Publications by authors named "Rosaria Vincenza Giglio"

40 Publications

Evaluation of Anti-SARS-Cov-2 S-RBD IgG Antibodies after COVID-19 mRNA BNT162b2 Vaccine.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jun 22;11(7). Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

(1) Background: The evaluation of anti-spike protein receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) antibodies represents a useful tool to estimate the individual protection against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection; (2) Methods: We evaluated anti S-RBD IgG levels by indirect chemiluminescence immunoassay on Maglumi 800 (SNIBE, California) in 2248 vaccinated subjects without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, 91 vaccinated individuals recovered from COVID-19, and 268 individuals recovered from COVID-19 who had not been vaccinated. Among those who were healthy and vaccinated, 352 subjects performed a re-dosing after about 72 days from the first measurement. (3) Results: Anti S-RBD IgG levels were lower in subjects with previous infection than vaccinated subjects, with or without previous infection ( < 0.001). No difference was observed between vaccinated subjects, with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Overall, anti-RBD IgG levels were higher in females than males (2110 vs. 1341 BAU/mL; < 0.001) as well as in subjects with symptoms after vaccination than asymptomatic ones (2085 vs. 1332 BAU/mL; = 0.001) and lower in older than younger subjects. Finally, a significant decrease in anti-RBD IgG levels was observed within a short period from a complete two-dose cycle vaccination. (4) Conclusions: Our results show an efficacy antibody response after vaccination with age-, time- and sex-related differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11071135DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8306884PMC
June 2021

Preliminary reference intervals of Glycated Albumin in healthy Caucasian pregnant women.

Clin Chim Acta 2021 Aug 12;519:227-230. Epub 2021 May 12.

Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital "P. Giaccone", Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Glycated albumin (GA) could represent a useful biomarker in pregnant women for diagnosing and monitoring gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The establishment of reference intervals (RI) is mandatory before assessing its clinical usefulness. The RIs of GA in healthy pregnant women are not well defined. The aim of the current study was to establish the RI in a cohort consisting of Caucasian pregnant women without overt diabetes mellitus or gestational diabetes mellitus.

Methods: The study included 183 healthy pregnant women. GA was measured on plasma by an enzymatic method (quantILab Glycated Albumin, IL Werfen, Germany). The RI was calculated by the non-parametric and robust methods.

Results: The RI of GA in the whole population was 10.16% (90%CI 9.60-10.70) and 15.44% (90%CI 14.90-16.90). GA levels decreased during pregnancy, with lower levels in the third trimester: 10.11 (90%CI 9.48-10.79) and 15.72 (90%CI 15.15-16.27) in the first trimester, 10.49 (90%CI 10.05-10.96) and 15.49 (90%CI 15.05-15.92) in the second trimester, 9.84 (90%CI 9.50-10.22) and 14.57 (90%CI 14.11-15.01) in the third trimester. Finally, a weak negative correlation was found between GA levels and body mass index.

Conclusion: This is the first study establishing the RIs of GA in Caucasian healthy pregnant women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2021.05.009DOI Listing
August 2021

Clinical Utility of Midregional Proadrenomedullin in Patients with COVID-19.

Lab Med 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the role of midregional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM) in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: We included 110 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Biochemical biomarkers, including MR-proADM, were measured at admission. The association of plasma MR-proADM levels with COVID-19 severity, defined as a requirement for mechanical ventilation or in-hospital mortality, was evaluated.

Results: Patients showed increased levels of MR-proADM. In addition, MR-proADM was higher in patients who died during hospitalization than in patients who survived (median, 2.59 nmol/L; interquartile range, 2.3-2.95 vs median, 0.82 nmol/L; interquartile range, 0.57-1.03; P <.0001). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed good accuracy of MR-proADM for predicting mortality. A MR-proADM value of 1.73 nmol/L was established as the best cutoff value, with 90% sensitivity and 95% specificity (P <.0001).

Conclusion: We found that MR-proADM could represent a prognostic biomarker of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/labmed/lmab032DOI Listing
April 2021

Preliminary Results of CitraVes™ Effects on Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Waist Circumference in Healthy Subjects after 12 Weeks: A Pilot Open-Label Study.

Metabolites 2021 Apr 27;11(5). Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics (Bi.N.D), Section of Biology and Genetics, University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy.

Appropriate monitoring and control of modifiable risk factors, such as the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and other types of dyslipidemia, have an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Recently, various nutraceuticals with lipid-lowering effects have gained attention. In addition to the plant-derived bioactive compounds, recent studies suggested that plant cells are able to release small lipoproteic structures named extracellular vesicles (EVs). The interaction between EVs and mammalian cells could lead to beneficial effects through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. The present study aimed to assess the safety of the new patented plant-based product citraVes™, containing extracellular vesicles (EVs) from (L.) Osbeck juice, and to investigate its ability to modulate different CV risk factors in healthy subjects. A cohort of 20 healthy volunteers was recruited in a prospective open-label study. All participants received the supplement in a spray-dried formulation at a stable dose of 1000 mg/day for 3 months. Anthropometric and hematobiochemical parameters were analyzed at the baseline and after the follow-up period of 1 and 3 months. We observed that the supplement has an effect on two key factors of cardiometabolic risk in healthy subjects. A significant change in waist circumference was found in women after 4 (85.4 [79.9, 91.0] cm, < 0.005) and 12 (85.0 [80.0, 90.0] cm, < 0.0005) weeks, when compared to the baseline value (87.6 [81.7, 93.6] cm). No difference was found in men (baseline: 100.3 [95.4, 105.2] cm; 4 weeks: 102.0 [95.7, 108.3] cm; 12 weeks: 100.0 [95.3, 104.7] cm). The level of LDL-C was significantly lower at 12 weeks versus 4 weeks ( = 0.0064). Our study evaluated, for the first time, the effects of a natural product containing plant-derived EVs on modifiable risk factors in healthy volunteers. The results support the use of EV extracts to manage cardiometabolic risk factors successfully.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11050276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8145538PMC
April 2021

Novel Therapeutical Approaches to Managing Atherosclerotic Risk.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 28;22(9). Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases Department, Faculty of General Medicine, Carol Davila University, 050474 Bucharest, Romania.

Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial vascular disease that leads to inflammation and stiffening of the arteries and decreases their elasticity due to the accumulation of calcium, small dense Low Density Lipoproteins (sdLDL), inflammatory cells, and fibrotic material. A review of studies pertaining to cardiometabolic risk factors, lipids alterations, hypolipidemic agents, nutraceuticals, hypoglycaemic drugs, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, and inflammation was performed. There are several therapeutic strategies including Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors, inclisiran, bempedoic acid, Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), and nutraceuticals that promise improvement in the atheromatous plaque from a molecular point of view, because have actions on the exposure of the LDL-Receptor (LDL-R), on endothelial dysfunction, activation of macrophages, on lipid oxidation, formations on foam cells, and deposition extracellular lipids. Atheroma plaque reduction both as a result of LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) intensive lowering and reducing inflammation and other residual risk factors is an integral part of the management of atherosclerotic disease, and the use of valid therapeutic alternatives appear to be appealing avenues to solving the problem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22094633DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8125277PMC
April 2021

Novel molecular markers of cardiovascular disease risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2021 Aug 20;1867(8):166148. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Health Promotion, Mother and Child Care, Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, South Carolina, USA.

Diabetes represents the leading risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Chronic hyperglycemia and/or acute post-prandial changes in blood glucose determine an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play a fundamental role in endothelial dysfunction and in the nuclear transport of pro-atherogenic transcription factors that activate the "inflammasome". In addition, the glycemic alteration favors the formation and stabilization of atherosclerotic plaque through the mechanism of non-enzymatic glycation of different molecules, with the establishment of the so-called "advanced glycosylation end products" (AGE). Laboratory information provided by the level of biomarkers could make a quantitative and qualitative contribution to the clinical process of screening, prediction, prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of cardiovascular (CV) risk linked to diabetes. This review describes the importance of specific biomarkers, with particular focus on novel ones, for stratifying and management of diabetes CV risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2021.166148DOI Listing
August 2021

A new tool for sepsis screening in the Emergency Department.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Objectives: In this study, we developed and evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the Sepsis Index for early sepsis screening in the Emergency Department (ED).

Methods: Sepsis Index is based on the combination of monocyte distribution width (MDW) and mean monocyte volume (MMV). Sepsis Index≥1 was selected to define sepsis. We tested its diagnostic accuracy in an ED population stratified in four groups: controls, Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), infection, and sepsis, according to Sepsis-2 criteria.

Results: Patients with sepsis displayed higher median Sepsis Index value than patients without sepsis. At the receiver operating characterictis (ROC) curve analysis for the prediction of sepsis, the area under the curve (AUC) of MDW and Sepsis Index were similar: 0.966 (95%CI 0.947-0.984), and 0.964 (95%CI 0.942-0.985), respectively. Sepsis Index showed increased specificity than MDW (94.7 vs. 90.6%), without any decrease in sensitivity (92.0%). Additionally, LR+ increased from 9.8 (MDW) to 17.4 (Sepsis Index), without any substantial change in LR- (respectively 0.09 vs. 0.08). Finally, PPV increased from 0.286 (MDW) to 0.420 (Sepsis Index).

Conclusions: Sepsis Index improves the diagnostic accuracy of MDW alone for sepsis screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2021-0208DOI Listing
April 2021

FOXP3 and GATA3 Polymorphisms, Vitamin D3 and Multiple Sclerosis.

Brain Sci 2021 Mar 25;11(4). Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Background: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) alterations have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Recently, a crucial role of the X-Linked Forkhead Box P3 (FoxP3) for the development and the stability of Tregs has emerged, and FOXP3 gene polymorphisms have been associated with the susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. The expression of Foxp3 in Tregs is regulated by the transcription factor GATA binding-protein 3 (GATA3) and vitamin D. The aim of this retrospective case-control study was to investigate the potential association between FOXP3 and GATA3 genetic variants, Vitamin D, and MS risk.

Methods: We analyzed two polymorphisms in the FOXP3 gene (rs3761547 and rs3761548) and a polymorphism in the GATA3 gene (rs3824662) in 106 MS patients and 113 healthy controls. Serum 25(OH)D3 was also measured in all participants.

Results: No statistically significant genotypic and allelic differences were found in the distribution of FOXP3 rs3761547 and rs3761548, or GATA3 rs3824662 in the MS patients, compared with controls. Patients that were homozygous for rs3761547 had lower 25(OH)D3 levels.

Conclusions: Our findings did not show any association among FOXP3 and GATA3 SNPs, vitamin D, and MS susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11040415DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066599PMC
March 2021

The Role of Vitamin D as a Biomarker in Alzheimer's Disease.

Brain Sci 2021 Mar 6;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Vitamin D and cognition is a popular association, which led to a remarkable body of literature data in the past 50 years. The brain can synthesize, catabolize, and receive Vitamin D, which has been proved to regulate many cellular processes in neurons and microglia. Vitamin D helps synaptic plasticity and neurotransmission in dopaminergic neural circuits and exerts anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities within the brain by reducing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the oxidative stress load. Further, Vitamin D action in the brain has been related to the clearance of amyloid plaques, which represent a feature of Alzheimer Disease (AD), by the immune cell. Based on these considerations, many studies have investigated the role of circulating Vitamin D levels in patients affected by a cognitive decline to assess Vitamin D's eventual role as a biomarker or a risk factor in AD. An association between low Vitamin D levels and the onset and progression of AD has been reported, and some interventional studies to evaluate the role of Vitamin D in preventing AD onset have been performed. However, many pitfalls affected the studies available, including substantial discrepancies in the methods used and the lack of standardized data. Despite many studies, it remains unclear whether Vitamin D can have a role in cognitive decline and AD. This narrative review aims to answer two key questions: whether Vitamin D can be used as a reliable tool for diagnosing, predicting prognosis and response to treatment in AD patients, and whether it is a modifiable risk factor for preventing AD onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11030334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8000099PMC
March 2021

COVID-19 and Alzheimer's Disease.

Brain Sci 2021 Feb 27;11(3). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a neurotropic virus with a high neuroinvasive potential. Indeed, more than one-third of patients develop neurological symptoms, including confusion, headache, and hypogeusia/ageusia. However, long-term neurological consequences have received little interest compared to respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal manifestations. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the potential SARS-CoV-2 neurological injury that could lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease (AD). A mutualistic relationship between AD and COVID-19 seems to exist. On the one hand, COVID-19 patients seem to be more prone to developing AD. On the other hand, AD patients could be more susceptible to severe COVID-19. In this review, we sought to provide an overview on the relationship between AD and COVID-19, focusing on the potential role of biomarkers, which could represent precious tool for early identification of COVID-19 patients at high risk of developing AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11030305DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997244PMC
February 2021

Prognostic Role of CSF β-amyloid 1-42/1-40 Ratio in Patients Affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Brain Sci 2021 Feb 27;11(3). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Unit of Neurology, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, 90129, Palermo, Italy.

The involvement of β-amyloid (Aβ) in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been widely discussed and its role in the disease is still a matter of debate. Aβ accumulates in the cortex and the anterior horn neurons of ALS patients and seems to affect their survival. To clarify the role of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ 1-42 and Aβ 42/40 ratios as a potential prognostic biomarker for ALS, we performed a retrospective observational study on a cohort of ALS patients who underwent a lumbar puncture at the time of the diagnosis. CSF Aβ 1-40 and Aβ 1-42 ratios were detected by chemiluminescence immunoassay and their values were correlated with clinical features. We found a significant correlation of the Aβ 42/40 ratio with age at onset and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores. No significant correlation of Aβ 1-42 or Aβ 42/40 ratios to the rate of progression of the disease were found. Furthermore, when we stratified patients according to Aβ 1-42 concentration and the Aβ 42/40 ratio, we found that patients with a lower Aβ 42/40 ratio showed a shorter survival. Our results support the hypothesis that Aβ 1-42 could be involved in some pathogenic mechanism of ALS and we suggest the Aβ 42/40 ratio as a potential prognostic biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11030302DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997395PMC
February 2021

Tau protein as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Eur J Neurol 2021 Jun 19;28(6):1868-1875. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Background And Purpose: To test the hypothesis that total tau (tTau), tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (pTau) and pTau/tTau ratio in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we performed a retrospective observational study in a large cohort of ALS patients and controls.

Methods: We enrolled 196 ALS patients and 91 controls, who included patients with ALS-mimicking diseases and those with non-neurodegenerative diseases. All patients underwent lumbar puncture for CSF analysis at the time of the diagnostic evaluation or to first referral. We measured tTau and pTau levels in the CSF by chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay.

Results: Patients with ALS showed significantly higher levels of CSF tTau and a lower pTau/tTau ratio than controls (tTau: 245 vs. 146 pg/ml; p < 0.001; pTau/tTau ratio: 0.12 vs. 0.18; p < 0.001, respectively). No differences in pTau levels were detected. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis showed a good diagnostic accuracy of tTau and pTau/tTau ratio (tTau: area under the curve [AUC] 0.685, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.616-0.754, p = 0.039; pTau/tTau ratio: AUC 0.777, 95% CI 0.707-0.848, p < 0.001). Among ALS patients, increased tTau levels were associated with advanced age of onset, increased revised amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) score (ΔFS) rate of progression, and spinal onset. Multivariate analysis showed that in ALS patients, this biomarker was an independent negative predictor of overall survival.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that tTau and pTau/tTau ratio can be diagnostic biomarkers of ALS. In addition, CSF tTau level at diagnosis might play a relevant prognostic role in the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.14789DOI Listing
June 2021

Validation of monocyte distribution width decisional cutoff for sepsis detection in the acute setting.

Int J Lab Hematol 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijlh.13496DOI Listing
February 2021

Liraglutide Reduces Carotid Intima-Media Thickness by Reducing Small Dense Low-Density Lipoproteins in a Real-World Setting of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Novel Anti-Atherogenic Effect.

Diabetes Ther 2021 Jan 18;12(1):261-274. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Health Promotion Sciences Maternal and Infantile Care, Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties (PROMISE), University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Introduction: Liraglutide has several non-glycemic effects, including those on plasma lipids and lipoproteins, contributing to its cardiovascular benefit; however, the exact underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated a novel anti-atherogenic effect of liraglutide in a real-world prospective study on patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

Methods: Sixty-two patients with T2DM (31 men, 31 women; mean age ± standard deviation 61 ± 9 years) naïve to incretin-based therapies were treated with liraglutide (1.2 mg/day) as add-on therapy to metformin (1500-3000 mg/day) for 4 months. Laboratory analyses included the assessment of lipoprotein subclass profile by gel electrophoresis (Lipoprint; Quantimetrix Corp., Redondo Beach, CA, USA). Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) was assessed by Doppler ultrasonography. Statistical analyses included the paired t test, Spearman correlation and multiple regression analysis.

Results: The addition of liraglutide to metformin monotherapy resulted in significant reductions in fasting glycemia, hemoglobin A1c, body mass index, waist circumference, total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, as well as in cIMT. There was an increase in the large LDL-1 subfraction, with a concomitant reduction in atherogenic small dense LDL-3 and LDL-4 subfractions. Correlation analysis revealed a significant association between changes in cIMT and changes in small dense LDL-3 subfraction (r = 0.501; p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis, including all of the measured anthropometric and laboratory parameters, revealed that only changes in the small dense LDL-3 subfraction were independent predictors of changes in cIMT (p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Our findings are the first to show that the vascular benefit of liraglutide in patients with T2DM is associated with reductions in atherogenic small dense LDL. This effect is independent of glycemic control and body weight reduction and may represent one of the key mechanisms by which liraglutide is able to reduce cardiovascular events.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01715428.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13300-020-00962-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7843804PMC
January 2021

Recent Updates and Advances in the Use of Glycated Albumin for the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Diabetes and Renal, Cerebro- and Cardio-Metabolic Diseases.

J Clin Med 2020 Nov 11;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, 90121 Palermo, Italy.

Diabetes mellitus is a heterogeneous and dysmetabolic chronic disease in which the laboratory plays a fundamental role, from diagnosis to monitoring therapy and studying complications. Early diagnosis and good glycemic control should start as early as possible to delay and prevent metabolic and cardio-vascular complications secondary to this disease. Glycated hemoglobin is currently used as the reference parameter. The accuracy of the glycated hemoglobin dosage may be compromised in subjects suffering from chronic renal failure and terminal nephropathy, affected by the reduction in the survival of erythrocytes, with consequent decrease in the time available for glucose to attach to the hemoglobin. In the presence of these renal comorbidities as well as hemoglobinopathies and pregnancy, glycated hemoglobin is not reliable. In such conditions, dosage of glycated albumin can help. Glycated albumin is not only useful for short-term diagnosis and monitoring but predicts the risk of diabetes, even in the presence of euglycemia. This protein is modified in subjects who do not yet have a glycemic alteration but, as a predictive factor, heralds the risk of diabetic disease. This review summarizes the importance of glycated albumin as a biomarker for predicting and stratifying the cardiovascular risk linked to multiorgan metabolic alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7697299PMC
November 2020

Pasta Supplemented with Extract Improves Metabolic Parameters and Reduces Atherogenic Small Dense Low-Density Lipoproteins in Patients with Risk Factors for the Metabolic Syndrome: A Four-Week Intervention Study.

Metabolites 2020 Oct 26;10(11). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Health Promotion Sciences Maternal and Infantile Care, Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties (PROMISE), University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Food supplementation with (OFI) has been associated with a significant reduction in total cholesterol, body fat, hyperglycemia and blood pressure. Since OFI may also have antioxidant and anti-atherogenic properties, we hypothesized that its supplementation might reduce atherogenic lipoproteins, including small, dense low-density lipoproteins (sdLDL). Forty-nine patients (13 men and 36 women, mean age: 56 ± 5 years) with one or two criteria for the metabolic syndrome weekly consumed 500 g of pasta supplemented with 3% OFI extract (30% of insoluble polysaccharides with high antioxidant power) for 1 month. The full LDL subclass profile was assessed by gel electrophoresis (Lipoprint, Quantimetrix, Redondo Beach, CA, USA). After 1 month of pasta supplementation, waist circumference ( = 0.0297), plasma glucose ( < 0.0001), triglycerides ( = 0.0137), plasma creatinine ( = 0.0244), urea and aspartate transaminase ( < 0.0001 for each) significantly decreased. A percentage increase in larger, less atherogenic LDL-1 ( = 0.0002), with a concomitant reduction in smaller, denser LDL-2 ( < 0.0001) and LDL-3 ( = 0.0004), were found. LDL-4 and-5 decreased, although not significantly. This is the first intervention study suggesting that pasta enriched with an OFI extract may have beneficial effects on some metabolic parameters and the LDL particle sizes, reducing atherogenic sdLDL. Future studies will help to establish if these findings impact cardiovascular outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10110428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694062PMC
October 2020

Monocyte distribution width as a biomarker of sepsis in the intensive care unit: A pilot study.

Ann Clin Biochem 2021 01 16;58(1):70-73. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Background: Monocyte distribution width has been recently proposed as a sepsis biomarker in the emergency department. The aim of this study was to assess the role of monocyte distribution width as a diagnostic biomarker of sepsis in the intensive care unit.

Methods: In this prospective observational study, we included all consecutive patients admitted to the intensive care unit of the University Hospital "P. Giaccone" of Palermo. Patients were classified into three groups according to Sepsis-3 criteria: (1) patients without sepsis; (2) patients developing sepsis during their hospital stay; (3) patients admitted with sepsis. Monocyte distribution width was measured at admission (groups 1, 2, 3) and daily until the developing of sepsis (group 2) or the end of hospitalization (group 1).

Results: Monocyte distribution width was significantly higher in group 3 than group 1 and group 2 (30.9 [25.6-36.0] vs. 20.3 [18.3-23.6] and 21.4 [19.4-25.2]). Among patients belonging to group 2, monocyte distribution width values, measured at the day when sepsis was clinically diagnosed, were significantly higher than those found at admission: 29.4 (26.7-36.0) vs. 21.4 (19.4-25.2),  = 0.001.

Conclusion: Monocyte distribution width could represent a reliable biomarker of sepsis in the intensive care unit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0004563220970447DOI Listing
January 2021

Comparison of a rapid immunochromatographic test with a chemiluminescence immunoassay for detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG.

Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2020 Oct;30(3):030901

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Introduction: The 2019 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been characterized as a pandemic, representing a serious global public health emergency. Serological tests have been proposed as reliable tools for detecting Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in infected patients, especially for surveillance or epidemiological purposes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the agreement between the IgM/IgG rapid assays, based on lateral flow immunochromatographic assay, and the fully automated 2019-nCoV IgM and IgG, based on chemiluminescence immunoassay.

Materials And Methods: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were measured with the BIOSYNEX COVID-19 BSS IgM/IgG test (BIOSYNEX, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France) and the MAGLUMI CLIA (IgM and IgG) (SNIBE - Shenzhen New Industries Biomedical Engineering, Shenzhen, China) in 70 serum samples from patients with PCR-confirmed diagnosis. The strength of the agreement of the two methods was calculated by using the Cohen Kappa index.

Results: The results showed a good grade of concordance between the two immunoassays with a Cohen's kappa coefficient of 0.71 (95%CI: 0.54-0.87) for IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and 0.70 (95%CI: 0.53-0.87) for IgM SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In addition, the rapid assays BIOSYNEX COVID-19 BSS for detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies showed a positive likelihood ratio (LR) of 10.63 (95%CI: 2.79-40.57) for IgG and a LR of 6.79 (95%CI: 2.93-15.69) for IgM.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the immunochromatographic rapid IgM/IgG test and the chemiluminescence IgM and IgG immunoassay have a good degree of concordance, suggesting that both could be considered as useful tools for epidemiologic surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11613/BM.2020.030901DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528641PMC
October 2020

Liraglutide Increases Serum Levels of MicroRNA-27b, -130a and -210 in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Novel Epigenetic Effect.

Metabolites 2020 Sep 30;10(10). Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Health Promotion Sciences Maternal and Infantile Care, Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties (PROMISE), University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Liraglutide has shown favourable effects on several cardiometabolic risk factors, beyond glucose control. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression, resulting in post-transcriptional modifications of cell response and function. Specific miRNAs, including miRNA-27b, miRNA-130a, and miRNA-210, play a role in cardiometabolic disease. We aimed to determine the effect of liraglutide on the serum levels of miRNA-27b, miRNA-130a and miRNA-210. Twenty-five subjects with type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), naïve to incretin-based therapy, were treated with liraglutide (1.2 mg/day as an add-on to metformin) for 4 months. miRNAs were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction. After liraglutide treatment, we found significant reductions in fasting glucose (from 9.8 ± 5.3 to 6.7 ± 1.6 mmol/L, = 0.0042), glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (from 8.1 ± 0.8 to 6.6 ± 1.0%, = 0.0008), total cholesterol (from 5.0 ± 1.0 to 4.0 ± 0.7 mmol/L, = 0.0011), triglycerides (from 1.9 ± 1.0 to 1.5 ± 0.8 mmol/L, = 0.0104) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 2.9 ± 1.2 to 2.2 ± 0.6 mmol/L, = 0.0125), while the serum levels of miRNA-27b, miRNA-130a and miRNA-210a were significantly increased (median (interquartile range, IQR) changes: 1.73 (7.12) ( = 0.0401), 1.91 (3.64) ( = 0.0401) and 2.09 (11.0) ( = 0.0486), respectively). Since the changes in miRNAs were independent of changes in all the metabolic parameters investigated, liraglutide seems to exert a direct epigenetic effect in T2DM patients, regulating microRNAs involved in the maintenance of endothelial cell homeostasis. These changes might be implicated in liraglutide's benefits and may represent useful targets for cardiometabolic management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7599907PMC
September 2020

Reference interval of monocyte distribution width (MDW) in healthy blood donors.

Clin Chim Acta 2020 Nov 22;510:272-277. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital "P. Giaccone", Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: The aim of the study was to accurately establish the reference interval (RI) of monocyte distribution width (MDW) in healthy blood donors by the direct method using different statistical approaches.

Methods: MDW was measured in 486 subjects. RI of MDW was calculated by the non-parametric method, the robust method and, the Harrell-Davis bootstrap method and using different tests to identify potential outliers (Dixon-Reed and Tukey).

Results: Lower and upper reference limits of the RI calculated by the non-parametric method were, 16.22 (90%CI 15.78-16.47) - 23.15 (90%CI 22.80-24.10) (without outlier removal), and 16.44 (90%CI 16.21-16.67) - 22.99 (90%CI 22.33-23.22) (after outlier removal). The RIs based on the robust method were, respectively, 16.29-22.98 (without) and 16.50-22.67 (with outlier removal). Finally, the RIs calculated by the Harrell-Davis bootstrap method, without or after outlier removal, were 16.19-23.24 and 16.43-22.93. Thus, the RIs obtained by the three calculation methods were very similar. Additionally, no RI partition was done since no significant gender or age association was found.

Conclusions: Our results support the use of a unique RI of MDW, independently of sex and age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2020.07.036DOI Listing
November 2020

Monocyte distribution width (MDW) as a screening tool for sepsis in the Emergency Department.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2020 10;58(11):1951-1957

Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Objectives The diagnosis of sepsis in the Emergency Department (ED) is challenging and a reliable biomarker is needed. The current study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of monocyte distribution width (MDW) for the early identification of sepsis in the ED. Methods We performed a large observational study including consecutive adult patients (≥18 years of age) presenting to the ED between September and November 2019, with an order for complete blood count (CBC) evaluation. A total of 2,215 patients were enrolled and classified based on Sepsis-2 criteria as the control group (1,855), infection group (172), Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) group (100), and sepsis group (88). Results MDW levels were higher in patients with sepsis than in all other groups (p<0.001). ROC curve analysis showed an optimal diagnostic accuracy of MDW for sepsis prediction at a cut-off point of 23.5, with an AUC of 0.964, sensitivity and specificity of 0.920 and 0.929, respectively. Conclusions Our findings encourage further investigation to validate the use of MDW as a screening tool for the early identification of patients at risk of sepsis in the ED.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2020-0417DOI Listing
October 2020

Impact of Glucose-Lowering Medications on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Risk in Type 2 Diabetes.

J Clin Med 2020 Mar 26;9(4). Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Section of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University Carlo Bo of Urbino, 61029 Urbino, Italy.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is associated with a high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular (CV) disease. Among the well-known pathophysiologic factors, crucial roles are played by endothelial dysfunction (caused by oxidative stress and inflammation hyperglycemia-linked), increased activity of nuclear factor kB, altered macrophage polarization, and reduced synthesis of resident endothelial progenitor cells. As consequence, a potentially rapid progression of the atherosclerotic disease with a higher propensity to unstable plaque is arguable, finally leading to significantly increased cardiovascular mortality. Main managements are focused on both prevention and early diagnosis, by targeted treatment of hyperglycemia and vascular complications. Innovative therapeutic approaches for T2DM seek to customize the antidiabetic treatment to each patient in order to optimize glucose-lowering effects, minimize hypoglycemia and adverse effects, and prevent cardiovascular events. The newer drugs (e.g., Glucagon Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists, GLP-1 RAs; Sodium GLucose coTransporter-2 inhibitors, SGLT2is; DiPeptidyl Peptidase-4 inhibitors, and DPP4is) impact body weight, lipid parameters, and blood pressure, as well as endothelial (dys)functions, inflammatory markers, biomarkers of both oxidative stress, and subclinical atherosclerosis. The present review summarizes the results of the main trials focused on the cardiovascular safety of these drugs from the CV standpoint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9040912DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230245PMC
March 2020

Presepsin and Midregional Proadrenomedullin in Pediatric Oncologic Patients with Febrile Neutropenia.

Lab Med 2020 Nov;51(6):585-591

Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Objective: In this study, we investigated the roles of presepsin (PSP) and midregional proadrenomedullin (mr-proADM) in children with febrile neutropenia (FN) due to chemotherapy.

Methods: We assessed 36 FN episodes in 26 children. Patients were classified into bacteremia (B) and fever of unknown origin (FUO) groups. We evaluated PSP and mr-proADM at admission (T0), after 24/48 h (T1), and after 5 days (T2).

Results: PSP and mr-proADM levels were elevated at T0 and significantly decreased at T2. mr-proADM levels did not significantly differ between the B and FUO groups. PSP levels significantly differed between the B and FUO groups only at T1. Both PSP and mr-proADM levels at T0 were a predictor of length of hospital stay but not of the duration of fever. Finally, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that PSP and mr-proADM had low diagnostic accuracy for blood culture positivity.

Conclusion: PSP and mr-proADM display poor clinical usefulness for FN in oncologic children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/labmed/lmaa011DOI Listing
November 2020

Advances in pharmacological treatment of type 1 diabetes during pregnancy.

Expert Opin Pharmacother 2019 06 29;20(8):983-989. Epub 2019 Mar 29.

b Diabetes Centre, Second Department of Internal Medicine , Democritus University of Thrace, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis , Alexandroupolis , Greece.

Introduction: In women with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), pregnancy is associated with a potential risk of maternal, foetal and neonatal outcomes. Stringent metabolic control is required to improve these outcomes.

Areas Covered: In this review, the authors summarise the current evidence from studies on the pharmacological therapy and on monitoring of T1DM during pregnancy. The authors also discuss the use of new technologies to improve therapeutic management and patient compliance.

Expert Opinion: Pre-conception counselling is essential in T1DM to minimise pregnancy risks. Pregnancy in T1DM is always considered a high-risk pregnancy. During pregnancy, the target haemoglobin A1C (HbA) is near-normal at <6%, without excessive hypoglycaemia. Strict control of pre- and post-prandial glucose is also required. Human soluble insulin, neutral protamine Hagedorn and the quick-acting insulin analogues aspart and lispro are widely used. Insulin is administered either as a basal-bolus regimen or by continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. Careful and strict glucose monitoring is also needed during labour and delivery, including caesarean section. Moreover, the control of retinopathy, hypertension, nephropathy, hyper- and hypothyroidism is required. Post-partum, insulin requirements decrease, and less stringent glycaemic control is pursued, to avoid hypoglycaemias. Finally, breastfeeding is recommended and should be encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14656566.2019.1593372DOI Listing
June 2019

Exenatide once-weekly improves metabolic parameters, endothelial dysfunction and carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type-2 diabetes: An 8-month prospective study.

Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2019 Mar 10;149:163-169. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

PROMISE Department, University of Palermo, Italy; Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA.

Aim: To evaluate the effect of exenatide long acting release (LAR) on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and endothelial function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: Sixty subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus were treated with exenatide LAR as add-on to stable doses of metformin for 8 months in an open label study. Anthropometric variables, lipid profile and glycemic parameters were assessed by routine analysis. Carotid IMT by Doppler ultrasound and endothelial function by flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery were also assessed.

Results: Exenatide significantly improved fasting glycaemia (from 8.8 ± 2.8 to 7.3 ± 2.2 mmol/L, p < 0.0001), HbA1c (from 8.0 ± 0.4 to 6.9 ± 1.1%, p < 0.0001), body mass index (from 33 ± 9 to 31 ± 6 kg/m, p = 0.0348) and waist circumference (from 109 ± 13 to 106 ± 13 cm, p = 0.0105). There was a significant improvement of the lipid profile, except in triglyceride level where no changes were observed. Carotid IMT and flow-mediated dilation were also improved (from 0.98 ± 0.14 to 0.87 ± 0.15 mm and from 5.8 ± 1.3 to 6.8 ± 1.7%, respectively; p < 0.0001 for both).

Conclusions: Treatment with exenatide LAR led to improved cardio-metabolic parameters, including carotid IMT and flow-mediated dilation, independently of glucometabolic control. These results may help to explain, at least in part, the cardiovascular safety of exenatide LAR, as recently reported in cardiovascular outcome trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2019.02.006DOI Listing
March 2019

Future perspectives of the pharmacological management of diabetic dyslipidemia.

Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 2019 Feb 22;12(2):129-143. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

c Division of Endocrinology , Diabetes and Metabolism University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia , South Carolina , SC , USA.

Introduction: Diabetic dyslipidemia is frequent among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and is characterized by an increase in triglycerides (TGs), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and small-dense (atherogenic) particles, and by a decrease in low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and apolipoprotein (Apo) A1 that are strongly related to insulin resistance. The increased flux of free fatty acids from adipose tissue to the liver aggravates hepatic insulin resistance and promotes all of aspects of the dyslipidemic state. Areas covered: Statins are the first-line agents for treatment while other lipid-lowering drugs (ezetimibe, fibrate and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) or novel anti-diabetic agents (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4is), glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA), sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2is)) or nutraceuticals (berberine, omega 3 fatty acid, red yeast rice) can be used alone or in combination. Expert commentary: In patients with T2DM, lipid abnormalities should be identified and treated as part of the overall diabetic treatment, in order to prevent cardiovascular disease. The choice of drugs to be used is mainly based on the lipid profile and on the characteristic lipoprotein abnormalities; the use of new drugs for the treatment of hyperglycemia and lipids alteration in these patients can improve diabetic dyslipidemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17512433.2019.1567328DOI Listing
February 2019

Pharmacotherapy for gestational diabetes mellitus: still insulin, or what about sulfonylureas?

Ann Transl Med 2018 Nov;6(Suppl 1):S79

Diabetes Centre, Second Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm.2018.10.60DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6291594PMC
November 2018

Pharmacotherapy for gestational diabetes.

Expert Opin Pharmacother 2018 09 23;19(13):1407-1414. Epub 2018 Aug 23.

b Diabetes Centre, Second Department of Internal Medicine , Democritus University of Thrace, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis , Alexandroupolis , Greece.

Introduction: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) represents impaired carbohydrate metabolism during pregnancy and is characterized by progressive insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinaemia. If inadequately treated, it may lead to fetal macrosomia and other adverse outcomes.

Areas Covered: In this review, the authors summarize the current evidence from studies on the use of insulin and other agents for the treatment of women with GDM.

Expert Opinion: Lifestyle management is of paramount importance for the treatment of GDM. In pharmacotherapy, insulin remains the long-established mainstay of treatment. NPH (Neutral Protamine Hagedorn) and soluble human insulin have long been established for use, but favorable experience has now also accumulated with the newer insulins (aspart, lispro, detemir). Alternatively, metformin and glyburide have been used in GDM, but they have never gained wide acceptance. Nutritional supplements based on micronutrients and bioactives (probiotics and myoinositol) have shown promising results as well. Further experience with incretin agents (DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists) is awaited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14656566.2018.1509955DOI Listing
September 2018

The Role of Nutraceuticals in Statin Intolerant Patients.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2018 07;72(1):96-118

Department of Hypertension, Medical University of Lodz, and the Polish Mother's Memorial Hospital Research Institute (PMMHRI), Lodz, Poland; Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Zielona Gora, Zielona Gora, Poland.

Statins are the most common drugs administered for patients with cardiovascular disease. However, due to statin-associated muscle symptoms, adherence to statin therapy is challenging in clinical practice. Certain nutraceuticals, such as red yeast rice, bergamot, berberine, artichoke, soluble fiber, and plant sterols and stanols alone or in combination with each other, as well as with ezetimibe, might be considered as an alternative or add-on therapy to statins, although there is still insufficient evidence available with respect to long-term safety and effectiveness on cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment. These nutraceuticals could exert significant lipid-lowering activity and might present multiple non-lipid-lowering actions, including improvement of endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. The aim of this expert opinion paper is to provide the first attempt at recommendation on the management of statin intolerance through the use of nutraceuticals with particular attention on those with effective low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.04.040DOI Listing
July 2018

Serum lipoproteins are not associated with the severity of asthma.

Pulm Pharmacol Ther 2018 06 4;50:57-61. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

BioMedical Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties (DiBiMIS), University of Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the bronchi with a complicated and largely unknown pathogenesis. In this context, an emerging role is attributed to the apolipoproteins which serve as structural components of plasma lipoproteins. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) may be involved in the inflammatory pathways of the asthmatic airways; in particular, small dense LDL (sdLDL) particles were associated with increased oxidative susceptibility compared to medium and large sized LDL. In our previous study, we found a positive correlation between forced expiratory volume 1 s (FEV) % predicted and larger LDL particles (LDL-1), and an inverse correlation between FEV% predicted and sdLDL (LDL-3) in mild, untreated asthmatics. Although LDL appear to be important modulators of inflammation, data on their clinical implications are still lacking.

Objective: The aim of the study is to investigate whether LDL subclasses correlate with the severity of asthma, assuming that the atherogenic and most pro-inflammatory LDL contribute to ignite and perpetuate the airway inflammatory processes.

Methods: The study was conducted in one visit, and included clinical and lung functional assessments, as well as measurements of serum concentrations of the LDL subclasses. Non-denaturing, linear polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to separate and measure LDL subclasses, with the LipoPrint System (Quantimetrix Corporation, Redondo Beach, CA, USA). LDL subclasses were distributed as seven bands (LDL-1 to LDL-7), LDL-1 and -2 being defined as large LDL (least pro-inflammatory), and LDL-3 to 7 defined as sdLDL (most pro-inflammatory).

Results: 70 asthmatics under inhaled treatment (M/F: 35/35) were enrolled; 10 healthy subjects (M/F: 3/7) served as controls. In the asthmatic group, FEV% predicted was 81 ± 22% (mean ± SD), vital capacity (VC) % predicted was 97 ± 18%, and FEV/FVC was 0.68 ± 0.1. The mean asthma control test (ACT) score was 18 ± 5. LDL-1 were significantly lower in asthmatics as compared to controls (18 ± 4% vs. 22 ± 4%, p = 0.008). On the contrary, LDL-2 (12 ± 4% vs. 12 ± 5%) and LDL-3 (3 ± 3% vs. 2 ± 2%) were not statistically different between the two groups; smaller subclasses were undetectable. To comply with the design of the study, subjects were classified according to their degree of severity into the 5 Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) steps: Step 1 (M/F: 4/3, 44 ± 12 yrs), Step 2 (M/F: 1/2, 37 ± 11 yrs), Step 3 (M/F: 12/7, 47 ± 12 yrs), Step 4 (M/F: 8/15, 54 ± 12 yrs), and Step 5 (M/F: 7/9, 56 ± 9 yrs). None of the LDL subclasses showed significant differences between classes of severity: LDL-1 were 16.1 ± 5.6% in Step 1, 18 ± 2.8% in Step 2, 16.7 ± 3.7% in Step 3, 18 ± 3.3% in Step 4, and 19.5 ± 3.2% in Step 5 (p = NS); LDL2 were 14 ± 3.6%, 15 ± 3.4%, 12.4 ± 5.3%, 12.7 ± 4.4% and 11.3 ± 4.2%, respectively (p = NS); LDL3 were 5 ± 5.2%, 4.4 ± 2.6%, 3.3 ± 3.6%, 3.2 ± 2.6% and 2.4 ± 1.8%, p = NS. Finally, no relationship was detected between LDL subclasses and lung function parameters as well as the ACT scores.

Conclusions: The current findings confirm a role of LDL as a potential biomarker in the diagnostic process for asthma, and suggest that LDL cannot be used as marker of severity of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pupt.2018.04.001DOI Listing
June 2018
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