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Journal and News Scan

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Liu, Kimberlee Gauvreau, Steven D. Colan, Francis Fynn-Thompson, Sitaram Emani, Christopher A. Baird, John E. Mayer, Pedro J. del Nido

Technical performance in congenital heart surgery, as judged by discharge electrocardiogram and other clinical factors, is associated with postoperative complications including mortality.  This study assessed technical performance related to long-term survival in nearly 700 patients.  After controlling for risk category and patient age, poor technical performance was found in multivariable analysis to be strongly related to  late mortality and the need for late reintervention.

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Henrik Bjursten, Faleh Al-Rashidi, Alain Dardashti, Björn Brondén, Lars Algotsson, Per Ederoth

This retrospective single center study assessed the efects of transfusion on outcomes after aortic valve replacement in over 1300 patients.  Long-term survival was unaffected by transfusion of red blood cells or platelets.  However, transfusion of plasma was associated with a modest but significant decrease in long-term survival. 

Source: Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Traves D. Crabtree, Andrzej S. Kosinski, Varun Puri, William Burfeind, Ankit Bharat, G. Alexander Patterson, Wayne Hofstetter, Bryan F. Meyers

Optimal therapy (surgery vs multimodality therapy) for clinical T2N0 esophageal cancer is controversial.  This STS Database review assessed accuracy of clinical staging compared to pathologic staging in nearly 500 patients who underwent initial resection.  T2N0 was confirmed in 27%, 26% were downstaged, and 47% were upstaged.  The most common cause for upstaging was nodal involvement without change in T status.  In another group of clinical T2N0 patients who underwent induction therapy, upstaging was evident in the resection specimen in 38%. 

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Emmanuel Futier, Jean-Michel Constantin, Catherine Paugam-Burtz, Julien Pascal, Mathilde Eurin, Arthur Neuschwander, Emmanuel Marret, Marc Beaussier, Christophe Gutton, Jean-Yves Lefrant, Bernard Allaouchiche, Daniel Verzilli, Marc Leone, Audrey De Jong, Jean-Etienne Bazin, Bruno Pereira, and Samir Jaber for the IMPROVE Study Group

In this multi-institutional prospective trial, 400 pts at increased risk for pulmonary complications after major abdominal surgery were randomized to standard intraoperative ventilator management and lung-protective management with low tidal volumes and PEEP.  A composite of pulmonary and extrapulmonary complications occurred in 27.5% of the control group compared to 10.5% of the treatment group at 7 days.  The incidence of respiratory failure was 17% in the control group and 5% in the treatment group.   The treatment group length of stay was 2.5 days shorter.

Source: catheterization and cardiovascular interventions
Author(s): Mamoo Nakamura

This study sought to investigate the immediate safety and feasibility of complete percutaneous access/closure of arteriotomy for device deployment compared to the surgical approach for transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The percutaneous approach is a feasible access/closure method with a potential of lowering access site infection and bleeding, and shortening hospital stay, while maintaining similar rates of major vascular complications compared to the surgical approach.

Source: Circulation
Author(s): A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association

The intent of this American Heart Association Scientific Statement is to synthesize and summarize data relevant to sexual activity and heart disease in order to provide recommendations and foster physician and other healthcare professional communication with patients about sexual activity. Recommendations in this document are based on published studies, the Princeton Consensus Panel,4,5 the 36th Bethesda Conference,6–10 European Society of Cardiology recommendations on physical activity and sports participation for patients with CVD,11–13 practice guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association14–16 and other organizations,17 and the multidisciplinary expertise of the writing group. The classification of recommendations in this document are based on established ACCF/AHA criteria (Table).

Source: Voice of America
Author(s): Goerge Putic

 3D printers are slowly entering everyday life and they are increasingly being used in medicine. Doctors at Washington's Children's National Medical Center say the life-size tri-dimensional prints of their patients' hearts helps them in planning and executing surgeries. Magnetic resonance imaging, computer tomography and ultrasound already give pretty good images of patients' internal organs, but doctors at the Children's National Medical Center say nothing beats holding a life-size model of a heart in your hand prior to the surgery. They can study it, plan the procedure and even practice the access to the damaged area. Pediatric cardiologist Laura Olivieri says many of their young patients were born with hearts that did not form as they should have, but surgeons can correct that. "Seeing the heart defect in three dimensions can really help the interventionist or the surgeon plan the best procedure," she said. The hospital acquired the $250,000 printer about 18 months ago and the team is still expanding and finding new areas to print. The procedure always starts with taking a set of three-dimensional images with magnetic resonance imager, computer tomography scanner and ultrasound machine. Highly trained pediatric cardiologists manipulate those images and separate the organ from the noise in the picture. In order to save time in printing they sometimes also cut away parts of the image irrelevant to the planned procedure.

Author(s): Arie Blitz

This is a great video of an operation to replace endocarditis of the tricuspid valve due to an infected pacing lead.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Author(s): Linda L. Humphrey; Mark Deffebach; Miranda Pappas; Christina Baumann; Kathryn Artis; Jennifer Priest Mitchell; Bernadette Zakher; Rongwei Fu; and Christopher G. Slatore

The USPST updated its review on lung cancer screening utilizing RTCs and cohort studies.  One trial reported that screening resulted in important reductions in cancer and all-cause mortality.  Three trials reported no benefit but were underpowered.  They conclude that screening offers benefit but is associated with potential harm that must be taken into consideration.

Source: The Lancet
Author(s): Anonymous

Cancer Research UK announced a large investment into TRACERx, a project aimed at identifying genetic abnormalities in lung cancers and following their evolution over the lifetime of the patient.  Similar efforts are underway in France and the US.