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1.
J Surg Res ; 271: 52-58, 2021 Nov 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34837734

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Negative health effects of traveling longer distances for surgical services have been reported. Given the high complexity of multidisciplinary care required for management of Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implantation, only 4 of 18 centers in our state perform these operations. Given the limited access we hypothesized increased travel time would adversely affect postoperative outcomes and 30-d mortality. METHODS: A statewide Society of Thoracic Surgeons database was queried to identify patients undergoing Heartmate II/III and HVAD implantation, and 725 patients were identified. Travel time was calculated by zip code. Patients were stratified into regional and distant groups by the upper quartile of travel time (1-h). Preoperative variables and outcomes were compared between the groups. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of travel time in risk-adjusted models of 30-d mortality. RESULTS: Median patient travel time to their LVAD center in our state is 32 min (mean 53 ± 65 min, 46 ± 71 miles). Patients in the distant group (n = 191) had lower median incomes, higher self-pay status, higher rates of medical comorbid disease. Despite these differences there was no difference between the groups in ICU and/or hospital length of stay, readmission, postoperative complications, or 30-d mortality. Multivariate regression demonstrated insurance status, age, and prior surgery predicted 30-d mortality, but not travel time. CONCLUSIONS: Despite only four centers in the state performing LVAD implantation, travel time was strongly associated with preoperative risk, and socioeconomic status but not postoperative outcomes or 30-d mortality. Therefore, increasing access should focus on insurance, and patient characteristics not travel time.

2.
Ann Thorac Surg ; 2021 Nov 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34785247

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The relationship between institutional volume and operative mortality following SAVR remains unclear. METHODS: From 1/2013 to 6/2018, 234,556 patients underwent isolated SAVR (n=144,177) or SAVR+CABG (n=90,379) within the STS ACSD. The association between annualized SAVR volume [Group 1 (1-25 SAVR), Group 2 (26-50 SAVR), Group 3 (51-100 SAVR), and Group 4 (>100 SAVR)] and operative mortality and composite major morbidity/mortality was assessed. Random effects models were used to evaluate whether historic (2013-2015) SAVR volume or risk-adjusted outcomes explained future (2016-2018) risk-adjusted outcomes. RESULTS: The annualized median number of SAVRs per site was 35 [IQR: 22-59, isolated AVR: 20, AVR+CABG: 13]. Among isolated SAVR cases, the mean operative mortality and composite morbidity/mortality were 1.5% and 9.7%, respectively, at the highest volume sites (Group 4); with significantly higher rates among progressively lower volume groups (p-trend<0.001). After adjustment, lower volume centers experienced increased odds of operative mortality [Group 1 vs. 4 (Ref): AOR (SAVR), 2.24 (1.91-2.64); AOR (SAVR+CABG), 1.96 (1.67-2.30)] and major morbidity/mortality [AOR (SAVR), 1.53 (1.39-1.69); AOR (SAVR+CABG), 1.46 (1.32-1.61)] compared to the highest volume institutions. Substantial variation in outcomes was observed across hospitals within each volume category and prior outcomes explained a greater proportion of hospital operative outcomes than prior volume. CONCLUSIONS: Operative outcomes following SAVR±CABG is inversely associated with institutional procedure volumes; however, prior outcomes are more predictive than prior volume of future outcomes. Given excellent outcomes observed at many lower volume hospitals, procedural outcomes may be preferable to procedural volumes as a quality metric.

3.
N Engl J Med ; 2021 Nov 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34767705

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Tricuspid regurgitation is common in patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation. However, the evidence base is insufficient to inform a decision about whether to perform tricuspid-valve repair during mitral-valve surgery in patients who have moderate tricuspid regurgitation or less-than-moderate regurgitation with annular dilatation. METHODS: We randomly assigned 401 patients who were undergoing mitral-valve surgery for degenerative mitral regurgitation to receive a procedure with or without tricuspid annuloplasty (TA). The primary 2-year end point was a composite of reoperation for tricuspid regurgitation, progression of tricuspid regurgitation by two grades from baseline or the presence of severe tricuspid regurgitation, or death. RESULTS: Patients who underwent mitral-valve surgery plus TA had fewer primary-end-point events than those who underwent mitral-valve surgery alone (3.9% vs. 10.2%) (relative risk, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16 to 0.86; P = 0.02). Two-year mortality was 3.2% in the surgery-plus-TA group and 4.5% in the surgery-alone group (relative risk, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.25 to 1.88). The 2-year prevalence of progression of tricuspid regurgitation was lower in the surgery-plus-TA group than in the surgery-alone group (0.6% vs. 6.1%; relative risk, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.69). The frequencies of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events, functional status, and quality of life were similar in the two groups at 2 years, although the incidence of permanent pacemaker implantation was higher in the surgery-plus-TA group than in the surgery-alone group (14.1% vs. 2.5%; rate ratio, 5.75; 95% CI, 2.27 to 14.60). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients undergoing mitral-valve surgery, those who also received TA had a lower incidence of a primary-end-point event than those who underwent mitral-valve surgery alone at 2 years, a reduction that was driven by less frequent progression to severe tricuspid regurgitation. Tricuspid repair resulted in more frequent permanent pacemaker implantation. Whether reduced progression of tricuspid regurgitation results in long-term clinical benefit can be determined only with longer follow-up. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02675244.).

4.
Ann Thorac Surg ; 2021 Nov 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34843696

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Refractory right ventricular failure at the time of left ventricular assist device implantation requires treatment with supplemental mechanical circulatory support. However, the optimal strategy for support remains unknown. METHODS: All patients undergoing first time durable left ventricular assist device implantation with a contemporary device were selected from the national Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database (2011-2019). Patients requiring right ventricular assist device (RVAD) or venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) were included in the analysis. Patients were stratified by RVAD or VA-ECMO and by timing of placement (intraoperative vs. postoperative). RESULTS: 18,423 left ventricular assist device implants were identified, of which 940 (5.1%) required RVAD (n=750) or VA-ECMO (n=190) support. Patients receiving an RVAD more frequently had preoperative inotrope requirement (76% vs. 62%, p<0.01) and severe tricuspid regurgitation (20% vs. 13%, p<0.01). RVAD patients experienced lower rates of postoperative renal failure (40% vs. 51%, p=0.02) and limb ischemia (4% vs. 13%, p<0.01), as well as significantly less operative mortality (41% vs. 54%, p<0.01). After risk-adjustment with propensity score analysis, support with VA-ECMO was associated with a higher risk of mortality (Risk Ratio 1.46 [1.21-1.77], p<0.01) compared to patients receiving an RVAD. Importantly, institution of right ventricular support postoperatively was associated with higher mortality (1.43, p<0.01) compared to intraoperative initiation. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with severe right ventricular failure in the setting of durable left ventricular assist device implantation may benefit from the use of RVAD over VA-ECMO. Regardless of the type of support, initiation at the index operation was associated with improved outcomes.

5.
Ann Thorac Surg ; 2021 Nov 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34843697

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Despite the rapid adoption of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), the frequency and outcomes of non-aortic valve cardiac surgery after TAVR are unknown. METHODS: Non-aortic valve surgery after TAVR from 2011 to 2019 was queried using the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Adult Cardiac Surgery Database. A total of 666 patients, including 47 (7.1%) unplanned TAVR-explant and 3 (0.5%) aborted procedures during non-aortic valve procedures, were identified. RESULTS: These 666 procedures were performed by 459 surgeons (median 1.0 case per surgeon) from 308 centers (median 1.0 case per center), which represents 29% of Database participants. The case number increased over time from 4 in 2011 to 204 in 2019, largely attributable to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (n=283; 42.5%) and mitral (n=258; 38.7%) procedures. The median age was 75.0 and 51.4% had previous cardiac surgeries. The 30-day mortality of the entire cohort was 17.0%. Subgroups with particularly high mortality included patients with robot-assisted mitral surgery (n=5/12; 41.7%), unplanned TAVR-explant (n=19/47; 40.4%), open atrial transcatheter mitral valve replacement (n=10/33; 30.3%) and aortic repair (n=24/79; 29.8%). Among 390 patients with available STS predicted risk of mortality, the 30-day mortality with isolated CABG, isolated mitral repair/replacement and the entire group was 8.4% (n=19/225), 13.5% (n=21/155) and 10.8% (n=42/390) with corresponding observed-to-expected mortality (O/E) ratio of 1.8, 1.8 and 1.7, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Non-aortic valve operation after TAVR was associated with a high mortality and O/E ratio. Implanters must be mindful of "lifetime management" strategy including assessment of concurrent pathologies during TAVR candidate selection.

6.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34635317

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: The treatment of mitral valve disease in the presence of mitral annular calcification (MAC) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Various surgical and transcatheter techniques for the treatment of mitral disease with severe MAC have been described. However, these procedures are associated with high risk of operative morbidity and mortality. We describe our experience with open surgical implantation of a balloon-expandable valve (BEV) in patients with severe MAC as an alternative approach. METHODS: BEV implantation was performed with direct vision through the left atrium via a median sternotomy or minimally invasive approach. The midportion of the anterior leaflet is excised, and a ventricular septal myectomy performed if there is high risk for left ventricular outflow tract obstruction. The primary outcome was technical success according to the Mitral Valve Academic Research Consortium criteria; secondary outcomes were 30-day and 1-year mortality. RESULTS: From October 2015 through October 2020, 51 patients at 2 institutions underwent BEV-in-MAC (mean age, 73.9 ± 8.8 years; 60.8% [31/51] were female; mean Society of Thoracic Surgeons predicted risk of mortality: 6.8% ± 4.8%). Technical success was 94.1% (48/51). Thirty-day and 1-year mortality were 13.7% (7/51) and 33.3% (15/45), and for stroke 3.9% (2/51) and 4.4% (2/45), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical implantation of a BEV in the mitral position offers a treatment option for patients with mitral valve disease complicated by severe MAC who are at increased risk for conventional surgical approaches and at risk for left ventricular outflow tract obstruction with transcatheter approaches.

9.
Am J Pathol ; 191(12): 2231-2244, 2021 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34509440

RESUMO

B cell-activating factor (BAFF), part of a tumor necrosis factor family of cytokines, was recently identified as a regulator of atherosclerosis; however, its role in aortic aneurysm has not been determined. Here, the study examined the effect of selective BAFF antagonism using an anti-BAFF antibody (blocks binding of BAFF to receptors BAFF receptor 3, transmembrane activator and CAML interactor, and B-cell maturation antigen) and mBaffR-mFc (blocks binding of BAFF to BAFF receptor 3) on a murine model of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). In a prevention strategy, the antagonists were injected before the induction of AAA, and in an intervention strategy, the antagonists were injected after the induction of AAA. Both strategies attenuated the formation of AAA. In the intervention group, BAFF antagonism depleted most of the mature B-cell subsets in spleen and circulation, leading to enhanced resolution of inflammation in AAA as indicated by decreased infiltration of B cells and proinflammatory macrophages and a reduced number of apoptotic cells. In AAA tissues, B cells and macrophages were found in close contact. In vitro, B cells, irrespective of treatment with BAFF, impaired the efferocytosis activity of macrophages, suggesting a direct innate role of B cells on macrophage function. Altogether, BAFF antagonism affects survival of the mature B cells, promotes resolution of inflammation in the aorta, and attenuates the growth of AAA in mice.

11.
JACC Cardiovasc Interv ; 14(18): 2010-2021, 2021 09 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34556275

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine clinical and echocardiographic characteristics, mechanisms of failure, and outcomes of mitral valve (MV) surgery after transcatheter edge-to-edge repair (TEER). BACKGROUND: Although >100,000 mitral TEER procedures have been performed worldwide, longitudinal data on MV surgery after TEER are lacking. METHODS: Data from the multicenter, international CUTTING-EDGE registry were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical and echocardiographic outcomes were evaluated. Median follow-up duration was 9.0 months (interquartile range [IQR]: 1.2-25.7 months) after MV surgery, and follow-up was 96.1% complete at 30 days and 81.1% complete at 1 year. RESULTS: From July 2009 to July 2020, 332 patients across 34 centers underwent MV surgery after TEER. The mean age was 73.8 ± 10.1 years, median Society of Thoracic Surgeons risk for MV repair at initial TEER was 4.0 (IQR: 2.3-7.3), and primary/mixed and secondary mitral regurgitation were present in 59.0% and 38.5%, respectively. The median interval from TEER to surgery was 3.5 months (IQR: 0.5-11.9 months), with overall median Society of Thoracic Surgeons risk of 4.8% for MV replacement (IQR: 2.8%-8.4%). The primary indication for surgery was recurrent mitral regurgitation (33.5%), and MV replacement and concomitant tricuspid surgery were performed in 92.5% and 42.2% of patients, respectively. The 30-day and 1-year mortality rates were 16.6% and 31.3%, respectively. On Kaplan-Meier analysis, the actuarial estimates of mortality were 24.1% at 1 year and 31.7% at 3 years after MV surgery. CONCLUSIONS: In this first report of the CUTTING-EDGE registry, the mortality and morbidity risks of MV surgery after TEER were not negligible, and only <10% of patients underwent MV repair. These registry data provide valuable insights for further research to improve these outcomes.


Assuntos
Implante de Prótese de Valva Cardíaca , Insuficiência da Valva Mitral , Idoso , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , Implante de Prótese de Valva Cardíaca/efeitos adversos , Humanos , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Valva Mitral/diagnóstico por imagem , Valva Mitral/cirurgia , Insuficiência da Valva Mitral/diagnóstico por imagem , Insuficiência da Valva Mitral/cirurgia , Sistema de Registros , Estudos Retrospectivos , Resultado do Tratamento
12.
JACC Cardiovasc Interv ; 14(18): 2039-2046, 2021 09 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34556279

RESUMO

Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) is a new therapy for treating symptomatic mitral regurgitation (MR) and stenosis. The proposed benefit of TMVR is the predictable, complete elimination of MR, which is less certain with transcatheter repair technologies such as TEER (transcatheter edge-to-edge repair). The potential benefit of MR elimination with TMVR needs to be rigorously evaluated against its risks which include relative procedural invasiveness, need for anticoagulation, and chronic structural valve deterioration. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are a powerful method for evaluating the safety and effectiveness of TMVR against current standard of care transcatheter therapies, such as TEER. RCTs not only help with the assessment of benefits and risks, but also with policies for determining operator or institutional requirements, resource utilization, and reimbursement. In this paper, the authors provide recommendations and considerations for designing pivotal RCTs for first-in-class TMVR devices.


Assuntos
Implante de Prótese de Valva Cardíaca , Insuficiência da Valva Mitral , Cateterismo Cardíaco/efeitos adversos , Implante de Prótese de Valva Cardíaca/efeitos adversos , Humanos , Valva Mitral/diagnóstico por imagem , Valva Mitral/cirurgia , Insuficiência da Valva Mitral/diagnóstico por imagem , Insuficiência da Valva Mitral/cirurgia , Ensaios Clínicos Controlados Aleatórios como Assunto , Resultado do Tratamento
13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34364682

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Despite the rapid adoption of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), there are scant data regarding aortic valve reintervention after initial TAVR. METHODS: Between 2011 and 2019, 1487 patients underwent a TAVR at the University of Michigan. Among these, 24 (1.6%) patients required an aortic valve reintervention. Additionally, 4 patients who received a TAVR at another institution underwent a valve reintervention at our institution. We retrospectively reviewed these 28 patients. RESULTS: The median age was 72 years, 36% were female and 86% of implanted TAVR devices were self-expandable. The leading indications for reintervention were structural valve degeneration (39%) and paravalvular leak (36%). The cumulative incidence of aortic valve reintervention was 4.6% at 8 years. Most (71%) were deemed unsuitable for repeat TAVR because of the need for concurrent cardiac procedures (50%), unfavorable anatomy (45%), or endocarditis (10%). TAVR valve explant was associated with frequent concurrent procedures, consisting of aortic repair (35%), mitral repair/replacement (35%), tricuspid repair (25%), and coronary artery bypass graft (20%). Seventy-one percent of aortic procedures were unplanned but proved necessary because of severe adhesion of the devices to the contacting tissue. There were 3 (15%) in-hospital mortalities in the TAVR valve explant group, whereas there was no mortality in the repeat TAVR group. CONCLUSIONS: Repeat TAVR procedure was frequently not feasible because of unfavorable anatomy and/or the need for concurrent cardiac procedures. Careful assessment of TAVR procedure repeatability should be weighed at the initial TAVR workup especially in younger patients who are expected to require a valve reintervention.

14.
J Surg Res ; 268: 221-231, 2021 Aug 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34371281

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) are a progressive disease characterized by inflammation, smooth muscle cell activation and matrix degradation. We hypothesized that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can immunomodulate vascular inflammation and remodeling via altered microRNA (miRNAs) expression profile to attenuate TAA formation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: C57BL/6 mice underwent topical elastase application to form descending TAAs. Mice were also treated with MSCs on days 1 and 5 and aortas were analyzed on day 14 for aortic diameter. Cytokine array was performed in aortic tissue and total RNA was tagged and hybridized for miRNAs microarray analysis. Immunohistochemistry was performed for elastin degradation and leukocyte infiltration. RESULTS: Treatment with MSCs significantly attenuated aortic diameter and TAA formation compared to untreated mice. MSC administration also attenuated T-cell, neutrophil and macrophage infiltration and prevented elastic degradation to mitigate vascular remodeling. MSC treatment also attenuated aortic inflammation by decreasing proinflammatory cytokines (CXCL13, IL-27, CXCL12 and RANTES) and upregulating anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 expression in aortic tissue of elastase-treated mice. TAA formation demonstrated activation of specific miRNAs that are associated with aortic inflammation and vascular remodeling. Our results also demonstrated that MSCs modulate a different set of miRNAs that are associated with decrease leukocyte infiltration and vascular inflammation to attenuate the aortic diameter and TAA formation. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that MSCs immunomodulate specific miRNAs that are associated with modulating hallmarks of aortic inflammation and vascular remodeling of aortic aneurysms. Targeted therapies designed using MSCs and miRNAs have the potential to regulate the growth and development of TAAs.

15.
Physiol Rep ; 9(17): e15004, 2021 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34435466

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Dysfunction and inflammation of hearts subjected to cold ischemic preservation may differ between left and right ventricles, suggesting distinct strategies for amelioration. METHODS AND RESULTS: Explanted murine hearts subjected to cold ischemia for 0, 4, or 8 h in preservation solution were assessed for function during 60 min of warm perfusion and then analyzed for cell death and inflammation by immunohistochemistry and western blotting and total RNA sequencing. Increased cold ischemic times led to greater left ventricle (LV) dysfunction compared to right ventricle (RV). The LV experienced greater cell death assessed by TUNEL+ cells and cleaved caspase-3 expression (n = 4). While IL-6 protein levels were upregulated in both LV and RV, IL-1ß, TNFα, IL-10, and MyD88 were disproportionately increased in the LV. Inflammasome components (NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3), adaptor molecule apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC), cleaved caspase-1) and products (cleaved IL-1ß and gasdermin D) were also more upregulated in the LV. Pathway analysis of RNA sequencing showed increased signaling related to tumor necrosis factor, interferon, and innate immunity with ex-vivo ischemia, but no significant differences were found between the LV and RV. Human donor hearts showed comparable inflammatory responses to cold ischemia with greater LV increases of TNFα, IL-10, and inflammasomes (n = 3). CONCLUSIONS: Mouse hearts subjected to cold ischemia showed time-dependent contractile dysfunction and increased cell death, inflammatory cytokine expression and inflammasome expression that are greater in the LV than RV. However, IL-6 protein elevations and altered transcriptional profiles were similar in both ventricles. Similar changes are observed in human hearts.

16.
17.
J Card Surg ; 36(8): 2677-2684, 2021 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34018246

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: Implantation of donor hearts with prolonged ischemic times is associated with worse survival. We sought to identify risk factors that modulate the effects of prolonged preservation. METHODS: Retrospective review of the United Network for Organ Sharing database (2000-2018) to identify transplants with >5 (n = 1526) or ≤5 h (n = 35,733) of donor heart preservation. In transplanted hearts preserved for >5 h, Cox-proportional hazards identify modifiers for survival. RESULTS: Compared to ≤5 h, transplanted patients with >5 h of preservation spent less time in status 1B (76 ± 160 vs. 85 ± 173 days, p = .027), more commonly had ischemic cardiomyopathy (42.3% vs. 38.3%, p = .002), and less commonly received a blood type O heart (45.4% vs. 50.8%, p < .001). Longer heart preservation time was associated with a higher incidence of postoperative stroke (4.5% vs. 2.5%, p < .001), and dialysis (16.4% vs. 10.6%, p < .001). Prolonged preservation was associated with a greater likelihood of death from primary graft dysfunction (2.8% vs. 1.5%, p < .001) but there was no difference in death from acute (2.0% vs. 1.7%, p = .402) or chronic rejection (2.0% vs. 1.9%, p = .618). In transplanted patients with >5 h of heart preservation, multivariable analysis identified greater mortality with ischemic cardiomyopathy etiology (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.36, p < 0.01), pre-transplant dialysis (HR = 1.84, p < .01), pre-transplant extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO, HR = 2.36, p = .09), and O blood type donor hearts (HR = 1.35, p < .01). CONCLUSION: Preservation time >5 h is associated with worse survival. This mortality risk is further amplified by preoperative dialysis and ECMO, ischemic cardiomyopathy etiology, and use of O blood type donor hearts.


Assuntos
Transplante de Coração , Sobrevivência de Enxerto , Humanos , Diálise Renal , Estudos Retrospectivos , Fatores de Risco , Doadores de Tecidos
19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33840467

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Nearly 40% of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing mitral valve surgery do not receive concomitant ablation despite societal guidelines. We assessed barriers to implementation of this evidence-based practice through a survey of cardiac surgeons in 2 statewide quality collaboratives. METHODS: Adult cardiac surgeons across 2 statewide collaboratives were surveyed on their knowledge and practice regarding AF ablation. Questions concerning experience, clinical practice, case scenarios, and barriers to implementation were included. RESULTS: Among 66 respondents (66 of 135; 48.9%), the majority reported "very comfortable/frequently use" cryoablation (53 of 66; 80.3%) and radiofrequency (55 of 66; 83.3%). Only 12.1% (8/66) were not aware of the recommendations. Approximately one-half of the respondents reported learning AF ablation in fellowship (50.0%; 33 of 66) or attending courses (47.0%; 31 of 66). Responses to clinical scenarios demonstrated wide variability in practice patterns. One-half of the respondents reported no barriers; others cited increased cross-clamp time, excessive patient risk, and arrhythmia incidence as obstacles. Desired interventions included cardiology/electrophysiology support, protocols, pacemaker rate information, and education in the form of site visits, videos and proctors. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge of evidence-based recommendations and practice patterns vary widely. These data identify several barriers to implementation of concomitant AF ablation and suggest specific interventions (mentorship/support, protocols, research, and education) to overcome these barriers.

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