M Verkasalo

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland

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Publications (39)104.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate peak bone mass attainment in children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease and to identify risk factors for suboptimal bone mass attainment. We conducted a prospective follow-up study of 47 children and adolescents (24 males) with ulcerative colitis (n = 30) or Crohn's disease (n = 17). They were assessed for lumbar spine areal bone mineral density (aBMD) and for height-adjusted whole body less head bone mineral content (BMC); the values were corrected for bone age. Altogether, 73% of the patients had completed pubertal development after the median follow-up time of over 5 years. Despite clinical inactivity of the disease in 70% of the patients at the follow-up visit, BMD or BMC Z-scores improved in none of the measurement sites. Lumbar spine aBMD Z-scores (mean difference [95% CI], -0.47 [-0.92 to -0.03]; P = .04) and whole body less head BMC height- and bone age-adjusted Z-scores (-0.52 [-1.01 to -0.02]; P = .04) decreased in patients who were pubertal at baseline and completed their pubertal development during the follow-up. Postpubertal patients had lower aBMD and BMC Z-scores in comparison with prepubertal and pubertal patients. Low lumbar spine aBMD (Z-score < -1.0) was associated with completed pubertal development, underweight, and greater lifetime cumulative weight-adjusted prednisolone dose. Vertebral fractures were detected in 3 patients (6%). One-fourth of the patients had insufficient serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (<50 nmol/L). The longitudinal follow-up over the pubertal years shows that inflammatory bowel disease poses a significant threat for bone health. The suboptimal peak bone mass attainment may have life-long consequences.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · The Journal of pediatrics
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have indicated that children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may not achieve optimal bone mass. We evaluated the skeletal characteristics in children and adolescents with IBD. This cross-sectional cohort study comprised 80 IBD patients (median age 14.9 years, range 5-20) with a median disease duration of 3.4 years; 51 had ulcerative colitis, 26 Crohn disease, and 3 unspecified colitis. Eighty age- and gender-matched healthy subjects served as controls. Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), body composition, and vertebral fractures (VFs) were assessed by DXA. Bone age (BA) was determined for IBD patients. Findings were correlated with disease- and treatment-related parameters and biochemistry. IBD patients had lower BA-adjusted lumbar spine and whole-body aBMD (p < 0.001 for both) and whole-body BMC adjusted for height (p = 0.02) than controls. Lean mass and fat mass Z scores did not differ between the groups, but IBD patients had lower whole-body BMC relative to muscle mass (p = 0.006). Despite vitamin D supplementation in 48 %, vitamin D deficiency was common. In IBD cumulative weight-adjusted prednisolone dose >150 mg/kg for the preceding 3 years increased the risk for low whole-body aBMD (OR = 5.5, 95 % CI 1.3-23.3, p = 0.02). VFs were found in 11 % of patients and in 3 % of controls (p = 0.02). IBD in childhood was associated with low aBMD and reduced bone mass accrual relative to muscle mass; the risk for subclinical VFs may be increased. These observations warrant careful follow-up and active preventive measures.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Calcified Tissue International
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    ABSTRACT: The data on orofacial granulomatosis, OFG, in children are sparse. We describe here 8 pediatric patients presenting with OFG, 2 of these cases associating with Crohn's disease. Therapeutic agents included systemic immunosuppressants such as glucocorticoids, methotrexate, anti-TNF-alpha agent, dapsone, antibiotics (metronidazole), and local treatment with topical tacrolimus or intralesional injections of triamcinolone hexacetonide. The treatment response ranged from good to poor results. The number of young patients suffering from OFG is not currently known and there are no gold standards for treatment. Thus, prospective follow-up studies on these patients are needed to gain more experience of the therapeutic responses.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the clinical picture of patients with coeliac disease (CD) and the change in its presentation over the past decades. Patients with CD were identified and clinical data collected from hospital records over a 6-year period (2000-2005). Altogether 197 patients aged 0.6-15.9 (mean 7.2) years were identified. They were found amongst the child population served by the hospital, the mean number of children at age 0.5-16 years was 268 000 during 2000-2005. The presenting symptom amongst the youngest patients (<3 years) was chronic diarrhoea (in 67%), and amongst older patients, abdominal pain. At the time of diagnosis, growth was severely retarded (height <2 SD for age) in 6.6%; mean height was -0.06 SD and weight + 1% for height. After diet treatment for a mean of 6 months, both height and weight increased significantly. Anaemia and iron deficiency were present in 25% and 43% of patients respectively. Intraepithelial T-cell receptor gamma/delta cells were pathologic in all 150 specimens studied. The presentation of CD depends on age. Even when we found six times more patients than during years 1976-1985 in the same hospital, published data on the prevalence of CD suggest that we found only a small minority of children with CD.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Acta Paediatrica
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated circulating markers of bone turnover before and during systemic glucocorticoid treatment in paediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Twenty-two children (mean age, 12.3 years) with IBD necessitating peroral steroid therapy were studied, with special reference to bone formation and resorption markers amino-terminal type I collagen propeptide (PINP) and carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) respectively. In addition, GH-related IGF-I and sex hormone-binding protein (SHBG) were measured. Bone markers were analyzed at the initiation of the glucocorticoid treatment, at 2 and 5 weeks thereafter and at 1 month following the withdrawal of the steroid. Control group comprised 22 IBD patients in remission. PINP and IGF-I were already lower before glucocorticoid treatment serum in children with active IBD as compared with control children with IBD in remission (median PINP 271 vs 535 microg/l, P<0.05; IGF-I 23 vs 29 nmol/l, P<0.05). After 2 weeks of glucocorticoid treatment serum PINP levels had declined further, from 271 to 163 microg/l (P<0.001), serum ICTP from 14.2 to 9.6 microg/l (P<0.001), and SHBG from 54 to 35 nmol/l (P<0.001) respectively. By contrast, serum IGF-I increased from 23 to 37 nmol/l (P<0.001). One month after the withdrawal of the glucocorticoid, all bone markers restored to levels similar to the controls. Bone formation in children with active IBD appears compromised and systemic glucocorticoid treatment further suppresses bone turnover. After the cessation of the glucocorticoid the bone markers show immediate improvement.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · European Journal of Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Because the role of regulatory T cells in the intestinal inflammation is unknown in coeliac disease (CD) and type 1 diabetes (T1D), the expression of forkhead box P3 (FoxP3), CD25, transforming growth factor-beta, interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15 and IL-18 was measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in the small intestinal biopsies from paediatric patients with active or potential CD, T1D and control patients. The numbers of FoxP3- and CD25-expressing cells were studied with immunohistochemistry. Enhanced intestinal expressions of FoxP3, IL-10 and IFN-gamma mRNAs were found in active CD when compared with controls (P-values < 0.001, 0.004, <0.001). In potential CD, only the expression of IFN-gamma mRNA was increased. The numbers of FoxP3-expressing cells were higher in active and potential CD (P < 0.001, P = 0.05), and the ratio of FoxP3 mRNA to the number of FoxP3-positive cells was decreased in potential CD when compared with controls (P = 0.007). The ratio of IFN-gamma to FoxP3-specific mRNA was increased in active and potential CD (P = 0.001 and P = 0.002). Patients with T1D had no changes in regulatory T cell markers, but showed increased expression of IL-18 mRNA. The impaired up-regulation of FoxP3 transcripts despite the infiltration of FoxP3-positive cells in potential CD may contribute to the persistence of inflammation. The increased ratio of IFN-gamma to FoxP3 mRNA in active and potential CD suggests an imbalance between regulatory and effector mechanisms. The increased intestinal expression of IL-18 mRNA in patients with T1D adds evidence in favour of the hypothesis that T1D is associated with derangements in the gut immune system.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Clinical & Experimental Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to investigate the changes in circulating glucocorticoid bioactivity (GBA) at the onset of systemic glucocorticoid therapy in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Prednisolone (1 mg/kg/d) or budesonide (9 mg/d) was introduced as a single daily dose, and the patients (n=22) were subsequently followed up at 2 to 4 week intervals. The limit for a raised value of serum GBA was defined in pediatric patients (mean+2 SD; 118 nM cortisol equivalents; n=142). Two weeks of prednisolone brought about an increase in serum GBA from 84+/-14 to 336+/-38 nM cortisol equivalents (mean+/-SE; P<0.001). Young patients (<10 y) had similar GBA values to older patients, even though their prednisolone dose was higher (1.3 vs. 0.79 mg/kg; P<0.05). Patients treated with budesonide displayed a minor increase in GBA (151+/-20 vs. 267+/-21 nM cortisol equivalents after 4 wk of treatment; P<0.05; n=3), and when switched to prednisolone (n=2), their GBA level increased 3-fold. GBA levels did not predict the development of glucocorticoid-related side effects. Prednisolone doses used in the treatment of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease patients elicit a 4-fold increase in serum GBA that is significantly higher than the increase induced by budesonide. The GBA measurement is an additional tool for assessing steroid therapy at an individual level during systemic glucocorticoid treatment.
    No preview · Article · May 2008 · Journal of clinical gastroenterology
  • M. Vihinen · T. Raivio · M. Ashorn · M. Verkasalo · K. Kolho

    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Crohn s and Colitis Supplements
  • M. K. Vihinen · T. Raivio · M. Verkasalo · O. A. Jänne · K.-L. Kolho

    No preview · Article · Mar 2007 · Journal of Crohn s and Colitis Supplements
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    ABSTRACT: Silent coeliac disease is reported in 1% of Caucasian populations, but there is a lack of knowledge of its natural course and the risk of complications. The need for population screening is debated. We sought for complications of untreated coeliac disease in a well-defined cohort of Finnish adults. Subjects (n=2427, ages 24-39 years) attending the 21-year follow-up visit of the study "Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns" completed an extensive questionnaire on their health, diet, social situation and family life, and were given a medical examination. Measurement of serum IgA-transglutaminase and IgA-endomysium antibodies identified 21 subjects with silent coeliac disease. The subjects with silent coeliac disease did not differ from the rest of the cohort in age, gender, stature, weight, medical diagnoses (autoimmune, malignant), health concerns, use of alternative medications, physical activity, or in the cause of death their parents. They had lower serum HDL-cholesterol (1.12 versus 1.29 mmol/L; p=0.015), as described for active coeliac disease. Fewer (5.3% versus 22.8%; p=0.047) had a university or college degree or worked in managerial or professional positions (28% versus 45%; p=0.112). The underachievement in education and working life observed in subjects with silent coeliac disease is a new and intriguing finding and may be related to the increased prevalence of depressive and disruptive behavioural disorders described in teenagers with untreated coeliac disease. Our findings add a new ingredient to the ongoing discussion regarding the need for population screening for silent coeliac disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Coeliac disease in adolescents has been associated with an increased prevalence of depressive and disruptive behavioural disorders, particularly in the phase before diet treatment. We studied the possible effects of a gluten-free diet on psychiatric symptoms, on hormonal status (prolactin, thyroidal function) and on large neutral amino acid serum concentrations in adolescents with coeliac disease commencing a gluten-free diet. Nine adolescents with celiac disease, aged 12 to 16 years, were assessed using the semi-structured K-SADS-Present and Lifetime Diagnostic interview and several symptom scales. Seven of them were followed at 1 to 2, 3, and 6 months on a gluten-free diet. Adolescent coeliac disease patients with depression had significantly lower pre-diet tryptophan/ competing amino-acid (CAA) ratios and free tryptophan concentrations, and significantly higher biopsy morning prolactin levels compared to those without depression. A significant decrease in psychiatric symptoms was found at 3 months on a gluten-free diet compared to patients' baseline condition, coinciding with significantly decreased coeliac disease activity and prolactin levels and with a significant increase in serum concentrations of CAAs. Although our results of the amino acid analysis and prolactin levels in adolescents are only preliminary, they give support to previous findings on patients with coeliac disease, suggesting that serotonergic dysfunction due to impaired availability of tryptophan may play a role in vulnerability to depressive and behavioural disorders also among adolescents with untreated coeliac disease.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · BMC Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: A high prevalence of depressive symptoms, hypothetically related to serotonergic dysfunction, has been reported among adults with celiac disease. The authors used semistructured psychiatric interviews and symptom measurement scales to study mental disorders in 29 adolescents with celiac disease and 29 matched comparison subjects. Relative to the comparison subjects, the celiac disease patients had significantly higher lifetime prevalences of major depressive disorder (31% versus 7%) and disruptive behavior disorders (28% versus 3%). In most cases these disorders preceded the diagnosis of celiac disease and its treatment with a gluten-free diet. The prevalence of current mental disorders was similar in both groups. Celiac disease in adolescents is associated with an increased prevalence of depressive and disruptive behavioral disorders, particularly in the phase before diet treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · Psychosomatics

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2002 · Psychosomatics
  • P Pynnönen · E Isometsä · V Aalberg · M Verkasalo · E Savilahti
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    ABSTRACT: Coeliac disease (CD) occasionally presents solely with neuropsychiatric symptoms and may predispose to mental and behavioural disorders. This study screened new adolescent psychiatric outpatients (n = 140) in the Department of Adolescent Psychiatry of the Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki, using immunoglobulin A antibody to tissue transglutaminase. The prevalence rate of CD was found to be 1 in 140. CONCLUSION: The results do not suggest that undetected CD is markedly overrepresented among adolescent psychiatric outpatients.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2002 · Acta Paediatrica
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    ABSTRACT: Data on the use of Helicobacter pylori serology in children are limited. We studied the serum antibodies of 105 H. pylori-infected children (median age 9.1 y, range 1.5-17.5 y) using an in-house enzyme immunoassay. At diagnosis of the biopsy-verified infection, IgG antibodies to H. pylori were elevated in 98/105 children (93%) but were at a normal level in 7 children, 5 of whom were < 5 y of age. Serum IgA antibodies to H. pylori were elevated in 40/105 children (38%). The levels of IgG and IgA antibody titers to H. pylori correlated with age (p < 0.001 and p < 0.02, respectively). IgG titers were reduced by > or = 50% in 85% (83/98; median follow-up 0.6 y) of children after therapy. In 56 such children eradication was verified by negative histology or urea breath test but I such child showed Helicobacters on histologic examination. Of the 15 children whose IgG titers dropped by < 50%, 7 were considered positive and 4 negative on the basis of histology or urea breath test. In 3 children, IgG titers returned to pretreatment levels 1 y after a 50% drop was seen. Serology is 1 alternative for monitoring H. pylori infection in children, although its sensitivity is lower in very young children. The length of follow-up needed after eradication, however, is unclear.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2002 · Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: cagA, vacA s and m genotypes and iceA alleles were analyzed from Helicobacter pylori strains isolated from 17 Finnish children and 32 children of non-Finnish origin living in Finland. Twelve children in the latter group were eastern European and 15 were of African origin. Only three children of non-Finnish origin were born in Finland. The vacA sla subtype was more prevalent in the isolates from Finnish children than African children (76% vs. 7%, P<0.001); vacA s1b frequencies were 5% and 67%, respectively (P<0.001). The iceA1 allele was significantly more prevalent in African than Finnish isolates (93% vs. 35%, P< 0.01). Considerable variation was noted in the frequency of vacA s1 subtypes and iceA alleles in children originating from different geographic regions, but the geographic variation of s1 subtypes resembled that described in other reports.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2000 · European Journal of Clinical Microbiology
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    E Savilahti · A Arato · M Verkasalo
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the numbers of T-cell receptor alpha/beta- and gamma/delta-bearing lymphocytes in 27 jejunal specimens from 19 celiac patients, 27 rectal and colonic specimens from 14 ulcerative colitis patients and four patients with Crohn's disease, and 24 control specimens. MAb and a three-layer peroxidase staining method were used. Only low numbers of gamma/delta + cells were seen in normal jejunum and rectum of controls, as well as in the specimens of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. In the lamina propria of celiac patients, the mean number of gamma/delta + cells was significantly higher than in the controls before treatment, during gluten-free diet, and after the gluten challenge. Within the jejunal epithelium, the number of gamma/delta + cells was elevated before and during gluten elimination and after the challenge test. The absolute number of intraepithelial gamma/delta + cells remained constant during gluten elimination and provocation. We infer that the constantly elevated population of gamma/delta + T cells in the epithelium of celiac patients may play an important role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 1991 · Pediatric Research
  • E Savilahti · A Arato · M Verkasalo
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the numbers of T cell receptor-gamma/delta, CD3, CD4 and CD8 positive lymphocytes in jejunal specimens from 19 coeliac patients, in 13 control specimens. In the lamina propria of coeliac patients, the mean number of gamma/delta+ cells was significantly higher than in the controls during the gluten-free diet and after the gluten challenge (p<0.01). In the jejunal surface and crypt epithelium of coeliac patients, the number of gamma/delta+ cells was significantly elevated before and during gluten elimination and after the challenge test (p<0.001 in all comparisons). The absolute number of these cells remained constant during gluten elimination; therefore their proportion of the surface CD3+ cells rose from the mean of 8.0% before treatment to 20% during the gluten-free diet and, as CD3+ cells increased during the gluten challenge, the proportion of gamma/delta + cells fell to 7.2%.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 1990
  • A Arató · M Verkasalo · E Savilahti · F Lindeisz

    No preview · Article · Nov 1988 · Orvosi Hetilap
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    A Arato · E Savilahti · V M Tainio · M Verkasalo · T Klemola
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    ABSTRACT: The expression of HLA-DR by surface and crypt epithelium and the numbers of cells of natural killer (NK) phenotype and of IgE containing cells were studied with monoclonal antisera using the peroxidase technique. We examined 48 jejunal biopsy specimens taken from 35 coeliac children before treatment (11), during gluten free diet (20) and after gluten challenge (17), and 13 control specimens. The luminal surface of the epithelial cells stained with HLA-DR antiserum in all specimens, but the cytoplasm of the surface epithelial cells took up the stain more frequently in the specimens from the controls (5/13) than those from the coeliacs (2/48) (p less than 0.01). In 21/28 specimens taken from coeliacs when on a gluten containing diet the crypt epithelium showed strong HLA-DR expression, while only 4/20 (p less than 0.01) specimens of coeliacs on a gluten free diet and 1/13 specimens of controls had similar staining. Among the intraepithelial lymphocytes no cells of NK phenotype were found in specimens from patients or controls. As compared with control specimens biopsy specimens from untreated coeliac patients showed smaller numbers of NK cells in the lamina propria. No difference was found in the numbers of IgE containing cells between the patients and controls. The strong expression of HLA-DR by the crypt epithelial cells in coeliac children on a normal diet suggest that these cells are involved in the presentation of the antigen.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 1987 · Gut

Publication Stats

641 Citations
104.46 Total Impact Points


  • 1979-2014
    • University of Helsinki
      • • The Hospital for Children and Adolescents
      • • Department of Otorhinolaryngology
      Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
  • 2000-2002
    • Helsinki University Central Hospital
      Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland