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Ovarian surgery for bilateral endometriomas influences age at menopause

Coccia, Maria Elisabetta; Rizzello, Francesca; Mariani, Giulia; Bulletti, Carlo; Palagiano, Antonio; Scarselli, Gianfranco
BACKGROUND: Questions remain as to whether surgical excision of ovarian endometriomas might cause damage to ovarian function. To test the hypothesis that ovarian surgery for endometrioma compromises ovarian function and accelerates ovarian failure. METHODS: In a tertiary university Clinic, longitudinal prospective cohort study. Patients who underwent laparoscopy for endometriosis between March 1993 and November 2007 were assessed for inclusion in the study. A prospective follow-up at 3, 6 and 12 months then yearly was conducted. Evolution of menstrual pattern, symptoms and reproductive outcomes were investigated. RESULTS: From over the 14-year period, 302 patients were included in the study. The mean age (+/-SD) of patients was 32.6 +/- 5.6 years; the median duration of follow-up was 8.5 years (range 2-17 years). Menopause was documented in 43 women (14.3%) at a mean age of 45.3 +/- 4.3 years (range 32-52 years). Women previously submitted to bilateral cystectomy were younger at menopause than those with monolateral endometrioma (42.1 +/- 5.1 years versus 47.1 +/- 3.5 years, P = 0.003). Premature ovarian failure (POF) was observed in 7 of 43 (16.3%) menopausal patients; the majority (4, 57.1%) after bilateral cystectomy. The relationship between the preoperative ovarian endometriomas total diameter and menopausal age was significant in case of surgery for bilateral endometriomas (R(2) = 0.754, P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Patients who had been operated on for bilateral endometriomas have an increased risk of POF. Ovarian parenchyma loss at the time of surgery seems related to cyst diameter. In the case of unilateral ovarian endometrioma, the contralateral intact ovary might adequately compensate.
PMID: 21868401
ISSN: 0268-1161
CID: 178628

Long-term follow-up after laparoscopic treatment for endometriosis: multivariate analysis of predictive factors for recurrence of endometriotic lesions and pain

Coccia, Maria Elisabetta; Rizzello, Francesca; Palagiano, Antonio; Scarselli, Gianfranco
OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors that might influence the recurrence of both painful symptoms and endometriotic lesions following laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study in a University teaching hospital. We reviewed data from patients referred for laparoscopy between March 1993 and November 2007. We selected women who were followed up throughout Transvaginal-ultrasound (TV-US) after a first conservative laparoscopy for endometriosis. After laparoscopy, all patients were followed up according to an internal protocol: a standard gynaecologic examination, the assessment of painful symptoms and a TV-US scan that were repeated at 3, 6, and 12 months, and subsequently on a yearly basis. Sixteen factors were assessed by univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models to evaluate their associations with recurrence of endometriotic lesions and pain related-endometriosis. RESULTS: 401 women were enrolled. A total of 154 (38.4%) experienced moderate or severe pain after laparoscopy; endometriotic lesions were observed by TV-US in 74 (18.4%) patients. In the multivariable model, age at menarche, severity of chronic pelvic pain (CPP) and dysmenorrhoea prior to surgery were significant risk factors for recurrence/occurrence of pain. Age at the first laparoscopy, stage of disease, pre-operative severity of CPP, and pregnancy were predictive factors of the recurrence for such lesions. CONCLUSION: The severity of CPP prior to the first laparoscopy showed the only significant factor in the overall prediction of recurrence of pain and endometriotic lesions. Patients with severe CPP at the time of their first surgery might represent a sub-group of women with a more aggressive form of endometriosis.
PMID: 21481523
ISSN: 1872-7654
CID: 1896472

The artificial womb

Bulletti, Carlo; Palagiano, Antonio; Pace, Caterina; Cerni, Angelica; Borini, Andrea; de Ziegler, Dominique
The availability of computer-controlled artificial hearts, kidneys, and lungs, as well as the possibility of implanting human embryos in ex vivo uterus models or an artificial endometrium, presents new perspectives for creating an artificial uterus. Survival rates have also improved, with fetuses surviving from as early as 24 weeks of gestation. These advances bring new opportunities for complete or partial ectogenesis through the creation of an artificial womb, one that could sustain the growth and development of fetuses outside of the human body.
PMID: 21401640
ISSN: 0077-8923
CID: 178630

Intensive care treatment of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

Sansone, Pasquale; Aurilio, Caterina; Pace, Maria Caterina; Esposito, Raffaella; Passavanti, Maria Beatrice; Pota, Vincenzo; Pace, Leonardo; Pezzullo, Martina Gilda; Bulletti, Carlo; Palagiano, Antonio
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a morbid, iatrogenic, and potentially lethal condition caused by the pharmacological induction of ovulation. In OHSS, the ovaries are the site of significant stromal edema with bilateral cystic ovarian enlargement. It has been suggested that ascitic fluid accumulation may be due to increased capillary permeability, which results in fluid shift from the intravascular to the extravascular compartment. While the exact etiology is not clear, several biochemical markers are considered to be possible mediators. There is an incidence of OHSS in about 3% to 8% of all therapy cycles. Severe OHSS is the rarest form, with an incidence characterized by a degree of variability ranging from 0.1% to 2.5% of women subjected to induced polyovulation.
PMID: 21401638
ISSN: 0077-8923
CID: 178631

The worldwide frozen embryo reservoir: methodologies to achieve optimal results

Capalbo, Antonio; Rienzi, Laura; Buccheri, Matteo; Maggiulli, Roberta; Sapienza, Fabio; Romano, Stefania; Colamaria, Silvia; Iussig, Benedetta; Giuliani, Maddalena; Palagiano, Antonio; Ubaldi, Filippo
Cryopreservation of the human embryo has been successfully achieved at the zygote (day 1), cleavage (day 2/3), and blastocyst (day 5) stages; however, each stage presents specific advantages and disadvantages. During the past decades, two major methods have been applied: slow freezing (equilibrium procedure) and vitrification (nonequilibrium procedure). The overwhelming majority of published data prove that the latest vitrification methods induce less cellular trauma and are a more effective cryopreservation technique of human embryos than any other versions of slow freezing. For this reason, fragmented and slow-cleaving embryos that normally would not be recommended may be revaluated for cryopreservation by using the vitrification method. Furthermore, if laser-assisted necrotic blastomere removal is associated with the slow-freezing/thawing procedure, good clinical results can be obtained. Finally, the most proper embryo cleavage stage at which to perform cryopreservation has to be assessed according to clinical indications and laboratory experience.
PMID: 21401627
ISSN: 1749-6632
CID: 1896482

Intracytoplasmic injection of morphologically selected spermatozoa (IMSI) improves outcome after assisted reproduction by deselecting physiologically poor quality spermatozoa

Wilding, Martin; Coppola, Gianfranco; di Matteo, Loredana; Palagiano, Antonio; Fusco, Enrico; Dale, Brian
PURPOSE: We used computer assisted sperm selection (MSOME) during cycles of intracytoplasmic sperm injection to test whether this technique improves results over traditional ICSI protocols. We also used the TUNEL assay to test whether MSOME could deselect physiologically abnormal spermatozoa. METHODS: Individual spermatozoa were examined with MSOME. Normal and abnormal spermatozoa were tested for the level of DNA fragmentation using TUNEL assay. In a prospective, randomized trial, patients were selected for standard ICSI, or IMSI techniques. We tested the two groups for biological and clinical parameters. RESULTS: 64.8% of spermatozoa, otherwise selectable for ICSI, were characterized by abnormalities after computer-assisted sperm analysis. These sperm were also characterized by an increase in the level of DNA fragmentation. We noted an increase in embryo quality, pregnancy and implantation rates after computerized sperm selection during ICSI procedures. CONCLUSIONS: Computerised selection of spermatozoa during ICSI procedures deselects physiological abnormal spermatozoa and improves clinical results.
PMID: 21072684
ISSN: 1573-7330
CID: 1896492

Vaginal parturition decreases recurrence of endometriosis

Bulletti, Carlo; Montini, Anna; Setti, Paolo Levi; Palagiano, Antonio; Ubaldi, Filippo; Borini, Andrea
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the role of parturition in the recurrence of endometriosis. DESIGN: Retrospectively analyzed, prospectively obtained data. SETTING: Unit of Physiopathology of Reproduction, Health Care Unit of Rimini, and University of Bologna Cervesi General Hospital, Cattolica, Italy. PATIENT(S): Three hundred forty-five patients with stage II-IV endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, and infertility were treated for endometriosis and divided into four groups according to parity and mode of parturition. INTERVENTION(S): The patients were laparoscopically treated for endometriosis upon the occurrence and recurrence of the disease. Ultrasound measurements of the uterine internal ostium (IOS) were performed at each study interval. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Degree of dysmenorrhea, occurrence and recurrence of endometriosis, and uterine IOS measurements were established and related to parity and mode of parturition. RESULT(S): After parturition, dysmenorrhea recurrence was significantly higher in nulliparous women than in women with vaginal parturition. The endometriosis recurrence rate was higher in women who did not have vaginal parturition. The IOS significantly enlarged after vaginal delivery but not after cesarean delivery. There were significant negative correlations between IOS and the recurrence of endometriosis and dysmenorrhea. Odds ratios indicated that as the IOS enlarged, the risk of recurrence decreased. CONCLUSION(S): Vaginal parturition plays a protective role in the recurrence of endometriosis.
PMID: 19524893
ISSN: 0015-0282
CID: 178636

Therapeutic targeting of the stem cell niche in experimental hindlimb ischemia

Napoli, Claudio; William-Ignarro, Sharon; Byrns, Russell; Balestrieri, Maria Luisa; Crimi, Ettore; Farzati, Bartolomeo; Mancini, Francesco P; de Nigris, Filomena; Matarazzo, Angelo; D'Amora, Maurizio; Abbondanza, Ciro; Fiorito, Carmela; Giovane, Alfonso; Florio, Anna; Varricchio, Ettore; Palagiano, Antonio; Minucci, Pellegrino Biagio; Tecce, Mario Felice; Giordano, Antonio; Pavan, Antonio; Ignarro, Louis J
BACKGROUND: The custom microenvironment 'vascular niche' is a potential therapeutic target for several pathophysiological conditions. Osteoblasts regulate the hematopoietic stem cell niche, and activation of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor can increase the number of cells mobilized into the bloodstream. METHODS: C57Bl/6 mice were randomly assigned treatment with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), PTH, G-CSF plus PTH or saline. All mice underwent hindlimb ischemia. Blood flow was measured by laser Doppler imaging. Indices of capillary activity were determined by electron microscopy in muscle tissue. CD34(+) and Ki67(+) cells were detected and evaluated by immunofluorescence, apoptosis by TUNEL, surface antigen and endothelial progenitor cells by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis, and vascular endothelial growth factor-164 and angiopoietin-1 expression by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Frozen bone marrow sections were stained for antigen-specific B cells and fibronectin and analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. RESULTS: Following mobilization induced by G-CSF treatment, mice also treated with PTH showed increases in blood flow, capillary density, nitrite/nitrate release, angiogenic factors and circulating progenitor cells, as well as reduced apoptosis, fibrosis, oxidative stress and inflammation in ischemic muscles. Furthermore, hematopoietic antigen-specific B cells in the bone marrow were also increased by G-CSF alone and in combination with PTH. CONCLUSIONS: PTH might increase the efficiency of hematopoietic stem-cell-based therapy in a recognized model of peripheral ischemia. Our translational experimental therapeutic targeting of the vascular niche points to novel clinical targets for the hematopoietic stem-cell treatment of ischemic vascular diseases.
PMID: 18414452
ISSN: 1743-4300
CID: 1896512

Therapeutic dose of nebivolol, a nitric oxide-releasing beta-blocker, reduces atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits

de Nigris, Filomena; Mancini, Francesco Paolo; Balestrieri, Maria Luisa; Byrns, Russell; Fiorito, Carmela; Williams-Ignarro, Sharon; Palagiano, Antonio; Crimi, Ettore; Ignarro, Louis J; Napoli, Claudio
Nitric oxide (NO) exerts a plethora of vascular beneficial effects. The NO-releasing beta-blocker nebivolol is a racemic mixture of D/L-enantiomers that displays negative inotropic as well as direct vasodilating activity. The in vivo antiatherogenic activity of therapeutic doses of the beta-blocker with antioxidant properties carvedilol (12.5mg/day) or nebivolol (5mg/day) was tested in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Animals received a 1% cholesterol-rich diet alone (controls) or mixed with drugs (treated animals) for 8 weeks. While it did not affect hyperlipidemia, nebivolol inhibited the development of atherosclerosis, expressed as computer-assisted imaging analysis of aortic area covered by lesions (23.3+/-4.1% in treated vs 38.2+/-6.4% in control animals, p<0.01). Differently, in our experimental condition of therapeutic drug doses, this antiatherogenic effect did not reach statistical significance in rabbits treated with carvedilol (32.5+/-5.1% aortic area covered by lesions, p=NS vs controls). Plasma nitrates increased in rabbits treated with nebivolol while both beta-blockers reduced LDL oxidation. Moreover, nebivolol induced a consistent increase of endothelial reactivity and aortic eNOS expression compared with control animals (p<0.05) and those receiving carvedilol (p<0.05). Since NO may exert beneficial effects in atherosclerosis, a NO-dependent mechanism could explain this data. These observations suggest that the NO-releasing beta-blocker, nebivolol, might represent an effective pharmacological approach for preventing atherosclerotic lesion progression.
PMID: 18435936
ISSN: 1089-8611
CID: 1896502

The analgesic effect of betamethasone administered to outpatients before conscious sedation in gynecologic and obstetric surgery

Pace, Maria Caterina; Palagiano, Antonio; Passavanti, Maria Beatrice; Iannotti, Mario; Sansone, Pasquale; Maistro, Massimo; Pace, Leonardo; Bulletti, Carlo; Aurilio, Caterina
Conscious sedation, used with or without peripheral or central blocks, is an elective anesthetic technique used for many outpatient procedures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single pre-anesthetic dose of betamethasone (4 mg) on intraoperative and postoperative pain in 380 women, 18 to 75 years old, undergoing gynecologic and obstetric surgery (diagnostic curettage, operative and diagnostic hysteroscopy, conization, minilaparoscopy, cone biopsy, endometrial ablation, assisted reproduction techniques, and induced and therapeutic abortion) in a outpatient service. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the patients were divided into two equal groups according to a computer-generated randomized list. One group received 4 mg of betamethasone i.v. as a premedication (group B), whereas the placebo group (group P) received only saline. All patients underwent the same sedation, associated with a peripheral block. Pain was evaluated using a 5-point verbal rating scale during surgery, after 2 h, and on discharge. In group B, intraoperative and postoperative pain was significantly less frequent than in group P (P < 0.001). Consequently, fewer women belonging to group B requested additional analgesic drugs during and after surgery (P < 0.01). Patients in group B also experienced a greater degree of satisfaction (P < 0.01). Briefly, a single dose of betamethasone seemed to reduce the incidence and severity of perioperative pain after gynecologic outpatient surgery.
PMID: 18443343
ISSN: 0077-8923
CID: 178638