[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study described here was to compare myocardial strains in ischemic heart patients with and without sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) and moderately abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) to investigate which index could better predict VT on the basis of the analysis of global and regional left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. We studied 467 patients with previous myocardial infarction and LVEF >35%. Fifty-one patients had documented VT, and 416 patients presented with no VT. LV volumes and score index were obtained by 2-D echocardiography. Longitudinal, radial and circumferential strains were determined. Strains of the infarct, border and remote zones were also obtained. There were no differences in standard LV 2-D parameters between patients with and those without VT. Receiver operating characteristic values were −12.7% for global longitudinal strain (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.72), −4.8% for posterior-inferior wall circumferential strain (AUC = 0.80), 61 ms for LV mechanical dispersion (AUC = 0.84), −10.1% for longitudinal strain of the border zone (AUC = 0.86) and −9.2% for circumferential strain of the border zone (AUC = 0.89). In patients with previous myocardial infarction and moderately abnormal LVEF, peri-infarct circumferential strain was the strongest predictor of documented ventricular arrhythmias among all strain quantitative indices. Additionally, strain values from posterior-inferior wall infarctions had a higher association with arrhythmic events compared with global strain.
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology 12/2014; 41(2). · 2.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The role of eplerenone in arterial hypertension has been investigated only in small studies. To systematically assess the efficacy and tolerability of eplerenone in patients with mild to moderate arterial hypertension, we did a meta-analysis of controlled randomized trials.
We performed an electronic literature search of Medline, Pubmed, Scopus and Cochrane databases for studies published up to March 31, 2014. Randomized studies comparing eplerenone with placebo or other antihypertensive drugs for net reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP; DBP) from baseline and for incidence of adverse events were considered. Weighted mean differences (WMD) and odds ratios with 95% confidence interval were calculated for continuous and dichotomous data, respectively.
A total of 11 trials and 3566 patients were overall included. Compared to placebo, eplerenone significantly reduced either SBP [WMD − 8.07, 95% CI − 8.17 to − 7.96 mm Hg, p < 0.00001] and DBP [WMD − 4.08, − 4.15 to − 4.01 mm Hg, p < 0.00001]. In the overall comparison, reduction of both SBP and DBP with eplerenone was greater than other antihypertensive agents (WMD for SBP − 1.50 mm Hg, p < 0.0001; WMD for DBP − 0.54 mm Hg, p < 0.00001); this was essentially driven by a greater anti-hypertensive action vs enalapril and losartan for SBP and vs losartan for DBP. Rates of any adverse event were significantly higher with eplerenone than placebo (odds ratio 1.37, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.71; p = 0.005), whereas the occurrence of serious adverse events and hyperkalemia was similar. There was no difference between eplerenone and other antihypertensives in the frequency of any or serious adverse events, whereas hyperkalemia was more common with eplerenone (odds ratio 2.36, 95% CI 1.00 to 5.57; p = 0.05).
This study-level meta-analysis provides a robust evidence that eplerenone has a reassuring safety profile and is effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension; this effect is at least comparable to that of other anti-hypertensive agents (PROSPERO Registration No. CRD42014010071).
International Journal of Cardiology 11/2014; 177(1):219–228. · 6.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myocardial involvement has not been extensively investigated in mitochondrial myopathies. The aim of the study was to assess the myocardial morpho-functional changes in patients with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO). Twenty patients with PEO and 20 controls underwent standard echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and integrated backscatter (IBS) analyses. These techniques are capable of providing non-invasively the early, subtle structural and functional changes of the myocardium. TDI myocardial systolic (Sm) and early (Em) and late (Am) diastolic velocities of left ventricular walls were determined. The systo-diastolic variation of IBS was also determined. Patients with PEO exhibited lower Sm, lower Em, and higher Am, and a reduced Em/Am ratio than controls (p<0.001 for all) at interventricular septum and lateral wall levels. In PEO patients, septal and posterior wall cyclic variations of IBS were significantly lower than those in controls (p<0.001). Patients with PEO showed myocardial wall remodeling characterized by increased fibrosis and early left ventricular systo-diastolic function abnormalities. Although cardiac involvement in PEO is generally considered to be limited to the cardiac conduction system, left ventricular dysfunction may be present and should receive more attention in the management of these patients.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 07/2014; · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To investigate the correlation between respiratory failure and the pulmonary circulation. We focused on anatomical and functional changes of the right heart. Design. Clinical investigation. Methods. We evaluated 75 patients hospitalized in our respiratory ward for COPD exacerbation. All patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography and measurements of right heart chambers. Moreover all patients underwent blood tests, measurement of blood pressure, evaluation of body mass index (BMI), ECGs, pulmonary function tests, and the Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Results. Among 75 patients consecutively hospitalized, 56 patients with a COPD exacerbation were included in our study. We have emphasized the higher value of PAPs and the increased size of right atrial area in severe COPD patients. Significant correlation was observed between low values of PaO2 and larger area of the right atrium. The measurement of TAPSE showed a right ventricular dysfunction in all patients but especially in severe COPD patients.We have obtained a significant correlation between TAPSE and arterial blood gas. Conclusions. In patients with chronic respiratory failure, blood gas parameters should be considered as negative prognostic factors of right heart failure. Respiratory failure shows a relationship with pulmonary hypertension and with the anatomy and function of the right heart sections.
BioMed Research International 06/2014; 2014. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Investigate whether human megakaryocytic cells have an adaptive response to aspirin treatment, leading to an enhancement of Multidrug Resistance Proteins 4 (MRP4) expression in circulating platelets responsible for a reduced aspirin action. We recently found that platelet MRP4 over-expression has a role in reducing aspirin action in patients after by-pass surgery. Aspirin enhances MRP4-mRNA levels in rat liver and drug administration transcriptionally regulates MRP4 gene expression through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα).
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 06/2014; · 3.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Takotsubo Syndrome is a relatively frequent clinical entity presenting typically as an acute coronary syndrome in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease and characterized angiographically by transient left ventricular systolic dysfunction sparing the basal segments of the left ventricle ("apical ballooning"). Takotsubo Syndrome characteristically affects peri- or post-menopausal women, albeit recent series show that men are also at risk. Takotsubo Syndrome is characteristically triggered by severe emotional or physical stress, which suggest a pathogenic role for increased sympathetic activity leading to myocardial perfusion abnormalities and ventricular dysfunction. The reasons why severe emotional and physical stress result in the development of Takotsubo Syndrome in certain individuals but not others is still a matter of speculation but strongly suggests the existence of predisposing factors/mechanisms in certain subjects. The present article reviews the different factors that can play a role in the development of Takotsubo Syndrome in different patients. We propose that triggers (i.e. emotional stressors, physical stressors, iatrogenic stressors and neurologic triggers), pathogenic mechanisms (i.e. increased catecholamine levels, coronary vasomotor abnormalities leading to myocardial ischemia) and predisposing factors (i.e. cardiovascular risk factors, endothelial dysfunction, co-morbidities) all interact in a complex fashion and possibly differently in different patients to cause Takotsubo Syndrome. Identifying these factors may help in preventing and managing the condition more effectively.
The American journal of medicine 04/2014; · 5.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High platelet reactivity during co-administration of clopidogrel and a CYP3A4-metabolized statin (i.e atorvastatin) can be lowered by switching to a non-CYP3A4-metabolized statin (i.e rosuvastatin). Aim of this study was to verify if atorvastatin and rosuvastatin have different pharmacodynamic effects also when platelet reactivity while on dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is normal at baseline. A total of 122 stable coronary artery disease patients receiving DAPT (clopidogrel 75mg plus aspirin 100mg) who had evidence of normal platelet reactivity after a 1-week statin wash-out entered the trial. Patients were randomly assigned to atorvastatin (40mg day, n=61) or rosuvastatin (20mg day, n=61) for 30 days. After another 1-week wash-out to avoid any carryover effect, cross-over was performed, and patients were switched to the other drug which was continued for 30 days. Platelet reactivity (expressed as P2Y(12) reaction units (PRU) by the VerifyNow assay [Accumetrics, San Diego, California]) was measured after 1-week statin wash-out and at the end of each treatment period. High platelet reactivity was defined as a PRU value >235. After 30-day atorvastatin, platelet reactivity did not significantly change as compared with pre-treament evaluation (119±66 vs 136±59 PRU, NS), with 2 patients only showing a PRU>235. Similarly, after 30-day rosuvastatin, platelet reactivity was unchanged vs. baseline (135±46 vs 128±62 PRU, NS), with PRU>235 occurring in 3 patients. Atorvastatin does not negatively affect DAPT as compared with rosuvastatin when is given to stable coronary artery disease patients with normal platelet reactivity while in statin wash-out. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01567774).
European journal of pharmacology 01/2014; · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common complication in hospitalized patients, spanning multiple patient populations and crossing various therapeutic disciplines. Current treatment paradigm in patients with massive PE mandates prompt risk stratification with aggressive therapeutic strategies. With the advent of endovascular technologies, various catheter-based thrombectomy and thrombolytic devices are available to treat patients with massive or submassive PE. In this paper, a variety of newer treatment strategies for PE are analyzed, with special emphasis on various interventional treatment strategies. Clinical evidence for utilizing endovascular treatment modalities, based on our institutional experience as well as a literature review, is provided.
BioMed Research International 01/2014; Volume 2014. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This systematic review aims to provide an update on pharmacological and interventional strategies for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in adults. Currently US Food and Drug Administration approved drugs including prostanoids, endothelin-receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors, and soluble guanylate-cyclase stimulators. These agents have transformed the prognosis for pulmonary arterial hypertension patients from symptomatic improvements in exercise tolerance ten years ago to delayed disease progression today. On the other hand, percutaneous balloon atrioseptostomy by using radiofrequency perforation, cutting balloon dilatation, or insertion of butterfly stents and pulmonary artery catheter-based denervation, both associated with very low rate of major complications and death, should be considered in combination with specific drugs at an earlier stage rather than late in the progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension and before the occurrence of overt right-sided heart failure.
BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:743868. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute digoxin intoxication is a life-threating condition associated with severe cardiotoxicity. Female gender, age, low lean body mass, hypertension, and renal insufficiency may worsen the prognosis. Arrhythmias caused by digitalis glycosides are characterized by an increased automaticity coupled with concomitant conduction delay. Bidirectional tachycardia is pathognomonic of digoxin intoxication, but it is rarely observed. An 83-year-old woman was admitted to the Emergency Department after self-administration of 5 mg of digoxin i.v. for suicidal purpose. Her digoxin serum concentration was 17.4 ng/mL. The patient developed a bidirectional tachycardia and the Poison Control Center of the hospital provided digoxin immune fab. Bidirectional tachycardia quickly reversed and the patient remained stable throughout the hospital stay. This case shows that a multiple disciplinary approach, involving cardiologists and toxicologists, is essential for the management of digoxin intoxication. The optimal treatment of this rare event depends on the clinical conditions and on the serum drug concentration of the patient. Digoxin immune fab represents a safe, effective, and specific method for rapidly reversing digitalis cardiotoxicity and should be started as soon as the diagnosis is defined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Levels of platelet reactivity in patients on dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) can be influenced by concomitant treatment with statins. We verified if the pharmacodynamic effects of CYP3A4-metabolized statins (atorvastatin) and non-CYP3A4-metabolized statins (pitavastatin) differ in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) treated with DAPT. Methods and Results: A total of 155 CAD patients receiving DAPT (clopidogrel 75mg plus aspirin 100mg) entered the PORTO trial. Patients were randomly assigned to atorvastatin (20mg day) or pitavastatin (4mg day) for 30 days, and then switched to the other drug for 30 days. Platelet reactivity was expressed as VerifyNow P2Y12 platelet response units (PRU) before and after each 30-day treatment period. High platelet reactivity was defined as PRU >208. As compared with pretreatment (192±49), PRU was significantly higher after 30-day atorvastatin (210±56; P=0.003), but was unchanged after 30-day pitavastatin (199±47 PRU, NS). In the 48 patients with PRU >208 at baseline (232±44), PRU increased significantly after 30-day atorvastatin (258±41, P=0.004), but not after 30-day pitavastatin (237±43, NS). In the 107 patients with PRU <208 at baseline (174±52), PRU did not change significantly with respect to baseline either after 30-day atorvastatin (188±61, NS) or after 30-day pitavastatin (181±59, NS). Conclusions: Pitavastatin, a non-CYP3A4-metabolized statin, does not affect clopidogrel's response as compared with atorvastatin in patients who are borderline or poor responders to DAPT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The family of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which can be found in most lipid classes, includes n-3 PUFAs essential for mammals and whose deficiency is associated with multiple diseases. Because of their multiple physiological actions, n-3 PUFAs play a crucial role in normal human metabolism as well as maintenance of a healthy status, with clinical effects that are not limited to the cardiovascular system but also include maternal and offspring health, growth and development, immune system disorders, cancer, cognitive function and psychological status. Multiple health organisations and scientific societies recommend increasing food-derived n-3 PUFA intake and also suggest that patients with documented coronary heart disease receive a minimum of 1000mg/day of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. The preventive and therapeutic effects of n-3 PUFAs appear to be largely dependent on the dosages employed and the characteristics of selected patients. So, in the era of personalised medicine, the time has come to move from generic advice to increase n-3 PUFA intake to a more evidence-based approach characterised by tailored indications to n-3 PUFA dietary or supplement consumption. This approach will require evaluation on a case-to-case basis the potential usefulness of n-3 PUFAs, taking into consideration their 'pleiotropic effects', the optimal dose for any given indication in relation to international guidelines, potential interactions with background therapy, possible side effects, differences in genetics and dietary response to supplementation, and the cost:benefit ratio, which is likely to vary as a function of differences in the range of fish intake in the diet.
International journal of cardiology 07/2013; · 6.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thrombus aspiration during percutaneous coronary intervention can result in improved rates of normal epicardial flow and myocardial perfusion, but several unmet needs remain. The purpose of the Delivery of thrombolytIcs before thrombectomy in patientS with ST-segment elevatiOn myocardiaL infarction Undergoing primary percuTaneous coronary interventION (DISSOLUTION) trial was to evaluate the hypothesis that local delivery of thrombolytics can enhance the efficacy of thrombus aspiration in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. A total of 102 patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and angiographic evidence of massive thrombosis in the culprit artery were randomly assigned to receive a local, intrathrombus bolus of 200,000 U of urokinase (n = 51) or saline solution (n = 51) by way of an infusion microcatheter, followed by manual aspiration thrombectomy. The end points included the final Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade and frame count, myocardial blush grade, 60-minute ST-segment resolution >70%, and major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events, defined as the death, reinfarction, stroke, or clinically driven target vessel revascularization at 6 months. The use of intrathrombus urokinase was associated with a significantly higher incidence of Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 3 (90% vs 66%, p = 0.008) and lower postpercutaneous coronary intervention Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction frame count (19 ± 15 vs 25 ± 17, p = 0.033). The postprocedural myocardial perfusion was significantly increased with the use of urokinase (myocardial blush grade 2 or 3, 68% vs 45%, p = 0.028), with more patients showing ST-segment resolution >70% (82% vs 55%, p = 0.006). At 6 months of follow-up, the patients treated with intrathrombus urokinase showed a better major adverse cardiac event-free survival (6% vs 21%; log-rank p = 0.044). In conclusion, local, intrathrombus delivery of thrombolytics before manual thrombectomy improved the postprocedural coronary flow and myocardial perfusion and the 6-month clinical outcomes.
The American journal of cardiology 05/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The association between endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) at the time of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and the subsequent long-term clinical outcome remains undefined. To address this issue, a pre-specified analysis of the PROgenitor Cells role in Restenosis and progression of coronary ATherosclerosis after percutaneous coronary intervention (PROCREATION) study was done. Methods and Results: A total of 155 patients with stable angina treated with PCI had flow cytometry before PCI. Patients had a 5-year follow-up. Primary outcome was the composite of major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events (MACCE), that is, death, stroke, myocardial infarction, and revascularization. During follow-up, MACCE occurred in 65 of 155 patients (42%). There were no significant differences in clinical and angiographic variables between patients with or without MACCE, apart from a different extent of coronary atherosclerosis. The incidence of MACCE increased significantly over tertiles of CD34+/KDR+/CD45- cells and CD133+/KDR+/CD45- cells, with rates of 25%, 39%, and 69% (P=0.0001), and 26%, 44%, and 59% (P=0.003), respectively. On multivariate analysis it was estimated that the increase in CD34+/KDR+/CD45- cells was associated with a 35% higher risk for MACCE (hazard ratio [HR], 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-1.99; P=0.001), and the increase in CD133+/KDR+/CD45- cells was associated with a 25% higher risk for MACCE (HR, 1.35; 95% CI: 1.01-1.74; P=0.03). Conclusions: Assessment of subpopulations of circulating EPCs in patients with stable angina treated with PCI can improve characterization of long-term prognosis (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01575431).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of physical activity on heart rate variability (HRV) and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in elderly subjects and the relationship between HRV and IMT. Thirty-two elderly sedentary subjects and 32 age-matched endurance athletes underwent ultrasonography of the carotid wall for measuring IMT, and 24-h ECG monitoring for measuring HRV. Elderly athletes had evidence of increased vagal activity in the time (SDANN, rMSSD, and pNN50; p < 0.01) and frequency domain (HF and LF/HF ratio, p < 0.01) with respect to sedentary subjects. Moreover, athletes showed lower IMT than control subjects (p < 0.01). In the whole population SDNN was inversely related to IMT, respectively (r = -0.60 and r = -0.58, p < 0.0001), while LF/HF ratio related positively to IMT. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that in aging HRV is negatively associated with IMT, a putative index of atherosclerosis, confirming cardiac autonomic neuropathy as part of the pathophysiological pathway for atherosclerosis. It confirms that the regular physical activity represents a valuable strategy to counter age-related impairments of cardiac autonomic activity and artery structural changes.
Internal and Emergency Medicine 03/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor