Publications by authors named "Gennaro M Lenato"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Diseases (VASCERN) position statement on cerebral screening in adults and children with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2020 06 29;15(1):165. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

VASCERN HHT Reference Centre, Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust, London, UK and Imperial College London, London, UK.

Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a multisystemic vascular dysplasia inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Approximately 10 % of patients have cerebral vascular malformations, a proportion being cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and fistulae that may lead to potentially devastating consequences in case of rupture. On the other hand, detection and treatment related-risks are not negligible, and immediate. While successful treatment can be undertaken in individual cases, current data do not support the treatment of unruptured AVMs, which also present a low risk of bleeding in HHT patients. Screening for these AVMs is therefore controversial.Structured discussions, distinctions of different cerebrovascular abnormalities commonly grouped into an "AVM" bracket, and clear guidance by neurosurgical and neurointerventional radiology colleagues enabled the European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Disorders (VASCERN-HHT) to develop the following agreed Position Statement on cerebral screening:1) First, we emphasise that neurological symptoms suggestive of cerebral AVMs in HHT patients should be investigated as in general neurological and emergency care practice. Similarly, if an AVM is found accidentally, management approaches should rely on expert discussions on a case-by-case basis and individual risk-benefit evaluation of all therapeutic possibilities for a specific lesion.2) The current evidence base does not favour the treatment of unruptured cerebral AVMs, and therefore cannot be used to support widespread screening of asymptomatic HHT patients.3) Individual situations encompass a wide range of personal, cultural and clinical states. In order to enable informed patient choice, and avoid conflicting advice, particularly arising from non-neurovascular interpretations of the evidence base, we suggest that all HHT patients should have the opportunity to discuss knowingly brain screening issues with their healthcare provider.4) Any screening discussions in asymptomatic individuals should be preceded by informed pre-test review of the latest evidence regarding preventative and therapeutic efficacies of any interventions. The possibility of harm due to detection of, or intervention on, a vascular malformation that would not have necessarily caused any consequence in later life should be stated explicitly.We consider this nuanced Position Statement provides a helpful, evidence-based framework for informed discussions between healthcare providers and patients in an emotionally charged area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01386-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7322871PMC
June 2020

Hepatic angiodynamic profile in paediatric patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1 and type 2.

Vasa 2017 May 1;46(3):195-202. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

3 Center for Rare Diseases, Interdepartmental Center for Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia, C. Frugoni Internal Medicine Unit, Policlinico Hospital - University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Background: Liver involvement is a common manifestation of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Although a number of studies have been carried out in adult patients, no study has ever been focused on investigating HHT-related hepatic involvement in paediatric patients. The present study aimed for the first time to systematically estimate the prevalence of HHT-associated liver involvement and to characterize HHT-associated hepatic angiodynamic features in paediatric age.

Patients And Methods: The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey in an HHT paediatric cohort, subclassified as HHT1 and HHT2 according to the mutated gene. The evaluation of the angiodynamic profile was performed by duplex ultrasound examination. Investigation by multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) was performed in patients >12 years.

Results: MSCT/MRA examination disclosed silent hepatic involvement in 7/20 (35.0 %) children, and nodular regenerative hyperplasia in two cases. Diameter of common hepatic artery was significantly larger in HHT2 (0.45 ± 0.15 cm) compared to HHT1 (0.33 ± 0.09, p < 0.01) and control children (0.32 ± 0.08, p < 0.05). None of the patients had clinical manifestations of liver involvement. Angiodynamic profiles were different between paediatric and adult HHT patients.

Conclusions: Liver involvement can be detected in paediatric HHT patients, albeit with a lower frequency compared to adults. Paediatric HHT2 children show a higher frequency of liver involvement and a trend to hepatic artery dilation when compared to HHT1 children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000616DOI Listing
May 2017

Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformations and Cerebral Abscess Recurrence in a Child With Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2015 Apr;37(3):e200-3

*Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, Unit of Paediatrics "F. Vecchio" †Center for Rare Diseases, Unit of Internal Medicine "C. Frugoni" §Unit of Otorynolaringology, University Hospital of Bari ‡Regional Agency of Health-Apulia, Via Gentile, Bari, Italy.

Background: A 17-year-old boy was referred to our center with a history of brain abscess (BA) recurring after 9 years. The patient reported 2 previous treatments for pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, sporadic nosebleeds, and familial history for epistaxis. Clinical investigations revealed arteriovenous malformations in lung, brain, and liver, as well as mucocutaneous telangiectases. A definite diagnosis of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia was made based on clinical criteria and confirmed by genetic analysis. This is the first report of BA recurrence at the end of pediatric age.

Conclusions: The present case and the literature review of all cases of BA thus far reported highlight the need to raise the suspicion of a pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, both isolated and in the context of a possible hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, for any case of BA of unexplained etiology, in children as well as in adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000254DOI Listing
April 2015

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: arteriovenous malformations in children.

J Pediatr 2013 Jul 25;163(1):179-86.e1-3. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Pediatric Unit, Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical features in a large cohort of pediatric patients with genetically confirmed hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) and to identify possible predictors of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) onset or clinical significance.

Study Design: Prospective cross-sectional survey of all children subjected to screening for AVMs in the multidisciplinary HHT center. All patients proved to be carriers of endoglin mutations or activin A receptor type-II-like kinase 1 mutations, defined as HHT1 and HHT2, respectively. A full clinical-radiological protocol for AVM detection was adopted, independent from presence or absence of AVM-related symptoms.

Results: Forty-four children (mean age, 10.3 years; range, 1-18) were subjected to a comprehensive clinical-radiologic evaluation. This investigation disclosed cerebrovascular malformations in 7 of 44 cases, pulmonary AVMs in 20 of 44 cases, and liver AVMs in 23 of 44 cases. Large visceral AVMs were found in 12 of 44 children and were significantly more frequent in patients with HHT1. Only large AVMs were associated with symptoms and complications.

Conclusions: Children with HHT have a high prevalence of AVMs; therefore, an appropriate clinical and radiological screening protocol is advisable. Large AVMs can be associated with complications in childhood, whereas small AVMs probably have no clinical risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.009DOI Listing
July 2013

A long diagnostic delay in patients with Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia: a questionnaire-based retrospective study.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2012 Jun 7;7:33. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Geriatric Unit and Rare Disease Center, University Hospital of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Background: The difficulty in establishing a timely correct diagnosis is a relevant matter of concern for several rare diseases. Many rare-disease-affected patients suffer from considerable diagnostic delay, mainly due to their poor knowledge among healthcare professionals, insufficient disease awareness among patients' families, and lack of promptly available diagnostic tools. Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal-dominantly inherited vascular dysplasia, affecting 1:5,000-10,000 patients. HHT is characterized by high variability of clinical manifestations, which show remarkable overlapping with several common diseases.

Aim: To perform a detailed analysis concerning the diagnostic time lag occurring in patients with HHT, defined as the time period spanning from the first clinical manifestation to the attainment of a definite, correct diagnosis.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to the HHT patients previously recruited from 2000 and 2009. Clinical onset, first referral to a physician for disease manifestations, and first correct diagnosis of definite HHT were collected. Eventual misdiagnosis at first referral and serious complications occurring throughout the time elapsing between disease onset and definite diagnosis were also addressed.

Results: In the 233 respondents, the clinical onset of disease occurred at an age of 14.1 yrs, while the age of first referral and the age of first definite diagnosis of HHT were 29.2 yrs and 40.1 yrs, respectively. Only 88/233 patients received a correct diagnosis at first counseling. Thus, the diagnostic time lag, represented by the time elapsing from disease onset and first definite diagnosis of HHT, proved to be 25.7 yrs. Twenty-two patients suffered from severe complications during this time interval. The diagnostic delay was significantly longer (p < 0.001) in index patients (first patients who attained definite HHT diagnosis in a given family) than in non-index patients (relative of index patients). The diagnostic time lag was also significantly associated with education grade (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our data report for the first time a systematic inquiry of diagnostic delay in HHT showing that patients receive a definite diagnosis only after nearly three decades from disease onset. Concerted efforts are still to be made to increase awareness of this disease among both families and physicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1750-1172-7-33DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3458963PMC
June 2012

Liver involvement in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: can breath test unmask impaired hepatic first-pass effect?

Intern Emerg Med 2012 Aug 9;7(4):323-9. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Hepatic arteriovenous malformations (HAVMs) in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) have long been considered to have scarce clinical significance in most cases. Nevertheless, data are lacking regarding the influence of HAVMs on the liver first-pass effect on drugs in HHT patients. To gain insight into the effect of HAVMs on hepatic drug clearance by means of two specific (13)C-labeled probes, namely the (13)C-methacetin and (13)C-aminopyrine, 46 HHT patients and 44-matched healthy controls were enrolled. The liver first-pass effect was studied by the (13)C-based breath test using methacetin and aminopyrine. The methacetin breath test showed statistically significant reduced metabolism rates (p < 0.0001) in HHT when compared with controls, both in patients with and without CT-detectable HAVMs, and when expressed both as cumulative (13)C-percentage dose per hour and as (13)C-percentage peak after 15 min. In contrast, no significant difference was found between HHT and controls regarding aminopyrin metabolism rates. In HHT, (13)C%-methacetin breath test values are significantly lower than those found in normal subjects, probably due to the effect of hepatic shunts. A reduced perfusion and an impaired hepatic metabolism might affect hepatic drug clearance in HHT. Therefore, an appropriate dosage adjustments should be considered when high-hepatic-metabolism drugs are administered to HHT patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-011-0531-9DOI Listing
August 2012

Effects of VEGF on phenotypic severity in children with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2009 Aug;31(8):577-82

Department of Biomedicine of Evolutionary Age daggerInternal Medicine and Public Health, HHT Inter-Departmental Centre, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

The purpose of this study was to estimate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 serum levels in children with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) type 1 and type 2 and to correlate them to the presence of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). High VEGF levels were initially found in an infant who had been hospitalized with intestinal bleeding and suspected HHT. This case led to the evaluation of VEGF and TGF-beta1 by standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 13 children with HHT and familiarity. Patients were divided into 2 groups on the basis of the presence/absence of pulmonary AVMs. No significant difference was found for VEGF and TGF-beta1 levels in HHT patients versus controls. Among HHT patients, serum levels of VEGF in those without AVM were significantly lower than those with AVM and normal controls. No difference for TGF-beta1 levels was found in these patient subgroups. Low VEGF levels may represent a protection factor against the onset of pulmonary AVMs in HHT children. However, neither VEGF nor TGF-beta1 can be used as biochemical markers for an early diagnosis in HHT. The diagnosis of HHT still requires clinical criteria, which permitted to confirm the presence of the disease in the infant with intestinal bleeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0b013e3181a1c104DOI Listing
August 2009

Liver involvement in a large cohort of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: echo-color-Doppler vs multislice computed tomography study.

J Hepatol 2008 May 14;48(5):811-20. Epub 2008 Feb 14.

Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, Interdepartmental HHT Centre, University of Bari-Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, Bari, Italy.

Background/aims: Hepatic arterio-venous malformations (HAVMs) have been found in 74% of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) patients with multislice CT (MSCT). This single-blind study aimed to compare the diagnostic accuracy of echo-color-Doppler with MSCT and identify the most sensitive ultrasound criteria indicating hepatic shunts.

Methods: One hundred and fifty-three HHT patients were systematically screened for HAVMs by biological tests, abdominal MSCT and echo-color-Doppler. Twenty-five normal subjects and 15 cirrhotic patients were also included as control groups. Both intrahepatic ("color spots" and hypervascularization) and extrahepatic parameters (diameter, flow velocity and tortuosity of hepatic artery and diameter and flow velocity of portal/hepatic vein) were utilized. "Color-spots" are defined as subcapsular vascular spots with a high-velocity arterial blood flow and low resistivity index and can identify extremely small HAVMs.

Results: CT was positive in 128/153 (84%) patients and Doppler color spots were found in 131/153 (86%) patients. The sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy of "color spots" compared to MSCT were 95.3%, 68.0% and 91.8%, respectively. The "color-spot" showed a greater correlation to CT (V(index)=0.655; p<0.0001) than extrahepatic criteria (V=0.317). In 20/29 (69%) subjects, echo-color-Doppler, confirmed by CT, identified the third criterion for definite HHT diagnosis.

Conclusions: Intrahepatic criteria was superior to extrahepatic criteria for identification of HAVMs. A new Doppler parameter ("color-spots") with an optimal accuracy for detecting HAVMs is proposed for easy periodic screening of HHT patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2007.12.022DOI Listing
May 2008

Mutation study of Spanish patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and expression analysis of Endoglin and ALK1.

Hum Mutat 2006 Mar;27(3):295

Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant and age-dependent vascular disorder originated by mutations in Endoglin (ENG) or activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK1, ACVRL1) genes. The first large series HHT analysis in Spanish population has identified mutations in 17 unrelated families. Ten different mutations in ALK1 and six in ENG genes were found. Six unrelated families had a mutation in ENG gene, four representing new mutations, p.Y258fs, pV323fs, p.F279fs (c.834_837del CTTC), and p.F279fsdupC. Eleven unrelated families harboured mutations in ALK1; ten were new mutations identified as p.H328P, p.R145fs, p.G68C, p.A377T, p.H297R, p.M376T, p.C36Y, p.H328P, p.T82del and p.R47P. Overall, ALK1 mutations (HHT2) were predominant over ENG mutations (HHT1), in agreement with data reported for other Mediterranean countries (France, Italy), but at variance with Northern Europe or North America. Endoglin expression in HHT1 or HHT2 activated monocytes and blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs) from older patients was well below the theoretical 50% level expected from the HHT1 haploinsufficiency model, suggesting that the pathogenic endoglin haploinsufficiency leading to the HHT phenotype is age-dependent. Interestingly, ALK1 protein levels of HHT BOECs in some missense ALK1 mutants were similar to controls. In vitro expression of these ALK1 constructs suggests that, in addition to the haploinsufficiency model, certain ALK1 mutants may inhibit the function of the wild type allele.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.9413DOI Listing
March 2006

DHPLC-based mutation analysis of ENG and ALK-1 genes in HHT Italian population.

Hum Mutat 2006 Feb;27(2):213-4

Dipartimento di Biomedicina dell'età Evolutiva, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124, Bari, Italy.

Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by localized angiodysplasia due to mutations in endoglin, ALK-1 gene, and a still unidentified locus. The lack of highly recurrent mutations, locus heterogeneity, and the presence of mutations in almost all coding exons of the two genes makes the screening for mutations time-consuming and costly. In the present study, we developed a DHPLC-based protocol for mutation detection in ALK1 and ENG genes through retrospective analysis of known sequence variants, 20 causative mutations and 11 polymorphisms, and a prospective analysis on 47 probands with unknown mutation. Overall DHPLC analysis identified the causative mutation in 61 out 66 DNA samples (92.4%). We found 31 different mutations in the ALK1 gene, of which 15 are novel, and 20, of which 12 are novel, in the ENG gene, thus providing for the first time the mutational spectrum in a cohort of Italian HHT patients. In addition, we characterized the splicing pattern of ALK1 gene in lymphoblastoid cells, both in normal controls and in two individuals carrying a mutation in the non-invariant -3 position of the acceptor splice site upstream exon 6 (c.626-3C>G). Functional essay demonstrated the existence, also in normal individuals, of a small proportion of ALK1 alternative splicing, due to exon 5 skipping, and the presence of further aberrant splicing isoforms in the individuals carrying the c.626-3C>G mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.9400DOI Listing
February 2006

A large interstitial deletion encompassing the amelogenin gene on the short arm of the Y chromosome.

Hum Genet 2005 Apr 22;116(5):395-401. Epub 2005 Feb 22.

Cattedra di Genetica Medica, Facoltà di Medicina, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Sex tests based on amelogenin are part of various PCR multiplex reaction kits widely used for human gender identification and have important applications in forensic casework, prenatal diagnosis, DNA databasing and blood sample storage. The two most common sex tests based on amelogenin are represented by primer sets that delimit a 6-bp deletion on the X chromosome to produce X/Y fragments of 106/112 or 212/218 bp, respectively. Few cases of AMELY deletion, usually considered as polymorphisms, have been reported so far and a detailed characterization of the molecular alteration is still lacking. In this study, we describe a large interstitial deletion of the Y short arm encompassing the AMELY locus in two unrelated individuals. The first case was identified in an oligozoospermic, otherwise phenotypically normal, 32-year-old man during the screening for Y microdeletions performed on a sample of infertile males. The second one was found among amniotic liquid samples tested by quantitative fluorescence-polymerase chain reaction and cytogenetic analysis for prenatal diagnosis. The extent of the deletion, spanning approximately 2.5 Mb, was better characterised by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, followed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and STS marker analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-004-1238-zDOI Listing
April 2005