Publications by authors named "Michael Z Tong"

43 Publications

A Pragmatic Approach to Weaning Temporary Mechanical Circulatory Support: A State-of-the-Art Review.

JACC Heart Fail 2021 Sep 11;9(9):664-673. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and Recovery, Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Electronic address:

Temporary mechanical circulatory support (TMCS) provides short-term support to patients with or at risk of refractory cardiogenic shock. Although indications, contraindications, and complications of TMCS may guide device selection, optimal strategies for device weaning and explant remain poorly defined. Under the revised adult heart allocation policy implemented by the United Nations for Organ Sharing in October 2018, rejustification of heart transplant listing status includes demonstrating TMCS dependency with attempted device wean trials. However, standardized device-specific weaning and explant protocols have not been proposed or evaluated. This review highlights when to use percutaneous TMCS in cardiogenic shock, with a focus on weaning and explant considerations. Terminology for important concepts that guide device escalation, de-escalation, and explantation have been defined. Clinical, hemodynamic, metabolic, and imaging features have been defined, which can guide a tailored approach to TMCS weaning and explant based on the approach used at the Cleveland Clinic. A narrative review of published studies that have reported TMCS weaning protocols and survey results of member centers from CS-MCS working group centers is also provided. Future research is needed to better understand optimal timing and implementation of standardized protocols to achieve successful TMCS weaning and explant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2021.05.011DOI Listing
September 2021

Permanent dialysis access in a patient with a total artificial heart.

JTCVS Tech 2020 Sep 2;3:220-222. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xjtc.2020.06.047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305723PMC
September 2020

Health-Related Quality of Life After Extensive Aortic Replacement.

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

To assess and compare patient-reported long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after combined proximal aortic (arch ± ascending, root) and distal aortic (descending thoracic ± abdominal) replacement using open vs multimodal/endovascular (hybrid) approaches. From 2010 to 2016, 146 adults underwent single- or multi-stage aortic arch plus descending thoracic aorta replacement, 31 open and 115 hybrid. The 2 surgical approach groups had similar preoperative characteristics and extent of surgery. Cross-sectional follow-up revealed 49 deaths (7 open, 42 hybrid). Of the 97 survivors, 72 (74%) responded to the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Global-10 survey (18 open, 54 hybrid) a median 6.2 years (15th, 85th percentiles: 3.1, 7.9) after their last aortic surgery. Predictors of HRQoL scores were identified by random forest regression. Overall physical HRQoL T-score was lower than that of population norms (46 vs 50, P < 0.0001); mental HRQoL T-score was similar (50 vs 50, P > 0.9). Neither T-score was significantly different according to surgical approach (P ≥ 0.3). Greater number of postoperative complications and history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the most important predictors of lower physical HRQoL, and prior myocardial infarction was the most important predictor of lower mental HRQoL. Although extensive aortic replacement had a small long-term effect on patient-reported physical HRQoL, both physical and mental HRQoL can be preserved in survivors with both surgical approaches. Surgeons should recommend the approach they believe will yield the best long-term survival, but lifelong follow-up is crucial, and patients should understand that they may require multiple operations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.semtcvs.2021.07.006DOI Listing
July 2021

A case series of cardiac amyloidosis patients supported by continuous-flow left ventricular assist device.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Jul 16. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and Recovery, Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13422DOI Listing
July 2021

Practices of Referring Patients to Advanced Heart Failure Centers.

J Card Fail 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Cardiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Therapies for advanced heart failure (AHF) improve the likelihood of survival in a growing population of patients with stage D heart failure (HF). Successful implementation of these therapies is dependent upon timely and appropriate referrals to AHF centers.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients referred to 9 AHF centers for evaluation for AHF therapies. Patients' demographics, referring providers' characteristics, referral circumstances, and evaluation outcomes were collected.

Results: The majority of referrals (n = 515) were male (73.4%), and a majority of those were in the advanced state of the disease: very low left ventricular ejection fraction (<20% in 51.5%); 59.4% inpatient; and high risk Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) profiles (74.5% profile 1-3). HF cardiologists (49.1%) were the most common originating referral source; the least common (4.9%) were electrophysiologists. Common clinical triggers for referral included worsening HF (30.0%), inotrope dependence (19.6%), hospitalization (19.4%), and cardiogenic shock (17.8%). Most commonly, AHF therapies were not offered because patients were too sick (38.0%-45.1%) or for psychosocial reasons (20.3%-28.6%). Compared to non-HF cardiologists, patients referred by HF cardiologists were offered an AHF therapy more often (66.8% vs 58.4%, P = 0.0489). Of those not offered any AHF therapy, 28.4% received home inotropic therapy, and 14.5% were referred to hospice.

Conclusions: In this multicenter review of AHF referrals, HF cardiologists referred the most patients despite being a relatively small proportion of the overall clinician population. Late referral was prevalent in this high-risk patient population and correlates with worsened outcomes, suggesting a significant need for broad clinician education regarding the benefits, triggers and appropriate timing of referral to AHF centers for optimal patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.05.024DOI Listing
June 2021

Multi-modality imaging and 3D printing to facilitate the management of complex, recurrent infarct VSD.

J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2021 Jun 8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2021.06.001DOI Listing
June 2021

Value of psychosocial evaluation for left ventricular assist device candidates.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Apr 29. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland, Ohio; Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Objective: Left ventricular assist devices require a psychosocial assessment to determine candidacy despite limited data correlating with outcome. Our objective is to determine whether the Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant, a tool validated for transplant and widely used by left ventricular assist device programs, predicts left ventricular assist device program hospital readmissions and death.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of adults at the Cleveland Clinic with Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant scores before primary left ventricular assist device program implantation from April 1, 2013, to December 31, 2018. The primary outcome was unplanned hospital readmissions censored at death, transplantation, and transfer of care. The secondary outcome was death.

Results: There were 263 patients in the left ventricular assist device program with a median (Q1, Q3) Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant score of 16 (8, 28). During a median follow-up 1.2 years, 56 died, 65 underwent transplantation, and 21 had transferred care. There were 640 unplanned hospital readmissions among 250 patients with at least 1 outpatient visit at our center. In a multivariable analysis, Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant components but not total Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant score was associated with readmissions. Psychopathology (Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant C-IX) was associated with hemocompatibility (coefficient 0.21 ± standard error 0.11, P = .040) and cardiac (0.15 ± 0.065, P = .02) readmissions. Patient readiness was associated with noncardiac (Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant A-III, 0.24 ± 0.099, P = .016) and cardiac (Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant A-low total, 0.037 ± 0.014, P = .007) readmissions. Poor living environment (Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant B-VIII) was associated with device-related readmissions (0.83 ± 0.34, P = .014). Death was associated with organic psychopathology or neurocognitive impairment (Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant C-X, 0.59 ± 0.21, P = .006).

Conclusions: Total Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant score was not associated with left ventricular assist device program readmission or mortality. However, we identified certain Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant components that were associated with outcome and could be used to create a left ventricular assist device program specific psychosocial tool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.04.065DOI Listing
April 2021

Commentary: Our patients deserve our patience.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.05.004DOI Listing
May 2021

Outcomes of Open v. Endovascular Repair of Descending Thoracic and Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysms.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Background: Open repair is the standard of care for patients with descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms. Although effective, surgery carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Endovascular stent-grafts were introduced to treat these aneurysms in patients considered too high risk for open repair. Early results are promising, but later results are incompletely known. Therefore, we sought to compare short- and intermediate-term outcomes of open versus endovascular repair for these aneurysms.

Methods: From 2000-2010, 1,053 patients underwent open (n=457) or endovascular (n=596) repair of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms at Cleveland Clinic. To balance patient characteristics between these groups, propensity-score matching was performed, yielding 278 well-matched pairs (61% of possible pairs). Endpoints included short- and long-term outcomes.

Results: In matched patients, compared with endovascular stenting, open repair achieved similar in-hospital mortality (n=23/8.3% vs n=21/7.6%, P=.8) and occurrence of paralysis and stroke (n=10/3.6% vs n=6/2.2%, P=.3), despite longer postoperative stay (median 11 vs 6 days), more dialysis-dependent acute renal failure (n=24/8.6% vs n=9/3.3%, P=.008), and prolonged ventilation (n=106/46% vs n=17/6.3%, P<.0001). Open repair resulted in better 10-year survival than endovascular repair (52% vs 33%, P<.0001), and aortic reintervention was less frequent (4% vs 21%, P<.0001). Despite a decrease in the first postoperative year, average aneurysm size did not recover to normal range after endovascular stenting.

Conclusions: Open repair of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aneurysms can achieve acceptable short-term outcomes with better intermediate-term outcomes than endovascular repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.04.100DOI Listing
May 2021

CABG in Failing Hearts: A How-to-Guide to Using Modern Mechanical Support as Backup.

Innovations (Phila) 2021 May-Jun;16(3):227-230. Epub 2021 May 25.

2569 Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, OH, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15569845211016455DOI Listing
May 2021

Modern practice and outcomes of reoperative cardiac surgery.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Jan 23. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Objectives: To evaluate recent practice and outcomes of reoperative cardiac surgery via re-sternotomy. Use of early versus late institution of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) before sternal re-entry was of particular interest.

Methods: From January 2008 to July 2017, 7640 patients underwent reoperative cardiac surgery at Cleveland Clinic. The study group consisted of 6627 who had a re-sternotomy and preoperative computed tomography scans; 755 and 5872 were in the early and late institution of CPB groups, respectively. Patients were stratified into high (n = 563) or low (n = 6064) anatomic risk of re-entry on the basis of computed tomography criteria. Weighted propensity-balanced operative mortality and morbidity were compared with surgeon as a random effect.

Results: Reoperative procedures most commonly incorporated aortic valve replacement (n = 3611) and coronary artery bypass grafting (n = 2029), but also aortic root (n = 1061) and arch procedures (n = 527). Unadjusted operative mortality was 3.5% (235/6627), and major sternal re-entry and mediastinal dissection injuries were uncommon (2.8%). In the propensity-weighted analysis, similar mortality (3.1% vs 4.5%; P = .6) and major morbidity, including stroke (1.8% vs 3.2%) and dialysis (0 vs 2.6%), were noted in the high anatomic risk cohort between early and late CPB groups. Similar trends were observed in the low anatomic risk cohort (mortality 3.5% vs 2.1%; P = .2).

Conclusions: Reoperative cardiac surgery is associated with low operative morbidity and mortality at an experienced center. Early and late CPB strategies have comparable outcomes in the context of an image-guided, team-based strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.01.028DOI Listing
January 2021

Post-Myocardial Infarction Ventricular Septal Rupture Bridged to Heartmate 3 with an Impella 5.5.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 09 20;112(3):e161-e163. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Optimal timing of surgical repair for patients diagnosed with a post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal rupture is controversial. Urgent surgical intervention to prevent hemodynamic decompensation must be balanced against delayed repair to allow for tissue stabilization and increased likelihood of a successful outcome. We report the use of an axillary Impella 5.5 (Abiomed Inc, Danvers, MA) temporary left ventricular assist device to aid in hemodynamic stabilization, shunt fraction reduction, and tissue maturation with eventual definitive surgical repair in a patient who presented with a post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal rupture and cardiogenic shock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.12.044DOI Listing
September 2021

Cardiogenic Shock From an Acute Rupture of an Infectious Saphenous Vein Graft Aneurysm.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 06 5;111(6):e419-e420. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Untreated infectious aneurysms of native coronary artery and aortocoronary bypass grafts are associated with high mortality. Early diagnosis proves difficult given nonspecific presenting symptoms; however, once recognized, early intervention is essential to mitigate complications such as myocardial ischemia or pericardial tamponade. In this case report, we describe the successful surgical management of a patient who presented 2 months after diagnosis of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia with cardiogenic shock from rupture of an infected saphenous vein graft aneurysm resulting in pericardial tamponade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.09.072DOI Listing
June 2021

Incidence of Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Complications in Patients With Left Ventricular Assist Devices.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 04 24;7(4):494-501. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, St. Vincent Medical Group, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe the risk of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) complications in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs).

Background: Patients with LVADs are predisposed to ventricular arrhythmias and frequently have CIEDs before receiving their LVAD. However, the role of CIED procedures such as generator changes (GC) are unclear in this population, given the potential complications of bleeding and infection.

Methods: This was a retrospective, multicenter study from January 1, 2012, to September 30, 2018. All patients with LVADs were screened and those who had a CIED GC, implantation, or revision were included in the study and followed until December 31, 2018.

Results: A total of 179 patients across 6 centers had a CIED procedure after LVAD implantation. The mean age was 59.5 ± 13.4, with the cohort comprising mostly men (78%), destination LVAD therapy (53.8%), and GC (66%). The 30-day primary composite endpoint of hematoma or device infection occurred in 34 (19%) patients. The secondary endpoints of rehospitalization within 30 days and appropriate device therapy during follow-up occurred in 40 (22%) and 42 (24%) patients respectively. Of the 126 patients without previous device therapy, 14.3% received appropriate therapy during follow-up.

Conclusions: In this large, multicenter cohort, we report the incidence of complications for CIED procedures in the LVAD population; specifically, LVAD patients are at increased risk of pocket hematomas, without downstream risk of infection, and do experience a high rate of appropriate device therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.09.008DOI Listing
April 2021

Anticoagulation with temporary Impella device in patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: A case series.

Int J Artif Organs 2021 May 14;44(5):367-370. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Pharmacy, HonorHealth, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

The Impella device is a percutaneous ventricular assist devices that requires administration of heparin via a continuous purge solution. Patients on Impella device support may experience hemolysis with accompanying thrombocytopenia generating suspicion for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). However, data and recommendations for use of non-heparin anticoagulants with Impella device are lacking. Therefore, we performed a retrospective cohort analysis of patients requiring bivalirudin during Impella device support to describe the safety and efficacy of bivalirudin as an alternative anticoagulant during Impella device support. Nine patients were included in the evaluation which analyzed Impella device purge flow and purge pressure along with bivalirudin dosing requirements, incidence of thrombosis, and incidence of pump failure. All patients had a positive platelet factor-4 IgG ELISA test, and the serotonin release assay was positive in four patients. After initiation of bivalirudin, the median (15th, 85th percentile) nadir purge flow decreased by 76% (5%, 88%) and the median (15th, 85th percentile) peak purge pressure increased by 86% (21%, 143%). At the time of bivalirudin discontinuation, the median final purge flow and pressure were 2.4 mL/h (74% decrease) and 969 mmHg (89% increase), respectively. Zero patients experienced catastrophic pump failure. Adding low concentration bivalirudin to the purge solution along with systemic bivalirudin may be a reasonable approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0391398820964810DOI Listing
May 2021

A manifesto of collaborative longitudinal cardiovascular care in heart failure.

Heart Fail Rev 2020 11 6;25(6):1089-1097. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, USA.

In this document, we outline the challenges faced by patients and clinicians in heart failure, specifically centered around the needed coordination of care among the various subspecialties within cardiovascular medicine. We call for a more organized and collaborative effort among clinicians in primary care, general cardiology, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac imaging, and heart failure-all caring for mutual patients. Care is contextualized within the framework of two phases: a cardiomyopathy phase and an advanced heart failure phase, each of which lends to different considerations in therapy. Ultimately multidisciplinary coordinated care within cardiovascular medicine may lead to greater patient and clinician satisfaction as well as improved outcomes, but this remains to be investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10741-020-10025-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7538270PMC
November 2020

Fibrous skeleton reconstruction for invasive aortic and mitral valve endocarditis.

Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann 2020 Sep;28(7):381-383

Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Invasive endocarditis of the aortic and mitral valves with involvement of the intervalvular fibrosa is a particular surgical challenge. We describe a technique for aortic and mitral valve replacement with concomitant reconstruction of the intervalvular fibrosa, utilizing a folded bovine pericardial patch (Commando operation).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0218492320957121DOI Listing
September 2020

Durability and Performance of 2298 Trifecta Aortic Valve Prostheses: A Propensity-Matched Analysis.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 04 1;111(4):1198-1205. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; Aorta Center, Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Background: Reports of early failure of the Trifecta externally wrapped, bovine pericardial aortic valve prosthesis (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL) raise concerns about its durability. This study evaluated the hemodynamic performance and explant of Trifecta valves compared with the PERIMOUNT bovine pericardial prosthesis (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA).

Methods: From October 2007 to July 2017, 2305 patients received a Trifecta bioprosthesis during aortic valve replacement at Cleveland Clinic. Trends in postoperative valve hemodynamics were assessed from 4971 transthoracic echocardiograms and valve explants by systemic follow-up. To compare outcomes, 2298 patients receiving a Trifecta valve were 1:1 propensity matched from 17,281 patients receiving a PERIMOUNT bioprosthesis.

Results: Mean age at implant was 69 years in both matched groups. Compared with PERIMOUNT valves, early transvalvular mean gradient of Trifecta valves was lower (11 vs 15 mm Hg at 1 year, P < .001); however, its longitudinal rate of rise was greater (P < .001), resulting in 5-year mean gradients of 17 vs 16 mm Hg, and more patients experienced severe aortic regurgitation (2.4% vs 0.81%; P < .001). At 5 years, 35 Trifecta valves had been explanted vs 14 PERIMOUNT valves; freedom from explant at 1, 3, and 5 years was 98.9%, 98.0%, and 95.9%, respectively, for the Trifecta group vs 99.3%, 99.0%, and 98.7% for the PERIMOUNT group (P < .001).

Conclusions: Compared with an older-generation internally mounted bovine pericardial valve, the Trifecta externally wrapped bioprosthesis exhibits superior early hemodynamic performance, but has a rapid increase in transvalvular gradient and more aortic regurgitation, with lower freedom from explant at 5 years. These findings raise concern regarding long-term Trifecta durability despite favorable early hemodynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.07.040DOI Listing
April 2021

Impact of Endovascular False Lumen Embolization on Thoracic Aortic Remodeling in Chronic Dissection.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 02 7;111(2):495-501. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; Aorta Center, Heart Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Background: Retrograde false lumen (FL) perfusion after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for chronic dissection is a mode of treatment failure. Thrombosis of the FL is associated with favorable reverse remodeling. Objectives are to describe FL embolization (FLE) strategy and assess aortic remodeling and survival.

Methods: From January 2009 to December 2017, 51 patients with chronic dissection underwent FLE, most after previous TEVAR. Devices included a combination of iliac plug (29 patients), coils (19 patients), or nitinol plug (3 patients). Computed tomography was performed before discharge, at 3 months, and annually (median follow-up 2 years [range, 1 month to 7 years]).

Results: After FLE, mean maximum aortic diameter decreased (64.2 ± 12 mm to 61.0 ± 13 mm; P = .03), true lumen diameter increased (24.7 ± 10 mm to 33.7 ± 8 mm; P < .001), and FL diameter decreased (36.7 ± 12 mm to 25.6 ± 15 mm, P < .001). For reverse remodeling, FL thrombosis with ≥10% decrease in diameter and ≥10% increase in true lumen diameter was achieved in 20 (39.2%; 16 primarily, 4 secondarily). Nine patients progressed after the first FLE: persistent FL flow with increase in aortic diameter and underwent repeat FLE with complete thrombosis (n = 4) or open thoracoabdominal completion (n = 5). A total of 26 patients had indeterminate response (FL thrombosis without change in maximum diameter), and none have required reoperation. Six patients had complete obliteration of the entire FL. At last follow-up, 42 (82%) patients were alive. Three deaths were related to aortic pathology.

Conclusions: FLE is an important endovascular adjunct to TEVAR promoting reverse aortic remodeling in select patients with chronic aortic dissection and persistent retrograde FL perfusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.04.093DOI Listing
February 2021

Impella RP as a bridge to cardiac transplant for refractory late right ventricular failure in setting of left ventricular assist device.

ESC Heart Fail 2020 08 19;7(4):1972-1975. Epub 2020 May 19.

Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Desk J3-4, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

Right ventricular (RV) failure remains a major complication after surgical implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). While the use of a percutaneous RV assist device has been described as a short-term bridge to recovery in end-stage heart failure patients with early post-operative RV failure after index LVAD implant, management of refractory late RV failure remains challenging in these patients. We report the first successful case of extended Impella RP use as a safe and effective bridge to orthotopic heart transplant in an LVAD patient with refractory, haemodynamically significant late RV failure. The Impella RP provided support for 37 days. Haemodynamically intolerant arrhythmia precluded use of inotropic support. No adverse complications related to percutaneous Impella RP support were seen. We also review potential considerations for mechanical circulatory support strategies in this setting: central RV assist device cannulation requires sternotomy incision that can impact subsequent cardiac surgeries, while percutaneous Protek Duo insertion requires adequate vessel size and patency. With an LVAD in situ, veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was not considered for isolated RV support in this case. The patient is currently over 6 months post-orthotopic heart transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12685DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373903PMC
August 2020

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Patency and Survival in Patients on Dialysis.

J Surg Res 2020 10 7;254:1-6. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Background: Little is known about graft patency after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) performed in patients on dialysis. Our aim was to assess patency of internal thoracic artery (ITA) grafts and saphenous vein grafts (SVGs) in these patients.

Methods: From 1/1997 to 1/2018, 500 patients on dialysis underwent primary CABG with or without concomitant procedures at Cleveland Clinic, 40 of whom had 48 postoperative angiograms for recurrent ischemic symptoms. Complete follow-up was obtained on all but 1 patient lost to follow-up 1 y after CABG. Thirty-six ITA grafts and 65 SVGs were evaluable for stenosis and occlusion.

Results: Two of 40 patients (5%) had emergency CABG; 3 (7.5%) with calcified aortas had a change in operative strategy to avoid ascending aortic manipulation, 2 (5%) had poor conduit quality, and 12 (30%) had severe diffuse atherosclerotic disease with calcification of the coronary targets causing technical difficulties. Thirty-three patients (82%) were bypassed with an in situ ITA and 3 (7.5%) had a free ITA graft. Three of 36 ITA grafts were occluded at 0.78, 1.8, and 9.4 y (too few to model). SVG patency was 52% and 37% at 1 and 2 y, respectively.

Conclusions: Among patients on dialysis who underwent CABG, coronary angiography for ischemic symptoms in a select subset revealed that SVG patency was lower than expected from published reports in the general CABG population and may contribute to the poor prognosis of this cohort. Further work is needed to guide graft selection and improve graft patency in dialysis patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.03.069DOI Listing
October 2020

Consequences of Delayed Chest Closure During Lung Transplantation.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 01 14;109(1):277-284. Epub 2019 Sep 14.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Background: Delayed chest closure is commonly used for cardiac surgery. However, insufficient data exist to guide its management in immunosuppressed lung transplantation patients, with unclear long-term consequences.

Methods: We performed 769 lung transplantations between January 2009 and January 2016. Of these, 47 (6%) required delayed chest closure because of coagulopathy, respiratory intolerance, and hemodynamic instability. On multivariable analysis, risk factors for delayed chest closure included double-lung transplantation and longer ischemic times. To account for differences between the 2 groups, we performed propensity matching, generating 46 well-matched pairs.

Results: Among matched patients with appropriate antimicrobial prophylaxis, we found no difference in 30-day prevalence of pneumonia, empyema, Clostridium difficile, bloodstream, and deep wound infections. There was also no difference in 6-month composite infections. However, delayed chest closure patients received more transfusions within 5 days of transplantation (median, 7 vs 3 units; P < .001), had more intubations > 5 days (80% vs 41%, P < .001), had more severe primary graft dysfunction (39% vs 17%, P = .044), had a longer hospital stay (median, 61 vs 25 days; P < .001), and had worse pulmonary function tests 6 years after transplant (P = .019). Fortunately, estimated survival at 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years between delayed and primary chest closure groups was similar (82%, 76%, and 39% vs 84%, 75%, and 50%, respectively; P = .23).

Conclusions: Use of delayed chest closure does not yield more infections or worse long-term survival. However it may be associated with increased in-hospital morbidities and worse long-term pulmonary function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.08.016DOI Listing
January 2020

Impact of Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Embolism Response Team Availability on Management and Outcomes.

Am J Cardiol 2019 11 7;124(9):1465-1469. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Section of Vascular Medicine, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Treatment strategies for complex patients with pulmonary embolism (PE) are often debated given patient heterogeneity, multitude of available treatment modalities, and lack of consensus guidelines. Although multidisciplinary Pulmonary Embolism Response Teams (PERT) are emerging to address this lack of consensus, their impact on patient outcomes is not entirely clear. This analysis was conducted to compare outcomes of all patients with PE before and after PERT availability. We analyzed all adult patients admitted with acute PE diagnosed on computed tomography scans in the 18 months before and after the institution of PERT at a large tertiary care hospital. Among 769 consecutive inpatients with PE, PERT era patients had lower rates of major or clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding (17.0% vs 8.3%, p = 0.002), shorter time-to-therapeutic anticoagulation (16.3 hour vs 12.6 hour, p = 0.009) and decreased use of inferior vena cava filters (22.2% vs 16.4%, p = 0.004). There was an increase in the use of thrombolytics/catheter-based strategies, however, this did not achieve statistical significance (p = 0.07). There was a significant decrease in 30-day/inpatient mortality (8.5% vs 4.7%, p = 0.03). These differences in outcomes were more pronounced in intermediate and high-risk patients (mortality 10.0% vs 5.3%, p = 0.02). The availability of multidisciplinary PERT was associated with improved outcomes including 30-day mortality. Patients with higher severity of PE seemed to derive most benefit from PERT availability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.07.043DOI Listing
November 2019

HeartMate 3 Implantation in a Myosplint Device-Supported Left Ventricle.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 03 22;109(3):e177-e178. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio; Kaufman Center for Heart Failure Treatment and Recovery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

Implantation of a left ventricular assist device in a patient who has a passive cardiac support device can present a surgical challenge. This case demonstrates a safe and feasible surgical approach for HeartMate 3 (Abbott, Abbott Park, IL) implantation after remote Mysoplint device (Myocor, Maple Grove, MN) placement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.06.088DOI Listing
March 2020

Risk of adding prophylactic aorta replacement to a cardiac operation.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 05 18;159(5):1669-1678.e10. Epub 2019 May 18.

Aorta Center, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland, Ohio; Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.

Objective: The study objective was to determine whether adding prophylactic aorta replacement increases the risk of a cardiac operation when cardiac rather than aortic disease is the primary indication for operation.

Methods: Patients undergoing cardiac operations with aorta replacement (cardioaortic group), with or without circulatory arrest, were propensity matched to identify patients whose combined operation was not primarily indicated by aortic disease (n = 684). These patients were further propensity matched without accounting for thoracic-aortic measurements to patients undergoing cardiac operations without aorta replacement (cardiac-surgery only group), 647 pairs, for comparing outcomes.

Results: Most (n = 431/503 [86%]) propensity-matched patients undergoing cardioaortic operations had ascending aorta dilatation with a maximum aortic diameter of less than 5.5 cm. There was no evidence of an incremental increase in risk of in-hospital stroke (cardioaortic, n = 9/1.4% vs cardiac only, n = 7/1.1%; P = .6) or mortality (cardioaortic, n = 6/0.93% vs cardiac only, n = 3/0.46%; P = .5). Unmatched patients undergoing concomitant aortic surgery had advanced aortic disease distal to the ascending aorta (arch, 3.8 ± 0.98 cm vs 3.2 ± 0.51 cm; descending, 4.4 ± 1.7 cm vs 3.2 ± 0.99 cm) as the primary indication for their operation and had a high occurrence of in-hospital stroke (6.5% vs 1.5%, P = .0007) and death (7% vs 1.2%, P = .0001).

Conclusions: Prophylactic aorta replacement can be safely performed during a cardioaortic operation, without added penalty, when aortic disease is less severe and not the primary indication for surgery. Risks after an aorta replacement combined with cardiac surgery can be substantial, however, when advanced aortic disease is the primary indication for operation. These distinctive risks should be taken into consideration at the time of surgical decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.05.001DOI Listing
May 2020

Minimally invasive biventricular mechanical circulatory support with Impella pumps as a bridge to heart transplantation: a first-in-the-world case report.

ESC Heart Fail 2019 06 9;6(3):552-554. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure Treatment and Recovery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Desk J3-4, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

Cardiogenic shock from biventricular failure that requires acute mechanical circulatory support carries high 30 day mortality. Acute mechanical circulatory support can serve as bridge to orthotopic heart transplant (OHT) in selected patients. We report a patient with biventricular failure secondary to rapidly progressive cardiac sarcoidosis refractory to medical management who was bridged to OHT with Impella 5.0 and Impella RP-temporary left and right ventricular assist devices, respectively. This is the first successful bridge to transplantation using these devices in biventricular heart failure and cardiogenic shock. We discuss considerations for using this strategy over veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or surgically implanted assist devices in patients with cardiogenic shock and biventricular failure as a bridge to OHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12412DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6487727PMC
June 2019

Advances in managing the noninfected open chest after cardiac surgery: Negative-pressure wound therapy.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2019 05 27;157(5):1891-1903.e9. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare safety and clinical effectiveness of negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) with traditional wound therapy for managing noninfected open chests with delayed sternal closure after cardiac surgery.

Methods: From January 2000 to July 2015, 452 of 47,325 patients who underwent full sternotomy left the operating room with a noninfected open chest (0.96%), managed using NPWT in 214-with frequency of use rapidly increasing to near 100%-and traditionally in 238. Predominant indications for open-chest management were uncontrolled coagulopathy or hemodynamic compromise on attempted chest closure. Weighted propensity-score matching was used to assess in-hospital complications and time-related survival.

Results: NPWT and traditionally managed patients had similar high-risk preoperative profiles. Most underwent reoperations (63% of the NPWT group and 57% of the traditional group), and 21% versus 25% were emergency procedures. Reexplorations for bleeding were less common with NPWT versus traditional wound therapy (n = 63 [29%] vs 104 [44%], P = .002). Median duration of open-chest to definitive sternal closure was 3.5 days for NPWT versus 3.1 for traditionally managed patients (P[log rank] = .07). Seven patients (3.3%) were converted from NPWT to traditional therapy because of hemodynamic intolerance and 6 (2.5%) from traditional to NPWT. No NPWT-related cardiovascular injuries occurred. Among matched patients, NPWT was associated with better early survival (61% vs 44% at 6 months; P = .02).

Conclusions: NPWT is safe and effective for managing noninfected open chests after cardiac surgery. By facilitating open-chest management and potentially improving outcomes, it has become our therapy of choice and perhaps has lowered our threshold for leaving the chest open after cardiac surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.10.152DOI Listing
May 2019

Prothrombin Complex Concentrates for Warfarin Reversal Before Heart Transplantation.

Ann Thorac Surg 2019 May 23;107(5):1409-1415. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York University Langone Health, New York, New York.

Background: Anticoagulation therapy with warfarin is common before heart transplantation and complicates perioperative management.

Methods: This single-center, noninterventional, retrospective cohort study evaluated heart transplant patients before and after institution of a prothrombin complex concentrates-based preoperative warfarin reversal protocol for heart transplantation. Patients with international normalized ratio (INR) greater than 1.5 who received prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) before heart transplant surgery were compared with a control group before implementation of a PCC protocol. Coprimary endpoints were utilization of individual blood products. Secondary endpoints included in-hospital mortality, reoperation for bleeding, delayed sternal closure, thromboembolic events, duration of chest tube use, time to extubation, intensive care unit length of stay, and hospital length of stay.

Results: The study included 106 consecutive heart transplant patients (PCC cohort = 57, historical control cohort = 49). There was a significant reduction in fresh frozen plasma utilization in the PCC cohort (6 units versus 8 units, p = 0.002). Rates of packed red blood cells and platelet transfusion were similar between groups. There was a significant increase in the incidence of cryoprecipitate utilization in the PCC cohort, which can likely be attributed to decreased antifibrinolytic utilization. There were no differences in secondary endpoints between groups, including thromboembolic events.

Conclusions: This study found that a PCC-based warfarin reversal protocol significantly reduced fresh frozen plasma utilization compared with historical controls without affecting other clinically important surgical outcomes. These data suggest that PCC is a valuable tool for INR normalization that could safely reduce fresh frozen plasma administration and offer a practical alternative to traditional approaches for INR reversal before heart transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.10.032DOI Listing
May 2019

Patterns of Recurrence and Overall Survival in Incidental Lung Cancer in Explanted Lungs.

Ann Thorac Surg 2019 03 31;107(3):891-896. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Section of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Background: Recurrence and overall survival for incidental lung cancer in explanted lungs vary between different series. Recurrence patterns are also not well described. The primary objective of this study is to study the recurrence patterns and time to recurrence for various stages of lung cancer in lung transplant recipients.

Methods: A retrospective review of our institutional database was performed to identify patients who had incidental lung cancer found in transplant pneumonectomy specimens from 1990 to 2017. Demographic, radiographic, and perioperative clinical variables were collected. Time to recurrence, overall survival, and recurrence patterns were recorded. Freedom from recurrence and overall survival were estimated by using Kaplan-Meier analysis.

Results: Thirty-one patients had unexpected malignancy and 29 patients (1.6%) had primary lung carcinoma in the explanted lung. Indication for transplantation was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 15 patients (48%) and interstitial lung disease for 16 patients (52%). Preoperative imaging showed indeterminate nodules in 10 patients (32%). Pathologic review showed stage I disease in 15 patients (54%), stage II disease in 10 patients (35%), and stage III disease in 2 patients (7%). Recurrence was noted in 8 patients (28%). Most patients had nodal disease (25%) or systemic recurrence (75%). All recurrences occurred within 2 years of the transplantation. For patients with stage I and II disease, freedom from recurrence at 1, 3, and 5 years was 91%, 55%, and 55%, respectively. Overall survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 78%, 18%, and 14%, respectively.

Conclusions: Most recurrences occur within 2 years after transplantation and are the cause of death in these patients. Patients with nodal disease tend to have higher recurrence rates. Multidisciplinary review of abnormal radiographic findings before transplantation and close follow-up may allow for detection of undiagnosed cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.09.022DOI Listing
March 2019
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