ml) and may be considered in those with TSH ranging between 4.5-5.5 and 10 microIU/ml, particularly if anti-thyroid antibodies are positive and/or hypothyroid symptoms are present. Treatment should be based, at least initially, on L-T4 low doses.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 01/2008; 31(1):79-84. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This report describes two boys who were evaluated for the first time at the ages of 9.8 (patient 1) and 13.4 years (patient 2), due to either prepubertal or pubertal gynecomastia. The diagnosis of non-classical (NC) 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OH-D) was substantiated by the finding of increased baseline and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-stimulated 17-hydroxy-progesterone levels and was supported by molecular analyses of the CYP21A2 gene, which revealed V281L homozygosis in patient 1 and V281L/P30L compound heterozygosis in patient 2. In both boys, gynecomastia completely regressed 5-8 months after the institution of glucocorticoid substitutive treatment. We conclude that it is mandatory to suspect NC 21-OH-D in the clinical evaluation of either prepubertal or pubertal gynecomastia, since this association might be more frequent than reported so far, and that it is important that diagnosis is made by the first months after gynecomastia development, since a longstanding gynecomastia is unlikely to respond completely to medical therapy.
    European Journal of Pediatrics 12/2007; 167(9):1083-4. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Turner's syndrome (TS) is a chromosomal disorder that results from the loss of the entire or a part of the X-chromosome and occurs in 1/2,500 female births. According to the majority of specific reports, intelligence in TS is generally found to be normal and the prevalence of mental retardation does not seem to be increased in TS except for those patients with a small ring X-chromosome. We evaluated 33 girls with TS with chronological age from 6-18 years. Intellectual assessment included the WISC III and the WAIS-R scales. Our results showed: 1) mean full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) was significantly lower than expected based on normative data (p < 0.0005); 2) no correlation was present between height and general intellectual ability; 3) mean performance intelligence quotient (PIQ) was significantly lower than both mean verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ) and FSIQ (p < 0.0025 and p < 0.01, respectively), and most patients had a VIQ-PIQ discrepancy; 4) the frequency of mental retardation in our study group was significantly higher than that observed in the general population (15.1% vs 2.3%, p < 0.025); 5) a significant association was found between karyotype and VIQ, and the best score was achieved in the subgroup of patients with structural abnormalities of the X-chromosome. In the light of these findings we conclude that the clinical picture in TS may encompass a slightly reduced FSIQ, VIQ and especially an inadequate PIQ, but this neurocognitive profile is not significantly affected by statural impairment. Since these neurocognitive defects can be responsible for misdiagnosed school difficulties, we suggest that girls with TS should receive specialized educational support and multidisciplinary care.
    Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 06/2007; 20(6):677-84. · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spectrum of mutated alleles in non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NC-CAH) has been recently reported to be very large and haplotypes may significantly differ in the different ethnic groups. In order to confirm that population differences may exist in the genetic basis of this disease, we have analyzed the genetic presentation of NC-CAH in a Sicilian cohort of symptomatic patients and compared our findings with the ones reported in other studies of different ethnic groups. In 38 NC-CAH patients coming from two regions of Sicily and born of Sicilian parents, we found that 84.2% of the chromosomes examined bore only mild mutations and only the remaining 15.8% of the chromosomes bore at least 1 severe mutation. The overall predominant mutation was V281L, which was detected in 73.7% of alleles and in 89.5% of patients. About 58% of the patients were homozygotes for this mutation. V281L allele and homozygote frequencies were higher in the present series than in other European and Italian reports. In our NC-CAH population, which is one of the largest ever reported, the patients with two mild mutations exhibited a less severe impairment of both clinical and endocrine phenotype. On the basis of these results we can conclude that: a) in Sicilian ethnic groups NC-CAH is frequently associated with a very mild genotype; b) the most frequent genotype in our series is V281L homozygosis; c) clinical and biochemical expression of NC-CAH is more marked in the patients bearing a severe mutation; d) no correlations between genotype and phenotype were found in our patients affected by NC-CAH.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 04/2007; 30(3):181-5. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were: (a) to survey gender prevalence and clinical findings at diagnosis in a series of patients who manifested at the time of this study the classical triad of McCune-Albright syndrome (MAS); (b) to investigate whether clinical presentation of MAS in boys may be different from that in girls; (c) to confirm whether boys with MAS may show a peculiar picture of testicular microlithiasis (TM) by testicular ultrasonography (US). Twenty-six patients (10 boys) with the classical clinical manifestations of MAS were recruited for the present study from the database of the Italian Multicenter Study Group on MAS. Age at diagnosis of MAS was significantly lower in girls than in boys (p < 0.025). Whilst there was no difference in the prevalence of skin and bone fibrous dysplasia for the two groups, a significantly higher prevalence of peripheral precocious puberty (PPP) was found in girls (chi2 = 6.5, p < 0.025). Moreover, PPP onset was earlier in females than in males (2.8 +/- 2.3 vs. 6.9 +/- 2.7 years, p < 0.005). In one boy, aged 2.9 years, the first clinical manifestation of MAS was monolateral testicular enlargement in the context of a picture of classical PPP. US scanning of the testes, at the time of the present study, showed bilateral hyperechogeneic multiple spots, compatible with diagnosis of TM, in 6/10 boys. CONCLUSIONS: (a) MAS is slightly more frequent in females. (b) PPP in MAS is significantly more frequent and earlier in girls. (c) PPP in boys with MAS is generally associated with bilateral testicular enlargement, but monolateral macroorchidism may also be seen. (d) TM may be another marker for MAS in males.
    Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 06/2006; 19 Suppl 2:619-22. · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical implications of the association between testicular microlithiasis (TM) and germ cell tumor (GCT) of the testis are still debated since the natural history of incidentally discovered TM has not been defined. Therefore, it is questionable whether TM can be considered as a precursor of malignancy. We are reporting the case of a 9-yr-old boy with a mixed GCT who had presented 3 yr earlier with TM and hydrocele. This evolution suggests that testicular GCT may develop some years later in a boy with pre-existing and incidentally discovered TM. Our case history and other reports of the literature might suggest a strong association between both conditions, thus vindicating the view that individuals with TM should have clinical and ultrasound follow-up. Longitudinal evaluation may be particularly indicated in the patients with additional testicular dysgenetic features, apart from TM.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 02/2006; 29(1):82-5. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Journal of endocrinological investigation 05/2005; 28(4):390-1. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    Giuseppina Zirilli
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    ABSTRACT: La tesi tratta dell'accrescimento e dell'età del menarca nella fibrosi cistica, nella malattia celiaca e nel morbo di Crohn includendo l' esperienza del centro di Messina. This work is about growth and age of menarche in cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and Crohn's disease, considering the experience of the Messina centre.
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    ABSTRACT: A prepubescent 11 year-old girl came to our attention for short stature. Auxological evaluation showed peculiar phenotype. In order to exclude Turner syndrome standard karyotype was performed with normal result. Because of anemia and selective deficiency of the erythroid lineage further investigations were performed and a diagnosis of Blackfan-Diamond anemia was made.
    La Pediatria medica e chirurgica: Medical and surgical pediatrics 35(5):228-30.