Professor Raffaello Furlan is the Unit Director of the Internal Medicine Center Unit.

Since 1990 he has been focusing his clinical interests on hypotensive phenomena and episodes of loss of consciousness, organizing and developing a functional multidisciplinary unit called “Syncope and Posture Disorders Unit”, as part of the Internal Medicine Unit where he worked (currently Medical Clinic, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano, and in the past L. Sacco Hospital, Milan, and Bolognini Hospital, Bergamo).

This unit is composed of a neurologist, an endocrinologist, a cardiologist and a psychiatrist, in accordance with clinical-care facilitated protocols. Thanks to this organizational structure, and thanks to the use a special clinical laboratory, more than 1600 tilt tests have been carried out, together with intensive work with outpatients and inpatients, which led to the care of patients also from other regions in Italy and abroad (France, Switzerland, Australia, Comoros Islands and United States).

The Syncope and Posture Disorders Unit is currently part of a worldwide network of centres that refer to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation, an American non-profit foundation providing advice and support to patients with different types of dysautonomia and financing international research protocols on the subject.

Research areas of interest:
From 1977 to 1984, he took an active part in studies conducted on experimental models, to clarify the nervous mechanisms of cardiac, cardio-vascular and vascular reflexes involved in the regulation of blood pressure and in the genesis of cardiac pain.

He also applied techniques of direct recording of sympathetic nerve activity and spectral analysis to the study of cardiovascular variability in the physiological, pathophysiologic and pathological  fields, studying the changes in the nervous control of the cardiovascular system during postural changes, physical training, neuromediated syncope in patients suffering from dysutopianism (Pure Autonomic Failure), and in subjects with Chronic Orthostatic Intolerance, Fibromyalgia, Esophageal Reflux Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Parkinson’s disease.

Since January 2004, the Syncope Unit directed by Prof. Furlan has conceived, realized and coordinated some observational multicentric studies aimed at studying the short-term prognosis of syncope, to evaluate the effectiveness of risk scales in the emergency room and the role of clinical judgement (steps studies, Short Term Prognosis of Syncope).

The Syncope Unit was also an active part of EGSYS2 and other multicenter syncope studies. Currently, a study is underway to assess the effects of bilateral plantar stimulation on the path and neurovegetative profile of cardiovascular regulation in Parkinson’s disease. It involves 10 hospitals sponsored by the Lombardy region on syncope costs and a multicentric European study on the use of neuronal networks for syncope management in the emergency room.

Previous experience:

2007-2012 Hospital, Seriate, Italy
Director of Internal Medicine Unit, Outpatients and Day Hospital for medicine.
1982-2007 Hospital, Milan, Italy

  • Hospital assistant of Internal Medicine (Medicine II) until 1990. During this period, he was directly responsible for 8 beds in this Department and carried out regular call duties in the A&E Department. He was also involved in invasive measurements of blood pressure.
  • Co-manager assistant in Internal Medicine (Medicine II; from February 1990). During this period, he was responsible for 12-18 beds of the Medicine Department, coordinating the work of two assistants. From January 2002 to January 2005 he had the title of “High Specialisation” in the field of disorders from orthostatic intolerance. From January 2005 he was responsible for the simple structure “Unit for Syncopes and Posture Disorders”.
  • Following the incorporation process of Italian hospitals (as from 1996), he was involved in programmes for the ottimization of efficiency and cost reduction of the Medicine II Department and he had an active part in the discussion of the annual budget from 1998. He was responsible for the Day Hospital in Medicine II until January 2005.
  • He followed the course for Directors of Complex Operative Units, hospital area, edition UBMDSCO0201, held at the School of Management in Health of the Lombardy Region (I.Re.F.) in 2002, discussing the final project entitled “Evaluation of diagnostic performance and cost analysis of tilt test in the diagnosis of syncopal episodes”, obtaining the resulting certification.

Publications: r