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Journal and News Scan

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Christopher W. Seder, Andrew T. Arndt, Lia Jordano, Sanjib Basu, Cristina L. Fhied, Selina Sayidine, Gary W. Chmielewski, Kelsey Gallo, Michael J. Liptay, Jeffrey A. Borgia

In this single institution study, the authors screened biorepository materials obtained from patients undergoing resection for early stage cancer.  They wished to identify serum markers related to early recurrence.   A 7-component panel was developed that had a negative predictive value of 83% and an accuracy of  78%.  The accuracy was 70%.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Han-Yu Deng, Zhi-Qiang Wang, Yun-Cang Wang, Gang Li, Jun Luo, Long-Qi Chen, Lun-Xu Liu, Qing-Hua Zhou, Yi-Dan Lin

Deng and colleagues analyzed the pattern of lymph node metastasis in a retrospective study including approximately 1200 patients with esophageal cancer. Patients with adenocarcinoma had a larger mean number of positive lymph nodes and a higher rate of lymph node metastasis than those with squamous cell carcinoma.

Source: Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Vipin Zamvar

A detailed review of the pericardial sinuses on the occasion of discovery of  a unilateral pericardial fold caudal to Marshall's ligament. The significance of the structure is discussed as an operating surgical note to ipsilateral pericardial traction/ elevation in beating heart surgery. It will be also relevant to procurement of intrathoracic organs for transplantation and cardiac surgery for structural disease and dysrhythmias.

Source: News from around the web.
Author(s): Claire Vernon

Patient Care

Emergency responders in Argentina use the WhatsApp messaging app to send ECG data to the hospital ahead of a patient’s arrival, and save about 50 minutes by skipping the emergency room on the way to the catheterization lab.

Next year, 150 rheumatic heart disease patients in Cape Town, South Africa, will receive a locally designed, inexpensive transcatheter heart valve as part of a clinical trial.

A cardiac contractility modulation device was implanted to treat heart failure for the first time in the Caribbean at Health City Cayman Islands in Grand Cayman.

A collaboration for training in minimally invasive thoracic surgery is one of many initiatives in a partnership between Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Toronto in Canada, which has the goal of transforming health care in Ethiopia.


Drugs and Devices

The first patient has received the Intrepid™ transcatheter mitral valve from Medtronic as part of the APOLLO trial on transcatheter therapy for mitral valve regurgitation.

Artificial intelligence is at an interesting frontier, but how does an always-changing self-improving algorithm get regulatory approval?

Carmat announced that it has performed an artificial heart transplant in Kazakhstan, its first device implantation outside of France.

The US Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Confirm Rx™ Insertable Cardiac Monitor from Abbott, a device that monitors a patient’s heart rhythm and sends the information to their smartphone and their doctor.


Research, Trials, and Funding

A study published in the Lancet suggests that the heart might not be a morning person, at least in regards to surgery.

Researchers from Tel Aviv, Israel, found that both transcatheter and surgical aortic valve replacement were associated with better outcomes than conservative treatment for patients with normal flow-low gradient aortic stenosis.

Source: The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Ahmet Kilic, Juan A. Crestanello

A measured succinct reflection on MagLev and older ventricular assist devices, on the occasion of a relevant 'expert opinion' paper on the topic.

Source: The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon
Author(s): Giovanni B. Pedrazzini, Enrico Ferrari, Michael Zellweger, Michele Genoni

The Swiss Society of Cardiology and the Swiss Society of Cardiac Surgery officially endorse the European guidelines on the modern heart team and intend to ensure that all cardiac institutions are informed about the application of the heart team approach to daily clinical practice. This position article defines the role and responsibility of the modern heart team, and it highlights both coronary artery disease and valve disease as areas where this concept must be adopted.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Theo M.M.H. de By, Carl McDonald, Susanne Süßner, Jill Davies, Wee Ling Heng, Ramadan Jashari, Ad J.J.C. Bogers and Pieter Petit

De By and colleagues evaluated microbiological testing and decontamination methods of heart valve allografts in cardiovascular tissue banks by means of an international quality round. Twenty cardiovascular tissue banks were sent human heart valve tissue samples that had been purposely contaminated with microorganisms known to the participants. In some tissue banks, contaminant identification and tissue decontamination were not effective. The authors conclude that this finding underscores the need for harmonization based on validated methods.

Source: JAMA
Author(s): Jason D. Wright

The author of this editorial offers a thoughtful commentary on the value and cost related to the use of robotic compared to other minimally invasive approaches to common diseases, as exemplified in two recent publications. 

Source: Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Benedetto Del Forno, Alessandro Castiglioni, Alessandra Sala, Alberto Geretto, Andrea Giacomini, Paolo Denti, Michele De Bonis, Ottavio Alfieri

The authors present a step-by-step description of mitral valve annuloplasty ring implantation that takes into account not only the surgical technique, including positioning of annular stitches and correct sizing,  but also mitral annulus anatomy and its close relationship with surrounding structures. 

Source: Journal of Thoracic Oncology
Author(s): Vivek Verma, Christopher A. Ahern, Christopher G. Berlind, William D. Lindsay, Sonam Sharma, Jacob Shabason, Melissa J. Culligan, Surbhi Grover, Joseph S. Friedberg, Charles B. Simone II

From one of the few relatively unbiased sources of information regarding surgical treatment of pleural mesothelioma, the authors describe populations of patients undergoing EPP or P/D and their outcomes.   Survival was compared between propensity matched cohorts, demonstrating no difference in OS.