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1.  Long term biventricular support with Berlin Heart Excor in a Septuagenarian with giant-cell myocarditis 
Giant-cell myocarditis (GCM) is known as a rare, rapidly progressive, and frequently fatal myocardial disease in young and middle-aged adults. We report about a 76 year old male patient who underwent implantation with a biventricular Berlin Heart Excor system at the age of 74 due to acute biventricular heart failure caused by giant-cell myocarditis. The implantation was without any surgical problems; however, a difficulty was the immunosuppressive therapy after implantation. Meanwhile the patient is 76 years old and lives with circulatory support for about 3 years without major adverse events. Also, in terms of mobility in old age there are no major limitations. It seems that in even selected elderly patients an implantation of a long term support with the biventricular Berlin Heart Excor is a useful therapeutic option with an acceptable outcome.
PMCID: PMC4320566  PMID: 25637129
2.  The eNOS 894G/T gene polymorphism and its influence on early and long-term mortality after on-pump cardiac surgery 
The eNOS 894G/T polymorphism (GG, GT, and TT) is associated with cardiovascular mortality and may influence cardiovascular diseases as a genetic risk factor. Moreover, this polymorphism has an impact on intraoperative hemodynamics during cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). In this study, we analyzed the influence of this gene polymorphism on early clinical outcome in patients who underwent cardiac surgery with CPB. Also, we performed a 5-year follow-up, assessing the impact of this polymorphism on long-term mortality.
500 patients who underwent cardiac surgery with CPB between 2006 and 2007 were included in this prospective single centre study. Genotyping for the eNOS gene polymorphism was performed by polymerase chain reaction amplification.
Genotype distribution of 894G/T was: GG 50.2%; GT 42.2%; TT 7.8%. Cardiovascular risk factors were equally distributed between the different genotypes of the eNOS 894G/T polymorphism. No significant difference among the groups was shown regarding Euroscore, SAPS II and APACHE II. Perioperative characteristics were also not affected by the genotypes, except for the consumption of norepinephrine (p = 0.03) and amiodarone (p = 0.01) which was higher in the GT allele carrier. The early postoperative course was quite uniform across the genotypes, except for mean intensive care unit length of stay which was significantly prolonged in GT carriers (p = 0.001). The five-year follow-up was 100% complete and showed no significant differences regarding mortality between the groups.
Our results show that the eNOS 894G /T polymorphism is not associated with early and late clinical outcome after cardiac surgery. Thus, this polymorphism can actually not help to identify high risk groups in the heterogeneous population of individuals who undergo cardiac surgery with CPB.
PMCID: PMC3819002  PMID: 24161078
3.  Heart team approach for transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedures complicated by coronary artery occlusion 
We report on three out of 270 consecutive patients (1.1%) suffering from coronary artery obstruction or occlusion at the end of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). The partial or total obstruction of the coronary artery seen in the post-implantation aortography was accompanied by haemodynamic instability and electrocardiographic changes typical for myocardial ischaemia. Immediate percutaneous coronary intervention with stent implantation was successful in two cases, while in the third case it was not possible to cross the occluded right coronary artery. Emergency coronary artery bypass grafting was performed resulting in uneventful myocardial recovery. All patients were discharged home. These cases highlight the awareness of this rare, life-threatening complication of TAVI, which is in need of a dedicated heart team involved not only in decision-making, but also in the procedure itself.
PMCID: PMC3309822  PMID: 22235004
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation; Complication; Coronary occlusion; Aortic stenosis
4.  A clinical student exchange program organized by cardiothoracic department: feedback of participants 
The development of a student exchange program was an essential part of the cooperation between the Medical Schools of the University of Goettingen (Germany) and the University of Thrace in Alexandroupolis (Greece). The student exchange program started in 2008 and was performed once a year. The experiences of this program and the feedback of participants are presented.
Although organized by the Dept. of Thoracic, Cardiac, and Vascular Surgery, the approach of the program was multidisciplinary. Participants also attended Continuous Medical Education activities primary addressed to physicians. At the end of the program, the participants evaluated the program anonymously. The educational units were rated via a 4-grade system. Additionally, it was possible to comment both positive and negative aspects of the program.
Twenty-nine educational units were evaluated. The practical teaching units yielded a better result than the classical teaching units (93% of practical units were evaluated as “very good” vs. 74% of lectures/seminars). The Continuous Medical Education activities were evaluated less favorable (only 61% were evaluated as “very good”).
The student exchange program enhanced effective teaching and learning. Courses supporting practical medical skills were extremely positive evaluated. Continuous Medical Education activities are not suitable for students and therefore, we do not include such an event anymore. Additionally, the program created an excellent forum for contact and communication between the students of the two universities.
PMCID: PMC3621607  PMID: 23537248
Medical education; Medical student; Communication; International cooperation; Cardiovascular
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3598665  PMID: 23351310
Cardiac surgery; Deep sternal infection; Antibiotic treatment; Daptomycin; Midterm outcome
6.  Hemodynamic effects of peri-operative statin therapy in on-pump cardiac surgery patients 
Peri-operative statin therapy in cardiac surgery cases is reported to reduce the rate of mortality, stroke, postoperative atrial fibrillation, and systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation could affect the hemodynamic parameters and stability. We set out to study the effect of statin therapy on perioperative hemodynamic parameters and its clinical outcome.
In a single center study from 2006 to 2007, peri-operative hemodynamic parameters of 478 patients, who underwent cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, were measured. Patients were divided into those who received perioperative statin therapy (n = 276; statin group) and those who did not receive statin therapy (n = 202; no-statin group). The two groups were compared together using Kolmogorov-Smirnov-Test, Fisher’s-Exact-Test, and Student’s-T-test. A p value < 0.05 was considered as significant.
There was no significant difference in the preoperative risk factors. Onset of postoperative atrial fibrillation was not affected by statin therapy. Extended hemodynamic measurements revealed no significant difference between the two groups, apart from Systemic Vascular Resistance Index (SVRI) . The no-statin group had a significantly higher SVRI (882 ± 206 vs. 1050 ± 501 dyn s/cm5/m2, p = 0.022). Inotropic support was the same in both groups and no significant difference in the mortality rate was noticed. Also, hemodynamic parameters were not affected by different types and doses of statins.
Perioperative statin therapy for patients undergoing on-pump coronary bypass grafting or valvular surgery, does not affect the hemodynamic parameters and its clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC3398842  PMID: 22533985
Cardiac surgery; Statin therapy; Hemodynamic; Outcome
7.  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.
PMCID: PMC3184046  PMID: 21929771
Cardiac surgery; Sternal infection; Antibiotic therapy; Daptomycin
8.  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.
PMCID: PMC3038896  PMID: 21291531
9.  Myocardial contractile function in survived neonatal piglets after cardiopulmonary bypass 
Hemodynamic function may be depressed in the early postoperative stages after cardiac surgery. The aim of this study was the analysis of the myocardial contractility in neonates after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and mild hypothermia.
Three indices of left ventricular myocardial contractile function (dP/dt, (dP/dt)/P, and wall thickening) were studied up to 6 hours after CPB in neonatal piglets (CPB group; n = 4). The contractility data were analysed and then compared to the data of newborn piglets who also underwent median thoracotomy and instrumentation for the same time intervals but without CPB (non-CPB group; n = 3).
Left ventricular dP/dtmax and (dP/dtmax)/P remained stable in CPB group, while dP/dtmax decreased in non-CPB group 5 hours postoperatively (1761 ± 205 mmHg/s at baseline vs. 1170 ± 205 mmHg/s after 5 h; p < 0.05). However, with regard to dP/dtmax and (dP/dtmax)/P there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. Comparably, although myocardial thickening decreased in the non-CPB group the differences between the two groups were not statistically significant.
The myocardial contractile function in survived neonatal piglets remained stable 6 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass and mild hypothermia probably due to regional hypercontractility.
PMCID: PMC2992056  PMID: 21044329
10.  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).
PMCID: PMC2922106  PMID: 20691034
11.  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.
PMCID: PMC2848035  PMID: 20298579
12.  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.
PMCID: PMC2843679  PMID: 20219127
13.  Early results of coronary artery bypass grafting with coronary endarterectomy for severe coronary artery disease 
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.
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.
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
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.
PMCID: PMC2756249  PMID: 19772645
14.  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.
PMCID: PMC2753314  PMID: 19761610
15.  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.
PMCID: PMC2753312  PMID: 19747387
16.  Acute aortic dissection type A discloses Corpus alienum 
We report an unusual case of an aortic type A dissection with a corpus alienum which compresses the right ventricle. The patient successfully underwent an aortic root replacement in deep hypothermia with re-implantation of the coronary arteries using a modified Bentall procedure and the resection of the corpus alienum. Intraoperative finding reveals 3 greatly adhered gauze compresses, which were most likely forgotten in the operation 34 years ago.
PMCID: PMC2628653  PMID: 19121214
17.  Accelerated intimal hyperplasia in aortocoronary internal mammary vein grafts in minipigs 
More than 50% of aortocoronary saphenous vein grafts are occluded 10 years after surgery. Intimal hyperplasia is the initial critical step in the progression toward occlusion. Internal mammary veins, which are physiologically prone to less hydrostatic pressure, may undergo an accelerated progression to intimal hyperplasia and thus be suitable for investigation of the mechanisms of aortocoronary vein graft disease.
Six minipigs underwent aortocoronary bypass grafting using standard cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegic arrest. Mammary vein were grafted in a reversed manner from ascending aorta to left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). The proximal LAD was ligated, rendering the anterior left ventricle vein graft-dependent. Minipigs were killed after 4 weeks, and vein grafts were harvested. Histological and immunohistological investigation were performed with respect to morphometric analysis, endothelial damage/dysfunction (v-Willebrand-factor (vWF)), smooth muscle cells (α-smooth actin) and proliferation rate (proliferation marker Ki 67).
Mean intimal area of vein grafts was increased compared to ungrafted mammary veins. Intimal hyperplasia in vein grafts was characterized by massive accumulation of smooth muscle cells with a high proliferation rate and endothelial perturbation. Significant (p = 0.001) intimal hyperplasia of the grafted mammary vein compared to the ungrafted mammary vein was found. These changes were absent in ungrafted mammary veins.
The present study demonstrates a pig model of aortocoronary vein graft intimal hyperplasia which is characterized by an accelerated progression within internal mammary veins. The model is suitable to investigate the pathophysiology of aortocoronary vein graft intimal hyperplasia as well as therapeutic approaches.
PMCID: PMC2386461  PMID: 18445288

Results 1-17 (17)