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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Perceptions of Surgery Residents About Parental Leave During Training.

JAMA Surgery

To our knowledge, there has been little research conducted on the attitudes of residents toward their pregnant peers and parental leave.

To examine the perceptions of current surgery residents regarding parental leave.

A 36-item survey was distributed to current US general surgery residents and residents in surgical subspecialties through the Association of Program Directors in Surgery listserv and social media platforms. Questions were associated with general information/demographics, parental leave, having children, and respondents' knowledge regarding the current parental leave policy as set by the American Board of Surgery. The study was conducted from August to September 2018 and the data were analyzed in October 2018.

Main outcomes included the attitudes of residents toward pregnancy and parental leave, parental leave policy, and the association of parental leave with residency programs.

A total of 2188 completed responses were obtained; of these, 1049 (50.2%) were women, 1572 (75.8%) were white, 164 (7.9%) were Hispanic/Latinx, 75 (3.6%) were African American, 2 (0.1%) were American Indian or Alaskan Native, 263 (12.7%) were Asian, and 5 (0.2%) were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. From the number of residents who had/were expecting children (581 [28.6%]), 474 (81.6%) had or were going to have a child during the clinical years of residency. Many residents (247 [42.5%]) took fewer than 2 weeks of parental leave. Many residents did not feel supported in taking parental leave (177 [30.4%] did not feel supported by other residents and 190 [32.71%] did not feel supported by the faculty). Only 83 respondents (3.8%%) correctly identified the current American Board of Surgery parental leave policy. Residents who took parental leave identified a lack of a universal leave policy, strain on the residency program, a loss of education/training time, a lack of flexibility of programs, and a perceived or actual lack of support from faculty/peers as the top 5 biggest obstacles to taking leave during the clinical years of residency.

Most of the modifiable factors that inhibit residents from having children during residency are associated with policies (eg, a lack of universal leave policy and lack of flexibility) and personnel (eg, a strain on the residency program and lack of support from peers/faculty). These data suggest that policies at the level of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or Resident Review Committee (RRC), as well as education and the normalization of pregnancy during training, may be effective interventions.

Association of Residents' Neural Signatures With Stress Resilience During Surgery.

JAMA Surgery

Intraoperative stressors may compound cognitive load, prompting performance decline and threatening patient safety. However, not all surgeons cope equally well with stress, and the disparity between performance stability and decline under high cognitive demand may be characterized by differences in activation within brain areas associated with attention and concentration such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

To compare PFC activation between surgeons demonstrating stable performance under temporal stress with those exhibiting stress-related performance decline.

Cohort study conducted from July 2015 to September 2016 at the Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust, England. One hundred two surgical residents (postgraduate year 1 and greater) were invited to participate, of which 33 agreed to partake.

Participants performed a laparoscopic suturing task under 2 conditions: self-paced (SP; without time-per-knot restrictions), and time pressure (TP; 2-minute per knot time restriction).

A composite deterioration score was computed based on between-condition differences in task performance metrics (task progression score [arbitrary units], error score [millimeters], leak volume [milliliters], and knot tensile strength [newtons]). Based on the composite score, quartiles were computed reflecting performance stability (quartile 1 [Q1]) and decline (quartile 4 [Q4]). Changes in PFC oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (HbO2) measured at 24 different locations using functional near-infrared spectroscopy were compared between Q1 and Q4. Secondary outcomes included subjective workload (Surgical Task Load Index) and heart rate.

Of the 33 participants, the median age was 33 years, the range was 29 to 56 years, and 27 were men (82%). The Q1 residents demonstrated task-induced increases in HbO2 across the bilateral ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) and right dorsolateral PFC in the SP condition and in the VLPFC in the TP condition. In contrast, Q4 residents demonstrated decreases in HbO2 in both conditions. The magnitude of PFC activation (change in HbO2) was significantly greater in Q1 than Q4 across the bilateral VLPFC during both SP (mean [SD] left VLPFC: Q1, 0.44 [1.30] μM; Q4, -0.21 [2.05] μM; P < .001; right VLPFC: Q1, 0.46 [1.12] μM; Q4, -0.15 [2.14] μM; P < .001) and TP (mean [SD] left VLPFC: Q1, 0.44 [1.36] μM; Q4, -0.03 [1.83] μM; P = .001; right VLPFC: Q1, 0.49 [1.70] μM; Q4, -0.32 [2.00] μM; P < .001) conditions. There were no significant between-group differences in Surgical Task Load Index or heart rate in either condition.

Performance stability within TP is associated with sustained prefrontal activation indicative of preserved attention and concentration, whereas performance decline is associated with prefrontal deactivation that may represent task disengagement.

Air embolization of a left ventricular assist device in a child: an unusual case of a tension pneumothorax resulting in a fatal complication.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Our goal was to describe a fatal air embolization that probably occurred through an inflow cannula implantation site as a result of a tension pneum...

Thoracoscopic surgery for lung cancer is associated with improved survival and shortened admission length: a nationwide propensity-matched study.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Population-based studies comparing long-term survival after minimally invasive and open surgery for lung cancer are lacking. The aim of this study was to compare long-term survival rates between minimally invasive [video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)] and open surgery for lung cancer in an unselected nationwide setting.

Patients undergoing minimally invasive (n = 710) or open (n = 2814) lung resection for lung cancer between 2004 and 2014 were identified from nationwide complete registries in Finland. Propensity score matching resulted in groups of 632 patients who had VATS and 632 who had a thoracotomy. The primary outcome was the 1-year survival rate. Secondary outcomes were 30-day, 90-day and 5-year survival rates and the length of surgical admission. Cox models were adjusted for sex, age, comorbidity, centre size, year of surgery, histological diagnosis, stage and adjuvant therapy.

In the propensity-matched cohort, the 1-year survival rate was 90.8% [confidence interval (CI) 88.3-92.8%] after VATS and 87.1% (CI 84.3-89.6%) after open surgery. The 5-year survival rate in the propensity-matched cohort was 59.6% (CI 54.9-63.9%) after VATS and 53.3% (CI 48.6-57.7%) after open surgery. The 30-day mortality rates showed no differences between approaches, but the 90-day mortality rate was better after VATS when adjusted for patient-, tumour- and operation-specific features (hazard ratio 0.56, 95% CI 0.30-0.92; P = 0.024).

According to this population-based nationwide study from Finland, minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer is associated with improved long- and short-term survival rates, supporting the use of VATS as a primary surgical method for treating lung cancer. Due to the complexity of confounding factors in this study, one should, however, interpret the results critically. Additional studies are needed.

Effect of different therapeutic strategies on the clinical outcome of asymptomatic intralobar pulmonary sequestration.

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Pulmonary sequestration is a rare congenital pulmonary malformation. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of different therapeutic strategies on the clinical outcome of asymptomatic intralobar pulmonary sequestration.

We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 37 patients diagnosed with intralobar sequestration. All the patients were asymptomatic. Seventeen patients underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) once diagnosed and 20 patients chose to undergo observation. Of these 20 patients, 16 patients developed symptoms during the observation period and also underwent VATS; 4 patients never showed symptoms and did not have surgery. The 33 patients who had VATS were divided into 2 groups: group 1, patients who underwent VATS once diagnosed; group 2, patients who underwent VATS once symptoms appeared. Postoperative data and respiratory function data were compared between the 2 groups.

Twenty of the patients were men and 17 were women (mean age 37.05 ± 7.89 years). Results of a comparative analysis of the 2 groups indicated that patients in group 1 had better values for median estimated blood loss, median duration of chest tube insertion, postoperative hospital stay and postoperative hospital stay than those in group 2. Postoperative complications were reported in 1 patient in group 1 and in 3 patients in group 2. Meanwhile, the loss of lung function between group 1 and group 2 was statistically significant, which also suggested that patients benefited from surgery once diagnosed.

For asymptomatic intralobar sequestration, VATS could be effective and safe. The surgical intervention should be performed once the condition is diagnosed to avoid manifestations occurring and to preserve patients' quality of life.

Successful preservation and transplant of warm ischaemic lungs from controlled donors after circulatory death by prolonged in situ ventilation during normothermic regional perfusion of abdominal organs.

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Donation after circulatory death (DCD) potentially provides transplantable lungs suitable for a transplant, but in Italy, the need for 20 min of a no-touch period after cardiac arrest for legal declaration of death poses real challenges to organ preservation.

This is a single-institution, retrospective study using data collected prospectively between October and December 2017. After the approval of the multidisciplinary DCD study group of Regione Lombardia, Maastricht category III DCD donors became eligible for combined procurement of lungs and abdominal organs. Our group subsequently established a dedicated technical protocol. Our protocol consists of a non-rapid normothermic open-lung procurement process that takes place during abdominal normothermic regional perfusion, namely without pleural topical cooling before the start of pneumoplegia. After the lung is procured according to the technique described in the article, lung function is evaluated by ex vivo lung perfusion, which is run with the low-flow, open atrium, low haematocrit technique.

During the study, we managed 5 controlled DCDs. In 3 cases, the lungs were successfully transplanted. All 3 patients are alive after 1 year, with good respiratory function.

Our approach resulted in adequate lung preservation and successful transplants without detrimental effects on abdominal organ procurement, confirming the possibility of overcoming the obstacle of a long no-touch period in a DCD setting.

Does prehabilitation improve outcomes in cardiac surgical patients?

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

A best evidence topic in cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was, 'Does prehabilitation improve ...

Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with or without simultaneous intra-aortic balloon pump support as a direct bridge to heart transplantation: results from a nationwide Spanish registry.

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

To investigate the potential clinical benefit of an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) in patients supported with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) as a bridge to heart transplantation (HT).

We studied 169 patients who were listed for urgent HT under VA-ECMO support at 16 Spanish institutions from 2010 to 2015. The clinical outcomes of patients under simultaneous IABP support (n = 73) were compared to a control group of patients without IABP support (n = 96).

There were no statistically significant differences between the IABP and control groups with regard to the cumulative rates of transplantation (71.2% vs 81.2%, P = 0.17), death during VA-ECMO support (20.6% vs 14.6%, P = 0.31), transition to a different mechanical circulatory support device (5.5% vs 5.2%, P = 0.94) or weaning from VA-ECMO support due to recovery (2.7% vs 0%, P = 0.10). There was a higher incidence of bleeding events in the IABP group (45.2% vs 25%, P = 0.006; adjusted odds ratio 2.18, 95% confidence interval 1.02-4.67). In-hospital postoperative mortality after HT was 34.6% in the IABP group and 32.5% in the control group (P = 0.80). One-year survival after listing for urgent HT was 53.3% in the IABP group and 52.2% in the control group (log rank P = 0.75). Multivariate adjustment for potential confounders did not change this result (adjusted hazard ratio 0.94, 95% confidence interval 0.56-1.58).

In our study, simultaneous IABP therapy in transplant candidates under VA-ECMO support did not significantly reduce morbidity or mortality.

Outcomes After Inguinal Hernia Repair With Mesh Performed by Medical Doctors and Surgeons in Ghana.

JAMA Surgery

Inguinal hernia is the most common general surgical condition in the world. Although task sharing of surgical care with nonsurgeons represents one method to increase access to essential surgery, the safety and outcomes of this strategy are not well described for hernia repair.

To compare outcomes after inguinal hernia repair with mesh performed by medical doctors and surgeons in Ghana.

This prospective cohort study was conducted from February 15, 2017, to September 17, 2018, at the Volta Regional Hospital in Ho, Ghana. Following successful completion of a training course, 3 medical doctors and 2 surgeons performed inguinal hernia repair with mesh according to the Lichtenstein technique on 242 men with primary, reducible inguinal hernia.

The primary end point was hernia recurrence at 1 year. The noninferiority limit was set at 5 percentage points. Secondary end points included postoperative complications at 2 weeks and patient satisfaction, pain, and self-assessed health status at 1 year.

Two-hundred forty-two patients were included; 119 men underwent operations performed by medical doctors and 123 men underwent operations performed by surgeons. Preoperative patient characteristics were similar in both groups. Two-hundred thirty-seven patients (97.9%) were seen at follow-up at 2 weeks, and 223 patients (92.1%) were seen at follow-up at 1 year. The absolute difference in recurrence rate between the medical doctor group (1 [0.9%]) and the surgeon group (3 [2.8%]) was -1.9 (1-tailed 95% CI, -4.8; P < .001), demonstrating noninferiority of the medical doctors. There were no statistically significant differences in postoperative complications (34 [29.1%] vs 29 [24.2%]), patient satisfaction (112 [98.2%] vs 108 [99.1%]), severe chronic pain (1 [0.9%] vs 4 [3.7%]), or self-assessed health (85.9 vs 83.7 of 100) for medical doctors and surgeons.

This study shows that medical doctors can be trained to perform elective inguinal hernia repair with mesh in men with good results and high patient satisfaction in a low-resource setting. This finding supports surgical task sharing to combat the global burden of hernia disease.

Left thoracotomy approach for off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting surgery: 15 years of experience in 2500 consecutive patients.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Our goal was to describe the experience at 2 centres with off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting using a left thoracotomy.

From January 2002 to December 2017, a total of 2528 consecutive patients (578 women, mean age 62.3 ± 9.1 years) were operated on using this technique. Data were collected prospectively and analysed retrospectively.

There were no conversions to median sternotomy and 6 patients (0.2%) were converted to on-pump CABG. The mean number of grafts per patient was 2.8 ± 0. 9. The 30-day mortality rate was 1.0% (25 patients). Most patients were extubated in the operating theatre (97.3%), and 47 patients (1.9%) needed re-exploration for bleeding. Seven patients (0.3%) experienced a cerebrovascular event; 4 (0.3%) had a postoperative myocardial infarction; and 84 (3.4%) had new-onset atrial fibrillation. A total of 1510 patients (61.1%) were discharged from the hospital in the first 48 h after surgery. Long-term survival rates were 98.8%, 93.6% and 69.1% at 1, 5 and 10 years, respectively (central image). During the follow-up period, 60 patients (2.9%) were re-examined for recurrence of angina with a new coronary angiogram; of those, 24 (1.2%) required percutaneous coronary intervention and 11 (0.5%) had redo surgery.

A left thoracotomy is a safe alternative to a median sternotomy for coronary artery bypass grafting on the beating heart, with low early complications and good mid- and long-term results.

Long-term outcomes following repair of truncus arteriosus and interrupted aortic arch.

European Journal of Heart Failure

We aim to evaluate the long-term outcomes following repair of truncus arteriosus with an interrupted aortic arch.

We reviewed all children (n = 24) who underwent repair of truncus arteriosus and an interrupted aortic arch between 1979 and 2018 in a single institution. The morphology of the interrupted aortic arch was type A in 5, type B in 18 and type C in 1.

The median age at repair was 10 days and the median weight was 3.1 kg. Direct end-to-side anastomosis of the ascending and descending aorta was performed in 16 patients (67%, 16/24), patch augmentation in 5 patients (21%, 5/24) and direct anastomosis with the use of an interposition graft to the descending aorta in 2 patients (8%, 2/24). One patient, the first in the series, underwent interrupted aortic arch repair via subclavian flap aortoplasty prior to truncus repair. A period of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest was used in 16 patients, and isolated cerebral perfusion was used in 8 patients. The early mortality rate was 17% (4 out of 24 patients). There were no late deaths and overall survival was 83 ± 8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 61-93] at 20 years. Freedom from any reoperation was 33 ± 11% (95% CI 14-54) at 5 years and 13 ± 9% (95% CI 2-34) at 10 years. Six patients underwent 10 aortic reoperations. Freedom from aortic arch reoperation was 69 ± 11% (95% CI 42-85) at 10 and 20 years. Follow-up was 95% complete (19/20), with a median follow-up time of 20 years. At last follow-up, no clinically significant aortic arch obstruction was identified in any patient, and all patients were in New York Heart Association Class I/II.

Repair of truncus arteriosus with an interrupted aortic arch with direct end-to-side anastomosis results in good survival beyond hospital discharge. Although the long-term functional state of patients is good, reoperation rates are high.

Minimally invasive versus conventional surgery of the ascending aorta and root: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Limited uptake of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) of the aorta hinders assessment of its efficacy compared to median sternotomy (MS). The objectiv...