Rheinfelden, Switzerland
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Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Gasparyan A.Y.,Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust
Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal | Year: 2010

Behçet's disease (BD) is an enigmatic inflammatory disorder, with vasculitis (perivasculitis) underlying pathophysiology of its multisystemic affections. Venous pathology and thrombotic complications are hallmarks of BD. However, it has been increasingly recognized that cardiac involvement and arterial complications (aneurysms, pseudoaneurysms, rupture and thrombosis) are important part of the course of BD. Pericarditis, myocardial (diastolic and/or systolic dysfunction), valvular and coronary (thrombosis, aneurysms, rupture) involvement, intracardiac thrombi (predominantly right-sided) are, probably, the most frequent cardiac manifestations. Treatment of cardiovascular involvement in BD is largely empirical and aimed at suppression of vasculitis. The most challenging seems to be the treatment of arterial aneurysms and thromboses due to the associated risk of bleedings. Cardiologists should always bear in mind potential threats of (a)symptomatic cardiovascular involvement in BD. © Cocco and Gasparyan.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Gasparyan A.Y.,Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust
Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal | Year: 2010

Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is one of the most common small-and medium-sized necrotizing vasculitides that mainly affects the upper and lower respiratory tract and the kidneys. Cardiac manifestations in WG are relatively rare, and their role and place among different causes of mortality remain largely unknown. Substantially increased number of reports describing involvement of all structures of the heart, which underlie conduction disturbances, valvular disease, ischemic heart disease and other potentially serious conditions, underscores importance of comprehensive cardiovascular investigations and monitoring of patients with WG. The majority of previous reports and our current observation distinguish coronary vasculitis and thrombosis as a cause of myocardial ischemia and cardiovascular co-morbidities in WG. It seems plausible that inflammatory processes in this disease, like in some other systemic vasculitidies, do not predispose to accelerated atherogenesis. However, characteristic small-and mediumsized vasculitis still can manifest as myocardial ischemia and infarction. We overview diverse cardiac manifestations and present our own rare case of angina in the oligosymptomatic debut of WG. Importantly, in this case, coronarography failed to reveal atherosclerotic disease or thrombotic occlusion. However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with adenosine test revealed subendocardial ischemia. As a result of immunosuppressive therapy with a steroid and cyclophosphamide, myocardial ischemia disappeared. © Cocco and Gasparyan.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Jerie P.,Cardiology Office
Cardiology Journal | Year: 2014

Behçet disease (BD) is an enigmatic inflammatory disorder with multisystemic complications which is endemic in some countries but can be seen in the entire world. Valid diagnostic criteria are available. The pathology is related to a specific perivasculitis with involvement of both arteries and veins of all sizes. Minor arterial and cardiac involvement is frequent in BD but is usually asymptomatic. In exceptional cases cardiac symptoms may be the 1st manifestation of BD. The prevalence of severe cardiac complications (cardio-Behçet) should be < 10%. An impressive therapeutic improvement has been achieved by using appropriate catheterization techniques, coronary and intra-arterial stents, colchicine, drug-response modifying drugs and immunotherapy but, still cardio-Behçet has a poor prognosis. Efforts are undertaken to improve morbidity and prognosis with the use of newer drugs. An important part of the complications in BD are related to the frequent thromboembolic complications and there is high possibility that newer oral anticoagulants will be superior to the classical anticoagulants presently used. Available biologic agents have already been frequently used and seem to have improved the prognosis, but efforts are undertaken to find newer biologic agents with better therapeutic performance and less side-effects. Summarizing as much as possible the effects of the presently used biotherapy in BD, interferon-a is effective against many ocular, genital and perhaps vascular manifestations, but its effectiveness is limited by frequent adverse-effects (even if not dangerous for the cardiovascular system). Infliximab is a valid option in the therapy of ocular and cutaneous manifestations but it is less convincing in the therapy of vascular manifestations in vascular- and neuro-Behçet; furthermore, side-effects, including severe cardiovascular complications, are seen in a minority of patients; perhaps worse, infliximab seems to loose efficacy in the long-term therapy, while pharmacogenetics and receptor polymorphism may explain the existence of non-responders and the occurrence of resistance. Adalimumab might be a promising alternative for infliximab and seems to exert a good effect in aneurysmatic and other vascular complications. However, we lack long-term studies. Other biologic agents have been used only in few cases and it is too early to say if they offer new therapeutic perspectives. © 2014 Via Medica.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Jerie P.,Cardiology Office
Cardiology Journal | Year: 2015

Heart failure (HF) is a major public heart burden among the ageing population. Optimizing management of patients remains challenging despite many advances in therapy for this pathology. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) are related to cardiac morbidity and mortality and their use in guiding treatment might help. Most data on the value of NPs-guided therapy in chronic HF came from centers with high experience in the therapy of HF. Ninety percent of patients had preserved left ventricular function. The story is just too complex to have the final answer. The numbers of treated patients is insufficient to allow a final decision. Most data derive from centers with high skills and were obtained with different assays, different protocols. Many questions are open. Can similar results be obtained in less specialized centers? It is undecided which NP should be used and how high should be the levels to guide the therapy. Which patients might especially benefit from this approach? Is the approach useful in patients with reduced systolic function? Is the strategy as useful in the elderly as in younger patients? In spite of these limitations, available data suggest that it is reasonable to consider the use of NPs to guide the therapy of HF with preserved systolic function. In order to answer some of the questions, a multicenter, prospective study began in January 2013. However, NP guided therapy in chronic HF will only find acceptance in clinical practice if its use results in therapeutic consequences. © 2015 Via Medica.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Jerie P.,Cardiology Office
Cardiology Journal | Year: 2015

Coronary heart disease (CHD) represents an important problem worldwide. At present, more women than men are evaluated for CHD and it has been recognized that the prevalence of this pathology in women is at least the same as in men. We have learned that cardiac syndrome X (CSX) is frequent because worldwide each year millions of people (mostly women) with angina pectoris without flow-limiting epicardial pathology are identified. Data from large myocardial infarction registries suggest a 5% to 25% prevalence of cases without flow-limiting coronary pathology. It must, however, be considered that these people are said to have normal coronary arteries by visual analysis of biplane coronarography. On the other hand, as demonstrated from autopsy, and in vivo by ultrasound intravascular studies, it would be more appropriate to say that in the majority of these cases no obstructive or flow-limiting coronary pathology was detected by coronarography. In CSX, endothelial dysfunction and microvascular dysfunction, sometimes with coronary microvascular spams and epicardial coronary artery spasm, have been recognized as pathophysiologic mechanisms. In CSX, symptoms and pathologic signs are the same in patients with flow-limiting coronary pathology. The difference lies in the fact that the mechanisms of myocardial ischemia are microvascular and flow-limiting epicardial coronary pathology is absent. By interplay, the pathologic entities at work in CSX are linked with poor long-term outcome. The prevalence of these outcomes is probably smaller than in patients with flow-limiting coronary pathology but we lack precise values. Nonetheless, severe cardiovascular complications are frequent in CSX and it is thus the pathology is not benign. Drugs used in coronary ischemic disease are empirically prescribed to treat CSX, but we lack data from specific trials. It seems that statins and ranolazine might exert positive effects. However, specific research to target interventions in CSX would be necessary. © 2015 Via Medica.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Jerie P.,Cardiology Office
Cardiology Journal | Year: 2016

Atrial fibrillation is a frequent arrhythmia with increasing prevalence. The paper reviews the most important present aspects and paradigms in the treatment of the arrhythmia. The main aim of treatment is directed to improve the quality of life while reducing morbidity and mortality. A large experience derived from epidemiological registers and clinical research, impressive advances in interventional electrophysiological therapies and the introduction of non-vitamin K antagonists had a dramatic impact on the medical approach. Recommended steps to classify and treat atrial fibrillation are presented and discussed. © 2016 Via Medica.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Jerie P.,Cardiology Office
Cardiovascular Toxicology | Year: 2015

A 68-year-old man had a cardiac syncope. He was known to have a long QT-interval and was treated with ivabradine for paroxysmal sinusal tachycardia. In the last 5 days, azithromycin had been prescribed for sinusitis. An electrocardiogram showed torsades de pointes (TdP). Azithromycin is known to prolong the QT-interval. Ivabradine does not affect the QT-interval but has a conditional risk of TdP when taken with other drugs that block its metabolic breakdown. This case presents the specific problem of a patient with long QT who received two medications, which may interact and prolong the QT. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Cocco G.,Cardiology Office
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2012

This editorial refers to 'Should ranolazine be used for all patients with ischemic heart disease or only for symptomatic patients with stable angina or for those with refractory angina pectoris? A critical appraisal' by U Thadani also published in this issue. © Informa UK, Ltd.


The paper describes the case of a patient affected by a combination of genetic and autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, psoriatic arthritis, Leiden V mutation, and sicca syndrome) and hypertension. The psoriatic arthritis was treated with celecoxib and multiple sclerosis with fingolimod. The patient developed high fever and endocarditis, resulting in severe mitral regurgitation, atrial fibrillation, and congestive heart failure. Evidence is suggestive of adverse effects of potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory therapies with biologic agents and the cardiovascular system. Fingolimod increases susceptibility to infections and induced endocarditis resulting in severe mitral regurgitation, atrial fibrillation, and congestive heart failure. Managed care systems limit the contact among basic care physicians and specialists. However, the process by which the optimal decision may be reached for a patient with a complex pathology is shared decision making, where the risk of severe complications and medical expenses may be reduced. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Gasparyan A.Y.,Russells Hall Hospital | Cocco G.,Cardiology Office | Pandolfi S.,Rheumatology Office
Rheumatology International | Year: 2012

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Pathophysiology of rheumatoid cardiovascular phenomenon is not fully understood, but systemic inflammation is thought to play a crucial role in the endothelial damage and accelerated course of atherosclerotic disease. Rheumatoid inflammation can also cause coronary pathology and heart failure. We present a case of transient cardiomyopathy in RA in the absence of occlusive coronary pathology, which mimics acute coronary syndrome. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

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