Francesco Cafiero

Spedali Civili di Brescia, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (12)29.93 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to correlate total and differential leucocyte (WBC) count with myocardial blush, peak CK levels, and left ventricular (LV) functional recovery at 6 months in 238 consecutive acute myocardial infarction (MI) patients treated with successful primary coronary angioplasty (PCI). Total and differential WBC counts were measured on admission and every 24 h for at least 4 days after PCI. ST-segment resolution and myocardial blush were evaluated immediately after successful primary PCI. LV functional recovery (defined as improvement involving at least two segments, or at least one segment, when only two were asynergic on the basal examination) was obtained through echocardiographic evaluation of LV wall motion at the baseline and at 6 months. Basal CK (P<0.001) and increased neutrophil levels (P<0.001) were the only independent factors related to peak CK, whereas neutrophils and monocytes peaks were related to ST-segment resolution as well as to myocardial blush grade (MBG) 2-3. MBG 2-3 and monocytes number (both as continuous values as well as percentile values) were the only variables independently associated with 6-month LV functional recovery. The present study shows that neutrophils and monocytes counts on the first days after acute MI treated with primary PCI are related to markers of effective myocardial reperfusion such as MBG 2-3 and ST-segment resolution. However, only monocytes and MBG are significantly and independently associated with contractile recovery of the infarcted area at 6 months.
    European Heart Journal 11/2006; 27(21):2511-5. · 14.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of periprocedural antibiotic treatment with roxithromycin on circulating cell adhesion molecules and restenosis after coronary stent implantation. Case-control study enrolling 25 consecutive patients submitted to coronary stenting for stable, single-vessel coronary artery disease, treated with 300 mg roxithromycin once daily for 5 days, starting 2 days before the procedure (group R). Twenty-five patients, matched for lesion site, length and diameter, as control group (group C). The serological status for Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) infection (IgG, ELISA) was assessed in all patients. The plasma concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), E-selectin and C-reactive protein at 1 month after coronary stenting were compared with baseline values. Binary restenosis (> or = 50%) was also evaluated at 6 months. sICAM-1 significantly decreased at 1 month in group R vs group C (371 +/- 181 vs 573 +/- 273 ng/ml, p = 0.005). This decrease was more evident in patients with a positive serology for CP (CP+) (group R 373 +/- 131 vs group C 597 +/- 255 ng/ml, p = 0.014). Antibiotic treatment had no effects on circulating E-selectin levels at 1 month (56.7 +/- 97 vs 49.8 +/- 62 ng/ml, p = 0.54). The restenosis rate (9/50, 18%) was similar in the two groups (group R 5/25 [20%], group C 4/25 [16%]). The restenosis rate was similar in the CP+ vs CP- group (6/35 [17%] vs 3/15 [20%]). A short course of treatment with roxithromycin at the time of coronary stenting induces a significant reduction in the sICAM-1 levels at 1 month but apparently does not influence the restenosis rate.
    Italian heart journal: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 09/2004; 5(9):667-72.
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the time course and the clinical relevance of inflammatory markers in patients with unstable angina undergoing successful coronary stent implantation. Fifty-six patients (33 with unstable and 23 with stable angina) scheduled for single vessel coronary angioplasty followed by successful stent implantation were studied. Blood samples for measurements of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and von Willebrand factor antigen (vWf) were taken immediately before coronary angioplasty and 24 hours and 1 month after the procedure. Patients were clinically examined 1 month after the procedure. The mean levels of IL-6 before stenting were significaNtly higher in unstable than in stable angina patients (p = 0.002), whereas baseline values of vWf showed no difference between the two groups. In unstable angina, serum levels of IL-6 and of vWf did not change 24 hours after stent implantation, but significantly decreased 1 month after the procedure (p = 0.005 and p = 0.0015 respectively). In stable patients, serum levels of IL-6, but not of vWf, increased 24 hours after the procedure and returned to baseline levels 1 month after stent implantation (p = 0.046). In unstable angina, successful treatment of the culprit lesion by coronary stenting results in a significant decrease in the serum levels of IL-6 and of vWf 1 month after the procedure, suggesting that, in this clinical condition, elevated levels of these parameters correlate with the instability of the atheromatous plaque and that their decrease after successful stent implantation is the result of plaque stabilization.
    Italian heart journal: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 11/2002; 3(10):593-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Early risk stratification and an invasive approach (coronary angiography and reperfusion if indicated) have recently emerged as the treatment of choice in non-ST elevation acute coronary syndromes. An aggressive pharmacologic therapy, i.e. glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists, is also more effective in case of risk assessment at the time of the admission of the patient in the coronary care unit. Recent data have assessed the advantages of abciximab over tirofiban in unstable patients submitted to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), whereas non-anticorpal molecules (tirofiban, integrilin) are indicated for the medical treatment of high-risk patients in order to reduce myocardial necrosis during the acute phase. A good platelet inhibition with the oral tienopiridine derivative clopidogrel, resulted in a lower incidence of major cardiovascular events at follow-up both in patients treated conservatively as well as in patients submitted to PCI (CURE and PCI-CURE trials). The early risk of myocardial necrosis before coronary revascularization was also reduced by clopidogrel in patients submitted to PCI, an effect already demonstrated with tirofiban and integrilin ("small molecules like" effect). A new therapeutic scheme including, at the time of admission, oral clopidogrel for platelet inhibition, an early risk assessment and the subsequent use of abciximab in the cath lab, if indicated is proposed for the treatment of unstable angina. The advantages associated with the proposed treatment have to be validated by ad hoc studies.
    Italian heart journal. Supplement: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 10/2002; 3(9):943-8.
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    ABSTRACT: ST-segment elevation (SigmaSTe) recovery and the angiographic myocardial blush (MB) grade are useful markers of microvascular reperfusion after recanalization of the infarct-related artery. We investigated the ability of a combined analysis of MB grade and SigmaSTe changes to identify different patterns of myocardial reperfusion shortly after primary percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA) and to predict 7-day and 6-month left ventricular (LV) functional recovery. MB grade and SigmaSTe recovery were evaluated shortly after successful primary PTCA (restoration of TIMI grade 3 flow) in 114 consecutive patients with SigmaSTe acute myocardial infarction. LV function was assessed by 2D echocardiograms before PTCA and at 7 days and 6 months thereafter. By combining MB and SigmaSTe changes, 3 main groups of patients were identified. Group 1 patients (n=60) had both significant MB (grade 2 to 3) and SigmaSTe recovery (>50% versus basal SigmaSTe) and a high rate of 7-day (65%) and 6-month (95%) LV functional recovery. In group 2 patients (n=21), who showed MB but persistent SigmaSTe, the prevalence of early LV functional recovery was low (24%) but increased up to 86% in the late phase. Group 3 patients (n=28), who had neither significant MB nor SigmaSTe resolution, had poor early (18%) and late (32%) LV functional recovery. After successful primary PTCA, integrated analysis of MB and SigmaSTe recovery allows a real-time grading of microvascular reperfusion of the infarct area and predicts the time-course and magnitude of LV functional recovery.
    Circulation 08/2002; 106(3):313-8. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early achievement of TIMI 3 (normal) flow in the infarct-related artery is the goal of therapy of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in order to reduce infarct size and improve clinical outcome. By the mid 1990s mechanical treatment (primary angioplasty) has been recognized as the best method to gain this goal but fibrinolysis still remains the standard of care because of logistic limitations of angioplasty. Benefit of aspirin in association with fibrinolytic drugs encouraged the use of antagonists of the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor (abciximab, eptifibatide, tirofiban), which block the final common pathway of platelet aggregation in AMI therapy. In dose-finding and dose-confirmation studies the combination of a fibrinolytic agent with a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist, such as abciximab, resulted in nearly 80% of patients achieving complete reperfusion at 90 min without a substantial increase in side effects. This combination was tested in the phase III GUSTO V study. Compared to full-dose reteplase alone, the association of half-dose of reteplase and abciximab significantly reduced most non-fatal complications of myocardial infarction such as reinfarction and need of urgent revascularization. Failure to show a reduction in mortality with "combo therapy" must be related to the low 30-day mortality observed in both arms of the study, the lowest ever found in fibrinolytic trials. Warning about an increase in non-intracranial bleeding is counterbalanced by similar rates of intracranial hemorrhages and non-fatal disabling strokes in the two groups. On the basis of the GUSTO V results it appears clear that future advances in the management of AMI will only be possible by combining different reperfusion modalities (lytics, IIb/IIIa antagonists and coronary angioplasty). Whichever is the best combination, mechanical reperfusion will play a central role in the management of AMI. A major challenge for cardiologists will be reinforcement of collaboration and synergy between institutions with different levels of resources.
    Italian heart journal. Supplement: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 06/2002; 3(5):539-43.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data show that markers of inflammation, endothelial perturbation as well as activation of the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems are altered in unstable angina. The purpose of this study was to compare the 30-day prognostic value of the indexes of inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL-6)], endothelial activation [von Willebrand factor antigen (vWf)], fibrinolysis [plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1)] and coagulation (F1 + 2), in a consecutive series of patients with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndromes. Eighty-eight patients consecutively admitted to the coronary care unit because of chest pain occurring within the previous 24 hours were included in the study. Blood was drawn on admission to the coronary care unit and 72 hours thereafter for the assessment of plasma levels of IL-6, vWf, F1 + 2 and PAI-1. Troponin I serum levels were measured 6 to 12 hours after admission. All patients underwent coronary arteriography. Patients were divided into two groups according to their 30-day outcome: 57 patients (group 1) had an uneventful outcome, whereas 31 patients had an adverse clinical event (4 died, 1 had a Q wave myocardial infarction and 26 had refractory angina). The baseline biochemical variables were similar between group 1 and group 2 patients. Seventy-two hours following admission, an increase in the serum levels of IL-6 was observed in 71% of group 2 patients and in 28% of group 1 patients (p = 0.0001). The other measured variables showed significant changes at 72 hours versus entry only in group 1 patients, and no significant difference between the two groups. The areas under the ROC curves were higher for IL-6 (0.72) than for the other variables (0.58 for F1 + 2, 0.52 for vWf and 0.54 for PAI-1). In a multivariate model, including clinical, angiographic, and biochemical variables, only the change in IL-6 over 72 hours was significantly associated with a worse 30-day outcome (odds ratio 8.472, 95% confidence interval 1.030-69.671). This study shows that a mounting inflammatory process, as indicated by increasing levels of IL-6 over the first 72 hours after admission, is the most powerful predictor of the 30-day prognosis in patients with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndromes.
    Italian heart journal: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology 02/2002; 3(1):28-33.
  • Cardiologia (Rome, Italy) 01/2000; 44 Suppl 1(Pt 2):731-6.
  • M D'Urbano, F Cafiero
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    ABSTRACT: The Sones technique for coronary angiography has been abandoned by most of laboratories. Nevertheless, in some circumstances (anticoagulation, peripheral arteriopathy, outpatients procedures), the femoral entry site may be troublesome. We evaluated the feasibility and safety of percutaneous transradial approach to coronary angiography as an alternative way to the usual femoral approach. Since July to october 1995 we performed 200 consecutive coronary angiographies via radial artery with percutaneous approach. Exclusion criteria were the absence of radial pulse, abnormal Allen test and the need to perform right catheterism. No patient was excluded because of age or other clinical reason. We used right radial artery in 192 cases, left radial artery in 7 cases and both right and left artery in 7 cases. Thirteen patients (6.5%) had previous CABG. Thirteen patients were under treatment with heparin or dicoumarol. Twenty-one patients (10.5%) were affected by lower extremities arteriopathy. Five patients had previous coronary angiography by Sones technique. Fifty-eight patients (29%) underwent coronary angiography on outpatient basis. We used 6 F catheters in all cases but one. 5000 UI heparin bolus was injected in all cases. Sheaths were pull-out immediately after the procedure. We used Judkins L 3.5 and Judkins R 4 as first choice catheter. We succeeded in performing a complete coronary angiography in 189 patients (94.5%). In 11 patients the angiography had to be performed or completed by femoral approach: we failed in radial artery puncture in 5 patients; in 2 patients the guidewire could not be advanced beyond brachial bifurcation; in 1 very tall patient the catheter distal extremity did not reach coronary ostia; in 1 case were not able to do selective injection in left coronary ostium because of brachiocephalic trunk tortuosity; in 2 patients resistant radial artery spasm occurred. It was necessary to change the first choice catheter in 17 patients (8.5%) for left coronary artery and in 4 patients (2%) for right coronary artery. Clinical complications were ventricular fibrillation in 1 case and vasovagal reaction in 3 cases. Local complications were mild haematic effusion in 5 cases, small haematomas in 2 cases. In 12 patients radial artery pulsations were not palpable at discharge; in 4 of them radial artery pulse spontaneously reappeared after a week. Percutaneous transradial approach for coronary angiography is safe and feasible and represents a good alternative entry method mainly in patients with peripheral arteriopathy, in patients treated with anticoagulants and in outpatients coronary angiography.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 11/1996; 26(10):1149-55.
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    ABSTRACT: The management of patients who received thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction is still controversial. It is not clear if the strategies usually followed after myocardial infarction for risk stratification have the same value when applied to patients treated with thrombolysis. To assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of dipyridamole thallium-201 scintigraphy in the "thrombolytic era", we studied 110 consecutive patients younger than 75 recovering from first uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction treated with thrombolytic agents. Patients with early angina, recurrent acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, life-threatening arrhythmias, non Q wave myocardial infarction were excluded. Ninety patients were treated with streptokinase, 14 with rtPA, 6 with APSAC: All patients underwent dipyridamole thallium scintigraphy with standard dose and coronary angiography before discharge (10-20 days). Ninety-nine patients underwent exercise test. All patients were followed-up for 22 +/- 9 months (range 8-42). Perfusion abnormalities were classified as reversible (totally or partially) defects or persistent defects and within or outside the infarct zone. Fifty-eight patients developed anterior and 52 inferior acute myocardial infarction. Coronary angiography showed single vessel coronary artery disease in 66 patients, multivessel disease in 34, and normal coronary arteries or sub-critical stenosis in 10. No major complications (death, myocardial infarction, threatening arrhythmias, prolonged severe hypotension) occurred after dipyridamole infusion. Sixty-two patients had reversible perfusion defects at thallium scanning (34 within the infarct zone, 21 within and outside the infarct zone, 7 outside); 38 patients had persistent defects; 10 patients had a normal scintigraphic pattern. The diagnostic value of homozonal perfusion reversible defects for identifying a patent infarct-related vessel was poor (sensitivity 69.7%, specificity 64.7%). The diagnostic values of the same scintigraphic pattern improved in detecting patent infarct-related artery with residual critical stenosis (sensibility 75.4%, specificity 77.3%); in all the false positive cases (reversible defects within the infarct zone and occluded infarct-related artery) a good collateral flow was present. The sensitivity of reversible defects outside the infarct zone in detecting multivessel disease was 64.7% vs 56.3% of exercise test; the specificity was 92% vs 64%; the positive predictive value 78.6% vs 44%; the negative predictive value 85.3% vs 74.5%; the diagnostic accuracy 83.6% vs 61.4%. During the follow-up 2 deaths, 7 recurrent myocardial infarction, 1 sustained ventricular tachycardia, 1 heart failure, 13 recurrence of unstable angina and 9 revascularization procedures occurred among patients with reversible defects (either within or outside the infarct zone) at thallium scanning. One recurrent myocardial infarction, 4 recurrence of unstable angina and 2 revascularization procedures were the events among patients with persistent defects or normal scintigraphic pattern (p < 0.001). Ischemic events occurred with similar frequency in patients with reversible perfusion defects within the outside the infarct zone (55% vs 50%, NS). Dipyridamole thallium-201 scintigraphy performed after uncomplicated myocardial infarction treated with thrombolytic agents is a valuable diagnostic tool in identifying viable jeopardized myocardium within the infarct zone perfused by a patent but critically narrowed vessel; it shows better diagnostic accuracy in detecting multivessel disease than does the exercise test and is able to identify a subset of patients at risk for future ischemic events after thrombolytic therapy.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 02/1994; 24(1):11-20.
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    ABSTRACT: 84 patients (pts) with recent first uncomplicated myocardial infarction underwent during the early post-infarction period, dipyridamole (D) test (EKG-ECHO-THALLIUM) and coronary arteriography in order to verify its feasibility, safety and usefulness in the detection of residual jeopardized but viable myocardium and in the diagnosis of multivessel disease. 69 pts performed a pre-discharge exercise test. During the execution of D test no major side effect occurred. The D-Echo was positive for residual ischemia in 41 pts (48.8%), the D-Thallium in 49 pts (58.3%) and the exercise test in 30 pts (43.5%). Both the imaging techniques allow the recognition of viable myocardium within the infarct zone (homozonal positivity) or outside the infarct zone (heterozonal positivity). The sensibility and specificity for multivessel disease are, respectively: with D-echo 50% and 100%; with D-thallium 60% and 100%; with exercise test 48% and 63%. D test has better diagnostic accuracy than exercise test in detecting multivessel disease; in particular we emphasized the excellent specificity of D-echo and D-thallium test. Poliparametric approach with D-test and exercise test gives a better stratification of the ischemic post-infarction risk.
    Giornale italiano di cardiologia 06/1991; 21(5):477-84.
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    ABSTRACT: Early achievement of TIMI 3 (normal) flow in the infarct-related artery is the goal of therapy of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in order to reduce infarct size and improve clinical outcome. By the mid 1990s mechanical treatment (primary angioplasty) has been recognized as the best method to gain this goal but fibrinolysis still remains the standard of care because of logistic limitations of an- gioplasty. Benefit of aspirin in association with fibrinolytic drugs encouraged the use of antagonists of the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor (abciximab, eptifibatide, tirofiban), which block the final com- mon pathway of platelet aggregation in AMI therapy. In dose-finding and dose-confirmation studies the combination of a fibrinolytic agent with a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist, such as ab- ciximab, resulted in nearly 80% of patients achieving complete reperfusion at 90 min without a sub- stantial increase in side effects. This combination was tested in the phase III GUSTO V study. Com- pared to full-dose reteplase alone, the association of half-dose of reteplase and abciximab significant- ly reduced most non-fatal complications of myocardial infarction such as reinfarction and need of ur- gent revascularization. Failure to show a reduction in mortality with "combo therapy" must be re- lated to the low 30-day mortality observed in both arms of the study, the lowest ever found in fibri- nolytic trials. Warning about an increase in non-intracranial bleeding is counterbalanced by similar rates of intracranial hemorrhages and non-fatal disabling strokes in the two groups. On the basis of the GUSTO V results it appears clear that future advances in the management of AMI will only be possible by combining different reperfusion modalities (lytics, IIb/IIIa antagonists and coronary an- gioplasty). Whichever is the best combination, mechanical reperfusion will play a central role in the management of AMI. A major challenge for cardiologists will be reinforcement of collaboration and synergy between institutions with different levels of resources.