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1.
Front Pharmacol ; 13: 891398, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022833

ABSTRACT

Background: In more than 90% of chronic viral hepatitis C (HCV) patients treated with direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), a sustained viral response (SVR) was observed. Unfortunately, there are subgroups of subjects who display enduring liver fibrosis and are at high risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thus, liver fibrosis evaluation during the follow-up of these patients plays a pivotal role. The gold standard to evaluate hepatic fibrosis is liver biopsy, which is an invasive procedure. Imaging techniques and serum biomarkers have been proposed as safer and cheaper procedures. Objectives: In this study, we evaluated the concordance of transient elastography (TE) with ELF score ( enhanced liver fibrosis) in a cohort of patients with HCV before and after direct-acting antiviral (DAAs) treatment. ELF score has been validated in other chronic liver diseases; the evidence is not available in HCV patients treated with DAAs. Study design: We prospectively recruited all consecutive HCV patient candidates for DAAs therapy at the University of Naples "Federico II" between April 2015 and July 2016. TE and ELF scores were assessed at baseline, at SVR24, and at SVR48. Results: One-hundred-nineteen patients were treated with DAAs, and 94.1% of them reached SVR. A total of 55.5% of patients were males with a mean age of 64.7 ± 9.6 years. TE results revealed that 12 patients (10%) had F1-2 mild/moderate fibrosis, and 107 (90%) had F3-4 advanced fibrosis. At baseline, SVR24, and SVR48, the concordance between ELF test and TE was poor: 0.11 (p = 0.086), 0.15 (p = 0.124), and 0.034 (p = 0.002), respectively. However, at SVR24 and SVR48, both methods showed a significant amelioration of liver fibrosis compared to baseline (p < 0.001). In addition, both ELF index and TE were significantly associated with portal hypertension at baseline, but not with varices and ascites. Conclusions: Our findings suggested that ELF test could predict changes in liver fibrosis, independently of TE. In case of TE unavailability, ELF score could represent an appropriate tool. Notably, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, ELF testing should be encouraged to reduce unnecessary access to the hospital and prolonged physical contact.

2.
Eur J Neurol ; 2022 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The patterns of long term risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization for COVID-19 and related death are uncertain in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) or parkinsonism (PS). The aim of the study was to quantify these risks compared to a control population cohort, during the period March 2020-May 2021, in Bologna, northern Italy. METHOD: ParkLink Bologna cohort (759 PD; 192 PS) and controls (9,226) anonymously matched (ratio 1:10) for sex, age, district, comorbidity were included. Data were analysed in the whole period and in the two different pandemic waves (March-May 2020 and October 2020-May 2021). RESULTS: Adjusted hazard ratio of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 1.3 (95% CI 1.04-1.7) in PD and 1.9 (1.3-2.8) in PS compared to the controls. The trend was detected in both the pandemic waves. Adjusted hazard ratio of hospitalization for COVID-19 was 1.1 (95% CI 0.8-1.7) in PD and 1.8 (95% CI 0.97-3.1) in PS. A higher risk of hospital admission was detected in PS only in the first wave. The 30-day mortality risk after hospitalization was higher (p=0.048) in PS (58%) than in PD (19%) and controls (26%). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with controls, after adjustment for key covariates, people with PD and PS showed a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout the first 15 months of the pandemic. COVID-19 hospitalization risk was increased only in people with PS and only during the first wave. This group of patients was burdened by a very high risk of death after infection and hospitalization.

3.
Frontiers in neurology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1970781

ABSTRACT

Cancer immunotherapy represents a novel anticancer strategy that acts directly on the immune system, promoting its activation toward cancer cells to enhance its natural ability to fight cancer. Among various treatments currently used or investigated, chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T-cell therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have consistently proven their efficacy. These innovations are progressively improving the standard of care in cancer treatment, yet they are hampered by novel neurological adverse events, attributing to neurologists a key role in the multidisciplinary oncological team. Indeed, neurotoxicity may develop in up to 77% of patients who received CAR T-cell therapy and usually presents with encephalopathy characterized by a predominant frontal lobe dysfunction. This neurotoxicity is related to cytokine release syndrome, a systemic hyperinflammatory condition triggered by CAR T-cells. On the other hand, following treatment with ICIs, unrestrained T-cells may lead to central and peripheral neurological disorders by antigen-directed autoimmunity. Notably, biological and clinical similarities have been underlined between neurotoxicity related to CAR T-cell therapy and neurological manifestations of cytokine storms (e.g. COVID-19-related encephalopathy), as well as between a subgroup of ICI-related neurological adverse events and paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. Therefore, these cancer immunotherapy-related neurological syndromes may provide an unprecedented, perhaps transitory, opportunity to shed light on the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of a wide spectrum of neurological syndromes and to push forward our knowledge in neuroimmunology.

4.
J Clin Med ; 11(15)2022 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969326

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) significantly increases mortality and morbidity. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has had a considerable impact on healthcare systems all around the world, having a significant effect on planned patient activity and established care pathways, in order to meet the difficult task of the global pandemic. Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are considered a particularly susceptible population and conceivably at increased risk for severe COVID-19 because of two combined risk factors: chronic advanced liver disease and HCC itself. In these challenging times, it is mandatory to reshape clinical practice in a prompt way to preserve the highest standards of patient care and safety. However, due to the stay-at-home measures instituted to stop the spread of COVID-19, HCC surveillance has incurred a dramatic drop, and care for HCC patients has been rearranged by refining the algorithm for HCC treatment to the COVID-19 pandemic, permitting these patients to be safely managed by identifying those most at risk of neoplastic disease progression.

5.
Psoriasis (Auckl) ; 12: 199-204, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951832

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To determine the efficacy and safety of adalimumab (ADA) and etanercept (ETA) biosimilars in elderly and children with psoriasis. Methods: A real-life retrospective observational study was conducted on pediatric (<18 years) and geriatric (≥65 years) psoriasis patients treated with anti-TNF biosimilar agents referring to the Psoriasis Unit of the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, from January 2018 to January 2022. At baseline, demographic characteristics (age and sex), data on psoriasis duration and severity (measured by Psoriasis Area Severity Index [PASI] and body surface area [BSA]), presence of psoriatic arthritis if applicable, comorbidities, and previous psoriasis treatments were recorded. Patients were monitored by regular follow-ups (week 12, 24, 48 and 72) through clinical and haematological assessments and adverse events (AEs) were registered. Results: A total of 11 children and 23 elderly psoriasis patients were enrolled. Concerning children, 6 (54.5%) were under ADA biosimilar and 5 (45.5%) under ETA biosimilar. ETA and ADA biosimilars were equally effective and safe for up to 72 weeks (mean PASI and BSA < 3). No significant AEs were reported, and none discontinued treatment. In the elderly, 15 (65.2%) were treated with ADA biosimilar and 8 (34.8%) with ETA biosimilar. ETA and ADA biosimilars were equally effective up to 72 weeks (mean PASI < 4 and mean BSA < 5%). AEs (mainly mild) were registered in 9 subjects (39.1%). Also, 4 (17.4%) patients discontinued biologicals for secondary lack of efficacy (3, 75%) or AEs (1, 25%). Conclusion: Our study found that ADA and ETA biosimilars are effective and safe for the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis in children and the elderly. No statistically significant efficacy and safety differences were found between ADA and ETA biosimilars in both children and the elderly. Geriatric patients displayed a higher discontinuation rate and side effects than the pediatric counterpart even if without approaching statistical significance.

6.
Front Neurol ; 13: 873925, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938634

ABSTRACT

Background: The indirect impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on major clinical outcomes of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) or other parkinsonism is unknown. Objectives: The study aimed to (1) describe changes in healthcare services during the first epidemic bout in people with PD or parkinsonism; (2) compare the occurrence of hospitalization for any PD-related major clinical outcomes in 2020 with 2019; (3) investigate the factors, including changes in healthcare services, associated with major clinical outcomes and death. Methods: All healthcare services of the province of Bologna and major clinical outcomes were assessed through a record linkage study (ParkLink Bologna) using clinical data and health databases. Same analyses were performed in a random cohort of controls matched for age, sex, district of residence, and comorbidities with the ParkLink cohort (ratio of 1:10). Results: A cohort of subjects with PD (759) or other parkinsonism (192) was included together with a cohort of controls (9,226). All indicators of healthcare services dropped at least below 50% during the lockdown period in all cohorts, mostly impacting physiotherapy in people with PD (-93%, 95% CI 88-96%). In 2020, compared to 2019, a three-fold risk of major injuries (RR 3.0, 95% CI 1.5-6.2) and infections (RR 3.3, 95% CI 1.5-7.2), excluding COVID-19, was observed only in people with PD, and neither in people with parkinsonism nor in controls. Decreased physiotherapy was associated with the occurrence of at least one major clinical outcome (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.1-9.8) in people with PD. Experiencing at least one major clinical outcome was the strongest risk factor for death (OR 30.4, 95% CI 11.1-83.4) in people with PD. Conclusions: During the first COVID-19 epidemic peak, healthcare services were drastically reduced in a province of northern Italy, regardless of the disease condition. However, compared to 2019, in 2020, only people with PD had a higher risk of major clinical outcomes, that were associated with higher mortality. Strategies to maintain physical activity in people with PD should be implemented in possible future health emergencies.

8.
Liver Int ; 42(8): 1891-1901, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909488

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Information about the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in patients with liver cancer is lacking. This study characterizes the outcomes and mortality risk in this population. METHODS: Multicentre retrospective, cross-sectional, international study of liver cancer patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection registered between February and December 2020. Clinical data at SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and outcomes were registered. RESULTS: Two hundred fifty patients from 38 centres were included, 218 with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 32 with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA). The median age was 66.5 and 64.5 years, and 84.9% and 21.9% had cirrhosis in the HCC and iCCA cohorts respectively. Patients had advanced cancer stage at SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis in 39.0% of the HCC and 71.9% of the iCCA patients. After a median follow-up of 7.20 (IQR: 1.84-11.24) months, 100 (40%) patients have died, 48% of the deaths were SARS-CoV-2-related. Forty (18.4%) HCC patients died within 30-days. The death rate increase was significantly different according to the BCLC stage (6.10% [95% CI 2.24-12.74], 11.76% [95% CI 4.73-22.30], 20.69% [95% CI 11.35-31.96] and 34.52% [95% CI 17.03-52.78] for BCLC 0/A, B, C and D, respectively; p = .0017). The hazard ratio was 1.45 (95% CI 0.49-4.31; p = .5032) in BCLC-B versus 0/A, and 3.13 (95% CI 1.29-7.62; p = .0118) in BCLC-C versus 0/A in the competing risk Cox regression model. Nineteen out of 32 iCCA (59.4%) died, and 12 deaths were related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest cohort of liver cancer patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. It characterizes the 30-day mortality risk of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with HCC during this period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Liver Neoplasms , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4831, 2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758373

ABSTRACT

Liver transplant (LT) recipients are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2-infection (COVID-19), due to immunosuppression and comorbidities. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on LT recipients compared to general population in the Campania region. In this prospective double-centre study, we enrolled all consecutive adult LT recipients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2-infection. Data were collected at diagnosis of COVID-19 and during follow-up and compared with the regional population. Thirty LT recipients (3.28%) developed SARS-CoV-2-infection (76.66% male, median age 62.61 years). Sixteen (53.33%) were symptomatic. Common symptoms were fever, cough, fatigue, and anosmia. Twenty-five (83.33%) were outpatients, 5 (16.66%) required hospitalization (6.66% admitted to Intensive Care Unit, 6.62% developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and 6.66% died). Immunosuppressors were in 3 (10%) patients. Incidence rate of COVID-19 was similar between LT patients and general population (3.28% vs 4.37%, p = 0.142) with higher rate of symptoms in LT patients (53.33% vs 15.87%, p < 0.000). At univariate analysis, hospitalization and case fatality rates were higher in LT patients compared to general population (16.66% vs 4.54%, p = 0.001; and 6.66% vs 1.76%, p = 0.041, respectively). At multivariable logistic regression analysis, LT patients with COVID-19 were more frequently symptomatic (OR 5.447 [95% CI 2.437-12.177], p < 0.000), whereas hospitalization and death for COVID-19 were not significatively associated with LT condition (p = 0.724 and p = 0.462, respectively) and were comparable with general population. LT is not a risk factor for acquiring COVID-19. Nonetheless, LT patients are more frequently symptomatic, although comparable to the general population for hospitalization rate and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113: 113-115, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440100

ABSTRACT

Diagnostic methods based on SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection are a promising alternative to SARS-CoV-2 RNA amplification. We evaluated the automated chemiluminescence-based Lumipulse® G SARS-CoV-2 Ag assay as compared to real time assays (combined results from RT-PCR Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2 assay and Easy SARS-CoV-2 WE kit) on 513 nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS). Among these, 53.6% resulted positive to RT-PCR, considered as the reference test. Compared to the reference test, overall sensitivity and specificity of Lumipulse® G SARS-CoV-2 Ag assay were 84.0%, and 89.1%, respectively, and overall agreement between the antigen and molecular assays was substantial (κ = 0.727). When stratifying samples into groups based on ranges of RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct), the antigen test sensitivity was >95% for samples with Ct <30. Linear regression analysis showed strong and highly significant correlation between the Lumipulse Ag concentrations and the RT-PCR Ct values (RdRp gene), irrespective of whether the Ct values from molecular test were combined in a unique regression analysis or analysed separately. Overall, chemiluminescence-based antigen assay may be reliably applied to NPS samples to identify individuals with high viral loads, more likely to transmit the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load
14.
BMJ Open ; 11(8): e042825, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406654

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Early screening of metabolic diseases is crucial since continued undiagnostic places an ever-increasing burden on healthcare systems. Recent studies suggest a link between overactivated carotid bodies (CB) and the genesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The non-invasive assessment of CB activity by measuring ventilatory, cardiac and metabolic responses to challenge tests may have predictive value for metabolic diseases; however, there are no commercially available devices that assess CB activity. The findings of the CBmeter study will clarify the role of the CBs in the genesis of-metabolic diseases and guide the development of new therapeutic approaches for early intervention in metabolic disturbances. Results may also contribute to patient classification and stratification for future CB modulatory interventions. METHODS: This is a non-randomised, multicentric, controlled clinical study. Forty participants (20 control and 20 diabetics) will be recruited from secondary and primary healthcare settings. The primary objective is to establish a new model of early diagnosis of metabolic diseases based on the respiratory and metabolic responses to transient 100% oxygen administration and ingestion of a standardised mixed meal. ANALYSIS: Raw data acquired with the CBmeter will be endorsed against gold standard techniques for heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and interstitial glucose quantification and analysed a multivariate analysis software developed specifically for the CBmeter study (CBview). Data will be analysed using clustering analysis and artificial intelligence methods based on unsupervised learning algorithms, to establish the predictive value of diabetes diagnosis. ETHICS: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Leiria Hospital Centre. Patients will be asked for written informed consent and data will be coded to ensure the anonymity of data. DISSEMINATION: Results will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and relevant medical and health conferences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Metabolic Diseases , Artificial Intelligence , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnosis , Humans , Metabolic Diseases/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Neuroimmunol ; 358: 577661, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307055

ABSTRACT

We describe the first case of hyperacute reversible encephalopathy following COVID-19 vaccination. A patient presented with acute onset encephalopathy, mainly characterized by agitation and confusion, rapidly responsive to high dosage steroid therapy and complete remission within 3 days from onset. The clinical manifestation was related with systemic and CSF cytokine hyperproduction, responsive to steroid therapy. Although the occurrence of encephalopathy after vaccination may be just a casual temporal association, we speculate that the cytokine-storm could be the result of an excessive innate immune response against the vaccine, in a predisposed patient susceptible to autoimmunity.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/chemically induced , Brain Diseases/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cytokine Release Syndrome/chemically induced , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Acute Disease , Aged , Brain Diseases/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Humans , Male , Prednisone/administration & dosage
18.
Neurol Sci ; 42(6): 2273-2281, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179067

ABSTRACT

Patients with COVID-19 are increasingly reported to suffer from a wide range of neurological complications, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous system. Among central manifestations, cognitive and behavioral symptoms are to date not exhaustively detailed. Furthermore, it is not clear whether these represent a combination of non-specific complications of a severe systemic disease, not differing from those usually seen in patients suffering from heterogenous pathological conditions affecting the central nervous system, or instead, they are a peculiar expression of COVID-19 neurotropism; in other words, if the infection has a coincidental or causal role in such patients. We examined both hypotheses, reporting opposite points of view, with the aim to stimulate discussion and raise awareness of the topic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nervous System Diseases , Central Nervous System , Cognition , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 8(4): 968-979, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155205

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Many neurological manifestations are associated with COVID-19, including a distinct form of encephalopathy related to cytokine storm, the acute systemic inflammatory syndrome present in a subgroup of COVID-19 patients. Cytokine storm is also associated with immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), a complication of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, a highly effective treatment for refractory hematological malignancies. We investigated whether COVID-19-related encephalopathy, ICANS, and other encephalopathies associated with cytokine storm, share clinical and investigative findings. METHODS: Narrative literature review. RESULTS: Comparisons between COVID-19-related encephalopathy and ICANS revealed several overlapping features. Clinically, these included dysexecutive syndrome, language disturbances, akinetic mutism and delirium. EEG showed a prevalence of frontal abnormalities. Brain MRI was often unrevealing. CSF elevated cytokine levels have been reported. A direct correlation between cytokine storm intensity and severity of neurological manifestations has been shown for both conditions. Clinical recovery occurred spontaneously or following immunotherapies in most of the patients. Similar clinical and investigative features were also reported in other encephalopathies associated with cytokine storm, such as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, sepsis, and febrile infection-associated encephalopathies. INTERPRETATION: COVID-19-related encephalopathy and ICANS are characterized by a predominant electro-clinical frontal lobe dysfunction and share several features with other encephalopathies associated with cytokine storm, which may represent the common denominator of a clinical spectrum of neurological disorders. Therefore, we propose a unifying definition of cytokine storm-associated encephalopathy (CySE), and its diagnostic criteria.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/physiopathology , Brain/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/physiopathology , Immunotherapy, Adoptive/methods , Receptors, Chimeric Antigen , Brain Diseases/epidemiology , Brain Diseases/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/epidemiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Humans , Immunotherapy, Adoptive/trends
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