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F Chiarelli, C Giannini and A Mohn

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and other chronic diseases in children are well known to adversely affect linear growth and pubertal development. In the years immediately following the introduction of insulin therapy, short stature was consistently reported in children with T1DM. However, over the past 50 years significant improvement in the prognosis for growth and final height in children with diabetes has been achieved. Although pre-pubertal and post-pubertal growth are important phases in growth, puberty and its related hormonal changes represent a critical phase for growth gain and final height particularly in patients with T1DM. Growth impairment reported in diabetic patients is dependent on abnormalities in physiological bone growth and corresponds to abnormalities of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth-I (GH-IGF-I) axis. These alterations seem to be related to appropriate insulin levels and thereby to glycaemic control as judged by haemoglobin levels. Modern diabetes care, particularly intensified insulin regimens, might improve metabolic control in patients with T1DM, therefore preventing abnormalities of the GH-IGF-I axis and leading to normal growth and final height similar to that of their unaffected peers.

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C Giannini, T de Giorgis, A Scarinci, I Cataldo, M L Marcovecchio, F Chiarelli and A Mohn

Design

In order to characterize whether different degrees of adipose tissue storage may be associated with markers of early atherosclerosis, we evaluated oxidant–antioxidant status and inflammatory markers and determined carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in healthy constitutional lean and obese pre-pubertal children.

Methods

Eighty healthy pre-pubertal lean and obese children were recruited and compared with 40 age, gender, and pubertal stage-matched normal controls. Anthropometric measurements, oxidant (urinary isoprostanes (PGF-2α), lag phase, and malondialdehyde (MDA)) and antioxidant status (vitamin E), inflammatory markers (high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)), and insulin sensitivity (fasting glucose–insulin ratio, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) were investigated. Furthermore, cIMT was measured by high-resolution ultrasound.

Results

hs-CRP was not different between lean and control subjects (P=0.45), while higher values were found in obese compared with lean and control children (P<0.001 and P<0.001 respectively). PGF-2α and MDA were higher while lag phase shorter in lean and obese subjects compared with controls (lean P<0.001; P<0.001; P<0.001 and obese P<0.001; P<0.001; P<0.001 respectively), while no differences were documented between lean and obese subjects (P=0.78, P=0.019, and P=0.53 respectively). Compared with controls, cIMT was increased in lean and in obese subjects (P=0.001; P=0.004), while no differences were documented between obese and lean subjects (P=0.1). In a multiple stepwise linear regression analysis, cIMT was related with PGF-2α (β=0.641, P<0.001) and HOMA-IR (β=0.307; P<0.001).

Conclusions

Pre-pubertal lean and obese children present increased oxidative stress and impaired inflammation and insulin sensitivity, which in turn seem to result in similar impaired endothelial dysfunction and early signs of atherosclerosis, already in childhood.

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S Asioli, A Righi, M Iommi, C Baldovini, F Ambrosi, F Guaraldi, M Zoli, D Mazzatenta, M Faustini-Fustini, P Rucci, C Giannini and M P Foschini

Objective and design

A clinicopathological score has been proposed by Trouillas et al. to predict the evolution of pituitary adenomas. Aim of our study was to perform an independent external validation of this score and identify other potential predictor of post-surgical outcome.

Methods

The study sample included 566 patients with pituitary adenomas, specifically 253 FSH/LH-secreting, 147 GH-secreting, 85 PRL-secreting, 72 ACTH-secreting and 9 TSH-secreting tumours with at least 3-year post-surgical follow-up.

Results

In 437 cases, pituitary adenomas were non-invasive, with low (grade 1a: 378 cases) or high (grade 1b: 59 cases) proliferative activity. In 129 cases, tumours were invasive, with low (grade 2a: 87 cases) or high (grade 2b: 42 cases) proliferative activity. During the follow-up (mean: 5.8 years), 60 patients developed disease recurrence or progression, with a total of 130 patients with pituitary disease at last follow-up. Univariate analysis demonstrated a significantly higher risk of disease persistence and recurrence/progression in patients with PRL-, ACTH- and FSH/LH-secreting tumours as compared to those with somatotroph tumours, and in those with high proliferative activity (grade 1b and 2b) or >1 cm diameter. Multivariate analysis confirmed tumour type and grade to be independent predictors of disease-free-survival. Tumour invasion, Ki-67 and tumour type were the only independent prognostic factors of disease-free survival.

Conclusions

Our data confirmed the validity of Trouillas’ score, being tumour type and grade independent predictors of disease evolution. Therefore, we recommend to always consider both features, together with tumour histological subtype, in the clinical setting to early identify patients at higher risk of recurrence.