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1.  The regulatory toll-like receptor 4 genetic polymorphism rs11536889 is associated with renal, coagulation and hepatic organ failure in sepsis patients 
Background
Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) receptor complex signal-transducing molecule, plays a crucial role in sensing LPS from gram-negative bacteria. TLR4 signaling pathway activation by LPS plays a major role in sepsis pathogenesis. A single nucleotide polymorphism, rs11536889, in the 3’-untranslated region of the TLR4 gene is thought to affect TLR4 translation. This study aimed to investigate whether organ failure in sepsis patients is related to the TLR4 rs11536889 genotype.
Methods
Adult Caucasian patients with sepsis from the intensive care unit of a university medical center were followed up for 90 days, and organ failure was recorded as the primary outcome variable. Blood samples were collected at enrollment for TLR4 rs11536889 genotyping. Sepsis-related organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores were quantified at sepsis onset and throughout the observational period to monitor organ failure.
Results
A total of 210 critically ill patients with sepsis were enrolled into this study. Wild-type GG was compared to GC/CC. During their stay in the intensive care unit, GG patients presented significantly higher SOFA scores than did C allele carriers (7.9 ± 4.5 and 6.8 ± 4.2, respectively; p = 0.0005). Analysis of organ-specific SOFA sub-scores revealed significant differences in three organ systems: renal, coagulation and hepatic (p = 0.0005, p = 0.0245 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Additionally, the rs11536889 polymorphism was associated with a higher incidence of gram-negative infections.
Conclusions
These results offer the first evidence that TLR4 rs11536889 is a useful marker of organ failure in patients with sepsis.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-177
PMCID: PMC4085654  PMID: 24950711
Toll-like receptor 4; Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Intensive care unit; Organ failure marker; SOFA scores
2.  Live related donor lobar lung transplantation recipients surviving well over a decade: still an option in times of advanced donor management 
As waiting lists for lung transplantation are ever increasing, the number of organ donors is not able to keep pace with it. Living donor lobar lung transplantation is a source of organs which could be lifesaving in end-stage lung disease patients who cannot wait for cadaveric organs due to deteriorating lung function and clinical condition. Two young women with end stage cystic fibrosis received lobes from their relatives and an altruistic friend. They are surviving for more than 12 and 14 years with good lung functions.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-37
PMCID: PMC3599940  PMID: 23497549
Live related donor lobar lung transplantation; Live donor lobar lung transplantation; Lung transplantation
3.  Midterm results after treatment of gram-positive deep sternal wound infections with daptomycin for cardiac surgery patients 
Daptomycin in combination with surgical therapy has shown to be effective for treatment of deep sternal wound infection in cardiac surgery. However, till now midterm results in terms of re-infection or re-operation in patients who were successfully treated with daptomycin for gram-positive deep sternal wound infection are not published. Herein, we present midterm results in patients treated successfully with daptomycin after cardiac surgery.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-21
PMCID: PMC3598665  PMID: 23351310
Cardiac surgery; Deep sternal infection; Antibiotic treatment; Daptomycin; Midterm outcome
4.  Suture fixation of migrated septal occluder device to prevent further migration: a simple surgical technique 
As the use of percutaneous intervention is increasing for the closure of the atrial septal defect, the procedure related complications are also on rise, migration of the device being most common. The migrated devices with failed percutaneous retrieval must be removed surgically under cardiopulmonary bypass. During establishment of cardiopulmonary bypass, the handling of heart may cause further migration of the device into other chambers of heart which leads to difficulty in finding and retrieval of the device. The authors propose a simple and unique technique to prevent further migration of the septal occluder device.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-10
PMCID: PMC3564840  PMID: 23320504
Atrial septal defect; Septal occlude device; Transcatheter closure; Migration of occlude device
5.  Ventricular assist device outflow graft in congenitally corrected transposition of great arteries - a surgical challenge 
Congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries is a complex congenital cardiac anomaly with a wide spectrum of morphologic features and clinical profiles. Most patients are diagnosed late in their life, undergoes surgical repairs, eventually leading to systemic ventricular failure needing heart transplant or mechanical circulatory assistance. As, aorta is located anterior to and left of the PA (Transposition of great arteries), the outflow graft of ventricular assist device traverse across pulmonary artery to reach aorta which poses challenge during further surgical explorations.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-7-93
PMCID: PMC3504508  PMID: 23013548
Congenitally corrected transposition of great arteries; Transposition of great arteries; Ventricular assist device
6.  Mild metabolic acidosis impairs the β-adrenergic response in isolated human failing myocardium 
Critical Care  2012;16(4):R153.
Introduction
Pronounced extracellular acidosis reduces both cardiac contractility and the β-adrenergic response. In the past, this was shown in some studies using animal models. However, few data exist regarding how the human end-stage failing myocardium, in which compensatory mechanisms are exhausted, reacts to acute mild metabolic acidosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mild metabolic acidosis on contractility and the β-adrenergic response of isolated trabeculae from human end-stage failing hearts.
Methods
Intact isometrically twitching trabeculae isolated from patients with end-stage heart failure were exposed to mild metabolic acidosis (pH 7.20). Trabeculae were stimulated at increasing frequencies and finally exposed to increasing concentrations of isoproterenol (0 to 1 × 10-6 M).
Results
A mild metabolic acidosis caused a depression in twitch-force amplitude of 26% (12.1 ± 1.9 to 9.0 ± 1.5 mN/mm2; n = 12; P < 0.01) as compared with pH 7.40. Force-frequency relation measurements yielded no further significant differences of twitch force. At the maximal isoproterenol concentration, the force amplitude was comparable in each of the two groups (pH 7.40 versus pH 7.20). However, the half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) was significantly increased in the acidosis group, with an EC50 of 5.834 × 10-8 M (confidence interval (CI), 3.48 × 10-8 to 9.779 × 10-8; n = 9), compared with the control group, which had an EC50 of 1.056 × 10-8 M (CI, 2.626 × 10-9 to 4.243 × 10-8; n = 10; P < 0.05), indicating an impaired β-adrenergic force response.
Conclusions
Our data show that mild metabolic acidosis reduces cardiac contractility and significantly impairs the β-adrenergic force response in human failing myocardium. Thus, our results could contribute to the still-controversial discussion about the therapy regimen of acidosis in patients with critical heart failure.
doi:10.1186/cc11468
PMCID: PMC3580742  PMID: 22889236
7.  Cost analysis of two anaesthetic machines: "Primus®" and "Zeus®" 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:3.
Background
Two anaesthetic machines, the "Primus®" and the "Zeus®" (Draeger AG, Lübeck, Germany), were subjected to a cost analysis by evaluating the various expenses that go into using each machine.
Methods
These expenses included the acquisition, maintenance, training and device-specific accessory costs. In addition, oxygen, medical air and volatile anaesthetic consumption were determined for each machine.
Results
Anaesthesia duration was 278 ± 140 and 208 ± 112 minutes in the Primus® and the Zeus®, respectively. The purchase cost was €3.28 and €4.58 per hour of operation in the Primus® and the Zeus®, respectively. The maintenance cost was €0.90 and €1.20 per hour of operation in the Primus® and the Zeus®, respectively. We found that the O2 cost was €0.015 ± 0.013 and €0.056 ± 0.121 per hour of operation in the Primus® and the Zeus®, respectively. The medical air cost was €0.005 ± 0.003 and €0.016 ± 0.027 per hour of operation in the Primus® and the Zeus®, respectively. The volatile anaesthetic cost was €2.40 ± 2.40 and €4.80 ± 4.80 per hour of operation in the Primus® and the Zeus®, respectively.
Conclusion
This study showed that the "Zeus®" generates a higher cost per hour of operation compared to the "Primus®".
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-3
PMCID: PMC3283497  PMID: 22216974
8.  A case report and brief review of the literature on bilateral retinal infarction following cardiopulmonary bypass for coronary artery bypass grafting 
Postoperative visual loss is a devastating perioperative complication. The commonest aetiologies are anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (AION), posterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (PION), and central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO). These appear to be related to certain types of operation, most commonly spinal and cardiac bypass procedures; with the rest divided between: major trauma causing excessive blood loss; head/neck and nasal or sinus surgery; major vascular procedures (aortic aneurysm repair, aorto-bifemoral bypass); general surgery; urology; gynaecology; liposuction; liver transplantation and duration of surgery. The non-surgical risk factors are multifactorial: advanced age, prolonged postoperative anaemia, positioning (supine v prone), alteration of venous drainage of the retina, hypertension, smoking, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, hypercoagulability, hypotension, blood loss and large volume resuscitation. Other important cardiac causes are septic emboli from bacterial endocarditis and emboli caused by atrial myxomata. The majority of AION cases occur during CPB followed by head/neck surgery and prone spine surgery. CPB is used to allow coronary artery bypass grafting on a motionless heart. It has many side-effects and complications associated with its use and we report here a case of bilateral retinal infarction during routine coronary artery bypass grafting in a young male patient with multiple risk factors for developing this complication despite steps to minimise its occurrence.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-6-154
PMCID: PMC3253690  PMID: 22104114
9.  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.
10.  Intensified thermal management for patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) 
Background
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation via the transapical approach (TAVI-TA) without cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart valve replacement. Despite minimal exposure and extensive draping perioperative hypothermia still remains a problem.
Methods
In this observational study, we compared the effects of two methods of thermal management on the perioperative course of core temperature. The methods were standard thermal management (STM) with a circulating hot water blanket under the patient, forced-air warming with a lower body blanket and warmed infused fluids, and an intensified thermal management (ITM) with additional prewarming using forced-air in the pre-operative holding area on the awake patient.
Results
Nineteen patients received STM and 20 were treated with ITM. On ICU admission, ITM-patients had a higher core temperature (36.4 ± 0.7°C vs. 35.5 ± 0.9°C, p = 0.001), required less time to achieve normothermia (median (IQR) in min: 0 (0-15) vs. 150 (0-300), p = 0.003) and a shorter period of ventilatory support (median (IQR) in min: 0 (0-0) vs. 246 (0-451), p = 0.001).
Conclusion
ITM during TAVI-TA reduces the incidence of hypothermia and allows for faster recovery with less need of ventilatory support.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-6-117
PMCID: PMC3203847  PMID: 21943183
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation; hypothermia; thermal management; core temperature; prewarming; forced air warming
11.  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
12.  Carney-Complex: Multiple resections of recurrent cardiac myxoma 
We report a case of a female patient who was operated at the third relapse of an atrial myxoma caused by Carney complex. The difficult operation was performed without any complications despite extensive adhesions caused by the previous operations. The further inpatient course went without complications and the patient was discharged to the consecutive treatment on the 9th postoperative day. The echocardiographic finding postoperative showed no abnormalities.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-6-12
PMCID: PMC3038896  PMID: 21291531
13.  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
14.  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
15.  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
16.  Intrathoracic fire during preparation of the left internal thoracic artery for coronary artery bypass grafting 
A surgical fire is a serious complication not previously described in the literature with regard to the thoracic cavity. We report a case in which an intrathoracic fire developed following an air leak combined with high pressure oxygen ventilation in a patient with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The patient presented to our institution with diffuse coronary artery disease and angina pectoris. He was treated with coronary artery bypass graft surgery, including left internal thoracic artery harvesting. Additionally to this rare presentation of an intrathoracic fire, a brief review of surgical fires is included to this paper.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-10
PMCID: PMC2843679  PMID: 20219127
17.  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
18.  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
19.  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
20.  Emergency calls and need for emergency care in patients looked after by a palliative care team: Retrospective interview study with bereaved relatives 
BMC Palliative Care  2008;7:11.
Background
During the last stage of life, palliative care patients often experience episodes of respiratory distress, bleeding, pain or seizures. In such situations, caregivers may call emergency medical services leading to unwanted hospital admissions. The study aims to show the influence of our palliative care team to reducing emergency calls by cancer patients or their relatives during the last six month of life.
Methods
Fifty relatives of deceased patients who had been attended by our palliative care team were randomly selected. Data was obtained retrospectively during a structured interview. In addition to demographic data, the number of emergency calls made during the final six months of the patient's life, the reason for the call and the mental compound score (MCS-12) of the caregivers was registered.
Results
Forty-six relatives agreed to the interview. Emergency calls were placed for 18 patients (39%) during the final six months of their lives. There were a total of 23 emergency calls. In 16 cases (70%) the patient was admitted to the hospital. Twenty-one (91%) of the calls were made before patients had been enrolled to receive palliative care from the team, and two (9%) were made afterwards. The mean mental compound score of the caregivers at the time of the interview was 41 (range 28–57). There was a lack of correlation between MCS-12 and number of emergency calls.
Conclusion
Emergency calls were more likely to occur if the patients were not being attended by our palliative care team. Because of the lack of correlation between MCS-12 and the number of emergency calls, the MCS-12 cannot indicate that acutely stressful situations triggered the calls. However, we conclude that special palliative care programs can reduce psychosocial strain in family caregivers. Therefore, the number of emergency calls may be reduced and this fact allows more palliative patients to die at home.
doi:10.1186/1472-684X-7-11
PMCID: PMC2518537  PMID: 18694527

Results 1-20 (20)