Enrica Pezzullo

AORN Ospedali dei Colli, Napoli, Campania, Italy

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Publications (7)30.21 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) cannot be considered an innocent finding, but it is not necessarily a life-threatening condition. Athletes with BAV should undergo a thorough staging of the valve anatomy, taking into consideration hemodynamic factors, as well as aortic diameters and looking for other associated significant cardiovascular anomalies by use of a multimodality cardiac imaging approach. Furthermore an accurate follow-up is mandatory with serial cardiological controls in those allowed to continue sports.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The aim of the study was to detect if right ventricular (RV) ejection fraction assessed by real-time 3D echocardiography (RT3DE) could predict patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with greater functional impairment in response to cardiopulmonary exercise. Materials and methods 55 chronic heart failure patients with DCM (56.5 ± 9.1 years; 40 males; 30 ischaemic; NYHA class III: 40) and 30 healthy controls underwent both left ventricular (LV) and RV analysis by RT3DE. Post-processing software provided data of RT3DE systolic dyssynchrony index (SDI) of 16 LV segments, and of both LV and RV ejection fraction. Cardiac magnetic resonance was performed in a subgroup of 20 DCM patients to confirm RT3DE measurements. DCM patients underwent also bicycle cardiopulmonary exercise test with evaluation of VO2 peak (percentage of the predicted value), VE/VCO2 slope and circulatory power (CP). Results In DCM patients mean LV ejection fraction was 29.8 ± 4.6%. RT3DE LV SDI was 8.4.4 ± 4.2, and RV ejection fraction was 51.3 ± 4.6%. By cardiopulmonary test, mean VO2 peak was 15.2 ± 4.4 mL/kg/min, and mean CP was 2.1 ± 0.8. By univariable analysis, RV ejection fraction directly correlated with VO2 peak % (r = 0,55; p < 0.0001) and inversely with VE/VCO2 slope (r = –0.42; p < 0.001). By multivariable analysis, SDI (beta coefficient = –0.46; p < 0.001) and 3D RV ejection fraction (beta coefficient = 0.42; p < 0.001) emerged as the only independent determinant of VO2 peak % during cardiopulmonary test. Conclusions Impaired RV function in DCM patients is independently associated with worse ability to perform aerobic exercise.
    09/2011; 21(3):126–134. DOI:10.1016/j.jcecho.2011.06.005
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    ABSTRACT: To detect right ventricular myocardial function in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) using two-dimensional strain echocardiography (2DSE) and to evaluate the relationship between right ventricular dysfunction and response to cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). Seventy-five DCM patients (44 idiopathic and 31 ischemic) without clinical signs of right ventricular failure underwent standard echo, 2DSE analysis of right ventricle and bicycle CPET. The two groups were comparable for clinical and standard two-dimensional echocardiographic and Doppler variables, except for right ventricular diameters that were mildly increased in patients with idiopathic DCM. Right ventricular global longitudinal strain (RV GLS) and regional peak myocardial right ventricular strain were significantly impaired in patients with idiopathic DCM compared with ischemic DCM (both P<0.001). A significant correlation was detectable among RV GLS and VO2 peak percentage (r= -0.65, P<0.0001), VE/VCO2 slope (r=0.35, P<0.01), maximum work rate percentage (r= -0.55, P<0.001) and peak circulatory power (r=0.53, P<0.001). These correlations with RV GLS remained significant even in multivariate analysis. 2DSE represents a promising noninvasive technique to assess right ventricular myocardial function in patients with DCM. Reduced right ventricular myocardial deformation is related to decreased ability to perform aerobic exercise and work rate, and to impaired ventilatory response.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 09/2011; 12(9):625-34. DOI:10.2459/JCM.0b013e328349a268 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To explore the full range of right heart dimensions and the impact of long-term intensive training in athletes. BACKGROUND: Although echocardiography has been widely used to distinguish the athlete's heart from pathologic left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, only few reports have described right ventricular (RV) and right atrial (RA) adaptations to extensive physical exercise. METHODS: 650 top-level athletes [395 endurance- (ATE) and 255 strength-trained (ATS); 410 males (63.1%); mean age 28.4±10.1; 18-40years] and 230 healthy age- and sex-comparable controls underwent a transthoracic echocardiographic exam. Along with left heart parameters, right heart measurements included: RV end-diastolic diameters at the basal and mid-cavity level; RV base-to-apex length; RV proximal and distal outflow tract diameters; RA long and short diameters; and RA area. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion and RV tissue Doppler systolic peak velocity were assessed as indexes of RV systolic function. Pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) was estimated from the peak tricuspid regurgitant velocity. RESULTS: ATS showed increased sum of wall thickness and relative wall thickness, whereas left atrial volume, LV end-diastolic volume, LV stroke volume and PASP were significantly higher in ATE. RV and RA measurements were all significantly greater in ATE than in ATS and controls. ATE also showed improved early diastolic RV function, whereas RV systolic indexes were comparable among groups. On multivariate analysis, type and duration of training (p<0.01), PASP (p<0.01) and LV stroke volume (p<0.001) were the only independent predictors of the main RV and RA dimensions in athletes. CONCLUSIONS: This study delineates the upper limits of RV and RA dimensions in highly-trained athletes. Right heart measurements were all significantly greater in elite endurance-trained athletes than in age- and sex-matched strength athletes and controls. This should be considered as a "physiologic phenomenon" when evaluating athletes for sports eligibility.
    International journal of cardiology 07/2011; 164(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2011.06.058 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 04/2011; 57(14). DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(11)62037-8 · 16.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to define the range of left ventricular (LV) velocities and deformation indexes in highly trained athletes, analyzing potential differences induced by different long-term training protocols. Standard echocardiography, pulsed-wave tissue Doppler echocardiography, and two-dimensional strain echocardiography of the interventricular septum and lateral wall were performed in 370 endurance athletes and 280 power athletes. Using pulsed-wave tissue Doppler, the following parameters of myocardial function were assessed: systolic peak velocities (S(m)), early (E(m)) and late (A(m)) diastolic velocities, and the E(m)/A(m) ratio. By two-dimensional strain echocardiography, peaks of regional systolic strain and LV global longitudinal strain were calculated. LV mass index and ejection fraction did not significantly differ between the two groups. However, power athletes showed an increased sum of wall thicknesses (P < .01) and relative wall thickness, while LV stroke volume and LV end-diastolic diameter (P < .001) were greater in endurance athletes. By pulsed-wave tissue Doppler analysis, E(m) and E(m)/A(m) at both the septal and lateral wall levels were higher in endurance athletes. By two-dimensional strain echocardiography, myocardial deformation indexes were comparable between the two groups. E(m)/A(m) ratios ≥ 1 were found in the overall population, while 90 % of athletes had an E(m) ≥ 16 cm/sec, S(m) ≥ 10 cm/sec, and global longitudinal strain ≤ -16%. Multivariate analyses evidenced independent positive association between Em peak velocity and LV end-diastolic volume (P < .001) and an independent correlation of global longitudinal strain with the sum of LV wall thicknesses (P < .005). This study describes the full spectrum of systolic and diastolic myocardial velocities and deformation indexes in a large population of competitive athletes.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 12/2010; 23(12):1281-8. DOI:10.1016/j.echo.2010.09.020 · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of the present study was to analyze both left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) myocardial function in patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), and their relation to other instrumental features of the disease. Twenty-five healthy subjects and 23 age- and sex-comparable asymptomatic patients classified as having either diffuse (11 patients) or limited form (12 patients) of SSc underwent clinical examination, serological tests, high-resolution chest-CT, standard Doppler echo, pulsed Doppler myocardial imaging (DMI) and strain rate imaging (SRI) of both LV and RV lateral walls. By chest-CT, 11 patients showed interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. Serological antibodies analysis detected anti-centromere pattern in 8 patients, and anti Scl-70 in 15 patients. LV diameters and ejection fraction were comparable between the two groups, while RV end-diastolic diameter was increased in SSc (p<0.01). Tricuspid inflow E/A ratio was slightly decreased in SSc (p<0.01), while systolic pulmonary pressure was increased (p<0.001). Pulsed DMI detected in SSc impaired myocardial RV early-diastolic (Em) peak velocity (p<0.0001), and prolonged myocardial time intervals at tricuspid annulus level. In SSc, peak systolic RV SR and strain were both reduced in basal, middle and apical RV lateral free walls, and in basal and middle LV lateral walls. By multivariate analysis, independent inverse association of RV peak Em velocity with both Rodnan Skin Score (p<0.0005) and pulmonary systolic pressure (p<0.0001), as well as independent inverse correlation of the same RV peak Em velocity with pulmonary fibrosis (<0.0005) in SSc patients were observed. In addition, RV Em was an independent predictor of the anti Scl-70 antibody pattern (p<0.001). Pulsed DMI and SRI are valuable non-invasive and easy-repeatable tools for detecting RV and LV myocardial involvement caused by SSc, and may therefore be useful to early identify patients with more diffused and severe form of SSc.
    European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging 12/2005; 6(6):407-18. DOI:10.1016/j.euje.2005.01.002 · 4.11 Impact Factor