V Bellia

University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Campania, Italy

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Publications (206)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) is commonly expressed as percentage of its value predicted by equations. The most commonly used equations are poorly applicable to elderly people. Recently, a set of equations (Global Lung Initiative, GLI) has been released that is expected to be more appropriate in this population. Objectives: We evaluated the agreement of the GLI, European Respiratory Society (ERS), and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) equations for prediction of FEV1 and compared their discriminative capacity with respect to mortality, taking as reference the prediction equation developed in the population from which our sample was drawn (SARA). Methods: We studied 264 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease aged ≥70 years. Agreement was evaluated using the Bland-Altman method, discriminative capacity using incidence rate ratios for mortality calculated across quartiles of each measure. Results: The mean age of the sample was 75.8 years (72.7% men). In women, the mean FEV1ERS/FEV1SARA, FEV1NHANES/ FEV1SARA, and FEV1GLI/FEV1SARA were 0.81, 0.91, and 0.966, respectively. The corresponding values in men were 0.959, 0.963, and 1.02, respectively. The overall discriminative capacity with respect to death was equally poor for all equations. Conclusion: The GLI equations for predicting FEV1 provide similar estimates compared to an equation developed in a healthy subset of the population in which they are applied, and higher values compared to the ERS equation, especially in women. However, the use of the GLI equation does not improve the stratification of the risk of mortality in elderly people compared to ERS or NHANES equations.
    Article · Jun 2016 · Respiration
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acromegaly is an insidious disorder caused by a pituitary growth hormone (GH)-secreting adenoma resulting in high circulating levels of GH and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). Respiratory disorders are common complications in acromegaly, and can severely impact on quality of life, eventually affecting mortality. The present study aimed to explore structural and functional lung alterations of acromegalic subjects. We enrolled 10 consecutive patients (M/F: 5/5) affected by acromegaly. In all patients, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed the presence of pituitary tumor. All patients underwent clinical, lung functional, biological, and radiological assessments. Ten healthy age-matched subjects also served as controls. No statistically significant differences in lung function were detected between acromegalic and healthy subjects (p ≥ 0.05 for all analyses). However, the diffusing capacity for CO (TLCO) was significantly lower in the acromegalic group than in healthy subjects (TLCO% predicted: 78.1 ± 16 vs. 90 ± 6 %, respectively, p = 0.04; KCO% predicted: 77 ± 16 vs. 93 ± 5 %, p = 0.02, respectively). None of the lung function parameters correlated with duration of the disease, or with inflammatory marker of the airways. In acromegalics, biological (exhaled NO concentrations) and imaging (total lung volume, TLV, and mean lung density, MLD) evaluations were within normal values. The TLV measured by HRCT was 3540 ± 1555 ml in acromegalics, and the MLD was -711 ± 73 HU. None of the lung functional, radiological, and biological findings correlated with GH or IGF-I levels, and no correlation was found with duration of disease. In the current study, lung function evaluation allowed to detect early involvement of lung parenchyma, as assessed by TLCO and KCO, even in the absence of parenchymal density alterations of the lung by HRCT. These findings suggest to routinely include the carbon monoxide diffusing capacity in the lung function assessment for an early intervention in acromegaly.
    Article · Mar 2015 · Beiträge zur Klinik der Tuberkulose
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed at exploring whether the prevalence of co-morbidities of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increases with COPD severity. Analysis of medical records of outpatients with established diagnosis of COPD was retrospectively performed. The lower limit of normality (LLN) for FEV1/FVC was applied to establish the occurrence of airway obstruction in the elderly population. The prevalence of co-morbidities was calculated, and the proportion of patients with each co-morbidity along with GOLD stages was analysed by chi-square for trend. A total of 326 (M/F: 256/70) consecutive outpatients with COPD (stage GOLD I to IV), aging 71.8 ± 9.2 years, were included in the analysis. The most frequent co-morbidities in the entire sample were systemic hypertension (64.7%), diabetes (28.5%), coronary artery disease (19.9%), arrhythmias (16.6%) and congestive heart failure (13.8%). Underweight patients were 8.0% of the sample while obese patients were 22.4%. None of the analyzed co-morbidities showed a trend towards increasing prevalence with COPD severity, except for nutritional problems. The current findings suggest that the occurrence and prevalence of co-morbidities is independent from the COPD severity, and encourage to assess co-morbidities even in the early stages of the COPD.
    Article · Nov 2014 · COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Nicola Scichilone · Claudio Pedone · Salvatore Battaglia · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bronchial asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide, and by definition not expected to recover with aging. However, the concept that asthma can affect older individuals has been largely denied in the past. In clinical practice, asthma that occurs in the most advanced ages is often diagnosed as COPD, thus leading to undertreatment or improper treatment. The heterogeneity of clinical and functional presentation of geriatric asthma, including the partial loss of reversibility and of the allergic component, contributes to this misconception. A large body of evidence has accumulated demonstrating that the prevalence of asthma in the most advanced ages is similar to that in younger ages. The frequent coexistence of comorbid conditions in older patients compared to younger asthmatics, together with age-associated changes of the human lung, may render the management of asthma a complicated task. The article addresses the main issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of asthma in the geriatric age.
    Article · Jan 2014 · European Journal of Internal Medicine
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: a multidimensional approach-the BODE index-has been proposed for prognostic purposes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and theoretically seems to be well suited for elderly people, but there is a lack of data in this population, especially with respect to long-term survival. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether the BODE index can predict both long (5 years) and very-long (10 and 15 years)-term mortality in an unselected population of elderly people with COPD better than a set of variables commonly taken into account in a geriatric multidimensional assessment (MDA). Methods: : this was a multicentre, prospective, population study. We used data from the SaRA study, which included 563 elderly people with COPD whose vital status was ascertained for up to 15 years after enrolment. The discriminative capacity of the BODE index in predicting mortality was derived from Cox proportional hazard models including the components of the BODE index and compared with that of an alternative model based on MDA variables: age, gender, physical disability, cognitive function and mood status. Results: : at 5 years, the HRs for mortality were 1.04 (95% CI: 0.60-1.79), 1.88 (1.10-3.22) and 3.55 (2.15-5.86) for quartiles 2-4, respectively, compared with quartile 1 of the BODE index. The corresponding figures for 10-year mortality were 1.50 (1.01-2.24), 2.11 (1.39-3.20) and 3.903 (2.62-5.82), and for 15-year mortality were 1.68 (1.19-2.36), 2.08 (1.44-3.01) and 3.78 (2.64-5.41). Similar results were obtained using variables included in the usual MDA. Conclusions: : Both the 'classic' MDA and the BODE index are comparably associated with mortality, even at very long term, in elderly people with COPD.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2013 · Age and Ageing
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objective: We aimed to explore to what extent an unselected population of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) outpatients would be eligible for inclusion in randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Methods: Retrospective analysis of the clinical records of outpatient subjects with an ascertained diagnosis of COPD. COPD outpatients were assessed against the following inclusion criteria: 40 < age < 80 years, current or former smokers, forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) <70% predicted, no long-term oxygen therapy, no other concomitant lung diseases and absence of major extrapulmonary comorbidities. The study consisted of 2 phases; in phase 1, the criteria for inclusion in RCTs on COPD were selected, and in phase 2, the above criteria were applied to an unselected outpatient COPD population. Results: A total of 578 subjects (83% of the whole group) failed at least one of the inclusion criteria. Lung diseases other than COPD (occurring in 30% of our population, mostly bronchiectasis), long-term oxygen therapy (31%), FEV1 (19%), age (14%) and extrapulmonary comorbidities such as cognitive impairment (14%), arrhythmias (17%) and congestive heart disease (13%) would have been the most frequent causes for exclusion from RCTs. Conclusions: In real-life settings, more than 80% of COPD subjects are currently treated by protocols based on results of RCTs for which they would not have been eligible. We encourage a more extensive use of pragmatic trials in COPD to better modulate the application of results of RCTs to patients encountered in daily practice.
    Article · Nov 2013 · Respiration
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical and epidemiologic evidence on asthma in the elderly is scant. There is evidence that forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), a commonly used indicator of overall pulmonary function, might not be an independent predictor of 5-year mortality in elderly patients with asthma. To investigate the association between FEV1 expressed using 3 alternative methods and 5-, 10-, and 15-year mortality in a population of elderly patients with asthma. Participants in the Salute Respiratoria nell' Anziano study were included. Asthma was diagnosed at baseline according to spirometric and clinical data. Vital status at 15 years was assessed using death registries. FEV1 was expressed as percentage of predicted, divided by height cubed, and as a multiple of the sex-specific first percentile. The association between FEV1 and mortality was evaluated using Cox proportional hazard models. Two hundred patients were studied (52% women, mean age 73.1 years, standard deviation 6.2 years). All FEV1 measurements were associated with mortality at unadjusted analysis. After correction for potential confounders, no association was found between FEV1 and 5-year mortality. Only FEV1 as a multiple of the sex-specific first percentile was independently associated with 10-year (hazard ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.87) and 15-year (hazard ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.79) mortality. Although extensively used, FEV1 expressed as percentage of predicted does not seem to be the best predictor of mortality in elderly patients with asthma. Although no spirometric index can predict 5-year mortality in this population, FEV1 as a multiple of the sex-specific first percentile should be considered when longer-term prognostic stratification is needed.
    Full-text Article · Nov 2013 · Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma is a disease of all ages. This assumption has been challenged in the past, because of several cultural and scientific biases. A large body of evidence has accumulated in recent years to confirm that the prevalence of asthma in the most advanced ages is similar to that in younger ages. Asthma in the elderly may show similar functional and clinical characteristics to that occurring in young adults, although the frequent coexistence of comorbid conditions in older patients, together with age-associated changes in the human lung, may lead to more severe forms of the disease. Management of asthma in the elderly follows specific guidelines that apply to all ages, although most behaviors are pure extrapolation of what has been tested in young ages. In fact, age has always represented an exclusion criterion for eligibility to clinical trials. This review focuses specifically on the safety and efficacy of leukotriene modifiers, which represent a valid option in the treatment of allergic asthma, both as an alternative to first-line drugs and as add-on treatment to inhaled corticosteroids. Available studies specifically addressing the role of montelukast in the elderly are scarce; however, leukotriene modifiers have been demonstrated to be safe in this age group, even though cases of acute hepatitis and occurrence of Churg-Strauss syndrome have been described in elderly patients; whether this is associated with age is to be confirmed. Furthermore, leukotriene modifiers provide additional benefit when added to regular maintenance therapy, not differently from young asthmatics. In elderly patients, the simpler route of administration of leukotriene modifiers, compared with the inhaled agents, could represent a more effective strategy in improving the outcomes of asthma therapy, given that unintentional nonadherence with inhalation therapy represents a complex problem that may lead to significant impairment of asthma symptom control.
    Full-text Article · Oct 2013 · Clinical Interventions in Aging
  • Nicola Scichilone · Manfredi Rizzo · Alida Benfante · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The levels of serum low-density lipoproteins (LDL) have been implicated in the inflammatory cascade in a murine model of asthma. Recent findings suggest that LDL may modulate the inflammatory state of the asthmatic airways in humans. We explored whether LDL subclasses are associated with the occurrence and severity of asthma. 24 asthmatics (M/F: 11/13) and 24 healthy individuals, with normal BMI and absence of metabolic syndrome, matched for age and gender. Serum concentrations of LDL subclasses were distributed as seven bands (LDL-1 and -2 defined as large, least pro-inflammatory LDL, and LDL-3 to -7 defined as small, most pro-inflammatory LDL), using the LipoPrint(©) System (Quantimetrix Corporation, Redondo Beach, CA, USA). LDL-1 was similar in the two groups (56 ± 16% vs. 53 ± 11, p = NS), while LDL-2 was significantly lower in asthmatics as compared to controls (35 ± 8% vs. 43 ± 10%, p = 0.0074). LDL-3 levels were two-fold higher in the asthmatics, but the difference did not reach the statistical significance (8 ± 7.3% vs. 4 ± 3%, p = NS). Smaller subclasses LDL-4 to LDL-7 were undetectable in controls. In asthmatics, LDL-1 was positively associated with VC% predicted (r = +0.572, p = 0.0035) and FEV1% predicted (r = +0.492, p = 0.0146). LDL-3 was inversely correlated with both VC% predicted (r = -0.535, p = 0.0071) and FEV1% predicted (r = -0.465, p = 0.0222). The findings of this pilot study suggest a role of LDL in asthma, and advocate for larger studies to confirm the association between asthma and dyslipidemia.
    Article · Sep 2013 · Respiratory medicine
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    Article: Reply.
    Nicola Scichilone · Salvatore Battaglia · Vincenzo Bellia
    Full-text Article · Sep 2013 · The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
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    Nicola Scichilone · Fulvio Braido · Salvatore Taormina · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Allergic diseases impair health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). However, the relationship between airway inflammation and HR-QoL in patients with asthma and rhinitis has not been fully investigated. We explored whether the inflammation of upper and lower airways is associated with HR-QoL. Methods: Twenty-two mild allergic asthmatics with concomitant rhinitis (10 males, 38 ± 17 years) were recruited. The Rhinasthma was used to identify HR-QoL, and the Asthma Control Test (ACT) was used to assess asthma control. Subjects underwent lung function and exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) test, collection of exhaled breath condensate (EBC), and nasal wash. Results: The Rhinasthma Global Summary score (GS) was 25 ± 11. No relationships were found between GS and markers of nasal allergic inflammation (% eosinophils: r = 0.34, P = 0.24; ECP: r = 0.06, P = 0.87) or bronchial inflammation (pH of the EBC: r = 0.12, P = 0.44; bronchial NO: r = 0.27, P = 0.22; alveolar NO: r = 0.38, P = 0.10). The mean ACT score was 18. When subjects were divided into controlled (ACT ≥ 20) and uncontrolled (ACT < 20), the alveolar NO significantly correlated with GS in uncontrolled asthmatics (r = 0.60, P = 0.04). Conclusions: Upper and lower airways inflammation appears unrelated to HR-QoL associated with respiratory symptoms. These preliminary findings suggest that, in uncontrolled asthma, peripheral airway inflammation could be responsible for impaired HR-QoL.
    Full-text Article · Aug 2013
  • Nicola Scichilone · Salvatore Battaglia · Fulvio Braido · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: We hypothesized that changes in the levels of sexual hormones during the menstrual cycle influence the concentration of nitric oxide in the exhaled air (FeNO) and alveolar exhaled nitric oxide (CANO). Methods: Twelve healthy, non allergic women in their reproductive age (age range 25-37 years) were recruited. Subjects were studied, on alternate days, over the course of their menstrual cycle. At each visit, measurements of FeNO and CANO were performed. Progesterone and 17-β-estradiol concentrations were measured in salivary samples. Results: Eight subjects completed the study. The levels of FeNO and CANO were 13 ± 4.7 pbb and 3.5 ± 1.9 pbb, respectively (mean ± SD). The mean salivary concentration of progesterone was 65.1 ± 16.2 pg/ml (mean ± SD), with a range of 32.4-107.7 pg/ml, and the concentration of 17 β-estradiol was 6.0 ± 1.6 pg/ml, with a range of 3.1-12.9 pg/ml. The Generalized Estimating Equations procedure demonstrated that levels of progesterone influenced both FeNO and CANO (Wald χ2 = 11.60, p = 0.001; and Wald χ2 = 87.55, p = 0.001, respectively). On the contrary, the salivary levels of 17 β-estradiol were not significantly associated with FeNO (Wald χ2 = 0.087, p = 0.768) or CANO (Wald χ2 = 0.58, p = 0.448). Conclusion: In healthy women, the menstrual cycle-associated hormonal fluctuations selectively influence the levels of bronchial and alveolar NO. The current findings may have important clinical implications for the interpretation of eNO levels, by identifying a patient-related factor that influences the eNO measurements.
    Article · May 2013 · Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
  • N Scichilone · A Sanfilippo · C Sorino · [...] · V Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The assessment of the distribution of allergen skin test sensitizations is highly recommended for the optimal management of allergic respiratory conditions. We aimed at evaluating the distribution of allergen sensitizations in individuals with asthma and/or rhinitis in the Southern region of ltaly, and at exploring whether changes in the frequency of allergen sensitizations occurred after a 5-year period. Demographic data and skin prick test sensitizations to allergens from asthmatics and/or rhinitis attending the Division of Respiratory Diseases, University of Palermo, Italy in 2005 (Phase 1) and in 2010 (Phase 2) were extrapolated and retained for analysis. A total of 2033 allergic respiratory patients were included (1002 in Phase 1 and 1031 in Phase 2). In both investigations, the most prevalent allergen sensitization was towards Parietaria; however, a significant reduction in the rate of prevalence after 5 years was recorded (from 60% to 48% of skin test positive patients, p < 0.0001). Up to one out of two subjects showed sensitization to dust mites in both Phases. Interestingly, Cypress pollen sensitization almost doubled from Phase 1 (17%) to Phase 2 (29%; p < 0.0001). Overall, the mean number of skin test sensitizations for each patient increased from 2.7 +/- 1.6 in Phase 1 to 3.1 + 1.8 in Phase 2 (p < 0.0001). The present findings confirm the prevalent role of Parietaria sensitization in the allergic population of the Mediterranean area of Southern Italy, and document the increase of Cypress sensitization. These observations could contribute to a proper management of chronic allergic respiratory conditions in this region.
    Article · May 2013 · European annals of allergy and clinical immunology
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    Megon Bresciani · Vincenzo Bellia · Floriano Bonifazi · [...] · Giovanni Viegi
    Full-text Article · May 2013
  • Nicola Scichilone · Salvatore Battaglia · Salvatore Taormina · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The role of the peripheral airways in asthma is increasingly being recognized as a potential target for the achievement of optimal control of the disease. We postulated that the inflammatory changes of the small airways are implicated in the lack of asthma control in mild asthma. OBJECTIVE: To test this hypothesis, we measured the alveolar fraction of exhaled NO (CalvNO) in patients with mild asthma with different levels of control of symptoms. METHODS: Seventy-eight patients with asthma (35 men, age, 37 ± 15 years; FEV1 percentage of predicted, 100% ± 9%) were studied. Asthma control was assessed by using the Asthma Control Test (ACT). Measurements of exhaled NO at multiple constant flows were performed. RESULTS: Bronchial NO concentrations were 27.1 ± 20 ppb, and CalvNO levels were 5.7 ± 3.4 ppb. The ACT score was 20 ± 4.2. The level of asthma control was not associated with bronchial NO concentrations (rs = 0.16, P = .15). However, a significant correlation was found between the ACT score and CalvNO (rs = 0.25, P = .03). Moreover, CalvNO was significantly higher in patients with uncontrolled asthma than in patients with controlled/partially controlled asthma (6.7 ± 2.6 ppb vs 4.9 ± 2.6 ppb, respectively, P = .02). In the subgroup of patients with asthma who underwent extrafine inhaled corticosteroid treatment, the magnitude of the inhaled corticosteroid-induced improvement in asthma control positively correlated with baseline CalvNO at 1 month (rs = 0.39, P = .003) and at 3 months (rs = 0.49, P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: The alveolar component of exhaled NO is associated with the lack of asthma control in patients with mild, untreated asthma. This observation supports the notion that abnormalities of the peripheral airways are implicated in the mildest forms of asthma.
    Article · Apr 2013 · The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
  • Alida Benfante · Maria Bellia · Nicola Scichilone · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Decreased airway distensibility (AD) in response to deep inspirations, as assessed by HRCT, has been associated with the severity of asthma and COPD. Aims: The current study was designed to compare the magnitude of AD by HRCT in individuals with asthma and COPD with comparable degrees of bronchial obstruction, and to explore factors that may influence it. Results: We enrolled a total of 12 asthmatics (M/F:7/5) and 8 COPD (7/1) with comparable degree of bronchial obstruction (FEV1% predicted mean ± SEM: 69.1 ± 5.2% and 61.2 ± 5.0%, respectively; p = 0.31). Each subject underwent chest HRCT at FRC and at TLC. A total of 701 airways (range 20 to 38 airway per subject; 2.0 to 23.1 mm in diameter) were analyzed. AD did not differ between asthmatics and COPD (mean ± SEM: 14 ± 3.5% and 17 ± 4.3%, respectively; p = 0.58). In asthmatics, AD was significantly associated with FEV1% predicted (r(2) = 0.45, p = 0.018). We found a significant correlation between the change in lung volume and the change in AD by HRCT (r(2) = 0.64, p = 0.002). In COPD, we found significant correlations between AD and the RV% predicted (r(2) = 0.51, p = 0.046) and the RV/TLC (r(2) = 0.68, p = 0.01). Conclusions: AD was primarily affected by the dynamic ability to change lung volumes in asthmatics, and by static lung volumes in COPD.
    Article · Mar 2013 · COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The ultra-short course preseasonal allergy vaccine, containing the adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), is effective in treating allergic symptoms; however, the efficacy in controlling asthmatics symptoms has not been fully demonstrated. We aimed at evaluating whether the ultra-short preseasonal course of immunotherapy contributes to asthma control. Methods: Four subcutaneous injections of the active product (Pollinex Quattro) were administered, before the pollen season, to 20 Parietaria-sensitive mild, untreated asthmatics (M/F: 12/8; age: 38 ± 14 years). After the screening visit (visit 1), asthma control was assessed by the Asthma Control Test (ACT) immediately before the first (visit 2) and immediately after the last (visit 5) injections, as well as during the pollen season (visit 6). Bronchial and alveolar exhaled nitric oxide (NO) concentrations were also measured. Nine Parietaria-sensitive mild asthmatics (M/F: 3/6; age: 40 ± 12 years) served as untreated controls. Results: The ACT remained constant during allergen exposure in specific immunotherapy (SIT)-treated asthmatics (visit 2: 22 ± 3.2; visit 5: 23 ± 2.8; visit 6: 22 ± 3.6; analysis of variance [ANOVA], p = 0.47), whereas it dropped during pollen exposure in controls (visit 2: 20 ± 2.5; visit 5: 21 ± 2.8; visit 6: 16 ± 5.7; ANOVA, p = 0.01). The forced expiratory NO (FENO) values significantly increased during pollen exposure in both groups; however, the alveolar NO concentrations remained stable in SIT-treated asthmatics (p = 0.11), whereas they doubled in controls (p = 0.01). Conclusions: The current findings show that the preseasonal vaccine adjuvated with MPL contributes to the maintenance of control of asthma during the pollen season.
    Article · Feb 2013 · Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease
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    Nicola Scichilone · Mario Spatafora · Salvatore Battaglia · [...] · Vincenzo Bellia
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mainstay of management in asthma is inhalation therapy at the target site, with direct delivery of the aerosolized drug into the airways to treat inflammation and relieve obstruction. Abundant evidence is available to support the concept that inflammatory and functional changes at the level of the most peripheral airways strongly contribute to the complexity and heterogeneous manifestations of asthma. It is now largely accepted that there is a wide range of clinical phenotypes of the disease, characterized primarily by small airways involvement. Thus, an appropriate diagnostic algorithm cannot exclude biological and functional assessment of the peripheral airways. Similarly, achievement of optimal control of the disease and appropriate management of specific phenotypes of asthma should be based on drugs (and delivery options) able to distribute uniformly along the bronchial tree and to reach the most peripheral airways. Products developed with the Modulite(®) technology platform have been demonstrated to meet these aims. Recent real-life studies have shown clearly that extra-fine fixed-combination inhaled therapy provides better asthma control than non-extra-fine formulations, thus translating the activity of the drugs into greater effectiveness in clinical practice. We suggest that in patients with incomplete asthma control despite good lung function, involvement of the peripheral airways should always be suspected. When this is the case, treatments targeting both the large and small airways should be used to improve asthma control. Above all, it is emphasized that patient adherence with prescribed medications can contribute to clinical success, and clinicians should always be aware of the role played by patients themselves in determining the success or failure of treatment.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Asthma and Allergy
  • C. Sorino · S. Battaglia · N. Scichilone · [...] · V. Bellia
    Article · Sep 2012 · International Journal of COPD
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expressing FEV1 as percent of predicted relies on the assumption of proportional variability and generalisability of prediction equations that may be unrealistic, especially for elderly people. We evaluated the prognostic implications of alternative ways of expressing FEV1.We enrolled 318 patients with COPD and 475 controls in the SARA study. The risk for 5, 10, and 15 years mortality associated with FEV1 was studied by expressing FEV1 as percent of predicted (FEV1PP), standardised by height cubed (FEV1ht(3)) and as a multiple of the sex-specific first percentile (FEV1q).In the group with COPD, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for the worst vs. the best quintile of FEV1q was 4.65 (95% CI 2.33-10.37), compared to 2.98 (1.53-6.27) for FEV1PP and 3.95 (2.01-8.45) for FEV1ht(3). The corresponding IRR at 15 years were 4.52 (2.84-7.43), 3.16 (2.02-5.07), and 3.52 (2.25-5.63). In the control group, even moderate reduction of FEV1q was associated with long-term mortality, while FEV1PP was not associated with the outcome.FEV1q may be more informative about prognosis in an elderly population compared to FEV1PP .
    Full-text Article · Jul 2012 · European Respiratory Journal