This site is not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 (or older).

Please upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer or use an alternate browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

Journal and News Scan

Source: JAMA
Author(s): Andreas Claesson, Anders Bäckman, Mattias Ringh, Leif Svensson, Per Nordberg, Therese Djärv, Jacob Hollenberg

Using a simulated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest scenario, the authors compared the time from an emergency call to resource deployment and arrival for drone-delivered automatic external defibrillator (AED) and ground vehicle-based emergency medical services (EMS).  Mean time to dispatch was 3 sec for the drone and 3 min for EMS.  Over a median flight distance of 3.2 km, mean time to arrival was 5:21 min for the drone vs 22:00 min for EMS.

Source: MedPage Today
Author(s): Skeptical Scalpel

Sure, we all receive emergency calls that potentially could interrupt an operation.  This surgeon, however, was taking a Spanish language proficiency test on his cell phone while performing varicose vein surgery on an awake patient.  Common sense appears to have failed in this case.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery & European Heart Journal
Author(s): Volkmar Falk, Helmut Baumgartner, Jeroen J. Bax, Michele De Bonis, Christian Hamm, Per Johan Holm, Bernard Lung, Patrizio Lancellotti, Emmanuel Lansac, Daniel Rodriguez Mun~oz, Raphael Rosenhek, Johan Sjögren, Pilar Tornos Mas, Alec Vahanian, Thomas Walther, Olaf Wendler, Stephan Windecker, Jose Luis Zamorano, ESC Scientific Document Group

The Task Force for the Management of Valvular Heart Disease of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) copublished the 2017 guidelines for the management of valvular disease in the European Heart Journal and in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. In this comprehensive paper, there are many new and strong classes of recommendations since the previous 2012 guidelines.

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Samuel St-Onge, Louis P. Perrault, Philippe Demers, Edward M. Boyle, A. Marc Gillinov, James Cox, Spencer Melby

This review article explores the association between postoperative mediastinal blood and atrial fibrillation.

Source: The Herald
Author(s): Helen McArdle

Minimally invasive plication of the diaphragm is a life changing procedure for patients affeted by diaphragm paralysis. The three-port procedure was conceived in Middlesbrough and it is now spreading around UK and beyond.

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine
Author(s): Nisha Bansal, Susan M. Hailpern, Ronit Katz, Yoshio N. Hall, Manjula K. Tamura, William Kreuter, Ann M. O’Hare

Bansal and colleagues describe survival after left ventricular assist device placement for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), based on Medicare claims associated with data in the United States Renal Data System registry. Prognosis for these patients was very poor compared to patients without ESRD, particularly in the short-term. The authors suggest this information could be helpful in informing shared decisions regarding treatment for advanced heart failure in patients with ESRD.

An invited commentary article from Thomas and colleagues accompanies the article.

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

Patient Care

The Venezuelan singer known by the nickname “El Puma” is recovering after a double lung transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

A Bangladeshi woman has received a new esophagus in Toronto, Canada, after her esophagus was severely damaged in an acid attack.

Dutch cyclist Lars Boom will miss the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia, as he undergoes surgery for cardiac arrhythmia. Lithuanian cyclist Ramūnas Navardauskas will make the tour, having recovered from his surgical arrhythmia correction.


Drugs and Devices

Three reports of detached docking buttons on the Nanostim leadless pacemaker lead Abbott to announce that it is maintaining the worldwide halt on device implantations while it investigates.


Research, Trials, and Funding

In a bit of festive fun, researchers at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, suggest testable—if improbable—hypotheses for some of the scientific oddities in popular Christmas stories, such as the Grinch’s rapidly growing heart.

In case you needed more reason to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, a study published in the European Respiratory Journal found an association between a person’s apple and tomato consumption and their lung health.

Mice with a genetic modification that models Marfan syndrome benefit from a bit of moderate exercise, say researchers from Spain.

Source: Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Nicholas T. Kouchoukos

In this review, Kouchoukos presents an argument against the use of endovascular stenting for the management of thoracoabdominal disease in patients with Marfan syndrome, except in exceptional circumstances or when the endovascular stent is landed in previously-sited graft material.  The opinion is based upon the poor outcomes of a limited number of Marfan patients that are reported in the literature, including in-hospital mortality of 2.5% to 12.5% and primary treatment failure between 25.0% and 43.8%. This is compared with the excellent reported early outcomes of patients with Marfan syndrome undergoing open surgical repair of thoracoabdominal aortic disease, such as early mortality between 0% and 7%.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Holger Thiele, Ibrahim Akin, Marcus Sandri, Georg Fuernau, Suzanne de Waha, Roza Meyer-Saraei, Peter Nordbeck, Tobias Geisler, Ulf Landmesser, Carsten Skurk, Andreas Fach, Harald Lapp, Jan J. Piek, Marko Noc, Tomaž Goslar, Stephan B. Felix, Lars S. Maier,Janina Stepinska, Keith Oldroyd, Pranas Serpytis, Gilles Montalescot, , Olivier Barthelemy, Kurt Huber, Stephan Windecker, Stefano Savonitto, Patrizia Torremante, Christiaan Vrints, Steffen Schneider, Steffen Desch, Uwe Zeymer, for the CULPRIT-SHOCK Investigators

Interesting to read the mortality and renal morbidity of PCI after serious MI. The choice of dual primary outcome may have been an afterhought....

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Narain Moorjani, Michael Lewis, Rajesh Shah, Sion Barnard, Tim Graham, Sridhar Rathinam

Moorjani and colleagues describe the implementation of a simulation-based training program for cardiothoracic surgical trainees in the UK and Ireland, which included 10 courses during the six-year training program. Attendance of the courses lead to increases in self-confidence and perceived self-competency among trainees, and board examination pass rates after course attendance increased significantly.

Commentary articles from Jonathan Nesbitt and Paul Hendry consider the success of the program and the possibility of implementing similar training programs elsewhere.