Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Opiods, Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania / 20.06.2020 Interview with: Chase Brown, MD Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Integrated Cardiac Surgery Resident Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Nimesh D. Desai, MD, PhD Director, Thoracic Aortic Surgery Research Program Associate Professor of Surgery Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? Dr. Chase Brown:  Opioid use in the United States is a public health emergency. We know that opioids prescribed after general surgery operations to patients who never received them within the year prior to their surgery are at increased risk for continuing to take opioids months later. However, this has not been studied in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, who often times have more severe post-operative pain. Our goal in this study was to determine how many patients after cardiac surgery and are opioid naive are continuing to take opioids within 90-180 days after their surgery.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 17.11.2018 Interview with: Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD Inova Children’s Hospita Fairfax, Falls Church, Virginia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Global Humanitarian Medical efforts consume a large amount of resources (nearly $38B in 2016) and donors (Countries, International organizations, WHO, Individuals) make the decisions as to where their funds should be allocated based on cost-effectiveness studies. Most resources go to prevent/treat infectious diseases, sanitation efforts and maternal/child care issues. An insignificant amount of resources is directed to satisfy the surgical needs of the populations in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The idea behind our project was to find out if it was cost-effective to perform a tertiary surgical specialty (pediatric cardiac surgery) in this context and the answer (at $171 per DALY averted) was an overwhelming yes! But most importantly, we believe, as many others do, that judging the cost/effectiveness of an intervention in order to decide resources allocation is valid for diseases that can be prevented, but not relevant when it comes to surgical problems that are not preventable. Instead, we propose the use of another measure of effectiveness, what we call "The Humanitarian Footprint". The Humanitarian Footprint represents the long term benefits, as measured by changes in the life expectancy, extra years of schooling and potential lifetime earnings of patients treated surgically during humanitarian interventions. To our surprise and based on the results, the effects on society of at least this particular surgical intervention were greater than we expected. We suspect this measure can be used in many other surgical humanitarian interventions as well.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Geriatrics, JAMA, Surgical Research / 17.10.2018 Interview with Mark Oldham, M.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Medical Director, PRIME Medicine Proactive Integration of Mental Health Care in Medicine University of Rochester Medical Center What is the background for this study? Response: Patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and, specifically, those who have been placed on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) have received attention for the potential effects of such procedures on brain health. Heart valve surgery patients have received far less attention, which often leaves clinicians to extrapolate the data from CABG cohorts to their patients preparing to undergo valve surgery. However, there are many reasons why this is far less than ideal, especially as the CABG literature increasingly points to person- and procedure-specific factors as the determinants of postoperative cognitive outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 17.04.2017 Interview with: Roberta Gottlieb, MD Director of Molecular Cardiobiology Professor of Medicine Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Cedars-Sinai Los Angeles, California What is the background for this study? Response: Most heart surgeries involve stopping the heart and relying upon a machine to oxygenate the blood and pump it to the rest of the body, a procedure called cardiopulmonary bypass. The heart is typically cooled, which further reduces metabolic demand. During this time, the heart is without a blood supply to provide oxygen and nutrients, but near the end of the procedure, the heart is re-started and blood flow is restored. This period of ischemia followed by reperfusion can injure the heart muscle, much like what happens during a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. It has been shown that the degree of injury at the time of surgery (measured by the release of cardiac enzymes) is associated with mortality at 30 days and risk of heart failure within 3 years. For that reason, it is important to understand the cellular and molecular events that occur in the heart muscle during cardiac surgery so that we can decrease ischemia/reperfusion injury. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 30.11.2014

Giovanni Landoni, M.D. Head of Research,Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Associate Professor at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Interview with: Giovanni Landoni, M.D. Head of Research,Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Associate Professor at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Landoni: The prevention and treatment of acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery is a major therapeutic goal, but no effective agents have yet been identified. Meta-analyses suggested that fenoldopam might be effective. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Landoni: We found that in cardiac surgery patients with early acute kidney injury (defined as a ≥50% increase of serum creatinine from baseline or oliguria for ≥6 hours), fenoldopam had no impact on the need for renal replacement therapy or 30-day mortality, while increasing the rate of hypotension. (more…)
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Dental Research, Heart Disease, Infections, Mayo Clinic / 01.03.2014

Dr. Kendra J. Grim Department of Anesthesiology Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Interview with: Dr. Kendra J. Grim Department of Anesthesiology Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905 What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Grim: “The current guidelines say that if possible, treating the dental problems that patients have before heart surgery is best, to try to prevent both early and late heart infections. But the data is very unclear, because it’s very difficult to study. We found in our study that their risk of serious complications after having teeth removed may be higher than we thought. We were primarily looking at stroke, heart attack, renal failure and death. We found that actually the incidence of having one of those major morbidities was 8 percent.  Of that 8 percent, we had six patients, or 3 percent, of the total group who died between their dental surgery and scheduled heart surgery, so these patients never made it to their heart surgery. An additional 3 percent of patients died after heart surgery. “ (more…)