Publications by authors named "Giovanni Fulvio"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Impact of first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Weighting the risk of infection and flare.

PLoS One 2021 13;16(1):e0245274. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infections in a Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) cohort; to assess correlations with disease characteristics and rheumatic therapy; and to evaluate the occurrence of treatment discontinuation and its impact on disease activity.

Materials And Methods: SLE patients monitored by a single Italian centre were interviewed between February and July 2020. Patients were considered to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 infections in case of 1) positive nasopharyngeal swab; 2) positive serology associated with COVID19 suggesting symptoms. The following data were also recorded: clinical symptoms, adoption of social distancing measures, disease activity and treatment discontinuation.

Results: 332 patients were enrolled in the study. Six patients (1.8%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with the incidence being significantly higher in the subgroup of patients treated with biological Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (p = 0.005), while no difference was observed for other therapies, age at enrollment, disease duration, type of cumulative organ involvement or adoption of social isolation. The course of the disease was mild. Thirty-six patients (11.1%) discontinued at least part of their therapy during this time period, and 27 (8.1%) cases of disease flare were recorded. Correlation between flare and discontinuation of therapy was statistically significant (p<0.001). No significant increase of rate of flare in a subgroup of the same patients during 2020 was observed.

Conclusion: Treatment discontinuation seems to be an important cause of disease flare. Our findings suggest that abrupt drug withdrawal should be avoided or evaluated with caution on the basis of individual infection risk and comorbidities.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245274PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806138PMC
January 2021

Total area of inflammatory infiltrate and percentage of inflammatory infiltrate identify different clinical-serological subsets of primary Sjögren's syndrome better than traditional histopathological parameters.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 Jul-Aug;38 Suppl 126(4):195-202. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Rheumatology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy.

Objectives: Recently, the total area of the inflammatory infiltrate and the percentage of inflammatory infiltrate have been proposed as novel histopathological parameters to improve the stratification of patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS) in clinical trials. Both these parameters provide a more accurate assessment of the extent of the infiltrate in minor salivary gland biopsies (MSGBs) and may overcome the bias related to the Focus score (FS). To date, however, only few studies have investigated their clinical value and feasibility. In this study we revised consecutive MSGBs obtained routinely in a real-life clinical setting and correlated the total area of the inflammatory infiltrate and the percentage of inflammatory infiltrate both with the other MSGB histopathological parameters and with patients' clinical features in order to explore their usefulness in SS diagnostic work-up.

Methods: We assessed the area of the inflammatory infiltrate and the percentage of the inflammatory infiltrate in consecutive MSGBs and correlated these parameters with the number of foci, the FS and the presence of ectopic lymphoid structures (ELS). We also correlated these additional parameters with patients' clinical and biological data.

Results: We revised 69 MSGB samples: 46 from patients with a diagnosis of SS and 23 from subjects with no SS. The total area of inflammatory infiltrate and the percentage of inflammatory infiltrate appeared significantly higher in patients fulfilling the ACR/EULAR classification criteria for SS and correlated significantly with both the number of foci (p<0.001) and the FS (p<0.001). Particularly, they correlated better with the ELS in MSGBs than the number of foci and the FS. When we limited the analysis to the 32/69 patients with a FS<1, both the total area of the inflammatory infiltrate (p=0.02) and the percentage of the inflammatory infiltrate (p=0.03), but not the number of foci (p=0.12) remained significantly higher in the 10/32 anti-Ro/SSA positive patients fulfilling the ACR/EULAR classification criteria. Finally, the total area of inflammatory infiltrate and the percentage of inflammatory infiltrate correlated significantly with several biological and haematological SS-related abnormalities including hypergammaglobulinaemia, C4 levels, total number of white blood cells and the number of circulating lymphocytes.

Conclusions: The total area of the inflammatory infiltrate and the percentage of the inflammatory infiltrate in SS referral centres, and particularly for selected cases, may maximise the information on disease activity at tissue level, ultimately improving SS patients' assessment.
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October 2020

One year in review 2020: pathogenesis of primary Sjögren's syndrome.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 Jul-Aug;38 Suppl 126(4):3-9. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, University of Pisa, Italy.

The pathogenesis of primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) remains poorly understood. However, important efforts have been made during the last few months. In this review, following the others of this series we will summarise the most recent literature on pSS pathogenesis focusing in particular on new insights into pSS animal models, genetics and epigenetics, innate and adaptive immune system abnormalities and tertiary lymphoid structures. Hopefully, novel insights into pSS pathogenesis will pave the way to new therapeutic approaches to the disease improving patients' management and prognosis.
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October 2020
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