33 research outputs found

    Nonischemic left ventricular scar and cardiac sudden death in the young

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    Nonischemic Left Ventricular Scar (NLVS) is a pattern of myocardial injury characterized by midventricular and/or subepicardial gadolinium hyper enhancement at cardiac magnetic resonance, in absence of significant coronary artery disease. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of NLVS in juvenile sudden cardiac death and to ascertain its aetiology at autopsy. We examined 281 consecutive cases of sudden death of subjects aged 1 to 35 years of age. NLVS was defined as a thin, grey rim of subepicardial and/or midmyocardial scar in the left ventricular free wall and/or the septum, in absence of significant stenosis of coronary arteries. NLVS was the most frequent finding (25%) in sudden deaths occurring during sports. Myocardial scar was localized most frequently within the left ventricular posterior wall, and affected the subepicardial myocardium, often extending to the midventricular layer. On histology it consisted of fibrous or fibro-adipose tissue. Right ventricular involvement was always present. Patchy lymphocytic infiltrates were frequent. Genetic and molecular analyses clarified the aetiology of NLVS in a subset of cases. ECG recordings were available in over half of subjects. The most frequent abnormality was the presence of low QRS voltages (< 0,5 mV) in limb leads. In serial ECG tracings, the decrease in QRS voltages appeared, in some way progressive. NLVS is the most frequent morphologic substrate of juvenile cardiac sudden death in sports. It can be suspected based on ECG findings. Autopsy study and clinical screening of family members are required to differentiate between Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy/Dysplasia and chronic acquired myocarditis

    New insights and evidence on “Food Intolerances”: non-celiac gluten sensitivity and nickel allergic contact mucositis

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    The clinical examination of patients often comes across the observation of the existence of a close relationship between the ingestion of certain foods and the appearance of various symptoms. Until now, the occurrence of these events has been loosely defined as food intolerance. Today these conditions should more properly be called Adverse Food Reactions (AFRs) which can consist of the presentation of a wide variety of symptoms which are commonly identified as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS) syndrome. In addition, systemic manifestations such as neurological, dermatological, joint and respiratory disorders may also occur in affected patients. Although the etiology and pathogenesis of some of them are already known, others, such as non-celiac gluten sensitivity and adverse reactions to nickel-containing foods, are not yet fully defined. The study was aimed at evaluating the relationship between the ingestion of some foods and the appearance of some symptoms, clinical improvement and detectable immunohistochemical alterations after a specific exclusion diet. One hundred and six consecutive patients suffering from meteorism, dyspepsia and nausea following the ingestion of foods containing gluten or nickel were subjected to the GSRS questionnaire, modified according to the "Salerno expert criteria". All patients underwent detection of IgA antibodies to tissue transglutaminase, oral mucosal patch test with gluten and nickel (OMPT), and EGDS including biopsies. Our data show that GSRS and OMPT, the use of APERIO CS2 software and the endothelial marker CD34 could be suggested as useful tools in the diagnostic procedure of these new pathologies. Larger, multi-center clinical trials could be helpful in defining these emerging clinical problems

    Neuromuscular magnetic stimulation counteracts muscle decline in ALS patients: results of a randomized, double-blind, controlled study

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    The aim of the study was to verify whether neuromuscular magnetic stimulation (NMMS) improves muscle function in spinal-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Twenty-two ALS patients were randomized in two groups to receive, daily for two weeks, NMMS in right or left arm (referred to as real-NMMS, rNMMS), and sham NMMS (sNMMS) in the opposite arm. All the patients underwent a median nerve conduction (compound muscle action potential, CMAP) study and a clinical examination that included a handgrip strength test and an evaluation of upper limb muscle strength by means of the Medical Research Council Muscle Scale (MRC). Muscle biopsy was then performed bilaterally on the flexor carpi radialis muscle to monitor morpho-functional parameters and molecular changes. Patients and physicians who performed examinations were blinded to the side of real intervention. The primary outcome was the change in the muscle strength in upper arms. The secondary outcomes were the change from baseline in the CMAP amplitudes, in the nicotinic ACh currents, in the expression levels of a selected panel of genes involved in muscle growth and atrophy, and in histomorphometric parameters of ALS muscle fibers. The Repeated Measures (RM) ANOVA with a Greenhouse-Geisser correction (sphericity not assumed) showed a significant effect [F(3, 63) = 5.907, p < 0.01] of rNMMS on MRC scale at the flexor carpi radialis muscle, thus demonstrating that the rNMMS significantly improves muscle strength in flexor muscles in the forearm. Secondary outcomes showed that the improvement observed in rNMMS-treated muscles was associated to counteracting muscle atrophy, down-modulating the proteolysis, and increasing the efficacy of nicotinic ACh receptors (AChRs). We did not observe any significant difference in pre- and post-stimulation CMAP amplitudes, evoked by median nerve stimulation. This suggests that the improvement in muscle strength observed in the stimulated arm is unlikely related to reinnervation. The real and sham treatments were well tolerated without evident side effects. Although promising, this is a proof of concept study, without an immediate clinical translation, that requires further clinical validation

    The isolated carboxy-terminal domain of human mitochondrial leucyl-tRNA synthetase rescues the pathological phenotype of mitochondrial tRNA mutations in human cells.

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    Mitochondrial (mt) diseases are multisystem disorders due to mutations in nuclear or mtDNA genes. Among the latter, more than 50% are located in transfer RNA (tRNA) genes and are responsible for a wide range of syndromes, for which no effective treatment is available at present. We show that three human mt aminoacyl-tRNA syntethases, namely leucyl-, valyl-, and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase are able to improve both viability and bioenergetic proficiency of human transmitochondrial cybrid cells carrying pathogenic mutations in the mt-tRNA(Ile) gene. Importantly, we further demonstrate that the carboxy-terminal domain of human mt leucyl-tRNA synthetase is both necessary and sufficient to improve the pathologic phenotype associated either with these "mild" mutations or with the "severe" m.3243A>G mutation in the mt-tRNA(L)(eu(UUR)) gene. Furthermore, we provide evidence that this small, non-catalytic domain is able to directly and specifically interact in vitro with human mt-tRNA(Leu(UUR)) with high affinity and stability and, with lower affinity, with mt-tRNA(Ile). Taken together, our results sustain the hypothesis that the carboxy-terminal domain of human mt leucyl-tRNA synthetase can be used to correct mt dysfunctions caused by mt-tRNA mutations

    Efficient mitochondrial biogenesis drives incomplete penetrance in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy

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    Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy is a maternally inherited blinding disease caused as a result of homoplasmic point mutations in complex I subunit genes of mitochondrial DNA. It is characterized by incomplete penetrance, as only some mutation carriers become affected. Thus, the mitochondrial DNA mutation is necessary but not sufficient to cause optic neuropathy. Environmental triggers and genetic modifying factors have been considered to explain its variable penetrance. We measured the mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitochondrial mass indicators in blood cells from affected and carrier individuals, screening three large pedigrees and 39 independently collected smaller families with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, as well as muscle biopsies and cells isolated by laser capturing from post-mortem specimens of retina and optic nerves, the latter being the disease targets. We show that unaffected mutation carriers have a significantly higher mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitochondrial mass compared with their affected relatives and control individuals. Comparative studies of fibroblasts from affected, carriers and controls, under different paradigms of metabolic demand, show that carriers display the highest capacity for activating mitochondrial biogenesis. Therefore we postulate that the increased mitochondrial biogenesis in carriers may overcome some of the pathogenic effect of mitochondrial DNA mutations. Screening of a few selected genetic variants in candidate genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis failed to reveal any significant association. Our study provides a valuable mechanism to explain variability of penetrance in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy and clues for high throughput genetic screening to identify the nuclear modifying gene(s), opening an avenue to develop predictive genetic tests on disease risk and therapeutic strategies.TelethonAssociazione Serena Talarico per i giovani nel mondo and Fondazione Giuseppe Tomasello O.N.L.U.S.Mitocon OnlusResearch to Prevent BlindnessInternational Foundation for Optic Nerve Diseases (IFOND)Struggling Within Leber'sPoincenot FamilyEierman FoundationNational Eye InstituteUniv Rome, Dept Radiol Oncol & Pathol, Rome, ItalyUniv Bologna, Dept Biomed & NeuroMotor Sci DIBINEM, Bologna, ItalyUniv Bari, Dept Biosci Biotechnol & Biopharmaceut, Bari, ItalyBellaria Hosp, IRCCS Ist Sci Neurol Bologna, I-40139 Bologna, ItalyUSC, Keck Sch Med, Dept Ophthalmol, Los Angeles, CA USAUSC, Keck Sch Med, Dept Neurosurg, Los Angeles, CA USAUniv Trieste, Dept Reprod Sci Dev & Publ Hlth, Trieste, ItalyUniv Trieste, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Children Hosp, Trieste, ItalyNewcastle Univ, Inst Med Genet, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7RU, Tyne & Wear, EnglandFdn Ist Neurol Carlo Besta IRCCS, Unit Mol Neurogenet, Milan, ItalyMRC Mitochondrial Biol Unit, Cambridge, EnglandFed Univ São Paulo UNIFESP, Dept Ophthalmol, São Paulo, BrazilUniv São Paulo, Inst Psychol, Dept Expt Psychol, São Paulo, BrazilStudio Oculist dAzeglio, Bologna, ItalyOsped San Giovanni Evangelista, Tivoli, ItalyAzienda Osped San Camillo Forlanini, Rome, ItalyUniv Rome, Dipartimento Metodi & Modelli Econ Finanza & Terr, Rome, ItalyUniv Rome, Dept Mol Med, Rome, ItalyFed Univ São Paulo UNIFESP, Dept Ophthalmol, São Paulo, BrazilTelethon: GGP06233Telethon: GGP11182Telethon: GPP10005National Eye Institute: EY03040Web of Scienc

    Myocardial fibrosis: morphologic patterns and role of imaging in diagnosis and prognostication

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    Myocardial fibrosis is defined as an increased amount of collagen in the myocardium relative to cardiac myocytes. Two main morphologic patterns are recognized: 1) replacement fibrosis, which occurs in response to myocyte necrosis (myocardial scarring); and 2) interstitial fibrosis, which is usually a diffuse process and has been shown to be reversible and treatable. Replacement and interstitial fibrosis often coexist and are a constant feature of pathologic cardiac remodeling. In the last twenty years, there has been significant interest in developing objective non-invasive methods to identify and quantitatively assess myocardial fibrosis in vivo, both for diagnostic purposes and to improve stratification of patients. The present Review focuses on the morphologic patterns of myocardial fibrosis observed either at autopsy and heart transplant, or in vivo by non-invasive imaging techniques. Main aim is to provide clues for the differential diagnosis, with emphasis on entities whose diagnosis may be challenging. An update on the diagnostic and prognostic role of imaging, along with recent data on available biomarkers are also proposed