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Journal and News Scan

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Kongjia Luo, Yongbin Lin, Xiaodan Lin, Xiangyang Yu, Jing Wen, Kexing Xi, Peng Lin, Lanjun Zhang

The authors describe a new technique for localization of very small, non-visible, and non-palpable pulmonary lesions for video-assisted thoracoscopic sublobular resection. 

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Takashi Murashita, Hartzell V. Schaff, Richard C. Daly, Jae K. Oh, Joseph A. Dearani, John M. Stulak, Katherine S. King, Kevin L. Greason

Murashita and colleagues reviewed the surgical outcomes of patients with intraoperatively-confirmed constrictive pericarditis. The authors divided patients into a historical group (1936- 1990) and a contemporary group (1990-2013) to compare patient presentation and analyze risk factors for negative outcomes. The etiology of pericarditis was known in nearly half of contemporary cases, as opposed to fewer than 20% of historical cases. Long-term outcomes were similar between the groups when patient characteristics were controlled for.

CME activity related to this article is available online.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Taijiro Mishina, Atsushi Watanabe, Masahiro Miyajima, Junji Nakazawa

The last four days matter: larger changes in atmospheric pressure correlate with primary spontaneous pneumothorax. This paper matches two hospital databases with meteorologic data of a geographic area in Japan over more than five years.

Source: Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Piergiorgio Solli, Monica Casiraghi, Daniela Brambilla, Patrick Maisonneuve, Lorenzo Spiaggiari

A wide experience, from the Euorpean Institute of Oncology, on Pancoast tumors' treatment confirms that surgery is still the most important step of the multimodality approach for the patients affected by this condition.

Source: Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Magdi Yacoub, Ahmed Afifi, Hesham Saad, Heba Agiub, and Ahmed El-Guindy

Dr Magdi H. Yacoub and colleagues explore the major approaches, pearls, and pitfalls of septal myectomy, which represents the contemporary gold standard for treating symptomatic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients without significant comorbidities. The authors further cover key components of the preoperative workup for this procedure, as well as current evidence for short- and long-term outcomes in these patients. They emphasize that surgical techniques for relief of left ventricular outflow obstruction are still significantly underused, despite consistent demonstrations of safety and efficacy. 

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

Patient Care

Two critically ill patients receive heart transplants within 4 hours in a hospital in Mumbai, India, thanks to efficient and quick transport of the organs.

A report in the World Journal of Surgery says that the primary skills of US surgeons, being ever more specialized, don’t align with the procedures that comprise the majority of work performed by groups like Médecins Sans Frontières.


Drugs and Devices

A confidentiality commitment has been signed as part of ongoing increased information exchange between the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration.


Research, Trials, and Funding

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, find that women have a better outcomes than men following chemotherapy and radiation prior to surgery for advanced esophageal cancer.

Surgeons in New York City, USA, find evidence that questions prophylactic insertion of inferior vena cava filters in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury.

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Sajjad Raza, MD, Eugene H. Blackstone, MD, Penny L. Houghtaling, MS, Marijan Koprivanac, MD, Kirthi Ravichandren, MD, Hoda Javadikasgari, MD, Faisal G. Bakaeen, MD, Lars G. Svensson, MD, PhD, Joseph F. Sabik III, MD

This CCF retrospective study compared outcomes for diabetic patients undergoing CABG who received either (1) bilateral internal thoracic artery (BITA) grafts or (2) single internal thoracic artery  (SITA) plus radial artery (RA) grafts during CABG.  A total of 1,325 patients over a 17-year period were included in the analysis, with a median follow-up of 7.4 years.  Results:  For propensity-matched patients, in-hospital outcomes and long-term survival were similar in the two groups.

Question:  For diabetic patients, should the choice of BITA vs. SITA + RA be considered equivalent?  Why or why not?

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Joshua R. Sonett, Mitchell J. Magee,and Lyall Gorenstein,

This is an expert summary of the evidence for thymectomy in nonthymomatous myasthenia gravis, titled Thymectomy and myasthenia gravis: A history of surgical passion and scientific excellence.

It really suggests that this operation is the standard of care for these patients if they are ACh-positive and young and MGFA II or above.

Source: Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Brian Mitzman, Waseem Lutfi, Chi-Hsiung Wang, Seth Krantz, John A. Howington, Ki-Wan Kim

The authors compare outcomes of open versus minimally invasive esophagectomy (OE, MIE) from the National Cancer Databased (NCDB) 2010-2012 and use propensity scoring to match patients (977 pairs).  Short term outcomes were equivalent for LOS and mortality, and median survival was similar.  Nodal removal was higher for MIE (16.3 vs 14.5). 

Source: Circulation Research
Author(s): Roberto Bolli

An editorial on what will be soon required from papers sent to the Circulation group of periodicals, and probably soon to all reputable biomedical journals. Bolli advances that the internal and external validity of manuscripts has space for improvement!