Archive for the ‘cardiac surgery’ Category

The concept of TAVR(Trancutaneous aortic valve replacement ) is trying hard  to prevail over surgical aortic valve replacement .Two companies Medtronic and Edwards life have their products (Core and Sapiens)  tested and used with varying success.Meanwhile, Boston scientific has come out with a new one , Lotus valve made with stainless steel and bovine pericardium.


lotus valve tavr

Lotus valve  seems to have a distinct  advantage* (over the Core and Sapiens ) in terms of easy delivery and adjustment (or retrieval ) of valve till  final position and efficient adoptive steel technology in preventing para-valvular leak.

* Outcome awaited.

Human  trials has started with lotus valve in USA 2014.The REPRISE III trial would compare  one to one Lotus vs core valve . Results will be out by 2017.Unlike many interventions the utility value and long-term outcome of  TAVR  seem to be genuine and patients  waiting for aortic valve surgery can look forward to this as a genuine non surgical alternative.

Responding to this , Medtronic and Edwards are  improving upon core valve with Evolute R /Engager and SAPIEN3 , expected  to give a tough time for LOTUS.


1.RESPOND registry , REPRISE 1, 2 and 3 trials

2.A review article on TAVR 

Read Full Post »

With TAVR (Transcutaneous aortic valve replacement ) threatening to take away the Aortic valve surgery atleast in high risk subsets from surgical domain ,a new development is taking place in aortic valve surgery. Minimally Invasive aortic valve replacement and implantation of low profile , bio prosthetic valve placed in aortic root without active suturing .This type of AVR  can be done without traditional  sternotomy  with minimal bypass time , less surgical morbidity and mortality.

It has some specific advantages over TAVR, as the native valve is removed , calcium is debrided and hence less stroke and para-valvular leak .In TAVR cardiologists are blinded ,do lot of guess work to place the valve in right position ,  struggle to handle the deformed and distorted native valve tissue .My belief is,surgery does a more precision job , since the valve is placed in  optimal position .One more issue is, complication of complete heart block and subsequent requirement of pacemaker , its prohibitively high for TAVR as on 2016.(up to 25% )

These new generation valve  are expected to  narrow the gap between AVR and  TAVR. Still. avoiding a surgery is the biggest advantage which drags most patients to TAVR. However, one should ensure quality shouldn’t be compromised for simplicity.

There are two valves available for suture less AVR  , both from Bovine pericardium.

1.Perceval (Psorin)

2.Intuity (Edwards)




Message for the  patients

TAVR is a revolutionary  treatment modality, agreed .However , one need not blindly accept the  TAVR if offered especially in low and medium risk* situations just because it avoids a surgery.(*Of-course technology may evolve further ) Discuss with surgeons .Be well informed about all the intricacies.Currently  surgical risks seem to  overstated and TAVR risks are underplayed in spite of huge cost advantage in favor of surgical AVR.

A note of caution , for suture less AVR must be made .Basically , surgeons  tried to imitate the cardiologists, .Ironically , it has the same issues of TAVR for possible migration of valve.Conventional AVR  with active permanent fixation sutures will remain the 24 carrot gold standard for AVR and all others may  just glitter !

Please realise, medical decision making and consent forms are increasingly looking  similar to signing a  house mortgage loan which comes with  lots of known and unknown “conditions apply”!


tavr tavi avr surture less future of avr metaanalysis phan



Read Full Post »

Many decades ago Potts  shunt  (Central Aortic -PA shunt)was used to increase pulmonary blood flow for severe RVOT obstruction mostly for TOF  and tricuspid atresia .With the advent of  ICR and  Fontan role for central aorti shunts waned.

Now, read this

Chronic ,refractory pulmonary hypertension of any cause has dismal  outcome.In  patients with severe PAH  many patients  reach supra-systemic pressures . RV   a volume handling chamber faces a uphill task of overcoming huge RV after load. As cardiac physicians , we  struggle  to  perfuse the lungs in such situations.

The only option  seems to be  lung transplantation !

How to perfuse the lungs if the RV is failing ?

Is there any other alternative ?

Why not,use LV contractility  to perfuse lungs .

Great Idea isn’t ? After all , how can we allow left ventricle known for it’s  robust bumping function  sit idle and relax  when it’s counterpart is struggling with heavy load ?

How to use LV for increasing pulmonary blood flow ?

Create a central Aortic -Pulmonary shunt.

That’s resurgence of Potts shunt.

Dr Julie Blanc from France suggested this approach in in NEJM as a letter  (Potts Shunt in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension N Engl J Med 2004; 350:623) .  It  was a great Idea.

Since then lots of patients  have a benefited from this vintage surgery.

potts shunt in severe pulmonary hypertension

Final message

A surgery blamed for early onset of pulmonary vascular damage due to potential Eisenmenger reaction is back .Indication for refractory Eisenmenger syndrome to perfuse lungs  at very high pressure Nothing is obsolete in medical science .Nothing is ironical as well !

Another Innovation : Now Transcatheter Potts Surgery

potts shunt for eisenmenger and severe pulmonary arterial  pht pah

Read Full Post »

Inter atrial septal aneurysm is a benign disorder of IAS where the flap  of fossa ovalis bulges on either to right  or left atrium. It may be associated with fine fenestration or even a classical  ostium secundum  ASD.

atrial septal aneurysm 002

An unusual buckling motion of IAS aneurysm.

Though the pressure within the atria is one of the determinant of this  bulge.The morphology of the flap is such that it more often prolapse into LA than RA. Rarely it can be dynamic and  moves 180 degrees , buckling between RA and LA .This unusual  motion is real stress to IAS and can trigger atrial  ectopic beats. and atrial tachycardia .

Read  related article  IAS aneurysm 


Read Full Post »

I wish to  be in New Zealand , not only because of the stunning  natural beauty but also to pay tribute to one of the great  cardiac surgeons  of our time from Auckland .
An alluring  country side cricket ground  abutting the runway  . . . Queenstown I think !

Sir Brian Gerald Barratt-Boyes (1924-2006), Who pioneered all forms of  heart surgery that  specifically included  complex congenial heart disease . Thousands of Kiwi   children are alive and leading a  magnificent life today  because of this  man from Green lane an alumni of Mayo .

barret boyce tof intra cardiac repair cardiac surgeon

Many heart surgeons from India and Asia pacific have trained under him .


Green lane Hospital Auckland.

This is the  hospital where Barrat Boyes worked headed the department of cardiac surgery .He had to over come large bureaucratic hurdles before becoming world ‘s leading cardiac surgery center. And , he lives everyday  in all cardiac units   through this book .

barratt boyce kirklin

Here is a link to pay tribute to this extraordinary man.

Read Full Post »

Mitral para-valvular leak

para valvular leak 002

How to manage para valvular leak ? 

Does  the terms  peri  & para valvular leak mean the same ?

Coming soon  . . .

Mean while , read this article from ESC journal  for an excellent discussion on the topic .

1. http://www.escardio.org/Para valvular leak

2. The ultimate  reference on the topic of prosthetic valve assessment by Echocardiography  http://www.asecho.org/files/public/pvtext.pdf

prosthetic valve echocardiography guidleines acc asecho esc

Read Full Post »

CABG surgery is the commonest cardiac surgery done world wide .Right from the days of CASS study the  CABG was considered a major traumatic surgery to relive a small block in a coronary artery  (Not exactly relief  . . .it  just by-passes )

However , for more than two decades  till early 1990s CABG ruled supreme.Ever since coronary stenting grew in an  exponential fashion  the outcome of CABG  needed scrutiny .Surgeons had a compulsion  to explain  the world , CABG indeed has a  acceptable risk benefit ratio in the management of CAD .

Thus came the EUROSCORE  . First developed in 1995 .The initial score used a simple additive risk next it was modified

with logistic regression .


Can you withhold  a surgery on the basis of high EUROSCORE  ?

Is it scientifically validated ?

EUROSCORE gives us  30day mortality

What is the acceptable EUROSCORE for CABG?



What is the major limitation for EURO-SCORING system ?

It is ironical the most important determinant of any surgery is  the surgeon’s competence and institutional expertise in handling emergencies  and financial affordability  .They are  not included in the scoring .  This makes the EUROSCORE in most of the developing countries including India a futility .

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »