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1.  Evaluation of splanchnic oximetry, Doppler flow velocimetry in the superior mesenteric artery and feeding tolerance in very low birth weight IUGR and non-IUGR infants receiving bolus versus continuous enteral nutrition 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:106.
Background
IUGR infants are thought to have impaired gut function after birth, which may result in intestinal disturbances, ranging from temporary intolerance to the enteral feeding to full-blown NEC.
In literature there is no consensus regarding the impact of enteral feeding on intestinal blood flow and hence regarding the best regimen and the best rate of delivering the enteral nutrition.
Methods/design
This is a randomized, non-pharmacological, single-center, cross-over study including 20 VLBW infants.
Inclusion criteria
* Weight at birth ranging: 700–1501 grams
* Gestational age up to 25 weeks and 6 days
* Written informed consent from parents or guardians
Exclusion criteria
* Major congenital abnormality
* Patients enrolled in other trials
* Significant multi-organ failure prior to trial entry
* Pre-existing cutaneous disease not allowing the placement of the NIRS’ probe
In the first 24 hours of life, between the 48th and 72nd hours of life, and during Minimal Enteral Feeding, all infants’ intestinal perfusion will be evaluated with NIRS and a Doppler of the superior mesenteric artery will be executed.
At the achievement of an enteral intake of 100 mL/Kg/day the patients (IUGR and NON IUGR separately) will be randomized in 2 groups: Group A (n=10) will receive a feed by bolus (in 10 minutes); then, after at least 3 hours, they will receive the same amount of formula administered in 3 hours. Group B (n=10) will receive a feed administered in 3 hours followed by a bolus administration of the same amount of formula (in 10 minutes) after at least 3 hours.
On the randomization day intestinal and cerebral regional oximetry will be measured via NIRS. Intestinal and celebral oximetry will be measured before the feed and 30 minutes after the feed by bolus during the 3 hours nutrition the measurements will be performed before the feed, 30 minutes from the start of the nutrition and 30 minutes after the end of the gavage. An evaluation of blood flow velocity of the superior mesenteric artery will be performed meanwhile. The infants of the Group A will be fed with continuous nutrition until the achievement of full enteral feeding. The infants of the Group B will be fed by bolus until the achievement of full enteral feeding.
Discussion
Evaluations of intestinal oximetry and superior mesenteric artery blood flow after the feed may help in differentiating how the feeding regimen alters the splanchnic blood flow and oxygenation and if the changes induced by feeding are different in IUGR versus NON IUGR infants.
Trial registration number
NCT01341236
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-106
PMCID: PMC3447641  PMID: 22828032
Feeding tolerance; Near infrared spectroscopy; Minimal enteral feeding; Enteral nutrition; Parenteral nutrition; Intra-uterine growth restriction; Near infrared spectroscopy; Mesenteric artery Doppler; Bolus nutrition; Intermittent nutrition
2.  Serum Cytokine Profile by ELISA in Patients with Echinococcal Cysts of the Liver: A Stage-Specific Approach to Assess Their Biological Activity 
To investigate the usefulness of serum cytokine dosage in the clinical management of cystic echinococcosis (CE), we analyzed serum levels of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in patients with hepatic CE in different cyst stages, CE1-2 (active), CE3a-3b (transitional), and CE4-5 (inactive). Ex vivo assessment of Th1 (IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-13, and IL-10) cytokines in sera was carried out using ELISA. IL-10 was undetectable in all serum samples of patients and controls, while a few sera contained measurable amounts of IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-13. No statistically significant difference was found between the percentages of positive samples for each cytokine and the different groups analyzed (patients/controls, stage, number, location, and size of the cyst, serology, and sex of patients), with the exception of the association of IL-4 and IL-13 with the cyst stage. Overall, this investigation showed many limits of serum cytokine dosage as a marker of biological activity of echinococcal cysts. Because of low sensitivity and lack of specificity of this test, we believe that other ways to evaluate ex vivo biological activity of the cysts should be explored.
doi:10.1155/2012/483935
PMCID: PMC3287044  PMID: 22400036
3.  European Multicenter Study of the LIAISON Automated Diagnostic System for Determination of Toxoplasma gondii-Specific Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM and the IgG Avidity Index 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(4):1570-1574.
The LIAISON system is a fully automated system based on chemiluminescence and antigen bound to magnetic microparticles. The system allows fast and precise measurement of Toxoplasma-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibody levels and measurement of the IgG avidity index even at low levels of Toxoplasma-specific IgG antibodies in a single step without manual interference. Seven European centers participated in a multicenter evaluation of the LIAISON system. The sensitivity and specificity of the LIAISON system compared to the Sabin-Feldman dye test were 99.3 and 96.8%, respectively. In a comparison of the LIAISON Toxoplasma-specific IgM assay with an immunosorbent agglutination assay, the LIAISON assay had a sensitivity of 96.7% and a specificity of 95.4%. The LIAISON IgG assay showed agreements of 91, 100, and 100% with the AXSYM IgG (Abbott), VIDAS IgG (bioMérieux), and Platelia IgG (Bio-Rad) assays, respectively. The LIAISON IgM assay showed agreements of 95% with the AXSYM IgM and Platelia IgM assays, 96% with the ISAGA IgM assay (bioMérieux), and 97% with the VIDAS IgM assay. The coefficient of correlation between the LIAISON system and the VIDAS Toxoplasma-specific IgG avidity index was 0.81. By use of the Toxoplasma-specific IgG avidity index assay with specific IgM-positive samples, the diagnosis of infection with Toxoplasma gondii in early pregnancy has been improved significantly. The LIAISON avidity assay is a valuable assay for the exclusion of recently acquired infection with T. gondii (less than 4 months) in pregnant women, and it decreases significantly the necessity for follow-up testing.
doi:10.1128/JCM.43.4.1570-1574.2005
PMCID: PMC1081322  PMID: 15814967

Results 1-3 (3)