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Paul Bălănescu, Eugenia Bălănescu and Anca Bălănescu


T cells (especially T helper cells) seem to be strongly associated with systemic sclerosis pathogenesis. Th17-IL-17 axis was proved to be involved in the pathogenesis of multiple autoimmune diseases. By performing a comprehensive research of the literature indexed in PubMed database, the current review summarizes current knowledge related to Th17 and IL-17 in systemic sclerosis. While there is promising data suggesting inhibition of Tregulatory and Th1 signals on one hand and promotion of Th17 and Th2 signals on the other, studies that include prospective and integrated analysis of Tregulatory, Th17, Th1, Th2 (cells and derived cytokines) on the same cohort of Ssc patients are warranted.

Open access

Paul Bălănescu, Anca Lădaru, Eugenia Bălănescu, Adriana Nicolau, C. Băicuş and Gh.A. Dan


Background. Systemic sclerosis (Ssc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by cutaneous and visceral fibrosis and its pathogenesis is incompletely understood. T helper cells are key regulators of the immune response and they seem to be involved in Ssc clinical manifestations. The aim of the study is to determine key cytokines secreted by Th1 (IFN-γ), Th2 (IL-6) and Th17 (IL-17) in Ssc patients and correlate them with specific manifestations of Ssc patients.

Material and methods. 35 consecutive Ssc patients and 20 age and sex matched controls were recruited. Serum IL-17, IFN-γ and IL-6 were determined using ELISA method.

Results. Serum IL-17 and IL-6 levels were not significantly different in Ssc patients and controls. Serum IFN-γ levels were higher in Ssc patients when compared to controls. Higher serum IFN-γ levels associated with pulmonary hypertension. After adjusting for gender and age, IL-17 levels remained independently associated with some clinical manifestations of Ssc patients (telangiectasia and high activity score of Ssc).

Conclusion. Th17 and Th1 cell responses are active in Ssc patients as their cytokines associated with higher disease activity scores and pulmonary manifestations. Th17 and Th1 specific activity and homing within Ssc patients still needs to be defined and determined in order to target them as potential future therapeutic targets in Ssc patients.

Open access

Anca Bălănescu, Paul Bălănescu, Valentina Comănici, Iustina Stan, Beata Acs, Laura Prisăcariu, Florin Brezan, Tatiana Ciomârtan and Ioan Gherghina


Background and aims. The aim of this study is to assess the lipid profile pattern of pediatric overweight and/or obese patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in relation to IDF Consensus Criteria for Metabolic Syndrome (MetS).

Material and Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional preliminary study on 45 consecutive pediatric patients. Overweight or obese children aged from 3 to 18 years were included. Standardized measurement of blood pressure and anthropometric parameters were performed. Biological evaluation included inflammatory status, lipid profile, glycemic profile, full blood count and liver function tests. Abdominal ultrasound was performed in all patients.

Results. Prevalence of MetS was 44.4%. A number of 21 patients (46.7%) had NAFLD. MetS patients had higher risk for NAFLD (OR = 9.5, 95% CI = 2.42-37.24). Also patients with positive familial history of type 2 diabetes had a 6.61 fold higher risk for NAFLD (OR = 6.61, 95% CI = 1.74-25.1). We performed a subgroup analysis in patients under ten years old. Patients under the age of ten which had both NAFLD and MetS met more frequently the hypertriglyceride criterion. After adjusting for age and MetS presence, triglyceride levels independently associated with NAFLD (adjusted R square = 0.46, unstandardized B coefficient = 34.51, 95% CI = 4.01-65.02, p = 0.02).

Conclusion. NAFLD obese patients had higher prevalence of MetS, higher BMI and particular lipid profile pattern. Triglyceride levels independently associated with NAFLD after adjusting for age and MetS presence. According to our findings we suggest early triglyceride testing (even below the age of ten) in selected patients.

Open access

Andrei Mihai Voiosu, Paul Bălănescu, Ioana Daha, Bianca Smarandache, Aurelia Rădoi, Radu Bogdan Mateescu, Cristian Răsvan Băicuş and Theodor Alexandru Voiosu


Background. We aimed to determine the relationship between endocan and cirrhotic cardiomyopathy.

Materials and methods. Patients with liver cirrhosis and no heart disease were included in a prospective observational study with liver disease decompensation and death as primary outcomes.

Results. 83 cirrhotic patients were included and 32 had cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Endocan levels were significantly lower in patients with cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (5.6 vs. 7 ng/mL, p = 0.034). Endocan correlated with severity of cirrhosis, time to decompensation or death from liver disease (OR 4.5 95% CI 1.06-31.1).

Conclusion. Endocan is a promising biomarker of severity of cirrhosis and may help in the diagnosis of cardiac dysfunction in this population.