571 research outputs found

    Critical limb ischaemia: definition and natural hystory

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    The term critical limb ischemia refers to a condition characterized by chronic ischemic at-rest pain, ulcers, or gangrene in one or both legs attributable to objectively proven arterial occlusive disease. Critical limb ischemia implies chronicity and is to be distinguished from acute limb ischemia. Its incidence is approximately 500 to 1000 per million year, with the highest rates among older subjects, smokers and diabetics. The rate of primary amputation ranges from 10% to 40%, and was performed only when no graftable distal vessels were present, or in neurologically impaired or hopelessly nonambulatory patients. Contrarily, in some highly specialized and aggressive centres about 90% of patients with CLI had an attempted revascularization. Furthermore, patients with critical limb ischemia have an elevated risk of future myocardial infarction, stroke and vascular death, 3-fold higher than patients with intermittent claudication. Therefore, due to its negative impact on the quality of life and the poor prognosis both in terms of limb salvage and survival, critical limb ischemia is a critical public health issue

    Cardiorenal syndrome: the role of new biochemical markers

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    Cardiorenal syndrome is a pathophysiological heart and kidney disorder, in which acute or chronic dysfunction of one organ induces a damage in the other. It's a syndrome more and more often encountered in clinical practice and this implies the need to recognize the syndrome through biochemical markers with a good sensitivity and specificity, since its earliest stages in order to optimize therapy. In addition to widely validated biomarkers, such as BNP, pro BNP, creatinine, GFR and cystatin C, other promising molecules are available, like NGAL (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, KIM-1 (kidney injury molecule-1), MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic peptide), Netrin-1, interleuchin 18 and NAG (N-acetyl-β-glucosa-minidase). The role of these emerging biomarkers is still not completely clarified: hence the need of new clinical trials

    Association between asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis and degenerative aortic stenosis.

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    OBJECTIVE: Degenerative aortic stenosis shows similarities with atherosclerosis. To confirm the hypothesis that aortic stenosis is an "atherosclerosis-like" disease, we investigated the association between degenerative aortic stenosis and atherosclerosis of carotid arteries. METHODS: We studied 270 consecutive patients, 135 with degenerative aortic stenosis (trans-aortic peak velocity ≥ 2 m/sec) and other 135 subjects without aortic valve disease. All patients underwent echocardiography and ultrasound scan of the supra-aortic trunks to assess the presence of plaque and/or intima-media thickening (IMT). RESULTS: Atherosclerosis of carotid arteries (IMT and plaque) was significantly more frequent in patients with aortic stenosis than in controls (95.5% vs. 66.6%, p < 0.0001). The same result was confirmed as concerns carotid plaques (69.6% vs. 42.2%, p < 0.0001). In addition, there was a significant association between aortic stenosis and degenerative carotid plaque (OR = 3.13; 95% C.I. = 1.90-5.17). Thus the presence of a linear correlation between the trans-aortic peak velocity of the cases and the thickness of the plaques and IMT was evaluated by calculating the coefficient of correlation (R = 0.15 for plaque and R = 0.53 for IMT). CONCLUSIONS: The presence of carotid atherosclerosis is associated with degenerative aortic stenosis and the severity of aortic stenosis corresponds to an increase of the thickness of plaque and IMT. This relationship is quite new. Our result strengthens the pathogenetic hypothesis "atherosclerosis-like" of degenerative aortic stenosis and suggest the ultrasound scan as a non invasive method for risk stratification in patient with aortic stenosis, with therapeutic implications especially for higher risk subgroups

    High plasma levels of endothelin-1 enhance the predictive value of preclinical atherosclerosis for future cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events: a 20-year prospective study

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    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Clinical and experimental evidence suggests that endothelin-1 (Et-1) plays a role in cardiac and vascular disease. In the present study, we investigated the prognostic significance of Et-1 for cerebrovascular and cardiovascular outcome, in a 20-year follow-up. METHODS: We studied 82 originally healthy individuals, referred to our Unit of Cardiovascular Prevention, to evaluate the presence of asymptomatic carotid lesions. We subdivided these individuals into two groups, according to the plasma values of Et-1 (respectively ≤ or >2.7 pg/ml). Traditional cardiovascular risk factors were investigated, and by carotid ultrasound examination, we distinguished between normal individuals and those with intima-media thickening or asymptomatic carotid plaque. RESULTS: Major cardiac and cerebral events (all-cause death, myocardial infarction, revascularization procedures, fatal and nonfatal stroke) were registered in 41 individuals and significantly more in those with high vs. low Et-1 levels (95 vs. 5%; P < 0.0001). Furthermore, by logistic multivariate regression analysis, we found that among all evaluated baseline clinical and laboratory variables, hypertension [odds ratio (OR): 20.4 (3.3-127), P = 0.001], high Et-1 concentrations [OR: 1.4 (1.0-1.8), P = 0.02] and the presence of intima-media thickness or asymptomatic carotid plaque [OR: 3.7 (1.14-12.1), P = 0.02] were independent predictors of future events. Finally, integrating technical and laboratory data, high levels of Et-1 have defined a high risk of major cardiac and cerebral event and stroke at follow-up, which increased in relation to the progression of carotid atherosclerosis (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Et-1 plasmatic levels significantly influence the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk profile, beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors and preclinical carotid atherosclerosis
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