Publications by authors named "Eduardo Bossone"

429 Publications

Left Ventricular Deformation and Vortex Analysis in Heart Failure: From Ultrasound Technique to Current Clinical Application.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 May 17;11(5). Epub 2021 May 17.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Translational Medical Sciences, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, its symptoms and signs are not specific or can be absent. In this context, transthoracic echocardiography plays a key role in diagnosing the various forms of HF, guiding therapeutic decision making and monitoring response to therapy. Over the last few decades, new ultrasound modalities have been introduced in the field of echocardiography, aiming at better understanding the morpho-functional abnormalities occurring in cardiovascular diseases. However, they are still struggling to enter daily and routine use. In our review article, we turn the spotlight on some of the newest ultrasound technologies; in particular, analysis of myocardial deformation by speckle tracking echocardiography, and intracardiac flow dynamics by color Doppler flow mapping, highlighting their promising applications to HF diagnosis and management. We also focus on the importance of these imaging modalities in the selection of responses to cardiac resynchronization therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11050892DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156791PMC
May 2021

Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction: Current Opinion and Future Perspectives.

Heart Fail Clin 2021 Jul;17(3):xiii-xiv

Division of Cardiology, Cardarelli Hospital, Via A. Cardarelli, 9, Naples 80131, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2021.03.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Exercise Intolerance in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction.

Heart Fail Clin 2021 Jul;17(3):397-413

Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

Exercise intolerance represents a typical feature of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), and is associated with a poor quality of life, frequent hospitalizations, and increased all-cause mortality. The cardiopulmonary exercise test is the best method to quantify exercise intolerance, and allows detection of the main mechanism responsible for the exercise limitation, influencing treatment and prognosis. Exercise training programs improve exercise tolerance in HFpEF. However, studies are needed to identify appropriate type and duration. This article discusses the pathophysiology of exercise limitation in HFpEF, describes methods of determining exercise tolerance class, and evaluates prognostic implications and potential therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2021.03.004DOI Listing
July 2021

[QT prolongation and giant T-waves: "a dangerous liaison"].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2021 Jun;22(6):456

U.O.C. Cardiologia Riabilitativa.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/3612.35929DOI Listing
June 2021

Ethnic comparison in takotsubo syndrome: novel insights from the International Takotsubo Registry.

Clin Res Cardiol 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Ethnic disparities have been reported in cardiovascular disease. However, ethnic disparities in takotsubo syndrome (TTS) remain elusive. This study assessed differences in clinical characteristics between Japanese and European TTS patients and determined the impact of ethnicity on in-hospital outcomes.

Methods: TTS patients in Japan were enrolled from 10 hospitals and TTS patients in Europe were enrolled from 32 hospitals participating in the International Takotsubo Registry. Clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes were compared between Japanese and European patients.

Results: A total of 503 Japanese and 1670 European patients were included. Japanese patients were older (72.6 ± 11.4 years vs. 68.0 ± 12.0 years; p < 0.001) and more likely to be male (18.5 vs. 8.4%; p < 0.001) than European TTS patients. Physical triggering factors were more common (45.5 vs. 32.0%; p < 0.001), and emotional triggers less common (17.5 vs. 31.5%; p < 0.001), in Japanese patients than in European patients. Japanese patients were more likely to experience cardiogenic shock during the acute phase (15.5 vs. 9.0%; p < 0.001) and had a higher in-hospital mortality (8.2 vs. 3.2%; p < 0.001). However, ethnicity itself did not appear to have an impact on in-hospital mortality. Machine learning approach revealed that the presence of physical stressors was the most important prognostic factor in both Japanese and European TTS patients.

Conclusion: Differences in clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes between Japanese and European TTS patients exist. Ethnicity does not impact the outcome in TTS patients. The worse in-hospital outcome in Japanese patients, is mainly driven by the higher prevalence of physical triggers.

Trial Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov ; Unique Identifier: NCT01947621.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-021-01857-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Echocardiographic assessment of coronary microvascular dysfunction: Basic concepts, technical aspects, and clinical settings.

Echocardiography 2021 Jun 5;38(6):993-1001. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Medical Biotechnologies, Division of Cardiology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Coronary flow reserve is the capacity of the coronary circulation to augment the blood flow in response an increase in myocardial metabolic demands and has a powerful prognostic significance in different clinical situations. It might assess with invasive and noninvasive technique. Transthoracic echocardiography Doppler is an emerging diagnostic technique, noninvasive, highly feasible, safe for patient and physician, without radiation, and able to detect macrovascular and microvascular anomalies in the coronary circulation. This review aims to describe the benefit and limits of echocardiographic assessment of coronary flow reserve.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/echo.15059DOI Listing
June 2021

Coronary CT angiography: a guide to examination, interpretation, and clinical indications.

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther 2021 May 22;19(5):413-425. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Radiology, Area Vasta 1, ASUR Marche, Urbino, Italy.

Introduction: The introduction of Cardiac Computed Tomography (CCT) has changed the paradigm in the field of diagnostic cardiovascular medicine. CCT is the primary tool in the assessment of suspected Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and should be followed by functional assessment when needed to stratify disease and to plan potential interventional or surgical therapy.

Areas Covered: We provided the current state of the knowledge on the main aspects of technique of examination, image interpretation and clinical indications. We have focused our attention on the basic routine applications and activities.

Expert Opinion: The primary role of CCT in suspected CAD will progressively become the standard approach. In general, any situation in which anatomy of the heart and thoracic vessels/structures is mandatory must be approached using CT first, whenever possible. The quantity and quality of information that can be provided by CCT is big and the operators should learn how to deal with this information. On the other hand, CCT is only apparently a straightforward and simple examination. It is actually the most complex diagnostic procedure that can be performed on CT and requires highly skilled operators and state-of-art-technology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14779072.2021.1915132DOI Listing
May 2021

Feasibility of semi-recumbent bicycle exercise Doppler echocardiography for the evaluation of the right heart and pulmonary circulation unit in different clinical conditions: the RIGHT heart international NETwork (RIGHT-NET).

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 2021 Apr 18. Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Cardiology Division, A Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Exercise Doppler echocardiography (EDE) is a well-validated tool in ischemic and valvular heart diseases. However, its use in the assessment of the right heart and pulmonary circulation unit (RH-PCU) is limited. The aim of this study is to assess the semi-recumbent bicycle EDE feasibility for the evaluation of RH-PCU in a large multi-center population, from healthy individuals and elite athletes to patients with overt or at risk of developing pulmonary hypertension (PH). From January 2019 to July 2019, 954 subjects [mean age 54.2 ± 16.4 years, range 16-96, 430 women] underwent standardized semi-recumbent bicycle EDE with an incremental workload of 25 watts every 2 min, were prospectively enrolled among 7 centers participating to the RIGHT Heart International NETwork (RIGHT-NET). EDE parameters of right heart structure, function and pressures were obtained according to current recommendations. Right ventricular (RV) function at peak exercise was feasible in 903/940 (96%) by tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), 667/751 (89%) by tissue Doppler-derived tricuspid lateral annular systolic velocity (S') and 445/672 (66.2%) by right ventricular fractional area change (RVFAC). RV-right atrial pressure gradient [RV-RA gradient = 4 × tricuspid regurgitation velocity (TRV)] was feasible in 894/954 patients (93.7%) at rest and in 816/954 (85.5%) at peak exercise. The feasibility rate in estimating pulmonary artery pressure improved to more than 95%, if both TRV and/or right ventricular outflow tract acceleration time (RVOT AcT) were considered. In high specialized echocardiography laboratories semi-recumbent bicycle EDE is a feasible tool for the assessment of the RH-PCU pressure and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10554-021-02243-xDOI Listing
April 2021

Impact of Regular Physical Activity on Aortic Diameter Progression in Paediatric Patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valve.

Pediatr Cardiol 2021 Jun 16;42(5):1133-1140. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Translational Medical Sciences, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy.

Patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) have an increased risk of aortic dilation and aortic dissection or rupture. The impact of physical training on the natural course of aortopathy in BAV patients remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of regular physical activity on aortic diameters in a consecutive cohort of paediatric patients with BAV. Consecutive paediatric BAV patients were evaluated and categorized into two groups: physically active and sedentary subjects. Only the subjects with a complete 2-year follow-up were included in the study. To evaluate the potential impact of physical activity on aortic size, aortic diameters were measured at the sinus of Valsalva and mid-ascending aorta using echocardiography. We defined aortic diameter progression the increase of aortic diameter ≥ 10% from baseline. Among 90 BAV patients (11.5 ± 3.4 years of age, 77% males), 53 (59%) were physically active subjects. Compared to sedentary, physically active subjects were not significantly more likely to have > 10% increase in sinus of Valsalva (13% vs. 8%, p-value = 0.45) or mid-ascending aorta diameter (9% vs. 13%, p-value = 0.55) at 2 years follow-up, both in subjects with sinus of Valsalva diameter progression (3.7 ± 1.0 mm vs. 3.5 ± 0.8 mm, p-value = 0.67) and in those with ascending aorta diameter progression (3.0 ± 0.8 mm vs. 3.2 ± 1.3 mm, p-value = 0.83). In our paediatric cohort of BAV patients, the prevalence and the degree of aortic diameter progression was not significantly different between physically active and sedentary subjects, suggesting that aortic dilation is unrelated to regular physical activity over a 2-year period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00246-021-02591-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Cardiac teleconsulting in the time of COVID-19 global pandemic: The "Antonio Cardarelli" Hospital project.

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 2021 Apr 6;91(2). Epub 2021 Apr 6.

CEO A. Cardarelli Hospital, Naples.

Dear Editor, Teleconsulting - defined as real-time consultation between doctors by exploiting video conferencing technology over the Internet network - is exponentially being implemented through the western world lastly triggered by COVID-19 pandemic...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2021.1779DOI Listing
April 2021

Nuclear factor-kappa B predicts long-term clinical outcome in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: 10-year follow-up study.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Sapienza University, Via del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwab047DOI Listing
March 2021

Prognostic impact of acute pulmonary triggers in patients with takotsubo syndrome: new insights from the International Takotsubo Registry.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Jun 13;8(3):1924-1932. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Cardiology, Charité, Campus Rudolf Virchow, Berlin, Germany.

Aims: Acute pulmonary disorders are known physical triggers of takotsubo syndrome (TTS). This study aimed to investigate prevalence of acute pulmonary triggers in patients with TTS and their impact on outcomes.

Methods And Results: Patients with TTS were enrolled from the International Takotsubo Registry and screened for triggering factors and comorbidities. Patients were categorized into three groups (acute pulmonary trigger, chronic lung disease, and no lung disease) to compare clinical characteristics and outcomes. Of the 1670 included patients with TTS, 123 (7%) were identified with an acute pulmonary trigger, and 194 (12%) had a known history of chronic lung disease. The incidence of cardiogenic shock was highest in patients with an acute pulmonary trigger compared with those with chronic lung disease or without lung disease (17% vs. 10% vs. 9%, P = 0.017). In-hospital mortality was also higher in patients with an acute pulmonary trigger than in the other two groups, although not significantly (5.7% vs. 1.5% vs. 4.2%, P = 0.13). Survival analysis demonstrated that patients with an acute pulmonary trigger had the worst long-term outcome (P = 0.002). The presence of an acute pulmonary trigger was independently associated with worse long-term mortality (hazard ratio 2.12, 95% confidence interval 1.33-3.38; P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that TTS is related to acute pulmonary triggers in 7% of all TTS patients, which accounts for 21% of patients with physical triggers. The presence of acute pulmonary trigger is associated with a severe in-hospital course and a worse long-term outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8120351PMC
June 2021

Multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome predicts outcome in heart failure: the T.O.S.CA. Registry.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Mar 7. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Clinical Medicine and Surgery Department, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

Aims: Recent evidence supports the occurrence of multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome (MHDS) in chronic heart failure (CHF). However, no large observational study has unequivocally demonstrated its impact on CHF progression and outcome. The T.O.S.CA. (Trattamento Ormonale nello Scompenso CArdiaco; Hormone Treatment in Heart Failure) Registry has been specifically designed to test the hypothesis that MHDS affects morbidity and mortality in CHF patients.

Methods And Results: The T.O.S.CA. Registry is a prospective, multicentre, observational study involving 19 Italian centres. Thyroid hormones, insulin-like growth factor-1, total testosterone, dehydropianoandrosterone sulfate, insulin resistance, and the presence of diabetes were evaluated. A MHDS was defined as the presence of ≥2 hormone deficiencies (HDs). Primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalizations. Four hundred and eighty heart failure patients with ejection fraction ≤45% were enrolled. MHDS or diabetes was diagnosed in 372 patients (77.5%). A total of 271 events (97 deaths and 174 cardiovascular hospitalizations) were recorded, 41% in NO-MHDS and 62% in MHDS (P < 0.001). Median follow-up was of 36 months. MHDS was independently associated with the occurrence of the primary endpoint [hazard ratio 95% (confidence interval), 1.93 (1.37-2.73), P < 0.001] and identified a group of patients with a higher mortality [2.2 (1.28-3.83), P = 0.01], with a graded relation between HDs and cumulative events (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: MHDS is common in CHF and independently associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization, representing a promising therapeutic target.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT023358017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwab020DOI Listing
March 2021

Heart Failure: One, None, and a Hundred Thousand.

Heart Fail Clin 2021 Apr 10;17(2):xiii-xv. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Division of Cardiology, Cardarelli Hospital, Via A. Cardarelli, 9, Naples 80131, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2021.01.011DOI Listing
April 2021

Combined Effect of Mediterranean Diet and Aerobic Exercise on Weight Loss and Clinical Status in Obese Symptomatic Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Heart Fail Clin 2021 Apr 10;17(2):303-313. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Cardiomyopathy Unit and Genetic Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Largo Brambrilla, 50134 Florence, Italy.

We evaluated the impact of weight loss (WL) using a Mediterranean diet and mild-to-moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program, on clinical status of obese, symptomatic patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Compared with nonresponders, responders showed a significant reduction of left atrial diameter, left atrial volume index (LAVI), E/E'average, pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP), and a significant increase in Vo (%) and peak workload. Body mass index changes correlated with reduction in left atrial diameter, LAVI, E/E'average, PASP, and increase of Vo (mL/Kg/min), Vo (%), peak workload. Mediterranean diet and aerobic exercise is associated with clinical-hemodynamic improvement in obese symptomatic HCM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2021.01.003DOI Listing
April 2021

Biomarkers in Heart Failure: Clinical Insights.

Heart Fail Clin 2021 Apr 10;17(2):223-243. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2021.01.002DOI Listing
April 2021

Role of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Heart Failure.

Heart Fail Clin 2021 Apr 3;17(2):207-221. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Division of Cardiac Rehabilitation - Echo Lab, A Cardarelli Hospital, Via Cardarelli 9, Naples I 80131, Italy.

This review describes the current role and potential future applications of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) for the management of heart failure (HF). CMR allows noninvasive morphologic and functional assessment, tissue characterization, blood flow, and perfusion evaluation. CMR overcomes echocardiography limitations (geometric assumptions, interobserver variability and poor acoustic window) and provides incremental information in relation to cause, prognosis, and treatment monitoring of patients with HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2021.01.001DOI Listing
April 2021

Linear reverse risk of HDL-C levels for predicting cardiovascular disease: it is not that straightforward!

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 Dec 22. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Division of Cardiology, Internal Medicine Department, A. Cardarelli Hospital, Via Cardarelli 9, Naples - 80131, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa032DOI Listing
December 2020

Myocardial expression of somatotropic axis, adrenergic signalling, and calcium handling genes in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Apr 29;8(2):1681-1686. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Federico II University of Naples, Via Pansini 5, Naples, 80138, Italy.

Aims: Limited data are available regarding cardiac expression of molecules involved in heart failure (HF) pathophysiology. The majority of the studies have focused on end-stage HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) without comparison with healthy subjects, while no data are available with regard to HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). HFpEF is a condition whose multiple pathophysiological mechanisms are still not fully defined, with many proposed hypotheses remaining speculative due to limited access to human heart tissue. This study aimed at evaluating cardiac expression levels of key genes of interest in human biopsy samples from patients affected with HFrEF and HFpEF in order to possibly point out distinct phenotypes.

Methods And Results: Total RNA was extracted from left ventricular cardiac biopsies collected from stable patients with HFrEF (n = 6) and HFpEF (n = 7) and healthy subjects (n = 9) undergoing elective cardiac surgery for valvular replacement, mitral valvuloplasty, aortic surgery, or coronary artery bypass. Real-time PCR was performed to evaluate the mRNA expression levels of genes involved in somatotropic axis regulation [IGF-1, IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), and GH receptor (GHR)], in adrenergic signalling (GRK2, GRK5, ADRB1, and ADRB2), in myocardial calcium handling (SERCA2), and in TNF-α. Patients with HFrEF and HFpEF showed reduced serum IGF-1 circulating levels when compared with controls (102 ± 35.6, 138 ± 11.5, and 160 ± 13.2 ng/mL, P < 0.001, respectively). At myocardial level, HFrEF showed significant decreased GHR and increased IGF-1R expressions when compared with HFpEF and controls (0.54 ± 0.27, 0.94 ± 0.25, and 0.84 ± 0.2, P < 0.05 and 1.52 ± 0.9, 1.06 ± 0.21, and 0.72 ± 0.12, P < 0.05, respectively), while no differences in the local expression of IGF-1 mRNA were detected among the groups (0.80 ± 0.45, 0.97 ± 0.18, and 0.63 ± 0.23, P = 0.09, respectively). With regard to calcium handling and adrenergic signalling, HFrEF displayed significant decreased levels of SERCA2 (0.19 ± 0.39, 0.82 ± 0.15, and 0.87 ± 0.32, P < 0.01) and increased levels of GRK2 (3.45 ± 2.94, 0.93 ± 0.12, and 0.80 ± 0.14, P < 0.01) and GRK5 (1.32 ± 0.70, 0.71 ± 0.14, and 0.77 ± 0.15, P < 0.05), while no significant difference was found in ADRB1 (0.66 ± 0.4, 0.83 ± 0.3, and 0.86 ± 0.4) and ADRB2 mRNA expression (0.65 ± 0.3, 0.66 ± 0.2, and 0.68 ± 0.1) when compared with HFpEF and controls. Finally, no changes in the local expression of TNF-α were detected among groups.

Conclusions: Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and HFpEF patients with stable clinical condition display a distinct molecular milieu of genes involved in somatotropic axis regulation, calcium handling, and adrenergic derangement at a myocardial level. The unique opportunity to compare these results with a control group, as reference population, may contribute to better understand HF pathophysiology and to identify novel potential therapeutic targets that could be modulated to improve ventricular function in patients with HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006736PMC
April 2021

A multicentric quality-control study of exercise Doppler echocardiography of the right heart and the pulmonary circulation. The RIGHT Heart International NETwork (RIGHT-NET).

Cardiovasc Ultrasound 2021 Jan 20;19(1). Epub 2021 Jan 20.

IRCCS SDN, Naples, Italy.

Purpose: This study was a quality-control study of resting and exercise Doppler echocardiography (EDE) variables measured by 19 echocardiography laboratories with proven experience participating in the RIGHT Heart International NETwork.

Methods: All participating investigators reported the requested variables from ten randomly selected exercise stress tests. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated to evaluate the inter-observer agreement with the core laboratory. Inter-observer variability of resting and peak exercise tricuspid regurgitation velocity (TRV), right ventricular outflow tract acceleration time (RVOT Act), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), tissue Doppler tricuspid lateral annular systolic velocity (S'), right ventricular fractional area change (RV FAC), left ventricular outflow tract velocity time integral (LVOT VTI), mitral inflow pulsed wave Doppler velocity (E), diastolic mitral annular velocity by TDI (e') and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were measured.

Results: The accuracy of 19 investigators for all variables ranged from 99.7 to 100%. ICC was > 0.90 for all observers. Inter-observer variability for resting and exercise variables was for TRV = 3.8 to 2.4%, E = 5.7 to 8.3%, e' = 6 to 6.5%, RVOT Act = 9.7 to 12, LVOT VTI = 7.4 to 9.6%, S' = 2.9 to 2.9% and TAPSE = 5.3 to 8%. Moderate inter-observer variability was found for resting and peak exercise RV FAC (15 to 16%). LVEF revealed lower resting and peak exercise variability of 7.6 and 9%.

Conclusions: When performed in expert centers EDE is a reproducible tool for the assessment of the right heart and the pulmonary circulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12947-021-00238-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819251PMC
January 2021

Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the care of patients with acute and chronic aortic conditions.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2021 05;59(5):1096-1102

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Brescia Medical School, Brescia, Italy.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on acute and elective thoracic and abdominal aortic procedures.

Methods: Forty departments shared their data on acute and elective thoracic and abdominal aortic procedures between January and May 2020 and January and May 2019 in Europe, Asia and the USA. Admission rates as well as delay from onset of symptoms to referral were compared.

Results: No differences in the number of acute thoracic and abdominal aortic procedures were observed between 2020 and the reference period in 2019 [incidence rates ratio (IRR): 0.96, confidence interval (CI) 0.89-1.04; P = 0.39]. Also, no difference in the time interval from acute onset of symptoms to referral was recorded (<12 h 32% vs > 12 h 68% in 2020, < 12 h 34% vs > 12 h 66% in 2019 P = 0.29). Conversely, a decline of 35% in elective procedures was seen (IRR: 0.81, CI 0.76-0.87; P < 0.001) with substantial differences between countries and the most pronounced decline in Italy (-40%, P < 0.001). Interestingly, in Switzerland, an increase in the number of elective cases was observed (+35%, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: There was no change in the number of acute thoracic and abdominal aortic cases and procedures during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas the case load of elective operations and procedures decreased significantly. Patients with acute aortic syndromes presented despite COVID-19 and were managed according to current guidelines. Further analysis is required to prove that deferral of elective cases had no impact on premature mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezaa452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7799089PMC
May 2021

Narrative review of cardiac computed tomography perfusion: insights into static rest perfusion.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2020 Dec;10(6):1946-1953

Department of Radiology, SDN IRCCS, Naples, Italy.

Cardiac or left ventricular perfusion performed with cardiac computed tomography (CCT) is a developing method that may have the potential to complete in a very straight forward way the assessment of ischemic heart disease by means of CT. Myocardial CT perfusion (CTP) can be achieved with a single static scan during the first-pass of the iodinate contrast agent, with the monoenergetic or dual-energy acquisition, or as a dynamic, time-resolved scan during stress by using coronary vasodilator agents. Several methods can be performed, and we focused on static perfusion. CTP may serve as a useful adjunct to coronary CT angiography (CTA) to improve specificity of detecting myocardial ischemia. Technological advances will reduce the radiation dose of myocardial CTP, such as low tube voltage imaging or new reconstruction algorithms, making it a more viable clinical option. The advantages of static first-pass non-stress perfusion are several; the main one is that it can be done to each and every patient who undergoes CCT for the assessment of coronary artery tree. Future advances in CTP will likely improve the diagnostic accuracy of CTP + CTA, and will better estimate the severity of ischemia Therefore, it is simple and comprehensive. However, it has several limitations. In this review we will discuss the technique with its advantages and limitations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt-20-552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758765PMC
December 2020

Cardiac CT angiography: normal and pathological anatomical features-a narrative review.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2020 Dec;10(6):1918-1945

Department of Radiology, CNR (National Council of Research)/Tuscany Region "Gabriele Monasterio" Foundation (FTGM), Massa, Italy.

The normal and pathological anatomy of the heart and coronary arteries are nowadays widely developed topics and constitute a fundamental part of the cultural background of the radiologist. The introduction of cardiac ECG-gated synchronized CT scanners with an ever-increasing number of detectors and with increasingly high structural characteristics (increase in temporal resolution, increase in contrast resolution with dual-source, dual energy scanners) allows the virtual measurement of anatomical structures complying with heart rate with submillimetric precision permitting to clearly depict the normal anatomy and follow the pathologic temporal evolution. Accordingly to these considerations, cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) asserts itself as a gold standard method for the anatomical evaluation of the heart and permits to evaluate, verify, measure and characterize structural pathological alterations of both congenital and acquired degenerative diseases. Accordingly, CCTA is increasingly used as a prognostic model capable of modifying the outcome of diseased patients in planning interventions and in the post-surgical/interventional follow-up. The profound knowledge of cardiac anatomy and function through highly detailed CCTA analysis is required to perform an efficient and optimal use in real-world clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt-20-530DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758747PMC
December 2020

Coronary atherosclerosis as the main endpoint of non-invasive imaging in cardiology: a narrative review.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2020 Dec;10(6):1897-1905

Department of Radiology, SDN IRCCS, Naples, Italy.

The change of paradigm determined by the introduction of cardiac computed tomography (CCT) in the field of cardiovascular medicine has allowed new evidence to emerge. These evidences point towards a major role, probably the most important one in terms of prognostic impact, in the detection, characterization and quantification of atherosclerosis as the main driver and endpoint for the management of coronary artery disease (CAD). Extensive literature has been published in the last decade with large numbers and patients' populations, investigating several aspects and correlations between atherosclerotic plaque features and risk factors; also, the relationship between plaque features, both with qualitative and quantitative approaches, and cardiovascular events has been investigated. More recent studies have also pointed out the relationship between the knowledge and classification of sub-clinical atherosclerosis and the induced modification of medical therapy (both aggressiveness and compliance) that is most likely able to increase the effect of anti-atherosclerotic drugs, hence significantly improving prognosis. Non-invasive assessment of CAD by means of CCT is becoming the primary tool for management and also the most important parameter for the comprehension of natural history of CAD and how the therapies we adopt are affecting plaque burden as a whole. In this review we will address the modern concepts of CAD driven understanding and management of cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt-20-525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758759PMC
December 2020

Multimodality imaging in COVID-19 patients: A key role from diagnosis to prognosis.

World J Radiol 2020 Nov;12(11):261-271

Division of Cardiology, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples 80131, Italy.

The integrated clinical, laboratory and ultrasound approach is essential for the diagnosis, evaluation and monitoring of the patient's therapy in coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia. The ideal imaging approach in this context is not yet well defined. Chest X-ray is characterized by low sensitivity in identifying earlier lung changes. The "bedside" pulmonary ultrasound has an undeniable series of advantages in the patient at high infectious risk and can provide incremental data in the respiratory intensive care for the serial control of the individual patient as well as for the home delivery of the stabilized subjects. Pulmonary computed tomography shows high sensitivity but should not be routinely performed in all patients, because in the first 48 h it can be absolutely negative and in the late phase the imaging findings may not change the therapeutic approach. Echocardiography should be limited to patients with hemodynamic instability to assess ventricular function and pulmonary pressures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4329/wjr.v12.i11.261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745467PMC
November 2020

Epidemiology and management of aortic disease: aortic aneurysms and acute aortic syndromes.

Nat Rev Cardiol 2021 May 22;18(5):331-348. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

The aorta is the 'greatest artery', through which oxygenated blood is delivered from the left ventricle to end organs with each cardiac cycle (200 million litres of blood transported in an average lifetime). The aorta can be affected by a wide spectrum of acute factors (such as cocaine use, weight lifting and trauma) and chronic acquired and/or genetic conditions (such as systemic arterial hypertension and phaeochromocytoma), which variously lead to increased aortic wall stress. The medial layer of the aorta can also be subject to abnormalities (such as Marfan syndrome, bicuspid aortic valve, inflammatory vasculitis, atherosclerosis and infections). Despite important advances in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, data derived from registries and population-based studies highlight that the burden of aortic diseases remains high. Therefore, specific resources need to be allocated to design and implement preventive strategies (healthy lifestyles, modifications to cardiovascular risk factors, and educational and screening programmes) at individual and community levels. In this Review, we discuss the epidemiology, management and outcomes of the most common aortic diseases, namely, aortic aneurysms and acute aortic syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41569-020-00472-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Standardized exercise training is feasible, safe, and effective in pulmonary arterial and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: results from a large European multicentre randomized controlled trial.

Eur Heart J 2021 Jun;42(23):2284-2295

Department of Cardiology, Antonio Carderelli Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Aims: This prospective, randomized, controlled, multicentre study aimed to evaluate efficacy and safety of exercise training in patients with pulmonary arterial (PAH) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).

Methods And Results: For the first time a specialized PAH/CTEPH rehabilitation programme was implemented in 11 centres across 10 European countries. Out of 129 enrolled patients, 116 patients (58 vs. 58 randomized into a training or usual care control group) on disease-targeted medication completed the study [85 female; mean age 53.6 ± 12.5 years; mean pulmonary arterial pressure 46.6 ± 15.1 mmHg; World Health Organization (WHO) functional class II 53%, III 46%; PAH n = 98; CTEPH n = 18]. Patients of the training group performed a standardized in-hospital rehabilitation with mean duration of 25 days [95% confidence interval (CI) 17-33 days], which was continued at home. The primary endpoint, change of 6-min walking distance, significantly improved by 34.1 ± 8.3 m in the training compared with the control group (95% CI, 18-51 m; P < 0.0001). Exercise training was feasible, safe, and well-tolerated. Secondary endpoints showed improvements in quality of life (short-form health survey 36 mental health 7.3 ± 2.5, P = 0.004), WHO-functional class (training vs. control: improvement 9:1, worsening 4:3; χ2P = 0.027) and peak oxygen consumption (0.9 ± 0.5 mL/min/kg, P = 0.048) compared with the control group.

Conclusion: This is the first multicentre and so far the largest randomized, controlled study on feasibility, safety, and efficacy of exercise training as add-on to medical therapy in PAH and CTEPH. Within this study, a standardized specialized training programme with in-hospital start was successfully established in 10 European countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa696DOI Listing
June 2021