Objectives Redo sternotomy and explantation of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) for heart transplantation (HT) involve prolonged dissection, potential injury to mediastinal structures and/or bleeding. Our study compared a complete expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) wrap versus minimal or no ePTFE during LVAD implantation, on outcomes of subsequent HT. Methods Between July 2005 and July 2018, 84 patients underwent a LVAD implant and later underwent HT. Thirty patients received a complete ePTFE wrap during LVAD implantation (Group 1), and 54 patients received either a sheet of ePTFE placed in the anterior mediastinum or no ePTFE (Group 2). Results Baseline characteristics were similar between Groups 1 and 2. Surgeons reported subjective improvements in speed, predictability and safety of dissection with complete ePTFE compared with minimal or no ePTFE. Time from incision to initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) were similar between groups (97±38 min vs 89±29 min, p=0.3). Injury to mediastinal structures during the dissection was similar between groups (10% vs 11%, p>0.9). While surgeons reported less intraoperative bleeding in Group 1 (43% vs 61%), this trend did not reach significance (p=0.1). In-hospital mortality, ICU length of stay and hospital length of stay were similar between both groups. Conclusions In patients undergoing LVAD explant-HT, there was a trend towards reduced surgeon reported intraoperative bleeding with ePTFE placement. Despite qualitatively reported greater ease and speed of mediastinal dissection with ePTFE membrane placement, time to initiation of CPB did not differ, likely because surgeons remained cautious, allowing extra time for unanticipated difficulties.
Deferring non-emergent cardiac surgery became the strategy of choice for several international healthcare systems afflicted by high case burdens of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) in order to both conserve valuable healthcare resources and protect patients from possible exposure. Missing from the available dataset to help guide policy development has been a clear understanding of the extent to which COVID-19 infection modulates cardiac surgery outcomes. In their investigation, Bonalumi and colleagues uncovered an inpatient COVID-19 positivity rate of almost 10 times higher than that of the general Italian population, as well as a mortality rate over 20 times higher amongst cardiac surgery patients with perioperative COVID-19 infection compared to those COVID-negative. While the summation of available evidence points to the serious consideration cardiac surgeons must give to delaying surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic, recognition must be given to the risks that postponing cardiac surgery may have on patient outcomes. Emerging data is beginning to demonstrate the efficacy of vaccination in preventing postoperative COVID-19 infection and morbidity.
Background and Aim: The P2Y12 platelet receptor inhibitor ticagrelor is widely used in patients following acute coronary syndromes or in those who have received coronary stents. Bentracimab is a monoclonal antibody-based reversal agent that is being formally evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical trial. Here, we probe the knowledge, attitudes, and practice patterns of cardiac surgeons regarding their perioperative management of ticagrelor and potential application of a ticagrelor reversal agent. Methods: A questionnaire was developed by a working group of cardiac surgeons to inquire into participants’ practices and beliefs regarding ticagrelor and disseminated to practicing Canadian cardiac surgeons. Results: A total of 70 Canadian cardiac surgeons participated. Bleeding risk was identified as the most significant consideration when surgically revascularizing ticagrelor-treated patients (90%). There is variability in the duration of withholding ticagrelor prior to coronary artery bypass graft procedure in a stable patient; 44.3% wait 3 days and 32.9% wait 4 days or longer. Currently, 14.3% of cardiac surgeons prophylactically give platelet transfusions and/or fresh frozen plasma intraoperatively following protamine infusion in patients who have recently received ticagrelor. Interestingly, 47.1% of surveyed surgeons were aware of a reversal agent for ticagrelor, 91.4% of cardiac surgeons would consider utilizing a ticagrelor reversal agent if available, and 51.4% acknowledged that the introduction of such an agent would be a major advance in clinical practice. Conclusions: The present survey identified ticagrelor-related bleeding as a major concern for cardiac surgeons. Surgeons recognized the significant unmet need that a ticagrelor reversal agent would address.
BACKGROUND: The benefit of mitral valve repair over replacement in patients with ischemic mitral regurgitation is still controversial. We report our early postoperative outcomes of repair versus replacement. METHODS: Data were collected for patients undergoing first-time mitral valve surgery for ischemic mitral regurgitation between 1990 and 2009 (n = 393). Patients who underwent combined procedures for papillary muscle rupture, post-infarction ventricular septal defect, endocarditis, or any previous cardiac surgery were excluded. Preoperative demographics, operative variables, and hospital outcomes were analyzed, and multivariable regression analysis was employed to identify independent predictors of hospital mortality. RESULTS: Valve repair was performed in 42% (n=164) of patients and replacement in 58% (n=229). Patients who underwent replacement were older and had a higher prevalence of unstable angina, New York Heart Association class IV symptoms, preoperative cardiogenic shock, preoperative myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, renal failure, and urgent or emergency surgery (all p < 0.05). Unadjusted hospital mortality was higher in patients undergoing valve replacement (13% versus 5%, p = 0.01). Valve repair was associated with a lower prevalence of postoperative low cardiac output syndrome. Multivariable analysis revealed that age, urgency of operation, and preoperative left ventricular function were independent predictors of hospital mortality. Importantly, mitral valve repair versus replacement was not an independent predictor of hospital mortality. CONCLUSION: Our data did not suggest an early survival benefit to mitral valve repair over replacement for ischemic mitral regurgitation. However, age, left ventricular dysfunction, and the need for urgent surgery were independently associated with hospital mortality.