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   Table of Contents - Current issue
January-March 2020
Volume 30 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-48

Online since Sunday, April 12, 2020

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In memoriam of professor maurizio galderisi, honorary member of italian society of echography and cardiovascular imaging p. 1
Paolo Colonna
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Document addressed to cardiovascular echography operators at the time of COVID-19: A Document by the “Società Italiana di Ecocardiografia e CardioVascular Imaging” Board 2019–2021 Highly accessed article p. 2
Francesco Antonini-Canterin, Mauro Pepi, Ines Paola Monte, Giuseppe Trocino, Andrea Barbieri, Agata Barchitta, Quirino Ciampi, Alberto Cresti, Sofia Miceli, Licia Petrella, Frank Benedetto
The epidemic of COVID-19 has grown to pandemic proportions and the preventive and mitigation measures have been widely spread through the media. The cardiologists are called as consultants for the cardiovascular pathologies and echocardiography is a fundamental examination in many clinical situations, but not without risks for health staff. Società Italiana di Ecocardiografia e CardioVascular Imaging Council has decided to formulate a document aimed to highlight the importance of a correct indication and execution procedure of the echocardiogram during a COVID-19 pandemic.
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Cardiac masses in echocardiography: A pragmatic review p. 5
Paolo Diego L’Angiocola, Roberto Donati
Transthoracic echocardiography is a useful diagnostic technique for the identification of intracardiac and extracardiac masses, which can evaluate morphologic properties of the masses such as their location, attachment, shape, size, mobility, and possible hemodynamic-related implications. Apart from physiological variants and structural normal mimickers, echocardiography can detect principal intracardiac masses such as neoplasms, thrombi, vegetation, and extracardiac masses such as metastatic lesions. Moreover, transesophageal echocardiography can provide further details and provide higher accuracy in case a deeper examination of the mass is needed. This review will focus on the systematic evaluation of intra-/extracardiac masses including epidemiology and morphological and echocardiographic features, providing practical and technical tips to health-care professionals to achieve correct identification of the masses. General data on cardiac masses were extracted via PubMed/MEDLINE search engine from indexed reviews, original studies, and clinical case reports. The echocardiographic features of cardiac masses were reviewed according to the most relevant international cardiology and echocardiography scientific societies' position statements.
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Improvement in left atrial strain among patients undergoing percutaneous left atrial appendage closure p. 15
Shun Ijuin, Ali Hamadanchi, Franz Haertel, Laura Baez, Paul Christian Schulze, Marcus Franz, Sven Moebius-Winkler
Background: Various clinical trials provide evidence about the safety, effectiveness, and therapeutic success of percutaneous left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) using various occlusion devices. These devices are foreign materials implanted into the left atrium and may deteriorate left atrial (LA) function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the change in transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)-derived LA strain after LAAC. Methods and Results: The study included 95 patients (age: 75 ± 6.7 years, 67% male) who underwent percutaneous LAAC. LA strain was evaluated at three different time intervals by TEE (baseline, 45 days, and 180 days after the procedure). All data were analyzed using the software Image-Arena (TomTec®). Seventy patients had atrial fibrillation, whereas 25 were in sinus rhythm at baseline and during follow-up. Analysis was performed for peak atrial longitudinal strain (PALS) and peak atrial contraction strain (PACS) from segments of the lateral wall in mid-esophageal four-chamber view. PACS was obtained in patients with sinus rhythm during examinations. Compared to baseline, PALS increased at 45 days after the procedure (12.4% ± 8.4% at baseline vs. 16.0% ± 10.6% after 45 days, P = 0.001) and remained stable from 45 days to 180 days after procedure (13.8% ± 9.1% after 45 days vs. 17.2% ± 12.6% after 180 days, P = 0.092). Similarly, PACS increased at 45 days after the procedure (5.8% ± 3.9% at baseline vs. 10.6% ± 7.6% after 45 days, P = 0.001) and remained stable from 45 days to 180 days after the procedure (7.6% ± 4.5% after 45 days vs. 7.9% ± 3.1% after 180 days, P = 0.876).Conclusions: Our study demonstrated for the first time the improvement in TEE-derived LA strain following LAAC within 45 days of implantation. The findings suggest improved LA function following LAAC.
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Subclinical left ventricular dysfunction in severe obesity and reverse cardiac remodeling after bariatric surgery p. 22
Simone Frea, Alessandro Andreis, Vittoria Scarlatta, Chiara Rovera, Alessandro Vairo, Erika Pistone, Matteo Anselmino, Pier Giorgio Golzio, Mauro Toppino, Carla Giustetto, Fiorenzo Gaita
Aim: Obesity is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. This study aimed to assess the role of echocardiography in the early detection of subclinical cardiac abnormalities in a cohort of obese patients with a preserved ejection fraction (EF) undergoing bariatric surgery. Methods and Results: Forty consecutive severely obese patients (body mass index≥35 kg/m2) referring to our center for bariatric surgery were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Despite a baseline EF of 61% ± 3%, almost half patients (43%) had a systolic dysfunction (SD) defined as global longitudinal strain (GLS)>−18%, and most of them (60%) had left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) or concentric remodeling (CR). At 10-months after surgery, body weight decreased from 120 ± 15 kg to 83 ± 12 kg, body mass index from 44 ± 5 kg/m2 to 31 ± 5 kg/m2 (both P < 0.001). Septal and left ventricular posterior wall thickness decreased respectively from 10 ± 1 mm to 9 ± 1 mm (P = 0.004) and from 10 ± 1 mm to 9 ± 1 mm (P = 0.007). All systolic parameters improved: EF from 61% ± 3% to 64% ± 3% (P = 0.002) and GLS from −17% ± 2% to −20% ± 1% (P < 0.001). Epicardial fat thickness reduction (from 4.7 ± 1 mm to 3.5 ± 0.7 mm, P < 0.001) correlated with the reduction of left atrial area (P < 0.001 R = 0.35) and volume (P = 0.02 R = 0.25). Following bariatric surgery, we observed a reduced prevalence of LVH/CR (before 60%, after 22%, P = 0.001) and a complete resolution of preclinical SD (before 43%, after 0%, P < 0.001). Moreover, a postoperative reduction of at least 30 kg correlated with regression of septal hypertrophy (P < 0.001).Conclusions: Obese patients candidate to bariatric surgery have an high prevalence of preclinical SD and LVH/CR, early detectable with echocardiography. Bariatric surgery is associated with reverse cardiac remodeling; it might also have a preventive effect on atrial fibrillation occurrence by reducing its substrate.
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Post-traumatic aortopulmonary fistula after bentall procedure p. 29
Daniela Izzo, Ketty Savino, Claudia Castellani, Laura Sperandini, Temistocle Ragni, Giuseppe Ambrosio, Claudio Cavallini
Pseudoaneurysm complicated by aortopulmonary fistula (APF) after a Bentall procedure is extremely rare but potentially fatal, so timely diagnosis and treatment are critical. We present a subacute case of a post-traumatic APF which has had initial aspecific symptoms and later an acute worsening heart failure with chest pain not responding to medical treatment and requiring emergency surgery.
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The significance of “contractile reserve” in the echocardiographic assessment of athletic heart syndrome p. 33
Georgios Christopoulos, Zachary Barrett-O'Keefe, Krishnaswamy Chandrasekaran
The clinical distinction between athlete's heart and structural heart disease in the echocardiography laboratory is often challenging. We present a case where athletic heart syndrome was promptly differentiated from pathology with a simple maneuver during echocardiography.
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Three-chambered heart (single atrium) – A rare entity p. 35
Ashok Garg, Deepak Agrawal, GL Sharma
Single atrium (SA) is one of the rare congenital anomalies in which there is a complete absence of the atrial septum without an endocardial cushion defect associated with the absence of malformation of the atrioventricular (AV) valves. The term “common atrium” is used to denote the condition where there is a complete absence of the atrial septum or it is represented by a small strand of tissue present at the superior atrial wall of the common chamber, absence of interventricular communication, and accompanying AV cushion defect. Our patient demonstrated typical echocardiographic features of three-chambered heart (SA), which is a rare entity.
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Left atrial angiosarcoma: A rare cardiac tumor at an uncommon site p. 38
Amitabh Poonia, Rekha Mishra, Priya Giridhara, Yogendra Kumar Arora
Cardiac angiosarcoma is the most common among primary malignant cardiac tumors in adults. Malignant cardiac tumors commonly arise in the right-sided cardiac chambers unlike benign tumors that commonly arise in the left-sided chambers. Cardiac tumors on the left side need to be carefully assessed for malignant features for deciding treatment strategy and prognostication. We present the case of a 62-year-old female with a large left atrial mass infiltrating the interatrial septum and adjacent myocardial wall. Histology was suggestive of angiosarcoma. Although a radical excision was done, the tumor recurred within 6 months of the postoperative period and she died shortly after the recurrence.
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Left atrial cavity thrombus and fatal systemic embolization in a stroke patient with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: A caveat against left atrial appendage closure for stroke prevention p. 41
Andrea Sonaglioni, Antonio Vincenti, Michele Lombardo, Claudio Anzà
An 88-year-old male with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) and severe congestive heart failure (HF), was admitted to the Neurological Intensive Care Unit because of the acute onset of aphasia and left hemiplegia. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a left atrial (LA) cavity thrombus. Its “fatal” distal embolization to abdominal aorta occurred in a few days. These observations should lead to a cautious approach in proposing a percutaneous closure of LA appendage in older NVAF patients, with HF and/or left ventricular dysfunction and larger LA volumes, who are not adequately anticoagulated.
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Anterior mitral leaflet perforation and infective endocarditis following transcatheter aortic valve replacement in a patient presenting with heart failure p. 44
Giuseppe Damiano Sanna, Eleonora Moccia, Mauro Pepi, Guido Parodi
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an alternative treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis. Although rarely described, mitral valve perforation because of mechanical stimulation due to low deployment of the prosthesis and the association with infective endocarditis, are potentially life-threatening complications that physicians should be aware of because patients should not be suitable for further surgical or percutaneous management. Herein, we present a case of an 88-year-old man presenting with worsening heart failure 6 months after TAVR. We discuss the diagnostic process and the therapeutic issues. Finally, we underline the invaluable role of echocardiography during TAVR procedures, due to its ability in detecting early complications and avoiding incorrect prosthetic deployment.
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The ancient contraposition between anatomy and function: The effectiveness of left atrial volume index and the advantages of left atrial longitudinal strain p. 47
Luca Longobardo
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