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Rosario Gulizia

Journal articles

Giovanna Ferraioli, Enrico Brunetti, Rosario Gulizia, Giuseppe Mariani, Piero Marone, Carlo Filice (2009)  Management of splenic abscess: report on 16 cases from a single center.   Int J Infect Dis 13: 4. 524-530 Jul  
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Splenic abscess is an uncommon disease, with a reported incidence of 0.14-0.7% in autoptic series. The best treatment option remains unclear. We report our experience of percutaneous drainage of splenic abscess under ultrasound (US) guidance. METHODS: From 1979 to 2005, 16 consecutive patients (12 male and four female; mean age 39.9 years, range 16-72 years) were diagnosed with splenic abscess by means of US, and were treated with medical therapy alone or combined with US-guided percutaneous aspiration or catheter drainage. RESULTS: Ten of 16 patients had bacterial abscesses (including one case of tubercular abscess), two had an amebic abscess, and four had fungal abscesses. Seven of ten patients with bacterial abscesses were successfully treated with fine needle aspiration alone, one patient was successfully treated with fine needle aspiration for one abscess and catheter drainage for another, and one patient, who subsequently required a splenectomy for an abdominal trauma, successfully underwent percutaneous catheter drainage alone. Four patients with fungal lesions were treated with medical therapy alone, and two patients later required a splenectomy. One patient with a bacterial abscess due to endocarditis was treated with medical therapy alone, and his recovery was uneventful. CONCLUSIONS: US-guided percutaneous aspiration of splenic abscesses is a safe and effective procedure. It can be used as a bridge to surgery in patients who are critically ill or have several comorbidities. Percutaneous aspiration may allow complete non-operative healing of splenic abscesses or temporize patients at risk for surgery.
Rosario Gulizia, Cristina Gervasoni, Massimiliano Ortu, Giovanna Ferraioli, Massimo Galli, Carlo Filice (2009)  Sonographic assessment of severity in the body fat changes related to the lipoatrophic findings of HIV associated Adipose Redistribution Syndrome (HARS)   HAART and correlated pathologies. Vol.4: 86-92  
Abstract: Objective: To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound (US) to identify the severity of body fat changes due to HIV-related lipoatrophy (LA) by a US grading scale (US GS). Methods: US diagnoses based on measurements of the thickness of subcutaneous fat at representative reference points (RPs) for LA were compared to clinical diagnoses based on the HIV Outpatient Study Grading Scale (HOPS-GS). A sample size of 115 patients was required for a statistical power of 80%. Results: 73 males [HOPS-GS-0: 31.5%, 41.2%, and 50.5%; HOPS-GS-1 42.5%, 32.5%, and 29%, and HOPS-GS-2/3 26%, 26.2% and 20.5%, for facial, brachial, and crural RPs, respectively] and 42 females [HOPS-GS-0 26%, 43%, and 28.6%; HOPS-GS-1 38%, 38% and 33.3%; and HOPS-GS-2/3 36, 19% and 38.1%, for facial, brachial, and crural RPs, respectively] were recruited. Significant differences were found in US assessments for each corresponding HOPS-GS (p<.003–.0001). Diagnostic thresholds were identified for each degree of LA severity (US-GS 0 vs. US-GS 1 and US-GS2-3) for facial, brachial, and crural LA, with related sensitivity (range: 83–99%), specificity (range: 85–99%), positive predictive values (range: 73–98%) and negative predictive values (range: 82–98%). Compared with clinical LA diagnoses, US-GS correctly diagnosed 80.9% of cases (OR: 8.1; 95%CI: 2.8–23.5, p<.0001). US identified 33% of cases with initial LA (fat loss <1.5mm from diagnostic thresholds) not recognizable by the clinical assessments. Conclusions: US shows good diagnostic accuracy in the assessment of early HIV related LA. US-GS may be very valuable in routine management of HIV outpatients to objectively assess lipoatrophic findings.
Rosario Gulizia, Alessandro Vercelli, Cristina Gervasoni, Alessia Uglietti, Massimiliano Ortu, Giovanna Ferraioli, Massimo Galli, Carlo Filice (2008)  Comparability of echographic and tomographic assessments of body fat changes related to the HIV associated adipose redistribution syndrome (HARS) in antiretroviral treated patients.   Ultrasound Med Biol 34: 7. 1043-1048 Jul  
Abstract: To assess the comparability of ultrasonographic (US) subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) measurements in comparison with computed tomography (CT) at reference points (RPs) representative of HIV related adipose redistribution syndrome (HARS) in patients treated with antiretrovirals. US and CT measurements were compared in nine patients with clinical reports of HARS. We obtained the best resolution of facial (at deepest point of Bichat pad), brachial (in the dorsal face of arm) and crural SFT (at mid thigh) by means of minimal transducer pressures avoiding potential biases such as stand off pads pressure on the skin and artefacts due to too abundant quantity of gel. CT scans were obtained in the same RP where US measurements were performed such as identified by means of metallic skin markers. Median US measurement of facial SFT was 8.8 mm (95% CI: 3.1 to 13.4), 3.95 mm (95% CI: 2.62 to 5.84) for brachial SFT and 4 mm (95% CI: 3.4 to 9.4) for crural SFT. Median CT assessments of facial SFT was 8.7 mm (95% CI: 3.5 to 13.5), 4.2 mm (95% CI: 2.6 to 5.88) for brachial SFT and 5 mm (95% CI: 3.9 to 10.3) for crural SFT, with no significant difference at each RP. A linear regression showed good CT/US comparability at each RP, with no significant deviation from linearity (p > 0.10). US shows to be highly comparable with CT, excluding invaliding biases as the transducer pressure on the skin. Given the proven efficacy on the HARS assessments, if well standardized, US could be a reliable method, simpler than CT in the management of body fat changes related to HARS.
G Ferraioli, A Garlaschelli, D Zanaboni, R Gulizia, E Brunetti, F P Tinozzi, C CammΓ , C Filice (2008)  Percutaneous and surgical treatment of pyogenic liver abscesses: observation over a 21-year period in 148 patients.   Dig Liver Dis 40: 8. 690-696 Aug  
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Percutaneous drainage of pyogenic liver abscess has become first-line treatment. In the past surgical drainage was preferred in some centres. AIM: The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the effectiveness of percutaneous treatments and surgical drainage, in terms of treatment success, hospital stay and costs. PATIENTS: Data of 148 patients (90 males; 58 females; mean age, 61 yrs; range, 30-86 yrs) were retrospectively analysed. METHODS: Patients' outcomes, including the length of hospital stay, procedure-related complications, treatment failure and death, were recorded. Multiple logistic regression model was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: One hundred and four patients (83 with solitary and 21 with multiple abscesses) were treated percutaneously, either by needle aspiration (91 patients) or catheter drainage (13 patients) depending on the abscess's size, and 44 patients (30 with solitary and 14 with multiple abscesses) were treated surgically. There was no statistically significant difference in patients' demographics or abscess characteristics between groups. Hospital stay was longer, and costs were higher in patients treated surgically (p<0.001). There was statistically significant difference in morbidity rate between groups (p<0.001). No death occurred in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Percutaneous and surgical treatment of pyogenic liver abscesses are both effective, nevertheless percutaneous drainage carries lower morbidity and is cheaper.
Rosario Gulizia, Alessia Uglietti, Antonella Grisolia, Cristina Gervasoni, Massimo Galli, Carlo Filice (2008)  Proven intra and interobserver reliability in the echographic assessments of body fat changes related to HIV associated Adipose Redistribution Syndrome (HARS).   Curr HIV Res 6: 4. 276-278 Jun  
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To prove intra- and inter-observer's reliability of ultrasound (US) in the assessment of lipoatrophic findings related to the HIV associated Adipose Redistribution Syndrome (HARS). PATIENTS AND METHODS: In two separated sessions, 2 consecutive measurements of subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) were performed by each observer at the deepest point of Bichat pad, the dorsal face of arm and the mid thigh for the assessment of facial, brachial and crural lipoatrophy, respectively. We enrolled 20 HIV patients, rotating an experienced and untrained sonologist. The assessments were performed avoiding any stand off pads in the skin and excluding artefacts due to the too abundant quantity of gel to obtaining, with minimal transducer pressure, the best resolution of the reference points. RESULTS: Means of facial, brachial and crural SFT showed no significant differences between the workers. Coefficients of variability (SD/mean x100) were similar for facial (ranges: 4.7-5.2% vs 4.9-5.6%, respectively), brachial (ranges: 5.8-8.4% vs 9.7-11.2%) and crural SFTs (ranges: 5.9-6% vs 6.2-8.7%). There was greater consistency in the measurements performed by the experienced vs the untrained worker. Inter-observer agreement, assessed through kappa statistic (k) analysis, confirmed increased measurement's agreement in the facial (k ranged from 0.40 to 0.60), brachial (k: 0.23-0.63) and crural SFT assessments (k: 0.58-0.70) from the 1(st) to 2(nd) session. CONCLUSIONS: US shows low intra observer variability and good inter observer reliability in the assessment of body fat changes related to the HARS. The different degree of consistency by the workers and the improvement of interobserver agreement, suggest to stating a well defined period of training to obtain better US reliability.
E Brunetti, R Brigada, F Poletti, L Maiocchi, A L Garlaschelli, R Gulizia, C Filice (2006)  The current role of abdominal ultrasound in the clinical management of patients with AIDS.   Ultraschall Med 27: 1. 20-33 Feb  
Abstract: Patients with AIDS present a wide variety of clinical manifestations through involvement of various organs. Ultrasonography (US) is easy to perform, safe, inexpensive, not invasive and repeatable. Those features are crucial for AIDS patients, who in industrialised countries are now mostly seen on an outpatient basis thanks to the introduction of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. US can investigate most of the organs affected in AIDS and can guide biopsies, allowing the cyto-histological and microbiological investigations needed for a definitive diagnosis. This paper reviews the wide variety of applications of abdominal US and stresses its importance in the management of a complex and changing condition, particularly in settings where other more expensive imaging techniques are not--and will not be for a long time--available. The increasing use of portable/hand-carried scanners further adds to the value of the technique in such settings. With new treatments, prevalence and morbidity/mortality rates change, but new conditions and new side effects appear. US applications to these new conditions are discussed as well.
Enrico Brunetti, Rosario Gulizia, Anna Lisa Garlaschelli, Carlo Filice (2005)  Cystic echinococcosis of the liver associated with repeated international travels to endemic areas.   J Travel Med 12: 4. 225-228 Jul/Aug  
Abstract: Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is increasingly seen in immigrants from endemic areas to Western countries; however, it is rarely reported in short-term travels to endemic areas. This is partly because the echinococcal cyst typically grows slowly and may long remain clinically silent. We describe a case of cystic echinococcosis in a man born and living in a nonendemic urban area in North Italy that was acquired during a period of frequent travels in highly endemic countries.
E Brunetti, G Troia, A L Garlaschelli, R Gulizia, C Filice (2004)  Twenty years of percutaneous treatments for cystic echinococcosis: a preliminary assessment of their use and safety.   Parassitologia 46: 4. 367-370 Dec  
Abstract: Image-guided percutaneous treatments for echinococcal cysts were introduced in the mid-eighties. Today they represent a third therapeutic option, after surgery and benzimidazole derivatives. Two types of percutaneous treatments are available, based on the destruction of the germinal layer or the evacuation of the endocyst. To assess the extent of their use and their safety, a Medline search of the literature on this subject was performed. The number of cysts treated, their anatomical sites, the complications and, length of follow-up (when available), were all examined. The results show that percutaneous treatments for cystic echinococcosis are safe and efficacious in selected anatomical sites, provided basic safety issues are correctly addressed. However, before drawing final conclusions, a more detailed analysis of the literature is needed. Percutaneous treatments could be simplified and made more effective if a scolecidal agent could be found that melts the entire endocyst without causing harm to the biliary epithelium.
E Brunetti, L Maiocchi, A L Garlaschelli, R Gulizia, C Filice (2004)  Overview of therapeutic options for cystic echinococcosis   Parassitologia 46: 1-2. 53-55 Jun  
Abstract: Surgical excision of echinococcal cyst has long been considered the only effective treatment for echinococcosis. However, the remarkable advances in imaging techniques, particularly ultrasound, made during the past 25 years have greatly facilitated diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Today, chemotherapy and percutaneous treatments have become widely available. A major step forward in management of the disease came in 2001, when the WHO International Working Group on Echinococcosis (WHO-IWGE) came to a consensus by developing a standardized classification of ultrasound images in cystic echinococcosis. Thus, the most appropriate treatment for patients affected by this serious and sometimes life-threatening disease may now be chosen. An overview of the three main therapeutic options for abdominal- and particularly hepatic-cystic echinococcosis is presented, with focus on the indications and contraindications of each one. Data from long-term follow-up studies are also discussed, with emphasis on the resulting stage-specific criteria for treatment.
Bruno Cacopardo, Filippo Palermo, Rosario Gulizia, Valentina Brisolese, Rosario Russo (2002)  Expression of the costimulatory CD28 antigen on peripheral blood CD8+ T lymphocytes in patients with chronic hepatitis C   Recenti Prog Med 93: 2. 96-99 Feb  
Abstract: Virus-specific activation of the CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which may affect the extension of histopathological damage in chronic hepatitis C, is closely related to the role of the so called "costimulatory antigens", particularly CD28, allocated on the surface of the T lymphocytes. This study evaluated the display of CD28 antigen on circulating T lymphocytes CD8+ in patients with chronic hepatitis C. The eventual correlation between CD28 expression, viral load, aminotransferase levels and degree of histological damage was also studied. According to our data, the prevalence of circulating TCD8+ CD28+ cells didn't differ among anti-HCV positive, HBV positive subjects and healthy controls. In HCV-positive subjects, prevalence of TCD8+ CD28+ cells was higher in patients with chronic persistent hepatitis than in chronic active cases with a significant negative correlation with the Knodell histological "score". Further studies are required to ascertain the role of CD28+ expression in those subjects with severe hepatic histological damage due to chronic hepatitis C.
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