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Journal and News Scan
Researchers continue to report findings from the first genetically modified pig heart transplant into a human ten months after the surgery. Their latest study found unexpected electrocardiogram results in the patient, which the authors say did not contribute to heart failure. These results provide a first look into the novel field of xenotransplantation. Read the original study at this link.
Pirruccello and associates from Massachusetts General Hospital developed a prediction model for ascending aortic diameter in a cohort of 30,018 asymptomatic individuals based on eleven variables: age (years), gender, body mass index (kg/m2), heart rate (bpm), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg), height (cm), weight (kg), and the presence or absence of a diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia. The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve ranged from 0.77 to 0.81 for identifying individuals with an ascending aortic diameter 4 cm or greater in validation cohorts. This is an important step in identifying early signs of ascending thoracic aortic disease, a common cause of sudden death in the U.S.
Quite possibly, this manuscript is projected to have the highest impact on patient care and industry for the immediate future. It provides an unusually clear narrative, and findings of a large international randomized clinical trial assert that a good quality venous conduit renders bypass superior to endovascular treatment in infrainguinal critical limb-threatening ischemia.
According to results of the STRESS trial, infants undergoing heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass did not have a lower chance of a bad outcome when administered with the steroid methylprednisolone, compared to the placebo. This trial was part of an initiative to develop a more reliable method of conducting clinical trials involving pediatric heart surgery patients.
Before a Belizean hospital’s partnership with Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, local patients would have to travel out of the country for cardiac surgical care, which was cost prohibitive for many. Now, surgeons travel to Belize six times a year to perform cardiac catheterizations and other heart surgeries, and to train local doctors. The program is currently celebrating its tenth year in operation and continues to make lifesaving care more accessible in Belize.
This study assessed the use of regional analgesia in the reduction of postoperative opioid use in patients undergoing a sternotomy. Researchers used factors such as amount of opioids used, pain scores, and recovery time to determine if the method was effective. In the first seventy-two hours postoperatively, recovery checkpoints were similar between the two groups, and the study determined that regional analgesia did not reduce the amount of opioids administered in this short postoperative period.
Christiaan Barnard, who led the team for the first ever human-to-human heart transplant in 1967, would have turned one hundred on November 8. In addition to pioneering the heart transplant, the South African doctor made strides in intensive-care nursing to open heart surgery patients, developed UCT heart valves, and introduced new techniques in congenital heart surgery.