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1.  Donor Brain Death Exacerbates Complement-Dependent Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in Transplanted Hearts 
Circulation  2013;127(12):1290-1299.
Background
Brain death (BD) can immunologically prime the donor organ and is thought to lead to exacerbated ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) post-transplantation. Using a newly developed mouse model of BD, we investigated the effect of donor BD on post transplant cardiac IRI. We further investigated the therapeutic effect of a targeted complement inhibitor in recipients of BD donor hearts, and addressed the clinical relevance of these studies by analysis of human heart biopsies from BD and domino (living) donors.
Methods and Results
Hearts from living or brain dead donor C57BL/6 mice were transplanted into C57BL/6 or BALB/c recipients. Recipient mice were treated with the complement inhibitor CR2-Crry or vehicle control (n=6). Isografts were analyzed 48 hours post-transplant for injury, inflammation and complement deposition, and allografts monitored for graft survival. Human cardiac biopsies were analyzed for complement deposition and inflammatory cell infiltration. In the murine model, donor BD exacerbated IRI and graft rejection as demonstrated by increased myocardial injury, serum cardiac troponin, cellular infiltration, inflammatory chemokine and cytokine levels, complement deposition, and decreased graft survival. CR2-Crry treatment of recipients significantly reduced all measured outcomes in grafts from both BD and living donors compared to controls. Analysis of human samples documented the relevance of our experimental findings and revealed exacerbated complement deposition and inflammation in grafts from BD donors compared to grafts from living donors.
Conclusions
BD exacerbates post-transplant cardiac IRI in mice and humans, and decreases survival of mouse allografts. Further, targeted complement inhibition in recipient mice ameliorates BD-exacerbated IRI.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.000784
PMCID: PMC3721358  PMID: 23443736
Ischemia reperfusion injury; inflammation; transplantation
2.  Morbidity of the Arterial Switch Operation 
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery  2012;93(6):1977-1983.
Background
The arterial switch operation (ASO) has become a safe, reproducible surgical procedure with low mortality in experienced centers. We examined morbidity, which remains significant, particularly for complex ASO.
Methods
From 2003 to 2011, 101 consecutive patients underwent ASO, arbitrarily classified as “simple” (n = 52) or “complex” (n = 49). Morbidity was measured in selected complications and postoperative hospitalization. Three outcomes were analyzed: ventilation time, postextubation hospital length of stay, and a composite morbidity index, defined as ventilation time + postextubation hospital length of stay + occurrence of selected major complications. Complexity was measured with the comprehensive Aristotle score.
Results
The operative mortality was zero. Twenty-five major complications occurred in 23 patients: 6 of 25 (12%) in simple ASO and 19 of 49 (39%) in complex ASO (p = 0.002). The most frequent complication was unplanned reoperation (15 vs 6, p = 0.03). No patients required permanent pacing. The complex group had a significantly higher morbidity index and longer ventilation time and postextubation hospital length of stay. In multivariate analysis, factors independently predicting higher morbidity were the comprehensive Aristotle score, arch repair, bypass time, and malaligned commissures. Myocardial infarction caused one sudden late death at 3 months. Late coronary failure was 2%. Overall survival was 99% at a mean follow-up of 49 ± 27 months.
Conclusions
In this consecutive series without operative mortality, morbidity was significantly higher in complex ASO. The only anatomic incremental risk factors for morbidity were aortic arch repair and malaligned commissures, but not primary diagnosis, weight less than 2.5 kg, or coronary patterns.
doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.11.061
PMCID: PMC3381339  PMID: 22365263
3.  Results of consecutive training procedures in pediatric cardiac surgery 
This report from a single institution describes the results of consecutive pediatric heart operations done by trainees under the supervision of a senior surgeon. The 3.1% mortality seen in 1067 index operations is comparable across procedures and risk bands to risk-stratified results reported by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. With appropriate mentorship, surgeons-in-training are able to achieve good results as first operators.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-105
PMCID: PMC2993702  PMID: 21059192
4.  Right pulmonary artery occlusion by an acute dissecting aneurysm of the ascending aorta 
We describe the case of a 76-year old female who presented with a Type A aortic dissection requiring repair with an interposition graft and aortic valve replacement. Post-operatively she had clinical features and computerised tomographic images suggestive of a pulmonary embolus and died 24 hours later. The extremely rare finding of intramural thrombus occluding the right pulmonary artery was seen at post mortem.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-1-29
PMCID: PMC1592293  PMID: 17007637

Results 1-4 (4)