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1.  An unusual case of Primary Effusion Lymphoma with aberrant T-cell phenotype in a HIV-negative, HBV-positive, cirrhotic patient, and review of the literature 
CytoJournal  2012;9:16.
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is an unusual, human herpes virus-8 (HHV-8)–associated type of lymphoma, presenting as lymphomatous effusion in body cavities, without a detectable tumor mass. It primarily affects human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, but has also been described in other immunocompromised individuals. Although PEL is a B-cell lymphoma, the neoplastic cells are usually of the ‘null’ phenotype by immunocytochemistry. This report describes a case of PEL with T-cell phenotype in a HIV-negative patient and reviews all the relevant cases published until now. Our patient suffered from cirrhosis associated with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and presented with a large ascitic effusion, in the absence of peripheral lymphadenopathy or solid mass within either the abdomen or the thorax. Paracentesis disclosed large lymphoma cells with anaplastic features consisting of moderate cytoplasm and single or occasionally multiple irregular nuclei with single or multiple prominent nucleoli. Immunocytochemically, these cells were negative for both CD3 and CD20, but showed a positive reaction for T-cell markers CD43 and CD45RO (VCHL-1). Furthermore, the neoplastic cells revealed strong positivity for EMA and CD30, but they lacked expression of ALK-1, TIA-1, and Perforin. The immune status for both HHV-8 and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was evaluated and showed positive immunostaining only for the former. The combination of the immunohistochemistry results with the existence of a clonal rearrangement in the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (identified by PCR), were compatible with the diagnosis of PEL. The presence of T-cell markers was consistent with the diagnosis of PEL with an aberrant T-cell phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3424686  PMID: 22919423
Cirrhosis; HHV-8; HIV; HBV; primary effusion lymphoma
2.  Unraveling the link between leptin, ghrelin and different types of colitis 
Leptin and ghrelin are hormones with a tight inverse functional connection. Their inverse association is observed not only in the modulation of metabolism but also in the interaction with the immune system. A large number of studies have been launched regarding their association with various disorders, including different types of colitis. The majority of the available literature, however, focuses on inflammatory bowel disease. The role of leptin and ghrelin appears to be aggravating in most of these studies. Concerning intestinal infections, their levels seem to depend on the presence of certain species of micro-biota. As for models of ischemic and miscellaneous colitis, both hormones seem to act protectively, although evidence deriving from human studies is needed before any safe conclusions can be made. Conclusively, it seems that available data, from in vitro, animal and human studies, suggest of a multifarious role for leptin and ghrelin, in the face of different triggers, which in turn cause diverse types of colitis. Bearing this in mind, gaps and loose ends are detected in the associated literature to encourage further research through which the association of leptin and ghrelin with intestinal inflammation could be clarified and expanded so that other types of colitis could also be included.
PMCID: PMC3959465  PMID: 24714276
adipokines; leptin; ghrelin; colitis; inflammatory bowel disease; infection; ischemia
3.  Imbalance of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP) – 1 and – 4 serum levels, in patients with inflammatory bowel disease 
BMC Gastroenterology  2008;8:55.
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) play a key role in tissue degradation and remodeling. Since chronic inflammation is associated with tissue remodeling in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we evaluated serum TIMP-1 and TIMP-4 levels in IBD patients, in comparison with healthy controls (HC).
TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and TIMP-4 serum levels were determined in 53 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), 52 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and 50 HC, by means of commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The levels of TIMPs were evaluated with regard to the levels of inflammatory markers, such as C reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA) and the clinical characteristics of patients, so that potential correlations could be recorded.
Mean serum TIMP-1 levels were 414.9 ± 17.6 ng/mL in UC patients, 446.1 ± 22.8 ng/mL in CD patients and 296.5 ± 20.6 ng/mL in HC. UC and CD patients had significantly higher serum TIMP-1 levels when compared to HC, (p < 0.0001 in both groups). Mean serum TIMP-1 levels were significantly higher in patients with active IBD (450.5 ng/mL) in comparison with patients with inactive disease (417.3 ng/mL, p = 0.03). Moreover, males showed significantly higher mean serum TIMP-1 levels (399.8 ng/mL), compared to females (368.5 ng/mL, p = 0.04). Mean serum TIMP-2 levels did not differ between UC and CD patients or HC (p > 0.05 in all cases). Mean serum TIMP-4 levels were 1761.2 ± 67.7 pg/mL in UC patients, 1708.1 ± 73.4 pg/mL in CD patients and 5573.4 ± 1246.3 pg/mL in HC. UC and CD patients had significantly lower serum TIMP-4 levels when compared to HC (p = 0.008 and p = 0.02 respectively). Mean serum TIMP-4 levels were significantly lower in males (2772.9 pg/mL), compared to females (3299.0 pg/mL, p = 0.01). In addition, CRP levels showed a statistically significant correlation with TIMP-1 (r = 0.247, p = 0.01), and TIMP-4 levels (r = 0.217, p = 0.03). Similarly, there was a statistically significant correlation between SAA levels and both TIMP-1 (r = 0.264, p = 0.008) and TIMP-4 serum levels (r = 0.212, p = 0.03).
An imbalance between TIMP-1 and TIMP-4 serum levels is present in IBD patients. TIMP-1 levels could be used not only for diagnostic purposes but also for the assessment of activity in IBD. Gender tends to influence TIMP-1 and TIMP-4 serum levels. These new findings bring into question the potential role of TIMPs in IBD, thus underlining the need for future studies which could offer new insight into this matter.
PMCID: PMC2613880  PMID: 19036126
4.  Hemobilia as the initial manifestation of cholangiocarcinoma in a hemophilia B patient 
Hemobilia is a rare manifestation of hemophilia and is usually iatrogenic following liver biopsy. There are only few reports of spontaneous hemobilia in hemophilia patients. Cholangiocarcinoma is a well-established cause of hemobilia. We describe a case of a 70-year-old male, with known haemophilia B and a past history of papillotomy, who presented with classical symptoms of hemobilia. The initial diagnostic work-up failed to demonstrate a potential cause of bleeding other than the coagulopathy. Three months later, he was readmitted to our hospital with a second episode of hemobilia. During the second work-up, a cholangiocarcinoma was diagnosed both by imaging studies and by a significant elevation of cancer antigen 19-9. Although hemobilia could be attributed to hemophilia, especially in a patient with previous papillotomy, an underlying malignancy of the biliary tree should be suspected.
PMCID: PMC2725390  PMID: 18636674
Hemobilia; Hemophilia; Cholangiocarcinoma; Cancer antigen 19-9; Cholangiopancreatography
5.  Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Immunoglobulin A Antibodies against Tissue Transglutaminase in Patients with Diverse Chronic Liver Diseases 
The prevalence of celiac disease (CD) and the prevalence and clinical significance of anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies (tTGAbs) in a large series of patients with chronic liver diseases were assessed. We studied 738 patients (462 with chronic viral hepatitis, 117 with autoimmune liver diseases, 113 with alcoholic or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and 46 with other liver disorders) and 1,350 healthy controls (HC). Immunoglobulin A (IgA) tTGAbs were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a microsphere-based flow cytometric assay. Positive sera were investigated for IgA antiendomysial antibodies (EmA). IgA tTGAb-positive subjects were invited to undergo a small-intestinal biopsy and HLA-DQ allele typing. Four of 1,350 HC (0.3%) tested tTGAb+ EmA+ and underwent a biopsy (CD confirmation in all). Four of 738 liver disease patients tested tTGAbs+ EmA+ (0.54%; not statistically significant). Two were HCV infected (1.24%; not statistically significant), and two had transaminasemia of unknown origin. Forty-three patients tested tTGAbs+ EmA− (5.8%; P < 0.001 compared to HC). Inhibition experiments verified the existence of specific IgA anti-tTG reactivity. Twenty-six of 43 patients underwent a biopsy (all negative for CD). Binary logistic regression analysis revealed age (P = 0.008), cirrhosis (P = 0.004), alkaline phosphatase (P = 0.026), and antinuclear antibodies (P = 0.012) as independent risk factors for tTGAb reactivity among the patients. It was concluded that CD prevalence is the same in HC and patients with chronic liver diseases. The prevalence of tTGAbs is higher in hepatic patients compared to HC, but their specificity for CD diagnosis in this group of patients is low. tTGAbs in patients appear to be associated with the presence of autoimmunity, cirrhosis, and cholestasis, irrespective of the origin of the liver disease.
PMCID: PMC1182196  PMID: 16085912

Results 1-5 (5)