[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Redo cardiac surgery represents a clinical challenge due to a higher rate of peri-operative morbidity and mortality. Mitral valve re-operations can be particularly demanding in patients with patent coronary artery bypass grafts, previous aortic valve replacement, calcified aorta or complications following a previous operation (abscesses, perivalvular leaks, or thrombosis). Risk of graft injuries, hemorrhage, the presence of dense adhesions and complex valve exposure can make redo valve operations challenging through a median sternotomy. In this review article we provide an overview of minimally invasive approaches for redo mitral valve surgery discussing indications, techniques, outcomes, concerns and controversies. Scientific literature about minimally invasive approach for redo mitral surgery was reviewed with a MEDLINE search strategy combining "mitral valve" with the following terms: 'minimally invasive', 'reoperation', and 'alternative approach'. The search was limited to the last ten years. A total of 168 papers were found using the reported search. From these, ten papers were identified to provide the best evidence on the subject. Mitral valve reoperations can be safely and effectively performed through a smaller right thoracotomy in the fourth intercostal space termed "mini" thoracotomy or "port access". The greatest potential benefit of a right mini-thoracotomy is the avoidance of sternal re-entry and limited dissection of adhesions, avoiding the risk of injury to cardiac structures or patent grafts. Good percentages of valve repair can be achieved. Mortality is low as well as major complications. Minimally invasive procedures with an unclamped aorta have the potential to combine the benefits of minimally invasive access and continuous myocardial perfusion. Less invasive trans-catheter techniques could be considered as the natural future evolution for management of structural heart disease and mitral reoperations. The safety and efficacy of these procedures has never been compared to open reoperations in a randomized trial, although published case series and comparisons to historical cohorts suggest that they are an effective and feasible alternative. Ongoing follow-up on current series will further define these procedures and provide valuable clinical outcome data.
Journal of thoracic disease. 11/2013; 5(Suppl 6):S686-S693.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Surgical repair of the aortic arch is technically demanding and requires complex circulatory management. Endovascular techniques can treat arch diseases but frequently need surgical de-branching of supra-aortic vessels.
We describe the use of a new, custom-made, branched stent-graft system to treat a penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer of the aortic arch. This system consisted of a combination of three endoluminal prostheses introduced via peripheral arteries.
The branched stent-graft system was effective and safe. Minimally invasive techniques for aortic-arch repair are attractive but technological progress and further improvements are still necessary in the endovascular treatment of complex arch anatomy.
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. 05/2013; 45(5):535.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postsurgical intrapericardial adhesions are still considered an unavoidable consequence of cardiothoracic operations. They increase the technical difficulty and the risk of reoperations. The pathogenesis of postsurgical adhesions is a multistep process, and the main key players are (1) loss of mesothelial cells, (2) accumulation of fibrin in areas devoid of mesothelial cells, (3) loss of normal pericardial fibrinolysis, and (4) local inflammation. Today, very promising methods to reduce adhesions are available for clinical use. This report reviews the process of formation of adhesions and the methods to prevent them, classified according to the mechanism of action.
The Annals of thoracic surgery 04/2013; · 3.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased oxidative stress in a failing heart may contribute to the pathogenesis of heart failure (HF). The aim of this study was to identify the oxidised proteins in the myocardium of HF patients and analyse the consequences of oxidation on protein function. The carbonylated proteins in left ventricular tissue from failing (n = 14) and non-failing human hearts (n = 13) were measured by immunoassay and identified by proteomics. HL-1 cardiomyocytes were incubated in the presence of stimuli relevant for HF in order to assess the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), the induction of protein carbonylation, and its consequences on protein function. The levels of carbonylated proteins were significantly higher in the HF patients than in the controls (p<0.01). We identified two proteins that mainly underwent carbonylation: M-type creatine kinase (M-CK), whose activity is impaired, and, to a lesser extent, α-cardiac actin. Exposure of cardiomyocytes to angiotensin II and norepinephrine led to ROS generation and M-CK carbonylation with loss of its enzymatic activity. Our findings indicate that protein carbonylation is increased in the myocardium during HF and that these oxidative changes may help to explain the decreased CK activity and consequent defects in energy metabolism observed in HF.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e35841. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We reviewed our experience to assess potential advantages of minimally invasive surgery without aortic clamping over conventional median sternotomy and cardioplegic arrest during reoperative valve surgery.
From August 2008 to August 2010, 22 reoperative valve procedures were performed through a minimally invasive approach without aortic cross-clamping [no-clamp group (NCG)]. Postoperative results were compared to a matched population in terms of sex, age, and type of surgery, and operated through median sternotomy with aortic cross-clamping and cardioplegic arrest [clamp group (CG)].
We performed 17 mitral valve replacements (MVRs), one mitral valve repair, one MVR associated to a tricuspid plasty (TVP), and three isolated TVP in both groups. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) time was 166 and 163 minutes in NCG and CG, respectively. Intra-aortic balloon pump was necessary in two (NCG) and three (CG) patients. Two patients died in both groups from multiorgan failure. Biochemical analysis showed no significant differences in perioperative lactate or creatine kinase-MB values.
Redo valve surgery with an unclamped aorta is feasible, effective, and at least as safe as surgery using cardioplegic arrest. There was, however, no difference in biochemical or clinical outcomes from conventional surgery using aortic clamping and cardioplegic techniques.
Journal of Cardiac Surgery 12/2011; 27(1):24-8. · 1.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trans-catheter aortic valve implantation has emerged and rapidly gained credibility as a valuable alternative to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis and no surgical option; however, these patients are often affected also by severe iliac-femoral arteriopathy, rendering the transfemoral approach unemployable. From May 2008, 92 patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis and no reasonable surgical option because of excessive risk underwent trans-catheter aortic valve implantation at our center. Eighty patients (34 male) with mean age 82 ± 8 years were eligible for CoreValve percutaneous femoral implantation. Twelve patients, mean age 81 ± 8 years, were excluded from percutaneous femoral CoreValve implantation because of iliac-femoral arteriopathy.
These 12 patients underwent trans-catheter aortic valve implantation through the left axillary artery in six cases, the other six directly from the ascending aorta through a right anterior mini-thoracotomy. Procedures were performed by a combined team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and anesthetists.
Procedural success was obtained in 11 cases; all these patients were discharged in asymptomatic status, with midterm good prosthesis performance. Three patients required the implantation of a permanent pacemaker. One patient needed a subclavian covered stent implantation to treat a post-implant artery dissection. One patient of the direct aortic access group was converted to the femoral approach due to an extremely fragile aortic wall, but died in the intensive care unit of abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture. All discharged patients improved their New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class and functional capacity, and echocardiograms evidenced good valve performance at 2 years.
Trans-catheter aortic valve implantation with surgical subclavian or direct aortic approach seems safe and feasible, offering a new attractive option to treat selected high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis and peripheral vasculopathy, and has emerged as a valuable alternative route to trans-apical procedures.
European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 03/2011; 39(6):e151-8. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aortic valve disease is the most common acquired valvular heart disease in adults. With the increasing elderly population, the proportion of patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis who are unsuitable for conventional surgery is increasing. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation has rapidly gained credibility as a valuable alternative to surgery to treat these patients; however, they often have severe iliac-femoral arteriopathy, which renders the transfemoral approach unusable. We report our experience with the trans-subclavian approach for transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve (Medtronic CV Luxembourg S.a.r.l.) in 6 patients.
In May 2008 to September 2009, 6 patients (mean age of 82 ± 5 years), with symptomatic aortic stenosis and no reasonable surgical option because of excessive risk, were excluded from percutaneous femoral CoreValve implantation because of iliac-femoral arteriopathy. These patients underwent transcatheter aortic valve implantation via the axillary artery. Procedures were performed by a combined team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and anesthetists in the catheterization laboratory. The CoreValve 18F delivery system was introduced via the left subclavian artery in 6 patients, 1 with a patent left internal thoracic to left anterior descending artery graft.
Procedural success was obtained in all patients, and the mean aortic gradient decreased 5 mm Hg or less immediately after valve deployment. One patient required implantation of a permanent pacemaker. One patient required a subclavian covered stent implantation to treat a postimplant artery dissection associated with difficult surgical hemostasis. One patient was discharged in good condition but died of pneumonia 40 days after the procedure. All patients were asymptomatic on discharge, with good mid-term prosthesis performance.
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation via a surgical subclavian approach seems safe and feasible, offering a new option to treat select, inoperable, and high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis and peripheral vasculopathy.
The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 10/2010; 140(4):911-5, 915.e1-2. · 3.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Concerns exist in the field of transcatheter aortic valve implantation regarding the treatment of patients with mechanical mitral valve for possible interference between the percutaneous aortic valve and the mechanical mitral prosthesis. We report our experience with percutaneous aortic valve implantation in 4 patients with severe aortic stenosis, previously operated on for mitral valve replacement with a mechanical prosthesis. All patients underwent uneventful percutaneous retrograde CoreValve implantation (CoreValve Inc, Irvine, CA). No deformation of the nitinol tubing of the prostheses (ie, neither distortion nor malfunction of the mechanical valve in the mitral position) occurred in any of the patients. All patients are alive and asymptomatic at a mean follow-up of 171 days.
The Annals of thoracic surgery 11/2009; 88(5):e50-2. · 3.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years percutaneous aortic valve implantation has emerged as an alternative therapy to treat patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis considered to be high-risk surgical candidates. We report our experience of a percutaneous retrograde CoreValve implantation in a 77-year-old female with aortic bioprosthesis structural degeneration. The patient underwent aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis in 1999 with the implantation of a 23 mm Carpentier-Edwards; her last echocardiography showed a severe bioprosthesis stenosis. After evaluation by cardiac surgeons and cardiologist, considering the high risk re-do surgical procedure (Logistic Euroscore 30%) and severe comorbidities (severe pulmonary hypertension, hepatocellular carcinoma and severe osteoporosis), a percutaneous aortic valve-in-valve replacement was preferred. A successful percutaneous 26 mm CoreValve prosthesis implantation was performed with the patient awake with local anesthesia and mild sedation. The patient was discharged after 10 days of hospitalization and she is in NYHA functional class I at follow-up. Our experience, characterized by a multidisciplinary approach, necessary to offer the safest conditions and care for patients, demonstrates the feasibility of a new, promising indication for the use of a transcatheter valve implantation: percutaneous treatment of a degenerated aortic bioprosthesis.
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 10/2009; 11(3):182-5. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prosthetic ring annuloplasty is considered the gold standard technique for mitral valve repair, but it has been associated with some drawbacks. Suture annuloplasty is less expensive and may have some physiopathologic advantages. We reviewed the literature to assess clinical results of mitral suture annuloplasty. Thirteen series, each reporting more than 50 patients and published in the last 10 years, were included in the analysis. They comprised 1,648 patients with cumulative follow-up of 5,607 patient-years. Our review suggests that suture annuloplasty is a safe procedure, but a trend toward recurrence of annular dilatation with time was reported. In selected cases, suture annuloplasty is effective, and its mid-term clinical results are encouraging and compare well with those of prosthetic ring repair series. The quality of the results varies according to the particular annuloplasty technique used and to the mitral valve pathology treated. Recent technical modifications have been found to decrease the incidence of repair failure and promise to improve the reproducibility of the procedure. Further investigations are warranted to better assess the long-term results of suture annuloplasty, and to determine whether its theoretical functional advantages translate into a real clinical benefit.
Asian cardiovascular & thoracic annals 09/2007; 15(4):351-8.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic cells plasma membranes are organized into microdomains of specialized function such as lipid rafts and caveolae, with a specific lipid composition highly enriched in cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. In addition to their role in regulating signal transduction, multiple functions have been proposed, such as anchorage of receptors, trafficking of cholesterol, and regulation of permeability. However, an extensive understanding of their protein composition in human heart, both in failing and non-failing conditions, is not yet available. Membrane microdomains were isolated from left ventricular tissue of both failing (n = 15) and non-failing (n = 15) human hearts. Protein composition and differential protein expression was explored by comparing series of 2-D maps and subsequent identification by LC-MS/MS analysis. Data indicated that heart membrane microdomains are enriched in chaperones, cytoskeletal-associated proteins, enzymes and protein involved in signal transduction pathway. In addition, differential protein expression profile revealed that 30 proteins were specifically up- or down-regulated in human heart failure membrane microdomains. This study resulted in the identification of human heart membrane microdomain protein composition, which was not previously available. Moreover, it allowed the identification of multiple proteins whose expression is altered in heart failure, thus opening new perspectives to determine which role they may play in this disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ATP acts as a neurotransmitter via seven P2X receptor-channels for Na(+) and Ca(2+), and eight G-protein-coupled P2Y receptors. Despite evidence suggesting roles in human heart, the map of myocardial P2 receptors is incomplete, and their involvement in chronic heart failure (CHF) has never received adequate attention. In left myocardia from five to nine control and 5-12 CHF subjects undergoing heart transplantation, we analyzed the full repertoire of P2 receptors and of 10 "orphan" P2Y-like receptors. All known P2Y receptors (i.e. P2Y(1,2,4,6,11,12,13,14)) and two P2Y-like receptors (GPR91 and GPR17) were detected in all subjects. All known P2X(1-7) receptors were also detected; of these, only P2X(6) was upregulated in CHF, as confirmed by quantitative real time-PCR. The potential significance of this change was studied in primary cardiac fibroblasts freshly isolated from young pigs. Exposure of cardiac fibroblasts to ATP or its hydrolysis-resistant-analog benzoylATP induced apoptosis. TNFalpha (a cytokine implicated in CHF progression) exacerbated cell death. Similar effects were induced by ATP and TNFalpha in a murine cardiomyocytic cell line. In cardiac fibroblasts, TNFalpha inhibited the downregulation of P2X(6) mRNA associated to prolonged agonist exposure, suggesting that, by preventing ATP-induced P2X(6) desensitization, TNFalpha may abolish a defense mechanism meant at avoiding Ca(2+) overload and, ultimately, Ca(2+)-dependent cell death. This may provide a basis for P2X(6) upregulation in CHF. In conclusion, we provide the first characterization of P2 receptors in the human heart and suggest that the interaction between TNFalpha and the upregulated P2X(6) receptor may represent a novel pathogenic mechanism in CHF.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 01/2006; 39(6):929-39. · 5.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congestive heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization and death in the developed world and affects about 0.4-2% of the adult population [Ann Thorac Surg 1999;68:637-40]. Heart transplantation remains the most effective therapy for end-stage heart disease, but the shortage of donors has led to increasing interest in other surgical options, especially ventricular assist devices (VAD). Several VADs are available to bridge patients to transplantation [N Engl J Med 2001;345:1435-43], including pulsatile devices like the HeartMate (HeartMate, Thoratec, Pleasanton, CA) and Novacor (World Heart, Netherlands), and the DeBakey VAD (MicroMed Technology, Inc., Houston, TX), which is an electromagnetically driven implantable titanium axial flow blood pump designed for left ventricular support. Despite technical improvements, VADs still are associated with serious complications. We reporte a successfull case where we replaced a TCI HeartMate with a DeBakey VAD because of a serious pocket infection, deterioration and failure of the inflow valve.
Interactive cardiovascular and thoracic surgery 01/2005; 3(4):542-3.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congestive heart failure (CHF) affects about 1% of adults in the United States and is a contributing factor in >250,000 deaths per year. In an increasingly elderly population, the surgical treatment of CHF made great progress during the past 3 decades, consuming enormous health care resources. Heart transplantation is still the most effective therapy for end-stage heart disease, with the 10-year survival rate after transplantation approaching 50%. Efforts to increase the supply of donor organs have failed to improve the shortage, underscoring the crucial need for alternatives to cardiac allotransplantation. Alternative surgical options to end-stage heart transplantation are rapidly evolving. Left ventricular assist devices have been used as a bridge to heart transplantation for patients who otherwise might die awaiting a new heart. There is also continued interest in the use of these devices either to bridge patients to full recovery or to destination therapy, without the need for heart replacement. Left ventricular reconstruction, including the Batista and Dor procedures, along with mitral valve repair, cardiomyoplasty, and extreme coronary artery bypass graft surgery, are now being increasingly performed as alternative options. The history, status, and personal experience of surgical treatment of end-stage heart disease are discussed.
The American Journal of Cardiology 05/2003; 91(9A):88F-94F. · 3.21 Impact Factor