Publications by authors named "Maria Teresa Ventura"

35 Publications

Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis in swimmers: clinical and cytological aspects.

Br J Sports Med 2012 Jan 27;46(1):54-8. Epub 2010 Jun 27.

Department of Otolaryngology II, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Background: Rhinitis, either allergic or non-allergic, is frequent in athletes, particularly in swimmers. In this latter case, exposure to chlorine in swimming pools seems to play a relevant role, since it can exacerbate a pre-existing allergic rhinitis (AR) or produce a non-specific irritation. The aim of this study was to detail the clinical and cytological characteristics of rhinitis in swimmers, and to assess the possible role of chlorine-induced symptoms.

Methods: Elite swimmers with rhinitis symptoms underwent a complete diagnostic work-up, including allergy testing, nasal cytology and anterior rhinomanometry. Those evaluations were repeated after 1 month of use of a nasal clip during swimming. A matched group of asymptomatic swimmers was also studied. A total of 74 swimmers (54 symptomatic and 20 controls), with an age range of 9-21 years, were studied. In the control group, only mild and non-specific findings were observed, and only two had a positive skin test.

Results: In the symptomatic group, 24 (44%) had AR, and 19 (35%) had a predominant neutrophilic inflammation. The use of a nose clip reduced cellular infiltration and nasal resistances only in the subjects with neutrophilic rhinitis, whereas a clinical improvement was seen also in AR.

Conclusion: A neutrophilic rhinitis occurs in a large proportion of swimmers. This seems to be irritative in its nature and can be prevented by avoiding the direct contact with chlorinated water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2009.066456DOI Listing
January 2012

Anisakiasis, an underestimated infection: effect on intestinal permeability of Anisakis simplex-sensitized patients.

Foodborne Pathog Dis 2010 Jul;7(7):809-14

Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Anisakis simplex is a parasite that, if present in uncooked and contaminated saltwater fish, can invade the human gut. Two different clinical situations are recognized: the first, known as a gastrointestinal disease, varying from an asymptomatic episode to vomiting and diarrhea, and the second, classified as an adverse reaction to food, characterized by a wide spectrum of allergic reactions like rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or even anaphylaxis causing hypotension and/or shock. The intestinal epithelium, the major defense system against external molecules, represents an open gate for toxins and allergens if its protective function is compromised. Previous data have demonstrated a strict relationship between an altered intestinal permeability (I.P.) and worsening of the clinical manifestations in patients with adverse reactions to the food. In this article we evaluated the sensitization to A. simplex among patients who referred clinical symptoms of allergy. All subjects underwent commonly used alimentary skin prick test for food allergens, to which Ani s1, an A. simplex allergen, was added. In addition, in A. simplex-sensitized subjects, I.P. was determined upon their enrolment to the study (time 0) and after 6 months of consuming a raw fish-free diet (time 6). Five hundred and forty subjects were screened, and 170 had a positive skin prick test, 87 (51.2%) of whom were positive to Ani s1. Increased I.P. was evidenced in A. simplex-sensitized subjects with worse clinical symptoms, which receded after 6 months' elimination of raw seafood. With our data we demonstrated that the alimentary habit to eat raw fish represents a high risk for the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, and we suggest that this pathological situation may constitute an ideal, under-estimated, open gate for molecules that predispose to other, more important pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/fpd.2009.0484DOI Listing
July 2010

Adverse drug reactions as the cause of emergency department admission: focus on the elderly.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2010 Sep;32(3):426-9

Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases [MIDIM], University of Bari Medical School, Policlinico, Bari, Italy.

The use of medications could be responsible of both side effects and adverse drug reaction (ADR). Identifying risk factors could improve the possibility of avoiding severe reactions in old people. We investigated the prevalence of unpredictable drug adverse reactions among patients admitted to the emergency departments (EDs) of three large Italian hospitals in the period 2005-2008. Clinical characteristics and demographics were carefully recorded in a dedicated database. The assessment of the drug reactions was carried out by an allergist after the first emergency evaluation. Over the considered period, 56,031 patients were admitted at the ED, 2644 (21.2%) of which for ADR. Out of those patients, 55 (2.1%) were identified as unpredictable ADRs. In 96% of the cases the clinical presentation was cutaneous and antibiotics were the most frequently responsible drugs. Patients over 65 years accounted for 37% of the reactions. In those patients the multiple drug regimens were significantly more frequent, as well as the presence of comorbidities. Smoking habit, alcohol abuse and personal and familiar history of atopy did not differ between the younger and the elderly. In the older group, antibiotics were more frequently involved, whereas in the <65 years, nonsteroidal antinflammatory drugs accounted for most reactions. Our date outline that in the elderly the comorbidities and correlated multiple regime therapy cause an increased incidence of ADRs, thus suggesting a careful management of therapeutics regimens by means of educational campaigns for patients and guidelines for doctors finalized to avoid excessive drug prescription.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/08923970903468847DOI Listing
September 2010

Hypersensitivity reactions to complementary and alternative medicine products.

Curr Pharm Des 2006 ;12(26):3393-9

Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases (MIDIM), University of Bari Medical School, Policlinico, Piazza G. Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is becoming increasingly popular, and is often used for treating hypersensitivity diseases. Virtually all alternative remedies can cause hypersensitivity reactions, but the most frequently involved ones are tea tree oil, members of the Compositae family, propolis, oils used in aromatherapy, substances responsible for photosensitization, and metal-containing compounds. The main target organ is skin, with manifestations ranging from contact dermatitis (the most common) to urticaria-angioedema, maculopapular eruptions, photosensitivity reactions, and the Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Other types of reactions are possible, including respiratory and anaphylactic ones. Different pathogenic mechanisms have been suggested for CAM product reactions, including immunologic ones. Basophils and mast cells participate in IgE-mediated reactions through the release of mediators like histamine and tryptase, whereas a T-cell-mediated pathogenic mechanism is involved in most delayed reactions, particularly contact dermatitis and maculopapular eruptions. Skin tests and serum specific IgE assays are carried out to diagnose immediate hypersensitivity reactions, while patch tests and lymphocyte transformation tests are usually performed to evaluate delayed hypersensitivity reactions. Thus clinicians should know about the potential of CAM products for causing adverse reactions. Our study is aimed at highlighting the risk of hypersensitive reactions to CAM remedies on the basis of the numerous cases reported in the literature. Because little is known about adverse reactions to CAM products, further systematic studies and an appropriate regulation by heath authorities are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/138161206778194079DOI Listing
December 2006

Hypersensitivity to aromatic anticonvulsants: in vivo and in vitro cross-reactivity studies.

Curr Pharm Des 2006 ;12(26):3373-81

Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, UCSC-Allergy Unit, Complesso Integrato Columbus, Rome, Italy.

Aromatic antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and phenobarbital) are frequently associated with cutaneous eruptions. A cell-mediated pathogenic mechanism has been demonstrated in most of such reactions on the basis of positive responses to patch tests and/or lymphocyte transformation tests. Therefore, such tests are useful tools for evaluating anticonvulsant hypersensitivity reactions. Moreover, an in vitro lymphocyte toxicity assay, which exposes the patient's lymphocytes to arene oxides, has detected lymphocyte susceptibility to toxic metabolites in a large percentage of patients with hypersensitivity reactions to aromatic anticonvulsants. Although several hypersensitivity reactions to sequential exposure to more than one aromatic anticonvulsant (i.e., clinical cross-reactivity) have been reported, there are few studies performed with patch tests and/or lymphocyte transformation tests assessing immunologic cross-reactivity, and their data are contradictory. In any case, considering studies performed in samples of at least 10 patients, the immunologic cross-reactivity rate among aromatic anticonvulsants appears to be low. On the other hand, the reported rate of the toxic cross-reactivity (i.e., assessed by lymphocyte toxicity assays) is high. Further in vivo and in vitro studies in large samples of subjects are needed to evaluate cross-reactivity among aromatic anticonvulsants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/138161206778193962DOI Listing
December 2006