Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has quickly become the mainstay of treatment for acute aortic dissection, in particular cases of acute complicated Stanford Type B dissection (co-TBAD). Necessarily, TEVAR carries with it the risk of postoperative complications, including stroke and renal failure. As a result, the management of patients with uncomplicated type B aortic dissection (un-TBAD), which is generally accepted as being less severe, are safely managed via optimal medical therapy (OMT) alone. However, despite OMT, patients with un-TBAD are at substantial risk of severe disease progression requiring delayed intervention. The cost-benefit ratio associated with TEVAR for un-TBAD is therefore of key interest. Howard and colleagues produced a fascinating systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the clinical outcomes of TEVAR for complicated and uncomplicated TBAD. Their data suggests that there is no significant difference in in-hospital mortality or 5-year survival between TEVAR for un-TBAD and co-TBAD, although the 30-day mortality rate appeared to be higher in the co-TBAD cohort. Patients with co-TBAD appeared to also be at a higher risk of postoperative stroke and TEVAR endoleak, while un-TBAD patients were at a higher risk of postoperative renal failure. Further prospective research into these relationships are recommended to fully elucidate the comparative efficacies of TEVAR for un-TBAD and co-TBAD.
Objective The Model for End- Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score is a composite number of physiologic parameters and likely has non-linear effects on operative outcomes. . We use machine learning to evaluate the relationship between MELD score and outcomes of cardiac surgery. Methods All STS indexed elective cardiac surgical procedures at our institution between 2011 and 2018 were included. MELD score was retrospectively calculated. Logistic regression models and an imbalanced random forest classifier was created on operative mortality using 30 preoperative characteristics. Cox regression models and random forest survival models were created for long-term survival. Variable importance analysis (VIMP) was conducted to rank variables by predictive power. Linear and machine learned models were compared with their receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and Brier score respectively. Results The patient population included 3,872 individuals. Operative mortality was 1.7% and 5-year survival was 82.1%. MELD score was the 4th largest positive predictor on VIMP analysis for both operative long-term survival and the strongest negative predictor for operative mortality. The logistic model ROC area was 0.762, compared to the random forest classifier ROC of 0.674. The Brier score of the random forest survival model was larger (worse) than the cox regression starting at 2 years and continuing throughout the study period. Conclusions MELD score and other continuous variables had high degrees of non-linearity to mortality. This is demonstrated by the fact that MELD score was not significant in the cox multivariable regression but was strongly important in the random forest survival model.
Background Bicuspid pulmonic valves are quite uncommon, being described in only 0.1% of donor hearts, while pulmonary artery aneurysms are even more rare, having been found in 8 out of 109,571 autopsies. This rarity makes it difficult to characterize the relationship between them. Materials & Methods We describe the case of a 66-year-old female who was found to have a bicuspid pulmonic valve and pulmonary artery aneurysm (5.1cm) on imaging by her cardiologist. Discussion & Conclusion This case raises the question of whether the association between bicuspid semilunar valve disease and vascular wall anomalies are more genetic or hemodynamic. Even on the aortic side, despite the robust association between bicuspid aortic valves and thoracic aortic aneurysms, the mechanism still remains unclear. In our patient there was no significant gradient across the bicuspid pulmonic valve, suggesting that hemodynamics are not the primum mobile of this association.
Background Pericardiectomy for post-radiation constrictive pericarditis has been reported to generally have unfavorable outcomes. This study sought to evaluate surgical outcomes in a large cohort of patients undergoing pericardiectomy for radiation-associated pericardial constriction. Methods A retrospective analysis of all patients (≥18years) who underwent pericardiectomy for a diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis with a prior history of mediastinal irradiation from June 2002 to June 2019 was conducted. There were 100 patients (mean age 57.2±10.1 years, 49% females) who met the inclusion criteria. Records were reviewed to look at surgical approach, extent of resection, early mortality and late survival. Results The overall operative mortality was 10.1% (n=10). The rate of operative mortality decreased over the study period; however, the test of trend was not statistically significant (P=0.062). Hodgkin’s disease was the most common malignancy (64%) for which mediastinal radiation had been received. Only 27% patients had an isolated pericardiectomy, and concomitant pericardiectomy and valve surgery was performed in 46% patients. Radical resection was performed in 50% patients, whereas 47% patients underwent a subtotal resection. Prolonged ventilation (26%), atrial fibrillation (21%) and pleural effusion (16%) were the most common post-operative complications. The overall 1,5- and 10-years survival was 73.6%, 53.4% and 32.1% respectively. Increasing age (HR 1.044, 95%CI 1.017-1.073) appeared to have a significant negative effect on overall survival in the univariate model. Conclusion Pericardiectomy performed for radiation associated constrictive pericarditis has poor long-term outcomes. The early mortality, though high (~10%), has been showing a decreasing trend in the test of time.
Herein, we present a neonatal case of coarctation of the aorta, with aortic arch thrombus confirmed by echocardiography. We performed thrombus removal and aortic arch repair emergently. This critical condition necessitates quick preoperative evaluation with echocardiography. Moreover, postoperative evaluation using computed tomography is reasonable to assess an aortic arch configuration, and exclude the remnant thrombus.
Aorto-Pulmonary Mismatch (APM) in Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) may be accountable for dilatation of neoaortic root and regurgitation of neoaortic valve as late complications of ASO. The manuscript from Arcieri et al. highlights an important aspect about ASO technique: should we approach APM during ASO and what would be the best strategy to do so? Techniques to approach APM at the time of ASO have been published sporadically and are very rarely employed by surgeons. Reconstruction of the neoaorta is generally achieved by trimming of the suture line between pulmonary root (neoaortic root) and ascending aorta resulting in an abnormal dilated and bulky neoaortic root already at the time of ASO. Reduction of the pulmonary root dimension by ressection of a fragment of the pulmonary artery wall possibly results in a more homogenous neoaorta with consequent better hemodynamics. We believe that approaching APM during ASO will have a compelling positive impact in the late survival of the patients with complex TGA.
Background: Aortic cusp extension is a technique for aortic valve (AV) repairs in pediatric patients. The choice of the material used in this procedure may influence the time before reoperation is required. We aimed to assess post-operative and long-term outcomes of patients receiving either pericardial or synthetic repairs.Methods: We conducted a single center, retrospective study of pediatric patients undergoing aortic cusp extension valvuloplasty (N=38) with either autologous pericardium (n=30) or CorMatrix (n=8) between April 2009 and July 2016. Short and long-term postoperative outcomes were compared between the two groups. Freedom from reoperation was compared using Kaplan Meier analysis. Degree of aortic stenosis (AS) and aortic regurgitation (AR) were recorded at baseline, post-operatively, and at outpatient follow-up.Results: At five years after repair, freedom from reoperation was significantly lower in the CorMatrix group (12.5%) compared to the pericardium group (62.5%) (P = 0.01). For the entire cohort, there was a statistically significant decrease in the peak trans-valvar gradient between pre- and post-operative assessments with no significant change at outpatient follow-up. In the pericardium group, 28 (93%) had moderate to severe AR at baseline which improved to 11 (37%) post-operatively and increased to 21 (70%) at time of follow-up. In the biomaterial group, 8 (100%) had moderate to severe AR which improved to 3 (38%) post-operatively and increased to 7 (88%) at time of follow-up.Conclusion: In terms of durability, the traditional autologous pericardium may outperform the new CorMatrix for AV repairs using the cusp extension method.
It is well known that the left internal mammary artery (LIMA) should be the first conduit of choice. Similarly, especially in patients younger than 70 years, other conduits should be search among arterial grafts such as right internal mammary artery (RIMA) or radial artery (RA). If the RA can be harvested in the meanwhile of LIMA harvesting without time consuming, it is well established that former one has to be grafted only on presence of a good run-off. One of the main criticisms moved to the use of RIMA are linked to technical difficulties in its harvesting it. Edgar Aranda-Michel and coworkers tried to answer to the age-old question is “RIMA has to be used in situ or free-graft?” In a retrospective study on 667 patients (442 had free RIMA and 245 had free RIMA) that were also matched through propensity analysis (202 patients per group), they did not find any differences between the two groups in the major outcomes, including heart failure specific readmissions. This finding is consistent with the literature, hence the take-home message is whatever happens, two mammary is better than one.
Telemedicine, telehealth and artificial intelligence in healthcare are becoming commonly utilized in various medical specialties. The article authored by Dr. Aminah Sallam and colleagues in the Journal provides data in support of the cardiac surgical patients, and the caring cardiac surgeons willingness to adopt telemedicine as a method of connectivity between patient and surgeon.
Background: There is limited data to inform minimum case requirements for training in robotically-assisted coronary artery bypass grafting (RA-CABG). Current recommendations rely on non-clinical endpoints and expert opinion. Objectives: To determine the minimum number of RA-CABG procedures required to achieve stable clinical outcomes. Methods: We included isolated RA-CABG in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) registry performed between 2014 and 2019 by surgeons without prior RA-CABG experience. Outcomes were approach conversion, reoperation, major morbidity or mortality, and procedural success. Case sequence number was used as a continuous variable in logistic regression with restricted cubic splines with fixed effects. Outcomes were compared between operations performed earlier versus later in case sequences using unadjusted and adjusted metrics. Results: There were 1195 cases performed by 114 surgeons. A visual inflection point occurs by a surgeon’s 10th procedure for approach conversion, major morbidity or mortality, and overall procedural success after which outcomes stabilize. There was a significant decrease in the rate of approach conversion (7.7% and 2.5%), reoperation (18.9% and 10.8%), and major morbidity or mortality (21.7% and 12.9%), as well as an increase in rate of procedural success (72.9% and 85.3%) with increasing experience between groups. In a multivariable logistic regression model case sequences of >10 was an independent predictor of decreased approach conversion (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.84) and increased rate procedural success (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.00 to 3.84).
Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the longer-term results of bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) repair with or without aortic root replacement. Methods From 1999 to 2017, 142 patients with or without aortic root dilatation who underwent repair of a regurgitant BAV were included in the study. Ninety-four patients underwent isolated BAV repair (Group 1; mean age 45±14 years) and 48 patients underwent valve-sparing aortic root replacement plus BAV repair (aortic valve reimplantation – Group 2; mean age 49±13 years. Median follow-up time was 5.9 years (range 0.5-15) in Group 1 and 3 years (range 0.5-16) in Group 2, respectively. Results In-hospital mortality was 1% in group 1, and 2% in Group 2 (p=0.6). The 5- and 10-year survival was 93±2.9% and 81±5.8% in Group 1 and 96±3.1% and 96±3.1% in Group 2, respectively (p=0.31). Eleven patients of Group 1 (1.7% /patient-year) and 5 patients of Group 2 (2.2%/patient-year) underwent reoperation of the aortic valve (p=0.5). The 5- and 10-year freedom from reoperation were 93.0±2.1% and 77.1±7.1% in Group 1 and 93.0±5.0% and 76.7±9.6% in Group 2 (p=0.83), respectively. At latest follow-up only 2 patients of Group 1 and 1 patient of Group 2 had AR=2° (p=0.7). The cumulative linearized incidence of all valve-related complications (bleeding, stroke, endocarditis, reoperation) was 2.9%/patient-year in Group 1 and 4%/patient-year in Group 2, respectively (p=0.6). Conclusions Isolated BAV repair and combined aortic valve reimplantation plus BAV repair provide good clinical longer-term outcomes with relatively low reoperation rate and durable valve function.
Intimal sarcomas simultaneously involving the right atrium and the inferior vena cava are rare. We report an advanced cardiac intimal sarcoma in the right atrium of a 19-year-old man that was complicated by tumor-related inferior vena cava thrombosis. We initially performed partial tumor resection and vena cava thrombectomy to resolve the circulatory obstruction, because complete resection was difficult due to the invading malignancy and an unclear margin. The patient received adjuvant chemo- and radiotherapy along with anticoagulant therapy. After 3 months, the border of the residual sarcoma was clear, and the patient underwent a secondary complete sarcoma excision (including that of the right atrium) and a suprahepatic vena cava reconstruction. At the 2-year follow-up, there was no tumor recurrence. We conclude that aggressive treatment and a staged complete resection can lead to improved outcomes for advanced cardiac intimal sarcoma with poor prognosis.
Abstract Systemic infections and chronic graft rejection represent common causes of mortality and morbidity in heart transplant patients. In severe cases, cardiogenic shock (CS) may occur and require hemodynamic stabilization with temporary mechanical circulatory support (tempMCS).1 Under these devastating circumstances, treatment of sequelae of left ventricular dysfunction, such as secondary mitral regurgitation (MR) is challenging, especially when surgical repair is deemed futile. In non-transplant patients, interventional mitral valve repair strategies such as the MitraClip system (Abbott Cardiovascular, Plymouth, MN, USA) have been used to successfully treat secondary MR and allow for weaning from tempMCS.2 We report about the first patient in whom profound cardiogenic shock after heart transplantation was stabilized with tempMCS followed by interventional elimination of secondary MR.
Surgical implantation of a complete or incomplete ring to reduce the valve annulus and improve leaflet coaptation is the mainstay of mitral valve surgery. The Cardioband® system (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA, USA) was designed to address the pathophysiological mechanism of annular dilatation through a catheter-based approach. We present the histopathological workup of a Cardioband® device, which had been implanted 21 months earlier in a 34-year-old male with ischemic cardiomyopathy. Device examination demonstrate a well-positioned and securely anchored device. The described tissue reactions may have an impact on choice of device and timing in case of re-do surgery.
In this letter, we commented on several issues of the recent study entitled “Hypothermic circulatory arrest time affects neurological outcomes of frozen elephant trunk for acute type A aortic dissection: A systematic review and meta‐analysis” by Dr. Mousavizadeh et al. We hope to improve the clarity of this research and call attention to the methodological quality of performing a meta-analysis.
Concomitant presence of acute type A dissection and coactation of aorta is rare (1). Levoatriocardinal vein has shown to be associated with left sided hypoplastic lesions as well as with normal hearts (2, 3 ). However, concurrent presence of levoatriocardinal vein with acute type A dissection, severe aortic regurgitation and Coarctation of aortic isthmus was not described. We here described a case of 20 year male presented to emergency department with acute chest pain radiating to back. On evaluation, he was found to have acute type A dissection with dilated aortic root, severe aortic regurgitation, normal mitral valve, severe coarctation of aorta and levoatriocardinal vein. Patient was managed successfully with composite valve conduit replacement of ascending aorta with ascending aortic to descending aortic graft (16mm graft) with levoatriocardinal vein ligation.