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Journal and News Scan

Source: Nature Biomedical Engineering
Author(s): M. Saad Bhamla, Brandon Benson, Chew Chai, Georgios Katsikis, Aanchal Johri, Manu Prakash

A centrifuge made of paper and string and powered by hand can separate plasma from whole blood in 90 seconds and permit the diagnosis of malaria in 15 minuntes at the point of care. The centrifuge generates speeds of 125,000 rpm, with a theoretical maximum of 1,000,000 rpm. Such devices may become the centerpiece of diagnostic assays in the developing world in the future.

Source: Nature Reviews Cardiology
Author(s): David A. Brown, Justin B. Perry, Mitchell E. Allen, Hani N. Sabbah, Brian L. Stauffer, Saame Raza Shaikh, John G. F. Cleland, Wilson S. Colucci, Javed Butler, Adriaan A. Voors, Stefan D. Anker, Bertram Pitt, Burkert Pieske, Gerasimos Filippatos, Stephen J. Greene, Mihai Gheorghiade

An interesting, informative, and timely consensus statement on mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure and how to potentially target these abnormalities therapeutically.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Yves d’Udekem, James S Tweddell, Tom R Karl

d’Udekem and colleagues discuss aortic valve surgery in infants and neonates. The authors highlight issues such as considerations and strategies, the role of associated intracardiac and extracardiac lesions, how to deal with iatrogenic lesions following interventional catheter or surgical procedures, and techniques and limitations of aortic valve repair.

Source: JAMA
Author(s): Emmanuel Martinod, Kader Chouahnia, Dana M. Radu, Pascal Joudiou, Yurdagul Uzunhan, Morad Bensidhoum, Ana M. Santos Portela, Patrice Guiraudet,Marine Peretti, Marie-Dominique Destable, Audrey Solis, Sabiha Benachi, Anne Fialaire-Legendre, Hélène Rouard, Thierry Collon, Jacques Piquet, Sylvie Leroy, Nicolas Vénissac, Joseph Santini, Christophe Tresallet, Hervé Dutau, Georges Sebbane, Yves Cohen, Sadek Beloucif, Alexandre C. d’Audiffret, Hervé Petite, Dominique Valeyre, Alain Carpentier, Eric Vicaut

A landmark article summarizing the early clinical experience of using a cryopreserved aortic homograft with a customized internal stent for major airway replacement.

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.