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  • Author: Horatiu Suciu x
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Introduction. Perioperative myocardial injuries are one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery, the most common etiology being the poor myocardial protection during aortic crossclamp. During aortic crossclamp progressive accumulation of lactate and intracellular acidosis are well-known phenomena, and are associated with alteration of myocardial contractile function. Our objective was to study the coronary sinus lactate levels as a predictor of postoperative hemodynamic outcome in open-heart surgical patients.

Material and methods. We performed a prospective clinical trial, including 142 adult patients with elective cardiac surgery. Anterograde cardioplegia was administered in 82 patients, retrograde cardioplegia in 60 (in 30 patients it was administrated intermittently and in 30 continuously). Blood was collected simultaneously from the aortic cardioplegic line (inflow) and from coronary sinus or the aortic root (outflow) before aortic crossclamp, after crossclamp at every 10 minutes and after crossclamp removal at 0 and 10 minutes. All patients were operated on cardiopulmonary bypass with cardiac arrest, using warm-blood cardioplegia for cardioprotection.

Results. Lactate levels showed increasing values during aortic crossclamp, and a rapid decline after crossclamp removal. The incidence of low cardiac output was significantly higher in patients with lactate levels that exceeded 4 mmol/L. In patients who died in the postoperative period, lactate level was even higher (5 mmol/L), with only a modest recovery after crossclamp removal.

Conclusion. Monitoring lactate level in coronary sinus blood is a reliable method and has a good prognostic value regarding postoperative morbidity and mortality in open heart surgery


Congenital heart diseases are an important cause of mortality and morbidity in pedatric patients. Fallot Type Double outlet right ventricle is a rare heterogenous congenital heart disease characterized by a complex group of lesions similar with Tetralogy of Fallot. Surgical approach depends on the anatomy of associated lesions, therefore in order to perform a successful correction, a careful review of the anatomy and a detailed diagnostic is needed due to complexity of intracardiac anomalies. The main diagnostic tool used nowadays for the diagnosis of double outlet right ventricle is echocardiography exam, a non-invasive examination that can provide information about anatomical features, but it will not allow the full description of the coronary anatomy. Therefore, preoperative assessment should include, extensive imaging assessment (echocardiography exam, angio-CT exam) for a correct management of surgical strategy prior to surgical correction.


Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common type of cardiomyopathy in children. Heart transplantation is considered standard therapy in dilated cardiomyopathy with end-stage heart failure. We present a case of a 15-year-old patient diagnosed with DCM in the neonatal period, who underwent heart transplantation for end-stage heart failure. Despite the use of induction therapy, the endomyocardial biopsy performed at two weeks post-transplant revealed mixed moderate cellular (2R) and humoral (pAMR2) allograft rejection. Aggressive rejection treatment was initiated with good outcome. Besides endomyocardial biopsy, advanced echocardiography can also be a valuable noninvasive tool for rejection assessment.


Background: In young patients, the most common cause of mitral valve regurgitation is prolapse or flail of the valve, which is morphologically reflected by myxomatous degeneration. In rare cases, such this presented in this paper, this lesion might be incidentally identified, in young people.

Case presentation: A 43-year-old male, with familial history of hypertension, presented in our Department of Cardiology for a routine check-up. Despite of lack of symptoms, an intense murmur was detected at mitral auscultation area. The echocardiography revealed a severe mitral regurgitation caused by flail of posterior mitral valve. The patient was transferred to the Cardiac Surgery Department for surgical intervention consisting in mitral valve repair. The histopathological examination revealed severe myxomatous degeneration of the spongiosa and fibrosa layers. The recovery after surgery was very good with no postoperative complications. The patient was discharged seven days after surgery, with no significant mitral regurgitation at the three-month follow-up.

Conclusions: In young, asymptomatic patients, the proper time for mitral valve repair should be decided by an interdisciplinary team. For a better understanding of myxomatous degeneration particularities, histopathological assessment should be done in any replaced valve. Certification of such lesions, under microscope, might be an indicator for familial cardiovascular screening, in first degree relatives.


Introduction: Mitral insufficiency is a common valvular disease affecting 10% of the general population. The main treatment of the severe mitral regurgitation is surgical. We have analyzed the impact of cardiac surgery on the left ventricular performance and morphology, in patients treated for severe mitral insufficiency accordingly to the type of intervention, ischemic time and type of cardioplegia.

Methods: Ninety patients diagnosed with isolated severe mitral insufficiency that benefited from mitral valvular replacement or mitral valvuloplasty were retrospectively enrolled. The left ventricle, the left atrium, the right ventricle diameters and the left ventricle ejection fraction were measured by two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography before and after surgery. The influence of the myocardial ischemia time and the type of cardioplegia administered on the ventricular systolic function were also analyzed.

Results: Regardless the surgical technique chosen, after surgery we noticed a decreased size of the left ventricle (preoperative mean 54.91mm ±8.18 vs postoperative mean 51.94mm±8.15, p=0.035), right ventricle (preoperative mean 33.49mm±5,87 vs postoperative mean 32.41mm±6.03, p=0.0001), as well as the ejection fraction (preoperative mean 51.29%±8.51 vs postoperative mean 46.57%±8.71, p=0.0001).

Conclusions: Immediately after surgery, a decrease in the size of cardiac cavities as well as a decrease of the left ventricle ejection fraction is noticed.


Objective: To describe a particular harvesting procedure for isolating intact porcine aortic heart valve roots as potential sources for biologic scaffolds.

Methods: Fresh porcine hearts were brought to the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Targu Mures. The aortic roots were extracted from the porcine hearts by anatomical dissection. For this purpose, we used a basic surgical instrument kit. This initial phase was the first step in obtaining acellular extracellular matrix as a biologic scaffold material.

Results: Aortic roots were isolated with preservation of the ascending aorta as well as the intact aortic sinus and coronaries together with the adjacent myocardial tissue and anterior leaflet of the mitral valve. This approach allowed for safe mounting of roots into mounting rings for perfusion decellularization.

Conclusions: The described procedure is a feasible protocol for obtaining intact biological valvular scaffolds from porcine hearts. Reduced requirements regarding tools and personnel underline the easiness of aortic root harvesting using this particular procedure.


Aortic valve replacement is a safe therapy that can reverse cardiac remodeling and increase cardiac contractility, improve symptoms and quality of life. We presented a case of a 35-year-old male patient admitted to the Emergency Institute for Cardiovascular Disease and Transplantation of Târgu Mureș, Romania, due to severe aortic stenosis with severely depressed ejection fraction, left atrial myxome and a history of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism. He underwent excision of the aortic valve and replacement with a mechanical prosthesis, excision of left atrial myxoma and tricuspid annuloplasty. The postoperative evolution was favourable with a significant recovery of the left ventricular systolic function and regression of cardiac symptomatology. This case was particular due to the rapid progression of the aortic pathology with the reduction of cardiac (systolic) function in a relatively short time as well as the occurrence of the thromboembolic event unrelated to the left atrial myxoma and rather associated with the background of cardiac failure with low cardiac output.


Background: We hypothesized that an ideal heart valve replacement would be acellular valve root scaffolds seeded with autologous stem cells. To test this hypothesis, we prepared porcine acellular pulmonary valves, seeded them with autologous adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) and implanted them in sheep and compared them to acellular valves.

Methods: Fresh porcine pulmonary valve roots were decellularized with detergents and enzymes. ADSCs were isolated from subdermal fat and injected within the acellular cusps. Valves were then implanted in an extra-anatomic pulmonary position as RV to PA shunts: Group A (n=6) consisted of acellular valves and Group B (n=6) of autologous stem cell-seeded acellular xenografts. Sheep were followed up for 6 months by echocardiography and histologic analysis was performed on explanted valves.

Results: Early evolution was favorable for both groups. All Group A animals had physiologic growth without any signs of heart failure and leaflets were found with preserved structure and mobility, lacking signs of thrombi, inflammation or calcification. Group B sheep however expressed signs of right ventricle failure starting at one month, accompanied by progressive regurgitation and right ventricle dilatation, and the leaflets were found covered with host tissue. No cells were found in any Group A or B explants.

Conclusions: Acellular stabilized xenogeneic pulmonary valves are reliable, stable, non-immunogenic, non-thrombogenic and non-calcifying scaffolds with excellent hemodynamics. Seeding these scaffolds with autologous ADSCs was not conducive to tissue regeneration. Studies aimed at understanding these novel observations and further harnessing the potential of stem cells are ongoing.