Alessandro Palermo

Università degli studi di Palermo, Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Are you Alessandro Palermo?

Claim your profile

Publications (29)77.27 Total impact

  • Emilio Nardi, Alessandro Palermo, Giuseppe Mulè
    Hypertension Research 05/2012; 35(8):800-1. · 2.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Electrocardiography (ECG) has low sensitivity for detecting left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), while echocardiography cannot be routinely performed.Design/methods: In this study we evaluate the prevalence of LVH and diastolic dysfunction in hypertensive patients with normal ECG. We excluded patients with cardiovascular (CV) diseases, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or presenting ECG-LVH or other ECG anomalies. The enrolled 440 hypertensive patients underwent echocardiographic examination (Acuson Sequoia 512); LV mass was indexed by body surface area (LVMI) and LVH was defined as LVMI >125 g/m(2) in men and >110 g/m(2) in women. Diastolic function was evaluated by mitral inflow and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI).Results: The prevalence of LVH was 8.18% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.97-11.1%). Multiple regression analysis showed that the only variable independently associated with LVH was duration of hypertension (p < 0.001). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve showed that duration of hypertension was a powerful predictor of LVH, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.878 and p < 0.0001. Further, in patients with LVH the mean difference of LVMI from the cut-off value for LVH was 12.3 ± 9.19 g/m(2). Diastolic dysfunction, defined as early diastolic myocardial velocity (Em) <0.08 m/s, was detected only in 3.2% of patients.Conclusions: The prevalence of LVH among hypertensive patients with normal ECG, free of diabetes and of CV diseases is low; moreover, patients with echocardiographic LVH presented LVMI values that identified mild LVH. Few cases of impaired diastolic function were registered.We suggest that in hypertensive patients with such characteristics the echocardiographic examination should be reserved to those who present with higher duration of hypertension.
    European journal of preventive cardiology. 05/2012;
  • Journal of Hypertension 03/2011; 29(3):621-2; author reply 622. · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Hypertension 10/2010; 23(10):1050. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular diseases are highly prevalent in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and represent the major hazard for mortality in this population. Anomalies of left ventricular (LV) structure and function are very frequent too among CKD patients, and show a negative impact on cardiovascular prognosis. We searched PubMed for manuscripts regarding left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in CKD. Definition of LVH was different according to different studies. In patients with end-stage renal disease, the prevalence of LVH is higher than 70%. Studies in patients with less advanced CKD have reported increasing prevalence of LVH along with declining renal function. However, there is relatively wide heterogeneity in the prevalence of LVH in different studies, according to the characteristics of the population studied, the method chosen to estimate glomerular filtration rate and the definition of LVH. Hypertension, alterations of fluid and electrolyte balance and anemia are identified as the major determinants of LVH in CKD. However, beyond hemodynamic factors, other factors, such as an inappropriate activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, oxidative stress, inflammation and collagen and muscle cell growth factors may have a relevant role. LV diastolic dysfunction is also very frequent among CKD patients and is associated with risk of heart failure and with mortality; impairment of diastolic function in patients with CKD may occur very early, even in the absence of LVH. Early detection of LVH and LV dysfunction in CKD could yield an improvement in the adverse cardiovascular outcomes of CKD patients.
    Journal of nephrology 05/2010; 24(1):1-10. · 2.02 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of our study was to assess the independent relationships of urinary albumin excretion rate (AER), of creatinine clearance (CrCl) and of their interaction with aortic stiffness in hypertensive patients without overt renal insufficiency. We studied 222 untreated nondiabetic essential hypertensives. In patients with reliable 24-h urine collections, AER and CrCl were determined. Microalbuminuria (MAU) was defined as an AER of 20 to 200 µg/min. Aortic stiffness was assessed by measurement of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (c-f PWV). C-f PWV was higher in subjects with MAU than in those without it (p<0.001, even after adjustment for age, sex and mean arterial pressure) and in subjects with CrCl below 90 ml/min/1.73 m(2) when compared to those with greater values of CrCl (p=0.04 after correction for age, sex and mean arterial pressure). There was a significant interaction of MAU and reduced CrCl regarding c-f PWV (p=0.04). In multiple regression analysis, AER and CrCl remained independently associated with aortic stiffness (β=0.22; p<0.001 and β=-0.13; p=0.02, respectively). In essential hypertensive patients microalbuminuria and mildly reduced CrCl are related independently of each other with increased c-f PWV and exert a synergistic unfavourable effect on aortic stiffness.
    International journal of cardiology 03/2010; 145(2):372-5. · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between LV mass and mild-to-moderate renal dysfunction in a group of non-diabetic hypertensives, free of CV diseases, participating in the Renal Dysfunction in Hypertension (REDHY) study. Patients with diabetes, a body mass index (BMI) of more than 35 kg/m(2), secondary hypertension, CV diseases and a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of less than 30 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) were excluded. The final sample included 455 patients, who underwent echocardiographic examination and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. There was a significant trend for a stepwise increase in LV mass, indexed by both body surface area (LVMI) and height elevated to 2.7 (LVMH(2.7)), with the declining renal function, that remained statistically significant after correction for potential confounders. The prevalence of LVH, defined either as LVMI of 125 g/m(2) or more or as LVMH(2.7) of 51 g/m(2.7) or more, was higher in subjects with lower values of GFR than in those with normal renal function (P < 0.001 in both cases). The multiple regression analysis confirmed that the inverse association between GFR and LVM was independent of confounding factors. The present study confirms the high prevalence of LVH in patients with mild or moderate renal dysfunction. In the patients studied (all with a GFR of 30 mL/min per 1.73 m(2)), the association between LVM and GFR was independent of potential confounders, including 24 h blood pressure load. Taking into account the negative prognostic impact of LVH, further studies focusing on a deeper comprehension of the mechanisms underlying the development of LVH in chronic kidney disease patients are needed.
    Nephrology 03/2010; 15(2):203-10. · 1.69 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In end-stage renal disease, fetuin-A has been demonstrated to be reduced and inversely related to cardiovascular mortality. This study had 2 distinct aims. The first was to verify if circulating concentration of fetuin-A may depend on renal function in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Furthermore, we analyzed the correlation of fetuin-A with the biomarker of endothelial dysfunction endothelin-1 (ET-1), and with the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). In 108 subjects with stage 3-5 CKD, plasma levels of fetuin-A, ET-1 and IL-6 were assayed. Patients were studied first as a whole group and then were divided according to stages of CKD and fetuin-A tertiles. Fetuin-A concentration decreased in parallel with the increase in ET-1 and IL-6 levels as renal function declined. Multiple regression analysis showed that fetuin-A was independently associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (beta=0.386; p<0.001), IL-6 (beta=-0.393; p=0.001) and ET-1 (beta=-0.219; p=0.02), in a multivariate model including also sex, parathyroid hormone and the calcium x phosphorus product. These results seem to indicate that in CKD, even when not severe, inflammatory processes are increased and linked to endothelial dysfunction, worsening progressively with the decline of renal function.
    Journal of nephrology 01/2010; 23(1):62-9. · 2.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our findings seem to suggest that in essential hypertensive patients, plasma aldosterone may contribute to increase LV mass independently of its impact on systemic BP. This was particularly true in the group of subjects with the MetS, where the association between PAC and LV mass, regardless of the method used for indexation, remained statistically significant even after multivariate adjustment. Therefore, the elevated levels of aldosterone may help to explain the increased LV mass observed in the subjects with the MetS and, in this way, may contribute to enhance the cardiovascular risk associated with the MetS. Our results may suggest that, in addition to lifestyle interventions designed to reduce body weight, treatment with aldosterone antagonists may have potential beneficial effects in the hypertensive subjects with the MetS. Additional studies are needed to verify this hypothesis.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It has not been fully elucidated whether microalbuminuria (MAU) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) are associated with aortic distensibility independently of each other. Our study was aimed to evaluate the independent relationships of urinary albumin excretion rate (AER) and hsCRP with aortic stiffness in hypertensive patients. We enrolled 140 untreated nondiabetic essential hypertensives (mean age: 48 +/- 12 years). In all subjects, 24-hour AER and plasma levels of hsCRP were determined by immunoenzymatic assay. MAU was defined as an AER of 20-200 microg/min. Aortic stiffness was assessed by measurement of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Carotid-femoral PWV, adjusted for age and mean arterial pressure (MAP), was higher in subjects with MAU (n = 41) than in those without it (n = 99) (11.6 +/- 2.3 vs. 9.9 +/- 1.8 m/s; P < 0.001) and in subjects with hsCRP above the median value when compared to those with lower levels of hsCRP (10.8 +/- 2.1 vs. 10 +/- 2.1 m/s; P = 0.026). In multiple regression analysis, AER and hsCPR remained independent predictors of aortic stiffness (beta = 0.24; P < 0.001 and beta = 0.15; P = 0.03, respectively). Our results suggest that in patients with essential hypertension, MAU and CRP are independently associated with an increased aortic stiffness.
    American Journal of Hypertension 08/2009; 22(10):1041-7. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and left ventricular geometry in a group of 293 hypertensive patients with stage 2-5 chronic kidney disease (CKD), compared with 289 essential hypertensive patients with normal renal function. All patients underwent echocardiographic examination. Patients on stage 1 CKD, dialysis treatment, or with cardiovascular diseases were excluded. LVH was observed in 47.1% of patients with CKD and in 31.14% of essential hypertensive patients (P < 0.0001). We found increasingly higher left ventricular diameters, thicknesses, and mass from stage 2 to 5 CKD. Distribution of concentric and eccentric LVH was not different between the two groups. However, after introducing mixed hypertrophy, the difference between the two groups group was disclosed (P = 0.027). The prevalence of inappropriate left ventricular mass was 52.6% in patients with CKD vs. 30.5% in essential hypertensive patients (P < 0.0001). Multiple regression analysis confirmed that the association between renal function and left ventricular mass (beta -0.287; P < 0.0001) was independent by potential confounders. From stage 4 to 5, the significant increase of left ventricular mass was due to growth in posterior wall thickness rather than end-diastolic diameter. Diastolic function was significantly worse in patients with CKD, especially in more advanced stages. Our study confirms that LVH is highly prevalent in patients with CKD; in this population, LVH is often inappropriate and characterized by the simultaneous increase of wall thicknesses and diameters.
    Journal of Hypertension 03/2009; 27(3):633-41. · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with increased odds for left ventricular hypertrophy in both men and women, regardless of the methods of indexation for left ventricular mass . Therefore, our observations do not support the view that MetS may be considered an innocent condition for the heart in men.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parathyroid hormone secretion is mainly influenced by hypocalcaemia, hyperphosphataemia and vitamin D deficiency. However, previous in vitro and in vivo studies showed that endothelin-1 can influence parathyroid hormone secretion. This study was aimed at evaluating this relationship in vivo in uraemic patients. Parathyroid hormone and endothelin-1 plasma concentrations were measured in 67 haemodialysed patients. Patients with history of cardiovascular diseases and those with parathyroid adenoma were excluded. Plasma levels of endothelin-1 were found to be inversely related to those of parathyroid hormone (P < 0.04) The multiple regression analysis, carried out considering parathyroid hormone as a dependent variable, and including age, sex, blood pressure, calcium x phosphorus product, and endothelin-1, demonstrated that the independent correlates of parathyroid hormone were endothelin-1 (beta = -0.276; P = 0.015), and calcium x phosphorus product (beta = 0.417; P < 0.0001). For the first time in vivo, we demonstrated an inverse independent relationship between endothelin-1 and parathyroid hormone in haemodialysed patients. Because both endothelin-1 and parathyroid hormone are endowed with well-known harmful actions on cardiovascular apparatus, whether such inverse relation may really influence the natural history of cardiovascular damage due to secondary hyperparathyroidism remains to be elucidated.
    Nephrology 12/2008; 13(6):467-71. · 1.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hypertension and additional non-traditional risk factors can damage the kidney directly and by promoting atherogenesis. Evidence indicates that increased oxidative stress and inflammation may mediate a large part of the effects of risk factors on the kidney. We hypothesized that in hypertensive patients (HT), oxidative stress, measured as 8-ISO-prostaglandin F2alpha (8-ISO-PGF2alpha), should raise paralleling decreasing renal function and should correlate with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). In 626 HT with renal function ranging from stages 1 to 5 and 100 healthy controls, plasma levels of 8-ISO-PGF2alpha, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were measured. GFR was estimated by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease study equation. When HT were stratified according to renal function stages, 8-ISO-PGF2alpha, CRP, TGF-beta and ET-1 increased progressively and significantly with decreasing eGFR. The multiple regression analysis, considering eGFR as a dependent variable, showed that 8-ISO-PGF2alpha (beta = -0.361, P < 0.000001), ET-1 (beta = -0.197, P < 0.0001) and TGF-beta (beta = -0.170, P < 0.0004) correlated independently with eGFR. All biomarkers were good predictors of eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2) [receiver-operator-curve (ROC) areas]. ET-1 was shown to be the best predictor with a ROC area = 0.938; with a threshold of 4 pg/ml, 91% sensitivity and 85% specificity were observed, whereas 8-ISO had a ROC area = 0.931, and for a threshold of 329 pg/ml, sensitivity and specificity were 89%, respectively. In contrast, CRP showed the lower predictive value with a ROC area = 0.917; with a threshold of 2.52 mg/l, an 87% sensitivity and an 83% specificity were obtained. Our findings are a clear-cut demonstration of a strong and negative correlation of both oxidative stress and ET-1 with renal function stages in HT. ET-1 and 8-isoprostane are predictive of eGFR.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 09/2008; 24(2):497-503. · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention 07/2008; 15(3):271.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The association of aldosterone with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) has not been fully elucidated. The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationships of plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) with MetS and left ventricular mass (LVM) in nondiabetic Caucasian patients with essential hypertension. Measurements were taken with the patients off antihypertensive medications. The measurements included 24-h blood pressure (BP) readings, plasma renin activity (PRA) and aldosterone, and an echocardiogram. Subjects with MetS (n = 201) had higher age-adjusted PAC (10.2 +/- 5.8 vs. 11.6 +/- 5.9 ng/dl; P = 0.01) and greater age-adjusted LVM indexed for height2.7 (LVMH2.7) (56 +/- 19 vs. 62 +/- 20 g/m2; P = 0.001) than those without MetS (n = 249). The difference in respect of PAC between the two groups was independent of PRA and was attributable mainly to obesity. After adjusting for potential confounders, LVMH2.7 was associated with MetS as a whole (beta = 0.11; P = 0.02) and with body mass index (BMI) (beta = 0.19; P < 0.0001) in the overall population. The latter relationship was attenuated (beta = 0.15; P = 0.001) after further adjustment for PAC. In the MetS group the association of LVMH2.7 with PAC held (beta = 0.19; P = 0.007) in multivariate analyses. In subjects without MetS, this relationship had only borderline statistical significance. Our results suggest that the elevated PAC related to obesity may help to explain the increased LVM observed in association with MetS, and may contribute to enhancing the cardiovascular risk associated with MetS.
    American Journal of Hypertension 06/2008; 21(9):1055-61. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether or not transforming growth factor-beta(1) is related to inflammation markers and to intercellular and vascular cell adhesion molecules in patients with stable renal transplantation. Serum concentrations of transforming growth factor-beta(1), tumour necrosis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein and adhesion molecules were analysed in 33 renal transplanted patients, 33 patients with chronic renal insufficiency (matched to the transplanted group for level of renal function), and 33 hypertensives with normal renal function. anova, Student's t-test and simple regression analysis were used to analyse the data. Transplanted patients showed higher values than hypertensives of transforming growth factor-beta(1), tumour necrosis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein and adhesion molecules (P < 0.0001 for all). Renal insufficiency group exhibited higher concentrations of transforming growth factor-beta(1), tumour necrosis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein and adhesion molecules than hypertensives (P < 0.0001 for all). Transplanted and renal insufficiency patients had similar blood pressure and renal function levels, and transforming growth factor-beta(1), tumour necrosis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein and adhesion molecules were not significantly different. In transplanted and in renal insufficiency groups transforming growth factor-beta(1), adhesion molecules and tumour necrosis factor-alpha correlated significantly each other and with glomerular filtration rate (P < 0.001 for all). In long-term renal transplantation inflammation and endothelial activation biomarkers, the pro-fibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor-beta(1) and kidney function are interrelated. Because of the relevant role that inflammation, organ fibrosis and graft dysfunction may play against renal and cardiovascular survival of graft recipients, a better comprehension of the interactions between these variables is needed.
    Nephrology 04/2008; 13(2):164-70. · 1.69 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Arterial stiffness and mild-to-moderate renal dysfunction are predictors of cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. Recently, the ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) has been proposed as a surrogate index of arterial stiffness. It has been associated with an enhanced risk of stroke. The aim of our study was to assess the relationship between AASI and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in a group of hypertensive patients with no CV complications. A total of 143 untreated hypertensive subjects (mean age: 44 +/- 12 years; men 57%), with serum creatinine <1.5 mg/dl, were enrolled. AASI was calculated as one minus the regression slope of diastolic on systolic blood pressure (BP) obtained by individual 24-h BP recordings. GFR was computed from the scintigraphic determination of the technetium-99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid uptake within the kidneys, by the Gates' method. Hypertensive patients with AASI above the median value (n = 71) had lower GFR than those with AASI below the median (n = 72) (98.3 +/- 31 vs. 122.4 +/- 32 ml/min/1.73 m(2); P < 0.001). This difference held even after adjustment for age and gender. The linear regression analysis disclosed a significant inverse correlation between GFR and AASI (r = -0.30; P < 0.001), that was replicated (beta = -0.19; P = 0.02) in a multiple regression model including, as independent variables (besides AASI), age, gender, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, 24-h pulse pressure (PP) and nocturnal reduction in BP. AASI is inversely related to GFR in arterial hypertension. This may help to explain the increased CV risk associated with mild-to-moderate renal dysfunction.
    American Journal of Hypertension 01/2008; 21(1):35-40. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • International journal of cardiology 12/2007; · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome (MS) has been associated with an increased left ventricular (LV) mass in recent reports. Little is known about the association of MS with LV mass (LVM) in overweight and obese individuals. The aim of our study was to investigate the relation between MS and LVM in a population of overweight and obese hypertensive subjects. 289 non-diabetic essential hypertensives with a body mass index >25 kg/m2, were enrolled. In all subjects routine blood chemistry, echocardiographic examination and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring were performed. In the group of overweight patients, participants with MS (n=58), when compared to those without it (n=127), exhibited significantly greater LVM indexed for height(2.7) (LVMH(2.7)) (50+/-12 vs 44+/-11 g/m(2.7); p=0.0001), even after controlling for age, gender and 24-h systolic blood pressure. Similar results were obtained in the group of obese individuals, being LVMH(2.7) (56+/-12 vs 44+/-9 g/m(2.7); p<0.0001) greater in subjects with MS (n=77) than in those without MS (n=27), even after adjustment for age, gender and clinic systolic blood pressure. The independent association of MS with LVMH(2.7) in overall study population was confirmed by linear multiple regression analyses (beta=0.20; p=0.0004). MS seems to increase LVM over and above the potential contribution of blood pressure, body size and other single components of this syndrome. Since LV hypertrophy is a well-known predictor of cardiovascular events, our results may partly explain the enhanced cardiovascular risk associated with MS.
    International journal of cardiology 10/2007; 121(3):267-75. · 6.18 Impact Factor