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   2014| April-June  | Volume 24 | Issue 2  
    Online since July 1, 2014

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Sudden cardiac death: A review focused on cardiovascular imaging
Valentina Barletta, Iacopo Fabiani, Conte Lorenzo, Irene Nicastro, Vitantonio Di Bello
April-June 2014, 24(2):41-51
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is defined as natural death due to cardiac causes, heralded by abrupt loss of consciousness within 1 h of the onset of acute symptoms; pre-existing heart disease may have been known to be present but the time and mode of death are unexpected. Prediction and prevention of SCD is an area of active investigation, but considerable challenges persist that limit the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of available methodologies. It was well-recognized that optimization of SCD risk stratification would require integration of multi-disciplinary efforts at the bench and bedside, with studies in the general population. This integration has yet to be effectively accomplished. There is also increasing awareness that more investigation needs to be directed toward the identification of early predictors of SCD. Significant advancements have recently occurred for risk prediction in the inherited channelopathies and other inherited conditions that predispose to SCD, but there is much to be accomplished in this regard for the more common complex phenotypes, such as SCD among patients with coronary artery disease. A multimodality imaging approach is actually the most important tool to provide comprehensive information on different pathophysiological mechanisms related to SCD.
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Revisiting non-compaction cardiomyopathy through a case with cyanosis and complete heart block
Achyut Sarkar, Imran Ahmed, Arindam Pande, GS Naveen Chandra
April-June 2014, 24(2):60-63
Left ventricular non-compaction or "spongy myocardium", is a rare congenital cardiomyopathy that should be considered as a possible diagnosis because of its potential complications. Echocardiography is the diagnostic tool of choice, and cardiomagnetic resonance (CMR) can confirm or rule out this disease. Herein, we report the case of an 8-month-old female child who presented with congestive cardiac failure (CCF) and symptomatic complete heart block (CHB). An echocardiogram established the diagnosis as non-compaction cardiomyopathy (NCCM). An associated double outlet right ventricle with ventricular septal defect and valvular pulmonary stenosis was found. Cardiac magnetic resonance study confirmed the findings. This singular case report of NCCM highlights the importance of clinical awareness of this rare abnormality, its varied presentation and associated cardiac anomalies. The article revisits NCCM and focuses on the practical issues for a proper echodiagnosis.
  5,022 131 -
Assessment of no-reflow phenomenon by myocardial blush grade and pulsed wave tissue doppler imaging in patients with acute coronary syndrome
Giuseppina Novo, Maria Rita Sutera, Daniela Di Lisi, Maria Ausilia Galifi, Benedetta La Fata, Salvatore Giambanco, Luisa Arvigo, Oreste Fabio Triolo, Salvatore Evola, Pasquale Assennato, Salvatore Novo
April-June 2014, 24(2):52-56
Background: No-refl ow phenomenon is a complication of myocardial revascularization and it is associated with a worse prognosis. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was carried out enrolling patients with acute myocardial infarction (64 patients, 49 male and 15 female, median age 64.9 ± 10.61 years), both STEMI and NSTEMI, who underwent myocardial revascularization with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). TIMI fl ow and Myocardial Blush Grade (MBG) were assessed at baseline (T0), in addition to tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and electrocardiogram. Cardiological evaluation was also performed at T1 (one month after PCI) and T2 (every year after revascularization for a mean follow-up of 24.9 months ± 6.93 months). Patients were divided into two groups on the basis of MBG. Results: In the present study, we found at T1 a signifi cant association between MBG and dyslipidemia (P = 0,038) and NYHA class and MBG (P = 0,040), among clinical variables and cardiovascular risk factors. Moreover, a statistically signifi cant relationship was observed between MBG and a new echocardiographic index of systolic and diastolic dysfunction, the EAS index measured with tissue Doppler imaging (P = 0,013). At T2, the EAS parameter was also signifi cantly impaired in patients with reduced MBG, compared to patients with normal MBG (P = 0,003). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the combined evaluation of systolic and diastolic dysfunction by EAS index, according to the literature, could detect a subclinical ventricular dysfunction due to a perfusion defect. Therefore, EAS index could be a useful parameter to be measured in the follow-up of patients undergoing revascularization.
  4,543 171 1
Thrombophilia-related complications in the treatment of a left atrial appendage thrombus: A case report
Vito Maurizio Parato, Michele Scarano, Benedetto Labanti
April-June 2014, 24(2):64-65
Trans-esophageal echocardiography (TEE) revealed a left atrial appendage (LAA) thrombus in an 84-year-old woman with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation not known before our evaluation. In her medical history, there were hypertension, dyslipidemia and a previous pulmonary embolism. She was taking warfarin at time of our evaluation and presented signs and symptoms of heart failure. Together with heart failure treatment, intravenous anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin was initiated. Treatment was complicated by additional right lower limb embolic event and the LAA thrombus remained unchanged. Testing revealed heterozygosity for both the factor V Leiden and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T mutations inducing resistance to activated protein C. The patient refused transcatheter closure of the left atrial appendage.
  3,497 132 1
Three-dimensional trans-thoracic echocardiography of esophageal achalasia: Description of a case
Fulvio Cacciapuoti, Venere Delli Paoli, Anna Scognamiglio, Federico Cacciapuoti
April-June 2014, 24(2):57-59
Esophageal achalasia is a motility disorder characterized by impaired relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and dilatation of the distal two-thirds of the esophagus. This condition may be a non-frequent reason of extrinsic compression of left atrium. In turn, this can be a cause of some hemodynamic changes such as chest discomfort, dyspnea or reduced exercise tolerance, systemic hypotension and tachycardia. We describe a case of a patient with esophagus achalasia compressing the left atrium and inducing hemodynamic compromise. The diagnostic methods, as chest X-ray, computed tomography (CT), manometry, and 2D-Trans-Thoracic Echocardiography (TTE) demonstrated the esophagus dilation, the impaired relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, and its compression on the left atrium. Three-D Trans-Thoracic Echocardiography (3D-TTE) was firstly performed also. This last examination pointed out better than 2D-TTE the extrinsic compression of the left atrium due to the esophagus dilatation. Therefore, 3D-TTE is a true improvement for the echocardiographic diagnosis of the left atrial compression induced by esophageal achalasia.
  3,126 154 2
The same ol' Myxoma
Daniele Pontillo
April-June 2014, 24(2):66-66
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