Riccardo Belli

Ospedale Maria Vittoria, Torino, Piedmont, Italy

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Publications (44)412.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of infective endocarditis (IE) is changing due to a number of factors, including aging and health related comorbidities and medical procedures. The aim of this study is to describe the main clinical, epidemiologic and etiologic changes of IE from a large database in Italy. We prospectively collected episodes of IE in 17 Italian centers from July 2007 to December 2010. We enrolled 677 patients with definite IE, of which 24% health-care associated. Patients were male (73%) with a median age of 62years (IQR: 49-74) and 61% had several comorbidities. One hundred and twenty-eight (19%) patients had prosthetic left side IE, 391 (58%) native left side IE, 94 (14%) device-related IE and 54 (8%) right side IE. A predisposing cardiopathy was present in 50%, while odontoiatric and non odontoiatric procedures were reported in 5% and 21% of patients respectively. Symptoms were usually atypical and precocious. The prevalent etiology was represented by Staphylococcus aureus (27%) followed by coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS, 21%), Streptococcus viridans (15%) and enterococci (14%). CNS and enterococci were relatively more frequent in patients with intravascular devices and prosthesis and S. viridans in left native valve. Diagnosis was made by transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography in 62% and 94% of cases, respectively. The in-hospital mortality was 14% and 1-year mortality was 21%. The epidemiology is changing in Italy, where IE more often affects older patients with comorbidities and intravascular devices, with an acute onset and including a high frequency of enterococci. There were few preceding odontoiatric procedures. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    International journal of cardiology 07/2015; 190. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.04.123
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    ABSTRACT: Refractory recurrent pericarditis is a major clinical challenge after colchicine failure, especially in corticosteroid-dependent patients. Human intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs) have been proposed as possible therapeutic options for these cases. The goal of this systematic review is to assess the efficacy and safety of IVIGs in this context. Studies reporting the use of IVIG for the treatment of recurrent pericarditis and published up to October 2014 were searched in several databases. All references found, upon initial assessment at title and abstract level for suitability, were consequently retrieved as full reports for further appraisal. Among the 18 citations retrieved, 17 reports (4 case series and 13 single case reports, with an overall population of 30 patients) were included. The mean disease duration was 14 months and the mean number of recurrences before IVIG was 3. Approximately 47% of patients had idiopathic recurrent pericarditis, 10% had an infective cause, and the remainder a systemic inflammatory disease. Nineteen out of the 30 patients (63.3%) were on corticosteroids at IVIG commencement. IVIGs were generally administered at a dose of 400-500 mg/kg/day for 5 consecutive days with repeated cycles according to the clinical response. Complications were uncommon (headache in ∼3%) and not life-threatening. After a mean follow-up of approximately 33th months, recurrences occurred in 26.6% of cases after the first IVIG cycle, and 22 of the 30 patients (73.3%) were recurrence-free. Five patients (16.6%) were on corticosteroids at the end of the follow-up. IVIGs are rapidly acting, well tolerated, and efficacious steroid-sparing agents in refractory pericarditis.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 06/2015; DOI:10.2459/JCM.0000000000000260
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    ABSTRACT: Data on the incidence of new onset atrial fibrillation and flutter (AF/f) in patients with acute pericarditis are limited. We sought to determine the incidence and prognostic significance of AF/f in this setting. Between January 2006 and June 2014, consecutive new cases of acute pericarditis were included in two urban referral centres for pericardial diseases. All new cases of AF/f defined as episodes lasting ≥30 s were recorded. Events considered during follow-up consisted of AF/f and pericarditis recurrence, cardiac tamponade, pericardial constriction and death. 822 consecutive new cases of acute pericarditis (mean age 53±15 years, 444 men) were analysed. AF/f was detected in 35 patients (4.3%, mean age 66.5±11.3 years, 18 men). Patients with AF/f were significantly older (p=0.017) and presented more frequently with pericardial effusion (p<0.001). Arrhythmias developed within 24 h of pericarditis onset in 91.4% of cases, lasted >24 h in 25.7% and spontaneously converted in 74.3% of patients. Underlying structural heart disease was present in 17% of AF/f cases. In a 30-month follow-up, patients with history of AF/f at the initial episode had a higher rate of arrhythmia occurrence (34.3% vs 0.9%, p<0.001), mostly (75%) within 3 months. No other differences were detected in additional clinical events including haemorrhagic complications in patients receiving oral anticoagulation. The occurrence of AF/f in acute pericarditis identifies a predisposed population to AF/f with a high recurrence risk (about 35%): in these patients, pericarditis may act as an arrhythmic trigger and oral anticoagulation should be seriously considered according to guidelines. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
    Heart (British Cardiac Society) 04/2015; DOI:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307398
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 03/2015; 65(10):A298. DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(15)60298-4
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    ABSTRACT: The management of patients with residual right-to-left shunt (rRLS) after percutaneous patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure is debated. The aim of this study was to define the incidence of moderate-to-large rRLS and to report the feasibility, safety and long-term clinical outcome of transcatheter closure of rRLS. From June 2000 to March 2013, 322 subjects underwent percutaneous PFO closure. In 39 patients (12.1%) with moderate-to-large rRLS on transcranial Doppler (TCD) and/or transesophageal echocardiogram a second cardiac catheterization was performed with the aim of completing the closure. A second closure device was implanted in 21 patients (53.8%). In the remaining 18 (46.2%), a second device was not delivered for the following reasons: in 13 (72.2%) no residual passage could be crossed, in 5 (27.8%) the residual shunt was deemed to be negligible. No complications occurred. After the second procedure, complete closure was proved by TCD in 16/21 (76.2%) subjects. One patient received a third device. During follow-up (41 ± 19 months), no cerebrovascular ischemic accidents occurred. A second percutaneous PFO occlusion device can be safely implanted in patients with significant rRLS. However, a moderate-to-large rRLS on TCD and/or TEE may not necessarily represent a significant risk of further paradoxical embolization. © 2014, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Interventional Cardiology 11/2014; DOI:10.1111/joic.12162
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    ABSTRACT: Postpericardiotomy syndrome, postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF), and postoperative effusions may be responsible for increased morbidity and health care costs after cardiac surgery. Postoperative use of colchicine prevented these complications in a single trial.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 08/2014; 312(10). DOI:10.1001/jama.2014.11026
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    ABSTRACT: AimsThe purpose of this study was to investigate and summarize available evidence on the efficacy and safety of colchicine for pericarditis prevention. Disease recurrence is the major and most common complication of pericarditis and its prevention may reduce morbidity and management costs. Colchicine has been intensively studied in the last decade for pericarditis prevention.Methods Controlled clinical studies were searched in several databases and were included provided they focused on the pharmacologic primary or secondary prevention of pericarditis. We performed a meta-analysis including studies of primary outcome, adverse events and drug withdrawal.ResultsFrom the initial sample of 175 citations, seven controlled clinical trials were finally included (1275 patients): five studies were double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCT), and two studies were open-label RCTs. Trials followed patients for a mean of 19 months. Meta-analytic pooling showed that colchicine use was associated with a reduced risk of pericarditis during follow-up [odds ratio (OR) 0.33 (0.25-0.44), P for effect <0.001, P for heterogeneity 0.98, I-2=0%] either for primary or secondary prevention without a significant higher risk of adverse events [OR 1.28 (0.84-1.93), P for effect=0.25, P for heterogeneity=0.72, I-2=0%], and drug withdrawals compared with placebo [OR 1.54 (0.98-2.41), P for effect=0.06, P for heterogeneity=0.54, I-2=0%]. Gastrointestinal intolerance is the most frequent side-effect (mean incidence 8%), but no severe adverse events were recorded.Conclusion Colchicine is well tolerated and efficacious for the primary and secondary prevention of pericarditis without a significant increase of the risk of side-effects and drug withdrawals.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 07/2014; 15(12). DOI:10.2459/JCM.0000000000000103
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    ABSTRACT: Aim There is still controversy regarding the benefit of percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) among patients with cryptogenic stroke. Here we aimed to evaluate the factors associated with treatment choice and predictors of adverse events in patients with cryptogenic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) and PFO. Methods Of 418 consecutive patients with PFO and cryptogenic stroke or TIA, 262 underwent percutaneous PFO closure, whereas 156 were medically treated. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed to evaluate factors influencing the treatment strategy and predictors of outcome, a composite of stroke, TIA or all-cause mortality. Results Patients with large interatrial right-to-left shunt were more likely treated with percutaneous closure [odds ratio (OR) = 4.79, 95% confidence interval (2.73-8.42); P<0.0001], whereas those with multiple cerebrovascular accident (CVA) risk factors were more likely treated medically [OR=0.15 (0.03-0.60); P=0.023]. Age greater than 55 years [OR=2.70 (1.05-6.88); P=0.04], previous CVAs [OR=2.49 (1.03-6.02); P=0.02] and atrial septal aneurism [ASA, OR=2.64 (1.09-6.39); P=0.02], but not percutaneous closure of PFO [OR=1.10 (0.44-2.74); P=0.81], were independent predictors of outcome. Conclusion Among patients with cryptogenic stroke and PFO, the presence of large interatrial right-to-left shunt and multiple CVA risk factors influenced the treatment choice. Older age, multiple previous CVAs and ASA, but not PFO closure, independently predicted the composite outcome of cryptogenic stroke, TIA or all-cause mortality.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 06/2014; 15(10). DOI:10.2459/JCM.0000000000000138
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Limited data are available on prognostic indicators for HIV patients presenting with ACS. Methods and results: Data on consecutive patients with HIV infection receiving standard highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) presenting with ACS between January 2001 and September 2012 were collected. Cardiac death and myocardial infarction (MI) were the primary end-points. 10,050 patients with ACS were screened, and among them a total of 201 patients (179 [89%] males and a median age of 53 [47-62] years) were included, 48% of them admitted for ST-elevation myocardial infarction and 14% having left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) at discharge. CD4+ counts less than 200 cells/mm(3) were reported in 18 patients (9%), and 136 patients (67%) were treated with nucleoside-reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI). After a median of 24 months (10-41), 30 patients (15%) died, 12 (6%) for cardiac reasons, 20 (10%) suffered a MI, 29 (15%) a subsequent revascularization, and 7 (3%) a stent thrombosis. Other than LVSD (hazard ratio = 6.4 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6-26: p = 0.009]), the only other independent predictor of cardiac death was not being treated with NRTI (hazard ratio = 9.9 [95% CI: 2.1-46: p = 0.03); a CD4 cell count <200 cells/mm(3) was the only predictor of MI (hazard ratio = 5.9 [95% CI: 1.4-25: p = 0.016]). Conclusions: HIV patients presenting with ACS are at significantly increased risk for cardiac death if not treated with NRTI, and at significantly increased risk of MI if their CD4 cell count is <200 cells/mm(3), suggesting that the stage of HIV disease (and lack of NRTI treatment) may contribute to cardiovascular instability.
    Thrombosis Research 06/2014; 134(3). DOI:10.1016/j.thromres.2014.05.037
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    ABSTRACT: To retrospectively evaluate the impact on daily activities of transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) versus medical therapy in patients with migraine and to analyze the role of the residual shunt after PFO closure. While non-controlled observational studies reported an improvement of migraine after PFO closure, a randomized trial has shown no benefit of such an intervention. The role of residual shunt after PFO closure is also poorly known. Out of 217 patients with migraine and echocardiographic evidence of PFO, 89 were managed with percutaneous PFO closure (Group A) while 128 were medically treated (Group B). All MIDAS questionnaires were obtained at the first evaluation and repeated at least 6 months after the index evaluation or after the PFO closure. All the patients were also asked to give a subjective estimate of their migraine status. A postprocedural transcranial Doppler study was available in 70 patients in Group A. The mean basal MIDAS score did not differ between the two groups (p=0.859). After a mean follow-up (FU) of 1399±982 days the MIDAS score decreased significantly in both groups (Group A baseline vs FU, p<0.001; Group B baseline vs FU, p<0.001), but no differences were observed between groups (p=0.204). However a significantly higher number of Group A patients reported a perceived clinical benefit or the disappearance of migraine compared to Group B (p<0.001). Patients with moderate or severe residual right to left shunt were no more likely to have an higher MIDAS score or to complain of migraine than those with mild or no shunt. Although the overall evolution of migraine is not significantly different, the abolition of migraine occurs in a larger proportion after PFO closure.
    Journal of Cardiology 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jjcc.2014.02.023
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) are widespread procedures in the Italian Healthcare System, but concerns are raised about their economic sustainability. In the last decade, public hospitals have outsourced the PCI services (building and maintaining the technological instruments and the personnel) "buying" them from private companies (Buy) rather than building and maintaining them through public expenditure (Make). The aim of this study was to compare the economic and clinical impact of these two management solutions (Buy and Make) in two community hospitals located in the Turin metropolitan area (Italy). Methods. We conducted: 1) a quantitative assessment in order to compare differences in the economic impact between Buy and Make for providing PCI; 2) a qualitative assessment comparing the clinical characteristics of two inpatient populations undergoing PCI and then analyzing the efficacy of the procedure in-hospital and at 6-month follow-up. Results. Between January and June 2010, a total of 332 patients underwent PCI at the "degli Infermi" Hospital in Rivoli and 340 at the "Maria Vittoria" Hospital in Turin (Italy). There were no significant differences between the two populations neither about the clinical characteristics nor in procedural efficacy (either immediate or at follow-up). For 600 units of diagnostic-therapeutic pathway, the net present value at a discount rate of 3.5% of the Make project is higher than that of the Buy by €278.402,25, and is therefore the less convenient of the two solutions. The Buy solution is still the more convenient of the two at volumes <700 units. Conclusions. Our findings show that the Buy solution, if tailored to the specific local needs, provides access to sophisticated technology without making worse quality of services and may save capital expenditure below 700 PCI/years.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 04/2014; 15(4):233-9. DOI:10.1714/1497.16501
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    ABSTRACT: Colchicine is effective for the treatment of acute pericarditis and first recurrences. However, conclusive data are lacking for the efficacy and safety of colchicine for treatment of multiple recurrences of pericarditis. We did this multicentre, double-blind trial at four general hospitals in northern Italy. Adult patients with multiple recurrences of pericarditis (≥two) were randomly assigned (1:1) to placebo or colchicine (0·5 mg twice daily for 6 months for patients weighing more than 70 kg or 0·5 mg once daily for patients weighing 70 kg or less) in addition to conventional anti-inflammatory treatment with aspirin, ibuprofen, or indometacin. Permuted block randomisation (size four) was done with a central computer-based automated sequence. Patients and all investigators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was recurrent pericarditis in the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00235079. 240 patients were enrolled and 120 were assigned to each group. The proportion of patients who had recurrent pericarditis was 26 (21·6%) of 120 in the colchicine group and 51 (42·5%) of 120 in the placebo group (relative risk 0·49; 95% CI 0·24-0·65; p=0·0009; number needed to treat 5). Adverse effects and discontinuation of study drug occurred in much the same proportions in each group. The most common adverse events were gastrointestinal intolerance (nine patients in the colchicine group vs nine in the placebo group) and hepatotoxicity (three vs one). No serious adverse events were reported. Colchicine added to conventional anti-inflammatory treatment significantly reduced the rate of subsequent recurrences of pericarditis in patients with multiple recurrences. Taken together with results from other randomised controlled trials, these findings suggest that colchicine should be probably regarded as a first-line treatment for either acute or recurrent pericarditis in the absence of contraindications or specific indications. Azienda Sanitaria 3 of Torino (now ASLTO2).
    The Lancet 03/2014; 383(9936). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62709-9
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a cardiac syndrome characterized by reversible left ventricular dysfunction, ischemic changes on electrocardiogram, elevation of cardiac biomarkers, absence of obstructive coronary artery disease in the setting of various stressing conditions. To date, little is known on best clinical management of this syndrome in coronary care units. Whe thus aimed to present our experience in a real life takotsubo population. Methods: We identified all patients with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy at our center Maria Vittoria Hospital, Turin, between October 2006 and February 2012. Patients where considered to have Takotsubo syndrome if they presented chest pain on admission, new elettrocardiographic changes suggestive of myocardial ischemia, evidence of apical balloning with hyperkinesis of basal segments on echocardiography, rise in troponin I and, after coronary angiography, no coronary artery disease. We adjudicated the following clinical events: death and recurrence of ischemic events; we also made a detailed analysis of the stressing conditions leading to clinical syndrome. Results: A total of 26 patients were included, 4 (15%) males and 22 (85%) females; mean age was 71±13. After more than 1 year median follow-up the incidence of death was 7.7% (2 deaths), with all deaths, due to cardiogenic shock, occurring in the first 10 days of hospitalization; 2 patients (8%) experienced recurrence of ischemic event. Leading cause of Takostubo was major depressive episode (16%), followed by mourning (12%), falling down with difficulties in standing up (12%), vomiting (8%) and pulmonary infection (8%). In the coronary care unit major complications of patients with Takotsubo syndrome were acute hearth failure (62%), cardiogenic shock (27%), sepsis (31%), pulmonary aedema (27%) and anemia (12%). Two patients needed non-invasive ventilation support and one intra-aortic balloon conterpulasation. In addition one patient developed rabdomyolysis and one left heart thrombus. Cornerstone drug therapy was as follows: 96% of patients took aspirin, 58% beta blockers, 54% nitroglicerine, 46% intravenous heparin, 27% dopamine. Conclusion: Takotsubo syndrome is an important safety issue occurring predominantly in post-menopausal women undergoing specific stressing condition. Heart failure and cardiogenic shock are the most serious clinical complication and leading cause of death in the short period, good prognosis is seen thereafter.
    Minerva medica 10/2013; 104(5):537-544.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Colchicine is effective for the treatment of recurrent pericarditis. However, conclusive data are lacking regarding the use of colchicine during a first attack of acute pericarditis and in the prevention of recurrent symptoms. Methods In a multicenter, double-blind trial, eligible adults with acute pericarditis were randomly assigned to receive either colchicine (at a dose of 0.5 mg twice daily for 3 months for patients weighing >70 kg or 0.5 mg once daily for patients weighing 70 kg) or placebo in addition to conventional antiinflammatory therapy with aspirin or ibuprofen. The primary study outcome was incessant or recurrent pericarditis. ResultsA total of 240 patients were enrolled, and 120 were randomly assigned to each of the two study groups. The primary outcome occurred in 20 patients (16.7%) in the colchicine group and 45 patients (37.5%) in the placebo group (relative risk reduction in the colchicine group, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.30 to 0.72; number needed to treat, 4; P<0.001). Colchicine reduced the rate of symptom persistence at 72 hours (19.2% vs. 40.0%, P=0.001), the number of recurrences per patient (0.21 vs. 0.52, P=0.001), and the hospitalization rate (5.0% vs. 14.2%, P=0.02). Colchicine also improved the remission rate at 1 week (85.0% vs. 58.3%, P<0.001). Overall adverse effects and rates of study-drug discontinuation were similar in the two study groups. No serious adverse events were observed. Conclusions In patients with acute pericarditis, colchicine, when added to conventional antiinflammatory therapy, significantly reduced the rate of incessant or recurrent pericarditis. (Funded by former Azienda Sanitaria Locale 3 of Turin [now Azienda Sanitaria Locale 2] and Acarpia; ICAP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00128453.)
    New England Journal of Medicine 08/2013; 369(16):130831233005005. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1208536
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence to support the use of pericardial drainage instead of simple pericardiocentesis for nonmalignant pericardial effusions refractory to medical therapy is based on observational studies and experts' opinions, rather than randomized trials. The aim of the present trial is to fill this knowledge gap and to provide a stronger base of evidence to support a specific interventional treatment in this setting. DRainage Or Pericardiocentesis (DROP) alone for recurrent nonmalignant, nonbacterial pericardial effusions requiring intervention is a randomized, open-label and multicenter study. The primary efficacy endpoints are the incidence of recurrent pericardial effusion, and the need for additional pericardiocentesis or cardiac surgery at 12 months. Secondary endpoints are hospital length stay, disease-related admission and overall mortality. Safety and complications rates of each intervention will be also assessed. The DROP trial will be the first multicenter randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pericardiocentesis versus pericardiocentesis and extended pericardial drainage for recurrent nonmalignant, nonbacterial pericardial effusions refractory to medical therapy and requiring interventional treatments (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01665495).
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 07/2013; 15(6). DOI:10.2459/JCM.0b013e3283621d26
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy and safety of colchicine for the primary prevention of the postpericardiotomy syndrome (PPS), postoperative effusions, and postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) remain uncertain. Although preliminary data from a single trial of colchicine given for 1 month postoperatively (COPPS trial) were promising, the results have not been confirmed in a large, multicenter trial. Moreover, in the COPPS trial, colchicine was given 3 days postoperatively. The COPPS-2 study is a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. Forty-eight to 72 hours before planned cardiac surgery, 360 patients, 180 in each treatment arm, will be randomized to receive placebo or colchicine without a loading dose (0.5 mg twice a day for 1 month in patients weighing ≥70 kg and 0.5 mg once for patients weighing <70 kg or intolerant to the highest dose). The primary efficacy end point is the incidence of PPS, postoperative effusions, and POAF at 3 months after surgery. Secondary end points are the incidence of cardiac tamponade or need for pericardiocentesis or thoracentesis, PPS recurrence, disease-related admissions, stroke, and overall mortality. The COPPS-2 trial will evaluate the use of colchicine for the primary prevention of PPS, postoperative effusions, and POAF, potentially providing stronger evidence to support the use of preoperative colchicine without a loading dose to prevent several postoperative complications. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01552187.
    American heart journal 07/2013; 166(1):13-19.e1. DOI:10.1016/j.ahj.2013.03.025
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The natural history of myopericarditis/perimyocarditis is poorly known and recently published data have presented contrasting data on their outcomes. The aim of the present article is to assess their prognosis in a multicenter, prospective cohort study. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 486 patients (median age 39 years, range 18-83, 300 men) with acute pericarditis or a myopericardial inflammatory syndrome (myopericarditis/perimyocarditis) (85% idiopathic, 11% connective tissue disease or inflammatory bowel disease, 5% infective) were prospectively evaluated from January 2007 to December 2011. The diagnosis of acute pericarditis was based on the presence of 2 of 4 clinical criteria (chest pain, pericardial rubs, widespread ST-segment elevation or PR depression, and new or worsening pericardial effusion). Myopericardial inflammatory involvement was suspected with atipycal ECG changes for pericarditis, arrhythmias, cardiac troponin elevation and/or new or worsening ventricular dysfunction on echocardiography, and confirmed by cardiac magnetic resonance. After a median follow-up of 36 months normalization of LV function was achieved in >90% of patients with myopericarditis/perimyocarditis. No deaths were recorded, as well as evolution to heart failure or symptomatic LV dysfunction. Recurrences (mainly as recurrent pericarditis) were the most common complication during follow-up and were more frequently recorded in patients with acute pericarditis (32%) than myopericarditis (11%) or perimyocarditis (12%; p<0.001). Troponin elevation was not associated with an increase of complications. CONCLUSIONS: The outcome of myopericardial inflammatory syndromes is good. Unlike acute coronary syndromes, troponin elevation is not a negative prognostic marker in this setting.
    Circulation 05/2013; 128(1). DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001531
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The choice of the imaging modality (transthoracic [TTE] vs. transesophageal echocardiography [TEE]) for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis (IE) depends on different variables. Aim of the present study is to provide updated data on the diagnostic sensitivity and the clinical usefulness of TTE vs. TEE from the Italian Registry on IE (RIEI). METHODS: The RIEI has enrolled consecutive cases of IE in every participating centre, evaluating diagnostic and therapeutic data from a real world practice perspective. RESULTS: From July 2007 to October 2010, 658 consecutive cases with definite IE according to Duke criteria have been enrolled in the RIEI (483 males). The following diagnostic echocardiographic exams were performed: 616 TTE (94%) and 476 TEE (72%). A positive TTE was recorded in 399 cases (65%), an uncertain TTE in 108 cases (17%), and a negative TTE in 109 cases (18%). For TEE, a positive study was reported in 451 cases (95%), uncertain in 13 cases (2.7%), and negative in 12 cases (2.5%) (P < 0.001). This difference is not evident in patients with tricuspid valve IE or i.v. drug addiction, and in Streptococcus bovis or Streptococcus viridans IE. TTE was significantly more performed before the admission and earlier than TEE during admission (P = 0.000). TTE was mainly responsible for the initial diagnosis in 59%. TEE contributed to changing the therapeutic approach in 42%. CONCLUSIONS: In the real world, TTE is performed earlier and more commonly, and it is the major echocardiographic tool for the initial diagnosis. TEE confirms its superior diagnostic sensitivity in most cases, although it is relatively underused.
    Echocardiography 03/2013; 30(8). DOI:10.1111/echo.12173
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    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 03/2013; 61(10). DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(13)61279-6
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    ABSTRACT: We appreciate your interest in the COPPS postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) substudy.1 Your letter has 2 main queries: The time of colchicine administration, and the possible beneficial effects of concomitant use of �-blockers as a potential confounding factor in the trial results.
    Circulation 06/2012; 125(25):1054. DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.098491