A A Zacharoulis

ΓΕΝΙΚΟ ΝΟΣΟΚΟΜΕΙΟ ΑΘΗΝΩΝ "Γ. ΓΕΝΝΗΜΑΤΑΣ", Athens, Attiki, Greece

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Publications (23)65.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the role of the immunogenetic background in the development and recurrence of acute idiopathic pericarditis (AIP). Fifty-five patients with a first episode of AIP were followed for 23.8 ± 6.3 months and recurrences were recorded. The control group consisted of 246 healthy individuals. In all subjects, genomic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing was performed. Moreover, circulating lymphocyte subpopulations were studied in 44 randomly selected patients and in 20 controls. An increased frequency of HLA-A*02, -Cw*07 and -DQB1*0202 alleles, and a decreased frequency of the -DQB1*0302 allele was detected in patients with AIP. The recurrence rate was 40% and time to recurrence was 202.8 ± 164.1 days. In patients with idiopathic recurrent pericarditis (RP), increased frequencies of HLA-A*02, -Cw*07 and -DQB1*0202 alleles were found. Notably, no patient with RP exhibited HLA-DRB1*04 and -DQB1*0302 alleles. Patients with RP exhibited lower CD4+/CD45RA+ naïve T cells (p = 0.03) than controls, and higher CD8+DR+ activated T cells (p = 0.01) than patients without recurrence and controls. HLA alleles may confer either susceptibility or resistance to AIP and RP. Circulating T-cell subpopulations may also predict RP. A combination of the above parameters might help to better define patients prone to recurrence.
    Cardiology 03/2011; 118(1):55-62. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Invasive hemodynamic monitoring with Swan-Ganz catheterization to guide treatment decisions in heart failure may be hazardous and may lack prognostic value. We assessed the clinical utility of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in estimating left ventricular filling pressures in patients with inconclusive tissue Doppler indexes. In this study, 50 patients with systolic heart failure and an early transmitral velocity to early diastolic mitral annular velocity ratio (E/Ea) between 8 and 15 were studied. Among them, 25 had been admitted for acutely decompensated heart failure (group A) and the remainder were clinically stable outpatients (group B). All patients underwent simultaneous invasive pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) determination, BNP measurement, and echocardiography. In group A, BNP correlated with PCWP (r = 0.803, P < 0.001), deceleration time (DT, r = -0.602, p = 0.001), and end-systolic wall stress (SWS, r = 0.565, P = 0.003). In multivariate analysis, BNP was the only parameter independently associated with PCWP (P = 0.023). In group B, no correlation was found between BNP and PCWP or SWS, while DT correlated significantly with both PCWP (r = -0.817, P < 0.001) and BNP (r = -0.8, P < 0.001). We conclude that BNP may be a useful noninvasive tool for the assessment of left ventricular filling pressures in patients with acutely decompensated heart failure and inconclusive tissue Doppler indexes.
    Heart and Vessels 05/2008; 23(3):181-6. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) are critical regulators of bone remodeling and RANKL/RANK signaling could also play an important role in the remodeling process of several tissues, such as myocardium. Therefore, we investigated whether the serum concentrations of OPG and RANKL correlate with the serum levels of metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), MMP-9 and tissue inhibitors of MMP-1 (TIMP-1), which are known regulators of myocardial healing in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients. We analyzed blood samples from 51 consecutively hospitalized men with AMI, 12 men with established ischemic heart failure (New York Heart Association category II, NYHA-II) and 12 healthy men age-matched to the NYHA-II patients. Serum levels of MMP-1, MMP-9, TIMP-1, OPG and RANKL were quantified using commercially available ELISA kits. AMI patients were sampled 4 days and 6 months after MI. Our data revealed increased serum levels of OPG, RANKL, MMP-1 and TIMP-1 levels and significant correlations between increased RANKL levels and MMP-1 and TIMP-1 serum levels 6 months after MI. In addition, the ratio OPG/RANKL was very low 6 months after MI, suggesting that the nuclear factor kappa-B signaling is possibly more active 6 months post-MI than it is on day 4 post-MI. Our data suggest that OPG, RANKL, MMP-1 and TIMP-1 serum levels can be potential mediators of myocardial healing after MI. However, further large studies are needed to confirm the utility of OPG and RANKL as markers of healing after ST elevation in MI.
    Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 02/2008; 46(4):510-6. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stress cardiomyopathy, also known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or left ventricular apical ballooning, has been linked to emotional or physical stress resulting in transient left ventricular dysfunction. It typically affects the mid and apical left ventricular segments. At onset, it resembles acute myocardial infarction, due to the acute onset of chest pain and ST-T segment elevation. However, there is minimal biomarker elevation and a normal coronary artery angiogram. We report a case of a woman with transient myocardial injury after a stressful event, presenting with a variation of the affected segments. In this case, only the basal and mid portions of the left ventricle were affected, while the apex was completely spared. Coronary angiography revealed no significant occlusion and left ventricular function had recovered completely by the third day of hospitalization. We present a variant form of stress cardiomyopathy, affecting the basal and mid segments of the left ventricle.
    Journal of Medical Case Reports 02/2008; 2:74.
  • International journal of cardiology 07/2007; 118(3):e106-7. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The non-invasive assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) is troublesome. In this study, we investigated the diagnostic accuracy of myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) with adenosine to detect CAD in asymptomatic patients with LBBB, and we compared it with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with adenosine. Forty-seven patients with LBBB, and no previously documented CAD, initially underwent SPECT imaging and 1-3 days later MCE. Coronary arteriography was performed within 1 week from the latter procedure. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, diagnostic accuracy, and kappa index of concordance of SPECT were 73%, 72%, 44%, 90%, 72%, and 0.37+/-0.13, respectively, whereas those of MCE were 91%, 92%, 77%, 97%, 92%, and 0.77+/-0.1, respectively (p<0.05 for all comparisons). Significant CAD was present in 11 patients (23%). Left anterior descending coronary artery was involved in 8 patients, left circumflex artery in 2 patients, and right coronary artery in 4 patients. Concerning the left anterior descending artery disease detection, SPECT had a sensitivity of 75%, a specificity of 79%, a positive predictive value of 43%, a negative predictive value of 94%, and a diagnostic accuracy of 79%. The respective values of MCE were 100% for all of the above variables. MCE with adenosine has a higher global diagnostic accuracy compared to SPECT for the detection of CAD in patients with LBBB, mainly due to the poor specificity of SPECT concerning perfusion defects detection in the left anterior descending artery territory.
    International journal of cardiology 10/2006; 112(3):334-40. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown beneficial effects of functional electrical stimulation (FES) on muscle performance and exercise capacity of patients with chronic heart failure. This study evaluates the impact of FES on endothelial function and peripheral markers of immune activation in patients with moderate to severe heart failure. Twenty-four patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 40% and New York Heart Association class II-III symptoms, undergoing optimized drug therapy, were randomly assigned (2 : 1) to a 6-week training programme of FES (n=16) or served as controls (n=8). Endothelial function was assessed by Doppler flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery before and after the training programme. Peripheral pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory markers such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)-1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1 and IL-10 were also measured before and after training. A significant improvement on the 6-min walk test (7.5+/-3.3%), Minnesota Living Score (18.2+/-8.6%) and FMD (38.5+/-15.1%) was observed only in the FES-treated group. FES also causes a significant reduction of TNF-alpha (-11.5+/-8.9%), sICAM-1 (-13.1+/-9.8%), and sVCAM-1 (-10.6+/-6.6%), as well as a respective increase in the ratio IL-10/TNF-alpha (37.1+/-29.4%). In the FES group, the percentage improvement in the Minnesota Living Score was significantly correlated with respective changes in circulating TNF-alpha (r=0.624, P<0.01), sVCAM-1 (r=0.665, P<0.001) and the ratio IL-10/TNF-alpha (r=-0.641, P<0.01). FES is an exercise training programme that improves endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure, and also has anti-inflammatory effects.
    European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 08/2006; 13(4):592-7. · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased QT dispersion (QTD) has been correlated with ventricular arrhythmias. Recent reports suggest that it may serve as a marker of the severity of underlying coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of this study was to examine in-hospital changes of QTD and their possible correlation with the severity of underlying CAD in patients with first non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. In 62 patients we estimated QTD, precordial QTD, as well as their values corrected for heart rate on Days 3 and 7 after admission. The severity of underlying ischemic burden was estimated by means of the number of diseased vessels as well as by the jeopardy score. On Day 3, patients with jeopardy score > or = 6 exhibited greater QTD, corrected QTD, precordial QTD, and corrected precordial QTD (p = 0.001, p = 0.003, p = 0.02, p = 0.036, respectively); patients with multivessel disease had greater QTD (p = 0.007). On Day 7, patients with jeopardy score > or = 6 and multivessel disease exhibited greater QTD, corrected QTD, precordial QTD, and corrected precordial QTD (p < 0.001 for all). Multiple regression analysis revealed a jeopardy score of > or = 6 as the most significant independent predictor for QTD variables. From Days 3 to 7, only patients with none or one diseased vessel orjeopardy score < 6 had shortened QTD (p = 0.01 and p = 0.015, respectively) and corrected QTD (p < 0.001 for both). In patients with first non-Q-wave myocardial infarction, QTD variables and their in-hospital changes reflect the severity of underlying CAD.
    Clinical Cardiology 04/2003; 26(4):189-95. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Increased QT dispersion (QTD) has been correlated with ventricular arrhythmias. Recent reports suggest that it may serve as a marker of the severity of underlying coronary artery disease (CAD).Hypothesis: The aim of this study was to examine in-hospital changes of QTD and their possible correlation with the severity of underlying CAD in patients with first non-Q-wave myocardial infarction.Methods: In 62 patients we estimated QTD, precordial QTD, as well as their values corrected for heart rate on Days 3 and 7 after admission. The severity of underlying ischemic burden was estimated by means of the number of diseased vessels as well as by the jeopardy score.Results: On Day 3, patients with jeopardy score ≥ 6 exhibited greater QTD, corrected QTD, precordial QTD, and corrected precordial QTD (p = 0.001, p = 0.003, p = 0.02, p = 0.036, respectively); patients with multivessel disease had greater QTD (p = 0.007). On Day 7, patients with jeopardy score ≥6 and multivessel disease exhibited greater QTD, corrected QTD, precordial QTD, and corrected precordial QTD (p < 0.001 for all). Multiple regression analysis revealed a jeopardy score of ≥ 6 as the most significant independent predictor for QTD variables. From Days 3 to 7, only patients with none or one diseased vessel or jeopardy score < 6 had shortened QTD (p = 0.01 and p = 0.015, respectively) and corrected QTD (p < 0.001 for both).Conclusions: In patients with first non-Q-wave myocardial infarction, QTD variables and their in-hospital changes reflect the severity of underlying CAD.
    Clinical Cardiology 03/2003; 26(4):189 - 195. · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • Cardiology 02/2002; 98(3):165-6. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Following thrombolysis and primary percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, basal flow in the culprit artery is known to influence prognosis. The purpose of this study was to determine if differences exist in basal flow in culprit and nonculprit coronary arteries in patients with acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction who were treated with thrombolysis or primary PTCA with stent implantation. Twenty patients were randomized to thrombolysis (with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) and 24 to primary PTCA with stent implantation within 3 hours of onset of acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. Coronary angiography was performed 90-120 minutes after thrombolysis or immediately after PTCA with stent implantation and again at 18-36 hours after intervention in both groups. Patients who failed to achieve thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) grade 2 or 3 flow were excluded. The corrected TIMI frame count was used as the index of basal coronary artery flow. Early after intervention the mean corrected TIMI frame count in the culprit coronary artery was significantly lower in the primary PTCA with stent group (27.4 +/- 7.7 frames) than in the thrombolysis group (39.8 +/- 10 frames, p < 0.001). Eight thrombolysis patients (40%) and 20 primary PTCA patients (83%, p < 0.01) achieved TIMI grade 3 flow early after intervention. By 18-36 hours after intervention there were no significant differences in the mean correct TIMI frame count between the thrombolysis and primary PTCA with stent groups. There were no significant differences in the mean corrected TIMI frame count between these two groups in the nonculprit coronary artery, either early after intervention or at 18-36 hours. In successfully reperfused coronary arteries following acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, primary angioplasty with stent implantation reestablished TIMI grade 2 or 3 flow faster and more effectively than thrombolysis did.
    Angiology 04/2001; 52(3):161-6. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A 42-year-old man presented with effort angina pectoris of 20 minutes' duration. Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, severe myocardial bridging involving the midleft anterior descending coronary artery, and apical hypokinesis were identified. Regional wall motion normalized following the initiation of beta blockade.
    Angiology 06/1999; 50(5):409-15. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fifteen hypertensive patients (13 men) with left ventricular hypertrophy, mean age 69 6 5 years, having complete heart block and paced in the DDD mode, were studied by two-dimensional and Doppler echo in 100 and 200 ms atrioventricular delays. ANF plasma levels were measured at rest and at peak exercise, during pacing with the two different atrioventricular delays. ANF plasma levels were significantly higher at pacing with long atrioventricular delays (200 ms), at rest (152.47 6 12.38 pg/mL vs 119 6 12.38 pg/mL, P, 0.001) and at exercise (180.93 6 11.51 vs 123.67 6 16.24 pg/mL, P, 0.0001). ANF plasma levels were significantly increased at exercise, compared to those at rest during pacing with the two different atrioventricular delays, but we found a more pronounced increase of ANF levels (from 152.47 6 10.49 pg/mL to 180.93 6 11.51 pg/mL), when the atrioventricular delays was set to 200 ms (P, 0.0001). A significant decrease of isovolumic relaxation time (from 123.33 6 20.5 to 105.33 6 11.06 ms, P, 0.001) was observed, during pacing with the short atrioventricular delays. Moreover, the peak early (E) to peak atrial (A) velocity ratio (E/A) was declined (from 0.89 6 0.7 to 0.57 6 0.18, P, 0.05). We also noticed that patients with small left ventricles exhibit greater increase in ANF plasma levels during DDD pacing with long atrioventricular delays (r 5 20.792, P 5 0.000). In conclusion, left ventricular diastolic function of our patients seems to be improved during DDD pacing with short (100 ms) atrioventricular delays, as it was expressed by echocardiographic and hormonal measurements.
    Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 05/1999; 22(4 Pt 1):635-42. · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the case of a 44-year-old man, with a history of recurrent syncopal episodes and effort angina, the latter attributed to cardiac syndrome-X, who was admitted to our department because of a syncopal episode. During his hospitalization laboratory investigations including haematologic and blood chemical findings, head C/T scan, electroencephalogram, 48-hour Holter monitoring, electrophysiologic testing and echocardiographic study disclosed no abnormalities. On the contrary, a passive upright tilt testing was found to be positive, resulting, approximately, in a 10-seconds time interval of asystole accompanied by syncope. The association in the same patient of cardiac syndrome-X and neurocardiogenic syncope, although never described before, might be explained by a similar pathophysiological mechanism, which is a sympathovagal imbalance.
    Acta cardiologica 05/1999; 54(2):89-91. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the case of a 57-year old man who was admitted to our department because of worsening dyspnea - orthopnea and whose aortic valve had been replaced 31 years previously, with a Starr-Edwards caged-ball prosthesis. His symptoms' deterioration was due to a recent myocardial infarction which in combination with the chronic mitral regurgitation of rheumatic origin led to heart failure. As assessed by echocardiography the mechanical prosthesis did not show signs of significant dysfunction and except for mild regurgitation, it had a good performance. Despite some valve related complications, such as the recurrent thromboembolic events that our patient had, his Starr Edwards aortic prosthesis demonstrated an excellent long term durability and reliability.
    The Journal of cardiovascular surgery 11/1998; 39(5):659-62. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    Postgraduate Medical Journal 11/1998; 74(876):637-8. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Left atrial (LA) adaptation during the development of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is not fully understood. We performed echocardiographic assessment of LA volumes simultaneously with recordings of pulmonary wedge pressures in 60 patients. Twenty patients had no structural or functional LV abnormalities, 20 had a recent myocardial infarction with LV dysfunction, and 20 suffered from congestive heart failure (CHF). Pressure-volume loops were obtained at baseline and during increases in LA pressure produced by normal saline infusion. LA afterload was estimated by the effective LV elastance (E(LV)). Atrioventricular coupling was calculated by the E(LV)/E(es) ratio (where E(es) is the end-systolic elastance). E(es) increased in patients with myocardial infarction (0.80 +/- 0.09 mm Hg/ml, p <0.001), whereas it decreased in patients with CHF (0.22 +/- 0.05 mm Hg/ml, p <0.001) compared with controls (0.61 +/- 0.07 mm Hg/ml). Similarly, stroke workload increased in patients with myocardial infarction (60.7 +/- 7.3 mm Hg x ml, p <0.001), whereas it decreased in patients with CHF (25.4 +/- 2.2 mm Hg x ml, p <0.001) compared with controls (44.8 +/- 5.5 mm Hg x ml). In all patients LA stiffness (slope of the relation of the filling portion of the pressure-volume loop) was increased compared with controls (controls: 0.13 +/- 0.04, patients with myocardial infarction: 0.22 +/- 0.05, and patients with CHF: 0.27 +/- 0.05 mm Hg/ml, p <0.001 for both comparisons). Moreover, the E(LV)/E(es) ratio increased gradually as LV function deteriorated (controls: 1.06 +/- 0.10, patients with myocardial infarction: 1.35 +/- 0.16, and patients with CHF: 6.90 +/- 0.84, p <0.001). Thus, early in heart failure, LA pump function is augmented but LA stiffness increases and work mismatch occurs. With further progression of LV dysfunction, LA pump function decreases as a result of increased afterload imposed on the LA myocardium.
    The American Journal of Cardiology 06/1998; 81(9):1138-43. · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several previous studies have shown that endothelin-1 (ET 1) plasma levels are raised in cases of endothelial abnormality and microvascular dysfunction. Syndrome-X constitutes an important clinical entity characterized by angina-like pain and normal coronary arteries which is believed to reflect microvascular dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of ET 1 in the pathophysiology of the above syndrome. For that purpose the plasma ET 1 concentrations, measured by radioimmunoassay, between 28 X-syndrome patients (group A) and 10 age-matched normal control subjects (group B) at rest and at the peak of the exercise testing were compared. We specify that all individuals of group A were referred to our Department for effort angina and were found to have normal coronary arteriograms, negative ergonovine and hyperventilation test and positive exercise test. Our results showed that while at rest ET 1 plasma concentrations did not differ significantly between the two groups, at the peak of the exercise test its levels were found to be significantly higher in syndrome-X patients as compared with those of normal subjects (p< 0.001). In addition, in healthy control subjects ET 1 levels decreased during exercise as compared with the baseline values and that difference was found to be statistically significant (p approximately 0.01). The above finding suggests opposite kinetics during exercise of ET 1 between the two groups studied, which could explain effort angina onset in patients with syndrome-X.
    Acta cardiologica 01/1998; 53(1):3-6. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Investigations of the left atrial (LA) distensibility have revealed that it plays a major role in atrial function; however, LA distensibility has not as yet been studied in congestive heart failure (CHF). The study was undertaken to determine the effects of acute administration of esmolol, isosorbide dinitrate, dobutamine, and normal saline infusion on LA dimension, pressure, and distensibility. The study included 23 patients with CHF (18 with ischemic heart disease and 5 with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy). Left atrial diameters (D) and pressures (P) were recorded at rest and thereafter during acute tests. P and D data during the ascending limb of the V loop were fitted to the exponential function P = b.ead, where a is the passive elastic chamber stiffness constant and b is the elastic constant. The instantaneous diastolic LA distensibility (IDLAD) was calculated as 1/(dP/dD) = 1/a.P. The constant, a, increased significantly after normal saline and esmolol infusion (p < 0.001), while it significantly decreased after isosorbide dinitrate (p < 0.001) and dobutamine administration (p < 0.05) compared with baseline. Instantaneous diastolic LA distensibility (in mm/Hg) was 0.16 at baseline; it significantly increased after isosorbide dinitrate (0.32) and dobutamine (0.24) administration, while it significantly decreased after normal saline (0.11) and esmolol (0.12) infusion (p < 0.001 for all). In CHF, LA distensibility may acutely increase with vasodilators or inotropics or may decrease with beta blockade or volume loading.
    Clinical Cardiology 01/1998; 21(1):28-32. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Left ventricular diastolic function was studied by Doppler echocardiography in 35 patients with non-Q-wave myocardial infarction, on the third and tenth day of hospitalization and six weeks after hospitalization and was correlated with electrocardiogram, serum enzyme values, and angiographic data. Normal diastolic function on the first echocardiographic study predicted (p = 0.0001) the existence of no or single-vessel disease, and excluded (p = 0.005) the presence of 3-vessel or left main disease, whereas an abnormal study on either the second or third echocardiographic discriminated (p = 0.0001), with higher sensitivity (80.97%, 92.31%, respectively), patients with 3-vessel or left main vessel disease.
    The American Journal of Cardiology 12/1997; 80(10):1356-9. · 3.21 Impact Factor