Publications by authors named "Braulio Luna Filho"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Performance of the Electrocardiogram in the Diagnosis of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Older and Very Older Hypertensive Patients.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2021 Aug 6. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, SP - Brasil.

Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an important cardiovascular risk factor, regardless of arterial hypertension. Despite the evolution of imaging tests, the electrocardiogram (ECG) is still the most used in the initial evaluation, however, with low sensitivity.

Objective: To evaluate the performance of the main electrocardiographic criteria for LVH in elderly and very elderly hypertensive individuals.

Methods: In a cohort of hypertensive patients, ECGs and doppler echocardiographies (ECHO) were performed and separated into three age groups: <60 years, Group I; 60-79 years Group II; and ≥80 years, Group III. The most used electrocardiographic criteria were applied for the diagnosis of LVH: Perugia; Pegaro-Lo Presti; Gubner-Ungerleider; Narita; (Rm+Sm) x duration; Cornell voltage; Cornell voltage duration; Sokolow-Lyon voltage; R of aVL ≥11 mm; RaVL duration. In evaluating the performance of these criteria, in addition to sensitivity (Sen) and specificity (Esp), the "Diagnostic Odds Ratios" (DOR) were analyzed. We considered p-value <0.05 for the analyses, with two-tailed tests.

Results: In 2,458 patients, LVH was present by ECHO in 781 (31.7%). In Groups I and II, the best performances were for the criteria of Narita, Perugia, (Rm+Sm) x duration, with no statistical differences between them. In Group III (very elderly) the Perugia criteria and (Rm+Sm) x duration had the best performances: Perugia [44,7/89.3; (Sen/Esp)] and (Rm+Sm) duration [39.4%/91.3%; (Sen/Esp), p<0.05)], with the best PAIN results:6.8. This suggests that in this very elderly population, these criteria have greater discriminatory power to separate patients with LVH.

Conclusion: In very elderly hypertensive patients, the Perugia electrocardiographic criteria and (Rm+Sm) x duration showed the best diagnostic performance for LVH.
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August 2021

Accuracy of Post-thrombolysis ST-segment Reduction as an Adequate Reperfusion Predictor in the Pharmaco-Invasive Approach.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2021 07;117(1):15-25

Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, São Paulo, SP - Brasil.

Background: Primary percutaneous coronary intervention is considered the "gold standard" for coronary reperfusion. However, when not available, the drug-invasive strategy is an alternative method and the electrocardiogram (ECG) has been used to identify reperfusion success.

Objectives: Our study aimed to assess ST-Segment changes in post-thrombolysis and their power to predict recanalization and using the angiographic scores TIMI-flow and Myocardial Blush Grade (MBG) as an ideal reperfusion criterion.

Methods: 2,215 patients with ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) undergoing fibrinolysis [(Tenecteplase)-TNK] and referred to coronary angiography within 24 h post-fibrinolysis or immediately referred to rescue therapy were studied. The ECG was performed pre- and 60 min-post-TNK. The patients were categorized into 2 groups: those with ideal reperfusion (TIMI-3 and MBG-3) and those with inadequate reperfusion (TIMI and MBG <3). The ECG reperfusion criterion was defined by the reduction of the ST-Segment >50%. A p-value <0.05 was considered for the analyses, with bicaudal tests.

Results: The ECG reperfusion criterion showed a positive predictive value of 56%; negative predictive value of 66%; sensitivity of 79%; and specificity of 40%. There was a weak positive correlation between ST-Segment reduction and ideal reperfusion angiographic data (r = 0.21; p <0.001) and low diagnostic accuracy, with an AUC of 0.60 (95%CI: 0.57-0.62).

Conclusion: The ST-Segment reduction was not able to accurately identify patients with adequate angiographic reperfusion. Therefore, even patients with apparently successful reperfusion should be referred to angiography soon, to ensure adequate macro and microvascular coronary flow.
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July 2021

Ventricular arrhythmias in the Chagas disease are not random phenomena: Long-term monitoring in Chagas arrhythmias.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 11 19;30(11):2370-2376. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Department of Cardiology, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Background: Variability of ventricular arrhythmias among days in patients with Chagas disease is not detected by 24 hours of Holter monitoring.

Objective: To analyze whether ventricular arrhythmias are a random phenomenon or have a reproducible behavior in patients with Chagas cardiomyopathy.

Method: Holter monitoring was recorded in 16 subjects with a mean age of 52 ± 8 years. They were clinically stable and had ventricular couplets, isolated premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT). The recordings occurred for 7 days. Hurst exponent (HE) evaluated randomness and predictability index (PI) and repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) assessed reproducibility.

Results: The HE was significantly greater than 0.5 in all 16 patients, which confirms the nonrandomness of arrhythmias in this Chagas sample. The PI for ventricular couplets and isolated PVCs was, on average, 38% and 54%, respectively. ANOVA with repeated measurement showed significant differences in the daily frequency of ventricular couplets (n = 15, P ≤ .05), isolated PVC (n = 12, P ≤ .05), and NSVT (n = 7, P ≤ .05).

Conclusion: Ventricular arrhythmias in Chagas cardiomyopathy are not random. Dissimilarities in arrhythmias frequency make unlikely that 24 hours of Holter recording can capture this variability.
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November 2019

Cardioprotective effect of lipstatin derivative orlistat on normotensive rats submitted to cardiac ischemia and reperfusion.

Acta Cir Bras 2018 06;33(6):524-532

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, UNIFESP, Sao Paulo-SP, Brazil. Conception and design of the study, critical revision.

Purpose: To evaluate in vivo animal model of cardiac ischemia/reperfusion the cardioprotective activity of pancreatic lipase inhibitor of the orlistat.

Methods: Adult male Wistar rats were anesthetized, placed on mechanical ventilation and underwent surgery to induce cardiac I/R by obstructing left descending coronary artery followed by reperfusion to evaluation of ventricular arrhythmias (VA), atrioventricular block (AVB) and lethality (LET) with pancreatic lipase inhibitor orlistat (ORL). At the end of reperfusion, blood samples were collected for determination of triglycerides (TG), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), and creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB).

Results: Treatment with ORL has been able to decrease the incidence of VA, AVB and LET. Besides that, treatment with ORL reduced serum concentrations of CK and LDL, but did not alter the levels of serum concentration of TG, VLDL and HDL.

Conclusion: The reduction of ventricular arrhythmias, atrioventricular block, and lethality and serum levels of creatine kinase produced by treatment with orlistat in animal model of cardiac isquemia/reperfusion injury suggest that ORL could be used as an efficient cardioprotective therapeutic strategy to attenuate myocardial damage related to acute myocardial infarction.
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June 2018

[Cross-cultural adaptation of the Myocardial Infarction Dimensional Assessment Scale (MIDAS) to the Brazilian Portuguese language].

Cien Saude Colet 2018 Mar;23(3):785-793

Programa de Pós- Graduação em Cardiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo. São Paulo SP Brasil.

From the evaluation of the factors that affect quality of life (QOL) it is possible to plan interventions that lead to the improved well-being of patients. The scope of this study was to conduct the cross-cultural adaptation of the Myocardial Infarction Dimensional Assessment Scale (MIDAS) questionnaire to the Portuguese language, seeking the necessary semantic, idiomatic, conceptual and cultural equivalence. The theoretical framework of Guillemin, Bombardier and Beaton was used, fulfilling the following steps: translation, back translation, evaluation of the authors, peer review and pre-testing. After all the tests, the semantic, idiomatic, conceptual and cultural equivalence was achieved. The scale proved to be easy to use and was clinically important. MIDAS was validated in terms of its semantic, idiomatic, conceptual and cultural equivalences. Subsequently, the measurement equivalence will be evaluated to verify the psychometric properties.
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March 2018

Electrocardiogram Performance in the Diagnosis of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Hypertensive Patients With Left Bundle Branch Block.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2017 Jan 19;108(1):47-52. Epub 2016 Dec 19.

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.

Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an important risk factor for cardiovascular events, and its detection usually begins with an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Objective: To evaluate the impact of complete left bundle branch block (CLBBB) in hypertensive patients in the diagnostic performance of LVH by ECG.

Methods: A total of 2,240 hypertensive patients were studied. All of them were submitted to an ECG and an echocardiogram (ECHO). We evaluated the most frequently used electrocardiographic criteria for LVH diagnosis: Cornell voltage, Cornell voltage product, Sokolow-Lyon voltage, Sokolow-Lyon product, RaVL, RaVL+SV3, RV6/RV5 ratio, strain pattern, left atrial enlargement, and QT interval. LVH identification pattern was the left ventricular mass index (LVMI) obtained by ECHO in all participants.

Results: Mean age was 11.3 years ± 58.7 years, 684 (30.5%) were male and 1,556 (69.5%) were female. In patients without CLBBB, ECG sensitivity to the presence of LVH varied between 7.6 and 40.9%, and specificity varied between 70.2% and 99.2%. In participants with CLBBB, sensitivity to LVH varied between 11.9 and 95.2%, and specificity between 6.6 and 96.6%. Among the criteria with the best performance for LVH with CLBBB, Sokolow-Lyon, for a voltage of ≥ 3,0mV, stood out with a sensitivity of 22.2% (CI 95% 15.8 - 30.8) and specificity of 88.3% (CI 95% 77.8 - 94.2).

Conclusion: In hypertensive patients with CLBBB, the most often used criteria for the detection of LVH with ECG showed significant decrease in performance with regards to sensitivity and specificity. In this scenario, Sokolow-Lyon criteria with voltage ≥3,0mV presented the best performance.
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January 2017

Reproducibility and Reliability of the Quality of Life Questionnaire in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2016 Mar;106(3):171-81

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Background: Studies have shown the impact of atrial fibrillation (AF) on the patients' quality of life. Specific questionnaires enable the evaluation of relevant events. We previously developed a questionnaire to assess the quality of life of patients with AF (AFQLQ version 1), which was reviewed in this study, and new domains were added.

Objective: To demonstrate the reproducibility of the AFQLQ version 2 (AFQLQ v.2), which included the domains of fatigue, illness perception and well-being.

Methods: We applied 160 questionnaires (AFQLQ v.2 and SF-36) to 40 patients, at baseline and 15 days after, to measure inter- and intraobserver reproducibility. The analysis of quality of life stability was determined by test-retest, applying the Bartko intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Internal consistency was assessed by Cronbach's alpha test.

Results: The total score of the test-retest (n = 40) had an ICC of 0.98 in the AFQLQ v.2, and of 0.94 in the SF36. In assessing the intra- and interobserver reproducibility of the AFQLQ v.2, the ICC reliability was 0.98 and 0.97, respectively. The internal consistency had a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.82, compatible with good agreement of the AFQLQ v.2.

Conclusion: The AFQLQ v.2 performed better than its previous version. Similarly, the domains added contributed to make it more comprehensive and robust to assess the quality of life of patients with AF.
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March 2016

Impact of Intensive Physiotherapy on Cognitive Function after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2014 Nov 28;103(5):391-397. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.

Background: Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a standard surgical option for patients with diffuse and significant arterial plaque. This procedure, however, is not free of postoperative complications, especially pulmonary and cognitive disorders. Objective: This study aimed at comparing the impact of two different physiotherapy treatment approaches on pulmonary and cognitive function of patients undergoing CABG. Methods: Neuropsychological and pulmonary function tests were applied, prior to and following CABG, to 39 patients randomized into two groups as follows: Group 1 (control) - 20 patients underwent one physiotherapy session daily; and Group 2 (intensive physiotherapy) - 19 patients underwent three physiotherapy sessions daily during the recovery phase at the hospital. Non-paired and paired Student t tests were used to compare continuous variables. Variables without normal distribution were compared between groups by using Mann-Whitney test, and, within the same group at different times, by using Wilcoxon test. The chi-square test assessed differences of categorical variables. Statistical tests with a p value ≤ 0.05 were considered significant. Results: Changes in pulmonary function were not significantly different between the groups. However, while Group 2 patients showed no decline in their neurocognitive function, Group 1 patients showed a decline in their cognitive functions (P ≤ 0.01). Conclusion: Those results highlight the importance of physiotherapy after CABG and support the implementation of multiple sessions per day, providing patients with better psychosocial conditions and less morbidity.Fundamento: A cirurgia de revascularização miocárdica (CRM) é a opção cirúrgica padrão para pacientes com placas arteriais difusas e significativas. Tal procedimento, no entanto, não é desprovido de complicações pós-operatórias, especialmente distúrbios pulmonares e cognitivos. Objetivo: Comparar o impacto de duas abordagens fisioterapêuticas diferentes nas funções pulmonar e cognitiva de pacientes submetidos a CRM. Métodos: Testes de função pulmonar e neuropsicológicos foram aplicados, antes e após CRM, a 39 pacientes randomizados em dois grupos: Grupo 1 - 20 pacientes-controle submetidos a uma sessão de fisioterapia por dia; Grupo 2 - 19 pacientes submetidos a três sessões de fisioterapia por dia durante recuperação no hospital. Testes t de Student pareado e não pareado foram usados para comparar as variáveis contínuas. Variáveis sem distribuição normal foram comparadas entre os grupos usando-se o teste de Mann-Whitney, e, dentro do mesmo grupo em momentos diferentes, usando-se o teste de Wilcoxon. O teste do qui-quadrado avaliou diferenças das variáveis categóricas. Testes estatísticos com p valor ≤ 0,05 foram considerados significativos. Resultados: As alterações da função pulmonar não diferiram significativamente entre os grupos. Entretanto, o mesmo não ocorreu com a função neurocognitiva, que apresentou declínio no Grupo 1, mas não no Grupo 2 (p ≤ 0,01). Conclusão: Tais resultados reforçam a importância da fisioterapia após CRM e da realização de múltiplas sessões por dia, o que oferece aos pacientes melhores condições psicossociais e menos morbidade.
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November 2014

Ventricular arrhythmias are not a short-term reproducible phenomenon--why long recording monitoring is necessary.

J Electrocardiol 2014 May-Jun;47(3):335-41. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, 04021-001, Brazil.

Background: The variability of ventricular arrhythmias (VA) among different days of the week is not well detected by one-day Holter monitoring.

Aims: To evaluate whether there are differences in VA distribution pattern during long recording period.

Methods: The EKG was recorded for 14 h per day during 7 days by Holter system in 34 consecutive pat ventricular couplets and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) recording from patients provided graphic data. We applied the Hurst method (H Coefficient) which evaluates whether a repetitive phenomenon is random or not. When the H is >0.5 and <1 means it is not random and implies a long-term memory effect. Considering the arrhythmic variability, the data were also analyzed by repetitive ANOVA comparing incidence of arrhythmias among the days.

Results: Isolated PVCs and ventricular couplets during 98 h recording provided graphic of the occurrence. A trend of increasing and decreasing of arrhythmias was observed which looks erratic. The H coefficient, however, was significantly >0.5 for all patients. Repeated ANOVA showed statistic difference among days in 31 patients with isolated PVCs; in 26 with ventricular couplets and 19 with NSVT when analyzed per hour during week days (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: PVCs, ventricular couplets and NSVT are not a random phenomenon. Our data suggest the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias had no similarity among the days, making unlikely that a single Holter recording for 24h may capture this phenomenon.
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February 2015

Is there a need to redo many of the diagnoses of hypertension?

Sao Paulo Med J 2012 ;130(3):173-8

Blood Pressure Monitoring Service, Hypertensive Cardiopathy Clinic, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Tupi 397, São Paulo, Brazil.

Context And Objective: Most hypertensive subjects undergoing treatment were diagnosed solely through measurements made in the consultation office. The objective of this study was to redo the diagnosis of treated patients after new clinical measurements and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).

Design And Setting: Cross-sectional study conducted in an outpatient specialty clinic.

Methods: Patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension or undergoing anti-hypertensive treatment, without target organ damage or diabetes, were included. After drug withdrawal lasting 2-3 weeks, new blood pressure (BP) measurements were made during two separate visits. ABPM was performed blindly, in relation to clinical measurements. The BP thresholds used for diagnosing hypertension, white-coat hypertension, normotension and masked hypertension were: 140 (systolic) and 90 (diastolic) mmHg for office measurements and 135 (systolic) and 85 (diastolic) mmHg for mean awake ABPM (MAA).

Results: Evaluations were done on 101 subjects (70% women); mean age 51 ± 10 years. The clinical BP was 155 ± 18/97 ± 10 mmHg (first visit) and 150 ± 16/94 ± 11 mmHg (second visit); MAA was 137 ± 13/ 86 ± 10 mmHg. Sixty-four patients (63%) were confirmed as hypertensive, 28 (28%) as white-coat hypertensive, nine (9%) as normotensive and none as masked hypertensive. After ABPM, 37% of the presumed hypertensive patients did not fit into this category.

Conclusion: This study showed that hypertension was overdiagnosed among hypertensive subjects undergoing treatment. New diagnostic procedures should be performed after drug withdrawal, with the aid of BP monitoring.
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May 2013

[Duchenne muscular dystrophy: electrocardiographic analysis of 131 patients].

Arq Bras Cardiol 2010 May 2;94(5):620-4. Epub 2010 Apr 2.

Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.

Background: Cardiac involvement is known to occur in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The electrocardiogram (ECG) shows some typical changes in DMD, which makes it a useful test for the diagnosis of cardiac lesion in this disease.

Objective: To evaluate the electrocardiographic changes in patients with DMD and to correlate these changes with the age of the population studied.

Methods: ECG of 131 patients diagnosed with DMD were examined. Several electrocardiographic variables were analyzed, and the patients were divided into two groups - one with and one without changes, for each variable studied. The correlation between the two groups and the age of the patients was analyzed. Garson's criteria were used to establish the electrocardiographic parameters of normality.

Results: ECG was abnormal in 78.6% of the patients. All showed normal sinus rhythm. The following percentages were found for the main variables studied: short PR interval = 18.3%; abnormal R waves in V1 = 29.7%; abnormal Q waves in V6 = 21.3%; abnormal ventricular repolarization = 54.9%; abnormal QS waves in inferior and/or upper lateral wall = 37.4%; conduction disturbances in right bundle branch = 55.7%; prolonged QT C interval = 35.8%, and wide QRS = 23.6%. Unpaired t test was used to establish the correlation between age and the electrocardiographic variables studied in the two groups. Statistically significant differences were found only for the abnormal repolarization variable.

Conclusion: Electrocardiographic abnormalities are common in DMD, revealing early cardiac involvement. Only the abnormal ventricular repolarization variable was more frequent, however at a lower age range (p < 0.05).
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May 2010

Electrocardiography in the diagnosis of ventricular hypertrophy in patients with chronic renal disease.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2009 Oct;93(4):380-6, 373-9

Universidade Estadual de Ciências da Saúde de Alagoas, Maceió, AL, USA.

Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk, and its characterization and prevalence in chronic renal disease (CRD) should be further studied.

Objective: To establish the diagnosis of LVH in patients with stage-5 CRD using six different electrocardiographic criteria, and to correlate them with left ventricular mass index (LVMI) as obtained by echocardiography.

Methods: Cross-sectional study including 100 patients (58 men and 42 women, mean age 46.2 + or - 14.0 years) with CRD of all causes undergoing hemodialysis (HD) for at least six months. Electrocardiography (ECG) and echocardiography were performed in all patients, always up to one hour after the end of the HD sessions.

Results: LVH was detected in 83 patients (83%), of whom 56 (67.4%) had the concentric pattern and 27 (32.6%) the eccentric pattern of LVH. Diagnostic sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of all the electrocardiographic methods studied were higher than 50%. Using Pearson's linear correlation for LVMI, only the Sokolow-Lyon voltage criterion did not show a > or = 0.50 coefficient. Calculation of the likelihood ratio, in turn, showed that ECG has a discriminatory power for the diagnosis of LVH in the population studied, with emphasis on the Cornell-product and Romhilt-Estes criteria. No correlation was observed between LVMI and QTc and QTc dispersion.

Conclusion: ECG is a useful, efficient, and highly reproducible method for the diagnosis of LVH in HD patients. In this population, the Cornell-product proved to be the most reliable criterion for the detection of LVH.
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October 2009

Biopsy-proven pulmonary determinants of heart disease.

Lung 2010 Jan-Feb;188(1):63-70. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Department of Pathology, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Dr. Arnaldo 455, Sao Paulo, SP, CEP 01246-903, Brazil.

Heart disease (HD) can stress the alveolar blood-gas barrier, resulting in parenchymal inflammation and remodeling. Patients with HD may therefore display any of the symptoms commonly attributed to primary pulmonary disease, although tissue documentation of corresponding changes through surgical lung biopsy (SLB) is rarely done. Intent on exploring the basis of HD-related alveolar-capillary barrier dysfunction, a retrospective analysis of SLB histopathology was conducted in patients with clinically diagnosed HD, diffuse pulmonary infiltrates, and no evidence of primary pulmonary disease. Patients eligible for the study had a clinical diagnosis of heart disease, acute or chronic, and presented with diffuse infiltrates on chest X-ray. All qualified subjects (N = 23) who underwent diagnostic SLB between January 1982 and December 2005 were subsequently examined. Specific biopsy parameters investigated included demonstrable edema, siderophage influx, hemorrhage, venous and lymphatic ectasia, vascular sclerosis, capillary congestion, and fibroblast proliferation. Based on observed alveolar-capillary barrier (ACB) alterations, three main morphologic groups emerged: one group (6 patients) with alveolar edema; a second group (11 patients) characterized by pulmonary congestion; and a final group (6 patients) showing microscopic foci of acute ACB lung injury. Alveolar-capillary stress due to acute high-pressure or volume overload often manifests as diffuse pulmonary infiltrates with variable but generally predictable histopathology. In patients with biopsy-proven alveolar edema, pulmonary congestion, or acute microscopic lung injury, the clinician must be alert for the possibility of primary heart disease, particularly if the patient is elderly or when a history of myocardial, valvular, or coronary vascular disease exists.
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April 2010

Validating a new quality of life questionnaire for atrial fibrillation patients.

Int J Cardiol 2010 Sep 24;143(3):391-8. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in clinical practice, and has major impact on health-related quality of life, thus, there is a need for a specific instrument to assess AF symptoms and quality of life.

Methods: We developed and validated a specific questionnaire for quality of life in AF patients (QLAF) based on clinical manifestations (palpitation, breathlessness, dizziness and chest pain), and the usual treatments (medication, cardioversion and ablation). For validation, the new questionnaire was compared with the generic SF-36 questionnaire. Reproducibility was tested using 40 questionnaires administered by two different observers at distinct times and places. Responsiveness was evaluated based on variation of the QLAF score over time.

Results: There were a total of 462 questionnaires (231 SF-36 and 231 QLAF) administered at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Construct validity was demonstrated by the negative correlation between QLAF and SF-36 scores that was observed over the follow-up period. Analysis of internal consistency for reproducibility showed excellent Cronbach's alpha coefficients (inter- and intraobserver coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96, respectively). QLAF was responsive as indicated by significant differences in mean domain scores from the beginning to the end of follow-up. It took much less time to administer the QLAF than the SF-36 (3:08±0:33 min vs. 9:25±1:14 min, p<0.001).

Conclusion: The QLAF questionnaire is easy to understand and can be administered rapidly in the outpatient setting. Furthermore, the QLAF score is valid and reproducible and responsive to a change in clinical status.
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September 2010

Slow breathing test increases the suspicion of white-coat hypertension in the office.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2008 Oct;91(4):243-9, 267-73

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.

Background: It would be useful to have a clinical test that increases the suspicion of white coat hypertension (WCH) during the medical consultation.

Objective: To evaluate the Slow Breathing Test (SBT) when differentiating hypertension from WCH.

Methods: 101 hypertensive patients selected at triage had their medication withdrawn for 2-3 weeks. The blood pressure (BP) was measured before and after the SBT at two consultations at the office. The test consisted in breathing for 1 minute at the frequency of one respiratory cycle every 10 seconds. Two diagnostic criteria were compared: 1--decrease in diastolic BP > or = 10% in at least one visit or 2--decrease in BP to normal levels (<140/90 mm Hg) in at least one visit. The ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) was performed while blinded to the clinical measurements.

Results: 71 women and 30 men, with a mean age of 51+/-10 years, with mean pre and post-test BP of 152+/-17/ 99+/-11 and 140+/-18/ 91+/-11 mm Hg were assessed. Nine patients had normal clinical and ambulatory measurements. Of the 92 patients, 28 (30%) were classified as having WCH; 15 had a positive test for Criterion 1 and 21 for the Criterion 2. Among 64 (70%) hypertensive individuals, 14 tested positive for Criterion 1 and 12 for Criterion 2. Sensitivity and specificity (95% CI): 0.54 (0.36-0.71) and 0.78 (0.67-0.87) for Criterion 1; 0.75 (0.57-0.87) and 0.81 (0.70-0.89) for Criterion 2.

Conclusion: The SBT showed an increase in the clinical suspicion of WCH in two visits when using the BP normalization criterion. This finding suggests that the test can help in the optimization of ABPM requests for suspected cases.
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October 2008

Correlation of electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy criteria with left ventricular mass by echocardiogram in obese hypertensive patients.

J Electrocardiol 2008 Nov-Dec;41(6):724-9

Federal University of São Paulo, Paulista School of Medicine, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Introduction: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and obesity are important cardiovascular risk factors. This study evaluates the influence of obesity on the diagnostic performance of the most used electrocardiographic criteria for LVH in hypertensive patients.

Methods: One thousand two hundred four outpatients from the Hypertensive Unit of the Hospital São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, were studied. All underwent 12-lead electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. The most known electrocardiographic criteria for LVH were assessed and compared with the left ventricular mass index obtained by echocardiogram in obese and nonobese groups of hypertensive patients.

Results: The population's mean age was 57.4 +/- 4.7 years; 351 were men (29.1%) and 853 women (70.8%). Cornell voltage, Cornell duration, Sokolow-Lyon voltage, Romhilt-Estes criteria, and R wave in aVL 11 mm or higher showed a positive correlation with left ventricular mass index (P < .05). Notwithstanding, there were no changes regarding specificity for obese or nonobese characteristics. However, sensitivity had a statistically significant decrease in obese patients in regard to Sokolow-Lyon voltage and Romhilt-Estes criteria and strain pattern (P < .05).

Conclusion: Cornell voltage and Cornell duration criteria, Perugia score, R wave in aVL, and QTc variable had no significant changes in diagnostic sensitivity in the obese patients.
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January 2009

An 18-week, prospective, randomized, double-blind, multicenter study of amlodipine/ramipril combination versus amlodipine monotherapy in the treatment of hypertension: the assessment of combination therapy of amlodipine/ramipril (ATAR) study.

Clin Ther 2008 Sep;30(9):1618-28

Federal University of Săo Paulo, Săo Paulo, Brazil.

Background: A combination of antihypertensive agents of different drug classes in a fixed-dose combination (FDC) may offer advantages in terms of efficacy, tolerability, and treatment compliance. Combination of a calcium channel blocker with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor may act synergistically to reduce blood pressure (BP).

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of an amlodipine/ramipril FDC with those of amlodipine monotherapy.

Methods: This 18-week, prospective, randomized, double-blind study was conducted at 8 centers across Brazil. Patients with stage 1 or 2 essential hypertension were enrolled. After a 2-week placebo run-in phase, patients received amlodipine/ramipril 2.5/2.5 mg or amlodipine 2.5 mg, after which the doses were titrated, based on BP, to 5/5 then 10/10 mg (amlodipine/ramipril) and 5 then 10 mg (amlodipine). The primary end point was BP measured in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population. Hematology and serum biochemistry were assessed at baseline and study end. Tolerability was assessed using patient interview, laboratory analysis, and physical examination, including measurement of ankle circumference to assess peripheral edema.

Results: A total of 222 patients completed the study (age range, 40-79 years; FDC group, 117 patients [mean dose, 7.60/7.60 mg]; monotherapy, 105 patients [mean dose, 7.97 mg]). The mean (SD) changes in systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP), as measured using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) and in the physician's office, were significantly greater with combination therapy than monotherapy, with the exception of office DBP (ABPM, -20.76 [1.25] vs -15.80 [1.18] mm Hg and -11.71 [0.78] vs -8.61 [0.74] mm Hg, respectively [both, P = 0.004]; office, -27.51 [1.40] vs -22.84 [1.33] mm Hg [P = 0.012] and -16.41 [0.79] vs -14.64 [0.75] mm Hg [P = NS], respectively). In the ITT analysis, the mean changes in ambulatory, but not office-based, BP were statistically significant (ABPM: SBP, -20.21 [1.14] vs -15.31 [1.12] mm Hg and DBP, -11.61 [0.72] vs -8.42 [0.70] mm Hg, respectively [both, P = 0.002]; office: SBP, -26.60 [1.34] vs -22.97 [1.30] mm Hg and DBP, -16.48 [0.78] vs -14.48 [0.75] mm Hg [both, P = NS]). Twenty-nine patients (22.1%) treated with combination therapy and 41 patients (30.6%) treated with monotherapy experienced > or =1 adverse event considered possibly related to study drug. The combination-therapy group had lower prevalence of edema (7.6% vs 18.7%; P = 0.011) and a similar prevalence of dry cough (3.8% vs 0.8%; P = NS). No clinically significant changes in laboratory values were found in either group.

Conclusions: In this population of patients with essential hypertension, the amlodipine/ramipril FDC was associated with significantly reduced ambulatory and office-measured BP compared with amlodipine monotherapy, with the exception of office DBP. Both treatments were well tolerated.
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September 2008

Ventricular mass and electrocardiographic criteria of hypertrophy: evaluation of new score.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2008 Apr;90(4):227-31

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, SP - Brazil.

Background: The left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an important and independent cardiovascular risk factor. There is a scarcity of studies in Brazil designed to test the efficacy of the electrocardiogram (ECG) in the diagnosis of this important pathological process.

Objective: To evaluate a new electrocardiographic score for the diagnosis of LVH by ECG: the sum of the highest amplitude of the S wave and the highest amplitude of the R wave on the horizontal plane, multiplied by the result of the QRS duration [(S+R) X QRS)] and comparing it with the classic electrocardiographic criteria.

Methods: The echocardiograms and ECG of 1,204 hypertensive patients receiving outpatient care were evaluated. The left ventricular mass index (LVMI) was assessed by the echocardiogram, with a diagnosis of LVH when the LVMI was > or = 96 g/m(2) for women and > or = 116 g/m(2) for men. Four classic criteria of LVH were analyzed at the ECG, in addition to the new score to be tested.

Results: In general, the studied ECG-LVH criteria showed significant statistical correlation to the echocardiographic LVMI. The (R+S) X QRS index, using 2.80 mm.s as the cutoff value, provided test accuracy regarding sensibility and specificity of 35.2% and 88.71%, respectively, representing the best correlation to LVMI (r=0.564) when compared to the other indexes: Romhilt-Estes (r=0.464); Sokolow-Lyon (r=0.419); Cornell voltage (r=0.377); Cornell product r=0.444).

Conclusion: All the electrocardiographic criteria used for the assessment of the LV mass presented low sensitivity. The new score presented the best correlation with LVMI when compared to the other indexes.
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April 2008

Exercise testing early after myocardial infarction: comparison with echocardiography, electrocardiographic monitoring and coronary arteriography.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2008 Mar;90(3):176-81

Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, SP - Brazil.

Background: Predischarge exercise testing early after myocardial infarction is useful for risk stratification, exercise prescription, and assessment of prognosis and treatment.

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the findings of exercise testing early after myocardial infarction with those of echocardiography, electrocardiographic monitoring (24-hour Holter monitoring) and coronary angiography.

Methods: We evaluated 60 cases (mean age of 51.42 +/- 9.34 years), of which 46 were males (77%). The symptom-limited maximal exercise test according to the Naughton protocol12 was performed between the sixth day of hospitalization and hospital discharge, with the patients on medication. During hospitalization, the patients underwent echocardiography, electrocardiographic monitoring and coronary angiography. The significance level was set at 0.05 (alpha = 5%).

Results: Exercise testing had a poor performance in the detection of multivessel coronary artery disease (sensitivity, 42%; specificity, 69%). No significant differences were found when the presence of ischemia on exercise test was compared with multivessel coronary disease, complex ventricular arrhythmias on electrocardiographic monitoring, and the finding of an ejection fraction lower than 60% on echocardiography (p = 0.56), as well as with the presence of multivessel lesions, complex ventricular arrhythmias on electrocardiographic monitoring and abnormal ejection fraction on echocardiography (p = 0.36).

Conclusion: The presence of ischemia during exercise testing was associated with the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias on electrocardiographic monitoring, with reduced ejection fraction on echocardiography, as well as with the presence of multivessel coronary lesions, which constitutes an indicator of a high coronary risk.
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March 2008

Quality of life of hypertensive patients treated at an outpatient clinic.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2007 Oct;89(4):245-50

Departamento de Medicina, Universidade do Oeste Paulista (UNOESTE) e Setor de Cardiopatia Hipertensiva - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Presidente Prudente - São Paulo, SP - Brazil.

Background: The main cause of mortality in braziliam population is the cardiovascular disease and arterial hypertension (AH) the most prevalent one. The antihypertensive treatment is effective however it is not well known how affects the quality of life (QOL) in patients afterwards.

Objective: To comparatively assess the QOL in patients submitted to an antihypertensive treatment.

Methods: One-hundred patients with AH were studied of which 46 had complied with a standard treatment regimen (group A) and 54 (group B control) were about to start the same regimen. We collected clinical and sociodemographic data and questions focusing sexuality, self-perception of QOL, number and types of medication taken and their influence on sex life. The questionnaire SF-36 was also administered. The data were analyzed using the tests chi-square, Students t, Pearson correlation and Tukey.

Results: No differences were detected between group A and B in any of the SF-36 domains. There was an association between the question on self-perception of QOL and the SF-36 domains, emotional aspects excepted. As regards sexuality, there was difference in the quality of sex life between the groups, which was less satisfactory for group A.

Conclusion: When the SF-36 was administered no changes in QOL were detected between the groups because it is an asymptomatic chronic disease. The SF-36 did not properly assess emotional aspects in our case series of hypertensive patients that had high behavior variability. Group A showed lower quality sex life; however, this was not related to the number and type of medication used.
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October 2007

The signal-averaged electrocardiogram of atrial activation in patients with or without paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2006 Nov;87(5):564-9

Instituto do Coração do Hospital das Clínicas, FM, USP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Objective: To analyze the parameters of the time domain P-wave signal-averaged electrocardiogram (P-SAECG) and compare them with the P-wave duration on the conventional electrocardiogram (P on ECG) as well as the left atrium diameter (LAD) and left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) obtained on the echocardiogram in order to evaluate patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF).

Methods: One hundred and eighty-one patients were included in the study: 117 with confirmed PAF and 64 without PAF. The P-SAECG parameters used were: the filtered P-wave duration (FPD), the root mean square (RMS) voltages in the last 40, 30 and 20 ms of the filtered P-wave (RMS 40, RMS 30 and RMS 20), the root mean square voltage of the filtered P-wave potentials (RMS P), the integral of the potentials during the filtered P-wave (Integral P) and the filtered P-wave late potential durations below 3 microV (PL<3).

Results: The parameters that presented significant statistical differences between the groups were: FPD, RMS 40, 30 and 20, PL<3, P on ECG and LAD. The ROC curve calculations demonstrated the best cut-off points and performance estimates for each parameter: sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve and p-value (p).

Conclusion: The time domain P-SAECG proved to be a superior method to identify patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation than the conventional electrocardiogram and echocardiogram.
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November 2006

Electrocardiographic changes by accidental hypothermia in an urban and a tropical region.

J Electrocardiol 2007 Jan 5;40(1):47-52. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Escola Paulista de Medicina, UNIFESP, São Paulo CEP, Brazil.

Background: Hypothermia is defined as a condition in which core temperature (rectal, esophageal, or tympanic) reaches values below 35 degrees C. This may be accidental, metabolic, or therapeutic. The accidental form is frequent in cold-climate countries and rare in those with tropical or subtropical climate. The aim of this study was to evaluate electrocardiographic changes of patients with accidental hypothermia.

Methods: In 59 patients with hypothermia, the following electrocardiogram parameters were analyzed: rhythm and heart rate (HR), P-wave characteristics, PR-interval duration, QRS-complex duration, presence of J wave and its location characteristics, polarity, voltage, aspect and its correlation with the degree of hypothermia, changes in T wave regarding its polarity and characteristics, duration of the QT interval corrected for HR using both Bazett and Friderica formulas, and possible presence of both supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias were independently and blindly analyzed in the tracings by experienced cardiologists.

Results: In 6 patients, electrocardiogram was normal. Sinus bradycardia was observed in 52.5% of the patients. J wave was present in 51 patients, and its voltage correlated inversely and was statistically significantly with the core temperature. Changes in T wave were observed in 47.4% of the cases. QT interval, adjusted for HR, was prolonged in 72.8% of the cases. Idioventricular rhythm was found in 6 cases, total atrioventricular block in 3 cases, and junctional rhythm and atrial fibrillation in 2 patients.

Conclusions: Electrocardiogram changes in accidental hypothermia are frequent and characteristic for this entity improving diagnosis in usually unconscious patients, and in many cases, it may be the diagnostic clue in patients with conscience deficit in emergency units, even in patients from a tropical climate where the population at risk may be exposed to temperatures below 20 degrees C.
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January 2007

Quantitation of conventional histologic parameters and biologic factors in prostatic needle biopsy are useful to distinguish paramalignant from malignant disease.

Pathol Res Pract 2004 ;200(9):599-608

Department of Pathology, Marilia School of Medicine, Brazil.

The scope of this work was to determine the potential use of prostatic conventional histologic parameters and biologic factors in distinguishing between paramalignant and malignant prostatic disease, taking into account benign fragments of biopsies obtained from patients with prostatic cancer or from patients suspected to have cancer. Each prostate sample was semi-quantified for macronucleoli, mucin, crystalloid, collagen micronodules, and quantified for glands, stroma, AgNOR, and p53. The database covered 185 biopsy specimens from 136 patients: 56 samples from the same number of patients in whom all the biopsies were benign; 49 samples from patients whose biopsies showed malignant features, and 80 malignant samples. Discriminant analysis of the results showed statistical differences for four parameters: macronucleoli, mucin, gland volume, and AgNOR, allowing us to identify three patterns of prostate involvement: normal, paramalignant, and malignant. The discriminant function permitted an adequate classification of the three patterns in 84% of the cases. Normal areas showed glands with a mean volume of 38.93 microm3, inconspicuous nucleoli, low mucin production, and a mean AgNOR area of 1.26 microm2. Prostatic biopsies with prominent nucleoli and the presence of mucin (60%), gland volume of 22.31 microm3, and AgNOR area of 2.14 microm2 characterized the paramalignant condition. Malignant areas were characterized by mean glands with a volume of 8.11 microm3, prominent nucleoli, high mucin secretion (100%), and AgNOR area of 4.47 microm2. We concluded that modifications in prostate histoarquitecture and function, such as the presence of macronucleoli, volume of glands, abnormal secretion of acid mucin and AgNOR expression, represent important parameters that must be incorporated in the pathologist's evaluation of prostate biopsies to the purpose of indicating a subsequent biopsy, particulary in those patients with clinical suspicion of malignancy, and whose prostate biopsy specimen showed paramalignant areas.
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February 2005

Pravastatin protection from cold stress in myocardium of rats.

Jpn Heart J 2003 Mar;44(2):243-55

Setor de Cardiologia Experimental, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, Brazil.

The aim of this research was to evaluate the possible protective effect of pravastatin on ultrastructural alterations induced by cold stress in the myocardium of rats. Sixteen EPM-Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus albinus) were used and distributed into four groups: 1) control; 2) pravastatin; 3) cold stress, and 4) pravastatin + cold stress. A daily oral dose of 10 mg/kg of weight of pravastatin was administered to each rat in groups 2 and 4 for 15 days. The stress induced by cold was obtained by keeping the group 3 and 4 rats in a freezer at -8 degrees C for 4 hours. The animals were killed and the heart and fragments of the left ventricles (LV) were removed and processed prior to conducting electron microscopic analysis. The ultrastructural alterations in cardiomyocytes were quantified through the number of mitochondrial cristae pattern (cristalysis). The group subjected only to cold stress showed a significant increase in cristalysis (391.9) when compared with control group (42.0). In the cold stress and pravastatin pretreatment group, a statistically significant (96.9)*, P<0.05 cristalysis reduction was observed when compared with cold stress group. The mitochondrial cristalysis profiles of the control and pravastatin groups were 42.0 and 65.7, respectively. Cold stress induced a significant increase in the rate of mitochondrial cristalysis. In the group that received pravastatin and was exposed to cold stress, the drug protected the LV cardiomyocytes. This fact was confirmed by a reduction mitochondrial cristalysis pattern.
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March 2003

Unsupervised rehabilitation: effects of exercise training over the long run.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2002 Sep 8;79(3):233-44. Epub 2002 Oct 8.

Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, SP.

Objective: To assess the safety and efficacy of unsupervised rehabilitation (USR) in the long run in low-risk patients with coronary artery disease.

Methods: We carried out a retrospective study with 30 patients divided into: group I (GI) - 15 patients from private clinics undergoing unsupervised rehabilitation; group II (GII) - control group, 15 patients from ambulatory clinic basis, paired by age, sex, and clinical findings. GI was stimulated to exercise under indirect supervision (jogging, treadmill, and sports). GII received the usual clinical treatment.

Results: The pre- and postobservation values in GI were, respectively: VO2 peak (mL/kg/min), 24+/-5 and 31+/- 9; VO2 peak/peak HR: 0.18+/-0.05 and 0.28+/-0.13; peak double product (DP peak):26,800+/-7,000 and 29,000 +/- 6,500; % peak HR/predicted HRmax: 89.5+/-9 and 89.3+/-9. The pre- and post- values in GII were: VO2 peak (mL/kg/min), 27+/- 7 and 28+/-5; VO2 peak/peak HR: 0.2+/-0.06 and 0.2+/- 0.05; DP peak: 24,900+/-8,000 and 25,600+/- 8,000, and % peak HR/predicted HRmax: 91.3+/-9 and 91.1+/- 11. The following values were significant: preobservation VO2 peak versus postobservation VO2 peak in GI (p=0.0 063); postobservation VO2 peak in GI versus postobservation VO2 peak in GII (p=0.0045); postobservation VO2 peak/peak HR GI versus postobservation peak VO2/peak HR in GII (p=0.0000). The follow-up periods in GI and GII were, respectively, 41.33+/- 20.19 months and 20.60+/-8.16 months (p<0.05). No difference between the groups was observed in coronary risk factors, therapeutic management, or evolution of ischemia. No cardiovascular events secondary to USR were observed in 620 patient-months.

Conclusion: USR was safe and efficient, in low-risk patients with coronary artery disease and provided benefits at the peripheral level.
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September 2002