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Journal and News Scan

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Maria Lucia Madariaga, Lawrence F. Borges, James D. Rabinov, David C. Chang, Michael Lanuti, Douglas J. Mathisen, Henning A. Gaissert

Madariaga and colleagues retrospectively evaluated operative characteristics and outcomes in 86 patients who underwent resection of a posterior mediastinal tumor, with or without preoperative angiography. The nine patients who were selected for angiography had larger tumors that more often involved the neuroforamen than patients who were not selected. Blood loss, complication rate, and deaths related to tumor resection were comparable between patients who did and did not undergo angiography, and the authors did not find angiography itself to be associated with increased complications. They suggest that for properly selected patients, the ability to limit resection blood loss with embolization and to define spinal and tumor blood supply could outweigh the risk of angiography.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Frédéric Kolb, François Simon, Régis Gaudin, Briac Thierry, Sacha Mussot, Laurent Dupic, Jean-Louis Coste, Françoise Denoyelle, Vincent Couloigner, Erea-Noël Garabedian

Kolb and colleagues describe their experience with tracheal replacement in a 12-year-old child with severe tracheal stenosis, for whom other available treatments had failed. The surgical team fashioned the new trachea from a myocutaneous latissimus dorsi free flap and chondrocartilage slings, using techniques that have been successfully performed in adults.

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Bo Yang, Himanshu J. Patel, Elizabeth L. Norton, Christina Debenedictus, Linda Farhat, Xiaoting Wu, Kevin He, Whitney E. Hornsby, Donald S. Likosky, G. Michael Deeb

This is a retrospective review of 143 patients requiring reoperation after an initial AVR with a Freestyle® stentless bioprosthesis. Valve survival was 10.4 years for those with structural valve deterioration, but it was much less (4.1 years) if the initial procedure was for infective endocarditis. Operative mortality was <2%. This suggests a favourable result for reoperation.

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

Patient Care

A baby in Taiwan is the third-lightest to have undergone repair of a type A interrupted aortic arch and aortopulmonary window.

Did you know that April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month in the USA?


Drugs and Devices

Abiomed’s Impella CP heart pump received expanded premarket approval for its SmartAssist technology from the US Food and Drug Administration.

An experimental percutaneous catheter for cryoablation uses liquid nitrogen to reach very low temperatures.


Research, Trials, and Funding

Australian researchers provide more evidence that one should eat vegetables for healthy arteries.

Biostage, Inc has received funding to develop its Cellspan™ Esophageal Implant technology for pediatric patients with esophageal atresia.

Researchers from Canada find an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women whose infants were born with congenital heart defects.

Researchers from around the USA have reported an approach for avoiding transcatheter aortic valve replacement-induced coronary obstruction, and their technique will be evaluated in a multicenter study.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Rahul Bhatnagar, Emma K. Keenan, Anna J. Morley, Brennan C. Kahan, Andrew E. Stanton, Mohammed Haris, Richard N. Harrison, Rehan A. Mustafa, Lesley J. Bishop, Liju Ahmed, Alex West, Jayne Holme, Matthew Evison, Mohammed Munavvar, Pasupathy Sivasothy, Jurgen Herre, David Cooper, Mark Roberts, Anur Guhan, Clare Hooper, James Walters, Tarek S. Saba, Biswajit Chakrabarti, Samal Gunatilake, Ioannis Psallidas, Steven P. Walker, Anna C. Bibby, Sarah Smith, Louise J. Stadon, Natalie J. Zahan-Evans, Y.C. Gary Lee, John E. Harvey, Najib M. Rahman, Robert F. Miller, Nick A. Maskell

Bhatnagar and colleagues randomized patients with malignant pleural effusion in order to test an outpatient approach to pleurodesis. All patients had indwelling pleural catheters placed for drainage, and they received a daily administration of either talc slurry or placebo through the catheter on an outpatient basis. Pleurodesis was evaluated after 35 days, with 30 of 69 patients (43%) in the talc group and 16 of 70 patients (23%) in the placebo group demonstrating successful pleurodesis.

Source: Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Graeme L Hickey, Mostafa M Mokhles, David J Chambers, Ruwanthi Kolamunnage-Dona

The EJCTS and ICVTS are publishing a series of Statistical Primers to help clinicians perform and interpret research. In this article, Hickey and colleagues provide a practical introduction to repeated-measures analysis. The authors focus on linear mixed models, which are more amenable to real world data than other methods given their ability to handle mistimed or randomly missing longitudinal data. This primer on a more advanced statistical method could provide crucial information to increase the impact of your next manuscript.

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Igor Gosev, Michael S. Kiernan, Peter Eckman, Behzad Soleimani, Ahmet Kilic, Nir Uriel, Johnatan D. Rich, Jason N. Katz, Jennifer Cowger, Brian Lima, Siobhan McGurk, Meredith A. Brisco-Bacik, Sanjin Lee, Susan M. Joseph, Chetan B. Patel, for the Evolving Mechanical Support Research Group (EMERG) Investigators

Gosev and colleagues evaluated the baseline characteristics and outcomes in 156 patients from 12 centers who survived at least four years on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. Among this group of patients, mean survival was 7.1 years (95% CI 6.7 to 7.5 years). The average readmission rate was 1.1 ± 0.9 per patient-year, and the authors suggest that this low rate of complications could be responsible for the long survival seen in these patients.

Source: Fox News
Author(s): Tyler McCarthy

 70-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger has undergone successful redo heart surgery at Ceders-Sinai Hospital, after an initial attempt to replace his pulmonic valve percutaneously. He famously underwent an attempted Ross Procedure in 1997, and the pulmonic valve left from that operation now required repeat surgery.

Apparently everything went well, and his first words were "I'm back!"

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

Patient Care

Higher risk of death from coronary artery disease was noted for Americans who drank higher quantities of sugary beverages but not for those who ate more sugary foods.


Drugs and Devices

Aymara craftswomen in Bolivia weave textile-art-based patterns into percutaneous devices for occluding structural heart defects in children.

Several groups, including the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, have sued the US Food and Drug Administration over their decision to delay implementation of a rule that would regulate e-cigarette marketing like marketing of tobacco products.


Research, Trials, and Funding

A study of data from the German Aortic Valve Registry suggests that rapid deployment valves lead to shorter surgery duration but not to better outcomes than conventional biological valves.

An observational study from Denmark, published in JAMA Cardiology, found that the risk of thromboembolism from atrial fibrillation (AFib) that began after coronary artery bypass grafting was lower than that seen with nonsurgical, nonvalvular AFib, despite a lower rate of oral anticoagulation therapy.

Researchers in South Africa find that silver-based anticancer drugs show promise in preclinical studies, potentially representing an opportunity to design chemotherapeutic drugs on a less expensive starting material than the current platinum-based drugs.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Nick Freemantle, Marc Ruel, Mario F.L. Gaudino, Domenico Pagano
Freemantle and colleagues discuss evidence evaluating myocardial revascularization strategies, focusing in particular on conclusions that can and cannot be drawn from subgroup analyses. The authors detail the benefits and limitations inherent to meta-analyses, and they comment on dividing left main coronary artery stenosis and multivessel coronary artery disease into subgroups when comparing outcomes between surgical and percutaneous interventions.