Background Porcine aortic roots (PAR) have been reported in the literature with acceptable short and long-term outcomes for the treatment of aortic root aneurysms. However, their efficacy in type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is yet to be defined. Methods Using data from a locally collated aortic dissection registry, we compared the outcomes in patients undergoing aortic root replacement for TAAD using either of two surgical options: i) PAR or ii) composite valve grafts (CVG). A retrospective analysis was conducted for all procedures in the period 2005-2018. Results A total of 252 patients underwent procedures for TAAD in the time period. Sixty-five patients had aortic root replacements (PAR n=30, CVG n=35). Between group comparisons identified a younger CVG group (50.5 vs 64.5, p<0.05) although all other covariates were comparable. Operative parameters were comparable between the two groups. The use of PAR did not significantly impact operative mortality (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.22-3.61, p=0.992), stroke (OR 2.91, 0.25 – 34.09, p=0.395), re-operation (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.22 – 3.62, p=0.882) or length of stay (coef 2.33, -8.23 – 12.90, p=0.659) compared to CVG. Five-year survival was similar between both groups (PAR 59% vs CVG 69%, p=0.153) and re-operation was negligible. Echocardiography revealed significantly lower aortic valve gradients in the PAR group (8.69 vs 15.45 mmHg, p<0.0001), and smaller left ventricular dimensions both at 6 weeks and 1 year follow up (p<0.05). Conclusions This study highlights the comparable short and mid-term outcomes of PAR in cases of TAAD, in comparison to established therapy.
Migration of sternal wires into vital structures is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication. While a few cases have been reported, the sternal wires were broken in those cases. To our knowledge, this is the first report of multiple, non-broken migrated sternal wires stabbing vascular grafts. A 65-year-old woman with a long history of treatment for extended aortic pathology, which included replacement of the aortic root (Bentall procedure, coronary artery reconstruction with Piehler technique), aortic arch and thoracoabdominal aorta, as well as thoracic endovascular repair (TEVAR), underwent mitral valve replacement due to severe mitral regurgitation under third median sternotomy. The postoperative course was uneventful, and she was followed as an outpatient. Two years after the surgery, she complained of anterior chest discomfort. Computed tomography (CT) revealed hemorrhaging around the vascular grafts in the mediastinum and migration of several non-broken sternal wires into the vascular grafts. We suspected graft injury due to the sternal wires, and open repair by reopening the sternotomy incision was performed. During redo sternotomy, massive bleeding occurred, so cardiopulmonary bypass was urgently established via femoral cannulation, and her body temperature was brought down. After careful dissection, tearing of the grafts at both the ascending aorta and left coronary artery was found under circulatory arrest with moderate hypothermia. Polypropylene sutures were placed to control bleeding.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a remarkably challenging health issue that provoked all the health-care providers to contemplate some measures about the situation. All the health-care workers frontline (esp. emergency service, pulmonologists, infection disease specialist and anesthesiologist) have produced recommendations on prevention and taking care of COVID-19 patient (1,2). Whereas, at the second line another important issue is the ongoing healthcare for the continual disease situations.There are two main critical issues on cardiovascular surgery in this pandemic. Firstly, to delay the elective surgeries is essential to sustain the health-care service. Elective case triage is trickier for cardiovascular procedures which are relatively progressive conditions. Definitive decision to defer a procedure should be made regarding firstly to the capacity of health-care system, and then availability of surgical/anesthesia staff, intensive care unit beds, need for isolation beds, ventilators, cardiopulmonary bypass machine, extracorporeal membrane oxygenator, supplies such as sutures, grafts, valves and blood and blood product availability. The patient status should be taken into account to defer or to perform the procedure, as well. Therefore, we developed “Level of Priority” (LoP) statement for cardiovascular procedures (3). Elective cases are defined as LoP I that may be postponed as much as possible. LoP II to IV cases should be reconsidered by individual basis by “Heart Team”. The situations that can be managed by percutaneous coronary intervention, endovascular procedures and etc. may be handled by non-operative manners.The second one is the personal protection equipment and infection measures while dealing with a suspected / confirmed COVID-19 patient. It is obvious that a suspected / confirmed COVID-19 patient ought to be assessed with specific measures for any medical or surgical intervention. Personal protection equipment (PPE) is the most crucial measure during the pandemic. It is recognized that many centers are facing PPE shortages and there are recommendations to re-sterile the masks to be effective for reuse.(4) More measures should be taken into consideration for sterile environment such as surgical procedures. Some added measures such as face shield may be recommended for surgical procedures. The surgical team who scrubbed in, must wear extra equipment such as surgical coat and double gloves. It may be recommended to fix the long-sleeve gloves to the surgical coat by adhesive drapes (3). It is obvious that this kind of working environment with all this equipment is challenging, sometimes irritating and disquieting. One other big problem is the fraught feeling of health-care providers to be diseased or to be contagious for their family. Therefore, health-care providers may need enormous support for burnouts during the pandemic.The other measures such as preparation of the operating room (OR), anesthesiologic management, transportation of patients and disinfection of OR were discussed in the referring article (3).In conclusion, it is important to assess the “Level of Priority” for surgical procedures to support the service of health-care facility. More than that, whole surgical team should be protected by adequate PPE and should take the time to get full protected.
The incidence of mechanical complications of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) needing cardiac surgery has reduced significantly in the last years due to early diagnosis and treatments. Covid-19 pandemic, however, would generate in the patients a sense of fear regarding access to the ERs so they probably underestimate symptoms such as chest pain or angina equivalents until situation does not became critical. In this way, this behaviour could create a vast pool of patients who will enter the hospital in much more critical situations and with mechanical complications of an evolving ACS needing cardiac surgery treatment.
Scimitar syndrome is rare malformation defined as partial or total anomalous pulmonary venous return of the right lung veins to the inferior vena cava just above or below the diaphragm. Severe forms of the disease are diagnosed in infancy and childhood . However, because of the mild form of the syndrome in adult patients, they remain asymptomatic and few cases are reported in the literature. We report an unusual presentation of this syndrome mimicking unstable angina in one of the two described cases.