ResearchPad - cardiothoracic-surgery https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Five‐year results of a modified left atrial maze IV procedure in the treatment of atrial fibrillation: a randomized study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7140 In this study, we aimed to investigate the outcomes of a modified left atrial maze IV procedure (MLAM‐IV) for the surgical treatment of AF. Results showed that the MLAM‐IV is technically simpler than the traditional left atrial maze‐IV (LAM‐IV) in the ablation process. The MLAM‐IV was associated with less ventilation support in early postoperative period. The long‐term efficacy of the MLAM‐IV in the treatment of AF is similar to that of the LAM‐IV.

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<![CDATA[Who elects the weekend?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff10d5eed0c4841359e5

Chaim M. Bell and Lauren Lapointe-Shaw discuss the meaning of the "weekend effect" in outcomes for hospital admissions and surgeries, and comment on surprising new results published in PLOS Medicine this week.

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<![CDATA[VEGF Gene Expression in Adult Human Thymus Fat: A Correlative Study with Hypoxic Induced Factor and Cyclooxigenase-2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9feab0ee8fa60b72f0a

It is well known that the adult human thymus degenerates into fat tissue; however, it has never been considered as a potential source of angiogenic factors. Recently, we have described that this fat (TAT) produces angiogenic factors and induces human endothelial cell proliferation and migration, indicating its potential angiogenic properties.

Design

Adult thymus fat and subcutaneous adipose tissue specimens were obtained from 28 patients undergoing cardiac surgery, making this tissue readily available as a prime source of adipose tissue. We focused our investigation on determining VEGF gene expression and characterizing the different genes, mediators of inflammation and adipogenesis, and which are known to play a relevant role in angiogenesis regulation.

Results

We found that VEGF-A was the isoform most expressed in TAT. This expression was accompanied by an upregulation of HIF-1α, COX-2 and HO-1 proteins, and by increased HIF-1 DNA binding activity, compared to SAT. Furthermore, we observed that TAT contains a high percentage of mature adipocytes, 0.25% of macrophage cells, 15% of endothelial cells and a very low percentage of thymocyte cells, suggesting the cellular variability of TAT, which could explain the differences in gene expression observed in TAT. Subsequently, we showed that the expression of genes known as adipogenic mediators, including PPARγ1/γ2, FABP-4 and adiponectin was similar in both TAT and SAT. Moreover the expression of these latter genes presented a significantly positive correlation with VEGF, suggesting the potential association between VEGF and the generation of adipose tissue in adult thymus.

Conclusion

Here we suggest that this fat has a potential angiogenic function related to ongoing adipogenesis, which substitutes immune functions within the adult thymus. The expression of VEGF seems to be associated with COX-2, HO-1 and adipogenesis related genes, suggesting the importance that this new fat has acquired in research in relation to adipogenesis and angiogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Second Generation Sequencing of the Mesothelioma Tumor Genome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b6915a

The current paradigm for elucidating the molecular etiology of cancers relies on the interrogation of small numbers of genes, which limits the scope of investigation. Emerging second-generation massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies have enabled more precise definition of the cancer genome on a global scale. We examined the genome of a human primary malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) tumor and matched normal tissue by using a combination of sequencing-by-synthesis and pyrosequencing methodologies to a 9.6X depth of coverage. Read density analysis uncovered significant aneuploidy and numerous rearrangements. Method-dependent informatics rules, which combined the results of different sequencing platforms, were developed to identify and validate candidate mutations of multiple types. Many more tumor-specific rearrangements than point mutations were uncovered at this depth of sequencing, resulting in novel, large-scale, inter- and intra-chromosomal deletions, inversions, and translocations. Nearly all candidate point mutations appeared to be previously unknown SNPs. Thirty tumor-specific fusions/translocations were independently validated with PCR and Sanger sequencing. Of these, 15 represented disrupted gene-encoding regions, including kinases, transcription factors, and growth factors. One large deletion in DPP10 resulted in altered transcription and expression of DPP10 transcripts in a set of 53 additional MPM tumors correlated with survival. Additionally, three point mutations were observed in the coding regions of NKX6-2, a transcription regulator, and NFRKB, a DNA-binding protein involved in modulating NFKB1. Several regions containing genes such as PCBD2 and DHFR, which are involved in growth factor signaling and nucleotide synthesis, respectively, were selectively amplified in the tumor. Second-generation sequencing uncovered all types of mutations in this MPM tumor, with DNA rearrangements representing the dominant type.

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<![CDATA[Low Interleukin - 8 Level Predicts the Occurrence of the Postpericardiotomy Syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85882

Aims

The objective of this study was to investigate inflammatory markers of the postpericardiotomy syndrome (PPS) and to determine individuals prone to develop the PPS.

Methods and Results

The study included 75 patients with a stable coronary disease that had underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. Serum samples were collected prior to the surgery and on the 5th day after the operation, to measure the concentration of IL-8, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-10, TNF, IL-12p70. All included patients were screened for the PPS before discharge from the hospital and 6 months after the surgery. The 49 patients developed the PPS (65.4%), among them 42 (56%) patients had pleural effusion, and 23 (31%) had pericardial effusion. The cytokine analysis has shown an inverse correlation between IL-8 concentration before the surgery, and the occurrence of the PPS (p = 0.026). There were also positive correlations between the magnitude of increase of IL-8 and IL-1β concentrations on the 5th day after the surgery and the occurrence of the PPS (p = 0.006 and p = 0.049 respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed IL-8 concentration before surgery as an independent risk factor of the PPS development (HR = 0.976; 95%CI: 0.956–0.996, p = 0.02). Cut-off point was established to assess the predictive value of IL-8 concentration (21.1 pg/ml). The test parameters were: sensitivity: 62.5%, specificity: 75%, positive predictive value: 83% and negative predictive value: 50%. Clinical evaluation showed the relationship between the hemoglobin concentration before the surgery and the PPS occurrence (p = 0.01).

Conclusion

The IL-8 and IL-1β may participate in the postpericardiotomy syndrome pathogenesis, and the IL-8 concentration measurement may select patients with the risk of the PPS development.

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<![CDATA[The Effect of Pulmonary Artery Catheter Use on Costs and Long-Term Outcomes of Acute Lung Injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8997

Background

The pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) remains widely used in acute lung injury (ALI) despite known complications and little evidence of improved short-term mortality. Concurrent with NHLBI ARDS Clinical Trials Network Fluid and Catheters Treatment Trial (FACTT), we conducted a prospectively-defined comparison of healthcare costs and long-term outcomes for care with a PAC vs. central venous catheter (CVC). We explored if use of the PAC in ALI is justified by a beneficial cost-effectiveness profile.

Methods

We obtained detailed bills for the initial hospitalization. We interviewed survivors using the Health Utilities Index Mark 2 questionnaire at 2, 6, 9 and 12 m to determine quality of life (QOL) and post-discharge resource use. Outcomes beyond 12 m were estimated from federal databases. Incremental costs and outcomes were generated using MonteCarlo simulation.

Results

Of 1001 subjects enrolled in FACTT, 774 (86%) were eligible for long-term follow-up and 655 (85%) consented. Hospital costs were similar for the PAC and CVC groups ($96.8k vs. $89.2k, p = 0.38). Post-discharge to 12 m costs were higher for PAC subjects ($61.1k vs. 45.4k, p = 0.03). One-year mortality and QOL among survivors were similar in PAC and CVC groups (mortality: 35.6% vs. 31.9%, p = 0.33; QOL [scale: 0–1]: 0.61 vs. 0.66, p = 0.49). MonteCarlo simulation showed PAC use had a 75.2% probability of being more expensive and less effective (mean cost increase of $14.4k and mean loss of 0.3 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)) and a 94.2% probability of being higher than the $100k/QALY willingness-to-pay threshold.

Conclusion

PAC use increased costs with no patient benefit and thus appears unjustified for routine use in ALI.

Trial Registration

www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00234767

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<![CDATA[Protection against Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome Is Associated with Allograft CCR7+CD45RA− T Regulatory Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadfab0ee8fa60bbb627

Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the major obstacle to long-term survival after lung transplantation, yet markers for early detection and intervention are currently lacking. Given the role of regulatory T cells (Treg) in modulation of immunity, we hypothesized that frequencies of Treg in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) after lung transplantation would predict subsequent development of BOS. Seventy BALF specimens obtained from 47 lung transplant recipients were analyzed for Treg lymphocyte subsets by flow cytometry, in parallel with ELISA measurements of chemokines. Allograft biopsy tissue was stained for chemokines of interest. Treg were essentially all CD45RA, and total Treg frequency did not correlate to BOS outcome. The majority of Treg were CCR4+ and CD103 and neither of these subsets correlated to risk for BOS. In contrast, higher percentages of CCR7+ Treg correlated to reduced risk of BOS. Additionally, the CCR7 ligand CCL21 correlated with CCR7+ Treg frequency and inversely with BOS. Higher frequencies of CCR7+ CD3+CD4+CD25hiFoxp3+CD45RA lymphocytes in lung allografts is associated with protection against subsequent development of BOS, suggesting that this subset of putative Treg may down-modulate alloimmunity. CCL21 may be pivotal for the recruitment of this distinct subset to the lung allograft and thereby decrease the risk for chronic rejection.

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<![CDATA[Application of Machine Learning Techniques to High-Dimensional Clinical Data to Forecast Postoperative Complications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf3ab0ee8fa60bc2213

Objective

To compare performance of risk prediction models for forecasting postoperative sepsis and acute kidney injury.

Design

Retrospective single center cohort study of adult surgical patients admitted between 2000 and 2010.

Patients

50,318 adult patients undergoing major surgery.

Measurements

We evaluated the performance of logistic regression, generalized additive models, naïve Bayes and support vector machines for forecasting postoperative sepsis and acute kidney injury. We assessed the impact of feature reduction techniques on predictive performance. Model performance was determined using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, accuracy, and positive predicted value. The results were reported based on a 70/30 cross validation procedure where the data were randomly split into 70% used for training the model and the 30% for validation.

Main Results

The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for different models ranged between 0.797 and 0.858 for acute kidney injury and between 0.757 and 0.909 for severe sepsis. Logistic regression, generalized additive model, and support vector machines had better performance compared to Naïve Bayes model. Generalized additive models additionally accounted for non-linearity of continuous clinical variables as depicted in their risk patterns plots. Reducing the input feature space with LASSO had minimal effect on prediction performance, while feature extraction using principal component analysis improved performance of the models.

Conclusions

Generalized additive models and support vector machines had good performance as risk prediction model for postoperative sepsis and AKI. Feature extraction using principal component analysis improved the predictive performance of all models.

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<![CDATA[U-Curve Association between Timing of Renal Replacement Therapy Initiation and In-Hospital Mortality in Postoperative Acute Kidney Injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da71ab0ee8fa60b94d91

Background

Postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with poor outcomes in surgical patients. This study aims to evaluate whether the timing of renal replacement therapy (RRT) initiation affects the in-hospital mortality of patients with postoperative AKI.

Methodology

This multicenter retrospective observational study, which was conducted in the intensive care units (ICUs) in a tertiary hospital (National Taiwan University Hospital) and its branch hospitals in Taiwan between January, 2002, and April, 2009, included adult patients with postoperative AKI who underwent RRT for predefined indications. The demographic data, comorbid diseases, types of surgery and RRT, and the indications for RRT were documented. Patients were categorized according to the period of time between the ICU admission and RRT initiation as the early (EG, ≦1 day), intermediate (IG, 2–3 days), and late (LG, ≧4 days) groups. The in-hospital mortality rate censored at 180 day was defined as the endpoint.

Results

Six hundred forty-eight patients (418 men, mean age 63.0±15.9 years) were enrolled, and 379 patients (58.5%) died during the hospitalization. Both the estimated probability of death and the in-hospital mortality rates of the three groups represented U-curves. According to the Cox proportional hazard method, LG (hazard ratio, 1.527; 95% confidence interval, 1.152–2.024; P = 0.003, compared with IG group), age (1.014; 1.006–1.021), diabetes (1.279; 1.022–1.601; P = 0.031), cirrhosis (2.147; 1.421–3.242), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support (1.811; 1.391–2.359), initial neurological dysfunction (1.448; 1.107–1.894; P = 0.007), pre-RRT mean arterial pressure (0.988; 0.981–0.995), inotropic equivalent (1.006; 1.001–1.012; P = 0.013), APACHE II scores (1.055; 1.037–1.073), and sepsis (1.939; 1.536–2.449) were independent predictors of the in-hospital mortality (All P<0.001 except otherwise stated).

Conclusions

The current study found a U-curve association between the timing of the RRT initiation after the ICU admission and patients’ in-hospital mortalities, and alerts physicians of certain factors affecting the outcome after the RRT initiation.

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<![CDATA[Adiponectin Mediated MHC Class II Mismatched Cardiac Graft Rejection in Mice Is IL-4 Dependent]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3dab0ee8fa60bd599d

Background

Adiponectin regulates glucose and fatty-acid metabolism but its role in chronic graft rejection mediated by Th2 cytokines remains ill-defined.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Wild type and adiponectin-null mice were used as graft recipients in mouse MHC class II disparate cardiac transplantation (bm12 toB6) and the graft rejection was monitored. In adiponectin-null mice we observed that the cellular infiltrate of eosinophils, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was reduced in grafts compared to the controls as was collagen deposition and vessel occlusion. A similar outcome was observed for skin transplants except that neutrophil infiltration was increased. Low levels of IL-4 were detected in the grafts and serum. The effect of adiponectin signaling on IL-4 expression was further investigated. Treatment with AMPK and p38 MAPK inhibitors blocked adiponectin enhanced T cell proliferation in mixed lymphocyte reactions. Inhibition of AMPK reduced eosinophil infiltration in skin grafts in wild type recipients and in contrast AMPK activation increased eosinophils in adiponectin-null recipients. The addition of adiponectin increased IL-4 production by the T cell line EL4 with augmented nuclear GATA-3 and phospho-STAT6 expression which were suppressed by knockdown of adiponectin receptor 1 and 2.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrate a direct effect of adiponectin on IL-4 expression which contributes to Th2 cytokine mediated rejection in mouse MHC class II histoincompatible transplants. These results add to our understanding of the interrelationship of metabolism and immune regulation and raise the possibility that AMPK inhibitors may be beneficial in selected types of rejection.

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<![CDATA[Prospectively versus Retrospectively ECG-Gated 256-Slice CT Angiography to Assess Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts — Comparison of Image Quality and Radiation Dose]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da92ab0ee8fa60ba0512

Objective

In this retrospective non-randomized cohort study, the image quality and radiation dose were compared between prospectively electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated axial (PGA) and retrospectively ECG-gated helical (RGH) techniques for the assessment of coronary artery bypass grafts using 256-slice CT.

Methods

We studied 124 grafts with 577 segments in 64 patients with a heart rate (HR) <85 bpm who underwent CT coronary angiography (CTCA); 34 patients with RGH-CTCA and 30 patients with PGA-CTCA. The image quality of the bypass grafts was assessed by a 5-point scale (1 = excellent to 5 = non-diagnostic) for each segment (proximal anastomosis, proximal, middle, distal course of graft body, and distal anastomosis). Other objective image quality indices such as noise, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) were assessed. Radiation doses were also compared.

Results

Patient characteristics of the two groups were well matched except HR. The HR of the PGA group was lower than that of the RGH group (62.0±5.0 vs. 65.7±7.4). For both groups, over 90% of segments received excellent or good image quality scores and none was non-evaluative. The image quality generally degraded as graft segment approached to distal anastomosis regardless of techniques and graft types. Image quality scores of the PGA group were better than those of the RGH group (1.51±0.53 vs. 1.73±0.62; p<0.001). There was no significantly difference of objective image quality between two techniques, and the effective radiation dose was significantly lower in the PGA group (7.0±1.2 mSv) than that of the RGH group (20.0±4.6 mSv) (p<0.001), with a 65.0% dose reduction.

Conclusions

Following bypass surgery, 256-slice PGA-CTCA is superior to RGH-CTCA in limiting the radiation dose and obtaining better image quality for bypass grafts.

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<![CDATA[Use of a Heart Team in Decision-Making for Patients with Complex Coronary Disease at Hospitals in Michigan Prior to Guideline Endorsement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da42ab0ee8fa60b8a6c8

Background

Revascularization decisions can profoundly impact patient survival, quality of life, and procedural risk. Although use of Heart Teams to make revascularization decisions is growing, data on their implementation in the real-world are limited. Our objective was to assess the prevalence of Heart Teams and their association with collaboration in routine practice.

Methods

A survey of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at 31 hospitals in Michigan was performed in May, 2011 – prior to the recommendation for using Heart Teams in national guidelines. This survey included all percutaneous coronary intervention-performing hospitals in Michigan participating in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium and Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative. It targeted both the use of Heart Teams and multidisciplinary Case Conferences.

Results

There were 53 physician survey respondents from 27 hospitals with 4 hospitals not responding. Among respondents, 11 (40.7%) hospitals reported no Heart Teams or Case Conferences while 7 (25.9%) hospitals reported either a Heart Team or Case Conference. However, there was disagreement about the presence of a Heart Team at seven hospitals, and about Case Conferences at nine hospitals. Hospitals with definite Heart Teams reported significantly greater levels of collaboration between cardiologists and cardiac surgeons.

Conclusion

The overall presence of Heart Teams prior to their recommendation in national guidelines was limited. Even among hospitals with a potential Heart Team, there was substantial disagreement between respondents about their presence. Further refinement of the definition of a Heart Team and measures of successful implementation are needed.

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<![CDATA[TLR4 Inhibits Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) STAT3 Activation and Thereby Exerts Deleterious Effects on MSC–Mediated Cardioprotection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db09ab0ee8fa60bc96c5

Background

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) improve myocardial recovery after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. These effects are mediated in part by the paracrine secretion of angiogenic and tissue growth-promoting factors. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is expressed by MSC and induces apoptosis and inhibits proliferation in neuronal progenitors as well as many other cell types. It is unknown whether knock-out (KO) of TLR4 will change the paracrine properties of MSC and in turn improve MSC-associated myocardial protection.

Methodology/Principal Findings

This study explored the effect of MSC TLR4 on the secretion of angiogenic factors and chemokines in vitro by using ELISA and cytokine array assays and investigated the role of TLR4 on MSC-mediated myocardial recovery after I/R injury in an isolated rat heart model. We observed that MSC isolated from TLR4 KO mice exhibited a greater degree of cardioprotection in a rat model of myocardial I/R injury. This enhanced protection was associated with increased angiogenic factor production, proliferation and differentiation. TLR4-dificiency was also associated with decreased phosphorylation of PI-3K and AKT, but increased activation of STAT3. siRNA targeting of STAT3 resulted in attenuation of the enhanced cardioprotection of TLR4-deficient MSC.

Conclusions/Significance

This study indicates that TLR4 exerts deleterious effects on MSC-derived cardioprotection following I/R by a STAT3 inhibitory mechanism.

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<![CDATA[Cardiac Health Risk Stratification System (CHRiSS): A Bayesian-Based Decision Support System for Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da25ab0ee8fa60b806bb

This study investigated the use of Bayesian Networks (BNs) for left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy; a treatment for end-stage heart failure that has been steadily growing in popularity over the past decade. Despite this growth, the number of LVAD implants performed annually remains a small fraction of the estimated population of patients who might benefit from this treatment. We believe that this demonstrates a need for an accurate stratification tool that can help identify LVAD candidates at the most appropriate point in the course of their disease. We derived BNs to predict mortality at five endpoints utilizing the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) database: containing over 12,000 total enrolled patients from 153 hospital sites, collected since 2006 to the present day, and consisting of approximately 230 pre-implant clinical variables. Synthetic minority oversampling technique (SMOTE) was employed to address the uneven proportion of patients with negative outcomes and to improve the performance of the models. The resulting accuracy and area under the ROC curve (%) for predicted mortality were 30 day: 94.9 and 92.5; 90 day: 84.2 and 73.9; 6 month: 78.2 and 70.6; 1 year: 73.1 and 70.6; and 2 years: 71.4 and 70.8. To foster the translation of these models to clinical practice, they have been incorporated into a web-based application, the Cardiac Health Risk Stratification System (CHRiSS). As clinical experience with LVAD therapy continues to grow, and additional data is collected, we aim to continually update these BN models to improve their accuracy and maintain their relevance. Ongoing work also aims to extend the BN models to predict the risk of adverse events post-LVAD implant as additional factors for consideration in decision making.

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<![CDATA[The Importance of Intraoperative Selenium Blood Levels on Organ Dysfunction in Patients Undergoing Off-Pump Cardiac Surgery: A Randomised Controlled Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadfab0ee8fa60bbb3b8

Introduction

Cardiac surgery is accompanied by an increase of oxidative stress, a significantly reduced antioxidant (AOX) capacity, postoperative inflammation, all of which may promote the development of organ dysfunction and an increase in mortality. Selenium is an essential co-factor of various antioxidant enzymes. We hypothesized a less pronounced decrease of circulating selenium levels in patients undergoing off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) surgery due to less intraoperative oxidative stress.

Methods

In this prospective randomised, interventional trial, 40 patients scheduled for elective coronary artery bypass grafting were randomly assigned to undergo either on-pump or OPCAB-surgery, if both techniques were feasible for the single patient. Clinical data, myocardial damage assessed by myocard specific creatine kinase isoenzyme (CK-MB), circulating whole blood levels of selenium, oxidative stress assessed by asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) levels, antioxidant capacity determined by glutathionperoxidase (GPx) levels and perioperative inflammation represented by interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured at predefined perioperative time points.

Results

At end of surgery, both groups showed a comparable decrease of circulating selenium concentrations. Likewise, levels of oxidative stress and IL-6 were comparable in both groups. Selenium levels correlated with antioxidant capacity (GPx: r = 0.720; p<0.001) and showed a negative correlation to myocardial damage (CK-MB: r = −0.571, p<0.001). Low postoperative selenium levels had a high predictive value for the occurrence of any postoperative complication.

Conclusions

OPCAB surgery is not associated with less oxidative stress and a better preservation of the circulating selenium pool than on-pump surgery. Low postoperative selenium levels are predictive for the development of complications.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01409057

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<![CDATA[Systemic Inflammation, Nutritional Status and Tumor Immune Microenvironment Determine Outcome of Resected Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa8ab0ee8fa60ba8727

Background

Hypothesizing that nutritional status, systemic inflammation and tumoral immune microenvironment play a role as determinants of lung cancer evolution, the purpose of this study was to assess their respective impact on long-term survival in resected non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC).

Methods and Findings

Clinical, pathological and laboratory data of 303 patients surgically treated for NSCLC were retrospectively analyzed. C-reactive protein (CRP) and prealbumin levels were recorded, and tumoral infiltration by CD8+ lymphocytes and mature dendritic cells was assessed. We observed that factors related to nutritional status, systemic inflammation and tumoral immune microenvironment were correlated; significant correlations were also found between these factors and other relevant clinical-pathological parameters. With respect to outcome, at univariate analysis we found statistically significant associations between survival and the following variables: Karnofsky index, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, CRP levels, prealbumin concentrations, extent of resection, pathologic stage, pT and pN parameters, presence of vascular emboli, and tumoral infiltration by either CD8+ lymphocytes or mature dendritic cells and, among adenocarcinoma type, tumor grade (all p<0.05). In multivariate analysis, prealbumin levels (Relative Risk (RR): 0.34 [0.16–0.73], p = 0.0056), CD8+ cell count in tumor tissue (RR = 0.37 [0.16–0.83], p = 0.0162), and disease stage (RR 1.73 [1.03–2.89]; 2.99[1.07–8.37], p = 0.0374- stage I vs II vs III-IV) were independent prognostic markers. When taken together, parameters related to systemic inflammation, nutrition and tumoral immune microenvironment allowed robust prognostic discrimination; indeed patients with undetectable CRP, high (>285 mg/L) prealbumin levels and high (>96/mm2) CD8+ cell count had a 5-year survival rate of 80% [60.9–91.1] as compared to 18% [7.9–35.6] in patients with an opposite pattern of values. When stages I-II were considered alone, the prognostic significance of these factors was even more pronounced.

Conclusions

Our data show that nutrition, systemic inflammation and tumoral immune contexture are prognostic determinants that, taken together, may predict outcome.

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<![CDATA[Surgical and Antimicrobial Treatment of Prosthetic Vascular Graft Infections at Different Surgical Sites: A Retrospective Study of Treatment Outcomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da31ab0ee8fa60b849db

Objective

Little is known about optimal management of prosthetic vascular graft infections, which are a rare but serious complication associated with graft implants. The goal of this study was to compare and characterize these infections with respect to the location of the graft and to identify factors associated with outcome.

Methods

This was a retrospective study over more than a decade at a tertiary care university hospital that has an established multidisciplinary approach to treating graft infections. Cases of possible prosthetic vascular graft infection were identified from the hospital's infectious diseases database and evaluated against strict diagnostic criteria. Patients were divided into groups according to the locations of their grafts: thoracic-aortic, abdominal-aortic, or peripheral-arterial. Statistical analyses included evaluation of patient and infection characteristics, time to treatment failure, and factors associated specifically with cure rates in aortic graft infections. The primary endpoint was cure at one year after diagnosis of the infection.

Results

Characterization of graft infections according to the graft location did show that these infections differ in terms of their characteristics and that the prognosis for treatment seems to be influenced by the location of the infection. Cure rate and all-cause mortality at one year were 87.5% and 12.5% in 24 patients with thoracic-aortic graft infections, 37.0% and 55.6% in 27 patients with abdominal-aortic graft infections, and 70.0% and 30.0% in 10 patients with peripheral-arterial graft infections. In uni- and multivariate analysis, the type of surgical intervention used in managing infections (graft retention versus graft replacement) did not affect primary outcome, whereas a rifampicin-based antimicrobial regimen was associated with a higher cure rate.

Conclusions

We recommend that future prospective studies differentiate prosthetic vascular graft infections according to the location of the grafts and that rifampicin-based antimicrobial regimens be evaluated in clinical trials involving vascular graft infections caused by staphylococci.

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<![CDATA[Acute Coronary Syndrome in Patients with Prior Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: Observations from a 20-Year Registry in a Middle-Eastern Country]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6fab0ee8fa60b942e1

Objectives

Clinical characteristics and trends in the outcome of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in patients with prior coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) are unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical characteristics, in-hospital treatment, and outcomes in patients presented with ACS with or without a history of prior CABG over 2 decades.

Methods

Data were derived from hospital-based study for collected data from 1991 through 2010 of patients hospitalized with ACS in Doha, Qatar. Data were analyzed according to their history of prior CABG. Baseline clinical characteristics, in-hospital treatment, and outcome were compared.

Results

A total 16,750 consecutive patients with ACS were studied, of which 693 (4.1%) had prior CABG. Patients with prior CABG were older (mean 60.5±11 vs. 53±12 years; P = 0.001), more likely to be females and have more cardiovascular risk factors than the non-CABG group. Prior CABG patients had larger infarct size, were less likely to receive reperfusion therapy, early invasive therapy and more likely to receive evidence-based therapies when compared to non-CABG patients. In-hospital mortality and stroke rates were comparable between the 2 groups. Over 2 decades, there was reduction in the in-hospital mortality rates and stroke rates in both groups (CABG, death; 13.2% to 4%, stroke; 1.9% to 0.0%, non-CABG, death; 10% to 3.2%, stroke 1.0% to 0.1%; all, p = 0.001).

Conclusion

Significant reduction in-hospital morbidity and mortality among ACS patients with prior CABG over a 20-year period.

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<![CDATA[Financial Stress and Outcomes after Acute Myocardial Infarction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daaaab0ee8fa60ba9212

Background

Little is known about the association between financial stress and health care outcomes. Our objective was to examine the association between self-reported financial stress during initial hospitalization and long-term outcomes after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Materials and Methods

We used Prospective Registry Evaluating Myocardial Infarction: Event and Recovery (PREMIER) data, an observational, multicenter US study of AMI patients discharged between January 2003 and June 2004. Primary outcomes were disease-specific and generic health status outcomes at 1 year (symptoms, function, and quality of life (QoL)), assessed by the Seattle Angina Questionnaire [SAQ] and Short Form [SF]-12. Secondary outcomes included 1-year rehospitalization and 4-year mortality. Hierarchical regression models accounted for patient socio-demographic, clinical, and quality of care characteristics, and access and barriers to care.

Results

Among 2344 AMI patients, 1241 (52.9%) reported no financial stress, 735 (31.4%) reported low financial stress, and 368 (15.7%) reported high financial stress. When comparing individuals reporting low financial stress to no financial stress, there were no significant differences in post-AMI outcomes. In contrast, individuals reporting high financial stress were more likely to have worse physical health (SF-12 PCS mean difference −3.24, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: −4.82, −1.66), mental health (SF-12 MCS mean difference: −2.44, 95% CI: −3.83, −1.05), disease-specific QoL (SAQ QoL mean difference: −6.99, 95% CI: −9.59, −4.40), and be experiencing angina (SAQ Angina Relative Risk = 1.66, 95%CI: 1.19, 2.32) at 1 year post-AMI. While 1-year readmission rates were increased (Hazard Ratio = 1.50; 95%CI: 1.20, 1.86), 4-year mortality was no different.

Conclusions

High financial stress is common and an important risk factor for worse long-term outcomes post-AMI, independent of access and barriers to care.

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<![CDATA[Whole Blood Transcriptomics in Cardiac Surgery Identifies a Gene Regulatory Network Connecting Ischemia Reperfusion with Systemic Inflammation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db05ab0ee8fa60bc8252

Background

Cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CS/CPB) is associated with increased risk for postoperative complications causing substantial morbidity and mortality. To identify the molecular mechanisms underlying CS/CPB-induced pathophysiology we employed an integrative systems biology approach using the whole blood transcriptome as the sentinel organ.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Total RNA was isolated and globin mRNA depleted from whole blood samples prospectively collected from 10 patients at time points prior (0), 2 and 24 hours following CS/CPB. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis revealed differential expression of 610 genes after CS/CPB (p<0.01). Among the 375 CS/CPB-upregulated genes, we found a gene-regulatory network consisting of 50 genes, reminiscent of activation of a coordinated genetic program triggered by CS/CPB. Intriguingly, the highly connected hub nodes of the identified network included key sensors of ischemia-reperfusion (HIF-1alpha and C/EBPbeta). Activation of this network initiated a concerted inflammatory response via upregulation of TLR-4/5, IL1R2/IL1RAP, IL6, IL18/IL18R1/IL18RAP, MMP9, HGF/HGFR, CalgranulinA/B, and coagulation factors F5/F12 among others. Differential regulation of 13 candidate genes including novel, not hitherto CS/CBP-associated genes, such as PTX3, PGK1 and Resistin, was confirmed using real-time quantitative RT-PCR. In support of the mRNA data, differential expression of MMP9, MIP1alpha and MIP1beta plasma proteins was further confirmed in 34 additional patients.

Conclusions

Analysis of blood transcriptome uncovered critical signaling pathways governing the CS/CPB-induced pathophysiology. The molecular signaling underlying ischemia reperfusion and inflammatory response is highly intertwined and includes pro-inflammatory as well as cardioprotective elements. The herein identified candidate genes and pathways may provide promising prognostic biomarker and therapeutic targets.

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