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   2014| October-December  | Volume 24 | Issue 4  
    Online since December 17, 2014

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Echocardiographic assessment of heart valve prostheses
Chiara Sordelli, Sergio Severino, Luigi Ascione, Pasquale Coppolino, Pio Caso
October-December 2014, 24(4):103-113
Patients submitted to valve replacement with mechanical or biological prosthesis, may present symptoms related either to valvular malfunction or ventricular dysfunction from other causes. Because a clinical examination is not sufficient to evaluate a prosthetic valve, several diagnostic methods have been proposed to assess the functional status of a prosthetic valve. This review provides an overview of echocardiographic and Doppler techniques useful in evaluation of prosthetic heart valves. Compared to native valves, echocardiographic evaluation of prosthetic valves is certainly more complex, both for the examination and the interpretation. Echocardiography also allows discriminating between intra- and/or peri-prosthetic regurgitation, present in the majority of mechanical valves. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) requires different angles of the probe with unconventional views. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is the method of choice in presence of technical difficulties. Three-dimensional (3D)-TEE seems to be superior to 2D-TEE, especially in the assessment of paravalvular leak regurgitation (PVL) that it provides improved localization and analysis of the PVL size and shape.
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How to understand patent foramen ovale clinical significance: Part I
Gabriella Falanga, Scipione Carerj, Giuseppe Oreto, Bijoy K Khandheria, Concetta Zito
October-December 2014, 24(4):114-121
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a remnant of fetal circulation commonly found in healthy population. However, a large number of clinical conditions have been linked to PFO, the most important being ischemic strokes of undetermined cause (cryptogenic strokes) and migraine, especially migraine with aura. Coexistent atrial septal aneurysm, size of PFO, degree of the shunt, shunt at rest, pelvic deep vein thrombosis, and prothrombotic states (G20210A prothrombin gene mutation, Factor V Leiden mutation, MTHFR: C677T, basal homocystine, recent surgery, trauma, or use of contraceptives) could enhance stroke risk in subjects with PFO. Owing to the complexity of this issue, for any individual presenting with a PFO, particularly in the setting of cryptogenic stroke, it is not clear whether the PFO is pathogenically related to the neurological event or an incidental finding. Thus, a heart-brain team, which individually plans the best strategy, in accordance with neuroimaging findings and anatomical characteristics of PFO, is strongly recommended. In the first part of this review, we discuss the embryologic and anatomic features of PFO, the diagnostic techniques for its identification and evaluation, and the relationship between PFO and neurological syndromes. A special attention is made to provide some key points, useful in a daily clinical practice, which summarize how better we understand PFO clinical significance
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Echocardiographic hypertrabeculated/ non-compacted right ventricle accompanied by atrial septal defect and anomalous pulmonary vein connection
Ali Hosseinsabet
October-December 2014, 24(4):122-124
Myocardial noncompaction (NC) is a disorder of the embryonic endomyocardial morphogenesis frequently associated with congenital cardiac abnormalities. NC predominantly affects the left ventricle (LV). Right ventricle (RV) NC may occur in association with LV involvement or in isolation. A 47-year-old woman was admitted for atrial septal defect closure. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed hypertrabeculation of the RV apex, consisting of multiple deep recesses with the entrance of blood flow in color Doppler imaging, suggestive of isolated RV hypertrabeculation/NC. The RV and right atrium (RA) were enlarged, and systolic pulmonary arterial pressure was slightly increased. Our patient's associated abnormalities were atrial septal defect (superior sinus venosus type), anomalous connection of the right upper pulmonary vein to the junction of the superior vena cava and the RA, and large patent foramen ovale. Association between atrial septal defect and partial anomalous pulmonary vein connection and isolated hypertrabeculated/noncompacted RV should be considered by cardiologists.
  4,112 177 1
Is it time to replace physical examination with a hand-held ultrasound device?
Sanjiv Kaul
October-December 2014, 24(4):97-102
Attempts at using physical examination (PE) go back centuries, with inspection, palpation, and percussion being the mainstay of this approach until 2 centuries ago when the stethoscope was invented and auscultation became probably the most important element of PE for patients with known or suspected cardiovascular disease (CVD). Despite its several limitations, PE is still used, sometimes as the only means, of evaluating and following patients with CVD. In this paper I shall argue for the substitution of this inaccurate and archaic approach by direct visualization of the heart using a hand-held ultrasound (HHU) device. I am not in any way suggesting the substitution of a comprehensive echocardiographic examination by an expert sonographer/echocardiographer by HHU in patients with significant CVD. Instead, I am arguing for the replacement of PE for evaluation of the heart at the point of care as well as at the bedside, simply because HHU is more accurate and provides more meaningful information.
  3,171 176 2
Large left atrial myxoma causing mitral valve obstruction: A rare cause of syncope
Negin Rashidi, Mahdi Montazeri, Mohammad Montazeri
October-December 2014, 24(4):125-127
Cardiac myxoma is the most frequent benign tumors of heart. A 37-year-old woman dropped during the second prostration in prayer and decreased his mental state, with no prior history of syncope. On cardiac examination, there was an early diastolic sound that was compatible with a tumor plop. A transthoracic echocardiogram was performed which showed the presence of a pediculated mass in the left atrium, with an appearance suggestive of atrial myxoma. Atrial Myxoma can appear with non-specific symptoms. The best diagnostic method for myxoma is echocardiography that has a high sensitivity
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In memory of professor Jos R. T. C. roelandt, honorary member of italian society of cardiovascular echography (SIEC)
Paolo Colonna, Vitantonio Di Bello
October-December 2014, 24(4):128-129
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