Publications by authors named "Marta Barba"

54 Publications

Nonclassified Lymphoma as a Cause of Radial Nerve Paralysis in a Horse.

J Equine Vet Sci 2021 Mar 6;98:103371. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

A 4-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding was evaluated for acute non-weight-bearing lameness of the right thoracic limb with swelling in the right shoulder region. Physical examination revealed radial nerve paralysis of unknown etiology. The primary differential diagnosis was musculoskeletal trauma. Ultrasonography of the right shoulder region identified a heterogeneous mass that extended from the point of the shoulder to the thoracic inlet. Cytologic analysis of fluid collected by fine needle aspirate of the mass was consistent with large cell lymphoma. Based on the cytological findings, locally invasive neoplasia was diagnosed and considered the likely cause of the radial nerve paralysis. Because of the poor prognosis, the horse was euthanized, and postmortem examination confirmed the diagnosis of a nonclassified large cell lymphoma that extended from the deep tissues of the right pectoral muscle group into the thoracic inlet and pleural cavity, as well as the right brachial plexus. The mass in the region of the brachial plexus encompassed and mechanically compressed all of the nerves within the area, resulting in the clinical sign of radial nerve paralysis. Although neoplasia as a cause of radial nerve paralysis is rare, it should be considered as a differential diagnosis, regardless of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2021.103371DOI Listing
March 2021

Inability to walk and persistent thigh pain after transobturator tape procedure for stress urinary incontinence: surgical management.

Int Urogynecol J 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

ASST Monza, Ospedale San Gerardo, via G.B. Pergolesi, 33 20900, Monza, Italy.

Introduction And Hypothesis: Groin pain after transobturator tape is often a self-limiting situation, but can occasionally persist and be associated with serious neurological sequelae. The video is aimed at presenting the surgical management of persistent groin pain and inability to walk after transobturator sling placement and subsequent partial removal.

Methods: The featured patient is a 31-year-old woman unable to walk after transobturator sling implantation 2 years before. She reported left thigh pain immediately after surgery that was not responsive to postoperative medication. Six months later, suburethral portion excision was performed but no pain relief was obtained. She was unable to walk, and needed a wheelchair. Electromyography showed axonal injury of the left obturator nerve. After providing proper informed consent, the patient was admitted for combined transvaginal and transcutaneous transobturator tape arm removal.

Results: The featured procedure was completed in 120 min and blood loss was <100 ml. No surgical complications were observed. The patient is currently doing left leg rehabilitation, has regained the ability to walk with the aid of a crutch, and the need for chronic pain control medication is greatly reduced.

Conclusion: This represents a valid surgical approach for the late management of this mesh-related complication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04666-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927782PMC
March 2021

Telephone interview in urogynecology in the era of COVID-19 pandemic

J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2021 02 28;22(1):8-11. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Gynecology, ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy

Objective: During the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic deferable access, including non-urgent outpatient visits, have been suspended. In our practice non-urgent routine visits for pelvic floor symptom assessment were discontinued and rescheduled, and telephone interview was performed. The aim was to evaluate patients’ satisfaction for this alternative approach.

Material And Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted using a validated questionnaire to investigate pelvic floor symptoms. Patients were also asked if they had other symptoms or disorders, to identify patients who may need urgent hospital evaluation. At the end of the phone call, patients were asked to score their satisfaction with the telephone interview by grading their response to three questions from 0 (minimum) to 10 (maximum). The questions were: 1) “Was the telephone interview useful to check your state of health?”; 2) “Was the telephone interview an adequate healthcare tool in consideration of COVID-19 outbreak?”; 3) “Could the telephone interview replace the conventional visit?”.

Results: Fifty-three patients were evaluated. All patients showed great satisfaction with telephone interview (Q1 median: 10, IQ range: 10-10) and were similarly positive in response to the second question (Q2 median: 10, IQ range: 10-10). Although fewer patients felt that telephone interview could replace conventional clinic visits most remained positive (Q3 median: 7; IQ range: 6-8).

Conclusion: This simple experience showed that phone interviews with validated questionnaires are appreciated and effective to safely perform interview of selected urogynecologic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2020.2020.0131DOI Listing
February 2021

Hydrouretonephrosis caused by uterine prolapse after gellhorn pessary displacement.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2021 Feb 10;257:150-151. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

ASST Monza, San Gerardo University Hospital, Monza, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.12.008DOI Listing
February 2021

Obstetric outcomes after uterus-sparing surgery for uterine prolapse: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2021 Jan 20;256:333-338. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Up-to-date there are no guidelines about uterus-sparing prolapse repair procedures for women desiring childbearing. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate obstetrical outcomes after uterus-sparing apical prolapse repair in terms of pregnancy rate, obstetrical adverse outcomes and delivery mode according to the type of procedure. To identify potentially eligible studies, we searched PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library and ISI Web of Science (up to April 15, 2020). Case reports, reviews, letters to Editor, book chapters, guidelines, Cochrane reviews, and expert opinions were excluded. Twenty-four studies met inclusion criteria and were incorporated into the final assessment, which included 1518 surgical procedures. In total 151 patients got pregnant after prolapse surgical repair, for a resulting pregnancy raw rate of 9.9 %. Overall, adverse obstetric outcomes resulted low, rating 4.6 %. Manchester procedure resulted associated with the highest risk of adverse obstetrical outcomes and preterm premature rupture of membranes (p < 0.0001). After exclusion of Manchester procedure, sacrohysteropexy was found to be associated with higher risk of obstetrical adverse outcomes compared to native-tissue procedures (p = 0.04). Native-tissue surgery might represent the most cautious option for women wishing for pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.11.054DOI Listing
January 2021

Urodynamic predictors of de novo overactive bladder after single-incision sling.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2020 Nov 29. Epub 2020 Nov 29.

ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Objective: To identify urodynamic predictors for de novo overactive bladder (OAB) after single-incision sling implantation.

Methods: This retrospective study analyzed women with pure, urodynamically proven stress urinary incontinence, without OAB, between 2008 and 2015, in a university hospital. De novo OAB was investigated during clinical interviews.

Results: A total of 192 patients were analyzed; 21 patients with de novo OAB were considered as group A while 171 control patients formed group B. Univariate analysis demonstrated that patients with de novo OAB have the first desire to void at a lower bladder volume (124 mL versus 160 mL, P = 0.0052), smaller maximum cystometric capacity (357 mL versus 406 mL, P = 0.0061), lower maximum flow (17 mL/s versus 23 mL/s, P = 0.0006), and higher bladder outlet obstruction index (BOOI; -11 versus -23, P = 0.0022) compared with controls. According to multivariate analysis, maximum cystometric capacity (parameter estimate [PE] =0.008, P = 0.04) and BOOI (PE = -0.029, P = 0.01) were independent urodynamic predictors of de novo OAB. The final model showed good predictive accuracy (area under the curve =0.81).

Conclusion: The present study identified maximum cystometric capacity and BOOI as independent predictors of de novo overactive bladder after single-incision sling implantation. Therefore, preoperative urodynamics may be useful to improve preoperative counseling and to tailor surgical treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijgo.13503DOI Listing
November 2020

Vaginal Microbiota Is Stable throughout the Estrous Cycle in Arabian Maress.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Nov 3;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Research Group-Microbiological Agents Associated with Animal Reproduction (ProVaginBio), Department of Animal Production and Health, Veterinary Public Health and Food Science and Technology (PASAPTA), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cardenal Herrera-CEU University, CEU Universities, 46115 Alfara del Patriarca, Spain.

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) dominate human vaginal microbiota and inhibit pathogen proliferation. In other mammals, LAB do not dominate vaginal microbiota, however shifts of dominant microorganisms occur during ovarian cycle. The study objectives were to characterize equine vaginal microbiota in mares by culture-dependent and independent methods and to describe its variation in estrus and diestrus. Vaginal swabs from 8 healthy adult Arabian mares were obtained in estrus and diestrus. For culture-dependent processing, bacteria were isolated on Columbia blood agar (BA) and Man Rogosa Sharpe (MRS) agar. LAB comprised only 2% of total bacterial isolates and were not related to ovarian phases. For culture-independent processing, V3/V4 variable regions of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene were amplified and sequenced using Illumina Miseq. The diversity and composition of the vaginal microbiota did not change during the estrous cycle. Core equine vaginal microbiome consisted of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria at the phylum level. At the genus level it was defined by , uncultured and . comprised only 0.18% of the taxonomic composition in estrus and 0.37% in diestrus. No differences in the relative abundance of the most abundant phylum or genera were observed between estrus and diestrus samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10112020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692283PMC
November 2020

Postpartum urinary retention: Absolute risk prediction model.

Low Urin Tract Symptoms 2020 Oct 28. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

University Milano-Bicocca, Monza and Brianza Mother and Child Foundation, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Objectives: To evaluate the incidence and assess clinical factors that can predict the occurrence of postpartum urinary retention (PPUR). PPUR is a puerperal condition defined as the inability to void over 6 hours after birth or after catheter removal in case of cesarean section, requiring catheterization. Lack of prompt diagnosis of this condition may lead to severe sequelae, including infection, chronic voiding difficulties, and renal failure.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study analyzed all deliveries from January 2011 to December 2017 in a single Italian university hospital. We used multivariate logistic regression to develop a predictive score for PPUR.

Results: By multivariate logistic regression, our analysis shows as minor (odds ratio [OR] < 2) risk factors for PPUR: non-Caucasian ethnicity (OR = 1.46, CI = 1.05-2.03), nulliparity (OR = 1.47, CI = 1.01-2.14), body mass index (BMI) at the end of the pregnancy <30 kg/m (OR = 1.54, CI = 1.10-2.17). On the other hand, epidural analgesia (OR = 3.93, CI = 2.96-5.22), meconium-stained amniotic fluid (OR = 2.07, CI = 1.54-2.77), nonoperative vaginal birth vs cesarean section (OR = 6.25, CI = 2.16-18.13), vacuum extraction vs cesarean section (OR = 8.80, CI = 2.86-27.01), pushing stage ≥60 minutes (OR = 3.00,CI = 2.26-3.97), and perineal tear (OR = 2.87, CI = 1.86-4.43) proved to be major (OR > 2) risk factors for PPUR. Using our final model (area under curve = 0.84), we created a nomogram for PPUR absolute risk calculation. Specifically, a 116-point cutoff might be used to identify high-risk patients who deserve more intensive micturition monitoring.

Conclusions: Our study identified non-Caucasian ethnicity, nulliparity, and a BMI <30 kg/m at the end of the pregnancy as minor and epidural analgesia, meconium-stained amniotic fluid, vaginal nonoperative birth, vacuum extraction, pushing stage ≥60 minutes, and perineal tear as major independent risk factors for PPUR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/luts.12362DOI Listing
October 2020

Systematic review and meta-analysis of seroprevalence studies of West Nile virus in equids in Europe between 2001 and 2018.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 Oct 4. Epub 2020 Oct 4.

Agentes Microbiológicos asociados a la Reproducción Animal (ProVaginBio), Veterinary Faculty, Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, CEU Universities, Valencia, Spain.

There is some evidence that West Nile virus (WNV), which causes encephalomyelitis in equids, is an emerging disease in Europe. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to analyse seroprevalence studies of WNV in equids in European countries between 2001 and 2018. Two electronic databases, PubMed and Scopus, were searched for relevant publications published from 2001 to 2018 using predetermined keywords. A total of 1,484 papers were initially found. After applying the eligibility criteria, 39 papers were finally included in the systematic review. Analysis of 28,089 equids from 16 European countries revealed a pooled seroprevalence of 8% (95% CI 5%-12%, p < .001, I  = 99.3%) in Europe. The pooled seroprevalence was slightly higher in Mediterranean basin countries than other countries and when calculated for samples collected between 2001 and 2009 compared to 2010 to 2018. Differences in study design (e.g. sampling associated with recent outbreaks of WNV) contributed to a high degree of variability among studies. Further studies with harmonized study design and reporting of the results are recommended to better estimate and monitor European seroprevalence of WNV in equids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13866DOI Listing
October 2020

Single-incision slings for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence: efficacy and adverse effects at 10-year follow-up.

Int Urogynecol J 2021 Jan 9;32(1):187-191. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, Ospedale San Paolo, via Antonio di Rudini, Milan, Italy.

Introduction And Hypothesis: Single-incision slings are not considered a first-choice surgical treatment owing to a lack of data about long-term outcomes. We aimed to assess the long-term results of urinary incontinence treatment after single-incision sling implantation at 10 years' follow-up and to investigate possible deterioration over time.

Methods: This retrospective study analyzed women with subjective and urodynamically proven stress urinary incontinence who underwent single-incision sling procedure. The objective cure rate was assessed with a 300-ml stress test. The subjective cure rate was determined by the Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I) questionnaire. International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form (ICIQ-SF) questionnaire scores and self-answered patient-satisfaction scales were collected to assess symptom severity. Findings were compared with short-term outcomes in the same patients, available through our previous database, in order to detect possible outcome deterioration over time.

Results: The records of 60 patients were analyzed. Nine patients (15%) were lost to follow-up. A total of 51 patients completed the evaluation, with a mean follow-up of 10.3 ± 0.7 years. Objective and subjective cure resulted 86.3% and 88.2% respectively. Mean PGI-I scores and ICIQ-SF were 1.5 ± 1.0 and 3.2 ± 4.8 respectively. Patients' satisfaction scored 8.6 ± 2.6 out of 10. No long-term complications occurred. Comparison of short-term (2.6 ± 1.4 years after surgery) and long-term follow-up did not show a significant deterioration of outcome over time.

Conclusions: Single-incision slings were shown to be a procedure with a great efficacy and safety profile at very long-term follow-up. Cure rates and functional outcomes did not show any deterioration over time compared with short-term results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04499-8DOI Listing
January 2021

Update in fertility-sparing native-tissue procedures for pelvic organ prolapse.

Int Urogynecol J 2020 Nov 18;31(11):2225-2231. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

San Gerardo University Hospital, Via Pergolesi 33, 20900, Monza, Italy.

Uterine-sparing prolapse surgery has been gaining back popularity with clinicians and patients. Although both prosthetic and native-tissue surgery procedures are described, the latter is progressively regaining a central role in pelvic reconstructive surgery, owing to a lack of mesh-related complications. Available native-tissue procedures have different advantages and pitfalls, as well as different evidence profiles. Most of them offer anatomical and subjective outcomes comparable with those of hysterectomy-based procedures. Moreover, native-tissue procedures in young women desiring childbearing allow to avoid synthetic material implantation, which may lead to potentially serious complications during pregnancy. As a consequence, we do think that offering a reconstructive native-tissue procedure for uterine preservation (with the exception of the Manchester procedure) is the safest option in women wishing for pregnancy. Sacrospinous ligament hysteropexy and high uterosacral ligament hysteropexy may be considered first-line options in consideration of the higher level of evidence and lack of adverse obstetrical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04474-3DOI Listing
November 2020

Pelvic floor ultrasonography for the evaluation of the rectum-vaginal septum before and after prolapse native-tissue repair.

Minerva Ginecol 2020 Dec 3;72(6):426-428. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy -

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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0026-4784.20.04620-1DOI Listing
December 2020

Vaginal Microbiota Changes During Estrous Cycle in Dairy Heifers.

Front Vet Sci 2020 3;7:371. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Microbiological Agents Associated With Animal Reproduction (ProVaginBio), Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University Cardenal Herrera CEU, CEU Universities, Valencia, Spain.

The vaginal microbiota plays an important role in the health of dairy cattle, and it could be manipulated for the prevention and treatment of reproduction-related infections. The present study profiles and compares the vaginal microbiota of healthy dairy heifers during the estrous cycle focusing the results in follicular (estrus) and luteal (diestrus) phases using 16S rRNA sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable region. Twenty 13-16-months-old virgin dairy heifers from a single farm were included in this study. Vaginal swabs and blood samples were obtained during estrus (6-8 h before artificial insemination) and diestrus (14 days after insemination). Estrus was evaluated by an activity monitoring system and confirmed with plasma progesterone immunoassay. Results showed that the taxonomic composition of the vaginal microbiota was different during the follicular and luteal phases. At the phylum level, the most abundant bacterial phyla were Tenericutes, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes which comprised more than 75% of the vaginal microbiota composition. The next more abundant phyla, in order of decreasing abundance, were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria, Epsilonbacteraeota, and Patescibacteria. Together with Tenericutes, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes represented more than 96% of the bacterial composition. , were the most abundant genera or families. The results also showed that the vaginal microbiota of dairy heifers was non-lactobacillus dominant. The genus was always found at a low relative abundance during the estrous cycle being more abundant in the follicular than in the luteal phase. Despite more research is needed to explore the potential use of native vaginal microbiota members as probiotics in dairy heifers, this study represents an important step forward. Understanding how the microbiota behaves in healthy heifers will help to identify vaginal dysbiosis related to disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00371DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7350931PMC
July 2020

Female Genital Hair-Thread Tourniquet Syndrome: A Case Report and Literature Systematic Review.

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol 2021 Feb 18;34(1):65-70. Epub 2020 Jul 18.

Department of Gynecology, ASST Monza, San Gerardo University Hospital, Monza, Italy.

"Hair-thread tourniquet syndrome" (HTTS) describes the condition in which fibers of hair or thread wrap around an appendage (ie, toes, fingers, genital structures, tongue, uvula, and neck), eventually causing ischemia and tissue necrosis. To date, few cases of female genitalia HTTS have been described. We report a case of female genitalia HTTS in a 5-year-old girl and report the state of the art by systematically reviewing all existing evidence about female genital HTTS. A total of 29 studies, describing a total of 34 patients, were identified. The presence of a hair-thread wrapping genitalia should be suspected in prepubertal girls complaining of genital pain associated with vulvar/vaginal swelling, wide-based gait, and voiding symptoms. Genital examination disclosing an extremely tender, swollen, and erythematous lesion on the clitoris or labia minora encircled by a hair confirms the diagnosis. The aim of the management is to remove the hair-thread in the shortest time possible, with the use of forceps, scissors, or scalpels, and this is often performed under sedation/anesthesia because of the patient's pain reaction. When the hair-thread is difficult to find or when the lesion is necrotic, excision of the lesion itself can be the only option. Complications include partial or total amputation because of tissue necrosis and recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpag.2020.07.007DOI Listing
February 2021

Ecological specialization and niche overlap of subterranean rodents inferred from DNA metabarcoding diet analysis.

Mol Ecol 2020 08 30;29(16):3144-3154. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Laboratoire d'Écologie Alpine, UMR 5553, CNRS, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.

Knowledge of how animal species use food resources available in the environment can increase our understanding of many ecological processes. However, obtaining this information using traditional methods is difficult for species feeding on a large variety of food items in highly diverse environments. We amplified the DNA of plants for 306 scat and 40 soil samples, and applied an environmental DNA metabarcoding approach to investigate food preferences, degree of diet specialization and diet overlap of seven herbivore rodent species of the genus Ctenomys distributed in southern and midwestern Brazil. The metabarcoding approach revealed that these species consume more than 60% of the plant families recovered in soil samples, indicating generalist feeding habits of ctenomyids. The family Poaceae was the most common food resource retrieved in scats of all species as well in soil samples. Niche overlap analysis indicated high overlap in the plant families and molecular operational taxonomic units consumed, mainly among the southern species. Interspecific differences in diet composition were influenced, among other factors, by the availability of resources in the environment. In addition, our results provide support for the hypothesis that the allopatric distributions of ctenomyids allow them to exploit the same range of resources when available, possibly because of the absence of interspecific competition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15549DOI Listing
August 2020

Stall-side screening potential of a smartphone electrocardiogram recorded over both sides of the thorax in horses.

J Vet Intern Med 2020 Sep 8;34(5):2101-2108. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Clínico Veterinario, Universidad Cardenal Herrera CEU, CEU Universities, Valencia, Spain.

Background: Comparisons between smartphone ECG (SpECG) recordings obtained from the right and left sides of the thorax have not been reported in animals.

Objectives: To evaluate the screening potential of a SpECG obtained from both sides of the thorax and to compare the degree of agreement between the SpECG and a reference ECG (rECG) for measurement of the duration of baseline electrical deflections recorded over both sides of the thorax.

Animals: Fifty horses admitted to the equine hospital, university-owned horses, and horses from an endurance riding facility.

Methods: Prospective observational study. Simultaneous rECG and SpECG tracings were recorded on both sides of the thorax and evaluated by 2 experienced observers for interpretability, presence and classification of arrhythmias, and duration of deflections of the electrical baseline.

Results: Fifteen (15/50) horses had spontaneous arrhythmias. Excellent agreement was found between the 2 devices (κ = 0.91; P < .001; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79-1.03) for the detection of arrhythmias. Significantly more P waves were of diagnostic quality from the right side (20 versus 5, P = .001) and significantly more QRS and QT intervals were of diagnostic quality from the left side (66 versus 38 and 62 versus 34, respectively, P < .001). Substantial agreement for the duration of deflections between devices only was observed for the QRS interval (SpECG left).

Conclusions And Clinical Importance: It is important to obtain SpECG tracings from both sides of the thorax in horses. The SpECG is a useful stall-sidearrhythmia-screening tool for some common arrhythmias in horses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7517866PMC
September 2020

GLI1 and AXIN2 Are Distinctive Markers of Human Calvarial Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Nonsyndromic Craniosynostosis.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jun 19;21(12). Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Dipartimento Scienze della Vita e Sanità Pubblica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Italy.

All skeletal bones house osteogenic stem cell niches, in which mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) provide progenitors for tissue growth and regeneration. They have been widely studied in long bones formed through endochondral ossification. Limited information is available on the composition of the osteogenic niche in flat bones (i.e., skull vault bones) that develop through direct membranous ossification. Craniosynostosis (CS) is a congenital craniofacial defect due to the excessive and premature ossification of skull vault sutures. This study aimed at analysing the expression of GLI1, AXIN2 and THY1 in the context of the human skull vault, using nonsyndromic forms of CS (NCS) as a model to test their functional implication in the aberrant osteogenic process. The expression of selected markers was studied in NCS patients' calvarial bone specimens, to assess the in vivo location of cells, and in MSC isolated thereof. The marker expression profile was analysed during in vitro osteogenic differentiation to validate the functional implication. Our results show that GLI1 and AXIN2 are expressed in periosteal and endosteal locations within the osteogenic niche of human calvarial bones. Their expression is higher in MSC isolated from calvarial bones than in those isolated from long bones and tends to decrease upon osteogenic commitment and differentiation. In particular, AXIN2 expression was lower in cells isolated from prematurely fused sutures than in those derived from patent sutures of NCS patients. This suggests that AXIN2 could reasonably represent a marker for the stem cell population that undergoes depletion during the premature ossification process occurring in CS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352200PMC
June 2020

Graphene Oxide Nano-Concentrators Selectively Modulate RNA Trapping According to Metal Cations in Solution.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2020 25;8:421. Epub 2020 May 25.

Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.

With recent advances in nanotechnology, graphene nanomaterials are being translated to applications in the fields of biosensing, medicine, and diagnostics, with unprecedented power. Graphene is a carbon allotrope derived from graphite exfoliation made of an extremely thin honeycomb of sp2 hybridized carbons. In comparison with the bulk materials, graphene and its water-soluble derivative graphene oxide have a smaller size suitable for diagnostic platform miniaturization as well as high surface area and consequently loading of a large number of biological probes. In this work, we propose a nanotechnological method for concentrating total RNA solution and/or enriching small RNA molecules. To this aim, we exploited the unique trapping effects of GO nanoflakes in the presence of divalent cations (i.e., calcium and magnesium) that make it flocculate and precipitate, forming complex meshes that are positively charged. Here, we demonstrated that GO traps can concentrate nucleic acids in the presence of divalent cations and that small RNAs can be selectively released from GO-magnesium traps. GO nano-concentrators will allow better analytical performance with samples available in small amounts and will increase the sensitivity of sequencing platforms by short RNA selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00421DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261913PMC
May 2020

Gain-of-function variants and overexpression of RUNX2 in patients with nonsyndromic midline craniosynostosis.

Bone 2020 08 30;137:115395. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Craniosynostosis (CS), the premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures, is a relatively common congenital anomaly, occurring in 3-5 per 10,000 live births. Nonsyndromic CS (NCS) accounts for up to 80% of all CS cases, yet the genetic factors contributing to the disorder remain largely unknown. The RUNX2 gene, encoding a transcription factor critical for bone and skull development, is a well known CS candidate gene, as copy number variations of this gene locus have been found in patients with syndromic craniosynostosis. In the present study, we aimed to characterize RUNX2 to better understand its role in the genetic etiology and in the molecular mechanisms underlying midline suture ossification in NCS. We report four nonsynonymous variants, one intronic variant and one 18 bp in-frame deletion in RUNX2 not found in our study control population. Significant difference in allele frequency (AF) for the deletion variant RUNX2 p.Ala84-Ala89del (ClinVar 257,095; dbSNP rs11498192) was observed in our sagittal NCS cohort when compared to the general population (P = 1.28 × 10), suggesting a possible role in the etiology of NCS. Dual-luciferase assays showed that three of four tested RUNX2 variants conferred a gain-of-function effect on RUNX2, further suggesting their putative pathogenicity in the tested NCS cases. Downregulation of RUNX2 expression was observed in prematurely ossified midline sutures. Metopic sites showed significant downregulation of promoter 1-specific isoforms compared to sagittal sites. Suture-derived mesenchymal stromal cells showed an increased expression of RUNX2 over matched unfused suture derived cells. This demonstrates that RUNX2, and particularly the distal promoter 1-isoform group, are overexpressed in the osteogenic precursors within the pathological suture sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2020.115395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7358991PMC
August 2020

Use of Probiotics in Intravaginal Sponges in Sheep: A Pilot Study.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Apr 20;10(4). Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Research Group Microbiological agents associated with animal reproduction (PROVAGINBIO), Department of Animal Production and Health, Veterinary Public Health and Food Science and Technology (PASAPTA) Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, CEU Universities, 46113 Valencia, Spain.

Sheep estrous synchronization is mainly based on progestagen-impregnated sponges which could cause vaginitis. Several species of Lactobacillus used as probiotics are commonly used in the treatment or prevention of urogenital infections in humans. However, no studies have been performed to analyze the potential use of probiotics to prevent urogenital infections in sheep. A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted with 21 one-year-old ewes to develop a model of probiotic infusion in vaginal sponges in order to study their influence in ewe's vaginal microbiota, general health status, fertility and prolificity. Synchronization of estrus was based on intravaginal sponges for 14 days. Bacterial communities (Enterobacteriaceae and lactic acid bacteria) were highly fluctuating over time and between animals. The safety of probiotic infusion (mix of Lactobacillus spp. 60% L. crispatus, 20% L. brevis and 20% L. gasseri) in the vagina of healthy ewes was firstly confirmed. Neutrophils were observed in 80% (8/10) of the control ewes compared to 36% (4/11) of the ewes in the probiotic group 2 days after sponge removal (p = 0.056). Fertility in the control and probiotic groups was 60% (6/10) and 91% (10/11), respectively p = 0.097. These results suggest that Lactobacillus spp. infusion in the ewe's vagina does not affect general health status or fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10040719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7222760PMC
April 2020

A genome-wide association study implicates the BMP7 locus as a risk factor for nonsyndromic metopic craniosynostosis.

Hum Genet 2020 Aug 7;139(8):1077-1090. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis, 4625 2nd Avenue, Research Building II, Sacramento, CA, 95817, USA.

Our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) for sagittal nonsyndromic craniosynostosis (sNCS) provided important insights into the genetics of midline CS. In this study, we performed a GWAS for a second midline NCS, metopic NCS (mNCS), using 215 non-Hispanic white case-parent triads. We identified six variants with genome-wide significance (P ≤ 5 × 10): rs781716 (P = 4.71 × 10; odds ratio [OR] = 2.44) intronic to SPRY3; rs6127972 (P = 4.41 × 10; OR = 2.17) intronic to BMP7; rs62590971 (P = 6.22 × 10; OR = 0.34), located ~ 155 kb upstream from TGIF2LX; and rs2522623, rs2573826, and rs2754857, all intronic to PCDH11X (P = 1.76 × 10, OR = 0.45; P = 3.31 × 10, OR = 0.45; P = 1.09 × 10, OR = 0.44, respectively). We performed a replication study of these variants using an independent non-Hispanic white sample of 194 unrelated mNCS cases and 333 unaffected controls; only the association for rs6127972 (P = 0.004, OR = 1.45; meta-analysis P = 1.27 × 10, OR = 1.74) was replicated. Our meta-analysis examining single nucleotide polymorphisms common to both our mNCS and sNCS studies showed the strongest association for rs6127972 (P = 1.16 × 10). Our imputation analysis identified a linkage disequilibrium block encompassing rs6127972, which contained an enhancer overlapping a CTCF transcription factor binding site (chr20:55,798,821-55,798,917) that was significantly hypomethylated in mesenchymal stem cells derived from fused metopic compared to open sutures from the same probands. This study provides additional insights into genetic factors in midline CS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-020-02157-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415527PMC
August 2020

Surgical management of bladder erosion and pelvic pain after laparoscopic lateral suspension for pelvic organ prolapse.

Int Urogynecol J 2020 04 5;31(4):843-845. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Introduction And Hypothesis: Mesh-augmented lateral suspension for prolapse repair seems to be associated with few complications. However, mesh-related complications can negatively affect the quality of life and may be challenging to manage. This video is aimed at presenting the surgical management of a case of severe pelvic pain and dyspareunia after lateral laparoscopic suspension associated with mesh erosion in the bladder.

Methods: A 46-year-old woman was referred to our Unit for severe pelvic pain and inability to have sexual intercourses since undergoing a uterus-sparing laparoscopic lateral suspension procedure for genital prolapse 2 years before in another hospital. Moreover, she reported bladder pain and recurrent urinary tract infections. Cystoscopy showed mesh erosion in the bladder. She was admitted to laparoscopic hysterectomy plus subtotal mesh excision and bladder reconstruction (video).

Results: No surgical complications were observed. The postoperative course was uneventful. At the current follow-up, the patient reported complete resolution of her symptoms.

Conclusion: The featured video shows laparoscopic subtotal mesh excision, concomitant hysterectomy and bladder repair for pelvic pain, dyspareunia and bladder erosion after lateral suspension. This video may be useful in providing anatomical views and surgical steps necessary for achieving successful surgical management of this mesh-related complication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04261-0DOI Listing
April 2020

Surgical treatment of complete uterovaginal prolapse and concomitant vaginal cancer: a video case report.

Int Urogynecol J 2020 08 3;31(8):1703-1705. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

ASST Monza, Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza, Italy.

Introduction And Hypothesis: The concurrence of vaginal cancer with irreducible uterine prolapse is rare. Reports about the management of vaginal cancer and concomitant irreducible prolapse are scanty in the literature, and there is no consensus on optimal treatment. In this video case report, we show surgical management of vaginal cancer and concomitant stage IV uterovaginal prolapse.

Methods: The featured video shows surgical management of vaginal cancer and concomitant stage IV uterovaginal prolapse through anterior colpectomy and retrograde hysterectomy en bloc plus transvaginal levator ani plication as a non-obliterative native-tissue technique for apical support.

Results: Final examination revealed good apical support and vaginal "habitability" preservation. The patient underwent five sessions of intracavity brachytherapy for a total of 20 Gy as adjuvant therapy.

Conclusion: Surgical management of vaginal cancer and concomitant stage IV uterovaginal prolapse was successfully achieved without complications. Transvaginal levator ani plication can provide a versatile non-obliterative native-tissue technique for apical support, allowing subsequent adjuvant brachytherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04263-yDOI Listing
August 2020

Equine viral encephalitis: prevalence, impact, and management strategies.

Vet Med (Auckl) 2019 7;10:99-110. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire, UK.

Members of several different virus families cause equine viral encephalitis, the majority of which are arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) with zoonotic potential. The clinical signs caused are rarely pathognomonic; therefore, a clinical diagnosis is usually presumptive according to the geographical region. However, recent decades have seen expansion of the geographical range and emergence in new regions of numerous viral diseases. In this context, this review presents an overview of the prevalence and distribution of the main viral causes of equine encephalitis and discusses their impact and potential approaches to limit their spread.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S168227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6689664PMC
August 2019

Body size determines soil community assembly in a tropical forest.

Mol Ecol 2019 02 22;28(3):528-543. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

CNRS, IRD, UMR 5174 Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB), Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.

Tropical forests shelter an unparalleled biological diversity. The relative influence of environmental selection (i.e., abiotic conditions, biotic interactions) and stochastic-distance-dependent neutral processes (i.e., demography, dispersal) in shaping communities has been extensively studied for various organisms, but has rarely been explored across a large range of body sizes, in particular in soil environments. We built a detailed census of the whole soil biota in a 12-ha tropical forest plot using soil DNA metabarcoding. We show that the distribution of 19 taxonomic groups (ranging from microbes to mesofauna) is primarily stochastic, suggesting that neutral processes are prominent drivers of the assembly of these communities at this scale. We also identify aluminium, topography and plant species identity as weak, yet significant drivers of soil richness and community composition of bacteria, protists and to a lesser extent fungi. Finally, we show that body size, which determines the scale at which an organism perceives its environment, predicted the community assembly across taxonomic groups, with soil mesofauna assemblages being more stochastic than microbial ones. These results suggest that the relative contribution of neutral processes and environmental selection to community assembly directly depends on body size. Body size is hence an important determinant of community assembly rules at the scale of the ecological community in tropical soils and should be accounted for in spatial models of tropical soil food webs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.14919DOI Listing
February 2019

Graphene Oxide Induced Osteogenesis Quantification by In-Situ 2D-Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 Oct 26;19(11). Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Institute of Physics, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli-IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy.

Graphene and graphene oxide can promote the adhesion, growth and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Further, graphene surface coatings accelerate the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells acting as osteogenic inducers. Quantification of the osteogenic induction is conventionally performed with Alizarin Red S (ARS), an anthraquinone derivative used to identify calcium deposits in tissue sections and cell cultures. The ARS staining is quite versatile because the dye forms an Alizarin Red S⁻calcium complex that can be extracted from the stained monolayer of cells and readily assayed by absorbance measurements. Direct visualization of stained deposits is also feasible; however, an in-situ visualization and quantification of deposits is possible only on transparent supports and not on thick opaque materials like ceramics and graphene composites that are well-known inducers of osteogenesis. In this manuscript, the shape of the 2D-fluorescence spectra of the ARS-calcium complex is used to develop a method to detect and monitor the in-situ differentiation process occurring during the osteogenic induction mediated by opaque graphene oxide surfaces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113336DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274764PMC
October 2018

BBS9 gene in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis: Role of the primary cilium in the aberrant ossification of the suture osteogenic niche.

Bone 2018 07 17;112:58-70. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Istituto di Anatomia Umana e Biologia Cellulare, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Italy; Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "Agostino Gemelli", 00168 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

Nonsyndromic craniosynostosis (NCS) is the premature ossification of skull sutures, without associated clinical features. Mutations in several genes account for a small number of NCS patients; thus, the molecular etiopathogenesis of NCS remains largely unclear. Our study aimed at characterizing the molecular signaling implicated in the aberrant ossification of sutures in NCS patients. Comparative gene expression profiling of NCS patient sutures identified a fused suture-specific signature, including 17 genes involved in primary cilium signaling and assembly. Cells from fused sutures displayed a reduced potential to form primary cilia compared to cells from control patent sutures of the same patient. We identified specific upregulated splice variants of the Bardet Biedl syndrome-associated gene 9 (BBS9), which encodes a structural component of the ciliary BBSome complex. BBS9 expression increased during in vitro osteogenic differentiation of suture-derived mesenchymal cells of NCS patients. Also, Bbs9 expression increased during in vivo ossification of rat sutures. BBS9 functional knockdown affected the expression of primary cilia on patient suture cells and their osteogenic potential. Computational modeling of the upregulated protein isoforms (observed in patients) predicted that their binding affinity within the BBSome may be affected, providing a possible explanation for the aberrant suture ossification in NCS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2018.04.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5970090PMC
July 2018