Publications by authors named "Giovanni Melina"

56 Publications

Long-term survival after xenograft versus homograft aortic root replacement: Results from a prospective randomized trial.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2019 Oct 4. Epub 2019 Oct 4.

Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Objective: The study objective was to investigate the long-term survival of patients undergoing xenograft versus homograft full root aortic valve replacement.

Methods: A total of 166 patients requiring aortic valve surgery were randomized to undergo the Freestyle (Medtronic Inc, Minneapolis, Minn) bioprosthesis (N = 90) or a homograft (N = 76) full root aortic valve replacement between 1997 and 2005 in a single institution. Six patients randomly assigned to the homograft crossed over to the Freestyle bioprosthesis because of the unavailability of suitably sized homografts. All surgeons were required to adhere to the standard surgical technique for homograft root implantation previously described. Follow-up was 98.5% complete.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 65 ± 8 years. Coronary artery bypass grafting was associated with root aortic valve replacement in 76 of 166 patients (46%, P = not significant between groups), and overall hospital mortality was 4.8% (8/166, P = not significant between groups). Median follow-up was 13.8 years (range, 0-21.8 years; 2033 patient-years). The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that there was no significant difference in overall survival between the 2 arms at 5, 10, and 15 years. Twenty-year survival was 28.3% ± 5% for the Freestyle group versus 25.1% ± 5.7% for the homograft group (P = .90), which was comparable to the age- and sex-matched UK general population. The freedom from aortic valve reoperation at 20 years was comparable for the Freestyle group versus the homograft group (67.9% ± 8.8% vs 67.2% ± 10.3%, respectively; P = .74).

Conclusions: This is the first study to investigate the long-term survival of xenograft versus homograft full root aortic valve replacement from a prospective randomized trial. The observed 20-year overall survival and freedom from aortic valve reoperation serve as a benchmark for future studies on interventions for aortic valve disease in the elderly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.09.119DOI Listing
October 2019

Modified Bentall procedure: Mechanical vs biological valved conduits in patients older than 65 years.

Int J Cardiol 2019 12 16;296:38-42. Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Cadiothoracic Department, University Hospital of Udine, Italy.

Background: The modified Bentall procedure is still the treatment of choice for patients requiring combined replacement of the ascending aorta and aortic valve. We compared the long-term outcome of patients >65 years of age undergoing Bentall procedure with biological vs mechanical valved conduits in a multi institutional study.

Methods: A total of 282 patients, undergoing a Bentall operation (January 1994-May 2015), with a biological (Group 1, 173 patients) or a mechanical (Group 2, 109 patients) conduit were reviewed, the primary outcome being analysis of late survival and freedom from major adverse events.

Results: Hospital mortality was 5% (9 patients) and 2% (2 patients) for Group 1 and Group 2 (p = 0.2). Median follow-up was 77 months (range Q1-Q3: 49-111) for Group 1 vs 107 months (range Q1-Q3: 63-145) for Group 2 (p < 0.001). A not statistically significant advantage in late survival was found in patients receiving mechanical valved conduits (36% for Group 1 vs 58% for Group 2 at 12 years; p = 0.09), although freedom from major adverse events was similar between the 2 groups (33% in Group 1 vs 50% in Group 2 at 12 years; p = 0.3).

Conclusions: In conclusion, mechanical-valved conduits employed for the modified Bentall procedure show a trend towards an improved late survival in patients ≥65 years of age and particularly in those between 65 and 75 years, despite a higher incidence of major adverse events. Our results indicate the need for specific guidelines to better define the ideal age limit for each type of valved conduit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.07.053DOI Listing
December 2019

Obesity-induced activation of JunD promotes myocardial lipid accumulation and metabolic cardiomyopathy.

Eur Heart J 2019 03;40(12):997-1008

Center for Molecular Cardiology, University of Zürich, Wagistrasse 12, Schlieren, Switzerland.

Aims: Metabolic cardiomyopathy (MC)-characterized by intra-myocardial triglyceride (TG) accumulation and lipotoxic damage-is an emerging cause of heart failure in obese patients. Yet, its mechanisms remain poorly understood. The Activator Protein 1 (AP-1) member JunD was recently identified as a key modulator of hepatic lipid metabolism in obese mice. The present study investigates the role of JunD in obesity-induced MC.

Methods And Results: JunD transcriptional activity was increased in hearts from diet-induced obese (DIO) mice and was associated with myocardial TG accumulation and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Obese mice lacking JunD were protected against MC. In DIO hearts, JunD directly binds PPARγ promoter thus enabling transcription of genes involved in TG synthesis, uptake, hydrolysis, and storage (i.e. Fas, Cd36, Lpl, Plin5). Cardiac-specific overexpression of JunD in lean mice led to PPARγ activation, cardiac steatosis, and dysfunction, thereby mimicking the MC phenotype. In DIO hearts as well as in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes exposed to palmitic acid, Ago2 immunoprecipitation, and luciferase assays revealed JunD as a direct target of miR-494-3p. Indeed, miR-494-3p was down-regulated in hearts from obese mice, while its overexpression prevented lipotoxic damage by suppressing JunD/PPARγ signalling. JunD and miR-494-3p were also dysregulated in myocardial specimens from obese patients as compared with non-obese controls, and correlated with myocardial TG content, expression of PPARγ-dependent genes, and echocardiographic indices of LV dysfunction.

Conclusion: miR-494-3p/JunD is a novel molecular axis involved in obesity-related MC. These results pave the way for approaches to prevent or treat LV dysfunction in obese patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy903DOI Listing
March 2019

Preliminary results of the Multicenter Observational Study with Enoximone in Cardiac surgery (MOSEC).

Int J Cardiol 2018 Oct 19;269:51-55. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Sapienza University of Rome, Policlinico Sant'Andrea, Roma, Italy.

Background: Perioperative administration of Enoximone has been shown to improve hemodynamics, organ function, and inflammatory response. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of Enoximone after on-pump cardiac surgery.

Methods: A protocol for a multicenter observational study was reviewed and approved by local ethic committee. This preliminary report involves the first 29 patients enrolled, in whom Enoximone was perioperatively administered in the context of on-pump cardiac surgery. All patients enrolled were propensity-matched 1:1 with controls not receiving Enoximone, renal function was evaluated in terms of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) with the CKD-EPI equation.

Results: After propensity matching, the two cohorts of patients receiving Enoximone or not did not show any significant differences among baseline characteristics. Patients receiving Enoximone showed a progressive improvement of eGFR at each time-point of follow-up: roughly +4.3, +10.0, and +12.3 mL/min/1.73 m on postoperative days 2, 7, and 30; respectively. Consistently, maximum difference versus baseline was +12.6 mL/min/1.73 m (or +19.3%) among Enoximone patients vs +3.3 mL/min/1.73 m (or +4.4%) among controls (p = 0.02). Multivariable regression analysis (R-adjusted 0.47) showed only age (β -0.53; p = 0.01), preoperative eGFR (β -0.39; p = 0.02), diabetes (β 2.1; p = 0.01), cardio-pulmonary bypass duration (β 0.08; p = 0.05), and Enoximone administration (β -0.74; p = 0.05) to be independently correlated with delta eGFR variation on day 30.

Conclusion: These preliminary results show that perioperative Enoximone administration improved renal function in patients undergoing on-pump cardiac surgery. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.07.071DOI Listing
October 2018

Clinical SYNTAX score predicts outcomes of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

Am Heart J 2017 Jun 28;188:118-126. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Roma, Italia.

Background: The SYNTAX score (SS) is a determinant of outcome in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. In addition, it has been recently shown that the clinical SYNTAX score (cSS), obtained by adding clinical variables to the SS, improves the predictive power of the resulting risk model. We assessed the hypothesis that the use of the cSS may predict outcomes of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Methods: We measured the SYNTAX score in 874 patients undergoing isolated first time on-pump CABG. The clinical SYNTAX score was calculated at the time of the study using age, creatinine clearance and ejection fraction, the modified ACEF score, and analyses performed for major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) and all-cause mortality at 3-year follow-up.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 70.9 ± 8.1 years, and the median cSS 14.2 (range 2.1-286.5). The ROC curve analysis showed that a cSS >14.5 (81.4% sensitivity and 67.8% specificity) was a reliable tool in discrimination of patients for the occurrence of MACCE (AUC 0.78) and all-cause mortality (AUC 0.74). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis confirmed that patients belonging to higher cSS quartiles have poorer 3-year survival (P = .0001) and MACCE-free survival (P = .0001), with respect to those with lower cSS.

Conclusions: This observational study has shown that the clinical SYNTAX score, incorporating the lesion-based SS and clinical-based ACEF score, predicted mid-term adverse outcomes of patients undergoing CABG and may play an important role in the risk stratification of this population. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2017.03.016DOI Listing
June 2017

Residual SYNTAX score following coronary artery bypass grafting.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2017 03;51(3):547-553

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: To quantify residual coronary artery disease measured using the SYNTAX score (SS) and its relation to outcomes after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis on a consecutive series of 1608 patients [mean age 68 years, standard deviation (SD): 7, F:M, 242:1366] undergoing first-time isolated CABG from 2004 to 2015. The baseline SS was retrospectively determined from preoperative angiograms, and the residual SS (rSS) was measured during assessment of the actual operative report for each patient after CABG. Patients were then stratified according to tercile cut points of low (rSS low 0-11, N  = 537), intermediate (rSS mid  >11-18.5, N  = 539) and high residual SS (rSS high  >18.5, N  = 532). The Cox regression model was used to investigate the impact of rSS on major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) at 1 year.

Results: The mean preoperative SS was 26.6 (SD: 9.4) (range 10.1-53), and the residual SS after CABG was 15.3 (SD: 8.4) (range 0-34) ( P  <   0.001 versus preoperative). At 1 year, cumulative incidence of MACCE in the low rSS was 1.5% ( N  = 8/537), 4.5% ( N  = 24/539) in the intermediate and 8.8% ( N  = 47/532) in the high rSS group. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a statistically significant difference of MACCE-free survival between the three groups (log-rank test, P  <   0.001). The estimated MACCE-free survival rate at 1 year was 98.1% [standard error (SE): 1.6] for the rSS low , 95.5% (SE: 1.9) for the rSS mid , and 90.5% (SE: 1.3) for the rSS high group, respectively. After multivariable adjustment, the rSS high group was independently associated with a higher incidence of MACCE at 1 year (hazard ratio 1.92, 95% confidence interval 1.21-3.23) compared to the rSS low group.

Conclusions: These unanticipated findings suggest that a residual SS may be a useful tool for risk stratification of patients undergoing isolated first-time CABG. Our study may set the stage for further investigations addressing this important clinical question.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezw356DOI Listing
March 2017

Unilateral Versus Bilateral Antegrade Cerebral Protection During Aortic Surgery: An Updated Meta-Analysis.

Ann Thorac Surg 2015 Jun 16;99(6):2024-31. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Sapienza Università di Roma, Policlinico Sant'Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Background: In the context of complex aortic surgery, despite the wide consensus about the use of moderate hypothermia in association with antegrade selective cerebral perfusion (ASCP), its bilateral administration is not always warranted. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to investigate outcomes of unilateral versus bilateral ASCP.

Methods: Outcomes investigated were postoperative mortality and neurologic permanent and temporary disease (PND and TND); separate analysis of heterogeneity using the Cochrane Q statistic was used to perform comparisons. Circulatory arrest (CA) time and temperature, and sample size were explored as potential causes for heterogeneity with meta-regression analysis.

Results: The study population consisted of 3,723 patients receiving bilateral ASCP and 3,065 patients receiving unilateral ASC. Pooled analysis showed similar rates of postoperative mortality: 9.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.8% to 12.3%) for bilateral ASCP versus 7.6% (95% CI, 5.7% to 10.2%) for unilateral ASCP; p = 0.19. Postoperative PND rates as well did not differ significantly: 6.9% (95% CI, 5.0% to 9.4%) for bilateral ASCP versus 5.8% (95% CI, 3.8% to 8.7%) for unilateral ASCP; p = 0.53. Similar results yielded from TND analysis: 9.3 % (95% CI, 7.0% to 12.2%) versus 6.5% (95% CI, 4.5% to 9.5%), respectively, p = 0.14. Meta-regression analysis showed that longer CA times were associated with significantly increased mortality only among patients administered with unilateral ASCP (model Q 65.8, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, higher CA temperatures were associated with significantly reduced rates of mortality (Q 64.1, p = 0.001), PND (Q 52.3, p = 0.01), and TND (Q 62.2, p = 0.002) in both groups.

Conclusions: Unilateral versus bilateral ASCP administration did not result in different mortality and neurologic morbidity rates. Nevertheless, among prolonged CA times unilateral ASCP resulted in poorer outcomes with respect to bilateral ASCP. Furthermore, moderate hypothermia was associated with best outcomes in both groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.01.070DOI Listing
June 2015

Blackish Pigmentation of the Aorta in Patient with Alkaptonuria and Heyde's Syndrome.

Aorta (Stamford) 2014 Apr 1;2(2):74-6. Epub 2014 Apr 1.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, "Sapienza", Università di Roma, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Alkaptonuria is an autosomal recessive trait resulting in an error of aromatic amino acids metabolism. Heyde's syndrome is a condition clustering together aortic valve stenosis and gastrointestinal bleeding from colonic angiodysplasia. At present, there is no report describing the association of the latter two syndromes in the same patient. Here we present the case of a patient with severe aortic stenosis, alkaptonuria, and Heyde's syndrome. The patient underwent aortic valve replacement by means of a valvular bioprosthesis and the histological examination of the aortic cusps revealed calcific degeneration. This was associated with stromal degeneration characterized by extra-cellular deposition of granular, brownish-pigmented material along with macrophages and multiple foci of calfication showing the same brownish pigmentation. This configuration represents the typical pattern of homogentisic acid accumulation known as ochronosis. The postoperative course was uneventful and the echocardiographic follow-up at 6 months postoperatively showed good-functioning of the aortic valve bioprosthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12945/j.aorta.2014.13-058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4682758PMC
April 2014

Impact of prosthesis-patient mismatch on tricuspid valve regurgitation and pulmonary hypertension following mitral valve replacement.

Int J Cardiol 2013 Oct 7;168(4):4150-4. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

Sapienza, University of Rome, Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Mitral PPM can be equated to residual mitral stenosis, which may halt the expected postoperative improvement of PH and concomitant functional tricuspid regurgitation (fTR). Aim of the present study is to evaluate the impact of mitral prosthesis-patient mismatch (PPM) on late tricuspid valve regurgitation and pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Methods: A total of 210 patients undergoing isolated mitral valve replacement (MVR) were investigated. Mitral valve effective orifice area was determined by the continuity equation and indexed for body surface area (EOAi) and PPM was defined as EOAi ≤ 1.2 cm(2)/m(2). Pulmonary hypertension (PH) was defined as systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) > 40 mmHg. Clinical and echocardiographic follow-up (median 27 months) was 100% completed. A total of 88/210 (42%) patients developed mitral PPM.

Results: There were no significative differences in baseline and operative characteristics between patients with and without PPM. At follow-up, the prevalence of fTR ≥ 2+ (57%vs.22%; p = 0.0001), and PH (62%vs.24%;p < 0.0001) were significantly higher in patients with PPM. On multivariable regression analysis, EOAi (p < 0.0001) and preoperative left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic diameter (p < 0.0001) were found to be independently associated with fTR decrease after MVR. In addition, EOAi (p < 0.0001) and LV ejection fraction (p < 0.0001) were independently associated with PH decrease after MVR. No significant differences in mortality rates were found between patients having or not PPM.

Conclusions: This study shows that mitral PPM is associated with the persistence of fTR and PH following MVR. These findings support the realization of tricuspid valve annuloplasty when PPM is anticipated at the time of operation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.07.116DOI Listing
October 2013

Lack of protective role of HDL-C in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting.

Eur Heart J 2013 Dec 22;34(46):3557-62. Epub 2013 May 22.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rome 'Sapienza', Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Aims: Primary prevention studies have confirmed that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are strongly associated with reduced cardiovascular events. However, recent evidence suggests that HDL-C functionality may be impaired under certain conditions. In the present study, we hypothesize that HDL-C may lose their protective role in the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods And Results: A consecutive series of 1548 patients undergoing isolated first-time elective CABG at one institution between 2004 and 2009 was studied. According to the ATPIII criteria, pre-operative HDL-C values were used to identify patients with high (Group A) vs. low HDL-C (Group B). To eliminate biased estimates, a propensity score model was built and two cohorts of 1:1 optimally matched patients were obtained. Cumulative survival and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) were analysed by means of Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional-hazards regression models were used to identify independent predictors of MACE and death. Propensity matching identified two cohorts of 502 patients each. At a median follow-up time of 32 months, there were 44 out of 502 (8.8%) deaths in Group A and 36 out of 502 deaths in Group B (7.2%, HR 1.19; P = 0.42). MACE occurred in 165 out of 502 (32.9%) in Group A and 120 out of 502 (23.9%) in Group B (P = 0.04). Regression analysis showed that pre-operative HDL-C levels were not associated with reduced but rather increased MACE occurrence during follow-up (HR 1.43, P = 0.11).

Conclusion: Higher HDL-C levels are not associated with reduced risk of vascular events in CAD patients undergoing CABG. Our findings may support efforts to improve HDL-C functionality instead of increasing their levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/eht163DOI Listing
December 2013

Unilateral versus bilateral antegrade cerebral protection during circulatory arrest in aortic surgery: a meta-analysis of 5100 patients.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2014 Jan 9;147(1):60-7. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Sapienza, Università di Roma, Policlinico Sant'Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Our objective was to determine whether the use of unilateral (u-ACP) or bilateral antegrade cerebral perfusion (b-ACP) results in different mortality and neurologic outcomes after complex aortic surgery.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched for studies reporting on postoperative mortality and permanent (PND) and temporary neurologic dysfunction (TND) in complex aortic surgery requiring circulatory arrest with antegrade cerebral protection. Analysis of heterogeneity was performed with the Cochrane Q statistic.

Results: Twenty-eight studies were analyzed for a total of 1894 patients receiving u-ACP versus 3206 receiving b-ACP. Pooled analysis showed similar rates of 30-day mortality (8.6% vs 9.2% for u-ACP and b-ACP, respectively; P = .78), PND (6.1% vs 6.5%; P = .80), and TND (7.1% vs 8.8%; P = .46). Age, sex, and cardiopulmonary bypass time did not influence effect size estimates. Higher rates of postoperative mortality and PND were among nonelective operations and for highest temperatures and duration of the circulatory arrest. The Egger test excluded publication bias for the outcomes investigated.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis shows that b-ACP and u-ACP have similar postoperative mortality and both PND and TND rates after circulatory arrest for complex aortic surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.10.029DOI Listing
January 2014

β-Blockers improve survival of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after coronary artery bypass grafting.

Ann Thorac Surg 2013 Feb 4;95(2):525-31. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Sapienza, University of Rome, Policlinico Sant'Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Background: β-Blockers are known to improve survival of patients with cardiovascular disease, but their administration in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains controversial. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of β-blocker administration in patients with COPD undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

Methods: A total of 388 consecutive patients with COPD who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting were studied, and clinical follow-up was completed. Diagnosis of COPD was based on preoperative forced expiration volume; exacerbation episodes were defined as a pulsed-dose prescription of prednisolone or a hospital admission for an exacerbation. Two propensity-matched cohorts of 104 patients each either receiving or not receiving β-blockers were identified.

Results: At baseline, there was no significant difference among groups. After a median follow-up of 36 months, there were 8 deaths in 104 patients (7.7%) receiving β-blockers versus 19 deaths in 104 patients (18.3%) who did not receive β-blockers (p = 0.03). Kaplan-Meyer analysis showed a survival of 91.8% ± 2.8% for patients taking β-blockers versus 80.6% ± 4.0% for control subjects (χ(2), 29.4; p = 0.003; hazard ratio, 0.38). In addition, β-blocker administration did not increase rates of COPD exacerbation, which was experienced by 46 of 104 patients (44.2%) receiving β-blockers versus 45 of 104 patients (43.3%) not receiving β-blockers (p = 0.99).

Conclusions: This study showed that in patients with COPD undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting the administration of β-blockers is safe and significantly improves survival at mid-term follow-up. Further randomized studies are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.07.080DOI Listing
February 2013

Current results of open total arch replacement versus hybrid thoracic endovascular aortic repair for aortic arch aneurysm: a meta-analysis of comparative studies.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2013 Jan 3;145(1):305-6. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ospedale S. Andrea, La Sapienza, Università di Roma, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.09.011DOI Listing
January 2013

Complexity of coronary artery disease affects outcome of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting with impaired left ventricular function.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2013 Sep 17;146(3):656-61. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To determine whether the SYNTAX score can predict the outcomes of patients with left ventricular dysfunction undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

Methods: We studied a consecutive series of 191 patients (mean age, 67 ± 10 years) with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 40% or less who were undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting. All patients were stratified according to their SYNTAX score, indicating coronary artery disease complexity: low, 0 to 22; intermediate, 23 to 32; and high, 33 or more. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes included the late occurrence of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events, left ventricular function, and New York Heart Association functional class.

Results: The mean SYNTAX score was 32 ± 13, and the mean preoperative left ventricular ejection fraction was 35% ± 6%. At a median follow-up of 43 months, the primary outcome had occurred in 46 of 191 patients (24%). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a survival of 81% ± 15% for low, 77% ± 7% for intermediate, and 53% ± 7% for high coronary artery disease complexity (χ(2), 29.4; P = .001). The rate of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events was significantly greater in patients with a SYNTAX score of 33 or more (P = .002). Greater degrees of left ventricular ejection fraction improvement were found in patients with a SYNTAX score of 32 or less (+15% ± 10% vs +4% ± 11%; P = .17) and translated into a better New York Heart Association functional class among patients with a lower SYNTAX score (P = .01). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed the SYNTAX score (area under the curve, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.77) to have the best predictive power for late mortality with respect to the preoperative left ventricular ejection fraction (area under the curve, 0.59; difference, P = .04) and incomplete revascularization (area under the curve, 0.55; difference, P = .02).

Conclusions: The results of the present study have shown a direct relationship between coronary artery disease complexity and late outcomes of patients with left ventricular dysfunction who are undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.08.058DOI Listing
September 2013

Perioperative administration of enoximone and renal function after cardiac surgery: a propensity-matched analysis.

Int J Cardiol 2013 Sep 24;167(5):1961-6. Epub 2012 May 24.

Sapienza, University of Rome, Policlinico Sant'Andrea, Department of Cardiac Surgery, Rome, Italy.

Background: Perioperative administration of enoximone has been shown to improve hemodynamics, organ function, and inflammatory response. Aim of the present study is to evaluate the impact of enoximone on postoperative renal function after on-pump cardiac surgery.

Methods: A total of 3727 patients undergoing cardiac surgery at one Institution between May 2004 and November 2010 were reviewed. A propensity score was built and a 1:1 perfect matching was performed, providing two fairly comparable cohorts of 712 patients each, receiving or not enoximone after surgery. Renal function was evaluated by lower glomerular filtration rate (GFR) value reached postoperatively.

Results: Overall 30-day mortality rate was 4.3% (62/1424). Cumulative incidence of postoperative renal failure (RF) was 157/1424(11%), of which 99/1424(7%) needed renal replacement therapy. Mean lower postoperative GFR in patients who received or not enoximone was 63 ± 30.1 and 53.5 ± 26.1 ml/min/1.73 m(2) (p<0.0001), respectively. At multivariable analysis age (OR2.75, p=0.0004), diabetes (OR1.82, p=0.006), preoperative GFR (OR3.81, p<0.0001), preoperative cardiogenic shock (OR1.65, p=0.004), previous cardiac surgery (OR2.12, p=0.0002), type of intervention (OR1.96, p=0.005), and enoximone (OR0.38, p=0.001) were found to be independently associated with postoperative RF. Logistic regression analysis showed that the administration of enoximone (OR0.41, p=0.0001), and of no inotropes (OR0.27, p<0.0001) were protective vs. the occurrence of postoperative RF.

Conclusion: Patients perioperatively receiving enoximone showed a statistically significant better renal function after cardiac surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.05.021DOI Listing
September 2013

Late gadolinium enhancement as a potential marker of increased perioperative risk in aortic valve replacement.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2012 Jul 17;15(1):45-50. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Academic Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.

OBJECTIVES Risk assessment of patients with aortic stenosis (AS) undergoing aortic valve replacement (AVR) is challenging. We set out to determine the impact of myocardial late gadolinium enhancement (LGE), as detected by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), on postoperative outcomes following AVR. METHODS A prospective observational study was conducted on patients undergoing CMR using the LGE technique within 1 year of subsequent AVR. Patients were categorized into absent, mid-wall or infarct patterns of LGE by independent observers blinded to all clinical data, and data were collected with regard to 30-day mortality, major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) and postoperative complications. RESULTS A total of 63 patients were studied. Twenty-five patients had no LGE; 20 had mid-wall LGE and 18 had an infarct pattern. The incidence of MACCE, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and heart block were significantly higher in the mid-wall group compared with the other two groups (MACCE: 25 vs. 0 vs. 5%, P = 0.014; CVA: 20 vs. 0 vs. 0%, P = 0.013; heart block: 30 vs. 4 vs. 12%, P = 0.050). Patients with no LGE had no 30-day MACCE events and no deaths up to 2 years of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS The myocardial LGE holds promise as a means of predicting risk prior to AVR for AS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icvts/ivs098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3380978PMC
July 2012

Prophylactic tricuspid annuloplasty in patients with dilated tricuspid annulus undergoing mitral valve surgery.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2012 Mar 11;143(3):632-8. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Cardiac Surgery Department, University of Rome Sapienza, Azienda Ospedaliera S Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Progression of functional tricuspid regurgitation is not uncommon after mitral valve surgery and is associated with poor outcomes. We tested the hypothesis that concomitant tricuspid valve annuloplasty in patients with tricuspid annulus dilatation (≥40 mm) prevents tricuspid regurgitation progression after mitral valve surgery.

Methods: We enrolled 44 patients undergoing mitral valve surgery (both repair or replacement) showing less than moderate (≤+2) tricuspid regurgitation and dilated tricuspid annulus (≥40 mm) at preoperative echocardiography. They were randomized to receive (n = 22) or not receive (n = 22) concomitant tricuspid annuloplasty (Cosgrove-Edwards annuloplasty ring; Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, Calif) at the time of mitral valve surgery. Clinical and echocardiographic follow-up was 100% completed at 12 months after surgery.

Results: Preoperative clinical and echocardiographic characteristics were comparable in the 2 groups. Operative mortality was 4.4% (1 death in each group). At 12 months follow-up, tricuspid regurgitation was absent in 71% (n = 15) versus 19% (n = 4) of patients in the treatment and control groups, respectively (P = .001). Moderate to severe tricuspid regurgitation (≥+3) was present in 0% versus 28% (n = 6) of patients in the treatment and control groups, respectively (P = .02). Pulmonary artery systolic pressure significantly decreased from baseline in all cases (P < .001) and was comparable in the 2 groups (41 ± 8 mm Hg vs 40 ± 5 mm Hg; P = .4). Right ventricular reverse remodeling was marked in the treatment group (right ventricular long axis: 71 ± 7 mm vs 65 ± 8 mm; P = .01; short axis: 33 ± 4 mm vs 27 ± 5 mm; P = .001) but only minimal in the control group (right ventricular long axis: 72 ± 6 mm vs 70 ± 7 mm; P = .08; short axis: 34 ± 5 mm vs 33 ± 5 mm; P = .1). The 6-minute walk test improved from baseline in both groups (P < .001), but this improvement was greater in the treatment group (+115 ± 23 m from baseline vs +75 ± 35 m; P = .008).

Conclusions: Prophylactic tricuspid valve annuloplasty in patients with dilated tricuspid annulus undergoing mitral valve surgery was associated with a reduced rate of tricuspid regurgitation progression, improved right ventricular remodeling, and better functional outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2011.12.006DOI Listing
March 2012

Metabolic syndrome affects midterm outcome after coronary artery bypass grafting.

Ann Thorac Surg 2012 Feb 23;93(2):537-44. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Cardiac Surgery Department, University of Rome La Sapienza, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Rome, Italy.

Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is frequently associated with coronary artery disease, but data on the impact of MetS on long-term outcome of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting are still lacking. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of MetS on mortality and morbidity late after coronary artery bypass grafting.

Methods: A total of 1,726 consecutive patients who had elective coronary artery bypass grafting were retrospectively reviewed and clinical follow-up was completed (mean follow-up time, 34.4 months; range, 6 to 79 months). The MetS was diagnosed using the modified Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, and to eliminate covariate differences, a propensity score adjustment was used. Major adverse cerebral and cardiovascular events were investigated, and C-reactive protein levels were assessed both preoperatively, postoperatively, and at follow-up.

Results: A total of 798 of 1,726 patients (46.2%) met the diagnostic criteria for MetS. At follow-up, all-cause mortality (7% versus 4.6%; p=0.04), cardiac arrhythmias (35.3% versus 25.2%; p<0.0001), renal failure (12% versus 8.7%; p=0.03), and major adverse cerebral and cardiovascular events (52.4% versus 39.5%; p<0.0001) showed a significantly higher incidence in MetS patients. Variables correlated with late mortality at propensity-adjusted Cox proportional-hazards regression were age (p=0.0008), preoperative left ventricular ejection fraction (p=0.001), preoperative renal failure (p=0.001), and MetS (p=0.006). Higher C-reactive protein levels were found preoperatively (8.6±2.3 versus 5.14±3.1 mg/L; p<0.0001) and both early (71.2±9 versus 49.6±8.7 mg/L; p<0.0001) and late (7.4±2.7 versus 4.8±2.5 mg/L; p<0.0001) after surgery.

Conclusions: The main finding of our study was the association between MetS and mortality both early and late after coronary artery bypass grafting. Thus, MetS should be recognized as an independent preoperative variable that can lead to the identification of high-risk patients and as a risk factor to correct with lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.10.066DOI Listing
February 2012

Impact of prosthesis-patient mismatch on the regression of secondary mitral regurgitation after isolated aortic valve replacement with a bioprosthetic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis.

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 2012 Jan 2;5(1):36-42. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Academic Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.

Background: Secondary mitral regurgitation (SMR) is generally reduced after isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR), but there is important interindividual variability in the magnitude of this reduction. Prosthesis-patient mismatch (PPM) may hinder normalization of left ventricular geometry and pressure overload following AVR, therefore we aimed to investigate the relationship between PPM and regression of SMR following AVR for aortic valve stenosis.

Methods And Results: A total of 419 patients with AS who underwent isolated AVR at 2 institutions and presenting moderate SMR (mitral regurgitant volume 30 to 45 mL/beat) not considered for surgical correction were included in this study. Clinical and echocardiographic follow-up were completed at a median follow-up time of 37 months. PPM was defined as an indexed effective orifice area ≤0.85 cm(2)/m(2) and was found in 170/419 patients (40.6%). There were no significant differences in baseline and operative characteristics between patients with or without PPM. Patients with PPM had less regression of SMR following AVR compared with those with no PPM (change in mitral regurgitant volume: -11±4 versus -17±5 mL, respectively; P<0.0001). Variables significantly associated with postoperative change in mitral regurgitant volume on univariable analysis were entered in a multivariable linear regression model, which showed indexed effective orifice area (P<0.0001) and left atrial diameter (P=0.006) to be independently associated with mitral regurgitant volume improvement. Patients with PPM also had less postoperative improvement in 6-minute walking test distance (80±78 versus 42±41 m, P<0.0001).

Conclusions: PPM is associated with lesser regression of SMR following AVR. This unfavorable effect was associated with worse functional capacity. These findings emphasize the importance of operative strategies aiming to prevent PPM in patients with aortic valve stenosis and concomitant SMR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.111.967612DOI Listing
January 2012

Midwall fibrosis is an independent predictor of mortality in patients with aortic stenosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2011 Sep;58(12):1271-9

Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to assess the prognostic significance of midwall and infarct patterns of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) in aortic stenosis.

Background: Myocardial fibrosis occurs in aortic stenosis as part of the hypertrophic response. It can be detected by LGE, which is associated with an adverse prognosis in a range of other cardiac conditions.

Methods: Between January 2003 and October 2008, consecutive patients with moderate or severe aortic stenosis undergoing cardiovascular magnetic resonance with administration of gadolinium contrast were enrolled into a registry. Patients were categorized into absent, midwall, or infarct patterns of LGE by blinded independent observers. Patient follow-up was completed using patient questionnaires, source record data, and the National Strategic Tracing Service.

Results: A total of 143 patients (age 68 ± 14 years; 97 male) were followed up for 2.0 ± 1.4 years. Seventy-two underwent aortic valve replacement, and 27 died (24 cardiac, 3 sudden cardiac deaths). Compared with those with no LGE (n = 49), univariate analysis revealed that patients with midwall fibrosis (n = 54) had an 8-fold increase in all-cause mortality despite similar aortic stenosis severity and coronary artery disease burden. Patients with an infarct pattern (n = 40) had a 6-fold increase. Midwall fibrosis (hazard ratio: 5.35; 95% confidence interval: 1.16 to 24.56; p = 0.03) and ejection fraction (hazard ratio: 0.96; 95% confidence interval: 0.94 to 0.99; p = 0.01) were independent predictors of all-cause mortality by multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Midwall fibrosis was an independent predictor of mortality in patients with moderate and severe aortic stenosis. It has incremental prognostic value to ejection fraction and may provide a useful method of risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2011.03.064DOI Listing
September 2011

n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids for the prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) 2013 Feb;14(2):104-9

Department of Cardiac Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Rome La Sapienza, Via di Grottarossa 1039, Rome, Italy.

Background: n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been proposed as prophylactic therapy in the prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to better clarify this issue.

Methods: An electronic database search for randomized controlled trials on the effect of n-3 PUFAS on POAF was conducted, limited to English language publications until December 2010. For each study, data regarding the incidence of POAF were used to generate risk ratio (<1, favors n-3 PUFA; >1, favors placebo). Pooled summary effect estimate was calculated by means of a fixed or random effect according to heterogeneity. Meta-regression was used to investigate the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ratio and preoperative β-blockers on the effect of n-3 PUFA on POAF.

Results: Three publications were included in the analysis, enrolling a total of 431 patients. Overall incidence of POAF ranged from 24 to 54%. Pooling data, n-3 PUFA did not show a significant effect on the risk of POAF [risk ratio 0.89; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-1.44; P=0.63]. However, meta-regression analysis showed a trend toward a benefit from n-3 PUFA supplementation when the EPA/DHA ratio was 1:2 (Q model=7.4; p model=0.02) and when preoperative β-blocker rate was lower (Q model=8.0; p model=0.01).

Conclusion: In conclusion, the results of the present meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials suggest that preoperative n-3 PUFA therapy may not reduce POAF in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. However, several aspects may have influenced this negative result, which need to be investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2459/JCM.0b013e32834a13c1DOI Listing
February 2013

Statins improve outcome in isolated heart valve operations: a propensity score analysis of 3,217 patients.

Ann Thorac Surg 2011 Jul 2;92(1):68-73. Epub 2011 Jun 2.

Academic Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Whether statins can improve postoperative outcome in patients without coronary artery disease undergoing heart valve operations was assessed.

Methods: Data for 3,217 patients undergoing isolated valve procedures at 2 institutions between May 2003 and May 2009 were reviewed. Clinical follow-up was completed. Two propensity-matched cohorts of 1,104 patients each were identified. Multivariable regression and Kaplan-Meyer survival analysis were performed to investigate risk factors correlated with death, stroke, myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Results: The overall 30-day mortality rate was 2.7%, and 2,096 of 2,149 hospital survivors were alive at a median follow-up of 27 months. Preoperative statin treatment was independently associated with a significant reduction in the risk of hospital death (odds ratio [OR], 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 0.89; p=0.001), postoperative cardiac arrhythmias (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.93; p<0.006), and stroke (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.92; p=0.02) but was not independently associated with a reduced risk of postoperative myocardial infarction. At follow-up, Kaplan-Meyer survival analysis showed statistically significant lower rates of mortality (χ2, 4.41; hazard ratio [HR], 1.59; 95% CI, 1.13 to 2.27; p=0.03), stroke (χ2, 11.42; HR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.37 to 3.27; p=0.0007), cardiac arrhythmias (χ2, 19.9; HR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.81 to 2.72; p<0.0001), and major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (χ2, 3.74; HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.74; p=0.05) in patients receiving statin treatment. No statistically significant difference was found between groups in myocardial infarction incidence at follow-up.

Conclusions: Statin therapy is associated with a lower rate of adverse cardiovascular events after isolated heart valve operations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.03.003DOI Listing
July 2011

n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids after coronary artery bypass grafting.

Ann Thorac Surg 2011 Apr;91(4):1169-75

Department of Cardiac Surgery, II School of Medicine, University of Rome La Sapienza, Policlinico S. Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Background: Despite the robust evidence of the potential benefits of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation in patients with established coronary artery disease, the impact of this therapy on patients after coronary artery bypass grafting remains completely unknown.

Methods: Among 2,100 patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting in one tertiary care institution, 930 (44%) were put under n-3 PUFA therapy chronically at discharge. The impact of n-3 PUFAs was assessed by means of propensity-score adjusted analysis. The primary end point was all-cause mortality. Secondary end points were repeat revascularization and the composite of death, Q-wave myocardial infarction, and cerebrovascular events.

Results: In a crude analysis, patients discharged on n-3 PUFAs had a lower risk for late mortality (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36 to 0.73; p = 0.0002), which was conformed at multivariable adjusted Cox regression analysis (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.90; p = 0.02). Adjusted risk of repeat revascularization was significantly lower in patients receiving n-3 PUFAs than in those who did not (HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.97; p = 0.04). The adjusted risk for the composite of death, Q-wave myocardial infarction, or cerebrovascular events was lower in patients who received n-3 PUFAs compared with patients who did not (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.81; p = 0.001). Subgroup analyses showed that mortality benefit associated with n-3 PUFAs was particularly relevant in patients with poor left ventricular function (HR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.76; p = 0.007), but it was only marginal in patients with good ventricular function (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.65 to 1.01; p = 0.05).

Conclusions: This study showed that n-3 PUFAs after coronary artery bypass grafting were associated with a lower risk for repeat revascularization and overall mortality in patients with poor ventricular function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.11.068DOI Listing
April 2011

Surgical management of aortic root disease in Marfan syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Heart 2011 Jun 12;97(12):955-8. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rome Sapienza, Policlinico S Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Context: Surgical treatment of aortic root aneurysm in Marfan syndrome (MFS) patients.

Objective: To compare results of total root replacement versus valve-sparing aortic root replacement in MFS patients.

Data Sources: PubMed, Embase and Cochrane library were searched from January 1966 until February 2010 looking for papers reporting on aortic root operations in MFS patients. 530 studies were retrieved.

Study Selection: Finally, 11 publications were enrolled. Inclusion criteria were observational studies reporting valve-related morbidity and mortality after total root replacement (TTR) and/or valve-sparing root replacement (VSRR) in patients with MFS and study size n≥30, reflecting the centre's experience.

Data Extraction: Data obtained from papers reporting both TRR and VSRR cohorts were analysed separately. In case of multiple publications, the most recent and complete report was selected. If the total number of patient-years was not provided, we calculated it by multiplying the number of hospital survivors with the mean follow-up duration of that study.

Results: Overall, 1,385 patients were analysed (972 patients had TTR and 413 patients had VSRR). Reintervention rate was 0.3%/year (95% CI 0.1 to 0.5) versus 1.3%/year (95% CI 0.3 to 2.2) (p=0.02) and thromboembolic events rate was 0.7%/year (95% CI 0.5 to 0.9) versus 0.3%/year (95% CI 0.1 to 0.6) (p=0.01) after TRR and VSRR, respectively. When composite valve-related events were compared, no difference existed between the two surgical strategies (p=0.41). Among patients undergoing VSRR, reimplantation was associated with a reduced rate of reintervention compared with remodelling (0.7%/year vs 2.4%/year, p=0.02).

Conclusions: VSRR may represent a valuable option for patients with MFS with aortic aneurysm. However, this technique should be used with caution in patients with valve characteristics at risk for decreased durability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/hrt.2010.210286DOI Listing
June 2011

Dual renin-angiotensin system blockade for patients with prosthesis-patient mismatch.

Ann Thorac Surg 2010 Dec;90(6):1899-903; discussion 1903

Department of Cardiac Surgery, II School of Medicine, University of Rome La Sapienza, Policlinico S. Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Background: Patients with prosthesis-patient mismatch (PPM) continue to show some degrees of left ventricular hypertrophy after aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis. The renin-angiotensin system plays a major role in promoting and sustaining hypertrophy. In a controlled, randomized study, we tested the hypothesis that the combination of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) plus angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) can be more effective in decreasing hypertrophy than a largely employed association such as ACEi plus ß-blockers in PPM patients.

Methods: We enrolled a total of 72 patients with aortic valve replacement and evidence of PPM (effective orifice area <0.85 cm(2)/m(2)) at postoperative echocardiography. At discharge, they were randomly assigned to ramipril plus candesartan (n = 36) or ramipril plus metoprolol (n = 36).

Results: At baseline, age, 24-hour blood pressure, left ventricular measurements, and transprosthetic gradients were similar between the two groups. After 12 months, the extent of 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure decrease was similar between the two groups (-13.3% and 16.3% versus -12.3% and 15.8%, respectively; p = 0.7 and 0.8, respectively). Left ventricular mass index significantly decreased in both groups (ACEi plus ARB 165 ± 19 g/m(2) to 117 ± 17 g/m(2); p < 0.0001; ACEi plus β-blockers 161 ± 15 g/m(2) to 128 ± 20 g/m(2); p < 0.0001). However, patients receiving ACEi plus ARB had a higher decrease of left ventricular mass (-46 ± 15 g/m(2) versus -35 ± 12 g/m(2); p = 0.001) and a lower rate of residual left ventricular hypertrophy (22% versus 47%; p = 0.04).

Conclusions: This study shows that in patients with PPM, the association ACEi and ARB has a greater antiremodeling effect compared with ACEi and β-blockers, and is independent of blood pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.08.023DOI Listing
December 2010

Long-term outcomes after autograft versus homograft aortic root replacement in adults with aortic valve disease: a randomised controlled trial.

Lancet 2010 Aug 3;376(9740):524-31. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, London, UK.

Background: The ideal substitute for aortic valve replacement in patients with aortic valve disease is not known. Our hypothesis was that the regulatory and adaptive properties of a living valve substitute could improve the long-term outcomes in patients. We therefore compared these outcomes after autograft aortic root replacement (Ross procedure) versus homograft aortic root replacement in adults.

Methods: Male and female patients (<69 years) requiring aortic valve surgery were randomly assigned in a one-to-one ratio to receive an autograft or a homograft aortic root replacement in one centre in the UK. The random allocation sequence was computer generated. Treatment was not masked. The primary endpoint was survival of patients at 10 years after surgery. This study is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN03530985.

Findings: 228 patients were randomly assigned to receive an autograft or a homograft aortic root replacement. 12 patients were excluded because they were younger than 18 years; 108 in each group received the surgery they were assigned to and were analysed. There was one (<1%) perioperative death in the autograft group versus three (3%) in the homograft group (p=0.621). At 10 years, four patients died in the autograft group versus 15 in the homograft group. Actuarial survival at 10 years was 97% (SD 2) in the autograft group versus 83% (4) in the homograft group. Hazard ratio for death in the homograft group was 4.61 (95% CI 1.71-16.03; p=0.0060). Survival of patients in the autograft group was similar to that in an age-matched and sex-matched British population (96%).

Interpretation: Our findings support the hypothesis that a living valve implanted in the aortic position can significantly improve the long-term outcomes in patients.

Funding: Funding Magdi Yacoub Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60828-8DOI Listing
August 2010

Ross operation in a patient with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Ann Thorac Surg 2010 Aug;90(2):e23-4

Academic Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

A 32-year-old woman with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis underwent a redo aortic valve replacement 7 years after a Ross procedure for severe aortic valve regurgitation. Interestingly, the cause of autograft failure was not related to the rheumatoid inflammation process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.05.057DOI Listing
August 2010

Relationship between prosthesis-patient mismatch and pro-brain natriuretic peptides after aortic valve replacement.

J Heart Valve Dis 2010 Mar;19(2):171-6

Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rome La Sapienza, Policlinico S. Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Background And Aim Of The Study: It has been shown previously that elevated plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and its N-terminal fragment (NT-pro-BNP) are related to the degree and progression of native aortic valve disease. In addition, NT-pro-BNP levels have been shown to decrease after successful aortic valve replacement (AVR). The presence of a valve prosthesis-patient mismatch (PPM) may affect the beneficial effects of AVR, however. The study aim was to investigate the relationship between PPM and NT-pro-BNP plasma levels late after AVR.

Methods: A series of consecutive patients (42 males, 31 females; mean age 66 +/- 13 years) who had undergone isolated AVR between May 2004 and July 2007 was enrolled into the study. Patients with preoperative moderate to severe mitral regurgitation, coronary artery disease, left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (ejection fraction <45%) and serum creatinine >150 mmol/l were excluded. PPM was defined severe as an indexed effective orifice area (EOAi) < or = 0.65 cm2/m2, or moderate when the EOAi was 0.66-0.85 cm2/m2. Plasma NT-pro-BNP levels and echocardiographic assessments were performed in all patients during routine follow up after surgery.

Results: The patients received either a biological (n = 42) or mechanical (n = 31) prosthesis. Among the patients, 21 had no PPM, 27 moderate PPM, and 25 severe PPM. At a median follow up of 18 months, the mean NT-pro-BNP plasma level was 532 pg/ml (95% CI: 393.1-671.6), and the mean LV mass index (LVMI) 120 +/- 4 g/m2, the LVEF 60 +/- 1%, the peak aortic prosthesis gradient 28 +/- 2 mmHg, and the EOAi 0.74 +/- 0.02 cm2/m2. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that NT-pro-BNP level correlated with age (beta = 0.57, p<0.0001), LVMI (beta = 0.32, p = 0.02), NYHA class (beta = 0.50, p = 0.003) and EOAi (beta = -0.38, p = 0.02).

Conclusion: The study results showed that NT-pro-BNP levels were independently related to PPM late after isolated AVR in patients with preserved LV function. However, further investigations are required to confirm these findings and to identify their clinical implications.
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March 2010