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1.  AMPK - Activated Protein Kinase and its Role in Energy Metabolism of the Heart 
Current Cardiology Reviews  2010;6(4):337-342.
Adenosine monophosphate – activated kinase (AMPK) plays a key role in the coordination of the heart’s anabolic and catabolic pathways. It induces a cellular cascade at the center of maintaining energy homeostasis in the cardiomyocytes.. The activated AMPK is a heterotrimeric protein, separated into a catalytic α - subunit (63kDa), a regulating β - subunit (38kDa) and a γ - subunit (38kDa), which is allosterically adjusted by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP). The actual binding of AMP to the γ – subunit is the step which activates AMPK.
AMPK serves also as a protein kinase in several metabolic pathways of the heart, including cellular energy sensoring or cardiovascular protection. The AMPK cascade represents a sensitive system, activated by cellular stresses that deplete ATP and acts as an indicator of intracellular ATP/AMP. In the context of cellular stressors (i.e. hypoxia, pressure overload, hypertrophy or ATP deficiency) the increasing levels of AMP promote allosteric activation and phosphorylation of AMPK. As the concentration of AMP begins to increase, ATP competitively inhibits further phosphorylation of AMPK. The increase of AMP may also be induced either from an iatrogenic emboli, percutaneous coronary intervention, or from atherosclerotic plaque rupture leading to an ischemia in the microcirculation. To modulate energy metabolism by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation is vital in terms of ATP usage, maintaining transmembrane transporters and preserving membrane potential.
In this article, we review AMPK and its role as an important regulatory enzyme during periods of myocardial stress, regulating energy metabolism, protein synthesis and cardiovascular protection.
doi:10.2174/157340310793566073
PMCID: PMC3083815  PMID: 22043210
Adenosine monophosphate - activated protein kinase; AMPK; heart failure; cardiac energy metabolism.
2.  Treatment of gram-positive deep sternal wound infections in cardiac surgery -experiences with daptomycin- 
The reported incidence of deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) after cardiac surgery is 0.4-5% with Staphylococcus aureus being the most common pathogen isolated from infected wound sternotomies and bacteraemic blood cultures. This infection is associated with a higher morbidity and mortality than other known aetiologies. Little is reported about the optimal antibiotic management. The aim of the study is to quantify the application of daptomycin treatment of DSWI due to gram-positive organisms post cardiac surgery.
We performed an observational analysis in 23 cases of post sternotomy DSWI with gram-positive organisms February 2009 and September 2010. When the wound appeared viable and the microbiological cultures were negative, the technique of chest closure was individualised to the patient.
The incidence of DSWI was 1.46%. The mean dose of daptomycin application was 4.4 ± 0.9 mg/kg/d and the average duration of the daptomycin application was 14.47 ± 7.33 days. In 89% of the patients VAC therapy was used. The duration from daptomycin application to sternal closure was 18 ± 13.9 days. The parameters of infection including, fibrinogen (p = 0.03), white blood cell count (p = 0.001) and C-reactive protein (p = 0.0001) were significantly reduced after daptomycin application. We had no mortality and wound healing was successfully achieved in all patients.
Treatment of DSWI due to gram-positive organisms with a daptomycin-containing antibiotic regimen is safe, effective and promotes immediate improvement of local wound conditions.
Based on these observations, daptomycin may offer a new treatment option for expediting surgical management of DSWI after cardiac surgery.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-6-112
PMCID: PMC3184046  PMID: 21929771
Cardiac surgery; Sternal infection; Antibiotic therapy; Daptomycin
3.  Extracorporeal life support in pediatric cardiac dysfunction 
Background
Low cardiac output (LCO) after corrective surgery remains a serious complication in pediatric congenital heart diseases (CHD). In the case of refractory LCO, extra corporeal life support (ECLS) extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or ventricle assist devices (VAD) is the final therapeutic option. In the present study we have reviewed the outcomes of pediatric patients after corrective surgery necessitating ECLS and compared outcomes with pediatric patients necessitating ECLS because of dilatated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Methods
A retrospective single-centre cohort study was evaluated in pediatric patients, between 1991 and 2008, that required ECLS. A total of 48 patients received ECLS, of which 23 were male and 25 female. The indications for ECLS included CHD in 32 patients and DCM in 16 patients.
Results
The mean age was 1.2 ± 3.9 years for CHD patients and 10.4 ± 5.8 years for DCM patients. Twenty-six patients received ECMO and 22 patients received VAD. A total of 15 patients out of 48 survived, 8 were discharged after myocardial recovery and 7 were discharged after successful heart transplantation. The overall mortality in patients with extracorporeal life support was 68%.
Conclusion
Although the use of ECLS shows a significantly high mortality rate it remains the ultimate chance for children. For better results, ECLS should be initiated in the operating room or shortly thereafter. Bridge to heart transplantation should be considered if there is no improvement in cardiac function to avoid irreversible multiorgan failure (MFO).
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-112
PMCID: PMC2993705  PMID: 21083896
4.  Daptomycin as a possible new treatment option for surgical management of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus sternal wound infection after cardiac surgery 
We present a case of a 77-year old female who had undergone a coronary artery bypass grafting with an aortic valve replacement and developed three month later a Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) sternal wound infection which was successful treated with Daptomycin combined with vacuum-assisted closure (VAC).
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-57
PMCID: PMC2922106  PMID: 20691034
5.  Bentall procedure 39 years after implantation of a Starr-Edwards Aortic Caged- Ball-Valve Prosthesis 
We report a case of a male patient who received an implantation of a Starr-Edwards-caged-ball-valve-prosthesis in 1967. The surgery and postoperative course were without complications and the patient recovered well after the operation. For the next four decades, the patient remained asymptomatic - no restrictions on his lifestyle and without any complications. In 2006, 39 years after the initial operation, we performed a Bentall-Procedure to treat an aortic ascendens aneurysm with diameters of 6.0 × 6.5 cm: we explanted the old Starr-Edwards-aortic-caged-ball-valve-prosthesis and replaced the ascending aorta with a 29 mm St.Jude Medical aortic-valve-composite-graft and re-implanted the coronary arteries.
This case represents the longest time period between Starr-Edwards-caged-ball-valve-prothesis-implantation and Bentall-reoperation, thereby confirming the excellent durability of this valve.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-12
PMCID: PMC2848035  PMID: 20298579
6.  Early results of coronary artery bypass grafting with coronary endarterectomy for severe coronary artery disease 
Background
Despite the existence of controversial debates on the efficiency of coronary endarterectomy (CE), it is still used as an adjunct to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). This is particularly true in patients with endstage coronary artery disease. Given the improvements in cardiac surgery and postoperative care, as well as the rising number of elderly patient with numerous co-morbidities, re-evaluating the pros and cons of this technique is needed.
Methods
Patient demographic information, operative details and outcome data of 104 patients with diffuse calcified coronary artery disease were retrospectively analyzed with respect to functional capacity (NYHA), angina pectoris (CCS) and mortality. Actuarial survival was reported using a Kaplan-Meyer analysis.
Results
Between August 2001 and March 2005, 104 patients underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with adjunctive coronary endarterectomy (CE) in the Department of Thoracic-, Cardiac- and Vascular Surgery, University of Goettingen. Four patients were lost during follow-up. Data were gained from 88 male and 12 female patients; mean age was 65.5 ± 9 years. A total of 396 vessels were bypassed (4 ± 0.9 vessels per patient). In 98% left internal thoracic artery (LITA) was used as arterial bypass graft and a total of 114 vessels were endarterectomized. CE was performed on right coronary artery (RCA) (n = 55), on left anterior descending artery (LAD) (n = 52) and circumflex artery (RCX) (n = 7). Ninety-five patients suffered from 3-vessel-disease, 3 from 2-vessel- and 2 from 1-vessel-disease. Closed technique was used in 18%, open technique in 79% and in 3% a combination of both. The most frequent endarterectomized localization was right coronary artery (RCA = 55%). Despite the severity of endstage atherosclerosis, hospital mortality was only 5% (n = 5). During follow-up (24.5 ± 13.4 months), which is 96% complete (4 patients were lost caused by unknown address) 8 patients died (cardiac failure: 3; stroke: 1; cancer: 1; unknown reasons: 3). NYHA-classification significantly improved after CABG with CE from 2.2 ± 0.9 preoperative to 1.7 ± 0.9 postoperative. CCS also changed from 2.4 ± 1.0 to 1.5 ± 0.8
Conclusion
Early results of coronary endarterectomy are acceptable with respect to mortality, NYHA & CCS. This technique offers a valuable surgical option for patients with endstage coronary artery disease in whom complete revascularization otherwise can not be obtained. Careful patient selection will be necessary to assure the long-term benefit of this procedure.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-4-52
PMCID: PMC2756249  PMID: 19772645
7.  Myocardial ischemia with left ventricular outflow obstruction 
We report an unusual case of a 32-year old man who was treated for a hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) with a DDD pacing with short AV delay reduction in the past. Without prior notice the patient developed ventricular fibrillation and an invasive cardiac diagnostic was performed, which revealed a myocardial bridging around of the left anterior descending artery (LAD). We suspected ischemia that could be either related to LAD artery compression or perfusion abnormalities due to AV delay reduction with related to diastolic dysfunction.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-4-51
PMCID: PMC2753314  PMID: 19761610
8.  Daptomycin for treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis saphenectomy wound infection after coronary artery bypass graft operation (CABG): a case report 
We report a case of successful treatment of postoperative saphenectomy wound infection of the upper left leg with the antibiotic drug Daptomycin.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-4-47
PMCID: PMC2753312  PMID: 19747387

Results 1-8 (8)