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1.  The impact of drug eluting stents availability on the treatment choice among medical therapy, percutaneous or surgical revascularisation and on 4-year clinical outcome in patients with coronary artery disease: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001926.
Objective
To investigate the influence of the availability of drug eluting stents (DES) on treatment choice (TC) among medical therapy (MT), coronary by-pass surgery (CABG) or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) and the consequent clinical outcomes in patients hospitalised because of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Design
Observational study comparing two cohorts hospitalised immediately before, and 3 years after DES availability.
Setting
Thirteen hospitals with cardiology facilities.
Patients
2131 consecutive patients with at least one coronary stenosis >50% at coronary angiography (CA) after exclusion of those with acute myocardial infarction or previous CABG or associated relevant valvular disease.
Main outcome measures
Treatment choice after CA and 4-year clinical outcomes.
Results
TC among MT (27% vs 29.2%), PCI (58.6% vs 55.5%) and CABG (14.5% vs 15.3%) was similar in the DES and bare metal stent (BMS) periods (p = 0.51). At least one DES was implanted in 57% of patients treated with PCI in 2005. After 4 years, no difference in mortality (13.8% vs 13.2%, p = 0.72), hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (6.6% vs 5.2%, p = 0.26), stroke (2.2% vs 1.7%, p = 0.49) and further revascularisations (22.3% vs 19.7%, p = 0.25) were observed in patients enrolled in the DES and BMS periods. Only in patients with Syntax score 23–32 a significant change of TC (p = 0.0002) occurred in the DES versus BMS period: MT in 17.4% vs 31%, PCI in 62.2% vs 35.8%, CABG in 20.3% vs 33.2%, with similar 4-year combined end-point of mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction and further revascularisations (45.3% vs 34.2%, p = 0.087).
Conclusions
Three years after DES availability, the TC in patients with CAD has not changed significantly as well as the 4-year incidence of death, myocardial infarction, stroke and further revascularisations. In subgroup with Syntax score 23–32, a significant increase of indications to PCI was observed in the DES period, without any improvement of the 4-year clinical outcome.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001926
PMCID: PMC3488738  PMID: 23103608
2.  Telemonitoring in Chronic Heart Failure: A Systematic Review 
Heart failure (HF) is a growing epidemic with the annual number of hospitalizations constantly increasing over the last decades for HF as a primary or secondary diagnosis. Despite the emergence of novel therapeutic approached that can prolong life and shorten hospital stay, HF patients will be needing rehospitalization and will often have a poor prognosis. Telemonitoring is a novel diagnostic modality that has been suggested to be beneficial for HF patients. Telemonitoring is viewed as a means of recording physiological data, such as body weight, heart rate, arterial blood pressure, and electrocardiogram recordings, by portable devices and transmitting these data remotely (via a telephone line, a mobile phone or a computer) to a server where they can be stored, reviewed and analyzed by the research team. In this systematic review of all randomized clinical trials evaluating telemonitoring in chronic HF, we aim to assess whether telemonitoring provides any substantial benefit in this patient population.
doi:10.1155/2012/410820
PMCID: PMC3375160  PMID: 22720184
3.  The management of acute myocardial infarction in the cardiological intensive care units in Italy: the ‘BLITZ 4 Qualità’ campaign for performance measurement and quality improvement 
Aim:
To assess and promote compliance of Italian cardiological intensive care units (CCUs) with evidence-based guidelines for the management of acute myocardial infarction (MI).
Methods and results:
The process of diagnosis and treatment of MI was prospectively evaluated in 163 CCUs by use of 30 indicators during two enrolment phases, each followed by a feedback of both local and general performance. Overall, 5854 patients with ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI) and 5852 with non-ST-segment elevation MI (NSTEMI) were consecutively enrolled. The target for each indicator was defined as compliance with the relevant recommendations in ≥90% of suitable patients and it was met for nine (30%) and 10 (33.3%) indicators in the first and second phases, respectively. Regardless of target, a significant improvement in compliance was observed in the second phase in 10 out of 30 indicators (33.3%). Use of pre-hospital ECG, expedite delivery of reperfusion therapy, dosage of antithrombotic drugs, and non-pharmacological implementation of secondary prevention were often off target. Similar in-hospital mortality was observed in phases I and II, both in patients with STEMI (4.0 vs. 4.2%, p=0.79) and NSTEMI (1.8 vs. 2.4%, p=0.11). Overall, 30-day mortality were 5.7% for patients with STEMI and 3.4% with NSTEMI.
Conclusions:
Performance indicators can accurately weigh the whole process of diagnosis and treatment of patients with MI and monitor the improvements in the quality of care. In our large population of consecutive patients, satisfactory 30-day outcomes were observed despite suboptimal adherence to guidelines for some indicators of recognised prognostic relevance.
doi:10.1177/2048872612450520
PMCID: PMC3760526  PMID: 24062902
Acute myocardial infarction; performance measures

Results 1-3 (3)