Publications by authors named "Maria Sessa"

75 Publications

Partial Lipodystrophy and LMNA p.R545H Variant.

J Clin Med 2021 Mar 9;10(5). Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Obesity and Lipodystrophy Center, Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

Laminopathies are disorders caused by gene mutations, which selectively affect different tissues and organ systems, and present with heterogeneous clinical and pathological traits. The molecular mechanisms behind these clinical differences and tissue specificity have not been fully clarified. We herein examine the case of a patient carrying a heterozygous c.1634G>A (p.R545H) variant with a mild, transient myopathy, who was referred to our center for the suspicion of lipodystrophy. At physical examination, an abnormal distribution of subcutaneous fat was noticed, with fat accumulation in the anterior regions of the neck, resembling the fat distribution pattern of familial partial lipodystrophy type 2 (FPLD2). The R545H missense variant has been found at very low allelic frequency in public databases, and in silico analysis showed that this amino acid substitution is predicted to have a damaging role. Other patients carrying the heterozygous p.R545H allele have shown a marked clinical heterogeneity in terms of phenotypic body fat distribution and severity of organ system involvement. These findings indicate that the p.R545H heterozygous variant exhibits incomplete penetrance and highly variable expressivity. We hypothesized that additional genetic factors, epigenetic mechanisms, or environmental triggers might explain the variable expressivity of phenotypes among various patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10051142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7963176PMC
March 2021

Covid-19 and gender: lower rate but same mortality of severe disease in women-an observational study.

BMC Pulm Med 2021 Mar 20;21(1):96. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Pulmonary Medicine Unit, Medicine Department, ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, Piazza OMS, 1, 24127, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Gender-related factors might affect vulnerability to Covid-19. The aim of this study was to describe the role of gender on clinical features and 28-day mortality in Covid-19 patients.

Methods: Observational study of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in Bergamo, Italy, during the first three weeks of the outbreak. Medical records, clinical, radiological and laboratory findings upon admission and treatment have been collected. Primary outcome was 28-day mortality since hospitalization.

Results: 431 consecutive adult patients were admitted. Female patients were 119 (27.6%) with a mean age of 67.0 ± 14.5 years (vs 67.8 ± 12.5 for males, p = 0.54). Previous history of myocardial infarction, vasculopathy and former smoking habits were more common for males. At the time of admission PaO/FiO was similar between men and women (228 [IQR, 134-273] vs 238 mmHg [150-281], p = 0.28). Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) assistance was needed in the first 24 h more frequently in male patients (25.7% vs 13.0%; p = 0.006). Overall 28-day mortality was 26.1% in women and 38.1% in men (p = 0.018). Gender did not result an independent predictor of death once the parameters related to disease severity at presentation were included in the multivariable analysis (p = 0.898). Accordingly, the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis in female and male patients requiring CPAP or non-invasive ventilation in the first 24 h did not find a significant difference (p = 0.687).

Conclusion: Hospitalized women are less likely to die from Covid-19; however, once severe disease occurs, the risk of dying is similar to men. Further studies are needed to better investigate the role of gender in clinical course and outcome of Covid-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-021-01455-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980742PMC
March 2021

Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on reperfusion therapies for acute ischemic stroke in Lombardy, Italy: the STROKOVID network.

J Neurol 2021 Mar 8. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Neurology Clinic, University of Brescia, P.le Spedali Civili, 1, 25123, Brescia, Italy.

Whether and how SARS-CoV-2 outbreak affected in-hospital acute stroke care system is still matter of debate. In the setting of the STROKOVID network, a collaborative project between the ten centers designed as hubs for the treatment of acute stroke during SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Lombardy, Italy, we retrospectively compared clinical features and process measures of patients with confirmed infection (COVID-19) and non-infected patients (non-COVID-19) who underwent reperfusion therapies for acute ischemic stroke. Between March 8 and April 30, 2020, 296 consecutive patients [median age, 74 years (interquartile range (IQR), 62-80.75); males, 154 (52.0%); 34 (11.5%) COVID-19] qualified for the analysis. Time from symptoms onset to treatment was longer in the COVID-19 group [230 (IQR 200.5-270) minutes vs. 190 (IQR 150-245) minutes; p = 0.007], especially in the first half of the study period. Patients with COVID-19 who underwent endovascular thrombectomy had more frequently absent collaterals or collaterals filling ≤ 50% of the occluded territory (50.0% vs. 16.6%; OR 5.05; 95% CI 1.82-13.80) and a lower rate of good/complete recanalization of the primary arterial occlusive lesion (55.6% vs. 81.0%; OR 0.29; 95% CI 0.10-0.80). Post-procedural intracranial hemorrhages were more frequent (35.3% vs. 19.5%; OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.04-4.83) and outcome was worse among COVID-19 patients (in-hospital death, 38.2% vs. 8.8%; OR 6.43; 95% CI 2.85-14.50). Our findings showed longer delays in the intra-hospital management of acute ischemic stroke in COVID-19 patients, especially in the early phase of the outbreak, that likely impacted patients outcome and should be the target of future interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-021-10497-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937781PMC
March 2021

At the peak of COVID-19 age and disease severity but not comorbidities are predictors of mortality: COVID-19 burden in Bergamo, Italy.

Panminerva Med 2021 Mar 27;63(1):51-61. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Unit of Gastroenterology 1, Hepatology and Transplantation, ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Findings from February 2020, indicate that the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 can be heterogeneous, probably due to the infectious dose and viral load of SARS-CoV-2 within the first weeks of the outbreak. The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of overall 28-day mortality at the peak of the Italian outbreak.

Methods: Retrospective observational study of all COVID-19 patients admitted to the main hospital of Bergamo, from February 23 to March 14, 2020.

Results: Five hundred and eight patients were hospitalized, predominantly male (72.4%), mean age of 66±15 years; 49.2% were older than 70 years. Most of patients presented with severe respiratory failure (median value [IQR] of PaO2/FiO2: 233 [149-281]). Mortality rate at 28 days resulted of 33.7% (N.=171). Thirty-nine percent of patients were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), 9.5% with noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and 13.6% with endotracheal intubation. 9.5% were admitted to Semi-Intensive Respiratory Care Unit, and 18.9% to Intensive Care Unit. Risk factors independently associated with 28-day mortality were advanced age (≥78 years: odds ratio [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 38.91 [10.67-141.93], P<0.001; 70-77 years: 17.30 [5.40-55.38], P<0.001; 60-69 years: 3.20 [1.00-10.20], P=0.049), PaO2/FiO2<200 at presentation (3.50 [1.70-7.20], P=0.001), need for CPAP/NIV in the first 24 hours (8.38 [3.63-19.35], P<0.001), and blood urea value at admission (1.01 [1.00-1.02], P=0.015).

Conclusions: At the peak of the outbreak, with a probable high infectious dose and viral load, older age, the severity of respiratory failure and renal impairment at presentation, but not comorbidities, are predictors of 28-day mortality in COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0031-0808.20.04063-XDOI Listing
March 2021

Guillain-Barré syndrome and COVID-19: an observational multicentre study from two Italian hotspot regions.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 Nov 6. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University "G. d'Annunzio", Chieti-Pescara, Italy.

Objective: Single cases and small series of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have been reported during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak worldwide. We evaluated incidence and clinical features of GBS in a cohort of patients from two regions of northern Italy with the highest number of patients with COVID-19.

Methods: GBS cases diagnosed in 12 referral hospitals from Lombardy and Veneto in March and April 2020 were retrospectively collected. As a control population, GBS diagnosed in March and April 2019 in the same hospitals were considered.

Results: Incidence of GBS in March and April 2020 was 0.202/100 000/month (estimated rate 2.43/100 000/year) vs 0.077/100 000/month (estimated rate 0.93/100 000/year) in the same months of 2019 with a 2.6-fold increase. Estimated incidence of GBS in COVID-19-positive patients was 47.9/100 000 and in the COVID-19-positive hospitalised patients was 236/100 000. COVID-19-positive patients with GBS, when compared with COVID-19-negative subjects, showed lower MRC sum score (26.3±18.3 vs 41.4±14.8, p=0.006), higher frequency of demyelinating subtype (76.6% vs 35.3%, p=0.011), more frequent low blood pressure (50% vs 11.8%, p=0.017) and higher rate of admission to intensive care unit (66.6% vs 17.6%, p=0.002).

Conclusions: This study shows an increased incidence of GBS during the COVID-19 outbreak in northern Italy, supporting a pathogenic link. COVID-19-associated GBS is predominantly demyelinating and seems to be more severe than non-COVID-19 GBS, although it is likely that in some patients the systemic impairment due to COVID-19 might have contributed to the severity of the whole clinical picture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-324837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7650204PMC
November 2020

Neurologic manifestations in 1760 COVID-19 patients admitted to Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo, Italy.

J Neurol 2020 Oct 7. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Neurology, Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Piazza OMS 1, 24127, Bergamo, Italy.

Objectives: Evidences from either small series or spontaneous reporting are accumulating that SARS-CoV-2 involves the Nervous Systems. The aim of this study is to provide an extensive overview on the major neurological complications in a large cohort of COVID-19 patients.

Methods: Retrospective, observational analysis on all COVID-19 patients admitted from February 23rd to April 30th, 2020 to ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy for whom a neurological consultation/neurophysiological assessment/neuroradiologic investigation was requested. Each identified neurologic complication was then classified into main neurologic categories.

Results: Of 1760 COVID-19 patients, 137 presented neurologic manifestations that manifested after COVID-19 symptoms in 98 pts and was the presenting symptom in 39. Neurological manifestations were classified as: (a) cerebrovascular disease [53 pts (38.7%)] including 37 ischemic and 11 haemorrhagic strokes, 4 transient ischemic attacks, 1 cerebral venous thrombosis; (b) peripheral nervous system diseases [31 (22.6%)] including 17 Guillain-Barrè syndromes; (c) altered mental status [49 (35.8%)] including one necrotizing encephalitis and 2 cases with RT-PCR detection of SARS-Cov-2 RNA in CSF; (d) miscellaneous disorders, among whom 2 patients with myelopathy associated with Ab anti-SARS-CoV-2 in CSF. Patients with peripheral nervous system involvement had more frequently severe ARDS compared to patients with cerebrovascular disease (87.1% vs 42%; difference = 45.1% 95% CI 42.0-48.2; χ= 14.306; p < 0.0002) and with altered mental status (87.1% vs 55.6%; difference = 31.5% 95% CI 27.5-37.5%; χ= 7.055; p < 0.01).

Conclusion: This study confirms that involvement of nervous system is common in SARS-CoV-2 infection and offers clinicians useful information for prevention and prompt identification in order to set the adequate therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10251-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539268PMC
October 2020

Clinical Presentation and Outcomes of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2-Related Encephalitis: The ENCOVID Multicenter Study.

J Infect Dis 2021 01;223(1):28-37

Neurology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Background: Several preclinical and clinical investigations have argued for nervous system involvement in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Some sparse case reports have described various forms of encephalitis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease, but very few data have focused on clinical presentations, clinical course, response to treatment, and outcomes.

Methods: The SARS-CoV-2 related encephalopaties (ENCOVID) multicenter study included patients with encephalitis with full infectious screening, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), electroencephalography (EEG), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection recruited from 13 centers in northern Italy. Clinical presentation and laboratory markers, severity of COVID-19 disease, response to treatment, and outcomes were recorded.

Results: Twenty-five cases of encephalitis positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. CSF showed hyperproteinorrachia and/or pleocytosis in 68% of cases whereas SARS-CoV-2 RNA by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction resulted negative. Based on MRI, cases were classified as acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis (ADEM; n = 3), limbic encephalitis (LE; n = 2), encephalitis with normal imaging (n = 13), and encephalitis with MRI alterations (n = 7). ADEM and LE cases showed a delayed onset compared to the other encephalitis cases (P = .001) and were associated with previous, more severe COVID-19 respiratory involvement. Patients with MRI alterations exhibited worse response to treatment and final outcomes compared to those with other encephalitis.

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a wide spectrum of encephalitis characterized by different clinical presentation, response to treatment, and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa609DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543535PMC
January 2021

Atypical Progeroid Syndrome and Partial Lipodystrophy Due to Gene p.R349W Mutation.

J Endocr Soc 2020 Oct 1;4(10):bvaa108. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Obesity and Lipodystrophy Center, Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Atypical progeroid syndrome (APS) comprises heterogeneous disorders characterized by variable degrees of fat loss, metabolic alterations, and comorbidities that affect skeleton, muscles, and/or the heart. We describe 3 patients that were referred to our center for the suspicion of lipodystrophy. They had precocious aging traits such as short stature, mandibular hypoplasia, beaked nose, and partial alopecia manifesting around 10 to 15 years of age recurrently associated with: (1) partial lipodystrophy; (2) proteinuric nephropathy; (3) heart disease (rhythm disorders, valvular abnormalities, and cardiomyopathy); and (4) sensorineural hearing impairment. In all patients, genetic testing revealed a missense heterozygous lamin A/C gene () mutation c.1045 C > T (p.Arg349Trp). Ten patients with p.R349W mutation have been reported so far, all presenting with similar features, which represent the key pathological hallmarks of this subtype of APS. The associated kidney and cardiac complications occurring in the natural history of the disease may reduce life expectancy. Therefore, in these patients a careful and periodic cardiac and kidney function evaluation is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvaa108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7474543PMC
October 2020

Posterior reversible encephalopathy and Guillain-Barré syndrome: which came first, the chicken or the egg? A review of literature.

Neurol Sci 2020 Dec 6;41(12):3663-3666. Epub 2020 Jun 6.

Department of Neurology, ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo, Italy.

Posterior reversible encephalopathy (PRES) is a rare occurrence in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) with only nine adult cases reported to date. We conducted a review of the literature and compared previous cases with a novel case admitted to our clinic. In light of the timing of the symptoms, it is assumable that arterial hypertension can develop acutely during a phase of GBS-related autonomic dysfunction and subsequently precipitates PRES. According to this, dysautonomia caused by GBS could precede motor weakness; thus, PRES in the absence of any strong alternative etiology may suggest an underlying GBS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04496-1DOI Listing
December 2020

Long-term outcome of cervical artery dissection : IPSYS CeAD: study protocol, rationale, and baseline data of an Italian multicenter research collaboration.

Neurol Sci 2020 Nov 12;41(11):3265-3272. Epub 2020 May 12.

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali, Clinica Neurologica, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Long-term consequences of cervical artery dissection (CeAD), a major cause of ischemic stroke in young people, have been poorly investigated. The Italian Project on Stroke at Young Age - Cervical Artery Dissection (IPSYS CeAD) project is a multicenter, hospital-based, consecutively recruiting, observational, cohort study aimed to address clinically important questions about long-term outcome of CeAD patients, which are not covered by other large-scale registries. Patients with radiologically diagnosed CeAD were consecutively included in the registry. Baseline demographic and clinical variables, as well as information on risk factors, were systematically collected for each eligible patient. Follow-up evaluations were conducted between 3 and 6 months after the initial event (t) and then annually (t at 1 year, t at 2 years , and so on), in order to assess outcome events (long-term recurrent CeAD, any fatal/nonfatal ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), or other arterial thrombotic event, and death from any cause). Between 2000 and 2019, data from 1530 patients (age at diagnosis, 47.2 ± 11.5 years; women, 660 [43.1%]) have been collected at 39 Italian neurological centers. Dissection involved a single vessel in 1308 (85.5%) cases and caused brain ischemia in 1303 (85.1%) (190 TIA/1113 ischemic stroke). Longitudinal data are available for 1414 (92.4%) patients (median follow-up time in patients who did not experience recurrent events, 36.0 months [25th to 75th percentile, 63.0]). The collaborative IPSYS CeAD effort will provide novel information on the long-term outcome of CeAD patients. This could allow for tailored treatment approaches based on patients' individual characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04464-9DOI Listing
November 2020

Congenital Generalized Lipoatrophy (Berardinelli-Seip Syndrome) Type 1: Description of Novel Homozygous Variants Showing the Highly Heterogeneous Presentation of the Disease.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 14;11:39. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Obesity and Lipodystrophy Center at Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipoatrophy (BSCL) is characterized by near total fat atrophy, associated with the progressive development of metabolic complications. BSCL type 1 (BSCL1) is caused by mutations in , encoding 1-acylglycerol-3phosphate-O-acyltransferase β (recently renamed lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase beta), which catalyzes the transformation of lysophosphatidic acid in phosphatidic acid, the precursor of glycerophospholipids and triglycerides. BSCL1 is an autosomal recessive disease due to pathogenic variants leading to a depletion of triglycerides inside the adipose organ, and to a defective signaling of key elements involved in proper adipogenesis. We herein investigated the characteristics of two variants in Caucasian Italian patients with Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipoatrophy. The first patient exhibited a novel homozygous nonsense c.430 C > T mutation (p.Gln144) predicting the synthesis of a truncated enzyme of approximately half of the proper size. The second patient harbored a homozygous missense variant (p.Arg159Cys), never described previously in BSCL1 patients: the segregation of the disease with the mutation in the pedigree of the family and the analysis are compatible with a causative role of the p.Arg159Cys variant. We remark that BSCL1 can be clinically very heterogeneous at presentation and that the associated complications, occurring in the natural history of the disease, reduce life-expectancy. We point to the necessity for medical treatments capable of reducing the risk of cardiovascular death. In BSCL1 patients, the assessment of cardiovascular disease with conventional diagnostic means maybe particularly challenging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034310PMC
February 2021

A case of severe pharyngeal-cervical-brachial syndrome induced by nivolumab and responding to infliximab therapy.

Eur J Cancer 2020 04 21;129:1-3. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Unit of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology and Hematology, Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.01.009DOI Listing
April 2020

Thrombolysis in elderly stroke patients in Italy (TESPI) trial and updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Int J Stroke 2021 Jan 26;16(1):43-54. Epub 2019 Oct 26.

Emergency Department Stroke Unit, Department of Human Neurosciences, Policlinico Umberto I Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Background: Since its approval, the use of alteplase had been limited to patients aged ≤80 years.

Aims: TESPI trial had been designed to evaluate whether alteplase treatment within 3 h in patients with acute ischemic stroke aged >80 years resulted in favorable benefit/risk ratio compared with standard care. The meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was updated to put findings in the context of all available evidence.

Methods: TESPI was a multicenter, open-label with blinded outcome evaluation, randomized, controlled trial. Main clinical endpoints were 90-day favorable functional outcome (mRS score 0-2) and mortality and symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. The trial was prematurely terminated for ethical reasons after publication of IST-3 trial which provided evidence of treatment benefit in elderly.

Results: Of the planned 600 patients, 191 (88 assigned to alteplase) were enrolled. Overall, 24/83 (28.9%) alteplase patients had a favorable outcome compared to 22/95 (23.2%) controls (non-significant absolute difference of 5.7% for alteplase; OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.69-2.64,  = 0.381). Rates of death were non-significantly lower in the alteplase patients (18.1% vs. 26.5%); rates of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage were similar between the two groups (5.9% vs. 5.1%). The updated meta-analysis showed consistent results with prior estimates and add weights.

Conclusions: The effects of alteplase observed in this interrupted trial did not reach statistical significance, probably for the small numbers, but are consistent with and add weight to the sum total of the randomized evidence demonstrating that alteplase is beneficial in patients with acute ischemic stroke aged over 80 years, particularly if given within 3 h.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493019884525DOI Listing
January 2021

Strokectomy and Extensive Cisternal CSF Drain for Acute Management of Malignant Middle Cerebral Artery Infarction: Technical Note and Case Series.

Front Neurol 2019 26;10:1017. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

UO Neurochirurgia, IRCCS Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda, Milan, Italy.

Ischemic stroke is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Large MCA stroke may evolve as malignant space occupying lesion and mortality rate reaches 80% despite maximal medical therapy. Early decompressive craniectomy is effective in reducing mortality and improving the functional outcome but is an extended and invasive surgical approach burdened with a significant complication rate. We report a surgical treatment based on partial strokectomy and basal cisterns opening with massive CSF drain. We retrospectively collected 15 cases of massive middle cerebral artery stroke treated with strokectomy between 2010 and 2017: nine males and six females, mean age 61.73 ± 9.5 years. The right side was affected in 66.7%. All patients show clinical deterioration despite standard medical therapy and indication for surgery was placed after collegiate evaluation by neurologists and neurosurgeons based on clinical and radiological data. Surgical procedure was performed 24-96 h after the stroke onset. All the 15 patients survived the intervention, one patient died 20 days after the admission for massive lung embolism. Mean GCS and NIHSS at admission were 12.6 ± 1.18 (range 9-15) and 19.7 ± 2.3 (range 18-23), respectively. Mean mRS at 12 months was 3.6 ± 1.1 (range 2-6). Mean follow-up was 18.1 months (range 12-34). The outcome was evaluated as satisfactory (mRs ≤ 3) in 8 patients (53.3%). Mortality at 1 year was 6.7%. No patients developed hydrocephalus and 1 presented seizures. According to mRs outcome evaluation (mRs ≤ 3 vs. mRs ≥ 4) no quantitative variable resulted significantly different between the two groups, whereas the concomitant use of iv rTPA significantly differed ( < 0.05). Supratentorial strokectomy seems to be safe and could be a potential alternative to decompressive craniectomy for the acute management of malignant MCA stroke. Advantages of this approach could be low complication rate, avoidance of bone reconstruction procedure, and reduced occurrence of hydrocephalus or seizures. A co-operative multicentric, prospective pilot study will be necessary to validate this technical approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.01017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6775199PMC
September 2019

Endothelial SIRT6 blunts stroke size and neurological deficit by preserving blood-brain barrier integrity: a translational study.

Eur Heart J 2020 04;41(16):1575-1587

Center for Molecular Cardiology, Schlieren Campus, University of Zurich, Wagistrasse 12, Schlieren 8952, Switzerland.

Aims: Aging is an established risk factor for stroke; genes regulating longevity are implicated in the pathogenesis of ischaemic stroke where to date, therapeutic options remain limited. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is crucially involved in ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) brain injury thus representing an attractive target for developing novel therapeutic agents. Given the role of endothelial cells in the BBB, we hypothesized that the endothelial-specific expression of the recently described longevity gene SIRT6 may exhibit protective properties in stroke.

Methods And Results: SIRT6 endothelial expression was reduced following stroke. Endothelial-specific Sirt6 knockout (eSirt6-/-) mice, as well as animals in which Sirt6 overexpression was post-ischaemically induced, underwent transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). eSirt6-/- animals displayed increased infarct volumes, mortality, and neurological deficit after tMCAO, as compared to control littermates. Conversely, post-ischaemic Sirt6 overexpression decreased infarct size and neurological deficit. Analysis of ischaemic brain sections revealed increased BBB damage and endothelial expression of cleaved caspase-3 in eSIRT6-/- mice as compared to controls. In primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMVECs), hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) reduced SIRT6 expression and SIRT6 silencing impaired the barrier function (transendothelial resistance) similar to what was observed in mice exposed to I/R. Further, SIRT6-silenced HBMVECs exposed to H/R showed reduced viability, increased cleaved caspase-3 expression and reduced activation of the survival pathway Akt. In ischaemic stroke patients, SIRT6 expression was higher in those with short-term neurological improvement as assessed by NIHSS scale and correlated with stroke outcome.

Conclusion: Endothelial SIRT6 exerts a protective role in ischaemic stroke by blunting I/R-mediated BBB damage and thus, it may represent an interesting novel therapeutic target to be explored in future clinical investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz712DOI Listing
April 2020

The effect of management models on thromboembolic and bleeding rates in anticoagulated patients: an ecological study.

Intern Emerg Med 2019 11 15;14(8):1307-1315. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Department of Oncology, Centre for Bleeding Disorders and Coagulation, Careggi University Hospital, 50134, Florence, Italy.

The primary study objective is to compare the outcomes of patients taking oral anticoagulant medications in two distinct populations treated according to different management models (comprehensive vs. usual care). (Design: regional prospective cohort study; setting: hospital admission data from two regions). Eligible partecipants were patients taking oral anticoagulant drugs (vitamin K antagonist or direct oral anticoagulants), residents in the Vicenza and Cremona districts from February 1st, 2016 to June 30th, 2017. Patients were identified by accessing the administrative databases of patient drug prescriptions. The primary study outcome was admission to the Emergency Department for stroke, systemic arterial embolism, recurrence of venous thromboembolism or major bleeding. The study evaluated outcomes in 14,226 patients taking oral anticoagulants, of whom 6725 being followed in Cremona with a comprehensive management model. There were 19 and 45 thromboembolic events over 6205 and 6530 patient-years in the Cremona and Vicenza cohort, respectively (IRR 0.44, 95% CI 0.24-0.77). The reduction of events in the Cremona cohort was almost entirely explained by a decrease of events in patients taking VKA (IRR 0.41, 95% CI 0.20-0.78) but not DOACs (IRR 1.08, 95% CI 0.25-5.24). The rate of major bleeding was non-significantly higher in Cremona than in Vicenza (IRI 1.32; 95% CI 0.74-2.40). Across the two cohorts, the risk of bleeding was lower in patients being treated with DOACs rather than warfarin (10/4574 vs. 42/8161 event/person-years, respectively, IRR 0.42 95% CI 0.19-0.86). We conclude that a comprehensive management model providing centralized dose prescription and follow-up may significantly reduce the rate of thromboembolic complications, without substantially increasing the number of bleeding complications. Patients treated with direct oral anticoagulants appear to have a rate of thromboembolic complications comparable to VKA patients under the best management model, with a reduction of major bleeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-019-02148-7DOI Listing
November 2019

Small vessel disease and biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction after ischaemic stroke.

Eur Stroke J 2019 Jun 22;4(2):119-126. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Department of NEUROFARBA, Neuroscience Section, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Introduction: Although pathogenesis of small vessel disease is poorly understood, increasing evidence suggests that endothelial dysfunction may have a relevant role in development and progression of small vessel disease. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the associations between imaging signs of small vessel disease and blood biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction at two different time points in a population of ischaemic stroke patients.

Patients And Methods: In stroke patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis, we analysed blood levels of von Willebrand factor, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor. Three reviewers independently assessed small vessel disease features using computed tomography. At baseline and 90 days after the index stroke, we tested the associations between single and combined small vessel disease features and levels of blood biomarkers using linear regression analysis adjusting for age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, smoke.

Results: A total of 263 patients were available for the analysis. Mean age (±SD) was 69 (±13) years, 154 (59%) patients were male. We did not find any relation between small vessel disease and endothelial dysfunction at baseline. At 90 days, leukoaraiosis was independently associated with intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (β = 0.21; p = 0.016) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (β = 0.22; p = 0.009), and lacunes were associated with vascular endothelial growth factor levels (β = 0.21; p = 0.009) whereas global small vessel disease burden was associated with vascular endothelial growth factor (β = 0.26; p = 0.006).

Discussion: Leukoaraiosis and lacunes were associated with endothelial dysfunction, which could play a key role in pathogenesis of small vessel disease.

Conclusions: Small vessel disease features and total burden were associated with endothelial dysfunction 90 days after the stroke, whereas there was no relation during the acute phase. Our results suggest that endothelial dysfunction, particularly vascular endothelial growth factor, is involved in pathological process of small vessel disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2396987318805905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6591766PMC
June 2019

Dabigatran Plasma Measurement to Guide the Management of Acute Bleeding and Thrombotic Complications.

Eur J Case Rep Intern Med 2018 27;5(9):000947. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Haemostasis and Thrombosis Center, ASST Cremona, Cremona, Italy.

Oral anticoagulant therapy is recommended for the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism and to prevent stroke in non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Until a few years ago, vitamin K antagonists were the only drugs available, but direct oral anticoagulants have recently been introduced into clinical practice for the same clinical indications. Unlike the situation with VKAs, fixed-dose administration was proposed for DOACs, without the necessity for routine laboratory monitoring. However, in clinical practice a high inter-variability in DOAC plasma levels, independently of the type of drug and patient characteristics, was observed and the importance of measuring DOAC anticoagulant activity to support treatment decisions has therefore been recognized. We describe two clinical cases in order to highlight the role and importance of dabigatran-specific measurements to guide patient management in case of major complications.

Learning Point: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been used in clinical practice at fixed doses without laboratory monitoring.However, the importance of measuring DOAC anticoagulant activity to support treatment decisions, particularly in emergency conditions, has been recognized.The clinical value of DOAC measurement is highlighted in the two described cases where the anticoagulation level was taken into consideration when deciding on treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12890/2018_000947DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6346816PMC
September 2018

AP-1 (Activated Protein-1) Transcription Factor JunD Regulates Ischemia/Reperfusion Brain Damage via IL-1β (Interleukin-1β).

Stroke 2019 02;50(2):469-477

From the Center for Molecular Cardiology, University of Zurich, Schlieren, Switzerland (C.D.-C., M.F.R., N.R.B., L.L., P.W., H.A., S.B.-S., J.H.B., A.A., T.F.L., G.G.C.).

Background and Purpose- Inflammation is a major pathogenic component of ischemia/reperfusion brain injury, and as such, interventions aimed at inhibiting inflammatory mediators promise to be effective strategies in stroke therapy. JunD-a member of the AP-1 (activated protein-1) family of transcription factors-was recently shown to regulate inflammation by targeting IL (interleukin)-1β synthesis and macrophage activation. The purpose of the present study was to assess the role of JunD in ischemia/reperfusion-induced brain injury. Methods- WT (wild type) mice randomly treated with either JunD or scramble (control) siRNA were subjected to 45 minutes of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 24 hours of reperfusion. Stroke size, neurological deficit, plasma/brain cytokines, and oxidative stress determined by 4-hydroxynonenal immunofluorescence staining were evaluated 24 hours after reperfusion. Additionally, the role of IL-1β was investigated by treating JunD siRNA mice with an anti-IL-1β monoclonal antibody on reperfusion. Finally, JunD expression was assessed in peripheral blood monocytes isolated from patients with acute ischemic stroke. Results- In vivo JunD knockdown resulted in increased stroke size, reduced neurological function, and increased systemic inflammation, as confirmed by higher neutrophil count and lymphopenia. Brain tissue IL-1β levels were augmented in JunD siRNA mice as compared with scramble siRNA, whereas no difference was detected in IL-6, TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α), and 4-hydroxynonenal levels. The deleterious effects of silencing of JunD were rescued by treating mice with an anti-IL-1β antibody. In addition, JunD expression was decreased in peripheral blood monocytes of patients with acute ischemic stroke at 6 and 24 hours after onset of stroke symptoms compared with sex- and age-matched healthy controls. Conclusions- JunD blunts ischemia/reperfusion-induced brain injury via suppression of IL-1β.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.023739DOI Listing
February 2019

Clinical and neuropathological phenotype associated with the novel V189I mutation in the prion protein gene.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2019 01 3;7(1). Epub 2019 Jan 3.

Neurology V - Neuropathology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Via Celoria 11, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders which are caused by an accumulation of the abnormal, misfolded prion protein known as scrapie prion protein (PrP). These disorders are unique as they occur as sporadic, genetic and acquired forms. Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is the most common human prion disease, accounting for approximately 85-90% of cases, whereas autosomal dominant genetic forms, due to mutations in the prion protein gene (PRNP), account for 10-15% of cases. Genetic forms show a striking variability in their clinical and neuropathological picture and can sometimes mimic other neurodegenerative diseases.We report a novel PRNP mutation (V189I) in four CJD patients from three unrelated pedigrees. In three patients, the clinical features were typical for CJD and the diagnosis was pathologically confirmed, while the fourth patient presented with a complex phenotype including rapidly progressive dementia, behavioral abnormalities, ataxia and extrapyramidal features, and the diagnosis was probable CJD by current criteria, on the basis of PrP detection in CSF by Real Time Quaking-Induced Conversion assay. In all the three patients with autopsy findings, the neuropathological analysis revealed diffuse synaptic type deposition of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP), and type 1 PrP was identified in the brain by western blot analysis. So, the histopathological and biochemical profile associated with the V189I mutation was indistinguishable from the MM1/MV1 subtype of sporadic CJD.Our findings support a pathogenic role for the V189I PRNP variant, confirm the heterogeneity of the clinical phenotypes associated to PRNP mutations and highlight the importance of PrP detection assays as diagnostic tools to unveil prion diseases presenting with atypical phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-018-0656-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6317215PMC
January 2019

The role of clinical and neuroimaging features in the diagnosis of CADASIL.

J Neurol 2018 Dec 11;265(12):2934-2943. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience and Sensory Organs, Maggiore Policlinico Hospital Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda, Milan, Italy.

Background: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is the most common familial cerebral small vessel disease, caused by NOTCH3 gene mutations. The aim of our study was to identify clinical and neuroradiological features which would be useful in identifying which patients presenting with lacunar stroke and TIA are likely to have CADASIL.

Methods: Patients with lacunar stroke or TIA were included in the present study. For each patient, demographic and clinical data were collected. MRI images were centrally analysed for the presence of lacunar infarcts, microbleeds, temporal lobe involvement, global atrophy and white matter hyperintensities.

Results: 128 patients (mean age 56.3 ± 12.4 years) were included. A NOTCH3 mutation was found in 12.5% of them. A family history of stroke, the presence of dementia and external capsule lesions on MRI were the only features significantly associated with the diagnosis of CADASIL. Although thalamic, temporal pole gliosis and severe white matter hyperintensities were less specific for CADASIL diagnosis, the combination of a number of these factors together with familial history for stroke result in a higher positive predictive value and specificity.

Conclusions: A careful familial history collection and neuroradiological assessment can identify patients in whom NOTCH3 genetic testing has a higher yield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-9072-8DOI Listing
December 2018

Vitamin D measurement and effect on outcome in a cohort of patients with heart failure

Endocr Connect 2018 Sep 1;7(9):957-964. Epub 2018 Sep 1.

Objectives: The aims of this paper were to evaluate the levels of Vitamin D (VitD) in patients with heart failure (HF), compared to a control group, to assess the effects of VitD on HF outcome and to compare VitD measurement between LIAISON immunoassay and HPLC-MS-MS methods in this population.

Design And Methods: We collected clinical, biochemical and outcome data from 247 patients with HF and in a subgroup of 151 patients, we measured VitD both with LIAISON and HPLC-MS-MS.

Results: HF patients had statistically lower 25OHD levels (45.2 ± 23.7 nmol/L vs 58.2 ± 24.0 nmol/L, P < 0.001) and a statistically higher prevalence of VitD insufficiency (61.1% vs 39.5%, P < 0.001) and deficiency (24.7% vs 6.6%, P < 0.001), compared to healthy controls. There was a significant inverse relationship between baseline 25OHD and risk of HF-related death, with a HR of 0.59 (95% CI 0.37–0.92, P = 0.02), confirmed in a multivariate adjusted analysis. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses showed that VitD insufficiency was associated with reduced survival in HF patients (log rank P = 0.017). There was a good agreement between LIAISON and HPLC-MS-MS (Cohen’s kappa coefficient 0.70), but the prevalence of VitD insufficiency was significantly higher with the former compared to the latter method (58.3%, n = 88 vs 55.6%, n = 84, P < 0.001). LIAISON underestimated the 25OHD levels and showed a mean relative bias of −0.739% with 95% of limits of agreement (−9.00 to +7.52%), when compared to HPLC-MS-MS.

Conclusions: 25OHD levels adequately measured by HPLC-MS-MS showed to be low in HF population and to be correlated with HF-related risk of death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-18-0207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6176284PMC
September 2018

Deleterious role of endothelial lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 in ischaemia/reperfusion cerebral injury.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2019 11 3;39(11):2233-2245. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

Center for Molecular Cardiology, Schlieren Campus, University of Zurich, Schlieren, Switzerland.

Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) is implicated in cardiovascular disease by modulating apoptosis and oxidative stress. We hypothesized that LOX-1 may be involved in pathophysiology of stroke by mediating ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R)-dependent cell death. Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) was performed in wild-type (WT) mice, endothelial-specific LOX-1 transgenic mice (eLOX-1TG) and WT animals treated with LOX-1 silencing RNA (siRNA). In WT mice exposed to tMCAO, LOX-1 expression and function were increased in the MCA. Compared to WT animals, eLOX-1TG mice displayed increased stroke volumes and worsened outcome after I/R. Conversely, LOX-1-silencing decreased both stroke volume and neurological impairment. Similarly, in HBMVECs, hypoxia/reoxygenation increased LOX-1 expression, while LOX-1 overexpressing cells showed increased death following hypoxia reoxygenation. Increased caspase-3 activation was observed following LOX-1 overexpression both in vivo and in vitro, thus representing a likely mediator. Finally, monocytes from ischaemic stroke patients exhibited increased LOX-1 expression which also correlated with disease severity. Our data unequivocally demonstrate a key role for LOX-1 in determining outcome following I/R brain damage. Our findings could be corroborated in human brain endothelial cells and monocytes from patients, underscoring their translational relevance and suggesting siRNA-mediated LOX-1 knockdown as a novel therapeutic strategy for stroke patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0271678X18793266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827115PMC
November 2019

Alcohol intake and the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage in the elderly: The MUCH-Italy.

Neurology 2018 07 13;91(3):e227-e235. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

From U.O. Neurologia (P.C.), Istituto Ospedaliero Poliambulanza, Brescia; Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali (A. Pezzini, L.P., V.D.G., F.C., A. Padovani), Clinica Neurologica, Università degli Studi di Brescia; Dipartimento di Scienze del Sistema Nervoso e del Comportamento (M. Grassi), Unità di Statistica Medica e Genomica, Università di Pavia; Laboratorio di Epidemiologia Molecolare e Nutrizionale (L.I., A.D.C., G.d.G.), Dipartimento di Epidemiologia e Prevenzione, IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo, NEUROMED, Pozzilli; S.C. Neurologia (M.Z.), Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, IRCCS, Reggio Emilia; Neurologia d'Urgenza and Stroke Unit (S.M.), IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano-Milano; Stroke Unit (G.S.), Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Ospedale Carlo Poma, Mantova; Unità di Neurologia (M.L.D.), Ospedale di Circolo, Università dell'Insubria, Varese; U.O. Neurologia (M.S.), Istituti Ospedalieri di Cremona, Cremona; Stroke Unit (A.Z.), Clinica Neurologica, Nuovo Ospedale Civile, "S. Agostino Estense," AUSL Modena; Stroke Unit and Divisione di Medicina Cardiovascolare (M.P., G.A.), Università di Perugia; Stroke Unit (C.A., A.D.V.), Divisione di Neurologia, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze e Riabilitazione, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Ferrara; Stroke Unit (M. Gamba), Neurologia Vascolare, Spedali Civili di Brescia; Unità di Neurologia (M.D.S.), E.O. Ospedali Galliera, Genova; U.O.C. Neurologia (A.T., N.P.), A.O. Universitaria "San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d'Aragona," Salerno; Dipartimento di Neuroscienze (C.G.), Riabilitazione, Oftalmologia, Genetica e Scienze Materno-Infantili, Università di Genova; U.O. Neurologia (D.M.B.), Azienda Ospedaliera "Cà Foncello," Treviso; Stroke Unit (R.T., G.M.), AOU Senese, Siena; Stroke Unit (A. Cavallini, A.M.), IRCCS Fondazione Istituto Neurologico Nazionale "C. Mondino," Pavia; Neurologia (A. Chiti), Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, Pisa; Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (R.S.C.), Centro Neurolesi Bonino-Pulejo, Messina; Dipartimento di Neuroscienze (F.G.), Scienze Psichiatriche e Anestesiologiche Clinica Neurologica, Università di Messina; USD Stroke Unit (P.B., G.T.), DAI di Neuroscienze, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona; Centro Trombosi (C.L.), IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano-Milano; Divisione di Biologia e Genetica (M.R., M.C.), Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Traslazionale, Università degli Studi di Brescia; and Dipartimento di Specialità Medico-Chirurgiche (C.C.), Scienze Radiologiche e Sanità Pubblica, Clinica Neurochirurgica, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy.

Objective: To investigate the role of alcohol as a causal factor for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and whether its effects might vary according to the pathogenic mechanisms underlying cerebral bleeding.

Methods: We performed a case-control analysis, comparing a cohort of consecutive white patients with ICH aged 55 years and older with a group of age- and sex-matched stroke-free controls, enrolled in the setting of the Multicenter Study on Cerebral Haemorrhage in Italy (MUCH-Italy) between 2002 and 2014. Participants were dichotomized into excessive drinkers (>45 g of alcohol) and light to moderate drinkers or nondrinkers. To isolate the unconfounded effect of alcohol on ICH, we used causal directed acyclic graphs and the back-door criterion to select a minimal sufficient adjustment set(s) of variables for multivariable analyses. Analyses were performed on the whole group as well as separately for lobar and deep ICH.

Results: We analyzed 3,173 patients (1,471 lobar ICH and 1,702 deep ICH) and 3,155 controls. After adjusting for the preselected variables in the minimal sufficient adjustments, heavy alcohol intake was associated with deep ICH risk (odds ratio [OR], 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-2.09) as well as with the overall risk of ICH (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.17-1.63), whereas no effect was found for lobar ICH (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.77-1.32).

Conclusions: In white people aged 55 years and older, high alcohol intake might exert a causal effect on ICH, with a prominent role in the vascular pathologies underlying deep ICH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005814DOI Listing
July 2018

Small Vessel Disease Is Associated with Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinase-4 After Ischaemic Stroke.

Transl Stroke Res 2019 02 23;10(1):44-51. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

Institute of Neuroscience, Italian National Research Council, Florence, Italy.

Small vessel disease (SVD) is frequent in aging and stroke patients. Inflammation and remodeling of extracellular matrix have been suggested as concurrent mechanisms of SVD. We investigated the relationship between imaging features of SVD and circulating metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in patients with ischaemic stroke. In patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis, we took blood samples before intravenous thrombolysis and 90 days after the acute stroke and analysed levels of MMPs and TIMPs. We assessed leukoaraiosis, number of lacunes and brain atrophy on pre-treatment CT scan and graded global SVD burden combining such features. We investigated associations between single features, global SVD and MMPs and TIMPs at baseline and at follow-up, retaining univariate statistically significant associations in multivariate linear regression analysis and adjusting for clinical confounders. A total of 255 patients [mean (±SD) = 68.6 (± 12.7) years, 154 (59%) males] were included, 107 (42%) had no signs of SVD; 47 (19%) had from moderate to severe SVD burden. A total of 107 (42%) patients had no signs of SVD; 47 (19%) had from moderate to severe SVD burden. After adjustment, only TIMP-4 proved associations with SVD features. Brain atrophy was associated with baseline TIMP-4 (β = 0.20;p = 0.019) and leukoaraiosis with 90 days TIMP-4 (β = 0.19; p = 0.013). Global SVD score was not associated with baseline TIMP-4 levels (β = 0.10; p = 0.072), whereas was associated with 90 days TIMP-4 levels (β = 0.21; p = 0.003). Total SVD burden was associated with higher TIMP-4 levels 90 days after stroke, whereas was not during the acute phase. Our results support a biological relationship between SVD grade and TIMP-4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12975-018-0627-xDOI Listing
February 2019

Strokectomy and Extensive Cerebrospinal Fluid Drainage for the Treatment of Space-Occupying Cerebellar Ischemic Stroke.

World Neurosurg 2018 Jul 3;115:e80-e84. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Neurology Unit, Inter-Hospital Department of Neurological science Cremona-Mantua, Cremona, Italy.

Background: Cerebellar ischemia may lead to space-occupying edema, resulting in potentially fatal complications. Different surgical procedures are available to create space for the swollen ischemic brain; however, the type and timing of surgical treatments remain topics of debate in the literature. Here we report a case series of patients treated with a unilateral craniotomy to perform a cerebellar strokectomy and extensive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage without osteodural posterior fossa decompression.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical and radiographic data of 11 patients with posterior fossa ischemia who underwent surgery at one of our institutions. A statistical analysis was performed to identify potential predictive factors for functional outcome.

Results: The mean patient age was 64.7 years. The involved vascular territory was the Posterior inferior cerebellar artery in 9 patients (82%) and the anterior inferior cerebellar artery/superior cerebellar artery in 2 patients (18%). The mean Glasgow Coma Scale score was 13.6 on admission, but 9.3 immediately before surgery. The surgical procedure was performed in a mean of 36.8 minutes after the radiologic diagnosis of space-occupying edema. Clinical outcome at 6 months was good (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≤2) in 9 patients (82%). Surgery-related complications occurred in 2 patients (18%), and these was a single death (9%) not related to the procedure or posterior fossa compression. Matching patients with their mRS outcome evaluation, the sole variable significantly associated with good outcome was age at admission (62.1 vs. 76.5 years; P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Unilateral suboccipital craniotomy with strokectomy and extensive CSF drainage may allow for satisfactory decompression of the ischemic posterior fossa with acceptable morbidity and mortality rates, especially in younger patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2018.03.178DOI Listing
July 2018

Anticoagulants Resumption after Warfarin-Related Intracerebral Haemorrhage: The Multicenter Study on Cerebral Hemorrhage in Italy (MUCH-Italy).

Thromb Haemost 2018 03 12;118(3):572-580. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali, Clinica Neurologica, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Whether to resume antithrombotic treatment after oral anticoagulant-related intracerebral haemorrhage (OAC-ICH) is debatable. In this study, we aimed at investigating long-term outcome associated with OAC resumption after warfarin-related ICH, in comparison with secondary prevention strategies with platelet inhibitors or antithrombotic discontinuation. Participants were patients who sustained an incident ICH during warfarin treatment (2002-2014) included in the Multicenter Study on Cerebral Hemorrhage in Italy. Primary end-point was a composite of ischemic stroke/systemic embolism (SE) and all-cause mortality. Secondary end-points were ischemic stroke/SE, all-cause mortality and major recurrent bleeding. We computed individual propensity score (PS) as the probability that a patient resumes OACs or other agents given his pre-treatment variables, and performed Cox multivariable analysis using Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting (IPTW) procedure. A total of 244 patients qualified for the analysis. Unlike antiplatelet agents, OAC resumption was associated with a lower rate of the primary end-point (weighted hazard ratio [HR], 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09-0.45), as well as of overall mortality (weighted HR, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.06-0.45) and ischemic stroke/SE (weighted HR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06-0.60) with no significant increase of major bleeding in comparison with patients receiving no antithrombotics. In the subgroup of patients with atrial fibrillation, OACs resumption was also associated with a reduction of the primary end-point (weighted HR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.09-0.54), and the secondary end-point ischemic stroke/SE (weighted HR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.02-0.40). In conclusion, in patients who have an ICH while receiving warfarin, resuming anticoagulation results in a favorable trade-off between bleeding susceptibility and thromboembolic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1627454DOI Listing
March 2018

Arterial tortuosity in patients with spontaneous cervical artery dissection.

Neuroradiology 2017 Jun 11;59(6):571-575. Epub 2017 May 11.

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali, Clinica Neurologica, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that patients with spontaneous cervical artery dissection (CeAD) have increased arterial tortuosity, and the objective quantification of such a tortuosity may aid in the identification of subjects at increased risk of disease.

Methods: In the setting of a hospital-based, case-control study, we used the vertebral tortuosity index (VTI) measured on magnetic resonance angiography, a validated method for the assessment and quantification of arterial tortuosity, to compare the degree of tortuosity in a series of consecutive patients with spontaneous CeAD and of age- and sex-matched patients with ischemic stroke unrelated to CeAD (non-CeAD IS) and stroke-free subjects.

Results: The study group was composed of 102 patients with CeAD (mean age, 44.5 ± 7.8 years; 66.7% men), 102 with non-CEAD IS, and 102 stroke-free subjects. The VTI was higher in the group of patients with CeAD (median, 7.3; 25th-75th percentile, 10.2) compared with that of non-CeAD IS (median, 3.4; 25th-75th percentile, 4.4) and of stroke-free subjects (median, 4.0; 25th-75th percentile, 2.9; p ≤ 0.001), and was independently associated to the risk of CeAD (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.09-1.29) in multivariable regression analysis. The degree of tortuosity also tended to be higher in CeAD patients who experienced short-term recurrence (5.8%; median, 20.2; 25th-75th percentile, 31.2) than in those without recurrent events (median, 7.2; 25th-75th percentile, 9.4; p = 0.074).

Conclusion: CeAD patients exhibit increased arterial tortuosity. This might have potential implications for better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease as well as clinical utility in evaluation, prognostication, and decision-making of affected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00234-017-1836-9DOI Listing
June 2017