81 research outputs found

    Position paper of the Italian Chapter, International Society Cardiovascular Ultrasound

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    SummaryBackground Over the last two decades the interest on patent foramen ovale (PFO) as a cause of cardioembolism in cryptogenic stroke has tremendously increased, thanks to the availability of better techniques to diagnose cardiac right-to-left shunt by ultrasounds and of percutaneous means of PFO treatment with interventional techniques. Many studies have been published that have attempted to define diagnostic methodology, prognosis, and optimal treatment (pharmacological or percutaneous closure) of PFO patients with cryptogenic stroke. Unfortunately, even today, definitive evidence is still lacking, and clinical management is not consistent among cardiologists. Aims This review aims to evaluate the role of PFO in cryptogenic stroke, the diagnostic accuracy of transcranial Doppler, contrast transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography in the diagnosis of left–fright shunt and PFO; and discuss the indications to medical treatment and percutaneous closure of PFO. Methods All studies published in the literature on PFO and cryptogenic stroke are considered and discussed. Results We define an appropriate diagnostic and clinical management of PFO patients with cryptogenic stroke. Conclusion After many years of interest on PFO and many concluded studies, there are still no definitive data. However, we are on good track for an appropriate management of PFO patients and cryptogenic stroke

    Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in normotensive postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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    Background The prevalence of heart failure among diabetic patients is high, also in those with normal blood pressure and without coronary artery disease, even when electrocardiogram (ECG) is normal. The goal of our study was to assess the prevalence of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) among diabetic women (DW) and its correlation with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, obesity status, and ECG parameters. Methods : A group of 456 consecutive normotensive postmenopausal women affected by type 2 diabetes, diagnosed over 5 years, were enrolled. One hundred normotensive non-diabetic postmenopausal women were included as a control group (CG). Rest ECG and trans-thoracic echocardiogram and Doppler were performed. Results : LVDD was present in 103 (23.3%) out of 456 DW, and 8 out of 100 women in CG (8%), p < 0.001. There was no difference in mean age between the two groups: 56 ± 13 and 55 ± 3, respectively (p = 0.3). There were 191 (41.9 %) DW with body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2. Among those, there were 56 (12.3%) with significant prevalence of LVDD, while there were 49 (10.7%) with BMI < 30 kg/m2, p < 0.005. DW with HbA1c > 7.5% comprised a group of 243 (53.3%) patients. Among those, there were 45 (9.9%) with higher prevalence of LVDD, and 15 (3.3%) with HbA1c < 7.5%), p < 0.01. Out of a group of 147 (32.2%) DW with abnormal ECG , 21 had LVDD (4.6%), p = 0,1, and 84 (18.8%) had LVDD with normal ECG. Conclusions: Our data prove a high prevalence of LVDD in asymptomatic diabetic postmenopausal women. This finding is closely related with HbA1c levels and obesity status, not with abnormal ECG, which is a unique cardiologic test recommended by current guidelines in all diabetic patients. We conclude that early detection of high level of HbA1c and obesity (30 kg/m2) may identify women with major risk to develop LVDD. Furthermore, a simple ECG, when normal, is not enough to assess a normal LV diastolic function

    Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in normotensive postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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    Background: The prevalence of heart failure among diabetic patients is high, also in those with normal blood pressure and without coronary artery disease, even when electrocardiogram (ECG) is normal. The goal of our study was to assess the prevalence of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) among diabetic women (DW) and its correlation with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, obesity status, and ECG parameters. Methods: A group of 456 consecutive normotensive postmenopausal women affected by type 2 diabetes, diagnosed over 5 years, were enrolled. One hundred normotensive non-diabetic postmenopausal women were included as a control group (CG). Rest ECG and trans-thoracic echocardiogram and Doppler were performed. Results: LVDD was present in 103 (23.3%) out of 456 DW, and 8 out of 100 women in CG (8%), p < 0.001. There was no difference in mean age between the two groups: 56 ± 13 and 55 ± 3, respectively (p = 0.3). There were 191 (41.9%) DW with body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2. Among those, there were 56 (12.3%) with significant prevalence of LVDD, while there were 49 (10.7%) with BMI < 30 kg/m2, p < 0.005. DW with HbA1c > 7.5% comprised a group of 243 (53.3%) patients. Among those, there were 45 (9.9%) with higher prevalence of LVDD, and 15 (3.3%) with HbA1c < 7.5%, p < 0.01. Out of a group of 147 (32.2%) DW with abnormal ECG , 21 had LVDD (4.6%), p = 0,1, and 84 (18.8%) had LVDD with normal ECG. Conclusions: Our data prove a high prevalence of LVDD in asymptomatic diabetic postmenopausal women. This finding is closely related with HbA1c levels and obesity status, not with abnormal ECG, which is a unique cardiologic test recommended by current guidelines in all diabetic patients. We conclude that early detection of high level of HbA1c and obesity (30 kg/m2) may identify women with major risk to develop LVDD. Furthermore, a simple ECG, when normal, is not enough to assess a normal LV diastolic function.

    Prevalence and determinants of permanent atrial fibrillation in post-menopausal hypertensive women

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    Objective. We studied the prevalence and major predisposing factors of permanent atrial fibrillation (PAF) in a population of hypertensive post-menopausal (HPMW) women. Materials and Methods. We enrolled 125 consecutive HPMW with PAF, 125 HPMW in sinus rhythm were the control group (CG). Women with valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, WPW syndrome, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction <45% and thyroid disorders were excluded. The mean age was similar: 53±3 years for women on PAF and 51±6 for women with sinus rhythm (P<0.45). All women who underwent M-B mode echocardiography, LV mass, function, and left atrial (LA) volume were assessed according to American Society of Echocardiography guidelines. Diabetes was assessed according to American Diabetes Association guidelines. Results. In a population of 8945 consecutive women, 4497 were hypertensive (50.2%) and 125 were on PAF (0.3%). We observed a highly significant difference between the two groups in relation to obesity: 31 (24.8%) in the AF-group and 15 (12%) in CG, Chi-squared 10, P<0.0016, OR 2.8, 95%; to increased LA volume: 37 (29.6%) in AF-group and 13 (10.4%) in CG, Chi-squared 14.4, P<0.0001, OR 3.62, 95%. No difference in diabetes: 30 (24%) in AFgroup and 28 (22.4%) in CG, Chi-squared 0.09, P<0.76, OR 1.09, 95%, and LV diastolic dysfunction (LVDD): 24 (19.2%) in AF-group and 20 (16%) in CG, Chi-squared 0.44, P<0.5, OR 1.25, 95%. In contrast to what was expected LV hypertrophy had a lower incidence of 59 (47.2%) in AF-group than in CG 84 (67.2%), Chi-squared 10.21, P<0.0014, OR 0.44, 95%. Conclusions. The prevalence of PAF in HPMW is not elevated, obesity and increased LA volume are strong determinants of PAF, not depending on age. LVDD, LV hypertrophy, and diabetes status seem not to play a relevant role as PAF determinants

    Primary Prevention Of Cardiovascular Risk In Octogenarians By Risk Factors Control

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    Primary prevention of cardiovascular events in older adults is a relevant problem, because of lack of evidence for safe and efficacious therapy, its costs and elderly quality of life, Italy's aging population is constantly increasing, so cardiovascular disease (CVD) primary prevention in the elderly is a prime objective. Life expectancy has dramatically increased over the last 2 decades,the proportion of individuals aged 80 years and older has grown rapidly in Europe and United States,but cost / effective ratio of CVD prevention through risk factors control is debated. It is therefore important to implement cardiovascular risk factors estimation in the elderly to maximize quality of life of patients and to lengthen their healthy life expectancy, choosing the better treatment for each patient sharing the choice with himself when it is possible, always remembering that elderly patients often have multiple co-morbidities that require a high number of concurrent medications; this may increase the risk for drug-drug interactions, thereby reducing the potential benefits of CVD prevention therapy. Anyway CVD are not an inevitable concomitant of aging. Sometimes autopsy in the elderly reveals atheroma-free coronary arteries,a normal-sized heart and unscarred valves. All primary prevention strategy decisions should consider estimated life expectancy and overall function not only cardiovascular event risks, magnitude and time to benefit or harm, potentially altered adverse effect profiles, and informed patient preferences.CVD primary prevention need to be more implemented in the elderly, this might contribute to improve health status and quality of life in this growing population if correctly performed

    Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in normotensive postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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    Background: The prevalence of heart failure among diabetic patients is high, also in those with normal blood pressure and without coronary artery disease, even when electrocardiogram (ECG) is normal. The goal of our study was to assess the prevalence of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) among diabetic women (DW) and its correlation with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA 1c ) levels, obesity status, and ECG parameters. Methods: A group of 456 consecutive normotensive postmenopausal women affected by type 2 diabetes, diagnosed over 5 years, were enrolled. One hundred normotensive non-diabetic postmenopausal women were included as a control group (CG). Rest ECG and trans-thoracic echocardiogram and Doppler were performed. Results: LVDD was present in 103 (23.3%) out of 456 DW, and 8 out of 100 women in CG (8%), p 30 kg/m 2 . Among those, there were 56 (12.3%) with significant prevalence of LVDD, while there were 49 (10.7%) with BMI 7.5% comprised a group of 243 (53.3%) patients. Among those, there were 45 (9.9%) with higher prevalence of LVDD, and 15 (3.3%) with HbA 1c < 7.5%, p < 0.01. Out of a group of 147 (32.2%) DW with abnormal ECG , 21 had LVDD (4.6%), p = 0,1, and 84 (18.8%) had LVDD with normal ECG. Conclusions: Our data prove a high prevalence of LVDD in asymptomatic diabetic postmenopausal women. This finding is closely related with HbA 1c levels and obesity status, not with abnormal ECG, which is a unique cardiologic test recommended by current guidelines in all diabetic patients. We conclude that early detection of high level of HbA 1c and obesity (30 kg/m 2 ) may identify women with major risk to develop LVDD. Furthermore, a simple ECG, when normal, is not enough to assess a normal LV diastolic function

    Association between metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and chronic depression: a postmenopausal women prevention study

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    Background. Chronic depression (CD) is common among postmenopausal women and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The diagnosis of CD is a challenging problem in clinical practice which is vastly underdiagnosed. CD detection in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome (MetS) or hypertension is necessary for CVD prevention. Our study aims to assess the prevalence of CD in postmenopausal women and the relationship between CD and MetS or hypertension. Results. The rate of CD was significantly higher among postmenopausal women with MetS compared with the control group [18% versus 8%; Odds ratio (OR) 2.2, P<0.007]. The CD rate was significantly higher among women with MetS and hypertension (21% versus 8%; OR 2.7, P<0.0000). The rate of CD was similar between women with MetS and women with hypertension, 18% versus 21%; OR 0.8, P<0.44) and between women with metabolic cardiomyopathy and hypertensive cardiomyopathy (10% versus 8%; OR 1.1, P<0.65). Conclusions. There is a relationship between MetS and CD, which is stronger when compared to women with hypertension. There is a need to improve the diagnosis of CD in postmenopausal women with MetS or hypertension as unrecognized and untreated CD is associated with a poor outcome

    Imaging spectroscopic performances for a Si based detection system

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    We present the imaging and spectroscopic capabilities of a system based on a single photon counting chip (PCC) bump-bonded on a Si pixel detector. The system measures the energy spectrum and the flux, produced by a standard mammographic tube. We have also made some images of low contrast details, achieving good results

    Nutraceuticals and dyslipidaemia: Beyond the common therapeutics

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    Dyslipidaemia accelerates the atherosclerotic process and its morbid consequences; statins represent the evidence-based treatment of choice for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and decreasing cardiovascular events. Unfortunately, statins are frequently not available for several reasons, including intolerance, side effects or, simply, patient preference. Nutraceuticals and functional food ingredients that are beneficial to vascular health may represent useful compounds that are able to reduce the overall cardiovascular risk induced by dyslipidaemia by acting parallel to statins or as adjuvants in case of failure or in situations where statins cannot be used. The mechanisms underlying such actions are not fully understood but may be related to reducing 7a-hydroxylase, increasing faecal excretion of cholesterol, decreasing 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase mRNA levels or reducing the secretion of very low-density lipoprotein. This contribution provides an overview of the mechanism of action of nutraceuticals and functional food ingredients on lipids and their role in the management of lipid disorders
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