Publications by authors named "Roberto Vettor"

206 Publications

Association of obstructive sleep apnea with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with obesity: an observational study.

Eat Weight Disord 2021 Apr 3. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

Department of Medicine, Internal Medicine 3, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128, Padova, Italy.

Purpose: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is associated with the presence and severity of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). We aimed to investigate the relationship between the severity of OSA and NAFLD and to recognize a polysomnographic parameter correlated with progression of fibrosis, determined by a non-invasive score of liver fibrosis, FIBrosis-4 index (FIB-4), in patients affected by severe obesity and OSA.

Methods: We enrolled 334 patients (Body Mass Index, BMI 44.78 ± 8.99 kg/m), divided into classes according to severity of OSA evaluated with Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI): OSAS 0 or absent (17%), mild OSA (26%), moderate OSA (20%), severe OSAS (37%). We studied anthropometric, polysomnographic, biochemical data and FIB-4. A multiple regression model was computed to identify a polysomnographic independent predictor of FIB-4 among those parameters previously simple correlated with FIB-4.

Results: The severity of OSA was associated with a decrease in High-Density Lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) and an increase in BMI, triglycerides, Homeostasis model assessment insulin-resistance index (HOMA), transaminases and FIB-4. FIB-4 correlated with sex, age, BMI, AHI, mean percentage oxyhaemoglobin (meanSaO2%), number of desaturations, platelets, transaminases, HDL, triglycerides and HOMA. The only variables independently related to FIB-4 were sex, BMI, triglycerides and meanSpO2 (r = 0.47, AdjRsqr = 0.197).

Conclusion: MeanSpO2% represented an independent determinant for the worsening of FIB-4 in patients with severe obesity and OSA. Hence, it could hypothesize a clinical role of meanSaO2% in recognizing patients with obesity and OSA and higher risk of developing advanced fibrosis and, thus, to undergo further investigation.

Level Iii: Evidence obtained from well-designed cohort analytic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40519-021-01182-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019078PMC
April 2021

Lung Ultrasound Patterns and Clinical-Laboratory Correlates during COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Retrospective Study from North East Italy.

J Clin Med 2021 Mar 20;10(6). Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Via VIII Febbraio, 2, 35122 Padova, Italy.

Background And Aim: Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a convenient imaging modality in the setting of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) because it is easily available, can be performed bedside and repeated over time. We herein examined LUS patterns in relation to disease severity and disease stage among patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Methods: We performed a retrospective case series analysis of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who were admitted to the hospital because of pneumonia. We recorded history, clinical parameters and medications. LUS was performed and scored in a standardized fashion by experienced operators, with evaluation of up to 12 lung fields, reporting especially on B-lines and consolidations.

Results: We included 96 patients, 58.3% men, with a mean age of 65.9 years. Patients with a high-risk quick COVID-19 severity index (qCSI) were older and had worse outcomes, especially for the need for high-flow oxygen. B-lines and consolidations were located mainly in the lower posterior lung fields. LUS patterns for B-lines and consolidations were significantly worse in all lung fields among patients with high versus low qCSI. B-lines and consolidations were worse in the intermediate disease stage, from day 7 to 13 after onset of symptoms. While consolidations correlated more with inflammatory biomarkers, B-lines correlated more with end-organ damage, including extrapulmonary involvement.

Conclusions: LUS patterns provide a comprehensive evaluation of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia that correlated with severity and dynamically reflect disease stage. LUS patterns may reflect different pathophysiological processes related to inflammation or tissue damage; consolidations may represent a more specific sign of localized disease, whereas B-lines seem to be also dependent upon generalized illness due to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10061288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004000PMC
March 2021

In vitro chronic glycation induces AGEs accumulation reducing insulin stimulated glucose uptake and increasing GLP1R in adipocytes.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2021 Mar 29. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Università degli Studi di Padova Department of Medicine-DIMED Via Giustiniani 2 Padova.

Glycation is one of the most important post-translational modifications in cells and tissues and gives rise to highly reactive species called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs exert their pathological effects through different ways and previous reports suggest that they may also affect adipose tissue function and insulin sensitivity. All the data belong only to short-term treatments; however, in vivo glycation is a continuous process. To fill this gap, our study investigated the effect of chronic pro-glycating conditions on adipogenesis and adipocyte's insulin responsiveness. Our results show that chronic pro-glycating treatments with methylglyoxal (MGO) and MGO modified-BSA (BSA-MGO) do not display cytotoxicity but modify gene expression without affect adipogenic differentiation. These treatments induce different levels of intracellular accumulation of AGEs which colocalize with the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter GLUT4 (solute carrier family 2 member 4- SLC2A4) in the cytoplasm; in particular, BSA-MGO reduces glucose uptake. Moreover, the adipocytes differentiated in pro-glycating conditions display an enhancement in the protein expression of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP1R). These results suggest that intracellular AGEs could link alterations in GLP1 signaling and insulin resistance in adipose tissue, revealing that GLUT4 protein can be susceptible to glycation. Further studies are needed to clarify if this pathway could be targeted and if the reduction of AGEs accumulation in adipocytes can ameliorate insulin responsiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00156.2020DOI Listing
March 2021

Assessment of Protein Intake in the First Three Months after Sleeve Gastrectomy in Patients with Severe Obesity.

Nutrients 2021 Feb 27;13(3). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Medicine, University of Padova, 35128 Padova, Italy.

An adequate protein intake prevents the loss of fat-free mass during weight loss. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SG) jeopardizes protein intake due to post-operative dietary restriction and intolerance to protein-rich foods. The purpose of this study is to evaluate protein intake in the first three months after SG. We evaluated, 1 month and 3 months after surgery, 47 consecutive patients treated with SG. Protein intake, both from foods and from protein supplementation, was assessed through a weekly dietary record. Patients consumed 30.0 ± 10.2 g of protein/day on average from foods in the first month, with a significant increase to 34.9 ± 4.8 g of protein/day in the third month ( = 0.003). The use of protein supplementation significantly increased total protein intake to 42.3 ± 15.9 g protein/day ( < 0.001) in the first month and to 39.6 ± 14.2 g of protein/day ( = 0.002) in the third one. Compliance with supplement consumption was 63.8% in the first month and only 21.3% in the third month. In conclusion, both one and three months after SG, protein intake from foods was not sufficient. The use of modular supplements seems to have a significant impact on protein intake, but nevertheless it remains lower than recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13030771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997257PMC
February 2021

Treatment personalization in gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors.

Curr Treat Options Oncol 2021 Feb 27;22(4):29. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Surgical Pathology Unit, Department of Medicine (DIMED), University of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Opinion Statement: The clinical scenario of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) is continuously changing due to significant improvements in the definition of their molecular landscapes and the introduction of innovative therapeutic approaches. Many efforts are currently employed in the integration of the genetics/epigenetics and clinical information. This is leading to an improvement of tumor classification, prognostic stratification and ameliorating the management of patients based on a personalized approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11864-021-00825-4DOI Listing
February 2021

Machine learning-based analysis of alveolar and vascular injury in SARS-CoV-2 acute respiratory failure.

J Pathol 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences, and Public Health, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumopathy is characterized by a complex clinical picture and heterogeneous pathological lesions, both involving alveolar and vascular components. The severity and distribution of morphological lesions associated with SARS-CoV-2 and how they relate to clinical, laboratory, and radiological data have not yet been studied systematically. The main goals of the present study were to objectively identify pathological phenotypes and factors that, in addition to SARS-CoV-2, may influence their occurrence. Lungs from 26 patients who died from SARS-CoV-2 acute respiratory failure were comprehensively analysed. Robust machine learning techniques were implemented to obtain a global pathological score to distinguish phenotypes with prevalent vascular or alveolar injury. The score was then analysed to assess its possible correlation with clinical, laboratory, radiological, and tissue viral data. Furthermore, an exploratory random forest algorithm was developed to identify the most discriminative clinical characteristics at hospital admission that might predict pathological phenotypes of SARS-CoV-2. Vascular injury phenotype was observed in most cases being consistently present as pure form or in combination with alveolar injury. Phenotypes with more severe alveolar injury showed significantly more frequent tracheal intubation; longer invasive mechanical ventilation, illness duration, intensive care unit or hospital ward stay; and lower tissue viral quantity (p < 0.001). Furthermore, in this phenotype, superimposed infections, tumours, and aspiration pneumonia were also more frequent (p < 0.001). Random forest algorithm identified some clinical features at admission (body mass index, white blood cells, D-dimer, lymphocyte and platelet counts, fever, respiratory rate, and PaCO ) to stratify patients into different clinical clusters and potential pathological phenotypes (a web-app for score assessment has also been developed; https://r-ubesp.dctv.unipd.it/shiny/AVI-Score/). In SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, alveolar injury is often associated with other factors in addition to viral infection. Identifying phenotypical patterns at admission may enable a better stratification of patients, ultimately favouring the most appropriate management. © 2021 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5653DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8014445PMC
February 2021

Prostate specific antigen in COVID-19 patients.

Andrology 2021 Feb 13. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Clinica Medica 3, Department of Medicine - DIMED, University-Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/andr.12987DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8014206PMC
February 2021

Alström syndrome: an ultra-rare monogenic disorder as a model for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Endocrine 2021 Mar 10;71(3):618-625. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Medicine (DIMED), Clinica Medica 3, Padua University Hospital, Padua, Italy.

Background: Alström syndrome (ALMS) is a monogenic ultra-rare disorder with a prevalence of one per million inhabitants caused by pathogenic variants of ALMS1 gene. ALMS1 is located on chromosome 2p13, spans 23 exons and encodes a predicted 461.2-kDa protein of 4169 amino acids. The infantile cone-rod dystrophy with nystagmus and severe visual impairment is the earliest and most consistent clinical manifestation of ALMS. In addition, infantile transient cardiomyopathy, early childhood obesity with hyperphagia, deafness, insulin resistance (IR), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), systemic fibrosis and progressive renal or liver dysfunction are common findings. ALMS1 encodes a large ubiquitously expressed protein that is associated with the centrosome and the basal body of primary cilium.

Current Research: The localisation of ALMS1 to the ciliary basal body suggests its contribution to ciliogenesis and/or normal ciliary function, or centriolar stability. ALMS1 regulate glucose transport through the actin cytoskeleton, which plays an important role in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 transport. Both extreme IR and β-cell failure are the two determinant factors responsible for the development of glucose metabolism alterations in ALMS.

Treatment: Currently, there is no known cure for ALMS other than managing the underlying systemic diseases. When possible, individuals with ALMS and families should be referred to a centre of expertise and followed by a multidisciplinary team. Lifestyle modification, aerobic exercise and dietary induced weight loss are highly recommended as primary treatment for ALMS patients with T2DM and obesity.

Conclusion: Managing a rare disease requires not only medical care but also a support network including patient associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-021-02643-yDOI Listing
March 2021

Human white-fat thermogenesis: Experimental and meta-analytic findings.

Temperature (Austin) 2020 Jun 5;8(1):39-52. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

FAME Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.

White adipose tissue (WAT) thermogenic activity may play a role in whole-body energy balance and two of its main regulators are thought to be environmental temperature (T) and exercise. Low T may increase uncoupling protein one (UCP1; the main biomarker of thermogenic activity) in WAT to regulate body temperature. On the other hand, exercise may stimulate UCP1 in WAT, which is thought to alter body weight regulation. However, our understanding of the roles (if any) of T and exercise in WAT thermogenic activity remains incomplete. Our aim was to examine the impacts of low T and exercise on WAT thermogenic activity, which may alter energy homeostasis and body weight regulation. We conducted a series of four experimental studies, supported by two systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We found increased UCP1 mRNA (p = 0.03; but not protein level) in human WAT biopsy samples collected during the cold part of the year, a finding supported by a systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO review protocol: CRD42019120116). Additional clinical trials (NCT04037371; NCT04037410) using Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) revealed no impact of low T on human WAT thermogenic activity (p > 0.05). Furthermore, we found no effects of exercise on UCP1 mRNA or protein levels (p > 0.05) in WAT biopsy samples from a human randomized controlled trial (Clinical trial: NCT04039685), a finding supported by systematic review and meta-analytic data (PROSPERO review protocol: CRD42019120213). Taken together, the present experimental and meta-analytic findings of UCP1 and SUV, demonstrate that cold and exercise may play insignificant roles in human WAT thermogenic activity. : WAT:White adipose tissue; T: Environmental temperature; UCP1: Uncoupling protein one; BAT: Brown adipose tissue; BMI:Body mass index; mRNA: Messenger ribonucleic acid; RCT: Randomized controlled trial; WHR: Waist-to-hip ratio; PRISMA: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses; PET/CT: Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography; REE: Resting energy expenditure; F-FDG: F fludeoxyglucose; VOpeak:Peak oxygen consumption; 1RM: One repetition maximum; SUV: Maximum standardized uptake value; Std: Standardized mean difference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2020.1769530DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849687PMC
June 2020

Thrombin generation in patients with COVID-19 with and without thromboprophylaxis.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2021 Feb 3. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Medicine, General Medicine and Thrombotic and Haemorrhagic Diseases Unit, Padova University Hospital, Padova, Italy.

Objectives: Thrombin generation (TG) with and without thrombomodulin (TM) was evaluated in COVID-19 patients with different disease severity and thromboprophylaxis regimen, in order to understand the prothrombotic profile.

Methods: We enrolled consecutive patients with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 admitted to Medical Departments (MD) or Intensive Care Units (ICU), and 54 healthy controls.

Results: Eighty-nine patients were included (mean age 60.4±16.1 years, 68.5% male); 33.7% admitted to ICU. Twenty-four patients (26.9%) were enrolled before thromboprophylaxis administration; 45 patients (50.6%) received standard and 20 (22.5%) intermediate sub-therapeutic dose thromboprophylaxis. Overall, patients with COVID-19 showed a TG profile comparable to that of healthy subjects (i.e. comparable peak height, endogenous thrombin potential [ETP] with and without TM). The only exception was lag time and time to peak, prolonged in COVID-19 patients vs. controls. MD patients showed a similar TG profile to healthy controls, and ICU patients showed significantly decrease ETP (p=0.030) compared to MD. As for thromboprophylaxis, TG profile was significantly increased in COVID-19 patients without thromboprophylaxis vs. controls and vs. those with thromboprophylaxis. In this latter group, ETP inhibition was significantly decreased (p=0.0003) and positively correlated with anti-Xa activity (r=0.49, p=0.0017). However, patients with thromboprophylaxis had similar TG profile vs. controls. Intermediate dose thromboprophylaxis more effectively inhibited TG in severe COVID-19 patients by increasing ETP inhibition via ETP with TM reduction vs. standard dose.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients showed increased TG at diagnosis. Standard thromboprophylaxis reduced TG to levels of healthy controls. Intermediate sub-therapeutic thromboprophylaxis more effectively inhibited TG by decreasing ETP with TM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2021-0108DOI Listing
February 2021

Using high sensitivity cardiac troponin values in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19): The Padova experience.

Clin Biochem 2021 Apr 30;90:8-14. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The spectrum of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is broad and thus early appropriate risk stratification can be helpful. Our objectives were to define the frequency of myocardial injury using high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and to understand how to use its prognostic abilities.

Methods: Retrospective study of patients with COVID-19 presenting to an Emergency Department (ED) in Italy in 2020. Hs-cTnI was sampled based on clinical judgment. Myocardial injury was defined as values above the sex-specific 99th percentile upper reference limits (URLs). Most data is from the initial hospital value.

Results: 426 unique patients were included. Hs-cTnI was measured in 313 (73.5%) patients; 85 (27.2%) had myocardial injury at baseline. Patients with myocardial injury had higher mortality during hospitalization (hazard ratio = 9 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.55-17.79], p < 0.0001). Multivariable analysis including clinical and laboratory variables demonstrated an AUC of 0.942 with modest additional value of hs-cTnI. Myocardial injury was associated with mortality in patients with low APACHE II scores (<13) [OR (95% CI): 4.15 (1.40, 14.22), p = 0.014] but not in those with scores > 13 [OR (95% CI): 0.48 (0.08, 2.65), p = 0.40]. Initial hs-cTnI < 5 ng/L identified 33% of patients that were at low risk with 97.8% sensitivity (95% CI 88.7, 99.6) and 99.2% negative predictive value. Type 1 myocardial infarction (MI) and type 2 MI were infrequent.

Conclusions: hs-cTnI at baseline is a significant predictor of mortality in COVID-19 patients. A value < 5 ng/L identified patients at low risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2021.01.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847286PMC
April 2021

Effectiveness of In-Hospital Cholecalciferol Use on Clinical Outcomes in Comorbid COVID-19 Patients: A Hypothesis-Generating Study.

Nutrients 2021 Jan 14;13(1). Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University Hospital AOUI, 37134 Verona, Italy.

Little information is available on the beneficial effects of cholecalciferol treatment in comorbid patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The aim of this study was to retrospectively examine the clinical outcome of patients receiving in-hospital high-dose bolus cholecalciferol. Patients with a positive diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 and overt COVID-19, hospitalized from 15 March to 20 April 2020, were considered. Based on clinical characteristics, they were supplemented (or not) with 400,000 IU bolus oral cholecalciferol (200,000 IU administered in two consecutive days) and the composite outcome (transfer to intensive care unit; ICU and/or death) was recorded. Ninety-one patients (aged 74 ± 13 years) with COVID-19 were included in this retrospective study. Fifty (54.9%) patients presented with two or more comorbid diseases. Based on the decision of the referring physician, 36 (39.6%) patients were treated with vitamin D. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed a significant predictive power of the four variables: (a) low (<50 nmol/L) 25(OH) vitamin D levels, (b) current cigarette smoking, (c) elevated D-dimer levels (d) and the presence of comorbid diseases, to explain the decision to administer vitamin D (area under the curve = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67-0.87, < 0.0001). Over the follow-up period (14 ± 10 days), 27 (29.7%) patients were transferred to the ICU and 22 (24.2%) died (16 prior to ICU and six in ICU). Overall, 43 (47.3%) patients experienced the combined endpoint of transfer to ICU and/or death. Logistic regression analyses revealed that the comorbidity burden significantly modified the effect of vitamin D treatment on the study outcome, both in crude ( = 0.033) and propensity score-adjusted analyses ( = 0.039), so the positive effect of high-dose cholecalciferol on the combined endpoint was significantly amplified with increasing comorbidity burden. This hypothesis-generating study warrants the formal evaluation (i.e., clinical trial) of the potential benefit that cholecalciferol can offer in these comorbid COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13010219DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7828675PMC
January 2021

Mortality and Transfusion Requirements in COVID-19 Hospitalized Italian Patients According to Severity of the Disease.

J Clin Med 2021 Jan 11;10(2). Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Medical Genetics, University of Foggia, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

There is paucity of data on the transfusion need and its impact on the overall mortality in patients with COVID-19. We explored mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who required transfusions. Information on clinical variables and in-hospital mortality were obtained from medical records of 422 patients admitted to medical wards or the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In-hospital mortality occurred in 147 (34.8%) patients, 94 (63.9%) of whom were admitted to the ICU. The median fatalities age was 77 years (IQR 14). Overall, 100 patients (60 males) received transfusion during hospitalization. The overall mortality was significantly and independently associated with age, ICU admission, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and the number of transfused Red Blood Cell (RBC) units. Specifically, CKD was associated with mortality in patients admitted to medical wards, whereas the number of transfused RBC units predicted mortality in those admitted to the ICU. Transfusion strongly interacted with the admission to ICU (OR: 9.9; 95% CI: 2.5-40.0). In patients with COVID-19, age is one of the strongest risk factors in predicting mortality independently of the disease's severity. CKD confers a higher risk of mortality in patients admitted to medical wards. In those admitted to the ICU, the more RBC units are transfused, the more mortality increases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10020242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826536PMC
January 2021

Heparin in COVID-19 Patients Is Associated with Reduced In-Hospital Mortality: the Multicenter Italian CORIST Study.

Authors:
Augusto Di Castelnuovo Simona Costanzo Andrea Antinori Nausicaa Berselli Lorenzo Blandi Marialaura Bonaccio Roberto Cauda Giovanni Guaraldi Lorenzo Menicanti Marco Mennuni Giustino Parruti Giuseppe Patti Francesca Santilli Carlo Signorelli Alessandra Vergori Pasquale Abete Walter Ageno Antonella Agodi Piergiuseppe Agostoni Luca Aiello Samir Al Moghazi Rosa Arboretti Marinella Astuto Filippo Aucella Greta Barbieri Alessandro Bartoloni Paolo Bonfanti Francesco Cacciatore Lucia Caiano Laura Carrozzi Antonio Cascio Arturo Ciccullo Antonella Cingolani Francesco Cipollone Claudia Colomba Crizia Colombo Francesca Crosta Gian Battista Danzi Damiano D'Ardes Katleen de Gaetano Donati Francesco Di Gennaro Giuseppe Di Tano Gianpiero D'Offizi Massimo Fantoni Francesco Maria Fusco Ivan Gentile Francesco Gianfagna Elvira Grandone Emauele Graziani Leonardo Grisafi Gabriella Guarnieri Giovanni Larizza Armando Leone Gloria Maccagni Ferruccio Madaro Stefano Maitan Sandro Mancarella Massimo Mapelli Riccardo Maragna Rossella Marcucci Giulio Maresca Silvia Marongiu Claudia Marotta Lorenzo Marra Franco Mastroianni Maria Mazzitelli Alessandro Mengozzi Francesco Menichetti Marianna Meschiari Jovana Milic Filippo Minutolo Beatrice Molena Arturo Montineri Cristina Mussini Maria Musso Daniela Niola Anna Odone Marco Olivieri Antonella Palimodde Roberta Parisi Emanuela Pasi Raffaele Pesavento Francesco Petri Biagio Pinchera Venerino Poletti Claudia Ravaglia Andrea Rognoni Marco Rossato Marianna Rossi Vincenzo Sangiovanni Carlo Sanrocco Laura Scorzolini Raffaella Sgariglia Paola Giustina Simeone Eleonora Taddei Carlo Torti Roberto Vettor Andrea Vianello Marco Vinceti Alexandra Virano Laura Vocciante Raffaele De Caterina Licia Iacoviello

Thromb Haemost 2021 Jan 7. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.

Introduction:  A hypercoagulable condition was described in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and proposed as a possible pathogenic mechanism contributing to disease progression and lethality.

Aim:  We evaluated if in-hospital administration of heparin improved survival in a large cohort of Italian COVID-19 patients.

Methods:  In a retrospective observational study, 2,574 unselected patients hospitalized in 30 clinical centers in Italy from February 19, 2020 to June 5, 2020 with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection were analyzed. The primary endpoint in a time-to event analysis was in-hospital death, comparing patients who received heparin (low-molecular-weight heparin [LMWH] or unfractionated heparin [UFH]) with patients who did not. We used multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression models with inverse probability for treatment weighting by propensity scores.

Results:  Out of 2,574 COVID-19 patients, 70.1% received heparin. LMWH was largely the most used formulation (99.5%). Death rates for patients receiving heparin or not were 7.4 and 14.0 per 1,000 person-days, respectively. After adjustment for propensity scores, we found a 40% lower risk of death in patients receiving heparin (hazard ratio = 0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.49-0.74; E-value = 2.04). This association was particularly evident in patients with a higher severity of disease or strong coagulation activation.

Conclusion:  In-hospital heparin treatment was associated with a lower mortality, particularly in severely ill COVID-19 patients and in those with strong coagulation activation. The results from randomized clinical trials are eagerly awaited to provide clear-cut recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1347-6070DOI Listing
January 2021

Neurocognitive assessment and DNA sequencing expand the phenotype and genotype spectrum of Alström syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 03 7;185(3):732-742. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

DIMED, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy.

Alström syndrome (OMIM#203800) is an ultra-rare autosomal recessive monogenic disease presenting pathogenic variants in ALMS1 (chromosome 2p13). It is characterized by early onset of blindness, hearing loss and systemic comorbidities, with delayed development without cognitive impairment. We aimed to investigate the cognitive functions and describe new pathogenic variants in Alström syndrome patients. Nineteen patients (13 adults, 6 children) underwent a thorough clinical, genetic, laboratory, instrumental, and neurocognitive assessment. Six new pathogenic variants in ALMS1 including the first described in exon 6 were identified. Four patients displayed a "mild phenotype" characterized by slow disease onset or absence of complications, including childhood obesity and association with at least one pathogenic variant in exon 5 or 6. At neurocognitive testing, a significant proportion of patients had deficits in three neurocognitive domains: similarities, phonological memory, and apraxia. In particular, 53% of patients showed difficulties in the auditory working memory test. We found ideomotor and buccofacial apraxia in 74% of patients. "Mild phenotype" patients performed better on auditory working memory and ideomotor apraxia test than "typical phenotype" ones (91.9 + 16.3% vs. 41.7 + 34.5% of correct answers, Z = 64.5, p < .01 and 92.5 + 9.6 vs. 61.7 + 26.3, Z = 61, p < .05, respectively). Deficits in auditory working memory, ideomotor, and buccofacial apraxia were found in these patients and fewer neuropsychological deficits were found in the "mild" phenotype group. Furthermore, in the "mild" phenotype group, it was found that all pathogenic variants are localized before exon 8.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62029DOI Listing
March 2021

Pharmacological Approaches to Controlling Cardiometabolic Risk in Women with PCOS.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 15;21(24). Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Medicine, University of Padova, 35128 Padova, Italy.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by elevated androgen production and subclinical changes in cardiovascular and metabolic risk markers. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin appear to increase specifically in PCOS compared with fertile women. PCOS also confers an increased risk of cardiometabolic disease in later life. Novel biomarkers such as serum's cholesterol efflux capacity and blood-derived macrophage activation profile may assist in more accurately defining the cardiometabolic risk profile in these women. Aldosterone antagonists, androgen receptor antagonists, 5α-reductase inhibitors, and synthetic progestogens are used to reduce hyperandrogenism. Because increased insulin secretion enhances ovarian androgen production, short-term treatment with metformin and other hypoglycemic agents results in significant weight loss, favorable metabolic changes, and testosterone reduction. The naturally occurring inositols display insulin-sensitizing effects and may be also used in this context because of their safety profile. Combined oral contraceptives represent the drug of choice for correction of androgen-related symptoms. Overall, PCOS management remains focused on specific targets including assessment and treatment of cardiometabolic risk, according to disease phenotypes. While new options are adding to established therapeutic approaches, a sometimes difficult balance between efficacy and safety of available medications has to be found in individual women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765466PMC
December 2020

Validation of a composed COVID-19 chest radiography score: the CARE project.

ERJ Open Res 2020 Oct 26;6(4). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Institute of Radiology, Dept of Medicine DIMED, University of Padova, Padua, Italy.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to validate a composed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) chest radiography score (CARE) based on the extension of ground-glass opacity (GG) and consolidations (Co), separately assessed, and to investigate its prognostic performance.

Methods: COVID-19-positive patients referring to our tertiary centre during the first month of the outbreak in our area and with a known outcome were retrospectively evaluated. Each lung was subdivided into three areas and a three-grade score assessing the extension of GG and Co was used. The CARE was derived from the sum of the subscores. A mixed-model ANOVA with Bonferroni correction was used to evaluate whether differences related to the referring unit (emergency room, COVID-19 wards and intensive care unit (ICU)) occurred. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the impact of CARE, patients' age and sex on the outcome. To evaluate the prognostic performance of CARE, receiver operating characteristic curves were computed for the entire stay and at admission only.

Results: A total of 1203 chest radiographs of 175 patients (120 males; mean age 67.81±15.5 years old) were examined. On average, each patient underwent 6.8±10.3 radiographs. Patients in ICU as well as deceased patients showed higher CARE scores (p<0.05, each). Age, Co and CARE significantly influenced the outcome (p<0.05 each). The CARE demonstrated good accuracy (area under the curve (AUC)=0.736) using longitudinal data as well as at admission only (AUC=0.740). A CARE score of 17.5 during hospitalisation showed 75% sensitivity and 69.9% specificity.

Conclusions: The CARE was demonstrated to be a reliable tool to assess the severity of pulmonary involvement at chest radiography with a good prognostic performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00359-2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682711PMC
October 2020

Vitamin K and Osteoporosis.

Nutrients 2020 Nov 25;12(12). Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Medicine, University Health Network, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth Street, Eaton North 7-221, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada.

Vitamin K acts as a coenzyme of carboxylase, catalyzing the carboxylation of several vitamin K dependent proteins. Beyond its well-known effects on blood coagulation, it also exerts relevant effects on bone and the vascular system. In this review, we point out the relevance of an adequate vitamin K intake to obtain sufficient levels of carboxylated (active form) vitamin K dependent proteins (such as Osteocalcin and matrix Gla protein) to prevent bone health. Another bone-related action of Vitamin K is being a ligand of the nuclear steroid and xenobiotic receptor (SXR). We also discuss the recommended intake, deficiency, and assessment of vitamin K. Furthermore, we review the few available studies that have as pre-specified outcome bone fractures, indicating that we need more clinical studies to confirm that vitamin K is a potential therapeutic agent for bone fractures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12123625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760385PMC
November 2020

A Novel Loss of Function Melanocortin-4-Receptor Mutation (MC4R-F313Sfs*29) in Morbid Obesity.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Mar;106(3):736-749

Department of Medicine - DIMED, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Context: Melanocortin receptor-4 (MC4R) gene mutations are associated with early-onset severe obesity, and the identification of potential pathological variants is crucial for the clinical management of patients with obesity.

Objective: To explore whether and how a novel heterozygous MC4R variant (MC4R-F313Sfs*29), identified in a young boy (body mass index [BMI] 38.8 kg/m2) during a mutation analysis conducted in a cohort of patients with obesity, plays a determinant pathophysiological role in the obesity development.

Design Setting And Patients: The genetic screening was carried out in a total of 209 unrelated patients with obesity (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2). Structural and functional characterization of the F313Sfs*29-mutated MC4R was performed using computational approaches and in vitro, using HEK293 cells transfected with genetically encoded biosensors for cAMP and Ca2+.

Results: The F313Sfs*29 was the only variant identified. In vitro experiments showed that HEK293 cells transfected with the mutated form of MC4R did not increase intracellular cAMP or Ca2+ levels after stimulation with a specific agonist in comparison with HEK293 cells transfected with the wild type form of MC4R (∆R/R0 = -90% ± 8%; P < 0.001). In silico modeling showed that the F313Sfs*29 mutation causes a major reorganization in the cytosolic domain of MC4R, thus reducing the affinity of the putative GalphaS binding site.

Conclusions: The newly discovered F313Sfs*29 variant of MC4R may be involved in the impairment of α-MSH-induced cAMP and Ca2+ signaling, blunting intracellular G protein-mediated signal transduction. This alteration might have led to the dysregulation of satiety signaling, resulting in hyperphagia and early onset of obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa885DOI Listing
March 2021

COVID-19 and smoking habits: a smoky situation!

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 2020 Nov 23;90(4). Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Clinica Medica 3, Department of Medicine (DIMED), University-Hospital of Padua.

Dear Editor, the issues recently raised by Carratù et al. on the role of smoking/former smoking in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 all around the world as widely reported in many different published papers, are important for different reasons...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2020.1539DOI Listing
November 2020

White Adipose Tissue Expansion in Multiple Symmetric Lipomatosis Is Associated with Upregulation of CK2, AKT and ERK1/2.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Oct 26;21(21). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Endocrine-Metabolic Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Internal Medicine 3, University of Padua, 35128 Padua, Italy.

Multiple symmetric lipomatosis (MSL) is a rare disorder characterized by overgrowing lipomatous tissue (LT) in the subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT). What LT is and how it expands are not completely understood; previous data suggested that it could derive from brown AT precursors. In six MSL type I patients, we compared LT morphology by histological and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis, gene expression, by qPCR, kinase activity, by Western Blot and in vitro assay to paired-control SAT using AT from patients with pheochromocytoma as a human browning reference. In the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), we quantified adipose stem cells (ASCs) by flow cytometry, the proliferation rate, white and beige adipogenic potential and clonogenicity and adipogenicity by a limiting dilution assay. LT displayed white AT morphology and expression pattern and did not show increased levels of the brown-specific marker UCP1. In LT, we evidenced AKT, CK2 and ERK1/2 hyperactivation. LT-SVF contained increased ASCs, proliferated faster, sprouted clones and differentiated into adipocytes better than the control, displaying enhanced white adipogenic potential but not increased browning compared to SAT. In conclusion, LT is a white AT depot expanding by hyperplasia through increased stemness and enhanced white adipogenesis upregulating AKT, CK2 and ERK1/2, which could represent new targets to counteract MSL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21217933DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7662313PMC
October 2020

Practical Considerations for the Management of Cushing's Disease and COVID-19: A Case Report.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 11;11:554. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Clinica Medica 3, Department of Medicine, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Italy, since the end of February 2020, is experiencing the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that may present as an acute respiratory infection. We report on COVID-19 pneumonia in the context of a complex case of Cushing's disease (CD). A 67-year-old man with CD, who was admitted to our hospital, presented with signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency with persistent hypotension and glycemia toward the lower limits. We progressively withdrew almost all treatments for diabetes and CD (pasireotide and metyrapone), and i.v. hydrocortisone was necessary. A tendency to hyperkalemia was probably associated to enoxaparin. We summarized the many possible interactions between medications of Cushing's syndrome (CS) and COVID-19. Adrenal insufficiency might be a clinical challenge that needs a prompt treatment also in CS patients during COVID-19 infection. We should consider the possibility to titrate or temporary halt medical therapies of CS in the context of COVID-19 infection. Unexpected hyperkalemia in CS patients under treatment with heparin might be the signal of aldosterone suppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7533597PMC
November 2020

More Severe Hypercoagulable State in Acute COVID-19 Pneumonia as Compared With Other Pneumonia.

Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes 2020 Dec 1;4(6):696-702. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

General Internal Medicine and Thrombotic and Hemorrhagic Diseases Unit, Department of Medicine, Padova University Hospital, Padova, Italy.

Objective: To conduct a comprehensive evaluation of coagulation profiles-via traditional and whole blood thromboelastometry tests-in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-positive vs COVID-19-negative patients admitted to medical wards for acute pneumonia.

Patients And Methods: We enrolled all consecutive patients admitted to internal medicine wards of Padova University Hospital between 7 March and 30 April, 2020, for COVID-19-related pneumonia (cases) vs non-COVID-19 pneumonia (controls). A group of healthy individuals acted as baseline for thromboelastometry parameters.

Results: Fifty-six cases (mean age, 64±15 years; male/female, 37/19) and 56 controls (mean age, 76±11 years; male/female, 35/21) were enrolled. Cases and controls exhibited markedly hypercoagulable thromboelastometry profiles vs healthy individuals, mainly characterized by a significantly shorter propagation phase of coagulation (clot formation time) and significantly increased maximum clot firmness (<.001 for all comparisons). Patients with COVID-19 pneumonia had significantly shorter clot formation time and higher maximum clot firmness (<.01 and <.05, respectively, for all comparisons) than did controls.

Conclusion: Patients admitted to internal medicine wards for COVID-19 pneumonia presented a markedly prothrombotic state, which seems peculiar to COVID-19 rather than pneumonia itself.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2020.09.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528900PMC
December 2020

The immune receptor CD300e negatively regulates T cell activation by impairing the STAT1-dependent antigen presentation.

Sci Rep 2020 10 5;10(1):16501. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Biology, University of Padova, Via Ugo Bassi 58/B, 35131, Padova, Italy.

CD300e is a surface receptor, expressed by myeloid cells, involved in the tuning of immune responses. CD300e engagement was reported to provide the cells with survival signals, to trigger the expression of activation markers and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Hence, CD300e is considered an immune activating receptor. In this study, we demonstrate that the ligation of CD300e in monocytes hampers the expression of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II, affecting its synthesis. This effect, which is associated with the transcription impairment of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), overcomes the capacity of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) to promote the expression of the antigen-presenting molecules. Importantly, the decreased expression of HLA-II on the surface of CD300e-activated monocytes negatively impacts their capacity to activate T cells in an antigen-specific manner. Notably, unlike in vitro- differentiated macrophages which do not express CD300e, the immune receptor is expressed by tissue macrophages. Taken together, our findings argue against the possibility that this molecule should be considered an activating immune receptor sensu stricto. Moreover, our results support the notion that CD300e might be a new player in the regulation of the expansion of T cell-mediated responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-73552-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536427PMC
October 2020

Cardiac injury and mortality in patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): insights from a mediation analysis.

Intern Emerg Med 2021 Mar 27;16(2):419-427. Epub 2020 Sep 27.

Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani, 2, Padua, 35128, Italy.

Backgrounds: Patients at greatest risk of severe clinical conditions from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and death are elderly and comorbid patients. Increased levels of cardiac troponins identify patients with poor outcome. The present study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of a cohort of Italian inpatients, admitted to a medical COVID-19 Unit, and to investigate the relative role of cardiac injury on in-hospital mortality.

Methods And Results: We analyzed all consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 referred to our dedicated medical Unit between February 26th and March 31st 2020. Patients' clinical data including comorbidities, laboratory values, and outcomes were collected. Predictors of in-hospital mortality were investigated. A mediation analysis was performed to identify the potential mediators in the relationship between cardiac injury and mortality. A total of 109 COVID-19 inpatients (female 36%, median age 71 years) were included. During in-hospital stay, 20 patients (18%) died and, compared with survivors, these patients were older, had more comorbidities defined by Charlson comorbidity index ≥ 3(65% vs 24%, p = 0.001), and higher levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (Hs-cTnI), both at first evaluation and peak levels. A dose-response curve between Hs-cTnI and in-hospital mortality risk up to 200 ng/L was detected. Hs-cTnI, chronic kidney disease, and chronic coronary artery disease mediated most of the risk of in-hospital death, with Hs-cTnI mediating 25% of such effect. Smaller effects were observed for age, lactic dehydrogenase, and D-dimer.

Conclusions: In this cohort of elderly and comorbid COVID-19 patients, elevated Hs-cTnI levels were the most important and independent mediators of in-hospital mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-020-02495-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7520162PMC
March 2021

SARS-CoV-2 identification and IgA antibodies in saliva: One sample two tests approach for diagnosis.

Clin Chim Acta 2020 Nov 16;510:717-722. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Medicine - DIMED, Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Aim: This study aims to verify whether standardized saliva collection is suitable for SARS-CoV-2 molecular detection and IgA measurement.

Methods: 43 COVID-19 inpatients and 326 screening subjects underwent naso-pharyngeal (NP)-swab and saliva collection (Salivette). Inpatients also underwent repeated blood collections to evaluate inflammation and organs involvement. In all patients and subjects, SARS-CoV-2 (gene E) rRT-PCR was undertaken in saliva and NP-swabs. Salivary IgA and serum IgA, IgG, IgM were measured on inpatients' samples.

Results: NP-swabs and saliva were both SARS-CoV-2 positive in 7 (16%) or both negative in 35 (82%) out of 43 patients successfully included in the study. NP-swabs and saliva results did not perfectly match in one patient (saliva positive, NP-swab negative). Positive molecular results were significantly associated with disease duration (p = 0.0049). 326/326 screening subjects were SARS-CoV-2 negative on both NP-swabs and saliva. Among the 27 saliva samples tested for IgA, 18 were IgA positive. Salivary IgA positivity was associated with pneumonia (p = 0.002) and CRP values (p = 0.0183), not with other clinical and molecular data, or with serum immunoglubulins.

Conclusions: A standardized saliva collection can be adopted to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection in alternative to NP-swabs. Preliminary data on salivary IgA support the use of saliva also for patient monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2020.09.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7492139PMC
November 2020

Common cardiovascular risk factors and in-hospital mortality in 3,894 patients with COVID-19: survival analysis and machine learning-based findings from the multicentre Italian CORIST Study.

Authors:
Augusto Di Castelnuovo Marialaura Bonaccio Simona Costanzo Alessandro Gialluisi Andrea Antinori Nausicaa Berselli Lorenzo Blandi Raffaele Bruno Roberto Cauda Giovanni Guaraldi Ilaria My Lorenzo Menicanti Giustino Parruti Giuseppe Patti Stefano Perlini Francesca Santilli Carlo Signorelli Giulio G Stefanini Alessandra Vergori Amina Abdeddaim Walter Ageno Antonella Agodi Piergiuseppe Agostoni Luca Aiello Samir Al Moghazi Filippo Aucella Greta Barbieri Alessandro Bartoloni Carolina Bologna Paolo Bonfanti Serena Brancati Francesco Cacciatore Lucia Caiano Francesco Cannata Laura Carrozzi Antonio Cascio Antonella Cingolani Francesco Cipollone Claudia Colomba Annalisa Crisetti Francesca Crosta Gian B Danzi Damiano D'Ardes Katleen de Gaetano Donati Francesco Di Gennaro Gisella Di Palma Giuseppe Di Tano Massimo Fantoni Tommaso Filippini Paola Fioretto Francesco M Fusco Ivan Gentile Leonardo Grisafi Gabriella Guarnieri Francesco Landi Giovanni Larizza Armando Leone Gloria Maccagni Sandro Maccarella Massimo Mapelli Riccardo Maragna Rossella Marcucci Giulio Maresca Claudia Marotta Lorenzo Marra Franco Mastroianni Alessandro Mengozzi Francesco Menichetti Jovana Milic Rita Murri Arturo Montineri Roberta Mussinelli Cristina Mussini Maria Musso Anna Odone Marco Olivieri Emanuela Pasi Francesco Petri Biagio Pinchera Carlo A Pivato Roberto Pizzi Venerino Poletti Francesca Raffaelli Claudia Ravaglia Giulia Righetti Andrea Rognoni Marco Rossato Marianna Rossi Anna Sabena Francesco Salinaro Vincenzo Sangiovanni Carlo Sanrocco Antonio Scarafino Laura Scorzolini Raffaella Sgariglia Paola G Simeone Enrico Spinoni Carlo Torti Enrico M Trecarichi Francesca Vezzani Giovanni Veronesi Roberto Vettor Andrea Vianello Marco Vinceti Raffaele De Caterina Licia Iacoviello

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2020 10 31;30(11):1899-1913. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli, IS, Italy; Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: There is poor knowledge on characteristics, comorbidities and laboratory measures associated with risk for adverse outcomes and in-hospital mortality in European Countries. We aimed at identifying baseline characteristics predisposing COVID-19 patients to in-hospital death.

Methods And Results: Retrospective observational study on 3894 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalized from February 19th to May 23rd, 2020 and recruited in 30 clinical centres distributed throughout Italy. Machine learning (random forest)-based and Cox survival analysis. 61.7% of participants were men (median age 67 years), followed up for a median of 13 days. In-hospital mortality exhibited a geographical gradient, Northern Italian regions featuring more than twofold higher death rates as compared to Central/Southern areas (15.6% vs 6.4%, respectively). Machine learning analysis revealed that the most important features in death classification were impaired renal function, elevated C reactive protein and advanced age. These findings were confirmed by multivariable Cox survival analysis (hazard ratio (HR): 8.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.6-14.7 for age ≥85 vs 18-44 y); HR = 4.7; 2.9-7.7 for estimated glomerular filtration rate levels <15 vs ≥ 90 mL/min/1.73 m; HR = 2.3; 1.5-3.6 for C-reactive protein levels ≥10 vs ≤ 3 mg/L). No relation was found with obesity, tobacco use, cardiovascular disease and related-comorbidities. The associations between these variables and mortality were substantially homogenous across all sub-groups analyses.

Conclusions: Impaired renal function, elevated C-reactive protein and advanced age were major predictors of in-hospital death in a large cohort of unselected patients with COVID-19, admitted to 30 different clinical centres all over Italy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2020.07.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833278PMC
October 2020

Vitamin K and Kidney Transplantation.

Nutrients 2020 Sep 5;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Nephrology Unit, ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco, 20157 Milano, Italy.

The assessment of the vitamin K status and its effects on clinical outcomes in kidney transplantation (KT) patients has sparked interest, but it is still largely unfulfilled. In part, this is due to difficulties in laboratory measurements of vitamin K, especially K2 vitamers. Vitamin K status is currently best assessed by measuring undercarboxylated vitamin-K-dependent proteins. The relative contribution of vitamin K1 and K2 to the health status of the general population and CKD (chronic kidney disease) patients, including KT patients, is also poorly studied. Through a complete and first review of the existing literature, we summarize the current knowledge of vitamin K pathophysiology and its potential role in preventing KT complications and improving organ survival. A specific focus is placed on cardiovascular complications, bone fractures, and the relationship between vitamin K and cancer. Vitamin K deficiency could determine adverse outcomes, and KT patients should be better studied for vitamin K assessment and modalities of effective therapeutic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12092717DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551925PMC
September 2020

COVID-19 challenge: proactive management of a Tertiary University Hospital in Veneto Region, Italy.

Pathog Glob Health 2020 09 23;114(6):309-317. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Department of Directional Hospital Management, Azienda Ospedale Università Padova , Padua, Italy.

Background: The aim of this study is to describe the successful emergency plan implemented by Padova University Hospital (AOUP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: The emergency plan included early implementation of procedures aimed at meeting the increasing demand for testing and care while ensuring safe and timely care of all patients and guaranteeing the safety of healthcare workers.

Results: From 21 February to 1 May 2020, there were 3,862 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Province of Padua. A total of 485 patients were hospitalized in AOUP, of which 91 were admitted to the ICU; 12 .6% of admitted patients died. The average bed occupancy rate in the ICU was 61.1% (IQR 43.6%:77.4%). Inpatient surgery and inpatient admissions were kept for 76% and 74%, respectively, compared to March 2019. A total of 123,077 swabs were performed, 19.3% of which (23,725 swabs) to screen AOUP workers. The screening of all staff showed that 137 of 7,649 (1.8%) hospital workers were positive. No healthcare worker died.

Discussion: AOUP strategy demonstrated effective management of the epidemic thanks to the timely implementation of emergency procedures, a well-coordinated effort shared by all hospital Departments, and their continuous adjustment to the ongoing epidemic. Timely screening of all hospital workers proved to be particularly important to defend the hospital, avoiding epidemic clusters due to unknown positive cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20477724.2020.1806614DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480614PMC
September 2020