Caterina Anania

Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (28)149.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: In 2012, European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition published novel guidelines on celiac disease (CD) diagnosis. Symptomatic children with serum anti-transglutaminase (anti-tTG) antibody levels ≥10 times upper limit of normal (ULN) could avoid duodenal biopsies after positive HLA test and serum anti-endomysial antibodies (EMAs). So far, both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with anti-tTG titer <10 times ULN should undergo upper endoscopy with duodenal biopsies to confirm diagnosis. The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of serological tests to diagnose CD in asymptomatic patients. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data of 286 patients (age range: 10 months to 17 years) with CD diagnosis based on elevated titer of anti-tTG, EMA positivity, and histology. All patients were distinguished between symptomatic and asymptomatic; histological lesions were graded according to the Marsh-Oberhuber (MO) criteria. Fisher exact test was applied to analyze both groups in terms of diagnostic reliability of serological markers. Results: A total of 196 patients (68.53%) had anti-tTG titers ≥10 times ULN. Among them, a group of 156 patients (79.59%) also had symptoms suggestive of CD ("high-titer" symptomatic); of these, 142 patients (91.02%) showed severe lesion degree (3a, 3b, 3c MO). Conversely, 40 out of 196 patients (20.40%) were asymptomatic ("high-titer" asymptomatic) and 37 patients (92.5%) of them showed severe lesion degree (3a, 3b, 3c MO). No difference in histological damage was found between "high-titer" symptomatic and "high-titer" asymptomatic children (Fisher exact test, P=1.000). Conclusions: If confirmed in large multicenter prospective studies, the "biopsy-sparing" protocol seems to be applicable to both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with anti-tTG titer ≥10 times ULN, positive EMA, and HLA-DQ2/DQ8.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 15 September 2015; doi:10.1038/ajg.2015.285.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The American Journal of Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: In the last 20 years, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease worldwide, primarily as a result of the epidemic of obesity. NAFLD is strongly associated with insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and dyslipidemia and is currently regarded as the liver manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, a highly atherogenic condition even at a very early age. Patients with NAFLD including pediatric subjects have a higher prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis, as shown by impaired flow-mediated vasodilation, increased carotid artery intima-media thickness, and arterial stiffness, which are independent of obesity and other established risk factors. More recent work has identified NAFLD as a risk factor not only for premature coronary heart disease and cardiovascular events, but also for early subclinical abnormalities in myocardial structure and function. Thus, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to test the hypothesis that NAFLD is associated with evidence of subclinical cardiac structural and functional abnormalities.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) is an intestinal inflammatory disease that manifests in genetically susceptible individuals when exposed to dietary gluten. It is a common chronic disorder, with a prevalence of 1% in Europe and North America. Although the disease primarily affects the gut, the clinical spectrum of CD is remarkably varied, and the disease can affect many extraintestinal organs and systems, including the liver. The hepatic dysfunction presenting in CD ranges from asymptomatic liver enzyme elevations or nonspecific reactive hepatitis (cryptogenic liver disorders), to chronic liver disease. In this article, we review the clinical presentations and possible mechanisms of CD-related liver injury to identify strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders in childhood.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the associations of pancreatic fat with other fat depots and β-cell function in pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We examined 158 overweight/obese children and adolescents, 80 with NAFLD [hepatic fat fraction (HFF) ≥ 5%] and 78 without fatty liver. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT), pancreatic fat fraction (PFF) and HFF were determined by magnetic resonance imaging. Estimates of insulin sensitivity were calculated using the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), defined by fasting insulin and fasting glucose and whole-body insulin sensitivity index (WBISI), based on mean values of insulin and glucose obtained from oral glucose tolerance test and the corresponding fasting values. Patients were considered to have prediabetes if they had either: (1) impaired fasting glucose, defined as a fasting glucose level ≥ 100 mg/dL to < 126 mg/dL; (2) impaired glucose tolerance, defined as a 2 h glucose concentration between ≥ 140 mg/dL and < 200 mg/dL; or (3) hemoglobin A1c value of ≥ 5.7% to < 6.5%. PFF was significantly higher in NAFLD patients compared with subjects without liver involvement. PFF was significantly associated with HFF and VAT, as well as fasting insulin, C peptide, HOMA-IR, and WBISI. The association between PFF and HFF was no longer significant after adjusting for age, gender, Tanner stage, body mass index (BMI)-SD score, and VAT. In multiple regression analysis with WBISI or HOMA-IR as the dependent variables, against the covariates age, gender, Tanner stage, BMI-SD score, VAT, PFF, and HFF, the only variable significantly associated with WBISI (standardized coefficient B, -0.398; P = 0.001) as well as HOMA-IR (0.353; P = 0.003) was HFF. Children with prediabetes had higher PFF and HFF than those without. PFF and HFF were significantly associated with prediabetes after adjustment for clinical variables. When all fat depots where included in the same model, only HFF remained significantly associated with prediabetes (OR = 3.38; 95%CI: 1.10-10.4; P = 0.034). In overweight/obese children with NAFLD, pancreatic fat is increased compared with those without liver involvement. However, only liver fat is independently related to prediabetes.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Gastroenterology

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last two decades, the rise in the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity explains the emergence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as the leading cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. As described in adults, children and adolescents with fatty liver display insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and dyslipidemia. Thus NAFLD has emerged as the hepatic component of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and a strong cardiovascular risk factor even at a very early age. Several studies, including pediatric populations, have reported independent associations between NAFLD and markers of subclinical atherosclerosis including impaired flow-mediated vasodilation, increased carotid artery intima-media thickness, and arterial stiffness, after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and MetS. Also, it has been shown that NAFLD is associated with cardiac alterations, including abnormal left ventricular structure and impaired diastolic function. The duration of these subclinical abnormalities may be important, because treatment to reverse the process is most likely to be effective earlier in the disease. In the present review, we examine the current evidence on the association between NAFLD and atherosclerosis as well as between NAFLD and cardiac dysfunction in the pediatric population, and discuss briefly the possible biological mechanisms linking NAFLD and cardiovascular changes. We also address the approach to treatment for this increasingly prevalent disease, which is likely to have an important future global impact on the burden of ill health, to prevent not only end-stage liver disease but also cardiovascular disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · World Journal of Gastroenterology

  • No preview · Article · May 2014 · Gastroenterology

  • No preview · Article · May 2014 · Gastroenterology

  • No preview · Article · May 2014 · Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity is a worldwide health problem and its prevalence is increasing steadily and dramatically all over the world. Obese subjects have a much greater likelihood than normal-weight children of acquiring dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, and impaired glucose metabolism, which significantly increase their risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Elevated TSH concentrations in association with normal or slightly elevated free T4 and/or free T3 levels have been consistently found in obese subjects, but the mechanisms underlying these thyroid hormonal changes are still unclear. Whether higher TSH in childhood obesity is adaptive, increasing metabolic rate in an attempt to reduce further weight gain, or indicates subclinical hypothyroidism or resistance and thereby contributes to lipid and/or glucose dysmetabolism, remains controversial. This review highlights current evidence on thyroid involvement in obese children and discusses the current controversy regarding the relationship between thyroid hormonal derangements and obesity-related metabolic changes (hypertension, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) in such population. Moreover, the possible mechanisms linking thyroid dysfunction and pediatric obesity are reviewed. Finally, the potential role of lifestyle intervention as well as of therapy with thyroid hormone in the treatment of thyroid abnormalities in childhood obesity is discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a range of liver histology severity and outcomes in the absence of chronic alcohol use. The mildest form is simple steatosis in which triglycerides accumulate within hepatocytes. A more advanced form of NAFLD, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, includes inflammation and liver cell injury, progressive to cryptogenic cirrhosis. NAFLD has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in children and adolescents. The recent rise in the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity likely explains the NAFLD epidemic worldwide. NAFLD is strongly associated with abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia, and most patients have evidence of insulin resistance. Thus, NAFLD shares many features of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), a highly atherogenic condition, and this has stimulated interest in the possible role of NAFLD in the development of atherosclerosis. Accumulating evidence suggests that NAFLD is associated with a significantly greater overall mortality than in the general population, as well as with increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), independently of classical atherosclerotic risk factors. Yet, several studies including the pediatric population have reported independent associations between NAFLD and impaired flow-mediated vasodilatation and increased carotid artery intimal medial thickness-two reliable markers of subclinical atherosclerosis-after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and MetS. Therefore, the rising prevalence of obesity-related MetS and NAFLD in childhood may lead to a parallel increase in adverse cardiovascular outcomes. In children, the cardiovascular system remains plastic and damage-reversible if early and appropriate interventions are established effectively. Therapeutic goals for NAFLD should address nutrition, physical activity, and avoidance of smoking to prevent not only end-stage liver disease but also CVD.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · World Journal of Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: To determine in obese children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in assessing liver fat concentration. A case-control study was performed. Cases were 25 obese children with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Controls were 25 obese children matched for age and gender, without NAFLD at ultrasonography and with normal levels of aminotransferases and insulin. Hepatic fat fraction (HFF) by MRI was obtained using a modification of the Dixon method. HFF ranged from 2% to 44% [mean, 19.0% (95% CI, 15.1-27.4)] in children with NAFLD, while in the controls this value ranged from 0.08% to 4.69% [2.0% (1.3-2.5), P < 0.0001]. HFF was highly correlated with histological steatosis (r = 0.883, P < 0.0001) in the NAFLD children. According to the histological grade of steatosis, the mean HFF was 8.7% (95% CI, 6.0-11.6) for mild, 21.6% (15.3-27.0) for moderate, and 39.7% (34.4-45.0) for severe fatty liver infiltration. With a cutoff of 4.85%, HFF had a sensitivity of 95.8% for the diagnosis of histological steatosis ≥ 5%. All control children had HFF lower than 4.85%; thus, the specificity was 100%. After 12 mo, children with weight loss displayed a significant decrease in HFF. MRI is an accurate methodology for liver fat quantification in pediatric NAFLD.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · World Journal of Gastroenterology
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    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Hepatitis Monthly
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last two decades, there have been many studies on children who have sought an effective and safe treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection, but as yet, no therapy regimen has been found which is always effective and safe. Differences in drug response among pediatric patients are common. Such individual variability in drug response is multifactorial, including environmental, genetic, development and disease determinants that affect the disposition of a given drug. In pediatric efficacy studies for the management of H. pylori eradication in children, the most commonly tested regimen has contained a combination of proton pump inhibitor (PPI), clarithromycin and amoxicillin, followed by triple therapies containing PPI, clarithromycin and nitroimidazoles. Thus, PPIs are an integral part of triple therapy for H. pylori eradication in children with gastroduodenal disease. In this article, we comprehensively review, from a pediatric point of view, the literature on the clinical, pharmacologic and microbiologic properties of PPIs. We also discuss genetic, developmental and other host-related factors that may affect the efficacy of these drugs. Finally, we provide some guidance regarding their potential role and limitations for H. pylori eradication in children.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Although evidence is emerging that the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is declining in all age groups, the understanding of its disease spectrum continues to evolve. If untreated, H. pylori infection is lifelong. Although H. pylori typically colonizes the human stomach for many decades without adverse consequences, children infected with H. pylori can manifest gastrointestinal diseases. Controversy persists regarding testing (and treating) for H. pylori infection in children with recurrent abdominal pain, chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenia, and poor growth. There is evidence of the role of H. pylori in childhood iron deficiency anemia, but the results are not conclusive. The possibility of an inverse relationship between H. pylori and gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as childhood asthma, remains a controversial question. A better understanding of the H. pylori disease spectrum in childhood should lead to clearer recommendations about testing for and treating H. pylori infection in children who are more likely to develop clinical sequelae.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · World Journal of Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been consistently found to be associated with features of the metabolic syndrome (MS), a condition carrying a high risk of cardiovascular events. The present study aimed to determine whether, in children and adolescents, NAFLD is atherogenic beyond its association with MS and its components. We assessed both flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery (FMD) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), along with lipid profile, glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRPHS), in 250 obese children, 100 with and 150 without NAFLD, and 150 healthy normal-weight children. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasound examination and persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase, after exclusion of infectious and metabolic disorders. Compared to controls and children without liver involvement, those with ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD (and elevated alanine aminotransferase) demonstrated significantly impaired FMD and increased cIMT. Patients with NAFLD had more features of MS and elevated CRPHS levels. In addition, percent FMD was remarkably reduced, whereas cIMT was increased in obese children with MS compared to those without MS. Using logistic regression analysis, the presence of NAFLD was found to be an independent predictor of low percent FMD (odds ratio, 2.25 [95% confidence interval, 1.29 to 3.92]; P = 0.004) as well as of increased cIMT (1.98 [1.16 to 3.36]; P = 0.031), after adjustment for age, gender, Tanner stage, and presence of MS. When we analyzed the relations between cIMT and measures of FMD in patients with NAFLD, the disease was associated with increased cIMT in children with impaired FMD status. CONCLUSION: The presence of liver disease entails more severe functional and anatomic changes in the arterial wall. Its detection may help identify individuals with increased cardiometabolic risk.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Hepatology
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    ABSTRACT: Ghrelin, a peptide mainly derived from the stomach, plays a pivotal role in the regulation of food intake, energy metabolism, and storage, as well as in insulin sensitivity. Ghrelin circulates in acylated (A-Ghr) and nonacylated (NA-Ghr) forms, and their potential differential associations with insulin resistance (IR) in childhood obesity remain undefined. We investigated the associations of ghrelin forms with IR in normal weight and obese children and the impact of metabolic syndrome (MS) on their plasma values. A total of 210 children in four subgroups of normal weight/obese children with and without components of MS were studied. Fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipid profile, and acylated and total ghrelin were examined. IR was determined by a homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) of IR. In the entire population, plasma insulin and HOMA-IR were associated negatively with T-Ghr and NA-Ghr, but positively with the ratio of A/NA-Ghr after adjustment for age, gender, and Tanner stage. Obese metabolically abnormal children had lower T-Ghr and NA-Ghr, but comparable A-Ghr and a higher A/NA-Ghr ratio than obese metabolically normal subjects. Compared with lean healthy children, lean metabolically abnormal subjects had higher A-Ghr and the A/NA-Ghr ratio, but comparable T-Ghr and NA-Ghr. A multiple regression analysis showed that A-Ghr and the A/NA-Ghr ratios were positively associated with HOMA-IR, independent of age, gender, Tanner stage, and body mass index (or waist circumference) and other components of MS. A-Ghr excess may negatively modulate insulin action in obese and nonobese children, and may contribute to the association of IR and MS.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · European Journal of Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Bodyweight is a significant predictor of bone mass. Hormonal factors are thought to play a role in the mechanisms controlling the association of body weight and fat mass with bone mass. Very recently, the orexigenic hormone ghrelin has also been implicated in bone metabolism. In this study we examined the associations of circulating acylated and des-acyl ghrelin concentrations with measures of bone in a group of obese children and adolescents as well as in a group of healthy control children. We also determined whether the associations were independent of body composition, chronological age, gender, Tanner stage, and leptin, glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels.
    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Bone