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Maria Stella Graziani

Deputy Director
Martina Zaninotto

Associate Editors
Ferruccio Ceriotti
Davide Giavarina
Bruna Lo Sasso
Giampaolo Merlini
Martina Montagnana
Andrea Mosca
Paola Pezzati
Rossella Tomaiuolo
Matteo Vidali

International Advisory Board Khosrow Adeli Canada
Sergio Bernardini Italy
Marcello Ciaccio Italy
Eleftherios Diamandis Canada
Philippe Gillery France
Kjell Grankvist Sweden
Hans Jacobs The Netherlands
Eric Kilpatrick UK
Magdalena Krintus Poland
Giuseppe Lippi Italy
Mario Plebani Italy
Sverre Sandberg Norway
Ana-Maria Simundic Croatia
Tommaso Trenti Italy
Cas Weykamp The Netherlands
Maria Willrich USA
Paul Yip Canada

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Giuseppe Agosta

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Andrea di Bello
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ISSN print: 0393 – 0564
ISSN digital: 0392- 7091

BC: Articoli scritti da G. Bivona

SARS-CoV-2: nuove prospettive della diagnostica di laboratorio
SARS-CoV-2: new perspectives for the clinical laboratory diagnostics
<p>The new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is characterized by a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations and different degrees of severity, ranging from asymptomatic/mild symptoms to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Multiple Organ Failure (MOF), potentially life-threatening. The clinical course of COVID-19 includes usually three stages. The first stage, defined as &ldquo;early infection&rdquo;, occurs at the time of virus infiltration in the lung parenchyma, via the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in ciliated bronchial epithelial cells. The second step, the &ldquo;pulmonary phase&rdquo;, is characterized by viral pneumonia with localized inflammation within the lung. The third stage, the &ldquo;hyperinflammation phase&rdquo;, is the most severe because of the development of a systemic inflammation and cytokine overproduction leading to ARDS and MOF.<br />In this complex contest, the laboratory can provide a strong support for the appropriate clinical management of COVID-19 for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of the disease. Current research focuses on the potential role of immune and/or inflammatory biomarkers as useful tools in COVID-19 patients. In this narrative review, we will provide an overview about some of these biomarkers: procalcitonin, mid regional-pro adrenomedullin, presepsin, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1/placental growth factor, ACE2, interleukin-6 and vitamin D.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 44(4) 023-024
Catene leggere libere nella diagnostica liquorale della sclerosi multipla: possibile alternativa alla ricerca delle bande oligoclonali?
Free light chains in diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: an alternative to oligoclonal bands?
<p>Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common causes of neurological disability in young adults. MS presents heterogeneous clinical manifestations and both genetic and environmental factors are considered involved in the risk of developing the disease. The clinical diagnosis is rather complex reflecting the heterogeneity of the pathology. The diagnostic criteria, frequently modified over the years, require clinical symptoms, presence of typical lesions detected by magnetic resonance imaging and laboratory findings. The laboratory examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) allows an evaluation of inflammatory processes confined to the central nervous system reflecting the changes in the immunological pattern due to the progression of the pathology, playing thus an important role in the diagnosis and monitoring of MS. The detection of the oligoclonal bands (OCBs) is recognized as a &ldquo;gold standard&rdquo; for laboratory diagnosis of MS, although it suffers from methodological limitations. Indeed, OCBs assay is a manual multistep procedure, time-consuming that requires a subjective interpretation. In the last years, the measurement of the free light chains (FLC) in CSF appeared to assist in the diagnosis of MS. This procedure has been presented as a simpler and cheaper tool than the qualitative detection of OCBs. This article examines the current knowledge about the laboratory diagnostic of CSF, investigating both the validated method (OCBs) and the alternative biomarkers of immunoglobulins intrathecal synthesis, as the quantification of FLC in CSF.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 44(2) 157-167
Opinioni - Opinions
Un nuovo ruolo del CYP2R1nella sclerosi multipla
A new role of CYP2R1 in multiple sclerosis
<p>Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative autoimmune disease resulting from a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Among these, vitamin D and genetic variants associated with vitamin D metabolism have gained great attention. The aim of our study was to assess two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CYP2R1 in relation to serum 25-OH-vitamin D3 levels in MS patients and healthy controls. 25-OH-vitamin D3 serum concentrations and genotyping of CYP2R1-SNPs gene were analysed both in MS patients and in healthy controls. In particular, rs10741657 and rs10766197 of CYP2R1 gene were assessed by real-time allelic discrimination Taq-Man assay (Applied Biosystems, Forster City, USA); 25-OH-vitamin D3 serum concentration was measured by a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Statistical analysis was performed by a SPSS software (version 13.0). The analysis of the obtained results showed lower 25-OH-vitamin D3 concentrations in MS patients than in controls. When comparing genotype distribution and allele frequencies of the two selected SNPs between cases and controls, significant differences were observed only for CYP2R1 rs10766197. Minor allele of CYP2R1 rs10766197 (A) was significantly represented in MS patients, demonstrating an association of allele A to MS. Analysis of the CYP2R1 rs10766197 distribution in MS patients showed that patients carrying the genotype AA had a trend of lower levels of 25-OH-vitamin D3 in comparison to those with genotype GG or GA, although not statistically significant. Moreover, after stratifying MS patients according to gender, we found that the minor allele A of rs10766197 in homozygosis was associated with disease progression, assessed by Expanded Disability Status Scale and Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score scores, only in men. Our study demonstrates a role of CYP2R1 in both risk and progression of MS, with sex-related differences</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 42(4) 294-299
Contributi Scientifici - Scientific Paper
Glycated albumin is correlated to insulin resistance and β-cell secretory function in subjects at risk of developing diabetes
<p>Insulin resistance and &beta;-cell secretory function represent two main issues in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Conflicting results have been obtained about the association between glycated albumin (GA) and body mass index (BMI), insulin resistance and &beta;-cell function in diabetic patients. Actually, the relationship (if any) between GA and the markers of glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance in subjects at risk of developing diabetes, has not been completely elucidated yet. Two hundred and one patients undergoing to oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were enrolled in the study. Routine laboratory tests, including fasting insulin, were performed at enrollment. GA was measured on plasma-EDTA by quantILab<sup>&reg;</sup> Glycated Albumin (Instrumentation Laboratory, A Werfen Company) on ILab Taurus analyzer. According to the plasma glucose concentration measured after 2 hours of glucose intake (2h- PG), 13 subjects (6.4%) were classified as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). GA weakly correlated with fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (r=0.21; P=0.002), with HbA1c (r=0.16; P=0.024) but not with 2h-PG (P=0.7). GA, but not HbA1c, was negatively correlated to HOmeostasis Model Assessment for &beta; cell fuction (HOMA-&beta;) (r<sup>2</sup>=0.23; P&lt;0.001), to HOMA for insulin resistence (HOMA-IR) (r<sup>2</sup>=0.15; P&lt;0.0001) and to BMI (r<sup>2</sup>=0.05; P=0.001). In a stepwise multivariate regression analysis including HbA1c, HOMA-&beta;, plasma albumin, BMI, eGFR, age, FPG, and HOMA-IR as predictors of GA, only HbA1c (&beta;-coefficient: 0.04; P=0.038) and HOMA-&beta; (&beta;-coefficient: -0.01; P&lt;0.0001) were able to predict GA levels (r<sup>2</sup>=0.26; P&lt;0.001 for the model). Our results demonstrated that GA was associated to HOMA-&beta; and, to a lesser extent, to HOMA-IR and BMI. The increase of GA values can be explained by the reduction of &beta;-cell secretory function in subjects with no significant increase of FPG and 2h-PG.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 42(3) 234-239
Contributi Scientifici - Scientific papers
Incremento acuto di troponina I in assenza di malattia coronarica ostruttiva: un caso di sindrome di Takotsubo
Acute troponin I increase in absence of obstructive coronary disease: a case of Takotsubo syndrome
C. Bellia  |  B. Lo Sasso  |  L. Agnello  |  G. Bivona  |  G. Novo  |  M. Ciaccio  | 
<p>A 66-year-old woman was admitted to the Emergency Department of Policlinico P. Giaccone, in Palermo, for nonradiating chest pain that occurred after an emotional stress. Her medical history included a positive family history for cardiovascular disease, arterial hypertension, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and anxiety-depressive syndrome. Upon admission, the electrocardiogram showed diffuse ST-T abnormalities with an elevation of the ST segment; Troponin I was 3790 ng/L, creatine phosphokinase was 374 U/L, which became normal within 48 hours. No evidence of significant coronary artery stenosis was detected on the angiography. The echocardiogram showed apical akinesia and hyperkinesia of the basal segments of left ventricle, with moderately impaired ventricular function (Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction, LVEF=43%). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging ruled out myocarditis and confirmed the diagnosis of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Supportive therapy with Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors, spironolactone and acetylsalicylic acid was initiated. After 30 days, the echocardiogram showed a complete recovery of left ventricular function. Takotsubo syndrome was diagnosed based on instrumental, clinical and biochemical findings.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 41(3) e19-e21
Casi clinici - Case report