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1.  Adipokines NUCB2/Nesfatin-1 and Visfatin as Novel Inflammatory Factors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease  
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:232167.
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a common lung disease characterized by airflow limitation and systemic inflammation. Recently, adipose tissue mediated inflammation has gathered increasing interest in the pathogenesis of the disease. In this study, we investigated the role of novel adipocytokines nesfatin-1 and visfatin in COPD by measuring if they are associated with the inflammatory activity, lung function, or symptoms. Plasma levels of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 and visfatin were measured together with IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and MMP-9, lung function, exhaled nitric oxide, and symptoms in 43 male patients with emphysematous COPD. The measurements were repeated in a subgroup of the patients after four weeks' treatment with inhaled fluticasone. Both visfatin and NUCB2/nesfatin-1 correlated positively with plasma levels of IL-6 (r = 0.341, P = 0.027 and rho = 0.401, P = 0.008, resp.) and TNF-α (r = 0.305, P = 0.052 and rho = 0.329, P = 0.033, resp.) and NUCB2/nesfatin-1 also with IL-8 (rho = 0.321, P = 0.036) in patients with COPD. Further, the plasma levels of visfatin correlated negatively with pulmonary diffusing capacity (r = −0.369, P = 0.016). Neither of the adipokines was affected by fluticasone treatment and they were not related to steroid-responsiveness. The present results introduce adipocytokines NUCB2/nesfatin-1 and visfatin as novel factors associated with systemic inflammation in COPD and suggest that visfatin may mediate impaired pulmonary diffusing capacity.
PMCID: PMC4033393  PMID: 24891763
2.  Correlations between Functional Imaging Markers Derived from PET/CT and Diffusion-Weighted MRI in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Follicular Lymphoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84999.
To investigate the correlations between functional imaging markers derived from positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). Further to compare the usefulness of these tumor markers in differentiating diagnosis of the two common types of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
Materials and Methods
Thirty-four consecutive pre-therapy adult patients with proven NHL (23 DLBCL and 11 FL) underwent PET/CT and MRI examinations and laboratory tests. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), and metabolic tumor burden (MTB) were determined from the PET/CT images. DWI was performed in addition to conventional MRI sequences using two b values (0 and 800 s/mm2). The minimum and mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADCmin and ADCmean) were measured on the parametric ADC maps.
The SUVmax correlated inversely with the ADCmin (r = −0.35, p<0.05). The ADCmin, ADCmean, serum thymidine kinase (TK), Beta 2-microglobulin (B2m), lactate dehydrogenase (LD), and C-reactive protein (CRP) correlated with both whole-body MTV and whole-body MTB (p<0.05 or 0.01). The SUVmax, TK, LD, and CRP were significantly higher in the DLBCL group than in the FL group. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that they were reasonable predictors in differentiating DLBCL from FL.
The functional imaging markers determined from PET/CT and DWI are associated, and the SUVmax is superior to the ADCmin in differentiating DLBCL from FL. All the measured serum markers are associated with functional imaging markers. Serum LD, TK, and CRP are useful in differentiating DLBCL from FL.
PMCID: PMC3893149  PMID: 24454777
3.  Development of a Research Dedicated Archival System (TARAS) in a University Hospital 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2010;24(5):864-873.
Recent healthcare policies have influenced the manner in which patient data is handled in research projects, and the regulations concerning protected health information have become significantly tighter. Thus, new procedures are needed to facilitate research while protecting the confidentiality of patient data and ensuring the integrity of clinical work in the expanding environment of electronic files and databases. We have addressed this problem in a university hospital setting by developing the Tampere Research Archival System (TARAS), an extensive data warehouse for research purposes. This dynamic system includes numerous integrated and pseudonymized imaging studies and clinical data. In a pilot study on asthma patients, we tested and improved the functionality of the data archival system. TARAS is feasible to use in retrieving, analyzing, and processing both image and non-image data. In this paper, we present a detailed workflow of the implementation process of the data warehouse, paying special attention to administrative, ethical, practical, and data security concerns. The establishment of TARAS will enhance and accelerate research practice at Tampere University Hospital, while also improving the safety of patient information as well as the prospects for national and international research collaboration. We hope that much can be learned from our experience of planning, designing, and implementing a research data warehouse combining imaging studies and medical records in a university hospital.
PMCID: PMC3180537  PMID: 21042830
PACS; Research PACS; Hospital information systems; Research Archival System; TARAS; Medical research; Large scale; Pseudonymization
4.  Retroperitoneal and pleural fibrosis in an insulator working in power plants 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr08.2008.0644.
We describe a case history of a former insulator who developed concomitant retroperitoneal and pleural fibrosis. In his work, the patient had been exposed on a daily basis to asbestos dust while demolishing and installing pipeline insulations. The heavy asbestos exposure was confirmed by a high level of asbestos content in his autopsy lung sample. We propose that both retroperitoneal fibrosis and diffuse pleural thickening were induced in our patient by an abundant amount of amphibole asbestos fibres found in his lung and retroperitoneal tissues.
PMCID: PMC3028442  PMID: 21686706
5.  Increased alveolar nitric oxide concentration and high levels of leukotriene B4 and 8‐isoprostane in exhaled breath condensate in patients with asbestosis 
Thorax  2007;62(7):602-607.
Inhaled asbestos fibres can cause inflammation and fibrosis in the lungs called asbestosis. However, there are no non‐invasive means to assess and follow the severity of the inflammation. Exhaled nitric oxide (NO) measured at multiple exhalation flow rates can be used to assess the alveolar NO concentration and bronchial NO flux, which reflect inflammation in the lung parenchyma and airways, respectively. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exhaled NO or markers in exhaled breath condensate could be used to assess inflammation in asbestosis.
Exhaled NO and inflammatory markers (leukotriene B4 and 8‐isoprostane) in exhaled breath condensate were measured in 15 non‐smoking patients with asbestosis and in 15 healthy controls. Exhaled NO concentrations were measured at four constant exhalation flow rates (50, 100, 200 and 300 ml/s) and alveolar NO concentration and bronchial NO flux were calculated according to the linear model of pulmonary NO dynamics.
The mean (SE) alveolar NO concentration was significantly higher in patients with asbestosis than in controls (3.2 (0.4) vs 2.0 (0.2) ppb, p = 0.008). There was no difference in bronchial NO flux (0.9 (0.1) vs 0.9 (0.1) nl/s, p = 0.93) or NO concentration measured at ATS standard flow rate of 50 ml/s (20.0 (2.0) vs 19.7 (1.8) ppb, p = 0.89). Patients with asbestosis had increased levels of leukotriene B4 (39.5 (6.0) vs 15.4 (2.9) pg/ml, p = 0.002) and 8‐isoprostane (33.5 (9.6) vs 11.9 (2.8) pg/ml, p = 0.048) in exhaled breath condensate and raised serum levels of C‐reactive protein (2.3 (0.3) vs 1.1 (0.2) μg/ml, p = 0.003), interleukin‐6 (3.5 (0.5) vs 1.7 (0.4) pg/ml, p = 0.007) and myeloperoxidase (356 (48) vs 240 (20) ng/ml, p = 0.034) compared with healthy controls.
Patients with asbestosis have an increased alveolar NO concentration and high levels of leukotriene B4 and 8‐isoprostane in exhaled breath. Measurement of exhaled NO at multiple exhalation flow rates and analysis of inflammatory markers in exhaled breath condensate are promising non‐invasive means for assessing inflammation in patients with asbestosis.
PMCID: PMC2117239  PMID: 17251310
6.  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma response evaluation with MRI texture classification 
To show magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) texture appearance change in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) during treatment with response controlled by quantitative volume analysis.
A total of 19 patients having NHL with an evaluable lymphoma lesion were scanned at three imaging timepoints with 1.5T device during clinical treatment evaluation. Texture characteristics of images were analyzed and classified with MaZda application and statistical tests.
NHL tissue MRI texture imaged before treatment and under chemotherapy was classified within several subgroups, showing best discrimination with 96% correct classification in non-linear discriminant analysis of T2-weighted images.
Texture parameters of MRI data were successfully tested with statistical tests to assess the impact of the separability of the parameters in evaluating chemotherapy response in lymphoma tissue.
Texture characteristics of MRI data were classified successfully; this proved texture analysis to be potential quantitative means of representing lymphoma tissue changes during chemotherapy response monitoring.
PMCID: PMC2711966  PMID: 19545438
7.  Asbestos-related pleural and lung fibrosis in patients with retroperitoneal fibrosis 
Retroperitoneal fibrosis (RPF) is a rare fibroinflammatory disease that leads to hydronephrosis and renal failure. In a case-control study, we have recently shown that asbestos exposure was the most important risk factor for RPF in the Finnish population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation of asbestos exposure to radiologically confirmed lung and pleural fibrosis among patients with RPF.
Chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) was performed on 16 unexposed and 22 asbestos-exposed RPF patients and 18 asbestos-exposed controls. Parietal pleural plaques (PPP), diffuse pleural thickening (DPT) and parenchymal fibrosis were scored separately.
Most of the asbestos-exposed RPF patients and half of the asbestos-exposed controls had bilateral PPP, but only a few had lung fibrosis. Minor bilateral plaques were detected in two of the unexposed RPF patients, and none had lung fibrosis. DPT was most frequent and thickest in the asbestos-exposed RPF-patients. In three asbestos-exposed patients with RPF we observed exceptionally large pleural masses that were located anteriorly in the pleural space and continued into the anterior mediastinum.
Asbestos exposure was associated with DPT in comparisons between RPF patients and controls (case-control analysis) as well as among RPF patients (case-case analysis).
The most distinctive feature of the asbestos-exposed RPF patients was a thick DPT. An asbestos-related pleural finding was common in the asbestos-exposed RPF patients, but only a few of these patients had parenchymal lung fibrosis. RPF without asbestos exposure was not associated with pleural or lung fibrosis. The findings suggest a shared etiology for RPF and pleural fibrosis and furthermore possibly a similar pathogenetic mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2596089  PMID: 19014533

Results 1-7 (7)