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1.  A novel intra-operative, high-resolution atrial mapping approach 
A new technique is demonstrated for extensive high-resolution intra-operative atrial mapping that will facilitate the localization of atrial fibrillation (AF) sources and identification of the substrate perpetuating AF.
Prior to the start of extra-corporal circulation, a 8 × 24-electrode array (2-mm inter-electrode distance) is placed subsequently on all the right and left epicardial atrial sites, including Bachmann’s bundle, for recording of unipolar electrograms during sinus rhythm and (induced) AF. AF is induced by high-frequency pacing at the right atrial free wall. A pacemaker wire stitched to the right atrium serves as a reference signal. The indifferent pole is connected to a steal wire fixed to subcutaneous tissue. Electrograms are recorded by a computerized mapping system and, after amplification (gain 1000), filtering (bandwidth 0.5–400 Hz), sampling (1 kHz) and analogue to digital conversion (16 bits), automatically stored on hard disk. During the mapping procedure, real-time visualization secures electrogram quality. Analysis will be performed offline.
This technique was performed in 168 patients of 18 years and older, with coronary and/or structural heart disease, with or without AF, electively scheduled for cardiac surgery and a ventricular ejection fraction above 40 %. The mean duration of the entire mapping procedure including preparation time was 9 ± 2 min. Complications related to the mapping procedure during or after cardiac surgery were not observed.
We introduce the first epicardial atrial mapping approach with a high resolution of ≥1728 recording sites which can be performed in a procedure time of only 9±2 mins. This mapping technique can potentially identify areas responsible for initiation and persistence of AF and hopefully can individualize both diagnosis and therapy of AF.
PMCID: PMC4641159  PMID: 26497659
Electrophysiology; Atrial fibrillation; Epicardial mapping technique; Technical report
2.  Does a reduced glucose intake prevent hyperglycemia in children early after cardiac surgery? a randomized controlled crossover study 
Critical Care  2012;16(5):R176.
Hyperglycemia in children after cardiac surgery can be treated with intensive insulin therapy, but hypoglycemia is a potential serious side effect. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of reducing glucose intake below standard intakes to prevent hyperglycemia, on blood glucose concentrations, glucose kinetics and protein catabolism in children after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).
Subjects received a 4-hour low glucose (LG; 2.5 mg/kg per minute) and a 4-hour standard glucose (SG; 5.0 mg/kg per minute) infusion in a randomized blinded crossover setting. Simultaneously, an 8-hour stable isotope tracer protocol was conducted to determine glucose and leucine kinetics. Data are presented as mean ± SD or median (IQR); comparison was made by paired samples t test.
Eleven subjects (age 5.1 (20.2) months) were studied 9.5 ± 1.9 hours post-cardiac surgery. Blood glucose concentrations were lower during LG than SG (LG 7.3 ± 0.7 vs. SG 9.3 ± 1.8 mmol/L; P < 0.01), although the glycemic target (4.0-6.0 mmol/L) was not achieved. No hypoglycemic events occurred. Endogenous glucose production was higher during LG than SG (LG 2.9 ± 0.8 vs. SG 1.5 ± 1.1 mg/kg per minute; P = 0.02), due to increased glycogenolysis (LG 1.0 ± 0.6 vs. SG 0.0 ± 1.0 mg/kg per minute; P < 0.05). Leucine balance, indicating protein balance, was negative but not affected by glucose intake (LG -54.8 ± 14.6 vs. SG -58.8 ± 16.7 μmol/kg per hour; P = 0.57).
Currently recommended glucose intakes aggravated hyperglycemia in children early after cardiac surgery with CPB. Reduced glucose intake decreased blood glucose concentrations without causing hypoglycemia or affecting protein catabolism, but increased glycogenolysis.
Trial registration
Dutch trial register NTR2079.
PMCID: PMC3682276  PMID: 23031354
3.  Surgery in current therapy for infective endocarditis 
The introduction of the Duke criteria and transesophageal echocardiography has improved early recognition of infective endocarditis but patients are still at high risk for severe morbidity or death. Whether an exclusively antibiotic regimen is superior to surgical intervention is subject to ongoing debate. Current guidelines indicate when surgery is the preferred treatment, but decisions are often based on physician preferences. Surgery has shown to decrease the risk of short-term mortality in patients who present with specific symptoms or microorganisms; nevertheless even then it often remains unclear when surgery should be performed. In this review we i) systematically reviewed the current literature comparing medical to surgical therapy to evaluate if surgery is the preferred option, ii) performed a meta-analysis of studies reporting propensity matched analyses, and iii), briefly summarized the current indications for surgery.
PMCID: PMC3096505  PMID: 21603594
endocarditis; surgery; antibiotics; review; meta-analysis; propensity analysis; mortality; complications
5.  Long term follow up after surgery in congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries with a right ventricle in the systemic circulation 
Aim of the study
To investigate the long-term outcome of surgical treatment for congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (CCTGA), in patients with biventricular repair with the right ventricle as systemic ventricle.
A total of 32 patients with CCTGA were operated between January 1972 and October 2008. These operations comprised 18 patients with a repair with a normal left ventricular outflow tract, 11 patients with a Rastelli repair of the left ventricle to the pulmonary artery and 3 patients with a cardiac transplantation.
Excluding the cardiac transplantation patients, mean age at operation was 16 years (sd 15 years, range 1 week - 49 years). Median follow-up was 12 years (sd 10 years, range 7 days - 32 years). Survival obtained from Kaplan-Meier analysis at 20 years after surgery was 63% (CI 53-73%). For the non-Rastelli group these data at 20 years were 62% (CI 48-76%) and for the Rastelli group 67% (CI 51-83%). Freedom of reoperation at 20 years was 32% (CI 19-45%) in the overall group. In the non-Rastelli group the data at 20 years were 47% (CI 11-83%) and for the Rastelli group 21% (CI 0-54%) after almost 19 years.
Long term follow up confirms that surgery in CCTGA with the right ventricle as systemic ventricle has a suboptimal survival and limited freedom of reoperation. Death occurred mostly as a result of cardiac failure.
PMCID: PMC2954981  PMID: 20920167
6.  Ischemia of the lung causes extensive long-term pulmonary injury: an experimental study 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):28.
Lung ischemia-reperfusion injury (LIRI) is suggested to be a major risk factor for development of primary acute graft failure (PAGF) following lung transplantation, although other factors have been found to interplay with LIRI. The question whether LIRI exclusively results in PAGF seems difficult to answer, which is partly due to the lack of a long-term experimental LIRI model, in which PAGF changes can be studied. In addition, the long-term effects of LIRI are unclear and a detailed description of the immunological changes over time after LIRI is missing. Therefore our purpose was to establish a long-term experimental model of LIRI, and to study the impact of LIRI on the development of PAGF, using a broad spectrum of LIRI parameters including leukocyte kinetics.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 135) were subjected to 120 minutes of left lung warm ischemia or were sham-operated. A third group served as healthy controls. Animals were sacrificed 1, 3, 7, 30 or 90 days after surgery. Blood gas values, lung compliance, surfactant conversion, capillary permeability, and the presence of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in broncho-alveolar-lavage fluid (BALf) were determined. Infiltration of granulocytes, macrophages and lymphocyte subsets (CD45RA+, CD5+CD4+, CD5+CD8+) was measured by flowcytometry in BALf, lung parenchyma, thoracic lymph nodes and spleen. Histological analysis was performed on HE sections.
LIRI resulted in hypoxemia, impaired left lung compliance, increased capillary permeability, surfactant conversion, and an increase in MMP-2 and MMP-9. In the BALf, most granulocytes were found on day 1 and CD5+CD4+ and CD5+CD8+-cells were elevated on day 3. Increased numbers of macrophages were found on days 1, 3, 7 and 90. Histology on day 1 showed diffuse alveolar damage, resulting in fibroproliferative changes up to 90 days after LIRI.
The short-, and long-term changes after LIRI in this model are similar to the changes found in both PAGF and ARDS after clinical lung transplantation. LIRI seems an independent risk factor for the development of PAGF and resulted in progressive deterioration of lung function and architecture, leading to extensive immunopathological and functional abnormalities up to 3 months after reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC2335107  PMID: 18366783
7.  Is OpenSDE an alternative for dedicated medical research databases? An example in coronary surgery 
When using a conventional relational database approach to collect and query data in the context of specific clinical studies, a study with a new data set usually requires the design of a new database and entry forms. OpenSDE (SDE = Structured Data Entry) is intended to provide a flexible and intuitive way to create databases and entry forms for the collection of data in a structured format.
This study illustrates the use of OpenSDE as a potential alternative to a conventional approach with respect to data modelling, database creation, data entry, and data extraction.
A database and entry forms are created using OpenSDE and MSAccess to support collection of coronary surgery data, based on the Adult Cardiac Surgery Data Set of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Data of 52 cases are entered and nine different queries are designed, and executed on both databases.
Design of the data model and the creation of entry forms were experienced as more intuitive and less labor intensive with OpenSDE. Both resulting databases provided sufficient expressiveness to accommodate the data set. Data entry was more flexible with OpenSDE. Queries produced equal and correct results with comparable effort.
For prospective studies involving well-defined and straight forward data sets, OpenSDE deserves to be considered as an alternative to the conventional approach.
PMCID: PMC2173886  PMID: 17953759
8.  Virtual reality 3D echocardiography in the assessment of tricuspid valve function after surgical closure of ventricular septal defect 
This study was done to investigate the potential additional role of virtual reality, using three-dimensional (3D) echocardiographic holograms, in the postoperative assessment of tricuspid valve function after surgical closure of ventricular septal defect (VSD).
12 data sets from intraoperative epicardial echocardiographic studies in 5 operations (patient age at operation 3 weeks to 4 years and bodyweight at operation 3.8 to 17.2 kg) after surgical closure of VSD were included in the study. The data sets were analysed as two-dimensional (2D) images on the screen of the ultrasound system as well as holograms in an I-space virtual reality (VR) system. The 2D images were assessed for tricuspid valve function. In the I-Space, a 6 degrees-of-freedom controller was used to create the necessary projectory positions and cutting planes in the hologram. The holograms were used for additional assessment of tricuspid valve leaflet mobility.
All data sets could be used for 2D as well as holographic analysis. In all data sets the area of interest could be identified. The 2D analysis showed no tricuspid valve stenosis or regurgitation. Leaflet mobility was considered normal. In the virtual reality of the I-Space, all data sets allowed to assess the tricuspid leaflet level in a single holographic representation. In 3 holograms the septal leaflet showed restricted mobility that was not appreciated in the 2D echocardiogram. In 4 data sets the posterior leaflet and the tricuspid papillary apparatus were not completely included.
This report shows that dynamic holographic imaging of intraoperative postoperative echocardiographic data regarding tricuspid valve function after VSD closure is feasible. Holographic analysis allows for additional tricuspid valve leaflet mobility analysis. The large size of the probe, in relation to small size of the patient, may preclude a complete data set. At the moment the requirement of an I-Space VR system limits the applicability in virtual reality 3D echocardiography in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC1810238  PMID: 17306019
9.  The effect of open lung ventilation on right ventricular and left ventricular function in lung-lavaged pigs 
Critical Care  2006;10(3):R86.
Ventilation according to the open lung concept (OLC) consists of recruitment maneuvers, followed by low tidal volume and high positive end-expiratory pressure, aiming at minimizing atelectasis. The minimization of atelectasis reduces the right ventricular (RV) afterload, but the increased intrathoracic pressures used by OLC ventilation could increase the RV afterload. We hypothesize that when atelectasis is minimized by OLC ventilation, cardiac function is not affected despite the higher mean airway pressure.
After repeated lung lavage, each pig (n = 10) was conventionally ventilated and was ventilated according to OLC in a randomized cross-over setting. Conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) consisted of volume-controlled ventilation with 5 cmH2O positive end-expiratory pressure and a tidal volume of 8–10 ml/kg. No recruitment maneuvers were performed. During OLC ventilation, recruitment maneuvers were applied until PaO2/FiO2 > 60 kPa. The peak inspiratory pressure was set to obtain a tidal volume of 6–8 ml/kg. The cardiac output (CO), the RV preload, the contractility and the afterload were measured with a volumetric pulmonary artery catheter. A high-resolution computed tomography scan measured the whole lung density and left ventricular (LV) volumes.
The RV end-systolic pressure–volume relationship, representing RV afterload, during steady-state OLC ventilation (2.7 ± 1.2 mmHg/ml) was not significantly different compared with CMV (3.6 ± 2.5 mmHg/ml). Pulmonary vascular resistance (OLC, 137 ± 49 dynes/s/cm5 versus CMV, 130 ± 34 dynes/s/cm5) was comparable between groups. OLC led to a significantly lower amount of atelectasis (13 ± 2% of the lung area) compared with CMV (52 ± 3% of the lung area). Atelectasis was not correlated with pulmonary vascular resistance or end-systolic pressure–volume relationship.
The LV contractility and afterload during OLC was not significantly different compared with CMV. Compared with baseline, the LV end-diastolic volume (66 ± 4 ml) decreased significantly during OLC (56 ± 5 ml) ventilation and not during CMV (61 ± 3 ml). Also, CO was significantly lower during OLC ventilation (OLC, 4.1 ± 0.3 l/minute versus CMV, 4.9 ± 0.3 l/minute).
In this experimental study, OLC resulted in significantly improved lung aeration. Despite the use of elevated airway pressures, no evidence was found for a negative effect of OLC on RV afterload or LV afterload, which might be associated with a loss of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction due to alveolar recruitment. The reductions in the CO and in the mean pulmonary artery pressure were consequences of a reduced preload.
PMCID: PMC1550948  PMID: 16764730
10.  Dynamic 3D echocardiography in virtual reality 
This pilot study was performed to evaluate whether virtual reality is applicable for three-dimensional echocardiography and if three-dimensional echocardiographic 'holograms' have the potential to become a clinically useful tool.
Three-dimensional echocardiographic data sets from 2 normal subjects and from 4 patients with a mitral valve pathological condition were included in the study. The three-dimensional data sets were acquired with the Philips Sonos 7500 echo-system and transferred to the BARCO (Barco N.V., Kortrijk, Belgium) I-space. Ten independent observers assessed the 6 three-dimensional data sets with and without mitral valve pathology. After 10 minutes' instruction in the I-Space, all of the observers could use the virtual pointer that is necessary to create cut planes in the hologram.
The 10 independent observers correctly assessed the normal and pathological mitral valve in the holograms (analysis time approximately 10 minutes).
this report shows that dynamic holographic imaging of three-dimensional echocardiographic data is feasible. However, the applicability and use-fullness of this technology in clinical practice is still limited.
PMCID: PMC1343588  PMID: 16375768
11.  Assessment of right ventricular fibrosis in different forms of pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect 
In pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (PA-VSD), the corrective surgical strategy aims to reduce the right ventricular (RV) overload and restore physiological pulmonary perfusion before the characteristic RV hypertrophy and fibrosis become irreversible.
To assess RV fibrosis in different forms of PA-VSD.
RV biopsies were obtained at corrective surgery from PA-VSD patients (n=14, mean age 2.5±1.2 years) with patent arterial duct (PAD group, n=6; mean age 1.7±0.5 years) or systemic-pulmonary collateral arteries (SPCA group, n=8; mean age 3.2±1.2 years) and from age-matched controls (control group, n=6; mean age 2.5±1.8 years). Myocardial expression patterns (messenger RNA [mRNA] and protein levels) of the extracellular matrix proteins (eg, fibronectin and collagens [subtype I alpha and III) were quantitatively analyzed in relation to myocardial cell hypertrophy.
Comparing the age of PA-VSD patients at surgery, the SPCA group was older than the PAD group (P=0.01). Expression analysis by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction showed significantly higher mRNA levels in patients with PA-VSD for collagen III (PA-VSD versus controls; 0.9±0.2 versus 0.6±0.1, P=0.03) than in controls, whereas collagen I alpha and fibronectin mRNA levels did not differ. No differences were found between the PAD and SPCA groups. The myocyte cross sectional surface area showed enhanced myocyte hypertrophy in patients with PA-VSD compared with the control group (P=0.015), with no significant difference between the PAD and SPCA groups. Video image analysis of immunohistochemical staining corrected for hypertrophy revealed unchanged interstitial collagens and fibronectin levels in all groups. However, perivascular staining corrected for the vessel lumen area showed significantly lower total collagen levels in patients with PA-VSD than in the control group (3.2±1.2 versus 7.2±2.8, respectively; P=0.004).
The results indicate that the extracellular matrix support for the coronary blood vessels appears to be suboptimal in patients with PA-VSD. The staged surgical approach in the SPCA group (with a higher age at correction) did not result in an excessive accumulation of fibrosis markers in the RV myocardium.
PMCID: PMC2716745  PMID: 19641724
Collagen; Fibronectin; Human; Pulmonary atresia; Right ventricular hypertrophy; Ventricular septal defect

Results 1-11 (11)