Publications by authors named "Rawn Salenger"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Number and Type of Blood Products are Negatively Associated With Outcomes Following Cardiac Surgery.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Background: The association between blood transfusion and adverse outcome is documented in cardiac surgery. However, the incremental significance of each unit transfused, whether red blood cell (RBC) or non-RBC, is uncertain. This study examined the relationship of patient outcomes with type and number of blood product units transfused.

Methods: Statewide data from adult cardiac surgery patients were included (N=24,082). Relationship with blood transfusion was assessed for morbidity and 30-day mortality using total number of RBC and non-RBC units transfused, specific type of non-RBC units, and different combinations of transfusion (only RBC, only non-RBC, RBC+non-RBC). Multivariable logistic regressions examined these associations.

Results: Median age was 66 years (30% female) with 51% of patients transfused (31%-66% across hospitals). Risk-adjusted analyses found each blood product unit associated with 9%, 7%, and 4% greater odds for 30-day mortality, major morbidity, and minor morbidity (all P<0.001). Odds for 30-day mortality were 13% greater with each RBC unit (P<0.001) and 6% greater for each non-RBC unit (P<0.001). Each unit of fresh frozen plasma (P<0.001) and platelets (P<0.001) increased odds for 30-day mortality, but no effect for cryoprecipitate (P=0.725). Odds for 30-day mortality were lower for non-RBC only (OR=0.52, P=0.030) and greater for RBC+non-RBC (OR=2.98, P<0.001) compared to RBC only transfusion.

Conclusions: Independent of center variability on transfusion methods, each additional unit transfused was associated with increased odds for complications, with RBC transfusion carrying greater risk compared to non-RBC. Comprehensive evidence-based clinical approaches and coordination are needed to guide each blood transfusion event following cardiac surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.06.061DOI Listing
July 2021

Selecting Elements for a Cardiac Enhanced Recovery Protocol.

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

University of Massachusetts-Baystate, Heart, Vascular and Critical Care Units, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jvca.2021.05.006DOI Listing
May 2021

Cardiac surgeons' concerns, perceptions, and responses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

J Card Surg 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health care and cardiac surgery. We report cardiac surgeons' concerns, perceptions, and responses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A detailed survey was sent to recruit participating adult cardiac surgery centers in North America. Data regarding cardiac surgeons' perceptions and changes in practice were analyzed.

Results: Our study comprises 67 institutions with diverse geographic distribution across North America. Nurses were most likely to be redeployed (88%), followed by advanced care practitioners (69%), trainees (28%), and surgeons (25%). Examining surgeon concerns in regard to COVID-19, they were most worried with exposing their family to COVID-19 (81%), followed by contracting COVID-19 (68%), running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) (28%), and hospital resources (28%). In terms of PPE conservation strategies among users of N95 respirators, nearly half were recycling via decontamination with ultraviolet light (49%), followed by sterilization with heat (13%) and at home or with other modalities (13%). Reuse of N95 respirators for 1 day (22%), 1 week (21%) or 1 month (6%) was reported. There were differences in adoption of methods to conserve N95 respirators based on institutional pandemic phase and COVID-19 burden, with higher COVID-19 burden institutions more likely to resort to PPE conservation strategies.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the impact of COVID-19 on North American cardiac surgeons. Our study should stimulate further discussions to identify optimal solutions to improve workforce preparedness for subsequent surges, as well as facilitate the navigation of future healthcare crises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocs.15681DOI Listing
June 2021

Hospital variability in modifiable factors driving coronary artery bypass charges.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Mar 9. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md; Adventist Healthcare White Oak Medical Center, Silver Spring, Md.

Objective: Coronary artery bypass grafting is associated with significant interhospital variability in charges. Drivers of hospital charge variability remain elusive. We identified modifiable factors associated with statewide interhospital variability in hospital charges for coronary artery bypass grafting.

Methods: Charge data were used as a surrogate for cost. Society of Thoracic Surgeons data from Maryland institutions and charge data from the Maryland Health Care Commission were linked to characterize interhospital charge variability for coronary artery bypass grafting. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify perioperative factors independently related to coronary artery bypass grafting charges. Of the factors independently associated with charges, we analyzed which factors varied between hospitals.

Results: A total of 10,337 patients underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting at 9 Maryland hospitals from 2012 to 2016, of whom 7532 patients were available for analyses. Mean normalized charges for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting varied significantly among hospitals, ranging from $30,000 to $57,000 (P < .001). Longer preoperative length of stay, operating room time, and major postoperative morbidity including stroke, renal failure, prolonged ventilation, reoperation, and deep sternal wound infection were associated with greater hospital charges. Incidence of major postoperative events, except stroke and deep sternal wound infection, was variable between hospitals. In a univariate linear regression model, patient risk profile only accounted for approximately 10% of statistical variance in charges.

Conclusions: There is significant charge variability for coronary artery bypass grafting among hospitals within the same state. By targeting variation in preoperative length of stay, operating room time, postoperative renal failure, prolonged ventilation, and reoperation, cardiac surgery programs can realize cost savings while improving quality of care for this resource-intense patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.02.094DOI Listing
March 2021

Expert Consensus of Data Elements for Collection for Enhanced Recovery After Cardiac Surgery.

World J Surg 2021 Apr 31;45(4):917-925. Epub 2021 Jan 31.

Heart and Vascular Program, Baystate Health, Springfield, MA, USA.

Background: Despite the emergence of Enhanced Recovery Protocols (ERPs) in cardiac surgery, there is no consensus on the essential elements for data reporting for quality improvement efforts, as well as accountability and standardization of outcome reporting across institutions. The aim of this study was to establish a consensus on essential data elements for cardiac ERAS®.

Methods: A 2-round modified Delphi technique was utilized based on existing recommendations from the recently published ERAS® cardiac surgery consensus guidelines. Round 1 included a steering committee of 10 experts who oversaw formulation of a focused list of data elements into 3 main areas: Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative. Round 2 consisted of a multidisciplinary, multinational, heterogenous group of 50 voting experts from across the United States and Europe. All participants evaluated their level of agreement with each data element using a 5-point Likert scale with consensus threshold of 70%.

Results: In round 1, 17 data elements were considered essential (consensus >  = 70%, either positive or negative) and 6 were considered marginal (consensus <  = 70%, either positive or negative). In round 2, positive consensus was achieved for 15/17 (88.2%) data elements in the essential category, and all six data elements (100%) in the marginal category, indicating a high level of overall agreement.

Conclusion: This initial study, which identified 21 key data elements for collection in an ERAS® cardiac program, will aid clinicians in establishing a framework for evaluating the quality of their contemporary ERP processes and will allow acquisition of data to help benchmark performance metrics between hospitals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-021-05964-1DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical Practice Variation and Outcomes for Stanford Type A Aortic Dissection Repair Surgery in Maryland: Report from a Statewide Quality Initiative.

Aorta (Stamford) 2020 Jun 5;8(3):66-73. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background:  Stanford Type A aortic dissection repair surgery is associated with high mortality and clinical practice remains variable among hospitals. Few studies have examined statewide practice variation.

Methods:  Patients who had Stanford Type A aortic dissection repair surgery in Maryland between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2018 were identified using the Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative (MCSQI) database. Patient demographics, comorbidities, surgery details, and outcomes were compared between hospitals. We also explored the impact of arterial cannulation site and brain protection technique on outcome.

Results:  A total of 233 patients were included from eight hospitals during the study period. Seventy-six percent of surgeries were done in two high-volume hospitals (≥10 cases per year), while the remaining 24% were done in low-volume hospitals. Operative mortality was 12.0% and varied between 0 and 25.0% depending on the hospital. Variables that differed significantly between hospitals included patient age, the percentage of patients in shock, left ventricular ejection fraction, creatinine level, arterial cannulation site, brain protection technique, tobacco use, and intraoperative blood transfusion. The percentage of patients who underwent aortic valve repair or replacement procedures differed significantly between hospitals ( < 0.001), although the prevalence of moderate-to-severe aortic insufficiency was not significantly different ( = 0.14). There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes including mortality, renal failure, stroke, or gastrointestinal complications between hospitals or based on arterial cannulation site (all  > 0.05). Patients who had aortic cross-clamping or endovascualr repair had more embolic strokes when compared with patients who had hypothermic circulatory arrest ( = 0.03).

Conclusion:  There remains considerable practice variation in Stanford Type A aortic dissection repair surgery within Maryland including some modifiable factors such as intraoperative blood transfusion, arterial cannulation site, and brain protection technique. Continued efforts are needed within MCSQI and nationally to evaluate and employ the best practices for patients having acute aortic dissection repair surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1714121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644293PMC
June 2020

Postoperative Multimodal Analgesia in Cardiac Surgery.

Crit Care Clin 2020 Oct 12;36(4):631-651. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22S Greene St, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. Electronic address:

Multimodal pain management of cardiac surgical patients is a paradigm shift in postoperative care. This promising approach features complementary medications and techniques that spare opioids and improves symptomatic and functional recovery. Although the specific elements remain to be defined, the collaboration of the health care team and patient and continuous iterative programmatic improvements are important pillars of this approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccc.2020.06.003DOI Listing
October 2020

Cardiac Surgery-Enhanced Recovery Programs Modified for COVID-19: Key Steps to Preserve Resources, Manage Caseload Backlog, and Improve Patient Outcomes.

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth 2020 Dec 10;34(12):3218-3224. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

University of Massachusetts-Baystate and Medical Director of the Heart, Vascular and Critical Care Units, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jvca.2020.08.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416680PMC
December 2020

Adult cardiac surgical cost variation around the world: .

Int J Surg Protoc 2020 3;23:11-14. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

Introduction: Globally, over one million cardiac operations occur each year, whereas cardiac surgery is expensive and largely inaccessible without insurance or philanthropic support. Substantial cost variation has been reported within cardiac surgery in the United States and among non-cardiac surgical procedures globally, but little is known on the global procedural cost variation for common adult cardiac surgical procedures.

Objectives And Significance: This review seeks to assess variation in procedural costs of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), mitral valve repair, mitral valve replacement, aortic valve repair, aortic valve replacement, and combined CABG-mitral or CABG-aortic valve procedures between and within countries. Results may give insights in the scope and drivers of cost variation around the world, posing cost reduction lessons. Results may further inform the potential of economies of scale in reducing procedural costs, benefiting patients, hospitals, governments, and insurers.

Methods And Analysis: A systematic review will be performed using the EconLit, Embase, PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, and WHO Global Index Medicus databases to identify articles published between January 1, 2000 and June 1, 2020. Studies describing procedural costs for CABG, mitral valve repair, mitral valve replacement, aortic valve repair, aortic valve replacement, and combined CABG-mitral or CABG-aortic valve procedures will be identified. Articles describing other types of cardiac surgery, concomitant aortic surgery, only describing costs related to non-surgical care, or with incomplete cost data will be excluded from the analysis. No exclusion will be based solely on article type or language. Identified costs will be converted to 2019 USD to account for local currency unit inflation and exchange fluctuations.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study protocol has been prospectively registered on the International Platform of Registered Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Protocols. This review requires no institutional review board approval. Results of this study will be summarized and disseminated in a peer-review journal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isjp.2020.07.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7417884PMC
August 2020

The Surge After the Surge: Cardiac Surgery Post-COVID-19.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 12 4;110(6):2020-2025. Epub 2020 May 4.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically reduced adult cardiac surgery case volumes as institutions and surgeons curtail nonurgent operations. There will be a progressive increase in deferred cases during the pandemic that will require completion within a limited time frame once restrictions ease. We investigated the impact of various levels of increased postpandemic hospital operating capacity on the time to clear the backlog of deferred cases.

Methods: We collected data from 4 cardiac surgery programs across 2 health systems. We recorded case rates at baseline and during the COVID-19 pandemic and created a mathematical model to quantify the cumulative surgical backlog based on the projected pandemic duration. We then used the model to predict the time required to clear the backlog depending on the level of increased operating capacity.

Results: Cardiac surgery volumes fell to 54% of baseline after restrictions were implemented. Assuming a service restoration date of either June 1 or July 1, we calculated the need to perform 216% or 263% of monthly baseline volume, respectively, to clear the backlog in 1 month. The actual duration required to clear the backlog highly depends on hospital capacity in the post-COVID period, and ranges from 1 to 8 months, depending on when services are restored and the degree of increased capacity.

Conclusions: Cardiac surgical operating capacity during the COVID-19 recovery period will have a dramatic impact on the time to clear the deferred cases backlog. Inadequate operating capacity may cause substantial delays and increase morbidity and mortality. If only prepandemic capacity is available, the backlog will never clear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.04.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196543PMC
December 2020

Cardiac Enhanced Recovery After Surgery: A Guide to Team Building and Successful Implementation.

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 Summer;32(2):187-196. Epub 2020 Feb 29.

Heart and Vascular Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a bundled approach to perioperative care based upon the philosophy that patients do better when emotional and physiologic stresses are minimized during surgery. The goal of ERAS is to return patients to normal functional status as quickly as possible. Initially designed for patients having colorectal surgery, ERAS programs have now been developed for nearly every surgical subspecialty. Multiple studies examining the effect of ERAS have demonstrated decreased postoperative complications, length of stay, costs, and increased patient and staff satisfaction. Interest in the application of ERAS to cardiac surgery has grown significantly over the last few years. Several core principles transcend all ERAS cardiac programs. Implementation of cardiac ERAS is more than simply the installation of a protocol. ERAS involves a methodical shift in culture, meeting the challenges of initiating and sustaining meaningful organizational change, and pivoting to a patient-centered system of care to optimize speed and completeness of recovery. Herein we detail the crucial team building, education, planning, and processes needed to develop and sustain a successful ERAS cardiac program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.semtcvs.2020.02.029DOI Listing
September 2020

Racial Disparity in Cardiac Surgery Risk and Outcome: Report From a Statewide Quality Initiative.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 08 18;110(2):531-536. Epub 2020 Jan 18.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Racial disparities persist in health care. Our study objective was to evaluate racial disparity in cardiac surgery in Maryland.

Methods: A statewide database was used to identify patients. Demographics, comorbidities, and predicted risk of death were compared between races. Crude mortality and incidence of complications were compared between groups, as were risk-adjusted odds for mortality and major morbidity or mortality.

Results: The study included 23,094 patients. Most patients were white (75.8%), followed by African American (16.3%), Asian (3.8%), and other races (4.1%). African Americans had a higher preoperative risk for mortality based on The Society of Thoracic Surgeons predictive models compared with white patients (3.0% vs 2.3%, P < .001). African Americans also had higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, and cerebral vascular disease than white patients. After adjustment for preoperative risk, there was no difference in 30-day mortality between African Americans (odds ratio [OR], 1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99-1.59), Asians (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.75-1.97), and other races (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.74-1.89) compared with whites. African Americans had lower risk-adjusted odds of major morbidity or mortality compared with whites (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.75-0.93).

Conclusions: African American cardiac surgical patients have the highest preoperative risk in Maryland. Patients appeared to receive excellent cardiac surgical care, regardless of race, as risk-adjusted mortality did not differ between groups, and African American patients had lower risk-adjusted odds of major morbidity or mortality than white patients. Future interventions in Maryland should be aimed at reducing preoperative risk disparity in cardiac surgical patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.11.043DOI Listing
August 2020

Maryland's Global Budget Revenue Program and Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 08 23;110(2):592-597. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: In 2014 Maryland began a global budget revenue (GBR) program where hospitals were assigned a global budget for each year. We hypothesized that this program would be associated with changes in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patient risk profile, reductions in potentially preventable complications (PPCs) and 30-day hospital readmissions, and low annual per patient charge growth.

Methods: Patients having isolated CABG surgery in Maryland between fiscal years 2013 and 2017 were included. Patient characteristics, admission all-payer refined severity of illness, PPCs, 30-day hospital readmissions, and per patient hospital charges were compared between years. The impact of Maryland's GBR program on PPCs and 30-day hospital readmissions was evaluated using interrupted time series analysis.

Results: During the study period 11,070 patients had CABG surgery. The percentage of patients with major or extreme severity of illness at admission differed significantly between years (34.6% in 2013 vs 46.1% in 2017, P < .001). There was a significant reduction in mean PPC incidence of -22.8% (95% confidence interval, -29.8% to -15.8%) after GBR implementation but no significant reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions (-2.7%; 95% confidence interval, -6.0% to 0.6%). Without adjusting for inflation the annual per patient charge growth remained between -1.4% and 2.6% from 2013 to 2017.

Conclusions: Maryland's GBR program was associated with significant PPC reductions, minimal charge growth, and no significant change in 30-day hospital readmissions during its first 14 fiscal quarters. These findings suggest that Maryland's GBR program achieved some but not all of its predefined goals in CABG patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.10.084DOI Listing
August 2020

Mitigating the Risk: Transfusion or Reoperation for Bleeding After Cardiac Surgery.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 08 20;110(2):457-463. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Several studies have established morbidity associated with bleeding after cardiac surgery. Although reoperation has been implicated as the marker for this morbidity, there remains limited understanding regarding relative morbidities of reoperation and substantial transfusion.

Methods: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Maryland Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (July 2011-September 2018) was reviewed (N = 23,240). Substantial transfusion was defined as requiring greater than the reoperation group median red blood cells (5 units) and non-red blood cells (4 units). Patients were stratified into 4 subgroups: group 1, no reoperation without substantial transfusion (n = 22,365); group 2, reoperation without substantial transfusion (n = 351); group 3, no reoperation with substantial transfusion (n = 350); and group 4, reoperation with substantial transfusion (n = 167). Operative morbidity and mortality were compared.

Results: Reoperation patients were older with a higher STS predicted risk of mortality (1.8% vs 1.2%, P < .001). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that group 4 increased the odds of renal failure (odds ratio [OR] 7.36, P < .001), stroke (OR 3.24, P = .002), and operative mortality (OR 8.68, P < .001) compared with group 1. Both group 2 and group 3 increased the odds of mortality and renal failure compared with group 1. However, group 3 had greater risk for renal failure (OR 3.48, P < .001) and mortality (OR 2.91, P < .001) than group 2.

Conclusions: Although reoperation for bleeding is associated with morbidity after cardiac surgery, substantial transfusion without reoperation appears to increase morbidity compared with a limited-transfusion reoperative approach. Better timing for reoperation and guided transfusion approaches may mitigate morbidity compared with substantial transfusion alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.10.076DOI Listing
August 2020

Variation in Platelet Transfusion Practices in Cardiac Surgery.

Innovations (Phila) 2019 Apr 18;14(2):134-143. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

4 Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Objective: Although the morbidity associated with red blood cell transfusion in cardiac surgery has been well described, the impacts of platelet transfusion are less clearly understood. Given the conflicting results of prior studies, we sought to investigate the impact of platelet transfusion on outcomes after cardiac surgery across institutions in Maryland.

Methods: Using a multiinstitutional statewide database created by the Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative, we retrospectively analyzed data from 10,478 patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass across 10 centers. Platelet transfusion practices were compared between institutions. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyze the association between platelet transfusion and 30-day mortality and postoperative complications.

Results: Rates of platelet transfusion varied between institutions from 4.4% to 24.7% ( P < 0.001), a difference that remained statistically significant in propensity score-matched cohorts. Among patients on preoperative antiplatelet therapy, transfusion rates varied from 8.5% to 46.4% ( P < 0.001). There was no statistically significant relationship between case volume and transfusion rates ( P = 0.815). In multivariate logistic regression, platelet transfusion was associated with increased risk of 30-day mortality (OR 2.43, P = 0.008), postoperative pneumonia (OR 2.21, P = 0.004), prolonged intubation (OR 2.05, P < 0.001), and readmission (OR 1.43, P = 0.039).

Conclusions: Significant variation existed in platelet transfusion rates between institutions, even after controlling for various risk factors. This variation may be associated with increased mortality and length of stay. Further study is warranted to better understand risks associated with platelet transfusion. Standardizing practice may help reduce risk and conserve resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1556984519836839DOI Listing
April 2019

Off-pump coronary artery bypass in octogenarians: results of a statewide, matched comparison.

Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2019 Apr 19;67(4):355-362. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Objectives: Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB) may have advantages in the elderly. Although proven safe, it remains unclear whether OPCAB provides a short-term survival benefit in octogenarians. We sought to compare outcomes using propensity matching between OPCAB and conventional surgery in a statewide database.

Methods: We identified all octogenarians (≥ 80 years) who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CAB) at 10 different centers in the state of Maryland from July 2011 to June 2016. We separated patients into two groups: OPCAB and on-pump coronary artery bypass (ONCAB). Patients were assigned propensity scores with a semi-parsimonious logistic regression model and matched 1:1 by the nearest-neighbor principle. A revascularization ratio was determined between the number of distal grafts sewn and number of diseased coronaries (≥ 50% stenosis).

Results: In total, 926 octogenarians underwent isolated CAB (8.2% of all CAB): 798 (86%) had ONCAB and 128 (14%) had OPCAB. Propensity matching yielded 128 well-matched pairs. Operative mortality was similar between groups (OPCAB 5.5% vs ONCAB 3.1%, p = 0.364). Rates of complications were similar between groups. OPCAB patients had a lower revascularization ratio (0.92 vs 1.15, p < 0.001), but more frequent use of left internal mammary artery (97 vs 89%, p = 0.017), and decreased intraoperative transfusion rates (33 vs 63%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In comparing outcomes among octogenarians across the state of Maryland, OPCAB and ONCAB had similar mortality and morbidity. However, OPCAB was associated with a lower revascularization ratio. Thus, our results demonstrate no short-term survival benefit of OPCAB over ONCAB in octogenarians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11748-018-1025-8DOI Listing
April 2019

Bilateral Internal Mammary Artery Use in Diabetic Patients: Friend or Foe?

Ann Thorac Surg 2018 10 20;106(4):1088-1094. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Bilateral internal mammary artery (BIMA) grafting in diabetic patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting remains controversial. Our study compared morbidity and mortality between (1) diabetic and nondiabetic BIMA patients and (2) diabetic BIMA versus diabetic patients who underwent left internal mammary artery (LIMA) grafting only.

Methods: Patients who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting from July 2011 to June 2016 at any of the 10 Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative centers were propensity scored across 16 variables. Diabetic BIMA patients were matched 1:1 by nearest neighbor matching to nondiabetic BIMA patients and were separately matched 1:1 to diabetic LIMA patients. We calculated observed-to-expected (O/E) ratios for composite morbidity/mortality, operative mortality, unplanned reoperation, stroke, renal failure, prolonged ventilation, and deep sternal wound infection and compared ratios among matched populations.

Results: During the study period, 812 coronary artery bypass grafting patients received BIMA grafts, including 302 patients (37%) with diabetes. We matched 259 diabetic and nondiabetic BIMA patients. O/E ratios were higher in matched diabetic (versus nondiabetic) BIMA patients when comparing composite morbidity/mortality, reoperation, stroke, renal failure, and prolonged ventilation (all O/E ratios >1.0); however, the O/E ratio for operative mortality was higher in nondiabetic BIMA patients. We additionally matched 292 diabetic BIMA to diabetic LIMA patients. Diabetic BIMA patients had a higher O/E ratio for composite morbidity/mortality, operative mortality, stroke, renal failure, and prolonged ventilation.

Conclusions: In this statewide analysis, diabetic patients who received BIMA grafts (compared with diabetic patients with LIMA grafts or nondiabetic patients with BIMA grafts) had higher O/E ratios for composite morbidity/mortality as a result of higher O/E ratios for major complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.04.030DOI Listing
October 2018

Less Is More: Results of a Statewide Analysis of the Impact of Blood Transfusion on Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Outcomes.

Ann Thorac Surg 2018 Jan 1;105(1):129-136. Epub 2017 Nov 1.

Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative, Baltimore, Maryland; Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Debate persists over the association between blood transfusions, especially those considered discretionary, and outcomes after cardiac operations. Using data from the Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative, we sought to determine whether outcomes differed among coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients receiving 1 U of red blood cells (RBCs) vs none.

Methods: We used a statewide database to review patients who underwent isolated CABG from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2016, across 10 Maryland cardiac surgery centers. We included patients who received 1 U or fewer of RBCs from the time of the operation through discharge. Propensity scoring, using 20 variables to control for treatment effect, was performed among patients who did and did not receive a transfusion. These two groups were matched 1:1 to assess for differences in our primary outcomes: operative death, prolonged postoperative length of stay (>14 days), and a composite postoperative respiratory complication of pneumonia or reintubation, or both.

Results: Of 10,877 patients who underwent CABG, 6,124 (56%) received no RBCs (group 1) during their operative hospitalization, and 981 (9.0%) received 1 U of RBCs (group 2), including 345 of 981 patients (35%) who received a transfusion intraoperatively. Propensity score matching generated 937 well-matched pairs. Compared with group 2, propensity-matched analysis revealed significantly greater 30-day survival in group 1 (99% vs 98%, p = 0.02) and reduced incidence of prolonged length of stay (3.7% vs 4.0%, p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Our collaborative statewide analysis demonstrated that even 1 unit of blood was associated with significantly worse survival and longer length of stay after CABG. Multiinstitutional quality initiatives may seek to address discretionary transfusions and possess the potential to improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2017.06.062DOI Listing
January 2018

Percutaneous Rescue for Critical Mitral Stenosis Late After Mitral Valve Repair.

Ann Thorac Surg 2016 Nov;102(5):e417-e418

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

We report a case of catastrophic hemodynamic compromise secondary to pannus ingrowth and severe mitral stenosis occurring years after repair of a nonrheumatic mitral valve. The initial repair included closure of a posterior leaflet cleft and implantation of an annuloplasty ring. We describe a hybrid treatment strategy for this severely compromised patient, which included initial placement of a right ventricular assist device followed by percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty and, eventually, a definitive mitral valve reoperation. This case report reinforces the importance of routine clinical and echocardiographic follow-up for patients after mitral valve repair, and it includes the description of a novel therapeutic approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.03.106DOI Listing
November 2016

Variation in Red Blood Cell Transfusion Practices During Cardiac Operations Among Centers in Maryland: Results From a State Quality-Improvement Collaborative.

Ann Thorac Surg 2017 Jan 20;103(1):152-160. Epub 2016 Aug 20.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address:

Background: Variation in red blood cell (RBC) transfusion practices exists at cardiac surgery centers across the nation. We tested the hypothesis that significant variation in RBC transfusion practices between centers in our state's cardiac surgery quality collaborative remains even after risk adjustment.

Methods: Using a multiinstitutional statewide database created by the Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative (MCSQI), we included patient-level data from 8,141 patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass (CAB) or aortic valve replacement at 1 of 10 centers. Risk-adjusted multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to predict the need for any intraoperative RBC transfusion, as well as for any postoperative RBC transfusion, with anonymized center number included as a factor variable.

Results: Unadjusted intraoperative RBC transfusion probabilities at the 10 centers ranged from 13% to 60%; postoperative RBC transfusion probabilities ranged from 16% to 41%. After risk adjustment with demographic, comorbidity, and operative data, significant intercenter variability was documented (intraoperative probability range, 4% -59%; postoperative probability range, 13%-39%). When stratifying patients by preoperative hematocrit quartiles, significant variability in intraoperative transfusion probability was seen among all quartiles (lowest quartile: mean hematocrit value, 30.5% ± 4.1%, probability range, 17%-89%; highest quartile: mean hematocrit value, 44.8% ± 2.5%; probability range, 1%-35%).

Conclusions: Significant variation in intercenter RBC transfusion practices exists for both intraoperative and postoperative transfusions, even after risk adjustment, among our state's centers. Variability in intraoperative RBC transfusion persisted across quartiles of preoperative hematocrit values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.05.109DOI Listing
January 2017

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement.

J Card Surg 2016 Jan 15;31(1):38-50. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

With the advent of transcatheter aortic valve replacement and the emergence of rapid deployment aortic valves, there is a resurgent interest in minimizing the trauma of surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR). The present review summarizes the history of minimal access AVR and attempts to collate the existing evidence regarding minimal access AVR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocs.12652DOI Listing
January 2016

Contemporary outcomes of operations for tricuspid valve infective endocarditis.

Ann Thorac Surg 2015 Feb 17;99(2):539-46. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Tricuspid valve infective endocarditis (TVIE) is uncommon. Patients are traditionally treated with antibiotics alone, and indications for operation are not clearly established. We report our operative single-center experience.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 56 patients who underwent operations for TVIE between January 2002 and December 2012.

Results: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was present in 41% of patients, septic pulmonary emboli in 63%, moderate/severe tricuspid regurgitation in 66%, and 86% were intravenous drug abusers. Patients underwent early operation if there was concomitant left-sided endocarditis with indications for operation (n = 18), atrial septal defect (n = 6), infected pacemaker lead (n = 4), or prosthetic TVIE (n = 1). The remaining 27 patients were treated with intravenous antibiotics. Five patients completed a 6-week course of intravenous antibiotics before requiring an operation for symptomatic severe tricuspid regurgitation or persistent bacteremia. Twenty-two patients did not complete the antibiotic therapy and underwent operation for symptomatic severe tricuspid regurgitation (n = 15), persistent fevers/bacteremia (n = 3), or patient-specific factors (n = 4). Valve repair was successful in 57% of patients. Overall operative mortality was 7.1%. No operative deaths occurred in patients with isolated native TVIE. Recurrent TVIE was diagnosed in 21% (5 of 24) of the replacement group and in 0% (0 of 32) in the repair group. Use of repair was strongly protective against recurrent TVIE (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: In contrast to previously published reports of high operative mortality with TVIE, this experience demonstrates improved outcomes with low morbidity and mortality, particularly for native isolated TVIE. Future prospective comparisons between surgically and medically treated patients may help to further define indications and timing for operation for patients with TVIE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.08.069DOI Listing
February 2015

Clampless technique during coronary artery bypass grafting for proximal anastomoses in the hostile aorta.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2013 Jun 15;145(6):1584-8. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Suffern, NY 10901, USA.

Objective: The incidence of stroke in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting increases sharply in the face of significant atherosclerotic disease of the ascending aorta. We use a technique that allows full revascularization for this cohort of patients, while minimizing cerebral embolic risk.

Methods: Intraoperative epiaortic ultrasound was used to screen for moderate or severe atherosclerotic disease of the ascending aorta and to precisely identify safe areas for cannulation and proximal anastomoses. By using a mildly hypothermic fibrillating technique, distal revascularization was then performed without clamping the aorta. Proximal anastomoses were accomplished under brief periods of circulatory arrest.

Results: We routinely use this technique and examined our results in 71 consecutive patients found to have grade 3 or greater atherosclerotic plaque of the ascending aorta. This represented approximately 10.0% of our total population who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting over a 32-month period from January 2007 to September 2009. One patient (1.4%) had a mild stroke that resolved, and there were no other neurologic complications.

Conclusions: We have found that clampless fibrillating heart surgery with circulatory arrest for proximal anastomoses is a safe and effective technique for revascularizing patients with significant ascending aortic disease who are at high risk for cerebral embolic complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.05.045DOI Listing
June 2013

The completely endoscopic treatment of atrial fibrillation: report on the first 14 patients with early results.

Heart Surg Forum 2004 ;7(6):E555-8

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.

Unlabelled: We report the early results of a new completely endoscopic technique for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods: Fourteen patients underwent surgery solely for the treatment of AF. The thoracoscopic technique delivered microwave energy to the epicardial surface of the beating heart. Access was obtained through 3 right-sided and 3 left-sided thoracic ports. The AFx/Guidant Flex-10 catheter was employed to produce a box lesion around the pulmonary veins along with additional right- and left-sided lesions. The left atrial appendage was amputated.

Results: Ten patients had paroxysmal fibrillation, 1 had persistent fibrillation, and 3 were in permanent AF. Mean age of the group was 60 years, and their mean duration of AF was 74 months. Half had undergone unsuccessful attempts at chemical and/or electrical cardioversion. There were no deaths. Two patients required conversion to open procedure to control bleeding from the left atrial appendage. Average procedure time was 221 minutes, with the last 2 procedures taking less than 2 hours. Median length of hospital stay was 6 days, with 7 patients staying less than 3 days. Seventy-one percent of patients were in sinus rhythm at discharge, 100% at 6 months follow-up, and 67% at 12 months.

Conclusion: Totally endoscopic microwave ablation of atrial fibrillation appears to be safe and truly minimally invasive. It is associated with a short length of stay, short procedure time, and acceptable rhythm results. This procedure has the potential to greatly expand the indications for surgery in patients suffering from AF and deserves longer-term investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1532/HSF98.20041111DOI Listing
December 2006
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