C Bellan

Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Bérgamo, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (13)13.03 Total impact

  • Pediatric Research 11/2010; 68:662-663. DOI:10.1203/00006450-201011001-01338 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prognosis of babies with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) remains unsatisfactory despite recent advances in medical and surgical treatment. Most authors agree that the best way to improve outcomes for this disease is to focus on pulmonary hypoplasia and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH), the 2 most unfavorable prognostic factors for patient survival. However, controversy remains regarding the best treatment of CDH. In the past decade, several institutions have developed treatment protocols that include high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV), preoperative stabilization, and no thoracic drain. This strategy is 1 of several "gentle ventilation" strategies. We describe our 10-year experience in treating a cohort of 111 infants with CDH managed with this "gentle ventilation" strategy. From October 1994 to June 2005, 111 babies with CDH were treated at our institution with HFOV. Babies progressed to inhaled nitric oxide and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation if severe PPH persisted. After a period of preoperative stabilization, surgery was performed via an abdominal approach. In case of large defects or diaphragmatic agenesis, a prosthetic patch was used. No thoracic drain was left in place at the end of surgery. The charts of all babies were reviewed. General characteristics, respiratory management, as well as perioperative and postoperative data were analyzed and correlated with survival. Predicted and actual survival rates in high-, intermediate-, and low-risk groups were analyzed on the basis of the equation described by the Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Study Group in 2001. The overall survival rate in our group of patients with CDH was 69.4% regardless of side of the defect. Incidence of a prenatal diagnosis before the 25th gestational week, coexistence of severe congenital heart disease (overall incidence, 5.4%), or other major associated anomalies, as well as the presence of a diaphragmatic agenesis were significantly higher in nonsurvivors. Thirty-six had severe PPH, of which 26 (76.5% of nonsurviving patients) died. Survivors and nonsurvivors had significant differences in blood gas analysis and respiratory management data recorded before and after the diaphragmatic correction. Ninety-nine (89%) patients underwent correction of the diaphragmatic defect. A patch was used in 44 (44%) patients and 15 of them died (survivors, 37.7%; nonsurvivors, 68.2%; P = .0111). Six (43%) of 14 patients with a preoperative pneumothorax (survivors, 10.3%; nonsurvivors, 27.3%; P > .05) and 7 (58%) of 12 patients with a postoperative pneumothorax needing a thoracic drain (survivors, 6.5%; nonsurvivors, 31.8%; P = .0013) died. In all cases, pneumothorax was ipsilateral. Two patients required oxygen therapy at discharge. The predicted survival rate was 69%; there was no difference between predicted and actual overall survival as well as between predicted and actual survival in low-risk (predicted survival rate, >66%), intermediate-risk (predicted survival rate, 34%-66%), and high-risk (predicted survival rate, <33%) groups. The CDH treatment strategy that includes HFOV, preoperative stabilization and no thoracic drain ensures survival with minimal pulmonary morbidity (low rate of pulmonary infections and low rate of patients requiring oxygen at home) in most affected babies. Persistent pulmonary hypertension has been the most challenging factor that ultimately determined the final outcome, and availability of new vasoactive drugs is mandatory to ameliorate the prognosis especially in high-risk patients. Meanwhile, survival comparisons of low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups between institutions using different protocols will allow the identification of the best strategy for CDH management.
    Journal of Pediatric Surgery 09/2007; 42(9):1526-32. DOI:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.04.015 · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sonography is a reliable tool for the evaluation of the most severe congenital abnormalities of the brain; in the present case it provided an early demonstration of hemimegalencephaly in hypomelanosis of Ito in a newborn affected by body hemihypertrophy and skin lesions. Serial magnetic resonance (MR) examinations confirmed the asymmetry of the cerebral hemispheres, and documented the evolution of the hemispheric growth and the presence of unusual aspects.
    European Journal of Ultrasound 10/2000; 12(1):61-7. DOI:10.1016/S0929-8266(00)00099-9
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    ABSTRACT: Congenital misalignment of pulmonary vessels (MPV) with alveolar capillary dysplasia is a rare condition consisting of anomalous veins in bronchovascular bundles, a decreased number of alveolar capillaries, and increased muscularization of pulmonary arterioles. In the literature, infants reported as having such a malformation developed respiratory distress with persistent pulmonary hypertension and ultimately died. We report the case of an infant with MPV and alveolar capillary dysplasia who was unresponsive to maximal cardiorespiratory support, including high-frequency oscillatory ventilation and inhaled nitric oxide; the infant died of pulmonary hemorrhage after 19 days, during venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation bypass. We conclude that the diagnosis of MPV and alveolar capillary dysplasia should be considered during autopsy of infants who have died of irreversible persistent pulmonary hypertension. If a lung biopsy in infants with prolonged refractory hypoxemia confirms such diagnosis before death, expensive and invasive treatments such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation could be avoided.
    Journal of Perinatology 01/2000; 20(3):189-92. DOI:10.1038/sj.jp.7200335 · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Term and near-term newborn infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), symptomatic in the first 24 h of life or diagnosed antenatally, without other significant malformations were treated at our hospital with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) as a primary modality of ventilation and elective delay in surgical repair after a period of stabilisation. When unresponsive to HFOV, infants were treated with surfactant, inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to achieve pre-operative stabilisation. From October 1994 to August 1998, 28 newborn infants with CDH were managed with such treatment; mean birth weight was 3184 +/- 535 g and gestational age 38.5 +/- 1.85 weeks. Age at operation was 68 +/- 35 h. In 9 cases, large diaphragmatic defects required the use of a prosthetic patch (Gore-tex). HFOV was used for primary ventilation in inborn patients (n = 16); outborn infants (n = 12) were placed on HFOV at admittance. A total of 15 patients (53%) were stabilised using only HFOV. Bovine surfactant was administered in 12 infants and 4 responded. iNO was used in eight infants and five responded. ECMO was used in three outborn patients and one survived. Overall, out of 28 infants, 25 survived (89%). Neurological examination (Amiel-Tison and Grenier) of 15 infants showed transient anomalies at 6 months in 40% of infants, while a normal neurological examination was present in all patients at 1 year. The development quotient (Griffiths scales) was within normal values in ten and mildly abnormal in two infants tested at 1 year. CONCLUSION: Management based on early HFOV, eventually associated with surfactant, iNO and ECMO to achieve preoperative stabilisation, resulted in a good survival rate (89%) and good neurodevelopmental outcome at 1 year of age in infants with CDH.
    European Journal of Pediatrics 11/1999; 158(10):780-4. DOI:10.1007/s004310051203 · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hemangiomas are the most common tumor of infancy. Most hemangiomas are harmless and follow a benign clinical course and undergo regression with time. Sometimes they can destroy vital organs and become life-threatening. We report two cases of neonatal hemangiomas which presented very different clinical aspects and course.
    European Journal of Ultrasound 06/1999; 9(2):161-5. DOI:10.1016/S0929-8266(99)00025-7
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    ABSTRACT: Imaging investigations and other findings observed in a term infant with a multicentric hepatic hemangioendothelioma, admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the age of 13 days because of non specified feeding difficulties and dyspnoea, are presented. Physical examination revealed cardiac bruit and congestive heart failure with marked hepatomegaly; in addition there were multiple small skin hemangiomas. Echocardiography was negative, abdominal sonography showed multiple round lesions of mixed echogenicity in the liver, large vascular channels, a right hepatic artery and hepatic veins enlarged, a caliber of the aorta below the level of the superior mesenteric artery reduced. The infant was additionally investigated by whole-body scintigraphy with 99mTc-labeled red blood cells to determine the possibility of coexistence of other visceral hemangiomas and by MR, in which the tumor manifested as multiple well-circumscribed space-occupying nodules of high signal intensity on T2-weighted images with evidence of fast flow. The baby underwent furosemide and steroid therapy: serial two-dimensional US scans showed change in echogenicity, responding to therapy. Doppler sonography has proven to be also very useful in the monitoring therapy determining changes in flow pattern and velocity at the level of hepatic, cerebral and renal vessels: before therapy we observed a reduction of the diastolic flow until the zero line through the internal carotid artery and renal artery with an increase of the Resistance Index. It means that this important component can be compromised in the presence of a hepatic hemangioendothelioma.
    Minerva pediatrica 04/1998; 50(3):91-6. · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • Minerva Pediatrica 01/1998; 50(3):91-96. · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Ultrasound 05/1997; 5(3):16-16. DOI:10.1016/S0929-8266(97)88430-3
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    ABSTRACT: Seven newborn infants with life-threatening respiratory failure were treated with veno-venous (V-V) extracorporeal lung support and apneic oxygenation after maximal ventilatory and pharmacological treatment failed. Diagnosis were meconium aspiration syndrome in 3 cases, respiratory distress syndrome in 2, sepsis in 1, congenital diaphragmatic hernia in 1. Before ECMO 6 infants received tolazoline, 4 surfactant, 3 high frequency ventilation, 1 prostaglandin E, 1 epoprostenol, 2 nitric oxide. Newborns were highly hypoxemic at admission and all but one underwent rescue cannulation. V-V bypass was performed with a single lumen single cannula and tidal flow was generated by an alternating clamp using a non-occlusive roller pump. The mean duration of bypass was 162.4 +/- 162.3 hours and infants were extubated 94.5 +/- 74.8 hours after decannulation. Five newborns survived and two died. Growth and neurologic development of the older children is normal. The extracorporeal lung support with V-V bypass associated with apneic oxygenation was effective in reversing severe neonatal respiratory failure unresponsive to maximal ventilatory and pharmacological support. An early referral, prior to meeting ECMO criteria, is important in order to avoid hypoxic complications preceding ECMO.
    The International journal of artificial organs 11/1995; 18(10):574-8. · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lipomas of the corpus callosum are benign neoplasms which are rarely diagnosed in pediatric patients. In infants they are congenital lesions consisting of collections of adipose tissue; their etiology is unclear. We describe a case of callosal lipoma discovered by sonography in a 2-day-old neonate.
    Pediatric Radiology 02/1993; 23(2):155-6. DOI:10.1007/BF02012416 · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • La Pediatria medica e chirurgica: Medical and surgical pediatrics 25(3):200-3.