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Publications (18)31.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Etiology and long-term prognosis were prospectively investigated in 155 consecutive patients (96 men and 59 women), aged 16 to 45 years, referred to our Neurosurgical Unit with cerebral transient ischemic attacks or infarction during the period 1978-1988. All patients underwent neurological and medical-cardiological evaluation, cerebral computerized tomography scanning, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests. Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed in 123 cases (79%), cerebral angiography in 147 (95%). Atherosclerosis was the leading etiology occurring in 48 patients (31%). A cardioemboiic disorder was considered the probable cause of ischemia in 8 cases (5.1%). Further possible etiologies were contraceptive pill assumption (5.8% of the total, but 15.3% within the female group), spontaneous arterial dissection (4.5%), migraine (4%), puerperium (2.6%), cervical trauma (2.6%), and other, more uncommon conditions. Despite extensive evaluation, the cause of cerebral ischemia remained unknown in 40% of cases. All patients received antiplatelet medication and 16 underwent surgery. The long-term outcome at a mean follow-up of 5.8 years was favorable: 91% of subjects resumed their work on a full or part-time basis.
    Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 01/2009; 84(4):321 - 325. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac complications are frequent in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). They include ECG abnormalities, cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial damage, and neurogenic pulmonary edema. The pathophysiology of these abnormalities is related to an imbalance of the autonomic cardiovascular control and to increased circulating and local myocardial tissue catecholamines. Cardiac involvement is more common in patients with severe neurological deficits and it may increase the morbidity associated with SAH because of the occurrence of life-threatening arrhythmias or pulmonary edema. Monitoring of cardiac events in patients with SAH might result in a better understanding of their clinical outcome, as well as providing a basis for specific treatment capable of preventing myocardial necrosis and cardiac arrhythmias.
    Journal of neurosurgical sciences 04/1998; 42(1 Suppl 1):33-6. · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Focal myocardial necrosis reported in patients who died of brain lesions and in donor hearts soon after insertion has been attributed to catecholamine-related injury induced before operation, or in the perioperative period. Interpretation of the morphofunctional type of myocardial injury observed and its quantification may help understand both its pathophysiology and clinical relevance. In 27 patients without heart disease who died of intracranial brain hemorrhage after berry aneurysm rupture, terminal clinical signs were correlated with the presence of absence of myocardial injury. All hearts were systematically examined, and the total histologic area was measured in square millimeters, with both the number of foci and myocardial cells showing necrosis, normalized to 100 mm2. Forty-five cases of fatal head trauma (26 "instantaneous" and 19 "rapid" deaths) in normal subjects and 38 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome with (14 cases) or without (24 cases) severe brain damage were used as control subjects. Contraction band necrosis was the only form of myocardial necrosis found in 89% of patients with acute brain hemorrhage. Its extent was 26 +/- 34 foci and 67 +/- 104 necrotic myocardial cells x 100 mm2. In patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, its frequency was 58% in those without and 78.5% with severe brain lesions, with foci and myocardial cell values of 1 +/- 1.5 and 10 +/- 22 and 7 +/- 16 and 17 +/- 32, respectively. In head trauma cases with instantaneous death, the frequency was 4% (one case only with foci 0.5 and myocardial cells 35), whereas with a rapid death it was 40% (foci 12 +/- 18 and myocardial cells 21 +/- 33). The observed myocardial injury was present in all groups examined, being maximal in patients with intracranial brain hemorrhage with longer survival and minimal in patients with head trauma who died instantaneously. In this setting, this lesion is typical of catecholamine myotoxicity and may express a sympathetic overstimulation either in the agonal period and independent of therapy or be caused by brain injury, especially intracranial brain hemorrhage. However, the extent of myocardial injury observed was minimal and should not jeopardize cardiac function if hearts from such subjects are transplanted.
    The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 11/1997; 16(10):994-1000. · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • Acta neurologica Belgica 01/1997; 96(4):322-8. · 0.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Severe undiagnosed coronary artery disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with carotid stenoses.22,23 Our study demonstrates that dipyridamole testing carries a very low risk of neurologic complications in patients with cerebrovascular disease.
    The American Journal of Cardiology 04/1995; 75(7):535-7. · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis who are candidates for carotid endarterectomy are at high short- and long-term risk of coronary events. To stratify patients at different risk of coronary events we investigated the usefulness of a noninvasive preoperative cardiological workup. We studied 172 consecutive patients admitted to the Neurosurgical Department for symptomatic high-grade (70% to 99%) carotid stenosis (age, 42 to 74 years; mean, 57.8 years). Patients without history of coronary artery disease (CAD) and able to exercise were submitted to exercise electrocardiographic testing (EET) and, if abnormal, to exercise thallium myocardial imaging (TMI). Patients were classified into four groups: group 1, patients without CAD: no history of CAD, normal EET, or normal TMI in the presence of indeterminant EET (n = 93, 54%); group 2, patients with silent CAD: no history of CAD and concordant abnormal EET and TMI (n = 28, 16%); group 3, patients unable to exercise: no history of CAD and inability to perform adequate EET because of previous stroke or claudication (n = 29, 17%); and group 4, patients with known CAD: history of angina or myocardial infarction (MI) (n = 22; 13%). The four groups were comparable in regard to age, sex, and computed tomographic scan of the brain. The prevalence of stroke was higher in patients unable to exercise; hypercholesterolemia was more frequent in patients with known CAD. During the perioperative period (< or = 30 days after carotid endarterectomy), coronary events occurred in 3 patients (2%): fatal MI in 2 patients in group 4 and 1 patient in group 3. One hundred percent of patients were followed up for 6.2 years. Coronary events occurred in 23 of the 168 patients discharged from the hospital (13.7%); these were fatal in 11 (6.5%): 3 patients of group 1 (3%; sudden death in 2, fatal MI in 1), 8 patients of group 2 (29%; fatal MI in 5, unstable angina in 3), 8 patients of group 3 (28%; fatal MI in 4, nonfatal MI in 4), and 4 patients of group 4 (18%; fatal MI in 2, sudden death in 1, unstable angina in 1). Kaplan-Meier estimated curves of survival free from fatal and nonfatal coronary events were 97%, 51%, 49%, and 59%, respectively (P < .001, group 1 versus groups 2 and 3; P < .01, group 1 versus group 4). Among patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy, coronary events occurred twice as often as cerebral recurrences. A preoperative noninvasive cardiac investigation, including EET, can adequately identify groups of patients with diverse short- and long-term prognoses. In addition to patients with known CAD, those with silent CAD or who are unable to exercise represent, without the need of further investigation, groups at high risk of coronary events in long-term follow-up.
    Stroke 10/1994; 25(10):2022-7. · 6.16 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System 04/1993; 43:71–72.
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the prevalence and prognostic role of silent coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with symptomatic high-grade carotid stenosis (70 to 99%) undergoing carotid endarterectomy, and with neither history nor symptoms of CAD, 106 patients (76 men, 30 women, mean age 58.7 years [range 42 to 71]) with recent cerebral ischemia were prospectively studied. Patients were stratified as to the presence (n = 27, 25%) or absence (n = 79, 75%) of silent CAD defined by concordant abnormal exercise electrocardiographic testing and thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy. The male sex, the severity of the symptomatic carotid lesion (greater than 90%), and the coexistence of contralateral carotid disease identified patients with higher probability of coexisting CAD. The 106 patients underwent 121 operations (bilateral in 15). In the perioperative period, no deaths or cardiac events occurred, 1 patient suffered a recurrent stroke and 3 had a transient ischemic attack. During a mean follow-up period of 5.4 years, 9 patients died (1.7%/year): fatal myocardial infarction occurred in 5 (all in the silent CAD group), cancer in 3 and vertebrobasilar stroke in 1. Nonfatal events occurred in 9 patients: myocardial infarction in 1 (without silent CAD), unstable angina in 3 (with silent CAD), and cerebral ischemic attacks in 5. After 7 years, the Kaplan-Meier estimated survival free from coronary events was 51% in patients with silent CAD, and 98% in patients without CAD (p less than 0.01). In conclusion, among patients with symptomatic high-grade carotid stenosis undergoing carotid endarterectomy, even in absence of history or symptoms of CAD, a silent CAD is detectable in one fourth of the patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    The American Journal of Cardiology 06/1992; 69(14):1166-70. · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cardiologic evaluation of patients with cerebral ischaemia should be aimed at: (1) identifying potential cardiac sources for cerebral emboli, (2) detecting a coexisting ischaemic heart disease, even asymptomatic. The present data concerns a ten-year experience of a systematic cardiologic evaluation of patients admitted to the 1st Division of Neurosurgery, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy, for cerebral ischaemia. A two-dimensional echocardiography was carried out in 344 consecutive patients (mean age 53 years), cardiac abnormalities were observed in 92 (28%) out of the 328 cases with technically adequate examination, embologenic lesions in 57 (17%). In 18 cases the cardiac lesion was unknown before the cerebral event. An exercise ECG testing was carried out in 322 patients (mean age 56 years), resulting in abnormal in 69 out of the 258 with adequate examination (17%). A subsequent exercise 201Tl myocardial scintigraphy confirmed the presence of ischaemic heart disease in 58 cases. Among patients unable to perform an adequate exercise, a dipyridamole 201Tl myocardial scintigraphy was performed in 38 cases showing perfusional defects in 23 (60%), while a dipyridamole echocardiography was performed in 25 cases showing wall motion abnormalities in 9 (36%). A 24-h Holter monitoring was performed in 65 cases: arrhythmias were detected in 27 patients (41%), but a correlation with the cerebral event was suggested only in 3 cases with atrial fibrillation. According to our experience patients with recent ischaemia should be submitted to the following non-invasive cardiologic screening: (1) exercise ECG testing followed, if abnormal or indeterminant, by 201Tl myocardial scintigraphy in all patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Neurological Research 02/1992; 14(2 Suppl):112-7. · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We prospectively evaluated 125 patients with cerebral ischemia aged less than 45 years with cerebral angiography, CT and cardiac tests including two-dimensional echocardiography. Cardiac abnormalities were disclosed in 36 patients (33.6%). Potential sources of embolism were detected in 17 patients (15.8%); in 13 of them the cardiac lesion had previously been unrecognized. Mitral valve prolapse was the commonest cardiac lesion (6.5%). In 5 of these patients carotid atherosclerotic lesions were absent, and associated prothrom-botic factors were always present. In the remaining 2 cases dysplasia and/or dissection of carotid arteries were disclosed. Six patients showed an 'idiopathic' aortic dilation; in 4 of them dysplasia or dissection of carotid arteries was observed. The 'idiopathic' pattern of aortic root dilation (dilation limited to the first tract of the aortic root, normal echogenicity and aortic profile) was different from the 'atherosclerotic' pattern (extensive dilation, increased echogenicity, irregular profile of aortic wall). Only few patients had cardiac lesions with high embolic risk, most patients having asymptomatic, previously unrecognized cardiac diseases. Therefore two-dimensional echocardiography is warranted for the etiological screening of cerebral ischemia in young adults. The detection of a cardiac lesion with low or unknown embolic risk should not preclude a search for other coexisting or prothrombotic factors. Finally, mitral valve prolapse and idiopathic aortic root dilation may be an expression of a minor connective tissue disorder accountable for dysplasia or dissection of carotid arteries.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases. 01/1992; 2(1):14-21.
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    ABSTRACT: Etiology and long-term prognosis were prospectively investigated in 155 consecutive patients (96 men and 59 women), aged 16 to 45 years, referred to our Neurosurgical Unit with cerebral transient ischemic attacks or infarction during the period 1978-1988. All patients underwent neurological and medical-cardiological evaluation, cerebral computerized tomography scanning, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests. Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed in 123 cases (79%), cerebral angiography in 147 (95%). Atherosclerosis was the leading etiology occurring in 48 patients (31%). A cardioembolic disorder was considered the probable cause of ischemia in 8 cases (5.1%). Further possible etiologies were contraceptive pill assumption (5.8% of the total, but 15.3% within the female group), spontaneous arterial dissection (4.5%), migraine (4%), puerperium (2.6%), cervical trauma (2.6%), and other, more uncommon conditions. Despite extensive evaluation, the cause of cerebral ischemia remained unknown in 40% of cases. All patients received antiplatelet medication and 16 underwent surgery. The long-term outcome at a mean follow-up of 5.8 years was favorable: 91% of subjects resumed their work on a full or part-time basis.
    Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 11/1991; 84(4):321-5. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many cardiac disorders can cause acute cerebrovascular insufficiency. The spectrum of potentially embolic cardiac conditions is wide; early recognition may determine a definite change in the management and prognosis of patients. In recent years the relevance of echocardiography in the screening of patients with cerebral ischemia has been emphasized. In order to identify potentially embolic cardiac conditions, 180 consecutive non selected patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency, underwent a clinical cardiological evaluation and an echocardiogram. The study population included 132 men and 48 women; the mean age was 51.7 years (range 19 to 72 years). A technically adequate echocardiogram was obtained in 153 patients. In 131 patients echocardiography was negative; cardiac lesions were detected in 22 patients (14.4%): mitral stenosis in 2, calcified aortic stenosis in 1, valvular endocarditis vegetations in 3, dilatative cardiomyopathy in 2, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 4, mitral valve prolapse in 4, regional left ventricular diskynesia in 5, mitral anulus calcification in 1. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to the results of cerebral angiography: 68 patients with normal angiography (Group I), 54 patients with atheromasic lesions on cerebral angiography (Group II), 31 patients in whom cerebral angiography was not performed (Group III). A higher incidence of cardiac diseases was found in the patients of Group I. The lack of lesions on cerebral angiography and the presence of embolic high-risk cardiac conditions strengthened a causal relationship of the cardiac disorder with cerebrovascular insufficiency in 10 of the 23 patients. In the mean follow-up period of 18 months of these 10 patients who underwent cardiac surgery or anticoagulation, no further attacks of cerebrovascular insufficiency were observed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 05/1985; 15(4):407-13.
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    ABSTRACT: The relative efficacy of nicardipine and nifedipine was examined in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized crossover trial. We studied 12 patients with chronic effort angina involving reproducible angina and greater than or equal to 1.5 mm of ST-segment depression on exercise treadmill test performed before and after a 1-week control period of single-blind placebo administration. Subsequently, indistinguishably prepared nicardipine 20 mg, nifedipine 10 mg, or placebo, four times a day, was administered in a randomized double-blind crossover fashion for 3 weeks (total study period 9 weeks). Exercise treadmill test was performed at the end of each 3-week period. Both nicardipine and nifedipine significantly reduced the frequency of anginal attacks and nitroglycerin consumption. Compared with placebo both drugs caused a comparable increase of the duration of exercise, of the time to angina and to the appearance of 1.5 mm ST-segment depression (P less than 0.05 placebo versus nicardipine; P less than 0.01 placebo versus nifedipine respectively). No significant side effects were observed with either drug. We conclude that nicardipine and nifedipine produce similar hemodynamic and clinical effects in patients with stable effort angina.
    International Journal of Cardiology 01/1985; 6(6):673-88. · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • Minerva cardioangiologica 10/1984; 32(9):627-30. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relative efficacy of nicardipine and nifedipine was examined in a double-blind randomized trial. We studied 12 patients with chronic effort angina who had reproducible chest pain and greater than or equal to 1.5 mm of ST-segment depression on treadmill exercise testing performed before and after 1-week control period of single-blind placebo administration. Subsequently over a 9-week period, nicardipine 20 mg or nifedipine 10 mg or an identical placebo four times a day, was administered in a randomized double-blind crossover fashion. Treadmill exercise testing was performed at the end of each 3-week period. Both nicardipine and nifedipine reduced the frequency of anginal attacks and trinitrate consumption. Compared with placebo both drugs caused a comparable increase of the total duration of exercise (p less than 0.05 placebo versus nicardipine; p less than 0.01 placebo versus nifedipine) and of the time to the onset of angina (p less than 0.05 placebo versus nicardipine; p less than 0.01 placebo versus nifedipine) and to the appearance of 1.5 mm ST depression (p less than 0.05 placebo versus nicardipine; p less than 0.01 placebo versus nifedipine). Moreover 4 patients no longer had angina with either drug and only 1 patient with placebo. Both drugs increased resting heart rate and reduced systolic blood pressure at resting (p less than 0.01) and submaximal exercise (p less than 0.01). Peak heart rate, systolic blood pressure and rate-pressure product were similar with placebo, nicardipine and nifedipine. No important side effects were observed with either drug. We conclude that nicardipine and nifedipine produce similar haemodynamic and clinical effects in patients with stable angina.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 09/1984; 14(8):618-20.
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    ABSTRACT: Electrocardiographic abnormalities associated with intracranial diseases, especially subarachnoid hemorrhage, are well known, while there is hardly mention of cardiac arrhythmias in the neurological and cardiological literature. In order to assess the incidence of arrhythmias 52 consecutive patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage secondary to ruptured aneurysm were investigated with 24-hour Holter recordings. Bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias were found in 46 patients (88%); premature ventricular beats in 25 pts (12 of these in 3rd-5th Lown classes), ventricular tachycardia in 2, premature supraventricular beats in 14, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in 1, sinoatrial blocks and arrests in 18, atrioventricular dissociation in 2 and idioventricular rythm in 2. Moreover in 5 pts ST segment changes were found, suggestive of transitory acute myocardial ischemia. The presence and severity of arrhythmias were correlated with the time elapsed from the episode of bleeding, with the QT interval, and with the hemorrhage extent. Our results indicate an high incidence of arrhythmias in subarachnoid hemorrhage, sometimes serious mainly in early stage. Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring is therefore extremely useful and provides data for therapeutic consideration.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 06/1984; 14(5):323-9.
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    ABSTRACT: The comparative efficacy of diltiazem, a new calcium-antagonist drug, and nifedipine were evaluated with computerized treadmill exercise test in 12 patients with stable effort angina. The drugs were administered in a random single-blind fashion in divided doses (diltiazem 60 mg three times daily and nifedipine 10 mg four times daily) over 3 weeks. Maximal exercise tests were performed before and at the end of each 3-week treatment period. Both diltiazem and nifedipine increased the total duration of exercise (p less than 0.001) and the time to appearance of 1.5 mm of ST depression (p less than 0.001). Both drugs reduced resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure; however the effect was greater with nifedipine. Nifedipine, but not diltiazem, caused a significant increase of resting heart rate (p less than 0.05). Both drugs blunted the blood pressure and heart rate response to exercise: nifedipine had a greater effect on the former (p less than 0.001), diltiazem on the latter (p less than 0.05). The rate-pressure product was significantly reduced at rest (p less than 0.01) and submaximal (p less than 0.001), but not maximal exercise with both drugs. The reduction of rate-pressure product is possible as the mechanism by which calcium-antagonist drugs enhance the duration of exercise in the coronary patients. Our results documented a comparable therapeutic efficacy of the two drugs, but side effects were more common with nifedipine.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 08/1983; 13(7):32-9.
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    ABSTRACT: The K-sparing effects of amiloride (A) and triamterene (T) associated with tienilic acid (C) are studied, along with their effects on diuresis and on the urinary excretion of uric acid, Mg, Na, Cl, P, and Ca. Eighteen hospitalized patients, divided into two groups of nine, received the following dosages of the drugs. The first group took 250 mg of C (equivalent to 50 mg hydrochlorothiazide), 5 mg of A and 100 mg of T; the second received double doses of both A and T but the same dose of C. Each treatment was administered on 2 not necessarily consecutive days, so as to have a total of 6 days of treatment per patient according to a balanced randomized design identical for the two groups. The data were obtained from urine collected during the first 8 h after the drug was administered, and during the following 16 h. A and T showed a significant K-sparing effect (p less than 0.01) only for the second group, and only at the higher dosages were minor effects on the urinary excretion of uric acid, Mg, and Cl noted (p less than 0.05). The association of A or T with C was well tolerated, and no important side effects were observed.
    International journal of clinical pharmacology, therapy, and toxicology 11/1981; 19(10):445-9.