Publications by authors named "Giancarlo Casolo"

72 Publications

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

[Clinical pathway for cardiogenic shock. A proposal from ANMCO Tuscany].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2021 Feb;22(2):122-136

Cardiologia e UTIC, Ospedale Versilia, Lido di Camaiore.

Cardiogenic shock is a clinical syndrome characterized by hypotension and hypoperfusion due to the inability of the heart to provide adequate cardiac output. It is an infrequent clinical condition still burdened by high mortality rates. In patients with cardiogenic shock rapid diagnosis, multiparameter monitoring and timely therapeutic strategies with pharmacological agents or mechanical circulatory support are necessary to provide adequate peripheral tissue perfusion and to improve outcome. Recent investigations reported lower mortality rates to be associated with clinical pathways based on a well-organized network, and on admission in high-volume specialized hospitals (Shock Center) with a dedicated multidisciplinary team (Shock Team). The aim of this clinical pathway for cardiogenic shock is to describe the best organization to ensure to Tuscan citizens an equal access to care independently of the site where they suffer from cardiogenic shock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/3514.35027DOI Listing
February 2021

Epidemiology and pathophysiologic insights of coronary atherosclerosis relevant for contemporary non-invasive imaging.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2020 Dec;10(6):1906-1917

Radiology Department, Versilia Hospital, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.

In the past few years significant changes have taken place in the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and/or ischemic heart disease (IHD). New discoveries about the development and progression of coronary atherosclerosis have changed the clinical landscape. At the same time a marked decrease in cardiovascular (CV) mortality and CAD incidence have been observed in many Countries but particularly in the most industrialized ones. This fall has been also observed in the incidence of stroke, sudden death, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction (MI), and prevalence of CAD. As a consequence, an increasing number of patients with chest pain exhibits non-significant stenosis at both invasive and non-invasive coronary angiography and the rate of coronary vessels revascularizations has greatly reduced. Coronary atherosclerosis and its characteristics have shown to be both diagnostic and therapeutic targets beyond obstructive CAD. The decreased prevalence of CAD in the general population has modified the pre-test probability (PTP) of disease. In this landscape the conventional stress imaging tests appear to have limited accuracy making the diagnosis of obstructive CAD very challenging. These diagnostic tests have been introduced and tested in a population with a much higher probability of disease and therefore the contemporary accuracy of these old tests appear much lower than in the past. In addition, in the past few years the relevance of the traditional ischemia guided coronary intervention strategy has been questioned. Given the low CV events granted by an optimal medical therapy in CAD the major attention has been directed on detecting coronary atherosclerosis. The earlier the better. At the same time, a growing number of data from clinical studies have shown a significant prognostic role for non-obstructive CAD and coronary atherosclerosis. All these facts have shifted the clinicians' attention from the functional evaluation of the coronary circulation to the anatomic burden of disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt-20-157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758762PMC
December 2020

[Clinical pathway for cardiomyopathies: a genetic testing strategy proposed by ANMCO in Tuscany].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2020 Dec;21(12):926-934

Dipartimento di Cardiologia, Ospedale Versilia, Lucca.

Hereditary cardiomyopathies, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy and left ventricular noncompaction, are clinically and genetically very heterogeneous diseases, and they represent a frequent cause of cardiac arrest and sudden death. To date, over 100 genes are known to be associated with the onset of cardiomyopathies. Genetic testing is performed by next generation sequencing, a technology that has made it possible to analyze hundreds of genes in many patients simultaneously, shortening costs and execution times. However, with the use of this technology, new problems have arisen regarding the indications for access to the test, the interpretation of the data and the clinical implications of the results.This document aims to represent an operational support tool for hospital cardiologists to make the use of genetic testing more accessible and appropriate for their patients with suspected or ascertained hereditary cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/3472.34547DOI Listing
December 2020

[Clinical pathway for electrical storm treatment in a healthcare network modeling. A proposal from ANMCO Tuscany].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2020 Oct;21(10):768-778

U.O.C. Cardiologia, Nuovo Ospedale Versilia, USL Toscana Nord Ovest, Lido di Camaiore (LU).

Electrical storm (ES) is defined as three or more episodes of sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) or fibrillation (VF) within 24 h, or an incessant VT/VF lasting more than 12 h. It usually occurs in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) recipients, and three or more device interventions are typically used for the diagnosis. ES incidence is particularly high in case of ICD implanted in secondary prevention (10-30%), with recurrences occurring in up to 80% of patients. A comprehensive evaluation of triggers, predictive factors of high-risk patients and an appropriate management of the acute/subacute and chronic phases are pivotal to reduce mortality and recurrences. Medical therapy with antiarrhythmic and anesthetic drugs, with appropriate device reprogramming and neuroaxial modulation if needed, are used to cool down the ES, which should ultimately be treated with ablation therapy or, less often, with an alternative treatment, such as denervation or stereotactic radiosurgery. An optimization of the clinical pathway in a network modeling is crucial to achieve the best treatment, eventually addressing patients to centers with VT ablation programs, and identifying the most challenging procedures and the most critical patients that should be treated only in high-volume tertiary centers. In this paper, we present a proposal of healthcare network modeling for ES treatment in a regional setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/3431.34203DOI Listing
October 2020

Association of high-risk coronary atherosclerosis at CCTA with clinical and circulating biomarkers: Insight from CAPIRE study.

J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2021 Jan-Feb;15(1):73-80. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Heart Care Foundation Onlus, Florence, Italy.

Background: High-risk coronary atherosclerosis features evaluated coronary CT angiography (CCTA) were suggested to have a prognostic role. The present study aimed to evaluate the association of circulating biomarkers with high-risk plaque features assessed by CCTA.

Methods: A consecutive cohort of subjects who underwent CCTA because of suspected CAD was screened for inclusion in the CAPIRE study. Based on risk factors (RF) burden patients were defined as having a low clinical risk (0-1 RF with the exclusion of patients with diabetes mellitus as single RF) or an high clinical risk (≥3 RFs). In all patients, measurement of inflammatory biomarkers and CCTA analysis focused on high-risk plaque features were performed. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to evaluate the relationship between clinical and biological variables with CCTA advanced plaque features.

Results: 528 patients were enrolled in CAPIRE study. Older age and male sex appeared to be predictors of qualitative high-risk plaque features and associated with the presence of elevated total, non-calcified and low-attenuation plaque volume. Among circulating biomarkers only hs-CRP was found to be associated with qualitative high-risk plaque features (OR 2.02, p = 0.004 and 2.02, p = 0.012 for LAP and RI > 1.1, respectively) with borderline association with LAP-Vol (OR 1.52, p = 0.076); HbA1c and PTX-3 resulted to be significantly associated with quantitative high-risk plaque features (OR 1.71, p = 0.003 and 1.04, p = 0.002 for LAP-Vol, respectively).

Conclusions: Our results support the association between inflammatory biomarkers (hs-CRP, PTX- 3), HbA1c and high-risk atherosclerotic features detected by CCTA. Male sex and older age are significant predictors of high-risk atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2020.03.005DOI Listing
April 2021

Incidence of Pericardial Effusion in Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Immunotherapy.

Adv Ther 2020 07 20;37(7):3178-3184. Epub 2020 May 20.

S.C. Cardiologia, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, Napoli, Italy.

Introduction: Cardiovascular toxicity of immunotherapy represents an underreported but potentially fatal side effect. A relatively high incidence of pericardial disease has been noticed in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a population of patients with advanced NSCLC receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) looking for the presence of pericardial effusion at baseline or during treatment. The study population was compared with a control group treated with chemotherapy. All patients were checked for the presence of concomitant pleural effusion.

Results: We identify 60 patients (36 male/24 female, median age 70 years [range 43-81]). Prevalent histology was adenocarcinoma (65%) followed by squamous cell carcinoma (28%) and large cell or not otherwise specified (NOS) carcinoma (7%). Treatment consisted of nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 14 days (52 cases; 45 as second-line and 7 as third-line treatment) or pembrolizumab 200 mg (8 cases; all first-line treatment) for a total of 302 cycles delivered. Four out of 60 patients (6.7%) developed pericardial effusion during treatment, in two cases (3.3%) without concomitant pleural effusion, compared to 2 out of 60 (3.3%) in the control group in one case without concomitant pleural effusion (1.6%). Median time of onset was 40 days. Myocarditis was not observed.

Conclusion: Our findings confirm pericardial effusion as a relatively frequent side effect of immunotherapy in NSCLC. Clinicians should be aware of this specific toxicity in patients with metastatic NSCLC receiving immunotherapy and refer to a cardiologist for a multidisciplinary approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01386-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467401PMC
July 2020

Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Timing of Anthracyclines and Trastuzumab Cardiac Toxicity.

Anticancer Res 2019 Oct;39(10):5741-5745

Division of Cardiology, - Azienda USL Toscana Nord-Ovest, Ospedale Versilia, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.

Background/aim: Cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) predict cardiotoxicity in cancer patients but their role in late cardiac toxicity is less clear.

Patients And Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of patients treated with anthracyclines (A) and/or trastuzumab (T) and a correlation with early (≤5 years) or late (>5 years) cardiac toxicity, and baseline CVRFs and CVRFs at toxicity time.

Results: A total of 610 patients were included, 422 with (Group A) and 188 without (Group B) baseline CVRFs. In group A toxicity incidence was 4.7% with all events during treatment or immediately after [mean onset time 0.7 years (range=0.2-1.6)]. Events rate was 3.2% in group B with all events after five years [mean time onset 6.9 years (range=5.2-7.5)]. All group B patients who developed late cardiac toxicity presented with CVRFs at the time of toxicity not reported before.

Conclusion: CVRFs could predict late cardiac toxicity and their control should be part of the survivorship program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.13775DOI Listing
October 2019

Coronary Plaque Features on CTA Can Identify Patients at Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Events.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2020 08 14;13(8):1704-1717. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Heart Care Foundation Onlus, Florence, Italy.

Objectives: This study sought to assess whether coronary atherosclerosis analysis by coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) may improve prognostic stratification among patients with diffuse coronary artery disease (CAD) BACKGROUND: Coronary CTA has recently emerged as a promising noninvasive tool for advanced analysis of coronary atherosclerosis.

Methods: The multicenter CAPIRE (Coronary Atherosclerosis in outlier subjects: Protective and novel Individual Risk factors Evaluation) study is part of the GISSI Outlier Project. A prospective cohort of subjects who underwent coronary CTA for suspected CAD was enrolled. Based on risk factor (RF) burden, patients were defined as having a low clinical risk (0 to 1 RF with the exclusion of patients with diabetes mellitus as single RF) or at high clinical risk (3 or more RFs). Patients with 2 RFs were not enrolled in the study. Coronary CTA advanced plaque assessment was performed. Outcome measures were 3 combined endpoints: acute coronary syndrome (ACS), cardiac death + ACS, and cardiac death + ACS + late revascularization.

Results: Among the 544 patients enrolled in the CAPIRE study, in 522 patients, a mean follow-up of 37 ± 10 months was obtained (16 patients were excluded due to 1 < segment involvement score <5 at core lab coronary CTA analysis and 6 patients were lost at follow-up). Higher atherosclerotic burden was found in patients with higher clinical risk, but prevalence of elevated noncalcified plaque volume did not significantly differ between low- versus high-risk patients. Quantitative plaque parameters by coronary CTA were associated with composite endpoints at multivariable analysis when corrected for univariate predictors. Elevated noncalcified plaque volume, expressed as dichotomic variable, was associated with all combined endpoints. Even if the low absolute number of events represents a limitation to the present study, patients with low noncalcified plaque volume had similar risk of cardiac events independently from the presence of multivessel disease, while patients with high noncalcified plaque volume had higher rates of cardiac events.

Conclusions: The CAPIRE study confirmed the prognostic value of atherosclerosis assessment by coronary CTA, demonstrating high noncalcified plaque volume as the most ACS-predictive parameter in patients with extensive CAD. (GISSE Outliers CAPIRE [CAPIRE]; NCT02157662).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2019.06.019DOI Listing
August 2020

[ANMCO/SIC/GISE/ARCA/SIRM Consensus document: Description of coronary atherosclerosis for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic purposes].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2019 Jul-Aug;20(7):439-468

U.O.C. di Cardiologia, Ospedale Garibaldi-Nesima, Azienda di Rilievo Nazionale e Alta Specializzazione "Garibaldi", Catania - Presidente Fondazione per il Tuo cuore, Firenze.

Both conventional coronary angiography and cardiac computed tomography have greatly improved our diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of patients with either suspected or confirmed coronary artery disease. Although several other tools can provide information about coronary anatomy or function, invasive coronary angiography and, more recently, coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) are the most commonly used imaging modalities. Coronary atherosclerosis is the most common disease of the coronary arteries and its presence identifies patients at increased risk of events. As a matter of fact, coronary atherosclerosis represents the major determinant for the occurrence of events and the development of ischemic heart disease. Coronary atherosclerosis can translate into plaques that may eventually progress to critical stenosis causing myocardial ischemia. More commonly, atherosclerotic lesions are non-obstructive. Their presence, number and extent negatively affect prognosis independently of other mechanisms. In order to improve prognosis, optimal medical therapy should be initiated to halt disease progression and/or to stabilize atherosclerotic plaques. It is therefore of paramount importance to describe the presence of atherosclerotic lesions well beyond those lesions potentially or undoubtedly capable of inducing myocardial ischemia. These latter lesions may in fact benefit from an interventional or surgical treatment. However, most events are caused by non-obstructive lesions that may often be missed.In common practice, the description of coronary anatomy is not structured in a universal model and each Center applies its own (albeit arbitrary) rules. This consensus document is a collaborative work of some of the major Italian Scientific Societies to offer scientific support to those healthcare professionals who, at different levels, report on coronary anatomy or receive the description of coronary anatomy of patients. After a brief description of the available techniques used to explore the coronary anatomy, the best available evidence in support of a detailed description of coronary atherosclerosis is summarized. In order to promote a useful translation of the information into practice, several recommendations for the correct reporting of coronary anatomy and the suggested treatment for the different clinical scenarios are provided. The aim of this consensus document is to refine the description of coronary anatomy as offered by both invasive coronary angiography and CCTA to improve risk stratification of patients undergoing coronary imaging in clinical practice and to select the most appropriate treatment for improving cardiovascular outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/3190.31688DOI Listing
February 2020

[ANMCO/FADOI/SIAARTI/SIC/SIMG/SIMI/SIMEU consensus document: The clinical care pathway of acute heart failure patients from symptom onset to discharge from the emergency department].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2019 May;20(5):289-334

S.C. Cardiologia, Ospedale Santo Spirito, Casale Monferrato (AL).

Acute heart failure (AHF) represents a relevant burden for emergency departments worldwide. AHF patients have markedly worse long-term outcomes than patients with other acute cardiac diseases (e.g. acute coronary syndromes); mortality or readmissions rates at 3 months approximate 33%, whereas 1-year mortality from index discharge ranges from 25% to 50%.The multiplicity of healthcare professionals acting across the care pathway of AHF patients represents a critical factor, which generates the need for integrating the different expertise and competence of general practitioners, emergency physicians, cardiologists, internists, and intensive care physicians to focus on care goals able to improve clinical outcomes.This consensus document results from the cooperation of the scientific societies representing the different healthcare professionals involved in the care of AHF patients and describes shared strategies and pathways aimed at ensuring both high quality care and better outcomes. The document describes the patient journey from symptom onset to the clinical suspicion of AHF and home management or referral to emergency care and transportation to the hospital, through the clinical diagnostic pathway in the emergency department, acute treatment, risk stratification and discharge from the emergency department to ordinary wards or home. The document analyzes the potential role of a cardiology fast-track and Observation Units and the transition to outpatient care by general practitioners and specialist heart failure clinics.The increasing care burden and complex problems generated by AHF are unlikely to be solved without an integrated multidisciplinary approach. Efficient networking among emergency departments, intensive care units, ordinary wards and primary care settings is crucial to achieve better outcomes. Thanks to the joint effort of qualified scientific societies, this document aims to achieve this goal through an integrated, shared and applicable pathway that will contribute to a homogeneous care management of AHF patients across the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/3151.31321DOI Listing
May 2019

Diagnostic and Prognostic Role of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Before Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator.

Am J Cardiol 2019 03 3;123(5):801-806. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

Cardiology, Versilia Hospital, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.

The use of cardiac magnetic resonance (cMR) to assess remodeling and tissue characterization in primitive and secondary cardiomyopathies has progressively increased, and it carries important prognostic informations. The aim of this study was to assess the overall clinical value of cMR before implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). All patients referred to our center for an ICD implantation and submitted to cMR (n = 134) were analyzed. All the cMR diagnostic findings and following clinical events were reviewed to assess clinical relevance in patients care. The use of cMR before ICD implantation has progressively increased during the decade studied (13% to 53%, p <0.001). Subjects who underwent cMR were younger, more often female, with lower NYHA class and higher ejection fraction (p <0.05 for all). Unexpected diagnostic findings were observed in 34 patients (25%), resulting in an immediate therapeutic strategy modification in 13%. A pattern of fibrosis leading to a change in the disease's etiology and thrombus detection were the most frequent cMR findings, followed by anatomical incidental findings. Any grade of fibrosis carried a higher annual incidence of combined death or ventricular arrhythmias (9.92% vs 1.83%, p = 0.02). Annual event rate was related to the extent of scarring. In conclusion, we observed a progressively increase of cMR utilization before ICD implantation during the last decade. This practice has yielded a significant increase of new diagnostic findings, carrying unique prognostic information linked to tissue characterization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.11.036DOI Listing
March 2019

T1 and T2 mapping in the identification of acute myocardial injury in patients with NSTEMI.

Radiol Med 2018 Dec 21;123(12):926-934. Epub 2018 Aug 21.

Department of Cardiology, Versilia Hospital, Via Aurelia 335, 55041, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.

Aims: To test T1 and T2 mapping in the assessment of acute myocardial injury in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), evaluated before revascularization.

Methods: Forty-seven patients with acute NSTEMI underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) at 1.5 T, including T1 and T2 mapping.

Results: Coronary angiography (CA) evidenced an obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) in 36 patients (80%) and a non-obstructive CAD in 11 patients (20%). Edema was detected in 51.1/65.9% of patients in T1/T2 maps, respectively. This difference was due to artifacts in T1 maps. T1/T2 values were significantly higher in the infarcted myocardium (IM) compared with the remote myocardium (RM) (in T1: 1151.6 ± 53.5 ms vs. 958.2 ± 38.6 ms, respectively; in T2: 69 ± 6 ms vs. 51.9 ± 2.9 ms, respectively; p < 0.0001 for both). We found both an obstructive CAD at CA and myocardial edema at CMR in 53.2% of patients, while 8.5% of patients had a non-obstructive CAD and no edema. However, 25.5% of patients had an obstructive CAD without edema, while 12.8% of patients showed edema despite a non-obstructive CAD. Furthermore, in 6 of the edema-positive patients with multi-vessels obstructive CAD, CMR identified myocardial edema in a vascular territory different from that of the lesion supposed to be the culprit at CA.

Conclusions: In a non-negligible percentage of NSTEMI patients, T1 and T2 mapping detect myocardial edema without significant stenosis at CA and vice versa. Therefore, CA and CMR edema imaging might provide complementary information in the evaluation of NSTEMI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-018-0931-2DOI Listing
December 2018

Consensus Document ANMCO/ANCE/ARCA/GICR-IACPR/GISE/SICOA: Long-term Antiplatelet Therapy in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2018 May 31;20(Suppl F):F1-F74. Epub 2018 May 31.

Ambulatorio di Cardiologia, ASL Napoli 3 Sud, Pompei (NA), Italy.

Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with aspirin and a P2Y receptor inhibitor is the cornerstone of pharmacologic management of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and/or those receiving coronary stents. Long-term (>1 year) DAPT may further reduce the risk of stent thrombosis after a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and may decrease the occurrence of non-stent-related ischaemic events in patients with ACS. Nevertheless, compared with aspirin alone, extended use of aspirin plus a P2Y receptor inhibitor may increase the risk of bleeding events that have been strongly linked to adverse outcomes including recurrent ischaemia, repeat hospitalisation and death. In the past years, multiple randomised trials have been published comparing the duration of DAPT after PCI and in ACS patients, investigating either a shorter or prolonged DAPT regimen. Although the current European Society of Cardiology guidelines provide a backup to individualised treatment, it appears to be difficult to identify the ideal patient profile which could safely reduce or prolong the DAPT duration in daily clinical practice. The aim of this consensus document is to review contemporary literature on optimal DAPT duration, and to guide clinicians in tailoring antiplatelet strategies in patients undergoing PCI or presenting with ACS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/suy019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5978022PMC
May 2018

[ANMCO/ANCE/ARCA/GICR-IACPR intersociety consensus document: long-term antiplatelet therapy in patients with coronary artery disease].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2018 May;19(5):263-331

Ambulatorio di Cardiologia, ASL Napoli 3 Sud, Pompei (NA).

Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with aspirin and a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor is the cornerstone of the pharmacologic management of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and/or receiving coronary stents. Long-term (>1 year) DAPT may further reduce the risk of stent thrombosis after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and may decrease the occurrence of non-stent-related ischemic events in patients with ACS. Nevertheless, compared with aspirin alone, extended use of aspirin plus a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor may increase the risk of bleeding events that have been strongly linked to adverse outcomes including recurrent ischemia, repeat hospitalization, and death. Over the last years, multiple randomized clinical trials have been published comparing duration of DAPT after PCI and in ACS patients investigating either a shorter or prolonged DAPT regimen.Although current European Society of Cardiology guidelines provide backup to individualize treatment, it seems difficult to identify the ideal patient profile who could safely reduce or prolong DAPT duration in daily clinical practice. The aim of this consensus document is to review the contemporary literature on optimal DAPT duration and to guide clinicians in tailoring antiplatelet strategies in patients undergoing PCI or presenting with ACS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/2907.29280DOI Listing
May 2018

Can T1 Mapping Be Used to Differentiate between Acute and Chronic Myocardial Infarctions?

Radiology 2018 05;287(2):726-727

Unit of Medical Physics, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy §.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2018172733DOI Listing
May 2018

Value of Telemonitoring and Telemedicine in Heart Failure Management.

Card Fail Rev 2017 Nov;3(2):116-121

Cardiology Unit, New Versilia Hospital,Lido di Camaiore (LU), Italy.

The use of telemonitoring and telemedicine is a relatively new but quickly developing area in medicine. As new digital tools and applications are being created and used to manage medical conditions such as heart failure, many implications require close consideration and further study, including the effectiveness and safety of these telemonitoring tools in diagnosing, treating and managing heart failure compared to traditional face-to-face doctor-patient interaction. When compared to multidisciplinary intervention programs which are frequently hindered by economic, geographic and bureaucratic barriers, non-invasive remote monitoring could be a solution to support and promote the care of patients over time. Therefore it is crucial to identify the most relevant biological parameters to monitor, which heart failure sub-populations may gain real benefits from telehealth interventions and in which specific healthcare subsets these interventions should be implemented in order to maximise value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15420/cfr.2017:6:2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5739893PMC
November 2017

Strain-volume loops in severe aortic valve disease.

J Physiol 2018 02 29;596(4):735. Epub 2017 Nov 29.

Versilia Hospital, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP275268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813614PMC
February 2018

[Cardiogenic shock is a rare disease: the dedicated network].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2017 Oct;18(10):719-726

Divisione di Cardiologia, Ospedale "Garibaldi-Nesima", Catania - Consiglio Direttivo ANMCO.

Cardiogenic shock (CS) is a rare disease that needs a rapid and multiparameter diagnosis and a timely, aggressive and multidisciplinary goal-oriented treatment. Recently published epidemiological studies and registries underline how SC represents an infrequent clinical entity still burdened by high mortality rates, substantially unchanged over the years. Currently, only few patients with CS are treated with circulatory assistance in dedicated centers. Some consensus documents and expert recommendations emphasize the importance of early diagnosis of CS, immediate pharmacological support, and treatment of precipitating causes, and stress the need for hospitalization in high-volume intensive care centers. The aim of this review is to show the instructions for the creation of a SC network, emphasizing the necessary elements, in agreement with available resources and existing health regulations for giving the same care opportunities to all the patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/2790.28261DOI Listing
October 2017

[Application of a shared interdisciplinary and multiprofessional cardio-oncology in-hospital pathway].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2017 Nov;18(11):760-763

U.O.C. Cardiologia.

The burden of cardiac side effects in oncology patients will dramatically increase in the near future as a result of the widespread use of anticancer agents affecting the cardiovascular system, the general population aging, the heightened attention in the detection of cardiac toxicity and the absolute gain in terms of overall survival. The relationship between cardiologists and oncologists should therefore be closer leading to the definition of cardio-oncology. The increased number of such patients requires the creation of a dedicated patient assistance program in order to guarantee every patient the possibility of an interdisciplinary and multiprofessional approach. A dedicated care pathway needs a reorganization of internal resources to ensure high standards of care. The proposed pathway is actually active at our institution and has been implemented taking into account available facilities and planned work amount. Our patient cardio-oncology program could be adapted with minimal changes to different hospitals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/2803.28361DOI Listing
November 2017

ANMCO/AIAC/SICI-GISE/SIC/SICCH Consensus Document: percutaneous occlusion of the left atrial appendage in non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients: indications, patient selection, staff skills, organisation, and training.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2017 May 2;19(Suppl D):D333-D353. Epub 2017 May 2.

Cardiac Surgery Unit, Ospedale Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and its prevalence is increasing due to the progressive aging of the population. About 20% of strokes are attributable to AF and AF patients are at five-fold increased risk of stroke. The mainstay of treatment of AF is the prevention of thromboembolic complications with oral anticoagulation therapy. Drug treatment for many years has been based on the use of vitamin K antagonists, but recently newer and safer molecules have been introduced (dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban). Despite these advances, many patients still do not receive adequate anticoagulation therapy because of contraindications (relative and absolute) to this treatment. Over the last decade, percutaneous closure of left atrial appendage, main site of thrombus formation during AF, proved effective in reducing thromboembolic complications, thus offering a valid medical treatment especially in patients at increased bleeding risk. The aim of this consensus document is to review the main aspects of left atrial appendage occlusion (selection and multidisciplinary assessment of patients, currently available methods and devices, requirements for centres and operators, associated therapies and follow-up modalities) having as a ground the significant evolution of techniques and the available relevant clinical data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/sux008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520759PMC
May 2017

ANMCO/AIIC/SIT Consensus Information Document: definition, precision, and suitability of electrocardiographic signals of electrocardiographs, ergometry, Holter electrocardiogram, telemetry, and bedside monitoring systems.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2017 May 2;19(Suppl D):D190-D211. Epub 2017 May 2.

Italian Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (Digital SIT), Florence, Italy.

The electrocardiogram (ECG) signal can be derived from different sources. These include systems for surface ECG, Holter monitoring, ergometric stress tests, and telemetry systems and bedside monitoring of vital parameters, which are useful for rhythm and ST-segment analysis and ECG screening of electrical sudden cardiac death predictors. A precise ECG diagnosis is based upon correct recording, elaboration, and presentation of the signal. Several sources of artefacts and potential external causes may influence the quality of the original ECG waveforms. Other factors that may affect the quality of the information presented depend upon the technical solutions employed to improve the signal. The choice of the instrumentations and solutions used to offer a high-quality ECG signal are, therefore, of paramount importance. Some requirements are reported in detail in scientific statements and recommendations. The aim of this consensus document is to give scientific reference for the choice of systems able to offer high quality ECG signal acquisition, processing, and presentation suitable for clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/sux031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520765PMC
May 2017

Consensus Document of the Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists (ANMCO), Italian Society of Cardiology (SIC), Italian Association of Interventional Cardiology (SICI-GISE) and Italian Society of Cardiac Surgery (SICCH): clinical approach to pharmacologic pre-treatment for patients undergoing myocardial revascularization procedures.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2017 May 2;19(Suppl D):D151-D162. Epub 2017 May 2.

Heart Surgery Unit, Ospedale Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

The wide availability of effective drugs in reducing cardiovascular events together with the use of myocardial revascularization has greatly improved the prognosis of patients with coronary artery disease. The combination of antithrombotic drugs to be administered before the knowledge of the coronary anatomy and before the consequent therapeutic strategies, can allow to anticipate optimal treatment, but can also expose the patients at risk of bleeding that, especially in acute coronary syndromes, can significantly weigh on their prognosis, even more than the expected theoretical benefit. In non ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes patients in particular, we propose a 'selective pre-treatment' with P2Y inhibitors, based on the ischaemic risk, on the bleeding risk and on the time scheduled for the execution of coronary angiography. Much of the problems concerning this issue would be resolved by an early access to coronary angiography, particularly for patients at higher ischaemic and bleeding risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/sux010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520758PMC
May 2017

The future of telemedicine for the management of heart failure patients: a Consensus Document of the Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists (A.N.M.C.O), the Italian Society of Cardiology (S.I.C.) and the Italian Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (Digital S.I.T.).

Eur Heart J Suppl 2017 May 2;19(Suppl D):D113-D129. Epub 2017 May 2.

Cardiology Unit and Interventional Cardiology Department, Policlinico "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy.

Telemedicine applied to heart failure patients is a tool for recording and providing remote transmission, storage and interpretation of cardiovascular parameters and/or useful diagnostic images to allow for intensive home monitoring of patients with advanced heart failure, or during the vulnerable post-acute phase, to improve patient's prognosis and quality of life. Recently, several meta-analyses have shown that telemedicine-supported care pathways are not only effective but also economically advantageous. Benefits seem to be substantial, with a 30-35% reduction in mortality and 15-20% decrease in hospitalizations. Patients implanted with cardiac devices can also benefit from an integrated remote clinical management since all modern devices can transmit technical and diagnostic data. However, telemedicine may provide benefits to heart failure patients only as part of a shared and integrated multi-disciplinary and multi-professional 'chronic care model'. Moreover, the future development of remote telemonitoring programs in Italy will require the primary use of products certified as medical devices, validated organizational solutions as well as legislative and administrative adoption of new care methods and the widespread growth of clinical care competence to remotely manage the complexity of chronicity. Through this consensus document, Italian Cardiology reaffirms its willingness to contribute promoting a new phase of qualitative assessment, standardization of processes and testing of telemedicine-based care models in heart failure. By recognizing the relevance of telemedicine for the care of non-hospitalized patients with heart failure, its strategic importance for the design of innovative models of care, and the many challenges and opportunities it raises, ANMCO and SIC through this document report a consensus on the main directions for its widespread and sustainable clinical implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/sux024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520762PMC
May 2017

ANMCO/GICR-IACPR/SICI-GISE Consensus Document: the clinical management of chronic ischaemic cardiomyopathy.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2017 May 2;19(Suppl D):D163-D189. Epub 2017 May 2.

Cardiology Unit, Ospedale Castelli, Verbania, Italy.

Stable coronary artery disease (CAD) is a clinical entity of great epidemiological importance. It is becoming increasingly common due to the longer life expectancy, being strictly related to age and to advances in diagnostic techniques and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Stable CAD encompasses a variety of clinical and anatomic presentations, making the identification of its clinical and anatomical features challenging. Therapeutic interventions should be defined on an individual basis according to the patient's risk profile. To this aim, management flow charts have been reviewed based on sustainability and appropriateness derived from recent evidence. Special emphasis has been placed on non-pharmacological interventions, stressing the importance of lifestyle changes, including smoking cessation, regular physical activity, and diet. Adherence to therapy as an emerging risk factor is also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/sux021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5421493PMC
May 2017

[Teamwork for cardiac imaging: coronary computed tomography angiography and low-dose radiation exposure: a cardiology center experience].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2017 Apr;18(4):313-321

U.O.C. Cardiologia.

Background: Multidetector coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is increasingly used for noninvasive imaging of the coronary arteries. Radiation exposure, however, is a potential limitation to a more extensive use of this imaging modality. We aimed to demonstrate that a professional teamwork approach, including a cardiologist and a radiologist in performing CCTA, may allow to obtain best quality exams with very low radiation doses.

Methods: A total of 998 consecutive patients underwent CCTA in accordance with the most recent guidelines. The following procedures were undertaken to reduce the radiation dose: (a) preliminary cardiological evaluation to check for CCTA eligibility; (b) optimized heart rate control with beta-blockers and/or ivabradine; and (c) the use of nonstandardized computed tomography protocols and algorithms for dose reduction.

Results: All the patients underwent a preliminary cardiological evaluation; 89% of them were pretreated with oral or intravenous beta-blockers and/or ivabradine; 806 patients (81%) were scanned by means of prospective gating, which allowed a radiation dose exposure of 161 ± 68.64 mGy; 192 patients (19%) underwent a retrospective gating protocol, with a radiation dose exposure of 1135.15 ± 485.87 mGy. In 13 patients (1%) CCTA was uninterpretable because of artifacts. Exam quality was not affected by the use of low-dose computed tomography scanning. Coronary calcium score and/or left ventricular functional analysis were never performed.

Conclusions: The preliminary selection and preparation of patients and optimized scanner utilization allow a substantial reduction in radiation dose for most of the patients submitted to CCTA without affecting image quality. In our experience, a team approach was necessary to allow a "low-dose learning curve" and a progressive reduction in radiation doses administered to patients by means of the prospective gating protocol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/2683.27474DOI Listing
April 2017

[ANMCO/AIAC/SICI-GISE/SIC/SICCH Consensus document: Percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: indications, patient selection, competences, organization, and operator training].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2016 Jul-Aug;17(7-8):594-613

U.O.C. Cardiologia e Cardiologia Interventistica, Policlinico "Tor Vergata", Roma.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and its prevalence is increasing due to the progressive aging of the population. About 20% of strokes are attributable to AF and AF patients are at 5-fold increased risk of stroke. The mainstay of treatment of AF is the prevention of thromboembolic complications with oral anticoagulation therapy. Drug treatment for many years has been based on the use of vitamin K antagonists, but recently newer and safer molecules have been introduced (dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban, apixaban and edoxaban). Despite these advances, many patients still do not receive adequate anticoagulation therapy because of contraindications (relative and absolute) to this treatment. Over the last decade, percutaneous closure of left atrial appendage, main site of thrombus formation during AF, proved effective in reducing thromboembolic complications, thus offering a valid medical treatment especially in patients at increased bleeding risk. The aim of this consensus document is to review the main aspects of left atrial appendage occlusion (selection and multidisciplinary assessment of patients, currently available methods and devices, requirements for centers and operators, associated therapies and follow-up modalities) having as a ground the significant evolution of techniques and the available relevant clinical data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/2330.25054DOI Listing
February 2017

[ANMCO/GICR-IACPR/SICI-GISE Consensus document: Clinical management of patients with stable coronary artery disease].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome) 2016 Jul-Aug;17(7-8):529-69

S.O.C. Cardiologia, Ospedale Castelli, Verbania.

Stable coronary artery disease is of epidemiological importance. It is becoming increasingly common due to the longer life expectancy, being strictly related to age and to advances in diagnostic techniques and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.Stable coronary artery disease encompasses a variety of clinical and anatomic presentations, making the identification of its clinical and anatomical features challenging. Therapeutic interventions should be defined on an individual basis according to the patient's risk profile. To this aim, management flow-charts have been reviewed based on sustainability and appropriateness derived from recent evidence. Special emphasis has been placed on non-pharmacological interventions, stressing the importance of lifestyle changes, including smoking cessation, regular physical activity and diet. Adherence to therapy as an emerging risk factor is also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1714/2330.25050DOI Listing
February 2017