Publications by authors named "Gianluca Borio"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Preliminary Case-Control Study: Peritoneal Approach in Congestive Heart Failure Treatment.

Blood Purif 2021 Nov 2:1-7. Epub 2021 Nov 2.

Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Vito Fazzi Hospital, Lecce, Italy.

Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) associated with worsening renal function is a very common disorder, and, as well known, the goal of the treatment is reducing venous congestion and maintaining a targeted extracellular volume. The objective of the study is to evaluate regular peritoneal ultrafiltration treatment compared to a standard conservative approach in NYHA III-IV CHF patients. In particular, the primary endpoints of the study were the major event-free survival and the total days of medical care per month (which consist of the days of hospitalization and the number of outpatient visits).

Material And Methods: This is a retrospective case-control study. Twenty-four patients were included in the present study. Twelve consecutive patients were treated with peritoneal treatment (group A) and 12 matched for age, gender, and severity of disease with a standard approach. Patients were observed over a maximum period of 18 months. Information on events, hospitalizations, and number of visits was collected during follow-up.

Results: During the follow-up, we observed a major event in 4 patients in group A (33.3%) and in 8 patients in group B (66.7%). In group B, we observed 7 deaths and 1 ICD shock, while in group A, 3 deaths and 1 ICD shock. The number of visits per month was significantly lower in patients treated with the peritoneal method (1.2 [0.4-4.1] vs. 2.5 [2.0-3.1]; p = 0.03). The total days of medical care was significantly lower in group A (2.0 [1.1-5.5] vs. 4.4 [3.0-8.7]; p = 0.034). A multiple event analysis according to the Andersen-Gill model showed a significant event-free survival for group A. During the follow-up, we did not observe any episode of peritonitis in the treated group.

Conclusions: Our study shows that the peritoneal technique is a good therapeutic tool in well-selected patients with CHF. In accordance with prior experience, this intervention has not only an important and significant clinical impact but also potential economic and social consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000518347DOI Listing
November 2021

Ajmaline Testing and the Brugada Syndrome.

Am J Cardiol 2020 11 27;135:91-98. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel-Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium; European Reference Networks Guard-Heart, Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

Brugada syndrome (BrS) diagnosis requires the presence of a typical type 1 ECG pattern. Owing to the spontaneous ECG variability, the real BrS prevalence in the general population remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of positive ajmaline challenge for BrS in a cohort of consecutive patients who underwent electrophysiological evaluation for different clinical reasons. All consecutive patients from 2008 to 2019 who underwent ajmaline testing were prospectively included. A total of 2,456 patients underwent ajmaline testing, 742 (30.2%) in the context of familial screening for BrS. In non-familial screening group (1,714) ajmaline testing resulted positive in 186 (10.9%). Indications for ajmaline testing were: suspicious BrS ECG in 23 cases (12.4%), palpitations in 27 (14.5%), syncope in 71 (38.2%), presyncope in 7 (3.8%), family history of sudden cardiac death in 18 (9.7%), documented ventricular arrhythmias in 12 (6.5%), unexplained cardiac arrest in 4 (2.2%), atrial fibrillation in 16 (8.5%), brady-arrhythmias in 1 (0.5%), and cerebrovascular accidents in 7 (3.7%). Compared with the overall population, ajmaline testing positive patients were younger (42.8 ± 15.5 vs 48.9 ± 20.4; p <0.001) and more frequently male (65.1% vs 56.3%; p = 0.023). Implantable cardioverter defibrillator was implanted in 84 patients (45.2%). During a median follow-up of 42.4 months, 12 appropriate shocks and 13 implantable cardioverter defibrillator related complications were reported. In conclusion, the BrS was diagnosed in an unexpected high proportion of patients that underwent ajmaline testing for a variety of cardiovascular symptoms. This can lead to an adequate counseling and clinical management in BrS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.08.024DOI Listing
November 2020

Temperature-guided ablation with the second-generation cryoballoon for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: 3-year follow-up in a multicenter experience.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2021 Jun 31;61(1):95-104. Epub 2020 May 31.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, Postgraduate Program in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing, European Reference Networks Guard-Heart, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel-Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090, Brussels, Belgium.

Purpose: A strategy based on the attainment of the specific parameter of - 40 °C within the first 60 s during cryoenergy applications in the setting of cryoballoon ablation (CB-A) without the use of an inner lumen mapping catheter (ILMC) (Achieve; Medtronic, USA) for the visualization of real-time recordings (RTR) has been previously described. The latter has proven to be very effective in guaranteeing freedom from atrial arrhythmias in patients affected by paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) at 1-year follow-up. The purpose of this retrospective observational study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of this strategy in a multicenter experience on a long-term follow-up of 3 years.

Methods: A total of 192 patients having undergone CB ablation for paroxysmal AF (PAF) starting from September 2015 to November 2016 that underwent a temperature-guided approach were included.

Results: Mean procedural time was 68.77 ± 18.88. The mean number of freezes in the LSPV was 1.2 ± 0.4, 1.2 ± 0.4 in the LIPV, 1.1 ± 0.4 in the RSPV, and 1.2 ± 0.4 in the RIPV. Considering a blanking period of 3 months, freedom from AF off-AAD was achieved in 77.6% (149/192) at mean 34.5 ± 5.5 months and median 35.1 months (IQR, 32.3-37.0 months) follow-up after 1 procedure.

Conclusions: A temperature-guided approach affords freedom from AF at a 3-year follow-up period in a large majority of patients affected by PAF having undergone a single CB-A procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-020-00770-6DOI Listing
June 2021

Cryoballoon ablation performed with a novel EP mapping system.

Europace 2020 06;22(6):931

Heart Rhythm Management Center, UZ Brussel-VUB, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euaa078DOI Listing
June 2020

Standardized Quantification of Vagal Denervation by Extracardiac Vagal Stimulation during Second Generation Cryoballoon ablation: a Vein per Vein Analysis.

J Atr Fibrillation 2019 Oct-Nov;12(3):2223. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Heart Rhythm Management Centre, Postgraduate course in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution in the acute loss in vagal innervation after ablation with the second generation cryoballoon (CB-A) in each distinct pulmonary vein (PV) by means of external cardiac vagal stimulation (ECVS) by positioning a catheter in the internal jugular vein in a cohort of 60 patients.

Methods: Sixty patients, 50 starting from the left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV) and 10 from the right superior pulmonary vein with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF), having undergone ECVS before the first and after each PV ablation by means of CB-A ablation, were included.

Results: The ECVS performed pre-ablation provoked cardioinhibitory responses in all cases with mean pause duration of 10251.83 ms ± 2826.23 ms. At the end of the procedure, the vagal reactions (VR) were significantly diminished. Specifically, compared against the initial pause, responses were 8957.06 ± 2711.66 ms (p < 0.01) after left superior PV, 10017.36 ± 9127.0 ms (p = 0.88) after left inferior PV, 6020.16 ± 3780.709 ms (p < 0.001) after right inferior PV and 1687.5 ± 2183.7 ms (p < 0.001) after right superior PV. Noteworthy, if starting with ablation in the RSPV, VR was immediately reduced by 90.34%, 990.7 ± 379.78 ms (p < 0.001) as compared to baseline response.

Conclusion: Although not directly targeting the ganglion plexuses, AF ablation with the CB-A causes a significant acute loss in parasympathetic innervation. The RSPV showed to be associated with the most significant reduction of acute loss in parasympathetic innervation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4022/jafib.2223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7237095PMC
October 2019

Conversion of atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm during cryoballoon ablation: A favorable and not unusual phenomenon during second-generation cryoballoon pulmonary vein isolation.

J Arrhythm 2020 Apr 16;36(2):319-327. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Heart Rhythm Management Center UZ Brussel-VUB Brussels Belgium.

Background: The prevalence and the clinical impact of conversion of atrial fibrillation (AF) to sinus rhythm (SR) during cryoballoon ablation (CB-A) are unknown.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of restoration of SR during CB-A and the clinical impact of this phenomenon.

Methods: Between January 2012 and September 2018, all patients who experienced conversion of AF to SR during CB-A were included. This group was subsequently matched for gender, age, type of AF, diagnosis-to-ablation time, and left atrial size with patients who underwent CB-A and did not experienced conversion of AF to SR. After discharge, patients were scheduled for follow-up visits at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months and 24 hours Holter recordings were obtained at each follow-up visit. All documented AF episodes of >30 seconds were considered as recurrence. A 3 month post-procedural blanking period (BP) was applied.

Results: A total of 1559 patients underwent pulmonary veins isolation by CB-A between January 2012 and September 2018; among them, 58 patients (3.7%) experienced restoration of SR during CB-A. In total, 53 patients (41 males [77.3%], mean age 61.4 ± 13.3 years) were included in the case group. During CB-A, restoration of SR occurred more frequently during right-side PVs applications (right inferior pulmonary vein 39.6%, right superior pulmonary vein 30.2%). If considering a BP, at 2 year follow-up, freedom from recurrences was 86.5% in the case group and 68.0% in the control group ( = .036).

Conclusion: Conversion of AF to SR is a favorable and relatively frequent phenomenon during cryoballoon pulmonary vein isolation ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joa3.12301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7132212PMC
April 2020

A novel strategy to treat vaso-vagal syncope: Cardiac neuromodulation by cryoballoon pulmonary vein isolation.

Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J 2020 Jul - Aug;20(4):154-159. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, UZ Brussel-VUB, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: Clinical management of vaso-vagal syncope (VVS) remains challenging since no therapy has proven to completely prevent VVS recurrence.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze the mid-term outcome of cryoballoon (CB) cardioneuroablation achieved by pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in patients with VVS.

Methods: Patients who underwent CB cardioneuroablation in our centers between January 2014 to June 2018 were included. All patients had a history of VVS or pre-syncope despite therapeutic attempts with medical and/or pacing treatments. Patients were excluded in case of structural heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases or suspected drug-related syncope. Both heart rate (HR) and atrio-ventricular (AV) interval were analyzed on the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) the day before the procedure, the day after, and in the follow-up.

Results: In total, 26 patients (76.9% males, 37.5 ± 9.0 years old) were included. All patients underwent a successful procedure with the 28 mm second-generation Arctic Front Advance CB. No major complication occurred. At a mean follow-up of 20.1 ± 11.6 months the freedom from VVS or reflex pre-syncope was 83,7%, with 22 patients free from any clinical recurrence. Basal HR significantly increased the day after the procedure (57.2 bpm vs 78.3 bpm, p < 0.001), while at the final follow-up it stabilized at a value halfway between the 2 previous ones (69.8 bpm, p = 0.0086). The AV interval didn't modify significantly after the procedure.

Conclusion: Endocardial autonomic denervation achieved by CB PVI appears to be an effective and safe treatment option for patients with refractory VVS and reflex pre-syncope.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ipej.2020.03.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371945PMC
March 2020

Phrenic nerve palsy during right-sided pulmonary veins cryoapplications: new insights from pulmonary vein anatomy addressed by computed tomography.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2021 Jan 14;60(1):85-92. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, UZ Brussel-VUB, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090, Brussels, Belgium.

Purpose: There is still sparse information regarding phrenic nerve palsy (PNP) during the cryoablation of both right-sided pulmonary vein (PV) and its anatomical predictors.

Methods: Consecutive patients who had undergone pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) using CB-A and suffered PNP during both right-sided PVs were retrospectively included in our study. Two other groups were then selected among patients who experienced PNP during RIPV application only (group 2) and RSPV application only (group 3).

Results: The incidence of PNI during both right-sided PVs cryoapplications was 2.1%, (32 of 1542 patients). There were no significant clinical differences between the 3 groups. Time from basal temperature to -40 °C significantly differed among the groups for both RIPV (p = 0.0026) and RSPV applications (p = 0.0382). Patients with PNP occurring during RSPV applications had significantly larger RSPV cross-sectional area compared to patients without PNP (p = 0.0116), while in patients with PNP during RIPV application, the angle of RIPV ostium on the transverse plane was significantly smaller compared to patients without PNP (p = 0.0035). The carina width was significantly smaller in patients with PNP occurring during both right-sided PVs cryoapplications compared to patients in which PNP occurred only during one right-sided PV application (p < 0.0001); a cutoff value of 8.5 mm had a sensitivity of 87.3% and a specificity of 75.0%.

Conclusion: PNP in both right-sided PVs applications is a complication that occurred in 2.1% of cases during CB-A. Pre-procedural evaluation of right PVs anatomy might be useful in evaluating the risk of PNP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-020-00713-1DOI Listing
January 2021

Predictors of cardiac neuromodulation achieved by cryoballoon ablation performed in patients with atrial fibrillation who were in sinus rhythm before the ablation.

Int J Cardiol 2020 07 22;310:86-91. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, UZ Brussel-VUB, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: The impact of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) performed with cryoballoon (CB) on the intrinsic cardiac autonomic nervous system (ICANS) remains unclear.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictors and the clinical meaning of cardiac neuromodulation achieved by CB-ablation as assessed by sinus heart rate (HR) response after the procedure.

Methods: Patients who underwent CB-ablation for drug-resistant atrial fibrillation (AF) from January 2014 to October 2018 were included. Twelve‑leads rest ECG was taken both before and after the procedure. After discharge, patients were scheduled for follow-up visits at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months and 24 h Holter recordings were obtained at each follow-up visit. All documented AF episodes of >30 s were considered as recurrence.

Results: Four-hundred seventy-two patients (62.3% male, age 56.7 ± 13.6 years, 97.2% paroxysmal AF) were included. Mean HR before the procedure was 60.17 ± 10.4 bpm, while the morning after the procedure mean HR was 75.48 ± 12.0 bpm. Age at enrollment (R = -0.26; p < 0.001), baseline HR before the CB-A (R = -0.32; p < 0.001), nadir temperature in each right pulmonary vein (R = -0.11, p = 0.022; R = -0.16; p = 0.001) were significantly associated with the ∆HR. At 2-year follow-up, freedom from recurrences was 83.1% for the patients with HR increase ≥15 bpm after CB-A and 66.3% in patients with HR increase ˂15 bpm (p = 0.021).

Conclusion: Sinus HR increase is a frequent phenomenon after CB-A, that can be predicted by both clinical and procedural factors and that correlates with better outcome after cryo-PVI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.01.033DOI Listing
July 2020

Pulmonary veins anatomical determinants of cooling kinetics during second-generation cryoballoon ablation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 03 20;31(3):629-637. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Heart Rhythm Management Centre, Postgraduate Course in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the role of anatomical characteristics of the pulmonary veins (PVs) determining cooling kinetics during second-generation cryoballoon ablation (CbA).

Methods And Results: we enrolled all consecutive patients who underwent CbA for symptomatic atrial fibrillation in our center from January 2019 to March 2019. All patients had complete computed tomography scans of the heart before the ablation. Anatomical characteristics were tested for prediction of a nadir temperature (NT) ≤ -48°C. Significant differences were noted among PV max diameter (20.8 ± 2.8 vs 18.5 ± 2.5 mm; P < .001); PV minimum diameter (15.2 ± 3.0 vs 13.0 ± 3.1 mm; P < .001); PV area (268.1 ± 71.9 vs 206.2 ± 58.7 mm ; P < .001); PV ovality (1.4 ± 0.3 vs 1.5 ± 0.3; P = .005); and PV trunk length (27.4 ± 7.4 vs 21.3 ± 6.5 mm; P < .001). A scoring system was created by assigning one point each ranging from 0 (best anatomical combination) to 5. In the group with a score of 0, 94.0% of the CbA could reach a NT ≤ -48°C whereas with a score of 5, only 29.0% (P < .001). Left superior pulmonary vein with short trunk length and acute angle of PV branch was significantly associated with warmer NT (11.8% satisfactory CbA; P = .003). Regarding right inferior pulmonary vein, trunk length (P = .004), maximum diameter (P = .044), and transverse angle (P = .008) were independently associated with good NT.

Conclusion: Anatomical PV features are associated with cooling kinetics and an anatomical score could predict lower NT during second-generation CbA. Specific characteristics were identified for inferior PV. Although heart imaging is not mandatory prior CbA, it can be a useful tool to predict cooling kinetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14356DOI Listing
March 2020

High parasympathetic activity as reflected by deceleration capacity predicts atrial fibrillation recurrence after repeated catheter ablation procedure.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2021 Jan 7;60(1):21-29. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, Postgraduate program in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing, European Reference Networks Guard-Heart, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Purpose: High parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity is accurately reflected by deceleration capacity (DC) and is involved in atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after catheter ablation procedure. When compared with initial catheter ablation procedure, repeated procedures for AF recurrence are followed by a lower success rates, estimated at 50%. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of PNS activity assessed by DC measured before repeated procedure on AF recurrence after repeated procedure.

Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent an initial catheter ablation procedure for pulmonary vein (PV) isolation and a repeated catheter ablation procedure for AF recurrence were selected. Additional 24-h ambulatory electrocardiographic recording between procedures for DC measurement was required for inclusion. A total of 110 patients were included. Seventy-two patients underwent cryoballoon (CB) ablation and 38 patients underwent radiofrequency (RF) ablation as initial procedure, while all patients underwent RF ablation as repeated procedure.

Results: DC was higher in cases with right-sided PV reconnection (p = 0.04, OR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.08-1.78). In patients with CB ablation as initial procedure, DC was higher in patients with PV reconnection (p = 0.03, OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.11-1.70), and the number of reconnected PVs was higher in patients with DC ≥ 7.0 ms (median DC value used for dichotomization, p = 0.02, OR = 2.19, 95% CI = 1.10-4.37). In multivariate Cox regression, DC predicted AF recurrence after repeated ablation (p = 0.004, HR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.35-1.82). In multivariate binary regression, DC predicted persistent AF type recurrence after repeated ablation (p = 0.01, OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.10-2.02).

Conclusions: DC is a novel predictor of AF recurrence and AF recurrence type after repeated catheter ablation procedure. DC may reflect the need of more intensive treatment strategies in patients with high PNS activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-019-00687-9DOI Listing
January 2021

Predictors of durable electrical isolation in the setting of second-generation cryoballoon ablation: A comparison between left superior, left inferior, right superior, and right inferior pulmonary veins.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 01 4;31(1):128-136. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Heart Rhythm Management Center, UZ Brussel-VUB, Brussels, Belgium.

Aim: The aim of this study is to assess specific per-vein procedural predictors of pulmonary vein (PV) late reconnection in cryoballoon ablation (CbA) METHODS AND RESULTS: We enrolled 148 consecutive patients undergoing a redo procedure after a previous index CbA in our center. A reconnection in at least one PV was found in 80 patients (54.1%) and the most frequently reconnected PV was the right inferior pulmonary vein (RIPV). Overall, pulmonary vein reconnection (PVr) was associated with longer time to -40°C (Tt-40°C) (54.4 ± 21.7 vs 67.6 ± 27.6 seconds; P < .001), warmer nadir temperature (NT) (-49.7°C ± 5.4°C vs -46.5°C ± 5.8°C; P < .001) and temperature at 60 seconds (-41.8°C ± 4.5°C vs -39.8°C ± 4.2°C; P < .001). The performance of these predictors differed between the veins. In particular, a comparable behavior was observed for left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV) and right superior pulmonary vein (RSPV), where NT ≤ -48°C showed a sensibility and a specificity, respectively, of 62% and 65% and 71% and 72% in predicting durable PV isolation. For RIPV, NT ≤ -48°C showed a sensitivity of 74% but low specificity (53%). Tt -40°C less than 60 seconds showed good negative predictive values, respectively, 83.9% for LSPV, 94.9% for left inferior pulmonary vein (LIPV), 90.2% for RSPV, and 82.7% for RIPV. Previous predictors cannot be used for LIPV.

Conclusions: Freezing behavior and reconnection rates differ significantly among the four PVs. Freezing temperature parameters strongly predict late PVr in superior PVs and are slightly different in RIPV but can be applied as well. LIPV freezing behavior is the most different. Its reconnection is uncommon even in the subset of worse freezing temperatures and specific CB predictors cannot be identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14286DOI Listing
January 2020

Anatomic predictors of late right inferior pulmonary vein reconnection in the setting of second-generation cryoballoon ablation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 11 30;30(11):2294-2301. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Heart Rhythm Management Centre, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: The right inferior pulmonary vein (RIPV) accounts as the most frequently reconnected vein after pulmonary vein isolation using second-generation cryoballoon ablation (CB-A). Our objective was to assess anatomic predictors of late RIPV reconnection based on preprocedural computed tomography scan.

Methods: Patients with a repeat procedure for atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence after index CB-A procedure were included. A total of 129 RIPVs were evaluated for ostial diameters, ostial area, and branching pattern. Interior angle between RIPV and horizontal line in the frontal/transversal plane was used to measure the RIPV orientation: RIPV frontal/transversal angle, respectively. In addition, interior angle between RIPV and the line perpendicular on the septal intersection line at the level of the fossa ovalis, estimated as trans-septal (TS) puncture site, was measured in the frontal/transversal view: RIPV-TS frontal/transversal angle, respectively.

Results: Late vein reconnection was present in 36/129 RIPVs (28%). Warmer balloon nadir temperature (P = .01), more inferior (P < .001) and posterior (P < .01) RIPV orientation (ie, more positive RIPV frontal and RIPV transversal angle, respectively), and sharper RIPV-TS frontal angle (P < .001) were associated with late RIPV reconnection on univariate analysis. Independent variables after multivariate analysis were nadir temperature (odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.23; P = .013) and RIPV frontal angle (OR, 1.13, CI, 1.07-1.19; P < .001).

Conclusion: Frontal RIPV orientation could significantly predict late RIPV electrical reconnection after CB-A. Therefore, preprocedural anatomic assessment of the RIPV might be useful to plan the correct ablation strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14186DOI Listing
November 2019

Prolonged sustained ventricular fibrillation in a patient with dextrocardia and a left ventricular assist device.

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) 2019 Oct;20(10):721-724

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2459/JCM.0000000000000849DOI Listing
October 2019

Safety and efficacy of a cardiologist-only approach to deep sedation for electrical cardioversion.

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) 2019 Jan;20(1):16-22

Department of Cardiology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona, Verona, Italy.

Aims: Electrical cardioversion is still the preferred method to restore sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation. The main disadvantage is that electrical cardioversion requires deep sedation, generally administered by anaesthesiologists, for safety concern. An exclusively cardiologic management of deep sedation should have the advantage to reduce resources and time consumed.

Methods: All consecutive patients admitted to our division with persistent atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter to undergo elective electrical cardioversion from June 2002 to December 2016 were included. The sedation protocol was managed only by cardiologists and involved the administration of a 5-mg bolus of midazolam, followed by increasing doses of propofol to achieve the desired sedation level. Exclusion criteria were strictly observed. Complications were recorded. A retrospective analysis on a deidentified database has been performed.

Results: A total of 1188 electrical cardioversions were scheduled in our centre. A total of 1195 patients were scheduled in our centre, of whom 1188 met inclusion criteria. Electrical cardioversion was performed in 1073 cases (90.3%). Electrical cardioversion was successful in restoring sinus rhythm in 1030 (96.0%) patients. Immediate recurrence of atrial fibrillation occurred in 89 patients (8.3%). 99/1073 (9.22%) patients underwent trans-oesophagel echocardiography before cardioversion. Deep sedation, according to our protocol, was effective in 100% of cases. Midazolam was administered at a dosage of 5 mg to all patients, while propofol was administered at a dosage ranging from 20 to 80 mg (25.1 ± 11.0 mg SD). No anaesthesia-related complications were observed, neither significant respiratory depression requiring intubation nor anaesthesiologist support.

Conclusion: The exclusively cardiological procedure of deep sedation seems to be safe and effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2459/JCM.0000000000000731DOI Listing
January 2019

Leadless pacemaker implantation in achondroplastic dwarfism and recurrent cardiac implantable electronic device infections: a case report.

Europace 2018 07;20(7):1160

From the Division of Cardiology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Piazzale Stefani 1, Verona, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eux369DOI Listing
July 2018

Atrial Function as an Independent Predictor of Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation in Patients Undergoing Aortic Valve Surgery for Severe Aortic Stenosis.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2017 Oct;30(10):956-965.e1

Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a common, clinically relevant, but hardly predictable complication after surgical aortic valve replacement. The aim of this study was to test the role of preoperative left atrial longitudinal strain as a predictor of POAF in clinical practice.

Methods: Sixty patients scheduled for aortic valve replacement for severe isolated aortic stenosis, in stable sinus rhythm, were prospectively enrolled and underwent full clinical, biochemical, and transthoracic echocardiographic assessment on the day before surgery. Left atrial strain-derived peak atrial longitudinal strain (PALS) and peak atrial contraction strain (PACS) were obtained. The occurrence of POAF was evaluated during the hospital stay after the intervention.

Results: POAF was present in 26 of 60 patients (43.3%). Among all clinical variables examined, age showed a significant correlation with POAF (P = .04), while no significant differences were noted regarding preoperative symptoms, cardiovascular risk factors, medications, and biochemical data. As for the echocardiographic parameters, only PALS and PACS showed strong, significant correlations with the occurrence of arrhythmia (P < .0001 on univariate analysis), with areas under the curve of 0.87 ± 0.04 (95% CI, 0.76-0.94) for PALS and 0.85 ± 0.05 (95% CI, 0.73-0.93) for PACS. In two comprehensive multivariate models, PALS and PACS remained significant predictors of POAF (odds ratio, 0.73 [95% CI, 0.61-0.88; P = .0008] and 0.72 [95% CI, 0.59-0.87; P = .0007]). No significant interaction was detected between PALS or PACS and other clinical and echocardiographic variables, including age, E/E' ratio, and left atrial enlargement.

Conclusions: PALS and PACS indexes are routinely feasible and useful to predict POAF in patients with severe isolated aortic stenosis undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2017.07.001DOI Listing
October 2017

The usual suspects in sudden cardiac death of the young: a focus on inherited arrhythmogenic diseases.

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther 2014 Apr;12(4):499-519

Molecular Cardiology, IRCCS Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Pavia, Italy.

Up to 14,500 young individuals die suddenly every year in Europe of cardiac pathologies. The majority of these tragic events are related to a group of genetic defects that predispose the development of malignant arrhythmias (inherited arrhythmogenic diseases [IADs]). IADs include both cardiomyopathies (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy) and channelopathies (long QT syndrome, short QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia). Every time an IAD is identified in a patient, other individuals in his/her family may be at risk of cardiac events. However; if a timely diagnosis is made, simple preventative measures may be applied. Genetic studies play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of IADs and may help in the management of patients and their relatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1586/14779072.2014.894884DOI Listing
April 2014

Novel insight into the natural history of short QT syndrome.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2014 Apr 28;63(13):1300-1308. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

Molecular Cardiology, IRCCS Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Pavia, Italy; Cardiovascular Genetics Program, Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York; Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study intends to gain further insights into the natural history, the yield of familial and genetic screening, and the arrhythmogenic mechanisms in the largest cohort of short QT syndrome (SQTS) patients described so far.

Background: SQTS is a rare genetic disorder associated with life-threatening arrhythmias, and its natural history is incompletely ascertained.

Methods: Seventy-three SQTS patients (84% male; age, 26 ± 15 years; corrected QT interval, 329 ± 22 ms) were studied, and 62 were followed for 60 ± 41 months (median, 56 months).

Results: Cardiac arrest (CA) was the most frequent presenting symptom (40% of probands; range, <1 month to 41 years). The rate of CA was 4% in the first year of life and 1.3% per year between 20 and 40 years; the probability of a first occurrence of CA by 40 years of age was 41%. Despite the male predominance, female patients had a risk profile superimposable to that of men (p = 0.49). The yield of genetic screening was low (14%), despite familial disease being present in 44% of kindreds. A history of CA was the only predictor of recurrences at follow-up (p < 0.0000001). Two patterns of onset of ventricular fibrillation were observed and were reproducible in patients with multiple occurrences of CA. Arrhythmias occurred mainly at rest.

Conclusions: SQTS is highly lethal; CA is often the first manifestation of the disease with a peak incidence in the first year of life. Survivors of CA have a high CA recurrence rate; therefore, implantation of a defibrillator is strongly recommended in this group of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2013.09.078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988978PMC
April 2014
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