Alessandro Verde

Azienda Ospedaliera Niguarda Ca' Granda, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

Are you Alessandro Verde?

Claim your profile

Publications (17)33.31 Total impact

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Heart failure (HF) is affecting millions of people every year and it is characterized by impaired ventricular performance, exercise intolerance and shortened life expectancy. Despite significant advancements in drug therapy, mortality of the disease remains excessively high, as heart transplant remains the gold standard treatment for end-stage HF when no contraindications subsist. Traditionally, implanted Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) have been employed in order to provide circulatory support to patients who cannot survive the waiting time to transplantation, reducing the workload imposed on the heart. In many cases that process could recover its contractility performance. Objectives: The SensorART platform focuses on the management and remote treatment of patients suffering from HF. It provides an interoperable, extendable and VAD-independent solution, which incorporates various hardware and software components in a holistic approach, in order to improve the quality of the patients' treatment and the workflow of the specialists. This paper focuses on the description and analysis of Specialist's Decision Support System (SDSS), an innovative component of the SensorART platform. Methods: The SDSS is a Web-based tool that assists specialists on designing the therapy plan for their patients before and after VAD implantation, analyzing patients' data, extracting new knowledge, and making informative decisions. Results: SDSS offers support to medical and VAD experts through the different phases of VAD therapy, incorporating several tools covering all related fields; Statistics, Association Rules, Monitoring, Treatment, Weaning, Speed and Suction Detection. Conclusions: SDSS and its modules have been tested in a number of patients and the results are encouraging.
    Methods of Information in Medicine 02/2014; 53(2). · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The immune response is crucial in the development of multi-organ failure (MOF) and complications in end-stage heart failure patients supported by left ventricular assist device (LVAD). However, at pre-implant, the association between inflammatory state and post-LVAD outcome is not yet clarified. Aim of the study was to assess the relationship among pre-implant levels of immune-related cytokines, postoperative inflammatory response and 3-month outcome in LVAD-patients. In 41 patients undergoing LVAD implantation, plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, crucial for monocyte modulation, and urine neopterin/creatinine ratio (Neo/Cr), marker of monocyte activation, were assessed preoperatively, at 3 days, 1 and 4 weeks post-LVAD. MOF was evaluated by total sequential organ failure assessment (tSOFA) score. Intensive care unit (ICU)-death and/or post-LVAD tSOFA ≥11 was considered as main adverse outcome. Length of ICU-stay, 1 week-tSOFA score, hospitalisation and 3-month survival were considered additional end-points. During ICU-stay, 8 patients died of MOF, while 8 of the survivors experienced severe MOF with postoperative tSOFA score ≥11. Pre-implant level of IL-6 ≥ 8.3 pg/mL was identified as significant marker of discrimination between patients with or without adverse outcome (OR 6.642, 95% CI 1.201-36.509, p = 0.030). Patients were divided according to pre-implant IL-6 cutoff of 8.3 pg/ml in A [3.5 (1.2-6.1) pg/mL] and B [24.6 (16.4-38.0) pg/mL] groups. Among pre-implant variables, only white blood cells count was independently associated with pre-implant IL-6 levels higher than 8.3 pg/ml (OR 1.491, 95% CI 1.004-2.217, p = 0.048). The ICU-stay and hospitalisation resulted longer in B-group (p = 0.001 and p = 0.030, respectively). Postoperatively, 1 week-tSOFA score, IL-8 and Neo/Cr levels were higher in B-group. LVAD-candidates with elevated pre-implant levels of IL-6 are associated, after intervention, to higher release of monocyte activation related-markers, a clue for the development of MOF, longer clinical course and poor outcome.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e90802. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the transcriptomic profiling of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and of its specific receptor, NPR-B in human leukocytes of heart failure (HF) patients as a function of clinical severity, assessing the possible changes with respect to healthy subjects (C). mRNA expression was evaluated by Real-time PCR and total RNA was extracted from leukocytes of C (n=8) and of HF patients (NYHA I-II n=7; NYHA III-IV n=13) with PAXgene Blood RNA Kit. Significantly higher levels of CNP mRNA expression were found in HF patients as a function of clinical severity (C=0.23±0.058, NYHA I-II=0.47±0.18, NYHA III-IV=2.58±0.71, p=0.005C vs NYHA III-IV, p=0.017 NYHA I-II vs NYHA III-IV) and NPR-B transcript levels resulted down-regulated in HF patients with higher NYHA class (C=2.2±0.61, NYHA I-II=2.76±0.46, NYHA III-IV=0.29±0.13, p=0.001C vs NYHA III-IV, p<0.0001 NYHA I-II vs NYHA III-IV). A significant negative correlation between CNP and NPR-B mRNA expression (r=0.5, p=0.03) was also observed. These results suggest a co-regulation of NPR-B and CNP expression supporting the relevance of this receptor in human disease characterized by a marked inflammatory/immune component and suggesting the possibility of manipulating inflammation via pharmacological agents selective for this receptor.
    Peptides 07/2013; · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • International journal of cardiology 07/2013; · 7.08 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This work presents the Treatment Tool, which is a component of the Specialist's Decision Support Framework (SDSS) of the SensorART platform. The SensorART platform focuses on the management of heart failure (HF) patients, which are treated with implantable, left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). SDSS supports the specialists on various decisions regarding patients with LVADs including decisions on the best treatment strategy, suggestion of the most appropriate candidates for LVAD weaning, configuration of the pump speed settings, while also provides data analysis tools for new knowledge extraction. The Treatment Tool is a web-based component and its functionality includes the calculation of several acknowledged risk scores along with the adverse events appearance prediction for treatment assessment.
    Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 07/2013; 2013:1314-1317.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: To associate the time-course of h-FABP and N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP)after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation to outcome in end-stage heart failure patients. Materials & methods: Patients (n = 14, NYHA class III/IV; left ventricular ejection fraction <25% were enrolled; ten survived up to 1 month after LVAD (survivors) and four died of multiorgan failure within 2 weeks (nonsurvivors). Blood samples were obtained at admission; at 4, 24 and 72 h; and at 1 and 4 weeks after LVAD. Results: h-FABP significantly increases after surgery, decreasing since 72 h in all patients. At 72 h all survivor patients present h-FABP lower than the median value. N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide is not associated with patient outcome at any time. Conclusion: High h-FABP levels, indicating the presence of more severe myocardial damage, are associated with a poor prognosis in patients with LVAD, suggesting that an early cardiac injury marker could improve the prediction of clinical outcome.
    Biomarkers in Medicine 06/2013; 7(3):481-92. · 3.22 Impact Factor
  • International journal of cardiology 04/2013; · 7.08 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heart transplantation (HTx) is considered to be the gold standard treatment for advanced heart failure (HF) but it is available only for a minority of patients, due to paucity of donor hearts (278 HTx were performed in 2011 in Italy). Patients listed for HTx have a prolonged waiting time (that is about 2.3 years in the 2006-2010 time period in Italy) that is superior compared with patients who receive HTx (median time around 6 months), to underline the presence of an allocation system that prioritizes candidates in critical conditions. Patients listed for HTx have a poor quality of life and their annual mortality is around 8-10%. Another 10-15% of HTx candidates are removed from the waiting list each year because they are no longer suitable for transplantation. On the other hand, continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have been demonstrated to improve survival and quality of life of patients with advanced/refractory HF. LVAD therapy can represent a valid alternative to HTx, and it is recommended for patients with advanced HF in the recent edition of the European Society of Cardiology guidelines on HF management. In the United States, a larger number of centers compared with European ones started to apply a strategy of LVAD implant for many patients who meet clinical criteria for listing for HTx. Data from our center concerning the last 6 years of LVAD implant (51 implants since 2006) reported a 75.5% survival rate at 1 year. In Italian series, as in our center, current HTx survival is only slightly superior (83% survival rate at 1 year), based on data from the Italian National Transplant Center. We report a proposal for updated listing criteria for HTx and indications for LVAD implant in patients with advanced acute and chronic HF. Criteria for identifying suitable patients for HTx and/or LVAD considering the shortage of donors are discussed.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 02/2013; 14(2):110-9.
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study the transcriptomic profiling of adenosine receptors (ARs) in human leukocytes of heart failure (HF) patients as a function of clinical severity, assessing the possible changes with respect to healthy subjects (C), was evaluated. Total RNA was extracted from leukocytes of C (n = 8) and of HF patients (NYHA I-II n = 9; NYHA III-IV n = 14) with a PAXgene Blood RNA Kit. An increase as a function of clinical severity was observed in each AR (A1R: C = 0.02 ± 0.009, NYHA I-II = 0.21 ± 0.09, NYHA III-IV = 3.6 ± 1.3, P = 0.03 C versus NYHA III-IV, P = 0.02 NYHA I-II versus NYHA III-IV; A2aR: C = 0.2 ± 0.05, NYHA I-II = 0.19 ± 0.04, NYHA III-IV = 1.32 ± 0.33, P = 0.005 C versus NYHA III-IV, P = 0.003 NYHA I-II versus NYHA III-IV; A2bR: C = 1.78 ± 0.36, NYHA I-II = 1.35 ± 0.29, NYHA III-IV = 4.07 ± 1.21, P = 0.03: NYHA I-II versus NYHA III-IV; A3R: C = 0.76 ± 0.21, NYHA I-II = 0.94 ± 0.19, NYHA III-IV = 3.14 ± 0.77, P = 0.01 C versus NYHA III-IV and NYHA I-II versus NYHA III-IV, resp.). The mRNA expression of the ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (CD39) and the ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) were also evaluated. They resulted up-regulated. These findings show that components of adenosine metabolism and signalling are altered to promote adenosine production and signalling in HF patients. Thus, HF may benefit from adenosine-based drug therapy after confirmation by clinical trials.
    BioMed research international. 01/2013; 2013:569438.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Neopterin, a marker of inflammation and monocyte activation, is found increased in patients with heart failure (HF). This study investigates whether neopterin levels correlate with left ventricular (LV) remodeling and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), a marker of cardiac stress, in chronic HF (CHF) patients with different severity of disease. DESIGN AND METHODS: The relationship between neopterin and LV dimensions, NT-proBNP, and pro-inflammatory cytokines were studied in 98 CHF patients, while nineteen healthy subjects were enrolled as controls. Nineteen (19%) patients were in NYHA class I, 38 (39%) in NYHA class II, 27 (28%) in NYHA class III, and 14 (14%) in NYHA class IV. RESULTS: Neopterin levels were higher in CHF patients than in age- and gender-matched healthy controls, and related with indexed LV end-diastolic volume (LVEDVi). Prospectively CHF patients were separated into tertiles of low, medium and high neopterin levels. Among patients, male gender, LVEDVi, diuretic treatment, NYHA class I, NT-proBNP and IL-8 levels were significant determinants of urine neopterin levels by bivariate analysis. Neopterin levels were associated only to LV remodeling, as assessed by LVEDVi, and IL-8 levels, a crucial monocyte chemoattractant, by multivariate ordinal regression analysis. CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between elevated neopterin levels and LV enlargement in CHF patients suggests a crucial role of monocyte activation in the development of cardiac dysfunction in CHF patients. Assessment of neopterin levels are a potential biomarker to evaluate the progression of LV remodeling in CHF patients.
    Clinical biochemistry 10/2012; · 2.02 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the impact of early left ventricular (LV)-mechanical unloading on systemic oxidative stress and inflammation in terminal heart failure patients and their impact both on multi organ failure and on intensive care unit (ICU) stay. Circulating levels of urinary 15-isoprostane-F(2t) (8-epi-PGF2(α)) and pro-inflammatory markers [plasma interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and urinary neopterin, a monocyte activation index] were analyzed in 20 healthy subjects, 22 stable end-stage heart failure (ESHF) patients and in 23 LV assist device (LVAD) recipients at pre-implant and during first post-LVAD (PL) month. Multi-organ function was evaluated by total Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (tSOFA) score. In LVAD recipients the levels of oxidative-inflammatory markers and tSOFA score were higher compared to other groups. After device implantation 8-epi-PGF2(α) levels were unchanged, while IL-6, and IL-8 levels increased during first week, and at 1month returned to pre-implant values, while neopterin levels increased progressively during LVAD support. The tSOFA score worsened at 1 PL-week with respect to pre-implant value, but improved at 1 PL-month. The tSOFA score related with IL-6 and IL-8 levels, while length of ICU stay related with pre-implant IL-6 levels. These data suggest that hemodynamic instability in terminal HF is associated to worsening of systemic inflammatory and oxidative milieu that do not improve in the early phase of hemodynamic recovery and LV-unloading by LVAD, affecting multi-organ function and length of ICU stay. This data stimulate to evaluate the impact of inflammatory signals on long-term outcome of mechanical circulatory support.
    Cytokine 05/2012; 59(1):138-44. · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Women candidates for heart transplantation are definitely less than men, just 20% of all patients transplanted; even in the INTERMACS registry they represent only 21% of all ventricular assist devices (VAD) implanted. The reasons for this big difference are discussed in this article. Why women are less frequently assessed for unconventional therapies? Are they sicker or just less regarded? Our experience and the literature show us clear epidemiological, clinical and treatment differences that could lead to a lower prevalence of end-stage disease in women of an age suitable for unconventional therapies. Once on the transplant list, women wait less than men for a heart transplant, because they present with more severe disease, have a lower body mass index and undergo less VAD implants. After transplantation women's survival is comparable to men's, although they usually complain of a lower quality of life. Females receive less often a VAD than men. The main reasons for this include presentation with advanced heart failure at an older age than men, worse outcomes related to small body surface area, and lower survival rates on VAD when implanted as bridge to heart transplantation.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 05/2012; 13(5 Suppl 1):35S-41S.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory mechanisms are associated with worse prognosis in end-stage heart failure (ESHF) patients who require left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) profiles describe patient condition at pre-implant and outcome. This study assessed the relationship among inflammation patterns and INTERMACS profiles in LVAD recipients. Thirty ESHF patients undergoing LVAD implantation as bridge to transplant were enrolled. Blood and urine samples were collected pre-operatively and serially up to 2 weeks post-operatively for assessment of inflammatory markers (plasma levels of interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, IL-10, and osteopontin, a cardiac inflammatory-remodeling marker; and the urine neopterin/creatinine ratio, a monocyte activation marker). Multiorgan function was evaluated by the total sequential organ failure assessment (tSOFA) score. Outcomes of interest were early survival, post-LVAD tSOFA score, and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay. Fifteen patients had INTERMACS profiles 1 or 2 (Group A), and 15 had profiles 3 or 4 (Group B). At pre-implant, only IL-6 levels and the IL-6/IL-10 ratio were higher in Group A vs B. After LVAD implantation, neopterin/creatinine ratio and IL-8 levels increased more in Group A vs B. Osteopontin levels increased significantly only in Group B. The tSOFA score at 2 weeks post-LVAD and ICU duration were related with pre-implant IL-6 levels. The INTERMACS profiles reflect the severity of the pre-operative inflammatory activation and the post-implant inflammatory response, affecting post-operative tSOFA score and ICU stay. Therefore, inflammation may contribute to poor outcome in patients with severe INTERMACS profile.
    The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 03/2012; 31(6):625-33. · 3.54 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Because of the progressive ageing of the population and the extensive use of recommended drugs, the number of patients with advanced chronic heart failure constantly increases. Several studies showed the efficacy of neurohormonal antagonists and electric devices in NYHA class III-IV patients; however, there is no agreement on the management of refractory heart failure, especially for patients who are not candidates for heart transplantation, because of age or comorbidity. The treatment with intravenous inotropic agents is considered a palliative care. The growing experience with implant of left ventricular assist devices, on the other hand, is encouraging and suggests more extensive use of these devices, both as bridge to transplant and as destination therapy.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 11/2008; 9(10 Suppl 1):112S-117S.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heart transplantation was performed firstly in 1967, but it became a valuable option in the 1980s, due to the availability of cyclosporine and of the technique for rejection monitoring by means of serial endomyocardial biopsies. Post-transplant survival improved over the years, mainly due to a reduction in early mortality for infection or acute rejection. Expected 1-year and 5-year survivals are around 85% and 70%, respectively. During the past 20-30 years, better therapies for heart failure have been developed, leading to restriction of heart transplant candidacy to truly refractory heart failure. On the contrary, the criteria for donor acceptance have been liberalized, due to the discrepancy between heart transplant candidates and available organs. It must be kept in mind that renal and/or hepatic insufficiency that may be a consequence of heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and donor age, all remain risk factors for mortality after transplantation. In order to maintain and possibly improve the results of heart transplantation, effective strategies to increase safely the donor pool are of utmost importance. Moreover, long-term post-transplant recipients present new challenges to research and clinical practice. Mechanical circulatory support devices represent a surgical bridge or an alternative to transplantation; their expansion is limited by costs, organizational burden, and by patient difficulties in accepting this therapy.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) 08/2008; 9(7):461-71.
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heart transplantation was performed firstly in 1967, but it became a valuable option in the 1980s, due to the availability of cyclosporine and of the technique for rejection monitoring by means of serial en- domyocardial biopsies. Post-transplant survival improved over the years, mainly due to a reduction in early mortality for infection or acute rejection. Expected 1-year and 5-year survivals are around 85% and 70%, respec- tively. During the past 20-30 years, better therapies for heart failure have been developed, leading to restriction of heart transplant candidacy to truly refractory heart failure. On the contrary, the crite- ria for donor acceptance have been liberalized, due to the discrepancy between heart transplant can- didates and available organs. It must be kept in mind that renal and/or hepatic insufficiency that may be a consequence of heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and donor age, all remain risk factors for mortality after transplantation. In order to maintain and possibly improve the results of heart transplantation, effective strategies to increase safely the donor pool are of utmost importance. Moreover, long-term post-transplant re- cipients present new challenges to research and clinical practice. Mechanical circulatory support de- vices represent a surgical bridge or an alternative to transplantation; their expansion is limited by costs, organizational burden, and by patient difficulties in accepting this therapy.
    01/2008;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: JID: 101263411; 0 (Adrenergic beta-Antagonists); 0 (Aldosterone Antagonists); 0 (Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers); 0 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors); 0 (Diuretics); ppublish
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006). 9(10 Suppl 1):112S-117S.