Marina Verrengia

Second University of Naples, Caserta, Campania, Italy

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Publications (27)61.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of sudden death in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is ventricular tachyarrhythmia emanating from myocyte disarray, fibrosis, and inhomogeneity in intramyocardial activation. Tissue synchronization imaging (TSI) allows the measurement of regional delay, while two-dimensional strain can be used to identify myocardial fibrosis. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between new ultrasonically derived parameters and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) in patients with HCM. Ninety-three patients with HCM (mean age, 36 +/- 16 years) and 30 patients with hypertension with secondary left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (mean age, 42 +/- 10 years; 65% men) were studied. All underwent standard echocardiographic, TSI, and two-dimensional strain examinations. Patients were followed every 3 months for 2 years. Holter monitoring was performed every 3 months. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of NSVT. Twenty-four patients (26%) had >or=1 episode of NSVT. Patients with NSVT had a higher value of maximal LV thickness (22 +/- 6 vs 19 +/- 5 mm, P = .04). There were no significant associations between NSVT on Holter monitoring and LV outflow gradient, New York Heart Association class, syncope, and medical therapy. N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide values were significantly (P = .01) higher in patients with NSTV (1034 +/- 1088 vs 561 +/- 593 pg/mL). Patients with HCM and NSVT had (1) similar values on TSI-studied parameters to patients without NSVT, (2) significant reductions in basal and mid septal strain and in basal anterior-septal strain, and (3) more frequently peak systolic strain >or= -10% (P < .0001). In multivariate analysis, the presence of >3 LV segments with longitudinal two-dimensional strain >or= -10% (sensitivity, 81%; specificity, 97.1%; area under the curve, 0.944; P < .0001) was an independent predictor of NSVT. Using a simple, inexpensive, easily available, and bedside-usable tool, it was possible to recognize with good sensitivity and specificity patients with HCM at higher risk for NSVT.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 04/2010; 23(6):581-90. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity in adulthood is associated with a higher occurrence of atrial arrhythmias. Obese children, without arterial hypertension, may be a unique clinical opportunity to evaluate the effect of obesity, per se, on atrial myocardial function, excluding the influence of possible comorbidities. We sought to define the preclinical effects of obesity on the atrial function of healthy children with excess weight who have no other clinically appreciable cause of heart disease, by using the more sensitive ultrasonic-derived strain (S) and S rate imaging. We studied 320 children divided into two groups: obese children (group O; n = 160; age 12 +/- 3 years); and healthy lean children, comparable for age, sex, and pubertal stage (referents; n = 160; mean age 12 +/- 3 years). Systolic blood pressure (BP) and diastolic BP, as well as 24-hour systolic BP and 24-hour diastolic BP were comparable between groups. Left ventricular mass/height(2.7) and left atrial dimensions were increased (P < .0001) in group O (46 +/- 12 g/m(2.7)) compared with referents (31 +/- 14 g/m(2.7)). Standard echocardiographic indices of global left ventricular systolic function were similar in the two groups. Obese children showed atrial peak systolic S rate (2.5 +/- 1.2 (s-1)) values lower (P < .0001) than that of referents (4.9 +/- 1.6(s-1)) in both left and right atria. In multivariable analysis, average peak systolic atrial S was significantly correlated with glycemia (P < .05, coefficient -0.23), body mass index (P < .01, coefficient -0.19), and left ventricular mass (P < .05, coefficient -0.17). Our study demonstrated that obesity, in absence of hypertension, is associated with reduced atrial myocardial deformation properties already in childhood involving both right and left atria.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 03/2008; 21(2):151-6. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The long-term follow-up data subsequent to a successful repair of AoC (aortic coarctation) show that life expectancy remains reduced. Previous standard echocardiographic studies have demonstrated normal or increased systolic cardiac function in patients following successful repair of AoC. SR (strain rate) imaging is a new technique able to detect subclinical myocardial abnormalities. In the present study we investigated whether young patients (without hypertension, as assessed using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and an exercise test) following successful AoC repair already have abnormal myocardial deformation properties, and the relationship of the deformation properties with aortic stiffness. We studied 166 subjects, 83 AoC non-hypertensive patients (mean age 12+/-4 years) a number of years after successful repair of AoC and 83 age- and sex-matched subjects as controls. Peak systolic SR (1/s) for both regional longitudinal and radial function was assessed. The aortic stiffness index was calculated from the echocardiographically derived thoracic aortic diameters, and the measurement of blood pressure was obtained by cuff sphygmomanometry. The LV (left ventricular) ejection fraction was significantly increased in AoC patients, whereas regional longitudinal SRs were significantly reduced (-1.1+/-0.9 compared with -2+/-0.5, P<0.0001) in patients. The aortic stiffness index was significantly increased in AoC patients (12+/-9, P<0.0001). At multilinear regression analysis, age at repair (P=0.005; coefficient, -0.201; S.E.M., 0.027) and the aortic stiffness index (P=0.0029; coefficient, 0.334; S.E.M., 0.423) predicted longitudinal SR. Despite the presence of a successful repair for AoC, in the absence of hypertension, longitudinal deformation properties were significantly impaired. Moreover, the degree of longitudinal SR impairment was correlated with age at repair and aortic stiffness. Early repair can delay the onset of hypertension in postcoarctectomy patients, but cannot prevent the innate structural and functional abnormalities of the aorta and their deleterious effect on myocardial deformation properties.
    Clinical Science 10/2007; 113(5):259-66. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study left ventricular mechanics and textural properties in patients with Williams syndrome to define the impact of left ventricular hypertrophy on the functional findings. Echocardiography was performed in 16 Williams syndrome patients (aged 1-25 years, mean 10 +/- 6 years), four with associated supravalvular aortic stenosis and seven with systemic hypertension. Fifteen age- and body surface area-matched subjects were selected as control group. Particularly, left ventricular geometry, myocardial contractility [midwall rate-corrected circumferential fiber shortening/end-systolic meridional wall stress relationship (sigmaes)] and left ventricular diastolic function (mitral flow pattern and isovolumic relaxation time) were defined. In addition, integrated backscatter (IB) analysis intensity (IntIB) and cyclic variation (CVIB) were assessed for an ultrasonic myocardial characterization. Left ventricular hypertrophy was demonstrated in nine patients (56%) and abnormal left ventricular remodeling in ten patients (62%). Particularly seven of seven hypertensive patients and three of four patients with supravalvular aortic stenosis had abnormal remodeling; left ventricular geometry was normal in patients without hypertension or supravalvular aortic stenosis. In addition, midwall rate-corrected circumferential fiber shortening/(sigmaes) relationship was within the normal range in all patients. At integrated backscatter analysis, Williams syndrome patients showed, both at interventricular septum and posterior wall, reduced CVIB (9.36 +/- 2.16 versus 10.3 +/- 1.3 and 8.65 +/- 2 versus 10.5 +/- 1.1). Compared to Williams syndrome patients without left ventricular hypertrophy (7/16), those with left ventricular hypertrophy (9/16) showed decreased mitral E/A ratio (1.32 +/- 0.09 versus 1.62 +/- 0.02), increased isovolumic relaxation time (68 +/- 7 versus 53 +/- 7) and increased IntIBS at interventricular septum (-27.3 +/- 0.07 versus -34 +/- 5). Our data obtained in young Williams syndrome patients show that: (i) mild left ventricular functional and textural abnormalities may be detected also in absence of significant supravalvular aortic stenosis and/or hypertension; (ii) significant left ventricular hypertrophy may develop since childhood; (iii) differences in left ventricular remodeling and/or degree of left ventricular hypertrophy may occur. Further studies are required to define the real impact of the functional abnormalities on the natural history in patients with Williams syndrome.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 06/2007; 8(5):330-6. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    Heart (British Cardiac Society) 02/2007; 93(1):117-8. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity is increasing among children in the developed world. The association of obesity and abnormal cardiac function is still debated. The reported changes may reflect the role of comorbidities that contribute to ventricular dysfunction. Obese children, without arterial hypertension, may be a unique clinical opportunity to evaluate the effect of obesity, per se, on myocardial function, excluding the influence of possible comorbidities. We sought to define the preclinical effects of obesity on the cardiovascular system, of healthy children with excess weight who have no other clinically appreciable cause of heart disease, using the more sensitive ultrasonic-derived strain and strain rate (SR) imaging. We studied 300 subjects divided into two groups: (i) obese children (Group O: n=150; age, 12+/-3 years); (ii) healthy lean children comparable for age, sex, and pubertal stage (Referents: n=150; mean age, 12+/-3 years). Systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), as well as 24 h-SBP and 24 h-DBP were comparable between groups. Left ventricular (LV) mass/height(2.7) was increased (P<0.0001) in Group O (46+/-12 g/m(2.7)) when compared with Referents (31+/-14 gm(2.7)). Standard echocardiographic indices of global systolic function were similar in the two groups. Intima-media thickness measured at the common carotid artery was not significantly different (P=0.4) in obese children (0.46+/-0.09 mm) when compared with Referents (0.45+/-0.07 mm). Obese children showed regional longitudinal peak systolic myocardial deformation properties (SR=-1.4+/-0.7 s(-1)) lower (P<0.0001) than those of Referents (SR=-2.2+/-0.5) in both left and right ventricle. In multivariable analysis, average peak systolic SR was significantly correlated with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (P<0.01; coefficient, 0.02; SE, 0.011), and insulin serum concentration (P<0.01; coefficient, 0.05; SE, 0.023). Average LV peak systolic strain was significantly correlated with body mass index (P=0.0001; coefficient, 0.06; SE, 0.016), LVM/H(2.7) (P=0.006; coefficient, 0.016; SE, 0.018). Our study demonstrated that obesity, in absence of hypertension, is associated with significant reduction in systolic myocardial deformation properties already in childhood involving both right and left ventricle. Obesity not only is a risk factor for later cardiovascular disease, but also is associated with contemporaneous and significant impairment of longitudinal myocardial deformation properties.
    European Heart Journal 12/2006; 27(22):2689-95. · 14.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study, by conventional echocardiography, left ventricular remodelling and function in master athletes, hypertension and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We studied 30 master athletes (MA; soccer players; mean age 43.9+/-5.9), 24 subjects with essential hypertension (HYP; 46.6+/-6), 20 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM; 42.2+/-9) and 30 normal individuals (CG; 43.4+/-5). An integrated M-mode/two-dimensional echocardiographic analysis was performed to determine chambers dimensions, relative wall thickness (RWT) and left ventricular mass (LVM), indexed to height in meters raised to the power of 2.7 (LVM/h(2.7)). Cut-off levels for LVM/h(2.7) and RWT were defined to assess 4 different patterns of LV geometric remodelling. In addition, we measured indexes of global systolic performance and indexes of global diastolic function. LV wall thickness and LV end-diastolic dimensions were higher in MA than controls, but significantly lower than other groups. LVH/h(2.7) was increased in 79% of HYP and in 95% of HCM, but was within the normal limits in MA. LV geometry was normal in 22 out of 30 MA (73%), while the remaining (8 athletes, 27%) showed a concentric remodelling. Systolic function (FS and EF) was normal in MA, but was slightly reduced in HYP and increased in HCM. Analysis of diastolic function showed an abnormal relaxation pattern in all HYP and 95% of HCM, but was normal in all MA. The ratio between peak filling rate and stroke volume (PFR/SV), a relatively independent index of diastolic function, was significantly greater in hypertensive patients with normal LV remodelling compared to those without it (4+/-0.39 vs. 4.91+/-0.19; P = 0.0002). MA showed lower values of wall thickness, LV dimensions and LV mass compared with HYP and HCM. Despite an abnormal remodelling, all the athletes showed a normal systolic and diastolic function. The differential diagnosis between MA, HYP and HCM is feasible by accurate, comprehensive standard Doppler echocardiography.
    International Journal of Cardiology 08/2006; 111(1):113-9. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify non-invasively the potential impact of pulmonary regurgitation and age at surgical repair on the right ventricular (RV) textural and functional myocardial properties in patients operated on for tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). We assessed the average intensity (Int.(1B)) and the cyclic variation (CV(IB)) of the echocardiographic backscatter curve in 30 TOF patients (mean age 16.2 +/- 8.3 years), who had undergone corrective surgery (mean age at repair 3.2 +/- 2.6 years, range 0.2-11 years). They were divided into three age- and body surface area (BSA)-matched subgroups according to the results of the surgical repair: 12 patients had no significant postsurgical sequelae (group I), 12 patients had isolated moderate-severe pulmonary regurgitation (group II), and 6 patients had pulmonary regurgitation associated with significant (> 30 mmHg) RV outflow tract obstruction (group III). In addition, 30 age-, sex- and BSA-matched normal subjects were identified as the control group. In our study population, CV(IB) was lower (7.86 +/- 2.5 vs 10.6 +/- 1.4 dB, p < 0.001) and Int.IB higher (-18.6 +/- 4.1 vs -21 +/- 2.8 dB, p = 0.01) compared to the control group. Comparison between the control group and each subgroup of TOF patients showed: a) comparable values of CV(IB) and Int.(IB) in group I (10.6 +/- 1.4 vs 9.4 +/- 2.3 dB, p = 0.07; and -21 +/- 2.8 vs -21.4 +/- 2.3 dB, p = 0.7, respectively); b) Int.(IB) was significantly different only in group III (-21 +/- 2.8 vs -13.3 +/- 4.6 dB, p < 0.0001), c) CV(IB) was different either in group II or III (10.6 +/- 1.4 vs 7.42 +/- 2, p < 0.001; and 10.6 +/- 1.4 vs 5.56 +/- 1.8, p < 0.001, respectively). In addition, comparison of integrated backscatter indexes among the TOF subgroups revealed significant differences of CV(IB) between group I and II (9.4 +/- 2.4 vs 7.4 +/- 2, p = 0.03) and between group I and III (9.4 +/- 2.4 vs 5.56 +/- 1.8, p = 0.004), and of Int.(IB) between group I and III (-21.4 +/- 2.3 vs -13.3 +/- 4.66, p < 0.001) and between group II and III (-21.4 +/- 2.3 vs -18.6 +/- 2.8, p = 0.006). Group III patients, who had the most significant RV dilation, expressed as the ratio between RV and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (0.55 +/- 0.8) compared to group II (0.67 +/- 0.11, p = 0.038) and group I (0.55 +/- 0.87, p < 0.001), showed the lowest values of CV(IB) (5.56 +/- 1.8 dB) and the highest values of Int.(IB) (-13.3 +/- 4.6 dB) Finally, in our study population, both the degree of RV dilation and the age at surgical repair significantly correlated with Int.(IB) (r = 0.49 and r = 0.4, p = 0.06 and p = 0.033, respectively) and inversely correlated with CV(IB) (r = -0.55 and r = -0.53, p = 0.002 and p = 0.003, respectively). In patients operated on for TOF: a) integrated backscatter analysis may identify patients with significant RV myocardial abnormalities related to postsurgical sequelae; b) residual pulmonary regurgitation, particularly if associated with pulmonary stenosis, appears to affect RV myocardial properties; c) an earlier repair of TOF may result in better preservation of myocardial characteristics.
    Italian heart journal: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 09/2005; 6(9):745-50.
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    ABSTRACT: Based on color Doppler methodology, regional myocardial strain rate (SR) and strain (epsilon) can now be calculated by comparing local myocardial velocity profiles. These deformation data sets may be an important new approach to quantify regional function of the left or right ventricle in congenital heart disease. The aim of the present study was to provide normal value for epsilon and SR in pediatric age. We studied 45 healthy subjects (25 males, 20 females, mean age 11 +/- 6 years, range 4-16 years). For each subject we measured regional peak systolic, early and late diastolic E and SR. Left ventricular (LV) longitudinal deformations were homogeneous for LV basal, mid and apical segments (peak systolic SR -1.9 +/- 0.7 s(-1), systolic epsilon -24 +/- 8%). Longitudinal SR and epsilon values were significantly higher in the right ventricle, compared with LV walls, and were maximal in the mid part of the right ventricle free wall (peak systolic SR -3.4 +/- 0.9 s(-1), systolic epsilon -35 +/- 5%). The LV systolic and diastolic SR and epsilon values were higher for deformations in the radial direction compared with the longitudinal direction [radial peak systolic epsilon 55 +/- 6% vs longitudinal peak systolic epsilon (-)24 +/- 8%, p < 0.0001; radial peak early diastolic epsilon (-)40 +/- 15% vs longitudinal peak early diastolic epsilon 17.22 +/- 7%, p < 0.0001; radial peak systolic SR 2.7 +/- 0.5 s(-1) vs longitudinal peak systolic SR (-)1.9 +/- 0.7 s(-1); radial peak early diastolic SR (-)6.2 +/- 1.5 s(-1) vs longitudinal peak early diastolic SR 2.24 +/- 1.2 s(-1), p < 0.0001]. This study provides normal values for epsilon/SR in the largest published series of normal healthy children using a high frame rate (> or = 200 frames/s) and a commercially available software.
    Italian heart journal. Supplement: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 07/2005; 6(7):420-6.
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    ABSTRACT: To compare the value of strain and strain rate imaging in assessing regional myocardial function to that of myocardial velocities, we studied 10 patients late after successful percutaneous atrial septal defect closure. Analysis was performed for atrial longitudinal peak systolic velocity, strain, and strain rate from the midsegment of interatrial septum, in correspondence of the device, and from the lateral left atrial wall. Placing the sample volume in the middle part of the atrial septal defect occluder, a bulky noncontractile element, passively moved by global heart motion, the new ultrasonic-derived myocardial deformation indexes demonstrated almost the absence of any deformations, whereas myocardial velocities failed to significantly discriminate between this noncontracting structure and the normal atrial wall.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 06/2005; 18(5):398-400. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aortic valve regurgitation (AR) in the pediatric population has increased in recent years because of the expanded use of new surgical and hemodynamic procedures. Unlike adult patients, few predictors for the need of operation have been proposed in young asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with AR. To unmask early abnormalities of left ventricular (LV) function, 59 participants were enrolled: 14 asymptomatic patients (mean age 18 years) with congenital isolated severe AR and normal LV function (LV ejection fraction > 50%); and 45 healthy control subjects with comparable age and body surface area. All the studied population underwent standard echocardiographic examination, integrated backscatter, and strain rate imaging study. Conventional echocardiographic indices of global LV systolic performance for patients with AR were similar to that of control subjects. Compared with control subjects, integrated backscatter analysis demonstrated a significant reduction in cyclic variation in both septal and posterior walls ( P < .05). LV radial and longitudinal deformation properties for patients with AR were significantly reduced ( P < .05) as assessed by peak systolic strain rate. Our results demonstrated the ability of integrated backscatter and strain rate imaging to detect early subclinical abnormalities in young patients with severe congenital AR despite the presence of a normal ejection fraction.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 03/2005; 18(2):122-7. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Integrated backscatter (IBS) analysis represents a recent echocardiographic technique for evaluating the textural and functional state of the right ventricular (RV) myocardium. We undertook our study to (1) define the potential impact of age or morphometric parameters (height, weight, and body surface area) on RV IBS indexes, and (2) compare RV IBS data among normal subjects and children with different conditions of RV overload. We studied 34 patients (mean age 14.6 +/- 4.7 years) divided into 3 groups: 14 patients with RV volume overload related to moderate to large atrial septal defect (group I); (2) 10 patients with RV pressure overload due to transposition of the great arteries after the Mustard procedure (group II); and (3) 10 patients with RV volume and pressure overload due to pulmonary regurgitation and stenosis after corrective surgery for tetralogy of Fallot (group III). In addition, 20 children with structurally normal hearts were enrolled as the control group. The 4 groups were comparable with regard to age and morphometric parameters. IBS parameters were assessed as the magnitude of cyclic variation, determined as the difference between peak and nadir IBS values and the averaged myocardial IBS intensity. In the control group and group I, IBS parameters did not change significantly with age, height, weight, and body surface area. In contrast, in groups II and III, a significant correlation was found between cyclic variation and age at the study (p = 0.021, r = -0.71, and p = 0.006, r = -0.79, respectively). Furthermore, compared with the control group, cyclic variation and IBS intensity were significantly different only in groups II (p = 0.01 and p = 0.006, respectively) and III (both p <0.0001) but not in group I (p = 0.23 and p = 0.38, respectively). The lowest values of cyclic variation and the highest values of intensity were detected in group III patients. Thus, our data suggest that (1) in normal subjects, there is no correlation between RV IBS indexes and age or any morphometric parameters, and (2) IBS analysis is able to noninvasively detect differences in myocardial functional and textural properties in the presence of different conditions of RV overload.
    The American Journal of Cardiology 03/2004; 93(5):594-7. · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The management of subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is still controversial, as the benefit to risk ratio of prolonged L-thyroxine therapy is not clear cut. Some authors have shown abnormalities of myocardial function and structure in adults with SH, which could be reversed by L-thyroxine therapy. As SH frequently affects children with Down's syndrome (DS), and almost one half of these are affected by congenital heart disease, a concomitant SH related impairment of cardiac function might further compromise their clinical condition. To establish whether SH influences myocardial structure and function in children with DS. Sixteen children with DS and untreated SH and 25 matched euthyroid controls with DS underwent echocardiographic analysis of left ventricular mechanics and tissue characterisation. None of the 16 patients had myocardial impairment. Results suggest that children with DS who have SH are not at risk of cardiac disease. Clinicians should consider these data in the management of SH, as the benefit to risk ratio of prolonged L-thyroxine therapy is not clear cut.
    Archives of Disease in Childhood 12/2003; 88(11):1005-8. · 3.05 Impact Factor