Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Various techniques and devices have been proposed for tricuspid valve (TV) repair in patients with tricuspid regurgitation (TR). However, residual or recurrent TR is not uncommon occurring in 20% to 30% of patients. This study reports first experiences with a new three-dimensional annuloplasty ring. We retrospectively reviewed 200 consecutive patients who underwent TV repair for functional TR with the Contour 3D annuloplasty ring (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) from December 2010 to February 2013 at our institution. The follow-up is 98% complete (mean 1.0 ± 0.7 years; cumulative total 189 patient-years). Mean age was 70.4 ± 9.1 years and the median logistic European system for cardiac operative risk was 7%. Sixty-nine percent of the patients were in New York Heart Association class III/IV. Echocardiography documented moderate or severe TR in 97.5% of the patients, with a mean annulus diameter of 45.1 ± 4.9 mm; 93.5% of the patients underwent a combined procedure, and 20.5% an urgent or emergent operation. The 30-day mortality was 6%. The preoperative TR grade was reduced from 2.45 ± 0.53 to 0.77 ± 0.54 (p < 0.001). At hospital discharge residual II TR or greater was present in 4.3% of the patients. Freedom from recurrent II TR or greater at 2 years was 90.9% ± 4.2% and freedom from TV-related reoperations at 2 years was 98.5% ± 1.0%. No case of ring dehiscence occurred. Fourteen patients (7%) required a permanent pacemaker implantation for atrioventricular block. Tricuspid valve repair with the Contour 3D annuloplasty ring can be performed with a low rate of residual TR at hospital discharge, a low reoperation rate, and with an excellent early functional outcome. Copyright © 2014 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 12/2014; 98(6):2039-44. · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelet dysfunction is one of the major haematological disturbances of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). In addition, cyanosis is known to cause further coagulation disturbances.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 10/2014; · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Pediatric Neurology 08/2014; · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Perioperative acquired factor XIII deficiency has been looked upon as a potential cause of postoperative bleeding in adult cardiac surgery. METHODS: Forty-four infants were prospectively studied for the time course of factor XIII in plasma and the effect on chest tube drainage (CTD) and transfusion requirements in the first 24 h after surgery. A reconstituted blood prime (RBP) with fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and packed red blood cells (PRBC) was used. Samples were taken at baseline, after cardiopulmonary bypass and upon arrival in the ICU. Differences in blood loss and transfusion requirements based on a cutoff value of 70% factor XIII activity at the time of ICU admission were also calculated. RESULTS: Baseline factor XIII activity was 79%, decreased to 71% after CPB (P = 0.102) and increased back up to 77% at ICU arrival (P = 0.708). There was no significant correlation between factor XIII, CTD, age, cyanosis, platelet count, and transfusion requirements at any time point. Only preoperative fibrinogen levels correlated significantly with factor XIII activity. Perioperative blood transfusions (PRBC P = 0.712, FFP P = 0.909, platelets P = 0.807) and chest tube losses (P = 0.424 at 6 h and P = 0.215 at 24 h) were not significantly different above or below a 70% factor XIII activity at ICU arrival. CONCLUSION: Factor XIII activity in infants with congenital heart defects is within the lower range of normal adults, independent of patient's age and the presence of cyanosis. Reconstituted blood prime maintains factor XIII activity at sufficient levels during pediatric cardiac surgery. We could not detect a correlation between FXIII and CTD.
    Pediatric Anesthesia 05/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although cephalosporins are recommended as primary agents, moxifloxacin may be a suitable second-line antibiotic in cardiac surgery, especially if additional Gram-negative coverage is warranted. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) may alter the pharmacokinetics of drugs in numerous ways. Since no such data exist, the aim of this study was to assess the serum concentrations and pharmacokinetics of moxifloxacin in patients undergoing cardiac surgery with CPB. Fourteen coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients received an intravenous infusion of 400mg moxifloxacin as peri-operative antibiotic prophylaxis. At 15 time points throughout a 24-h period, serum samples were obtained to measure moxifloxacin concentrations using high-performance liquid chromatography. In addition, a non-compartmental pharmacokinetic analysis, i.e. area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), volume of distribution at steady state (VSS), drug clearance (CL), elimination half-life (t1/2) and mean residence time (MRT), was performed in five patients. Apart from a slight transient decrease in moxifloxacin concentration at the onset, CPB did not affect the concentration-time curve. Mean±standard deviation maximum drug concentration (Cmax) (5.12±1.58μg/mL), AUC (36.5±5.40μgh/mL), VSS (2.03±0.30L/kg), CL (11.2±1.91L/h), t1/2 (9.47±0.92h) and MRT (12.9±1.52h) were comparable with historical data for healthy volunteers. We conclude that CPB does not alter the pharmacokinetics of moxifloxacin. No dose adjustments, especially with regard to the CPB circuit and its priming volume, are necessary in cardiac surgical patients.
    International journal of antimicrobial agents 03/2013; · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The "hybrid procedure" is an alternative surgical palliation strategy for single ventricle congenital heart disease. The purported benefit is improved cognitive ability secondary to avoidance of cardiopulmonary bypass in the neonatal period when neuronal apoptosis is greater. It is unknown whether survival is improved after this procedure. Intraoperative hypotension is common in these patients, and we hypothesized that this hypotension was associated with mortality or morbidity. METHODS: We reviewed the records of 58/58 patients undergoing a first-stage hybrid procedure from 2004 to 2010 in a tertiary pediatric academic centre. Risk factors for poor outcome and the association between intraoperative hypotension and morbidity or mortality were investigated. RESULTS: Average preoperative arterial blood pressure (ABP) [systolic/diastolic presented as mean (standard deviation)] were 68 (12.7) / 38 (9.4) mmHg. Post-induction ABP was 65 (15.2) / 37 (8.6) mmHg. The average intraoperative nadir of ABP was 45 (7.0) / 26 (4.8) mmHg. On return to the intensive care unit (ICU), the average ABP was 69 (13.7) / 38 (11.6) mmHg. The nadir lasted longer than ten minutes in 32/58 patients. The mortality at 48 hr, 60 days, and 12 months was 3/58 (5%), 10/58 (17%), and 15/58 (26%), respectively. Six patients returned to the ICU on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). There was a weak statistical correlation between the average mean and diastolic BP pre-induction and changes of > 20% in systolic and diastolic BP during the case. CONCLUSION: In this patient cohort, we can show an association between short periods of intraoperative hypotension and mortality or return to the ICU on ECMO, but the importance of this is not certain.
    Canadian Anaesthetists? Society Journal 02/2013; · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • K Martin, R Gertler
    Minerva anestesiologica 01/2013; · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: /st>Once aprotinin was no longer available for clinical use, ε-aminocaproic acid (EACA) and tranexamic acid became the only two options for antifibrinolytic therapy. We compared aprotinin and EACA with respect to their blood-sparing efficacy and other major clinical outcome criteria in infants undergoing cardiac surgery. METHODS: /st>We retrospectively analysed data from a large consecutive cohort of infants (n=227) aged 31-365 days undergoing primary cardiac surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass encompassing the transition from aprotinin to EACA (aprotinin n=88, EACA n=139); all other aspects including the medical team and departmental protocols remained unchanged. The primary outcome was postoperative blood loss measured as chest tube output (CTO). Secondary outcome parameters were transfusion requirements, reoperation due to bleeding, renal, vascular, and neurological complications, and in-hospital mortality. RESULTS: /st>CTO was significantly higher in the EACA patients {aprotinin 18 (13-27) ml kg(-1) 24 h(-1), EACA 23 (15-37) ml kg(-1) 24 h(-1) [mean (inter-quartile range)], P=0.001}, but transfusion requirements and donor exposures were not significantly different. A sensitivity analysis strengthened our finding that the increased blood loss in the EACA group was attributable to lower efficacy of EACA. There were no significant differences in the other clinical outcome measures. CONCLUSIONS: /st>CTO was lower in aprotinin-treated patients. Nonetheless, EACA remains a suitable substitute without measurable differences in other clinical outcome criteria.
    BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia 12/2012; · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In vitro and experimental studies in animals have established the anti-inflammatory effects of moxifloxacin. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) leads to an inflammatory response. The aim of this study was to assess whether the inflammatory cytokine response to CPB is reduced with a perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis, either moxifloxacin or cefuroxime (the standard prophylaxis). Twenty-eight patients scheduled for elective coronary artery bypass grafting with CPB were randomly assigned to receive either moxifloxacin or cefuroxime as the perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis. Interleukin (IL)-6, -8, -10 and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) serum concentrations were determined at eight time points before and after CPB. In both groups, all cytokine concentrations significantly increased after the start of CPB. There were no statistically significant differences between the moxifloxacin and cefuroxime groups at any point; IL-6 concentrations [median (interquartile range)] 240 min after CPB, the primary endpoint, were 364 (192-598) and 465 (325-906) pg/mL (P = 0.323), respectively. Neither moxifloxacin nor cefuroxime produced significant attenuation of the inflammatory cytokine response to CPB. The reasons why moxifloxacin did not have significant anti-inflammatory effects in this unique clinical situation may be: (i) the inflammatory response to CPB may be different from that of infectious disease states that were used to establish the immunomodulatory effects of moxifloxacin; and (ii) a single intravenous dose, which was used in this investigation, may not lead to high enough plasma and intracellular concentrations.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 01/2012; 67(1):230-3. · 5.34 Impact Factor
  • Infection 01/2012; 40:22-23. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the withdrawal of aprotinin from worldwide marketing in November 2007, many institutions treating patients at high risk for hyperfibrinolysis had to update their therapeutic protocols. At our institution, the standard was switched from aprotinin to ε-aminocaproic acid (EACA) in all patients undergoing cardiac surgery with extracorporeal circulation including neonates. Although both antifibrinolytic medications have been used widely for many years, there are few data directly comparing their blood-sparing effect and their side-effects especially in neonates. Perioperative data from 235 neonates aged up to 30 days undergoing primary cardiac surgery were analysed. Between July 1, 2006 and November 5, 2007, all patients (n=95) received aprotinin. Starting November 6, 2007 until December 31, 2009, all patients (n=140) were treated with EACA. The primary outcome criterion was blood loss; secondary outcome criteria were transfusion requirements, renal, vascular, and neurological complications and also in-hospital mortality. All descriptive and intraoperative data variable were similar. Blood loss was significantly higher in the EACA group (P=0.001), but there was no difference in the rate of re-operation for bleeding (P=0.218) nor the number of transfusions. There were no differences in the incidences of postoperative renal, neurological, and vascular events or in-hospital mortality. In neonatal patients undergoing cardiac surgery, the switch to EACA treatment led to a higher postoperative blood loss. However, there were no differences in transfusion requirements or major clinical outcomes.
    BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia 08/2011; 107(6):934-9. · 4.24 Impact Factor
  • European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 04/2011; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ε-Aminocaproic acid (EACA) and tranexamic acid (TXA) are used for antifibrinolytic therapy in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery, although data directly comparing their blood-sparing efficacy are not yet available. We compared two consecutive cohorts of neonates for the effect of these two medications on perioperative blood loss and allogeneic transfusions. Data from the EACA group (n = 77) were collected over a 12-month period; data from the tranexamic acid group (n = 28) were collected over a 5-month period. Blood loss, rate of reoperation due to bleeding, and transfusion requirements were measured. There was no significant difference in blood loss at 6 hours (EACA 24 [17-30] mL/kg [median (interquartile range)] vs. TXA 20 [11-34] mL/kg, P = 0.491), at 12 hours (EACA 31 [22-38] mL/kg vs. TXA 27 [19-43] ml/kg, P = 0.496) or at 24 hours postoperatively (EACA 41 [31-47] mL/kg vs. TXA 39 [27-60] mL/kg; P = 0.625) or transfusion of blood products. ε-Aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid are equally effective with respect to perioperative blood loss and transfusion requirements in newborns undergoing cardiac surgery.
    The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon 03/2011; 59(5):276-80. · 0.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the lysine analogs tranexamic acid (TXA) and aminocaproic acid (EACA) are used widely for antifibrinolytic therapy in cardiac surgery, relatively little research has been performed on their safety profiles, especially in the setting of cardiac surgery. Two antifibrinolytic protocols using either TXA or aminocaproic acid were compared according to postoperative outcome. A retrospective analysis. A university-affiliated hospital. Six hundred four patients undergoing cardiac surgery. One cohort of 275 consecutive patients received TXA; a second cohort of 329 consecutive patients was treated with EACA. Except for antifibrinolytic therapy, the anesthetic and surgical teams and their protocols remained unchanged. Besides major outcome criteria, namely postoperative bleeding, the need for allogeneic transfusions, operative revision because of bleeding, postoperative renal dysfunction, neurologic events, heart failure, and in-hospital mortality, the authors specifically sought differences between the groups concerning seizures. The 2 cohorts were comparable over a range of perioperative factors. Postoperative seizures occurred significantly more frequently in TXA patients (7.6% v 3.3%, p = 0.019), whereas EACA patients had a higher incidence of postoperative renal dysfunction (20.0% v 30.1%, p = 0.005). There were no differences in all other measured major outcome factors. Both lysine analogs are associated with significant side effects, which must be taken into account when performing risk-benefit analyses of their use. Their use should be restricted to patients at high risk for bleeding; routine use on low-risk patients undergoing standard surgeries should face renewed critical reappraisal.
    Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia 02/2011; 25(1):20-5. · 1.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the in vitro effects of high concentrations of heparin and its reversal with protamine on routine laboratory parameters as well as on modified thromboelastogram (ROTEM; TEM International, Munich, Germany) and impedance aggregometry (MULTIPLATE; Dynabyte, Munich, Germany). An observational, nonrandomized in vitro study. A single-center, university hospital. Ten healthy volunteers. Heparinization of whole blood to levels of 2, 4, 6, and 8 IU/mL of heparin and reversal with protamine. For MULTIPLATE measurements, heparin levels up to 20 IU/mL were tested. The present results show that the prothrombin time (PT) and fibrinogen measurements are altered significantly by heparin concentrations above 2 IU/mL. Protamine reversal also affected coagulation tests except for the fibrinogen. The INTEM test using the ROTEM system was influenced significantly by heparin concentrations of 2 IU/mL or higher, whereas EXTEM measurements remained stable up to 4 IU/mL. The findings for the FIBTEM test were stable up to 6 IU/mL but then declined to values less than 50% of baseline at 8 IU/mL. HEPTEM results remained valid under all concentrations of heparin tested. The effect of protamine on ROTEM was seen mainly in the INTEM and HEPTEM measurements. Heparin concentrations up to a level of 20 U/mL had no effect on MULTIPLATE measurements. Effects of protamine on MULTIPLATE became significant at heparin-to-protamine ratios below 1:1 and were more pronounced for adenosine diphosphate than for thrombin receptor-activated protein testing. Neither fibrinogen (Clauss) nor derived fibrinogen or FIBTEM testing is valid in the setting of high concentrations of heparin unless antagonized by heparinase. Reversal of heparin with protamine worsens platelet function at all ratios as detected by aggregometry (MULTIPLATE) and thromboelastography (ROTEM), starting at a 1:1 ratio. Therefore, appropriate coagulation testing under cardiopulmonary bypass conditions should be selected carefully according to heparin levels. In particular, fibrinogen values are falsely low at heparin levels of 2 IU/mL and above. Therefore, newer algorithms promoting the correction of fibrinogen levels on cardiopulmonary bypass should be based on appropriate testing.
    Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia 02/2011; 25(6):981-6. · 1.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tranexamic acid (TXA) and ɛ-aminocaproic acid (EACA) are used for antifibrinolytic therapy in cardiac surgery, although data directly comparing their blood sparing effect and their side effects, especially in paediatric cardiac surgical patients, are still missing. We analysed perioperative data of 234 paediatric patients weighing less than 20 kg undergoing cardiac surgery. In a 5-month period, all patients (n=114) received TXA (group TXA). During a second 5-month period, all patients (n=120) were treated with EACA (group EACA). Primary outcome was blood loss at 24h postoperatively; secondary outcome criteria were transfusion requirement, rate of revision for bleeding, postoperative complications and in-hospital mortality. All descriptive and intra-operative parameters were well comparable. There was no evidence for a difference in blood loss at 24h postoperatively (TXA 21 ml kg(-1) (14-38) (median (interquartile range)) vs EACA 29 ml kg(-1) (14-40), p=0.242), rate of re-operation for bleeding (TXA 9.6% vs EACA 8.3%, p=0.725) and transfusion of blood products. The incidence of postoperative complications such as seizures (TXA 3.5% vs EACA 0.8%, p=0.203) and other neurological complications (TXA 2.6% vs EACA 1.7%, p=0.677), renal injury (TXA 9.6% vs EACA 13.3%, p=0.378), renal failure (TXA 1.8% vs EACA 4.2%, p=0.447), low cardiac output syndrome (TXA 12.3% vs EACA 10.8%, p=0.729), and vascular thrombosis (TXA 4.4% vs EACA 5.0%, p=0.824), as well as the in-hospital mortality (TXA 2.6% vs EACA 3.3%, p>0.999) did not show any statistically significant difference. TXA and EACA are well comparable in their effect on perioperative blood loss as well as in major clinical outcome criteria. Although the fourfold risk for seizures using TXA was not significant, we currently use EACA in paediatric cardiac surgery.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 11/2010; 39(6):892-7. · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    Ralph Gertler, Girish P. Joshi
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    ABSTRACT: Patients eligible for ambulatory anesthesia must achieve discharge criteria rapidly after completion of the surgery. Therefore, the anesthetic technique used should allow early recovery and reduce common postoperative complications, in particular pain, nausea, and vomiting. The choice of anesthetic technique (i.e., general versus regional anesthesia) can be an important determinant of the recovery after ambulatory surgery.1 A recent meta-analysis suggests that regional anesthesia techniques reduce postanesthesia care unit (PACU) use and postoperative nausea and pain; however, they do not reduce the time to home-readiness. 2 Overall, general anesthesia continues to be the mainstay of ambulatory anesthesia practice.
    05/2010: pages 234-251;
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    ABSTRACT: A shortage of blood products is predicted for the near future in many countries all over the world. Preoperative autologous blood donation (PABD) in cardiac surgery is considered an option to reduce the need of allogeneic blood products. We analysed a 1-year period of our institutional database according to the safety and efficiency of our autologous blood donation programme. All patients who donated autologous blood prior to cardiac surgery were matched to a non-donor according to age, body weight, body mass index, sex, haemoglobin concentration, EuroSCORE, antifibrinolytic therapy and risk for bleeding. We analysed the occurrence of adverse effects during donation in all donors as well as the main perioperative data, haemoglobin levels and the need for allogeneic blood transfusion in all patients. There were no major cardiac events such as myocardial infarction, worsened cardiac insufficiency or death in the donor group during the PABD process. A total of 216 patients could be matched. Exposure to allogeneic blood products was significantly reduced in the donor group (packed red cells 70 patients (pts) vs 118 pts (p<0.001), fresh frozen plasma 26 pts vs 54 pts (p=0.001), platelets 10 pts vs 22 pts (p=ns)). There were no reports of transfusion-related side effects. Further, there was no difference in haemoglobin concentrations at postoperative day 1 and at discharge. In this large matched-pair analysis without the need for risk stratification, PABD reduces the need for allogeneic blood products in adult cardiac surgery. In a carefully selected cohort, PABD is a safe and efficient alternative to allogeneic transfusion.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 03/2010; 37(6):1396-401. · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Ralph Gertler, Girish P. Joshi
    Advances in Anesthesia 01/2010; 28(1):15-33.
  • Ralph Gertler M.D. Staff Anesthesiologist, M.H.C.M. Chief of Anesthesiology Professor Dean B. Andropoulos M.D
    Anesthesia for Congenital Heart Disease, 11/2009: pages 93 - 120; , ISBN: 9781444314328

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