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1.  Malignant Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma: A Case Report 
Oman Medical Journal  2013;28(2):135-137.
Malignant epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EH) is a rare tumor of vascular origin. We report a case of a woman who was found to have multiple hepatic masses in the right lobe of the liver on radiologic investigations, initially misdiagnosed as a metastatic carcinoma. The diagnosis of EH was made on histopathological study and confirmed by immunohistochemistry, which showed diffuse response for CD34 marker and no response to tissue CEA, HMB-45 or S-100 protein. Partial hepatectomy was made with good results.
PMCID: PMC3628196  PMID: 23599886
Epithelioid; Liver; Histopathology; Immunohistochemistry
2.  Investigation of DNA Sequence in the Basal Core Promoter, Precore, and Core Regions of Hepatitis B Virus from Tunisia Shows a Shift in Genotype Prevalence 
Hepatitis Monthly  2012;12(11):e6191.
In this study, we evaluated the prevalence of the most common mutations occurring in Enhancer II (EnhII), Basal Core Promoter (BCP), Precore (PC), and Core (C) regions of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome.
We also investigated the correlation between HBV variants, their genotypes, and patients’ HBe antigen (HBeAg: soluble shape of the capsid antigen) status.
Patients and Methods
We retrieved viral DNA from 40 serum samples of Tunisian patients positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV DNA, amplified the above mentioned regions using specific primers, and sequenced the corresponding PCR (polymerase chain reaction) products. For further analysis purpose, the patients were divided into two groups: Group1 including 34 HBeAg-negative patients and Group2 with 6 HBeAg-positive patients.
Twenty-one patients (52.5%) showed PC G1896A mutation and 11 (27.5%) carried A1762T/G1764A double mutations. These mutations were more frequent in HBeAg-negative patients than that in HBeAg-positive ones. Indeed, 58.8% of patients bearing G1896A mutation were HBeAg-negative while 16.7% were positive. In patients bearing T1762/A1764 double mutation, 29.4% were positive and 16.7% were negative. In addition, the A1896 mutation was restricted to HBV isolates that had wild-type T1858, while C1858 was rather linked to the occurrence of T1762/A1764 mutation. Interestingly, this study revealed a high frequency of genotype E. This frequency was important as compared to that of genotype D known to be predominant in the country as delineated in previous studies.
Previous results supported and showed that HBV strains present in Tunisia belonging to genotype D and, to a lesser extent, to genotype E, were prone to mutations in BCP/ PC regions. This observation was more obvious in HBV isolates from asymptomatic chronic carriers (AsC). The high mutational rates observed in our study might result from a mechanism of viral escape that plays an important role in the loss of HBeAg.
PMCID: PMC3549613  PMID: 23346148
Hepatitis B virus; Promoter Regions, Genetic; Mutations; Genotypes
3.  Efficacy of Diosmectite (Smecta)® in the Treatment of Acute Watery Diarrhoea in Adults: A Multicentre, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Study 
Background. Although diosmectite has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of acute watery diarrhoea in children, its efficacy in adults still needs to be assessed. The objective of this study was therefore to assess the efficacy of diosmectite on the time to recovery in adults with acute diarrhoea. Methods. A total of 346 adults with at least three watery stools per day over a period of less than 48 hours were prospectively randomized to diosmectite (6 g tid) or placebo during four days. The primary endpoint was time to diarrhoea recovery. Results. In the intention-to-treat population, median time to recovery was 53.8 hours (range [3.7–167.3]) with diosmectite (n = 166) versus 69.0 hours [2.2–165.2] with placebo, (n = 163; P = .029), which corresponds to a difference of 15.2 hours. Diosmectite was well tolerated. Conclusion. Diosmectite at 6 g tid was well tolerated and reduced the time to recovery of acute watery diarrhoea episode in a clinically relevant manner.
PMCID: PMC3132498  PMID: 21760777
4.  Variceal Band Ligation in the Prevention of Variceal Bleeding: A Multicenter Trial 
Variceal bleeding is a life-threatening complication of portal hypertension with a high probability of recurrence. Treatment to prevent first bleeding or rebleeding is mandatory. The study has been aimed at investigating the effectiveness of endoscopic band ligation in preventing upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with portal hypertension and to establish the clinical outcome of patients.
Patients and Methods:
We analyzed in a multicenter trial, the efficacy and side effects of endoscopic band ligation for the primary and secondary prophylaxis of esophageal variceal bleeding. We assigned 603 patients with portal hypertension who were hospitalized to receive treatment with endoscopic ligation. Sessions of ligation were repeated every two to three weeks until the varices were eradicated. The primary end point was recurrent bleeding.
The median follow-up period was 32 months. A total of 126 patients had recurrent bleeding. All episodes were related to portal hypertension and 79 to recurrent variceal bleeding. There were major complications in 51 patients (30 had bleeding esophageal ulcers). Seventy-eight patients died, 26 deaths were related to variceal bleeding and 1 to bleeding esophageal ulcers.
A great improvement in the prevention of variceal bleeding has emerged over the last years. However, further therapeutic options that combine higher efficacy, better tolerance and fewer side effects are needed.
PMCID: PMC3099054  PMID: 21372346
Endoscopic band ligation; esophageal varices; portal hypertension
5.  Primary resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin of Helicobacter pylori isolated from Tunisian patients with peptic ulcers and gastritis: a prospective multicentre study 
The frequency of primary resistance to antibiotics in H. pylori isolates is increasing worldwide. In Tunisia, there are limited data regarding the pattern of H. pylori antibiotic primary resistance.
To evaluate the primary resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin and to detect the mutations involved in clarithromycin resistance.
Materials and methods
273 strains isolated from adults and children were enrolled. The primary resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin was evaluated by means of E-test minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). The real-time PCR using Scorpion primers was performed in all cases to assess clarithromycin primary resistance and point mutations involved.
No resistance to amoxicillin was detected. For adults, resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole was found respectively in 14.6% and 56.8%, and respectively in 18.8% and 25% in children. Overall, the rates of global primary resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole in Tunisia were respectively determined in 15.4% and 51.3%.
By the use of Scorpion PCR, the A2143G was the most frequent point mutation observed (88.1%), followed by the A2142G (11.9%); the A2142C was not found and 18 of 42 patients (42.8%) were infected by both the resistant and the susceptible genotype.
The association of clarithromycin resistance with gender was not statistically significant, but metronidazole resistant strains were isolated more frequently in females (67.8%) than in males (32.2%) and the difference was significant. As for gastroduodenal diseases, the difference between strains isolated from patients with peptic ulceration and those with non peptic ulceration was not statistically significant. When about the distribution of resistant strains to clarithromycin and metronidazole between the three Tunisian cities (Tunis, Menzel Bourguiba and Mahdia), the difference was not statistically significant.
Local data regarding the primary resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin and the main genetic mutation involved in clarithromycin resistance in vivo (A2143G) are necessary to prove a clear need for a periodic evaluation of antibiotic consumption and new therapeutic strategies in Tunisia in order to avoid the emergence of resistant strains.
PMCID: PMC2928169  PMID: 20707901
7.  Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori vacA, cagA, iceA and oipA genotypes in Tunisian patients 
Distinct virulence factors of H. pylori have been described: the vaculating cytotoxin (vacA), the cytotoxin associated gene (cagA), the induced by contact with epithelium factor Antigen (iceA gene) and the outer membrane protein oipA. In Tunisia, there are no data regarding the pattern of H. pylori genotypes; therefore, this prospective and multicentre study was the first to be done in Tunisia and aimed to investigate the prevalence of the vacA, cagA, iceA and oipA genotypes of H. pylori isolates from Tunisian patients with peptic ulceration, gastric cancer, MALT lymphoma and gastritis.
H. pylori was cultured from endoscopic biopsies obtained from 281 Tunisian patients. The vacA alleles, cagA, iceA and oipA genotypes were determined by PCR.
The vacA s1m1, s1m2 and s2m2 were respectively found in 10.7%, 12.5% and 45.6% of strains. The s2m1 genotype was not detected in our study. The cagA was found in 61.6% of isolates. The iceA1 and the iceA2 genotypes were respectively isolated in 60.2% and in 16% of strains. The oipA genotype was detected in 90.8% of strains. Considering the vacA and iceA genotypes, the presence of multiple H. pylori strains in a single biopsy specimen was found respectively in 31.4% and 23.8%. The comparison between strains isolated from antrum and fundus showed that Tunisian patients were infected with two or more strains of different cagA, vacA, iceA and oipA genotypes and the discordance was respectively in 9.6%, 4.6%, 8.9% and 8.5% of strains.
Our results showed that in 46% (131 strains among 281), the H. pylori strains were highly virulent in relation of the three or four virulent factors they could carry. These finding were described before in the literature. Tunisian patients were colonized by one or multiple strains of H. pylori in the same time in relation of presence of vacA m1/m2 and iceA1/iceA2 in the same biopsy. The discordance between strains isolated from antrum and fundus was high, and it is in favour of multicolonization.
PMCID: PMC2855517  PMID: 20302630
8.  Lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase R620W variant and inflammatory bowel disease in Tunisia 
AIM: To assess the possible association between PTPN22 (R620W) gene polymorphism and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
METHODS: One hundred and sixty-four patients with IBD [105 Crohn’s disease (CD) and 59 ulcerative colitis (UC)] and 100 healthy controls were recruited. Genotyping of the PTPN22 gene 1858C→T polymorphism was performed by restriction fragment length polymorphism-polymerase chain reaction with RsaI digestion.
RESULTS: The genotypic and allelic frequencies of (R620W) PTPN22 gene polymorphism reveal a significant association of the PTPN22 620-W allele with IBD, compared to the healthy control group (OR: 17.81, 95% CI: 4.18-21.86, P = 0.00001). Nevertheless, no difference in this polymorphism was found between CD and UC patients. No significant association was found between the frequencies of genotypes of the PTPN22 gene with either the clinical features such as sex, age, age at disease onset, and extent of colitis, or the production of serological markers (anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody in CD and perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody in UC).
CONCLUSION: These observations confirm the association of IBD susceptibility with the PTPN22 1858T (620-W) allele in Tunisian patients.
PMCID: PMC2811802  PMID: 20101775
Inflammatory bowel disease; PTPN22; Genetic polymorphism; Genetic susceptibility
9.  Association of Fas/Apo1 gene promoter (-670 A/G) polymorphism in Tunisian patients with IBD 
AIM: To detect a possible association between the polymorphism of the (-670 A/G) Fas/Apo1 gene promoter and susceptibility to Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in the Tunisian population.
METHODS: The (-670 A/G) Fas polymorphism was analyzed in 105 patients with CD, 59 patients with UC, and 100 controls using the polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism method.
RESULTS: Significantly lower frequencies of the Fas -670 A allele and A/A homozygous individuals were observed in CD and UC patients when compared with controls. Analysis of (-670 A/G) Fas polymorphism with respect to sex in CD and UC showed a significant difference in A/A genotypes between female patients and controls (P corrected = 0.004 in CD patients and P corrected = 0.02 in UC patients, respectively). Analysis also showed a statistically significant association between genotype AA of the (-670 A/G) polymorphism and the ileum localization of the lesions (P corrected = 0.048) and between genotype GG and the colon localization (P corrected = 0.009). The analysis of inflammatory bowel disease patients according to clinical behavior revealed no difference.
CONCLUSION: Fas-670 polymorphism was associated with the development of CD and UC in the Tunisian population.
PMCID: PMC2721238  PMID: 19653342
Fas/Apo1; Gene polymorphisms; Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis

Results 1-9 (9)