Background. To share the results of a web-based expert panel discussion focusing on the management of acute and chronic aortic disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods. A web-based expert panel discussion on April 18th 2020 where 8 experts were invited to share their current experience with COVID-19 disease touching several aspects of aortic medicine, was performed. After each talk, specific questions were asked to the online audience and results were immediately evaluated and shared with faculty and participants. Results. As of April 18 2020, 73.3% of the 87 participants from 26 different countries answered that overall less than 200 COVID positive patients have been treated in their respective institutions. Sixty-five percent reported that their hospital was well prepared for the pandemic. In 57.7 %, the percentage of infected health care professionals was below 5% whereas 23% reported 5-10% and 19.2% reported between 10 and 20%. Three percent reported to have seen aortic ruptures in primarily elective patients having been postponed because of the anticipated need to provide sufficient ICU capacity because of the pandemic. Nearly 70% reported a decrease of acute aortic syndromes since the start of the pandemic. Conclusions. The current COVID-19 pandemic has- led to a decrease of referrals of acute aortic syndromes in many services. The reluctance of patients seeking medical advice seems to be a major driver. The number of patients who have been postponed due to provisioning ICU resources but having experienced aortic rupture in the waiting period, is still low.
Study aim: To determine the relationship between surgeon and hospital procedural volume, and mitral valve repair rates and 30-day mortality for degenerative mitral regurgitation (MR), in Australian cardiac surgical centres. Methods: 4,970 patients who underwent surgery for degenerative MR between January 2008 and December 2017 in the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) Database were retrospectively included. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses examined surgeon and hospital procedural volumes for associations with repair rate and mortality. Results: Repair rates varied widely by caseload; from 56.7% to 80.4% for lowest to highest volume surgeons; and from 52.0% to 76.1% for lowest to highest volume hospitals. Compared to surgeons performing ≤5 procedures/annum, surgeons performing 10.1-20/annum were more likely to repair the valve (OR 2.91, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.50-5.64, p=0.002), particularly if performing >20/annum (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.62-9.37, p=0.002). Compared to hospitals performing ≤10/annum, those performing any number of procedures >10 demonstrated increased likelihood of repair (caseload 10.1-20/year OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.30-3.20, p=0.002) though odds did not increase above this threshold. Low incidence of 30-day mortality (83 of 4,964, 1.67%) limited analysis of contributing variables; procedural volume did not confer a survival benefit, though mortality rates were lowest for highest volume proceduralists and hospitals. Conclusions: Surgeon and hospital caseload were significantly associated with repair rates of degenerative MR. A threshold minimum of 10 procedures annually for surgeons and hospitals should be utilised to maximise repair rates, and ideally of 20 for surgeons. Mortality was low and may not be significantly impacted by procedural volume.
Objectives: Graft patency and completeness of revascularization were analyzed in patients who underwent off-pump minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting via left small thoracotomy. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the invasive angiography findings and clinical data of 186 consecutive patients who underwent off-pump minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting via left small thoracotomy. The left internal thoracic artery and saphenous vein were used to bypass two or more of three coronary artery systems: the left anterior descending artery, left circumflex artery, or right coronary artery. Before hospital discharge, invasive angiography was performed to assess graft patency and completeness of revascularization. Clinical variables during hospitalization and follow-up were collected and analyzed. Results: All 186 patients successfully underwent off-pump minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting without conversion to sternotomy or assistance of cardiopulmonary bypass. The mean graft number was 2.81 per patient (range, 2–5), and the total number of grafts was 522. The in-hospital mortality rate was 1.6% (3/186). A total of 181 of 186 (97.3%) patients underwent postoperative invasive angiography. Among the 510 grafts assessed by angiography, the total graft patency rate was 96.3% (491/510) [98.3% (171/174) for left internal thoracic artery grafts and 95.2% (318/334) for saphenous vein grafts]. The rate of complete revascularization was 98.8% (510/516) of the total grafts in 180 of 186 (96.8%) patients. Conclusions: Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting using left internal thoracic artery and saphenous vein grafts provides acceptable graft patency and completeness of revascularization for patients with multivessel disease.
Objective: It is very important to accurately assess the transannular patch (TAP) in the surgical treatment of tetralogy of Fallot（TOF）. Methods: 130 patients who were diagnosed with TOF and underwent TOF repair. 112 cases were included in this study. They were divided into TAP group and no TAP group; the values of pulmonary annulus and aortic annulus were measured. GA ratio, PAI, PAAI, the pulmonary annulus Z-score and main pulmonary artery (MPA) Z-score were calculated to do statistically analyze. Results: A total of 112 patients were included in the study.62 cases (55.8%) did not transannular patch, 50 cases (44.2%) undergoing transannular patch. The pulmonary annulus Z-score, main pulmonary artery Z-score and PAI in TAP group were smaller than those in no TAP group (P < 0.05). ROC analysis showed that when the cutoff value of pulmonary annulus at -1.98 ,the area under curve (AUC) was 0.88, the sensitivity was 80%, the specificity was 71%; when the cut-off value of PAI at 0.53 ,AUC was 0.85, the sensitivity was 75%, the specificity was 80%; when the cutoff value of GA ratio at 0.55 ,AUC was 0.85, the sensitivity was 76%, and the specificity was 80%. The area under the PAAI curve (AUC) was 0.85, the sensitivity was 76%, and the specificity was 79%. Conclusion: The predictive effect of pulmonary annulus index as a simple and effective predictor of TAP in TOF radical operation is the same as that of pulmonary annulus Z-score.
Background: Recent reports have revealed better clinical outcomes for extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) than conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).In this retrospective study, we attempted to identify predictors associated with successful weaning off extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support after ECPR. Methods: The demographic and clinical data of 30 ECPR patients aged over 18 years treated between August 2016 and January 2019 were analyzed. All clinical data were retrospectively collected. The primary endpoint was successful weaning from ECMO support after ECPR. Patients were divided into two groups based on successful or unsuccessful weaning off ECMO support (Weaned (n=14) vs. Failed (n=16)). Results: Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that age, CPR duration, ECMO complications, and loss of pulse pressure significantly predicted the results of weaning off ECMO support. However, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that only CPR duration and loss of pulse pressure independently predicted unsuccessful weaning from ECMO support. Conclusion: We conclude that long CPR duration and loss of pulse pressure after ECPR predict unsuccessful weaning from ECMO. However, unlike CPR duration, loss of pulse pressure during post-ECPR was related to subsequent management. In patients with reduced pulse pressure after ECPR, careful management is warranted because this reduction is closely associated with unsuccessful weaning off ECMO support after ECPR.
Background: In this study, we conducted a retrospective review of patients at our institution with noninfectious sternal dehiscence (NISD) after median sternotomy who received thermoreactive nitinol clips (TRNC) treatment during a 10-year period. We compared TRNC patients with and without history of failed Robicsek repair. The purpose of the study was to analyze the impact of previous Robicsek repair on the treatment of sternal dehiscence with TRCN. Methods: Between December 2009 and January 2020, out of 283 patients with NISD who underwent refixation, we studied 34 cases who received TRNC treatment. We divided these 34 cases into two groups: patients who had a previously failed Robicsek procedure before TRNC treatment (group A, n=11) and patients who had been directly referred to TRCN treatment (group B, n= 23). Results: Postoperative complication rate was significantly higher in group A (p=0.026). Hospitalization duration was significantly longer in group A due to the higher complication rate (p=0.001). Operative time was significantly shorter and blood loss was significantly lower in group B (p=0.001). Conclusion: The Robicsek procedure is considered an effective method in the treatment of NISD but, in case of its failure, subsequent TRNC treatment might become cumbersome in high-risk patients. In our study, a previously failed Robicsek procedure caused significantly higher morbidity and additional operative risk in later TRNC treatment of high-risk cases. Ultimately, we speculate that a direct TRNC treatment for NISD is favorable in high-risk patients.
Heart allotransplantation has become one of the methods of choice in the treatment of severe heart failure. In the face of its difficulties, such as the unmet balance between organ supply and demand, the use of xenotransplantation might be an attractive option in the near future, even more with the ongoing progress achieved regarding the avoidance of hyperacute rejection and primary organ disfunction, maintenance of xenograft function and control of xenograft growth. To make possible this translational challenge, some points must be taken into account indeed, and they are the equipoise of human benefit and animal suffering, the risk of unknown infections, a well prepared informed consent, ethical and religious beliefs, and the role of cardiac xenotransplantation in a ventricular assistance device era.
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.
Background: This study investigated the impact of transplanting center donor acceptance patterns on usage of extended-criteria donors (ECDs) and posttransplant outcomes following orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). Methods: The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients was queried to identify heart donor offers and adult, isolated OHT recipients in the United States from 1/1/2013-10/17/2018. Centers were stratified into 3 equal-size terciles based on donor heart acceptance rates (<13.7%, 13.7%-20.2%, >20.2%). Overall survival was compared between recipients of ECDs (≥40 years, left ventricular ejection fraction <60%, distance ≥500 miles, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or human immunodeficiency virus, or ≥50 offers) and recipients of traditional-criteria donors, and among transplanting terciles. Results: A total of 85,505 donor heart offers were made to 133 centers with 15,264 (17.9%) accepted for OHT. High-acceptance programs (>20.2%) more frequently accepted donors with LVEF <60%, HIV, HCV, and/or HBV, ≥50 offers, or distance >500 miles from the transplanting center (each p<0.001). Posttransplant survival was comparable across all three terciles (p=0.11). One- and five-year survival were also similar across terciles when examining recipients of all five ECD factors. Acceptance tier and increasing acceptance rate were not found to have any impact on mortality in multivariable modeling. Of ECD factors, only age ≥40 years was found to have increased hazards for mortality (HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.22-1.46, p<0.001). Conclusions: Of recipients of ECD hearts, outcomes are similar across center-acceptance terciles. Educating less aggressive programs to increase donor acceptance and ECD utilization may yield higher national rates of OHT without major impact on outcomes.
Background: Whether perioperative glycemic control or markers of inflammation is associated with neurocognitive decline (NCD) after cardiac surgery was examined. Methods: Thirty patients undergoing cardiac surgery utilizing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) were screened for NCD preoperatively and on post-operative day four (POD4). Serum cytokine levels were measured and human transcriptome analysis was performed on blood samples. Neurocognitive data are presented as a change from baseline to POD4 in a score standardized with respect to age and gender. Results: A decline in neurocognitive function was identified in 73% (22/30) of patients on POD4. Patients with postoperative leukocytosis (WBC ≥ 10.5) had more NCD when compared to their baseline function (p=0.03). Patients with elevated IL-8 levels at 6 hours postoperatively had a significant decline in NCD at POD4 (p=0.04). Surprisingly, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-2, or IL-6 levels were not associated with NCD (p>0.3 for all). There was no difference in neurocognitive function between patients with elevated HbA1c levels preoperatively (p=0.973) or elevated fasting blood glucose levels the morning of surgery (>126mg/dL, p=0.910), or a higher maximum blood glucose levels during CPB (>180mg/dL, p=0.252), or higher average glucose levels during CPB (>160mg/dL, p=0.639). Human transcriptome analysis demonstrated unique and differential patterns of gene expression in patients depending on the presence of DM and NCD. Conclusions: Perioperative glycemic control does not have an effect on NCD soon after cardiac surgery. Postoperative leukocytosis and elevated IL-8 levels are associated with neurocognitive decline. The profile of gene expression was altered in patients with NCD with or without diabetes.
Aorto-tracheal fistulas are rare and highly lethal, with few reports of successful surgical intervention. We present a 48 year old man with aorto-tracheal fistula induced by radiation therapy for tracheal squamous cell carcinoma. He presented with hemoptysis and chest pain and workup revealed the aorta-tracheal fistula between the posterior aortic arch and anterior distal trachea. He was emergently taken to surgery. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an aorto-tracheal fistula successfully treated with a transverse aortic arch replacement and complex tracheal repair using autologous pericardium with an omental buttress.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ER visits have drastically decreased for non-COVID conditions such as appendicitis, heart attack and stroke. Patients may be avoiding seeking medical attention for fear of catching the deadly condition or as an unintended consequence of stay-at-home orders. This delay in seeking care can lead to increased morbidity and mortality, which has not been figured in the assessment of the extent of damage caused by this pandemic. This case illustrates an example of “collateral damage” caused by COVID-19 pandemic. What would have been a standard STEMI treated with timely and successful stenting of a dominant right coronary artery occlusion, became a much more dangerous post-infarction VSD; all because of a 2-day delay in seeking medical attention by an unsuspecting patient.
Covid has blatantly uncovered the disconnect between the healthcare professionals who have the responsibility for the health of the nation but little of the authority, and politicians and business people who have the authority and political power over healthcare, but none of the responsibility for the health of the nation. The time has come to review this dichotomy and to reinvent medical education in order to empower and train healthcare professionals, particularly mid-career ones, to become adept in the business of medicine; including budgeting, management, leadership, hiring and firing, brand building and other important aspects of running complex healthcare entities. It is no longer acceptable for physicians to accept backseat for non-physician managers and concede their rules and regulations without question. The time is now for health professionals to train themselves and take charge of the profession.
Objectives The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the treatment of patient with aortic valve stenosis is unknown and there is uncertainty on the optimal strategies in managing these patients. Methods This study is supported and endorsed by the Asia Pacific Society of Interventional Cardiology. Due to the inability to have face to face discussions during the pandemic, an online survey was performed by inviting key opinion leaders ( cardiac surgeon/interventional cardiologist/echocardiologist) in the field of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) in Asia to participate. The answers to a series of questions pertaining to the impact of COVID-19 on TAVI were collected and analyzed. These led subsequently to an expert consensus recommendations on the conduct of TAVI during the pandemic Results The COVID 19 pandemic had resulted in a 25% (10-80) reduction of case volume and 53% of operators required triaging to manage their patients with severe aortic stenosis. The two most important parameters used to triage were symptoms and valve area. Periprocedural changes included the introduction of teleconsultation, pre-procedure COVD 19 testing, optimization of pre-tests and catheterization laboratory set up. In addition, length of stay was reduced from a mean of 4.4 to 4 days. Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the delivery of TAVI services to patients in Asia. This expert recommendations on best practices may be a useful to guide to help TAVI teams during this period until a COVID 19 vaccine becomes widely available
Background. We sought to determine the relationship between tricuspid right ventricular (RV) and tricuspid valve (TV) remodeling and late failure of tricuspid annuloplasty. Methods. From May 2009 to December 2015, 423 patients undergoing tricuspid annuloplasty (TA) for functional TR at a single were analyzed. Residual TR was defined TR moderate-or-more at discharge. Recurrent TR was defined TR-moderate-or-more at follow up. RV remodeling was defined RV dysfunction and/or dilatation. Results. Residual TR after TA was recorded in 54. Five-year freedom from TR recurrence was 86.3±2.3% for patients without residual TR vs 57.6±7.6% for patients with residual TR, p<0.001. Evaluating late results of 369 patients without residual TR, following risk factors were identified: preoperative pulmonary pressure, pre RV remodeling, pre TR and TV remodeling, functional mitral regurgitation. Conclusions. Prophylactic tricuspid annuloplasty should be encouraged among surgeons. TA at the time of left-sided valve surgery should take into consideration not only annular size, but also tethering severity and RV remodeling.
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) is one of the more common genetic disorders. The pathophysiology and natural history of the disease have been well studied. Left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction and systolic anterior motion (SAM) of the anterior mitral leaflet can result in sudden cardiac death, progressive heart failure and arrythmias. Surgical septal myectomy for HOCM is the standard of care and is routinely performed through a median sternotomy. Septal myectomy has also been performed using the trans-atrial, trans-mitral approach either directly or with robotic assistance. In cases with severe LVOT obstruction in the setting of only mild to moderate proximal septal hypertrophy, intrinsic problems with the mitral valve contribute. Typically, these are hyper-mobile papillary muscles and or excessive height of the anterior mitral leaflet. Combining septal myectomy with reorientation of hyper-mobile anteriorly positioned papillary muscles has shown to prevent SAM and thereby additionally decrease the sub-valvular aortic outflow obstruction. Our extensive experience in both septal myectomy and robotic mitral valve repair has given us a different perspective in approaching the primary mitral regurgitation in HOCM patients where a combined septal myectomy, papillary muscle reorientation and complex mitral valve repair has been safely performed using the less invasive robotic-assisted approach. Our objective here is to discuss the technical aspects of the procedure.
Background: Mesenteric malperfusion is a complication with a higher risk of in-hospital mortality because diagnosing mesenteric ischemia before necrotic change is difficult, and when it occurs, the patient’s condition has worsened. Although it contradicts the previous consensus on central repair-first strategy, the revascularization-first strategy was found to be significantly associated with lower mortality rates. The aim of this study is to present our revascularization-first strategy and assess the postoperative results for acute aortic dissection involving mesenteric malperfusion. Methods: Among 58 patients with acute type A aortic dissection at our hospital between January 2017 and December 2019, mesenteric malperfusion was noted in six. Four hemodynamically stable patients underwent mesenteric revascularization with endovascular intervention in a hybrid operation room before central repair, and two hemodynamically unstable patients underwent central repair before mesenteric revascularization. Results: No in-hospital mortality was recorded. All four patients with mesenteric revascularization-first strategy recovered with no symptoms related to mesenteric ischemia. Two patients with central repair-first strategy developed paralytic ileus for 1 week; one of them needed explorative laparotomy, but no patients needed colon resection. Conclusion: The revascularization-first strategy in cases of acute type A aortic dissection with mesenteric malperfusion may achieve favorable results. However, in cases with other-major organ malperfusion or having hemodynamically unstable status, the appropriate strategy is controversial. Close evaluation of mesenteric perfusion using multiple modalities and prompt revascularization are mandatory in these complicated cases. A hybrid operation room provides an ideal environment for this revascularization-first strategy.
Background:The advent of TAVR changed the practice for treating patients with severe aortic stenosis. Heart-Teams improved their decision-making process to refer patients to the best and safest treatment. Evidence allowed centers to increase funding and TAVR volume and extend indications to different risk category of patients. This study evaluates the outcomes of intermediate-risk patients treated for severe aortic stenosis in an academic center. Methods:Between 2012 and 2019, 812 patients with aortic stenosis underwent TAVR or SAVR. A propensity score-matching analytic strategy was used to balance groups and adjust for time periods. Outcomes were recorded according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Guidelines; primary outcome being 30-day mortality and secondary outcomes being perioperative course and complications. Results:No difference in mortality was seen but complications differed: more postoperative transient ischemic attacks, permanent pacemaker implantations and perivalvular leaks in the transcatheter group, while more acute kidney injuries, atrial fibrillation, delirium, postoperative infections and bleeding, tamponade and need for reoperation in the surgical group as well as longer hospital length-of-stay. However, over the years, morbidities/mortality decreased for all patients treated for aortic stenosis. Conclusions:Data showed an improvement in morbidities/mortality for intermediate risk patients treated with SAVR or TAVR. Increased funding allowed for higher TAVR volume by increasing access to this technology. Also, the difference in complications could impact healthcare cost. By incorporating important metrics such as length-of-stay, readmission rates and complications into decision-making, the Heart-Team can improve clinical outcomes, healthcare economics and resource utilization.