Antonio Ciccarelli

Santa Maria del Pozzo, Napoli, Campania, Italy

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Publications (13)18.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: AIMS: To synthesize by meta-analysis the findings of recent experimental studies focusing on possible therapeutic effectiveness of statins for nonrheumatic calcific aortic stenosis METHODS: Observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were selected from the Pubmed database to evaluate the hemodynamic progression of aortic stenosis in statin-treated patients compared with controls (i.e. patients with aortic stenosis taking placebo or no treatment). The endpoints were the annualized changes in one or more of the following ultrasonographic measurements: peak aortic valve jet velocity, peak aortic valve pressure gradient, mean aortic valve pressure gradient aortic valve area (AVA). For estimating the overall effect of statin therapy on each of the above-mentioned continuous variables across the considered studies, we used the weighted mean difference (WMD) as effect size measure. In addition, we calculated the odds of aortic valve replacement surgery and cardiovascular death in both statin-treated patients and controls for subsequently estimating the appropriate odds ratios. RESULTS: Nine studies were selected. A lower annualized increase in peak aortic valve jet velocity was found in statin-treated patients compared with controls (overall WMD: -0.09 m/s per year, 95%CI -0.16, -0.01 P = 0.018). Similarly, a smaller annualized increase in peak aortic valve pressure gradient was found in the statin group (overall WMD: -2.04 mmHg/year 95%CI: -3.56, -0.52, P = 0.0085).However, the overall effects in statin-treated patients on both annualized increases in mean aortic valve pressure gradient and decreases in AVA were not significantly different from those found in controls. Moreover, there was no significant difference in cardiovascular outcomes in the statin groups compared with placebo groups in each of the three analyzed RCTs and overall. CONCLUSION: Significant benefit of statin therapy in retarding hemodynamic deterioration was identified by favorable effects concerning annualized changes in peak aortic valve jet velocity and peak aortic valve pressure gradient; on the contrary, in statin-treated patients with aortic stenosis, no significant improvement was found for annualized changes in mean aortic valve pressure gradient and AVA and clinical outcomes.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 10/2012; · 2.66 Impact Factor
  • Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Carmela Cioppa
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 10/2012; 13(10).
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    Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Carmelina Ariano
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    ABSTRACT: In chronic heart failure patients (CHF), ultrasound measurement of inferior vena cava collapsibility index (IVCCI) has been proposed to yield careful assessment and grading of the hemodynamic congestion. The purpose of this study was to correlate the findings of physical examination with IVCCI in CHF patients. According to a retrospective cohort design, we analyzed 54 CHF patients with right or biventricular CHF, belonging to III NYHA class. We planned to determine whether any basal IVCCI range would be able to predict persistent or worsening clinical congestion found at the end of subsequent follow up (i.e. after 1-2 months of oral optimized therapy). For this purpose, the patients were subdivided by three groups according to the basal IVCCI value: ≤ 15% (13 pts), 16 - 40% (21 pts) and > 40% (20 pts).Several clinical criteria of congestion were compared across the three groups and subsequently entered in the Cox multivariate model. Multivariate predictors of high congestion score were jugular venous distension (HR: 13,38 95% C.I.: 2,13 - 84 p = 0,0059) and rales (HR: 11 95% C.I : 1,45 - 83,8 p = 0,0213). IVCCI ≤ 15% was always associated with high congestion score at the second visit; but IVCCI ≤ 15% failed to predict high congestion score at the second visit. In CHF setting, low IVCCI did not reliably predict high congestion score. Nevertheless, the cluster with IVCCI ≤ 15% was always found associated with signs and symptoms from both right and left-sided decompensated CHF.
    Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia 05/2012; 98(6):544-52. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In chronic heart failure (CHF), collapsibility index of the inferior vena cava (IVCCI) is used for noninvasive ultrasonographic appraisal of central venous pressure, but it also may be related both to estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and renal outcome. On the basis of retrospective observational cohort study, we analyzed 49 patients with right or biventricular CHF in III NYHA class, who had undergone intravenous intensive treatment with furosemide. Aggravated renal dysfunction (ARD) was defined by serum creatinine (Cr) increase of ≥0.3 mg/dL from baseline. IVCCI was categorized in three layers (IVCCI ≤15%, IVCCI 16-40% and IVCCI >40%). The predictors of ARD were searched for as well as any relation between basal IVCCI and both eGFR at admission and occurrence of ARD. Overall, 15 cases and 34 controls were compared. Multivariate predictors of ARD were a lower basal eGFR (HR: 0.82 CI: 0.72-0.94 p=0.0045) and intravenous furosemide daily mean dose >80 mg (HR: 48.62 CI: 1.62-3841.5 p=0.0430). A very significant positive correlation was found between IVCCI at admission ≤ 15% and basal eGFR (r=0.96 p<0.0001), while a negative correlation with eGFR was detected in the IVCCI highest (>40%) range (r=-0.696 p=0.0013). Furthermore, the category with basal IVCCI >40% showed a higher rate of ARD compared to that with basal IVCCI 16-40% (p<0.05). On the basis of the demonstrated u-shaped relationship between IVCCI and eGFR both the stratum with the highest (>40%) and the one with the lowest (≤15%) basal IVCCI may be associated with increased risk of ARD.
    Anadolu kardiyoloji dergisi: AKD = the Anatolian journal of cardiology 05/2012; 12(5):391-400. · 0.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Renoprotective effect of ACE-inhibitors has been questioned in case of decreased effective circulating volume, like in right or biventricular chronic heart failure. To detect clinical predictors of renal worsening in CHF patient population characterized by two types of ACE-inhibitor dosing regimens. According to a retrospective cohort design, we followed 2 groups of patients with CHF - whether right or biventricular -, all in III NYHA class treated with ACE-inhibitors (enalapril or lisinopril), and with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < 50%, by distinguishing them by ACE-inhibitor dosing: average-low (<10 mg per day) or "high" dose (>10 mg per day) of enalapril or lisinopril. Worsened renal failure (ARD) was defined by Cr increase >30% from baseline. Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify the predictors of ARD among the following variables: ACE-inhibitors "high" dose, age, basal LVEF, history of repeated intensive intravenous loop diuretic therapies (IV diur), diabetes, basal Cr, history of hypertension, systolic blood pressure < 100 mm Hg. 57 patients were recruited, of whom 15 were treated with ACE-inhibitor "high" dose. During a mean follow-up of 718 days, ARD occurred in 17 (29.8%) patients. Only ACE-inhibitor "high" dose (HR: 12.4681 C.I.: 2.1614-71.9239 p=0.0050) and basal Cr (HR: 1.2344 C.I.: 1.0414-1.4632 p=0.0157) were shown to predict ARD. Moreover, ACE-inhibitor "high" doses were shown to fail to predict ARD in both CHF without IV diur and CHF with diabetes. In III NYHA class CHF, ACE-inhibitor "high" doses and a higher basal Cr predicted ARD. Nephrotoxicity related to ACE-inhibitor "high" doses was increased by IV diur, whereas it was not detected in CHF patients with diabetes.
    Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia 12/2011; 97(6):507-16. · 1.32 Impact Factor
  • Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Carmelina Ariano
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 09/2011; 12(9):623-4.
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    ABSTRACT: In the presence of resistance to oral diuretics in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients with extreme hydrosaline retention, among the proposed therapeutic options the administration of high doses of loop diuretics - either intravenous (i.v.) boluses or i.v. continuous infusion - should first of all be considered. Nevertheless, the use of this therapy may lead to the risk of further aggravation of frequently coexisting renal dysfunction, especially when loop diuretics such as furosemide (FUR), torasemide etc. are administered at excessive doses leading to hypotension, hypoperfusion and/or relative dehydration in patients with decompensated CHF who could have benefit from intensive unloading therapy. The aim of this study was to identify the clinical and hematochemical markers which are able to predict a possible decline or rapid deterioration of renal function implying a rise in serum creatinine (Cr) >25% of its basal value, i.e. the so-called aggravated renal dysfunction (ARD), typically occurring during intensive unloading therapy with i.v. FUR or other loop diuretics, administered to CHF pts with extreme fluid retention. The protocol of our case-control observational study established to enroll every CHF patient who was demonstrated to develop a rise in Cr suggestive of ARD at the end of i.v. diuretic therapy (VI-VIII day). For each case enrolled, 3 patients at least were selected as controls, matched for age, sex and time elapsed from the beginning of the signs and symptoms of CHF. For the prediction of the dependent variable, represented by ARD diuretic infusion-related, the following independent variables were considered: creatinine clearance (Cr clear) <60 mL/min, Cr clear expressed as a continuous variable (Cr clear continuous), daily dose of i.v. furosemide ≥ 125 mg, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), CHF with normal (≥ 50%) LVEF (HFNEF), urinary sodium concentration (U Na+) ≥ 40 mEq/L, U Na+expressed as a continuous variable (U Na+ continuous), sodium fractional excretion (FE Na+) >2%, urine/plasma concentration ratios for creatinine (U/P cr) <10, for urea (U/P urea) <5 and for osmolality (U/P osmolal) <1.1, mean duration of the symptoms of CHF, history of pre-existing parenchymal renal disease . The values of U Na+, FE Na+, U/P Cr, U/P urea and U/P osmolal were measured after discontinuance of diuretic oral therapy for four days, before the onset of intensive i.v. diuretic administration, so as to identify the patients with pathological values of tubular renal function indexes, known to be not interpretable in the presence of diuretics, suggestive of possible preexisting anatomic renal damage (acute tubular necrosis prior to onset of iv diuretic therapy). Nineteen 19 CHF patients with ARD and 60 controls were enrolled. At univariable analysis, Cr clear <60 mL/min, Cr clear continuous, daily dose of iv furosemide ≥ 125 mg, LVEF, HFNEF, FE Na+>2%, Na+≥ 40 mEq/L and U Na+ continuous were shown to be associated with ARD. At multivariate analysis, the role of prognostic indicator of ARD was maintained by daily dose only of iv FUR ≥125 mg (OR: 7.2088 95% CI: 1.3096-39.6802 P=0.0232). By using the 2x2 contingency tables, a qualitative interaction was identified by crossing ARD ‑ outcome variable - against dose of iv FUR ≥ 125 mg/day - exposure variable - and by subsequently stratifying by the HFNEF. Actually, a significant association with ARD was not present in any CHF patient with dilated left ventricle treated with high dosage of iv FUR, whereas a highly significant association with ARD was observed in HFNEF patients (OR: 72 95% CI: 6.601-785.2694 P=0.00001) who had experienced the same high iv fur dose. In CHF patients with widespread edema refractory to oral diuretic, ARD can be propitiated by high dosages of i.v. FUR, when not associated with other treatments to preserve the effective circulating volume and renal flow. The HFNEF patients appear to be more prone to ARD related to i.v. high dosages of FUR, perhaps because their hemodynamics is more seriously harmed by the drop, FUR-related, in venous return and cardiac preload, as compared to CHF patients with reduced (45-30%) LVEF.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 02/2011; 59(6):543-54. · 0.43 Impact Factor
  • Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Carmelina Ariano
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 02/2011; 12(2):163-4.
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertension is a recognized risk factor for ischemic stroke (IS) along with diabetes, smoking, and hypercholesterolemia. Any uncertainty remains about other putative risk factors, ultrasound-derived, such as carotid soft plaques. A case-control study was carried out concerning cases of IS or transient ischemic attack (TIA) found in an outpatient population from February 2000 to March 2008. For every patient with documented IS or TIA, 1 to 2 controls without previous cerebrovascular event were recruited. The variables analyzed were: hypertension, defined as mild hypertension (140-160 mm Hg) or moderate-to-severe hypertension (>160 mm Hg); age, divided into 3 classes: 60 to 70, 70 to 80, and 80 to 90 years; diabetes and carotid plaques, categorized as "soft" or "hard" plaques, and as plaques achieving mild (<50%) or moderate (50%-70%) luminal narrowing. Fourty-six cases and 60 controls were analyzed. In univariate analysis, moderate-to-severe hypertension, age between 80 and 90 years, carotid soft plaques and 50% to 70% stenoses predicted ischemic cerebral events. In multivariable analysis, only moderate-to-severe hypertension (odds ratio [OR]: 15.536; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.142-58.271; P = 0.0000) and oldest age class (OR: 15.862; 95% CI: 3.836-65.592; P = 0.0001) proved to predict IS or TIA. Soft plaques were found to predict risk of IS (OR: 13.50; 95% CI: 2.9788-61.1821) in hypertensive, but not in patients whose hypertension had been controlled by therapy (OR: 0.2308; 95% CI: 0.0270-1.9720) (qualitative interaction). Moderate-to-severe hypertension and very old age predicted IS and TIA, whereas carotid soft plaques did not, in the presence of normotensive blood pressure.
    The Canadian journal of cardiology 01/2011; 27(2):152-8. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Armando Pucciarelli
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 01/2011; 12(1):3-4. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During intensive therapy of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients with marked fluid retention using high doses of i.v. furosemide the additional effect of agents which might exert osmotic attraction of interstitial fluids has been proposed. They are thought to impede the impairment of renal blood supply and glomerular filtration rate, which may be caused by a combined action of cardiac preload acute reduction, hypotension and neurohormonal activation.We therefore assessed in CHF patients with NYHA class III and BNP values from 900 to 1500 pg/ml, who were treated with i.v. furosemide, the predictors of iatrogenic short term creatinine impairment by means of a case-control observational study from two centers. Patients with CHF had been treated for 6-8 days with intravenous loop diuretics alone or with an additional i.v. administration of other agents (plasma expanders, albumin, mannitol, inotropic support etc.). A rise in serum creatinine ≥ 25% of the basal value was considered as renal impairment.A total of 15 cases and 38 controls were enrolled. At univariate analysis, serum creatinine basal value ≥ 2.2 mg/dl, absence of hypertonic saline solution (HSS) in the therapeutic protocol, hyposodic diet and refractory oligoanuria were associated with an increased risk of worsening renal function precipitated by i.v. diuretic therapy. At multivariate analysis as a predictor of loop diuretic-related renal function impairment, we found a serum creatinine ≥ 2.2 mg/dl at baseline (OR: 63.33, 95% CI: 3.68-1088.73, p=0.0043) and the absence of HSS in the therapeutic regimen (OR: 25.0461, 95% CI: 2.07-302.53, p=0.0113). Moreover, in multivariate analysis ascites had some predictive value of renal deterioration (OR: 13.28, 95% CI: 1.0055-175.41, p=0,0495).
    Herz 10/2010; 36(1):12-7. · 0.78 Impact Factor
  • Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Armando Pucciarelli
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    ABSTRACT: A well established part of therapeutic approaches applying to cases of chronic heart failure (CHF) with extreme fluid retention is represented by intensive intravenous (i.v.) therapy with loop diuretics. This kind of therapy, if appropriately modulated according to the individual clinical picture and biohumoral pattern, is able to decrease the abnormally high ventricular filling pressures, thereby relieving the breathlessness while being able to retrieve a suitable urine output, so as to propitiate regression or disappearance of edema without unfavorable influences on renal clearance of nitrogenous compounds. Nevertheless, the intensive i.v. diuretic therapy should be tailored on the basis of a close assessment of baseline hemodynamic data and hemodynamic response to the medications, in addition to the careful diuretic dose titration and cautious evaluation of risk/benefit ratio. Actually, by using this kind of therapy, there is a risk that a tubular or glomerular injury can be generated and that a frequently preexisting renal dysfunction can be aggravated, especially when excessive doses of loop diuretics are being erroneously administered, so as to cause hypotension, hypoperfusion and/or relative dehydration in patients with decompensated CHF who could have expressly benefitted from intensive unloading therapy. Recently, the genesis of CHF-related progressive renal deterioration has been highlighted by affirming that a major role may be played rather by neurovegetative disorders, that is, by increase in sympathetic tone and abnormalities in kidney's vasomotility than by cardiac inotropism deficiency. The measures, thought to be able to prevent renal arterial constriction and to impede deterioration of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) due to the ischemic-necrotic tubular injury, as occurring in the set of intensive unloading therapy with i.v. furosemide or other loop diuretic, are represented by application of inotropic and renal vasodilator support by dopamine i.v. infusion at low doses or by other inotropic agents provided with recognized renal vasodilator properties and/or by addition to i.v. furosemide of osmotic agents able to expand the hematic volume, so counteracting or minimizing the reflex renal vasoconstriction induced by furosemide-related reduction in intravascular circulating volume: i.v. infusion of small volumes of hypertonic saline solution, as well as administration of albumin, mannitol and/or plasma expanders. Because renal impairment, as developing in the setting of CHF, has proven to represent a very important indicator of adverse outcome, every effort should be addressed to prevent any significant (>25% of basal value) rise in serum creatinine consequent to diuretic unloading therapy or to other procedures (paracentesis of tense ascites, ultrafiltration) aimed at rapid fluid removal in edematous or ascitic CHF or cardiogenetic anasarca. Ultrafiltration, even though a promising technique highly valued for its acknowledged property to obtain a more rapid fluid and weight loss in CHF patients with marked fluid retention, has been demonstrated so far to produce neurohumoral activation, creatinine abnormalities and symptomatic hypotensions similar to those due to i.v. loop diuretics; thus, the hypothesized advantages of this technique remain to be further clarified and confirmed, with regard to its safety profile and cost-effectiveness.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 08/2010; 11(8):571-4. · 2.66 Impact Factor
  • Renato De Vecchis, Antonio Ciccarelli, Carmela Cioppa
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 04/2010; 11(4):325. · 2.66 Impact Factor