Background: Type A aortic dissection (TAAD) involves a tear in the intimal layer of the thoracic aorta proximal to the left subclavian artery, and hence, carries a high risk of mortality and morbidity and requires urgent intervention. This dissection can extend into the main coronary arteries. Coronary artery involvement in TAAD can either be due to retrograde extension of the dissection flap into the coronaries or compression and/or blockage of these vessels by the dissection flap, possibly causing myocardial ischaemia. Due to the emergent nature of TAAD, coronary involvement is often missed during diagnosis, thereby delaying the required intervention. Aims: The main scope of this review is to summarise the literature on the incidence, mechanism, diagnosis, and treatment of coronary artery involvement in TAAD. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed using multiple electronic databases, including PubMed, Ovid, Scopus and Embase, to identify and extract relevant studies. Results: Incidence of coronary artery involvement in TAAD was seldom reported in the literature, however, some studies have described patients diagnosed either preoperatively, intraoperatively following aortic clamping, or even during autopsy. Among the few studies that reported on this matter, the treatment choice for coronary involvement in TAAD was varied, with the majority revascularizing the coronary arteries using coronary artery bypass grafting or direct local repair of the vessels. It is well-established that coronary artery involvement in TAAD adds to the already high mortality and morbidity associated with this disease. Lastly, the right main coronary artery was often more implicated than the left. Conclusion: This review reiterates the significance of an accurate diagnosis and timely and effective interventions to improve prognosis. Finally, further large cohort studies and longer trials are needed to reach a definitive consensus on the best approach for coronary involvement in TAAD.
We read with great interest the article by Khashkhusha TR et al “ACE inhibitors and COVID-19: We don’t know yet”. The authors discuss whether the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (ACEIs) in novel coronavirus disease‐19 (COVID‐19) patients is beneficial or harmful. ACEIs and angiotensin receptor antagonists (ARBs) both upregulate ACE2 levels. We believe that ARBs should be preferred since, unlike ARBs, ACEIs may increase angiotensin II through the chymase pathway. We would like to discuss potential harms ACEI may cause through secondary bradykinin-chymase pathways.
While there is significant awareness regarding droplet and contact transmission, aerosols are generally underestimated as a potential mode of transmission of SARS-Cov-2 infection. With the gradual resumption of cardiac surgical activities, the cardiac surgical operating room will become an important potential source of infection to the cardiac surgeon and other healthcare workers participating in the operation. There is also diminished awareness about the different aerosol generating procedures (AGP) in the cardiac surgical operating room. In this mini-review we intend to highlight the various aerosol generating procedures that are common in cardiac surgery. This will help increase the awareness among surgeons to AGP. A practical approach to taking preventive measures have also been discussed.
Background and aim. Classical and paradoxical low-flow, low-gradient aortic stenosis (LFLGAS) are the most challenging aortic stenosis (AS) subtypes. The current therapeutic options are aortic valve replacement (AVR) and conservative management. The matter is controversial because AVR promotes long-term survival, but it is invasive, while no aortic valve replacement (noAVR) in non-invasive, but it is associated with poor prognosis. This meta-analysis aims to investigate the survival rate in patients with LFLGAS undergoing AVR versus noAVR interventions. Methods. A meta-analysis was conducted comparing the outcomes of AVR and noAVR in terms of survival. A meta-regression was carried out to investigate the impact of preserved and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) on survival in both the AVR and noAVR group. Results. The log IRR of survival between AVR group and noAVR group was 0.58 [0.28, 0.87] (p-value = 0.0001), suggesting that survival is significantly better in the AVR group compared to the noAVR group. The meta-regression revealed that low LVEF is related to higher survival rates in the AVR group (p-value = 0.04) when compared to preserved LVEF. LVEF has no impact on survival in the noAVR group (p-value = 0.18). Conclusions. Patients with LFLGAS have better survival in the AVR group rather than in the noAVR group. Reduced LVEF was related to better survival than preserved LVEF in the AVR, and no difference between low and preserved LVEF was found in the noAVR group.
OBJECTIVE. For many years, functional tricuspid regurgitation (FTR) was considered negligible after treatment of left-sided heart valve surgery. The aim of the present network meta-analysis is to summarize the results of four approaches in order to establish the possible gold standard. METHODS A systematic search was performed to identify all publications reporting the outcomes of four approach for FTR, not tricuspid annuloplasty (no TA), suture annuloplasty (SA), flexible (FRA), rigid rings (RRA). All studies reporting at least one the four endpoints (early and late mortality, early and late moderate or more TFR) were included in a Bayesian network meta-analysis. RESULTS There were 31 included studies with 9,663 patients. Aggregate early mortality was 5.3% no TA, 7.2% SA, 6.6% FRA and 6.4% RRA; Early TR moderate-or-more was 9.6%, 4.8%, 4.6% and 3.8%; Late mortality was 22.5%, 18.2%, 11.9% and 11.9%; Late TR moderate-or-more was 27.9%, 18.3%, 14.3% and 6.4%. Rigid or semirigid ring annuloplasty was the most effective approach for decreasing the risk of late moderate or more FTR (–85% vs. no TA; –64% vs. SA; –32% vs. FRA). Concerning late mortality, no significant differences were found among different surgical approaches, however, flexible or rigid rings reduced significantly the risk of late mortality (78% and 47%, respectively) compared with not performing TA mortality. No differences were found for early outcomes. CONCLUSIONS. Ring annuloplasty seems to offer better late outcomes compare to either suture annuloplasty or not performing TA. In particular rigid or semirigid rings provides more stable FTR across time.
The coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) affected 125 million people worldwide and caused 2.7 million deaths. Some comorbidities are associated with worse prognosis and left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients are probably part of this high-risk population. We report a 31-year-old male patient who developed COVID-19 during LVAD implantation. His postoperative period was complicated by severe pneumonia and mechanical ventilation leading to right ventricular failure (RVF) and inotrope necessity. He experienced multiple complications, but eventually recovered. We present a systematic review of LVAD recipients and COVID-19. Among 14 patients, the mean age was 62.7 years, 78.5% were male. Five patients (35.7%) required mechanical ventilation and 3 patients (21.4%) died. Two patients (14.2%) had thromboembolic events. This case and systematic review suggest LVAD recipients are at particular risk of unfavorable outcomes and they may be more susceptible to RVF in the setting of COVID-19, particularly during perioperative period.
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%.
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.
The Perceval Valve is a true sutureless aortic bioprosthesis. Overall, excellent performances have been demonstrated in terms of hemodynamic outcomes, safety and versatility of use; furthermore, as a sutureless valve option, it has shown to reduce the surgical burden, shortening the operative times and simplifying minimally invasive procedures. Since the valve has got a high frame profile, the recommended implantation technique requires a high and transverse aortotomy. In case of unplanned Perceval valve implantation, when an extended aortotomy is required, we have come up with a simple technique to reshape the aortic root before the valve is delivered in place: symmetry is pivotal to prevent folding issues and to improve the annular sealing. Although we discuss an out-of-recommendation use, in our experience that technique has shown to be safe and effective.
Background. Right ventricular failure (RVF) is a severe event that increases perioperative mortality after Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) implantation. RV function is particularly affected by the LVAD speed by changing RV preload and afterload as well as the position of the interventricular septum. However, there are no studies focusing on the relationship between pump speed optimization and risk factors for development of lateRVF. Methods. Between 2015 and 2019,50 consecutive patients received LVAD implantation at San Camillo Hospital in Rome. Of these, 38 who underwent pump speed optimization were included. Post optimization hemodynamic data were collected. We assessed: a new Hemodynamic Index (HI), calculated as follows HI=MAP x PCWP/CVP x RPM set/RPM max; risk factors for late RVF, which was defined as the requirement for 7 days or more of inotropic support. Results 10 patients had late RVF after LVAD implantation. 5 patients required diuretic therapy and speed optimization. In 3 patients inotropic support with adrenaline 0.05 g/kg/min was started. 2 patients required prolonged continuous veno-venous hemofiltration and high dosage inotropic support. Multivariate analysis revealed that a low HI (odds ratio 11.5, 95 % confidence interval,1.85-65.5,p[.003] was an independent risk factor for late RVF after LVAD implantation. Conclusion A low HI, according to our study, is a significant risk factor for the development of RVF after LVAD implantation. We suggest adopting this index during the follow-up to stratify the different hemodynamic profiles and modify the therapeutic strategies according to the different HI levels obtained for every single patient.
It is known that LIMA-to-LAD is the major determinant of the patient’s prognosis and long term survival for a large percentage of the population with coronary artery disease Off pump, minimally invasive LIMA-to-LAD provides excellent long-term results ). As Awad et al state, this pandemic has disrupted and challenged delivery of health care services worldwide ). LIMA-to-LAD can be performed with minimal resources in an isolated area from COVID-19 facilities within the hospital.Hybrid treatment of coronary heart disease is another option for patients under these circumstances . Surgeons must take the lead and play an active role in the decision process. . As the authors conclude, given fluidity of the current situation, there is need for new processes and clinical decision – making that will allow patients to receive appropriate treatment,
Background: There is emerging evidence to support pre-emptive thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) intervention for uncomplicated type B aortic dissection (unTBAD). Pre-emptive intervention would be particularly beneficial in patients that have a higher baseline risk of progressing to complicated TBAD (coTBAD). There remains debate on the optimal clinical, laboratory, morphological and radiological parameters which would identify the highest-risk patients that would benefit most from pre-emptive TEVAR. Aim: This review summarises evidence on the clinical, laboratory, and morphological parameters that increase the risk profiles of unTBAD patients. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was carried out on multiple electronic databases including PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid and Scopus in order to collate all research evidence on the the clinical, laboratory, and morphological parameters that increase the risk profiles of unTBAD patients Results: At present, there are no clear clinical guidelines using risk-stratification to inform the selection of unTBAD patients for TEVAR. However, there are noticeable literature trends that can assist with the identification of the most at-risk unTBAD patients. Patients are at particular risk when they have refractory pain and/or hypertension, elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), larger aortic diameter and larger entry tears. These risks should be considered alongside factors that increase the procedural risk of TEVAR to create a well-balanced approach. Advances in biomarkers and imaging are likely to identify more pertinent parameters in future to optimise the development of balanced, risk-stratified treatment protocols. Conclusion: There are a variety of risk profiling parameters that can be used to identify the high-risk unTBAD patient, with novel biomarkers and imaging parameter emerging. Longer-term evidence verifying these parameters would be ideal. Further randomized controlled trials and multicentre registry analyses are also warranted to guide risk-stratified selection protocols.
Over the last two decades, the medical community witnessed an outstanding and accelerated development on minimally invasive therapies. With the dorsal spine of supportive data from large randomized control trials, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), aortic and mitral valve-in-valve, mechanical circulatory support and peripheral endovascular interventions all share the need of accessing a vascular bed with a large bore catheter. Nevertheless, to date, there has yet to be a universal consensus on defining large-bore vascular access (LBVA) in the world of transcatheter therapies. We explore the evolution, characteristics and vascular compatibility of the current commercially available devices, analyze the devices along with access site-specific complications rates and finally review the present methods for percutaneous vascular closure.
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.
Under the unprecedented pressures of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there is an urgent requisite for successful strategies to safely deliver cardiac surgery. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first described in early December 2019, and the rapid spread and emergence of this virus has caused significant disruptions in the delivery of healthcare services worldwide.1,2 In particular, provision of cardiac surgery has been disproportionally affected due to reallocation of intensive care resources, such as ventilators.2Additionally, patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease are likely to have comorbidities which are associated with poorer clinical outcomes in confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases.3,4 Despite this, Yandrapalli and colleagues have reported the first case of a successful coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) operation in a patient with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, which offers insights into how cardiac surgery could be adapted to solve the challenges of this pandemic.5In response to the burden of COVID-19 on healthcare systems in the United Kingdom (UK), elective cardiac surgeries have been delayed owing to the redistribution of intensive care resources and the unquantifiable risk of acquiring COVID-19.2 Likewise, cardiac surgery services have undergone structural remodelling into a centralised system in an attempt to continue provisions of emergency surgery alongside hospital management of COVID-19 patients.2Unsurprisingly, most cardiac surgery units across the globe have seen a sharp decline in surgeries as a result, and one unit reported an 83% reduction in cardiac index cases between 23rd March to 4th May 2020.2 Similar models have been used in Europe to manage healthcare services and increase intensive care capacity. For example in the Lombardy region of Italy, 16 out of 20 cardiac surgical units discontinued services and all urgent cases have been consequently diverted to the remaining four units for centralised services.6 Whilst these measures have been beneficial for supporting the focused management of COVID-19 patients, it is important to reflect upon the future consequences of delayed elective cardiac surgery. Indeed, such patients are likely to have progressive conditions and further work is needed to investigate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on mortality and morbidity in this cohort.The case report by Yandrapalli and colleagues highlight the importance of routine SARS-CoV-2 testing for all patients requiring cardiac surgery, especially for detecting asymptomatic or subclinical infections.5 Active SARS-CoV-2 infection may precipitate an overproduction of early response proinflammatory cytokines in post-operative period, leading to unfavourable surgical outcomes.7,8 Moreover, preliminary studies have shown that patients with established cardiovascular diseases may have a greater risk of increased SARS-CoV-2 infection severity and prognosis.9 Taken together, assessment for active infection is crucial for risk stratification. In addition, clinicians should consider the threshold for surgery when selecting patients for cardiac surgery. An international, multi-centre cohort study by COVIDSurg Collaborative which included 1128 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients undergoing a broad range of surgeries revealed that 30-day mortality risk was significantly associated with the patient demographics of male sex, an age of 70 years or older, and poor preoperative physical health status.10 Collectively, the risks and benefits of cardiac surgery should be carefully considered in such patients due to higher mortality risk.10Alternative therapeutic procedures with rapid discharge, such as percutaneous intervention or medical therapy, may be more appropriate to reduce SARS-CoV-2 related mortality and nosocomial infection risk.11Current evidence is limited for postoperative outcomes in cardiac surgery cases. In the aforementioned cohort study by COVIDSurg Collaborative, the 30-day mortality rate was 23.8%.10In addition, the study reported that 51.2% of patients had postoperative pulmonary complications, which was associated with a higher mortality rate of 38.0%.10 In another case report describing an emergency CABG operation, the asymptomatic patient succumbed to pulmonary complications arising from a SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed postoperatively.12 The authors acknowledge that the undiagnosed infection may have triggered a refractory pathological response after cardiac surgery. Indeed, recent literature has suggested that patients with SARS-CoV-2 are at higher risk of developing thromboembolisms, possibly mediated by the interaction with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors.13Similarly, there is a consensus that SARS-CoV-2 has direct adverse effects on the myocardium due to high expression of ACE2.14 As such, SARS-CoV-2 can potentially trigger multisystem complications which require vigilant monitoring, especially in patients requiring cardiopulmonary bypass and at high risk of developing thromboembolisms. Cardiac surgery patients represent a vulnerable patient population, and this cohort may experience worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection based on the current available evidence. In the latest recommendation, UK currently advises all patients who are listed for elective cardiac surgery to self-isolate for 14 days prior to surgery date, in a measure to limit and contain the exposure of such cohort to the smallest possibilities of acquiring COVID-19.Currently, the future of cardiac surgery after the pandemic is unclear as the evidence is still emerging. However, the lessons learnt from these unprecedented times can be taken forward to inform future service planning. Moving forwards, routine screening of patients for SARS-CoV-2 infection will undoubtedly play a key role in identifying asymptomatic or subclinical infections. The preoperative UK National Health Service testing recommendations should be broadened so that all patients undergoing cardiac surgery are screened, given the higher risk of postoperative complications in this population. Similarly, repeat testing is important for monitoring patients for concomitant infections. Alongside changes to hospital protocol, service delivery will inevitably shift. The successful application of telemedicine during the pandemic has already been reported in the delivery of oncology services.15 Moreover, the benefits of telecardiology outside of the COVID-19 era have been previously reported, and cardiology services will likely embrace the utilisation of telemedicine for managing outpatient consultations.16 Units will also have to address the vast backlog of surgeries caused by cancellation of elective cardiac operations in a sustainable manner, with adequate hospital space and personal protective equipment availability.17 In order to resume success services, planning for this eventuality should begin now and patients at significant mortality risk due to delayed surgery need to be prioritised.Ultimately, clear guidelines should be implemented to ensure safe resumption of surgical services, whilst also reassuring patients concerned about safety.3 Whilst the future trajectory of this pandemic is uncertain, the insights from the impact of COVID-19 on cardiac surgery will undoubtedly shape the future delivery of cardiac surgery.
A 22-year-old immunocompetent female with a history of small pericardial effusion while infant presented with fever and hemodynamic collapse four days after facial trauma. She was found to have cardiac tamponade secondary to infected chylopericardium from bacterial translocation. We report this very unusual case and review of the literature on chylopericardium infections.
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.
Introduction. In this prospective multicenter analysis, we aimed to investigate the predictive role of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in permanent pacemaker implantation (PPI) in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Material and methods. 179 consecutive patients without previous PPI underwent TAVR from February 2017 to September 2021. Patients were further divided based on presence (n=48) and absence of conduction abnormalities (CAs) at hospital admission (n=131). Results . In patients with previous CAs, NLR values did not differ significantly between patients requiring PPI (n=16, 33%) and those not requiring it. In contrast, in patients with no CAs at hospital admission, NLR values measured at admission and on TAVR day were significantly higher in patients requiring PPI (n=17, 13%) (4.07±3.22 vs 3.01±1.47, p=0.025, and 10.81±7.81 vs 5.84±3.78, p=0.000, respectively). Multivariable analysis showed that NLR at TAVR day was an independent predictor of PPI in patients without CAs (OR 1.294; 95% CI 1.028-1.630; p=0.028), but not in those with previous CAs. ROC curve analysis showed that the cut point was a NLR value of >7.25. Time to PPI was delayed till 21 days in patients without CAs. Conclusions. In this prospective study, higher NLR values on the day of TAVR day were associated with an increased PPI rate in patients undergoing TAVR with no previous CAs. It is advisable, being inflammation part of the process, to prolong the time of observation for all patients without CAs till at least 21 days not to miss any new CA necessitating PPI.