Bronchial artery aneurysms are a rare vascular entity. They can have various presentations ranging from an incidental finding on radiological examination to life-threatening hemoptysis. We report the case of a 60-year old woman with three posterior mediastinal bronchial artery aneurysms who presented with unilateral periscapular pain, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and dysphagia. The bronchial artery aneurysms were removed successfully via thoracotomy, with excellent recovery and relief of the periscapular pain. We use this case as a platform to discuss unilateral periscapular pain as an atypical referral pattern for a bronchial artery aneurysm, as well as implications for treatment.
Introduction: In adult congenital patients with transposition of the great arteries originally treated with the Mustard (atrial switch) procedure, the most common reason for re-intervention is baffle stenosis. This may be exacerbated by permanent transvenous pacemaker lead placement across the baffle. Case Report: A 47-year-old female status post Mustard procedure performed at 15 months old presented with a high-grade stenosis of the superior vena cava (SVC) baffle from the SVC to the left atrium, with a nonfunctional permanent pacemaker lead passing through the baffle. A mechanical rotating dilator sheath was used for attempted lead extraction, relieving the baffle stenosis almost completely as a secondary effect, prior to the placement of a 10 x 27 mm Visipro balloon expandable stent in the SVC baffle. Conclusions: Use of the mechanical rotating dilator sheath is an evolving treatment strategy in adult congenital heart disease to minimize the risk of bleeding, trauma to surrounding structures, and death. Its ability to fully alleviate baffle stenosis even when full lead extraction is not feasible or is associated with significant procedural risk further demonstrates its expanded role in this patient population. A multidisciplinary approach and great diligence must be employed to avoid potential complications.
Objectives: To elucidate the impact of regulation of tricuspid regurgitation (TR) using tricuspid annuloplasty on postoperative changes in right ventricular (RV) systolic and diastolic functions. Methods: We enrolled 69 patients who underwent aortic or mitral valve surgery between July 2016 to March 2018 without recurrence. Patients with concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting or a history of previous cardiovascular surgery were excluded, remaining 45 patients enrolled. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to concomitant tricuspid annuloplasty (T: n=12 vs non-T: n=33). RV global longitudinal strain (RVGLS), RV fractional area change (RVFAC), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) and early tricuspid inflow velocity/early diastolic tricuspid annular velocity ratio (tricuspid E/e’) were assessed as functional indices at preoperative, postoperative and 1-year follow-up periods. Results: RVFAC deteriorated postoperatively but recovered at follow-up in group T, whereas that in group non-T showed gradual deterioration overtime. RVGLS and TAPSE showed similar temporary deterioration and recovery between groups. Tricuspid E in group T increased postoperatively and showed significant difference, which was kept until follow-up period. Tricuspid e’ decreased postoperatively, and recovered slightly in both groups. As a result, postoperative RV diastolic function (tricuspid E/e’) showed significant difference between groups. This difference was maintained until follow-up. Conclusions: RV systolic function deteriorated postoperatively, but there was a tendency to improve at follow-up regardless of tricuspid annuloplasty. RV diastolic function may potentially be impaired when TR was regulated by tricuspid annuloplasty.
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.
A 59-year-old male with a history of unstable angina was diagnosed with a myocardial bridge of the left anterior descending artery (LAD) and apical variant hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (AHCM). He underwent unroofing of the myocardial bridge and a left ventricular apical myectomy. Intraoperatively, epicardial ultrasound was used to identify the myocardial bridge with systolic compression of the LAD and confirm resolution of this compression postoperatively. Furthermore, epicardial ultrasound was used for guiding the degree of apical resection of the decompressed heart. This novel use of intraoperative epicardial ultrasound can help guide surgeons preoperatively and confirm results immediately after an operation.
Device embolization is a rare major complication of atrial septal defect percutaneous closures that requires surgical management if non-invasive retrieval fails. We report a symptomatic delayed embolization of an Amplatzer septal occluder device into the left ventricle outflow tract tangled with the mitral valve, complicated with ventricular arrhythmias and cardiac tamponade during percutaneous retrieval attempt. Emergent surgical treatment was performed, requiring combined approach through the right atrium and the aorta for surgical removal.
Pheochromocytoma is a rare catecholamine-secreting tumor derived from chromaffin cells in the adrenal glands. A pheochromocytoma ‘crisis’ (PCC) can cause haemodynamic instability and end-organ damage or dysfunction. An excessive stimulation of cardiac myocytes could lead to myocardial damage with cardiogenic shock (CS). Use of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) might find an indication in this scenario as a bridge to myocardial recovery. We present the case of a patient successfully supported with ECMO (ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) combined with IMPELLA CP heart pump (Abiomed Danvers, MA), for left ventricular (LV) unloading. MCS was used to favour myocardial recovery and avoid cardiac remodeling.
Patient selection and cannulation arguably represent the key steps for the successful implementation of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support. Cannulation is traditionally performed in the operating room or the catheterization laboratory for a number of reasons, including physician preference and access to real-time imaging, with the goal of minimizing complications and ensuring appropriate cannula positioning. Nonetheless, the patients’ critical and unstable conditions often require emergent initiation of ECMO and preclude the safe transport of the patient to a procedural suite. Therefore, with the objective of avoiding delay with initiation of therapy and reducing the hazard of transport, we implemented a protocol for bedside ECMO cannulation. In the current pandemic, this strategy may have additional benefits for the care of patients with refractory acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19 decreasing risk of healthcare worker or other patients exposure to the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus occurring during patient transport, preparation, or during disinfection of the procedural suite and the transportation pathway after ECMO cannulation.
Background and Aim Endoscopic radial artery (RA) harvest (ERAH) is an alternative to open RA harvest (ORAH) technique. Our aim was to compare clinical outcome, patent satisfaction and 1-year angiographic patency rates after ERAH and ORAH. Patients and methods 50 patients undergoing multivessel CABG were prospectively randomized to two groups. In the ERAH group (25 patients) the RA was harvested endoscopically and in the ORAH group (25 patients) openly. Results There were not differences between the groups in preoperative characteristics. Length of skin incision was shorter in ERAH (p<0.001) but there were not differences in the length of RA, harvest time, blood flow and pulsatility index after ERAH and ORAH. Wound healing was uniformly smooth in ERAH and there were 2 haematomas and 1 infection in ORAH. Postoperatively, major neuralgias were present in 5 patients in ORAH and none in ERAH (p=0.05) and minor neuralgias in 11 and 3 patients (p=0.02) respectively. Twenty-four patients in ERAH and 4 in ORAH graded their experience as excellent (p<00001). One-year angiographic RA patency was 90% without intergroup difference. Target vessel stenosis < 90% adversely affected RA patency (p<0.0001). Conclusions In expert center, ERAH has no negative impact on time harvest, length and quality of RA conduit. Moreover, ERAH may provide better wound healing, and is associated with less neuralgias, excellent cosmetic result and better patient satisfaction. RA graft patency is unaffected by the harvesting technique and is excellent when placed to a target coronary artery vessel with stenosis > 90%.
Dear Editor,With great interest, I read the article by Yim and associates1 and congratulate them for the quality of the review carried out on the internal mammary artery harvesting techniques. However, I would like to help clarify some aspects specifically related to the history of this procedure.The skeletonized IMA harvesting technique is usually considered to be newer than pedicle dissection. Actually, when Arthur Vineberg first implanted an IMA in a human heart in 1950, he only separated the arterial vessel from the chest wall. For more than a decade, only arteries were implanted according to Vineberg’s proposed method, and it wasn’t until the early 1960s that William Sewel proposed implanting a pedicle into the myocardium, that also contained the internal mammary vein and other tissues (”pedicle operation”) with the intention of draining excess blood and avoiding the formation of myocardial hematomas.2It is also incorrect to claim that skeletonized IMA harvesting was introduced due to concerns offered by reduced sternal blood flow and potential mediastinitis. In January 1972, David Galbut and his group introduced systematic skeletonized harvesting into their series of patients revascularized with bilateral internal mamary arteries, some time before that procedure began to be linked with deep sternal wound infections. Galbut probably only took advantage of obtaining longer arteries and easier construction of sequential anastomoses.2Furthermore, when Cunningham first described the IMA’s skeletonized harvesting technique in 1992 he specified that to avoid thermal injury to the artery, it was extremely important to keep the cautery setting on low throughout the dissection.3 After this advice, smoke never seems to have been a concern for surgeons, so it was hardly the reason for the introduction of harmonic technology in IMA dissection, which was also initially used in the “open harvesting” technique.4Finally, I consider it curious that this review does not include the semiskeletonization technique, introduced in 19975 and currently used by various groups.References1. Yim D, Wong WYE, Fan KS, Harky A. Internal mammary harvesting: Techniques and evidence from the literature. J Card Surg. 2020;35(4):860-7.2. López de la Cruz Y, Nafeh Abi-Rezk M, Betancourt Cervantes J. Internal mammary artery harvesting in cardiac surgery: an often mistold story. CorSalud. 2020;12(1):64-76.3. Cunningham JM, Gharavi MA, Fardin R, Meek RA. Considerations in the skeletonization technique of internal thoracic artery dissection. Ann Thorac Surg. 1992;54(5):947-50.4. Higami T, Kozawa S, Asada T, Shida T, Ogawa K. Skeletonization and harvest of the internal thoracic artery with an ultrasonic scalpel. Ann Thorac Surg. 2000;70:307-8.5. Horii T, Suma H. Semiskeletonization of Internal Thoracic Artery: Alternative Harvest Technique. Ann Thorac Surg. 1997;63:867-8.Note: The author of this manuscript is not an employee of any agency of the Cuban government; he is only a cardiovascular surgeon in a public hospital. The author of this manuscript also does not represent the Cuban government in relation to this “letter to the editor”.
Background: Despite improved survival and morbidity after durable left ventricular assist device (dLVAD), outcomes for cardiogenic shock patients are suboptimal. Temporary mechanical circulatory support (tMCS) can permit optimization prior to dLVAD. Excellent outcomes have been observed using minimally-invasive dLVAD implantation. However, some feel tMCS contraindicates this approach. To evaluate whether left thoracotomy/hemisternotomy (LTHS) dLVAD placement is safe in this setting, we compared patients who did and did not require tMCS. Methods: Outcomes for patients receiving dLVADs via LTHS were compared among those bridged with ECMO, IABP, or no tMCS. We evaluated demographics, comorbidities, laboratory and hemodynamic data, and intra- and postoperative outcomes. Results: Eighty-three patients underwent LTHS dLVAD placement. Fifty did not require tMCS, while 22 (26%) required IABP, and 11 (13%) ECMO. Non-tMCS patients were primarily INTERMACS 3 (56%), while IABP recipients were mainly INTERMACS 2 (45%). All ECMO patients were INTERMACS 1. Patients with tMCS had worse end-organ function. Operative outcomes were similar except more concomitant procedures and red-cell transfusions in ECMO patients. ICU and hospital length of stay and inotrope duration were also similar. There were no differences in bleeding, stroke, and infection rates. Three- and twelve-month survival were: No tMCS: 94%, 86%; IABP: 100%, 88%; ECMO: 81%, 81% (p=0.45). Conclusions: Patients with cardiogenic shock can safely undergo LTHS dLVAD implantation after stabilization with ECMO or IABP. Outcomes and complications in these patients were comparable to a less severely ill cohort without tMCS.
Cardiac wounds have been described for centuries and still remain often fatal. For a long period of time suture of a myocardial laceration was thought to be absolutely impossible if not sacrilege. It is only at the end of the 19th century that pioneers decided to defy such dogma in desperate cases. Nowadays it seems obvious that a cardiac stab wound require emergent surgery whenever possible. The story of cardiac wounds highlights nicely the change of mind that is required to accept progress and new procedures in medicine.
COVID-19: The heart of the issue Beth Woodward BMedSc (Hons)1, Muhammed Kermali2College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UKSt. George’s, University of London, London, UKCorresponding author:Beth WoodwardBMedSc (Hons)College of Medical and Dental SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirmingham, UKe-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 07947766140Funding: none obtainedConflict of Interest: none to be declaredKey words: COVID-19, angiotensin, ACEiBW and MK contributed equally.
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.