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Journal and News Scan
September 27, 2016
Submitted by: Mark Ferguson
The authors assessed the relationship between second hand smoke exposure in non-smokers and mortality related to lung cancer using serum cotinine levels. Cotinine levels were associated with survival, death from lung cancer, and death from all cancers after adjustment. Such levels identify second hand smoke effects.
The Duke group analyzed their group of patients undergoing proximal aortic operations during a 9-year period (n=869) to determine the incidence and etiology of reintervention on the aorta during follow-up. In all, 4.32% of patients required reintervention—roughly evenly divided between the proximal ascending aort and the distal aorta—and most occured within 3 years. The type of intervention needed in the second setting varied based upon the indications for, and type of, initial operation.
The authors performed a subgroup analysis of the Papillary Muscle Approximation (PMA) trial, a randomized trial that, while showing superiority of PMA + restrictive annuloplasty (RA) over RA alone in terms of LV remodeling and MR recurrence, failed to show a survival advantage and was plagued by a relatively high incidence of reoperation. In this study, the authors found that the best outcomes were seen in patients with preop symmetric tethering, asymmetric tethering, or inferior wall dyskinesia. Patients with primarily anterolateral wall dysfunction did not benefit from the addition of the PMA.
This erudite publication by Dr. Engelman explores the alphabet soup of the new payment models already upon us and sure to be central to our future. If you are not well-versed in acronyms such as MACRA, MIPS, BPCI and so forth, this is a must-read. Dr. Engelman does a superb job of covering all the central topics in a form that is easily digestible and extremely important for the future of our specialty.
September 23, 2016
The Johns Hopkins group reviewed their experience with mediastinal exploration for bleeding after cardiac surgery during the period from 2011 through June 2014, and retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of two categories of patients: (1) Planned Reexploration, defined as patients left open at the initial operation with a plan for a second-look procedure (n=62), and (2) Unplanned Reexploration, defined as those patients who initially underwent sternal closure but required reexploration for bleeding (n=48). Propensity matching generated 30 well-matched pairs for comparison. The primary outcome, operative mortality, was no different between the planned and unplanned reexploration groups, whether propensity-matched (37% v. 37%, p=.47) or not (29% v. 23%, p=.47). The authors conclude that delayed sternal closure with planned reexploration is a safe alternative to initial sternal closure in patients at increased risk for ongoing bleeding. Comment: After reading this study, would you have a lower threshold for leaving a chest open for bleeding upon completion of a cardiac operation? Why or why not?
September 19, 2016
Submitted by: Joseph Basha
It’s well known that VAD and ECMO are associated with bleeding and decreased platelet activity. This study investigated whether loss of platelet receptors occurred in 21 VAD patients and 20 ECMO patients. They found significantly reduced surface receptors (GPIbα and GPVI) in VAD and ECMO patients compared to healthy donors. T he authors concluded that VAD and ECMO may contribute to ablated platelet adhesion/activation and limit thrombus formation under high/pathological shear conditions. Reduced platelet receptors in ECMO patients contribute to the bleeding issues on top of the platelet count reduction.
September 15, 2016
Balloon aortic valve dilatation has been assumed by some to provide the same outcomes as surgical aortic valvuloplasty. However, the development of precise modern surgical valvuloplasty techniques may result in better long-term durability of the aortic valve repair. This review of the recent literature suggests that current surgical aortic valvuloplasty techniques provide a safe and durable repair. Furthermore, primary surgical valvuloplasty appears to have greater freedom from re-intervention and aortic valve replacement as compared to balloon aortic valve dilatation.
September 12, 2016
Submitted by: J. Rafael Sadaba
The presence of a bicuspid valve has been considered as a relative contraindication for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). This a multicentre retrospective study of 51 patients with bicuspid aortic stenosis who had undergone TAVI using a next-generation transcatheter heart valve (Edwards SAPIEN 3). 30- day mortality was 3,9%. There were no cases of valve embolization, need for a second prosthesis or annular rupture. Post implantation ballooning was required in 7.8% of the patients. None of the patients had more than mild aortic regurgitation (AR). Mild AR was detected in 37% of the cases. Pacemaker implantation was required in 23,5% of the cases. In this group of patients with bicuspid aortic stenosis, implantation of a new-generation device was associated with minimal paravalvular regurgitation and good clinical outcomes, but a higher than usual need for pacemaker implantation.
September 7, 2016
The international multicenter CE Mark clinical trial of the HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System included 50 patients. Thirty-day survival was 98%, bleeding and strokes were observed in 30% and 4%, respectively.
September 7, 2016
MitraClip therapy for functional mitral regurgitation (MR) was inferior to surgical repair after 4 years with regard to MR recurrence according to a monocenter study on 143 patients who had optimal results immediately after treatment.