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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Aortic arch variant with a common origin of the innominate and left carotid artery as a determinant of thoracic aortic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

European Journal of Heart Failure

The aim of this study was to investigate whether the 'bovine' arch [i.e. arch variant with a common origin of the innominate and left carotid arter...

Impact of non-respect of SYNTAX score II recommendation for surgery in patients with left main coronary artery disease treated by percutaneous coronary intervention: an EXCEL substudy.

European Journal of Heart Failure

The SYNTAX score II (SSII) was developed from the SYNTAX trial to predict the 4-year all-cause mortality after left main or multivessel disease revascularization and to facilitate the decision-making process. The SSII provides the following treatment recommendations: (i) coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (equipoise risk), (ii) CABG preferred (excessive risk for PCI) or (iii) PCI preferred (excessive risk for CABG). We sought to externally validate SSII and to investigate the impact of not abiding by the SSII recommendations in the randomized EXCEL trial of PCI versus CABG for left main disease.

The calibration plot of predicted versus observed 4-year mortality was constructed from individual values of SSII in EXCEL. To assess overestimation versus underestimation of predicted mortality risk, an optimal fit regression line with slope and intercept was determined. Prospective treatment recommendations based on SSII were compared with actual treatments and all-cause mortality at 4 years.

SSII variables were available from EXCEL trial in 1807/1905 (95%) patients. For the entire cohort, discrimination was possibly helpful (C statistic = 0.670). SSII-predicted all-cause mortality at 4 years overestimated the observed mortality, particularly in the highest-risk percentiles, as confirmed by the fit regression line [intercept 2.37 (1.51-3.24), P = 0.003; slope 0.67 (0.61-0.74), P < 0.001]. When the SSII-recommended treatment was CABG, randomized EXCEL patients treated with PCI had a trend towards higher mortality compared with those treated with CABG (14.1% vs 5.3%, P = 0.07) in the as-treat population. In the intention-to-treat population, patients randomized to PCI had higher mortality compared with those randomized to CABG (15.1% vs 4.1%, P = 0.02), when SSII recommended CABG.

In the EXCEL trial of patients with left main disease, the SSII-predicted 4-year mortality overestimated the 4-year observed mortality with a possibly helpful discrimination. Non-compliance with SSII CABG treatment recommendations (i.e. randomized to PCI) was associated with higher 4-year all-cause mortality.

Association of Demographic and Program Factors With American Board of Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Examinations Pass Rates.

JAMA Surgery

American Board of Surgery board certification requires passing both a written qualifying examination and an oral certifying examination. No studies have been conducted assessing the effect of sociodemographic variables on board passage rates.

To evaluate if trainee sociodemographic factors are associated with board passage rates.

This national and multi-institutional prospective observational cohort study of 1048 categorical general surgery trainees starting in 2007-2008 were surveyed. Data collection began in June 2007, follow-up was completed on December 31, 2016, and analysis began September 2018.

Survey responses were linked to American Board of Surgery board passage data.

Of 662 examinees who had complete survey and follow-up data, 443 (65%) were men and 459 (69%) were white, with an overall board passage rate of 87% (n = 578). In a multinomial regression model, trainees of Hispanic ethnicity were more likely to not attempt the examinations (vs passed both) than non-Hispanic trainees (odds ratio [OR], 4.7; 95% CI, 1.5-14). Compared with examinees who were married with children during internship, examinees who were married without children (OR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.8) or were single (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9) were less likely to fail the examinations. Logistic regression showed white examinees compared with nonwhite examinees (black individuals, Asian individuals, and individuals of other races) (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.03-3.0) and examinees who performed better on their first American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.02-1.05) were more likely to pass the qualifying examination on the first try. White examinees compared with nonwhite examinees (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.8), non-Hispanic compared with Hispanic examinees (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.2-4.7), and single women compared with women who were married with children during internship (OR, 10.3; 95% CI, 2.1-51) were more likely to pass the certifying examination on the first try.

Resident race, ethnicity, sex, and family status at internship were observed to be associated with board passage rates. There are multiple possible explanations for these worrisome observations that need to be explored. Tracking demographics of trainees to help understand passage rates based on demographics will be important. The American Board of Surgery already has begun addressing the potential for unconscious bias among board examiners by increasing diversity and adding implicit bias training.

Perioperative Outcomes and Trends in the Use of Robotic Colectomy for Medicare Beneficiaries From 2010 Through 2016.

JAMA Surgery

The use of robotic surgery for common operations like colectomy is increasing rapidly in the United States, but evidence for its effectiveness is limited and may not reflect real-world practice.

To evaluate outcomes of and trends in the use of robotic, laparoscopic, and open colectomy across diverse practice settings.

This population-based study of Medicare beneficiaries undergoing elective colectomy was conducted between January 2010 and December 2016. We used an instrumental variable analysis to account for both measured and unmeasured differences in patient characteristics between robotic, open, and laparoscopic colectomy procedures. Data were analyzed from January 21, 2019, to March 1, 2019.

Receipt of robotic colectomy.

Incidence of postoperative medical and surgical complications and length of stay.

A total of 191 292 procedures (23 022 robotic procedures [12.0%], 87 639 open procedures [45.8%], and 80 631 laparoscopic colectomy procedures [42.0%]) were included. Robotic colectomy was associated with a lower adjusted rate of overall complications than open colectomy (17.6% [95% CI, 16.9%-18.2%] vs 18.6% [95% CI, 18.4%-18.7%]; relative risk [RR], 0.94 [95% CI, 0.91-0.98]). This difference was driven by lower rates of medical complications (15.5% [95% CI, 14.8%-16.2%] vs 16.9% [95% CI, 16.7%-17.1%]; RR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.87-0.96]) because surgical complications were higher with the robotic approach (3.0% [95% CI, 2.8%-3.2%] vs 2.4% [95% CI, 2.3%-2.5%]; RR, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.04-1.35]). There were no differences in complications between robotic and laparoscopic colectomy (11.1% [95% CI, 10.5%-11.6%] vs 11.0% [95% CI, 10.8%-11.2%]; RR, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.95-1.05]). There was an overall shift toward greater proportional use of robotic colectomy from 0.7% (457 of 65 332 patients) in 2010 to 10.9% (8274 of 75 909 patients) in 2016. In hospitals with the highest adoption of robotic colectomy between 2010 and 2016, increasing use of robotic colectomy (0.8% [100 of 12 522 patients] to 32.8% [5416 of 16 511 patients]) was associated with a greater replacement of laparoscopic operations (43.8% [5485 of 12 522 patients] to 25.2% [4161 of 16 511 patients]) than open operations (55.4% [6937 of 12 522 patients] to 41.9% [6918 of 16 511 patients]).

While robotic colectomy was associated with minimal safety benefit over open colectomy and had comparable outcomes with laparoscopic colectomy, population-based trends suggest that it replaced a greater proportion of laparoscopic rather than open colectomy, especially in hospitals with the highest adoption of robotics.

Association of Decreased Postsurgical Opioid Prescribing With Patients' Satisfaction With Surgeons.

JAMA Surgery

Opioid overdose is the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Several studies have shown that surgeons overprescribe opioids, and guidelines for appropriate opioid prescribing are available. Concern about patient-reported satisfaction scores may be a barrier to surgeons adopting guideline-directed prescribing.

To determine whether decreased opioid prescribing is associated with a decrease in patient-reported satisfaction with their surgeon.

Retrospective analysis of clinician satisfaction scores at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center obtained in 2 periods: 1 before (period A) and 1 after (period B) an educational intervention that resulted in decreased opioid prescribing. The analysis included 11 surgeons who performed 5 common outpatient general surgical operations on 996 patients. Data were analyzed between March and August 2018.

Patient-reported overall satisfaction rating of the surgeon (scale, 0-10). This was collected by a nonstudy-related, routine general institutional survey of approximately 40% of all outpatient encounters.

Of the total number of patients, 67% were women (667 of 996), and the mean patient age was 58 years. Comparing period A with B, the proportion of patients prescribed opioids decreased from 90.2% (n = 367 of 407) to 72.8% (n = 429 of 589) (P < .001). The mean number of opioid pills per prescription decreased from 28.3 to 13.3 (P < .001) and significantly decreased for each of the 11 surgeons. One hundred five of 996 patients (10.5%) undergoing index operations responded to the survey. There was no difference in the mean clinician satisfaction ratings from period A vs B (9.70 vs 9.65; P = .69). During the study periods, 640 total surveys were collected referencing these surgeons (including outpatient encounters associated with operations other than the 5 index cases). There was no difference in the mean satisfaction ratings from period A vs period B (9.55 vs 9.59; P = .62). When individual clinicians were analyzed, none had a significant difference in overall satisfaction rating from period A vs period B.

Despite a marked decrease in the proportion of patients receiving opioids and in the number of pills prescribed, there was no significant change in clinician satisfaction ratings.

Endovascular fenestration of aortic dissection membrane after failed frozen elephant trunk procedure.

European Journal of Heart Failure

We report a case of a 51-year-old male with complicated acute type A aortic dissection who initially underwent a supracoronary and aortic arch repl...

Unilateral pulmonary oedema after minimally invasive and robotically assisted mitral valve surgery.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Unilateral pulmonary oedema (UPO) is a severe complication of minimally invasive cardiac surgery. UPO rates and UPO-related mortality vary considerably between different studies. Due to lack of consistent diagnostic criteria for UPO, the aim of this study was to create a reproducible radiological classification for UPO. Also, risk factors for UPO after robotic and minimally invasive mitral valve operations were evaluated.

Two hundred and thirty-one patients who underwent elective minimally invasive mitral valve surgery between January 2009 and March 2017 were evaluated. Chest radiographs of the first postoperative morning were categorized into 3 UPO grades based on the severity of radiological signs of pulmonary oedema described in this study. The radiographs were analysed by 2 independent radiologists and interobserver agreement was evaluated. The clinical significance of the classification was evaluated by comparing postoperative PaO2/FiO2 values and total ventilation times between the different UPO grades. Also, multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to identify risk factors for UPO.

Interobserver agreement was substantial (Kappa = 0.780). Median total ventilation times were significantly longer with increasing severity of UPO, 15 (interquartile range 12-18) h for no UPO, 18 (interquartile range 15-24) h for grade I UPO and 25 (interquartile range 21-31) h for grade II UPO. Pulmonary hypertension [adjusted odds ratios (AOR) 2.51, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.43-4.40; P = 0.001], moderate or severe heart failure (AOR 2.88, 95% CI 1.27-6.53; P = 0.011), body mass index (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28; P = 0.017) and cardiopulmonary bypass time (AOR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03; P < 0.001) were identified as independent risk factors for UPO and robotic approach (AOR 0.27, 95% CI 0.12-0.62; P = 0.002) as protective against UPO.

Due to the variability of the diagnostic criteria for UPO in previous studies, a radiological classification for UPO is required to reliably assess the rates and risk factors for UPO. The radiological classification described in this study demonstrated high interobserver agreement and correlated with total ventilation times and postoperative PaO2/FiO2 values.

The role of primary surgical repair technique on late outcomes of Tetralogy of Fallot: a multicentre study.

European Journal of Heart Failure

Repair of Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) has currently excellent results with either transventricular or transatrial approach. However, it is unclear as to which has better late outcomes and what role of residual pulmonary valve (PV) regurgitation in the long term is. We report on late clinical outcomes after repair in a large series of patients with TOF, focusing on the type of surgical technique.

This analysis is a retrospective multicentre study on patients undergoing TOF repair in infancy. The exclusion criteria of the study were TOF with pulmonary atresia or absent PV.

We selected 720 patients who had undergone TOF repair (median age 5.7 months, interquartile range 3.7-11.7). Preoperative cyanotic spells occurred in 18%. A transatrial repair was performed in 433 (60.1%) patients. The PV was preserved in 249 (35%) patients, while the right ventricular outflow tract was reconstructed with a transannular patch (60.4%) or a conduit (4.6%) in the rest of the patients. At a median follow-up of 4 years (range 1-21, 86% complete), 10 (1.6%) patients died, while 39 (6.3%) patients required surgical reoperation and 72 (11.7%) patients required an interventional procedure. The propensity match analysis showed that the incidence of postoperative complications and adverse events at follow-up were significantly increased in patients undergoing transventricular approach repair with transannular patch (P = 0.006) and PV preservation was a significant protective factor against postoperative complications (P = 0.009, odds ratio 0.5) and late adverse events (P = 0.022).

Surgical repair of TOF in infancy is a safe procedure, with good late clinical outcomes. However, transatrial approach and PV preservation at repair are associated with lower early and late morbidity.

Parsimonious Eurolung risk models to predict cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality following anatomic lung resections: an updated analysis from the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons database.

European Journal of Heart Failure

To develop a simplified version of the Eurolung risk model to predict cardiopulmonary morbidity and 30-day mortality after lung resection from the ESTS database.

A total of 82 383 lung resections (63 681 lobectomies, 3617 bilobectomies, 7667 pneumonectomies and 7418 segmentectomies) recorded in the ESTS database (January 2007-December 2018) were analysed. Multiple imputations with chained equations were performed on the predictors included in the original Eurolung models. Stepwise selection was then applied for determining the best logistic model. To develop the parsimonious models, different models were tested eliminating variables one by one starting from the less significant. The models' prediction power was evaluated estimating area under curve (AUC) with the 10-fold cross-validation technique.

Cardiopulmonary morbidity model (Eurolung1): the best parsimonious Eurolung1 model contains 5 variables. The logit of the parsimonious Eurolung1 model was as follows: -2.852 + 0.021 × age + 0.472 × male -0.015 × ppoFEV1 + 0.662×thoracotomy + 0.324 × extended resection. Pooled AUC is 0.710 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.677-0.743]. Mortality model (Eurolung2): the best parsimonious model contains 6 variables. The logit of the parsimonious Eurolung2 model was as follows: -6.350 + 0.047 × age + 0.889 × male -0.055 × BMI -0.010 × ppoFEV1 + 0.892 × thoracotomy + 0.983 × pneumonectomy. Pooled AUC is 0.737 (95% CI 0.702-0.770). An aggregate parsimonious Eurolung2 was also generated by repeating the logistic regression after categorization of the numeric variables. Patients were grouped into 7 risk classes showing incremental risk of mortality (P < 0.0001).

We were able to develop simplified and updated versions of the Eurolung risk models retaining the predictive ability of the full original models. They represent a more user-friendly tool designed to inform the multidisciplinary discussion and shared decision-making process of lung resection candidates.

Medico-economic impact of robot-assisted lung segmentectomy: what is the cost of the learning curve?

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

The objective of this study was to assess the learning curve (LC) of robot-assisted lung segmentectomy and to evaluate hospital-related costs.

We conducted a retrospective study of Robot-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) segmentectomies performed by 1 surgeon during 5 years. Perioperative and medical device data were collected. The LC, based on operating time, was assessed by Cumulative SUM analysis and an exponential model. Cost of care was estimated using the French National Cost Study method.

One hundred and two RATS segmentectomies were included. The LC was completed at ∼30 procedures according to both models without significant difference in patients' characteristics before or after the LC. Mean operative time decreased from 136 min [95% confidence intervals (CI) 124-149] for the first 30 procedures to 97 min (95% CI 88-107) for the last 30 procedures. Mean length of stay decreased non-significantly (P = 0.10 for linear trend) from 8.1 days (95% CI 6.1-11.0) to 6.2 days (95% CI 4.9-7.9). The overall costs for the last 30 procedures as compared with the first 30 did not significantly decrease in the primary economic analysis but significantly decreased (P = 0.02) by €1271 (95% CI -2688 to +108, P = 0.02 for linear trend) after exclusion of 1 outlier (hospitalization-related costs > €10 000). After exclusion of this outlier, costs related to EndoWrist® instruments significantly decreased by €-135 (95% CI -220 to -35, P = 0.004), whereas costs related to clips decreased non-significantly (P = 0.28).

The LC was completed at ∼30 procedures. Inexperienced surgeons may have higher procedure costs, related to consumable medical devices and operating time.

Histological examination of explanted tissue-engineered bovine pericardium following heart valve repair.

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Our goal was to present histopathological findings of human explants of a tissue-engineered bovine pericardium CardioCel (Admedus Regen Pty Ltd, Malaga, WA, Australia) used for heart valve repair in patients with congenital and acquired heart valve disease.

Sixty patients underwent heart valve repair from May 2014 to November 2018 using CardioCel as a substitute for valve tissue. We identified 9 cases in which the CardioCel patch was explanted following valve repair and available for histomorphological analyses. CardioCel explants were evaluated histologically using haematoxylin and oeosin, Elastica van Gieson and immunohistochemical stains.

The indications for explantation were related to the CardioCel patch in 6 patients. Median time between the implantation and explantation was 242 (range 3-1247) days. We demonstrated a characteristic remodelling pattern with superficial coating of the tissue-engineered bovine pericardium by granulation tissue composed of histiocytes, few lymphocytes and fibrin. We had 2 cases with a multifocal nodular disruption, fragmentation and sclerosis of the decellularized collagen matrix with focal calcification after 795 and 1247 days in situ.

Our data suggest that the tissue-engineered CardioCel patch is initially tolerated in the valvular position in the majority of patients. However, we also experienced graft failures that showed degeneration with fragmentation of the collagen matrix and even 2 cases with focal calcification evident from the histopathological analysis. Further analyses of mid- and long-term performance are mandatory.

Variations and surgical management of pulmonary vein in living-donor lobectomy.

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

In a living-donor lobectomy, the donor undergoes a right or left lower lobectomy. The surgical procedures for living-donor lobectomy are sometimes influenced by the anatomical variations of the pulmonary vein (PV). The goal of this study was to analyse the PV variations in living donors and to review the influence of these variations on the surgical procedures used.

Between June 2008 and September 2018, 154 living donors underwent right or left lower lobectomy. The PV variations were analysed using 3-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT), and the surgical management of these variations was reviewed.

Among 154 donors, 21 PV variations that could influence the surgical procedure for a right lower lobectomy were found in 19 (12.3%) donors, whereas no such variations for a left lower lobectomy were found. Detected PV variations were dorsal branch of the right upper PV (n = 12), middle PV draining into the right lower PV (n = 6) and the superior segment branch of the right lower PV draining into the right upper PV (n = 3). Among 96 donors undergoing right lower lobectomy, 9 (9.4%) donors had PV variations that could influence the surgical procedure. In 2 donors, sparing of PV branches with multiple vascular clamps was required. Pulmonary venoplasty was not required in any donor, whereas pulmonary venoplasty in recipient surgery was required in 4 recipients. There were no complications related to the surgical procedures performed on the PV.

Living-donor lobectomy was performed safely owing to the preoperative evaluation of PV on 3D-CT and the use of appropriate surgical approaches to PV.