Publications by authors named "Francesco Torcetta"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Neonatal heart failure and noncompaction/dilated cardiomyopathy from mucopolysaccharidosis. First description in literature.

Mol Genet Metab Rep 2021 Mar 29;26:100714. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Inborn errors in metabolism and neuro-muscular disorders Unit, Meyer Children Hospital, Viale Pieraccini 24, 50139 Florence, Italy.

Mucopolysaccharidosis are genetic disorders due to deficiency of lysosomal enzymes, resulting in abnormal glycosaminoglycans accumulation in several tissues. Heart involvement tends to be progressive and worsens with age. We describe the first case of mucopolysaccharidosis type I presenting with noncompaction/dilated-mixed cardiomyopathy and heart failure within neonatal period, which responded successfully to specific metabolic treatment. Cardiac function recovered after enzyme replacement therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, adding to the existing knowledge of the disease.
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March 2021

Disorder of sex development associated with a novel homozygous nonsense mutation in COG6 expands the phenotypic spectrum of COG6-CDG.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 Jan 4. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Neonatology Unit, Mother-Child Department, University Hospital of Modena, Modena, Italy.

Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are an expanding group of metabolic disorders that result from abnormal protein glycosylation. A special subgroup of CDG type II comprises defects in the Conserved Oligomeric Golgi Complex (COG). In order to further delineate the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum of COG complex defect, we describe a novel variant of COG6 gene found in homozygosity in a Moroccan patient with severe presentation of COG6-CDG (OMIM #614576). We compared the phenotype of our patient with other previously reported COG6-CDG cases. Common features in COG6-CDG are facial dysmorphism, growth retardation, microcephaly, developmental disability, liver or gastrointestinal disease, recurrent infections, hypohidrosis/hyperthermia. In addition to these phenotypic features, our patient exhibited a disorder of sexual differentiation, which has rarely been reported in COG6-CDG. We hypothesize that the severe COG6 gene mutation interferes with glycosylation of a disintegrin and metalloprotease family members, inhibiting the correct gonadal distal tip cells migration, fundamental for the genitalia morphogenesis. This report broadens the genetic and phenotypic spectrum of COG6-CDG and provides further supportive evidence that COG6-CDG can present as a disorder of sexual differentiation.
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January 2021

Overwhelming sepsis in a neonate affected by Zellweger syndrome due to a compound heterozygosis in PEX 6 gene: a case report.

BMC Med Genet 2020 11 19;21(1):229. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the Mothers, Children and Adults, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via del Pozzo 71, 41124, Modena, Italy.

Background: Peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs) are a group of metabolic diseases caused by dysfunction of peroxisomes. Different forms of PBDs are described; the most severe one is the Zellweger syndrome (ZS). We report on an unusual presentation of Zellweger syndrome manifesting in a newborn with severe and fulminant sepsis, causing death during the neonatal period.

Case Presentation: A term male Caucasian neonate presented at birth with hypotonia and poor feeding associated with dysmorphic craniofacial features and skeletal abnormalities. Blood tests showed progressive leukopenia; ultrasounds revealed cerebral and renal abnormalities. He died on the fourth day of life because of an irreversible Gram-negative sepsis. Post-mortem tests on blood and urine samples showed biochemical alterations suggestive of ZS confirmed by genetic test.

Conclusions: ZS is an early and severe forms of PBDs. Peroxisomes are known to be involved in lipid metabolism, but recent studies suggest their fundamental role in modulating immune response and inflammation. In case of clinical suspicion of ZS it is important to focus the attention on the prevention and management of infections that can rapidly progress to death.
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November 2020

Efficacy and safety of exogenous surfactant therapy in patients under 12 months of age invasively ventilated for severe bronchiolitis (SURFABRON): protocol for a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, controlled, non-profit trial.

BMJ Open 2020 10 19;10(10):e038780. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Neonatal and Paediatric Critical Care, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona, Verona, Italy.

Introduction: Some evidence indicates that exogenous surfactant therapy may be effective in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis, even though more confirmatory data are needed. To date, no large multicentre trials have evaluated the effectiveness and safety of exogenous surfactant in severe cases of bronchiolitis requiring invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV).

Methods And Analysis: This is a multicentre randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, performed in 19 Italian paediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Eligible participants are infants under the age of 12 months hospitalised in a PICU, suffering from severe acute hypoxaemic bronchiolitis, requiring IMV. We adopted a more restrictive definition of bronchiolitis, including only infants below 12 months of age, to maintain the population as much homogeneous as possible. The primary outcome is to evaluate whether exogenous surfactant therapy (Curosurf, Chiesi Pharmaceuticals, Italy) is effective compared with placebo (air) in reducing the duration of IMV in the first 14 days of hospitalisation, in infants suffering from acute hypoxaemic viral bronchiolitis. Secondary outcomes are duration of non-invasive mechanical ventilation in the post-extubation phase, number of cases requiring new intubation after previous extubation within 14 days from randomisation, PICU and hospital length of stay (LOS), duration of oxygen dependency, effects on oxygenation and ventilatory parameters during invasive mechanical respiratory support, need for repeating treatment within 24 hours of first treatment, use of other interventions (eg, high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, nitric oxide, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), mortality within the first 14 days of PICU stay and before hospital discharge, side effects and serious adverse events.

Ethics And Dissemination: The trial design and protocol have received approval by the Italian National Agency for Drugs (AIFA) and by the Regional Ethical Committee of Verona University Hospital (1494CESC). Findings will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals, conference/meeting presentations and media.

Trial Registration Number:, issue date 22 May 2019. NCT03959384.
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October 2020

Efficacy of a new technique - INtubate-RECruit-SURfactant-Extubate - "IN-REC-SUR-E" - in preterm neonates with respiratory distress syndrome: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Trials 2016 08 18;17:414. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Ospedale Santa Maria di Ca' Foncello di Treviso, Treviso, Italy.

Background: Although beneficial in clinical practice, the INtubate-SURfactant-Extubate (IN-SUR-E) method is not successful in all preterm neonates with respiratory distress syndrome, with a reported failure rate ranging from 19 to 69 %. One of the possible mechanisms responsible for the unsuccessful IN-SUR-E method, requiring subsequent re-intubation and mechanical ventilation, is the inability of the preterm lung to achieve and maintain an "optimal" functional residual capacity. The importance of lung recruitment before surfactant administration has been demonstrated in animal studies showing that recruitment leads to a more homogeneous surfactant distribution within the lungs. Therefore, the aim of this study is to compare the application of a recruitment maneuver using the high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) modality just before the surfactant administration followed by rapid extubation (INtubate-RECruit-SURfactant-Extubate: IN-REC-SUR-E) with IN-SUR-E alone in spontaneously breathing preterm infants requiring nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) as initial respiratory support and reaching pre-defined CPAP failure criteria.

Methods/design: In this study, 206 spontaneously breathing infants born at 24(+0)-27(+6) weeks' gestation and failing nCPAP during the first 24 h of life, will be randomized to receive an HFOV recruitment maneuver (IN-REC-SUR-E) or no recruitment maneuver (IN-SUR-E) just prior to surfactant administration followed by prompt extubation. The primary outcome is the need for mechanical ventilation within the first 3 days of life. Infants in both groups will be considered to have reached the primary outcome when they are not extubated within 30 min after surfactant administration or when they meet the nCPAP failure criteria after extubation.

Discussion: From all available data no definitive evidence exists about a positive effect of recruitment before surfactant instillation, but a rationale exists for testing the following hypothesis: a lung recruitment maneuver performed with a step-by-step Continuous Distending Pressure increase during High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (and not with a sustained inflation) could have a positive effects in terms of improved surfactant distribution and consequent its major efficacy in preterm newborns with respiratory distress syndrome. This represents our challenge.

Trial Registration: identifier: NCT02482766 . Registered on 1 June 2015.
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August 2016