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1.  Relationship between pretreatment FDG-PET and diffusion-weighted MRI biomarkers in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) standardized uptake value (SUV) and the diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Pretreatment FDG-PET and diffusion-weighted MRI of 21 patients with histologically proven DLBCL were prospectively analyzed. In each patient, maximum, mean and peak standardized uptake value (SUV) was measured in the lesion with visually highest FDG uptake and in the largest lesion. Mean ADC (ADCmean, calculated with b-values of 0 and 1000 s/mm2) was measured in the same lesions. Correlations between FDG-PET metrics (SUVmax, SUVmean, SUVpeak) and ADCmean were assessed using Pearson’s correlation coefficients. In the lesions with visually highest FDG uptake, no significant correlations were found between the SUVmax, SUVmean, SUVpeak and the ADCmean (P=0.498, P=0.609 and P=0.595, respectively). In the largest lesions, there were no significant correlations either between the SUVmax, SUVmean, SUVpeak and the ADCmean (P=0.992, P=0.843 and P=0.894, respectively). The results of this study indicate that the glycolytic rate as measured by FDG-PET and changes in water compartmentalization and water diffusion as measured by the ADC are independent biological phenomena in newly diagnosed DLBCL. Further studies are warranted to assess the complementary roles of these different imaging biomarkers in the evaluation and follow-up of DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3999403  PMID: 24795837
FDG-PET; diffusion-weighted MRI; standardized uptake value; apparent diffusion coefficient; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
2.  Imbalance of Angiopoietin-1 and Angiopoetin-2 in Severe Dengue and Relationship with Thrombocytopenia, Endothelial Activation, and Vascular Stability 
The pathogenesis of plasma leakage during dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS) is largely unknown. Angiopoietins are key regulators of vascular integrity: Angiopoietin-1 is stored in platelets and maintains vascular integrity, and endothelium-derived angiopoietin-2 promotes vascular leakage. We determined angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 levels in a cohort of children in Indonesia with DHF/DSS and related them to plasma leakage markers. Patients with DHF/DSS had reduced angiopoietin-1 and increased angiopoietin-2 plasma levels on the day of admission when compared with levels at discharge and in healthy controls. There was an inverse correlation between angiopoietin-1 and markers of plasma leakage and a positive correlation between angiopoietin-2 and markers of plasma leakage. Angiopoietin-1 levels followed the same trend as the soluble platelet activation marker P-selectin and correlated with platelet counts. Dengue-associated thrombocytopenia and endothelial activation are associated with an imbalance in angiopoietin-2: angiopoietin-1 plasma levels. This imbalance may contribute to the transient plasma leakage in DHF/DSS.
PMCID: PMC3516273  PMID: 22949515
3.  Platelet Activation Determines Angiopoietin-1 and VEGF Levels in Malaria: Implications for Their Use as Biomarkers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e64850.
The angiogenic proteins angiopoietin (Ang)-1, Ang-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are regulators of endothelial inflammation and integrity. Since platelets store large amounts of Ang-1 and VEGF, measurement of circulation levels of these proteins is sensitive to platelet number, in vivo platelet activation and inadvertent platelet activation during blood processing. We studied plasma Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF levels in malaria patients, taking the necessary precautions to avoid ex vivo platelet activation, and related plasma levels to platelet count and the soluble platelet activation markers P-selectin and CXCL7.
Plasma levels of Ang-1, Ang-2, VEGF, P-selectin and CXCL7 were measured in CTAD plasma, minimizing ex vivo platelet activation, in 27 patients with febrile Plasmodium falciparum malaria at presentation and day 2 and 5 of treatment and in 25 healthy controls.
Levels of Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF were higher at day 0 in malaria patients compared to healthy controls. Ang-2 levels, which is a marker of endothelial activation, decreased after start of antimalarial treatment. In contrast, Ang-1 and VEGF plasma levels increased and this corresponded with the increase in platelet number. Soluble P-selectin and CXCL7 levels followed the same trend as Ang-1 and VEGF levels. Plasma levels of these four proteins correlated strongly in malaria patients, but only moderately in controls.
In contrast to previous studies, we found elevated plasma levels of Ang-1 and VEGF in patients with malaria resulting from in vivo platelet activation. Ang-1 release from platelets may be important to dampen the disturbing effects of Ang-2 on the endothelium. Evaluation of plasma levels of these angiogenic proteins requires close adherence to a stringent protocol to minimize ex vivo platelet activation.
PMCID: PMC3670845  PMID: 23755151
4.  Platelets of patients with chronic kidney disease demonstrate deficient platelet reactivity in vitro 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:127.
In patients with chronic kidney disease studies focusing on platelet function and properties often are non-conclusive whereas only few studies use functional platelet tests. In this study we evaluated a recently developed functional flow cytometry based assay for the analysis of platelet function in chronic kidney disease.
Platelet reactivity was measured using flow cytometric analysis. Platelets in whole blood were triggered with different concentrations of agonists (TRAP, ADP, CRP). Platelet activation was quantified with staining for P-selectin, measuring the mean fluorescence intensity. Area under the curve and the concentration of half-maximal response were determined.
We studied 23 patients with chronic kidney disease (9 patients with cardiorenal failure and 14 patients with end stage renal disease) and 19 healthy controls. Expression of P-selectin on the platelet surface measured as mean fluorescence intensity was significantly less in chronic kidney disease patients compared to controls after maximal stimulation with TRAP (9.7 (7.9-10.8) vs. 11.4 (9.2-12.2), P = 0.032), ADP (1.6 (1.2-2.1) vs. 2.6 (1.9-3.5), P = 0.002) and CRP (9.2 (8.5-10.8) vs. 11.5 (9.5-12.9), P = 0.004). Also the area under the curve was significantly different. There was no significant difference in half-maximal response between both groups.
In this study we found that patients with chronic kidney disease show reduced platelet reactivity in response of ADP, TRAP and CRP compared to controls. These results contribute to our understanding of the aberrant platelet function observed in patients with chronic kidney disease and emphasize the significance of using functional whole blood platelet activation assays.
PMCID: PMC3473261  PMID: 23020133
Platelet activation; Haemodialysis; Cardiorenal syndrome; End-stage renal disease
5.  Severe Dengue Is Associated with Consumption of von Willebrand Factor and Its Cleaving Enzyme ADAMTS-13 
Thrombocytopenia, bleeding and plasma leakage are cardinal features of severe dengue. Endothelial cell activation with exocytosis of Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) may play an etiological role in this condition.
Methods and Principal Findings
In a cohort of 73 Indonesian children with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), of which 30 with dengue shock syndrome (DSS), we measured plasma levels of the WPB constituents von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag), VWF propeptide and osteoprotegerin (OPG), together with activity levels of the VWF-cleaving enzyme ADAMTS-13 and the amount of VWF in a platelet binding conformation (VWF activation factor). Compared with healthy controls (n = 17), children with DHF/DSS had significantly higher levels of VWF:Ag, VWF propeptide and OPG and decreased ADAMTS-13 activity. The VWF activation factor was also significantly higher in DHF/DSS and highest in children who died. There were significant differences in the kinetics of the various WPB constituents: VWF propeptide and OPG levels decreased toward discharge, while VWF:Ag levels were lower than expected at enrollment with plasma levels increasing toward discharge. Moreover, VWF propeptide levels correlated better with markers of disease severity (platelet count, liver enzymes, serum albumin and pleural effusion index) than corresponding VWF levels. Together, these findings suggest that there is consumption of VWF in DHF/DSS. In 4 out of 15 selected children with low ADAMTS-13 levels on admission, we found a remarkable reduction in the large and intermediate VWF multimers in the discharge blood samples, consistent with an acquired von Willebrand disease.
These findings suggest that severe dengue is associated with exocytosis of WPBs with increased circulating levels of VWF:Ag, VWF propeptide and OPG. High circulating levels of VWF in its active conformation, together with low ADAMTS-13 activity levels, are likely to contribute to the thrombocytopenia and complications of dengue. During the convalescence phase, qualitative defects in VWF with loss of larger VWF multimers may develop.
Author Summary
Severe dengue infections are characterized by thrombocytopenia, clinical bleeding and plasma leakage. Activation of the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, leads to the secretion of storage granules called Weibel Palade bodies (WPBs). We demonstrated that severe dengue in Indonesian children is associated with a strong increase in plasma levels of the WPB constituents von Willebrand factor (VWF), VWF propeptide and osteoprotegerin (OPG). An increased amount of the hemostatic protein VWF was in a hyperreactive, platelet binding conformation, and this was most pronounced in the children who died. VWF levels at enrollment were lower than expected from concurrent VWF propeptide and OPG levels and VWF levels did not correlate well with markers of disease severity. Together, this suggests that VWF is being consumed during severe dengue. Circulating levels of the VWF-cleaving enzyme ADAMTS-13 were reduced. VWF is a multimeric protein and a subset of children had a decrease in large and intermediate VWF multimers at discharge. In conclusion, severe dengue is associated with exocytosis of WPBs with consumption of VWF and low ADAMTS-13 activity levels. This may contribute to the thrombocytopenia and complications of dengue.
PMCID: PMC3341341  PMID: 22563509
6.  On the Added Value of Baseline FDG-PET in Malignant Lymphoma 
Molecular Imaging and Biology  2009;12(2):225-232.
The added value of baseline positron emission tomography (PET) scans in therapy evaluation in malignant lymphoma is unclear. In guidelines, baseline PET is recommended but not mandatory except in lymphoma types with variable fluoro-d-glucose uptake. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that adding baseline PET information decreases false positive readings with posttreatment PET and improves observer agreement.
Forty-four patients (mean age 56 years, standard deviation 14) with malignant lymphoma were included. Two nuclear medicine physicians retrospectively and independently evaluated the posttreatment PET, 3 weeks later followed by paired reading of baseline and posttreatment PET. For each PET, 22 regions were classified as positive, negative, or equivocal, resulting in an overall PET score of positive, unclear, or negative. In case of discrepancies, consensus was reached.
Addition of baseline to posttreatment PET evaluation affected the classification of metabolic response in 34% of malignant lymphoma patients treated with first-line chemotherapy. In one out of seven patients, addition of the baseline PET lead to opposite conclusions (95% confidence interval 4–14). False positivity was reduced by adding the baseline scan information, but the effect on false negativity was similar. In addition, the amount of unclear classifications halved after paired reading. Observer agreement did not improve upon adding the baseline PET data.
Without any other clinical information, pretreatment PET facilitates changes the interpretation of a posttreatment PET in a third of the patients, resulting in both upgrading and downgrading of the posttreatment situation of a malignant lymphoma patient. If these results are confirmed for PET–computed tomography systems, they favor the addition of baseline PET to the current work-up of patients with malignant lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC2844531  PMID: 19809855
FDG PET; Malignant lymphoma; Therapy evaluation; Baseline PET; Hodgkin’s disease; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Results 1-6 (6)