Publications by authors named "Filippo Alegiani"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effect of intensive nutritional counseling and support on clinical outcomes of hemodialysis patients.

Nutrition 2012 Oct 1;28(10):1012-5. Epub 2012 May 1.

Department of Clinical Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Protein-energy wasting is frequently found in patients on hemodialysis (HD). Anorexia and hypophagia contribute to malnutrition and increased morbidity and mortality, but the clinical impact of correcting hypophagia remains uncertain. We evaluated whether the correction of hypophagia influences morbidity and mortality in anorexic patients on HD.

Methods: Thirty-four patients on HD were enrolled in a 2-y follow-up program including regular nutritional assessments. Patients not meeting the nutritional requirements during the follow-up received nutritional counseling, consisting of advice, individually tailored diets, and, for a failed dietary intervention, artificial nutrition. Biochemical, anthropometric, and body composition parameters, morbidity, and mortality were recorded in all patients at 12 and 24 mo.

Results: At baseline, 14 patients (41%) were anorexic, and 20 patients (59%) were non-anorexic. Anorexic patients were hypophagic and presented with a decreased fat-free mass. After 12 and 24 mo, cholesterol, albumin, lymphocyte count, and body mass index did not differ between the groups, whereas fat-free mass (percentage) in supplemented anorexic patients significantly improved in no longer differing from non-anorexic patients (65.8 ± 4.4 versus 65.4 ± 8.9, respectively, P = NS; 65.8 ± 4.4 versus 66.7 ± 10.78, respectively, P = NS). Morbidity and mortality were not different between the two groups.

Conclusion: In patients on HD, nutritional counseling and nutritional support positively affect the nutritional status in hypophagic patients and make the risk of morbidity and mortality in anorexic patients comparable to those of non-anorexic patients.
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October 2012

Very-low-calorie diet: a quick therapeutic tool to improve β cell function in morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Am J Clin Nutr 2012 Mar 8;95(3):609-13. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Department of Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

Background: Caloric restriction in obese diabetic patients quickly improves glucose control, independently from weight loss. However, the early effects of a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes are still unclear.

Objective: The objective was to study the relative contributions of insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, or both to improvement in glucose metabolism, after 1 wk of caloric restriction, in severely obese diabetic patients.

Design: Hyperglycemic clamps were performed in 14 severely obese (BMI, in kg/m(2): >40) patients with type 2 diabetes in good glucose control (glycated hemoglobin < 7.5%) before and after 7 d of a VLCD (400 kcal/d).

Results: The VLCD caused a 3.22 ± 0.56% weight loss (P < 0.001), 42.0% of which was fat loss, accompanied by decreases in fasting plasma glucose (P < 0.05) and triglycerides (P < 0.01). In parallel, the Disposition Index, which measures the body's capability to dispose of a glucose load, increased from 59.0 ± 6.3 to 75.5 ± 6.3 mL· min(-1) · m(-2) body surface area (P < 0.01), because of improvements in indexes of both first- and second-phase insulin secretion (P < 0.02), but with no changes in insulin sensitivity (P = 0.33).

Conclusion: The marked improvement in metabolic profile, observed in severely obese patients with type 2 diabetes after a 7-d VLCD, was primarily due to the amelioration of β cell function, whereas no contribution of insulin sensitivity was shown. This trial was registered at as NCT01447524.
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March 2012

Disparities in management of new-onset atrial fibrillation in the emergency department despite adherence to the current guidelines: data from a large metropolitan area.

Intern Emerg Med 2011 Apr 13;6(2):149-56. Epub 2011 Feb 13.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168, Rome, Italy.

Atrial Fibrillation management is still a matter for debate. Past research has largely been based on the outpatient setting in which patients are followed during ambulatory visits. Very little data exist on the optimal management of AF in the Emergency Department (ED). This study investigated which factors drive different AF treatments in the ED, describing their use in different hospitals. Finally, the efficacy of different strategies in terms of cardioversion in the ED was analyzed. Charts of patients treated for atrial fibrillation (AF) were collected in 6 EDs in a large metropolitan area over a 24-consecutive month period and were reviewed and analysed. Demographics, comorbidities, treatment strategy and ED outcome were collected. Inclusion criteria were symptom onset <3 weeks and stable hemodynamic conditions at presentation. A propensity score was used to adjust for baseline clinical characteristics and to compare the efficacy of different treatments. 3,085 patients were included in the analysis. Variables associated with a rhythm control strategy were onset of symptoms <48 h, age, dyspnea, palpitations, renal failure and the presence of a mechanical valve. Different EDs applied different strategies in terms of drugs used and the electrocardioversion rate, showing heterogeneity in AF management. Adjusting for the propensity score, electrocardioversion and antidysrhythmic drugs of class Ic were more effective than a wait-and-watch strategy in the ED. Despite international guidelines being respected, AF management is heterogeneous in different ED settings. A rhythm control strategy with electrocardioversion and Class Ic drugs is more effective than a wait-and watch approach during the ED visit. Further research, toward an evidence-based approach to the emergent management of AF in the ED, is still needed.
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April 2011

Severe drug induced acute hepatitis associated with use of St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) during treatment with pegylated interferon α.

BMJ Case Rep 2009 14;2009. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

Tor Vergata University, Hepaotology Unit, via Montpellier, Rome, 00135, Italy.

A 61-year-old woman with chronic hepatitis C received peginterferon α 180 μg/week, and obtained undetectable qualitative hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA (lower limit of detection 50 IU/ml) after 8 weeks of treatment. Shortly thereafter aminotransferase values greatly increased (>20 × upper limit of normal) and did not decline after treatment suspension. The patient admitted taking St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) for depressed mood, recommended by a friend, during the preceding 6 weeks. Liver function tests continued to worsen and international normalised ratio (INR) prolongation developed; the patient was hospitalised. Test for antinuclear antibody was positive (1:320) and treatment with methylprednisolone was started; bilirubin and aminotransferase levels slowly declined, though a new flare occurred when steroids were tapered. After 6 months of prednisone treatment, the liver function tests returned to baseline levels. The combination of peginterferon α and St John's wort resulted in a severe acute hepatitis in this patient. Patients should be advised of this potential toxic effect of this herbal remedy.
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November 2011

Anorexia in hemodialysis patients: the possible role of des-acyl ghrelin.

Am J Nephrol 2007 8;27(4):360-5. Epub 2007 Jun 8.

Department of Clinical Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Background: Anorexia is frequently found in end-stage renal disease and is a reliable predictor of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients. The pathogenesis of anorexia is complex and the appetite-modulating hormone ghrelin could be involved. Two forms of circulating ghrelin have been described: acylated ghrelin (<10% of circulating ghrelin) which promotes food intake, and des-acyl ghrelin which induces a negative energy balance. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to clarify whether anorexia and body weight change in HD patients relate to plasma des-acyl ghrelin levels.

Methods: 34 HD patients and 15 healthy controls were studied. The presence of anorexia was assessed by a questionnaire. Serum des-acyl ghrelin was measured in HD patients and in 15 body mass index-, sex- and age-matched controls by ELISA. Energy intake was assessed by a 3-day dietary diary, and fat-free mass (FFM) was evaluated by body impedance analysis. Data have been statistically analyzed and are presented as mean +/- SD.

Results: 14 patients (41%) were found to be anorexic, and 20 patients (59%) non-anorexic. Energy intake (kcal/day) was significantly lower in anorexic than in non-anorexic patients (1,682 +/- 241 vs. 1,972.50 +/- 490; p < 0.05). FFM (%) was lower in anorexic than in non-anorexic patients (65.8 +/- 4.4 vs. 70.9 +/- 8.7; p = 0.05). Plasma des-acyl ghrelin levels (fmol/ml) were significantly higher in HD patients than in controls (214.88 +/- 154.24 vs. 128.93 +/- 51.07; p < 0.05), and in anorexic HD patients than in non-anorexic (301.7 +/- 162.4 vs. 159.1 +/- 115.5; p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Anorexia is highly prevalent among HD patients and des-acyl ghrelin could be involved in its pathogenesis.
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September 2007

Cognitive impairment in elderly ED patients: need for multidimensional assessment for better management after discharge.

Am J Emerg Med 2002 Jul;20(4):332-5

AFaR, Department of Neuroscience, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Isola Tiberina, Rome, Italy.

We describe the prevalence of cognitive impairment in a population aged 65 and older requiring urgent medical services and to propose global evaluation, involving cognitive, functional and social aspects, during the emergency department (ED) visit to define an individualized care protocol. A total of 150 patients aged 65 and older attended at the ED were screened for cognitive impairment using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Patients with an MMSE score lower or equal to 23 were included in the second step of the study, namely evaluation involving neuropsychological instruments to assess cognitive and functional status and a questionnaire exploring socioeconomic conditions and type of support need. Cognitive impairment was detected in 24 patients (16%). In no case of mild impairment had a cognitive deficit already been diagnosed. The functional and socioeconomic profile enabled proposing a strategy for better management of the patients discharged by the ED.
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July 2002