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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

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August 2003
L. Gruberg, S. Milo, M. Ben Tzvi, C. Lotan, G. Merin, S. Braun, R. Mohr, D. Tzivoni, D. Bitran and R. Beyar

Background: The Arterial Revascularization Therapies Study was a multicenter, randomized trial designed to compare percutaneous coronary intervention with stenting versus coronary artery bypass graft surgery in 1,205 patients with multivessel coronary artery disease. The most appropriate type of treatment for these patients is still a matter of considerable debate.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients enrolled in the ARTS[1] trial in Israel in comparison to those worldwide, and to assess the 1 year outcome in these patients.

Methods: Between April 1997 and June 1998, a total of 1,205 patients with multivessel coronary artery disease, who were considered to be equally treatable with both modalities, were randomized to either stenting (n=600) or CABG[2] (n=605) at 67 centers around the world. In Israel, 53 patients at four participating medical centers underwent randomization to either PCI[3] with stents (n=27) or CABG (n=26).

Results: Clinical and angiographic characteristics were similar in the two groups, except for a significantly higher incidence of diabetic patients in Israel who were randomized to CABG, compared to those worldwide (35% vs. 16%, P = 0.01). Also, there were more patients with unstable angina in Israel (63 vs. 37%, P = 0.006). At 1 year follow-up, overall mortality and cerebrovascular accident rates were similar between the two groups and equivalent to results obtained around the world. There was a significantly higher incidence of myocardial infarction rates in patients randomized to stenting in Israel compared to patients worldwide (7.4 vs. 5.3%, P = 0.01) or to patients randomized to CABG in Israel (7.4 vs. 0%, P = 0.006). Similar to the overall ARTS results, there was a higher incidence of repeat revascularization procedures in patients assigned to the PCI with stenting arm (22.2 vs. 3.8%, P = 0.004) compared to those randomized to CABG, respectively.

Conclusions: The results of this analysis of the Israeli ARTS population indicate that coronary stenting and bypass surgery yield similar findings with regard to mortality and stroke and are comparable to those obtained in the whole study group. Likewise, coronary stenting was associated with an increased incidence of repeat revascularization procedures as compared to CABG. However, patients in Israel randomized to stenting had a higher rate of myocardial infarctions as compared to the overall results and to patients who underwent CABG in Israel. The present analysis provides important data for the safety and efficacy of either stenting or bypass surgery in treating patients with multivessel disease in Israel.


[1] ARTS = Arterial Revascularization Therapies Study

[2] CABG = coronary artery bypass graft surgery

[3] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

July 2003
O. Dagan, E. Birk, Y. Katz, O. Gelber and B. Vidne

Background: The mortality rate associated with congenital heart surgery is apparently related to caseload.

Objective: To determine whether an increase in caseload over the long term at a single center affects management and outcome in children undergoing cardiac surgery.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively over a 4 year period from the computerized registry of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Five parameters were analyzed: age at surgery, type of surgery, preventive measures (open chest), surgery-related and other complications (diaphragm paralysis and acute renal failure, respectively), and mortality. The data of a single-type surgery (arterial switch) were analyzed for bypass time and mechanical ventilation on an annual basis.

Results: The age distribution changed over the years, with more children under 1 year of age (20% newborns) undergoing surgery by the fourth year of the study. The caseload increased from 216 in the first year to 330 in the fourth, with a concomitant decrease in mortality rate from 4.9% to 3.2%. The chest was left open in 3.2% of patients in the first year and in 9.2% in the fourth year. The rate of diaphragm paralysis decreased from 6% to 2.4%. Death due to acute renal failure in patients requiring dialysis decreased from more than 80% in the first 2 years to 36% in the last two. These changes show an improvement but failed to reach statistical significance. Regarding the arterial switch operation, there was a significant improvement in pump time and duration of mechanical ventilation.

Conclusions: The increase in caseload in pediatric cardiac surgery was accompanied by improved management, with a lower complications-related mortality rate. We suggest that for optimal care of children with congenital heart disorders, quality management resources should be concentrated in centers with high caseloads.

A. Shinfeld, E. Kachel, Y. Paz, S. Praisman and A.K. Smolinsky

Background:  After the introduction of endoscopic techniques to other surgical fields, like general surgery, gynecology and thoracic surgery, cardiac surgeons sought their own methods of using minimally invasive techniques.

Objectives:  To examine whether this approach is less invasive and yields better results, more desirable cosmetic results, and a more rapid and complete rehabilitation, maintaining safety, efficacy, and outcome equivalent to those of more established procedures, such as median sternotomy.

Methods:  From January 2000 to July 2001, 22 patients underwent video-assisted port-access mitral or aortic valve repair or replacement with the Heartport system in our department, and one underwent closure of atrial septal defect.

Results:  Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography revealed excellent functional results. Total operating room time, perfusion time, and cross-clamp time in this technique decreased with our growing experience, and remains stable. There were no intraoperative reversals to mid-steronomy, no mortalities, and only one complication 24 hours after surgery.

Conclusions:  Thoracoscopic assisted cardiac surgery (via port access) provides all the advantages of minimally invasive surgery, accelerates recovery, decreases pain, and maintains overall surgical efficacy, while avoiding the complications and pathology of mid-sternotomy.  For appropriate patients, this is the method of choice in our department.

May 2003
M. Shechter, G. Auslander, E.E. Weinmann and A. Bass

Background: The chronic progressive course of peripheral arterial occlusive disease with its limb-threatening and life-threatening potential is associated with physical, psychological and social distress for elderly patients and their families.

Objective: To evaluate the influence of infra-inguinal bypass surgery for limb salvage, and social support, on quality of life in elderly patients (over 60 years old).

Methods: Sixty patients aged 60 years and above diagnosed with limb-threatening ischemia were evaluated using the SF-36 generic questionnaire for quality of life, and the MOS-SS questionnaire for social support. Thirty patients (group I) were evaluated in the hospital prior to reconstructive surgery and 30 postoperative patients (group II) were evaluated at home at least 6 months after infra-inguinal bypass operations. Both groups were comparable in terms of age, gender, prevalence of ischemic heart disease, diabetes, and other atherosclerosis risk factors.

Results: All quality of life parameters were higher among patients who underwent limb salvage surgery (group II) as compared to preoperative patients (group I), yet the obtained values were lower than those in the general population. Patients in the surgical intervention group had higher levels of function, lower pain levels, and higher emotional and social well-being and, in addition, were spared limb amputation. The findings also indicate that the social support dimensions (emotional support, receipt of information, affection and positive social interaction), as measured in terms of perceived availability, do not operate as one entity. Different types of social support were more beneficial along different stages of the disease.

Conclusion: Peripheral arterial occlusive disease causes severe impairment of the quality of life in elderly patients. Arterial reconstructive surgery improves the quality of life though it still remains low compared to the general population. Social support is beneficial in the treatment of these patients, and the social worker in the vascular surgery department has a key role in identifying the various needs of the patients along the path of their chronic illness.

December 2002
David Varssano MD, Adi Michaeli-Cohen MD and Anat Loewenstein MD

Background: Pterygium is a common disease in Israel. Different surgical techniques are used to manage it with varying degrees of success.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a conjunctival autograft after excision of pterygium.

Methods: Excision followed by conjunctival autograft was used to treat 40 eyes of 40 patients with pterygium. The surgical results were evaluated retrospectively. Follow-up continued for a median of 296 days (range 6±1,056); 26 cases were followed for more than 100 days (average 418 days) and comprised the study cohort. All reported procedures were performed consequentially and by one surgeon in the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel between 1 June 1997 and 31 March 2000.

Results: There were two recurrences of pterygium (2/26, 7.7%) 2 months postoperatively. There were no major complications. Super-ficial corneal vessels (without concurrent fibrosis) appeared in 10 of 17 cases sutured with nylon, but none occurred in any of the seven grafts sutured with vicryl (P = 0.068). The average LogMAR-corrected visual acuity of the study group improved slightly, from 6/16.5 to 6/11 (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Excision of pterygium with a conjunctival autograft is a safe and effective operation, with no procedure-specific added surgical risks. The relatively long surgical time and microsurgical methods required to perform the procedure properly have hindered its acceptance as the mainstream approach to pterygium management. Long-term follow-up is needed for better discernment of the surgical results in Israel.

November 2002
Philip Vaughan, MBBS, Jeremy Gardner, MBBS, Francesca Peters, MBBS, MRCP and Rosalind Wilmott, RGN
Htwe. M. Zaw, MBBS, MRCS, Ian. C. Osborne, MBBS, Philip. N. Pettit, MBBS, MRCS, and Alexander. T. Cohen, MBBS, MSc, MD, FRACP
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