The latest medical research on Vascular Surgery

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Aortic Anatomic Severity Grade Correlates with Midterm Mortality in Patients Undergoing Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair.

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Anatomic severity grade (ASG) can be used to assess abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) anatomic complexity. High ASG is associated with complications following endovascular repair of AAAs and we have demonstrated that ASG correlates with resource utilization. The hypothesis of this study is that ASG is directly related to midterm mortality in patients undergoing AAA repair.

Patients who underwent infrarenal AAA repairs between July 2007 and August 2014 were retrospectively reviewed and ASG scores were calculated using 3-dimensional computed tomography reconstructions. Perioperative mortalities (≤30 days) were excluded. The ASG value of 15 was chosen based on previous receiver-operator curve analysis, which showed that an ASG of 15 was predictive of postoperative complications and resource utilization. The 5-year survivors and mortalities were compared utilizing comorbidities, pharmacologic variables, and anatomic variables at or above the defined threshold.

A total of 402 patients (80% male and 96% Caucasian) with complete anatomic and survival data were included in the analysis. Mean ASG and age at the time of repair were 16 ± 0.15 and 73 ± 0.43 years old, respectively. The 5-year mortality was significantly associated with ASG >15 (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.504, confidence interval [CI]: 1.077-2.100, P < .017), hyperlipidemia (HR: 1.987, CI: 1.341-2.946, P < .001), coronary artery disease (HR: 1.432, CI: 1.037-1.978, P < .029), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR: 1.412, CI: 1.027-1.943, P < .034). Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated improved survival in the low score ASG ≤15 group at 1, 3, and 5 years (96% vs 93%, 81% vs 69%, and 53% vs 41%; P = .0182; Figure 1).

Increasing aortic anatomic complexity as characterized by ASG >15 is an independent predictor of midterm mortality following elective infrarenal AAA repair. Therefore, it may be a useful tool for appropriate patient selection and risk stratification prior to elective infrarenal AAA repair.

Successful Percutaneous Treatment of an Embolized Patent Ductus Arteriosus Occluder Device.

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Transcatheter closure has become the leading approach for closure of most instances of patent ductus arteriosus. However, there are some complicati...

Periprocedural and Long-Term Outcomes of Stent Implantation for De Novo Subclavian Artery Disease.

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the periprocedural and long-term outcomes of stent implantation for de novo subclavian artery (SCA) disease.

We retrospectively investigated consecutive patients with de novo SCA lesions undergoing elective endovascular therapy procedures at our center between April 2004 and September 2015. All patients were included in the analyses of periprocedural outcomes, including procedural and clinical success. Subsequently, patients who completed the clinical follow-up and were assessed with brachial systolic pressure differences between the diseased and the contralateral arms, or angiographic stenosis, after stent implantation with procedural success were included in the analyses of long-term outcomes, including primary patency.

There were 62 patients (median 71.0 years, interquartile range 65.3-76.0 years; 45 men) with 62 de novo SCA lesions included in the analyses of periprocedural outcomes. There were 46 stenoses (74.2%) and 16 occlusions (25.8%). Our results indicated high procedural success rates for overall (95.2%), stenotic (97.8%), and occlusive (87.5%) lesions. Similarly, high clinical success rates were observed for overall (91.9%), stenotic (93.5%), and occlusive (87.5%) lesions. The median follow-up time was 6.0 years (interquartile range, 2.6-8.3 years). There were 48 patients with 48 de novo SCA lesions included in the analyses of long-term outcomes. Primary patency estimates were 97.7% (1 year), 97.7% (3 years), 93.1% (5 years), and 87.6% (7 years). Also, we observed a high estimate for freedom from reintervention for the target vessel (93.8%).

Stent implantation for de novo SCA disease can be performed successfully and safely with favorable periprocedural and long-term outcomes.

Thirty-Day Outcomes of Fenestrated and Chimney Endovascular Repair and Open Repair of Juxtarenal, Pararenal, and Suprarenal Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Using National Surgical Quality Initiative Program Database (2012-2016).

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Fenestrated endovascular repair (FEVAR) and chimney endovascular repair (ChEVAR) endovascular repair offer a less invasive alternative to open aortic repair (OAR) in managing juxtarenal, pararenal, and suprarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). The aim of this study is to evaluate the 30-day postoperative outcomes following endovascular and open repair of nonruptured AAA involving the renal vessels.

All patients undergoing endovascular (FEVAR and ChEVAR) and open repair of juxtarenal, pararenal, and suprarenal AAA in National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2012 to 2016 were included. Continuous and categorical covariates were analyzed using medians and χ2/Fisher exact test, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate primary (mortality) and secondary (renal and cardiopulmonary failure) outcomes between open versus endovascular approach.

A total of 1191 patients underwent AAA repair using open (72%) or endovascular (FEVAR: 14%, ChEVAR: 14%) approach. In univariate analysis, no significant difference in 30-day mortality was seen between the 3 groups (FEVAR: 2.47% vs ChEVAR: 7.32% vs OAR: 6.13%, P = .13). However, 30-day major complications including renal failure (9.36% vs 6.10% vs 1.85%, P = .003) and cardiopulmonary complications (19.77% vs 3.66% vs 4.94%, P < 001) failure were significantly higher in patients undergoing OAR versus ChEVAR versus FEVAR. After adjusting for potential confounders, OAR was associated with 2- to 5-folds increased risk of mortality (odds ratio, OR [95% confidence interval, CI]: 2.14 [1.09-4.21], P = .03), renal (OR [95% CI]: 2.87 [1.48-5.57], P = .002), and cardiopulmonary failure (OR [95% CI]: 4.63 [2.47-8.67], P < .001) compared to any endovascular repair.

Using a large national surgical data set, our study found 2- to 5-folds higher mortality and morbidity in patients undergoing open versus endovascular repair of AAA involving the renal vessels. Endovascular repair seems to be a safer approach, especially when managing older patients with AAA.

Comparison of alteplase and urokinase for pharmacomechanical thrombolysis of clotted hemodialysis access.

J Vasc Access

Percutaneous pharmacomechanical thrombolysis is increasingly used to salvage thrombosed hemodialysis access. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness of alteplase compared to urokinase in percutaneous pharmacomechanical thrombolysis clotted access.

Records of patients who underwent pharmacomechanical thrombolysis at Interventional Nephrology Suite in a tertiary teaching hospital from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 were reviewed. Technical and clinical success rates, thrombosis-free and cumulative survivals, procedure time, and radiation dose imparted to patients were compared for pharmacomechanical thrombolysis with urokinase versus alteplase.

A total of 122 incident patients underwent pharmacothrombolysis (n = 53 for urokinase, n = 69 for alteplase) during the study period. The mean dose of urokinase and alteplase used was 176,897 ± 73,418 units and 3.7 ± 0.8 mg, respectively. Pharmacomechnical thrombolysis using urokinase versus alteplase has similar technical success rate (98.1% vs 97.1%, p = 0.599), clinical success rate (88.7% vs 97.1%, p = 0.068), complication rate (9.4% vs 13.0%, p = 0.373), and primary patency rates at 3 months (57.1% vs 70.1%, p = 0.106). Thrombosis-free survivals of the vascular access were 113.2 (35.3, 196) days versus 122 (84, 239) days (p = 0.168). Cumulative survivals were 239 (116, 320) vs 213 (110.5, 316.5) days (p = 0.801). Procedure time, fluoroscopy time, skin dose, and dose were significantly lower for pharmacomechanical thrombolysis using alteplase compared to urokinase (p = 0.045, p < 0.0001, p = 0.006, p = 0.001, respectively). Stenting was found to be associated with successful dialysis following thrombolysis on univariate analysis (odds ratio: 9.167, 95% confidence interval: 1.391-19.846, p = 0.021), although this was no longer significant in multivariate analysis (p = 0.078).

Alteplase is an effective and safe alternative to urokinase for pharmacomechanical thrombolysis of clotted vascular access.

Survey of non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheter clinical practice and training.

J Vasc Access

Nephrologists are placing fewer non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheters. Requiring competence for nephrology fellow graduation is controversial.

Anonymous, online survey of all graduates from a single, military nephrology training program (n = 81; 1985-2017) and all US Nephrology program directors (n = 150).

Graduate response and completion rates were 59% and 100%, respectively; 93% agreed they had been adequately trained; 58% (26/45) place non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheters, independent of academic practice or time in practice, but 12/26 did ⩽5/year and 23/26 referred some or all. The most common reason for continuing non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheter placement was that it is an essential emergency procedure (92%). The single most significant barrier was time to do the procedure (49%). Program director response and completion rates were 50% and 79%, respectively. The single most important barrier to fellow competence was busyness of the service (36%), followed by disinterest (21%); 55% believed that non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheter insertion competence should be required, with 81% indicating it was an essential emergency procedure. The majority of graduates and program directors agreed that simulation training was valuable; 76% of programs employ simulation. Graduates who had simulation training and program directors with ⩽20 years of practice were significantly more likely to agree that simulation training was necessary.

Of the graduate respondents from a single training program, 58% continue to place non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheters; 55% of program directors believe non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheter procedural competence should be required. Graduates who had non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheter simulation training and younger program directors consider simulation training necessary. These findings should be considered in the discussion of non-tunneled temporary hemodialysis catheter curriculum requirements.

Use of Computerized Provider Order Entry Events for Postoperative Complication Surveillance.

JAMA Surgery

Conventional approaches for tracking postoperative adverse events requires manual medical record review, thus limiting the scalability of such efforts.

To determine if a surveillance system using computerized provider order entry (CPOE) events for selected medications as well as laboratory, microbiologic, and radiologic orders can decrease the manual medical record review burden for surveillance of postoperative complications.

This cohort study reviewed the medical records of 21 775 patients who underwent surgical procedures at a university-based tertiary referral center (University of Utah, Salt Lake City) from July 1, 2007, to August 31, 2017. Patients were included if their case was selected for review by a surgical clinical reviewer as part of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Patients were excluded if they had incomplete follow-up data.

Thirty-day postoperative occurrences of superficial surgical site infection, deep surgical site infection, organ space surgical site infection, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, sepsis, septic shock, deep vein thrombosis requiring therapy, and pulmonary embolism, as defined by the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. A logistic regression model was developed for each postoperative complication using CPOE features as predictors on a development set, and performance was measured on a holdout internal validation set. The models were internally validated using bootstrapping with 10 000 replications to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of CPOE-based surveillance system.

The study included 21 775 patients who underwent surgical procedures. Among these patients, 11 855 (54.4%) were women and 9920 (45.6%) were men, with a mean (SD) age of 51.7 (16.8) years. Overall, the prevalence of postoperative complications was low, ranging from 0.2% (pulmonary embolism) to 2.6% (superficial surgical site infection). Use of CPOE events to detect patients who experienced at least 1 complication had a sensitivity of 74.8% (95% CI, 71.1%-78.4%), specificity of 86.8% (95% CI, 85.5%-88.3%), positive predictive value of 33.8% (95% CI, 31.2%-36.4%), negative predictive value of 97.5% (95% CI, 97.1%-97.8%), and area under the curve of 0.808 (95% CI, 0.791-0.824). The negative predictive value for individual complications ranged from 98.7% to 100%. Use of CPOE events to screen for adverse events was estimated to diminish the burden of manual medical record review by 55.4% to 90.3%. A CPOE-based surveillance system performed well for both inpatient and outpatient procedures.

A CPOE-based surveillance of postoperative complications has high negative predictive value, which demonstrates that this approach can augment the currently used, resource-intensive manual medical record review process.

Accuracy of a 3-Dimensionally Printed Navigational Template for Localizing Small Pulmonary Nodules: A Noninferiority Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

Localization of small lung nodules are challenging because of the difficulty of nodule recognition during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Using 3-dimensional (3-D) printing technology, a navigational template was recently created to assist percutaneous lung nodule localization; however, the efficacy and safety of this template have not yet been evaluated.

To assess the noninferiority of the efficacy and safety of a 3-D-printed navigational template guide for localizing small peripheral lung nodules.

This noninferiority randomized clinical trial conducted between October 2016 and October 2017 at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Shanghai, China, compared the safety and precision of lung nodule localization using a template-guided approach vs the conventional computed tomography (CT)-guided approach. In total, 213 surgical candidates with small peripheral lung nodules (<2 cm) were recruited to undergo either CT- or template-guided lung nodule localization. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted.

Percutaneous lung nodule localization.

The primary outcome was the accuracy of lung nodule localization (localizer deviation), and secondary outcomes were procedural duration, radiation dosage, and complication rate.

Of the 200 patients randomized at a ratio of 1:1 to the template- and CT-guided groups, most were women (147 vs 53), body mass index ranged from 15.4 to 37.3, the mean (SD) nodule size was 9.7 (2.9) mm, and the mean distance between the outer edge of target nodule and the pleura was 7.8 (range, 0.0-43.9) mm. In total, 190 patients underwent either CT- or template-guided lung nodule localization and subsequent surgery. Among these patients, localizer deviation did not significantly differ between the template- and CT-guided groups (mean [SD], 8.7 [6.9] vs 9.6 [5.8] mm; P = .36). The mean (SD) procedural durations were 7.4 (3.2) minutes for the template-guided group and 9.5 (3.6) minutes for the CT-guided group (P < .001). The mean (SD) radiation dose was 229 (65) mGy × cm in the template-guided group and 313 (84) mGy × cm in CT-guided group (P < .001).

The use of the 3-D-printed navigational template for localization of small peripheral lung nodules showed efficacy and safety that were not substantially worse than those for the CT-guided approach while significantly simplifying the localization procedure and decreasing patient radiation exposure. identifier: NCT02952261.

Association Between Antithrombotic Medication Use After Bioprosthetic Aortic Valve Replacement and Outcomes in the Veterans Health Administration System.

JAMA Surgery

The recommendations about antithrombotic medication use after bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement (bAVR) vary.

To describe the post-bAVR antithrombotic medication practice across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and to assess the association between antithrombotic strategies and post-bAVR outcomes.

Retrospective cohort study. Multivariable modeling with propensity scores was conducted to adjust for differences in patient characteristics across the 3 most common antithrombotic medication strategies (aspirin plus warfarin sodium, aspirin only, and dual antiplatelets). Text mining of notes was used to identify the patients with bAVR (fiscal years 2005-2015).

This study used VHA and non-VHA outpatient pharmacy data and text notes to classify the following antithrombotic medications prescribed within 1 week after discharge from the bAVR hospitalization: aspirin plus warfarin, aspirin only, dual antiplatelets, no antithrombotics, other only, and warfarin only. The 90-day outcomes included all-cause mortality, thromboembolism risk, and bleeding events. Outcomes were identified using primary diagnosis codes from emergency department visits or hospital admissions.

The cohort included 9060 veterans with bAVR at 47 facilities (mean [SD] age, 69.3 [8.8] years; 98.6% male). The number of bAVR procedures per year increased from 610 in fiscal year 2005 to 1072 in fiscal year 2015. The most commonly prescribed antithrombotic strategy was aspirin only (4240 [46.8%]), followed by aspirin plus warfarin (1638 [18.1%]), no antithrombotics (1451 [16.0%]), dual antiplatelets (1010 [11.1%]), warfarin only (439 [4.8%]), and other only (282 [3.1%]). Facility variation in antithrombotic prescription patterns was observed. During the 90-day post-bAVR period, adverse events were uncommon, including all-cause mortality in 127 (1.4%), thromboembolism risk in 142 (1.6%), and bleeding events in 149 (1.6%). No differences in 90-day mortality or thromboembolism were identified across the 3 antithrombotic medication groups in either the unadjusted or adjusted models. Patients receiving the combination of aspirin plus warfarin had higher odds of bleeding than patients receiving aspirin only in the unadjusted analysis (odds ratio, 2.58; 95% CI, 1.71-3.89) and after full risk adjustment (adjusted odds ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.17-3.14).

These data demonstrate that bAVR procedures are increasingly being performed in VHA facilities and that aspirin only was the most commonly used antithrombotic medication strategy after bAVR. The risk-adjusted results suggest that the combination of aspirin plus warfarin does not improve either all-cause mortality or thromboembolism risk but increases the risk of bleeding events compared with aspirin only.

Predictors of venous stenosis or occlusion following first transvenous cardiac device implantation: Prospective observational study.

J Vasc Access

Venous stenosis or occlusion related to an intracardiac device is a well-known complication of that procedure. There are numerous studies tried to determine predictors of venous stenosis or occlusion; however, most of them investigate the venous system prior to device upgrade, generator replacement, or transvenous lead extraction. Therefore, we aimed to assess the prevalence and determine the predictors of venous stenosis or occlusion following first transevnous cardiac device implantation.

Observational, prospective study included 71 consecutive patients admitted for first transvenous cardiac device implantation. All patients were followed up for 6 months after operation.

Implanted device systems comprised cardioverter defibrillator (n = 26), single-chamber or dual-chamber pacemakers (n = 34), and biventricular pacemakers (n = 11); 88.5% of implantable cardioverter defibrillator leads were single-coils and 11.5% were dual-coils. The incidence of venous stenosis or occlusion within 6-month follow-up was 21.1%. Multivariate logistic regression showed that only diabetes or prediabetes (p = 0.033, odds ratio: 0.17, 95% confidence interval: 0.04-0.87), prolonged procedure time (p = 0.046, odds ratio: 4.54, 95% confidence interval: 1.01-20.12), and perioperative complications (p = 0.021, odds ratio: 7.04, 95% confidence interval: 1.35-36.85) were predictors of venous stenosis or occlusion.

Prolonged implantation time (>60 min) and perioperative complications are associated with an increased risk of venous stenosis or occlusion, whereas diabetes and prediabetes significantly reduce the risk of venous stenosis or occlusion.

Association of Screening and Treatment for Preoperative Asymptomatic Bacteriuria With Postoperative Outcomes Among US Veterans.

JAMA Surgery

Limited data suggest that screening for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) prior to nonurologic procedures is not useful. However, high-quality evidence to support consensus recommendations and influence clinical practice is lacking.

To characterize the association between detection and treatment of preoperative ASB and postoperative outcomes.

This retrospective cohort study involved patients, predominantly male veterans, who underwent surgical procedures in 109 US facilities within the US Department of Veterans Affairs health care system from October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2013. Participants included patients (n = 68 265) who had cardiac, orthopedic, or vascular surgical procedures. Each received a planned clinician review of complete medical records for antimicrobial prophylaxis as well as 30-day surgical-site infection (SSI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) outcomes, and each had a preoperative urine culture result available within the 30 days prior to the procedure. Data analysis was performed from December 2016 to August 2018.

The primary outcome was the association between preoperative ASB and postoperative SSI. The secondary outcomes included postoperative UTI and the association between antimicrobial therapy for ASB and postoperative infectious outcomes.

In total, 68 265 patients (65 664 [96.2%] were men and 2601 [3.8%] were women, with a mean [SD] age of 64.6 [9.2] years) were identified, and 17 611 (25.8%) were eligible for inclusion in the primary analysis. Preoperative urine cultures were performed in 17 749 (26.0%) patients, and the results were positive in 755 (4.3%), of which 617 (81.7%) were classified as ASB. With adjustments for age, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, smoking status, race/ethnicity, sex, and diabetes status, patients with or without ASB had similar odds of SSI (2.4% vs 1.6%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.58; 95% CI, 0.93-2.70; P = .08). Receipt of antimicrobial therapy with activity against the ASB organism was not associated with a reduced SSI risk (aOR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.28-3.65; P = .99). Urinary tract infection occurred in 14 (3.3%) of 423 patients with ASB and 196 (1.5%) of 12 913 patients without ASB (aOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.80-2.49; P = .22). Treatment or prophylaxis for the ASB organism similarly was not associated with reduced odds of postoperative UTI (aOR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.20-2.30; P = .54). The ASB organisms matched a postoperative wound culture in 2 cases, both Staphylococcus aureus.

The findings of this study suggest that receipt of antimicrobial therapy with activity against ASB organisms identified in preoperative urine cultures was not associated with reductions in the risk for postoperative infections, including UTI and SSI; such findings suggest there is evidence for discontinuing the practice of screening and treatment for preoperative ASB.

Anti-platelet and anti-coagulant therapy in peripheral arterial disease prior to surgical intervention.


Peripheral artery disease is a major clinical co-morbidity that can significantly affect quality of life, especially in the presence of diabetes mellitus and older age. The focus of this literature review is on medical management, through anti-platelet and anti-coagulation, of peripheral artery disease prior to undergoing surgical or endovascular management.

Extensive electronic literature search performed in four major databases (PubMed, SCOPUD, Embase and Ovid) to identify the published randomized and non-randomized studies that compared and discussed the management of peripheral artery disease with different anti-thrombotic agents.

A total of 17 studies were identified to meet the inclusion criteria of this review. Among them, 4 were systematic review and meta-analyses, 1 was observational study and 12 were randomized controlled trials. The reported outcomes in each study are summarized and reported separately within this review.

Peripheral artery disease is a complex and multifactorial clinical condition. The use of dual anti-platelets, such as aspirin and clopidogrel, are the key in preventing major cardiovascular events as well as stroke and death. Utilization of anti-coagulation such as direct oral anti-coagulants' as additional parameters for the prevention of disease progression, is paramount. Eventually, the choice of either dual-antiplatelet therapy or combined anti-coagulation with anti-platelets should be carefully considered, particularly following the most recent published debatable studies.