[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: To assess the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for differentiating malignant from benign focal liver lesions (FLLs) and for diagnosing different FLL types. Material and Methods: CEUS performed in 14 Romanian centers was prospectively collected between February 2011 and June 2012. The inclusion criteria were: age > 18 years; patients diagnosed with 1 - 3 de novo FLLs on B-mode ultrasound; reference method (computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or biopsy) available; patient's informed consent. FLL lesions were characterized during CEUS according to the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology guidelines. For statistical analysis, indeterminate FLLs at CEUS were rated as false classifications. Results: A total number of 536 cases were included in the final analysis, 344 malignant lesions (64.2 %) and 192 benign lesions (35.8 %). The reference method was: CT/MRI - 379 cases (70.7 %), pathological exam - 150 cases (27.9 %) and aspiration of liver abscesses - 7 cases (1.4 %). CEUS was conclusive in 89.3 % and inconclusive in 10.7 % of cases. To differentiate between malignant and benign FLLs, CEUS had 85.7 % sensitivity, 85.9 % specificity, 91.6 % positive predictive value, 77.1 % negative predictive value and 85.8 % accuracy. The CEUS accuracy for differentiation between malignant and benign liver lesions was similar in tumors with diameter ≤ 2 cm and those with diameter > 2 cm. Conclusion: CEUS represents a useful method in clinical practice for differentiating between malignant and benign FLLs detected on standard ultrasonography, and the results of this study are in concordance with previous multicenter studies: DEGUM (Germany) and STIC (France).
Ultraschall in der Medizin 02/2014; · 4.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), obesity is involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, fatty liver disease and progression of fibrosis. The objective of this study was to compare a normoglucidic low-calorie diet (NGLCD) with a low-fat diet (LFD) among participants with CHC. Aimed to measure the impact of dietary changes in reduction of insulin resistance, obesity but also in steatosis and fibrosis.
Randomized, controlled trial in three medical centers with assessments at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Participants were patients over 35 years with chronic hepatitis C (n = 120) with BMI over 25 kg/m2. We evaluated the effects of NGLCD vs. LFD in weight management and metabolic improvement. The primary endpoint was to measure the impact of dietary changes through nutritional intervention in reversibility of insulin resistance, obesity, steatosis, and fibrosis. We performed anthropometric measurements, fasting glucose profile, serum lipids, liver profile, blood count at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Steatosis was evaluated using ultrasonographic criteria. Liver fibrosis was non-invasively assessed.
After 6 and 12 months of intervention, both groups had a significant decrease in caloric consumption. At 6 months, weight loss was greater in the NGLCD group (-5.02 +/- 3.43kg vs. -4.1 +/- 2.6kg; p = 0.002) compared to the LFD group. At 1-year, however, weight loss was similar in both groups (-3.9 +/- 3.3kg vs. -3.1 +/- 2.6kg; p = 0.139). At 12 months, fasting plasma glucose, fasting plasma insulin, and HOMA-IR had significant improvements in both groups. With both diets aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) decreased with significant differences; also there were significant improvements in AST/ALT ratio, Forns fibrosis index. The two diets were associated with reduction of both the prevalence and the severity of steatosis (all p < 0.001). At 12 months, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides improved in both groups (all p < 0.05).
The present study establishes the benefits of low-calorie diet and low-fat diet in management of patients with hepatitis C regarding improvement of insulin resistance, steatosis and also fibrosis.Overweight or obese patients with CHC undergoing a lifestyle intervention (specific dietary intervention and physical activity) for 1-year had significant improvements in body weight, lipid and hepatic profile.Trial registration: PNCI2-3343/41008/2007.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coeliac disease (CD), due to its protean clinical manifestation, is still very under diagnosed in adults and delays in diagnosis may take years and even decades. Simple tools to find cases in primary care may help to identify patients for further diagnostic tests. We have evaluated the usefulness of an on site rapid fingertip whole blood point-of-care test (POCT) for such a purpose.
As CD is known to run within families, we tested 148 healthy relatives of 70 Romanian index cases with biopsy-proven CD (87% of all first-degree family members, median age 36 years) for the presence of circulating autoantibodies. In addition to performing the POCT (which measures blood erythrocyte self-TG2-autoantibody complexes) on site, blood was drawn for later evaluations of serum IgA-class endomysial antibodies (EMA). EMA-positive sera were further tested for transglutaminase 2 antibodies (TG2-IgA). All serological parameters were analyzed blindly in a centralized laboratory that had no knowledge of the on site POCT result. Endoscopic small intestinal biopsies was recommended for all POCT- or EMA-test positive subjects.
In on site testing the POCT was positive in 12/148 first-degree relatives (8%) and all these subjects were also serum EMA-positive. A positive EMA test was found only in one other subject. All remaining 135 healthy first-degree relatives were negative for both POCT and EMA. Four subjects positive for both POCT and EMA were negative for TG2-IgA. Ten out of thirteen of the antibody-positive subjects agreed to undergo endoscopy. The POCT was found to be positive in 8/9 first-degree relatives having coeliac-type mucosal lesions of grade Marsh 2 (n = 3) or Marsh 3 (n = 6). The three POCT-positive subjects not agreeing to undergo endoscopy were also both EMA- and TG2-IgA-positive.
The fingertip whole blood rapid POCT might fulfill the unmet need for a simple and cheap case-finding biomarker for early detection and presumptive diagnosis of CD. Confirmatory studies are warranted in adult case-finding in specialized outpatient clinics and in primary care.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colon tumor carcinogenesis and rectal tumor carcinogenesis have each been associated with different genetic features, but data are still controversial and are insufficient to support their distinct molecular biology. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have also found heterogeneity in colorectal cancer (CRC) risks based on population ethnicity and tumor features. Several single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are described in the literature as having site and/or stage specificity, including rs10795668, rs3802842, rs6983267, and rs4939827. Replication of initial findings in different ethnic groups by independent studies is required to unravel the population-specific differences in risk.
We examined whether inherited risk variants at rs10795668, rs3802842, rs6983267, and rs4939827 exerted a differential effect on colon and rectal cancers in a Romanian hospital based series of 153 CRC cases and 182 non-affected control subjects prospectively recruited between 2007 and 2010.
Rectal tumors were significantly associated with rs4939827 (OR = 4.85, P = 0.002) and rs6983267 (OR = 3.00, P = 0.036), suggesting that carriers of risk alleles at these loci had increased susceptibility to development of rectal cancer rather than colon cancer. Carrying the C allele at rs3802842 appeared to be associated with a lower risk for rectal tumors in our dataset. We found no association between genotypes and tumor aggressiveness as reflected by TNM staging.
The associations between SNPs, and tumor site and staging remain to be further clarified. Our results should be considered cautiously, but may be taken into account in future, larger epidemiological studies.
Journal of gastrointestinal and liver diseases: JGLD 03/2012; 21(1):45-52. · 1.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Portopulmonary hypertension is a form of pulmonary arterial hypertension that has gained interest in recent years with the development of liver transplantation techniques and new pulmonary vasodilator therapies. Portopulmonary hypertension is defined as pulmonary artery hypertension associated with portal hypertension with or without advanced hepatic disease. Echocardiography plays a major role in screening for portopulmonary hypertension but right heart catheterization remains the gold standard for diagnosis. The treatment of patients with portopulmonary hypertension consists of general measures that apply to all patients that carry the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension and specific vasodilator therapies. These new therapies showed encouraging results in patients who would otherwise have a contraindication for liver transplantation. The review presents a summary of the current knowledge on the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of patients with portopulmonary hypertension.
European Journal of Internal Medicine 10/2011; 22(5):441-7. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify new risk variants for cutaneous basal cell carcinoma, we performed a genome-wide association study of 16 million SNPs identified through whole-genome sequencing of 457 Icelanders. We imputed genotypes for 41,675 Illumina SNP chip-typed Icelanders and their relatives. In the discovery phase, the strongest signal came from rs78378222[C] (odds ratio (OR) = 2.36, P = 5.2 × 10(-17)), which has a frequency of 0.0192 in the Icelandic population. We then confirmed this association in non-Icelandic samples (OR = 1.75, P = 0.0060; overall OR = 2.16, P = 2.2 × 10(-20)). rs78378222 is in the 3' untranslated region of TP53 and changes the AATAAA polyadenylation signal to AATACA, resulting in impaired 3'-end processing of TP53 mRNA. Investigation of other tumor types identified associations of this SNP with prostate cancer (OR = 1.44, P = 2.4 × 10(-6)), glioma (OR = 2.35, P = 1.0 × 10(-5)) and colorectal adenoma (OR = 1.39, P = 1.6 × 10(-4)). However, we observed no effect for breast cancer, a common Li-Fraumeni syndrome tumor (OR = 1.06, P = 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.88-1.27).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A two years prospective study was developed, based on the monitoring of 84 patients with cirrhosis and elevated serum creatinine; 33 patients met the diagnostic criteria for the hepatorenal syndrome. In these 33 patients, survival rate has been studied in correlation with hepatorenal syndrome types, serum albumin and natremia.
Romanian journal of morphology and embryology = Revue roumaine de morphologie et embryologie 01/2011; 52(3):863-6. · 0.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a case report of diffuse polypoid lesions of the digestive tract in which multiple endoscopic techniques (upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and capsule endoscopy) were performed in order to complete and refine the diagnosis in a patient with severe hypogammaglobulinemia with recurrent infections, bronchiectasies and diffuse nodular lymphoid hyperplasia of the digestive tract. In patients with hypogammaglobulinemia, the endoscopic evaluation of the digestive tract might be mandatory, even in asymptomatic patients. The complete assessment should include the upper endoscopy and colonoscopy with multiple biopsies and, if possible, capsule endoscopy.
Romanian journal of morphology and embryology = Revue roumaine de morphologie et embryologie 01/2011; 52(1):175-8. · 0.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study was to indentify independent predictive factors of liver steatosis in patients with hepatitis C and to examine the correlations between ultrasound-diagnosed HS and anthropometric, clinical, biochemical and sonographic measurements. Materials and methods: We included 173 patients with CHC. HS has a high prevalence in diabetes mellitus patients, and we considered patients with CHC and diabetes as a separate subgroup for analysis: 113 patients (54 men/59 women) with hepatitis C – group A and 60 patients (28 men/32 women) with hepatitis C and T2DM – group B. We performed anthropometric measurements (weight, height, BMI (body mass index), as well as laboratory analysis and ultrasonography. All patients signed an informed consent before inclusion in the study. Results: In all patients with CHC, in univariate analysis triglycerides, hypertension, MetS, HOMA-IR >2, T2DM, AST/ALT ratio >1, and BMI >30kg/m2 was associated with HS. Logistic regression analysis revealed five factors independently related with ultrasound-diagnosed HS: the triglyceride levels, hypertension, the BMI, AST/ALT ratio, and T2DM. Conclusions: This study revealed a high prevalence of ultrasound-diagnosed HS in patients CHC and CHC and T2DM. Identification of risk factor for HS has therapeutic importance, because targeted therapies might prevent the progression of HS to fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Romanian Journal of Diabetes Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases. 01/2011; 2011(18(1)):39-48.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measuring serum levels of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the most common screening method for prostate cancer. However, PSA levels are affected by a number of factors apart from neoplasia. Notably, around 40% of the variability of PSA levels in the general population is accounted for by inherited factors, suggesting that it may be possible to improve both sensitivity and specificity by adjusting test results for genetic effects. To search for sequence variants that associate with PSA levels, we performed a genome-wide association study and follow-up analysis using PSA information from 15,757 Icelandic and 454 British men not diagnosed with prostate cancer. Overall, we detected a genome-wide significant association between PSA levels and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at six loci: 5p15.33 (rs2736098), 10q11 (rs10993994), 10q26 (rs10788160), 12q24 (rs11067228), 17q12 (rs4430796), and 19q13.33 [rs17632542 (KLK3: I179T)], each with P(combined) <3 × 10(-10). Among 3834 men who underwent a biopsy of the prostate, the 10q26, 12q24, and 19q13.33 alleles that associate with high PSA levels are associated with higher probability of a negative biopsy (odds ratio between 1.15 and 1.27). Assessment of association between the six loci and prostate cancer risk in 5325 cases and 41,417 controls from Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania, and the United States showed that the SNPs at 10q26 and 12q24 were exclusively associated with PSA levels, whereas the other four loci also were associated with prostate cancer risk. We propose that a personalized PSA cutoff value, based on genotype, should be used when deciding to perform a prostate biopsy.
Science translational medicine 12/2010; 2(62):62ra92. · 14.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: This study was designed to measure the impact of lifestyle changes,
involving a diet therapy and physical exercises in patients with chronic hepatitis C
(CHC). Methods: The study was conducted during January 2008 - December 2009
at ”Prof. N. Paulescu” National Institute of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic
Diseases - Bucharest, Romania. We selected 67 patients (34 men/33 women). We
performed anthropometric measurements (weight, height, BMI (body mass index),
bioimpedance analysis (BIA) as well as fasting serum lipids (cholesterol,
triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol), glucose profile (glucose, HbA1c), liver profile (ALT,
AST, GGT, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, albumin, total protein), blood count for
all patients at baseline. Results: The average age was 53.91±10.19 years. Obesity
was present in 32.8% (n=22) of patients at baseline. Total fat mass decreased with
weight loss 2.21 kg (p = 0.0001) respectively 3.17 kg (p = 0.0001). Weight loss was
accompanied by decreased resting energy expenditure. Triglycerides decreased from
158.11±7.63 mg/dl to 134.88±6.1 mg/dl, cholesterol decreased from 187.3±6.8 mg/dl
to 168.65±4.42 mg/dl and HDL-cholesterol increased from 45.13±1.9 mg/dl to
47.2±1.39 mg/dl after 12 months. Aspartaminotransferase, alaninaminotransferese,
gamma-glutamil transpeptidase decreased with significant differences. Conclusions:
Patients with hepatitis C undergoing an 1-year lifestyle intervention had significant
improvements in fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, lipidic profile, hepatic
profile and adipose tissue distribution. The present study establishes the positive
impact of an educational program in the management of patients with hepatitis C.
Romanian Journal of Diabetes Nutrition & Metabolic Diseases. 11/2010; 17(4):291-7.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulinoma is the most common endocrine tumor of the pancreas. The diagnosis suspicion is usually based on clinical symptoms and is confirmed by biochemical tests. Because the majority of insulinomas have a small size, the real problem is the localization of these tumors before surgery. We present the diagnostic and therapy difficulties, the value of available imaging techniques as well as our experience in five consecutive insulinoma patients from our clinic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the paper was to evaluate the national availability of colonoscopy and the quality parameters of this procedure in our country. Material and method: During a 6 months period (01.07- 31.12.2009), we performed a prospective multicenter study in which 76 centers were invited to respond to a questionnaire regarding colonoscopy, 39 centers agreeing to participate. We assessed: the number of colonoscopies, the number of total colonoscopies and the causes of incomplete colonoscopies. Results: During the study period, 16,083 colonoscopies were performed, 12,294 (76.4%) of them total colonoscopies. In 1,191 cases, stenosis was the cause of incomplete colonoscopy. If we consider this an objective reason for an incomplete colonoscopy, there were 12,294 total colonoscopies (82.4%). Comparing university centers with non-university ones, the proportion of total colonoscopies was 10,400/12,475 (83.4%) vs. 1,894/2,417 (78.4%) (p less then 0.0001). However, comparing the present study with previous ones, performed in 2003 and 2007, the proportion of total colonoscopies increased from 70.5% to 76.9% and 82.4% respectively (2003 vs. 2007 p less then 0.0001; 2007 vs. 2009 p less then 0.0001), while the quality difference between university and non-university hospitals persisted. Conclusions: the quality of colonoscopy in Romania increased in the last 5 years, while the quality difference between university and non-university hospitals persisted.