Cardiac Transplantation as Surgical Treatment for Cardiac Sarcoidosis Ali Ghodsizad MD, PhD, FACC, FETCS, FACSSarcoidosis is a complex disease with different clinical presentations that can involve multiple organs (1). The lung is typically the most common organ involved, multiple organ involvements with pulmonary and cardiac sarcoidosis account for most of the morbidity and mortality observed with this disease (1). Cardiac sarcoidosis presents as a progressive infiltrative cardiomyopathy that can lead to heart failure, arrhythmia and death (1).Here McGoldrick and colleagues report on their database study with data from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) involving 289 cardiac sarcoidosis patients with end stage restrictive cardiomyopathy, who needed cardiac transplantation and compared them with all non-sarcoid patients undergoing cardiac transplantation for restrictive cardiomyopathy and end stage heart failure of other causes between Jan 1999 to March 2020 (n=41447).Patients with cardiac sarcoidosis had a comparable survival to non-sarcoid patients at 1 and 5 years and a significantly longer survival at up to 10 years.Patients with cardiac sarcoidosis had an increased chance to die from aspergillus infections at 1 year. Jackson et al showed in their multicenter trial comparable survival, rate of graft failure, and incidence of treated rejection at 1 year when compared to matched non-sarcoid patients. Sarcoid patients after heart transplantation were less likely to be hospitalized for infection in their study at 1 year (2). Liu et al performed a similar UNOS data base study showing that cardiac sarcoidosis heart transplant recipients were an older population with less underlying co-morbidities with a lower overall mortality (3).The diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis in patients who undergo left ventricular assist device implantation can be confirmed by histological examination of myocardium at the time of ventricular assist device insertion, but unclear is the predictive value (4,5).McGoldrick and colleagues excluded patients who required multiorgan transplantation in all 3 groups and we have to consider that multiorgan recipients belong to the sickest subpopulation.McGoldrick et al and other groups confirm the role of cardiac transplantation as a viable option for patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. Considering the increasing number of the cardiac transplantation for sarcoidosis in recent years, the 10 years survival data may have to be reevaluated with more follow up time in future.
Purpose: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a refractory treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, also referred to as COVID-19). We conducted this study to compare the outcomes of influenza patients treated with veno-venous-ECMO (VV-ECMO) to COVID-19 patients treated with VV-ECMO, during the first wave of COVID-19. Materials and Methods: Patients in our institution with ARDS due to COVID-19 or influenza who were placed on ECMO between August 1, 2010 and September 15, 2020 were included in this comparative, retrospective study. To improve homogeneity, only VV -ECMO patients were analyzed. The clinical characteristics and outcomes were extracted and analyzed. Results: 28 COVID-19 patients and 17 influenza patients were identified and included. ECMO survival rates were 68% (19/28) in COVID-19 patients and 94% (16/17) in influenza patients (p=0.04). 30-day survival rates after ECMO decannulation were 54% (15/28) in COVID-19 patients and 76% (13/17) in influenza patients (p=0.13). COVID-19 patients spent a longer time on ECMO compared to flu patients (21 days vs. 12 days, p=0.025), and more COVID-19 patients (26/28 vs. 2/17) were on immunomodulatory therapy prior to ECMO initiation (p<0.001). COVID-19 patients had higher rates of new infections during ECMO (50% vs. 18%, p=0.03) and bacterial pneumonia (36% vs 6%, p=0.024). Conclusions: COVID-19 patients who were treated in our institution with VV-ECMO had statistically lower ECMO survival rates than influenza patients. It is possible that COVID-19 immunomodulation therapies may increase the risk of other superimposed infections.
The authors successfully utilize the bidirectional Glenn procedure to palliate late presenting, cyanotic patients with complex congenital heart disease. Additional information regarding preoperative diagnostic testing would be helpful. There is little information regarding patient screening and selection for the procedure. The short term results are satisfactory, however, mid-term and longer follow-up data is lacking. The treatment algorithm suggested by the report might be useful in other settings.
The authors report an exceptionally rare patient with findings of a bicuspid aortic valve in conjunction with a mature cystic teratoma in a middle-aged male presenting for symptomatic chest pain. Surgical resection and valve replacement were performed, confirming the rare cardiac tumor. While certainly interesting, this case highlights the importance of maintaining a broad differential diagnosis and the appropriate work-up, treatment and considerations for such rare pathology.
Meticulous transfer of coronary arteries is of crucial importance in transposition of great arteries and determines the success of the switch procedure. This report describes a coronary anatomy consisting of four separate ostia from the two facing sinuses in a six-month-old infant presenting with d-transposition of great arteries and ventricular septal defect. Being a rare coronary arterial pattern not described in previous coding systems, the surgeon would do well to be aware of this possibility while performing the switch procedure.
A 44‑year‑old male patient was referred to our department with unremarkable physical examination and laboratory data due to a mass which was incidentally found in the right atrial during a routine examination.Transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography revealed a 46×30 mm, well-delimited, non-mobile mass in the superior portion of the right atrium. Besides the intracardiac mass, another low density was detected in adjacent pericardial cavity at cardiac computed tomography ;he extracardiac mass appeared to be caused by invasive growth from the intracardiac mass.An operation was performed through right anterolateral minithoracotomy with the patient under hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass. During operation, it was found that the surface of the right atrium was covered by an adipose mass (30×40 mm; Fig. 2A). Intracardiac mass also showed yellow adipose tissue (40×50 mm; Fig. 2B). Both parts of the mass infiltrated the myocardium. The mass was resected completely; and right atrium was reconstructed by using bovine pericardium pad. After the operation, the pathology confirmed the both intracardiac and extracardiac tissues as lipoma; transthoracic echocardiogram showed the atrial mass was removed completely and the left ventricular ejection fraction was normal . The patient’s postoperative course was uneventful and he was discharged home after 7 days.
Background Use of the Frozen Elephant Trunk (FET) device to manage complex surgical pathologies of the aorta (e.g. acute Type A aortic dissection) has gained popularity since its introduction in the early 2000s. Though the distal anastomosis was traditionally performed at Zone 3 (Z-3-FET), preference gradually shifted towards Zone 2 (Z-2-FET) in favour of improved surgical access and outcomes. This review seeks to elucidate whether proximalisation of arch repair to Zone 0 (Z-0-FET) would further improve postoperative outcomes. Methods We performed a review of available literature to evaluate the comparative efficacies of Z-2-FET versus Z-0-FET, in terms of surgical technique, clinical outcomes, and incidence of adverse events. Results Z-0-FET seems to be associated with a more accessible surgical approach, and shorter cardiopulmonary bypass, antegrade cerebral perfusion, and cardioplegia durations than Z-2-FET. Further, Z-0-FET is could potentially be associated with a lower incidence of neurological, renal, and recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, as well as mortality and reintervention rates than Z-2-FET. This said, Z-0-FET is itself associated with significant challenges, and efficacy in terms of postoperative true lumen integrity and false lumen thrombosis is mixed. Conclusion Current literature seems to suggest that Z-0-FET procedures are more straightforward and associated with lower rates of certain adverse events, however, the majority of data reviewed is retrospective. This review therefore recommends prospective research into the comparative strengths and limitations of Z-0-FET and Z-2-FET to better substantiate whether proximalisation of arch repair represents a concept, or a true challenge to advance surgical intervention for arch pathologies.
Title: Cardiac surgery and healthcare quality: Is the right question being asked?Authors : Abdullah Nasif, MD1/ Saqib Masroor, MD1 1Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toledo Medical Center Toledo, OH USAManuscript: Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery After Previous Sternotomy: A Propensity-Matched Analysis.Disclosure : NoneWord Count : 1381Even though by 2003, Casselman (and many others) had concluded that totally endoscopic mitral valve repair can be performed safely with excellent results and a high degree of patient satisfaction1, less than a quarter of all isolated mitral valve procedures were performed using minimally invasive approach (MIS) by 20162. Conventional sternotomy (ST) remains the approach of choice in the majority of cardiac surgery centers. Since 2011, partial sternotomy has fallen out of favor and right mini thoracotomy (RMT) approach has been the major MIS approach (with or without robotics) for both primary as well as re-operative mitral valve surgery. At experienced centers, the indications for MIS surgery have been expanded to include complex pathologies, reoperative surgery, endocarditis, as well as a hybrid open approach for severely calcified mitral annuli using an open deployment of transcatheter aortic valve3-5.One reason for the slow adoption of MIS has been the lack of randomized prospective trials comparing the conventional sternotomy approach with MIS. Most literature supporting the use of MIS has consisted of retrospective review of series of individual surgeons or centers, which have shown a shorter length of stay, reduced need for transfusions and a quicker recovery2,3. Since these reports came from centers with extensive experience and the fact that initial cohorts of patients undergoing MIS were relatively lower risk patients, these retrospective observational studies were not as convincing in their conclusions, because the two groups of patients were not similar. Only a few propensity-matched analyses comparing MIS vs sternotomy have so far been reported in patients undergoing primary surgery4-6.For re-operative mitral valve surgery, there has been one propensity-matched comparison of 42 pairs of patients undergoing right mini-thoracotomy MIS vs sternotomy from China7. MIS patients had lower transfusions, shorter length of stay and lower costs, while having similar mortality. However, the study had a mean length of stay of 22 days vs 16 days and mortality of 11% vs 7 % for sternotomy and MIS patients, respectively and thus the results cannot be reliably generalized.In this issue of the Journal , Hamandi et al8, reviewed 305 isolated MV reoperations that were performed in a single institution between 2007-2018. Patients who underwent MIS MV reoperation totaled 199, while sternotomy operations were 106. The primary endpoints were operative mortality and 1-year survival with operative complications and length of stay being secondary endpoints. Median age of patients was 69 years with an equal gender distribution. The team performed propensity-matched analysis to compare the two groups.There were 88 well-balanced matched pairs. There was no statistically significant difference in mortality among the matched groups at 30 days (3.4% vs 8.0%, p=0.19) or at 1-year (15.9% vs. 16.5%, p=0.9). Comparing long-term survival rates, no statistically significant difference was found up to 5 years postoperatively. Also, the incidence of post-operative complications such as atrial fibrillation, valve dysfunction or renal failure didn’t show any statistically significant difference. However, intraoperative blood utilization was significantly lower among the MIS cohort (p<0.01). Patient satisfaction was not evaluated as is not possible in a retrospective analysis. Neither was readmission rates and other similar measures which would be important in a value-based care system.The 30-day mortality difference (3.4% vs 8%), while not statistically significant, tended to be lower in MIS patients. 4 patients in the MIS group converted to sternotomy due to adhesions. It is not clear from the manuscript, if the mortality in the MIS group was in some way related to the conversions or not. But based on our experience over the years and from the analysis of this manuscript, we recommend an early conversion to sternotomy if one is dealing with difficult adhesions, rather than risking a long tedious operation and possibly emergently converting to sternotomy. It is also important to note that 75% of patients were discharged home, however readmission rate is unknown. With the advent of value-based purchasing, readmission rates should also be looked at. Overall, the authors should be congratulated on their excellent management of this subset of patients and for taking the time share their experience with us.Propensity score matching is commonly used in evaluation research to estimate average treatment effects.9 The main benefit in using this statistical method is to remove confounding bias from observational cohorts. It attempts to reduce the effects of confounders by matching already treated subjects with control subjects who exhibit a similar propensity for treatment based on preexisting covariates that influence treatment selection. However, it is limited in that it requires the removal of data and works primarily on binary treatments. In this study, by including standardized mean difference (SMD), the authors were able to balance the covariates in this propensity-matched analysis.Other than being a single-center retrospective study, this study suffered from other short-comings of a propensity match study, such as the loss of study power due to the decreased sample size after performing propensity matching. Also, “the surgeon effect” was noted. Since the MIS MV reoperative surgeries were performed by the same surgeons who performed the sternotomy cases, the results may not be generalizable.The question being addressed by this manuscript (and by most other similar comparisons of one therapy vs another) is, “Is MIS better than sternotomy?”Unfortunately, that question cannot be satisfactorily addressed with this or similar studies. Healthcare quality has evolved since its inception in 1999 with the Institute of Medicine report, titled “To Err is human”. In the subsequent report “Crossing the Quality Chasm”11, a high-quality care is defined as beingsafe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. Our healthcare delivery system is changing, and so should our research methodologies. Our analyses should go deeper than scratching the surface with mortality and morbidity data. Most studies, including this one by Hamandi et al, do not even address “effectiveness” adequately in the context of healthcare quality. Having similar mortality and morbidity means that both approaches are equally ‘safe ’. We have little information about other measures of safety, such as readmissions, central line associated blood borne infections. We have not evaluated whether the two approaches were patient centered (Did the patient participate in choosing the approach?), efficient (Cost of care) or equitable.As cardiac surgeons dealing with life and death from up close, we are not used to viewing healthcare from the rather distant 6-pronged quality viewpoint mentioned above. But this is important for a very important reason which I explain below.Individual surgeons and patients may not have the power to bring about a meaningful change in the way we do business everyday. But just like state pension funds pressured oil companies into facing climate change10, big stakeholders like insurance companies and other payers may be able to convince the cardiac surgeons to face the future. For that to happen, quality metrics such as readmission rates, cost of care and patient satisfaction must be looked at and reported, because that is how these stakeholders assess quality. According to some studies7 MIS approach is better in terms of cost and patient satisfaction. Such comprehensive analyses of quality will go a long way in answering a slightly different question than the one posed earlier; “Does MIS offer better quality than sternotomy?”If we want to influence healthcare delivery and have a passion for quality, then our research methodology must reflect the high standards, that we have set for our clinical work. We should also develop new measures of quality besides morbidity and mortality. We have to look at those metrics that have traditionally been ignored by surgeons, but are important for the payers and the hospitals that rely on these payers for their success. As far a minimally invasive vs sternotomy approach is concerned, that question is not going to last for long. Not because one side would have won or the other lost, but because for those that have not yet boarded the train of minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, that train may have already left the station, moving at full speed ahead towards the “percutaneous station”. It is not a matter of if , but when , sternotomy would not be the standard of care for mitral valve surgery. Today’s vascular surgeons save open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm for a very small subset of patients. There is no reason to believe that tomorrow’s mitral valve surgeons will consider open sternotomy any differently for mitral valve surgery.
Background: Frailty influences the postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation; however, a quantitative evaluation method has not been established. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate whether preoperative ESM mass is associated with short- and long-term clinical outcomes in patients with LVAD. Methods: A total of 119 consecutive patients with LVAD were enrolled between January 2010 and October 2017 at a single heart center. The ESM index and Hounsfield units (HU) of the ESM were calculated by computed tomography for preoperative ESM mass evaluation. We then statistically evaluated the in-hospital mortality, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), duration of hospital stay, and long-term survival. Results: In a multivariate Cox regression analysis, ESM index and HU of the ESM indicated no effect on the in-hospital mortality, MACE, and long-term survival. In addition, the ESM index presented a weak but significant negative linear correlation only with the duration of hospital stay (r = -0.21, p < 0.05). In contrast, the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score and preoperative venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (va-ECMO) were significant predictive factors for in-hospital mortality (MELD score: p < 0.001, hazard ratio [HR] 1.1; preoperative va-ECMO: p < 0.01, HR 2.72) and MACE (MELD score: p < 0.001, HR 1.07; preoperative va-ECMO: p < 0.005, HR 2.62). Conclusion: Preoperative ESM mass might predict the length of hospital stay in patients undergoing LVAD implantation. In contrast, it had no effect on MACE, in-hospital mortality, or long-term survival in this study.
Total arch repair (TAR) has become a mainstay of the surgical management of complex pathologies of the ascending aorta and aortic arch, in particular acute Type A aortic dissections (ATAAD). TAR with devices such as the frozen elephant trunk (FET) have been shown to dramatically improve clinical outcomes in such cases. However, TAR with FET remains an immensely challenging procedure, and the risk of debilitating postoperative complications remains high. Spinal cord ischaemia (SCI) and stroke are two particularly tragic adverse outcomes of TAR with FET; it is unsurprising therefore that much research has been done to determine both the underlying cause thereof, and strategies to mitigate this risk. Mousavizadeh and colleagues produced a fascinating systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the relationship between the duration of hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) and the risk of developing complications including SCI and stroke. Their data seem to suggest HCA duration is a key factor in causing SCI and stroke following TAR with FET for ATAAD. However, other factors such as stent sizing and landing zone also contribute. Further prospective research into this relationship is recommended to fully elucidate what truly is to blame for these postoperative neurological complications.
Left ventricular free wall rupture (LVFWR) is a most rare but often lethal mechanical complication of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The mortality rate for LVFWR is described from 75% to 90% and it is the cause for 20% of in-hospital deaths after AMI. Death results essentially from the limited time available for emergent intervention after onset of symptoms. Emergency surgery is indicated and normally the rupture site is easily identified, but it may not be apparent macroscopically, corresponding to transmyocardial or subepicardial dissection with an external rupture far from the infarction site, or already thrombosed and contained. Repair of the ventricular wall is usually achieved either by suturing the edges of the tear or closing it with patches of artificial material or biological tissues, usually using some kind of biological glue. However, several cases of successful conservative management have been described. In this Editorial, I comment on the metanalysis conducted by Matteucci et al, published in this issue of the Journal, including 11 non-randomized studies and enrolling a total of 363 patients, which brings a great deal of new knowledge that can help not only in the prevention but also in the management of this dreadful complication of AMI.
Emergency surgery, blood transfusion, and reoperation for bleeding have been associated with increased operative morbidity and mortality. The recent increased use of direct oral anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications have made the above more challenging. In addition, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) with its associated hemodilution, fibrinolysis and platelet consumption may exacerbate the pre-existing coagulopathy and increase the risk of bleeding. Management decisions are typically made on a case-by-case basis. Surgery is delayed when possible and less invasive percutaneous options should be considered if feasible. Attention is paid to exercising meticulous techniques, avoiding excessive hypothermia and treating coexisting issues such as sepsis. Ensuring a dry operative field upon entry by correcting the coagulopathy with reversal agents is offset by the concern of potentially hindering efforts to anticoagulate the patient (heparin resistance) in preparation for CPB, in addition to possibly increasing the risk of thromboembolism. Proper knowledge of the anticoagulants, their reversal agents, and the usefulness of laboratory testing are all essential. Platelet transfusion remains mainstay for antiplatelet medications. Four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate is considered in patients on oral anticoagulants if CPB needs to be instituted quickly. Specific reversal agents such as idarucizumab and andexanet alfa can be considered if significant tissue dissection is anticipated such as redo sternotomy, but are costly and may lead to heparin resistance and anticoagulant rebound.
Introduction Atrial fibrillation (AF) is frequent after any cardiac surgery, but evidence suggests it may have no significant impact on survival if sinus rhythm (SR) is effectively restored early after the onset of the arrhythmia. In contrast, management of preoperative AF is often overlooked during or after cardiac surgery despite several proposed protocols. This study sought to evaluate the impact of preoperative AF on mortality in patients undergoing isolated surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR). Methods We performed a retrospective, single-centre study involving 2,628 consecutive patients undergoing elective, primary isolated surgical AVR from 2008 to 2018. A total of 268/ 2,628 patients (10.1%) exhibited AF before surgery. The effect of preoperative AF on mortality was evaluated with univariate and multivariate analyses. Results Short-term mortality was 0.8% and was not different between preoperative AF and SR cohorts. Preoperative AF was highly predictive of long-term mortality (median follow-up of 4 years [Q1-Q3 2-7]; HR: 2.24, 95% CI: 1.79-2.79, P<0.001), and remained strongly and independently predictive after adjustment for other risk factors (HR: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.21-1.96, P<0.001) compared with preoperative SR. In propensity score-matched analysis, the adjusted mortality risk was higher in the AF cohort (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.04-1.99, P=0.03) compared with the SR cohort. Conclusions Preoperative AF was independently predictive of long-term mortality in patients undergoing isolated surgical AVR. It remains to be seen whether concomitant surgery or other preoperative measures to correct AF may impact long-term survival.
Infections and pandemics will condition us in an increasingly predominant way regarding diagnostic, medical and surgical activities in all specialist areas; and this particularly in cardiovascular one. Nevertheless in the future the need to cohabit with pandemic events and to be able to continue an elective and not only emergency cardiac surgery program represents an imperative.
Abstract Objectives: There are several different definitions of complete revascularization on coronary surgery across the literature. Despite the importance of this definition there is no agreement on which one has the most impact. The aim of this study was to evaluate which definition of complete surgical revascularization correlates with early and late outcomes. Methods: All consecutive patients submitted to isolated CABG from 2012 to 2016 with previous myocardial scintigraphy were evaluated. Exclusion criteria: emergent procedures and previous cardiac surgery procedures. Population of 162 patients, follow-up complete in 100% patients; median 5,5 IQR 4,4-6,9 years. Each and all of the 162 patients were classified as complying or not with the four different definitions: Numerical, Functional, Anatomical Conditional and Anatomical unconditional. Univariable and multivariable analyses were developed to detect if any definition was a predictor of perioperative and long-term outcomes. Results: Complete functional revascularization was a predictor of increased survival (HR 0.47 CI95: 0,226-0,969; p=0.041). No other definitions showed effect on follow-up mortality. Age and cardiac dysfunction increased long-term mortality. The definition of complete revascularization did not have an impact on MACCE or need for revascularization Conclusions: An uniformly accepted definition of complete coronary revascularization is lacking. This research raises awareness about the importance of viability guidance for CABG.