Publications by authors named "Cristina Borelli"

7 Publications

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Ghosts in the renal pelvises: what are they?

J Nephrol 2021 May 31. Epub 2021 May 31.

Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, Department of Medical Sciences, Fondazione IRCCS Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza, Viale Cappuccini snc, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.

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May 2021

Low Sensitivity of Admission Lung US Compared to Chest CT for Diagnosis of Lung Involvement in a Cohort of 82 Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2021 Mar 4;57(3). Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Unit of Interventional and Diagnostic Ultrasound of Internal Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, IRCCS Fondazione Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.

: The potential role of lung ultrasound (LUS) in characterizing lung involvement in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still debated. The aim of the study was to estimate sensitivity of admission LUS for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 lung involvement using Chest-CT (Computed Tomography) as reference standard in order to assess LUS usefulness in ruling out COVID-19 pneumonia in the Emergency Department (ED). : Eighty-two patients with confirmed COVID-19 and signs of lung involvement on Chest-CT were consecutively admitted to our hospital and recruited in the study. Chest-CT and LUS examination were concurrently performed within the first 6-12h from admission. Sensitivity of LUS was calculated using CT findings as a reference standard. : Global LUS sensitivity in detecting COVID-19 pulmonary lesions was 52%. LUS sensitivity ranged from 8% in case of focal and sporadic ground-glass opacities (mild disease), to 52% for a crazy-paving pattern (moderate disease) and up to 100% in case of extensive subpleural consolidations (severe disease), although LUS was not always able to detect all the consolidations assessed at Chest-CT. LUS sensitivity was higher in detecting a typical Chest-CT pattern (60%) and abnormalities showing a middle-lower zone predominance (79%). : As admission LUS may result falsely negative in most cases, it should not be considered as a reliable imaging tool in ruling out COVID-19 pneumonia in patients presenting in ED. It may at least represent an expanded clinical evaluation that needs integration with other diagnostic tests (e.g., nasopharyngeal swab, Chest-CT).
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March 2021

Diagnosis of COVID-19 in Patients with Negative Nasopharyngeal Swabs: Reliability of Radiological and Clinical Diagnosis and Accuracy Versus Serology.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Feb 25;11(3). Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.

Background: The diagnosis of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) relies on the positivity of nasopharyngeal swab. However, a significant percentage of symptomatic patients may test negative. We evaluated the reliability of COVID-19 diagnosis made by radiologists and clinicians and its accuracy versus serology in a sample of patients hospitalized for suspected COVID-19 with multiple negative swabs.

Methods: Admission chest CT-scans and clinical records of swab-negative patients, treated according to the COVID-19 protocol or deceased during hospitalization, were retrospectively evaluated by two radiologists and two clinicians, respectively.

Results: Of 254 patients, 169 swab-confirmed cases and one patient without chest CT-scan were excluded. A total of 84 patients were eligible for the reliability study. Of these, 21 patients died during hospitalization; the remaining 63 underwent serological testing and were eligible for the accuracy evaluation. Of the 63, 26 patients showed anti-Sars-Cov-2 antibodies, while 37 did not. The inter-rater agreement was "substantial" (kappa 0.683) between radiologists, "moderate" (kappa 0.454) between clinicians, and only "fair" (kappa 0.341) between radiologists and clinicians. Both radiologic and clinical evaluations showed good accuracy compared to serology.

Conclusions: The radiologic and clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 for swab-negative patients proved to be sufficiently reliable and accurate to allow a diagnosis of COVID-19, which needs to be confirmed by serology and follow-up.
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February 2021

The correlation of background parenchymal enhancement in the contralateral breast with patient and tumor characteristics of MRI-screen detected breast cancers.

PLoS One 2018 19;13(1):e0191399. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 10, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Purpose: Higher background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) could be used for stratification of MRI screening programs since it might be related to a higher breast cancer risk. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to correlate BPE to patient and tumor characteristics in women with unilateral MRI-screen detected breast cancer who participated in an intermediate and high risk screening program. As BPE in the affected breast may be difficult to discern from enhancing cancer, we assumed that BPE in the contralateral breast is a representative measure for BPE in women with unilateral breast cancer.

Materials And Methods: This retrospective study was approved by our local institutional board and a waiver for consent was granted. MR-examinations of women with unilateral breast cancers screen-detected on breast MRI were evaluated by two readers. BPE in the contralateral breast was rated according to BI-RADS. Univariate analyses were performed to study associations. Observer variability was computed.

Results: Analysis included 77 breast cancers in 76 patients (age: 48±9.8 years), including 62 invasive and 15 pure ductal carcinoma in-situ cases. A negative association between BPE and tumor grade (p≤0.016) and a positive association with progesterone status (p≤0.021) was found. The correlation was stronger when only considering invasive disease. Inter-reader agreement was substantial.

Conclusion: Lower BPE in the contralateral breast in women with unilateral breast cancer might be associated to higher tumor grade and progesterone receptor negativity. Great care should be taken using BPE for stratification of patients to tailored screening programs.
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March 2018

Time to enhancement derived from ultrafast breast MRI as a novel parameter to discriminate benign from malignant breast lesions.

Eur J Radiol 2017 Apr 20;89:90-96. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Department of Radiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein Zuid 10, 6525GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Objectives: To investigate time to enhancement (TTE) as novel dynamic parameter for lesion classification in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Methods: In this retrospective study, 157 women with 195 enhancing abnormalities (99 malignant and 96 benign) were included. All patients underwent a bi-temporal MRI protocol that included ultrafast time-resolved angiography with stochastic trajectory (TWIST) acquisitions (1.0×0.9×2.5mm, temporal resolution 4.32s), during the inflow of contrast agent. TTE derived from TWIST series and relative enhancement versus time curve type derived from volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) series were assessed and combined with basic morphological information to differentiate benign from malignant lesions. Receiver operating characteristic analysis and kappa statistics were applied.

Results: TTE had a significantly better discriminative ability than curve type (p<0.001 and p=0.026 for reader 1 and 2, respectively). Including morphology, sensitivity of TWIST and VIBE assessment was equivalent (p=0.549 and p=0.344, respectively). Specificity and diagnostic accuracy were significantly higher for TWIST than for VIBE assessment (p<0.001). Inter-reader agreement in differentiating malignant from benign lesions was almost perfect for TWIST evaluation (κ=0.86) and substantial for conventional assessment (κ=0.75).

Conclusions: TTE derived from ultrafast TWIST acquisitions is a valuable parameter that allows robust differentiation between malignant and benign breast lesions with high accuracy.
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April 2017

Segmentation of malignant lesions in 3D breast ultrasound using a depth-dependent model.

Med Phys 2016 Jul;43(7):4074

Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen 6525 GA, The Netherlands.

Purpose: Automated 3D breast ultrasound (ABUS) has been proposed as a complementary screening modality to mammography for early detection of breast cancers. To facilitate the interpretation of ABUS images, automated diagnosis and detection techniques are being developed, in which malignant lesion segmentation plays an important role. However, automated segmentation of cancer in ABUS is challenging since lesion edges might not be well defined. In this study, the authors aim at developing an automated segmentation method for malignant lesions in ABUS that is robust to ill-defined cancer edges and posterior shadowing.

Methods: A segmentation method using depth-guided dynamic programming based on spiral scanning is proposed. The method automatically adjusts aggressiveness of the segmentation according to the position of the voxels relative to the lesion center. Segmentation is more aggressive in the upper part of the lesion (close to the transducer) than at the bottom (far away from the transducer), where posterior shadowing is usually visible. The authors used Dice similarity coefficient (Dice) for evaluation. The proposed method is compared to existing state of the art approaches such as graph cut, level set, and smart opening and an existing dynamic programming method without depth dependence.

Results: In a dataset of 78 cancers, our proposed segmentation method achieved a mean Dice of 0.73 ± 0.14. The method outperforms an existing dynamic programming method (0.70 ± 0.16) on this task (p = 0.03) and it is also significantly (p < 0.001) better than graph cut (0.66 ± 0.18), level set based approach (0.63 ± 0.20) and smart opening (0.65 ± 0.12).

Conclusions: The proposed depth-guided dynamic programming method achieves accurate breast malignant lesion segmentation results in automated breast ultrasound.
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July 2016

Mammographic and Ultrasonographic Findings of Oxidized Regenerated Cellulose in Breast Cancer Surgery: A 5-Year Experience.

Clin Breast Cancer 2015 Oct 24;15(5):e249-56. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Department of Radiology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Background: The purpose of this study was to describe the ultrasonographic (US) and mammographic (MX) findings in patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery followed by oxidized regenerated cellulose (ORC) implantation in the surgical cavity and their size variations in follow-up.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 417 MX and 743 US images performed between January 2009 and January 2014 for 262 women who underwent breast-conserving surgery. All patients underwent US, only 203 women underwent MX examination.

Results: In 170 of 262 patients, US examinations showed abnormal findings. Three main US patterns were identified: (1) complex masses: well-encapsulated ipoisoechoic lesions with circumscribed margins with internal hyperechoic nodules (56%); (2) hypoanechoic lesions without internal hyperechoic nodules (24%); and (3) completely anechoic collections (20%). Moreover, Doppler ultrasound examination was performed on all of the patients. In 95 of 203 patients, MX examinations showed abnormalities. Four main MX patterns were identified: (1) round or oval opacity with circumscribed margins (58%); (2) round or oval opacity with indistinct or ill-defined margins (17%); (3) irregular opacity with indistinct or spiculated margins (9%); and (4) architectural distortion or focal asymmetry (15%). Most of the lesions showed a decrease in size at US and MX follow-up examination and the decrease was statistically significant (P < .01).

Conclusion: When applied to the surgical residual cavity, ORC aids to control local hemorrhage and reduce the risk of postoperative infections, but can lead to alterations in surgical scar. Thus, knowledge of the radiological findings might allow avoidance of misdiagnosis of tumor recurrence or unnecessary diagnostic examinations.
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October 2015