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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-8798
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary.  We investigated the pathogenetic relevance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) with or without complicating B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in comparison with other immunological and lymphoproliferative disorders. The following groups of patients were studied: A) 25 patients with MC in 7 cases evolved into B-cell NHL; B) 25 healthy subjects; C) 22 patients with different systemic immune diseases; D) 24 patients with chronic HCV infection without MC; E) 25 patients with B-cell idiopathic NHL. Methods used included: i) Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HCV RNA detection in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) (uncultured or mitogen-stimulated); ii) Branched DNA (b-DNA) for HCV RNA quantification; iii) HCV genotyping by genotype-specific primers localized in the core region and by hybridization of amplification products of the 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR), obtained with universal primers, using genotype-specific probes. Serum anti-HCV and HCV RNA were detected in 88% and 73% of MC patients, respectively, and in a significantly lower percentage of healthy controls and patients with autoimmune diseases. HCV RNA concentration was significantly lower in supernatants than in corresponding whole sera (p〈0.001). Plus-strand HCV RNA was detected in 81% of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples and minus-strand in the majority of fresh or mitogen stimulated cells. All MC patients with NHL had HCV RNA sequences in PBMC. HCV genotype 2a/III was detected in MC patients with a prevalence that was significantly higher than in HCV infected patients without MC. Surprisingly, HCV markers (anti-HCV and/or HCV RNA) were found in 32% of patients with idiopathic NHL. These data suggest that HCV infection is involved in the pathogenesis of MC through both direct participation in the immune complex related vasculitis and by triggering the lymphoproliferative disorder underlying the disease. This latter disorder seems to be related to HCV lymphotropism which could also be responsible for the evolution of MC to malignant lymphoma. This study also suggests that HCV infection may be involved in the pathogenesis of idiopathic B-cell NHL through a similar pathogenetic mechanism.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-8798
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary.  The possibility of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in HBsAg-negative patients has been shown. However, an “inapparent” coinfection by HBV in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive patients generally is not taken into account in clinical practice. Mechanisms responsible for resistance to interferon (IFN) have not been completely clarified. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an “inapparent” coinfection by HBV in anti-HCV-positive chronic liver disease patients may influence IFN response. Fourteen anti-HCV positive, HBsAg-negative but serum HBV DNA-positive patients by PCR and 111 anti-HCV-positive, HBsAg-negative and HBV DNA (PCR)-negative patients with chronic hepatitis were treated with 3 MU of recombinant α-2a IFN 3 times weekly for 12 months. Serum HBV DNA and HCV RNA were determined before treatment, after 6–12 months and in coincidence with ALT flare-up by PCR. HBV PCR was performed using primers specific for the S region of the HBV genome and HCV PCR with primers localised in the 5′NC region of HCV genome. IgM anti-HBc was tested using IMx Core-M Abbott assay. By the end of treatment, ALT values had become normal in 4/14 HBV DNA-positive patients (28%), but all “responders” (4/4) relapsed between 2 and 5 months after therapy. All but one patient were HCV RNA-positive before treatment, 6 were also both HBV DNA and HCV RNA-positive during ALT flare-ups. In 5 patients, only HBV DNA and in 3 patients, only HCV RNA was detected when transaminase values increased. All patients remained HBsAg-negative and anti-HCV-positive. IgM anti-HBc was detected both before treatment and during ALT elevation in 3 patients and only during ALT relapse in 3 others. Of the 111 anti-HCV positive, HBsAg-negative and HBV DNA (PCR)-negative patients with chronic hepatitis, a biochemical response to IFN treatment was observed in 54% of the cases. Relapse of ALT values was observed in 47% of the cases during a follow-up of 1 year after treatment. “Inapparent” HBV/HCV coinfection may be implicated in cases of resistance to IFN treatment. In addition, HBV replication may persist in patients in whom HCV replication was inhibited by IFN treatment. The pathogenic role of HBV in liver disease was confirmed by detection of IgM anti-HBc in some cases; the appearance of these antibodies only after IFN treatment suggests that IFN may exert a selective role in favour of HBV. Further studies will show the effect of different treatment schedules. HBV DNA and/or IgM anti-HBc detection with very sensitive methods may be important both as a prognostic factor and as a tool for better understanding interviral relationships and mechanisms involved in multiple hepatitis virus infections.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-0533
    Keywords: Key words Isochromosome 12p ; Immature teratoma ; Brain tumor ; Germ cell tumor
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract An immature teratoma arising in the pineal gland in a 27-year-old male was shown to present an isochromosome 12p as evidenced by cytogenetic and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. As i(12p) is characteristic of gonadal germ cell tumors, this case indicates that similar genetic pathways may operate in gonadal and intracranial teratomas.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1434-6036
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Physics
    Notes: Abstract. Powder samples of thiol-capped gold nanoparticles in the size range of 2-4 nm were quantitatively characterized by means of synchrotron X-ray diffraction data, with respect to their structure, size and strain distributions. A novel Rietveld-like approach was applied, refining domain size distribution, strain-size dependence and structure type concentrations. Three structure types (cuboctahedron, icosahedron, decahedron) were considered in this analysis and a detail study of the strain content was performed by comparing different models. The results showed a strong influence of the strain model and a careful analysis is presented. Final domain size and strain distributions agree well with the existence of both single-domain and imperfectly formed or multi-domain nanoparticles, but the final strain profiles seem to be mostly related to the different degree of structural perfection at different sizes as a result of the synthesis process. The present work represents an important step towards the development of robust methods to determine strain profiles in nanosystems, aiming to fulfill the description of these important but complex systems.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1573-2568
    Keywords: HEPATITIS C VIRUS ; AMINOTRANSFERASES ; LIVER HISTOLOGY ; ASYMPTOMATIC CARRIER
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In this study we aimed to correlate liverhistology and the presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV)viremia, genotype, and quantity of HCV genome in 19positive and 11 RIBA II indeterminate patientspresenting persistently normal ALT values over 24 monthsbefore biopsy. In addition, after biopsy serum ALTvalues were monitored monthly for a mean follow-upperiod of 24.8 months, after which patients werereevaluated for RIBA II and the presence of viremia.Sixteen patients (53%) were serum HCV-RNA-positive; 13of them (68%) were confirmed positive and 3 (27%)indeterminate on RIBA II. Histology of the HCV-RNA-positive patients showed eight cases of CPH (one case ofgenotype 1a; four cases type 1b; three cases type 2),six cases of CAH (three cases type 1b, three cases type2), one case of CLH (type not determined), and one case of normal liver (NL) (type 1b).Histology of the HCV-RNA-negative patients showed fourcases of CPH, one case of CAH, two cases of CLH, andseven cases of NL. During the follow-up period ninepatients (30%) presented slight increases in ALT values(〈2 × N), and in particular, flares of ALT wereobserved four times in the CAH and five times in the CPHpatients, who were all viremic, but never in the NL subjects. These results indicate that subjectspositive on RIBA II, but with persistently normal ALTvalues, had a high probability of being serumHCV-RNA-positive and that almost all these viremicsubjects presented histologic signs of liver disease. Incontrast, RIBA II indeterminate subjects had a moderateprobability of being HCV-RNA-positive, but a number ofthese may present signs of liver disease. In both cases there was no association withgenotype or HCV-RNA serum levels. The other nonviremiccases included subjects with hepatic changes goingtoward resolution or with normal liver in whom hepatic biopsy can be avoided. Only one case was a truecarrier since he was viremic with normal liver andpersistently normal ALT values.
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