Rosangela Cocchia

Second University of Naples, Caserta, Campania, Italy

Are you Rosangela Cocchia?

Claim your profile

Publications (19)64.59 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT BACKGROUND. Although transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is an excellent non-invasive screening test for pulmonary hypertension, the physiologic range of echo-Doppler derived pulmonary pressures remains not completely investigated. The aim of the present study was therefore to explore the full spectrum of pulmonary pressures and RV functional indexes by TTE in healthy subjects and to investigate clinical and echocardiographic correlates. METHODS. A random sample of 1480 healthy individuals (mean age 36.1 ± 15.5 years, range 20-80 - 905 males) underwent a comprehensive TTE. Pulmonary artery systolic (PASP) and mean pressure, and pulmonary vascular resistance were estimated by standard echo-Doppler formulas. In addition, RV diastolic (Doppler transtricuspid inflow measurements) and systolic indices (RV fractional area change, RV tissue Doppler (TD) peak systolic velocity, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion) were calculated. RESULTS. PASP and mean pulmonary artery pressure values were significantly higher in subjects > 50 years old and in those with a body mass index > 30 Kg/m2. In particular, a PASP > 40 mmHg was found in 118 subjects (8 %) of those > 50 years old and in 103 (7 %) of those with a BMI > 30 Kg/m2. No differences by age were registered in RV systolic indexes and in pulmonary vascular resistances. On multivariate analysis, in the overall study population, age, body mass index (BMI), mitral E/e' ratio and left ventricular stroke volume were the only independent predictors of PASP. CONCLUSIONS. This study delineates an estimate of pulmonary hemodynamics in a wide age range cohort of healthy subjects. Pulmonary pressures increased with age and BMI as expected.
    Chest 12/2013; · 5.85 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Left atrial (LA) size is related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The relative role of multiple determinants of LA morphology in healthy subjects remains incompletely defined. The aim of this study is to define normal ranges for LA diameters and volume index (LAVi), and to investigate clinical and echocardiographic correlates. A total of 1480 healthy individuals (mean age 36.1 ± 15.5 years, range 20-80; 61% males) underwent a comprehensive transthoracic echocardiography exam including assessment of LAVi calculated using the biplane area-length method at the apical four-chamber and two-chamber views at ventricular end systole (maximum LA size) and indexed for body surface area (BSA). Mean LAVi in the overall population was 29.5 ± 10.8 mL/m(2) (range: 26.1-41.8 mL/m(2) ). Distinct higher values were found in subjects ≥50 years as compared with those <50 years of age (33.4 ± 12.5 vs. 29.1 ± 13.5; P < 0.001). On univariate analysis, LA volume was significantly associated with age (r = 0.48, P < 0.0001), male gender (r = 0.28, P < 0.05), BSA (r = 0.51, P < 0.0001), mitral E/E' (r = 0.47, P < 0.0001), LV end-diastolic volume (r = 0.52, P < 0.0001), and LV mass index (r = 0.31, P < 0.05). Multivariable analysis identified age, BSA, LV end-diastolic volume, and mitral E/E' ratio as the only independent determinants of LA volume (model R(2) = 0.54, P < 0.0001). Gender was an independent predictor of most absolute LA volume, but following normalization to BSA, some associations became nonsignificant. In healthy individuals LAVi vary significantly by age, BSA, diastolic function, and LV dimensions, with lesser effects of gender.
    Echocardiography 04/2013; · 1.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Our objective was to explore the right ventricular (RV) dimensions and function and the effect of long-term intensive training in a large population of top level athletes using real-time three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography. METHODS: A total of 430 top-level athletes (220 endurance-trained athletes [ETAs] and 210 strength-trained athletes; 265 men [61.6%]; mean age 27.4 ± 10.1 years, range 18-40) and 250 healthy controls underwent a transthoracic echocardiographic examination. Three-dimensional RV measurements included serial short-axis reconstructions of the RV volumetric data sets, and the RV endocardial contour was traced with cross-reference to the long-axis images for identification of the tricuspid annulus. The end-diastolic and end-systolic RV volumes and ejection fraction were calculated off-line using the method of the summation of discs. RESULTS: The strength-trained athletes had a greater heart rate, body surface area, and systolic blood pressure at rest than the ETAs and controls. All RV diameters and 3D volumes and all transmitral and transtricuspid Doppler indexes were greater in the ETAs. Also, the left ventricular stroke volume, cardiac index, and pulmonary artery systolic pressure were greater in the ETAs, and all two-dimensional and 3D RV systolic indexes were comparable. On univariate analysis, the 3D RV end-diastolic volume was significantly associated with advanced age, male gender, duration of training, endurance training, increased left ventricular stroke volume, and pulmonary artery systolic pressure. On multivariate analysis, in the overall study population, the type and duration of training (P < .01), pulmonary artery systolic pressure (P < .01), and left ventricular stroke volume (P < .001) were the only independent predictors of RV end-diastolic volume. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study have delineated the upper limits of the RV dimensions in highly trained athletes as measured by real-time 3D echocardiography. The RV end-diastolic volume was significantly greater in the ETA than in the strength-trained athletes and controls.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 08/2012; · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IntroductionHeart Failure (HF) is a common syndrome with multiple causes. Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR), using the available range of technique, is establishing itself as the gold standard non invasive test for determining the underlying aetiology, adding prognostic value, guiding therapy. Progress is continuing and rapid with promising new techniques such as diffuse fibrosis assessment.Objectives This paper discusses the diverse roles of CMR in HF.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Echography. 06/2012; 22(2):60–73.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although cardiac adaptation to different sports has been extensively described, the potential relationship of training with aortic root (AR) elastic properties and diameters in top-level athletes remains not fully investigated. The aims of this study were to compare AR morphology and stiffness between highly trained athletes and sedentary subjects and to assess the independent determinants of AR stiffness and distensibility in athletes. Four hundred ten elite athletes (220 endurance-trained athletes [ATE] and 190 strength-trained athletes [ATS]; 290 men; mean age, 28.3 ± 13.6 years; age range, 18-40 years) and 240 healthy controls underwent standardized comprehensive transthoracic echocardiography, including Doppler studies. End-diastolic AR diameters were measured at four locations: the aortic annulus, the sinuses of Valsalva, the sinotubular junction, and the maximal diameter of the proximal ascending aorta. The aortic distensibility index was calculated as 2 × (systolic proximal ascending aortic diameter - diastolic proximal ascending aortic diameter)/(diastolic proximal ascending aortic diameter) × (pulse pressure) (cm(-2)·dyn(-1)·10(-6)). AR stiffness index was defined as (systolic blood pressure/diastolic blood pressure)/(systolic proximal ascending aortic diameter - diastolic proximal ascending aortic diameter)/diastolic proximal ascending aortic diameter. Analysis of variance was performed to evaluate differences among groups. Left ventricular (LV) mass index did not significantly differ between the two groups of athletes but was lower in controls. ATS showed higher body surface area, sum of wall thickness (septum plus LV posterior wall), and circumferential end-systolic stress, while LV stroke volume and LV end-diastolic volume were greater in ATE. AR diameters at all levels and AR stiffness were significantly greater in ATS than in ATE and controls, while AR distensibility was significantly higher in ATE. However, AR dilatation was observed only in four male power athletes (1%). By multivariate analyses, in the overall population of athletes, age, LV stroke volume, endurance training, and duration of training were the only independent determinant of higher AR distensibility. On the other hand, age, circumferential end-systolic stress, strength training, and duration of training were independently associated with AR stiffness in ATS. AR diameters and stiffness were significantly greater in strength-trained athletes, while aortic distensibility was higher in endurance athletes compared with age- and sex-matched healthy controls.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 01/2012; 25(5):561-7. · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heart failure is a common syndrome with multiple causes. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), using the available range of technique, is establishing itself as the gold standard noninvasive test for determining the underlying causes, and adding prognostic value, guiding therapy. Progress is continuing and rapid with promising new techniques such as diffuse fibrosis assessment. This article discusses the diverse roles of CMR in heart failure.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 01/2012; 13(1):24-31. · 2.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To test whether two-dimensional longitudinal strain (2DSE) performed after revascularization by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) could predict left ventricular (LV) remodeling in patients with recent non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). In 70 patients (62.7 ± 8.7 years) with recent NSTEMI (between 72 hours and 14 days), undergoing coronary angiography for recurrent angina, myocardial deformation parameters were measured by 2DSE before and 24 hours after reperfusion therapy. Strain in all LV segments was averaged to obtain a global value (Global longitudinal Strain--GLS). Infarct size was estimated by clinical parameters and cardiac markers. After 6 months from intervention, LV negative remodeling was defined as lack of improvement of LV function, with increase in LV end-diastolic volume of greater than or equal than 15%. At follow-up, patients were subdivided into remodeled (n=32) and non-remodeled (n = 38) groups. Patients with negative LV remodeling had significantly lower baseline LV ejection fraction (44.8±6.9 vs. 48.7 ± 5.5 %; p < 0.05), higher peak troponin I (p < 0.001) and reduced GLS (- 10.6±6.1 vs - 17.6 ± 6.7 % p < 0.001) than those without LV remodeling. GLS showed a close correlation with peak troponin I after PCI (r = 0.64, P < 0.0001) and LV WMSI (r = 0.42, p < 0.01). By multivariable analysis, diabetes mellitus (P < 0.005), peak of Troponin I after PCI (P < 0.0005), GLS at baseline (OR: 4.3; p < 0.0001), and lack of improvement of GLS soon after PCI (OR: 1.45, P < 0.01) were powerful independent predictors of negative LV remodelling at follow-up. In particular, a GLS ≤ 12 % showed a sensitivity and a specificity respectively of 84.8% and 87.8% to predict negative LV remodelling at follow-up. in patients with recent NSTEMI, longitudinal LV global and regional speckle-tracking strain measurements are powerful independent predictors of LV remodeling after reperfusion therapy.
    International journal of cardiology 12/2011; 153(2):185-91. · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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; · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the physiologic range of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) has been reported, data on how it is manifested in athletes are limited. The aim of the present study was to explore the full spectrum of PASP and the long-term training impact in a large population of highly trained athletes. Six hundred fifteen consecutive athletes (370 endurance-trained athletes [ATEs] vs 245 strength-trained athletes [ATSs]; 28.4 ± 10.1 years old) and 230 healthy control subjects (27.5 ± 11.3 years old) underwent transthoracic echocardiography. PASP was estimated by measuring maximal tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRV) with the modified Bernoulli equation. The ratio of TRV to right ventricular outflow tract time-velocity integral (TRV/RVOTTVI) was obtained as a correlate of pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). Left ventricular (LV) mass index and ejection fraction did not differ significantly between the two groups of athletes. Conversely, ATSs showed an increased sum of wall thickness and relative wall thickness, whereas LV end-diastolic diameter, LV stroke volume, peak TRV, and PASP were significantly higher in ATEs. The ratio between transmitral E wave and tissue Doppler e' wave was not different among the three groups. The ratio TRV/RVOTTVI was ≤ 0.2 (ie, normal PVR) in all subjects. A TRV value > 2.5 m/s was observed in 76 athletes (12.3%). By multivariable analysis, age (P < .01), type and duration of training (P < .01), and LV stroke volume (P < .001) were the only independent predictors of PASP in athletes. This study delineates the full range of resting TRV and derived PASP in highly trained athletes. The upper physiologic limit of PASP in endurance athletes may reach 40 mm Hg, in line with the greater increase in stroke volume. This should be considered a "physiologic phenomenon" when evaluating athletes for sports eligibility.
    Chest 04/2011; 139(4):788-94. · 5.85 Impact Factor
  • Journal of The American College of Cardiology - J AMER COLL CARDIOL. 01/2011; 57(14).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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. · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To analyse right ventricular (RV) myocardial deformation in patients with left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy secondary to either hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or athlete's competitive endurance training. Standard Doppler echo, exercise stress echo, and 2D speckle-tracking strain echocardiography (2DSE) of RV longitudinal deformation in RV septal and lateral walls were performed in 50 top-level endurance athletes and in 35 patients with HCM, all men, having evidence of LV hypertrophy. Right ventricular global longitudinal strain (GLS) was calculated by averaging local strains along the entire right ventricle. The two groups were comparable for age and blood pressure, whereas athletes showed lower heart rate and increased body surface area than HCM. Interventricular septal thickness was higher in HCM, whereas both LV and RV end-diastolic diameters (LVEDD and RVEDD) and LV stroke volume were increased in athletes. Right ventricular tricuspid annulus systolic excursion was comparable between the two groups. Conversely, RV GLS and regional peaks of RV myocardial strain were significantly impaired in patients with HCM (all P < 0.001). Multiple linear regression models detected an independent association between RV GLS and LVEDD (beta-coefficient = -0.68, P < 0.0001) in athletes, as well as an independent correlation of the same RV GLS with septal thickness (beta = 0.63, P < 0.0001) in HCM. An RV GLS cut-off value of -0.16% differentiated athletes and HCM with an 86% sensitivity and a 92% specificity. Furthermore, in the overall population, RV GLS (beta = 0.51, P < 0.0001) was a powerful independent predictor of maximal workload during exercise stress echo. Right ventricular myocardial systolic deformation is positively influenced by preload increase in athletes and negatively associated with increased septal thickness in HCM. Therefore, 2DSE may represent a useful tool in the differential diagnosis between athlete's heart and HCM, underlining the different involvement of RV myocardial function in either physiological or pathological LV hypertrophy.
    European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging 07/2010; 11(6):492-500. · 2.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increase of left atrial (LA) diameter in trained athletes has been regarded as another component of the "athlete's heart". To evaluate the possible impact of competitive training on LA volume and to define reference values of LA volume index in athletes. Six hundred fifteen consecutive elite athletes (370 endurance- [ATE] vs 245 strength-trained athletes [ATS]; 385 men; 28.4 +/- 10.2 years, range 18-40 years) underwent a comprehensive transthoracic echocardiography exam. LA maximal volume was measured at the point of mitral valve opening using the biplane area-length method, and corrected for body surface area. LA mild dilatation was defined as a LA volume index between 29 and 33 mL/m(2), while a moderate dilatation was identified by a LA volume index > or =34 mL/m(2). Left ventricular (LV) mass index and ejection fraction did not significantly differ between the 2 groups. Conversely, ATS showed increased body surface area, sum of wall thickness (septum + LV posterior wall), LV circumferential end-systolic stress (ESSc) and relative wall thickness, whereas LA volume index, LV stroke volume and LV end-diastolic volume were greater in ATE. The range of LA volume index was 26 to 36 mL/m(2) (mean 28.2 +/- 9.2) in men and 22 to 33 mL/m(2) (mean 26.5 +/- 7.2) in women (P < .01). LA volume index was mildly enlarged in 150 athletes (24.3%) and moderately enlarged only in 20, all males (3.2%). Mild mitral regurgitation was observed in 64 athletes (10.3%). LA volume index was significantly greater in ATE (P < .01). By multivariate analysis, the overall population type (P < .01) and duration (P < .01) of training and LV end-diastolic volume (P < .001) were the only independent predictors of LA volume index. In a large population of highly trained athletes, a mild enlargement of LA volume index was relatively common and may be regarded as a physiologic adaptation to exercise conditioning.
    American heart journal 06/2010; 159(6):1155-61. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although cardiac adaptation to different sports has been extensively described, the potential effect of top-level training on the aortic root dimension remains not investigated fully. To explore the full range of aortic root diameters in athletes, 615 elite athletes (370 endurance-trained athletes and 245 strength-trained athletes; 410 men; mean age 28.4 +/- 10.2 years, range 18 to 40) underwent transthoracic echocardiography. The end-diastolic aortic diameters were measured at 4 locations: (1) the aortic annulus, (2) the sinuses of Valsalva, (3) the sinotubular junction, and (4) the maximum diameter of the proximal ascending aorta. Ascending aorta dilation at the sinuses of Valsalva was defined as a diameter greater than the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the overall distribution. The left ventricular (LV) mass index and ejection fraction did not significantly differ between the 2 groups. However, the strength-trained athletes had an increased body surface area, sum of wall thickness (septum plus LV posterior wall), LV circumferential end-systolic stress, and relative wall thickness. In contrast, the left atrial volume index, LV stroke volume, and LV end-diastolic diameter were greater in the endurance-trained athletes. The aortic root diameter at all levels was significantly greater in the strength-trained athletes (p <0.05 for all comparisons). However, ascending aorta dilation was observed in only 6 male power athletes (1%). Mild aortic regurgitation was observed in 21 athletes (3.4%). On multivariate analyses, in the overall population of athletes, the body surface area (p <0.0001), type (p <0.001) and duration (p <0.01) of training, and LV circumferential end-systolic stress (p <0.01) were the only independent predictors of the aortic root diameter at all levels. In conclusion, the aortic root diameter was significantly greater in elite strength-trained athletes than in age- and gender-matched endurance athletes. However, significant ascending aorta dilation and aortic regurgitation proved to be uncommon.
    The American journal of cardiology 06/2010; 105(11):1629-34. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate right atrial (RA) morphology and deformation in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). A total of 130 patients with either idiopathic (n = 70) or ischaemic (n = 60) DCM, and 60 controls underwent clinical examination, standard echocardiography, and RA two-dimensional strain echocardiography (2DSE). Six months after implantation of a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device, the DCM patients were re-evaluated, if their left ventricular (LV) end-systolic volume had decreased by at least 15% they were defined as echocardiographic responders. All DCM patients were in NYHA class III before CRT, with a mean LV ejection fraction of 29.2 +/- 5.5%. After CRT, 94 patients were in NYHA functional class I-II. The patients were subdivided into echocardiographic responders (n = 85) and non-responders (n = 45). Both RA area index (19.7 +/- 5.5 cm(2)/m in non-responders vs. 13.2 +/- 4.4 cm(2)/m in responders; P < 0.001) and RA strain of lateral wall (24.3 +/- 10.2% in non-responders vs. 40.2 +/- 8.9% in responders; P < 0.001) were significantly different between the two groups. A RA area index >or=16 cm(2)/m showed a sensitivity and specificity of 87.1 and 95.4%, respectively (P < 0.0001) to predict a negative response to CRT. By multivariable analysis, increased RA area index (P < 0.001), ischaemic aetiology of DCM (P < 0.01), and less severe radial intraventricular dyssynchrony were independent determinants of an unfavourable response to CRT. Right atrial area index was increased and RA myocardial deformation was impaired in patients with DCM who were non-responders to CRT.
    European Journal of Heart Failure 12/2009; 11(12):1169-77. · 5.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), right ventricular (RV) dysfunction has been reported and attributed both to altered loading conditions and to RV involvement in the myopathic process. The aim of the study was to detect RV myocardial function in DCM using two-dimensional (2D) strain echocardiography and to assess the effects of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) on RV myocardial strain during a 6-month follow-up. A total of 110 patients (mean age: 55.4 +/- 11.2 years) with either idiopathic (n = 60) or ischemic (n = 50) DCM, without overt clinical signs of RV failure, underwent standard echo and 2D strain analysis of RV longitudinal strain in RV septal and lateral walls. The two groups were comparable for clinical variables (New York Heart Association class III in 81.8%). Left ventricular volumes, ejection fraction, stroke volume, and mitral valve effective regurgitant orifice were similar between the two groups. No significant differences were evidenced in Doppler mitral and tricuspid inflow measurements. RV diameters were mildly increased in patients with idiopathic DCM, while RV tricuspid annulus systolic excursion and Tei-index were comparable between the two groups. RV global longitudinal strain and regional peak myocardial strain were significantly impaired in patients with idiopathic DCM compared with those having ischemic DCM (all P < 0.001). Using left ventricular end-systolic volume as marker for response to CRT, 70 patients (63.3%) were long-term responders. Ischemic DCM patient responders to CRT showed a significant improvement in RV peak systolic strain. Conversely, in patients with idiopathic DCM and in ischemic patients nonresponders to CRT, no improvement in RV function was evidenced. By multivariable analysis, in the overall population, ischemic etiology of DCM (P < 0.0001), positive response to CRT (P < 0.001), and longitudinal intraventricular dyssynchrony (P <0.01) emerged as the only independent determinants of RV global longitudinal strain after CRT. Two-dimensional strain represents a promising noninvasive technique to assess RV myocardial function in patients with DCM. RV myocardial deformation at baseline and after CRT are more impaired in idiopathic compared with ischemic DCM patients. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to understand the natural history of RV myocardial function, the extent of reversibility of RV dysfunction with CRT, and the possible prognostic impact of such indexes in patients with congestive heart failure.
    Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 08/2009; 32(8):1017-29. · 1.75 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether quantification of the extent of scarred left ventricular (LV) tissue by speckle-tracking strain echo (2DSE) can predict response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Forty-five patients (58.3 +/- 8.3 years; 24 males) with ischaemic DCM scheduled for CRT, and 25 controls were studied. A week before implantation all the patients underwent standard Doppler echo, 2DSE, and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR). Clinical and echocardiographic evaluation was repeated 6 months after CRT. The patients were considered as responders to CRT if LV end-systolic volume decreased by 15%. In DCM patients, LV ejection fraction was 29.2 +/- 5.1%. By evaluating the 765 segments with MR, subendocardial infarct was identified in 17.0% and transmural infarct in 18.3%. With 2DSE, the average global longitudinal strain (GLS) was -23.1 +/- 3.6% in controls and -15.1 +/- 5.1% in DCM (P = 0.001). GLS showed a close correlation with total scar burden using MR (r = 0.64, P < 0.001). At follow-up, patients were subdivided into responders (n = 30; 66.7%) and non-responders (n = 15; 33.3%) to CRT. GLS was significantly different in non-responders than in responders (GLS: -10.4 +/- 5.1 in non-responders vs. -18.4 +/- 14% in responders, P < 0.001). In a multivariable analysis, GLS (P < 0.0001) and radial intraventricular dyssynchrony (P < 0.001) were powerful independent determinants of response to CRT. GLS is strongly associated with total scar burden assessed by MR, and is an excellent independent predictor of response to CRT.
    European Journal of Heart Failure 01/2009; 11(1):58-67. · 5.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several reports suggest that noninvasive measurements of coronary flow reserve (CFR) by use of echocardiography may support decision making in intermediate stenosis of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). The aim of the present study was therefore to analyze the clinical outcome in patients with intermediate stenosis of LAD after deferral of coronary revascularization on the basis of noninvasive CFR measurement. the study population included 280 patients with intermediate LAD stenosis (50-70% by angiography) (62.2 +/- 9.6 years). All the patients underwent transthoracic CFR assessment of LAD (after dipyridamole infusion) within 2 weeks from coronary angiography. If CFR of LAD was < or = 2, PTCA was recommended; if CFR was > 2, medical treatment was chosen. Primary end points were cardiac death, myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization procedure, and unstable angina. mean follow-up was 43 +/- 11 months (range 12-52 months). In 150 patients (53.6%) (CFR < or = 2), coronary artery revascularization was performed (PTCA group); the remaining 130 patients (46.4%) (CFR > 2) were medically treated (medical group). Survival from cardiac death was 94% in the PTCA group and 92.4% in the medical group (P = 0.56). As for all cardiac events, the Kaplan-Meier percentage survival from cardiac events was 88.3% in the PTCA group and 86.4% in the medical group (P = 0.36). even if CFR as a "stand-alone" diagnostic criterion suffers from several structural limitations, a combined strategy including also other clinical and instrumental measurements before undergoing interventional procedures could improve the cost-benefit practice, in particular, for the management of patients with intermediate LAD stenosis.
    Echocardiography 12/2008; 26(4):431-40. · 1.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ischemic cardiovascular diseases represent the most common cause of mortality and morbidity in the western world, and atherothrombosis occupies a central role in their pathophysiology. Venous thrombi, which form under low shear conditions, are predominantly composed of fibrin and red cells, while arterial thrombi form under high shear conditions and are composed primarily of platelet aggregates held together by fibrin strands. Several successful strategies targeting specific steps in coagulation and platelet function or interaction have been developed to prevent or treat atherothrombotic disorders. Intense research is currently underway in an effort to develop more safe and effective compounds, such that novel antithrombotics are emerging to target specific steps in the coagulation cascade, as well as in pathways of platelet adhesion, activation and aggregation. This review will focus on the recent advances in research in this fast-evolving field.
    Current opinion in investigational drugs (London, England: 2000) 04/2005; 6(3):298-306. · 3.55 Impact Factor