Several Washington University cardiothoracic surgery faculty members and trainees trekked to Boston to present cases and research, moderate panels and discuss areas of expertise at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery’s 102nd Annual Meeting. In the AATS’s first in-person annual meeting since the beginning of the pandemic, the event reunited cardiothoracic experts from around the world and allowed them to discuss innovations within the field, connect with colleagues and build on each other’s work.
Mitral Conclave Workshop – Friday, May 13
The annual meeting, which was held May 14-17, kicked off a day early with the start of the Aortic Symposium and Mitral Conclave Workshops on May 13. During the Mitral Valve Workshop, Ralph J. Damiano, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, served as a panelist for the Advanced Mitral Valve Repair II session and roundtable discussion on prioritizing procedures in complex surgery. Additionally, Damiano, who is the Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery, spoke on mitral valve repair with Maze via minithoractomy during the Advanced Mitral Valve Repair III session.
Thoracic surgery fellow Matthew Schill, MD, and lab resident Martha McGilvray, MD, MSt, both presented posters in the Mitral Conclave Workshop Poster session. Their posters, “Sinus Rhythm Electrocardiographic Imaging of Patients with Mitral Regurgitation: Does Atrial Size Explain Atrial Fibrillation Risk?” and “An Experimental Model of Chronic Severe Mitral Regurgitation,” respectively, were displayed in the Sheraton Boston Exhibition hall for the duration of the meeting.
Saturday, May 14
Cardiac surgeon Puja Kachroo, MD, who is surgical director of the Center for Diseases of the Thoracic Aorta, kicked off the division’s participation in Saturday’s activities with a presentation on her approach to thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA) during the “How I Teach It” cardiac surgery video session.
Damiano presented his keynote talk, “Concomitant Maze: How and When I Do It” during the “Atrial Fibrillation Essentials” session and participated in the panel discussion.
Thoracic surgeon Varun Puri, MD, MSCI, was an invited discussant for the “Segmentectomy versus Lobectomy in the Real-World versus Clinical Trial Settings” presentation by Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD, (Massachusetts General Hospital), held during the “Screening, Staging, Treating Early Stage Lung Cancer” session.
Daniel Kreisel, MD, PhD, the inaugural G. Alexander Patterson, MD/Mid-America Transplant Endowed Distinguished Chair in Lung Transplantation, moderated Saturday’s final session, the General Thoracic Biology Club.
Sunday, May 15
Pediatric cardiothoracic chief Pirooz Eghtesady, MD, PhD, moderated Sunday’s first session of the day, “Contemporary Transplant and Mechanical Support,” and served on the panel to discuss the session’s presentations.
During the “Minimally Invasive Mitral Masterclass,” Damiano was an invited discussant for the “Robotic-assisted Cryothermic Cox Maze and Left Atrial Appendage Obliteration for Persistent Atrial Fibrillation: Longitudinal Midterm Follow-up” abstract presentation by Ayman Almousa, MD (West Virginia University).
Puri moderated the “Optimizing Lung Allograft Success” session. Later in the afternoon, G. Alexander Patterson, MD, Joseph C. Bancroft professor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (JTCVS) presented “Introduction and Vision for AATS Journals” to kick off the “Achieving High-Impact Publication: Insights from JTCVS Editors and Reviewers” session.
Cardiac surgeon Muhammad Faraz Masood, MD, was an invited discussant for the “ECMO and Impella in Cardiogenic Shock: Choosing the Right Mechanical Circulatory Support to Improve Clinical Outcomes” abstract presentation by Olina Dagher, MD, (Montreal Heart Institute), during the “Controversies and Challenges in ECMO Management” session.
During the “Drainology: Managing Chest Drains in the Postoperative Patient” session, Spencer Melby, MD, was an invited discussant for the abstract presentation, “Outcomes and Resource Utilization in the Management of Parapneumonic Effusions in Patients with Infective Endocarditis: When Should We Operate?” by Jahnavi Kakuturu, MD, (West Virginia University).
Monday, May 16
The division’s participation in Monday’s activities kicked off bright and early with the “Good to Great: Quality, Innovation and Education” session. Thoracic surgery fellow Whitney Brandt, MD, presented her abstract, “Development of a Risk Prediction Score for 90-day Mortality Following Surgical Treatment of Clinical Stage I Lung Cancer.” Lab resident Brendan Heiden, MD, MPHS, also presented his abstract, “Association Between Surgical Quality Metrics and Short- and Long-Term Outcomes in Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” during this session.
In Monday morning’s Perioperative Care Poster Presentations session, thoracic fellow Nadia Bakir, MD, and Faraz Masood, MD, presented their poster, “Criteria-Driven Patient Selection Demonstrates Suitable Outcomes with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Patients with COVID-19.” The poster showcased the team’s goal to assess outcomes of both veno-arterial (VA-ECMO) and veno-venous (VV-ECMO) of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome with COVID-19 using these therapies at Barnes-Jewish Hospital between March 2020 and February 2021. General surgery residents Sophia Roberts, MD, Ioana Florea, MD, and Hailey Shepherd, MD, along with Clare Ridley, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology, Kunal Kotkar, MD, Damiano, and former faculty members Akinobu Itoh, MD, and Marc Moon, MD, were co-authors for the presentation.
In the early afternoon, Kreisel served as the invited discussant for abstract presentation, “Effects of Intraoperative Support Strategies on Endothelial Injury and Clinical Lung Transplant Outcomes” by Jenalee Coster, MD, (University of Pittsburgh) during the “Extracorporeal Lung Support and Transplant” session.
Tuesday, May 17
Thoracic surgery fellow Lauren Barron, MD, concluded the division’s participation at the annual meeting with her abstract presentation, “Heart Rate Variability Correlates with Emotional Exhaustion in Thoracic Surgery Trainees,” during the “High Performance Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Digital Age” session.
Research in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Research within the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University encompasses a wide range of research interests, including lung transplant immunology, lung cancer, cardiac arrhythmia surgery, electrophysiology, myocardial preservation, cardiac mechanics, and so much more. Faculty members and trainees collaborate on a variety of research projects and foster strong bonds founded on mentorship. The division also frequently collaborates with other experts throughout Washington University School of Medicine to make continuous advancements in the fields of thoracic, cardiac and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery.