(1/1916) Animal experimental implantation of an atrial septal defect occluder system.

OBJECTIVE: To establish the implantation technique for the atrial septal defect occluder system (ASDOS) device in an experimental animal model and to determine long term mechanical stability of the device and its in vivo properties in terms of biocompatibility and tissue reaction. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An atrial septal defect was created and the device implanted in 17 pigs (mean weight 30 kg). The implantation technique was refined and modified because of initial technical and anatomical complications during nine acute pilot studies. The technique proved to be feasible in eight subsequent survival studies. Four pigs were electively killed three months after implantation (group 1). The remaining four pigs were killed six months after implantation (group 2). RESULTS: Necropsy showed all devices were embedded in soft tissue three months after implantation. Microscopic examination of atrial septal tissue showed an acute granulomatous inflammatory reaction in group 1 and fibrosis in group 2. The intensity of the inflammatory reaction around the device was clearly milder in group 2, indicating a decline in the inflammatory response with time. Clinical and biochemical investigations indicated acceptable biocompatibility of the device. CONCLUSION: The implantation technique for the ASDOS device in a chronic pig model has been established. Biocompatibility of the device was acceptable.  (+info)

(2/1916) Endocarditis at the millennium.

The members of the Interplanetary Society (Pus Club) have made significant contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis (IE). Although the incidence of IE has essentially remained unchanged, the spectrum and characteristics of patients potentially affected by this disorder are expanding. Moreover, in addition to the typical microorganisms implicated in IE, there are increasing reports of new or atypical pathogens causing IE, including those that are resistant to standard antibiotic therapy. The infectious diseases community is challenged to continue to provide effective antimicrobial regimens for IE and to further develop diagnostic and surgical strategies to identify and treat patients with this disorder. New information is available regarding the demographics, diagnostic methods, and therapeutic options for the management of IE.  (+info)

(3/1916) Pregnancy in patients after valve replacement.

This report is based on information obtained from a questionnaire sent to major cardiac centres in the United Kingdom. This produced details of 39 pregnancies in 34 patients after valve replacement. The 39 pregnancies gave rise to 30 healthy babies. The small size of the series probably reflects both the increasing rarity of young women with rheumatic heart disease in this country and the cautious attitude of their cardiologists. This makes it likely that these women represented the best end of the spectrum of cardiac function after valve replacement. Twenty-four pregnancies in 20 women who were not given anticoagulants producted 23 healthy babies and 1 spontaneous abortion. This group comprised 6 patients with free aortic homografts, 1 patient with a fascia lata mitral valve, 1 with a Beall tricuspid prosthesis, 1 with a combined mitral homograft and Starr Edwards aortic prosthesis, and 1 with mitral and aortic frame-mounted fascia lata valves. There were no maternal deaths or thromboembolic complications in this group which included 5 patients who were in atrial fibrillation. Fifteen pregnancies in 14 women who received anticoagulants gave rise to 7 healthy babies. The fetal losses were one stillbirth, one intrauterine death at 34 weeks, and 3 spontaneous abortions; one surviving child has hydrocephalus as a result of blood clot and there were 2 maternal deaths. This group included 13 patients with Starr Edwards valves, 11 mitral and 2 aortic. A patient with a Hammersmith mitral valve was the only one to have been treated with heparin and her valve thrombosed. One patient with a mounted mitral homograft had a cerebral embolus. Nine of these patients were in atrial fibrillation. In 3 additional patients the valve replacement was carried out during pregnancy. Two of the patients survived operation. In one of these who was treated with warfarin the pregnancy well, but there is an increased fetal wastage in patients pregnancy gave rise to a congenitally malformed baby who died in the neonatal period. The baby born to the mother who did not receive anticoagulants has a hare-lip and talipes. Women with artificial valves can tolerate the haemodynamic load of pregnancy well, but there is an increased fetal wastage in patients taking oral anticoagulants. This is probably largely attributable to fetal haemorrhage but there is also a risk of malformation caused by a teratogenic effect of warfarin. Experience gained in non-pregnant patients suggests that withholding anticoagulatns in pregnant patients with prosthetic valves would usually be undersirable but warfarin should be avoided. The advantages of biological valves were apparent in this series.  (+info)

(4/1916) Malfunction of Bjork-Shiley valve prosthesis in tricuspid position.

Eight months after triple valve replacement with Bjork-Shiley tilting disc valves a patient developed symptoms and signs suggesting malfunction of the prosthesis in the tricuspid position. This was confirmed by echocardiography and angiocardiography, and at operation thedisc of the prosthesis was found to be stuck half-open by fibrin and clot. A further 11 patients with the same tupe of prosthesis in the triscupid position were then studied by phonocardiography and echocardiography. In one of these the prosthesis was found to be stuck and this was confirmed by angiocardiography and surgery. These 2 cases are reported in detail and the findings in the other 10 are discussed. The implications of this high incidence of malfunction of the Bjork-Shiley prosthesis in the tricuspid position are considered. Echocardiography appears to be essential in the follow-up of such patients.  (+info)

(5/1916) Intraoperative left ventricular perforation with false aneurysm formation.

Two cases of perforation of the left ventricle during mitral valve replacement are described. In the first case there was perforation at the site of papillary muscle excision and this was recognized and successfully treated. However, a true ventricular aneurysm developed at the repair site. One month after operation rupture of the left ventricle occurred at a second and separate site on the posterior aspect of the atrioventricular ring. This resulted in a false aneurysm which produced a pansystolic murmur mimicking mitral regurgitation. Both the true and the false aneurysm were successfully repaired. In the second case perforation occurred on the posterior aspect of the atrioventricular ring and was successfully repaired. However, a false ventricular aneurysm developed and ruptured into the left atrium producing severe, but silent, mitral regurgitation. This was recognized and successfully repaired. The implications of these cases are discussed.  (+info)

(6/1916) Mobile echoes on prosthetic valves are not reproducible. Results and clinical implications of a multicentre study.

AIMS: To test the hypothesis that inter-observer variability accounts for the wide variation in reported prevalences of fibrin strands on prosthetic heart valves and to develop criteria for their identification and reporting. METHODS AND RESULTS: A videotape with 30 sequences of prosthetic heart valves imaged by transoesophageal echocardiography and showing abnormalities such as strands, microbubbles, and spontaneous echocardiographic contrast, was assessed in 13 European and three American centres. There were three duplicated examples, unbeknown to the observers. Definitions and reported prevalence rates of the abnormalities were analysed, and inter- and intra-observer agreement estimated with the kappa statistic. Mobile echoes were identified in 40 to 80% of the sequences on the tape. The reported prevalence of mobile echoes correlated with the time spent reporting the tape. There was moderate inter-observer agreement for the identification of any mobile echoes (kappa = 0.38), but no agreement for their labelling (kappa = 0.22), in spite of similar definitions. Intra-observer reproducibility was good (agreement in 76% of the reduplicated sequences). CONCLUSIONS: The true prevalence and potential significance of mobile echoes on prosthetic heart valves cannot be assessed unless inter-observer consensus on echocardiographic criteria for identifying such echoes is reached.  (+info)

(7/1916) Surface ultrastructure of silicone rubber aortic valve poppetts after long-term implantation. A scanning electron microscope study of four poppets.

The surface ultrastructure, demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy, is described in four implanted Silastic aortic valve poppets. Ball variance was discovered at necropsy in two patients and clinically in one in whom the poppet was replaced. The fourth patient underwent reoperation, but ball variance was neither suspected nor found. All four poppets were densely coated with biological debris and microthrombi. The 'coat' was soluble in a weak solution of sodium hydroxide. The true Silastic surface beneath the coat was little altered compared with unimplanted poppets, even after 10 years' implantation.  (+info)

(8/1916) Automatic embolus detection by a neural network.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Embolus detection using transcranial Doppler ultrasound is a useful method for the identification of active embolic sources in cerebrovascular diseases. Automated embolus detection systems have been developed to reduce the time of evaluation in long-term recordings and to provide more "objective" criteria. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the critical conditions of automated embolus detection by means of a trained neural network (EMBotec V5.1 One, STAC GmbH, Germany). METHODS: In 11 normal volunteers and in 11 patients with arterial or cardiac embolic sources, we performed simultaneous recordings from both middle or both posterior cerebral arteries. In the normal subjects, we produced 1342 additional artifacts to use the latter as false-positives. Detection of microembolic signals (MES) was done offline from digital audiotapes (1) by an experienced blinded investigator used as a reference and (2) by a trained 3-layer-feed-forward neural network. RESULTS: From the 1342 provoked artifacts the neural network labeled 216 events as microemboli, yielding an artifact rejection of 85%. In microembolus-positive patients the neural network detected 282 events as emboli, among these 122 signals originating from artifacts; 58 "real" events were not detected. This result revealed a sensitivity of 73.4% and a positive predictive value of 56.7. The spectral power of the detected artifact signals was 16.5+/-5 dB above background signal. MES from patients with artificial heart valves had a spectral power of 6.4+/-2.1 dB; however, in patients with other sources of emboli, MES had an averaged energy reflection of 2.7+/-0.9 dB. CONCLUSIONS: The neural network is a promising tool for automated embolus detection, the formal algorithm for signal identification is unknown. However, extreme signal qualities, eg, strong artifacts, lead to misdiagnosis. Similar to other automated embolus detection systems, good signal quality and verification of MES by an experienced investigator is still mandatory.  (+info)