Publications by authors named "Fahad Shuja"

39 Publications

The Long-Term Fate of Aortic Branches in Patients with Aortic Dissection.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Feb 13. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States. Electronic address:

Objective: Late morbidity and mortality related to aortic branches in patients with aortic dissection (AD) are not well described. We aimed to investigate the fate of aortic branches in a population cohort of patients with newly diagnosed AD.

Methods: We used the Rochester Epidemiology Project record linkage system to identify all Olmsted County, MN, residents diagnosed with AD from 1995 to 2015. Only patients with >30 days of available follow-up imaging were included in the analysis. The primary outcome was freedom from any branch-related event (any intervention, aneurysm, malperfusion, rupture, or death occurring after the acute phase >14 days). Secondary outcome was the diameter change of the aortic branches. Univariate and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify predictors of branch-related events; univariate and multivariate linear regression models were used to assess aortic branches growth rate.

Results: Of 77 total incident AD cases, 58 patients who survived with imaging follow-up were included, 28 (48%) with type A and 30 (52%) with type B AD. The presentation was acute in 39 (67%) cases; 6 (10%) had branch malperfusion. Of 177 aortic branches involved by the AD, 81 (46%) arose from the true lumen, 33 (19%) from the false lumen, 63 (36%) from both. After the acute phase, freedom from any branch-related event at 15 years was 48% (95%CI 32-70). Thirty-one branch-related events occurred in 19 patients over 15 years: 12 interventions (76% freedom, 95%CI 63-92), 10 aneurysms (67% freedom, 95%CI 50-90), 8 malperfusions (76% freedom, 95%CI 61-94) and 1 rupture (94% freedom, 95%CI 84-100). There were no branch-related deaths. Type B AD (HR 3.5, 95%CI 1.1-10.8; P=.033), patency of the aortic false lumen (HR 6.8, 95% CI 1.1-42.2; P=.038) and malperfusion syndrome at presentation (HR 6.0, 95% CI 1.3-28.6; P=.023) were predictors of late aortic branches-related events. Overall growth rate of aortic branches was 1.3±3.0 mm/year. Patency of the aortic false lumen, initial branch diameter, and Marfan syndrome were significantly associated with diameter increase.

Conclusions: In patients with AD, aortic branch involvement was responsible for a significant long-term morbidity, without any related mortality. Type B AD, patency of the aortic false lumen, or malperfusion syndrome at presentation had a higher risk of branch events during the long-term follow-up. Dilatation of the aortic branches was observed in one third of cases during follow-up, in particular in case of a patent aortic false lumen or Marfan syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2021.01.055DOI Listing
February 2021

Surgical treatment patterns and clinical outcomes of patients treated for expanding aneurysm sacs with type II endoleaks after endovascular aneurysm repair.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Feb 29;73(2):484-493. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:

Objective: Persistent type II endoleaks (T2ELs) after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) with sac growth have been associated with adverse events, including rupture. Whereas intervention in the presence of aneurysm growth has become an accepted treatment paradigm for T2ELs, the efficacy and clinical success of such interventions remain unclear. Therefore, we examined the treatment patterns and clinical outcomes of patients undergoing T2EL interventions after EVAR.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients treated for expanding aneurysm sacs with T2ELs after EVAR at an academic medical center between 2006 and 2017. The primary outcomes assessed were need for repeated intervention; intervention types; and achievement of clinical success, defined as stable aneurysm sac size on computed tomography angiography after treatment.

Results: Fifty-six patients underwent 119 interventions, of which 107 (90%) were technically successful. The median time from EVAR to index T2EL procedure was 37 months (interquartile range, 17-56 months), and the median follow-up time from first T2EL procedure was 27 months (interquartile range, 10-51 months). The most common index procedure was transarterial lumbar embolization (64%), followed by transarterial inferior mesenteric artery (20%), transcaval (14%), and translumbar embolization (1.8%). Thirty-three (59%) patients required further procedures for persistent aneurysm sac expansion. For subsequent T2EL interventions, the most common endovascular procedure was transarterial lumbar embolization (21%), followed by transcaval (21%), translumbar (11%), and transarterial inferior mesenteric artery embolization (8.6%). Twelve patients (21%) were found to have loss of proximal or distal seal on subsequent imaging and required graft extensions to stabilize aneurysm sac size. Ten patients (18%) ultimately underwent graft explantation or sacotomy with oversewing of the endoleak source. Freedom from any endoleak-related reintervention was 57% at 1 year and 36% at 3 years. Freedom from open treatment was 93% at 1 year and 82% at 3 years. Of the 44 patients with ≥6-month follow-up, 39 (89%) achieved clinical success. However, only 11 patients (25%) achieved clinical success without any further reintervention, and 29 patients (66%) achieved clinical success without open treatment.

Conclusions: Despite high technical success, endoleak recurrence after T2EL treatment is common, and multiple interventions are often needed to stabilize aneurysm sac size in patients diagnosed with T2EL-associated sac growth. Notably, one in five patients treated for T2ELs was discovered, on further evaluation, to have proximal or distal seal zone loss that necessitated repair to achieve sac stability. Thus, thorough assessment of all endoleak types should be performed in patients with T2ELs associated with sac growth before T2EL treatment to ensure appropriate care and to minimize ineffective interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.05.062DOI Listing
February 2021

Protamine use in transfemoral carotid artery stenting is not associated with an increased risk of thromboembolic events.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Jan 12;73(1):142-150.e4. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:

Background: Protamine use in carotid endarterectomy has been shown to be associated with fewer perioperative bleeding complications without higher rates of thromboembolic events. However, the effect of protamine use on complications after transfemoral carotid artery stenting (CAS) is unclear, and concerns remain about thromboembolic events.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed for patients undergoing transfemoral CAS in the Vascular Quality Initiative from March 2005 to December 2018. We assessed in-hospital outcomes using propensity score-matched cohorts of patients who did and did not receive protamine. The primary outcome was in-hospital stroke or death. Secondary outcomes included bleeding complications, stroke, death, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure exacerbation. Bleeding complications were categorized as bleeding resulting in intervention or blood transfusions.

Results: Of the 17,429 patients undergoing transfemoral CAS, 2697 (15%) patients received protamine. We created 2300 propensity score-matched pairs of patients who did and did not receive protamine. There were no statistically significant differences in stroke or death between the two cohorts (protamine, 2.5%; no protamine, 2.9%; relative risk [RR], 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-1.21; P = .37). Protamine use was not associated with statistically significant differences in perioperative bleeding complications resulting in interventional treatment (0.9% vs 0.5%; RR, 2.10; 95% CI, 0.99-4.46; P = .05) or blood transfusion (1.2% vs 1.2%; RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.53-1.61; P = .78). There were also no statistically significant differences for the individual outcomes of stroke (1.8% vs 2.3%; RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.52-1.16; P = .22), death (0.9% vs 0.8%; RR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.62-2.19; P = .63), transient ischemic attack (1.4% vs 1.3%; RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.67-1.82; P = .70), myocardial infarction (0.5% vs 0.4%; RR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.52-2.78; P = .67), or heart failure exacerbation (1.0% vs 0.9%; RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.58-1.90; P = .88). Protamine use in patients presenting with symptomatic carotid stenosis was associated with lower risk of stroke or death (3.0% vs 4.3%; RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.47-0.998; P = .048), whereas there were no statistically significant differences in stroke or death with protamine use in asymptomatic patients (1.6% vs 1.0%; RR, 1.63; 95% CI, 0.67-3.92; P = .28).

Conclusions: Heparin reversal with protamine after transfemoral CAS is not associated with an increased risk of thromboembolic events, and its use in symptomatic carotid disease is associated with a lower risk of stroke or death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.04.526DOI Listing
January 2021

Perioperative Outcomes of Carotid-Subclavian Bypass or Transposition versus Endovascular Techniques for Left Subclavian Artery Revascularization during Nontraumatic Zone 2 Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair in the Vascular Quality Initiative.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Nov 4;69:17-26. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Gonda Vascular Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Background: The aim of our study is to examine the perioperative outcomes of carotid-subclavian bypass or transposition (CS-BpTp) versus endovascular techniques (ETs) for left subclavian artery (LSA) revascularization during nontraumatic zone 2 thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR).

Methods: We used prospectively collected data from the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) to identify patients who had undergone TEVAR at participating centers (2013-2018). Patients were eligible for inclusion if they had undergone nontraumatic zone 2 TEVAR and concomitant LSA revascularization. Our main exposure of interest was LSA revascularization technique, CS-BpTp, or any ET. If a patient underwent multiple TEVAR procedures during the study period, the first case involving zone 2 was used for analysis. Preoperative patient characteristics were reviewed between treatment groups. The primary outcomes were mortality, transient ischemic attack (TIA)/stroke, and spinal cord ischemia (SCI). All outcomes were assessed up to 30 days postoperatively.

Results: A total of 837 patients were included in the study. The pathologies most frequently treated were aneurysm in 248 (34%) and dissection in 326 (45%). Overall, 721 subjects (86%) underwent CS-BpTp while 116 subjects (16%) underwent ETs. The latter included the following techniques: 23 chimney grafts, 3 scallops, 15 fenestrated grafts, and 75 branched grafts. Mortality was equal at 3% for both groups (P = 0.67). The rate of TIA/stroke was not significantly different in both groups (5.5% vs. 5%, P = 0.78). Similarly, the rate of SCI was 3% in the entire cohort without significant differences seen between treatment groups (P = 1). Multivariate logistic regression could not identify either CS-BpTp or ETs as independent predictors for death or TIA/stroke.

Conclusions: Within VQI, LSA revascularization during nontraumatic zone 2 TEVAR is safely and effectively achieved with either CS-BpTp or ETs across all nontraumatic thoracic aortic diseases. These techniques appear to be associated with similar perioperative outcomes in selected patients with low rates of mortality and major neurologic morbidity. Although no differences were seen in the proportion of early type I or III endoleaks, further prospective studies are warranted to elucidate the long-term durability of ETs compared with CS-BpTp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.05.062DOI Listing
November 2020

Outcomes after Standalone Use of Gore Excluder Iliac Branch Endoprosthesis for Endovascular Repair of Isolated Iliac Artery Aneurysms.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Aug 28;67:158-170. Epub 2020 Mar 28.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Gonda Vascular Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Electronic address:

Background: The aim of our study was to describe outcomes of stand-alone use (i.e., without concomitant implantation of an aortic stent graft) of the Gore Excluder iliac branch endoprosthesis (IBE) for elective endovascular repair of isolated iliac artery aneurysms.

Methods: We evaluated all consecutive patients electively treated for isolated iliac artery aneurysms using standalone Gore Excluder IBE (January 2014-December 2018). Early (i.e., 30-day) endpoints were technical success, mortality, major adverse events (MAEs), and major access-site complications. Late endpoints were survival, freedom from aortic-related mortality (ARM), internal iliac artery (IIA) primary patency, IIA branch instability, graft-related adverse events (GRAEs), secondary interventions, endoleaks (ELs), aneurysm sac behavior, and new-onset buttock claudication (BC).

Results: A total of 11 consecutive patients (10 men; median age 75 years) were included. The technical success rate was 100%. At 30 days, mortality, MAEs, and major access-site complications were all 0%. Survival and freedom from ARM were 91% and 100%, respectively; only one nonaortic related death was recorded during follow-up. At a median follow-up of 14 months, IIA primary patency, IIA branch instability, and GRAEs were 100%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. No instances of graft migration ≥10 mm were detected. No graft-related secondary interventions were recorded, and 2 patients required a procedure-related secondary intervention 3 months after the index procedure (1 common femoral artery endarterectomy and 1 external iliac artery stenting). Although new-onset type 1 or type 3 ELs were never noted, one patient developed a new-onset type 2 EL. Aneurysm sac regression ≥5 mm was noted in 6 patients (55%), whereas in the remaining ones, the sac size was stable. No instances of new-onset BC were noted.

Conclusions: Use of standalone Gore Excluder IBE for elective endovascular repair of isolated iliac artery aneurysms is a safe, feasible, and effective treatment option. These results may support use of the technique as an effective means of endovascular reconstruction in patients with suitable anatomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.03.023DOI Listing
August 2020

A Mycotic Common Iliac Artery Pseudoaneurysm of Indeterminate Etiology.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Aug 21;67:567.e5-567.e8. Epub 2020 Mar 21.

Departments of Vascular Medicine and Cardiology, North Central Heart Institute, Sioux Falls, SD; Department of Medicine, University of South Dakota School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, SD.

We present the unusual case of a mycotic right common iliac artery pseudoaneurysm caused by the methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) of indeterminate etiology in a healthy 57-year-old man with no risk factors for infection, trauma, or malignancy. The patient initially presented with worsening subacute right lower quadrant pain and was found to have a pseudoaneurysm of the right common iliac artery. Given concern for rupture on a computed tomography angiogram (CTA), he underwent exclusion of the pseudoaneurysm with a covered stent. At the time of presentation, he had no signs or symptoms of infection. However, the patient developed fever, chills, and worsening right lower quadrant pain 13 days after the index operation and was found to have a leukocytosis, blood cultures positive for MSSA, and progressive soft-tissue changes involving the right common iliac artery on CTA consistent with infection. He was definitively treated with stent explantation, aggressive debridement and replacement with an in situ cryopreserved bypass, and short-term suppressive antibiotic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.03.009DOI Listing
August 2020

Outcomes of Onyx® Embolization of Type II Endoleaks After Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Aug 13;67:223-231. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Electronic address:

Background: Type II endoleaks (T2ELs) are common following endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR). Embolization with ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (Onyx) may present an effective treatment alternative for T2ELs. Due to limited data supporting its use, we sought to analyze outcomes of Onyx embolization for T2ELs.

Methods: Retrospective review of consecutive patients treated for T2ELs utilizing Onyx embolization agent from 2009-2018. All pre- and post-Onyx intervention CT scans were analyzed for diameter and volume changes with 3D reconstruction software. The primary outcomes were change in maximum AAA diameter and volume. Secondary outcomes included additional interventions, rupture, and mortality. A subset analysis was performed with patients with isolated T2ELs (no other types of endoleaks present).

Results: We identified 85 patients (73 males, mean age 77.6 ± 7.6 years) who underwent 112 Onyx interventions. Average time to first Onyx intervention after index EVAR was 3.3 ± 2.6 years and average sac growth was 6.3 ± 6.7 mm. Patients underwent mean 1.3 Onyx interventions using a mean of 4.9 ± 4.7 ml for treatment. Three complications occurred (Onyx extravasation, colon ischemia, and access site hematoma). Mean follow-up was 2.5 ± 2.1 years after initial Onyx treatment. At the most recent follow-up, sac diameter stabilization was seen in 47% and reduction >5 mm was seen in 19%. Sac growth of >5 mm was seen in 34% of patients following the first Onyx intervention. In our subset of isolated T2EL, 72% had sac stabilization or reduction >5 mm. Four patients experienced a ruptured aneurysm (3 had active type 1 endoleaks). Rupture-free survival was 95% at 5 years, and overall survival was 54% at 5 years. Notably, increasing Onyx interventions were not associated with sac stabilization or reduction (OR 0.6, P = 0.1). On multivariable analysis, AAA sac diameter stabilization or reduction was independently associated with BMI >30 kg/m (OR 4.2, P = 0.01) and having only 1 Onyx intervention (OR 3.8, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Onyx for embolization of T2ELs resulted in AAA sac diameter stabilization or reduction in 66% of patients, and up to 72% in isolated T2ELs. Further, increasing Onyx interventions were not associated with either aneurysm sac stabilization or reduction. Given its similar outcomes to other embolization strategies in the literature, Onyx embolization for management of T2ELs needs to be judiciously considered, particularly for T2ELs persisting after an initial Onyx embolization intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.02.013DOI Listing
August 2020

Outcomes of the Gore Excluder Iliac Branch Endoprosthesis Using Division Branches of the Internal Iliac Artery as Distal Landing Zones.

J Endovasc Ther 2020 04 18;27(2):316-327. Epub 2020 Feb 18.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Gonda Vascular Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

To evaluate the outcomes of the Gore Excluder Iliac Branch Endoprosthesis (IBE) using division branches of the internal iliac artery (IIA) as distal landing zones. Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018, 74 patients (mean age 74±7 years; 72 men) treated for aortoiliac or common iliac artery aneurysms had an IBE deployed with distal landing of the side branch within the main trunk (n=60) of the internal iliac artery (IIA) vs within a division branch (n=25). Thirteen (17%) patients received bilateral IBE implantations for a total of 85 vessels evaluated. Early endpoints were technical success, 30-day mortality, 30-day major adverse events (MAEs), and 30-day major access complications. Late endpoints were survival, primary and secondary IIA patency, freedom from IIA branch instability, freedom from new-onset buttock claudication, and aneurysm sac diameter changes. Time-dependent outcomes were reported as Kaplan-Meier curves with differences assessed using the log-rank test. Estimates are presented with the 95% confidence interval (CI). The overall technical success rate was 97%, with 1 technical failure per group (p=0.43). Two patients, one from each group, died within 30 days (p=0.43). No significant differences were seen in the rates of 30-day MAEs (7% vs 17%, p=0.35) or major access complications (9% vs 11%, p>0.99) for patients receiving distal landing in the main trunk vs a division branch, respectively. The mean follow-up for the entire cohort was 19±12 months. The overall 1-year survival rate was 94% (95% CI 74% to 99%). The primary and secondary patency rates at 1 year were 98% (95% CI 88% to 99%) vs 95% (95% CI 72% to 99%, p=0.72) and 98% (95% CI 88% to 99%) vs 100% (p=0.41) for the main trunk vs division branch groups, respectively. Freedom from IIA branch instability estimates were also similar at 1-year follow-up [93% (95% CI 82% to 97%) vs 90% (95% CI 66% to 97%), p=0.29], as were the freedom from new-onset buttock claudication estimates [98% (95% CI 86% to 99%) and 94% (95% CI 67% to 99%), respectively; p=0.62]. Mean sac diameter change was 5.4±5.3 mm, not significantly different between the groups (p=0.85). Use of the posterior or anterior division of the IIA as a distal landing zone for the Gore Excluder IBE was safe and efficacious in the midterm. This technique may permit extending indications for endovascular repair of aortoiliac aneurysms to cases with unsuitable anatomy within the IIA main trunk. Long-term assessment is needed to affirm the efficacy of this technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602820905583DOI Listing
April 2020

Editor's Choice - Short Term and Long Term Outcomes After Endovascular or Open Repair for Ruptured Infrarenal Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in the Vascular Quality Initiative.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 May 13;59(5):703-716. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Gonda Vascular Centre, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Repair of ruptured infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAA) has shifted from open surgical (OAR) to endovascular (EVAR) over the last decade. However, the long term impact of EVAR vs. OAR for rAAA has not been well described.

Methods: Prospectively collected registry data (Vascular Quality Initiative [VQI]) were analysed retrospectively to identify patients who underwent EVAR or OAR for rAAA (2004-2018). The primary outcome was death (in hospital and overall post-discharge). Inverse probability weighting (IPW) was used to adjust for treatment selection. Poisson regression assessed the number of one year post-discharge re-interventions.

Results: In total, 4257 patients receiving EVAR (n = 2389 [56%]) or OAR (n = 1868 [44%]) for rAAA were identified. Patients were predominantly male (n = 3310 [77.8%]) with a mean ± standard deviation age of 72.7 ± 9.6 years; most (n = 2449 [59.4%]) presented with haemodynamic instability. Use of EVAR for rAAA increased from 7.8% in 2004 to 67.2% in 2018. After IPW, OAR was associated with a higher odds of in hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 1.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.54-2.01; p < .001), which was confirmed after multivariable logistic regression (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.76-2.45; p < .001). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards showed that OAR was also associated with increased overall post-discharge mortality among all patients (hazard ratio 1.36, 95% CI 1.23-1.51; p < .001). Within weighted treatment groups, five year survival was significantly different (55% for EVAR vs. 46% for OAR; p < .001). OAR showed a significantly higher risk of one year post-discharge re-interventions (incidence rate ratio 2.10, 95% CI 1.52-2.89; p < .001).

Conclusion: Within the VQI, EVAR for rAAA repair has been increasingly adopted with favourable short term outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality, as compared with OAR. Unlike elective AAA repair, survival rates between EVAR and OAR do not converge in long term follow up for patients who survived the index hospitalisation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2019.12.032DOI Listing
May 2020

Transfusion Timing and Postoperative Myocardial Infarction and Death in Patients Undergoing Common Vascular Procedures.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Feb 15;63:53-62. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Background: Perioperative allogenic blood transfusions, specifically packed red bloods cells (pRBC), after vascular surgery procedures are modifiable risk factors that are associated with increased cardiovascular events and 30-day mortality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of transfusion timing (intraoperative vs. postoperative) on the rate of postoperative myocardial infarction (POMI) and death.

Methods: Six surgical and endovascular modules within the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) from 2013 to 2017 were reviewed at a single institution. Transfusion data on elective and urgent cases were abstracted and all patients who underwent inpatient procedures had routine postoperative troponin/ECG testing. The primary endpoint was POMI utilizing the American Heart Association's third universal definition for myocardial infarction. These criteria include the detection of a rise/and or fall of cTnT with at least one value above the 99th percentile and with at least one of the following 1) symptoms of acute myocardial ischemia, 2) new ischemic ECG changes, 3) development of pathological Q waves, 4) imaging evidence of new loss of viable myocardium or new regional wall motion abnormality in a pattern consistent with ischemic etiology. The secondary endpoint was 30-day all-cause mortality. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was utilized to evaluate the risk of transfusions on POMI and death.

Results: We identified 1,154 cases for analysis (299 abdominal aortic aneurysm [EVAR], 117 infrainguinal bypasses, 127 open abdominal aortic aneurysm [AAA], 41 suprainguinal bypasses, 168 thoracic endovascular aortic repair [TEVAR], and 402 peripheral vascular interventions). Overall, the POMI rate was 2% and mortality 1%. Rates of POMI differed by procedure type (P = 0.04), where infrainguinal bypass had the highest rate of POMI at 4%. Death rates did not vary by type of procedure (P = 0.89). Mean number of intraoperative pRBC and postoperative pRBC transfusion was higher for patients with POMI (intraop: 1.3 vs. 0.3, postop: 1.8 vs. 0.4, both P < 0.01) and death (intraop: 1.4 vs. 0.3, postop: 2.5 vs. 0.4, both P < 0.01). In addition, older age and coronary artery disease (CAD) were associated with POMI on univariate analysis. On multivariable analysis for POMI, CAD (odds ratio [OR] = 5.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] [2.00-13.24], P < 0.001), receiving both an intraoperative and postoperative transfusion (OR = 6.20, 95% CI [1.78-21.55], P < 0.01) as well as a postoperative transfusion only (OR = 5.70, 95% CI [1.81-17.94], P < 0.01) compared to no transfusion were associated with higher odds of POMI; however intraoperative transfusion only was not (OR = 3.42, 95% CI [0.88-13.31], P = 0.08). On multivariable analysis, increasing age of the patient was associated with higher odds of death (OR = 1.08, 95% CI [1.01-1.15], P = 0.02) and statin use was highly protective (OR = 0.27, 95% CI [0.10-0.74], P = 0.01), but any intraoperative or postoperative transfusion compared to no transfusion was not associated with death after adjustment.

Conclusions: In our series with routine postoperative troponin screening in the inpatient setting, the use of an isolated postoperative transfusion as well as cases requiring both an intraoperative and postoperative transfusion was associated with POMI. However, isolated intraoperative transfusion was not associated with POMI, and we did not identify an association of transfusion with 30-day mortality. These data suggest that the perioperative setting of transfusions is important in its impact on postoperative outcomes and needs to be accounted for when evaluating transfusion outcomes and indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.08.090DOI Listing
February 2020

Patient and institutional factors associated with postoperative opioid prescribing after common vascular procedures.

J Vasc Surg 2020 04 10;71(4):1347-1356.e11. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Electronic address:

Objective: Overprescription of postoperative opioid medication is a major contributor to the opioid abuse epidemic in the United States. Research into prescribing practices has suggested that patients be limited to 7 days or <200 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) after surgical procedures. Our aim was to identify patient or institutional factors associated with increased opioid prescriptions.

Methods: Opioid naive patients from an integrated health system undergoing one of nine surgical and endovascular procedures tracked within the Vascular Quality Initiative from 2015 to 2017 were identified and matched to their discharge and refill opioid prescriptions. Discharge opioid prescriptions were converted to MME. The primary outcome was discharge MME >200, and secondary outcomes were procedure-specific top-quartile opioid prescription and medication refills. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess patient and perioperative factors associated with each outcome.

Results: Among 1546 opioid naive patients, 739 (48%) received a discharge opioid prescription; median MME was 0 (interquartile range, 0-150), and 349 (23%) had >200 MME. Among those with a discharge prescription, median MME was 180 (interquartile range, 150-300). MME varied by procedure (P < .001), with highest MME after suprainguinal bypass (median, 225) and infrainguinal bypass (200) and lowest MME after carotid artery stenting, carotid endarterectomy, and percutaneous peripheral vascular intervention (all medians of 0). On multivariable analysis, factors associated with MME >200 included younger patient age (<65 vs ≥ 80 years; odds ratio [OR], 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-4.6; P < .001), treating institution B vs A (OR, 3.50; 95% CI, 2.42-5.07; P < .001) and C vs A (OR, 3.90; 95% CI, 2.66-5.74; P < .001), procedure-specific top-quartile length of stay (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.01-2.08; P = .047), and prior tobacco use (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.07-2.37; P = .02). The same variables along with current tobacco use and lack of preoperative aspirin were associated with procedure-specific top-quartile MME at discharge. Chronic beta-blocker use was protective of top-quartile MME. Based on the observed variability, an institutional standard for opioid prescribing has been developed for standardization.

Conclusions: Opioid prescriptions at discharge vary with the invasiveness of vascular surgical procedures. Less than 25% of patients receive >200 MME. Variation by center represents a lack of standardization in prescribing practices and an opportunity for further improvement based on developed guidelines. Patient factors and procedure type can alert clinicians to patients at risk of higher than recommended MME.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.05.068DOI Listing
April 2020

Comparison of Perioperative Outcomes of Patients with Iliac Aneurysms Treated by Open Surgery or Endovascular Repair with Iliac Branch Endoprosthesis.

Ann Vasc Surg 2019 Oct 18;60:76-84.e1. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Background: Treatment of common and internal iliac aneurysms is usually done by open surgery. A novel iliac branch endoprosthesis (IBE) is commercially available with encouraging initial results. Our objective is to compare perioperative outcomes of patients with iliac aneurysms treated by open surgery (OS) versus endovascular repair with IBE.

Methods: The study was a retrospective, single-center review of patients who were treated for aortoiliac or isolated common and/or internal iliac artery aneurysms from 2014 to 2017. Patients with connective tissue disorders, infected grafts, or thoracoabdominal aneurysms were excluded. Primary outcomes were perioperative mortality, length of hospital (LOS) and intensive care unit (ICU) stay, estimated blood loss, need for red blood cell transfusion (RBC), and perioperative reinterventions.

Results: Sixty-seven patients (96% male) were treated with OS (n = 25, mean age 68 ± 8 years) or IBE (n = 42, mean age 73 ± 8 years; P = 0.02) with 1 symptomatic patient in each group. Perioperative mortality occurred in 1 patient in the OS group (4%), with no mortality in the IBE group (P = 0.37) Total LOS and ICU stay was higher for OS compared to IBE (total stay 7.5 ± 3.4 vs. 1.7 ± 1.4 days for IBE, P < 0.0001 and ICU LOS 3.3 ± 2.1 vs. 0.1 ± 0.4 days, P < 0.0001). Estimated blood loss was higher for patients undergoing OS (4,732 ± 2,540 mL) compared to patients treated with IBE (263 ± 451 mL, P < 0.0001), resulting in higher RBC transfusion requirements (1.5 ± 2.4 vs. 0.2 ± 0.8 units, P = 0.001). Five patients in the OS group had early procedure-related reinterventions, while 2 patients in the IBE group required reintervention for access site complications (20% vs. 4.7%, P = 0.09).

Conclusions: Endovascular repair of iliac aneurysms with IBE is feasible and is associated with lower blood loss, LOS and ICU stay, and had lower RBC transfusion requirements. Cost analysis and long-term follow-up will be needed to define the value of this modality for iliac artery aneurysm repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.05.003DOI Listing
October 2019

Perioperative Outcomes After Use of Iliac Branch Devices Compared With Hypogastric Occlusion or Open Surgery for Elective Treatment of Aortoiliac Aneurysms in the NSQIP Database.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Jan 13;62:35-44. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Electronic address:

Background: Iliac branch devices (IBDs) can treat iliac and aortoiliac aneurysms (AIAs) less invasively than open surgery (OS) and preserve pelvic perfusion. Our hypothesis was that the rates of perioperative complications after treatment for AIAs are similar between IBDs and hypogastric occlusion with coil and cover (C&C), and lower than OS.

Methods: We identified patients undergoing elective AIA repair by IBD, C&C, and OS (all with infrarenal clamps) within the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) vascular aneurysm specific Participant User Files (2012-2016). Baseline characteristics, procedural variables, and 30-day outcomes were compared. The primary outcomes were any major complication or death. Secondary outcomes included minor complications, total operative time, total and intensive care unit length of stay (LOS), and reinterventions. Multivariable logistic regression assessed differences in major complications between IBD and C&C/OS after adjusting for patient and procedural variables.

Results: We identified 593 patients (83% men, mean age 71.6 ± 9 years) undergoing elective AIA repair (IBD = 283, C&C = 118, and OS = 192). Patient age and American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) classification varied significantly between groups. Mean aneurysm diameter was higher for OS and similar between IBD and C&C (5.9 cm vs. 5.5 cm and 5.2 cm, respectively, P < 0.001). OS was associated with higher rate of major complications (65.5% vs. IBD: 8.8% and C&C: 13.6%, P=<0.001) and higher mortality (3.6% vs. IBD: 0.7% and C&C: 0%, P = 0.017). Minor complications and reinterventions were similar. IBD patients had significantly shorter total operative time and total and intensive care unit LOS. After adjustment, OS was associated with higher major complications compared with IBD (Odds ratio [OR]: 11.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.8-21.9, P < 0.001), primarily because of the use of transfusions (major complications excluding transfusions OR: 1.3, 95% CI: 0.6-2.8, P = 0.52). Major complications between IBD and C&C were similar (OR: 1.6, 95% CI: 0.8-3.4, P = 0.23).

Conclusions: The use of IBDs for elective treatment of AIAs is associated with favorable perioperative outcomes and a lower rate of major complications compared with OS, primarily because of fewer transfusions. IBDs use has perioperative outcomes similar to C&C with the associated benefit of preserving pelvic perfusion. Pending long-term durability results for this technique, IBDs appear to be associated with several perioperative advantages in patients with AIAs compared with OS and C&C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.04.009DOI Listing
January 2020

Isolated Thoracic Aortic Takayasu Arteritis Presenting as Presumed Mobile Aortic Thrombus.

Vasc Endovascular Surg 2019 Apr 3;53(3):267-270. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

1 Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Isolated aortic mural thrombus (AMT) is an infrequent occurrence in the setting of an otherwise normal aorta and is a similarly rare occurrence in Takayasu arteritis (TAK). As such, consensus on optimal treatment strategy does not exist, however, invariably necessitates anticoagulation. We report a case of a 21-year-old female who presented with acute chest pain with an isolated descending thoracic AMT on imaging. Diagnosis was elusive after an exhaustive, multidisciplinary evaluation including structural, hypercoagulable, and rheumatologic etiologies. After hypertension control and anticoagulation, she was asymptomatic without embolic sequelae. We proceeded with thoracic aortic resection with interposition reconstruction for the dual function of treatment and definitive diagnosis revealing TAK. This demonstrates a curious presentation of TAK with an equally atypical complication managed with surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1538574418823389DOI Listing
April 2019

Performance of current claims-based approaches to identify aortic dissection hospitalizations.

J Vasc Surg 2019 Jul 24;70(1):53-59. Epub 2018 Dec 24.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Electronic address:

Objective: To describe index visits for acute aortic dissection (AD) to an academic center and validate the prevailing claims-based methodology to identify and stratify them.

Methods: Inpatient hospitalizations at a single center assigned an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) diagnosis code for AD from January 2005 to September 2015 were identified. Diagnoses were verified by review of medical records and imaging studies. All visits were secondarily stratified with the algorithm based on ICD-9 codes. Sensitivity and specificity analyses were conducted to evaluate the ability of the algorithm to correctly identify acute AD by Stanford class and treatment modality (type A open repair [TAOR], type B open repair [TBOR], thoracic endovascular repair [TEVAR], medical management [MM]).

Results: In the study interval, there were 1245 visits coded for AD attributed to 968 unique patients. Chart review verification demonstrated that the majority of visits were for AD (79%; n = 981), of which 32% (n = 310) were for an index acute AD event. The true distribution of acute AD visit classifications was TAOR (46.1%; n = 143), TBOR (5.2%; n = 16), TEVAR (7.7%; n = 24), and MM (39.4%; n = 122). The algorithm, which used ICD-9 codes, identified 631 acute visits and stratified them as TAOR (27.1%; n = 171), TBOR (4.1%; n = 26), TEVAR (4.9%; n = 31), and MM (63.9%; n = 403). Analyses demonstrated high specificities, but generally low sensitivities of the algorithm (TAOR: sensitivity, 58%, specificity, 92%; TBOR: sensitivity, 13%, specificity, 98%; TEVAR: sensitivity, 17%, specificity, 98%; MM: sensitivity, 73%, specificity, 72%).

Conclusions: The prevalent claims-based strategy to identify hospitalizations with acute AD is specific, but lacks sensitivity. Caution should be exercised when studying AD with ICD-9 codes and improvements to existing claims-based methodologies are necessary to support future study of acute AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.09.047DOI Listing
July 2019

Outcomes of an iliac branch endoprosthesis using an "up-and-over" technique for endovascular repair of failed bifurcated grafts.

J Vasc Surg 2019 08 21;70(2):497-508.e1. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Advanced Endovascular Aortic Research Program, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Objective: Type IB endoleak after endovascular aneurysm repair may be treated by an iliac branch endoprosthesis (IBE) through brachial access for internal iliac artery (IIA) stenting. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcomes of the IBE using an "up-and-over" transfemoral technique in patients with prior aortic repair compared with the standard technique in patients with de novo iliac aneurysms.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical data of patients treated for aortoiliac aneurysms using Gore IBE (W. L. Gore & Associates, Flagstaff, Ariz) between 2014 and 2017. The up-and-over technique was indicated in patients with type IB endoleak or common iliac aneurysms after prior aortic repair with bifurcated endografts or surgical grafts. End points were technical success, mortality, major adverse events, IIA patency, freedom from IIA branch instability (composite end point of any IIA branch-related complication leading to aneurysm rupture, death, occlusion, component separation, or reintervention to maintain branch patency or to treat a branch-related separation or endoleak), and freedom from secondary interventions or new-onset buttock claudication.

Results: There were 53 patients (51 male; 74 ± 8 years old) treated by 62 IBEs (9 bilateral). Standard technique was used in 36 patients (43 IBEs) and up-and-over technique in 17 (19 IBEs). Three patients had contralateral IIA embolization. Total procedure time, contrast material volume, and radiation dose averaged 168 ± 98 minutes, 140 ± 50 mL, and 1096 ± 1009 mGy, with no difference between techniques. Technical success was achieved in 98% of patients. Eleven patients had extension of IIA bridging stent into the posterior branch (eight standard, three up-and-over). Four patients (8%) had major adverse events due to estimated blood loss >1000 mL in all patients. There was no 30-day mortality after a median follow-up of 7 months (interquartile range, 3-12 months). There were two IIA stent occlusions (all standard), three iliac-related type I endoleaks (one standard, two up-and-over), and four secondary interventions (three standard, one up-and-over). At 1 year, patients treated by standard or up-and-over technique had similar primary patency (94% ± 4% vs 100%; P = .38) and secondary patency (97% ± 3% vs 100%; P = .54) and freedom from IIA branch instability (90% ± 6% vs 93% ± 7%; P = .48), secondary intervention (84% ± 8% vs 90% ± 9%; P = .63), and new-onset buttock claudication (90% ± 6% vs 100%; P = .35).

Conclusions: Endovascular repair using IBE was associated with high technical success, no mortality, and low rate of complications using either the standard technique for de novo aneurysms or an up-and-over technique for patients with failed bifurcated endografts or grafts. The up-and-over technique should be considered a suitable alternative to brachial access in patients who require distal extension using IBEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.10.098DOI Listing
August 2019

Population-Based Assessment of the Incidence of Aortic Dissection, Intramural Hematoma, and Penetrating Ulcer, and Its Associated Mortality From 1995 to 2015.

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2018 08;11(8):e004689

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine (V.R.).

Background Aortic syndromes (ASs), including aortic dissection, intramural hematoma, and penetrating aortic ulcer, carry significant acute and long-term morbidity and mortality. However, the contemporary incidence and outcomes of AS are unknown. Methods and Results We used the Rochester Epidemiology Project record linkage system to identify all Olmsted County, MN, residents with AS (1995-2015). Diagnostic imaging, medical records, and death certificates were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis and AS subtype. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence rates were estimated using annual county-level census data. Survival for patients with AS was compared with age- and sex-matched controls using Cox regression to adjust for comorbid conditions. We identified 133 patients with AS (77, aortic dissection; 21, intramural hematoma; and 35, penetrating aortic ulcer). Average age was 71.8 years (SD=14.1), and 57% were men. The age- and sex-adjusted incidence was 7.7 per 100 000 person-years, was higher for men than women (10.2 versus 5.7 per 100 000 person-years), and increased with age. Among subtypes, the incidence of aortic dissection was highest (4.4 per 100 000 person-years), whereas the incidence of penetrating aortic ulcer and intramural hematoma was lower (2.1 and 1.2 per 100 000 person-years). Overall, the incidence of AS was stable over time ( P trend=0.33), although the incidence of penetrating aortic ulcer seemed to increase from 0.6 to 2.6 per 100 000 person-years ( P=0.008) with variability over the study interval. Patients with AS had more than twice the mortality rate at 5, 10, and 20 years when compared with population-based controls (5-, 10-, and 20-year mortality 39%, 57%, and 91% versus 18%, 41%, and 66%; overall adjusted mortality hazards ratio=2.1; P<0.001). Survival was lower than expected up to 90 days after AS diagnosis and did not differ significantly by subtype or by 5-year strata of diagnosis. Conclusions Overall, the incidence of aortic dissection and intramural hematoma has remained stable since 1995, despite the decline noted for other cardiovascular disease. AS confers increased early and long-term mortality that has not changed. These data highlight the need to improve long-term care to impact the prognosis of this patient group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.004689DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6428412PMC
August 2018

Image Fusion and 3-Dimensional Roadmapping in Endovascular Surgery.

Ann Vasc Surg 2018 Oct 22;52:302-311. Epub 2018 May 22.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Electronic address:

Practitioners of endovascular surgery have historically used 2-dimensional (2D) intraoperative fluoroscopic imaging, with intravascular contrast opacification, to treat complex 3-dimensional (3D) pathology. Recently, major technical developments in intraoperative imaging have made image fusion techniques possible, the creation of a 3D patient-specific vascular roadmap based on preoperative imaging which aligns with intraoperative fluoroscopy, with many potential benefits. First, a 3D model is segmented from preoperative imaging, typically a computed tomography scan. The model is then used to plan for the procedure, with placement of specific markers and storing of C-arm angles that will be used for intraoperative guidance. At the time of the procedure, an intraoperative cone beam computed tomography is performed, and the 3D model is registered to the patient's on-table anatomy. Finally, the system is used for live guidance in which the 3D model is codisplayed with overlying fluoroscopic images. There are many applications for image fusion in endovascular surgery. We have found it to be particularly useful for endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), complex EVAR, thoracic EVAR, carotid stenting, and for type 2 endoleaks. Image fusion has been shown in various settings to lead to decreased radiation dose, less iodinated contrast use, and shorter procedure times. In the future, fusion models may be able to account for vessel deformation caused by the introduction of stiff wires and devices, and the user-dependent steps may become more automated. In its current form, image fusion has already proven itself to be an essential component in the planning and success of complex endovascular procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2018.03.032DOI Listing
October 2018

Superior mesenteric artery stenting using embolic protection device for treatment of acute or chronic mesenteric ischemia.

J Vasc Surg 2018 10 21;68(4):1071-1078. Epub 2018 Apr 21.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Objective: The objective of the study was to report the feasibility and results of superior mesenteric artery (SMA) stenting using embolic protection devices (EPDs) to treat acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) and chronic mesenteric ischemia (CMI).

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of consecutive patients who underwent SMA stenting with EPDs from 2007 to 2016. EPDs were used selectively in patients with occlusions, severe calcification, or acute thrombus. A two-wire technique with SpiderFX 0.014-inch filter wire (Medtronic, Minneapolis, Minn) combined with a 0.018-inch wire was used to provide support and to facilitate stenting and EPD retrieval. Presence of macroscopic debris in the EPD was recorded and graded as minor (minimal debris) or major (large thrombus or plaque). End points were technical success, presence of EPD debris, embolization, early morbidity, and mortality.

Results: SMA stenting was performed in 179 patients, of whom 65 (36%) had EPDs. The mean age was 73 ± 11 years, and 49 were female (75%). Clinical presentation was CMI in 48 patients (74%) and AMI or acute-on-CMI in 17 (26%). Indications for EPD were severe calcification in 22 patients (34%), acute thrombus in 18 (28%), and total occlusion in 16 (25%). Bare-metal stents were used in 33 patients, covered stents in 26, and both types in 6. Adjunctive therapy included thrombolysis in seven patients, thrombectomy in four, and atherectomy in three. Technical success was 100%. There were no instances of filter retention or arterial trauma due to filter manipulation. Distal embolization was noted in four patients (6%), of whom two had AMI. All large emboli were retrieved using catheter aspiration devices, but one small distal embolus was left untreated with no clinical consequences. Two patients had vessel spasm treated by nitroglycerin. Macroscopic debris was noted in 43 patients (66%) and was major in 21 (49%) or minor in 22 (51%). Of the patients with AMI, five (29%) required exploratory laparotomy and four (23%) had bowel resection. Eight additional patients (12%) had early complications (five CMI, three AMI), including cardiac complications, brachial hematoma, acute cholecystitis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome in two patients each. There were no deaths among CMI patients and two early deaths (12%) among those who had AMI.

Conclusions: Use of EPDs during SMA stenting is safe and feasible with a two-wire technique. Large macroscopic debris was noted in one-third of the patients when the filter was applied selectively in patients with acute symptoms, occlusions, or severely calcified lesions. Despite the use of EPD, distal embolization occurred in 6% of patients and was successfully treated using catheter aspiration devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2017.12.076DOI Listing
October 2018

Modern Fixed Imaging Systems Reduce Radiation Exposure to Patients and Providers.

Vasc Endovascular Surg 2018 Jan 21;52(1):52-58. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

1 Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

High-definition fluoroscopic imaging is required to perform endovascular procedures safely and precisely, especially in complex cases, resulting in longer procedures and increased radiation exposure. This is of importance for training institutions as trainees, even with sound instruction in as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles, tend to have high radiation exposures. Recently, there was an upgrade in the imaging system allowing for comparison of radiation exposure to patients and providers. We performed an analysis of consecutive endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) and superficial femoral artery (SFA) interventions in the years 2013 to 2014. We recorded body mass index (BMI) and fluoroscopy time (FT) and subsequently matched 1:1 based on BMI, FT, or both. We determined radiation dose using air kerma (AK) and also recorded individual surgeons' badge readings. Allura Xper FD20 was upgraded to AlluraClarity with ClarityIQ. We identified a total of 77 EVARs (52 pre and 25 post) and 134 SFA interventions (99 pre and 35 post). Unmatched results for EVAR were BMI pre 26.2 versus post 25.8 (kg/m, P = .325), FT 28.1 versus 21.2 (minutes, P = .051), and AK 1178.5 versus 581 (mGy, P < .001), respectively. After matching, there was a 53.2% reduction in AK (846.1 vs 395.9 mGy; P = .004) for EVAR. Unmatched results for SFA interventions were BMI pre 28.1 versus post 26.6 ( P = .327), FT 18.7 versus 16.2 ( P = .282), and AK 285.6 versus 106.0 ( P < .001), respectively. After matching, there was a 57.0% reduction in AK (305.0 vs 131.3, P < .001). The total deep dose equivalent from surgeons' badge readings decreased from 39.5 to 17 mrem ( P = .029). Aortic and peripheral endovascular interventions can be performed with reduced radiation exposure to patients and providers, employing modern fixed imaging systems with advanced dose reduction technology. This is of particular importance in the light of the increasing volume and complexity of endovascular and hybrid procedures as well as the prospect of decades of radiation exposure during training and practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1538574417742211DOI Listing
January 2018

Development of a risk prediction model for transfusion in carotid endarterectomy and demonstration of cost-saving potential by avoidance of "type and screen".

J Vasc Surg 2016 Dec 16;64(6):1711-1718. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:

Objective: Preoperative testing for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) often includes blood typing and antibody screen (T&S). In our institutional experience, however, transfusion for CEA is rare. We assessed transfusion rate and risk factors in a national clinical database to identify a cohort of patients in whom T&S can safely be avoided with the potential for substantial cost savings.

Methods: With use of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database, transfusion events and timing were established for all elective CEAs in 2012-2013. Comorbidities and other characteristics were compared for patients receiving intraoperative or postoperative transfusion and those who did not. After random assignment of the total data to either a training or validation set, a prediction model for transfusion risk was created and subsequently validated.

Results: Of 16,043 patients undergoing CEA in 2012-2013, 276 received at least one transfusion before discharge (1.7%); 42% of transfusions occurred on the day of surgery. Preoperative hematocrit <30% (odds ratio [OR], 57.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 29.6-111.1), history of congestive heart failure (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.1-7.1), dependent functional status (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.5-5.1), coagulopathy (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.7-3.6), creatinine concentration ≥1.2 mg/dL (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.6-3.3), preoperative dyspnea (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.4-3.1), and female gender (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.3) predicted transfusion. A risk prediction model based on these data produced a C statistic of 0.85; application of this model to the validation set demonstrated a C statistic of 0.81. In the validation set, 93% of patients received a score of 6 or less, corresponding to an individual predicted transfusion risk of 5% or less. Omitting a T&S in these patients would generate a substantial annual cost saving for National Surgical Quality Improvement Program hospitals.

Conclusions: Whereas T&S are commonly performed for patients undergoing CEA, transfusion after CEA is rare and well predicted by a transfusion risk score. Avoidance of T&S in this low-risk population provides a substantial cost-saving opportunity without compromise of patient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2016.04.059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5121067PMC
December 2016

A novel tool for three-dimensional roadmapping reduces radiation exposure and contrast agent dose in complex endovascular interventions.

J Vasc Surg 2015 Aug 10;62(2):448-55. Epub 2015 Jun 10.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:

Objective: The volume and complexity of endovascular procedures are increasing. Multidetector computed tomography (CT) made precise three-dimensional (3D) planning of these procedures possible, but intraoperative imaging, even with the use of modern flat-panel detectors, is limited to two dimensions. Flat detectors, however, allow C-arm cone-beam CT. This technology can be used to generate a 3D data set that can be fused with a preoperative high-resolution CT scan, thus generating a live 3D roadmap. We hypothesized that use of a novel image fusion software, VesselNavigator (Philips Healthcare, Best, The Netherlands), facilitates precise and expeditious procedures and therefore reduces radiation exposure and contrast agent dose.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients undergoing standard aortobi-iliac endovascular aneurysm repair at our institution between January 2011 and April 2014 was performed. Conventional imaging was compared with VesselNavigator-assisted imaging, and a matched analysis based on body mass index (BMI) was performed because of the dependence of radiation dose on body habitus. Outcome parameters were procedure time, fluoroscopy time, radiation, and contrast agent dose.

Results: A total of 75 patients were identified. After matching based on BMI, control and VesselNavigator groups each had 16 patients with BMI of 27.0 ± 3.6 kg/m(2) and 27.0 ± 3.6 kg/m(2), respectively (mean ± standard deviation). R(2) was 6.37 × 10(-7). Radiation dose measured as air kerma was lower with VesselNavigator (1067 ± 470.4 mGy vs 1768 ± 696.2 mGy; P = .004). Fluoroscopy time was shorter (18.4 ± 6.8 minutes vs 26.8 ± 10.0 minutes; P = .01) and contrast agent dose was lower (37.4 ± 21.3 mL vs 77.3 ± 23.0 mL; P < .001) with VesselNavigator compared with control. Procedure time was also shorter with VesselNavigator (80.4 ± 21.2 minutes vs 110.0 ± 29.1 minutes; P = .005).

Conclusions: Image fusion using VesselNavigator enhances the functionality of conventional fluoroscopy in standard endovascular aneurysm repair. It reduces radiation exposure to patients and providers. It also limits the amount of contrast agent and shortens the overall procedure length. The benefit of this technology is demonstrated on this typically straightforward procedure but may be even more useful for complex procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2015.03.041DOI Listing
August 2015

Treating the paravisceral aorta with parallel endografts (chimneys and snorkels).

Semin Vasc Surg 2012 Dec;25(4):200-2

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

While excellent results can be achieved with the open repair of juxtarenal and suprarenal aortic aneurysms in good-risk patients, the outcomes in high-risk patients are less favorable. The use of standard infrarenal endografts to treat these patients has been limited due to the absence of a suitable proximal landing zone. Using infrarenal endografts outside the instructions for use has been shown to lead to poorer outcomes with a higher incidence of type I endoleaks and graft migration. Fenestrated and branched endografts are viable options, but until recently have not been commercially available within the United States. In addition, they require meticulous preoperative planning and 4 to 6 weeks to manufacture. This makes them unsuitable for use in the urgent setting. Others have looked at the use of parallel covered stents placed alongside the main endograft body, the "chimney" or "snorkel" graft technique, to allow for continued perfusion to visceral/renal vessels. This technique allows for proximal placement of the landing zone of the main body, while maintaining blood flow to critical branches. The purpose of this article is to review the current literature on chimney grafts, their efficacy, and associated morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.semvascsurg.2012.09.005DOI Listing
December 2012

Development and testing of low-volume hyperoncotic, hyperosmotic spray-dried plasma for the treatment of trauma-associated coagulopathy.

J Trauma 2011 Mar;70(3):664-71

Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Background: Trauma-associated coagulopathy carries an extremely high mortality. Fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) is the mainstay of treatment; however, its availability in the battlefield is limited. We have already shown that lyophilized, freeze-dried plasma (FDP) reconstituted in its original volume can reverse trauma-associated coagulopathy. To enhance the logistical advantage (lower volume and weight), we developed and tested a hyperoncotic, hyperosmotic spray-dried plasma (SDP) product in a multiple injuries/hemorrhagic shock swine model.

Methods: Plasma separated from fresh porcine blood was stored as FFP or preserved as FDP and SDP. In in vitro testing, SDP was reconstituted in distilled water that was either equal (1 × SDP) or one-third (3 × SDP) the original volume of FFP. Analysis included measurements of prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), fibrinogen levels, and activity of selected clotting factors. In in vivo testing, swine were subjected to multiple injuries (femur fracture and grade V liver injury) and hemorrhagic shock (60% arterial hemorrhage, with the "lethal triad" of acidosis, coagulopathy, and hypothermia) and were treated with FFP, FDP, or 3 × SDP (n=4-5/group). Coagulation profiles (PT, PTT, and thromboelastography) were measured at baseline, post-shock, post-crystalloid, treatment (M0), and during 4 hours of monitoring (M1-4).

Results: In vitro testing revealed that clotting factors were preserved after spray drying. The coagulation profiles of FFP and 1 × SDP were similar, with 3 × SDP showing a prolonged PT/PTT. Multiple injuries/hemorrhagic shock produced significant coagulopathy, and 3 × SDP infusion was as effective as FFP and FDP in reversing it.

Conclusion: Plasma can be spray dried and reconstituted to one-third of its original volume without compromising the coagulation properties in vivo. This shelf-stable, low-volume, hyperoncotic, hyperosmotic plasma is a logistically attractive option for the treatment of trauma-associated coagulopathy in austere environments, such as a battlefield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TA.0b013e31820e83beDOI Listing
March 2011

Histone deacetylase inhibitors prevent apoptosis following lethal hemorrhagic shock in rodent kidney cells.

Resuscitation 2011 Jan 30;82(1):105-9. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Background: We have previously demonstrated that treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACI), such as valproic acid (VPA) and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), can improve survival after hemorrhagic shock in animal models. Hemorrhage results in hypoacetylation of proteins which is reversed by HDACI. These agents are known to acetylate insulin receptor substrate-I (IRS-I), which in turn activates the Akt survival pathway. This study investigated whether HDACI exert their beneficial effects through the Akt survival pathway.

Methods: Wistar-Kyoto rats (N=21) underwent hemorrhage (60% blood loss) and were randomized into 3 groups; no resuscitation (NR), and treatment with VPA or SAHA. Kidneys were harvested at 1, 6, and 24h after HDACI treatment and analyzed for acetylated histone 3 at lysine 9 residue (Ac-H3K9), phosphorylated Akt (phospho-Akt), BAD and Bcl-2 proteins.

Results: Hemorrhaged animals were in severe shock, with mean arterial pressures of 25-30mmHg and lactic acid 7-9mg/ml. Only animals treated with VPA and SAHA survived to the 6- and 24-h timepoints. Treatment with HDACI produced a biologic effect on rat kidney cells inducing acetylation of histone H3K9, which peaked after 1h of treatment, and was statistically significant in the VPA group (p=0.01) compared to NR. Phospho-Akt protein increased in the VPA group with a reciprocal decrease in the pro-apoptotic BAD protein in both groups which was statistically significant in the VPA group after 1h (p=0.007) and 24h (p=0.006) of treatment and in the SAHA group after 24h of treatment (p=0.028). Anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein markedly increased after 6 (p=0.04) and 24h (p=0.014) of VPA treatment. Bcl-2 also increased in the SAHA group, but failed to reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: Treatment with HDACI increases phosphorylation of Akt with a subsequent decrease in the pro-apoptotic BAD protein. The above mechanism facilitates the action of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. HDACI protect kidney cells subjected to hemorrhagic shock in rodents through the Akt survival pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.09.469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4361066PMC
January 2011

Evaluation of therapeutic control in a Pakistani population with hypertension.

J Eval Clin Pract 2010 Dec;16(6):1081-4

Center for Non-Communicable Diseases, Karachi, Pakistan.

Rationale, Aims And Objectives: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are increasing at an alarming rate in South Asia. High blood pressure is a modifiable risk factor for CVD. In this study, we evaluated the control of blood pressure and the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with hypertension.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 50 primary health care centres throughout Pakistan. Individuals with a documented history of hypertension, receiving pharmacological therapy, were enrolled and evaluated for the control of their blood pressure.

Results: The recommended therapeutic control of hypertension (systolic blood pressure <140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure <90 mmHg) was seen in only 6.4% of the study participants. Values of both the mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures in all subjects were higher than the desired therapeutic levels (P<0.001). There was a high prevalence in the study population of established but modifiable risk factors of CVD, such as smoking (30.5%), hypercholesterolemia (59.5%) and sedentary lifestyle (43.5%). Lack of therapeutic control of systolic blood pressure was found significantly associated with age, hypercholesterolemia and sedentary lifestyle (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Patients being treated at primary health care centres in Pakistan have inadequate control of high blood pressure. Evidence-based continuous education of primary health care physicians is a necessary intervention for optimizing treatment strategies and achieving better therapeutic control of hypertension in our population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2753.2009.01256.xDOI Listing
December 2010

Treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitor attenuates MAP kinase mediated liver injury in a lethal model of septic shock.

J Surg Res 2010 Sep 10;163(1):146-54. Epub 2010 May 10.

Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Background: Despite global efforts to improve the treatment of sepsis, it remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in intensive care units. We have previously shown that suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, markedly improves survival in a murine model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced shock. SAHA has anti-inflammatory properties that have not been fully characterized. The liver plays an important role in the production of acute phase reactants involved in the inflammatory cascade and is also one of the major organs that can become dysfunctional in septic shock. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of SAHA treatment on MAP kinases and associated inflammatory markers in murine liver after LPS-induced injury.

Methods: C57B1/6J mice were randomly divided into three groups: (A) experimental-given intraperitoneal (i.p.) SAHA (50 mg/kg) in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) vehicle solution (n = 12); (B) control- given vehicle only (n = 12), and; (C) sham-given no treatment (n = 7). Two hours later, experimental and control mice were injected with LPS (20 mg/kg, i.p.) and experimental mice received a second dose of SAHA. Livers were harvested at 3, 24, and 48 h for analysis of inflammatory markers using Western Blot, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) techniques.

Results: After 3 h, the livers of animals treated with SAHA showed significantly (P < 0.05) decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory MAP kinases phosphorylated p38, phosphorylated ERK, myeloperoxidase and interleukin-6, and increased levels of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 compared with controls. Phospho-p38 expression remained low in the SAHA treated groups at 24 and 48 h.

Conclusion: Administration of SAHA is associated with attenuation of MAPK activation and alteration of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers in murine liver after a lethal LPS insult. The suppression of MAPK activity is rapid (within 3 h), and is sustained for up to 48 h post-treatment. These results may in part account for the improvement in survival shown in this model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2010.04.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894321PMC
September 2010

Alterations in gene expression after induction of profound hypothermia for the treatment of lethal hemorrhage.

J Trauma 2010 May;68(5):1084-98

Division of Trauma, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Introduction: We have previously demonstrated that induction of profound hypothermia improves long-term survival in animal models of complex injuries/lethal hemorrhage. However, the precise mechanisms have not been well defined. The aim of this high-throughput study was to investigate the impact of profound hypothermia on gene expression profiles.

Methods: Wistar-Kyoto rats underwent 40% blood volume arterial hemorrhage over 10 minutes and were randomized into two groups based on core body temperatures (n = 7 per group): hypothermia (H, 15 degrees C) and normothermia (N, 37 degrees C). Hypothermia was induced by infusing cold isotonic solution using a cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) setup. After reaching target body temperature, low-flow state (CPB flow rate of 20 mL x kg x min) was maintained for 60 minutes. Hypothermic rats were rewarmed to baseline temperature, and all rats were resuscitated on CPB and monitored for 3 hours. The N group underwent identical CPB management. Sham rats (no hemorrhage and no instrumentation) were used as controls. Blood samples were collected serially, and hepatic tissues were harvested after 3 hours. Affymatrix Rat Gene 1.0 ST Array (27,342 genes, >700,000 probes) was used to determine gene expression profiles (n = 3 per group), which were further analyzed using GeneSpring (Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA) and GenePattern (Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA) programs. Data were further queried using network analysis tools including Gene Ontology, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (Ingenuity Systems). Key findings were verified using real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blots.

Results: Induction of hypothermia significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the magnitude of lactic acidosis and increased the survival rates (100% vs. 0% in normothermia group). Five hundred seventy-one of 23,000 genes had altered expression in response to the induction of hypothermia: 382 were up-regulated and 187 were down-regulated. Twelve key pathways were specifically modulated by hypothermia. Interleukin-6, interleukin-10, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, glucocorticoids, and other signaling pathways involved with acute phase reactants were up-regulated. Multiple metabolic pathways were down- regulated. The largest change was in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma gene that codes for a transcriptional coactivator, which in turn controls mitochondrial biogenesis, glycerolipid, and other metabolic pathways in the liver. Apoptotic cell death cascades were activated in response to blood loss (H and N groups), but multiple specific anti-apoptotic genes (baculoviral Inhibitor of apoptosis protein repeat-containing 3, BCL3L1, NFKB2) displayed an increased expression specifically in the hypothermia treated animals, suggesting an overall pro-survival phenotype.

Conclusions: Profound hypothermia increases survival in a rodent model of hemorrhagic shock. In addition to decreasing tissue oxygen consumption, induction of hypothermia directly alters the expression profiles of key genes, with an overall up-regulation of pro-survival pathways and a down- regulation of metabolic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TA.0b013e3181d76bd1DOI Listing
May 2010

Hypoxic "second hit" in leukocytes from trauma patients: Modulation of the immune response by histone deacetylase inhibition.

Cytokine 2010 Mar 28;49(3):303-11. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Introduction: Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACI), can improve survival after lethal hemorrhagic shock, and modulate the inflammatory response after hemorrhage/lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The current experiments were designed to study the effects of HDACI after hemorrhage and severe hypoxia.

Methods: Splenic leukocytes from trauma and non-trauma patients (n=4-5/group) were exposed to severe hypoxia with/without suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, 400 nM) for 8h. Cytokines were measured by ELISA and RT-PCR, and hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1a and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 by Western blot.

Results: After hemorrhage and hypoxia, SAHA increased IL-1b gene (4.7+/-1.2-fold) and protein expression (2.1+/-0.6-fold) in trauma splenic leukocytes. It also reduced IL-10 gene expression (0.6+/-0.2-fold), but did not alter TNFa or IL-6 levels. This unexpected pro-inflammatory response may be due to a decrease in HIF-1a and HO-1 protein levels.

Conclusions: In this model of severe hypoxia, treatment with SAHA increased the inflammatory response in trauma leukocytes, possibly through inhibition of the HIF-1/HO-1 pathway. Splenic leukocytes from non-trauma patients were variably affected by SAHA. Taken in context with the known anti-inflammatory properties of HDACI after hemorrhage/LPS, these findings suggest that the immune-modulating functions of HDACI are dependent on the type and severity of both the priming injury and subsequent insult.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cyto.2009.11.013DOI Listing
March 2010

Pharmacologic resuscitation: cell protective mechanisms of histone deacetylase inhibition in lethal hemorrhagic shock.

J Surg Res 2009 Oct 13;156(2):290-6. Epub 2009 May 13.

Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Background: We have demonstrated that valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACI), can improve animal survival after hemorrhagic shock, and protect neurons from hypoxia-induced apoptosis. This study investigated whether VPA treatment works through the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/Caspase-3 survival pathways.

Methods: Wistar-Kyoto rats underwent hemorrhagic shock (60% blood loss over 60 min) followed by post-shock treatment with VPA (300 mg/kg), without any additional resuscitation fluids. The experimental groups were: (1) Sham (no hemorrhage, no resuscitation), (2) no resuscitation (hemorrhage, no resuscitation), and (3) VPA treatment. The animals were sacrificed at 1, 6, or 24h (n=3/timepoint), and liver tissue was harvested. Cytosolic and nuclear proteins were isolated and analyzed for acetylated histone-H3 at lysine-9 (Ac-H3K9), total and phosphorylated JNK, and activated caspase-3 by Western blot.

Results: Hemorrhaged animals were in severe shock, with mean arterial pressures of 25-30 mmHg and lactic acid 7-9 mg/dL. As expected, only the VPA treated animals survived to the 6- and 24-h timepoints; none of the non-resuscitated animals survived to these time points. Treatment of hemorrhaged animals with VPA induced acetylation of histone H3K9, which peaked at 1h and returned back to normal by 24h. Hemorrhage induced phosphorylation of JNK (active form) and increased activated caspase-3 levels, representing a commitment to subsequent cell death. Treatment with VPA decreased the phospho-JNK (P=0.06) expression at 24h, without changing the total levels of JNK (P=0.89), and this correlated with attenuation of activated caspase-3 at 24h (P=0.04), compared with the non-resuscitated animals.

Conclusion: Treatment with HDACI, induces acetylation of histone H3K9, and reduces JNK phosphorylation and subsequent caspase-3 activation. This discovery establishes for the first time that HDACI may protect cells after severe hemorrhage through modulation of the JNK/caspase-3 apoptotic pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2009.04.012DOI Listing
October 2009