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   2014| January-March  | Volume 24 | Issue 1  
    Online since May 12, 2014

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Three-dimensional echocardiography: Advancements in qualitative and quantitative analyses of mitral valve morphology in mitral valve prolapse
Paola Gripari, Manuela Muratori, Laura Fusini, Gloria Tamborini, Mauro Pepi
January-March 2014, 24(1):1-9
Degenerative mitral valve disease (MVD) is the leading cause of organic mitral regurgitation (MR), one of the most common valvular heart disease in western countries. Substantial progresses in the surgical treatment of degenerative MVD have improved life expectancy of patients with significant MR. However, prognosis, surgical decision and timing of surgery strongly depend on the accurate characterization of mitral valve (MV) anatomy and pathology and on the precise quantification of MR. Three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography, a major technological breakthrough in the field of cardiovascular imaging, provides several advantages over two-dimensional (2D) imaging in the qualitative and quantitative evaluations of MV apparatus. In this review, we focus on the contribution of this new modality to the diagnosis of degenerative MVD, the quantitative assessment of MR severity, the selection and monitoring of surgical and percutaneous procedures, the evaluation of procedural outcomes. The results of a systematic and exhaustive search of the existing literature, restricted to real-time 3D echocardiography in adults, are here reported.
  4,395 295 1
MDCT derived left ventricular function in relation to echocardiography: Validation and revising the role with the evolving technology
Shilpa Hegde, Venkatraman Bhat, Karthik Gadabanahalli, Murugan Kuppuswamy
January-March 2014, 24(1):18-24
Background: Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a frequently performed examination for coronary artery disease. When performed with retrospective gating, there is an opportunity to derive functional parameters of left ventricle utilizing automated software. Complementary information, if validated with established standards, will enhance the total value of study. Objective: Study evaluates the usefulness of fully automated software for the assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) using 64-slice CCTA data and to correlate CT results with echocardiography (ECHO). Role of CT derived LV function is reviewed in the light of emerging technologies and recent developments in multidetector CT (MDCT). Materials and Methods: A total of 113 patients referred for MDCT CCTA for evaluation of coronary artery disease. All patients were scanned on 64 slice GE-Helical CT scanner and had an ECHO done within 1 week of the CT scan. Retrospectively electrocardiogram (ECG)-correlated image reconstruction was performed with the reconstruction at 10% R-R interval increment. Axial image sets were analyzed with advanced workstation using a program-Auto ejection fraction, Circulation: GE Medical Solutions. Results: The mean LVEF calculated by clinical ECHO was 58.6 ΁ 4.5% and by fully automated software based on CTA data was 58.9 ΁ 5.4%. The Pearson's regression analysis showed a large correlation, with a correlation coefficient of 0.503 (P < 0.001). Bland-Altman analysis showed a trend towards MDCT resulting in slightly higher values for LVEF when compared with ECHO. Conclusion: The fully automated software is simple, reliable, and user-friendly, and can provide rapid assessment of LV functional parameters with good reproducibility. Despite of good correlation, fewer patients are likely to benefit, in future, from this function due to smaller number of patients undergoing CCTA with retrospective gating.
  2,938 126 1
External cardioversion of atrial fibrillation causes an early improvement of cardiac performance: A longitudinal strain analysis study
Stefano Fumagalli, Debbie Gabbai, Sara Francini, Marta Casalone Rinaldi, Stefano Pedri, Samuele Baldasseroni, Francesca Tarantini, Claudia Di Serio, Serio Lonetto, Mauro Di Bari, Luigi Padeletti, Harry J Crijns, Crijns Marchionni
January-March 2014, 24(1):10-17
Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is often associated with heart failure. Several studies have demonstrated that resumption of sinus rhythm (SR) improves cardiac output in the long-term. Aims of this study were to evaluate the acute variations of left ventricular (LV) performance, following successful external cardioversion (ECV) of persistent AF using longitudinal strain (LSt) analysis, and the influence of inflammation. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 48 patients with AF (age: 73 ± 12 years, men: 83.3%). A standard transthoracic echocardiographic evaluation was performed before the procedure and 6 h later; this included the analysis of LV endocardial peak LSt, a measure of myocardial deformation. In the last 32 patients, plasma concentration of interleukin-6 (IL-6) was also determined. Results: Restoration of SR led to the decrease of heart rate (HR) (74 ± 21 vs 64 ± 10 bpm, P < 0.001) and LV end-systolic volume (30 ± 16 vs 27 ± 17 mL/m 2 , P = 0.001), and to the increase of LV end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) (56 ± 20 vs 60 ± 21 mL/m 2 , P = 0.036) and ejection fraction (EF) (48 ± 10 vs 57 ± 11%, P < 0.001). Peak LSt improved in 43 (89.6%) patients (-12.9 ± 3.3 vs -18.0 ± 4.7%, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis (R = 0.729, P < 0.001) showed that strain changes were directly correlated with basal HR and the appearance of atrial mechanical activity and inversely correlated with corrected thyroid dysfunction, LVEDV and the presence of a permanent pacemaker. Higher levels of IL-6 negatively affected LV performance improvement. Conclusions: Effective ECV of AF determines a significant and fast improvement of LV performance, which is readily captured by LSt analysis. Inflammatory status may impact the response to SR restoration.
  2,739 99 2
Early detection of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity in long-term survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with low cumulative dose
Giovanni Di Salvo, Fabio D'Aiello, Fortuna Del Gaizo, Paolo Indolfi, Fiorina Casale, Maria Teresa di Tullio, Diana Iarussi, Raffaele Calabṛ, Maria Giovanna Russo
January-March 2014, 24(1):25-28
We investigated the left ventricular (LV) function, using for the first time strain (S) and strain rate (SR) imaging, in long-term survivors affected by acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with a low cumulative dose of anthracyclines, and in presence of a normal global LV systolic and diastolic function. A total of 21 were enrolled in the study. The mean cumulative dose of anthracylines was 180 mg/m 2 (range: 120-210 mg/m 2 ). As control group 21 age-sex matched healthy subjects were included. Radial S (17 ± 3% vs. 55 ± 6%, P < 0.0001) and SR (2.1 ± 0.3 vs. 3.0 ± 0.8 1\s, P < 0.0001), assessed on the midsegment of the posterior wall from the parasternal views were significantly reduced when compared with controls. Conversely, myocardial performance index was not able to discriminate between patients and controls. In this preliminary study, the myocardial deformation indices appear to be a more sensitive noninvasive technique for detecting subclinical LV dysfunction than other echocardiographic measurements.
  2,165 101 1
Is there a role for tissue doppler imaging in infective endocarditis?
Andrea Sonaglioni, Elisabetta Rigamonti, Graziana Trotta, Michele Lombardo
January-March 2014, 24(1):29-32
An 87-year-old woman was admitted to our Cardiology Department with symptoms and signs of acute congestive heart failure and fever. She had a long history of hypertension and chronic atrial fibrillation. Transthoracic echocardiography showed a large (>10 mm) and mobile mitral valve vegetation, prolapsing into the left ventricular inflow tract, with severe mitral regurgitation due to a perforation in the posterior leaflet, in a mitral valve with fibro-calcific degeneration. Mitral regurgitation was hemodynamically significant and a moderate-to-severe pulmonary hypertension was observed.Tissue Doppler Imaging recorded at the level of the vegetation detected its incoherent motion and measured the peak antegrade velocity, which was found to be almost four times higher than that sampled at the lateral mitral annulus. Blood cultures were negative for both aerobic and anaerobic microbes. During hospitalization, the patient developed a sudden onset of left-side hemiplegia. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated multiple hyperintense lesions involving both hemispheres, suggestive of a cardioembolism. Diagnosis of fungal endocarditis was made and a treatment with fluconazole was started. Successive echocardiograms showed a decrease in the size and mobility of the mitral vegetation, and an increase in its echo intensity. However, in view of the systemic conditions severely affected, the patient was treated conservatively and died 3 months later. In our patient echocardiography played a key role for a better definition of the clinical course. In this context, Tissue Doppler Imaging might provide an adjunctive parameter for the prediction of embolic risk from endocardial vegetations: the peak antegrade velocity recorded at the level of the vegetation. However, before being adopted in clinical setting, this parameter should be validated by adequately powered prospective studies.
  2,169 88 1