Recent Submissions

  • Nature of neurological complications and outcome after surgery for type A aortic dissection

    Mariscalco, Giovanni (2024-05-15)
    Surgery for type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is frequently complicated by neurologic complications. The prognostic impact of neurologic complications of different nature has been investigated in this study. The subjects of this analysis were 3,902 patients who underwent surgery for acute TAAD from the multicenter European Registry of Type A Aortic Dissection (ERTAAD). During the index hospitalization, 722 patients (18.5%) experienced stroke/global brain ischemia. Ischemic stroke was detected in 539 patients (13.8%), hemorrhagic stroke in 76 patients (1.9%) and global brain ischemia in 177 patients (4.5%), with a few patients having had findings of more than 1 of these conditions. In-hospital mortality was increased significantly in patients with postoperative ischemic stroke (25.6%, adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.422, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.825 to 3.216), hemorrhagic stroke (48.7%, adjusted OR 4.641, 95% CI 2.524 to 8.533), and global brain ischemia (74.0%, adjusted OR 22.275, 95% CI 14.537 to 35.524) compared with patients without neurologic complications (13.5%). Similarly, patients who experienced ischemic stroke (46.3%, adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.719, 95% CI 1.434 to 2.059), hemorrhagic stroke (62.8%, adjusted HR 3.236, 95% CI 2.314 to 4.525), and global brain ischemia (83.9%, adjusted HR 12.777, 95% CI 10.325 to 15.810) had significantly higher 5-year mortality than patients without postoperative neurologic complications (27.5%). The negative prognostic effect of neurologic complications on survival vanished about 1 year after surgery. In conclusion, postoperative ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and global cerebral ischemia increased early and midterm mortality after surgery for acute TAAD. The magnitude of risk of mortality increased with the severity of the neurologic complications, with postoperative hemorrhagic stroke and global brain ischemia being highly lethal complications.
  • Diameter and dissection of the abdominal aorta and the risk of distal aortic reoperation after surgery for type A aortic dissection

    Marsicalco, Giovanni (2024-06-01)
    Background: Surgery for Stanford type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is associated with an increased risk of late aortic reoperations due to degeneration of the dissected aorta. Methods: The subjects of this analysis were 990 TAAD patients who survived surgery for acute TAAD and had complete data on the diameter and dissection status of all aortic segments. Results: After a mean follow-up of 4.2 ± 3.6 years, 60 patients underwent 85 distal aortic reoperations. Ten-year cumulative incidence of distal aortic reoperation was 9.6%. Multivariable competing risk analysis showed that the maximum preoperative diameter of the abdominal aorta (SHR 1.041, 95%CI 1.008-1.075), abdominal aorta dissection (SHR 2.133, 95%CI 1.156-3.937) and genetic syndromes (SHR 2.840, 95%CI 1.001-8.060) were independent predictors of distal aortic reoperation. Patients with a maximum diameter of the abdominal aorta >30 mm and/or abdominal aortic dissection had a cumulative incidence of 10-year distal aortic reoperation of 12.0% compared to 5.7% in those without these risk factors (adjusted SHR 2.076, 95%CI 1.062-4.060). Conclusion: TAAD patients with genetic syndromes, and increased size and dissection of the abdominal aorta have an increased the risk of distal aortic reoperations. A policy of extensive surgical or hybrid primary aortic repair, completion endovascular procedures for aortic remodeling and tight surveillance may be justified in these patients.
  • Prophylactic corticosteroids for cardiopulmonary bypass in adult cardiac surgery

    Chubsey, Rachel; Tyson, Nathan; Zakkar, Mustafa (2024-03-20)
    Background: Cardiac surgery triggers a strong inflammatory reaction, which carries significant clinical consequences. Corticosteroids have been suggested as a potential perioperative strategy to reduce inflammation and help prevent postoperative complications. However, the safety and effectiveness of perioperative corticosteroid use in adult cardiac surgery is uncertain. This is an update of the 2011 review with 18 studies added. Objectives: Primary objective: to estimate the effects of prophylactic corticosteroid use in adults undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass on the: - co-primary endpoints of mortality, myocardial complications, and pulmonary complications; and - secondary outcomes including atrial fibrillation, infection, organ injury, known complications of steroid therapy, prolonged mechanical ventilation, prolonged postoperative stay, and cost-effectiveness. Secondary objective: to explore the role of characteristics of the study cohort and specific features of the intervention in determining the treatment effects via a series of prespecified subgroup analyses. Search methods: We used standard, extensive Cochrane search methods to identify randomised studies assessing the effect of corticosteroids in adult cardiac surgery. The latest searches were performed on 14 October 2022. Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials in adults (over 18 years, either with a diagnosis of coronary artery disease or cardiac valve disease, or who were candidates for cardiac surgery with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass), comparing corticosteroids with no treatments. There were no restrictions with respect to length of the follow-up period. All selected studies qualified for pooling of results for one or more endpoints. Data collection and analysis: We used standard Cochrane methods. Our primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, and cardiac and pulmonary complications. Secondary outcomes were infectious complications, gastrointestinal bleeding, occurrence of new post-surgery atrial fibrillation, re-thoracotomy for bleeding, neurological complications, renal failure, inotropic support, postoperative bleeding, mechanical ventilation time, length of stays in the intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital, patient quality of life, and cost-effectiveness. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of evidence for each outcome. Main results: This updated review includes 72 randomised trials with 17,282 participants (all 72 trials with 16,962 participants were included in data synthesis). Four trials (6%) were considered at low risk of bias in all the domains. The median age of participants included in the studies was 62.9 years. Study populations consisted mainly (89%) of low-risk, first-time coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or valve surgery. The use of perioperative corticosteroids may result in little to no difference in all-cause mortality (risk with corticosteroids: 25 to 36 per 1000 versus 33 per 1000 with placebo or no treatment; risk ratio (RR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75 to 1.07; 25 studies, 14,940 participants; low-certainty evidence). Corticosteroids may increase the risk of myocardial complications (68 to 86 per 1000) compared with placebo or no treatment (66 per 1000; RR 1.16, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.31; 25 studies, 14,766 participants; low-certainty evidence), and may reduce the risk of pulmonary complications (risk with corticosteroids: 61 to 77 per 1000 versus 78 per 1000 with placebo/no treatment; RR 0.88, 0.78 to 0.99; 18 studies, 13,549 participants; low-certainty evidence). Analyses of secondary endpoints showed that corticosteroids may reduce the incidence of infectious complications (risk with corticosteroids: 94 to 113 per 1000 versus 123 per 1000 with placebo/no treatment; RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.76 to 0.92; 28 studies, 14,771 participants; low-certainty evidence). Corticosteroids may result in little to no difference in incidence of gastrointestinal bleeding (risk with corticosteroids: 9 to 17 per 1000 versus 10 per 1000 with placebo/no treatment; RR 1.21, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.67; 6 studies, 12,533 participants; low-certainty evidence) and renal failure (risk with corticosteroids: 23 to 35 per 1000 versus 34 per 1000 with placebo/no treatment; RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.02; 13 studies, 12,799; low-certainty evidence). Corticosteroids may reduce the length of hospital stay, but the evidence is very uncertain (-0.5 days, 0.97 to 0.04 fewer days of length of hospital stay compared with placebo/no treatment; 25 studies, 1841 participants; very low-certainty evidence). The results from the two largest trials included in the review possibly skew the overall findings from the meta-analysis. Authors' conclusions: A systematic review of trials evaluating the organ protective effects of corticosteroids in cardiac surgery demonstrated little or no treatment effect on mortality, gastrointestinal bleeding, and renal failure. There were opposing treatment effects on cardiac and pulmonary complications, with evidence that corticosteroids may increase cardiac complications but reduce pulmonary complications; however, the level of certainty for these estimates was low. There were minor benefits from corticosteroid therapy for infectious complications, but the evidence on hospital length of stay was very uncertain. The inconsistent treatment effects across different outcomes and the limited data on high-risk groups reduced the applicability of the findings. Further research should explore the role of these drugs in specific, vulnerable cohorts. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03002259.
  • Perioperative hemostatic management of patients with type A aortic dissection

    Ahmed, Aamer (2023-11-20)
    Coagulopathy is common in patients undergoing thoracic aortic repair for Stanford type A aortic dissection. Non-critical administration of blood products may adversely affect the outcome. It is therefore important to be familiar with the pathologic conditions that lead to coagulopathy in complex cardiac surgery. Adequate care of these patients includes the collection of the medical history regarding the use of antithrombotic and anticoagulant drugs, and a sophisticated diagnosis of the coagulopathy with viscoelastic testing and subsequently adapted coagulation therapy with labile and stable blood products. In addition to the above-mentioned measures, intraoperative blood conservation measures as well as good interdisciplinary coordination and communication contribute to a successful hemostatic management strategy.
  • Classification of the urgency of the procedure and outcome of acute type A aortic dissection

    Mariscalco, Giovanni; Archarya, Metesh (2024-04-15)
    Surgery for type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is associated with a high risk of early mortality. The prognostic impact of a new classification of the urgency of the procedure was evaluated in this multicenter cohort study. Data on consecutive patients who underwent surgery for acute TAAD were retrospectively collected in the multicenter, retrospective European Registry of TAAD (ERTAAD). The rates of in-hospital mortality of 3,902 consecutive patients increased along with the ERTAAD procedure urgency grades: urgent procedure 10.0%, emergency procedure grade 1 13.3%, emergency procedure grade 2 22.1%, salvage procedure grade 1 45.6%, and salvage procedure grade 2 57.1% (p <0.0001). Preoperative arterial lactate correlated with the urgency grades. Inclusion of the ERTAAD procedure urgency classification significantly improved the area under the receiver operating characteristics curves of the regression model and the integrated discrimination indexes and the net reclassification indexes. The risk of postoperative stroke/global brain ischemia, mesenteric ischemia, lower limb ischemia, dialysis, and acute heart failure increased along with the urgency grades. In conclusion, the urgency of surgical repair of acute TAAD, which seems to have a significant impact on the risk of in-hospital mortality, may be useful to improve the stratification of the operative risk of these critically ill patients. This study showed that salvage surgery for TAAD is justified because half of the patients may survive to discharge.
  • Left internal thoracic artery versus saphenous vein grafts to left anterior descending artery after isolated coronary artery bypass surgery

    Davorin, Sef (2024-03-14)
    Background: This study compared perioperative outcomes and long-term survival of saphenous vein grafts (SVGs) versus left internal thoracic artery (LITA) to left anterior descending artery (LAD) in isolated coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). Methods: In this retrospective, single-centre study, we included patients with primary isolated CABG from January 2001 to July 2022. Baseline demographics were compared between SVG-LAD and LITA-LAD. Univariable and multivariable regressions were performed for predictors of in-hospital death. Propensity score matching was performed for LITA-LAD vs. SVG-LAD. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated for comparison of survival. Cox proportional hazards model was used for predictors of survival. Results: A total of 8237 patients (1602 SVG-LAD/6725 LITA-LAD) were included. Median age was 67.9 years (LITA-LAD; 67.1 years vs. SVG-LAD; 71.7 years, p < 0.01). A total of 1270 pairs of SVG-LAD were propensity-matched to LITA-LAD. In matched cohorts, in-hospital mortality (0.8% vs. 1.6%, LITA-LAD and SVG-LAD respectively; p = 0.07), deep sternal wound infection, new cerebrovascular events, renal replacement therapy and hospital stay >30 days were similar. SVG-LAD did not adversely affect in-hospital mortality (OR; 2.03, CI; 0.91, 4.54, p = 0.08). Median long-term survival was similar between the groups (13.7 years vs. 13.1 years for LITA-LAD and SVG-LAD respectively, log rank p < 0.31). SVG-LAD was not a predictor of adverse long-term survival. (HR; 1.06, 95% CI; 0.92, 1.22, p < 0.40). Long-term survival was better with LITA-LAD for LVEF <30% (log rank p < 0.03). Conclusions: There was no difference in the propensity-matched cohorts for use of SVG vs. LITA to the LAD. Further contemporary long-term studies are needed for substantiation.
  • Fractional flow reserve and instantaneous wave-free ratio in coronary artery bypass grafting: a meta-analysis and practice review

    Layton, G R; Bhandari, S (2024-03-07)
    Objective: Fractional flow reserve (FFR) and instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) are invasive methods to assess the functional significance of intermediate severity coronary lesions. Both indexes have been extensively validated in clinical trials in guiding revascularisation in patients with stable ischaemic heart disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with improved clinical outcomes. However, the role of these tools in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is less clear. Methods: A meta-analysis of randomised trials and observational studies was carried out to help in determining the optimal strategy for assessing lesion severity and selecting graft targets in patients undergoing CABG. Electronic searches were carried out on Embase, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. A group of four authors independently screened and then assessed the retrieved records. Cochrane's Risk of Bias and Robins-I tools were used for bias assessment. A survey was conducted among surgeons and cardiologists to describe current attitudes towards the preoperative use of functional coronary investigations in practice. Results: Clinical outcomes including mortality at 30 days, perioperative myocardial infarction, number of grafts, incidence of stroke, rate of further need for revascularisation, and patient-reported quality of life did not differ in CABG guided by functional testing from those guided by traditional angiography.The survey revealed that in half of the surgical and cardiology units functional assessment is performed in CABG patients; there is a general perception that functional testing has improved patient care and its use would clarify the role of moderate coronary lesions that often need multidisciplinary rediscussions; moderate stenosis are felt to be clinically relevant; and anatomical considerations need to be taken into account together with functional assessment. Conclusions: At present, the evidence to support the routine use of functional testing in intermediate lesions for planning CABG is currently insufficient. The pooled data currently available do not show an increased risk in mortality, myocardial injury, and stroke in the FFR/iFR-guided group. Further trials with highly selected populations are needed to clarify the best strategy. Systematic review registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier (CRD42023414604).
  • Early and mid-term outcomes after aortic valve replacement using a novel tissue bioprosthesis: a systematic review

    Davorin, Sef
    Objectives: While current data show a clear trend towards the use of bioprosthetic valves during aortic valve replacement (AVR), durability of bioprosthetic valves remains the most important concern. We conducted a 1st systematic review of all available evidence that analysed early and mid-term outcomes after AVR using the Inspiris RESILIA™ bioprosthesis. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify all relevant studies evaluating early and mid-term outcomes after AVR using the Inspiris RESILIA bioprosthesis and including at least 20 patients with no restriction on the publication date. Subgroup meta-analysis was performed to compare Inspiris RESILIA and PERIMOUNT Magna Ease bioprosthesis and to pool the early postoperative mortality and stroke rates. Results: A total of 416 studies were identified, of which 15 studies met the eligibility criteria. The studies included a total of 3202 patients with an average follow-up of up to 5.3 years. The average age of patients across the studies was 52.2-75.1 years. Isolated AVR was performed in 39.0-86.4% of patients. In-hospital or 30-day postoperative mortality was 0-2.8%. At the mid-term follow-up, freedom from all-cause mortality was up to 85.4%. Among studies with mid-term follow-up, trace/mild paravalvular leak was detected in 0-3.0%, while major paravalvular leak was found only in up to 2.0% of patients. No statistically significant differences in terms of mortality (P = 0.98, odds ratio 1.02, 95% confidence interval 0.36-2.83) and stroke (P = 0.98, odds ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.38-2.73) between the Inspiris RESILIA bioprosthesis and PERIMOUNT Magna Ease bioprosthesis were observed in the subgroup meta-analysis. Conclusions: Mid-term data on the safety and haemodynamic performance of the novel aortic bioprosthesis are encouraging. Further comparative studies with other bioprostheses and longer follow-up are still required to endorse durability and safety of the novel bioprosthesis.
  • Baseline risk factors of in-hospital mortality after surgery for acute type A aortic dissection: an ERTAAD study

    Archarya, Metesh (2024-01-15)
    Background: Surgery for type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is associated with high risk of mortality. Current risk scoring methods have a limited predictive accuracy. Methods: Subjects were patients who underwent surgery for acute TAAD at 18 European centers of cardiac surgery from the European Registry of Type A Aortic Dissection (ERTAAD). Results: Out of 3,902 patients included in the ERTAAD, 2,477 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. In the validation dataset (2,229 patients), the rate of in-hospital mortality was 18.4%. The rate of composite outcome (in-hospital death, stroke/global ischemia, dialysis, and/or acute heart failure) was 41.2%, and 10-year mortality rate was 47.0%. Logistic regression identified the following patient-related variables associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality [area under the curve (AUC), 0.755, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.729-0.780; Brier score 0.128]: age; estimated glomerular filtration rate; arterial lactate; iatrogenic dissection; left ventricular ejection fraction ≤50%; invasive mechanical ventilation; cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately before surgery; and cerebral, mesenteric, and peripheral malperfusion. The estimated risk score was associated with an increased risk of composite outcome (AUC, 0.689, 95% CI, 0.667-0.711) and of late mortality [hazard ratio (HR), 1.035, 95% CI, 1.031-1.038; Harrell's C 0.702; Somer's D 0.403]. In the validation dataset (248 patients), the in-hospital mortality rate was 16.1%, the composite outcome rate was 41.5%, and the 10-year mortality rate was 49.1%. The estimated risk score was predictive of in-hospital mortality (AUC, 0.703, 95% CI, 0.613-0.793; Brier score 0.121; slope 0.905) and of composite outcome (AUC, 0.682, 95% CI, 0.614-0.749). The estimated risk score was predictive of late mortality (HR, 1.035, 95% CI, 1.031-1.038; Harrell's C 0.702; Somer's D 0.403), also when hospital deaths were excluded from the analysis (HR, 1.024, 95% CI, 1.018-1.031; Harrell's C 0.630; Somer's D 0.261). Conclusions: The present analysis identified several baseline clinical risk factors, along with preoperative estimated glomerular filtration rate and arterial lactate, which are predictive of in-hospital mortality and major postoperative adverse events after surgical repair of acute TAAD. These risk factors may be valuable components for risk adjustment in the evaluation of surgical and anesthesiological strategies aiming to improve the results of surgery for TAAD. Clinical trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT04831073.
  • Role of vitamin D supplementation in modifying outcomes after surgery: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials

    Caruana, Edward (2024-01-17)
    Background: There is increasing evidence to suggest vitamin D plays a role in immune and vascular function; hence, it may be of biological and clinical relevance for patients undergoing major surgery. With a greater number of randomised studies being conducted evaluating the impact of vitamin D supplementation on surgical patients, it is an opportune time to conduct further analysis of the impact of vitamin D on surgical outcomes. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Trials Register were interrogated up to December 2023 to identify randomised controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation in surgery. The risk of bias in the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. A narrative synthesis was conducted for all studies. The primary outcome assessed was overall postoperative survival. Results: We screened 4883 unique studies, assessed 236 full-text articles and included 14 articles in the qualitative synthesis, comprising 1982 patients. The included studies were highly heterogeneous with respect to patient conditions, ranging from open heart surgery to cancer operations to orthopaedic conditions, and also with respect to the timing and equivalent daily dose of vitamin D supplementation (range: 0.5-7500 mcg; 20-300 000 IU). No studies reported significant differences in overall survival or postoperative mortality with vitamin D supplementation. There was also no clear evidence of benefit with respect to overall or intensive care unit length of stay. Discussion: Numerous studies have reported the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in different surgical settings without any consistency. However, this systematic review found no clear evidence of benefit, which warrants the supposition that a single biological effect of vitamin D supplementation does not exist. The observed improvement in outcomes in low vitamin D groups has not been convincingly proven beyond chance findings. Trial registration number: CRD42021232067.
  • Pragmatic randomized controlled trials: strengthening the concept through a robust international collaborative network: PRIME-9-pragmatic research and innovation through multinational experimentation

    Murphy, Gavin (2024-01-23)
    In an era focused on value-based healthcare, the quality of healthcare and resource allocation should be underpinned by empirical evidence. Pragmatic clinical trials (pRCTs) are essential in this endeavor, providing randomized controlled trial (RCT) insights that encapsulate real-world effects of interventions. The rising popularity of pRCTs can be attributed to their ability to mirror real-world practices, accommodate larger sample sizes, and provide cost advantages over traditional RCTs. By harmonizing efficacy with effectiveness, pRCTs assist decision-makers in prioritizing interventions that have a substantial public health impact and align with the tenets of value-based health care. An international network for pRCT provides several advantages, including larger and diverse patient populations, access to a broader range of healthcare settings, sharing knowledge and expertise, and overcoming ethical and regulatory barriers. The hypothesis and study design of pRCT answers the decision-maker's questions. pRCT compares clinically relevant alternative interventions, recruits participants from diverse practice settings, and collects data on various health outcomes. They are scarce because the medical products industry typically does not fund pRCT. Prioritizing these studies by expanding the infrastructure to conduct clinical research within the healthcare delivery system and increasing public and private funding for these studies will be necessary to facilitate pRCTs. These changes require more clinical and health policy decision-makers in clinical research priority setting, infrastructure development, and funding. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of pRCTs, emphasizing their importance in evidence-based medicine and the advantages of an international collaborative network for their execution. It details the development of PRIME-9, an international initiative across nine countries to advance pRCTs, and explores various statistical approaches for these trials. The paper underscores the need to overcome current challenges, such as funding limitations and infrastructural constraints, to leverage the full potential of pRCTs in optimizing healthcare quality and resource utilization.
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)-assisted surgery for traumatic bronchial rupture: a report of three cases

    Sef, Davarin (2023-12-30)
    Background: Traumatic tracheal rupture is a severe closed chest injury that often causes major respiratory and circulatory disturbances requiring emergency surgery. We have found that veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) employs lung-protective ventilation strategies to facilitate lung rest, aiming to minimize the risk of ventilator-induced lung injury, while ensuring adequate oxygenation. Case description: We presented 3 critically ill patients who presented with traumatic bronchial rupture between 2019 and 2021, and underwent emergency thoracic surgery with the help of VV-ECMO. The ECMO support time, the operative time, the duration of postoperative hospital stay, and the postoperative mechanical ventilation time were collected in this study. All patients were successfully treated and discharged home. The duration of surgery ranged from 135 to 180 min, the duration of ECMO use ranged from 98 to 123 h, the duration of postoperative ventilator use ranged from 5 to 8 days, and the duration of postoperative hospital stay ranged from 14 to 30 days. All 3 patients had good postoperative pulmonary re-expansion, with no residual tracheal or bronchial stenosis, and good physical activity following the surgery. Conclusions: We reported successful use of VV-ECMO in critically ill patients with traumatic bronchial rupture presenting in acute respiratory and circulatory failure. Performing emergency surgery with ECMO-assisted support can provide more time to stabilize the patient and ensure the safety of the procedure. However, considering the small sample size of this study, larger cohorts with long-term follow-up data are needed to further evaluate its application.
  • Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation in children and adults with an age and gender-specific analysis

    Kotidis, Charalampos; Kantzis, Marinos (2024-01-08)
    Background: There are limited studies with medium-term follow-up following percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation and no studies with a gender-specific analysis. Aims: To report clinical outcomes up to five years following percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation using the two most common balloon expandable valves in a mixed population of paediatric and adult patients with an age and gender-specific analysis. Methods: This was a single-centre retrospective observation study. Relevant data were obtained retrospectively from the case files. Age and gender- specific analysis was performed using SPSS. Results: Totally, 58 patients (13 children, 45 adults) underwent percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation. Statistically significant reduction in median right ventricular outflow tract flow velocity following valve implantation was maintained for the whole five years in adults but not in children. There were no gender-specific differences despite the study being adequately powered. Independent of valve type used, there was significant reduction of the right ventricular outflow tract flow velocity in the immediate post valve implantation period (Edwards P = 0.001, Melody P = 0.013). There was a significant negative correlation between implanted valve Z-score and subsequent right ventricular outflow tract gradient during the first two years following valve implantation. Conclusion: Gender does not significantly affect valve function following percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation. It is important to consider patients' age and body surface area in relation to existing right ventricular outflow tract size during decisions for percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation.
  • Osteopontin activation and microcalcification in venous grafts can be modulated by Dexamethasone

    Ladak, Shameem; Layton, Georgia; Murphy, Gavin (2023-11-15)
    Background: Osteopontin has been implicated in vascular calcification formation and vein graft intimal hyperplasia, and its expression can be triggered by pro-inflammatory activation of cells. The role of osteopontin and the temporal formation of microcalcification in vein grafts is poorly understood with a lack of understanding of the interaction between haemodynamic changes and the activation of osteopontin. Methods: We used a porcine model of vein interposition grafts, and human long saphenous veins exposed to ex vivo perfusion, to study the activation of osteopontin using polymerase chain reaction, immunostaining, and 18F-sodium fluoride autoradiography. Results: The porcine model showed that osteopontin is active in grafts within 1 week following surgery and demonstrated the presence of microcalcification. A brief pretreatment of long saphenous veins with dexamethasone can suppress osteopontin activation. Prolonged culture of veins after exposure to acute arterial haemodynamics resulted in the formation of microcalcification but this was suppressed by pretreatment with dexamethasone. 18F-sodium fluoride uptake was significantly increased as early as 1 week in both models, and the pretreatment of long saphenous veins with dexamethasone was able to abolish its uptake. Conclusions: Osteopontin is activated in vein grafts and is associated with microcalcification formation. A brief pretreatment of veins ex vivo with dexamethasone can suppress its activation and associated microcalcification.
  • Inter-institutional analysis of the outcome after postcardiotomy veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

    Mariscalco, Giovanni (2023-12-05)
    Introduction: Patients requiring postcardiotomy veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A-ECMO) have a high risk of early mortality. In this analysis, we evaluated whether any interinstitutional difference exists in the results of postcardiotomy V-A-ECMO. Methods: Studies on postcardiotomy V-A-ECMO were identified through a systematic review for individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis. Analysis of interinstitutional results was performed using direct standardization, estimation of observed/expected in-hospital mortality ratio and propensity score matching. Results: Systematic review of the literature yielded 31 studies. Data from 10 studies on 1269 patients treated at 25 hospitals were available for the present analysis. In-hospital mortality was 66.7%. The relative risk of in-hospital mortality was significantly higher in six hospitals. Observed versus expected in-hospital mortality ratio showed that four hospitals were outliers with significantly increased mortality rates, and one hospital had significantly lower in-hospital mortality rate. Participating hospitals were classified as underperforming and overperforming hospitals if their observed/expected in-hospital mortality was higher or lower than 1.0, respectively. Among 395 propensity score matched pairs, the overperforming hospitals had significantly lower in-hospital mortality (60.3% vs 71.4%, p = 0.001) than underperforming hospitals. Low annual volume of postcardiotomy V-A-ECMO tended to be predictive of poor outcome only when adjusted for patients' risk profile. Conclusions: In-hospital mortality after postcardiotomy V-A-ECMO differed significantly between participating hospitals. These findings suggest that in many centers there is room for improvement of the results of postcardiotomy V-A-ECMO.
  • The role of high-fidelity simulation in the acquisition of endovascular surgical skills: a systematic review

    Saratzis, Athanasios; Davies, Robert S M (2023-07)
    Background: The widespread introduction of minimally invasive endovascular techniques in cardiovascular surgery has necessitated a transition in the psychomotor skillset of trainees and surgeons. Simulation has previously been used in surgical training; however, there is limited high-quality evidence regarding the role of simulation-based training on the acquisition of endovascular skills. This systematic review aimed to systematically appraise the currently available evidence regarding endovascular high-fidelity simulation interventions, to describe the overarching strategies used, the learning outcomes addressed, the choice of assessment methodology, and the impact of education on learner performance. Methods: A comprehensive literature review was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement using relevant keywords to identify studies evaluating simulation in the acquisition of endovascular surgical skills. References of review articles were screened for additional studies. Results: A total of 1,081 studies were identified (474 after removal of duplicates). There was marked heterogeneity in methodologies and reporting of outcomes. Quantitative analysis was deemed inappropriate due to the risk of serious confounding and bias. Instead, a descriptive synthesis was performed, summarizing key findings and quality components. Eighteen studies were included in the synthesis (15 observational, 2 case-control and 1 randomized control studies). Most studies measured procedure time, contrast usage, and fluoroscopy time. Other metrics were recorded to a lesser extent. Significant reductions were noted in both procedure and fluoroscopy times with the introduction of simulation-based endovascular training. Conclusions: The evidence regarding the use of high-fidelity simulation in endovascular training is very heterogeneous. The current literature suggests simulation-based training leads to improvements in performance, mostly in terms of procedure and fluoroscopy time. High-quality randomized control trials are needed to establish the clinical benefits of simulation training, sustainability of improvements, transferability of skills and its cost-effectiveness.
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in paediatric cardiac surgery: 5-year single centre experience

    Bezuska, Laurynas; Harvey, Chris; Omeje, Ikenna; Mimic, Branko (2023-11-10)
    Background: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has become an integral part of paediatric cardiac surgery. We report the experience of a well-established ECMO service over 5 years. Methods: This retrospective study analysed all paediatric patients who required ECMO support following cardiac surgery from April 2015 to March 2020. Inclusion criteria were age less than 18 years and post-operative ECMO support. Patients were analysed dividing into groups according to the urgency for ECMO support (extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) and cardiac ECMO) and according to age (neonatal and paediatric ECMO groups). They were followed for 30-day, 6-month mortality, long-term survival, postoperative morbidity and the need for reintervention. Results: Forty-six patients were included who had a total of venoarterial (VA) 8 ECMO runs. The 5-year incidence of the need for VA ECMO after cardiac surgery was 3.3% (48 of the overall 1441 cases recorded). The median follow-up period was 3.5 (interquartile ranges, 0.8-4.7) years. Thirty-day, 6-month and follow-up survival rate was 85%, 65% and 52% respectively. At the 6-month follow-up, the ECPR group showed a trend towards worse survival compared with the cardiac ECMO group (47% vs. 55%) but with no statistical significance (p = 0.35). Furthermore, the survival rates between paediatric (60%) and neonatal (46%) ECMO groups were similar, with no statistical significance (p = 0.45). The rate of acute neurological events was 27% (13/48). Conclusion: ECPR and neonatal ECMO groups had higher mortality. VA ECMO 30-day and 6-month survival rates were 85% and 65% respectively. Major neurological injury resulting in ECMO termination occurred in 3 patients. Accumulated experiences and protocols in ECMO management can improve mortality and morbidity.
  • Biomimetic Stents for Infra-inguinal Peripheral Arterial Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Messender, Sarah; Pepper, Coral; Lopez-Pena, Gabriel; Saratzis, Athanasios (2023-11-04)
    Objective: Biomimetic stents are peripheral infra-inguinal self-expanding stents that mimic the anatomy of the vasculature and artery movement. They are indicated for use in infra-inguinal arteries. This research aimed to synthesise all current evidence on the use of biomimetic stents as adjuncts for endovascular treatment of infra-inguinal peripheral arterial disease (PAD), helping to guide clinical decision making. Data sources: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and Cochrane databases. Review methods: Random effects meta-analysis following PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO registration CRD42022385256). Study quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools checklist, and certainty assessment through the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). Endpoints included primary patency, target lesion revascularisation, stent fracture, secondary patency, and mortality at 1 year. Results: In total, 37 studies were included in the meta-analysis (33 cohort studies, 2 case series, and 2 randomised controlled trials [RCTs]), representing 4 480 participants. Of these, 34 studies included data on Supera (81.5% of participants) and 3 studies reported data on BioMimics 3D (18.5% of participants) stents. The pooled primary patency rate of 33 studies at 1 year follow up was 81.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 78.7 - 83.9%), and the pooled target lesion revascularisation rate of 18 studies at 1 year was 12.2% (95% CI 9.6 - 15.0%). The certainty of evidence outcome rating as qualified by GRADE was very low for both. Only one study reported a positive stent fracture rate at 1 year follow up of 0.4% with a certainty of evidence outcome of low. Conclusion: Using biomimetic stents for infra-inguinal PAD may be associated with acceptable 1 year primary patency and target lesion revascularisation rates, with near negligible 1 year stent fracture rate. Their use should be considered in those presenting with infra-inguinal PAD undergoing endovascular revascularisation. A RCT trial is necessary to determine their clinical and cost effectiveness.
  • Direct Aortic Versus Supra-Aortic Arterial Cannulation During Surgery for Acute Type A Aortic Dissection

    Acharya, Metesh (2023-11)
    Aims: In this study we evaluated the impact of direct aortic cannulation versus innominate/subclavian/axillary artery cannulation on the outcome after surgery for type A aortic dissection. Methods: The outcomes of patients included in a multicenter European registry (ERTAAD) who underwent surgery for acute type A aortic dissection with direct aortic cannulation versus those with innominate/subclavian/axillary artery cannulation, i.e. supra-aortic arterial cannulation, were compared using propensity score matched analysis. Results: Out of 3902 consecutive patients included in the registry, 2478 (63.5%) patients were eligible for this analysis. Direct aortic cannulation was performed in 627 (25.3%) patients, while supra-aortic arterial cannulation in 1851 (74.7%) patients. Propensity score matching yielded 614 pairs of patients. Among them, patients who underwent surgery for TAAD with direct aortic cannulation had significantly decreased in-hospital mortality (12.7% vs. 18.1%, p = 0.009) compared to those who had supra-aortic arterial cannulation. Furthermore, direct aortic cannulation was associated with decreased postoperative rates of paraparesis/paraplegia (2.0 vs. 6.0%, p < 0.0001), mesenteric ischemia (1.8 vs. 5.1%, p = 0.002), sepsis (7.0 vs. 14.2%, p < 0.0001), heart failure (11.2 vs. 15.2%, p = 0.043), and major lower limb amputation (0 vs. 1.0%, p = 0.031). Direct aortic cannulation showed a trend toward decreased risk of postoperative dialysis (10.1 vs. 13.7%, p = 0.051). Conclusions: This multicenter cohort study showed that direct aortic cannulation compared to supra-aortic arterial cannulation is associated with a significant reduction of the risk of in-hospital mortality after surgery for acute type A aortic dissection. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04831073.
  • Preoperative arterial lactate and outcome after surgery for type A aortic dissection: The ERTAAD multicenter study

    Acharya, Metesh (2023-10-05)
    Background: Acute type A aortic dissection (TAAD) is associated with significant mortality and morbidity. In this study we evaluated the prognostic significance of preoperative arterial lactate concentration on the outcome after surgery for TAAD. Methods: The ERTAAD registry included consecutive patients who underwent surgery for acute type A aortic dissection (TAAD) at 18 European centers of cardiac surgery. Results: Data on arterial lactate concentration immediately before surgery were available in 2798 (71.7 %) patients. Preoperative concentration of arterial lactate was an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality (mean, 3.5 ± 3.2 vs 2.1 ± 1.8 mmol/L, adjusted OR 1.181, 95%CI 1.129-1.235). The best cutoff value preoperative arterial lactate concentration was 1.8 mmol/L (in-hospital mortality, 12.0 %, vs. 26.6 %, p < 0.0001). The rates of in-hospital mortality increased along increasing quintiles of arterial lactate and it was 12.1 % in the lowest quintile and 33.6 % in the highest quintile (p < 0.0001). The difference between multivariable models with and without preoperative arterial lactate was statistically significant (p = 0.0002). The NRI was 0.296 (95%CI 0.200-0.391) (p < 0.0001) with -17 % of events correctly reclassified (p = 0.0002) and 46 % of non-events correctly reclassified (p < 0.0001). The IDI was 0.025 (95%CI 0.016-0.034) (p < 0.0001). Six studies from a systematic review plus the present one provided data for a pooled analysis which showed that the mean difference of preoperative arterial lactate between 30-day/in-hospital deaths and survivors was 1.85 mmol/L (95%CI 1.22-2.47, p < 0.0001, I2 64 %). Conclusions: Hyperlactatemia significantly increased the risk of mortality after surgery for acute TAAD and should be considered in the clinical assessment of these critically ill patients.

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