Publications by authors named "Alberto Galante"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cardiovascular and hemodynamic responses to adapted physical exercises in very old adults.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2017 Jun 20;29(3):419-426. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

Dipartimento di Emergenza, Policlinico di Tor Vergata, Università "Tor Vergata", viale Oxford 81, 00133, Rome, Italy.

Background: Aging is characterized by a physiological reduction in physical activity, which is inversely correlated with survival.

Aims: Aim of the present study is to evaluate the cardiovascular, central hemodynamic and autonomic responses to a single bout of adapted physical exercise in octogenarian subjects.

Methods: We studied cardiovascular, hemodynamic and autonomic responses to adapted physical activity in 33 subjects by a noninvasive methodology (Nexfin, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation).

Results: Our octogenarians presented a significant increase in mean arterial pressure (p < 0.01) and heart rate (p < 0.005) in response to exercise, while both are reduced during the early recovery phase. Central hemodynamic showed a significant increase in stroke volume (p < 0.05), cardiac output (p < 0.01) and left ventricle contractility index (p < 0.01), whereas systemic vascular resistance showed a significant decrease (p < 0.001). We found a reduction in baroreflex control of the sinus node during exercise.

Discussion: Our data demonstrate that in very old people adapted physical activity is able to activate cardiovascular system and to induce a postexercise hypotension similarly to adults. The baroreflex control of sinus node seems to contribute in the physiological mechanism of these cardiovascular adaptations.

Conclusions: In very old people, physical activity induces cardiovascular and hemodynamic responses not significantly different from those induced in adult even though some cautions particularly in the early recovery phase after exercise should be exercised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-016-0598-2DOI Listing
June 2017

Utility of Procalcitonin (PCT) and Mid regional pro-Adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) in risk stratification of critically ill febrile patients in Emergency Department (ED). A comparison with APACHE II score.

BMC Infect Dis 2012 Aug 8;12:184. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Emergency Department Azienda Ospedaliera Sant'Andrea, School of Medicine and Psychology Sapienza Univesity, Rome, Italy.

Background: The aim of our study was to evaluate the prognostic value of MR-proADM and PCT levels in febrile patients in the ED in comparison with a disease severity index score, the APACHE II score. We also evaluated the ability of MR-proADM and PCT to predict hospitalization.

Methods: This was an observational, multicentric study. We enrolled 128 patients referred to the ED with high fever and a suspicion of severe infection such as sepsis, lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, soft tissue infections, central nervous system infections, or osteomyelitis. The APACHE II score was calculated for each patient.

Results: MR-proADM median values in controls were 0.5 nmol/l as compared with 0.85 nmol/l in patients (P < 0.0001), while PCT values in controls were 0.06 ng/ml versus 0.56 ng/ml in patients (P < 0.0001). In all patients there was a statistically significant stepwise increase in MR-proADM levels in accordance with PCT values (P < 0.0001). MR-proADM and PCT levels were significantly increased in accordance with the Apache II quartiles (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0012 respectively).In the respiratory infections, urinary infections, and sepsis-septic shock groups we found a correlation between the Apache II and MR-proADM respectively and MR-proADM and PCT respectively. We evaluated the ability of MR-proADM and PCT to predict hospitalization in patients admitted to our emergency departments complaining of fever. MR-proADM alone had an AUC of 0.694, while PCT alone had an AUC of 0.763. The combined use of PCT and MR-proADM instead showed an AUC of 0.79.

Conclusions: The present study highlights the way in which MR-proADM and PCT may be helpful to the febrile patient's care in the ED. Our data support the prognostic role of MR-proADM and PCT in that setting, as demonstrated by the correlation with the APACHE II score. The combined use of the two biomarkers can predict a subsequent hospitalization of febrile patients. The rational use of these two molecules could lead to several advantages, such as faster diagnosis, more accurate risk stratification, and optimization of the treatment, with consequent benefit to the patient and considerably reduced costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-12-184DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447640PMC
August 2012

Disparities in management of new-onset atrial fibrillation in the emergency department despite adherence to the current guidelines: data from a large metropolitan area.

Intern Emerg Med 2011 Apr 13;6(2):149-56. Epub 2011 Feb 13.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168, Rome, Italy.

Atrial Fibrillation management is still a matter for debate. Past research has largely been based on the outpatient setting in which patients are followed during ambulatory visits. Very little data exist on the optimal management of AF in the Emergency Department (ED). This study investigated which factors drive different AF treatments in the ED, describing their use in different hospitals. Finally, the efficacy of different strategies in terms of cardioversion in the ED was analyzed. Charts of patients treated for atrial fibrillation (AF) were collected in 6 EDs in a large metropolitan area over a 24-consecutive month period and were reviewed and analysed. Demographics, comorbidities, treatment strategy and ED outcome were collected. Inclusion criteria were symptom onset <3 weeks and stable hemodynamic conditions at presentation. A propensity score was used to adjust for baseline clinical characteristics and to compare the efficacy of different treatments. 3,085 patients were included in the analysis. Variables associated with a rhythm control strategy were onset of symptoms <48 h, age, dyspnea, palpitations, renal failure and the presence of a mechanical valve. Different EDs applied different strategies in terms of drugs used and the electrocardioversion rate, showing heterogeneity in AF management. Adjusting for the propensity score, electrocardioversion and antidysrhythmic drugs of class Ic were more effective than a wait-and-watch strategy in the ED. Despite international guidelines being respected, AF management is heterogeneous in different ED settings. A rhythm control strategy with electrocardioversion and Class Ic drugs is more effective than a wait-and watch approach during the ED visit. Further research, toward an evidence-based approach to the emergent management of AF in the ED, is still needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-011-0537-3DOI Listing
April 2011

Investigating feedforward neural regulation of circulation from analysis of spontaneous arterial pressure and heart rate fluctuations in conscious rats.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2009 Jan 14;296(1):H202-10. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Dip. Medicina Interna, Univ. di Roma Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy.

It has been suggested in anesthetized animals that the occurrence of sequences of consecutive beats characterized by systolic arterial pressure (SAP) and RR or pulse interval (PI) changing in the opposite direction (SAP(+)/RR(-) and SAP(-)/RR(+), nonbaroreflex sequences) might represent the expression of neural cardiovascular regulatory mechanisms operating with feedforward characteristics. The aim of the present study was to study nonbaroreflex sequences in a more physiological experimental model, i.e., in conscious freely moving rats. We studied conscious rats before and after 1) complete autonomic blockade (n = 12), 2) sympathetic blockade (n = 10), 3) alpha (n = 7)- and beta (n = 8)-adrenergic blockade, and 4) parasympathetic blockade (n = 10). Nonbaroreflex sequences were defined as three or more beats in which SAP and PI of the following beat changed in the opposite direction. Complete autonomic blockade reduced the number of nonbaroreflex sequences (95.6 +/- 9.0 vs. 45.2 +/- 4.1, P < 0.001), as did sympathetic blockade (80.9 +/- 12.6 vs. 30.9 +/- 6.1, P < 0.001). The selective alpha-receptor blockade did not induce significant changes (80.9 +/- 12.5 in baseline vs. 79.0 +/- 14.7 after prazosin), whereas beta-receptor blockade significantly reduced nonbaroreflex sequence occurrence (80.9 +/- 12.5 in baseline vs. 48.9 +/- 15.3 after propranolol). Parasympathetic blockade produced a significant increase of nonbaroreflex sequences (95.1 +/- 6.9 vs. 136.0 +/- 12.4, P < 0.01). These results demonstrate the physiological role of the nonbaroreflex sequences as an expression of a feedforward type of short-term cardiovascular regulation able to interact dynamically with the feedback mechanisms of baroreflex origin in the neural control of the sinus node.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00358.2008DOI Listing
January 2009

Isolated H. pylori duodenal colonization and idiopathic duodenal ulcers.

Am J Gastroenterol 2008 Jan;103(1):55-61

Department of Biopathology-Occupational Medicine, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate whether some duodenal ulcers (DU) classified as idiopathic according to standard criteria may be causally related to isolated duodenal colonization by H. pylori.

Methods: We studied consecutive ambulatory patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in a secondary care setting. Gastric and duodenal biopsies for diagnosing H. pylori infection were taken from all patients. Independently from the findings of duodenal biopsies, DU patients without gastric infection were classified as having idiopathic ulcers, and underwent urea C13 breath test and subsequent eradication therapy. Endoscopy was repeated 6 months after eradication treatment.

Results: Among 608 DU patients, 42 (6.9%) were classified as idiopathic: 24 (3.9%) were free from gastric and duodenal infection (group A) and 18 (3.0%) (group B) had isolated duodenal colonization. Urea C13 breath test was positive in one (4.2%) group A patient and in 3 (16.7%) group B patients. After eradication therapy, DU were detected in 14 out of 20 group A patients (70%) (four patients did not perform control endoscopy) and in 2 group B patients (11.1%): OR 18.66, 95% CI 3.23-107.82, P= 0.002. The difference was still detectable after multivariate analysis taking into account possible confounding factors: OR 15.79, 95% CI 2.48-100.53, P= 0.001.

Conclusions: Isolated duodenal colonization by H. pylori is detectable in a substantial proportion of patients with so-called idiopathic DU, and eradication therapy is effective in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01506.xDOI Listing
January 2008

Effects of residential exercise training on heart rate recovery in coronary artery patients.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2007 Jan 15;292(1):H510-5. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Dipartimento Medicina Interna, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata," Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Roma, Italy.

The aims of the present study are twofold: 1) to investigate whether heart rate recovery (HRR) after a cycle ergometry test is affected by exercise training and 2) to test the ability of HRR to replicate the baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) changes that occur in response to an exercise training program in coronary artery patients. We randomized 82 coronary artery patients undergoing a residential cardiac rehabilitation program to an exercise training group (TR; n = 43) and an untrained group (UTR; n = 39). All of the patients underwent an exercise test before and after the rehabilitation program. HRR was recorded at the end of the 1st and 2nd min after exercise. BRS was determined at rest before and after treatment. HRR after the 2nd min was significantly improved in TR patients (-21.4 +/- 0.9 beats/min) compared with UTR patients (-17.8 +/- 1.2 beats/min) at the end of the training program. Improvement in HRR paralleled that in BRS in TR patients (from 3.2 +/- 0.3 to 5.3 +/- 0.8 ms/mmHg; P < 0.001), whereas no significant change was evident in UTR patients (from 3.5 +/- 0 to 4.0 +/- 0.4 ms/mmHg; P = 0.230). Our data show that HRR in the 2nd min after the cessation of a cycle ergometer exercise test increased in coronary artery patients after an exercise training period. This result confirms the positive effect induced by exercise training on HRR and extends the conclusions of previous studies to different modalities of exercise (i.e., cycle ergometer). HRR might provide an additional simple marker of the effectiveness of physical training programs in cardiac patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00748.2006DOI Listing
January 2007

Cytotoxin-associated gene A strains of Helicobacter pylori represent a risk factor for the development of microalbuminuria in type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Care 2006 Jun;29(6):1399-401

Department of Internal Medicine, Tor Vergata University, Via Montpellier 1, 00161 Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc06-0404DOI Listing
June 2006

Altered autonomic cardiac regulation in individuals with Down syndrome.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2005 Dec 15;289(6):H2387-91. Epub 2005 Jul 15.

Dipartimento Medicina Interna, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Via O. Raimondo, 8, 00173 ROME, Italy.

We tested the hypothesis that individuals with Down syndrome, but without congenital heart disease, exhibit altered autonomic cardiac regulation. Ten subjects with Down syndrome (DS) and ten gender-and age-matched healthy control subjects were studied at rest and during active orthostatism, which induces reciprocal changes in sympathetic and parasympathetic traffic to the heart. Autoregressive power spectral analysis was used to investigate R-R interval variability. Baroreflex modulation of sinus node was assessed by the spontaneous baroreflex sequences method. No significant differences between DS and control subjects were observed in arterial blood pressure at rest or in response to standing. Also, R-R interval did not differ at rest. R-R interval decreased significantly less during standing in DS vs. control subjects. Low-frequency (LFNU) and high-frequency (HFNU) (both expressed in normalized units) components of R-R interval variability did not differ between DS and control subjects at rest. During standing, significant increase in LFNU and decrease in HFNU were observed in control subjects but not in DS subjects. Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) did not differ between DS and control subjects at rest and underwent significant decrease on going from supine to upright in both groups. However, BRS was greater in DS vs. control subjects during standing. These data indicate that subjects with DS exhibit reduced HR response to orthostatic stress associated with blunted sympathetic activation and vagal withdrawal and with a lesser reduction in BRS in response to active orthostatism. These findings suggest overall impairment in autonomic cardiac regulation in DS and may help to explain the chronotropic incompetence typically reported during exercise in subjects with DS without congenital heart disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00560.2005DOI Listing
December 2005

Total body water estimation and maternal cardiac systolic function assessment in normal and gestational hypertensive pregnant women.

Med Sci Monit 2004 Sep 20;10(9):CR530-4. Epub 2004 Aug 20.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Background: The importance of establishing correlations between cardiac function (cardiac output and stroke volume) and total body water (TBW) content in normal and hypertensive pregnancy focuses primarily on their potential relevance in treatment. Total body water content and cardiac function were evaluated in 25 normotensive (N) and 22 gestational hypertensive (GH) pregnant women matched for age, gestational age, and pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) during the third trimester of gestation.

Material/methods: Patients underwent maternal echocardiography, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and hematocrit (Hct) evaluation, and the water balance index (WBI), i.e. the ratio of total body water to hematocrit, was computed. Hematocrit showed significantly lower values in normal than in GH women (31.9+/-2.2% vs. 36.2+/-2.5%; p<0.001).

Results: There was no difference in TBW between the two groups. The WBI was higher in normal than in GH women (1.35+/-0.20 l.kg-1.m-2 vs. 1.19+/-0.18 l.kg-1.m-2; p<0.001). Normal subjects showed a higher stroke volume than GH patients (78.0+/-9.7 ml vs 67.9+/-10.2 ml; p=0.001). Atrial function was also higher in normal than in GH women (left atrial fractional area change: 57.4+/-5.1% vs. 42.5+/-7.5%; p<0.001). Correlation was found between stroke volume and WBI (r=0.93, p<0.0001).

Conclusions: Maternal cardiac function and the water balance index are strongly related and might help in comprehending the mechanisms of adaptation in physiologic and hypertensive pregnancy.
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September 2004

Baroreflex buffering of sympathetic activation during sleep: evidence from autonomic assessment of sleep macroarchitecture and microarchitecture.

Hypertension 2004 Apr 23;43(4):814-9. Epub 2004 Feb 23.

Dipartimento di Medicina Interna-Centro di Riabilitazione Cardiologica San Raffaele Pisana, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Santa Lucia, Roma, Italy.

We examined the effects of sleep microstructure, ie, the cyclic alternating pattern (CAP), on heart rate (HR)- and blood pressure (BP)-regulating mechanisms and on baroreflex control of HR in healthy humans and tested the hypothesis that sympathetic activation occurring in CAP epochs during non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep periods is buffered by the arterial baroreflex. Ten healthy males underwent polysomnography and simultaneous recording of BP, ECG, and respiration. Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) was calculated by the sequences method. Autoregressive power spectral analysis was used to investigate R-R interval (RRI) and BP variabilities. During overall non-REM sleep, BP decreased and RRI increased in comparison to wakefulness, with concomitant decreases in low-frequency RRI and BP oscillations and increases in high-frequency RRI oscillations. These changes were reversed during REM to wakefulness levels, with the exception of RRI. During CAP, BP increased significantly in comparison to non-CAP and did not differ from REM and wakefulness. The low-frequency component of BP variability was significantly higher during CAP than non-CAP. RRI and its low-frequency spectral component did not differ between CAP and non-CAP. BRS significantly increased during CAP in comparison to non-CAP. BRS was not different during CAP and REM and was greater during both in comparison with the awake state. Even during sleep stages, like non-REM sleep, characterized by an overall vagal predominance, phases of sustained sympathetic activation do occur that resemble that occurring during REM. Throughout the overnight sleep period, the arterial baroreflex acts to buffer surges of sympathetic activation by means of rapid changes in cardiac vagal circuits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.HYP.0000121364.74439.6aDOI Listing
April 2004

Are gestational and essential hypertension similar? Left ventricular geometry and diastolic function.

Hypertens Pregnancy 2003 ;22(3):225-37

Semeiology and Medical Methodology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the differences and similarities in diastolic function and left ventricular geometry in gestational and essential hypertension.

Methods: Thirty-nine consecutive gestational hypertensive pregnant women in the third trimester of gestation (GH), 40 nonpregnant essential hypertensive women (EH), and 38 normotensive nonpregnant women (N) matched for age were enrolled into the study and underwent echocardiographic and Doppler evaluations. The GH and EH patients were evaluated prior to the administration of any drug treatment.

Results: Left atrial function was similar in GH and N subjects and lower than that in EH patients. Both GH and EH patients had early left ventricular diastolic filling pattern significantly different as compared to N subjects (longer isovolumetric relaxation time, deceleration time of the E wave, and lower E wave velocity in GH and EH vs. N), whereas the late filling properties were similar in GH and N subjects with a lower A velocity, and velocity-time integral vs. EH (p < 0.05). Systolic fraction of the pulmonary vein flow was similar in GH and EH patients and lower in N subjects. Altered left ventricular geometry was more common in GH than in EH, whereas normotensive subjects did not show any alteration of the geometric pattern.

Conclusions: Gestational and essential hypertension induce similar early altered diastolic filling of the left ventricle. Essential hypertension is characterized by a compensatory late filling mechanism due to an enhancement of left atrial function. Gestational hypertension is characterized by altered left ventricular geometry, which is far less common during essential hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1081/PRG-120024026DOI Listing
December 2003

Detection of clarithromycin-resistant Helicobacter pylori in stool samples.

J Clin Microbiol 2003 Aug;41(8):3636-40

Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, "Tor Vergata" University of Rome, Italy.

The recognition of the role of Helicobacter pylori in gastric diseases has led to the widespread use of antibiotics in the eradication of this pathogen. The most advocated therapy, triple therapy, often includes clarithromycin. It is well known that clarithromycin resistance is one of the major causes of eradication failure. The development of a rapid noninvasive technique that could easily be performed on fecal samples and that could also provide information about the antibiotic resistance of this microorganism is therefore advisable. Previous findings have demonstrated that clarithromycin resistance is due to a single point mutation in the 23S rRNA. All the mutations described have been associated with specific restriction sites, namely BsaI (A2143G), MboII (A2142C/G), and HhaI (T2717C). On this basis we have developed a new method, a seminested PCR, allowing screening for clarithromycin resistance of H. pylori directly on stool samples. This method furnished a 783-bp fragment of the 23S rRNA, which was subsequently digested by MboII, BsaI, and HhaI, in order to identify single point mutations associated with clarithromycin resistance. Of a total of 283 stool samples examined, 125 were H. pylori positive and two of them were shown to contain clarithromycin-resistant strains due to the presence of a mutation at position 2717, whereas no PCR products contained mutations at position 2142 or 2143. In order to evaluate the reliability of the new system, we compared the results of restriction analysis of the PCR products with the MICs shown by the H. pylori isolates by culturing gastric biopsies from the same patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC179782PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jcm.41.8.3636-3640.2003DOI Listing
August 2003

Sleep-related changes in baroreflex sensitivity and cardiovascular autonomic modulation.

J Hypertens 2003 Aug;21(8):1555-61

Dipartimento di Medicina Interna-Centro di Riabilitazione Cardiologica San Raffaele-Pisana, Université di Roma, Rome, Italy.

Objective: We examined the effects of the various sleep stages on baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and heart rate and blood pressure (BP) variability, and tested the hypothesis that there is a different behavior of the baroreflex control of the sinus node in response to hypertensive and hypotensive stimuli and in relation to different cycles of the overnight sleep.

Design: Polygraphic sleep recordings were performed in 10 healthy males. The BP and the RR interval were continuously recorded during sleep.

Methods: BRS was calculated by the sequences method. Autoregressive power spectral analysis was used to investigate the RR-interval and BP variabilities.

Results: During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep BRS significantly increased in response to hypertensive stimuli in comparison with non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and the awake state, whereas it did not change in response to hypotensive stimuli. In the first sleep cycle, BRS significantly increased during NREM in comparison with wakefulness, whereas during REM BRS in response to hypertensive stimuli did not show significant changes as compared with the awake state and/or with NREM. During REM occurring in the sleep cycle before morning awakening, BRS showed a significant increase in response to hypertensive stimuli in comparison with both NREM and the awake state.

Conclusions: During sleep, arterial baroreflex modulation of the sinus node is different in response to hypotensive and hypertensive stimuli particularly during REM. Furthermore, baroreflex control of the sinus node shows a non-uniform behavior during REM occurring in different nocturnal sleep cycles. These findings suggest that the arterial baroreflex is more effective in buffering the increased sympathetic activation associated with REM at the end of sleep than in the early night.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00004872-200308000-00021DOI Listing
August 2003

Left ventricular concentric geometry as a risk factor in gestational hypertension.

Hypertension 2003 Mar 17;41(3):469-75. Epub 2003 Feb 17.

Semeiology and Medical Methodology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

In the past, an adverse prognostic significance of an altered left ventricular geometry in essential hypertension has been demonstrated. There are no data on the prognostic significance of an altered cardiac structure during pregnancy. The present study was designed to evaluate the prognostic impact on the outcome of pregnancy of an altered geometry of the left ventricle in mild gestational hypertension. One hundred forty-eight consecutive, pregnant, mild gestational hypertensive women (systolic and diastolic blood pressure, 140 to 150 mm Hg and 90 to 99 mm Hg, respectively) were included in the study. Patients were monitored until term to detect subsequent fetal and/or maternal adverse outcomes (preeclampsia, preterm delivery, abruptio placentae, other maternal medical problems, fetal distress, neonatal low birth weight, admittance to neonatal intensive care unit). One hundred one gestational hypertensive patients (68.2%) had an uneventful pregnancy; 47 patients (31.8%) showed a subsequent development of maternal and/or fetal complications. Concentric geometry was prevalent among patients with the subsequent development of complicated gestational hypertension (37 out of 47 patients) compared with the uneventful gestational hypertensive patients (31 out of 101 patients; 78.7% versus 30.1%; P=0.0001). The multivariate analysis showed concentric geometry as an independent predictor of adverse outcomes (odds ratio, 3.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.30 to 10.27; P=0.014). In patients with gestational hypertension, blood pressure values alone appear to be insufficient to identify the effective risk of adverse events. Ventricular geometry gives additional prognostic information, possibly improving our clinical ability to follow and eventually treat these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.HYP.0000058001.67791.0ADOI Listing
March 2003

New site of modification of 23S rRNA associated with clarithromycin resistance of Helicobacter pylori clinical isolates.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2002 Dec;46(12):3765-9

Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy.

Resistance of Helicobacter pylori to clarithromycin occurs with a prevalence ranging from 0 to 15%. This has an important clinical impact on dual and triple therapies, in which clarithromycin seems to be the better choice to achieve H. pylori eradication. In order to evaluate the possibility of new mechanisms of clarithromycin resistance, a PCR assay that amplified a portion of 23S rRNA from H. pylori isolates was used. Gastric tissue biopsy specimens from 230 consecutive patients were cultured for H. pylori isolation. Eighty-six gastric biopsy specimens yielded H. pylori-positive results, and among these 12 isolates were clarithromycin resistant. The latter were studied to detect mutations in the 23S rRNA gene. Sequence analysis of the 1,143-bp PCR product (portion of the 23S rRNA gene) did not reveal mutation such as that described at position 2142 to 2143. On the contrary, our findings show, for seven isolates, a T-to-C transition at position 2717. This mutation conferred a low level of resistance, equivalent to the MIC for the isolates, selected using the E-test as well as using the agar dilution method: 1 micro g/ml. Moreover, T2717C transition is located in a highly conserved region of the 23S RNA associated with functional sites: domain VI. This fact has a strong effect on the secondary structure of the 23S RNA and on its interaction with macrolide. Mutation at position 2717 also generated an HhaI restriction site; therefore, restriction analysis of the PCR product also permits a rapid detection of resistant isolates.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC132752PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aac.46.12.3765-3769.2002DOI Listing
December 2002

Cytotoxin-associated gene-A--positive Helicobacter pylori strains are associated with atherosclerotic stroke.

Circulation 2002 Jul;106(5):580-4

Medical Semiology and Methodology, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Background: It is uncertain whether Helicobacter pylori is associated with ischemic syndromes and whether this association is mediated by the induction of atherosclerosis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that atherosclerotic stroke shows a selective association with virulent H pylori strains.

Methods And Results: The seroprevalence of infection by H pylori and by strains bearing the cytotoxin-associated gene-A (CagA), a strong virulence factor, was assessed by ELISA in 138 patients with large-vessel stroke (group A), in 61 patients with cardioembolic stroke (group B), and in 151 healthy control subjects. The 3 groups had a similar socioeconomic status. Serum levels of C-reactive protein were also measured by ELISA. The prevalence of infection was 71% in group A, 63.9% in group B, and 70.2% in the control group (P=NS), whereas the prevalence of CagA-positive strains was higher in group A than in group B (42.8% versus 19.7%, respectively; odds ratio 3.04, 95% CI 1.43 to 6.49; P<0.001) and higher in group A than in the control group (42.8% versus 17.9%, respectively; odds ratio 4.3, 95% CI 2.12 to 8.64; P<0.001), after adjusting for main cardiovascular risk factors and social class. A trend toward a difference in C-reactive protein was observed between CagA-positive (2.00+/-3.43 [mean+/-SD] mg/dL) and CagA-negative (1.31+/-1.72 [mean+/-SD] mg/dL) patients (P=0.072, Mann-Whitney U test).

Conclusions: The association between H pylori and acute cerebrovascular disease seems to be due to a higher prevalence of more virulent H pylori strains in patients with atherosclerotic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.0000023894.10871.2fDOI Listing
July 2002

Do primary care physicians underprescribe antibiotics for peptic ulcer disease? Report from an Italian research network.

J Fam Pract 2002 Mar;51(3):265

Tor Vergata University, Rome, and Clinica San Raffaele-Tosinvest Sanita, Velletri, Italy.

Objective: To determine how often primary care physicians prescribe eradication therapy for peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and nonulcer dyspepsia (NUD).

Study Design: During a 2-year period (1998-2000) we analyzed data concerning patients with PUD or NUD seen by 80 Italian primary care physicians uniformly distributed throughout the country. We classified patients as having a definitive or a presumptive diagnosis on the basis of the completeness of the diagnostic workup and interpreted the prescription of antibiotics for dyspepsia as evidence of attempted eradication of Helicobacter pylori.

Population: Consecutive ambulatory patients.

Outcomes Measured: The frequency with which predefined groups of patients received eradication therapy.

Results: Of 6866 patients, 690 (10%) received eradication therapy. Of 2162 patients with PUD, 596 (27.6%) received eradication therapy; of 4704 patients with NUD, however, only 94 (2%) received this treatment (P =.0001). A total of 341 (37.7%) of 904 PUD patients with a definitive diagnosis were given eradication therapy and 255 (20.3%) of 1258 PUD patients with a presumptive diagnosis were given therapy (P <.0001). In NUD patients, 7 of 743 (0.9%) with a definitive diagnosis received eradication therapy, while 87 (2.2%) of 3961 of those with a presumptive diagnosis were given the same therapy (P =.025).

Conclusions: While Italian primary care physicians appropriately target eradication therapy for H pylori infection in patients with peptic ulcer disease rather than nonulcer disease, the intervention was still underused in these patients. Improvements in this prescribing behavior are needed.
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March 2002

Hemodynamic and autonomic correlates of postexercise hypotension in patients with mild hypertension.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2002 Apr;282(4):R1037-43

Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Centro di Riabilitazione Cardiologica San Raffaele and Università di Roma Tor Vergata, 00173 Rome, Italy.

We investigated the interplay of neural and hemodynamic mechanisms in postexercise hypotension (PEH) in hypertension. In 15 middle-aged patients with mild essential hypertension, we evaluated blood pressure (BP), cardiac output (CO), total peripheral resistance (TPR), forearm (FVR) and calf vascular resistance (CVR), and autonomic function [by spectral analysis of R-R interval and BP variabilities and spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (BRS)] before and after maximal exercise. Systolic and diastolic BP, TPR, and CVR were significantly reduced from baseline 60-90 min after exercise. CO, FVR, and HR were unchanged. The low-frequency (LF) component of BP variability increased significantly after exercise, whereas the LF component of R-R interval variability was unchanged. The overall change in BRS was not significant after exercise vs. baseline, although a significant, albeit small, BRS increase occurred in response to hypotensive stimuli. These findings indicate that in hypertensive patients, PEH is mediated mainly by a peripheral vasodilation, which may involve metabolic factors linked to postexercise hyperemia in the active limbs. The vasodilator effect appears to override a concomitant, reflex sympathetic activation selectively directed to the vasculature, possibly aimed to counter excessive BP decreases. The cardiac component of arterial baroreflex is reset during PEH, although the baroreflex mechanisms controlling heart period appear to retain the potential for greater opposition to hypotensive stimuli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00603.2001DOI Listing
April 2002