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Journal and News Scan

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Linda W. Martin, Bethany M. Sarosiek, Meredith A. Harrison, Traci Hedrick, James M. Isbell, Alexander S. Krupnick, Christine L. Lau, J. Hunter Mehaffey, Robert H. Thiele, Dustin M. Walters, Randal S. Blank

Enhanced recovery programs are very popular now, but their benefits have been mostly theoretical.  This article describes challenges and outcomes after initiation of such a program, citing decreased costs, lower opioid usage, and shortened length of stay.

Source: MedPage Today
Author(s): Shalmali Pal

This overview of some recent social science flavored research identifies challenges associated with stigma attached to a lung cancer diagnosis.  These challenges include decreased participation in screening tests, noncompliance with therapy, and poor communication with treating physicians.

Source: ESTS
Author(s): European Society of Thoracic Surgeons

The Thoracic community is ready to gather in Ljubljana this year for the biggest event of purely thoracic surgery interest. The full programme is availabe on the website. Looking forward to learning the latest advancements in General Thoracic Surgery directly from experts from all around the globe!

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Umberto Benedetto, Stuart J Head, Gianni D Angelini, Eugene H Blackstone

Propensity scores methods have proven incredibly useful in the analysis of observational datasets, as they allow for control of confounding variables. Moreover, they offer several benefits over the more ubiquitous multivariable regression approaches. Propensity score matching is a familiar tool, however there are several other propensity score-based methods, such as weighting and stratification. Benedetto and colleagues explore these different approaches and illustrate the methodology using a real-world example.

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

Patient Care

Three-dimensional heart models help patients and families understand congenital heart defects at a hospital in Seattle, Washington, USA.

A man received his master’s diploma from Indiana University Northwest in his hospital room, as graduation day occurred while he was receiving care to avoid rejection of his heart transplant.


Drugs and Devices

Venus Medtech, a Chinese heart valve producer, announced an equity investment from DCP Capital, which is expected to support the upgrading and internationalization of Venus Medtech’s valves.


Research, Trials, and Funding

Botulinum toxin injected into epicardial fat pads during coronary artery bypass surgery might provide long-term suppression of atrial fibrillation, say researchers from Russia who presented the results from their pilot study at the 2018 Heart Rhythm Society Meeting.

Acetaminophen taken immediately following heart surgery was associated with lower rates of acute kidney injury in infants and children, say researchers from Tennessee, USA, in a retrospective study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers in Boston, Massachusetts, report that chemotherapy may help deter recurrence of pulmonary vein stenosis after children undergo catheterization or surgery for the condition.

Findings that will be presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting suggest that low-dose computed tomography scan screening for lung cancer in high-risk smokers remains very limited around the USA.

Source: Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Uma M. Sachdeva, Michael Lanuti

Sachdeva and Lanuti discuss the present status of cervical exenteration, a radical procedure utilized in the management of locally invasive cancers of the trachea, esophagus, and thyroid, as well as in recurrent tumors at the site of a tracheal stoma. Both a written review and video presentation are provided. Given the extensiveness of the dissection, resection, and subsequent reconstruction in this procedure, great care must be employed to select candidates who are the most likely to benefit. Long term outcomes of cervical exenteration have been reported to be equivalent to total laryngectomy. Anastomotic leak, tracheal stoma dehiscence, erosion of the innominate artery, and flap necrosis are all established risks, and long term survival is ultimately dependent upon the extensiveness of the underlying disease process.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Michael Y. Mi, Peter C. Block, Joseph P. Broderick

The authors present a case vignette. Particularly interesting is the statement on reliability of sonography to assess the oval fossa, especially for placing confidence in echocardiographic screening of cardiac donors.

Source: Circulation Research
Author(s): Sonia R. Singh, Jeffrey Robbins

A sober editorial on a murine model of induced cardiac failure, which highlights the challenges of translating animal omics to humans

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Daniel C. Thomas, Brian N. Arnold, Jessica R. Hoag, Michelle C. Salazar, Frank C. Detterbeck, Daniel J. Boffa, Anthony W. Kim, Justin D. Blasberg

Thomas and colleagues performed a retrospective analysis of patient information from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database to identify risk factors for postdischarge venous thromboembolism (VTE) following lung resection. Although VTE events occurred in only 1.6% of patients (234 of 14,308), the authors found that 44% of all VTE events occurred after discharge, and older age, obesity, pneumonectomy, and prolonged operative time were all independent predictors of postdischarge VTE. They conclude that prophylactic management of postdischarge VTE, particularly for patients with high risk, should be included in guidelines for postoperative VTE management.

Source: People
Author(s): Julie Mazziotta

When she was four months old, doctors determined that Bryce would need heart surgery as soon as possible. Though she was in the 50th percentile for weight when she was born, Bryce had sunk to below zero.

Her cardiologist brought in Khanh H. Nguyen of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital who performs a unique form of open-heart surgery, where the incision is made under the armpit, rather than the traditional method of sternotomy. Dr Nguyen started using this different approach 14 years ago.