Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: The mainstay of the treatment of constrictive pericarditis is pericardiectomy. However, surgery is associated with high early morbidity and mortality and low long-term survival. The aim of this study is to describe our series of pericardiectomies performed over 30 years. Methods: A descriptive, observational, and retrospective analysis of all pericardiectomies performed at the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery of the Favaloro Foundation was performed. Results: A total of 45 patients underwent pericardiectomy between June 1992 and June 2022, mean age was 52 years (standard deviation ± 13.9 years), and 73.3% were men. Idiopathic constrictive pericarditis was the most prevalent (46.6%). The variables significantly associated with prolonged hospitalization were preoperative advanced functional class (incidence of 38.4%, P<0.04), persistent pleural effusion (incidence of 81.8%, P<0.01), and although there was no statistical significance with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass, a trend in this association is evident (P<0.07). We found that 100% of the patients with an onset of symptoms greater than six months had a prolonged hospital stay. In-hospital mortality was 6.6%, and 30-day mortality was 8.8%. The preserved functional class is 17 times more likely to improve their symptomatology after pericardiectomy (odds ratio 17, 95% confidence interval 2.66-71; P<0.05). Conclusion: Advanced functional class at the time of pericardiectomy is the variable most strongly associated with mortality and prolonged hospitalization. Onset of the symptoms greater than six months is also a poor prognostic factor mainly associated with prolonged hospitalization; based on these data, we strongly support the recommendation of early intervention.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: We propose a new technique for box-lesion ablation combined with off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting for the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease and paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation. Methods: Eight male patients with paroxysmal (n=2) or persistent atrial fibrillation (n=6) and coronary artery disease underwent box-lesion ablation combined with off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting. Box-lesion ablation was performed using a bipolar flexible clamping device with irrigated electrodes which was originally designed for thoracoscopic epicardial ablation. Results: Complete revascularization was performed in all patients. There were no deaths or major complications. At a median follow-up of 14 months, seven patients (87.5%) were in sinus rhythm. Conclusion: Box-lesion ablation can be easily and effectively combined with coronary artery surgery in an off-pump setting.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: This study analyzes the outcome of a protocol-based surgical approach for ventricular septal rupture (VSR). The study also clarifies the appropriate time for intervention. Methods: This is a single-center retrospective analysis of all VSR cases evaluated between February 2006 and March 2020. Cases were managed using the same protocol. Patients were divided into two cohorts - early (those in whom our protocol was instituted within 24 hours of diagnosis) and delayed (intervention between 24 hours and seven days after diagnosis). All-cause mortality was considered as the outcome. Results: The mean age of presentation was 60.1 years, and 75.9% of the patients were men. Cardiogenic shock was the most common mode of presentation. Our analysis validates that once a patient develops VSR, age, sex, comorbidities, left ventricular function, and renal failure at the time of presentation do not have a statistically significant impact on the outcome. The sole factor to have an impact on the outcome was time of intervention. All patients in the delayed cohort expired after surgery, which dragged the overall mortality to 34.5%, whereas 95% of patients in the early cohort are still on follow-up. The mortality in this group was 5% (P≤0.001). Conclusion: Early surgical intervention has proven benefits over delayed approach. Surgical intervention in the early part of the disease reduces the risk and thus improves the outcome. The extreme rarity makes VSR an uncommon entity among surgeons. A protocol-based approach makes the team adapt to this unfamiliar situation better.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: The current recommendation for systemic to pulmonary artery shunt (SPS) patients requiring extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is to keep the shunt open, maintaining a higher pump flow. The practice in our center is to totally occlude the shunt while on ECLS, and we are presenting the outcome of this strategy. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent SPS for cyanotic congenital heart disease with decreased pulmonary blood flow and required postoperative ECLS between January 2016 and December 2020. ECLS indication was excessive pulmonary blood flow, leading to either refractory low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS) or cardiac arrest. All patients had their shunts totally occluded soon after ECLS establishment. Results: Of the 27 SPS patients who needed postoperative ECLS (13 refractory LCOS, 14 extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation), wherein the strategy of occluding the shunt on ECLS initiation was followed, 16 (59.3 %) survived ECLS weaning and eight (29.6%) survived to discharge. Conclusion: Increased flow to maintain systemic circulation for a SPS patient while on ECLS is an accepted strategy, but it should not be applied universally. A large subset of SPS patients, who require ECLS either due to cardiac arrest or refractory LCOS due to excessive pulmonary flow, might benefit from complete occlusion of the shunt soon after commencement of ECLS, especially in cases with frank pulmonary edema or haemorrhage in the pre-ECLS period. A prospective randomized trial could be ethically justified for the subset of patients receiving ECLS for the indication of excessive pulmonary blood flow.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: Lower body perfusion (LBP) is a technique used to provide blood perfusion to distal organs and spinal cord during circulatory arrest. However, the effect of LBP on the prognosis of aortic arch surgery, especially on postoperative renal function, remains unclear. Methods: A total of 304 patients with acute type A aortic dissection who underwent total aortic arch replacement combined with frozen elephant trunk implantation between May 2016 and December 2021 were retrospectively analyzed. The patients were divided into LBP group (group L, n=85) and non-LBP group (group NL, n=219). Routine lower body circulatory arrest was applied during operation in group NL, and antegrade LBP combined was applied during operation in group L. Perioperative data were recorded. Propensity score matching was used for statistical analysis. Results: After propensity score matching, 85 pairs of patients were successfully matched. Two groups significantly differed in circulatory arrest time (six minutes vs. 30 minutes, P=0.000), cross-clamping time (101 minutes vs. 92 minutes, P=0.010), minimum nasopharyngeal temperature (29.4ºC vs. 27.2ºC, P=0.000), and highest lactate value during cardiopulmonary bypass (2.3 μmol/L vs. 4.1 μmol/L, P=0.000). Considering the postoperative indicators, the drainage volume (450 mL vs. 775 mL, P=0.000) and the incidence of level I acute kidney injury (23.5% vs. 32%, P=0.046) in group L was lower than those in group NL. Conclusion: LBP resulted as a safe and feasible approach in aortic arch surgery, as it could significantly shorten the circulatory arrest time, which might reduce the incidence of postoperative level I acute kidney injury.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: Median sternotomy is the most preferred approach in heart surgery. Post-sternotomy mediastinitis is a catastrophic and potentially life-threatening complication with an incidence rate of 0.15% to 5%, and its overall mortality rate reaches 47%. In this study, we aimed to compare the results of vacuum-assisted closure technique and the conventional methods on the management of mediastinitis following isolated coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Methods: Between February 2001 and July 2013, 32,106 patients who underwent cardiac operations were evaluated retrospectively. One hundred and fourteen patients who developed post-sternotomy mediastinitis were included in this study. The patients were divided into two groups and compared - vacuum-assisted closure group (n=52, 45.6%) and conventional treatment group (n=62, 54.4%). Results: There were no differences between the two groups according to the patients’ characteristics, surgical data, and mediastinal cultures. However, we found that total treatment duration for post-sternotomy mediastinitis, time interval from diagnosis to negative culture, hospitalization time, and in-hospital mortality were statistically significantly lower in the vacuum-assisted closure group than in the conventional treatment group (P<0.001, P<0.001, P<0.001, and P=0.03, respectively). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the vacuum-assisted closure technique improves the medical outcome of patients with post-sternotomy mediastinitis compared with the conventional treatment. The vacuum-assisted closure is a safe and more effective treatment modality for patients with post-sternotomy mediastinitis after cardiac surgery with reasonable morbidity and mortality.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: The objective of this study was to develop a radiofrequency ablation technique to create a homogeneous scar tissue in the atrial myocardium. Methods: In the double-blinded morphological stage of the study, the left atrial appendage was used as an anatomical model to investigate the efficacy of one experimental and two conventional techniques to create ablation lines. Then, these lines were studied by morphologists. The clinical stage involved investigation of the outcomes of the developed technique for creation of ablation lines. During thoracoscopic radiofrequency fragmentation of the left atrium, all ablation lines were created using the experimental radiofrequency technique. Results: In all histological sections of ablation lines created using the criterion of “steady decrease in the time to transmurality”, there were no intact (viable) cells, in contrast to the other two conventional methods, i.e., a homogeneous scar of the atrial wall. Investigation of clinical efficacy of this developed technique revealed recurrent atrial fibrillation only in six of 137 patients (4.4%) at median follow-up time of 36 (10; 58) months. None of the patients developed specific complications (wall perforation or bleeding). According to intracardiac mapping performed after the end of the blind period, the sources of atrial fibrillation in these six patients were outside the radiofrequency ablation zone (perimitral or in the right atrium). Conclusion: A steady decrease in the time to transmurality should be considered as the priority intraoperative criterion for the formation of a homogeneous scar during radiofrequency ablation of the left atrium wall using a bipolar ablation clamp.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: In this study, sternal complication rates of sternal closures with steel wire or steel wire combined with titanium plate in patients with obesity that underwent cardiac surgery were investigated. Methods: The data of 316 patients that underwent cardiac surgery between May 2018 and October 2021 were analyzed retrospectively; 124 patients withbody mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 were divided into group I, patients whose sternotomy was performed with steel wires, and group II, patients whose sternotomy was performed with steel wire combined with titanium plates. Results: A total of 124 patients with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 were divided into group I (n=88 [70.9%]) and group II (n=36 [29.1%]). The rate of male patients was found to be significantly higher in group I, whereas the rate of female patients was significantly higher in group II (P<0.001). BMI values were found to be low in group I and high in group II (P<0.001). The distribution of complications was different in the BMI ≥ 35.00-39.99 kg/m2 and ≥ 40 kg/m2 groups (P=0.003). Development of complications was found to be higher in patients with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2. Sternal dehiscence was observed in two patients in group I, while no dehiscence was observed in group II. Conclusion: The lower incidence of complications and the absence of non-infectious sternal complications and sternal dehiscence in patients with BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 that underwent steel wire combined titanium plate sternal closure strengthened the idea that plate-supported sternal closure can prevent sternal complications in high-risk patients.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: We compared transatrial closure, tricuspid valve septal detachment, and tricuspid valve chordal detachment techniques for ventricular septal defect (VSD) closure. Methods: Patients who had VSD closure with three different techniques in our clinic between September 2016 and December 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 117 patients were included in the study. The patients were divided into three groups: group 1, classical transatrial closure; group 2, closure with tricuspid valve septal detachment; and group 3, closure with tricuspid valve chordal detachment. The groups were evaluated by serial transthoracic echocardiography (preoperative, postoperative 1st day, postoperative 1st month). Cardiac rhythm checks and recordings were performed. Results: No residual VSD was observed in early or late periods in any of the groups whose VSD closure was performed with the three different techniques. No severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) was detected during the early and late postoperative periods of all operating procedures. When the groups were compared in terms of early/late TR after the operation (without TR+trace amount of TR and mild TR+moderate TR were compared), no statistically significant difference was found (P>0,05; P=0,969 and P>0,05; P=0,502). Conclusion: In this study, we found no statistically significant difference between three VSD closure techniques in terms of early TR, late TR, residual VSD, and permanent atrioventricular complete block during postoperative period. We hope that our results will be supported by the results of researches that are being made about this subject in large series.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: The objective of this study is to investigate the possible impact of coronary artery disease (CAD) on clinical outcomes of catheter ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: Patients with AF who underwent coronary computed tomography and catheter ablation were enrolled. The presence of stenotic severity and plaque, characteristics of coronary arteries, clinical data, and adverse outcomes of catheter ablation were analysed. Results: A total of 243 patients were enrolled, 100 (41%) patients with CAD. The CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus, stroke or transient ischemic attack, vascular disease, age 65-74 years, and sex category) score of AF patients with CAD was significantly (P<0.001) higher than of those without CAD. Presence of stenotic artery and plaques increased significantly with increase of CHA2DS2-VASc score (P<0.05). There was no significant (P=0.342) difference in AF recurrence between patients with and without CAD (30% versus 24%). Age, AF type, duration of AF, heart failure, CHA2DS2-VASc score, left ventricular ejection fraction, and left atrial diameter were significantly (P<0.05) correlated with AF recurrence in univariant analysis. Multivariable analysis revealed that duration of AF (hazard ratio [HR] 1.769), heart failure (HR 1.821), and left atrial diameter (HR 1.487, P=0.022) remained significant independent predictors of AF recurrence. Patients with AF and concomitant CAD were significantly (P=0.030) associated with a worse outcome. Conclusion: CAD concomitant with AF may be associated with a worse clinical outcome even though CAD does not significantly affect the risk of AF recurrence after ablation therapy.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: Postoperative thrombocytopenia is common in cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, and its risk factors are unclear. Methods: This retrospective study enrolled 3,175 adult patients undergoing valve surgeries with cardiopulmonary bypass from January 1, 2017 to December 30, 2018 in our institute. Postoperative thrombocytopenia was defined as the first postoperative platelet count below the 10th quantile in all the enrolled patients. Outcomes between patients with and without postoperative thrombocytopenia were compared. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Risk factors of postoperative thrombocytopenia were assessed by logistic regression analysis. Results: The 10th quantile of all enrolled patients (75×109/L) was defined as the threshold for postoperative thrombocytopenia. In-hospital mortality was comparable between thrombocytopenia and non-thrombocytopenia groups (0.9% vs. 0.6%, P=0.434). Patients in the thrombocytopenia group had higher rate of postoperative blood transfusion (5.9% vs. 3.2%, P=0.014), more chest drainage volume (735 [550-1080] vs. 560 [430-730] ml, P<0.001), and higher incidence of acute kidney injury (12.3% vs. 4.2%, P<0.001). Age > 60 years (odds ratio [OR] 2.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.345-3.765, P=0.002], preoperative thrombocytopenia (OR 18.671, 95% CI 13.649-25.542, P<0.001), and cardiopulmonary bypass time (OR 1.088, 95% CI 1.059-1.117, P<0.001) were positively independently associated with postoperative thrombocytopenia. Body surface area (BSA) (OR 0.247, 95% CI 0.114-0.538, P<0.001) and isolated mitral valve surgery (OR 0.475, 95% CI 0.294-0.77) were negatively independently associated with postoperative thrombocytopenia. Conclusion: Positive predictors for thrombocytopenia after valve surgery included age > 60 years, small BSA, preoperative thrombocytopenia, and cardiopulmonary bypass time. BSA and isolated mitral valve surgery were negative predictors.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) constitute the most prevalent congenital pathology, and they are a consequence of structural and functional abnormalities during fetal development. The etiology of CHD involves the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Fetal cardiac surgery aims at preventing natural pathways of CHD in utero, mitigating progression to more complex abnormalities. The goal of this review was to demonstrate the benefits and risks of fetal interventions in the two most prevalent CHDs, pulmonary stenosis and pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum, but also critical aortic stenosis and hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Methods: Original and relevant articles were selected by meta-aggregation to perform a qualitative analysis of fetal cardiac interventions for pulmonary stenosis and critical aortic stenosis. The Joanna Briggs Institute’s Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument (or JBI-QARI) was used for data quality appraisal. Results: Of 61 potential articles, 13 were selected, and nine were finally included. Discussion: The present review demonstrated that fetal cardiac surgery increases right ventricular growth and hemodynamic flow in pulmonary stenosis, whereas in critical aortic stenosis it enables growth of the left ventricle and increases left ventricular pressure. However, it has a high complication rate, along with considerable morbidity and mortality. Conclusion: The benefits of fetal cardiac surgery for pulmonary stenosis and critical aortic stenosis are well-described in the literature; however, there is a significant risk of complications which can be reduced by the surgeon’s technical expertise and well-structured hospital facilities.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Recurrent pericardial effusion is commonly encountered in neoplastic and infective disorders. Intervention is compulsory in patients with unstable hemodynamics and tamponading effusion. Surgical options include: pericardiocentesis, subxiphoid pericardiostomy, and pericardial window. The latter has proved to have lower incidence of recurrence; however, the technique has been continuously refined to improve the recurrence-free survival and decrease postoperative morbidity. We herein present a novel simple modification to minimize recurrence by anchoring the free edges of pericardial fenestration overlying the superior vena cava and right atrium to the chest wall. Follow-up showed no recurrence compared to 3.5% in the conventional procedure.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT In the setting of minimally invasive and robotic-assisted intracardiac procedures, de-airing requires further technical considerations due to limited access to the pericardial space and the subsequent difficulty of directly manipulating the heart. We summarize the technical steps for de-airing according to different cannulation strategies for minimally invasive and robotic-assisted intracardiac procedures.
Abstract in English:Abstract Surgery for endocarditis of the aorto-mitral continuity can be a challenge in case of extensive tissue destruction. We report two cases of a modified monobloc reconstruction of the aortic and mitral valves and of the aorto-mitral fibrous body. Two valve bioprostheses were sutured to each other and implanted as a composite graft. A pericardial patch sutured to the valves was employed to reconstruct both the noncoronary sinus and the left atrial roof. This technical adjustment allows adaptation to variable anatomical conditions in these particularly difficult cases.