Methylene Blue

Case: 65 yo male with septic endocarditis and septic emboli with + valve vegetations.  Severe MR, mod AI, mod TR, no PFO, EF 60-70%. Mild pericardial effusion. Large bilateral pleural effusions.

 

Vasoplegic syndrome—the role of methylene blue. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Volume 28, Issue 5, 1 November 2005, Pages 705–710.

OpenAnesthesia: Methylene Blue

Dose:
2 mg/kg bolus –> 0.5 mg/kg/hr x 12 hours
Worked wonderfully for vasoplegia unresponsive to levophed or vasopressin.
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ERAS for Cardiac Surgery

ERAS for cardiac surgery. #eras #pain #multimodal #opioids #surgery #cardiac #perfusion #perfusionist

I have been utilizing ERAS in general surgery, OB, and ortho cases.  Diving into one of my more tricky populations, I opted to see what ERAS practices are out there for cardiac surgery.  Careful what you look for my friends.  There’s actually a good amount of information out there!

ACCRAC podcast: ERAS for Cardiac Surgery

ERAS Cardiac Consensus Abstract – April 2018

Enhanced recovery after surgery pathway for patients undergoing cardiac surgery: a randomized clinical trial. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Volume 54, Issue 3, 1 September 2018, Pages 491–497, https://doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezy100

** Audio PPT ** American Association for Thoracic Surgery: Enhanced Recovery After Cardiac Surgery. April 2018

The impact of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol compliance on morbidity from resection for primary lung cancer.  The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. April 2018Volume 155, Issue 4, Pages 1843–1852. 

Enhanced Recovery for Cardiac Surgery. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2018 Jan 31. pii: S1053-0770(18)30049-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jvca.2018.01.045

ERAS
From Journal of Anesthesiology

Enhanced Recovery After Cardiac Surgery Society

My blog posts:

Key Points

  • Level 1 (Class of recommendation=Strong Benefit):
    • Tranexamic acid or epsilon aminocaproic acid should be administered for on-pump cardiac surgical procedures to reduce blood loss.
    • Perioperative glycemic control is recommended (BS 70-180; [110-150]).
    • A care bundle of best practices should be performed to reduce surgical site infection.
    • Goal-directed therapy should be performed to reduce postoperative complications.
    • A multimodal, opioid-sparing, pain management plan is recommended postoperatively
    • Persistent hypothermia (T<35o C) after CPB should be avoided in the early postoperative period. Additionally, hyperthermia (T>38oC) should be avoided in the early postoperative period.
    • Active maintenance of chest tube patency is effective at preventing retained blood syndrome.
    • Post-operative systematic delirium screening is recommended at least once per nursing shift.
    • An ICU liberation bundle should be implemented including delirium screening, appropriate sedation and early mobilization.
    • Screening and treatment for excessive alcohol and cigarette smoking should be performed preoperatively when feasible.
  • Level IIa (Class of recommendation=Moderate Benefit)
    • Biomarkers can be beneficial in identifying patients at risk for acute kidney injury.
    • Rigid sternal fixation can be useful to reduce mediastinal wound complications.
    • Prehabilitation is beneficial for patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery with multiple comorbidities or significant deconditioning.
    • Insulin infusion is reasonable to be performed to treat hyperglycemia in all patients in the perioperative period.
    • Early extubation strategies after surgery are reasonable to be employed.
    • Patient engagement through online or application-based systems to promote education, compliance, and patient reported outcomes can be useful.
    • Chemical thromboprophylaxis can be beneficial following cardiac surgery.
    • Preoperative assessment of hemoglobin A1c and albumin is reasonable to be performed.
    • Correction of nutritional deficiency, when feasible, can be beneficial.
  • Level IIb (Class of recommendation=Weak Benefit)
    • A clear liquid diet may be considered to be continued up until 4 hours before general anesthesia.
    • Carbohydrate loading may be considered before surgery.

 

ERAS for cardiac surgery. Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia

Erector Spinae Plane Block

After speaking to a colleague of mine regarding regional anesthesia for thoracotomy and mastectomy, I am reading up on Erector Spinae Plane (ESP) block.

 

Indications:

 

 

Other regional blocks

Continuous ESP block catheter (my current regimen and what I’m able to get at my institution):

  • Braun Periflex catheter through 17g epidural needle
  • Cranial-to-caudal approach @ T5 (mastectomy, vats, rib fractures)
  • 20ml 0.25% bupi + epi prior to catheter
  • Catheter 5cm in space
  • 5 ml 0.25% bupi + epi after catheter placed
  • Mix: 0.125% bupi + fentanyl @ 10 ml/hr
  • If PCEA available, bolus 15ml every 3 hours; continuous as mix above.

Cardiac anesthesiologists and LVAD patients: Pro vs Cons

There’s been a big debate re: who should care for LVAD patients… a general anesthesiologist or a cardiac anesthesiologist?  See below for pros and cons of each.  Ultimately, I think all anesthesiologists should be comfortable caring for these patients as we’ll see more and more LVAD patients undergoing procedures.

Troubleshooting the Left Ventricular Assist Device.  Emergency Medicine. 2016 February;48(2):58-63.

RTEmagicC_em048020061_t1.jpg
From Emergency Medicine, Feb 2016.
LVAD Parameter Abnormalities:
  • High power, low-pulsatility index and fluctuating pump speed: Consider pump thrombosis or hypotension, vasodilation, initial response to exercise.
  • High power with high pulsatility index: Consider fluid overload, normal physiological response to increased demand; myocardial recovery.
  • Low power, low pulsatility index, and unchanging speed: Consider hypertension or inflow/outflow obstruction, LV failure, dysrhythmia.
  • Low power with normal or high pulsatility index: Consider suction event.

Pro: Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists Should Provide Anesthetic Care for Patients With Ventricular Assist Devices Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery. JCVA, February 2017. Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 378–381

Con: Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists Are Not Necessary for the Management of Patients With Ventricular Assist Devices Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery. JCVA, February 2017. Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 382–387.


VAD-2
From LifeInTheFastLane.com

Ventricular assist devices and non-cardiac surgery.  BMC Anesthesiology201515:185

  • Goals of care for LVAD patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery should be directed at maintaining forward flow and adequate perfusion. Three main factors that affect LVAD flow are preload, RV function, and afterload.
  • The right ventricle is the primary means of LVAD filling; therefore, maintaining RV function is imperative.
  • Marked increases in systemic vascular resistance should be avoided.
  • Generally, decreases in pump flow should first be treated with a fluid challenge. Hypovolemia should be avoided and intraoperative losses should be replaced aggressively. Second line treatment should include inotropic support for the right ventricle.
  • Low-dose vasopressin (<2.4 U/h) may be the vasopressor of choice due to its minimal effect on pulmonary vascular resistance.
  • Standard Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Guidelines should be followed; however, external chest compressions should be avoided during cardiac arrest.
  • Steep Trendelenburg may increase venous return, risking RV strain. Peritoneal insufflation for laparoscopic surgery also increases afterload and has detrimental effects on preload.  Insufflation should utilize minimum pressures and be increased in a gradual, step-wise fashion.
  • TEE can be extremely valuable in diagnosing the cause of obstruction.

Perioperative management of patients with left ventricular assist devices undergoing noncardiac surgery. Annals of cardiac anaesthesia 2016. Vol 19, Issue 4: 676-686.

LVAD: What Should I report? Feb 2017 ASE conference. **ECHO**

  • Higher the RPMs (pump speed)
    • More LV compression, smaller LV size
    • Less functional MR
    • More AI, less AV opening
    • Less LVED diameter
  • De Novo Aortic Regurgitation Post LVAD
    • Proposed mechanisms
      • Aortic valve remains closed during systole
      • Commissural fusion of the aortic valve from disuse
      • Subsequent degeneration of valve
      • Turbulent blood backflow from small outflow cannula onto a closed valve
      • Persistent elevation of aortic root pressure –> aortic root dilation and valve incompetence
    • Treatment
      • Lower LVAD speed (but that may worsen mitral regurgitation)
      • Aortic valve surgery or percutaneous intervention
      • Heart transplant
  • RV Fractional Area Change (RV FAC)
    • RVFAC is a rough measure of RV systolic function (4 chamber view)
    • RVFAC = (RVEDA – RVESA) / RVEDA
    • Normal RVFAC = 35 – 63%

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD). LifeInTheFastLane.com. .

Care of the LVAD patient PPT. Summit 2014.

  • Pulsatility Index:
    • —normally decrease as pump speed is increased

LVAD: Understanding equipment and Alarms. Duke Heart Center PPT.

LVAD Management in the ICU. Crit Care Med 2014; 42:158–168. 

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.20.26 AM
From Left Ventricular Assist Device Management in the ICU Pratt, Alexandra K. MD1; Shah, Nimesh S. MD1; Boyce, Steven W. MD2 Critical Care Medicine: January 2014 – Volume 42 – Issue 1 – p 158–168 doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000435675.91305.76 Concise Definitive Review
Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.20.47 AM
Left Ventricular Assist Device Management in the ICU Pratt, Alexandra K. MD1; Shah, Nimesh S. MD1; Boyce, Steven W. MD2 Critical Care Medicine: January 2014 – Volume 42 – Issue 1 – p 158–168 doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000435675.91305.76 Concise Definitive Review

 

Anesthesia for Left Ventricular Assist Device Insertion: A Case Series and Review. Ochsner J. 2011 Spring; 11(1): 70–77.

Medical Management of Patients With Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2014 Feb; 16(2): 283.

 


My blog posts:

HeartWare vs. HeartMate LVAD

Ventricular Assist Devices: Impella

Antithrombin III

The other day we had a patient come in for a CABG. Aside for some coronary artery disease, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease, the patient was pretty healthy. They were not on anticoagulation prior to the procedure.

After I gave full dose heparin for going on bypass (41,000U in this case), the ACT only came up to 422. An additional 10,000U of heparin was given with a repeat ACT of 457. Still, our surgeon was not quite comfortable with that number and requested an additional 10,000U heparin. The ACT came to 477.

If the ACT stayed in the low 400s, would you go on bypass? What if the ACT had not responded to the repeated heparin dosings?

Management of coagulation during cardiopulmonary bypass. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain, Volume 7, Issue 6, 1 December 2007, Pages 195–198, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjaceaccp/mkm036.

Antithrombin III concentrate to treat heparin resistance in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2002 Feb;123(2):213-7.

Would you give antithrombin III or plasma?

Treating Heparin Resistance With Antithrombin or Fresh Frozen Plasma. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. June 2008Volume 85, Issue 6, Pages 2153–2160.

Is there evidence that fresh frozen plasma is superior to antithrombin administration to treat heparin resistance in cardiac surgery? Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2014 Jan; 18(1): 117–120.

We ultimately decided to go on bypass. Repeat ACTs on bypass were in the 500s. No antithrombin was given. After separation from cardiopulmonary bypass and administration of protamine, repeat ACT was 111. Protamine was dosed accordingly to heparin administration and ACTs while on bypass.

Recommendations for the use of antithrombin concentrates and prothrombin complex concentrates. Blood Transfus. 2009 Oct; 7(4): 325–334.

Thrombate (antithrombin III) package insert

Responsibility for your own health

I was shocked to see that the NHS could ban surgery for the obese and smokers.  That’s socialized medicine.  You take a conglomerate group of people (the UK) on a limited budget for healthcare… and basically find the cheapest most cost-effective way to deliver healthcare.  But in a way, it’s empowering patients to take responsibility for their own health.  Smoking, for sure — I agree 100% that surgery should be banned for this population.  Obesity is a bit trickier — there’s genetics and environmental factors at play in this one.  I don’t think anyone chooses to be obese.  But, people do have the power to change their eating and exercise habits.  Despite these efforts, there are some people who are still obese…. and these people should not be faulted.

Why single out the obese and smokers?

obesity-and-cv-disease-1ppt-44-728
From SlideShare
obesity-and-cv-disease-1ppt-43-728
From SlideShare
tobacco-health-statistics
From TobaccoFreeLife.org

Smokers and the obese have elevated surgical risk and mortality, which means more cost to treat and hospitalize and provide ongoing care.

150423sambydisease
From HealthStats

I think the NHS is on to something here.  They’re opening doors to moving the liability and responsibility away from physicians and towards patients.  This is a plus.  Outsiders may see it as separatism and elitist to only provide care for people who are healthy.  But look at the facts and the data…. obesity has a lot of co-morbidities associated.  Smoking has a lot of co-morbidities associated as well.  Why should physicians be penalized for re-admissions, poor wound healing, longer hospitalizations when the underlying conditions themselves are already challenging enough?  In fact, I would urge insurance companies to provide incentives to patients/the insured with discounted rates for good and maintained health and wellness.  With all the technologies, medications, and information out there, it’s time patients take responsibility for their own health.  I take responsibility for mine — watching my diet, exercising, working on getting enough rest, maintaining activities to keep my mind and body engaged, meditating for rest and relaxation.  It’s not easy, but my health is 100% my responsibility.  I refuse to pass the buck to my husband, my family, my physician, etc.  I do what I can to optimize my health and future — and if that doesn’t work… I call for backup.

Patients need to change their mindset re: health.  It is not your spouse’s responsibility to track your meds.  It is your responsibility to know your medical conditions and surgical history.  The single most important (and thoughtful) thing a patient can do is keep an up-to-date list of medications, past/current medical history, surgical history, and allergies to bring to every doctor’s appointment and surgery.  This helps streamline and bring to the forefront your conditions and how these will interplay with your medical and surgical plan and postoperative care.  Please do not forget recreational drugs, smoking habit, and drinking habit in this list.  It is very important to know all of these things.  Also, your emotional history is very important.  Depression, anxiety, failure to cope, etc.  This all helps tie in your current living situation with stressors and your medical history.

Links for educating yourself in taking responsibility for your health:

obesity
From SilverStarUK.org

Suprascapular Blocks

Trends are evolving in decreasing intraoperative and postoperative opioid use.  Therefore, anesthesiologists are constantly learning new regional techniques to help with postoperative pain.  For shoulder surgeries, I’ve moved away from interscalene blocks toward supraclavicular blocks.  I think the interscalene block provides a better block of a total shoulder surgery, however, certain patient comorbidities often make the supraclavicular block a better choice.

Nice paper from Anesthesiology, Dec 2017: Suprascapular and Interscalene Nerve Block for Shoulder Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Anesthesiology 12 2017, Vol.127, 998-1013.

Nowadays, it seems that suprascapular blocks are gaining in popularity (I’d probably use it to supplement the supraclavicular block.

Supplies and Technique (from USRA):

Suprascapular Nerve

ssn1

How to position the ultrasound probe:

ssn5
From USRA

05_1_a_shoulder-suprascapular-artery-and-nerve_dsc_5085_copy

Ultrasound Image

ssn4
From USRA.  SSM = supraspinatus muscle
SSA = suprascapular artery
SSN = suprascapular nerve
TZM = trapezius muscle
STSL = superior transverse scapular ligament

05_1_c_shoulder-suprascapular-artery-and-nerve_labels

Useful Links


Update: June 19, 2018

Comparison of Anterior Suprascapular, Supraclavicular, and Interscalene Nerve Block Approaches for Major Outpatient Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery: A Randomized, Double-blind, Noninferiority Trial. Anesthesiology 7 2018, Vol.129, 47-57.

PEEP Alone Atelectasis
From Anesthesiology, July 2018
  • Conclusions: The anterior suprascapular block, but not the supraclavicular, provides noninferior analgesia compared to the interscalene approach for major arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Pulmonary function is best preserved with the anterior suprascapular nerve block.