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Journal and News Scan

Source: JAMA
Author(s): Massimo Imazio and others for the COPPS-2 Investigators

The COPPS-2 trial evaluated the efficacy of oral colchicine in reducing a-fib, post-pericardiotomy syndrome, and pericardial/pleural effusion after cardiac surgery in 360 pts randomized to drug or placebo for 1 month postop.  Colchicine reduced the incidence of post-pericardiotomy syndrome (20% vs 30%) but had no important effect on effusions or a-fib.  Adverse events were more common in the Colchicine group (20% vs 12%).

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Graeme L. Hickey, Stuart W. Grant, Ben Bridgewater, Simon Kendall, Alan J. Bryan, James Kuo and Joel Dunning

OBJECTIVES Biological valves are the most commonly implanted prostheses for aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery in the UK. The aim of this study was to compare performance of porcine and bovinepericardial valves implanted in AVR surgery with respect to survival and reintervention-free survival in a retrospective observational study.

CONCLUSIONS There were no differences in reintervention-free survival between bovine pericardial and porcine valves used in first-time AVR ± CABG up to a maximum of 10 years.




Source: New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Bernard De Bruyne, William F. Fearon, Nico H.J. Pijls, Emanuele Barbato, Pim Tonino, Zsolt Piroth, Nikola Jagic, Sven Mobius-Winckler, Gilles Riouffol, Nils Witt, Petr Kala, Philip MacCarthy, Thomas Engström, Keith Oldroyd, Kreton Mavromatis, Ganesh Manoharan, Peter Verlee, Ole Frobert, Nick Curzen, Jane B. Johnson, Andreas Limacher, Eveline Nüesch, and Peter Jüni for the FAME 2 Trial Investigators

This controlled randomized trial examined the benefits of targeted PCI vs medical therapy alone for patients with stable CAD and stenosis who were found to have zones of fractional flow reserve of less than 0.8 at angiography.  Patients without regions of FFR <0.8 were entered into a  registry.  The composite outcome was death, nonfatal MI, or urgent revascularization within 2 years.  The PCI group had a lower incidence of the composite outcome, 8.1% vs 19.5%, driven by their lower rate of urgent revascularization.  The registry group had a similar rate of the composite outcome as did the PCI group.

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Dan J. Raz, Rachel Dunham, Brian Tiep, Argelia Sandoval, Frederic Grannis, Arnold Rotter, Jae Y. Kim

Screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT has been shown to save lives, but few people who qualify for screening actually receive it.  This study examined the use of the electronic medical record to identify pts at risk due to a smoking history.  Prior to initiation, the annualized rate of referral for screening was 16 pts.  After initiation the annualized rate of referral was 188, 53% of whom were identifed by tobacco use screening.   

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): James Huang, Amy E. Logue, Jamie S. Ostroff, Bernard J. Park, Mary McCabe, David R. Jones, Manjit S. Bains, Nabil P. Rizk, Mark G. Kris, Valerie W. Rusch

This single institution study tracked outcomes of a unique lung cancer survivorship program facilitated by a nurse practitioner who was trained in survivorship care.  The nurse took over follow-up care of early stage patients who survived disease-free for more than 1 year.  92% of eligible pts received follow-up care by the nurse.  The program identified 72% of second primary cancers and 91% of cancer recurrences during scheduled follow-up CT scans.  The program appeared effective and achieved high patient acceptance, and was an alternative to physician-led follow-up. 

Source: JACC Cardiovascular Interventions
Author(s): Pereg D, Fefer P, Samuel M, Wolff R, Czarnecki A, Deb S, Sparkes JD, Fremes SE, Strauss BH




. – In contrast to the large body of information regarding graft patency, data regarding atherosclerosis progression and vessel patency in surgically bypassed native coronary arteries are less clear. The aim of this study was to determine native coronary artery patency 1 year after coronary artery bypass grafting, and to identify clinical and angiographic predictors for the development of a chronic total occlusion (CTO). Researchers found that CTO of surgically bypassed coronary arteries 1 year after coronary artery bypass grafting is extremely common.


  • Of the 440 patients who underwent 1–year follow–up angiography as part of the multicenter RAPS (Radial Artery Patency Study), this study included 388 patients (88%) for whom angiograms were available for review.
  • Angiograms were reviewed for native coronary artery patency in an independent blinded manner.



  • On the pre–operative angiogram, CTO of at least 1 native coronary vessel was demonstrated in 240 patients (61.9%) having 305 occluded vessels.
  • At 1 year after coronary artery bypass grafting, at least 1 new native coronary artery CTO occurred in 169 patients (43.6%).
  • In 7.5% of patients, the native artery and the graft supplying that territory were both occluded.
  • A new CTO was almost 5 times more likely to occur in coronary vessels with a pre–operative proximal stenosis >90% compared with vessels with proximal stenosis <90% (45.5% vs. 9.5%, respectively, p<0.001).
  • Patients with a new CTO had significantly more baseline Canadian Cardiovascular Society class 4 angina compared with patients without a new CTO.
  • A new CTO was less likely to occur in the left anterior descending artery (18.4%), supplied by the left internal thoracic artery.
  • When comparing radial artery and saphenous vein grafts, neither the type of graft nor graft patency had any association with native coronary artery occlusion.


Source: American Journal of Transplantation,
Author(s): American Journal of Transplantation,



Dall CH, et al. – The authors compared the effects of 12 weeks' HIIT versus continued moderate exercise (CON) on exercise capacity and chronotropic response in stable HTx recipients >12 months after transplantation in a randomized crossover trial. In this study the 5–month washout showed a significant loss of improvement. high–intensity interval training (HIIT) was well tolerated, had a superior effect on oxygen uptake, and led to an unexpected increase in HRpeak accompanied by a faster HRrecovery. This indicates that the benefits of HIIT are partly a result of improved chronotropic response.


Source: ABC News
Author(s): ABC news


Brighton Colorado in the story of -- dog who save lives but now need saving himself. K is an eight year old lab -- pit bull mix who spent several tours of duty sniffing out roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. With his handler army specialist Brandon Donahue at -- side.

They're everywhere he couldn't really go anywhere without finding one who is. And I estimated he saved a few thousand lives now -- much deserved retirement is threatened by -- tumor in his heart. Which if not corrected will likely kill the dog.

Surgery will cost more than 6000 dollars Donahue and his wife has started a fund raiser and are determined to get the job done. -- means a lot to me and no means a lot to him. To be able to -- live.

Source: ABC News
Author(s): ABC news

This remarkable dog served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing out bomb threats, and it is estimated he saved thousands of lives.  When he was diagnosed with a cardiac tumor, his handler decided to offer him heart surgery, and is raising money for this purpose. 


Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Tara Karamlou, Marshall L. Jacobs, Sara Pasquali, Xia He, Kevin Hill, Sean O'Brien, David Michael McMullan, Jeffrey P. Jacobs

The impact of center and surgeon volume on outcomes after arterial switch for TGV was investigated using data from the STS database. Median center and surgeon annual volumes were 4 and 2.   Both center and surgeon volume were important determinants of the composite outcome (death or major complication), with surgeon volume having the most important effect.