Given the increased need for mechanical circulatory support and subsequent development of right ventricular assist devices (RVAD), appropriate imaging needs to be described to facilitate care in patients with cardiogenic shock and heart failure. We present three cases in which the upper esophageal aortic arch short axis (UE AA SAX) view on transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was utilized to effectively image RVADs: to confirm normal positioning, to detect and guide repositioning, and to visualize malfunction. These cases support the importance of the UE AA SAX TEE view in RVAD outflow imaging and, when obtainable, should be included in routine RVAD assessment.
Impact of prior sternotomy on survival and allograft function after heart transplantation: a single-center matched analysisPrior sternotomy versus primary heart transplantEditorialE. Potapov, J. SteinIn the presented study, the authors showed that prior sternotomy in heart transplant candidates does not impact survival after heart transplantation (reference). The analysis was performed between 106 propensity score-matched pairs (212 patients).The results of published studies are contradictory and confusing. The small, single-center study published by Sert D, 2020, showed an increased early mortality in HTx recipients with prior sternotomy1, with no increased bleeding risk and a similar 4-year survival. In contrast, yet another single-center study with a similar design –no sternotomy vs. VAD-supported vs. prior sternotomy other than for VAD– published by Gaffey in 2015 showed no differences regarding early and long-term mortality, but a significantly higher risk of postoperative bleeding and a greater use of blood products2. A further single-center study with a comparable number of patients published in 2018 by Still S yet again showed that HTx recipients with prior sternotomy required more blood transfusions and showed an increased incidence in postoperative pneumonia, wound infection, and longer hospital stays. A stepwise multivariable regression model identified prior sternotomy as a predictor of primary graft dysfunction with a subsequently higher short-term and 1-year mortality3. However, in these studies the impact of confounding variables was not eliminated.Having said that, the presented study attempts to overcome imbalances in confounding variables by comparing survival and complications between propensity score-matched patient groups. The matching procedure was based on established risk factors including recipients’ baseline characteristics, donor age, sex mismatch, risk scores, ECLS, PVR, serum creatinine, and serum bilirubin, and ultimately produced 106 matched pairs. However, the benefit of balanced confounders is achieved at the cost of a reduced number of patients and therefore less power to detect differences between patient groups. The lack of significant differences in this study cannot merely be explained by a low power, but is instead due to the similarity of effects: Authors report a 30-day mortality of 5.7 % for prior sternotomy vs. 7.5 % for first-time sternotomy and no impact of prior sternotomy on long-term survival with an HR of 0.87 [95% CI: 0.57, 1.56]. Contradicting the above-mentioned studies, these results do not even come close to indicating a trend towards worse long- and short-term survival for patients with prior sternotomy. This also holds true for long-term survival in the unmatched population of 131 patients with and 381 patients without redo surgery.Now how about a larger registry-based analysis? An analysis based on the UNOS database comprising 11,266 patients showed that prior sternotomy was associated with an excess 3.3 % mortality and higher morbidity within the first 60 days after heart transplantation, as measured by the frequency of dialysis, drug-treated infections, and strokes. Conditional 5-year survival after 60 days is unaffected by prior sternotomy4. Five years later, another group performed an analysis of the same UNOS database (meanwhile comprising 14,730 patients) and showed again that prior sternotomy is a risk factor for worse survival after cardiac transplantation, mainly due to an increased early postoperative mortality5.Why are we interested in knowing the effect of prior sternotomy on post-transplant outcomes? Since a prospective, randomized study is not possible due to ethical reasons, we have to rely on retrospective analyses. From a practical perspective, a comparison is meaningless – patients with prior sternotomy would never be refused for HTx due to this fact alone, even if we knew that morbidity and mortality in these patients may be higher.In our opinion, such an analysis may be performed to identify and support the advantages of less invasive LVAD implantation regarding the outcome of later HTx, as was performed in a first analysis of 46 patients (sic!, the lowest number of patients among the discussed studies) published by Riebandt J, 20216. The study showed that patients supported with LVAD implanted via full sternotomy required more packed red blood cells with no increased risk of bleeding, and subsequently developed more donor-specific antibodies, however, without any impact on short- and long-term survival, similar to the studies discussed above2,3.However, the virgin chest is not comparable to that of patients supported with an LVAD implanted via a less invasive approach, even if no7 or partial sternotomy8 is performed. In either of the groups the pericardium remains intact. Regardless of the technique used, the left pleura is opened, as is the pericardium around the ascending aorta and the apex of the right and left ventricles, and the graft is placed into the pericardial space, causing adhesions making any efforts to suggest, that the HTx in the “virgin chest”is similar to that after less invasive LVAD implantation not appropriate.Finally, the authors should nonetheless be congratulated on their outstanding surgical experience and the resulting very good outcomes in HTx – better than in the majority of centers worldwide.References1. Sert DE, Kervan Ü, Kocabeyoğlu SS, et al. Early and long-term results of heart transplantation with reoperative sternotomy. Turk gogus kalp damar cerrahisi dergisi 2020;28:120-6.2. Gaffey AC, Phillips EC, Howard J, et al. Prior Sternotomy and Ventricular Assist Device Implantation Do Not Adversely Impact Survival or Allograft Function After Heart Transplantation. The Annals of thoracic surgery 2015;100:542-9.3. Still S, Shaikh AF, Qin H, et al. Reoperative sternotomy is associated with primary graft dysfunction following heart transplantation. Interactive cardiovascular and thoracic surgery 2018;27:343-9.4. Kansara P, Czer L, Awad M, et al. Heart transplantation with and without prior sternotomy: analysis of the United Network for Organ Sharing database. Transplantation proceedings 2014;46:249-55.5. Axtell AL, Fiedler AG, Lewis G, et al. Reoperative sternotomy is associated with increased early mortality after cardiac transplantation. European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2019;55:1136-43.6. Riebandt J, Wiedemann D, Sandner S, et al. Impact of Less Invasive Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation on Heart Transplant Outcomes. Seminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 2021.7. Potapov EV, Kukucka M, Falk V, Krabatsch T. Off-pump implantation of the HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device through a bilateral thoracotomy approach. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 2017;153:104-5.8. Nersesian G, Potapov E, Starck CT, et al. Surgical Implantation Techniques of Modern Continuous Flow Ventricular Assist Devices. Surgical technology international 2021;37:263-9.
Background: Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is one of the most common congenital cardiac defects, However, in some cases VSD sites are difficult to expose due to obstruction from chordal attachments and leaflets of the tricuspid valve (TV)(#ref-0006). To systematically review the efficacy and safety of tricuspid valve detachment,( TVD) versus conventional surgical repair ( non-TVD) in the treatment of ventricular septal defect ( VSD) ．This article is aimed to compare the many outcomes from existing studies and provide evidence regarding the necessity of performing TVD. Methods:We searched the following databases: PubMed via NCBI, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (no date restriction),Medline via Ovid (from 1966 to May 2020); Embase via Ovid (no date restriction) and China National Knowledge Infrastructure for studies comparing the efficacy of tricuspid valve detachment (TVD) and other surgical techniques in VSD repair. Cardiopulmonary bypass time, Cross-clamp time; postoperative complications including residual defect ,Postoperative atrioventricular block ,Implantation of pacemakers, tricuspid regurgitation ;Length of stay, Length of ICU stay were analyzed． Results: Only 9 studies were included after selection (Table 1), including 7 retrospective cohort studies, 1 respective cohort study and 1 prospective observational stud，a patient pool of 1404 patients with 374 underwent TVD and 1030 underwent non-TVD procedures,met the inclusion criteria．Meta analysis has drawn to the following conclusions. Firstly, TVD prolongs CPB time (MD=7.75, 95% CI=2.60-12.89, p=0.003) and cross-clamp time(MD=7.77, 95% CI=4.76-10.78, p<0.001) compared with non-TVD techniques in VSD repair surgeries. Secondly, no significant difference exists in LOS, length of ICU stay, postoperative atrioventricular block, implantation of pacemakers, incidence of ≥mild TR postoperatively and at discharge, as well as incidence of ≥small residual VSD after surgery and during follow-up( all P ＞ 0. 05). Thirdly, application of TVD increases the risk of TR during follow-up(OR=2.42, 95% CI=1.55-3.76, p<0.001). Conclusion: VSD closure using TVD technique results in longer CPB and cross-clamp time, and increases risk of TR during follow-up. TVD provides equally viable and safe alternative in treating VSD．
A 61-year-old woman with acute myocardial infarction (MI), cardiogenic shock and Impella CP support underwent emergency coronary artery bypass grafting. Postoperatively venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (va-ECMO) became necessary, followed by Impella 5.0 insertion on 7th postoperative day (POD), addition of right ventricular support by TandemHeart due to inadequate flow of Impella system, which then allowed for va-ECMO weaning. Impella und TandemHeart were removed on 14th POD, 31st POD, respectively. Biventricular decompensation following MI was successfully treated by a sequence of different mechanical circulatory support systems allowing an adaptive weaning strategy.
Objectives Pulmonary atresia (PA) with ventricular septal defect (VSD) and systemic-pulmonary collateral arteries (SPCA’s) has a variable anatomy with regard to the pulmonary vasculature, asking for an individualized surgical treatment. A protocol was applied consisting of staged unifocalization and correction. Methods Since 1989 39 consecutive patients were included (median age at first operation 13 months). In selected cases a central aorto-pulmonary shunt was performed as first procedure. Unifocalization procedures were performed through a lateral thoracotomy. Correction consisted of shunt takedown, VSD closure and interposition of an allograft between the right ventricle and the reconstructed pulmonary artery. Postoperatively and at follow up echocardiographic data were obtained. Results In 39 patients 66 unifocalization procedures were performed. Early mortality was 5%. Seven patients were considered not suitable for correction, four of them died. One patient is awaiting further correction. Correction was done successfully in 28 patients. Operative mortality was 3% and late mortality 11%. Median follow-up after correction was 19 years. Eleven patients needed homograft replacement. Freedom from conduit replacement was 88%, 73% and 60% at 5, 10 and 15 years respectively. Right ventricular function was reasonable or good in 75 % of the patients. Conclusions After complete unifocalization 30/37 patients (81%) were considered correctable. The main reasons for palliative treatment without correction were pulmonary hypertension and/or inadequate outgrowth of pulmonary arteries. Staged approach of PA, VSD and SPCA’s results in adequate correction and good functional capacity. RV function after correction remains reasonable or good in the majority of patients.
The ascending aorta and arch have until recently been one of the last bastions of cardiovascular surgery, where life-threatening diseases impose the need for prompt correction and reversal of the impending adverse prognosis. Though a disease where dogmatic recommendations prevail, with upfront surgical intervention in the mind of every physician, type A acute aortic dissection (AAD) is a subject still blurred by many uncertainties. Endovascular intervention for the treatment of type A AAD are rapidly progressing and utilization of transcatheter therapies in the ascending aorta for treating type A AAD has demonstrated technical success in small studies, low early mortality rates, and relatively acceptable aorta-related mortality rates in the long-term. These findings strengthen the preponderant role of the endovascular heart surgeon on the management of these procedures, where a combination of wire skill training and surgical proficiency encompassing all technical options available makes it distinctive and resourceful, able to provide complete resolution to each multicomponent of this disease in one setting, besides the promptness to repair the inherent complications that are to accompany these interventions. Transcatheter procedures and open surgery are to coexist side by side and to be regarded as complementary rather than competing. Substantial more refinement and technological innovation will be necessary before endovascular repair of type A AAD comes to widespread use, the ideal timespan for cardiovascular surgeons to be involved, and prepared to take on the challenges of leading this new enterprise.
Cardiac involvement of hydatid cyst disease is a rare presentation but may lead to life-threatening complications such as cyst rupture and should be treated surgically A 10-year-old male patient with cranial and complicated cardiac hydatid cyst disease lesions that caused lower extremity peripheral arterial occlusion and aneurysmatic dilatation in the left ventricular apex is presented. Although the patient was in the pediatric age group, the Dor procedure was successfully applied to preserve the ventricular geometry. The Dor procedure for a ventricular aneurysm caused by a cardiac hydatid cyst was rarely applied in the pediatric age group. Inconclusion, this case differs from other cardiac hydatid cysts previously reported in the literature due to the advanced stage of the disease, atypical clinical presentation, and rare complications despite the young age of the case. The surgical method used in treating the patient makes the subject more interesting.
The management of patients with transposition complex in combination with an interrupted aortic arch (IAA) presents a technical challenge to the surgeon to decide which is the best approach to correct both defects. This is a rare disorder and with significant variation in anatomic arrangements deciding on the ideal surgical repair. Over time a single-stage approach to repair has become standard.
Background The European CE Mark approval study and the MOMENTUM 3 trial demonstrated safety and a reduction in hemocompatibility-related adverse events with use of HeartMate 3 (HM3) device. This single center study investigated the real-world experience in HM3 patients since FDA approval. Methods This retrospective, observational study included patients implanted with the HM3 LVAD as a primary implant between October 2017-March 2020. Patients were divided into trial group and postapproval group. Primary endpoint was survival at 6 months. Secondary endpoints were adverse events including pump thrombosis (requiring pump exchange), stroke, renal failure, acute limb ischemia, re-exploratory for bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, right ventricular failure, and driveline infection. Results A total of 189 patients were implanted with HM3 device during the study period. 174 patients met the inclusion criteria: 82 patients in the trial group and 92 patients in the postapproval group. The postapproval group had younger patients, higher pre-operative mean international normalized ratio, and greater numbers of patients with bridge to transplant (BTT) indications, IINTERMACS profile 1, and use of mechanical assist devices (other than IABP) than the trial group. Other characteristics between the two groups were comparable. Overall survival at 6 months in the postapproval group was 93.3% vs. 93.8% ( p=0.88). The postapproval group demonstrated a statistically significant lower incidence of re-explorative surgery for bleeding (10.9% vs 46.3, p=0.01) than the trial group. Conclusion In this single-center study, the real-world 6-month survival in the postapproval group was comparable to the trial results. Further studies are needed to monitor long-term outcomes.
Changes in the heart allocation system have led to transplant programs traveling greater distances for donor organs. At the same time, several new technologies have emerged to provide improvements in donor organ protection when compared with traditional strategies. These new developments have increased the need for a better understanding of risks associated with donor injury related to various types of ischemia.
This case report describes the management of a large iatrogenic ventricular septal defect (VSD) created by the coring device during systemic ventricular assist device (RVAD) insertion in a 16 year-old patient with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries. The VSD was closed by bovine pericardial patch and the ventriculotomy was extended laterally to relocate the VAD sewing ring. After RVAD implantation, patient initially remained cyanotic, potentially due to a tiny VSD patch leak with right to left shunting. Hypoxia was successfully corrected by rescue nitric oxide infusion and patient was bridged to transplant after 91 days.