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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 49-51

In memory of antonio pezzano, master and friend

Multimedica Hospital Group, Limbiate (MB), Italy

Date of Submission28-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance31-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication18-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Giuseppe Gullace
Via San Leonardo, 11. Malgrate (LC)
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcecho.jcecho_89_20

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How to cite this article:
Gullace G. In memory of antonio pezzano, master and friend. J Cardiovasc Echography 2020;30:49-51

How to cite this URL:
Gullace G. In memory of antonio pezzano, master and friend. J Cardiovasc Echography [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jun 17];30:49-51. Available from: https://www.jcecho.org/text.asp?2020/30/2/49/292302

Antonio Pezzano was a Calabrian all in one piece, proud of his origins (in fact, he did not say he was from Milan but from Calabria who lives in Milan), who after many years of life spent in the north continued to maintain his Calabrian accent and a cadence that remained until the end. Perhaps, these characteristics, typical of me and my family (almost all emigrants), were the first push of sympathy when I met him in the late 1975 (presented by Carlo Bellet, my first director in Chiari Hospital [BS], together with students at Pavia University).

But not only. His rigorous but equally human professional figure, the role of cardiologist affirmed in such a prestigious structure as the Niguarda Hospital, center of excellence in cardiology and in cultural training, fascinated me. His affability, benevolence, and availability to me were the beginning of a professional and everlasting friendship.

The beginning of that relationship between teacher and pupil in which the pupil follows the teacher but with very wide margins of freedom, initiative, ideas and proposals, whose contents were always subject to discussions, and consequently, decisions are not always shared but accepted. This method, always based on the mutual respect and the search for collective rather than personal interest, was the mother of all the principles on which the initiatives that led to so many successes for everyone were based. It was the time of the initial fervor toward echocardiography of which I fell in love immediately and Pezzano nailed it in my heart. Since some year he had been converted to Echocardiography by Carlo Belli, who together with Morgagni and Petralia, started using the Echo with rudimentary devices. Immersed in the Phonomechanocardiography, with which he highlighted the most impossible diagnoses, with the advent of the mono-dimensional echo and thanks to the unconditional support of Giancarlo Damonti and his EchoMono Smith Kline, Pezzano began to promote the transition phase, recording Phono and EchoMono first separately, then together, and finally only Echo, replacing a new method to the old obsolete. In this appeal, the Echo has played a lot, for me and for all who have gradually started to approach the method; however, it was still graphic. Only a few years later, with the introduction of 2D, charm and beauty exploded in all their power: what was previously a graphic representation became the possibility of looking inside the heart without opening it. The curiosity and interest in this method and the advantages that it was possible to see with farsightedness exploded, and the method became fascinating and everything turned into passion. Antonio Pezzano was all this; he transmitted all this to me and to all those who came to him to learn.

He entered the new Italian Society of Cardiovascular Ultrasound founded in 1975 by a group of enthusiastic cardiologists, including Belli, Morgagni, Rossi, Orlando, Petralia, Venco, Corallo, and Branzi. The Society became affiliated to the Italian Society for the Study of Ultrasound in Medicine (SISUM) with which, organized the first national congresses, participates in the Bologna European Congress and the World Congress in Japan with an important Italian representative.

The “pilgrimage” along Italy begins allows for training courses and meetings, made possible thanks to the support of Damonti-Smith Kline; consequently, it increases the number of members of the Society, of cardiologists trained and interested on research, publications, meetings, and presentations.

Always actively present on the society board, not only now as President (three times) or as Past or Honorary President but also as Director of the echocardiographic journals followed in years (including the Journal of Cardiovascular Echography of which he was Honorary Editor), he contributed incisively in the outlining the right vision and orientation on which address the planned activities and the objective achievement.

On trips to conferences and courses, often by car, we reasoned about the adaptation of the structure and organization of the Society, on the need to expand the involvement of the Members and increase the representativeness, with the institution of the regional sections, to establish and strengthen relations with other scientific societies, to maintain identity and autonomy of the Society (in 1983, the Society separated from SISUM and became independent), and to strengthen relations with European and American representatives. All initiatives widely discussed and approved in the institutional sites (Board of Directors and Assembly), of which Pezzano, while being a decision-maker, was rigorously respectful. Traveling by car had become creative, probably to overcome the difficulties, due to tiredness and sleep. Pezzano was my ideal travel companion and unsurpassed navigator; he had many stories to tell and a thousand ideas to discuss. I drove and he spoke; we discussed his or my proposal; when he perceived my signs of fatigue, he highlighted a series of things to make me angry or heated in the discussion with the final result that I quickly woke up putting all under control. On a trip from Bari, left in the evening after a conference organized by De Luca, after a discussion that lasted all night, approaching Milan at dawn, as he had finished all the topics to keep me awake, he started singing. On the plane, I never had time to be afraid because he spoke to me constantly of everything but mainly about things to do for the meetings, the management of the society, cultural relations, and many other stories.

Pezzano made the Society great and contributed decisively to spreading the method always collaborating with everyone, ANMCO, SIC, European Groups, International Congress of Dagianti in Rome, De Luca in Bari, Carerj in Taormina, Gambelli in Rome, Gastaldi in Turin, Balbarini in Pisa, Caso in Naples, and many others. In international relationships, he knew how to be a skilled negotiator; he did not know a word of English but understood and made himself understood perfectly, obtaining respect and consideration on the field. The professional relationship was based on friendship and esteem; so it was with great and outstanding figures such as Feigenbaum, Weyman, Chang, Nanda, Tajik, Seward, Khanderia, Kisslo, Sahn, Silverman, and then Gehrke, Yuste, Roelandt, Pinto, Garcia-Fernandez, Kalmansson, Gibson, Machi, Cikes, Leech, and many others, whose scientific and cultural relationships have continued for years; but also the promotion of the method in the Balkan countries through cultural exchanges and meetings with Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia. The international consideration has thus contributed to bringing a discreet Italian representativeness in Europe and an increasingly important international participation to the Italian meetings.

For Pezzano respect and frindship are first and above all, then collaboration where anyone who had something interesting to present had welcome; he paid always attention to relationships regarding Society interest. He encouraged and helped anyone who approached the method or had asked for advice, highlighting the professional qualities and giving them the right feedback.

Thus, he became the father of Echocardiography and the referee for thousands of national and international cardiologists, enough to deserve the recognition of the gold medal assigned by the Spanish Echocardiography Society. He was curious, open to novelties, and eager to learn everything that technological development puts on the market.

But without ever forgetting the clinic: Echocardiography for Pezzano was a fascinating and very important method not only from the technological point of view but above all from the point of view of all that it could have given to the cardiovascular clinic in terms of diagnostic, qualitative and quantitative information with a lot of attention to the appropriateness and the ability to bring out the best from devices that could seem outdated (given the pressing technological development) but that if known adequately would have provided information to the clinical context useful for diagnosis. He gave great importance to the echocardiographic study of congenital heart disease and ischemic heart disease, to the morphological definition and quantification of valve lesions undergoing surgery, to the ultrasound study of the vessels, and to the echocardiographic evaluation of cancer patients, contributing in fact to introduce cardioncology.

I bored readers who are kind enough to read this article if I started telling anecdotes and human and professional merits of Antonio Pezzano. 45 years of professional relationship, science and culture, friendship, and varied humanity cannot be told in a short time. I would like everyone remembered him for what he was, a great clinician, a careful and curious observer, a prominent professional, a friend, a referee for anyone who needed him, a person passionate about everything he did. My thanks and gratitude to him for being a master of science and life and above all a friend.

I hope that everything he has done in the field of echocardiography will not be lost and will be remembered together with all those who have contributed to making Echocardiography and the Italian Society that represents it, something important and ineradicable.


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