Introduction: Disordered coagulation, clot formation and distal limb ischemia are complications of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) with significant morbidity and mortality. Medicinal leech therapy (hirudotherapy) has been attempted in plastic and orthopedic surgeries to improve venous congestion and salvage ischemic flaps. To our knowledge this has not been reported in pediatric cardiac surgery or during ECMO support. We present a complex neonate whose ECMO course was complicated by distal limb ischemia for whom leech therapy was attempted. Patient and Intervention: A 2 week-old 2.7 kg infant required ECMO support secondary to perioperative multiorgan system dysfunction following repair of critical coarctation and ventricular septal defect. Despite systemic anticoagulation, his clinical course was complicated by arterial thrombus, vasopressor-induced vascular spasm and bilateral distal limb ischemia. Medicinal leech therapy was tried after initially failing conventional measures. Result: Following the third leech application, this patient developed significant hemorrhage from the web space adjacent to the left great toe. An estimated 450 mL of blood loss occurred and more than 300 mL of blood product transfusions were required. He ultimately progressed to irreversible systemic end organ dysfunction and comfort care was provided. Conclusion: The use of medicinal leech therapy in pediatric cardiac surgery may be considered to minimize the consequences of advanced limb ischemia and venous congestion. However, this should be used with caution while patients are systemically anticoagulated during ECMO support. A directed review is presented here to assist in determining optimal application and potential course of therapy.
A rare case of mixed total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC) associated to right extra-lobar bronchopulmonary sequestration (BPS) was diagnosed at birth in a full-term newborn. At one month of age, the patient underwent embolization of the BPS, complicated by coil entrapment in the right common iliac artery requiring urgent laparotomy. Few days later, the congenital cardiac repair was accomplished uneventfully. At 12-months follow-up, the patient did not have pulmonary hypertension, but presented a moderate stenosis of the right femoral artery, which was effectively treated with anticoagulation therapy.
Objectives: The goal of this study was to describe and evaluate our simulation training program on biological models for the cardiovascular surgery residency program at our institution. Material and Methods: Since 2016, with the purpose to develop better practical performance and evaluate the improvement of resident’s surgical skills, it was implemented a simulation training program, composed of some elemental procedures in cardiovascular surgery. It was established one wet lab session weekly lasting 2 hours, coached by 2 expert cardiovascular surgeons. Bovine and porcine hearts were used as biological models. At the end of the hands on program, an objective assessment consisting of 2 practical modules was applied and performance was rated by way of a 5-point scale. In addition, to provide a subjective assessment, each resident filled out a questionnaire consisting of 3 items reviewing the overall quality of the workshops on a 10-point scale. Results: The objective evaluation applied at the end of the training program consisted by valve replacement and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) modules. The mean performance rating scores for valve replacement module ranged from 4.2 to 4.79, and to CABG, from 4.33 to 4.87. Regarding subjective assessment, all items evaluated, such as expert’s didactics, simulation performance and biological simulator fidelity, received high grades (above 9 on a 10-point scale). Conclusions: Simulator training on biological models for cardiac surgery medical residents is a simple and effective learning method of surgical skills.
Background: This study evaluates the impact of peak preoperative troponin level on outcomes of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Methods: This was a retrospective review of patients undergoing isolated CABG from 2011-2018 with presentation of NSTEMI. Patients were stratified into low- and high-risk groups based on median preoperative peak troponin (1.95ng/dL). Major cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) and mortality were compared. Multivariable analysis was performed to model risk factors for MACCE and mortality. Results: This study included 1,211 patients, 607 low- (≤1.95ng/dL) and 604 high-risk (>1.95ng/dL). Patients were well-matched with respect to age and comorbidity. High-risk patients had lower median preoperative ejection fraction (46.5% [IQR 35.0%-55.0%] vs 53.0% [IQR 40.0%-58.0%]) and higher incidence of preoperative intra-aortic balloon pump (15.9% vs 8.73%). Intensive care unit (47 hours [IQR 26-82] vs 43 hours [IQR 25-69]) and hospital lengths of stay (10 days [IQR 8-13] vs 9 days [IQR 8-12]) were longer in the high-risk group (each P<0.05). Postoperative complications and thirty-day, one- and five-year rates of both MACCE and survival were similar between groups. Peak troponin >1.95ng/dL was not associated with increased hazards for MACCE, mortality, or readmission in multivariable modeling. In sub-analyses, neither increasing troponin as a continuous variable nor peak troponin >10.00ng/mL were associated with increased hazards for these outcomes. Conclusions: Higher preoperative troponin levels are associated with longer lengths of stay but not MACCE or mortality following CABG. Dictating timing of CABG for NSTEMI based on peak troponin does not appear to be warranted.
Background. Right ventricular failure (RVF) is a severe event that increases perioperative mortality after Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) implantation. RV function is particularly affected by the LVAD speed by changing RV preload and afterload as well as the position of the interventricular septum. However, there are no studies focusing on the relationship between pump speed optimization and risk factors for development of lateRVF. Methods. Between 2015 and 2019,50 consecutive patients received LVAD implantation at San Camillo Hospital in Rome. Of these, 38 who underwent pump speed optimization were included. Post optimization hemodynamic data were collected. We assessed: a new Hemodynamic Index (HI), calculated as follows HI=MAP x PCWP/CVP x RPM set/RPM max; risk factors for late RVF, which was defined as the requirement for 7 days or more of inotropic support. Results 10 patients had late RVF after LVAD implantation. 5 patients required diuretic therapy and speed optimization. In 3 patients inotropic support with adrenaline 0.05 g/kg/min was started. 2 patients required prolonged continuous veno-venous hemofiltration and high dosage inotropic support. Multivariate analysis revealed that a low HI (odds ratio 11.5, 95 % confidence interval,1.85-65.5,p[.003] was an independent risk factor for late RVF after LVAD implantation. Conclusion A low HI, according to our study, is a significant risk factor for the development of RVF after LVAD implantation. We suggest adopting this index during the follow-up to stratify the different hemodynamic profiles and modify the therapeutic strategies according to the different HI levels obtained for every single patient.
Background and aim of the study: We report our one-year single-center experience of a new technique of aortic valve replacement using a rapid-deployment valve (RD-AVR) to avoid postoperative complications. We also report the unexpected pitfalls and handling techniques that we have seen in past cases. Methods: We performed aortic valve replacement on 38 patients between May 2019 and April 2020. Their mean age was 74 years. The primary outcomes were in-hospital mortality and short-term results during a one-year follow-up period, while the secondary outcomes were related to prosthetic valve function, especially paravalvular leakage (PVL). We further analyzed the relationship between the new technique and its outcomes. Results: The mean operative time was 196 min. There were no in-hospital deaths, and the mean duration of postoperative hospital stay was 11.8 days. Valvular measurements using 3-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) were larger and more accurate than those measured using ultrasonic echocardiography Postoperative RD-AVR prosthetic valve function was excellent. However, PVL occurred in 4 cases one week and one year postoperatively and regurgitation did not improve. A gap associated with PVL was identified below the right-noncoronary commissure. To prevent PVL, we additionally stitched this gap in the later 18 cases; there was no case of PVL and no new pacemaker implantation in these cases. Conclusions: PVL is more likely to occur if there is a gap below the R-N commissure, especially in cases with a large annulus; therefore, applying an additional stitch to the R-N commissure is extremely useful.
Introduction: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used as a refractory treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19, but there has been little evidence of its efficacy. We conducted this study to share our experience using ECMO as a bridge to recovery for ARDS due to COVID-19. Methods: All adult patients who were placed on ECMO for ARDS due to COVID -19 between April 2020 and June 2020 (during the first wave of COVID-19) were identified. The clinical characteristics and outcomes of these patients were analyzed with a specific focus on the differences between patients who survived to hospital discharge and those who did not. Results: 20 COVID-19 patients were included in this study. All patients were placed on veno-veno ECMO. Comparing between survivors and non-survivors, older age was associated with hospital mortality (p=0.02). The following complications were observed: renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy (35%, n=7), bacteremia during ECMO (20%, n=4),coinfection with bacterial pneumonia (15%, n=3), cannula site bleeding (15%, n=3), stroke (10%, n=2), gastrointestinal bleeding (10%, n=2), and liver failure (5%, n=1). The complications associated with patient mortality were culture positive septic shock (p=0.01), culture-negative systemic inflammatory response syndrome (p=0.01), and renal failure (p=0.01). The causes of death were septic shock (44%, n=4), culture-negative systemic inflammatory response syndrome (44%, n=4), and stroke (11%, n=1). Conclusions: Based on our experience, ECMO can improve refractory ARDS due to COVID-19 in select patients. Proper control of bacterial infections during COVID-19 immunomodulation therapy may be critical to improving survival.
Coronary ostial aneurysm is one of the complications after aortic root replacement especially in Marfan syndrome. How to reconstruct the coronary arteries is important problems during reoperation. Herein, we report a case of coronary artery bypass grafting using radial artery to repair bilateral coronary ostial aneurysms after aortic root replacement in a patient with Marfan syndrome.
Anomalous Aortic Origin of Coronary Artery (AAOCA) is a rare finding, with varied presentation and symptomatology. Increasingly recognized by cardiac imaging, when found it raises questions about the appropriate approach and management. We present a case of an 11-year-old female who presented with episodes of shortness of breath, angina and syncope during exercise. Further investigation demonstrated episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia on Holter and coronary angiotomography revealed that the left coronary artery had an anomalous origin from the right cusp with initial short intramural segment and significant external compression in its initial course between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. Patient was submitted to surgical correction with dissection of left coronary artery posterior to the pulmonary artery, coronary arteriotomy, roof ampliation with autologous pericardium and creation of neo-ostium in aorta. Patient had satisfactory postoperative recovery, was discharged on the fifth day post op, and remains asymptomatic after six months follow-up. Herein we present surgical video and postoperative echo and CT scan.
Objective: Although elderly patients undergoing surgery for acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) is increasing, their physical activities are not fully understood. We report the physical activities and surgical outcomes in the elderly patients who underwent ATAAD. Methods: From 2009 to 2019, 103 consecutive patients underwent surgery for ATAAD at our institution. Surgical outcomes along with pre- and postoperative physical activities in 52 elderly patients (≥70 years old) were compared with those in 51 younger patients (<70 years old). Postoperative walking difficulty was defined as taking ≥30 days to regain the ability to walk 200 m postoperatively or as the inability to walk at discharge. Results: It took longer for elderly patients to regain the ability to walk 100 or 200 m postoperatively. ROC analysis revealed the AUC of the duration for walking 200 m postoperatively as a prognostic indicator for late deaths was 0.878, with the highest accuracy at 30 days (sensitivity = 83.3%, specificity = 91.8%). Hospital mortality within 30 days was 3.8%, and 1-, 3-, and 5-years survival rates were 92%, 84.7%, 84.7%, respectively, for elderly patients, with no significant differences between groups. Cox proportional hazard analysis showed postoperative walking difficulty was an independent risk factor for late mortality in all cohorts (P = 0.017). Conclusions: Elderly patients undergoing surgical ATAAD repair showed acceptable surgical outcomes. However, they were more likely to decrease their physical activities postoperatively. Postoperative difficulty in walking was an independent risk factor for the late mortality in patients with ATAAD.
Patients with aortic dissection during pregnancy and postpartum period exhibit high mortality. At present, a complete overview of aortic dissection during pregnancy and postpartum period is lacking. This systematic review includes 80 reports published from 2000-2020, comprising a total study population of 103 patients with aortic dissection. It was suggested that Stanford Type A aortic dissection is more likely to occur in the third trimester, while Stanford Type B is more likely to occur within 12 weeks postpartum. The most common risk factor was connective tissue disease, with no other known risk factors. Mode of delivery has no significant effect on the type of postpartum aortic dissection. Reduced maternal and fetal mortality was observed when patients with Stanford Type A aortic dissection occurring after 28 gestational weeks underwent aortic replacement after cesarean section. Patients with Stanford Type B aortic dissection were treated mainly with medication and/or endovascular repair. Contemporary management of patients during pregnancy and within 12 weeks postpartum requires multidisciplinary cooperation and includes serial, non-invasive imaging, biomarker testing, and genetic risk profiling for aortopathy. Early diagnosis and accurate treatment are essential to reduce maternal and fetal mortality.
Objective: To assess the impact of surgeon experience on the outcomes of degenerative mitral valve disease. Methods: We reviewed all patients who had surgery for degenerative mitral valve disease between 2011-2016. Experienced surgeon was defined as performing 25 mitral valve operations/year. Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared. Multivariable analysis was performed to identify factors associated with MR recurrence. Survival analysis for mortality was done using Kaplan Meier curve and Cox proportional Hazard method. Results: There were 575 patients treated by 9 surgeons for severe mitral regurgitation caused by degenerative mitral valve disease between 2011-2016. Three experienced surgeons performed 77.2% of the operations. Patients treated by less experienced surgeons had worse comorbidity profile and were more likely to have an urgent or emergent operation (P=0.001). Experienced surgeons were more likely to attempt repair (P=0.024), to succeed in repair (94.7% vs 87%, P=0.001), had shorter cross-clamp times (P=0.001), and achieved higher repair rate (81.3% vs 69.7%, P=0.005). Experienced surgeons were more likely to use neochordae (P=0.001) and less likely to use chordae transfer (P=0.001). Surgeon experience was not associated with recurrence (moderate or higher MR) within the first two years after surgery but was an independent risk factor for mortality (HR= 2.64, P=0.002). Conclusions: Techniques of degenerative mitral valve surgery differ with surgeon experience, with higher rates of repair and better outcomes associated with more experienced surgeons.
Coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease represent a major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite technological advancements in percutaneous interventions, surgical revascularization remains the preferred strategy in patients with left main or multivessel disease and in those with complex lesions with high SYNTAX score. As a result, an increasing number of older patients with diffuse atherosclerotic extracoronary disease are referred for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Cerebrovascular complications after isolated coronary surgery occurs in 1-5% of patients; the magnitude of injury ranges from overt neurologic lesions with varying degree of permanent disability to “asymptomatic” cerebral events detected by dedicated neuro-imaging, nevertheless associated with significant long term cognitive and functional decline. Thromboembolic events due to manipulation of an atherosclerotic aorta are universally recognized as the leading etiology of early postoperative stroke following CABG. Coronary bypass surgery performed on an arrested heart relies on considerable aortic instrumentation associated with significant atheroembolic risk especially in older patients presenting with diffuse aortic calcifications. Surgical techniques to deal with a calcified ascending aorta during isolated coronary surgery have evolved over the last forty years. Moving away from aggressive aortic debridement or replacement, surgeons have developed strategies aimed to minimize aortic manipulation: from pump-assisted beating heart surgery with the use of composite grafts to complete avoidance of aortic manipulation with “anaortic” off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting, a safe and effective approach in significantly reducing the risk of intraoperative stroke.
Background: Expected beneﬁts of modified ultraﬁltration(MUF) include increased hematocrit, reduction of total body water & inﬂammatory mediators, improved left ventricular systolic function, & improved systolic blood pressure and cardiac index following cardiopulmonary bypass(CPB). This prospective randomized trial tested this hypothesis. Methods: 79 patients undergoing intracardiac repair of Tetralogy of Fallot(TOF) were randomized to MUF group(Group-M, n=39) or only conventional ultrafiltration(CUF) group(Group-C, n=40). Primary outcome was change in hematocrit. Secondary outcomes were changes in peak airway pressures, ventilatory support, blood transfusions, time to peripheral rewarming, mean arterial pressure, central venous pressure, inotrope score(IS) and cardiac index. Serum inflammatory markers were measured. Results: Following MUF, Group-M had higher hematocrit(44.3±0.98 g/dl) compared to Group-C(37.8±1.37g/dl),P=<0.001. Central venous pressure(mmHg) immediately following sternal closure was 9.27±3.12mmHg in Group-M & 10.52±2.2mmHg in Group-C(P=0.04). In the ICU, they were 11.52±2.20mmHg in Group-C and 10.84±2.78mmHg in Group-M(P=0.02). Time to peripheral rewarming was 6.30±3.91 hours in Group-M and 13.67±3.91hours in Group-C(P=0.06). Peak airway pressures in ICU were 17±2mmHg in Group-M & 20.55±2.97mmHg in Group-C, P<0.001. Duration of mechanical ventilation was 6.3±2.7 hours in Group-M compared to 14.7±3.5 hours in Group-C(P=0.002). IS was 11.52±2.20 in Group-C compared to 10.84±2.78 in Group-M. 8/39(20.5%) patients in Group-M had IS>10 compared to 22/40(55%) patients in Group-C(P=0.02). Serum Troponin-T and Interleukin-6 levels were lower in Group-M; TNF-α and CPK-MB were similar. ICU & hospital stay were similar. Conclusion: MUF group had higher post-operative hematocrit, decreased duration of mechanical ventilation, lower need for inotropes & lower Interleukin-6 & Troponin-T levels. MUF group had better post-operative outcomes.
COVID-19 and nuclear cardiology: Introducing the ‘’forward” virtual visit Angelidis G, Valotassiou V, Psimadas D, Georgoulias PNuclear Medicine Laboratory, University of Thessaly, Larissa, GreeceWe read with great interest the recent review article by Kaushik A, et al. concerning the potential role of digital health applications in the present pandemic situation . As the authors noted, alternative tools are needed for the optimal management of cardiovascular patients, avoiding unnecessary visits to health care facilities. The severe acute respiratory syndrome – coronavirus – 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can invade the cardiovascular cells, potentially causing life-threatening cardiac impairment . In particular, patients with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases are characterized by a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Therefore, most of those referred for nuclear cardiology techniques are expected to be at higher risk of developing serious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complications. However, the performance of the individually required diagnostic and follow-up procedures is important .Telemedicine applications have been used in public health emergencies, leading to several advantages in terms of safety and efficacy. In the field of nuclear cardiology, the initial evaluation of patients’ history and clinical features can take place remotely (‘’forward” virtual visit). This approach seems to be patient-centred (permitting an adequate case assessment) and conducive to self-quarantine (protecting patients, healthcare professionals, and the community from viral exposure). Importantly, possible clinical presentations of COVID-19 may be evaluated during the ‘’forward” virtual visit, as well as information regarding travel and exposure histories. Moreover, local epidemiological information may be used to adjust screening pattern, and special measures could be developed (such as isolation in dedicated ‘’hot” rooms) for patients with high-risk features. After the performance of the examination, telemedicine applications could be also used for the consultation with the patients.Telemedicine applications may contribute to a better adjustment of nuclear cardiology services under the current demanding circumstances. Of course, no telemedicine programme can be created overnight, but this approach may be of value not only during the next months but also after the end of COVID-19 pandemic . For example, our nuclear medicine laboratory is located in central Greece providing services to inhabitants of mountain villages, and nearby small islands. Consequently, the use of telemedicine applications could aid our practice in the future as well, particularly during the winter months when travelling by car or sea travels may be extremely demanding.
COVID-19 has created challenges for society and the medical community. While the pandemic continues to unfold, the transplant community has had to pivot to keep recipients, donors, and transplant teams safe given these unprecedented times. This has resulted in a decrease in the number of transplants performed in the United States and an increased number of inactive patients on the UNOS waiting list.1 Waitlist and transplant recipients have an increased risk for acquiring COVID-19. It is speculated that this patient population is particularly vulnerable given their immunocompromised status and the high prevalence of comorbidities.2 Given the uncertainty surrounding the risk of transplant patients contracting COVID-19, there is interest in describing these cases in the literature.
Background: There is insufficient evidence regarding the comparison of Rapid Deployment aortic valve replacement(RDAVR) to TAVR in intermediate-risk patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis(AS) Aims: We compare the 2-years outcomes between RDAVR with INTUITY and TAVR with SAPIEN 3 in intermediate-risk patients with AS. Methods: Inclusion criteria: severe AS implanted with RDAVR or TAVR; EUROSCORE II ≥ 4% and clinical evaluation by Heart Team. Regression adjustment for the propensity score was used to compare RDAVR with TAVR(1:1). Primary endpoint: composite criterion of death, disabling stroke or rehospitalization. Secondary endpoints: occurrence of major bleeding post-operative complications, paravalvular regurgitation (PVR)≥2 and patient-prosthesis mismatch(PPM) at 1 month and pacemaker implantation at 2 years. Results: A total of 152 patients were included from 2012 to 2018: 48 in the RDAVR group and 104 in the TAVR group. Mean age was 82.7±6, 51.3% were female, mean Euroscore II was 6.03±1.6% and mean baseline LVEF was 56±13%,mean indexed iEOA was 0.41±0.1cm/m2, mean gradient was 51.7±14.7mmHg. Patients with RDAVR were younger(79.5±6vs82.6±6,p=0.01), at higher risk (EUROSCORE2 6,61±1,8%vs5,63±1,5%, p=0.005), combined surgery was performed in 28 patients(58.3%). Twenty-two patients(45.99%) met the primary outcome in the RDAVR group and 32 patients(66.67%) in the TAVR group. By 1:1propensity score matching analysis, there was a significant difference between both groups in favor of RDAVR(HR=0.58[95%CI:0.34;1.00],p=0.04). No difference were observed in PPM occurrence(0.83;[0.35-1.94];p=0.67),major bleeding events(1.33;[0.47-3.93];p=0.59),PVR≥2(0.33[0-6.28],p=0.46), and pacemaker implantation (0.84[0.25-2.84],p=0.77).Conclusion: RDAVR is associated with better 2-years outcomes than TAVR in intermediate-risk patients with severe symptomatic AS.