Cardiothoracic surgery is facing a multitude of challenges in leadership and training on the global scale, these being a complex and aging patient population, shortage of cardiac surgeons, diminishing student interest and trainee enthusiasm, increasingly challenging training obstacles and work-life imbalances, suboptimal job prospects, reports of discrimination and bullying and lack of diversity as well as gap between innovation and technology, clinical application, and training of future surgeons. The survival of cardiac surgery hinges on the leadership attracting and retaining young surgeons into the specialty. Mentoring, leading through example, recognizing the work-life imbalances, adapting to diverse and modern training models and embracing diversity with respect to gender and race, will ultimately be required to create and cultivate a nurturing environment of training and preparing future leaders. The vision for training future generations of cardiothoracic surgeons must rely heavily on strengthening the unity of the heart team. In doing so we can provide the best possible care for our patients and a most fulfilling career for the future generation of cardiac surgeons.
Comprehensive clinical and imaging-based surveillance represents a fundamental aspect in the management of thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs), affording the opportunity to identify intermediate-sized TAAs before the onset of worrying symptoms or devastating acute aortic dissection/rupture. Currently, size-based indices are favoured as the major determinants driving patient selection for surgery, as supported by aortic guidelines, although it is recognised that smaller sub-threshold TAAs may still confer substantial risks. Prophylactic aortic surgery can be offered within set timeframes at dedicated aortic centres with excellent outcomes, to mitigate the threat of acute aortic complications associated with repeatedly deferred intervention. In this commentary, we discuss a recent article from the Journal of Cardiac Surgery which highlights important socio-economic disparities in TAA surveillance and follow-up.
Background:Kawasaki disease (KD) is a systemic inflammatory condition occurring predominantly in children. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is performed in the presence of inflammation and aneurysms of the coronary arteries. The objectives of our study were to assess which CABG strategy provides better graft patency and long-term outcomes. Methods:A systematic review using Medline, Cochrane and Scopus databases was performed by February 2020, incorporating a network meta-analysis, performed by random-effect model within a Bayesian framework, and pooled prevalence of adverse outcomes. Hazard ratios (HR) and corresponding 95% credible intervals (CI) were calculated by Markov chain-Monte Carlo methods. Results:Among 581 published reports, 32 studies were enrolled, including 1191 patients undergoing CABG for KD. Graft patency of internal thoracic arteries (ITA), saphenous veins (SV) and other arteries (gastroepiploic artery and radial artery) were compared. ITAs demonstrated the best patency rates at long-term follow-up (HR 0.33, 95% CI:0.17-0.66). Pooled prevalence of early mortality after CABG was 0.28% (95% CI:0.00-0.73%,I²=0%,tau²=0), with 63/1108 and 56/1108 patients, respectively, undergoing interventional procedures and surgical re-interventions during follow-up. Pooled prevalence was 3.97% (95% CI:1.91-6.02%,I²=60%,tau²=0.0008) for interventional procedures and 3.47% (95% CI:2.26-4.68%,I²=5%,tau²<0.0001) for surgical re-interventions. Patients treated with arterial, venous and mixed (arterial plus second venous graft) CABG were compared to assess long-term mortality. Mixed CABG (HR 0.03,95% CI: 0.00-0.30) and arterial CABG (HR 0.13, 95% CI: 0.00-1.78) showed reduced long-term mortality compared with venous CABG. Conclusions:CABG in KD is a safe and effective procedure. Use of arterial conduits provides better patency rates and lower mortality at long-term follow-up.
Background and Aim: The optimal duration of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) in patients affected by postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock (PCS) remains controversial. We aimed to investigate the impact of VA-ECMO duration on hospital outcomes. Methods: Data on PCS patients receiving VA-ECMO were retrieved from the multicentre PC-ECMO registry. Patients were stratified according to different duration of VA-ECMO therapy: ≤3 days, 4-7 days, 8-10 days, and >10 days. Results: A total of 725 patients with a mean age of 62.9±12.9 years were included. The mean duration of VA-ECMO was 7.1±6.3 days (range: 0-39 days), and 39.4% patients were supported for ≤3 days, 29.1% for 4-7 days, 15.3% for 8-10 days, and finally 20.7% for >10 days. A total of 391 (53.9%) patients were successfully weaned from VA-ECMO while 134 (34.3%) died prior to discharge. Multivariable logistic regression showed that prolonged duration of VA-ECMO therapy (4-7 days, adjusted rate 53.6%, odds ratio [OR] 0.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18-0.44; 8-10 days, adjusted rate 61.3%,OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.29-0.87; and >10 days, adjusted rate 59.3%,OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.31-0.81) was associated with lower risk of mortality compared with VA-ECMO lasting ≤3 days (adjusted rate 78.3%). Patients requiring VA-ECMO therapy for 8-10 days (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.15-3.33) and >10 days (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.14-3.02) had significantly higher mortality compared to those on VA-ECMO for 4-7 days. Conclusions: PCS patients weaned from VA-ECMO after 4 to 7 days of support had significantly lower mortality compared with those with shorter or longer mechanical support.