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Progress in Pediatrics in 2012: choices in allergy, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious diseases, neurology, nutrition and respiratory tract illnesses

Carlo Caffarelli1*, Francesca Santamaria2, Alessandra Vottero1 and Sergio Bernasconi1

Author Affiliations

1 Clinica Pediatrica, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria, Clinical and Experimental Medicine Department, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

2 Department of Pediatrics, Federico II University, Naples, Italy

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Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2013, 39:26  doi:10.1186/1824-7288-39-26

Published: 8 May 2013


In this review, we summarize the progresses in allergy, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious diseases, neurology, nutrition and respiratory tract illnesses that have been published in The Italian Journal of Pediatrics in 2012. The induction of Treg activity by probiotics might be effective for promoting tolerance towards food allergens. Nasal cytology is useful in patients with rhinitis for diagnosing chronic non-allergic non-infectious diseases. Atopic eczema is associated both with an aberrant skin matrix and impaired systemic immune response. Therefore, isolated topical treatment may have suboptimal effect. Diagnostic work-up of exercise-induced anaphylaxis, including exercise challenge test, is necessary to reach a diagnosis. Studies may support a role for nutrition on prevention of asthma and cardiovascular diseases. Clinicians need to early identify adolescent menstrual abnormalities to minimize sequelae, and to promote health information. In Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2B investigations include acetylcholinesterase study of rectal mucosa followed by the molecular analysis of RET mutation. Low adherence to gluten-free diet and osteopenia are common problems in children with diabetes mellitus type 1 and celiac disease. In infantile colic, laboratory tests are usually unnecessary and the treatment is based on reassurance. Prevalence of obesity and stunting is elucidated by several studies. Evidences are growing that dietetic measures are needed to prevent obesity in children with acute leukemia. Treatment studies for infectious diseases show promise for probiotics along with standard triple therapy in children with Helicobacter pilori infection, while zinc has no effect on pneumonia. Educational programs about the proper management of the febrile child are warranted. A new hour-specific total serum bilirubin nomogram has been shown to be able to predict newborns without hyperbilirubinemia after 48 to 72 hours of life. Newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy present ECG and cardiac enzymes alterations leading to reduced neonatal survival. Rehabilitation programs including sensory integration therapy and motor performance, may improve activities of daily life in children with developmental coordination disorder. Aerobic exercise training in addition to chest physiotherapy might be useful in children with cystic fibrosis. Studies on effectiveness of leukotriene receptor antagonists, alone or with other drugs in preschool wheezing are needed.

Allergy; Endocrinology; Gastroenterology; Hematology; Infectious diseases; Neurology; Nutrition; Respiratory tract illnesses