407 research outputs found

    Epidemiology of psoriatic arthritis

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    Epidemiological studies on psoriatic arthritis have long been hampered by the absence of widely accepted classification criteria. The development of the CASPAR (ClASsification criteria for Psoriatic ARthritis) criteria has recently provided the framework for conducting epidemiological studies in psoriatic arthritis using uniform recruitment criteria. However, so far, only a minority of studies have adopted such criteria. In addition to the lack of shared classification criteria, differences in study settings, designs, and ascertainment methods have contributed to yield substantial disparities in the estimates of the incidence (from 3,02 to 23,1 cases per 100,000 people) and prevalence (from 49,1 to 420 cases per 100,000 people) of psoriatic arthritis around the globe. Overall, the available data suggests that the prevalence of psoriasis in the general population is approximately 2-3%, with about a third of patients with psoriasis having arthritis. Therefore, psoriatic arthritis may affect 0,3- 1,0% of the population, a frequency not dissimilar from that of rheumatoid arthritis. Future epidemiological studies should be carried out in larger numbers of patients diagnosed using consistent criteria

    Clinical assessment in psoriatic arthritis

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    Due to the heterogeneous clinical picture, with a possible combination in any individual patient of axial disease, peripheral arthritis, enthesitis and dactylitis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is difficult to assess. Validated assessment tools for PsA are lacking. Recently, international study groups have a special interest in developing and validating standardized tools to assess PsA. We will review the existing assessment modalities of PsA focusing on axial disease, peripheral arthritis, enthesitis and dactylitis. Measures of function and disability recommended for PsA will be also reviewed

    Microplastics impair the feeding performance of a Mediterranean habitat-forming coral

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    none9siThe impact of plastic debris, and in particular of microplastics (here referred as particles smaller than 5 mm) on aquatic environments has now become a topic of raising concern. Microplastics are particularly abundant in the Mediterranean Sea, potentially exerting substantial pressures on marine organisms at different levels of organization. Ingestion of microplastics has been observed in a large number of marine species. The aim of this work is to test if microplastics produce a feeding impairment in Astroides calycularis, a shallow water, habitat-forming coral endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. Our findings suggest a lack of any avoidance mechanism allowing the polyps to discern between food items and microplastics when occurring simultaneously. Moreover, polyps spend a considerable amount of time on handling microplastic particles. As a consequence, microplastics impair the feeding efficiency in A. calycularis, since polyps may not be fully able to profit from the drifting plankton aggregations. Therefore, we suggest that microplastics can cause a reduction of fitness in A. calycularis, and presumably also in other species characterized by suspension feeding strategy.embargoed_20220123Savinelli B.; Vega Fernandez T.; Galasso N.M.; D'Anna G.; Pipitone C.; Prada F.; Zenone A.; Badalamenti F.; Musco L.Savinelli, B.; Vega Fernandez, T.; Galasso, N. M.; D'Anna, G.; Pipitone, C.; Prada, F.; Zenone, A.; Badalamenti, F.; Musco, L

    Marine alien species in Italy: A contribution to the implementation of descriptor D2 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

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    A re-examination of marine alien species or Non Indigenous Species (NIS) reported in Italian Seas, until December 2018, is provided, focusing on establishment success, year of first record, origin, potential invasiveness, and likely pathways, in particular. Furthermore, their distribution is assessed according to the marine subregions outlined by the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Adriatic Sea (ADRIA), Ionian Sea and Central Mediterranean Sea (CMED), and Western Mediterranean Sea (WMED). In Italy, 265 NIS have been detected with the highest number of species being recorded in the CMED (154 species) and the WMED (151 species) subregions, followed by the ADRIA (143) subregion. Most of these species were recorded in more than one subregion. One hundred and eighty (180 or 68%) NIS have established stable populations in Italian Seas among which 26 have exhibited invasive traits. As regards the taxa involved, Macrophyta rank first with 65 taxa. Fifty-five of them are established in at least one subregion, mostly in the ADRIA and the CMED. Crustacea rank second with 48 taxa, followed by Polychaeta with 43 taxa, Mollusca with 29 taxa, and Fishes with 28 taxa, which were mainly reported from the CMED. In the period 2012-2017, 44 new alien species were recorded, resulting in approximately one new entry every two months. Approximately half of the NIS (~52%) recorded in Italy have most likely arrived through the transport-stowaway pathway related to shipping traffic (~28% as biofoulers, ~22% in ballast waters, and ~2% as hitchhikers). The second most common pathway is the unaided movement with currents (~19%), followed by the transport-contaminant on farmed shellfishes pathway (~18%). "Unaided" is the most common pathway for alien Fishes, especially in the CMED; escapes from confinement account for ~3% and release in nature for ~2%. The present NIS distribution hotspots for new introductions were defined at the first recipient area/location in Italy. In the ADRIA, the hotspot, Venice, accounts for the highest number of alien taxa introduced in Italy, with 50 newly recorded taxa. In the CMED subregion, the hotspots of introduction are the Taranto and Catania Gulfs, hosting 21 first records each. The Strait of Sicily represents a crossroad between alien taxa from the Atlantic Ocean and the Indo-Pacific area. In the WMED, bioinvasion hotspots include the Gulfs of Naples, Genoa and Livorno. This review can serve as an updated baseline for future coordination and harmonization of monitoring initiatives under international, EU and regional policies, for the compilation of new data from established monitoring programs, and for rapid assessment surveys

    Pulsed electromagnetic energy treatment offers no clinical benefit in reducing the pain of knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review

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    Background The rehabilitation of knee osteoarthritis often includes electrotherapeutic modalities as well as advice and exercise. One commonly used modality is pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF). PEMF uses electro magnetically generated fields to promote tissue repair and healing rates. Its equivocal benefit over placebo treatment has been previously suggested however recently a number of randomised controlled trials have been published that have allowed a systematic review to be conducted. Methods A systematic review of the literature from 1966 to 2005 was undertaken. Relevant computerised bibliographic databases were searched and papers reviewed independently by two reviewers for quality using validated criteria for assessment. The key outcomes of pain and functional disability were analysed with weighted and standardised mean differences being calculated. Results Five randomised controlled trials comparing PEMF with placebo were identified. The weighted mean differences of the five papers for improvement in pain and function, were small and their 95% confidence intervals included the null. Conclusion This systematic review provides further evidence that PEMF has little value in the management of knee osteoarthritis. There appears to be clear evidence for the recommendation that PEMF does not significantly reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis

    Paediatric Behçet's disease presenting with recurrent papillitis and episcleritis: a case report

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>Behçet's disease is a chronic multisystem vasculitis characterized by mucocutaneous, articular, neurological, gastrointestinal and ophthalmological lesions. Ocular involvement is mainly represented by recurrent uveitis, especially posterior uveitis; however, iridocyclitis, retinal and choroidal vasculitis, optic neuritis and retinal vascular occlusion can also occur.</p> <p>Case presentation</p> <p>A 12-year-old Caucasian boy with a history of recurrent buccal aphthosis and nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms was admitted to our hospital with blurred vision associated with acute episcleritis and papillitis. The patient's pathergy test was positive, suggesting a diagnosis of Behçet's disease. Corticosteroid and cyclosporine therapy was started, but further episodes were noted in both eyes. The patient was then switched to intravenous infliximab, with complete resolution of the inflammation after the second infusion.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Episcleritis and papillitis should be added to the list of uncommon manifestations of pediatric Behçet's disease. Infliximab is an effective, new therapeutic approach for Behçet's disease that is refractory to the conventional corticosteroid and immunosuppressive therapy.</p

    Manual-protocol inspired technique for improving automated MR image segmentation during label fusion

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    Recent advances in multi-atlas based algorithms address many of the previous limitations in model-based and probabilistic segmentation methods. However, at the label fusion stage, a majority of algorithms focus primarily on optimizing weight-maps associated with the atlas library based on a theoretical objective function that approximates the segmentation error. In contrast, we propose a novel method-Autocorrecting Walks over Localized Markov Random Fields (AWoL-MRF)-that aims at mimicking the sequential process of manual segmentation, which is the gold-standard for virtually all the segmentation methods. AWoL-MRF begins with a set of candidate labels generated by a multi-atlas segmentation pipeline as an initial label distribution and refines low confidence regions based on a localized Markov random field (L-MRF) model using a novel sequential inference process (walks). We show that AWoL-MRF produces state-of-the-art results with superior accuracy and robustness with a small atlas library compared to existing methods. We validate the proposed approach by performing hippocampal segmentations on three independent datasets: (1) Alzheimer\u27s Disease Neuroimaging Database (ADNI); (2) First Episode Psychosis patient cohort; and (3) A cohort of preterm neonates scanned early in life and at term-equivalent age. We assess the improvement in the performance qualitatively as well as quantitatively by comparing AWoL-MRF with majority vote, STAPLE, and Joint Label Fusion methods. AWoL-MRF reaches a maximum accuracy of 0.881 (dataset 1), 0.897 (dataset 2), and 0.807 (dataset 3) based on Dice similarity coefficient metric, offering significant performance improvements with a smaller atlas library (\u3c 10) over compared methods. We also evaluate the diagnostic utility of AWoL-MRF by analyzing the volume differences per disease category in the ADNI1: Complete Screening dataset. We have made the source code for AWoL-MRF public at: https://github.com/CobraLab/AWoL-MRF

    Role of chemokines in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid synovitis

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    Chemokines play a central role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovitis which is characterised by new blood vessel formation, thickening of the lining layer and infiltration of immune cells. The inflammatory infiltrate is generated by a series of events which include the recruitment of leukocytes from the blood stream into the tissue, their local retention and activation to effector cells. All these processes are finely regulated by the interplay of different cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and chemoattractant factors called chemokines (CK). CK are a superfamily of small proteins that play a crucial role in immune and inflammatory reactions. These chemoattractant cytokines share structural similarities including four conserved cysteine residues which form disulphide bonds in the tertiary structure of the proteins. CK mediate their effects by binding specific receptors (CK-R) characterised by a domain structure which spans the cell membrane seven times and signal through heterotrimeric GPT-binding proteins. Activation of the CK network results in an amplification of the inflammatory cascade and consequently in the progressive destruction of RA joints. The recognition of the central role of CK in inflammation has paved the way to the development of new agents capable of interfering with CK and CK-R. This review will focus in particular on the role of CK in regulating leukocyte trafficking in RA joints

    CC chemokine receptor 5 polymorphism in Italian patients with Behcet's disease.

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    Objective. To evaluate the potential role of CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5)Δ32 polymorphism in the susceptibility to and clinical expression of Behçet's disease (BD) in a cohort of Italian patients.Methods. One hundred and ninety-six consecutive Italian patients satisfying the ISG criteria for BD were followed up for 8 years, and 180 healthy age- and sex-matched blood donors were molecularly genotyped for the CCR5Δ32 polymorphism. A standard microlymphocytotoxicity technique was used to serotype HLA-B51. The patients were subgrouped on the basis of the presence or absence of clinical manifestations.Results. The distribution of the CCR5Δ32 genotype differed between BD patients and controls (P = 0.02). The CCR5Δ32 allele was more common in BD patients than in controls [P = 0.02, odds ratio (OR) 2.28 (95% CI 1.1, 4.8)]. Carriers of the CCR5Δ32 allele (Δ32/Δ32 + CCR5/Δ32) were significantly more common in BD patients than in controls [P = 0.02, OR 2.37 (95% CI 1.1, 5.1)]. Population-attributable risk was 7.1%. In categorizing patients according to gender, the association between CCR5Δ32 polymorphism and BD was similar in females and males (ORs 2.76 and 2.0, respectively). No significant differences were found when the frequencies of clinical manifestations were compared between CC5RΔ32 allele carriers and non-carriers.Conclusion. CCR5Δ32 polymorphism is associated with an increased susceptibility to develop BD. Chemokines may have a role in the pathophysiology of BD
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