The latest medical research on Cardiothoracic Surgery

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about cardiothoracic surgery gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Optimizing the Implementation of Surgical Coaching Through Feedback From Practicing Surgeons.

JAMA Surgery

Surgical coaching is maturing as a tangible strategy for surgeons' continuing professional development. Resources to spread this innovation are not yet widely available.

To identify surgeon-derived implementation recommendations for surgical coaching programs from participants' exit interviews and ratings of their coaching interactions.

This qualitative analysis of the Surgical Coaching for Operative Performance Enhancement (SCOPE) program, a quality improvement intervention, was conducted at 4 US academic medical centers. Participants included 46 practicing surgeons. The SCOPE program ran from December 7, 2018, to October 31, 2019. Data were analyzed from November 1, 2019, to January 31, 2020.

Surgeons were assigned as either a coach or a coachee, and each coach was paired with 1 coachee by a local champion who knew the surgeons professionally. Coaching pairs underwent training and were instructed to complete 3 coaching sessions-consisting of preoperative goal setting, intraoperative observation, and postoperative debriefing-focused on intraoperative performance.

Themes from the participants' exit interviews covering 3 major domains: (1) describing the experience, (2) coach-coachee relationship, and (3) facilitators and barriers to implementing surgical coaching. Surgeons' responses were stratified by the net promoter score (NPS), a scale ranging from 0 to 10 points, indicating how likely they were to recommend their coaching session to others, with 9 to 10 indicating promoters; 7 to 8, passives; and 0 to 6, detractors.

Among the 46 participants (36 men [78.3%]), 23 were interviewed (50.0%); thematic saturation was reached with 5 coach-coachee pairs (10 interviews). Overall, coaches and coachees agreed on key implementation recommendations for surgical coaching, including how to optimize coach-coachee relationships and facilitate productive coaching sessions. The NPS categories were associated with how participants experienced their own coaching sessions. Specifically, participants who reported excellent first sessions, had a coaching partner in the same clinical specialty, and were transparent about each other's intentions in the program tended to be promoters. Participants who described suboptimal first sessions, less clinical overlap, and unclear goals with their partner were more likely detractors.

These exit interviews with practicing surgeons offer critical insights for addressing cultural barriers and practical challenges for successful implementation of peer coaching programs focused on surgical performance improvement. With empirical evidence on optimizing coach-coachee relationships and facilitating participants' experience, organizations can establish effective coaching programs that enable meaningful continuous professional development for surgeons and ultimately enhance patient care.

Long-term Oncologic Outcomes of Immediate Breast Reconstruction vs Conventional Mastectomy Alone for Breast Cancer in the Setting of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.

JAMA Surgery

An increasing number of patients with breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) undergo immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) with nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) or skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) as surgical treatment. However, the oncologic efficacy and safety of this treatment sequencing strategy is unclear.

To compare the long-term oncologic outcomes of IBR with NSM/SSM and conventional mastectomy (CM) alone for breast cancer in the NACT setting.

A retrospective, propensity score-matched case-control study was conducted at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. A total of 1266 patients with breast cancer who underwent NACT followed by mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction between January 1, 2010, and November 30, 2016, were included. Data analysis was performed from July 1, 2019, to January 24, 2020. After propensity score matching, 323 patients who underwent IBR with NSM/SSM and 323 who underwent CM alone were selected for comparison of long-term oncologic outcomes.

The 5-year local recurrence-free survival, disease-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, and overall survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using log-rank tests. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards regression model.

After matching, the median follow-up periods were 67 (range, 17-125) months for the IBR group and 68 (range, 17-126) months for the CM-alone group. Median age of the women in the IBR group was 42 (range, 23-72) years; median age of those in the CM-alone group was 46 (range, 30-75) years. No significant differences were observed between the IBR and CM-alone groups in local recurrence (3.7% vs 3.4%; P = .83), regional recurrence (7.1% vs 5.3%; P = .33), or distant metastasis (17.3% vs 18.6%; P = .68) rates. There was also no significant difference between the IBR and CM-alone groups in 5-year local recurrence-free survival (95.6% vs 96.7%; HR, 1.124; 95% CI, 0.495-2.549; P = .78), disease-free survival (76.5% vs 79.9%; HR, 1.089; 95% CI, 0.790-1.500; P = .60), distant metastasis-free survival (82.5% vs 82.5%; HR, 0.941; 95% CI, 0.654-1.355; P = .74), or overall survival (92.0% vs 89.3%; HR, 0.847; 95% CI, 0.530-1.353; P = .49) rates.

The long-term oncologic outcomes of IBR with NSM/SSM for breast cancer in this study appeared to be comparable to those of CM alone after NACT, suggesting the feasibility of IBR with NSM/SSM in the NACT setting.

Evaluation and Treatment of Patients With Hypercortisolism: A Review.

JAMA Surgery

With the potential for severe adverse effects of hypercortisolism, the need to limit the development and unrecognized persistence of sequelae from cortisol excess is of great importance on individual and population health levels. This review discusses the evaluation and treatment of patients with hypercortisolism. Pathophysiology; pitfalls in the diagnosis of hypercortisolism; and preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative management considerations are discussed. The association of hypercortisolism with population health and the potential role surgeons and surgery can play in the future of patients with hypercortisolism are also discussed. Higher-level considerations are put forth to encourage a long-term view of future work needed to optimally care for these patients.

Although classic signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism are evident in some patients, mild autonomous cortisol secretion is likely more prevalent and more difficult to detect despite having the potential to cause significant adverse effects, such as increased risk of mortality, and overt hypercortisolism. With treatment, some adverse effects of hypercortisolism may resolve, although not in all patients. Thus, the need for early diagnosis and treatment is of great importance.

More attention in the future on early treatment of hypercortisolism, whether subclinical or overt, and prevention of adverse effects is warranted for the sake of the individual and the population.

Heart transplantation in India-looking back as we celebrate 25 years of the transplant law.

Indian Journal of Thoracic and

India's heart transplantation programme is the number one programme in South Asia with an average heart transplantation rate of 0.2 per million pop...

Anatomical feasibility of a new off-the-shelf inner branch stent graft (E-nside) for endovascular treatment of thoraco-abdominal aneurysms.

European Journal of Heart Failure

The aim of this study was to evaluate the proportion of thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs) that could theoretically be treated with the JOTEC® E-nside® Thoracoabdominal Branch Endoprosthesis off-the-shelf multibranched endograft.

Preoperative computed tomography scans of patients with atherosclerotic TAAA treated between 2007 and 2019 were reviewed, and the anatomical feasibility of the E-nside graft was verified by a retrospective study (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03959670) based on the investigational manufacturer instructions for use. The anatomical factors determining overall feasibility were divided into vascular access (AC) feasibility, aortic (AO) feasibility and visceral vessels (VV) feasibility.

Two hundred sixty-eight patients with thoraco-abdominal aneurysms were analysed: the overall treatment feasibility was 43%. AC feasibility was 78%, AO feasibility 60% and VV feasibility 79%. An iliac diameter <8.5 mm excluded 21% of the patients. Aortic feasibility was limited by infrarenal aortic diameter (16%) and size of aortic lumen at the level of visceral vessels (14%). Visceral vessels feasibility was mainly limited by inadequate number (8%) or diameter (12%) of target vessels. Height and orientation of target vessels were adequate in 97% of the cases. Overall feasibility was negatively influenced by female gender (Odds ratio: 3.89; 95% confidence interval 2.03-7.44; P < 0.001): the limiting factors in this subgroup being iliac diameter, infrarenal aortic diameter and visceral vessels diameter.

The E-nside off-the-shelf stent graft can be theoretically employed in almost half of the cases from an all-comers cohort of patients with TAAA. Improvement of device profile and creation of a dedicated infrarenal component are warranted to increase overall feasibility. Female gender significantly affects the overall feasibility. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03959670.

Ventricular assist device bridging with gender-mismatch increases rejection and decreases survival following a heart transplant.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Survival is poor following an orthotopic heart transplant with gender-mismatched donors and recipients. Patients bridged to an orthotopic heart transplant with a ventricular assist device (VAD) frequently become sensitized. We hypothesized that the combination of VAD bridging and gender-mismatch may result in greater rejection and poorer survival.

Data were obtained from the United Network of Organ Sharing database. Patients were divided into 4 groups: (i) VAD recipients who received a heart from a gender-matched donor (VAD-M); (ii) VAD recipients who received a heart from a gender-mismatched donor (VAD-MM); (iii) noVAD recipients who received a heart from a gender-matched donor (noVAD-M); and (iv) noVAD recipients who received a heart from a gender-mismatched donor (noVAD-MM). Rejection episodes within 1-year post-transplant and transplant survival were compared in VAD-M versus VAD-MM and noVAD-M versus noVAD-MM groups, respectively.

Between January 2000 and June 2017, of 33 401 adult patients who underwent heart transplants, 8648, 2441, 12 761 and 4992 patients were identified as VAD-M, VAD-MM, noVAD-M and noVAD-MM, respectively. Rejection within 1-year post-transplant occurred in 23.3% and 27.3% of the VAD-M and VAD-MM groups, respectively (P < 0.01) and in 21.8% and 23.6% of the noVAD-M and noVAD-MM groups (P = 0.02), respectively. In an adjusted survival analysis, the VAD-MM group showed significantly worse survival than the VAD-M group (P < 0.01), whereas there was no significant difference between the noVAD-M and noVAD-MM groups (P = 0.21).

Our results indicated that the combination of VAD bridging and gender-mismatch caused greater rejection and worse survival following a transplant. Further study is necessary to prove comparable post-transplant survival of gender-matched or -mismatched recipients without VAD bridging.

Impact of paravalvular regurgitation on the mid-term outcome after transcatheter and surgical aortic valve replacement.

European Journal of Heart Failure

The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and prognostic impact of paravalvular regurgitation (PVR) on the outcome after transcatheter (TAVR) and surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) for aortic stenosis.

The nationwide FinnValve registry included data on 6463 consecutive patients who underwent TAVR (n = 2130) or SAVR (n = 4333) with a bioprosthesis for the treatment of aortic stenosis during 2008-2017. The impact of PVR at discharge after TAVR and SAVR on 4-year mortality was herein investigated.

The rate of mild PVR was 21.7% after TAVR and 5.2% after SAVR. The rate of moderate-to-severe PVR was 3.7% after TAVR and 0.7% after SAVR. After TAVR, 4-year survival was 69.0% in patients with none-to-trace PVR, 54.2% with mild PVR [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.35-1.99] and 48.9% with moderate-to-severe PVR (adjusted HR 1.61, 95% CI 1.10-2.35). Freedom from PVR-related reinterventions was 100% for none-to-mild PVR and 95.2% for moderate-to-severe PVR. After SAVR, mild PVR (4-year survival 78.9%; adjusted HR 1.29, 95% CI 0.93-1.78) and moderate-to-severe PVR (4-year survival 67.8%; adjusted HR 1.36, 95% CI 0.72-2.58) were associated with worse 4-year survival compared to none-to-trace PVR (4-year survival 83.7%), but the difference did not reach statistical significance in multivariable analysis. Freedom from PVR-related reinterventions was 99.5% for none-to-trace PVR patients, 97.9% for mild PVR patients and 77.0% for moderate-to-severe PVR patients.

This multicentre study showed that both mild and moderate-to-severe PVR were independent predictors of worse survival after TAVR. Mild and moderate-to-severe PVR are not frequent after SAVR, but tend to decrease survival also in these patients.

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03385915.

Poor preoperative quality of life predicts prolonged hospital stay after VATS lobectomy for lung cancer.

European Journal of Heart Failure

The aim of this study was to assess whether quality of life (QoL) scales are associated with postoperative length of stay (LoS) following video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy for lung cancer.

This is a single-centre retrospective analysis on 250 consecutive patients submitted to VATS lobectomies (233) or segmentectomies (17) over a period of 3 years. QoL was assessed in all patients by the self-administration of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 questionnaire. The individual QoL scales were tested for possible association with LoS along with other objective baseline and surgical parameters using univariable and multivariable analyses.

Thirty-day cardiopulmonary and mortality rates were 22% and 2.4%. The median LoS was 4 days [interquartile range (IQR) 3-7]. Fifty-one (20%) patients remained in hospital longer than 7 days after surgery (upper quartile). General health [global health score (GHS)] (P = 0.019), physical function (P = 0.014) and role functioning (P = 0.016) scales were significantly worse in patients with prolonged stay. They were highly correlated between each other and tested separately in different logistic regression analyses. The best model resulted the one containing GHS (P = 0.032) along with age, low force expiratory volume in 1 s and carbon monoxide lung diffusion capacity and history of cerebrovascular disease. Fifty-nine patients had GHS <58 (lower interquartile value). Thirty-one percent of them experienced prolonged hospital stay (vs 17% of those with higher GHS, P = 0.027).

Preoperative patient-reported QoL was associated with prolonged postoperative hospital stay. Baseline QoL status should be taken into consideration to implement psychosocial supportive programmes in the context of enhanced recovery after surgery.

Endocarditis-related stroke is not a contraindication for early cardiac surgery: an investigation among 440 patients with left-sided endocarditis.

European Journal of Heart Failure

A treatment dilemma arises when surgery is indicated in patients with infective endocarditis (IE) complicated by stroke. Neurologists recommend surgery to be postponed for at least 1 month. This study aims to investigate the neurological complication rate and neurological recovery potential in patients with IE-related stroke.

A total of 440 consecutive patients with left-sided IE undergoing surgery were investigated. During follow-up, neurological recovery was assessed using the modified Rankin scale and the Barthel index. Mortality was assessed with regression models adjusting for age.

The median follow-up time was 9.0 years. Patients with previous strokes were more likely to suffer from mitral valve endocarditis (29.5% vs 47.4%, P < 0.001). Symptomatic stroke was found in 135 (30.7%) patients; of them, 42 patients presented with complicated stroke (additional meningitis, haemorrhagic stroke or intracranial abscess). Driven by symptomatic stroke, the age-adjusted hospital mortality risk was 1.4-fold [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-2.57; P = 0.31] higher and the long-term mortality risk was 1.4-fold higher (95% CI 1.003-2.001; P = 0.048). Hospital mortality was higher in patients with complicated stroke (21.4% vs 9.7%; P = 0.06) only; however, mortality rates were similar comparing uncomplicated stroke versus no stroke. Among patients with complicated ischaemic strokes, the observed risk for intraoperative cerebral haemorrhage was 2.3% only and the increased hospital mortality was not driven by cerebral complications. In the long-term follow-up, full neurological recovery was observed in 84 out of 118 survivors (71.2%), and partial recovery was observed in 32 (27.1%) patients. Neurological recovery was lower in patients with complete middle cerebral artery stroke compared to other localization (52.9% vs 77.6%; P = 0.003).

Contrary to current clinical practice and neurological recommendations, early surgery in IE is safe and neurological recovery is excellent among patients with IE-related stroke.

UN4232 382/3.1 (retrospective study).

Growth of hypoplastic mitral valves in hypoplastic left heart complex and similar constellations after anatomical left superior vena cava correction.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Left superior vena cava (LSVC)-related obstruction of mitral inflow is a rare finding in patients with complex cardiac anomalies like hypoplastic left heart complex. We report our experience by establishing a left superior to right superior caval vein continuity (innominate vein creation by direct LSVC-right superior vena cava end-to-side-anastomosis), and coronary sinus unroofing if indicated for LSVC-related mitral inflow obstruction.

Nineteen patients (median age: 1.0 ± 0.3 years; range: 7 days-4.8 years) underwent anatomical correction of LSVC without the use of foreign material in conjunction with repair or palliation of congenital anomalies in a single centre between April 2015 and November 2019. Indications for the procedure were LSVC-related obstruction of left ventricular inflow due to a dilated coronary sinus. Additional procedures included mitral (n = 7) or atrioventricular (n = 3) valve surgery, right ventricular to pulmonary artery conduit (n = 3), first stage palliation (n = 3) or biventricular repair (n = 5) of hypoplastic left heart complex. Three patients needed secondary mitral valve replacement (n = 3).

All LSVC or coronary sinus-related obstructions were effectively relieved. No patient died early, 2 patients died late after the procedure. One patient needed stenting of the superior vena cava below the unobstructed cephalad vein anastomosis at the former right superior vena cava-cannulation-site. Follow-up was complete and demonstrated an 89.5% survival after 2.5 ± 0.4 years. Innominate vein patency was 100% documented by echocardiography (n = 19), cardiac catheterization (n = 6) or both. Mean mitral valve z-scores before the operation were -1.7 ± 0.2 (range -3.8 to 0.3) and increased to 0.7 ± 0.2 (range -0.7 to 1.9) after LSVC repair.

Anatomical correction by surgical creation of an innominate vein is an effective method to relieve LSVC-related obstructions and promotes mitral valvar growth. Mitral ring sizes were at least normalized after surgery at the time of discharge. Further prospective follow-up studies to evaluate the growth potential of left-sided heart structures by reporting cardiac z-scores are needed to evaluate the true impact of coronary sinus unroofing.

Elective delayed sternal closure portends better outcomes in congenital heart surgery: a retrospective observational study.

Indian Journal of Thoracic and

Delayed sternal closure is used in paediatric cardiac surgery as a management strategy for patients with unstable hemodynamics or postoperative bleeding routinely. We hypothesise that planned postponement of sternal closure leads to better outcomes than emergent reopening in the intensive care unit (ICU) in patients exhibiting some hemodynamic indication for the same.

We retrospectively analysed the outcomes of delayed sternal closure 220/2111 (10.42%) out of which 14 sternums were opened in the ICU after shifting the patients.

A total of 220/2111 (10.42%) sternums were left open postoperatively, out of which 14 were opened after shifting to the ICU. Total mortality of the delayed sternal closure was 33/220, i.e. 15%. The patients whose sternums were left open from the theatre had a mortality of 23/206, i.e. 11.16%, whereas those patients whose sternums were opened in the ICU had a mortality of 10/14, i.e. 71.42%.

In doubtful postoperatively hemodynamic, the choice of leaving the sternum open electively has better outcomes, rather than opening the sternum as a terminal bail out procedure.

Genetic polymorphisms and dosing of vitamin K antagonist in Indian patients after heart valve surgery.

Indian Journal of Thoracic and

Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), such as warfarin and acenocoumarol, exert their anti-coagulant effect by inhibiting the subunit 1 of vitamin K epoxide reductase complex (VKORC1). CYP2C9 is a hepatic drug-metabolizing enzyme in the CYP450 superfamily and is the primary metabolizing enzyme of warfarin. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms, two in the CYP2C9 gene, namely CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3, and one in the VKORC1 gene (c.- 1639G > A, rs9923231), have been identified to reduce VKA metabolism and enhance their anti-coagulation effect. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 polymorphism in Indians receiving VKA-based anti-coagulation after valve surgery and to evaluate the usefulness of genetic information in managing VKA-based anti-coagulation.

In the current prospective observational study, 150 patients who underwent heart valve surgery and had stable INR were genotyped for VKORC1 (- 1639 G > A), CYP2C9*2, and CYP2C9*3. The VKA dosage was estimated from published algorithms and compared to the clinically stabilized dosage.

Out of 150 patients, 101 (67.33%) were on warfarin and 49 (32.66%) were on acenocoumarol. Majority of the patients, the 83 in warfarin group and the 40 in acenocoumarol group, had a wild CYP2C9 diplotype. The rest had a mutant (CYP2C9*2 or CYP2C9*3) diplotype. Similarly, 67 patients in the warfarin group and 35 patients in the acenocoumarol group had wild type (G/G) of VKORC1 genotype. The rest had a mutant (G/A or A/A) VKORC1 genotype. In the warfarin group, based on the genotype, 51.5% of the patients were extensive or normal metabolizers, and 47.4% of the patients were intermediate metabolizers of VKAs. In the acenocoumarol group, 61.2% of the patients were extensive or normal metabolizers, and 38.8% of the patients were intermediate metabolizers. Individually, alleles of VKORC1 (- 1639 G > A), CYP2C9*2, and CYP2C9*3 had mean dosage reduction effect on VKA dosage, which co-related to the clinically stabilized dosages (P < 0.0001). Among the VKORC1 (- 1639 G > A) cohort, the reduction in warfarin mean weekly dosage was 13.48 mg as compared to the wild-type category (P < 0.0001) and similarly, the reduction in the mean weekly acenocoumarol dose was 6.07 mg (P < 0.03) as compared to the wild type after adjusting for age, gender, and body mass index.

Single nucleotide polymorphism in the CYP2C9 gene and in the VKORC1 gene is present in nearly 40% of Indian patients. VKORC1 (- 1639 G > A), CYP2C9*2, and CYP2C9*3 genotypes have significant dosage-lowering effects on VKA-based anti-coagulation therapy. The trend in estimated dosages of VKAs co-related to that of observed the clinically stabilized dosage in the cohort. The pharmacogenomic calculators used in this study tend to overestimate the VKA dosages as compared to clinical dosage due to the limitations in the algorithms and in our study. A new algorithm based on a larger dataset capturing the vast genetic variability across the Indian population and relevant clinical factors could provide better results.