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Milano, Italy

Riva M.A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cambioli L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Castagna F.,Columbia University | Cianci N.,University of Nottingham | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Cardiology

Ancient non-medical texts can unexpectedly provide useful information on the development of knowledge about the heart and its diseases throughout history. The 750th anniversary of the birth of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) provides a timely opportunity to analyze medical references in his works, in particular, focusing on literary descriptions that may be attributed to cardiovascular disorders. Dante's high level of medical knowledge, probably derived from his academic studies, is testified by his affiliation to the Florentine Guild of physicians and pharmacists. In all his works, the poet shows a deep interest for the heart. However, his anatomical and physiological knowledge of the circulatory system appears to be poor, probably due to it being based on theories and concepts brought forth by Aristotle and Galen, which were taught in medieval universities. Despite this, accurate descriptions of some symptoms (emotional syncope, orthopnea, dyspnea on exertion) and signs (ascites, paleness), which may be attributed to cardiovascular disorders, can be easily found in Dante's works, particularly in his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy. The literary and historical analysis of cardiovascular signs and symptoms allows us to assume that clinical features due to alterations of heart function were probably known by medieval physicians, but their etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms were not completely understood in that period. Historians of cardiology and clinicians should consider analysis of non-medical texts (including poetry) as an opportunity to better investigate the evolution of their discipline throughout the ages. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Sormani P.,Cardiology IV | De Chiara B.,Cardiology IV | Taglieri C.,Cardiac Surgery | Moreo A.,Cardiology IV
Journal of Cardiovascular Echography

Anomalous mitral arcade is a rare congenital anomaly affecting the mitral tensor apparatus. This condition causes a restrictive movement of the leaflets and interferes with the normal closure of the valve during ventricular systole. We report a case of a 15-year-old female with this condition and initial left ventricular dysfunction, who successfully underwent mitral valve repair. This reparative technique is more technically challenging then valve replacement and only few cases are described in literature. Source

Moreo A.,Cardiology IV | Moreo A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gaibazzi N.,University of Parma | Faggiano P.,University of Brescia | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Hypertension

Objective: Cardiovascular risk prediction is deemed fundamental and the assessment of organ damage is emerging as a potentially 'downstream' picture of individual risk. Our aim was to assess the feasibility and value of prediction of coronaropathy [coronary artery disease (CAD)] of integrated cardiovascular ultrasound examination. Methods: This multicenter study involved eight cardiology centers that enrolled 457 consecutive patients. Blood pressures, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), carotid pulse wave velocity (cPWV), semiquantitative score of cardiac calcifications, global myocardial longitudinal strain (GLS), and rest Doppler flow velocity on the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery were measured. After coronary angiography, patients were divided in CAD, n = 273, at least one coronary stenosis higher than 50%, and no CAD, n = 184. Results: CAD were older (65.9 ± 10.7 versus 63.1 ± 11.2 years, mean ± standard deviation, P = 0.01), and had higher blood pressure (137.0 ± 18.8/77.5 ± 11.1 versus 130.2 ± 17.4/75.1 ± 9.7 mmHg, P < 0.02), cIMT (791.4 ± 165.5 versus 712.0 ± 141.5 mcm, P < 0.0001), cPWV (median: 9 versus 8.1 m/s, P < 0.01), score of calcium (median, 2 versus 1, P < 0.0001), LAD velocity (median, 38 versus 36, P < 0.07), and lower GLS (-17.6 ± 4.3 versus -19.3 ± 5.1, P < 0.05) than no CAD. Score of calcium was feasible in the totality of patients, cIMT in 97%, cPWV in 86%, GLS in 88%, and LAD in 84%. A combination of at least three variables was measurable in 80% of the patients. All ultrasound parameters significantly predicted CAD. However, in a stepwise logistic regression, the only combined predictors of obstructive CAD were score of calcium, cIMT, and LAD velocity. Conclusion: In Echo-Lab, Rome, Italy, the integrated cardiovascular ultrasound study is feasible in a high percentage of patients. The combination of three parameters, that is, score of calcium, cIMT, and LAD velocity, has incremental predictive value for obstructive CAD. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Maloberti A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Meani P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Pirola R.,Cardiology IV | Varrenti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Biology and Medicine

Pheochromocytoma is a tumor arising from neuroectodermal chromaffin tissues in the adrenal gland or extra-adrenal paraganglia (paragangliomas). The prevalence of the tumor is 0.1%-0.6% in the hypertensive population, of which 10%-20% are malignant. Pheochromocytoma produces, stores, and secretes catecholamines, as well as leads to hypertensive crisis, arrhythmia, angina, and acute myocardial infarction without coronary artery diseases. We report a case of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with a final diagnosis of multiple endocrine neoplasia with pheochromocytoma and medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Copyright © 2015 by Cancer Biology & Medicine. Source

Baroni M.,Cardiology IV | Baroni M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Nava S.,Cardiology IV | Nava S.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 20 more authors.
High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Prevention

Renal denervation (RD) is an intriguing treatment strategy for resistant hypertension. However, limited data are available about its long time efficacy as well as its effects on intermediate phenotypes like arterial stiffness and carotid IMT. 12 patients (9 males, mean 69 years) with resistant hypertension underwent bilateral RDN (Medtronic System) since April 2012 in Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital (Milan). Patients were studied before intervention, and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after RD. Carotid intima media thickness (Esaote Mylab) and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (Complior, Alam medical) were assessed at each step. Compared to baseline, patients showed a marked reduction of office systolic blood pressure at each follow-up step (p < 0.05 versus baseline for all steps) as well as pulse wave velocity (p < 0.01 at 1 year versus baseline). Moreover, reduction in pulse wave velocity was higher than the expected value obtained only considering blood pressure drop. Conversely, no significant effect was observed on diastolic blood pressure as well as carotid intima-media thickness. In our study, renal denervation was a safe and effective procedure. The BP lowering effect was maintained during follow-up and a beneficial effect on arterial stiffness was observed, which implies that this effect can’t passively originate from the BP fall but rather from an improvement of arterial mechanical properties, possibly related to a reduced sympathetic arterial drive. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Source

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