The Impella 5.5 with SmartAssist (Abiomed; Danvers, MA) is a life-saving treatment option in acute heart failure which utilizes a continuous heparin purge solution to prevent thrombosis. In patients with contraindications to heparin, alternative anticoagulation strategies are required. We describe the stepwise management of anticoagulation in a coagulopathic patient with persistent cardiogenic shock following a coronary artery bypass procedure who underwent Impella 5.5 placement. A direct thrombin inhibitor-based purge solution was utilized while evaluating for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Use of a novel bicarbonate-based purge solution (BBPS) was successfully used due to severe coagulopathy. There were no episodes of pump thrombosis or episodes of severe bleeding on the BBPS and systemic effects of alkalosis and hypernatremia were minimal.
Given the increased need for mechanical circulatory support and subsequent development of right ventricular assist devices (RVAD), appropriate imaging needs to be described to facilitate care in patients with cardiogenic shock and heart failure. We present three cases in which the upper esophageal aortic arch short axis (UE AA SAX) view on transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was utilized to effectively image RVADs: to confirm normal positioning, to detect and guide repositioning, and to visualize malfunction. These cases support the importance of the UE AA SAX TEE view in RVAD outflow imaging and, when obtainable, should be included in routine RVAD assessment.
Background and aim of the study: Blood cysts of cardiac valves are generally seen in newborns and infants and very rarely in adults. Although in most cases they are incidental findings they may be associated to severe cardiac or systemic complications. This study analyzes incidence, presentation and treatment of valvular blood cysts in adults. Methods: A review of the pertinent literature through a search mainly on PubMed and Medline was performed. Results: In patients ≥ 18 years of age, our search disclosed 54 patients with mitral blood cysts (mean age, 48±18 years), 9 with a tricuspid valve cyst (mean age, 67±15 years), 3 with a blood cyst on the pulmonary valve (age 31, 43 and 44 years) and 1 aortic valve cyst in a 22-year-old man. Most patients were asymptomatic while stroke, syncope or myocardial infarction occurred in 6 patients with a mitral valve cyst. Blood cysts were removed surgically in 70% of patients with a mitral cyst, in 55% with a tricuspid cyst and in all those with a pulmonary or aortic cyst. At histology the cyst wall was composed mainly by fibrous tissue and with the inner surface lined with typical endothelium. Conclusions: Blood cysts of cardiac valves are rare in adults but may cause life-threatening complications particularly when located on the mitral valve. For such reason surgical removal appears advisable, with low-risk procedures. Widespread use of multimodality imaging techniques will most likely increase the number of valvular blood cysts diagnosed also in adults.
We have read with great interest the article by Papakonstantinou et al. providing a single-center analysis of the contemporary approach to tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) insufficiency with the use of HAART 300 annuloplasty ring .We believe that the presented concept of a robust circumferential aortic annuloplasty with separate sinus replacement, avoiding coronary re-implantations when allowed, can be successfully applied to many cases, including BAV.
Microinvasive, catheter-based mitral valve repair of severe mitral regurgitation utilizes less invasive approaches with less procedural morbidity and mortality. The procedural steps and clinical benefits of the transcatheter transapical mitral valve annuloplasty (AMEND mitral repair implant) and transcatheter transapical chordal repair systems (Neochord DS 1000 device and Harpoon Mitral Valve Repair System) are reviewed in this manuscript.
There is increasing attention being given toward social and ethical implications of xenotransplantation that may begin relatively soon. IN a recent commentary by Loebe and Parker, the authors address many of the social and ethical issues in regard to xenotransplantation, but do so only superficially. This letter to the editor responds to many of the points they raise.
Background: Presently, there are limited reports in the literature on the post-operative (mid-term) clinical outcome for pure Aortic Regurgitation (AR) following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Methods: Between March 2014 and June 2019, a total of 134 high-risk patients with pure, symptomatic severe AR patients were enrolled in the current study. The outcome was assessed according to the VARC-2 criteria. Procedural results, clinical outcomes, and the patients’ hemodynamics for a period of 1-year were analyzed. Results: Patient mean was 73.1±6.4 years and 25.4% were female. The average STS score was 9.8+5.3%. Procedural success was 97.1% (130/134), and the device success rate was 96.3% (129/134). Five cases were converted to open surgery, while two patients underwent valvular reinterventions (surgical aortic valve replacement for thrombosis and increasing paravalvular regurgitation). The mean aortic valve gradient was 10.2±4.1 mmHg, while the moderate and severe aortic regurgitation was 1.6% at 1 year. Paravalvular regurgitation was none/trivial in 79.8% and mild in 18.5%. The 1-year all-cause mortality rate was 7.4%. At 1-year, the stroke incidence rate was 2.2%. And pacemaker was implanted in 8.9% of the enrolled patients. Conclusions: In high-risk patients undergoing transapical-TAVR for AR, the use of the J-Valve is safe and effective TAVR should be considered as a reasonable option for high-risk patients with pure AR.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine has arrived in medicine and the healthcare community is experiencing significant growth in its adoption across numerous patient care settings. There are countless applications for machine learning and AI in medicine ranging from patient outcome prediction, to clinical decision support, to predicting future patient therapeutic setpoints. This commentary discusses a recent application leveraging machine learning to predict one year patient survival following orthotopic heart transplantation. This modeling approach has significant implications in terms of improving clinical decision making, patient counseling, and ultimately organ allocation and has been shown to significantly outperform preexisting algorithms. This commentary also discusses how adoption and advancement of this modeling approach in the future can provide increased personalization of patient care. The continued expansion of information systems and growth of electronic patient data sources in healthcare will continue to pave the way for increased use and adoption of data science in medicine. Personalized medicine has been a long-standing goal of the healthcare community and with machine learning and AI now being continually incorporated into clinical settings and practice, this technology is well on the pathway to make a considerable impact to greatly improve patient care in the near future.
Paravalvular leak (PVL) is uncommon but can lead to severe complications after surgical or transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Clinical complications such as heart failure, haemolysis and infective endocarditis can be catastrophic results if not treated in promptly. It is, therefore, vital that PVLs are diagnosed early using various imaging modalities. Different approaches have been studies in managing PVL’s; of late, there is an increased interest in the use of minimally invasive procedures such as the transcatheter aortic valve closure procedure due to the decreased occurrence of further operations. This review discusses the classification of PVLs, diagnostic approaches and the available management options.
Pulmonary artery pseudoaneurysms are a rare but potentially lethal diagnosis. They can be further categorized by etiology or location and are typically successfully treated with endovascular therapies. However, they occasionally require operative intervention. Here, we present a case of a patient who presented with a central pulmonary artery pseudoaneurysm on CT scan with unclear etiology that was initially treated with conservative management. However, this was noted to have rapid enlargement on interval imaging necessitating urgent surgical intervention. The patient underwent a median sternotomy, anterior pulmonary artery arteriotomy for exposure, exclusion of the posterior artery pseudoaneurysm with a bovine pericardial patch, and closure of the anterior arteriotomy with a bovine pericardial patch. The patient did well and was discharged on postoperative day eleven with repeat imaging showing resolution.
Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) and p-values are widespread in the cardiac surgical literature but are frequently misunderstood and misused. The purpose of the review is to discuss major disadvantages of p-values and suggest alternatives. We describe diagnostic tests, the prosecutor’s fallacy in the courtroom, and NHST, which involve inter-related conditional probabilities, to help clarify the meaning of p-values, and discuss the enormous sampling variability, or unreliability, of p-values. Finally, we use a cardiac surgical database and simulations to explore further issues involving p-values. In clinical studies, p-values provide a poor summary of the observed treatment effect, whereas the three- number summary provided by effect estimates and confidence intervals is more informative and minimises over-interpretation of a “significant” result. P-values are an unreliable measure of strength of evidence; if used at all they give only, at best, a very rough guide to decision making. Researchers should adopt Open Science practices to improve the trustworthiness of research and, where possible, use estimation (three-number summaries) or other better techniques.
Patients with severely calcified aorta undergoing conventional cardiac surgery are at increased risk for postoperative neurologic deficits. Implementation of cerebroprotective devices may substantially reduce or even eliminate the risk of adverse neurologic event, thus enabling surgical therapy, especially when interventional treatment cannot be considered an alternative option.
In a case of mechanical hemolytic anemia following surgical repair of type A aortic dissection, four-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging revealed highly elevated turbulent kinetic energy in a stenotic lesion of a replaced ascending aorta. Our findings suggest that turbulent kinetic energy evaluation enables the detection of the origin of mechanical hemolysis.
Objective: There is paucity of data on outcomes after isolated tricuspid valve surgery. This meta-analysis aims to compile available data on isolated tricuspid valve surgery and compare isolated tricuspid valve repair (iTVr) with isolated tricuspid valve replacement (iTVR) to elucidate outcomes after tricuspid valve surgery. Methods: A literature search of 6 databases was performed. The primary outcomes was 30-day mortality. Secondary outcomes were early stroke, post-op pacemaker placement, and tricuspid reoperation within 5 years. Publication bias was explored using the funnel plot. Results: Ten retrospective studies involving 1407 patients (iTVr group = 779 patients and iTVR group = 628 patients) were included. A cumulative analysis demonstrated a significant difference favoring iTVr for 30-day mortality [odds ratio – 10 studies (95% confidence interval) 0.34 (0.18-0.66)]; 4.7% versus 12.6%, for iTVr and iTVR, respectively. Post-op pacemaker placement favored iTVr [odds ratio – 6 studies (95% confidence interval) 0.37 (0.18-0.77)]. Although stroke rates and TV reoperation favored iTVr, they did not reach statistical significance. No publication bias was identified. Conclusions: This meta-analysis demonstrates that iTVr has better 30-day mortality and fewer permanent pacemaker placements. Etiology and severity of TR, as well as careful patient selection remain the most important factors for optimal outcomes.
Background: Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common congenital heart defect and predisposes patients to developing aortic stenosis more frequently and at a younger age than the general population. However, the influence of bicuspid aortic valve on the rate of progression of aortic stenosis remains unclear. Methods: In 236 patients (177 tricuspid aortic valve, 59 bicuspid aortic valve) matched by initial severity of mild or moderate aortic stenosis, we retrospectively analyzed baseline echocardiogram at diagnosis with latest available follow-up echocardiogram. Baseline comorbidities, annualized progression rate of hemodynamic parameters, and hazard of aortic valve replacement were compared between valve phenotypes. Results: Median echocardiographic follow-up was 2.6 (IQR 1.6-4.2) years. Patients with tricuspid aortic stenosis were significantly older with more frequent comorbid hypertension and congestive heart failure. Median annualized progression rate of mean gradient was 2.3 (IQR 0.6-5.0) mmHg/year vs. 1.5 (IQR 0.5-4.1) mmHg/year (p=0.5), and that of peak velocity was 0.14 (IQR 0-0.31) m/s/year vs. 0.10 (IQR 0.04-0.26) m/s/year (p=0.7) for tricuspid vs. bicuspid aortic valve, respectively. On multivariate analyses, bicuspid aortic valve was not significantly associated with more rapid progression of aortic stenosis. In a stepwise Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for baseline mean gradient, bicuspid aortic valve was associated with increased hazard of aortic valve replacement (HR: 1.7, 95% CI [1.0, 3.0], p=0.049). Conclusion: Bicuspid aortic valve may not significantly predispose patients to more rapid progression of mild or moderate aortic stenosis. Guidelines for echocardiographic surveillance of aortic stenosis need not be influenced by valve phenotype.
Background: Acute type A aortic dissection(ATAAD) is life-threatening and requires immediate surgery. Sudden chest pain may lead to a risk of misdiagnosis as acute coronary syndrome and may lead to subsequent antiplatelet therapy. We used the Chinese Acute Aortic Syndrome Collaboration Database (AAS) to study the effects of antiplatelet therapy (APT) on clinical outcomes. Methods: The AAS database is a retrospective multicentre database where 31 of 3092 had APT with aspirin or clopidogrel or both before surgery. Before and after propensity score matching, the incidence of complications and mortality was compared between APT and non-APT patients by using a logistic regression model. The sample remaining after PSM was 30 in the APT group and 80 in the non-APT group. Results: The sample remaining after matching was 30 in the APT group and 80 in the non-APT group. We found 10 cases with percutaneous coronary intervention in the APT group(33.3%). The APT group received more volume of packed red blood cell (RBC), 8.4±6.05 units; plasma, 401.67±727 ml, and platelet transfusion(14.07±8.92 units). The drainage volume was much more in the APT group( 5009.37±2131.44ml, P=0.004). Mortality was higher in APT group(26% vs 10%, P=0.027). The preoperative APT was independent predictor of mortality(OR 6.808, 95% CI1.554-29.828, P = 0.011). Conclusion: APT prior to ATAAD repair was associated with more transfusions and higher early mortality. The timing of surgery should be carefully considered based on the patient’s status and the surgeon’s experience.
Background: This study evaluated the utilization and outcomes of postcardiotomy mechanical circulatory support (MCS). Methods: This was a retrospective, single institution analysis of adult cardiac surgery cases that required de novo MCS following surgery from 2011-2018. Patients that were bridged with MCS to surgery were excluded. The primary outcomes were early operative mortality and longitudinal survival. Secondary outcomes included postoperative complications, and five-year all-cause readmission. Results: 533 patients required de novo postcardiotomy MCS, with the most commonly performed procedure being isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (29.8%). Median cardiopulmonary bypass and cross clamp times were 185 (IQR 123-260) minutes and 122 (IQR 81-179) minutes, respectively. A total of 442 (82.9%) of patients were supported with intra-aortic balloon pump counterpulsation, 23 (4.3%) with an Impella device, and 115 (21.6%) with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Three (0.6%) patients had an unplanned ventricular assist device placed. Operative mortality was 29.8%. Longitudinal survival was 56.1% and 43.0% at 1- and 5-years, respectively. Survival was lowest in those supported with ECMO and highest with those supported with an Impella (P<0.001). Freedom from readmission was 61.4% at 5-years. Postoperative ECMO was an independent predictor of mortality (HR 5.1, 95% CI 2.0-12.9, P<0.001), but none of the MCS types predicted long-term hospital readmission after risk adjustment. Conclusions: Postcardiotomy MCS is associated with high operative mortality. Even patients that survive to discharge have compromised longitudinal survival, with nearly only half surviving to 1-year. Close follow-up and early referral to advanced heart failure specialists may be prudent in improving these outcomes.