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Journal and News Scan

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine
Author(s): Nisha Bansal, Susan M. Hailpern, Ronit Katz, Yoshio N. Hall, Manjula K. Tamura, William Kreuter, Ann M. O’Hare

Bansal and colleagues describe survival after left ventricular assist device placement for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), based on Medicare claims associated with data in the United States Renal Data System registry. Prognosis for these patients was very poor compared to patients without ESRD, particularly in the short-term. The authors suggest this information could be helpful in informing shared decisions regarding treatment for advanced heart failure in patients with ESRD.

An invited commentary article from Thomas and colleagues accompanies the article.

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

Patient Care

The Venezuelan singer known by the nickname “El Puma” is recovering after a double lung transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

A Bangladeshi woman has received a new esophagus in Toronto, Canada, after her esophagus was severely damaged in an acid attack.

Dutch cyclist Lars Boom will miss the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia, as he undergoes surgery for cardiac arrhythmia. Lithuanian cyclist Ramūnas Navardauskas will make the tour, having recovered from his surgical arrhythmia correction.


Drugs and Devices

Three reports of detached docking buttons on the Nanostim leadless pacemaker lead Abbott to announce that it is maintaining the worldwide halt on device implantations while it investigates.


Research, Trials, and Funding

In a bit of festive fun, researchers at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, suggest testable—if improbable—hypotheses for some of the scientific oddities in popular Christmas stories, such as the Grinch’s rapidly growing heart.

In case you needed more reason to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, a study published in the European Respiratory Journal found an association between a person’s apple and tomato consumption and their lung health.

Mice with a genetic modification that models Marfan syndrome benefit from a bit of moderate exercise, say researchers from Spain.

Source: Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Author(s): Nicholas T. Kouchoukos

In this review, Kouchoukos presents an argument against the use of endovascular stenting for the management of thoracoabdominal disease in patients with Marfan syndrome, except in exceptional circumstances or when the endovascular stent is landed in previously-sited graft material.  The opinion is based upon the poor outcomes of a limited number of Marfan patients that are reported in the literature, including in-hospital mortality of 2.5% to 12.5% and primary treatment failure between 25.0% and 43.8%. This is compared with the excellent reported early outcomes of patients with Marfan syndrome undergoing open surgical repair of thoracoabdominal aortic disease, such as early mortality between 0% and 7%.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Author(s): Holger Thiele, Ibrahim Akin, Marcus Sandri, Georg Fuernau, Suzanne de Waha, Roza Meyer-Saraei, Peter Nordbeck, Tobias Geisler, Ulf Landmesser, Carsten Skurk, Andreas Fach, Harald Lapp, Jan J. Piek, Marko Noc, Tomaž Goslar, Stephan B. Felix, Lars S. Maier,Janina Stepinska, Keith Oldroyd, Pranas Serpytis, Gilles Montalescot, , Olivier Barthelemy, Kurt Huber, Stephan Windecker, Stefano Savonitto, Patrizia Torremante, Christiaan Vrints, Steffen Schneider, Steffen Desch, Uwe Zeymer, for the CULPRIT-SHOCK Investigators

Interesting to read the mortality and renal morbidity of PCI after serious MI. The choice of dual primary outcome may have been an afterhought....

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Narain Moorjani, Michael Lewis, Rajesh Shah, Sion Barnard, Tim Graham, Sridhar Rathinam

Moorjani and colleagues describe the implementation of a simulation-based training program for cardiothoracic surgical trainees in the UK and Ireland, which included 10 courses during the six-year training program. Attendance of the courses lead to increases in self-confidence and perceived self-competency among trainees, and board examination pass rates after course attendance increased significantly.

Commentary articles from Jonathan Nesbitt and Paul Hendry consider the success of the program and the possibility of implementing similar training programs elsewhere.

Source: Psychological Science
Author(s): Daniel K Walco, Jane L Risen

The authors demonstrate that, even when we rationally understand which of two choices is more likely to pay off, up to half of us will rely on gut feelings instead.  

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Lisa S. Foley, David A. Fullerton, Joshua Mares, Mitchell Sungelo, Michael J. Weyant, Joseph C. Cleveland Jr., T. Brett Reece

Erythropoietin (EPO) signaling is an important component of neuroprotection in ischemic reperfusion injury following aortic surgery. EPO also induces hematopoiesis, a fact that has limited its clinical usefulness for treating spinal cord ischemia after aortic surgery. Foley and colleagues tested whether a particular EPO receptor subtype, a heterodimer with the interleukin beta common receptor (βcR), was sufficient for EPO treatment to preserve the viability of oxygen and glucose deprived mouse spinal cord neurons in culture. Their findings suggest that βcR presents a specific target for treating spinal cord ischemia while avoiding hematopoietic side effects.

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

Patient Care

A baby in the UK has surgery to put her ectopic heart back inside her chest.

The first open-heart surgery at a district-level hospital is performed in Vietnam, as surgeons at the Thủ Đức District Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City closed an atrial septal defect in a young man.

Nestle Health Sciences is launching a patient education website to promote awareness of its nutritional drink designed for patients undergoing major elective surgery.

Three people received new organs when surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, UAE, performed the country’s first cadaver heart and kidney transplant.


Drugs and Devices

The American Hospital Association wants increased oversight on the cybersecurity of medical devices.

Boston Scientific has delayed the reintroduction of its voluntarily-recalled LOTUS Edge Aortic Valve, which had been expected in early 2018. They will provide more information on the valve’s status in February 2018.


Research, Trials, and Funding

Research published in JAMA Psychiatry investigated the association between congenital cardiac malformations and use of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs during pregnancy.

The REMOVE Trial will test CytoSorb, an extracorporeal blood purification therapy, for preventing vasodilatory shock in patients with infective endocarditis; the trial will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, have used entirely noninvasive cardiac radiation to treat five patients with ventricular tachycardia.

Source: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Author(s): Lorraine D. Cornwell, Alfredo E. Echeverria, Jason Samuelian, Jessica Mayor, Roberto F. Casal, Faisal G. Bakaeen, Shuab Omer, Ourania Preventza, Weiyuan Mai, George Chen, Katherine H. Simpson, Drew Moghanaki, Angela W. Zhu

Using propensity score matching, patients with clinical stage I NSCLC who underwent either VATS lobectomy or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) were compared for long-term outcomes.  Among 37 matched pairs, tumor control at 3 years was twice as good for surgery (p=.0038),  cancer-specific survival was 15 percentage points better for surgery (p=.055), and overall survival and recurrence-free survival were superior for surgery (p<.005 for both).  SBRT was an independent predictor of recurrence and poorer survival .

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Author(s): Billie-Jean Martin, Kandice Mah, Luke Eckersley, Joyce Harder, Charissa Pockett, Daryl Schantz, John Dyck, Mohammed Al Aklabi, Ivan M. Rebeyka, David B. Ross

Martin and colleagues analyzed in-hospital complications, transplant-free survival, and long-term reintervention for patients receiving a Fontan operation over 20 years, with a specific focus on differences between patients with and without hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). The authors found that patients with HLHS were more likely to require intervention for atrioventricular valve regurgitation but not for Fontan failure. Ten-year overall and transplant-free survival were also the same for patients with and without HLHS.