Chiara Terracciano

Researcher of Neurology

Name Chiara
Surname Terracciano
Institution Policlinico Tor Vergata
Telephone +39 06 209 02 270
Telephone 2 +39 06 725 96 020
Mobile +39 328 265 67 29
Address University of Rome Tor Vergata Via Montpellier 1 00133 Rome, Italy
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Chiara Terracciano


  • Thymomatous myasthenia gravis: novel association with HLA DQB1*05:01 and strengthened evidence of high clinical and serological severity.

    Publication Date: 11/02/2019 on Journal of neurology
    by Massa R, Greco G, Testi M, Rastelli E, Terracciano C, Frezza E, Garibaldi M, Marfia GA, Locatelli F, Mercuri NB, Pompeo E, Antonini G, Andreani M
    DOI: 10.1007/s00415-019-09225-z

    The relative prevalence of myasthenia gravis (MG) subtypes is changing, and their differential features and association with HLA class II alleles are not completely understood.

  • Late adult-onset adrenomyeloneuropathy evolving with atypical severe frontal lobe syndrome: Importance of neuroimaging.

    Publication Date: 05/12/2018 on Radiology case reports
    by Dato C, Capaldo G, Terracciano C, Napolitano F, D'Amico A, Pappatà S, Santorelli FM, Di Iorio G, Sampaolo S, Melone MA
    DOI: 10.1016/j.radcr.2018.11.007

    X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a rare inherited metabolic disease affecting the nervous system and the adrenal glands. It is caused by a mutation of the gene, resulting in the impaired degradation of very long-chain fatty acids and their subsequent accumulation in several organs and tissues. X-ALD is notable for its high phenotypical variability, that includes isolated adrenocortical insufficiency, slowly progressive myelopathy with paraparesis, ataxia, and peripheral neuropathy to severe childhood cerebral forms. Here, we describe the case of an X-ALD patient with a p.Gly343Val mutation in gene, who presented in adulthood with a spinal syndrome of mild severity, and later developed a progressive cognitive and behavioral syndrome. Our patient showed a striking correlation between clinical phenotype and neuroimaging, including a brain fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography that displayed an atypical cerebral glucose metabolism.

  • Validation of the Nine Hole Peg Test as a measure of dexterity in myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    Publication Date: 01/11/2018 on Neuromuscular disorders : NMD
    by Cutellè C, Rastelli E, Gibellini M, Greco G, Frezza E, Botta A, Terracciano C, Massa R
    DOI: 10.1016/j.nmd.2018.08.011

    We aimed to validate the Nine Hole Peg Test as a measure of dexterity in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). Fifty patients with adult-onset, genetically confirmed DM1 were evaluated by Nine Hole Peg Test and re-evaluated at one week. Myotonia was not a limiting factor. The first test was compared with that performed by normal subjects (n = 28). Contextually, patients underwent handgrip and three-finger pinch assessments by handheld dynamometer. The Nine Hole Peg Test showed high intra-rater and inter-rater reliability in DM1 [ICC 0.86/0.83 for dominant and 0.90/0.88 for non-dominant hand, respectively]. Inverse correlation with handgrip and pinch strength values (r = -0.4; p < 0.01) and direct correlation with Muscular Impairment Rating Scale (r = 0.4; p < 0.01) were found for both DH and NDH. The test was able to differentiate severe DM1 patients, stratified by extent of muscle impairment, from mildly affected and normal controls, with a sensitivity of 97% and 95% for dominant hand and non-dominant hand, respectively (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, we showed that the Nine Hole Peg Test is a reliable, valid and sensitive test of dexterity in DM1, and that it can be considered as a candidate outcome measure to monitor natural history of disease and, possibly, therapeutic response in clinical trials.

  • Late-Onset Pompe Disease with Nemaline Bodies.

    Publication Date: 27/09/2018 on Case reports in neurological medicine
    by Frezza E, Terracciano C, Giacanelli M, Rastelli E, Greco G, Massa R
    DOI: 10.1155/2018/4127213

    Pompe disease is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by deficiency of alpha-glucosidase, a lysosomal enzyme, which can lead to glycogen accumulation in skeletal muscle, heart, and nervous system. Clinical presentation is highly variable, with infantile and late-onset (LOPED) forms. Although muscle biopsy findings are rather stereotyped, atypical features have been described. A 52-year-old man without a family history of muscle disorders presented with slowly progressing upper and lower limb girdle weakness and hyperCKemia. At needle EMG, a diffuse neurogenic pattern was detected. Muscle biopsy showed a selective type 1 fiber atrophy with vacuoles of various sizes, filled with PAS and acid phosphatase positive material, confirmed to be glycogen by electron microscopy (EM). Many atrophic fibers contained foci of myofibrillar material recognized as nemaline bodies (NBs) at EM. Low level of alpha-glucosidase activity in blood and molecular genetic testing confirmed the diagnosis of late-onset Pompe disease (LOPED). Major causes of hereditary and acquired NB myopathy were ruled out. In conclusion, NBs represent a novel histological finding in LOPED and characterize the atypical presentation of our case.

  • Aquaporin 4 expression in human skeletal muscle fiber types.

    Publication Date: 01/05/2018 on Muscle & nerve
    by Vizzaccaro E, Terracciano C, Rastelli E, Massa R
    DOI: 10.1002/mus.26024

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of transmembrane proteins involved in the maintenance of osmotic gradients. AQP4 is abundant in skeletal muscle, where it seems to be associated with glycolytic metabolism. We investigated the pattern of expression of AQP4 in normal human myofibers relative to the main forms of myosin heavy chain (MHC).

  • Neurofibromatous neuropathy: An ultrastructural study.

    Publication Date: 27/03/2018 on Ultrastructural pathology
    by Terracciano C, Pachatz C, Rastelli E, Pastore FS, Melone MAB, Massa R
    DOI: 10.1080/01913123.2018.1454562

    Plexiform neurofibroma is pathognomonic of neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1). An NF1-associated peripheral neuropathy has been described in a small minority of NF1 patients but its histopathological features are poorly characterized. We report the case of a 46-year-old woman presenting with bilateral supraclavicular painful masses without other stigmata of NF1. MRI showed bilateral plexiform lesions extending from cervical roots to the elbows. Nerve conduction studies documented a sensory motor polyneuropathy. Morphometric analysis of sural nerve biopsy showed a preferential loss of large-caliber myelinated fibers with a g ratio of 0.515, and the presence of regeneration clusters. By electron microscopy, marked and diffuse endoneurial fibrosis with an altered relationship between Schwann cells (SC) and collagen fibrils was observed. Moreover both myelinating and non-myelinating SC were characterized by the presence of various cell degradation products. These changes suggest that, in neurofibromatous neuropathy, a widespread axonal atrophy and degeneration take place independently on the presence of tumoral infiltration, possibly due to an impairment in SC-axon cross talk. In this case, the coexistence of plexiform neurofibromas with a peripheral neuropathy strongly suggests a diagnosis of NF1 even without fulfillment of clinical criteria. We propose that in the presence of plexiform neurofibromas, electrophysiological studies should be performed also in asymptomatic patients, in order to detect the existence of a subclinical neuropathy.

  • Successful long-term therapy with flecainide in a family with paramyotonia congenita.

    Publication Date: 27/02/2018 on Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
    by Terracciano C, Farina O, Esposito T, Lombardi L, Napolitano F, De Blasiis P, Ciccone G, Todisco V, Tuccillo F, Bernardini S, Di Iorio G, Melone MAB, Sampaolo S
    DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2017-317615
  • Vacuolated PAS-positive lymphocytes as an hallmark of Pompe disease and other myopathies related to impaired autophagy.

    Publication Date: 07/12/2017 on Journal of cellular physiology
    by Pascarella A, Terracciano C, Farina O, Lombardi L, Esposito T, Napolitano F, Franzese G, Panella G, Tuccillo F, la Marca G, Bernardini S, Boffo S, Giordano A, Melone MAB, Di Iorio G, Sampaolo S
    DOI: 10.1002/jcp.26365

    Autosomal recessive Pompe disease is a lysosomal disorder caused by mutations of the acid-α-glucosidase (GAA) gene. Deficiency of GAA enzyme leads to glycogen accumulation and autophagy impairment in cardiac and skeletal muscles, but also in lymphocytes. Since an effective therapy is available, a rapid, sensitive and specific test is crucial to early identify affected subjects. Number of lymphocytes containing PAS-positive vacuoles was evaluated on blood films from 72 consecutive adult patients with hyperckemia and/or muscle weakness, 13 genetically confirmed late-onset-Pompe-disease (LOPD) and 13 of their offspring. GAA activity, measured on dried blood spot (DBS) in all patients inversely correlated with number of PAS-positive lymphocytes. More than 4 PAS-positive lymphocytes were found in 11 out of the 72 patients (6 new diagnosis of LOPD, 3 different glycogen storage myopathies, 1 glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, 1 caveolinopathy), in all 13 LOPD patients and in the 13 LOPD offspring. These latter resulted to have all a single GAA mutation but low GAA levels. Immunostaining with the autophagy markers LC3 and p62 confirmed the autophagic nature of lymphocytes vacuoles. ROC curve assessment of PAS-positive lymphocytes disclosed 100% of sensitivity and 94% of specificity in recognizing both compound heterozygous and heterozygous GAA carriers. The other myopathies with more than 4 PAS-positive lymphocytes appeared to be all related to impaired autophagy, which seems to be responsible of PAS-positive vacuolated lymphocytes formation. Quantification of PAS-positive lymphocytes in blood films is useful to identify autophagic vacuolar myopathies and should be routinely used as first level test for Pompe disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  • Nodular morphea in a patient with Steinert disease.

    Publication Date: 08/09/2017 on Giornale italiano di dermatologia e venereologia : organo ufficiale, Societa italiana di dermatologia e sifilografia
    by Campione E, Ventura A, Garofalo V, Torti C, Massa R, Terracciano C, Orlandi A, Bianchi L
    DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05624-3
  • Cutaneous features of myotonic dystrophy types 1 and 2: Implication of premature aging and vitamin D homeostasis.

    Publication Date: 01/02/2017 on Neuromuscular disorders : NMD
    by Campione E, Botta A, Di Prete M, Rastelli E, Gibellini M, Petrucci A, Bernardini S, Novelli G, Bianchi L, Orlandi A, Massa R, Terracciano C
    DOI: 10.1016/j.nmd.2016.11.004

    Skin changes have been described in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). However, whether and in which way skin is a target of specific disease alterations in DM1 and DM2 has not been yet clarified. This study aims to explore cutaneous features of DM1 and DM2 patients. Skin examination was performed in 60 DM1, 15 DM2, and 103 control, unselected patients by means of dermoscopy. It revealed quantitative and qualitative abnormalities of nevi and typical signs of premature aging in both DM1 and DM2 patients, with a significantly higher frequency of dysplastic nevi, alopecia, xerosis and seborrheic dermatitis. Twenty-eight nevi were excised in DM patients and none showed histological features of melanoma, although 12 of them were diagnosed as dysplastic and the remaining 16 presented histological irregularity in melanin distribution. In DM1 patients, the number of nevi correlated with CTG expansion size, whereas the presence of dysplastic nevi and xerosis inversely correlated with vitamin D levels. DM1 and DM2 patients display a high frequency of skin abnormalities, the most common of which correlate with genotype severity and serum vitamin D levels. Skin examination is highly informative in these patients and reveals features suggestive of premature aging and impaired vitamin D homeostasis.