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Journal and News Scan

Source: Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Author(s): David Ruttens, Els Wauters, Michal Kiciński, Stijn E. Verleden, Elly Vandermeulen, Robin Vos, Dirk E. Van Raemdonck, Tim S. Nawrot, Diether Lambrechts, Geert M. Verleden, Bart M. Vanaudenaerde

The aim of this genetic study conducted on a large lung transplant population is to demonstrate the relationship between some genetic variants of IL-17 and IL-23 and the risk of development of chronic allograft rejection. This association could lead to new ways of prevention and treatment.

Source: Circulation
Author(s): Urena M, Webb JG, Tamburino C, Muñoz-García AJ, Cheema A, Dager AE, Serra V, Amat-Santos I, Barbanti M, Immè S, Alonso Briales JH, Benitez LM, Al Lawati H, Cucalon AM, García Del Blanco B, López J, Dumont E, Delarochellière R, Ribeiro HB, Nombela-Franco L,Philippon F, Rodés-Cabau J.

This is a multicentre retrospective study of 1556 patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) with self expandable valves (SEV) and balloon expandable valves (BEV), evaluating the effect of permanent pacemaker implantation (PPI) on outcomes at two years. 15.4% of the patients required PPI. Not surprisingly, the need for PPI was significantly higher in patients receiving a SEV (25,5%) than in patients receiving a BEV (7,1%). There was no difference in the primary outcome of the study, which was defined as a composite of all-cause mortality and hospitalization due to heart failure at last follow-up. Interestingly, there was a lower rate of unexpected death in patients with PPI. Left ventricular ejection fraction improved in patients with no PPI but worsened in those patients with PPI.

Source: The Journal of Vascular Surgery
Author(s): Tolenaar JL, Harris KM, Upchurch GR Jr, Evangelista A, Moll FL, di Eusanio M, Eagle K, Trimarchi S; IRAD investigators

This retrospective analysis compares outcomes in patients with aortic intramural hematoma type B (IMHB) to those with type B aortic dissection (ABAD) in patients enrolled in the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD).  There was no difference in in-hospital mortality between the two groups.  Patients with IMHB required surgical intervention less frequently than ABAD, with the indications for intervention being the same for the two groups (rupture, malperfusion, refractory pain or hypertension).  Periaortic hematoma was observed more often in patients with IMHB and was identified as a risk factor for rupture.  Patients with ABAD had significantly more dilation of the descending aorta during follow up and more often had extension into the abdominal aorta than those with IMHB.  The authors concluded that IMHB may have a more indolent clinical course than ABAD.  

Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Author(s): Andrew J. Boyle; Ulrich P. Jorde; Benjamin Sun;Soon J. Park; Carmelo A. Milano; O.Howard Frazier; Kartik S. Sundareswaran; David J. Farrar; Stuart D. Russell

This article by Boyle et al. investigates risk factors that are associated with higher rates of bleeding, stroke and pump thrombosis after LVAD implantation. The authors analyzed 956 patients who underwent Heartmate II implantation as a bridge to transplant (n=405) or as a destination therapy (n=551). They found that gender, age, etiology of heart failure and body mass index were significantly associated with higher risk of bleeding and thrombotic events in LVAD patients.

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Kieser TM, Curran HJ, Rose MS, Norris CM, Graham MM

In this article by Kieser and colleagues in which they analyzed 1000 patients receiving CABG, the authors report that when using arterial grafts, incomplete revascularization (occurrence, 14%) was not associated with increased midterm mortality over a median of 54 months in patients <80 years of age (HR 1.2, 95% CI 0.7-2.1), while it was in patients >80 years old (HR 5.7, 95% CI 1.8-18.0). 

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Dimitrova KR, Hoffman DM, Geller CM, Ko W, Lucido DL, Dincheva GR, Tranbaugh RF

This study by Dimitrova et al included 1339 patients who underwent CABG of which 332 patients received a LIMA with a radial artery and 1007 a LIMA with a SVG. In a propensity-matched cohort of 283 pairs, Kaplan-Meier survival in the radial artery versus SVG group at one year (99% vs. 97%), 5 years (93% vs. 87%), 10 years (80% vs. 72%) and 15 years (70% vs. 58%) favoured those receiving a radial artery (P=0.018). In a propensity-score adjusted multivariate analysis of the entire cohort, the use of a radial artery remained an independent predictor of long-term mortality: hazard ratio 0.64, 95% CI 0.44-0.90; P=0.017).

Source: Circulation
Author(s): Barbanti M, Webb JG, Hahn RT, Feldman T, Boone RH, Smith CR, Kodali S, Zajarias A, Thompson CR, Green P, Babaliaros V, Makkar RR, Szeto WY, Douglas PS, McAndrew T, Hueter I, Miller DC, Leon MB; Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valve (PARTNER) Trial Investigators

In this paper the authors use data from cohort A of the PARTNER trial to evaluate the effect of preoperative moderate to severe mitral regurgitation on survival at two years in patients treated with surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) and TAVI. Mitral regurgitation improved significantly in both groups at 30 days. Preoperative mitral regurgitation had a negative effect on survival in the SAVR group but not in the TAVI group. The authors conclude that TAVI may be a reasonable treatment option in a selected group of patients with aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Indraratna P, et al.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has emerged as an alternative treatment to aortic valve replacement (AVR) for selected patients with severe aortic stenosis. The present systematic review was conducted to analyze the cost–effectiveness of this novel technique within reimbursed healthcare systems. Depending on the ICER threshold selected, TAVI is potentially justified on both medical and economic grounds compared with medical therapy for patients deemed to be surgically inoperable. However, in the high–risk surgical patient cohort, the evidence is currently insufficient to economically justify the use of TAVI in preference to AVR.


  • Two reviewers used 7 electronic databases from January 2000 to November 2012 to identify relevant cost-effectiveness studies of TAVI versus AVR or medical therapy.
  • The primary endpoints were the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and the probability of cost-effectiveness.
  • The eligible studies for the present systematic review included those in which the cost-effectiveness data were measured or projected for TAVI and either medical therapy or AVR.
  • All forms of TAVI were included, and all retrieved publications were limited to the English language.



  • Eight studies were included for quantitative assessment.
  • The ICER for TAVI compared with medical therapy for surgically inoperable patients ranged from US$26,302 to US$61,889 per quality-adjusted life year gained.
  • The probability of TAVI being cost-effective compared with medical therapy ranged from 0.03 to 1.00.
  • The ICER values for TAVI compared with AVR for high-risk surgical candidates ranged from US$32,000 to US$975,697 per quality-adjusted life year gained.
  • The probability of TAVI being cost-effective in this cohort ranged from 0.116 to 0.709.
Source: Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Wan B, et al

The purpose of this meta–analysis is to compare the safety, clinical efficacy, and survival outcomes of MitraClip implantation with surgical correction of severe MR. Despite a higher risk profile in the MitraClip patients compared to surgical intervention, the clinical outcomes were similar although surgery was more effective in reducing MR in the early post procedure period. The authors conclude the non–inferiority of the MitraClip as a treatment option for severe, symptomatic MR in comparison to conventional valvular surgery.


Six electronic databases were searched for original published studies from January 2000 to August 2013.
Two reviewers independently appraised studies, using a standard form, and extracted data on methodology, quality criteria, and outcome measures.
All data were extracted and tabulated from the relevant articles’ texts, tables, and figures and checked by another reviewer.
Overall 435 publications were identified.

After applying selection criteria and removing serial publications with accumulating number of patients or increased length of follow-up, four publications with the most complete dataset were included for quality appraisal and data extraction.
There was one randomized controlled trial (RCT) and three prospective observational studies.
At baseline, patients in the MitraClip group were significantly older (P=0.01), had significantly lower LVEF (P=0.03) and significantly higher EuroSCORE (P<0.0001).
The number of patients with post-procedure residual MR severity >2 was significantly higher in the MitraClip group compared to the surgical group (17.2% vs. 0.4%; P<0.0001).
30-day mortality was not statistically significant (1.7% vs. 3.5%; P=0.54), nor were neurological events (0.85% vs. 1.74%; P=0.43), reoperations for failed MV procedures (2% vs. 1%; P=0.56), NYHA Class III/IV (5.7% vs. 11.3; P=0.42) and mortality at 12 months (7.4% vs. 7.3%; P=0.66).

Source: USA News

An unnamed man who was "nearing the end of his life," according to doctors, became the first person to receive an artificial heart on Wednesday at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris

Unlike previous heart replacement devices, the Carmat heart is intended to last for as long as five years. It is fully artificial, yet closer to a human heart than any other heart device developed so far. "If your loved one came through the door [and you had a Carmat artificial heart], it would start to beat faster, just like a real one," Alain Carpentier, who developed the heart and led last week's surgery, told reporters in a press conference,