C Ramalhão

Hospital de São João, Oporto, Porto, Portugal

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Publications (12)8.88 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review updates some recent advances of a new and exciting developments in basic and clinical cardiology: a) the role, in the congestive heart failure (CHF), of the neurohumoral systems (NHS) which act to maintain circulatory homeostatic equilibrium, and b) the therapeutic implications of such a role. Six NHS, acting in CHF, have presently been identified: three of them induce vasoconstriction and sodium retention (sympathetic nervous systems, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and arginine-vasopressine system); the remaining three offset or balance the former ones, acting, therefore as "counterregulators" (prostaglandins--PGE2 and PGI2--, dopaminergic system and atrial natriuretic factor). Each one of these NHS influences the "compensatory" mechanisms of heart failure, acting on the target-organs both by direct effects and by interaction with other NHS; consequently, in heart failure, all the NHS are stimulated with the respective increase in the plasma levels of their active agents. In asymptomatic stages of ventricular dysfunction the stimulation of the vasodilator-and-natriuretic systems appears to be predominant and able to maintain circulatory equilibrium. However, as the heart dysfunction increases and becomes symptomatic, the vasoconstrictor and sodium-retaining forces appear to predominate; this phenomenon becomes increasingly apparent as the functional class becomes more advanced. The hyperstimulation of these last systems has an extremely important role in the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of congestive heart failure, as well as in its prognosis. Therefore, the attempts to correct these neurohormonal imbalance in patients with heart failure has a sound rational basis, not only to improve the symptoms and the exercise capacity but also to increase the survival of these patients. At the present time, amongst the potential pharmacological interventions acting on NHS in CHF, the blockade of the RAA system with ACE-inhibitors is generally accepted as the most feasible, the safest and the most effective therapeutic tool. In fact, its application has broadened from an earlier use in severe CHF to other symptomatic stages of cardiac failure, including the milder forms. In addition, preliminary data strongly suggest its unique usefulness in asymptomatic phase of ventricular dysfunction. Looking back at the medical therapy of heart failure, in can be concluded that we are starting a new era. Throughout 200 years (since the introduction of digitalis) the therapeutic goal in CHF has been the improvement of symptoms. With the developments of the present decade, a new and exciting goal is being offered to these patients, called by Packer "the second frontier", that is, the prolongation of their lives.
    Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 06/2001; 20 Suppl 5:V-99-122; discussion V-123-5. · 0.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker whose effects on left ventricular function (LVF) are controversial. We studied 12 patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD) before starting and 15 and 30 days after having initiated Diltiazem 60 mg t.i.d. LVF was accessed by means of the normalized indexes of the calibrated apexcardiogram: nS for systolic LVF evaluation and nA for diastolic LVF evaluation. Recent works have shown that these indexes have a good correlation with invasive parameters of LVF. We verified that nS did not change and nA decreased significantly (p < 0.05) after Diltiazem. We preliminary concluded that Diltiazem has no deleterious effect on LV systolic function and improves LV diastolic function, by decreasing nA, a parameter which correlates well with LV end diastolic pressure.
    Acta cardiologica 01/1995; 50(1):35-8. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to noninvasively evaluate left (LV) systolic and diastolic function in patients with atrial septal defect (ASD) using the phonomechanocardiogram. We studied 40 patients with atrial septal defect, 16 males and 24 females, ages ranging from 6 to 56 years (mean 21.1 years), consecutively observed before surgery in our institution, during a four year period. We measured the systolic time intervals (Q-A2c, Q-S1, ICT, PEP, LVETc, PEP/LVET), the Apex Cardiographic (ACG) diastolic parameters A2-Oc and A/H and the hemodynamic variables Qp/Qs, Pulmonary Vascular Resistance (PVR) and Left Ventricular End Diastolic Pressure (LVEDP). We compared the data with 74 normal individuals using the Student t-test and linear regression analysis. We found significant Q-S1 lengthening (81.2 +/- 16.4 ms, p < 0.001); PEP, ICT and A2-Oc were significantly reduced (101.2 +/- 21.7 ms, p < 0.001, 20.0 +/- 5.3 ms, p < 0.05 and 117.1 +/- 26.3 ms, p < 0.001, respectively) and A/H was significantly increased (17.4 +/- 12.1%, p < 0.005). Except for the case of Q-S1, where there was a weak positive linear correlation with Qp/Qs (r = 0.37), we found no correlation between the other parameters and Qp/Qs or PVR. Sixty-seven percent of the patients had Q-S1 prolongation and a Q-S1 > 76.2 ms identified left-right shunts > 2 with a positive predictive value of 82%; 62% of the patients had a reduced A2-Oc and a A2-Oc < 110 ms identified shunts > 2 with a positive predictive value of 90%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Acta cardiologica 01/1995; 50(1):29-34. · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • Acta cardiologica 02/1991; 46(1):33-7. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two-dimensional echocardiography and gated blood radionuclide angiography was performed in 50 patients (mean age 51.3 years; 48 men and 2 women) after acute myocardial infarction, before discharge from the hospital. The aim of this study was to compare the wall motion score, determined by two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE), with the ejection fraction obtained by radionuclide angiography (RNA). The correlation between the results obtained by 2DE and RNA was good (r = 0.75; p less than 0.0001). We conclude that 2DE is a powerful diagnostic tool for the evaluation of left ventricular function.
    Acta cardiologica 02/1991; 46(1):39-42. · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • Acta cardiologica 02/1990; 45(6):471-6. · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review updates some recent advances of a new and exciting developments in basic and clinical cardiology: a) the role, in the congestive heart failure (CHF), of the neurohormonal systems (NHS) which act to maintain circulatory homeostatic equilibrium, and b) the therapeutic implications of such a role. Six NHS, acting in CHF, have presently been identified: three of them induce vasoconstriction and sodium retention (sympathetic nervous systems, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and arginine-vasopressine system); the remaining three offset or balance the former ones, acting, therefore as "counterregulators" (prostaglandins--PGE2 and PGI2--, dopaminergic system and atrial natriuretic factor). Each one of these NHS influences the "compensatory" mechanisms of heart failure, acting on the target-organs both by direct effects and by interaction with other NHS; consequently, in heart failure, all the NHS are stimulated with the respective increase in the plasma levels of their agents. In asymptomatic stages of ventricular dysfunction the stimulation of the vasodilator-and-natriuretic systems appears to be predominant and able to maintain circulatory equilibrium. However, as the heart dysfunction increases and becomes symptomatic, the vasoconstrictor and sodium-retaining forces appear to predominate; this phenomenon becomes increasingly apparent as the functional class becomes more advanced. The hyperstimulation of these last systems has an extremely important role in the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of congestive heart failure, as well as in its prognosis. Therefore, the attempts to correct these neurohormonal imbalance in patients with heart failure has a sound rational basis, not only to improve the symptoms and the exercise capacity but also to increase the survival of these patients. At the present time, amongst the potential pharmacological interventions acting on NHS in CHF, the blockade of the SRA system with ACE-inhibitors is generally accepted as the most feasible, the safer and the most effective therapeutic tool. In fact, its application has broadened from an earlier use in severe CHF to other symptomatic stages of cardiac failure, including the milder forms. In addition, preliminary data strongly suggest its unique usefulness in asymptomatic phases of ventricular dysfunction. Looking back at the medical therapy of heart failure, it can be concluded that we are starting a new era. Throughout 200 years (since the introduction of digitalis) the therapeutic goal in CHF has been the improvement of symptoms. With the developments of the present decade, a new and exciting goal is being offered to these patients, called by Packer "the second frontier", that is, the prolongation of their lives.
    Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 03/1989; 8(2):129-48. · 0.59 Impact Factor
  • Acta cardiologica 02/1988; 43(3):391-4. · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • Acta cardiologica 02/1988; 43(3):301-3. · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • Acta cardiologica 02/1988; 43(3):305-8. · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • Acta cardiologica 02/1988; 43(3):245-9. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antidepressant effects and side effects of mianserin and maprotiline were assessed in a double-blind trial in 62 inpatients (34 men and 28 women; mean age, 43.6 years) with primary depressive illness. For the first week of the trial, 32 patients received 30 mg/day of mianserin and 30 patients received 75 mg/day of maprotiline; for the next three weeks, the dosage of each drug was doubled. According to scores on the Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression, administered on days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28, the antidepressant effects of the two drugs were virtually identical. Results of electrocardiographic and vectorcardiographic recordings and other measurements indicated that by day 28 the QRS duration was significantly longer (P less than 0.05) in the maprotiline group. On days 14 and 28, mean systolic blood pressure was significantly higher (P less than 0.05) in the maprotiline group. By day 28, the incidence of anticholinergic side effects--constipation and dry mouth--was significantly higher (P less than 0.05) in the maprotiline group. Although maprotiline's effects on heart functions never reached clinical significance, its anticholinergic side effects could be bothersome, especially to older patients.
    Clinical Therapeutics 02/1985; 7(5):584-92. · 2.23 Impact Factor