Background: This study compared outcomes of patients bridged with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) following the recent heart allocation policy change. Methods: The United Network of Organ Sharing Registry (UNOS) database was queried to examine OHT patients between 2010-2020 that were bridged with ECMO. Waitlist outcomes and one-year posttransplant survival were compared between patients waitlisted and/or transplanted before and after the heart allocation policy change. Secondary outcomes included posttransplant stroke, renal failure, and one-year rejection. Results: 285 waitlisted patients were included, 173 (60.7%) waitlisted under the old policy and 112 (39.3%) under the new policy. New policy patients were more likely to receive OHT (82.2% vs 40.6%), and less likely to be removed from the waitlist due to death or clinical deterioration (15.0% vs 41.3%) (both P<0.001). 165 patients bridged from ECMO to OHT were analyzed, 72 (43.6%) transplanted during the old policy and 93 (56.3%) under the new. Median waitlist time was reduced under the new policy (4 days [IQR 2-6] vs 47 days [IQR 10-228]). Postoperative renal failure was higher in the new policy group (23% vs 6%; P=0.002), but rates of stroke and one-year acute rejection were equivalent. One-year survival was lower the new policy but was not significant (79.8% vs 90.3%; P=0.3917). Conclusions: The UNOS heart allocation policy change has resulted in decreased waitlist times and higher likelihood of transplant in patients supported with ECMO. Posttransplant one-year survival has remained comparable although absolute rates are lower.
Objectives: Though guidelines are set by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery for the operative cases that cardiothoracic surgery residents must perform to be board-eligible, no such recommendations exist to assess competency for the wide range of high-risk bedside procedures. Our department created and implemented a multi-disciplinary developed course designed to standardize common high-risk bedside procedures and credential our residents. The aim of this study was to survey the attitudes of residents to and query the efficacy of such a course. Methods: The course was designed with the goal of standardizing endotracheal intubation, arterial line insertion (radial and femoral), central venous line insertion, pigtail tube thoracostomy and nasogastric tube placement. The course consisted of an online module followed by a 4-hour hands on simulation session. Knowledge based pre and post evaluations were administered as well as Likert based survey regarding multiple aspects of the residents’ perceptions of the course and the procedures. Results: Twenty-three (7 traditional and 16 integrated) cardiothoracic surgical residents participated in the course. Residents reported that 48% of the time, bedside procedures were historically taught by other trainees rather than faculty. All residents endorsed increased standardization of all procedures after the course. Likewise, residents showed increased confidence in all procedures except for pigtail and thoracentesis as well as nasogastric tube placement. 43.5% of the participants demonstrated improvement in the pre and post-test knowledge-based evaluations. ConclusionCardiothoracic residents have favorable attitudes towards standardization and credentialing for high risk bedside procedures and utilizing such courses may help standardize procedural techniques.
Coronary artery aneurysms are exceedingly rare and tend to be found incidentally on angiography. We present the case of a 6cm giant coronary artery aneurysm discovered in a 25 year old man. Subsequent workup included cardiac gated MRI, CT angiography and left heart catheterization. Imaging revealed a 6.7 x 6.2 x 6.0 cm aneurysm involving the mid LAD subsequent to the takeoff of a large septal perforator. He was taken electively for operative repair during which the aneurysm was opened, unroofed and ligated at the ostium while taking care to ensuring normal flow in the septal perforator that supplied multiple small collaterals. In this unique case, a coronary artery aneurysm of considerable size was encountered in the LAD of a healthy young adult in which the size of the aneurysm precluded distal revascularization via bypass grafting. Multiple imaging modalities were used to characterize this finding and aid in surgical planning.