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Archive for June, 2021

The relationship between Aorta & PA is the key to diagnose many complex congenital heart diseases. Here is a simplified illustration for gross understanding. Please refer to other sources for complete review.

 

Further reading

CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE| VOLUME 118, ISSUE 9P1390-1398, What Determines Whether the Great Arteries Are Normally or Abnormally Related?   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.07.050

 

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Caution: Some language 

News

It is heartening to note the apex body that is leading the fight against Covid in India, has responded well. It has either recalled or censured many of the Investigations & drugs, procedures that were used in this pandemic. (Not because they are futile, but they also resulted in a meaningless escalation of cost and possibly worsened the outcome)

So, what?

Beware, “non-scientific mutations” are common in medical research even in ordinary times. It is omnipresent now, and no surprise they end up as a premature evidence base. The consequences of this can be as adverse as the viral variants we fear. The global economic drain of this pandemic is definitely more than what it really deserves. The bulk of resources consumed by Remdesviers, Tociluzumabs, Ivermectins, etc. will easily cross few billions. Further, it is estimated 100s of millions were spent on Indiscriminate diagnostics like CT scans and, Interleukins, D dimers, and even RTPCRs that made a mountain out of a mole. Infinite doses of antibiotics are diligently prescribed for a viral disease knowing fully well it won’t work. One estimate In India says 800 crores worth of Zinc and vitamins were sold over the counter. (The same budget for 1000 bedded state of art hospital!) Heartless marketing. It was painful to watch hard-earned savings was siphoned from not so wealthy & poor for a simple hospital stay.

 It must be acknowledged the Government (both state and central) is doing an exemplary job taking care of both private and public health against all odds. However, on a global scale, It is unfortunate many Governments of low GDP countries were politically compelled to spend on flimsy interventions for a self-expiring pandemic. If only these funds are diverted properly, that would help us build permanent health Infrastructure in each of the underdeveloped districts. The only thing, that’s worthy to spend now, is towards the largescale manufacturing of a quality vaccine. Health economists from WHO shall genuinely audit the global expenditure of this pandemic that will help tackle future pandemics better.

(In)conclusion

The virus has decided to play its own game with humanity for whatever reason. The great news is that the vaccine is working. We hope the virus will show enough mercy and leave us shortly. Please follow the required covid hygiene and learn to live in a  personal lockdown mode so that countries need not shut down. Meanwhile, a strict embargo on excessive covid related information in the public domain seems as critical as the vaccine. (the demarcation between true knowledge and misinformation is as blurred as one could Imagine)

Postamble 

Wishing for a  smooth landing with abundant common sense (Image courtesy TIME magazine )

Happy days will be here again soon. But, never forget the harsh lessons taught by this tiny virus .“We must learn to cohabitate on this planet along with other lives peacefully. If we are adamant, God is likely to lose his patience and may not hesitate to discard us permanently “

 

 

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3D printing technology is growing at a rapid pace. Both cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are expected to benefit a lot.It helps us in understanding deformed anatomy in complex congenital heart disease as well as planning for synthetic cardiac implants. 

Currently, the technology is limited only by the chemical material used to print the heart and its components. The American chemical society is working at it to create more realistic heart models. Once we master this,  biological printing with synthetic tissue equivalents is the ultimate aim. 

Major Indications

  • Planning cardiac reconstructive surgeries in congenital heart disease. 
  • Aortic grafts in Marfan syndrome and other endovascular grafts.
  • Valve prototyping

What could be possible in the future?

A dream possibility is that, 3D printing of a patient’s own coronary artery that is diseased with an exact replica that may either act as a surgical graft or deliverable percutaneously.

It is 3D cloning of a coronary artery with a live blood flow experimental setting.(Image clipped from above video)

Final message

It is a merger of biology, chemistry, tissue engineering, and computing. Already it is used in specific conditions.(How about ordering a designer RVOT in severe TOF ?) We are approaching fascinating times in cardiology. Of course, everything would come at a price. We can reap the benefits of this path-breaking progress in science, if and only if, technology is regulated well, Indications are liberally coated with common sense.

Reference

A review article on 3D printing in cardiology Nature review 

Giannopoulos 2016

 

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