Michele Di Mauro

and 8 more

OBJECTIVE. For many years, functional tricuspid regurgitation (FTR) was considered negligible after treatment of left-sided heart valve surgery. The aim of the present network meta-analysis is to summarize the results of four approaches in order to establish the possible gold standard. METHODS A systematic search was performed to identify all publications reporting the outcomes of four approach for FTR, not tricuspid annuloplasty (no TA), suture annuloplasty (SA), flexible (FRA), rigid rings (RRA). All studies reporting at least one the four endpoints (early and late mortality, early and late moderate or more TFR) were included in a Bayesian network meta-analysis. RESULTS There were 31 included studies with 9,663 patients. Aggregate early mortality was 5.3% no TA, 7.2% SA, 6.6% FRA and 6.4% RRA; Early TR moderate-or-more was 9.6%, 4.8%, 4.6% and 3.8%; Late mortality was 22.5%, 18.2%, 11.9% and 11.9%; Late TR moderate-or-more was 27.9%, 18.3%, 14.3% and 6.4%. Rigid or semirigid ring annuloplasty was the most effective approach for decreasing the risk of late moderate or more FTR (–85% vs. no TA; –64% vs. SA; –32% vs. FRA). Concerning late mortality, no significant differences were found among different surgical approaches, however, flexible or rigid rings reduced significantly the risk of late mortality (78% and 47%, respectively) compared with not performing TA mortality. No differences were found for early outcomes. CONCLUSIONS. Ring annuloplasty seems to offer better late outcomes compare to either suture annuloplasty or not performing TA. In particular rigid or semirigid rings provides more stable FTR across time.

Fabio Ramponi

and 6 more

Coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease represent a major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite technological advancements in percutaneous interventions, surgical revascularization remains the preferred strategy in patients with left main or multivessel disease and in those with complex lesions with high SYNTAX score. As a result, an increasing number of older patients with diffuse atherosclerotic extracoronary disease are referred for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Cerebrovascular complications after isolated coronary surgery occurs in 1-5% of patients; the magnitude of injury ranges from overt neurologic lesions with varying degree of permanent disability to “asymptomatic” cerebral events detected by dedicated neuro-imaging, nevertheless associated with significant long term cognitive and functional decline. Thromboembolic events due to manipulation of an atherosclerotic aorta are universally recognized as the leading etiology of early postoperative stroke following CABG. Coronary bypass surgery performed on an arrested heart relies on considerable aortic instrumentation associated with significant atheroembolic risk especially in older patients presenting with diffuse aortic calcifications. Surgical techniques to deal with a calcified ascending aorta during isolated coronary surgery have evolved over the last forty years. Moving away from aggressive aortic debridement or replacement, surgeons have developed strategies aimed to minimize aortic manipulation: from pump-assisted beating heart surgery with the use of composite grafts to complete avoidance of aortic manipulation with “anaortic” off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting, a safe and effective approach in significantly reducing the risk of intraoperative stroke.

Antonio Calafiore

and 11 more

In secondary mitral regurgitation, the concept that the mitral valve (MV) is an innocent bystander, has been challenged by many studies in the last decades. The MV is a living structure with an intrinsic plasticity that reacts to changes in stretch or in mechanical stress activating bio-humoral mechanisms that have, as purpose, the adaptation of the valve to the new environment. If the adaptation is balanced, the leaflets increase both surface and length and the chordae tendinae lengthen: the result is a valve with different characteristics, but able to avoid or to limit the regurgitation. However, if the adaptation is unbalanced, the leaflets and the chords do not change their size, but become stiffer and rigid, with moderate or severe regurgitation. These changes are mediated mainly by a cytokine, the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), which is able to promote the changes that the MV needs to adapt to a new hemodynamic environment. In general, mild TGF-β activation facilitates leaflet growth, excessive TGF-β activation, as after a myocardial infarction, results in profibrotic changes in the leaflets, with increased thickness and stiffness. The MV is then a plastic organism, that reacts to the external stimuli, trying to maintain its physiologic integrity. This review has the goal to unveil the secret life of the MV, to understand which stimuli can trigger its plasticity and to explain why the equation “large heart=moderate/severe mitral regurgitation” and “small heart=no/mild mitral regurgitation” does not work into the clinical practice.