Carlo Ratti

Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (35)85.74 Total impact

  • Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 07/2014; 15(7):441.
  • Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 04/2013; 14(4):293-4.
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    ABSTRACT: In a prior publication, we demonstrated that a model integrating clinical and simple imaging data predicted the presence and severity of coronary artery calcification in prevalent hemodialysis patients. Herein we report the ability of the same model to predict all-cause death. We assessed all-cause mortality in 141 consecutive maintenance hemodialysis patients from two dialysis centers followed for a median of 79 months from enrollment. Patients were risk stratified according to a simple cardiovascular calcification index (CCI) that included patient's age, dialysis vintage, calcification of the cardiac valves, and abdominal aorta. The mean patients' age was 55 ± 14 years. Abdominal aorta calcification was present in 57% of the patients, and 44% and 38% had aortic and mitral valve calcification, respectively. During follow-up, 75 deaths (93 deaths per 1000 person-years) were recorded. The CCI was linearly associated with risk of death, such that the unadjusted hazard risk (HR) increased by 12% for each point increase in CCI (P < 0.001). Further adjustments for age, sex, study center, diabetes mellitus, history of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, left ventricular hypertrophy, systolic, and diastolic blood pressure did not substantially change the strength of this association (HR 1.10; 95%CI: 1.00-1.21; P = 0.03). The CCI is a simple clinical model that can be used to risk stratify maintenance hemodialysis patients.
    Hemodialysis International 05/2012; · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Congenital heart diseases are abnormalities in the heart's structure that are present at birth. Some are known to be associated with genetic disorders. They affect 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. They range from simple defects with no symptoms to complex defects. They are divided in two types: cyanotic and not cyanotic.
    Recenti progressi in medicina 05/2012; 103(5):213-7.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the prevalence of congenital heart disease in a suburban hospital. In fifteen months we visited 270 infants and we diagnosed 59 congenital heart disease (21.9% of examined population). Diagnosis of congenital heart disease in 63.8% occurred after the first month of life; 36.2% during the first month. In this group we found ethnic difference in rates of congenital heart disease.
    Recenti progressi in medicina 12/2011; 102(12):479-81.
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular and valvular calcifications are a common finding in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We investigated the hypothesis that calcification of the cardiac valves is a marker of coronary artery calcification (CAC) and thoracic aorta calcification (AoC) in hemodialysis (CKD-5) patients. This was a cross-sectional study of 145 maintenance CKD stage 5 (CKD-5) patients. All patients underwent electron beam tomography for quantification of CAC and AoC score via the Agatston score. The presence of calcification of the cardiac valves was assessed by standard bi-dimensional echocardiography. Eighty-four of the study patients (58%) had echocardiographic evidence of valvular calcification. A significant and graded association between valvular calcification and CAC as well as AoC was detected. Patients with 1 or 2 calcified valves had a significantly greater likelihood of having a CAC score >1,000 (odds ratio [OR] = 5.94; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.91-18.44; p=0.002; and OR=3.27; 95%CI, 1.36-7.88; p=0.007, respectively). Similarly, the presence of 1 or 2 calcified valves was associated with an eightfold and threefold increased probability of an AoC score greater than the third quartile, respectively. This cross-sectional analysis shows that calcification of the cardiac valves is closely associated with vascular calcification, an established marker of risk in prevalent hemodialysis patients.
    Journal of nephrology 06/2011; 25(2):211-8. · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Calcification of the mitral and aortic valves is common in dialysis patients (CKD-5D). However, the prognostic significance of valvular calcification (VC) in CKD is not well established. 144 adult CKD-5D patients underwent bidimensional echocardiography for qualitative assessment of VC and cardiac computed tomography (CT) for quantification of coronary artery calcium (CAC) and VC. The patients were followed for a median of 5.6 years for mortality from all causes. Overall, 38.2% of patients had mitral VC and 44.4% had aortic VC on echocardiography. Patients with VC were older and less likely to be African American; all other characteristics were similar between groups. The mortality rate of patients with calcification of either valve was higher than for patients without VC. After adjustment for age, gender, race, diabetes mellitus, and history of atherosclerotic disease, only mitral VC remained independently associated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03 to 2.91). Patients with calcification of both valves had a two-fold increased risk of death during follow-up compared with patients without VC (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.14 to 4.08). A combined CT score of VC and CAC was strongly associated with all-cause mortality during follow-up (HR for highest versus lowest tertile, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.08 to 4.54). VC is associated with a significantly increased risk for all-cause mortality in CKD-5D patients. These findings support the use of echocardiography for risk stratification in CKD-5D as recently suggested in the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes guidelines.
    Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 06/2011; 6(8):1990-5. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased arterial stiffness is a marker of vasculopathy in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, suggesting a significant cardiovascular damage. Detection of arterial stiffness provides physicians with useful prognostic information independent of traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. In addition, this knowledge may help guide appropriate therapeutic choices and monitor the effectiveness of antihypertensive therapies. We review the relationship between arterial stiffness and CKD, as well as the prognostic implications of increased arterial stiffness and the potential therapeutic strategies to ameliorate arterial compliance and outcome in CKD.
    International journal of nephrology. 01/2011; 2011:734832.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the case of a patient with persistent atrial fibrillation who subsequently developed an acute myocardial infarction. We discuss the hypothetical reasons that can explain the correlation between the two events: coronary embolism, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction.
    Recenti progressi in medicina 03/2010; 101(3):112-4.
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    ABSTRACT: A 56-year-old male with a history of untreated pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect diagnosed during childhood was referred to our institution for congestive heart failure. We describe the MR imaging findings that documented the presence of multiple aorto-pulmonary collaterals arising from the abdominal aorta and from the internal mammary artery supplying both pulmonary arteries. This is the oldest known surviving case documented in medical literature.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 05/2009; 10(7):570-1. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased aortic stiffness, as measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (Aix), and vascular calcification have been associated with an unfavourable cardiovascular outcome in hemodialysis patients. However, the majority of data have been published in white patients and epidemiological data are discordant on the fate of patients of different races. In this cross sectional study we measured PWV and Aix by applanation tonometry and coronary artery and thoracic aorta calcium score (CAC and AoC) by electron beam tomography (EBT) in 81 Blacks and 61 Whites on maintenance hemodialysis. Vascular stiffness measurements and EBT scans were performed within a week of each other. There was no difference between races in age, systolic blood pressure or gender distribution. Blacks had a more frequent history of hypertension (100% versus 89%; P=0.002), lower prevalence of dyslipidemia (30% versus 66%; P<0.001), higher PTH levels (geometric mean 607 pg/ml versus 245 pg/ml; P=0.039), received calcium based phosphate binders less frequently (37% versus 60%, P=0.007) and calcium antagonists more frequently than Whites (54% versus 28%; P=0.003). Nonetheless, the unadjusted and risk adjusted PWV and Aix, as well as CAC and AoC were not statistically different between races. In this dialysis cohort there was no difference in markers of vasculopathy between black and white patients despite differences in baseline clinical characteristics. Epidemiological data from the general population indicate that Blacks have lower calcium scores and stiffer vessels than Whites. Some studies in the renal populations suggest a better and others a similar survival of Blacks and Whites on hemodialysis. Our findings raise the important question of the prognostic significance of markers of vasculopathy in patients of different races and with different risk profiles.
    Atherosclerosis 04/2008; 197(1):242-9. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the burden of coronary calcifications in a subgroup of post-menopausal women with metabolic syndrome (MS) in agreement with the National Cholesterol Educational Program-Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (NCEP-ATP III) definition. We studied 81 women (43 control subjects and 38 women with MS) in agreement with the NCEP-ATP III definition undergoing multislice computed tomography for evaluation of coronary calcifications. The patients were similar for Framingham risk score. The severity and extent of coronary artery calcifications were higher in individuals with MS (10.8 +/- 15.8 vs 3.02 +/- 5.6; p = 0.006). In all patients total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins and triglycerides were correlated with calcium score (p < 0.05) while high-density lipoproteins were inversely correlated with coronary calcifications. In women with MS total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were correlated with calcium score. Women with MS have a higher burden of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. The correlation between MS and calcium score concerned more the presence rather than the severity of coronary calcifications. Moreover, no correlation was observed among single components of MS in agreement with the NCEP-ATP III definition.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 09/2007; 8(9):574-9.
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the value of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the non-invasive evaluation of stents. We studied 88 patients (142 stents): 48 with 1.2-mm MDCT, 40 with 0.6-mm MDCT considering accuracy in assessing the vessel lumen, stent patency and intra-stent restenosis. Coronary angiography comprised the gold standard. Occlusion was detected, respectively, in three of 72 versus four of 70 cases. Patency was assessed in all cases. In-stent restenosis was diagnosed in two of eight cases with thin-slice MDCT. 0.6-mm MDCT allows a better visualization of stent lumen and in-stent restenosis versus 1.2-mm MDCT.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 07/2007; 8(6):438-44. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification is associated with an adverse prognosis in end-stage renal disease. It can be accurately quantitated with computed tomography but simple in-office techniques may provide equally useful information. Accordingly we compared the results obtained with simple non-invasive techniques with those obtained using electron beam tomography (EBT) for coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS) in 140 prevalent hemodialysis patients. All patients underwent EBT imaging, a lateral X-ray of the lumbar abdominal aorta, an echocardiogram, and measurement of pulse pressure (PP). Calcification of the abdominal aorta was semiquantitatively estimated with a score (Xr-score) of 0-24 divided into tertiles, echocardiograms were graded as 0-2 for absence or presence of calcification of the mitral and aortic valve and PP was divided in quartiles. The CACS was elevated (mean 910+/-1657, median 220). The sensitivity and specificity for CACS > or = 100 was 53 and 70%, for calcification of either valve and 67 and 91%, respectively, for Xr-score > or = 7. The area under the curve for CACS > or = 100 associated with valve calcification and Xr-score was 0.62 and 0.78, respectively. The likelihood ratio (95% confidence interval) of CACS > or = 100 was 1.79 (1.09, 2.96) for calcification of either valve and 7.50 (2.89, 19.5) for participants with an Xr-score > or = 7. In contrast, no association was present between PP and CACS. In conclusion, simple measures of cardiovascular calcification showed a very good correlation with more sophisticated measurements obtained with EBT. These methodologies may prove very useful for in-office imaging to guide further therapeutic choices in hemodialysis patients.
    Kidney International 12/2006; 70(9):1623-8. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The correlation between coronary calcifications and subclinical atherosclerotic disease has been well known for some years now. Today we are able to quantify coronary calcium deposits, the calcium score, by means of new imaging techniques such as electron beam computed tomography and multislice spiral computed tomography. A large number of studies performed using these methods has confirmed the association between coronary calcifications and atherosclerotic disease and has opened up the possibility of early diagnosis of any subclinical atherosclerotic disease in various subpopulations such as diabetics and nephropatics. The etiopathogenesis of coronary calcium has not yet been made clear; it appears to be an active process similar to bone formation that involves cells similar to those involved in the reabsorption of bone matrix. The calcium score, therefore, provides physicians with a further diagnostic tool able to better determine cardiovascular risk patients and supplements the Framingham risk score. International guidelines have not yet illustrated with any precision in which ambits to apply screening for the quantification of coronary calcium and consequently, for the time being, the use of such methods must be restricted to cases in which the possibility of any benefit can be scientifically shown. This review represents the state of the art on coronary calcification and its role in clinical practice.
    Minerva cardioangiologica 11/2006; 54(5):591-601. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whether coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening in pretransplant patients may help predict silent myocardial ischemia is unknown. Accordingly, we performed CAC imaging on 46 nondiabetic patients awaiting kidneytransplant. All patients underwent multidetector computed tomography imaging for CAC quantification, and a vasodilator myocardial perfusion stress (MPS) test was performed only in patients with a total CAC score>300 or>100 in a single coronary artery. The mean patient's age was 46+/-14 years and the median dialysis vintage was 33 months (interquartile range 19-53). The median CAC score was 82 (interquartile range 0-700) and correlated with patients' age (p=0.006) and dialysis vintage (p=0.02). Nineteen patients qualified for MPS, but 5 refused the test. Of the remaining 14 patients, 7 patients had normal scans and 7 showed a minimal perfusion defect in the inferoposterior segment of the left ventricle. At the time of writing, 12 patients have undergone successful kidney transplantation without untoward complications. CAC screening does not appear to be associated with silent ischemia in pretransplant patients. Though CAC is extensive in dialysis patients, calcium may be associated with nonobstructive atherosclerotic lesions or calcification of the media layer of the vessel wall.
    Journal of nephrology 01/2006; 19(4):473-80. · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease is the most frequent cause of death and disability in diabetes, and the morbidity and mortality for coronary artery disease (CAD) in this population is two to four times higher than in nondiabetic subjects. Traditional risk factors do not fully explain the level of cardiovascular risk, and coronary disease events are often silent in diabetic patients. Thus, research has recently focused on improving the risk assessment of an individual patient with new tools in an effort to better identify subjects at highest risk and in need of aggressive management. Cardiovascular imaging has proven very helpful in this regard. Traditional methods to assess CAD are based on detection of obstructive luminal disease responsible for myocardial ischemia. However, acute coronary syndromes often occur in the absence of luminal stenoses. Hence, the utilization of imaging methodologies to visualize atherosclerosis in its presymptomatic stages has received mounting attention in recent years. In this article, we review the current literature on the utility of traditional imaging modalities for obstructive CAD (nuclear and echocardiographic stress testing) as well as atherosclerosis plaque imaging with carotid intima-media thickness and coronary artery calcium for risk stratification of diabetic patients.
    Diabetes Care 12/2005; 28(11):2787-94. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of our study was to assess the prevalence and extent of coronary artery atherosclerosis in asymptomatic patients with vascular erectile dysfunction (ED). An association between ED and ischemic heart disease has been suggested, but it is unknown if it represents a marker of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. We studied 70 consecutive patients with vascular ED, evaluated by penile Doppler, and 73 control subjects with no history of coronary artery disease. We measured traditional coronary risk factors, circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), endothelial function by ultrasound of brachial artery, and coronary artery calcification by multi-slice computed tomography. The patients and the control group were similar for age, race, and coronary risk score. Patients with ED had significantly higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels (2.62 vs. 1.03 mg/l, p < 0.001). Flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery was more impaired in patients with ED than in controls (2.36 vs. 3.92, p < 0.001). Coronary artery calcification was more frequent in individuals with ED than in control subjects (p = 0.01). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that patients with ED had an overall odds ratio of 3.68 for having calcium score above the 75th percentile, compared to the controls. Coronary atherosclerosis is more severe in patients with vascular ED; ED predicts the presence and extent of subclinical atherosclerosis independent of traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Thus, ED may be considered an additional, early warning sign of coronary atherosclerosis.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 11/2005; 46(8):1503-6. · 14.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery calcifications seem to be correlated with a high risk of coronary heart disease. Computed tomography has been shown to be capable of providing accurate, non-invasive measurements of coronary artery calcifications. Coronary calcium is a recognized marker of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic burden of coronary arteries correlates strongly with the amount of coronary artery calcifications measured by computed tomography. The presence and extent of breast arterial calcifications detected at mammography has been associated with diabetes and hypertension and it seems to be correlated with the extent of coronary atherosclerosis. This review analyzes the relationship between coronary artery calcifications, breast arterial calcifications and the increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular events.
    Italian heart journal. Supplement: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 10/2005; 6(9):569-74.
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    ABSTRACT: The authors report a very unusual case of non-invasive diagnosis of acute ischemic bowel disease detected as hepatic portal venous gas during intra-aortic balloon percutaneous counterpulsation. A 64-year-old man with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock was treated with percutaneous angioplasty and intra-aortic balloon percutaneous counterpulsation. The post-procedural period was complicated by severe abdominal pain. Abdominal computed tomography revealed hepatic portal venous gas. Multiple kidney and splenic ischemic areas were also identified. Colonoscopy showed signs referring to acute ischemic colitis. Computed tomography detection of hepatic portal venous gas has permitted the non-invasive diagnosis of bowel necrosis.
    Italian heart journal: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 08/2005; 6(7):610-1.