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Journal and News Scan

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Aleksander Zywot, Christine S.M. Lau, Nina Glass, Stephanie Bonne, Franchesca Hwang, Koren Goodman, Anne Mosenthal, Subroto Paul

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), the second most common cardiac procedure in the US, was added to the US Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program in 2015. Given the relatively high rate of readmission after CABG, Zywot and colleagues sought to develop a scale for predicting readmission risk. Using the State Inpatient Database discharge records of 126,519 patients from New York and California, the authors found that comorbidities such as renal failure (OR, 1.56) and congestive heart failure (OR, 2.82) were strongly predictive of readmission. Older age, female gender, African American ethnicity, and not having private insurance also predicted a higher readmission rate. Factors that were predictive of and associated with readmission were used to develop a scale of readmission risk, which was shown to be a good predictor of readmission in a validation cohort.

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Nigel E. Drury, Akshay J. Patel, Nicola K. Oswald, Cher-Rin Chong, John Stickley, David J. Barron, Timothy J. Jones

In this systematic review, Drury and colleagues evaluated 333 randomized trials in pediatric cardiac surgery that comprised approximately 24,000 children. Most of the trials were early phase trials and recruited relatively few patients. The authors found that less than one third of the trials met basic quality requirements. They emphasize the need for high-quality multicenter clinical trials to achieve reliable evidence for contemporary pediatric heart surgery.

Source: The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Eric E. Roselli, Jay J. Idrees, Douglas R. Johnston, Matthew J. Eagleton, Milind Y. Desai, Lars G. Svensson

The authors present their experience in treating 39 patients with thoracic aortic endovascular repair of the ascending aorta who were determined to be very high risk for open surgical repair from 2006 to 2016.   Treated pathologies included acute type A dissection in 31%, intramural hematoma in 5%, pseudoaneurysm in 56%, and chronic dissection suture line entry tear in 8%.  Ascending TEVAR was performed in 36 pateints, and occluder devices were deployed in three patients with pseudoaneurysm. Operative mortality was 13% in this high risk group of patients, with complications including stroke in 10% and myocardial infarction in 5%.   The authors propose a zone zero classification system for describing the location of pathology by segmental proximity to the aortic annulus and for assessing prognosis.

Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology
Author(s): Sai Yendamuri, Athar Battoo, Kris Attwood, Samjot Singh Dhillon, Grace K. Dy, Mark Hennon, Anthony Picone, Chukwumere Nwogu, Todd Demmy, Elisabeth Dexter

The authors demonstrate that mediastinoscopy at the time of either open or VATS lobectomy is independently associated with an increased risk of postoperative pulmonary complications (OR 1.46 and 1.53, respectively).

Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology
Author(s): Charlotte Cohen, Williams Tessier, Caroline Gronnier, Florence Renaud, Arnaud Pasquer, Jérémie Théreaux, Johan Gagnière, Bernard Meunier, Denis Collet, Guillaume Piessen, Christophe Mariette, FREGAT (French Eso-Gastric Tumors working group) – FRENCH (Fédération de Recherche en Chirurgie) – AFC (Association Française de Chirurgie)

This retrospective analysis of salvage esophagectomy after definitive chemoradiotherapy in 308 patients identified increased mortality and morbidity associated with squamous histology and radiation dose >55 Gy.  Survival at three years was 34%.

Source: News from around the web.
Author(s): Claire Vernon

Patient Care

Michael Mack and Alec Vahanian discuss the state and future of transcatheter mitral valve replacement.

A new guideline on the use of endoscopic eradication therapy in Barrett’s esophagus published by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends against surgery for patients with high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal esophageal adenocarcinoma.


Drugs and Devices

Researchers found that a smartphone app evaluates blood flow in radial and ulnar arteries prior to coronary angiography with higher accuracy than the traditional Allen test.


Research, Trials, and Funding

A man in Texas, USA, became one of the first recipients of lungs transplanted using ex vivo lung perfusion, as part of the EXPAND II OCS trial.

Chronic thromboembolic hypertension was one of the topics at the ongoing Annual Meeting of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in Nice, France. Another session focused on DCD heart transplantation and ex vivo heart perfusion.

Researchers in Michigan, USA, found that patients undergoing coronary revascularization after the 2014 Medicaid insurance expansion in the USA had outcomes comparable to those for patients who underwent revascularization before the expansion.

Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology
Author(s): Amy C. Moreno, Waqar Haque, Vivek Verma, Penny Fang, Steven H. Lin

The authors found that adjuvent chemoradiotherapy after resection of N2 NSCLC was more effective if given sequentially than concomitantly.

Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology
Author(s): Ke Jin, Kexi Wang, Huizhong Zhang, Yuejiang Pan, Dexiong Cao, Minghui Wang, Ju Chen, Duoguang Wu, Boshen Chen, Xuan Xie

How to manage solitary pulmonary nodules appearing after treatment of a prior malignancy remains a clinical challenge.  The authors found that such patients most often had intrapulmonary metastases and less often had new lung cancers.  Factors associated with new lung cancers included spiculated nodules, absence of nodal involvement with prior cancers, and prior cancers from other than head/neck and genitourinary sources.

Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology
Author(s): Shinkichi Takamori, Gouji Toyokawa, Tatsuro Okamoto, Mototsugu Shimokawa, Fumihiko Kinoshita, Yuka Kozuma, Taichi Matsubara, Naoki Haratake, Takaki Akamine, Kazuki Takada, Masakazu Katsura, Fumihiko Hirai, Fumihiro Shoji, Tetsuzo Tagawa, Yoshinao Oda, Hiroshi Honda, Yoshihiko Maehara

The authors studied patients after resection of stage I non-small cell lung cancer.  They found that nearly one-third had decreased muscle one year postoperatively, which was associated with poor performance status and decreased overall and cancer-specific survival.  

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Maria Lucia Madariaga, Lawrence F. Borges, James D. Rabinov, David C. Chang, Michael Lanuti, Douglas J. Mathisen, Henning A. Gaissert

Madariaga and colleagues retrospectively evaluated operative characteristics and outcomes in 86 patients who underwent resection of a posterior mediastinal tumor, with or without preoperative angiography. The nine patients who were selected for angiography had larger tumors that more often involved the neuroforamen than patients who were not selected. Blood loss, complication rate, and deaths related to tumor resection were comparable between patients who did and did not undergo angiography, and the authors did not find angiography itself to be associated with increased complications. They suggest that for properly selected patients, the ability to limit resection blood loss with embolization and to define spinal and tumor blood supply could outweigh the risk of angiography.