European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

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Safety and efficacy of tracheotomy for critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan: a case series of 14 patients

AbstractOBJECTIVESCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic. Critically ill patients often require prolonged intubation for mechanical ventilation to support breathing; thus, the artificial airway must be managed by tracheotomy. Therefore, studies exploring appropriate and safe methods for tracheotomy that minimize the risks of nosocomial transmission are important.METHODSA retrospective analysis of the clinical characteristics of 14 critically ill patients with COVID-19, who underwent bedside tracheotomy from March to April 2020 was conducted to summarize the indications for tracheotomy and key points related to personal protective equipment and surgical procedures.RESULTSAll 14 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 and were critically ill. All tracheotomies were performed in the late phase of the infection course. The interval between the infection and tracheotomy was 33 days, and the median interval between intubation and tracheotomy was 25.5 days. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction results of secretions from the operative incision and inside the tracheotomy tube were negative. Twelve patients improved after tracheotomy, with SpO2 levels maintained above 96%. One patient died of progressive respiratory failure; another patient died of uncontrolled septic shock. No medical staff who participated in the tracheotomy was infected.CONCLUSIONSTracheotomy in critically ill patients with COVID-19 who meet the indications for tracheotomy potentially represents a safer approach to manage the airway and help improve the treatment outcomes. A tracheotomy performed in the late phase of the disease has a relatively low risk of infection. Adherence to key steps in the tracheotomy procedure and donning adequate personal protection will help medical staff avoid infection.

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Spontaneous pneumothorax and subpleural bullae in a patient with COVID-19: a 92-day observation

AbstractThis report describes a patient with COVID-19 who developed spontaneous pneumothorax and subpleural bullae during the course of the infection. Consecutive chest computed tomography images indicated that COVID-19-associated pneumonia had damaged the subpleural alveoli and distal bronchus. Coughing might have induced a sudden increase in intra-alveolar pressure, leading to the rupture of the subpleural alveoli and distal bronchus and resulting in spontaneous pneumothorax and subpleural bullae. At the 92-day follow-up, the pneumothorax and subpleural bullae had completely resolved, which indicated that these complications had self-limiting features.

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The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on the practice of thoracic oncology surgery: a survey of members of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS)

AbstractOBJECTIVESThere is widespread acknowledgement that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disrupted surgical services. The European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) sent out a survey to assess what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the practice of thoracic oncology surgery.METHODSAll ESTS members were invited (13–20 April 2020) to complete an online questionnaire of 26 questions, designed by the ESTS learning affairs committee.RESULTSThe response rate was 23.0% and the completeness rate was 91.2%. The number of treated COVID-positive cases per hospital varied from fewer than 20 cases (30.6%) to more than 200 cases (22.7%) per hospital. Most hospitals (89.1%) postponed surgical procedures. All hospitals performed patient screening with a nasopharyngeal swab, but only 6.7% routinely tested health care workers. A total of 20% of respondents reported that multidisciplinary meetings were completely cancelled and 66%, that multidisciplinary decisions were not different from normal practice. Trends were recognized in prioritizing surgical patients based on age (younger than 70), type of surgery (lobectomy or less), size of tumour (T1–2) and lymph node involvement (N1). Sixty-three percent of respondents reported that surgeons were involved in daily care of COVID-19-positive patients. Fifty-three percent mentioned that full personal protective equipment was available to them when treating a COVID-19-positive patient.CONCLUSIONSThe COVID-19 pandemic has created issues for the safety of health care workers, and surgeons have been forced to change their routine practice. However, there was no consensus about surgical priorities in lung cancer patients, demonstrating the need for the production of specific guidelines.

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Perspectives in surgical and anaesthetic management of lung cancer in the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

AbstractEarly in 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quickly spread globally, giving rise to a pandemic. In this critical scenario, patients with lung cancer need to continue to receive optimal care and at the same be shielded from infection with the potentially severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Upgrades to the prevention and control of infection have become paramount in order to lower the risk of hospital contagion. Aerosol-generating procedures such as endotracheal intubation or endoscopic procedures may expose health care workers to a high risk of infection. Moreover, thoracic anaesthesia usually requires highly complex airway management procedures because of the need for one-lung isolation and one-lung ventilation. Therefore, in the current pandemic, providing a fast-track algorithm for scientifically standardized diagnostic criteria and treatment recommendations for patients with lung cancer is urgent. Suggestions for improving existing contagion control guidelines are needed, even in the case of non-symptomatic patients who possibly are responsible for virus spread. A COVID-19-specific intraoperative management strategy designed to reduce risk of infection in both health care workers and patients is also required.

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https://academic.oup.com/ejcts/article/58/4/676/5897205?rss=1

COVID-19-associated aortic arch thrombus

COVID-19HypercoagulabilityAortic diseaseThrombusAortic arch

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Corrigendum to ‘Age over 35 years is associated with increased mortality after pulmonary valve replacement in repaired tetralogy of Fallot: results from the UK National Congenital Heart Disease Audit database’ [Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2020;58:825–31]

In the originally published version of this article the Funding section is incomplete. The complete Funding section is reproduced below and has also been corrected in the online version of the full article.

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An evaluation of the long-term patency of the aortocoronary bypass graft anastomosed to a vascular prosthesis

AbstractOBJECTIVESAlthough concomitant surgery for coronary artery disease (CAD) and thoracic aortic aneurysm is performed often, the long-term patency of the coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) anastomosed to a vascular prosthesis has not been fully investigated. Here, we explored the long-term patency of the graft in comparison with the proximal anastomosis site on the native ascending aorta or vascular prosthesis.METHODSA total of 84 patients with concomitant CABG who underwent surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm at 3 Osaka Cardiovascular Research Group institutes were retrospectively investigated for this study. The patency of 109 aortocoronary bypasses using saphenous vein grafts was evaluated with computed tomography angiography or coronary angiography, comparing the grafts anastomosed on the vascular prosthesis (group P, n = 75) to those anastomosed on the native ascending aorta (group N, n = 34).RESULTSDuring 45.9 ± 39.7 months follow-up, significantly worse patency of the grafts in group P was revealed when compared with those in group N (100% vs 77.6% in 12 months, 100% vs 52.7% in 36 months and 100% vs 31.6% in 57 months, log rank P < 0.001). The poor patency of the grafts was confirmed in each target lesions (left anterior descending artery: P = 0.050, right coronary artery: P = 0.045, left circumflex artery: P = 0.051) and regardless of the severities of the target coronary vessels (severe stenosis: P = 0.013, mild-to-moderate stenosis: P = 0.029). Furthermore, an analysis of graft occlusion risk factors using the univariate Cox proportional hazards model revealed that the proximal anastomosis site on the vascular prosthesis was the sole risk factor for graft occlusion (P < 0.001).CONCLUSIONSIn the simultaneous surgery for CAD and thoracic aortic aneurysm, CABG design from vascular prosthesis to coronary artery should be avoided if possible, although further studies are warranted.

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https://academic.oup.com/ejcts/article/58/4/832/5869940?rss=1

The midterm results of thoracic endovascular aortic repair with a precurved fenestrated endograft in zone 0–1

AbstractOBJECTIVESThoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for the treatment of aortic arch disease remains challenging due to certain anatomical and haemodynamic features. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the midterm results of TEVAR with a second-generation fenestrated endograft for aortic arch disease.METHODSThis non-randomized, interventional study was part of a multicentre clinical trial conducted between 2010 and 2011 and was designed to assess the effectiveness of a second-generation precurved fenestrated endograft for aortic arch disease. Midterm data collected during the fifth postoperative year from 205 patients treated with this endograft with the proximal landing of zone 0 or 1 were assessed regarding survival, reoperation and complications.RESULTSThe initial and technical success rates were 94% and 91%, respectively. Ninety-seven percent of patients were treated using zone 0. The rate of in-hospital deaths was 3%. Overall survival was 71% at 5 years; thoracic aorta-related death-free survival rates at 1 and 5 years after surgery were 99.5% and 97.8%, respectively. Aneurysm-related event-free survival rates at 1 and 5 years after surgery were 86.8% and 77.1%, respectively. Reoperation-free survival rates at 5 years were 86.6%. The most frequent reason for reoperation was type Ia endoleak (5%), followed by type II endoleak (2%). Incidences of cerebral infarction, device migration, spinal cord ischaemia and supra-aortic branch stenosis were 6%, 1%, 1% and 1%, respectively.CONCLUSIONSThe precurved fenestrated endograft provided appropriate conformability to the aortic arch and made zone 0 landing possible with simplified, less-invasive manipulations. The midterm results of TEVAR with this endograft suggest this method is a valuable endovascular treatment option for aortic arch disease.Clinical trial registration numberUMIN000007213.

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Clinical features and outcomes of thoracic surgery patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

AbstractOBJECTIVESThe goal of this study was to describe the clinical features and outcomes of thoracic surgery patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.METHODSThirty-five patients were treated at the 12 de Octubre University Hospital in Madrid between 1 March 2020 and 24 April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient demographics, surgical procedures, complications, COVID-19 symptoms and outcomes were recorded. A protocol was introduced to reduce the risk of operating on patients with COVID-19, including symptom screening, a polymerase chain reaction test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and computed tomography scans of the chest. Surgical activity changed significantly during this time, from an initial period of near-normal activity, through an emergency-only period and finally a recovery period when some oncological surgical cases were restarted. Selection criteria for surgical patients are also described.RESULTSA total of 34 patients underwent surgery during the pandemic period. We performed 22 lung resections (11 lobectomies and 11 sublobar resections). No hospital deaths were recorded. An elective surgery patient and an emergency surgery patient were diagnosed with COVID-19 (5.88%). The former died within 30 days after surgery.CONCLUSIONSSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 represents a tremendous limitation for thoracic surgical practice. Preoperative practices to exclude asymptomatic cases infected with the virus allowed us to perform thoracic surgical procedures.

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