Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-16 (16)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  Myenteric plexitis: A frequent feature in patients undergoing surgery for colonic diverticular disease 
Diverticular disease of the colon is frequent in clinical practice, and a large number of patients each year undergo surgical procedures worldwide for their symptoms. Thus, there is a need for better knowledge of the basic pathophysiologic mechanisms of this disease entity.
Because patients with colonic diverticular disease have been shown to display abnormalities of the enteric nervous system, we assessed the frequency of myenteric plexitis (i.e. the infiltration of myenteric ganglions by inflammatory cells) in patients undergoing surgery for this condition.
We analyzed archival resection samples from the proximal resection margins of 165 patients undergoing left hemicolectomy (60 emergency and 105 elective surgeries) for colonic diverticulitis, by histology and immunochemistry.
Overall, plexitis was present in almost 40% of patients. It was subdivided into an eosinophilic (48%) and a lymphocytic (52%) subtype. Plexitis was more frequent in younger patients; and it was more frequent in those undergoing emergency surgery (50%), compared to elective (28%) surgery (p = 0.007). All the severe cases of plexitis displayed the lymphocytic subtype.
In conclusion, myenteric plexitis is frequent in patients with colonic diverticular disease needing surgery, and it might be implicated in the pathogenesis of the disease.
PMCID: PMC4669510  PMID: 26668745
Colon; diverticular disease; diverticulitis; hemicolectomy; histology; immunology; inflammation; myenteric plexitis; surgery
2.  Clinical and histopathological correlations of fecal calprotectin release in colorectal carcinoma 
AIM: To determine calprotectin release before and after colorectal cancer operation and compare it to tumor and histopathological parameters.
METHODS: The study was performed on patients with diagnosed colorectal cancer admitted for operation. Calprotectin was measured in a single stool sample before and three months after the operation using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Calprotectin levels greater than or equal to 50 μg/g were considered positive. The compliance for collecting stool samples was assessed and the value of calprotectin was correlated to tumor and histopathological parameters of intra- and peri-tumoral inflammation. Surgical specimens were fixed in neutral buffered formalin and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Staging was performed according to the Dukes classification system and the 7th edition tumor node metastasis classification system. Intra- and peri-tumoral inflammation was graded according to the Klintrup criteria. Immunohistochemical quantification was performed for MPO, CD45R0, TIA-1, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD57, and granzyme B. Statistical significance was measured using Wilcoxon signed rank test, Kruskal Wallis test and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient as appropriate.
RESULTS: Between March 2009 and May 2011, 80 patients with colorectal cancer (46 men and 34 women, with mean age of 71 ± 11.7 years old) were enrolled in the study. Twenty-six patients had rectal carcinoma, 29 had left-side tumors, 23 had right-side tumors, and 2 had bilateral carcinoma. In total, 71.2% of the patients had increased levels of calprotectin before the operation (median 205 μg/g, range 50-2405 μg/g) and experienced a significant decrease three months after the operation (46 μg/g, range 10-384 μg/g, P < 0001). The compliance for collecting stool samples was 89.5%. Patients with T3 and T4 tumors had significantly higher values than those with T1 and T2 cancers (P = 0.022). For all other tumor parameters (N, M, G, L, V, Pn) and location, no significant difference in calprotectin concentration was found. Furthermore, the calprotectin levels and histological grading of both peri- and intra-tumoral inflammation was not correlated. Additional testing with specific markers for lymphocytes and neutrophils also revealed no statistically significant correlation.
CONCLUSION: Fecal calprotectin decreases significantly after colorectal cancer operation. Its value depends exclusively on the individual T-stage, but not on other tumor or histopathological parameters.
PMCID: PMC4009532  PMID: 24803811
Calprotectin; Colorectal cancer; Inflammation; Tumor size; Granulocytes
3.  Pylephlebitis of a variant mesenteric vein complicating sigmoid diverticulitis 
Pylephlebitis - suppurative thrombophlebitis of the portal and/or mesenteric veins - is a rare complication of abdominal infections, especially diverticulitis. It can lead to severe complications such as hepatic abscess, sepsis, peritonitis, bowel ischemia, etc., which increase the mortality rate. Here we present a case of suppurative thrombophlebitis of the inferior mesenteric vein, as a complication of sigmoid diverticulitis. The epidemiology, clinical and radiological features as well as treatment strategies are discussed. We also review the anatomy of the mesenteric vein given its anatomic variation in the present case and how this anatomic knowledge might influence the operative approach should surgery be necessary.
PMCID: PMC4037252  PMID: 24967018
pylephlebitis; mesenteric thrombosis; mesenteric vein variant; inferior mesenteric vein; sigmoid diverticulitis; CT
4.  PIK3CA in Colorectal Cancer 
PIK3CA, the catalytic subunit of PI3K, is mutated in many different tumors, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Mutations of PIK3CA have been reported in 10–20% of CRC, about 80% of mutations found in two hot spots in exon 9 and exon 20. In RAS wild-type CRC, PIK3CA mutations have been associated with a worse clinical outcome and with a negative prediction of a response to targeted therapy by anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies. However, these findings have not been confirmed in all studies and subsequent more detailed analysis has revealed that these effects may be restricted to mutations in Exon 20. Finally, mutations in PIK3CA may be the long sought biomarker for successful adjuvant therapy with aspirin in patients with CRC. Therefore, PIK3CA mutations appear to be a promising predictive biomarker; however, further data are needed to conclusively define the impact of somatic mutations in the PIK3CA gene for the management of patients with CRC.
PMCID: PMC3939771  PMID: 24624362
biomarker; colorectal cancer; PIK3CA; prognosis; prediction; aspirin; adjuvant therapy; EGFR
5.  Antibody Phage Display Assisted Identification of Junction Plakoglobin as a Potential Biomarker for Atherosclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47985.
To date, no plaque-derived blood biomarker is available to allow diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases. In this study, specimens of thrombendarterectomy material from carotid and iliac arteries were incubated in protein-free medium to obtain plaque and control secretomes for subsequent subtractive phage display. The selection of nine plaque secretome-specific antibodies and the analysis of their immunopurified antigens by mass spectrometry led to the identification of 22 proteins. One of them, junction plakoglobin (JUP-81) and its smaller isoforms (referred to as JUP-63, JUP-55 and JUP-30 by molecular weight) were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting with independent antibodies to be present in atherosclerotic plaques and their secretomes, coronary thrombi of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood monocytes as well as macrophage-like cells differentiated from THP1 cells. Plasma of patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 15) and ACS (n = 11) contained JUP-81 at more than 2- and 14-fold higher median concentrations, respectively, than plasma of CAD-free individuals (n = 13). In conclusion, this proof of principle study identified and verified JUP isoforms as potential plasma biomarkers for atherosclerosis. Clinical validation studies are needed to determine its diagnostic efficacy and clinical utility as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3480477  PMID: 23110151
6.  Aspergillus-PCR in bronchoalveolar lavage for detection of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:237.
Invasive fungal disease (IFD) is a frequent and serious infectious complication in immunocompromised patients. Culture and cytology in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) have a high specificity but low sensitivity for the diagnosis of IFD as assessed by histology. Molecular methods are expected to allow a rapid diagnosis of IFD with a high sensitivity. We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of conventional nested PCR in the bronchoalveolar fluid to diagnose IFD in severely immunocompromised patients.
Consecutive immunosuppressed patients undergoing bronchoscopy for suspected pulmonary infection in a tertiary care hospital were included. Patients were classified as having “proven”, “probable”, “possible”, and “no” IFD based on definitions of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (EORTC/NIAID) and on clinical grounds. Conventional nested PCR for aspergillus fumigatus, flavus, niger, glaucus, terreus and tomarrii were applied to 2.5 ml bronchoalveolar fluid.
A total of 191 patients were included. Mean age was 51 y, 61% were male. There were 129 patients with hematological conditions, 26 solid organ transplant recipients, 24 auto-immune disorders, and 12 HIV. According to the EORTC/NIAID classification, there were 53 patients with potential IFD: 3 (2%) had proven, 8 (4%) probable, 42 (22%) possible and 138 (72%) no IFD. A total of 111 (58%) of the patients - 10 (90.9%) proven or probable IFD, 32 (76.2%) possible IFD and 69 (50%) “no” IFD) were on anti-fungal therapy at the time of bronchoscopy. Conventional nested PCR for Aspergillus was positive in 55 cases (28.8%). According to these results, sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for “proven” IFD was 0%, 71%, 0%, 98%, respectively and “probable” IFD was 36%, 72%, 7%, 95%, respectively. In 53 (28%) cases there was a strong clinical suspicion of IFD in the chest-x-ray and/or chest-CT irrespective of the EORTC/NIAID classification. However, from those, only 15 (28%) had a positive conventional nested PCR.
In our experience, conventional nested Aspergillus PCR in the BAL seems to be of limited usefulness for detection of invasive fungal disease in immunocompromised patients due to the limited sensitivity and specificity of the method.
PMCID: PMC3524028  PMID: 23031334
Invasive aspergillosis; Lung infection; Diagnosis; Bronchoscopy; Conventional nested PCR
7.  Giant ectopic liver, hepatocellular carcinoma and pachydermia-a rare genetic syndrome? 
Diagnostic Pathology  2011;6:75.
Ectopic liver is a very uncommon developmental anomaly that predisposes to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. We describe the second documented case of a hepatocellular carcinoma developing in the primary liver of a patient with a rare and uncharacterized genetic symptom complex. Also present was the largest ectopic liver ever reported, measuring 12 cm in diameter which contained a solitary focus of metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma. The primary hepatocellular carcinoma is believed to have arisen in the native liver from a hepatic adenoma that was diagnosed 15 years earlier. The patient's uncharacterised condition featured prominent thick, yellow skin over the dorsum of the fingers, and was associated with follicular hyperkeratosis, abnormal plantar creases, digital clubbing, misshaped ears, a lingua plicata and an angioleiomyolipoma of the right kidney.
This unique case of hepatocellular carcinoma arising from liver cell adenoma in a patient with an uncharacterised condition featuring a large ectopic liver invites discussion of the role of local factors in carcinogenesis in the parent liver but not the ectopic liver. It also underlines the imperative ongoing need for clinical autopsies.
PMCID: PMC3162532  PMID: 21831298
ectopic liver; hepatocellular carcinoma; metastasis; autopsy; genetic syndrome, pachydermoperiostosis
8.  Alpha 1-antitrypsin retention in an ectopic liver 
Diagnostic Pathology  2011;6:16.
Ectopic livers are infrequently reported in the literature. The reported size for ectopic livers range from a few millimeters up to several centimeters. They are often clinically silent and incidentally discovered during imaging of the hepatobiliary tract, regional surgical procedures or autopsy. They are predestined for benign liver diseases otherwise observed in normal livers like fatty change or develop malignancies such as hepatocellular carcinoma, in a manner analogous to the parent orthotopic liver. The presence of abnormal alpha 1-antitrypsin retention in an ectopic liver has, to our knowledge, not been reported in the literature. Hereby, we present the first reported case featuring alpha 1-antitrypsin retention in an ectopic liver attached to the fundus of the gallbladder and present the clinical, radiological and pathological findings in a caucasian woman undergoing cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis. Special liver stains showed an alpha 1-antitrypsin retention which was confirmed immunohistochemically. Although ectopic livers are rare and usually an incidental finding, the radiologist and the surgeon should take this into the differential diagnosis of a mass attached to the gall bladder. A secondary disease should be considered by the pathologist in such a specimen and alpha 1-antitrypsin retention should be ruled out by special liver stains. Finally, such a finding should prompt the managing clinician to exclude systemic alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency in the patient through further appropriate tests.
PMCID: PMC3058077  PMID: 21356114
9.  Brucellosis Reactivation after 28 Years 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2010;16(12):2021-2022.
PMCID: PMC3294561  PMID: 21122256
Brucellosis; reactivation; chronic infection; granulomatous cholecystitis; zoonoses; bacteria; letter
10.  Usefulness of molecular biology performed with formaldehyde-fixed paraffin embedded tissue for the diagnosis of combined pulmonary invasive mucormycosis and aspergillosis in an immunocompromised patient 
Immunocompromised patients who develop invasive filamentous mycotic infections can be efficiently treated if rapid identification of the causative fungus is obtained. We report a case of fatal necrotic pneumonia caused by combined pulmonary invasive mucormycosis and aspergillosis in a 66 year-old renal transplant recipient. Aspergillus was first identified during the course of the disease by cytological examination and culture (A. fumigatus) of bronchoalveolar fluid. Hyphae of Mucorales (Rhizopus microsporus) were subsequently identified by culture of a tissue specimen taken from the left inferior pulmonary lobe, which was surgically resected two days before the patient died. Histological analysis of the lung parenchyma showed the association of two different filamentous mycoses for which the morphological features were evocative of aspergillosis and mucormycosis. However, the definitive identification of the associative infection was made by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) performed on deparaffinized tissue sections using specific primers for aspergillosis and mucormycosis. This case demonstrates that discrepancies between histological, cytological and mycological analyses can occur in cases of combined mycotic infection. In this regard, it shows that PCR on selected paraffin blocks is a very powerful method for making or confirming the association of different filamentous mycoses and that this method should be made available to pathology laboratories.
PMCID: PMC2823679  PMID: 20205795
11.  Human herpes virus 8 replication during disseminated tuberculosis in a man with human immunodeficiency virus: a case report 
Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) is mainly responsible for the development of Kaposi's sarcoma and multicentric Castleman's disease in immunocompromised patients with untreated human immunodeficiency virus. Positive viral loads have been described in cases of Kaposi's sarcoma and multicentric Castleman's disease, with higher values found in the latter. We describe the case of a patient with HIV in whom a high level of HHV-8 replication was detected and who contracted an opportunistic disease other than multicentric Castleman's disease or Kaposi's sarcoma.
Case presentation
A 25-year-old man of West African origin with HIV complained of asthenia, weight loss, fever, and abdominal pain. Physical examination revealed that the patient had adenopathies and hepatosplenomegaly, but no skin or mucosal lesions were seen. Our first presumptive diagnosis was disseminated tuberculosis. However, since the cultures (sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, blood, urine and lymph node biopsies) for mycobacteria were negative, the diagnosis was expanded to include multicentric Castleman's disease which was supported by high HHV-8 viral loads in the patient's blood: 196,000 copies/ml in whole blood, 39,400 copies/ml in plasma and 260 copies/10E5 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. However, the histology and positive polymerase chain reaction assay for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex of a second lymph node biopsy enabled us to conclude that the patient had disseminated tuberculosis and we started the patient on antituberculosis treatment.
We analyzed the HHV-8 deoxyribonucleic acid in two other plasma samples (one from six months earlier and the other was 10 days after the positive test) and both yielded negative results. A search for latent and lytic HHV-8 antibodies confirmed that the patient was seropositive for HHV-8 before this episode.
We describe the case of a patient with HIV who tested positive for asymptomatic HHV-8 replication during an opportunistic disease suggestive of multicentric Castleman's disease. The initial analysis was nullified by the diagnosis of a disease that was unrelated to HHV-8. This case report underlines the need to clarify the full clinical meaning and implication of a positive HHV-8 viral load in patients with AIDS. The diagnosis of multicentric Castleman's disease needs to be studied further to determine its sensitivity and specificity. Finally, when faced with the dilemma of urgently starting chemotherapy on a patient whose condition is deteriorating and whose clinical presentation suggests multicentric Castleman's disease, high HHV-8 viral loads should be interpreted with caution and histological analysis of lymph nodes or liver biopsies should be obtained first.
PMCID: PMC2783054  PMID: 19946591
12.  Enteric glial cells and their role in gastrointestinal motor abnormalities: Introducing the neuro-gliopathies 
The role of enteric glial cells has somewhat changed from that of mere mechanical support elements, gluing together the various components of the enteric nervous system, to that of active participants in the complex interrelationships of the gut motor and inflammatory events. Due to their multiple functions, spanning from supporting elements in the myenteric plexuses to neurotransmitters, to neuronal homeostasis, to antigen presenting cells, this cell population has probably more intriguing abilities than previously thought. Recently, some evidence has been accumulating that shows how these cells may be involved in the pathophysiological aspects of some diseases. This review will deal with the properties of the enteric glial cells more strictly related to gastrointestinal motor function and the human pathological conditions in which these cells may play a role, suggesting the possibility of enteric neuro-gliopathies.
PMCID: PMC4205302  PMID: 17696219
Enteric glia; Glial cells; Gastrointestinal motility
13.  HER2 gene status in primary breast cancers and matched distant metastases 
Breast Cancer Research  2007;9(3):R31.
The status of the gene encoding human EGF-like receptor 2 (HER2) is an important prognostic and predictive marker in breast cancer. Only breast cancers with HER2 amplification respond to the targeted therapy with trastuzumab. It is controversial to what degree the primary tumour is representative of distant metastases in terms of HER2 status. Discrepancies in HER2 status between primary tumours and distant metastases have been described, but their reasons remain unclear. Here, we compared HER2 status on cytological specimens of distant metastases with the result from the primary carcinomas, and explored the prevalence of and the reasons for discrepant results.
HER2 status was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridisation. HER2 gene amplification was defined as a HER2/chromosome 17 signal ratio of 2 or more. HER2 results from cytological specimens of matched distant metastases were compared with the results from the corresponding primary tumours (n = 105 patients). In addition, lymph node metastases were analysed in 31 of these patients.
HER2 amplification was found in 20% of distant metastases. HER2 status was discordant between the primary tumour and distant metastasis in 7.6% of the 105 patients. Re-evaluation revealed that in five patients (4.7%), discrepancies were due to interpretational difficulties. In two of these patients, focal amplification had initially been overlooked as a result of heterogeneity in the primary tumours or in the metastases, respectively. A further three patients had borderline amplification with a ratio close to 2. Discrepancy remained unexplained in three patients (2.9%).
HER2 gene status remains highly conserved as breast cancers metastasise. However, discrepant results do occur because of interpretational difficulties and heterogeneity of HER2 amplification. Cytological specimens from distant metastases are well suited for HER2 fluorescence in situ hybridisation analysis.
PMCID: PMC1929093  PMID: 17511881
14.  Differential Expression of Viral Bcl-2 Encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus and Human Bcl-2 in Primary Effusion Lymphoma Cells and Kaposi's Sarcoma Lesions 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(5):2551-2556.
Expression of human herpesvirus 8 viral Bcl-2 protein was demonstrated in spindle cells of late-stage Kaposi's sarcoma lesions but not in primary effusion lymphoma cell lines. In contrast, strong expression of human Bcl-2 was found in stimulated primary effusion lymphoma cells, whereas in Kaposi's sarcoma lesions preferential mononuclear cells, and to a lesser extent spindle cells, stained positive.
PMCID: PMC135929  PMID: 11836434
15.  High Human Herpesvirus 8 Seroprevalence in the Homosexual Population in Switzerland 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(6):1784-1786.
The seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) in the Swiss population was investigated. By enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, sera reactive to the recombinant HHV-8 antigen orf 65.2 were found in 24% of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients without and in 92% of HIV-positive patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma. Surprisingly, 20% of homosexual HIV-negative men, versus only 7% of heterosexual HIV-negative individuals and 5% of blood donors, had antibodies to HHV-8.
PMCID: PMC104922  PMID: 9620422
16.  Neutralisation of the interleukin-33/ST2 pathway ameliorates experimental colitis through enhancement of mucosal healing in mice 
Gut  2012;62(12):1714-1723.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have been intrinsically linked to a deregulated cytokine network, but novel therapeutic principles are urgently needed. Here we identify the interleukin (IL)-33 and its receptor ST2 as key negative regulators of wound healing and permeability in the colon of mice.
Expression of IL-33 and ST2 was determined by qRT-PCR, ELISA, immunohistochemistry and western-blot analysis. Wild-type and St2−/− mice were used in wound healing experiments and in two experimental models of IBD triggered by 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid or dextran sodium sulphate (DSS). Neutralisation of ST2 was performed by using a specific blocking antibody.
Nuclear localisation and enhanced expression of IL-33 in myofibroblasts and enterocytes was linked to disease involvement independently of inflammation, while the expression of ST2 was primarily restricted to the colonic epithelia. In two experimental models of IBD, genetic ablation of ST2 significantly improved signs of colitis, while a sustained epithelial expression of the cyto-protective factor connexin-43 was observed in DSS-treated St2-deficient mice. Unexpectedly, absence of ST2 in non-hematopoietic cells was sufficient to protect against colitis. Consistently, specific inhibition of endogenous ST2-mediated signalling by treatment with neutralising antibody improved DSS-induced colitis. In addition, IL-33 treatment impaired epithelial barrier permeability in vitro and in vivo, whereas absence of ST2 enhanced wound healing response upon acute mechanical injury in the colon.
Our study unveiled a novel non-hematopoietic function of IL-33 in epithelial barrier function and wound healing. Therefore, blocking the IL-33/ST2 axis may represent an efficient therapy in IBD.
PMCID: PMC3841767  PMID: 23172891
Experimental Colitis; Epithelial Barrier; Cytokines; Antibody Targeted Therapy; Epithelial Permeability

Results 1-16 (16)