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1.  The Italian Register of Cardiovascular Diseases: Attack Rates and Case Fatality for Cerebrovascular Events 
Background
The Italian register of cardiovascular diseases is a surveillance system of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events in the general population aged 35–74 years. It was launched in Italy at the end of the 1990s with the aim of estimating periodically the occurrence and case fatality rate of coronary and cerebrovascular events in the different geographical areas of the country. This paper presents data for cerebrovascular events.
Methods
Currentevents were assessed through record linkage between two sources of information: death certificates and hospital discharge diagnosis records. Events were identified through the ICD codes and duration. To calculate the number of estimated events, current events were multiplied by the positive predictive value of each specific mortality or discharge code derived from the validation of a sample of suspected events. Attack rates were calculated by dividing estimatedevents by resident population, and case fatality rate at 28 days was determined from the ratio of estimated fatal to total events.
Results
Attack rates were found to be higher in men than in women: mean age-standardized attack rate was 21.9/10,000 in men and 12.5/10,000 in women; age-standardized 28-day case fatality rate was higher in women (17.1%) than in men (14.5%). Significant geographical differences were found in attack rates of both men and women. Case fatality was significantly heterogeneous in both men and women.
Conclusions
Differences still exist in the geographical distribution of attack and case fatality rates of cerebrovascular events, regardless of the north-south gradient. These data show the feasibility of implementing a population-based register using a validated routine database, necessary for monitoring cardiovascular diseases.
doi:10.1159/000110423
PMCID: PMC2814017  PMID: 17971632
Population-based register; Attack rate; Case fatality rate
3.  MCP-3 in inflammatory bowel disease 
Gut  2000;47(1):155.
doi:10.1136/gut.47.1.155
PMCID: PMC1727968  PMID: 10917750
5.  Endothelin-1 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1995;48(4):330-334.
AIMS--To evaluate whether endothelin-1 is involved in the pathology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). METHODS--Plasma endothelin-1 concentrations were evaluated in 37 patients with IPF and 27 normal controls by radioimmunoassay. In addition, expression of endothelin-1 in lung tissue was evaluated in biopsy specimens obtained from four patients with IPF. Three biopsy specimens of normal lung were used as controls. Endothelin-1 immunoreactivity was detected using immunohistochemistry. RESULTS--Elevated endothelin-1 plasma concentrations were found in patients with IPF compared with controls and a positive correlation was found with duration of disease. No significant difference was observed between treated and untreated patients with IPF. Increased endothelin-1 immunoreactivity was found in lungs of three of four patients with IPF. Endothelin-1 positive consisted mainly of small vessel endothelial cells. Some scattered macrophages were also positive. CONCLUSIONS--Elevated plasma concentrations and expression of endothelin-1 in lung tissue are suggestive of increased production of endothelin-1 in at least a proportion of patients with IPF. Consequently, endothelin-1 activity could play a role in the fibrogenic process of the disease.
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PMCID: PMC502551  PMID: 7615852
6.  High expression of the chemokine receptor CCR3 in human blood basophils. Role in activation by eotaxin, MCP-4, and other chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(5):1137-1143.
Eosinophil leukocytes express high numbers of the chemokine receptor CCR3 which binds eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-4, and some other CC chemokines. In this paper we show that CCR3 is also highly expressed on human blood basophils, as indicated by Northern blotting and flow cytometry, and mediates mainly chemotaxis. Eotaxin and MCP-4 elicited basophil migration in vitro with similar efficacy as regulated upon activation normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) and MCP-3. They also induced the release of histamine and leukotrienes in IL-3-primed basophils, but their efficacy was lower than that of MCP-1 and MCP-3, which were the most potent stimuli of exocytosis. Pretreatment of the basophils with a CCR3-blocking antibody abrogated the migration induced by eotaxin, RANTES, and by low to optimal concentrations of MCP-4, but decreased only minimally the response to MCP-3. The CCR3-blocking antibody also affected exocytosis: it abrogated histamine and leukotriene release induced by eotaxin, and partially inhibited the response to RANTES and MCP-4. In contrast, the antibody did not affect the responses induced by MCP-1, MCP-3, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, which may depend on CCR1 and CCR2, two additional receptors detected by Northern blotting with basophil RNA. This study demonstrates that CCR3 is the major receptor for eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-4 in human basophils, and suggests that basophils and eosinophils, which are the characteristic effector cells of allergic inflammation, depend largely on CCR3 for migration towards different chemokines into inflamed tissues.
PMCID: PMC508288  PMID: 9276730
7.  Serum amyloid A protein concentration in bone marrow transplantation for beta thalassaemia. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1992;45(4):348-351.
AIMS: To investigate whether serum amyloid A protein (SAA) and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations could be used in the management of beta thalassaemic patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT). METHODS: Serum SAA and CRP concentrations were determined in paired samples from 66 patients with beta thalassaemia before and after BMT. Serum SAA concentrations were determined by an enzyme linked immunoassay (EIA); serum CRP concentrations were determined by a nephelometric assay. RESULTS: Serum SAA concentrations before transplantation were significantly higher in the group that subsequently rejected the transplant than the group without complications. SAA concentrations increased after BMT in acute graft versus host disease (GvHD) and rejection. No significant increase in SAA or CRP was found in chronic GvHD. Increases in serum in SAA and CRP concentrations were not related to concomitant infection episodes. CONCLUSIONS: The different acute phase response in acute GvHD and rejection compared with chronic GvHD suggests that different immunopathogenic mechanisms are responsible.
PMCID: PMC495278  PMID: 1577974
8.  Increased serum concentrations of tumour necrosis factor in beta thalassaemia: effect of bone marrow transplantation. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1992;45(1):61-65.
AIMS: Serum concentrations of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) were determined in beta thalassemic patients before and after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to evaluate whether changes in TNF concentrations after BMT were related to immune mediated complications. METHODS: Serum TNF concentrations were determined by enzyme linked immunoassay (EIA) in paired samples from 71 patients with beta thalassemia before and after BMT. Serial samples from 13 patients were also studied for up to six months after BMT. Forty one normal healthy children matched for sex and age were studied as controls. RESULTS: beta thalassemic patients had high serum TNF concentrations before transplantation compared with controls. These were not related to sex, age, duration of disease, number of blood transfusions, transferrin concentrations or splenectomy. DQw1 positive patients showed significantly lower TNF concentrations than non-DQw1 cases. Patients with severe liver fibrosis had significantly higher TNF concentrations. No correlation was found between TNF values and BMT outcome before transplantation but TNF alpha values fell significantly after BMT. The decrease persisted only in patients with successful engraftment. In serial samples studied for up to six months after BMT, TNF values decreased but in four out of five patients with graft rejection and in all five with acute graft versus host disease (GVHD) sharp increases occurred at the time of clinical symptoms. No correlation was found between the degree of GVHD and serum TNF-alpha concentrations nor between TNF-alpha concentrations after BMT and the presence of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. CONCLUSIONS: About 50% of beta thalassemic patients have increased serum TNF, and the changes after BMT are related to the occurrence of immune mediate complications. The persistence of low TNF concentrations after successful engraftment may be due to the preparative regimen and the lack of adverse immune reactions.
PMCID: PMC495819  PMID: 1740519

Results 1-8 (8)