Dear Dr Harky et. al,We appreciate your inquiry regarding our case report. Dr Harky et. al suggested that TEVAR for a Marfan patient could be an unnecessary approach even during the COVID-19 pandemic.We believe in this particular case, the endovascular approach was fully justified as the patient had clear signs of end organ ischemia at presentation. He presented with extreme right leg ischemia with diffuse numbness. There was no detectable distal arterial flow of the right extremity by a Doppler and physical evaluation. Contrast computed tomography scan showed a completely occluded right common iliac artery and diminished flow to the right renal and celiac arteries due to the compression of the true lumen from the false lumen. Preoperative creatinine was elevated to 1.2 mg/dl. She was also suffering ongoing right kidney malperfusion.It was during the time when COVID-19 epidemic started spreading rapidly in New York City. Our hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients and there was a shortage of medical supplies with no ventilators immediately available. It was important to reduce exposure of the individual to the hospital environment and minimize length of stay and ventilator needs. As such, we chose to proceed with TEVAR to minimize the risk of lung injury which can occur in open repair. Postoperative respiratory failure is a major issue in open thoracic aortic repair . The patient did not have a risk of respiratory comorbidities but we believed that this pandemic placed all patients at risk for contracting COVID-19 and subsequent acute respiratory distress .Due to the high risk of spinal cord ischemia in this particular patient, we performed TEVAR with a distal bare metal component to preserve the blood flow into spinal cord arteries . The initial clinical treatment plan was to perform the TEVAR as a bridge to open repair. We obviously will need to follow-up with her carefully and if any signs of failure of TEVAR is detected, open repair will ultimately be required.Dr Harky et. al suggested axillary femoral artery bypass to rescue the ischemic leg, however, this patient also suffered malperfsuion of the renal and celiac arteries, so further intervention was required.Thank you for your insightful suggestions.References1) Khan FM, Naik A, Hameed I, et al. Open repair of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms: a meta-analysis. Ann Thorac Surg . 2020;S0003-4975(20)30865-1.2) Bai Y, Yao L, Wei T, et al. Presumed Asymptomatic Carrier Transmission of COVID-19. JAMA. 2020;323:1406–7.3) Lombardi JV, Cambria RP, Nienaber CA, et al. Five-year results from the study of Thoracic Aortic Type B Dissection Using Endoluminal Repair (STABLE I) study of endovascular treatment of complicated type B aortic dissection using a composite device design. J Vasc Surg. 2019; 70:1072-81.
The authors of “Outcomes of truncus arteriosus repair and predictors of mortality” carried out a retrospective analysis of more than 3000 infants with truncus arteriosus using the National Inpatient Sample dataset of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with in-hospital mortality. The authors also identified a seemingly protective effect of 22q11.2 deletion. But do these findings offer a complete understanding of surgical risk factors for patients with truncus arteriosus?
It is known that LIMA-to-LAD is the major determinant of the patient’s prognosis and long term survival for a large percentage of the population with coronary artery disease Off pump, minimally invasive LIMA-to-LAD provides excellent long-term results ). As Awad et al state, this pandemic has disrupted and challenged delivery of health care services worldwide ). LIMA-to-LAD can be performed with minimal resources in an isolated area from COVID-19 facilities within the hospital.Hybrid treatment of coronary heart disease is another option for patients under these circumstances . Surgeons must take the lead and play an active role in the decision process. . As the authors conclude, given fluidity of the current situation, there is need for new processes and clinical decision – making that will allow patients to receive appropriate treatment,
ABSTRACT Background: COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11st, 2020. Responses to this crisis integrated resource allocation for the increased amount of infected patients, while maintaining an adequate response to other severe and life-threatening diseases. Though cardiothoracic patients are at high risk for Covid-19 severe illness, postponing surgeries would translate in increased mortality and morbidity. We reviewed our practice during the initial time of pandemic, with emphasis on safety protocols. Methods: From March 11st to May 15th 2020, 148 patients underwent surgery at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery of CHUSJ. The clinical characteristics of the patients were retrospectively registered, along with novel containment and infection prevention measures targeting the new Corona Virus. Results: The majority of adult cardiac patients were operated on an urgent basis. Hospital mortality was 1.9% (n = 2 patients). Most of adult thoracic patients were admitted from home, with a diagnosis of neoplasic disease in 60% patients. Hospital mortality was 3.3% (1). Fifteen children underwent cardiothoracic surgery. There was no mortality. The infection prevention procedures applied, totally excluded the transmission of Covid-19 in the Department. Conclusion: While guaranteeing a prompt response to emergent, urgent and high priority cases, novel safety measures in individual protection, patients circuits and pre-operative diagnose of symptomatic and asymptomatic infection were adopted. The surgical results corroborate that it was safe to undergo cardiothoracic surgery during the initial time of Covid-19 pandemic. The new policies will be maintained while the virus stays in the community.
Dear Editor,We read with interest the published article by Ikeda et al. , they performed thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) in a patient with Marfan syndrome (MFS) for acute complicated type B aortic dissection (TBAD) during COVID-19 pandemic.The evidence around TEVAR for MFS is scarce and open repair remains the gold treatment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients are either being denied treatment or given inferior options on the basis of age, comorbidities and risk of COVID pneumonia; however, the guidelines for aortic intervention in the United Kingdom have remained largely unchanged from pre-COVID-19 era . Our questions to the authors relate to whether their solution was an unnecessary compromise. There is no clear indication defined in their case as a cold leg doesn’t necessary means an ischaemic limb. The TEVAR procedure performed aiming to minimise hospital stay, yet this approach may have put the patient at higher risk of developing paraplegia and visceral organ malperfusion, while compromising her long-term care.There is need to clarify if she had risk factors that prone her to a higher risk acquiring severe COVID-19 which necessitated deviating from the traditional open surgery recommended for MFS patients with TBAD . The authors did not report on renal function, evidence of bowel malperfusion or whether there was resistant hypertension that needed immediate intervention. If the need to expediate intervention was the fear of limb ischaemia, is it conceivable a femoro-femoral bypass could have saved the limb and definitive open surgery on her aorta could have been performed at a later stage, especially since she was haemodynamically stable.Moreover, as Marfan-diseased aortas are prone to further dilatation, we believe their justification for opting for endovascular repair should also have been more balanced, exploring the know high rate of long-term TEVAR-associated complications in MFS patients including endoleaks, retrograde dissection, stent-graft-induced new entry tears, surgical conversions and reintervention. There is also need for imaging follow-up to assess the success of TEVAR and early detection of aforementioned complications.
Transcatheter repair systems are becoming increasingly popular as a potential solution for high-risk and inoperable patients with mitral regurgitation. The Cardioband (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, California) is a transcatheter direct annuloplasty device, based on the concept of an undersized ring annuloplasty. We report a case of minimally invasive surgical explantation of a failed Cardioband device 21 months after its implantation. Intraoperatively, it was found that3 anchors of the Cardioband device were detached from the posterior annulus at P2. In this report, a “cut and unscrew” technique with some tips and tricks is presented for the removal of the device.
We want to thank Dr. Raveenthiran and Dr. Harky for their interest in our paper and in the topic of Marfans in the setting of pregnancy. Certainly, the reduction of adverse outcomes would be improved with early knowledge of Marfans syndrome in the mother which would aid in preparation and clinical consideration during the perioperative period, and, prior to pregnancy.
Under the unprecedented pressures of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there is an urgent requisite for successful strategies to safely deliver cardiac surgery. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first described in early December 2019, and the rapid spread and emergence of this virus has caused significant disruptions in the delivery of healthcare services worldwide.1,2 In particular, provision of cardiac surgery has been disproportionally affected due to reallocation of intensive care resources, such as ventilators.2Additionally, patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease are likely to have comorbidities which are associated with poorer clinical outcomes in confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases.3,4 Despite this, Yandrapalli and colleagues have reported the first case of a successful coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) operation in a patient with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, which offers insights into how cardiac surgery could be adapted to solve the challenges of this pandemic.5In response to the burden of COVID-19 on healthcare systems in the United Kingdom (UK), elective cardiac surgeries have been delayed owing to the redistribution of intensive care resources and the unquantifiable risk of acquiring COVID-19.2 Likewise, cardiac surgery services have undergone structural remodelling into a centralised system in an attempt to continue provisions of emergency surgery alongside hospital management of COVID-19 patients.2Unsurprisingly, most cardiac surgery units across the globe have seen a sharp decline in surgeries as a result, and one unit reported an 83% reduction in cardiac index cases between 23rd March to 4th May 2020.2 Similar models have been used in Europe to manage healthcare services and increase intensive care capacity. For example in the Lombardy region of Italy, 16 out of 20 cardiac surgical units discontinued services and all urgent cases have been consequently diverted to the remaining four units for centralised services.6 Whilst these measures have been beneficial for supporting the focused management of COVID-19 patients, it is important to reflect upon the future consequences of delayed elective cardiac surgery. Indeed, such patients are likely to have progressive conditions and further work is needed to investigate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on mortality and morbidity in this cohort.The case report by Yandrapalli and colleagues highlight the importance of routine SARS-CoV-2 testing for all patients requiring cardiac surgery, especially for detecting asymptomatic or subclinical infections.5 Active SARS-CoV-2 infection may precipitate an overproduction of early response proinflammatory cytokines in post-operative period, leading to unfavourable surgical outcomes.7,8 Moreover, preliminary studies have shown that patients with established cardiovascular diseases may have a greater risk of increased SARS-CoV-2 infection severity and prognosis.9 Taken together, assessment for active infection is crucial for risk stratification. In addition, clinicians should consider the threshold for surgery when selecting patients for cardiac surgery. An international, multi-centre cohort study by COVIDSurg Collaborative which included 1128 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients undergoing a broad range of surgeries revealed that 30-day mortality risk was significantly associated with the patient demographics of male sex, an age of 70 years or older, and poor preoperative physical health status.10 Collectively, the risks and benefits of cardiac surgery should be carefully considered in such patients due to higher mortality risk.10Alternative therapeutic procedures with rapid discharge, such as percutaneous intervention or medical therapy, may be more appropriate to reduce SARS-CoV-2 related mortality and nosocomial infection risk.11Current evidence is limited for postoperative outcomes in cardiac surgery cases. In the aforementioned cohort study by COVIDSurg Collaborative, the 30-day mortality rate was 23.8%.10In addition, the study reported that 51.2% of patients had postoperative pulmonary complications, which was associated with a higher mortality rate of 38.0%.10 In another case report describing an emergency CABG operation, the asymptomatic patient succumbed to pulmonary complications arising from a SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed postoperatively.12 The authors acknowledge that the undiagnosed infection may have triggered a refractory pathological response after cardiac surgery. Indeed, recent literature has suggested that patients with SARS-CoV-2 are at higher risk of developing thromboembolisms, possibly mediated by the interaction with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors.13Similarly, there is a consensus that SARS-CoV-2 has direct adverse effects on the myocardium due to high expression of ACE2.14 As such, SARS-CoV-2 can potentially trigger multisystem complications which require vigilant monitoring, especially in patients requiring cardiopulmonary bypass and at high risk of developing thromboembolisms. Cardiac surgery patients represent a vulnerable patient population, and this cohort may experience worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection based on the current available evidence. In the latest recommendation, UK currently advises all patients who are listed for elective cardiac surgery to self-isolate for 14 days prior to surgery date, in a measure to limit and contain the exposure of such cohort to the smallest possibilities of acquiring COVID-19.Currently, the future of cardiac surgery after the pandemic is unclear as the evidence is still emerging. However, the lessons learnt from these unprecedented times can be taken forward to inform future service planning. Moving forwards, routine screening of patients for SARS-CoV-2 infection will undoubtedly play a key role in identifying asymptomatic or subclinical infections. The preoperative UK National Health Service testing recommendations should be broadened so that all patients undergoing cardiac surgery are screened, given the higher risk of postoperative complications in this population. Similarly, repeat testing is important for monitoring patients for concomitant infections. Alongside changes to hospital protocol, service delivery will inevitably shift. The successful application of telemedicine during the pandemic has already been reported in the delivery of oncology services.15 Moreover, the benefits of telecardiology outside of the COVID-19 era have been previously reported, and cardiology services will likely embrace the utilisation of telemedicine for managing outpatient consultations.16 Units will also have to address the vast backlog of surgeries caused by cancellation of elective cardiac operations in a sustainable manner, with adequate hospital space and personal protective equipment availability.17 In order to resume success services, planning for this eventuality should begin now and patients at significant mortality risk due to delayed surgery need to be prioritised.Ultimately, clear guidelines should be implemented to ensure safe resumption of surgical services, whilst also reassuring patients concerned about safety.3 Whilst the future trajectory of this pandemic is uncertain, the insights from the impact of COVID-19 on cardiac surgery will undoubtedly shape the future delivery of cardiac surgery.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a technology that has allowed for further cardiopulmonary support in the setting of respiratory failure refractory to mechanical ventilation. While it has evolved since its first description, one area of improvement continues to be its implementation. With advancements in cannulation techniques, in recent years, there has been a plethora of new cannulas that has been introduced to the market. For urgent venous-venous cannulation, the right internal jugular vein along with either femoral veins remain the most utilized strategy due to minimal need for imaging support. This allows for safe bedside cannulation. However, as the number of days of ECMO support continue to increase bridging patients to an easier to ambulate and more comfortable cannulation strategy is preferred. Therefore, we describe a method for bridging right jugular-femoral cannulation to left subclavian placement of the CrescentTM Dual Lumen Catheter without interrupting ECMO support.
Background: We report our experience in aortic arch repair with the E-vita Open hybrid prosthesis and describe the changes in our technique over time. Methods: Between October 2013 and December 2019, 56 patients underwent a total aortic arch replacement with the E-vita Open hybrid prosthesis. Main indications were thoracic aorta aneurysm (n=27) and acute type A aortic dissection (n=18). We analyze the technique and results in the overall series, and compare both between our early (Group I, 25 patients) and late experience (Group II, 31 patients). Results: Overall in-hospital mortality was 7.1% (4), and permanent stroke and spinal cord injury were 3.6% and 1.8% respectively. 15 patients (26.8%) underwent a planned second procedure on the distal aorta: 13 endovascular, 1 open and 1 hybrid. Survival at 1 and 3 years was 90.7% and 80.7%. Group II included more patients with acute dissection (45.2% vs 16%, p=0.02), a higher rate of bilateral cerebral perfusion (100% vs 64%, p<0.001), left subclavian artery perfusion during lower body circulatory arrest (87.1% vs 0%, p<0.001), early reperfusion (96.8% vs 40%, p<0.001), and zone 0-2 distal anastomosis (100% vs 72%, p=0.02). In-hospital mortality (3.2% vs 12%) and permanent stroke (0% vs 8%) tended to be lower in Group II. Conclusions: Total arch replacement with E-vita Open hybrid prosthesis in complex thoracic aorta disease is safe. One-stage treatment is feasible when pathology does not extend beyond the proximal descending thoracic aorta. In any case, it facilitates subsequent procedures on distal aorta if needed.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is overwhelming healthcare resources and infrastructure worldwide. Cardiac surgical operating capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically lower due to postponement or cancellation of elective or semi-urgent procedures. Earlier reports have demonstrated complicated post-operative courses and high fatality rates in patients undergoing emergent cardiothoracic surgery who were diagnosed post-operatively with COVID-19. These reports raise the possibility that active COVID-19 might precipitate a catastrophic pathophysiogical response to infection in the post-operative period and lead to unfavorable surgical outcomes. Hence, it is imperative to screen patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to surgery and to carefully monitor them in the post-operative period to identify any early signs of active COVID-19. In this report, we present the successful outcome of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) operation in a patient with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection presenting with an acute coronary syndrome and requiring urgent surgical intervention. We employed a meticulous strategy to identify subclinical COVID-19 disease, and after confirming the absence of active disease, proceeded with the CABG operation. The patient outcome was successful with the absence of any overt COVID-19 manifestations in the post-operative period.
This is a response to the Letter to Editor received regarding the article “The effect of patient obesity on extracorporeal membrane oxygenator outcomes and ventilator dependency.” We aim to address the authors’ comments regarding the relationship between BMI and survival after venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO).
The authors share their experience of managing the cardiac surgery services across London during the challenging Covid-19 pandemic. The Pan London Emergency Cardiac Surgery Service model could serve as a blueprint to design policies applicable to other surgical specialities and parts of the UK and worldwide.
Large osteochondroma arising from chest wall and sternum is uncommon and presentation with airway compression is further uncommon. Here we present a case of large chest wall osteochondroma as a part of Hereditary multiple exostoses in a 9 years old boy presented with a history of stridor and shortness of breath. The bony mass of the right chest wall was extending up to a suprasternal notch and compressing the trachea. The case was successfully managed by initial femoro-femoral cardiopulmonary bypass under local anesthesia prior to the induction of anesthesia to prevent respiratory collapse, followed by debulking surgery was done.
Background: Infective endocarditis (IE) remains an expressive health problem with high morbimortali-ty rates. Despite its importance, epidemiological and microbiological data remain scarce, especially in developing countries. Aim: This study aims to describe IE epidemiological, clinical, and microbiological profile in a tertiary university center in South America, and to identify in-hospital mortality rate and predictors. Methods: Observational, retrospective study of 167 patients, who fulfilled modified Duke’s criteria during a six-year enrollment period, from January 2010 to December 2015. Primary outcome was de-fined as in-hospital mortality analyzed according to treatment received (clinical vs. surgical). Multivari-ate analysis identified mortality predictors. Results: Median age was 60years (Q1-Q3 50-71), and 66% were male. Echocardiogram demonstrated vegetations in 90.4%. An infective agent was identified in 76.6%, being Staphylococcus aureus (19%), Enterococcus (12%), Coagulase-negative staphylococci (10%), and Streptococcus viridans (9.6%) the most prevalent. Overall in-hospital mortality was 41.9%, varying from 49.4% to 34.1%, in clinical and surgical patients, respectively (p=0.047). On multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (OR 2.5), previous structural heart disease (OR 3.1), and mitral valve infection (OR 2.1) were all-cause death predictors. Surgical treatment was the only variable related to better outcome (OR 0.45; 95%IC 0.2-0.9). Conclusion: This study presents IE profile and all-cause mortality in a large patient’s cohort, compris-ing a 6-years’ time window, a rare initiative in developing countries. Elderly and male patients predom-inated, while Staphylococcus aureus was the main microbiological agent. Patients conservatively treated presented higher mortality than surgically managed ones. Epidemiological studies from developing countries are essential to increase IE understanding.