Cardiothoracic surgery is facing a multitude of challenges in leadership and training on the global scale, these being a complex and aging patient population, shortage of cardiac surgeons, diminishing student interest and trainee enthusiasm, increasingly challenging training obstacles and work-life imbalances, suboptimal job prospects, reports of discrimination and bullying and lack of diversity as well as gap between innovation and technology, clinical application, and training of future surgeons. The survival of cardiac surgery hinges on the leadership attracting and retaining young surgeons into the specialty. Mentoring, leading through example, recognizing the work-life imbalances, adapting to diverse and modern training models and embracing diversity with respect to gender and race, will ultimately be required to create and cultivate a nurturing environment of training and preparing future leaders. The vision for training future generations of cardiothoracic surgeons must rely heavily on strengthening the unity of the heart team. In doing so we can provide the best possible care for our patients and a most fulfilling career for the future generation of cardiac surgeons.
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.
Background: The management of aortic arch pathologies represents a great challenge and is associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity. A superior endovascular approach via thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has been introduced to treat arch pathologies with specifically designed endografts. This approach was shown to benefit patients who are deemed ‘high risk’ for undergoing OSR as it is a greatly less invasiveness option and thus, yields lower rates of morbidity and mortality. Aims: This commentary aims to discuss the recent study by Tan et al. which reports original data on the neurological outcomes after endovascular repair of the aortic arch using the RELAY™ Branched device. Methods: We carried out a literature search on multiple electronic databases including PubMed, Ovid, Google Scholar, Scopus and EMBASE in order to collate research evidence on the neurological outcomes of endovascular aortic arch repair with TEVAR. Results: Tan and colleagues showed through their original clinical data that the RELAY™ Branched device has a high rate of technical success and favourable neurological outcomes. There were no reported neurological deficits in patients who received the triple-branched RELAY™ Branched device. Conclusion: The RELAY™ Branched endograft is well-established for candidates for aortic arch endovascular repair with favourable neurological outcomes. Multiple considerations can help control the incidence of stroke following endovascular repair. These include optimization of the supra-aortic vessels’ revascularization, weighting the embolic risk in patients with atheromatous disease, and careful preoperative assessment to select the best candidates for arch endovascular repair
Background: Acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) is a life-threatening medical condition requiring urgent surgical attention. It is estimated that 50% of ATAAD die within 24 hours of onset, with the mortality rate is increasing by 1-2% every additional hour without prompt intervention. A variety of ATAAD surgical repair techniques exist which has sparked controversy within the literature, with the main two strategies being proximal aortic replacement (PAR) and total arch replacement (TAR). Nevertheless, the question of which of these two strategies if the more optimal is still debatable. Aims: This commentary aims to discuss the recent study by Sa and colleagues which presents a pooled analysis of Kaplan-Meier-derived individual patient data from studies with follow-up comparing aggressive (TAR) and conservative (PAR) approaches to manage ATAAD patients. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed using multiple electronic databases including PubMed, Ovid, Google Scholar, EMBASE and Scopus in order to collate the relevant research evidence. Results: The more aggressive TAR approach for treating ATAAD seems to yield more favourable results including more optimal long-term survival as well as a lower need for reoperation. The frozen elephant trunk (FET) technique can be considered the mainstay TAR technique. Conclusion: It is valid to conclude that TAR with FET is the superior strategy for managing ATAAD patients.
Background: The introduction of the frozen elephant trunk (FET) technique for total arch replacement (TAR) has revolutionized the field of aortovascular surgery. However, although FET yields excellent results, the risk of certain complications requiring secondary intervention remains present, negating its one-step hybrid advantage over conventional techniques. This systematic review and meta-analysis sought to evaluate controversies regarding the incidence of FET-related complications, with a focus on aortic remodeling, distal stent-graft induced new entry (dSINE) and endoleak, in patients with type A aortic dissection (TAAD) and/or thoracic aortic aneurysm. Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using multiple electronic databases including EMBASE, Scopus, and PubMed/MEDLINE to identify evidence on TAR with FET in patients with TAAD and/or aneurysm. Studies published up until January 2022 were included, and after applying exclusion criteria, a total of 43 studies were extracted. Results: A total of 5068 patients who underwent FET procedure were included. The pooled estimates of dSINE and endoleak were 2% (95% CI 0.01-0.06, I 2 = 78%) and 3% (95% CI 0.01-0.11, I 2 = 89%), respectively. The pooled rate of secondary thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) post-FET was 7% (95% CI 0.05-0.12, I 2 = 89%) whilst the pooled rate of false lumen thrombosis at the level of stent-graft was 91% (95% CI 0.75-0.97, I 2 = 92%). After subgroup analysis, heterogeneity for dSINE and endoleak resolved among European patients, where Thoraflex Hybrid and E-Vita stent-grafts were used (both I 2 = 0%). In addition, heterogeneity for secondary TEVAR after FET resolved among Asians receiving Cronus (I 2 = 15.1%) and Frozenix stent -grafts (I 2 = 1%). Conclusion: Our results showed that the FET procedure in patients with TAAD and/or aneurysm is associated with excellent results, with a particularly low incidence of dSINE and endoleak as well as highly favorable aortic remodeling. However the type of stent-graft and the study location were sources of heterogeneity, emphasizing the need for multicenter studies directly comparing FET grafts. Finally, Thoraflex Hybrid can be considered the primary FET device choice due to its superior results.
Background: The average living age of the population is constantly increasing and so is the incidence and prevalence of aortic valve disease. Surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) is the current gold standard treatment. Nevertheless, the use of prosthetic valves in SAVR is associated with issues that impact patients’ quality of life. Aortic valve neocuspidization (AV Neo) offers a means to solve this dilemma by minimising foreign valve tissue. AV Neo can either be performed using glutaraldehyde-treated autologous pericardium (Ozaki procedure) or bovine pericardium (Batista procedure). Aims: This commentary aims to discuss the recent study by Chan and colleagues which highlighted the surgical approach, clinical outcomes and limitations of the Ozaki procedure, and compare this to the Batista procedure. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed using multiple electronic databases including PubMed, Ovid, Embase and Scopus in order to collate the relevant research evidence. Results: Although the Ozaki procedure can achieve favourable results whilst mainly avoiding the need for life-long oral anticoagulation with mechanical valves, it still has several limitations that may hinder results. AV Neo using glutaraldehyde-treated bovine pericardium, developed by pioneer cardiac surgeon Dr. Randas J. Vilela Batista, yields superior clinical outcomes to Ozaki’s, including excellent survival, lower complications and minimal need for reoperation as well as shorter operative times. Conclusion: AV Neo offers a means to perform SAVR whilst escaping the prosthetic valve issues. However, the Batista procedure has shown beyond doubt that it can be considered the superior approach for AV Neo over the Ozaki procedure.
Take the bull by its horn: ‘Prophylactic aortic intervention’ in uncomplicated type B aortic dissectionRunning title: Prophylactic intervention in uncomplicated TBADDr. A. Mohammed Idhrees MCh, FIASORCID ID : 0000-0001-5981-9705Consultant,Institute of Cardiac and Aortic Disorders (ICAD),SRM Institutes for Medical Science (SIMS Hospital), Chennai.
Background: Acute type B aortic dissection (TBAD) is a rare condition that can be divided into complicated (CoTBAD) and uncomplicated (UnCoTBAD) based on certain presenting clinical and radiological features, with UnCoTBAD constituting the majority of TBAD cases. The classification of TBAD directly affects the treatment pathway taken, however, there remains confusion as to exactly what differentiates complicated from uncomplicated TBAD. Aims: The scope of this review is to delineate the literature defining the intervention parameters for UnCoTBAD. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using multiple electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, and EMBASE to collate and summarize all research evidence on intervention parameters and protocols for UnCoTBAD. Results: A TBAD without evidence of malperfusion or rupture might be classified as uncomplicated but there remains a subgroup who might exhibit high-risk features. Two clinical features representative of “high risk” are refractory pain and persistent hypertension. First line treatment for CoTBAD is TEVAR, and whilst this has also proven its safety and effectiveness in UnCoTBAD, it is still being managed conservatively. However, TBAD is a dynamic pathology and a significant proportion of UnCoTBADs can progress to become complicated, thus necessitating more complex intervention. While the “high risk” UnCoTBAD do benefit the most from TEVAR, yet, the defining parameters are still debatable as this benefit can be extended to a wider UnCoTBAD population. Conclusion: Uncomplicated TBAD remains a misnomer as it is frequently representative of a complex ongoing disease process requiring very close monitoring in a critical care setting. A clear diagnostic pathway may improve decision making following a diagnosis of UnCoTBAD. Choice of treatment still predominantly depends on when an equilibrium might be reached where the risks of TEVAR outweigh the natural history of the dissection in both the short- and long-term.
Type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is a life-threatening clinical emergency requiring timely surgical intervention. Concomitant with pregnancy at any stage, it adds an additional level of complexity which mandates careful planning for the management strategy that will yield the optimal outcomes. It is life-threatening pathology to both the mother and foetus, with mortality rates of up to 30% and 50% reported, respectively. Safe imaging modalities that do no expose the foetus to radiation and contrast are recommended to reach an accurate diagnosis. In addition, meticulous multi-disciplinary team planning is pivotal to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved through careful choice of surgical technique as well as strict control of medications. Although TAAD in pregnancy is associated with high mortality and morbidity to both the mother and her foetus, success in the treatment of this small subset of patients can certainly be achieved.
Background: The advent of Frozen elephant trunk (FET) for reconstruction of elective and non-elective aortic arch surgery has augmented the treatment of complex aortic pathologies in a single-stage operation. To date, no studies have been focused on the prevalence and predictors of coagulopathy potentiated by FET procedure. Methods: In a systematic review, we searched databases up to June 2020 for studies reporting coagulopathy complications after FET procedure. A proportional meta-analysis was carried out using STATA software (StataCorp, TX, USA). Results: In total, 46 studies including 6313 patients were eligible. The pooled estimation of reoperation for postoperative bleeding was 7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5 to 8; I2 = 84.73%; reported by 39 studies including 4796 patients). The mean volume of transfused packed blood cells and fresh frozen plasma was 1677 ml (95% CI 1066.4-2287.6) and 1016.5 ml (95% CI 450.7-1582.3). The subgroup by stent type showed a decrease in the heterogeneity (I2 = 0.01%, I2 = 53.95%, I2 = 0.01%, and I2 = 54.41% for Thoraflex® Hybrid, E-vita®, Frozenix®, and Cronus®, respectively). The subgroup by chronicity of operation resulted in less heterogeneity among patients undergoing elective compared to non-elective operation (I2 = 29.22% versus I2 = 80.56% in non-elective). Meta-regression analysis showed that age and male gender significantly impacted on the reoperation for postoperative bleeding. Conclusions: The FET procedure for arch replacement is associated with coagulopathy and the transfusion of blood products. Male, age, and selective choice of FET use were identified as heterogeneity sources of reoperation for postoperative bleeding.
Much has changed since the introduction of surgical valve repair in the 1950s, from the introduction bioprosthetic valves to percutaneous approaches to valve repair. Yet, despite substantial advancements in bioprosthetic valve technology, there has been a lack of direct, independent comparison between bioprosthetic mitral valve devices, accompanied by a marked heterogeneity in approaches to the sizing and selection thereof. Wang et al. have hence endeavoured to evaluate, head-to-head, the technical successes and biomechanical outcomes associated with three different bioprosthetic mitral valves (Epic, Abbott, IL; Mosaic, Medtronic, MN; Mitris Resilia, Edwards Lifesciences, CA) in a porcine model, under standardised haemodynamic and anatomical conditions. With a robust experimental technique, they have made clear the heterogeneity in both sizing and biomechanical properties between bioprosthetic mitral valves, and have further emphasised the need for a uniform approach to the manufacturing and sizing of bioprosthetic valves.
ABSTRACT The involvement of Medical Technology (MedTech) corporations in the provision of surgical care remains a topic of debate. This relationship is especially relevant in cardiac and aortic surgery as the use of grafts, stents, prostheses, and other devices is an integral component of most procedures. Many argue that the involvement of device representatives in cardiac surgical cases is valuable – they are often experts on their product and are able to contribute their expertise in challenging cases. Yet, the potential for MedTech corporations to influence surgeons’ clinical decision-making introduces a conflict-of-interest and calls into question what the ‘best practice’ for sales reps should be. The influence of MedTech corporations over policymaking bodies in the US, UK, and Europe also represents a major issue for transparency and is equally deserving of evaluation.