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Free access

Daniele Santi, Elisa Giannetta, Andrea M Isidori, Cristiana Vitale, Antonio Aversa, and Manuela Simoni


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with endothelial dysfunction, reducing nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation, and increasing production of pro-inflammatory factors, leading to an increased risk of long-term cardiovascular disease. As the effects of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5i) on endothelial function have not been systematically investigated, we conducted a meta-analysis of available randomized clinical trials (RCTs).


A thorough search of the literature was carried out. Relevant studies were considered according to RCT study design, enrollment of men with type 2 DM, chronic administration of PDE5i, and evaluation of endothelial function through both hemodynamic and endothelial inflammation-related parameters.


Fifteen studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria but only six RCTs met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed for 476 diabetic men, 239 randomized to Sildenafil, and 237 to placebo respectively. Four RCTs evaluated flow-mediated dilation (FMD), demonstrating a weighted mean increase of 2.19% (95% CI 0.48 to 3.90). This result showed a high heterogeneity (I 2: 98%). Thus, a further sub-group meta-analysis was performed and this analysis confirmed a significant, Sildenafil-related FMD improvement. Sildenafil improved endothelin 1 and high sensitivity C-reactive protein by ∼−0.94 pg/ml and −0.36 mg/l, respectively, not reaching statistical significance (P=0.69 and P=0.22 respectively). Finally, Sildenafil administration significantly reduced serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL6, −0.82 pg/ml; 95% CI −1.58 to −0.07).


This meta-analysis suggests a beneficial effect of chronic PDE5i administration on endothelial function. Chronic Sildenafil administration seems to improve hemodynamic (FMD) and serum pro-inflammatory makers (IL6) in diabetic men. Larger studies are needed to confirm the effects of chronic PDE5i on endothelial function.

Free access

Germano Gaudenzi, Alessandra Dicitore, Silvia Carra, Davide Saronni, Carlotta Pozza, Elisa Giannetta, Luca Persani, and Giovanni Vitale

Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are traditionally considered as a single group of rare malignancies that originate from the highly spread neuroendocrine system. The clinical management is complex due to the high heterogeneity of these neoplasms in terms of clinical aggressiveness and response to the therapy. Indeed, a multidisciplinary approach is required to reach a personalization of the therapy, including cancer rehabilitation. In this review, we discuss the possibility to adopt a precision medicine (PM) approach in the management of NENs. To this purpose, we summarize current knowledge and future perspectives about biomarkers and preclinical in vitro and in vivo platforms, potentially useful to inform clinicians about the prognosis and for tailoring therapy in patients with NENs. This approach may represent a breakthrough in the therapy and tertiary prevention of these tumors.

Free access

Elisa Giannetta, Valentina Guarnotta, Barbara Altieri, Concetta Sciammarella, Elia Guadagno, Pasqualino Malandrino, Giulia Puliani, Tiziana Feola, Andrea M Isidori, Annamaria Anita Livia Colao, and Antongiulio Faggiano

An increased calcitonin serum level is suggestive of a medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), but is not pathognomonic. The possibility of false positives or other calcitonin-secreting neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) should be considered. Serum calcitonin levels are generally assessed by immunoradiometric and chemiluminescent assays with high sensitivity and specificity; however, slightly moderately elevated levels could be attributable to various confounding factors. Calcitonin values >100 pg/mL are strongly suspicious of malignancy, whereas in patients with moderately elevated values (10–100 pg/mL) a stimulation test may be applied to improve diagnostic accuracy. Although the standard protocol and the best gender-specific cut-offs for calcium-stimulated calcitonin are still controversial, the fold of the calcitonin increase after stimulation seems to be more reliable. Patients with MTC show stimulated calcitonin values at least three to four times higher than the basal values, whereas calcitonin-secreting NENs can be distinguished from a C-cell disease by the absence of or <two-fold response to stimulation. The measurement of calcitonin in fine-needle aspirate washout (FNA-CT) and calcitonin immunocytochemical staining from thyroid nodules are ancillary methods that may significantly improve MTC diagnosis. The present review examines the gray areas in the interpretation of calcitonin measurement in order to provide a tool to clarify the origin of calcitonin secretion and differentiate the behavior of the two-faced Janus of neuroendocrinology: intra-thyroid (MTC) and extra-th9yroid NENs.

Open access

Emilia Sbardella, Marianna Minnetti, Denise D’Aluisio, Laura Rizza, Maria Rosaria Di Giorgio, Fabio Vinci, Riccardo Pofi, Elisa Giannetta, Mary Anna Venneri, Annarita Vestri, Sergio Morelli, Andrea Lenzi, and Andrea M Isidori


Low-grade incomplete post-dexamethasone cortisol suppression in patients with adrenal incidentalomas – recently defined as possible autonomous cortisol secretion (pACS) – has been associated with increased cardiovascular events and mortality. However, prospective studies documenting cardiac abnormalities in these patients are lacking.

Subjects and methods

Between July 2016 and September 2017, 71 consecutive patients with adrenal lesions were prospectively screened for hypercortisolism by dexamethasone suppression test (NCT 02611258). Complete anthropometric, metabolic and hormonal parameters were recorded along with full cardiac ultrasound assessment and noninvasive measurement of arterial stiffness. All patients underwent chemical-shift magnetic resonance imaging to characterize the lesions. Cardiovascular outcomes were recorded in blind.


According to post-dexamethasone suppression cortisol values (post-DST), 34 patients had pACS and 37 non-functioning adenomas (NFA). The two groups were similar in sex, BMI, age distribution, cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities. Left ventricular mass index (LVMIBSA) was increased in pACS compared to NFA (P = 0.006) and mildly correlated to the post-DST cortisol level (rho = 0.347; P = 0.004). The post-DST cortisol levels explained up to 13.7% of LVMIBSA variance (P = 0.002). Compared to NFA, patients with pACS had a higher prevalence of diastolic dysfunction (35.1% vs 82.6%; P = 0.001) and worse arterial stiffness assessed by pulse wave velocity (P = 0.033).


In apparently asymptomatic patients, mild autonomous cortisol secretion can sustain early cardiac and vascular remodeling, independently of other risk factors. The morphological and functional cardiovascular changes observed in pACS underline the need for further studies to correctly define the long-term management of this relatively common condition.

Restricted access

Alessia Cozzolino, Tiziana Feola, Ilaria Simonelli, Giulia Puliani, Valeria Hasenmajer, Marianna Minnetti, Elisa Giannetta, Daniele Gianfrilli, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Andrea Lenzi, and Andrea M Isidori


Neurosurgery is the first-line treatment for acromegaly. Whether metabolic disorders are reversible after neurosurgery is still debated. The meta-analysis aimed to address the following questions: (i) Does neurosurgery affect glycolipid metabolism? (ii) Are these effects related to disease control or follow-up length?


A meta-analysis and systematic review of the literature.


Three reviewers searched databases until August 2019 for prospective trials reporting glycometabolic outcomes after neurosurgery. Three other extracted outcomes, all assessed the risk of bias.


Twenty studies were included. Neurosurgery significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (effect size (ES): −0.57 mmol/L, 95% CI: −0.82 to −0.31; P < 0.001), glucose load (ES: −1.10 mmol/L, 95% CI: −1.66 to −0.53; P < 0.001), glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (ES: −0.28%, 95% CI: −0.42 to −0.14; P < 0.001), fasting plasma insulin (FPI) (ES: −10.53 mU/L, 95% CI: −14.54 to −6.51; P < 0.001), homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (ES: −1.98, 95% CI: −3.24 to −0.72; P = 0.002), triglycerides (TGDs) (ES: −0.28 mmol/L, 95% CI: −0.36 to −0.20; P < 0.001) and LDL-cholesterol (LDLC) (ES: −0.23 mmol/L, 95% CI: −0.45 to −0.02 mmol/L); P = 0.030) and increased HDL-cholesterol (HDLC) (ES: 0.21 mmol/L, 95% CI: 0.14 to 0.28; P < 0.001). Meta-regression analysis showed that follow-up length – not disease control – had a significant effect on FPG, with the greatest reduction in the shortest follow-up (beta = 0.012, s.e. = 0.003; P = 0.001).


Neurosurgery improves metabolism with a significant decrease in FPG, glucose load, HbA1c, FPI, HOMA-IR, TGDs, and LDLC and increase in HDLC. The effect on FPG seems to be more related to follow-up length than to disease control.