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Oct 4, 2023

The JHLT Digital Media Editors explore two manuscripts from the October issue of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation—the first on lung transplantation in patients with stacked risks, and the second on bacterial pathogens found at driveline exit sites in patients with ventricular assist devices. Digital Media Editor Marty Tam, MD, assistant professor in the division of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Michigan, hosts this episode.


First, hear from senior author Edward Cantu, MD, MSCE, on his team’s study “Transplanting candidates with stacked risks negatively affects outcomes.”


Lung transplant centers are increasingly evaluating patients with multiple risk factors for adverse post-transplant outcomes, yet there is little data of the effects of these risks as they stack. The authors of the study used the UNOS registry data linked to the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) to create a national encounter-level sample of healthcare data in the United States, then applied a probabilistic matching algorithm using 7 variables and determined associations between mortality, length of stay, total charges, and disposition with the number of comorbidities.


For details on what the study found about how these risks affected patient success—based on factors like mortality, length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, need for ECMO-salvage, total charges, and discharge to a skilled nursing facility—listen to the discussion in the episode.


Next, the editors explored the study “Dynamics of bacterial pathogens at the driveline exit site in patients with ventricular assist devices: A prospective, observational, single-center cohort study.” While the authors weren’t able to join the episode, editors corresponded with senior author Monika Fürholz, MD, from the Bern University Hospital in Switzerland, before recording, and shared some of her insights.


Driveline exit site infections commonly occur in patients with LVADs, and can be a source of recurrent or deeper infections. Bacterial colonization of driveline exit sites has not been well studied, and transition from colonization to infection is also not well understood. The authors of this paper sought to address this by conducting a prospective, observational, single-center cohort study which included systematic and routine collection of driveline exit site skin swabs being taken between June 2019 and December 2021, even in the absence of suspected driveline infection. Bacteria were identified and a subset of the samples underwent whole-genome sequencing.


For details on what the study found, including a discussion of how the study findings might impact current practice, check out the episode.


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