Publications by authors named "Anthony J Tortolani"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Mitral Valve Operation in Dextrocardia.

Ann Thorac Surg 2016 May;101(5):e161

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.12.027DOI Listing
May 2016

Do pulmonary function tests improve risk stratification before cardiothoracic surgery?

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2016 Apr 30;151(4):1183-9.e3. Epub 2015 Oct 30.

Department of Medicine, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. Electronic address:

Objective: To assess the added value of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and different classifications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) risk model using a clinical definition of lung disease for predicting outcomes after cardiothoracic (CT) surgery.

Methods: We evaluated consecutive patients who underwent nonemergency cardiac surgery and underwent PFTs before CT surgery. We used the STS risk model 2.73 to estimate the postoperative risk for respiratory failure (RF; defined as the need for mechanical ventilation for ≥72 hours, or reintubation), prolonged postoperative stay (PPLS; defined as >14 days), and 30-day all-cause mortality. We plotted the receiver operating characteristics curve for STS score for each adverse event, and compared the resulting area under the curve (AUC) with the AUC after adding PFT parameters and COPD classifications.

Results: Of the 1412 patients with a calculated STS score, 751 underwent PFTs. The AUC of the STS score was 0.65 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-0.74) for RF, 0.67 (95% CI, 0.6-0.74) for prolonged postoperative length of stay (PPLS), and 0.74 (95% CI, 0.6-0.87) for death. None of the PFT parameters or COPD classifications added to the predictive ability of STS for RF, PPLS, or 30-day mortality.

Conclusions: Adding individual PFT parameters or different COPD classifications to STS score calculated using clinically based classification of lung disease did not improve model discrimination. Thus, routine preoperative PFTS may have limited clinical utility in patients undergoing CT surgery when the STS score is readily available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2015.10.102DOI Listing
April 2016

Surgery for a quadricuspid aortic valve: case report and comprehensive review of the literature.

J Heart Valve Dis 2015 Mar;24(2):260-2

Quadricuspid aortic valve (QAV) is a rare cardiac anomaly which can present with clinically significant regurgitation. The case is presented of a 38-year-old female patient with a regurgitant QAV managed surgically. A review of the current literature relating to QAV is also provided. The most common valve type that is operated on is type B, thus separating the surgical population from that of all QAVs, in which type A is most common. Moreover, aortic aneurysms were found to be a common and previously unrecognized significant characteristic among QAV patients. The majority of patients with a regurgitant QAV undergo replacement, although repairs have recently gained popularity. To date, the outcomes for both groups appear similar.
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March 2015

Preoperative hypothyroidism is a risk factor for postoperative atrial fibrillation in cardiac surgical patients.

J Card Surg 2015 Apr 2;30(4):307-12. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York; Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center, New York City, New York.

Background And Aim: Although studies analyzing the effect of thyroid supplementation on postoperative morbidity and mortality from cardiac surgery have been inconclusive, they suggest a role in the prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation. To further explore this relationship we conducted a retrospective study to determine whether abnormalities in routine preoperative thyroid function studies correlate with the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation.

Methods: From May 2004 until July 2011, 821 patients with complete thyroid function testing performed preoperatively underwent cardiac surgery. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative laboratory, clinical and hemodynamic data including postoperative electrocardiogram monitoring were retrospectively evaluated.

Results: Mean age was 65.7 years and 36% (294) of patients were female. Mean preoperative ejection fraction was 48.6% and 18% (100) had clinical heart failure. Ninety percent (682) of patients were euthyroid and 10% (77) were hypothyroid. Atrial fibrillation occurred significantly more frequently in hypothyroid patients (33.4% vs. 22.5%; p = .033). In multivariable analysis, increasing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level (OR: 1.11; CI: 1.01 to 1.22; p = .030) was an independent predictor of postoperative atrial fibrillation. Beta blocker use within 24 hours prior to operation was protective (OR: .54; CI: .35 to .83; p = .005). Length of stay was significantly longer in patients with postoperative atrial fibrillation (9.1 vs. 6.5 days; p < .001).

Conclusions: In the current study, preoperative hypothyroidism was associated with postoperative atrial fibrillation. Further studies are warranted to delineate whether preoperative hypothyroidism is a useful biomarker for selecting patients most likely to benefit from preoperative thyroid supplementation in the prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocs.12513DOI Listing
April 2015

Endovascular treatment of a thrombosed intracardiac vena cava filter.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2014 Oct 15;2(4):455-7. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Department of Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY.

Intracardiac migration of a vena cava filter (VCF) is a rare but potentially fatal complication. We describe a unique case of intracardiac migration of a permanent VCF with extensive thrombus propagating into the inferior vena cava and right atrium. Percutaneous thrombectomy with the AngioVac (AngioDynamics, Latham, NY) device was performed, and the permanent VCF was percutaneously removed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2013.11.005DOI Listing
October 2014

Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in bariatric patients: a histologic assessment.

Surg Obes Relat Dis 2013 Sep-Oct;9(5):679-85. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.

Background: Studies on rates of Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection in morbidly obese patients awaiting bariatric surgery are conflicting because of small sample size and variability in diagnostic testing. The objective of this study was to determine the rate of biopsy-proven active HP infection in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

Methods: Retrospective analysis was done on all morbidly obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 2001 and 2009. All patients underwent preoperative upper endoscopy with biopsy to evaluate HP status. All endoscopies and surgeries were performed by a single endoscopist and surgeon, respectively. Data were analyzed with Student t test, Pearson χ(2) test, and logistic regression for multivariate analysis.

Results: The 611 patients included 79 males (12.9%) and 532 females (87.1%). Mean age was 39.9 ± 10.7 years, and mean body mass index (BMI) was 47.8 ± 6.4 kg/m(2). The overall HP infection rate was 23.7%. Rate of infection did not differ between gender (22.8% in males, 23.9% in females; P = .479) or BMI (48.6 ± 6.5 kg/m(2) in HP-positive patients, 47.5 ± 6.4 kg/m(2) in HP-negative patients; P = .087). Patients with HP were older compared with those without infection (41.2 versus 38.7 years; P =.016). Hispanics had a higher prevalence of HP (OR 2.35; P = .023).

Conclusion: Increasing BMI is not an independent risk factor for active HP infection within the morbidly obese patient population. Need for invasive testing to detect HP infection in these patients should be re-evaluated. Other methods of detecting active HP infection should be considered as an alternative to invasive or serologic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soard.2012.10.001DOI Listing
June 2014

Concurrent prophylactic placement of inferior vena cava filter in gastric bypass and adjustable banding operations in the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database.

J Vasc Surg 2012 Jun 22;55(6):1690-5. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Department of Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, New York, NY 11215, USA.

Introduction: Postoperative pulmonary embolism (PE) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after bariatric surgery. However, the concurrent prophylactic placement of an inferior vena cava filter (CPIVCF) in patients undergoing bariatric operations remains controversial. This study used the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD) to establish associated characters and determine outcomes of CPIVCF for patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (GB) and adjustable gastric banding (AB) surgeries.

Methods: We analyzed BOLD, a database of bariatric surgery patient information. GB and AB operations were categorized into open and laparoscopic approaches. Univariate logistic regressions were used to compare between non-CPIVCF and concurrent CPIVCF groups. Significant variables (P < .05) were subsequently input into multivariate regression models: CPIVCF was retained in each model.

Results: A total of 322 CPIVCFs (0.33%) were identified from 97,218 GB and AB operations performed between 2007 and 2010 in this retrospective registry study. Significant differences were identified in male gender (21.1% vs 31.4%; P < .001), preoperative body mass index (BMI; 44.5 ± 6.6 vs 45.3 ± 7; P < .001), and African-American race (10.5% vs 18%; P < .001) between non-CPIVCF and CPIVCF groups. The CPIVCF group had more patients with previous nonbariatric surgery (50% vs 43.6%; P = .02), a history of venous thromboembolism (VTE; 21.4% vs 3.1%; P < .001), impairment of functional status (7.8% vs 3.1%; P < .001), lower extremity edema (47.2% vs 27.1%; P < .001), obesity hypoventilation syndrome (7.1% vs 2.1%; P < .001), obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (58.1% vs 43.3%; P < .001), and pulmonary hypertension (13% vs 4.1%; P < .001). Patients in the CPIVCF group were more likely to receive GB than gastric banding (77% vs 58.1%; P < .001) and an open surgical approach (21.4% vs 4.8%; P < .001). Operative duration was longer in the CPIVCF group (119 ± 67 vs 89 ± 52 minutes; P < .001). The CPIVCF group also had a longer length of hospital stay (3 ± 2 vs 2 ± 6 days; P = .048), was associated with higher incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT; 0.93% vs 0.12%; P < .001), and had a higher mortality (0.31% vs 0.03%; P = .003) from PE and indeterminate causes. In multivariate analysis, male gender, African-American race, previous nonbariatric surgery, a high BMI, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, history of VTE, lower extremity edema, and pulmonary hypertension were preoperative factors associated with CPIVCF.

Conclusions: CPIVCF was associated with specific clinical features, increased health care resource utilization, and a higher mortality in patients undergoing bariatric operations. Although selected patient characteristics influence surgeons to perform CPIVCF, this study was unable to establish an outcome benefit for CPIVCF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2011.12.056DOI Listing
June 2012

Utility of brain natriuretic peptide as a predictor of atrial fibrillation after cardiac operations.

Ann Thorac Surg 2009 Sep;88(3):802-7

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York 11215, USA.

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) occurs frequently after coronary bypass grafting and valve operations. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) has been shown to predict recurrence of AF in congestive heart failure. It is a potential biomarker for preoperative risk stratification for development of AF in at-risk patients.

Methods: A total of 398 consecutive patients were prospectively evaluated for new-onset AF after heart operations. Patients with a history of AF and presence of permanent pacemaker were excluded. BNP levels were measured before and immediately after the operation.

Results: AF occurred in 20%. AF was more likely to develop in patients who were older, who underwent valve operations, had a lower ejection fraction, and a larger left atrial size. Preoperative exposure to statins (62% vs 43%, p < 0.01) and angiotensin inhibitors (60% vs 45%, p = 0.02) was more common in patients without AF. BNP values were insignificantly higher preoperatively (361 vs 302 mg/dL, p = 0.3) and postoperatively (312 vs. 229 mg/dL, p = 0.15) in patients with AF. Multivariate logistic analysis showed that older age (odds ratio [OR], 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 5.6), lower ejection fraction (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.3), larger left atrial size (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.9 to 4.9), and nonuse of angiotensin inhibitors (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 4.8) were independently associated with AF.

Conclusions: This study does not support use of BNP for prediction of AF. Age, low ejection fraction, large left atrial size, and nonuse of angiotensin blocking agents were found to be significant predictors of AF development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.04.021DOI Listing
September 2009

Acute arterial occlusion after ultrasound-guided thrombin injection of a common femoral artery pseudoaneurysm with a wide, short neck.

Ann Vasc Surg 2008 May-Jun;22(3):473-5. Epub 2008 Mar 25.

Department of Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA.

Ultrasound-guided thrombin injection (UGTI) has emerged as the preferred treatment modality for pseudoaneurysms occurring as a result of percutaneous femoral arterial interventions. UGTI is safe and effective, with few complications. Native arterial thrombosis has been rarely reported in the literature following UGTI and has usually been attributed to excessive thrombin injection. We report a case of femoral arteria thrombosis occurring following UGTI of a 4 cm postcatherization pseudoaneurysm with a wide, short neck successfully treated by surgical intervention. The large size of the neck of this pseudoaneurysm likely contributed to the development of this complication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2007.09.018DOI Listing
June 2008

Cardiac surgery in select nonagenarians: should we or shouldn't we?

Ann Thorac Surg 2008 Mar;85(3):854-60

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Background: Patients aged 90 years and older represent a rapidly growing subset of the population, many of whom are functionally limited by cardiovascular disease. Clinical decision making about cardiac surgical intervention in nonagenarians is hindered by a paucity of data examining survival outcomes in this population.

Methods: A consecutive series of nonagenarians who underwent cardiac operations between 1995 and 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. Data collection included baseline preoperative clinical status, intraoperative characteristics, and perioperative course. Area under the Kaplan-Meier survival estimate method was used to calculate mean survival.

Results: Cardiac surgical procedures were done in 49 patients (51% male); their mean age was 91.9 years (range, 90 to 97 years). Operative mortality was 8% (n = 4). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models found preoperative chronic renal insufficiency (hazard ratio [HR], 4.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.53 to 15.55; p = 0.007) and ejection fraction (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93 to 1.00; p = 0.033) were independently associated with death. Overall mean survival was 5.1 +/- 0.5 years (median, 5.2 years). Quality of life outcomes were similar to that of two related norm-based populations based on age and disease process.

Conclusions: Cardiac surgical procedures can be performed safely and with therapeutic benefit in carefully selected nonagenarians. We consider physiologic indicators, social factors, and patient preferences to be the main determinants in the patient selection process. Our results support the need for more proactive intervention in symptomatic nonagenarian patients as it relates to earlier consideration of elective, rather than emergency cardiac operations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2007.10.074DOI Listing
March 2008

A synopsis of research in cardiac apoptosis and its application to congestive heart failure.

Tex Heart Inst J 2007 ;34(3):352-9

Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-2315, USA.

Cardiac apoptosis diminishes the contractile mass, which leads to heart failure. Apoptosis of cardiac non-myocytes also contributes to maladaptive remodeling and the transition to decompensated congestive heart failure. New antiapoptotic interventions and medications will be available within the next decade. The aim of this study is to provide a critical synopsis of research projects on cardiocyte apoptosis that have implications for current and future practice and to identify methods to prevent or attenuate apoptosis in patients who have poor ventricular function. A retrospective literature review reveals a great many important publications. However, very few investigators discuss the clinical ramifications of cardiocyte apoptosis, nor do they address the clinician who sees poor ventricular contractility daily. Most studies are still investigational and involve antiapoptotic agents such as broad-spectrum caspase inhibitors, antioxidants, calcium channel blockers, insulin-like growth-factor 1, and poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) synthetase inhibitors. some options have already been incorporated into the clinical practices of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons: repairing or replacing diseased or damaged valves before ventricular function deteriorates; reducing afterload with medication or intra-aortic balloon pulsation in patients who display acute increases in afterload; decreasing catecholamine-induced cardiotoxicity in hemodynamically compromised patients, by using beta-blockers and phosphodiesterase inhibitors; and inserting intra-aortic balloon pumps or ventricular assist devices early in cases of failing myocardium. Coronary revascularization early in myocardial infarction is effective antiapoptotic therapy. Other therapeutic targets are cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic cross-clamping, both of which require reductions in associated myocardial apoptosis.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1995053PMC
January 2008

Clinical utility of delayed-contrast computed tomography for tissue characterization of cardiac thrombus.

J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2007 Oct 5;1(2):114-8. Epub 2007 Jun 5.

Division of Cardiology, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Among patients that present with cardiac masses, thrombus is an important diagnostic consideration that affects both clinical management and prognosis. Although thrombus can occasionally be difficult to diagnose using structural criteria alone, it can be distinguished from other structures according to tissue characteristics. Because thrombus is inherently avascular, absence of contrast uptake was used as a highly specific identifying feature. Delayed-contrast cardiac computed tomography (CT) imaging has been previously used for myocardial tissue characterization, distinguishing between viable and infarcted myocardium based upon differences in contrast uptake. This technique also offers potential diagnostic utility for assessment of thrombus. In this report, we describe a case of a patient with a giant left atrial mass in whom delayed-contrast CT was employed as a useful diagnostic technique for identification of cardiac thrombus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2007.05.126DOI Listing
October 2007

Tricuspid regurgitation caused by eustachian valve endocarditis.

Anesth Analg 2006 Dec;103(6):1410-1

Department of Anesthesiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 525 East 68th St., M-302C, New York, NY 10021, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1213/01.ane.0000243261.90960.77DOI Listing
December 2006

Reoperations on the ascending aorta and aortic root in patients with previous cardiac surgery.

Ann Thorac Surg 2006 Oct;82(4):1407-12

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Background: First time operations on the ascending aorta are performed with low mortality, few complications, and excellent long-term results. Reoperations for aortic pathology in patients with previous cardiac surgery carry significantly more risk. Technical issues during the procedure, as well as age, preoperative New York Heart Association class, and perioperative renal dysfunction, have been shown to contribute heavily to worse outcomes. We analyzed our results with aortic reoperations with the intent of further reducing surgical risk through alterations in surgical technique or patient selection.

Methods: From July 1997 until October 2005, 147 patients having previous cardiac surgery presented with aneurysm or dissection of the ascending aorta or root. Perioperative data were retrospectively analyzed. Morbidity, mortality, and risk factors for these events were calculated.

Results: Eight patients expired (5.4%) after their reoperation. Significant (p < 0.05) univariate risk factors for mortality included age greater than 75 years (< 0.001), previous coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (< 0.008), cardiopulmonary bypass greater than 240 minutes (< 0.01), need for intraaortic balloon pump support (< 0.001), need for new CABG (< 0.007), postoperative cerebrovascular accident (< 0.032), and tracheostomy (< 0.003). Age 75 years or older (p < 0.025) was the only significant variable for death by multivariate analysis. A majority of patients (n = 87, 60%) required circulatory arrest to complete their procedure. However, neither arch involvement nor type of aortic root procedure was predictive of perioperative mortality.

Conclusions: Surgery on the ascending aorta and root in patients who have had previous cardiac surgery can be performed with low mortality. Advanced age and significant coronary disease may negatively influence surgical results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2006.04.002DOI Listing
October 2006

Epicardial beating heart cryoablation using a novel argon-based cryoclamp and linear probe.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2006 Feb 18;131(2):403-11. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York, NY, USA.

Objective: Epicardial, beating heart cryoablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation may be limited by heat from intracardiac blood flow. We therefore evaluated the ability to create cryolesions using an argon-based cryoclamp device, which temporarily occludes blood flow and facilitates transmurality.

Methods: Six mongrel dogs underwent sternotomy. A clamp employing a 10-cm argon-based linear cryoablation device was used epicardially to isolate the pulmonary veins and left atrial appendage. After clamping of lesions, the probe was removed from the cryoclamp device, and the remaining linear lesions, analogous to the Cox maze III, were performed. Pulmonary vein stenosis was evaluated with the use of magnetic resonance imaging. Left atrial function and pulmonary venous flow velocities were assessed with transesophageal echocardiography. Transmurality was confirmed both electrically and histologically. Animals were then put to death at 30 days.

Results: All acute and chronic cryoclamp lesions produced conduction block. There was no change in right (RPV) or left pulmonary vein (LPV) diameter on the basis of magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and at planned death (RPV-1, 19.6 +/- 2.9 mm vs 16.9 +/- 2.8 mm, P = .22; RPV-2, 13.2 +/- 2.0 mm vs 11.8 +/- 1.6 mm, P = .22; and LPV, 12.2 +/- 2.4 mm vs 11.2 +/- 1.9 mm, P = .30). Left atrial function and pulmonary venous flow velocities were unchanged. Tissue sections determined transmurality in 93% of cryoclamp lesions and 84% of linear ablations performed with the 10-cm malleable probe.

Conclusions: Epicardial application of this cryoclamp device on the beating heart produced transmural lesions, which persisted 30 days. Linear epicardial cryoablation was not as effective as the cryoclamp device at producing consistent transmural lesions. This novel, versatile device may be useful in treating patients with atrial fibrillation on the beating heart without cardiopulmonary bypass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2005.10.048DOI Listing
February 2006

Surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation using argon-based cryoablation during concomitant cardiac procedures.

Circulation 2005 Aug;112(9 Suppl):I1-6

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Background: The development of ablative energy sources has simplified the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) during concomitant cardiac procedures. We report our results using argon-based endocardial cryoablation for the treatment of AF in patients undergoing concomitant cardiac procedures.

Methods And Results: Sixty-three patients with AF who were undergoing concomitant cardiac procedures had the same left atrial endocardial lesion set using a flexible argon-based cryoablative device. Mean age was 65.1+/-1.3 years. Sixty-two percent had permanent AF, whereas 38% had paroxysmal AF. Mean duration of AF was 30.5+/-4.8 months. Mean left atrial diameter was 5.5+/-0.1 cm. Mean ejection fraction was 45+/-1.4%. All endocardial lesions were performed for 1 minute once tissue temperature reached -40 degrees C. Follow-up echocardiograms were obtained to determine freedom from AF. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated an 88.5% freedom from AF rate at 12 months. Ablation time was 16.8+/-0.6 minutes. There were no in-hospital deaths and no strokes. Twelve patients (19%) required postoperative permanent pacemaker placement.

Conclusions: Cryoablation using this flexible argon-based device for the treatment of AF during concomitant cardiac procedures was safe and effective, with 88.5% of patients free from AF at 12 months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.104.524363DOI Listing
August 2005

Comparison of open versus bedside percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in the cardiothoracic surgical patient: outcomes and financial analysis.

Ann Thorac Surg 2005 Jun;79(6):1879-85

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Background: The clinical and financial outcomes of a change in practice from traditional tracheostomy (open) to bedside percutaneous dilatational tracheostomies (PDT) was evaluated in patients who underwent cardiothoracic surgery.

Methods: During 3 years, 86 tracheostomies were performed in more than 4,000 patients who underwent cardiac surgery, 59 open and 27 PDT. A retrospective analysis was performed comparing clinical and financial outcomes of the two groups.

Results: There were no significant differences in demographics, medical histories, operations, or complications between open and PDT except the open group experienced more postoperative arrhythmias (70% [41 of 59] versus 44% [12 of 27], p < 0.05). Total savings associated with 1 year of PDT was $84,000, for a projected discounted savings of $283,000 during the study period. A sensitivity analysis of critical economic variables (number of tracheostomies per year, cost of operating room per minute, cost of intensive care unit bed per day) was included to evaluate the impact on cost savings. The net present value analysis, which discounts future savings by an appropriate interest rate, yielded a range of projected savings of PDT more than 5 years of $73,000 to $541,000 with a best estimate of $304,000 using figures established from our 3-year experience with PDT. Sensitivity analysis of the net present value for each critical variable was $227,000 per day of reduced intensive care unit length of stay, $180,000 per cost of operating room avoidance, $100,000 per intensive care unit bed cost per day, and $11,000 per additional tracheostomy per year.

Conclusions: There were no significant clinical differences between open and PDT in cardiac surgery patients during the 3-year study period; however, PDT offered significant cost savings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2004.10.042DOI Listing
June 2005

Does cross-clamping the arch increase the risk of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aneurysm repair?

Ann Thorac Surg 2005 Jan;79(1):133-7; discussion 137-8

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Background: Descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms may arise in the distal aortic arch. Repair of these aneurysms has been associated with increased morbidity and operative mortality. Complex surgical and endovascular techniques have reduced the risks for this cohort. We examined outcomes utilizing an approach based on simple cross-clamping of the arch.

Methods: From July 1997 to January 2004, 272 consecutive patients had aneurysm repair through the left chest. Twenty-nine requiring profound hypothermic circulatory arrest (PHCA) were excluded. Two hundred and forty-three were divided into two groups: group I (n = 60) had distal arch involvement and required cross-clamping proximal to the left subclavian artery. Group II (n = 183) were cross-clamped distal to the subclavian. Adjuncts for neurologic and renal protection were utilized as needed.

Results: In-hospital mortality for all 243 patients was 3.7%. There was no difference in mortality between groups (I, 3.3% vs II, 3.8%). Group I patients also had similar rates of paraplegia (I, 0% vs II, 2.2%), stroke (I, 1.2% vs II ,1.1%), and renal failure (I, 1.7% vs II, 5.5%). Group I patients had significantly more recurrent nerve palsies (I, 33% vs II, 4.9%) although this did not translate into a higher incidence of respiratory failure.

Conclusions: Repair of thoracic aneurysms arising in the distal arch can be repaired with a technique based on simple cross-clamping without an increase in mortality or major neurologic injury. Recurrent nerve palsy is much more common with this approach but is well-tolerated without increasing the need for tracheostomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2004.06.083DOI Listing
January 2005

Apoptosis: pathophysiology and therapeutic implications for the cardiac surgeon.

Ann Thorac Surg 2004 Sep;78(3):1109-18

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Presbyterian-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.

Cardiomyocyte apoptosis has been associated with the pathogenesis of heart failure as well as ischemic and inflammatory myocardial conditions. The aim of this study is to give a critical synopsis of cardiomyocyte apoptosis and identify methods to prevent or attenuate apoptosis in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Clinical conditions and agents associated with decreased apoptotic index are early repair or replacement of valvular pathology before deterioration of ventricular function, afterload reduction with medication or intraaortic balloon pulsation in patients with acute increase in afterload or in hemodynamically compromised patients, decreasing catecholamine-induced cardiotoxicity by using beta-blockers, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, or early insertion of intraaortic balloon pulsation or ventricular assist device. Prompt coronary revascularization, which reduces myocardial ischemia time, is the most effective antiapoptotic therapy. Reduction of myocardial apoptosis associated with cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic cross-clamping are other therapeutic targets. Some investigational therapies include ischemic preconditioning and use of antiapoptotic medication such as the caspase inhibitors, antioxidants, calcium-channel blockers, the insulin-like growth factor-1, and the poly-adenosine diphosphate-ribose-synthetase inhibitors. Most of the therapeutic implications in reducing cardiomyocyte apoptosis are still in the experimental phase. Some options are already incorporated in the clinical practice of the cardiovascular surgeon. New therapeutic considerations include avoiding sustained and long-term use of catecholamines and reducing or avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass-when clinically feasible. Noncatecholamine inotropes should be preferred for patients undergoing heart failure surgery and for patients with low output syndrome after open-heart surgery. The lessons learned from apoptosis research reinforce more liberal and early insertion of intraaortic balloon pulsation or ventricular assist device in clinical low output states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2003.06.034DOI Listing
September 2004

Management strategies for type A dissection complicated by peripheral vascular malperfusion.

Ann Thorac Surg 2004 Apr;77(4):1309-14; discussion 1314

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, USA.

Background: End-organ malperfusion is a dreaded complication of type A aortic dissections. Different strategies have been proposed to manage this complex cohort of patients. Ideal management includes the rapid restoration of organ perfusion while avoiding catastrophic rupture and tamponade. We present our experience with primary aortic repair as the optimal method of patient management.

Methods: From July 1997 until April 2003, 101 patients underwent dissection repair and were assessed for malperfusion of the central nervous system, renal, visceral or extremity circulation. Patients with coronary artery malperfusion were analyzed separately. Aortic repair was performed expeditiously utilizing femoral bypass, circulatory arrest, and antegrade perfusion after completion of the distal anastomosis. Persistent malperfusion led to additional procedures. In-hospital morbidity, end-organ salvage, and mortality were determined. Chi-square analysis defined variables contributing significantly to outcome.

Results: Twenty-three patients presented with malperfusion. The operative mortality for the entire cohort with malperfusion, 4.4% (n = 1), was not greater than those without it, 5.1% (n = 4). Five patients required additional procedures following aortic repair, a majority in patients with persistent extremity ischemia. All deficits resolved except for one patient with spinal ischemia and one with visceral ischemia. Visceral malperfusion was highly lethal with a mortality of 33% (n = 1). All other patients presenting with malperfusion survived to discharge.

Conclusions: Patients with malperfusion in the setting of acute type A dissection should undergo immediate aortic reconstruction as the primary means of reestablishing end-organ perfusion. Early postoperative intervention for persistent deficits leads to a gratifyingly high rate of end-organ salvage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2003.09.056DOI Listing
April 2004
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