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Journal and News Scan

Source: News from around the web.
Author(s): Emily Robinson

Patient Care and General Interest

The heart rate tracker in a man’s smartwatch reportedly warned him of a major heart attack, which may have saved his life.

A surgical team in Nepal performed a rare open heart surgery on a pregnant patient with type A aortic dissection.


Drugs and Devices

A new study suggests that the HDAC inhibitor, which is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of patients with other cancers, may also be useful in treating small-cell lung cancer.

Lung cancer patients have gained access to a potentially life-extending drug in Ireland, following its approval by Ireland’s Health Services.


Research, Trials, and Funding

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that diclofenac, a commonly used painkiller, is associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular problems.

Research from The Francis Crick Institute indicates that a model developed via artificial intelligence is superior at predicting risk of death in patients with heart disease than models designed by medical experts.

Source: Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Darko Radakovic, Dragan Opacic, Jochen Börgermann, Wan Chin Hsieh, Manuel Krutzinna, Jan Gummert, Anas Aboud

Radakovic and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score in predicting long-term survival after pericardiectomy for constrictive pericarditis, using outcomes for 79 patients from their center. The MELD score, an established measure of liver function, was an independent predictor of 1-year mortality after pericardiectomy, and overall survival decreased as the MELD score increased. The authors conclude that assessment of liver dysfunction using the MELD score provides an additional tool to evaluate the risk of pericardiectomy for constrictive pericarditis.

Source: Star Tribune
Author(s): Christopher Snowbeck

Brigid Ann Scanlan Eiynck, of Scanlan International, has passed away. This article highlights her life and accomplishments. 

Watch CTSNet's interview with her and Timothy M. Scanlan here.

Source: Shanghai
Author(s): Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital

This Thursday night, September 6, 2018, the world's biggest thoracic surgery unit is broadcasting a free live conference in English. Anyone is free to log in to see what they are doing. They will be presenting and discussing 14 different clinical cases, including lobectomy, segmentectomy, and oesophagectomy. 

Click on the link to get a front seat at this conference for free! 

The conference is Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am EST (Friday, September 7, 2018 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm GMT + 8). 

Source: Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Rodrigo Modolo, Carlos Collet, Yoshinobu Onuma, Patrick W. Serruys

Modolo and colleagues provide detailed analysis and straightforward description of the SYNTAX II and SYNTAX III trials, including the impact for surgeons in contemporary practice. The article addresses both sides of the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) versus CABG debate with evidence from the SYNTAX II and III trials, examining specifically the outcomes of state-of-the-art PCI and CABG and comparison of heart team findings and decision making using computed tomographic angiography (including FFRCT) or conventional angiography.

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Kimberly A. Holst, Joseph A. Dearani, Sameh M. Said, Ryan R. Davies, Christian Pizarro, Christopher Knott-Craig, T.K. Susheel Kumar, Vaughn A. Starnes, S. Ram Kumar, Sara K. Pasquali, Dylan P. Thibault, James M. Meza, Kevin D. Hill, Karen Chiswell, Jeffrey P. Jacobs, Marshall L. Jacobs

This STS Database review included 255 neonates and 239 infants with Ebstein anomaly (EA). For neonates, repair was performed in 40%, shunt in 20%, and tricuspid valve closure in 9%; operative mortality was 27%. For infants, superior cavopulmonary anastomosis was performed in 38% and repair in 16%. Operative mortality was 9%. Optimal approach and timing for repair remain elusive.

Source: News from around the web.
Author(s): Emily Robinson

Patient Care and General Interest

Late-breaking results from the VISION study just presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s 2018 annual Congress suggest that 75% of patient deaths after noncardiac surgery can be attributed to cardiovascular causes.

Access to the Affordable Care Act in the United States has seemingly made middle-aged stroke survivors less likely to skip prescribed medications due to cost.

A new study suggests that chemotherapy may lead to early menopause in young women with lung cancer.


Drugs and Devices

A new Astrazeneca drug called Tagrisso has been approved in Japan for patients with inoperable or recurrent epidermal growth factor receptor mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.

The Duke Clinical Research Institute and Cerner have jointly developed an app that estimates patients’ cardiovascular disease risk.


Research, Trials, and Funding

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association finds that a simplified cardiac magnetic resonance protocol can help developing nations diagnose heart ailments more quickly and cheaply.

A meta-analysis published in JAMA Cardiology finds that young and middle-aged adults with aortic valve disease have a higher survival rate when treated via the Ross procedure as opposed to mechanical aortic valve replacement.

New guidelines on clinical care for patients undergoing myocardial revascularization have been released by the European Society of Cardiology and European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.

Source: The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon
Author(s): Peter Philipp Grimminger, Edin Hadzijusufovic, Jelle Piet-Hein Ruurda, Hauke Lang, Richard van Hillegersberg

Grimminger and colleagues present their technique for a four-armed robotic approach to esophageal cancer surgery. The authors note the improved control and dexterity offered by the addition of the fourth arm, leading to greater surgeon independence in this complex procedure.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Clifton W. Callaway, Michael W. Donnino

A balanced editorial discussing the relevant RCT from Britain. The esteemed authors are correct to highlight the overall discouraging survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest WITHOUT NEUROLOGICAL DEFICIT. What does need to be done to improve a 3% acceptable outcome? The 'non-superiority' of adrenaline (epinephrine) is, under the devastating primary outcome, a finding of secondary importance for the general public.  

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Michael Y. Mi, Michael A. Matthay, Alan H. Morris

Quite useful case-illustrated debate on a VERY hot topic!