Heart attack, medically known as myocardial infarction (MI), is a common heart disease. MI is caused by problems with the blood supply to parts of the heart. In severe cases MI may be accompanied by ruptures in the wall separating different parts of the heart, such as in the ventricular septum (a wall that separates the right ventricle which pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs for oxygenation, left ventricle which pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs for oxygenation). oxygenated blood to the rest of the body). Unsurprisingly, without proper surgery, RSV due to MI increases the chances of death.
Current surgical techniques used to close the SVR due to MI have proven ineffective in several situations, which put a group of Chinese medical researchers to work. These researchers from Zhengzhou University’s First Affiliated Hospital and Capital Medical University in China specifically worked on SVR due to MI accompanied by potentially fatal fluctuations in blood pressure or hemodynamic instability (HI). Researchers have successfully developed a surgical technique that improved outcomes in patients with RSR and HI due to MI (VSR-HI-MI), according to a study published in Chinese Medical Journal. Explaining further the motivation for their study,
Our aim was to present a novel surgical repair technique that can be used safely, feasibly and effectively in hemodynamically unstable patients with acute RSR. “
Dr Chao Liu, first author of the study
Medical researchers, who aimed to save the lives of patients with VSR-HI-MI, call their new surgical technique SurCOP, a method that combines devices called obturator and patch. While the obturator is used to repair the “hole” in the heart, the patch (derived from biocompatible materials) is used to close it. This is an improved version of the conventionally used surgical method in which only a simple patch is used. Doctors then tested the improved technique on nine consenting patients with RSR-HI-MI and compared the results to 54 others. The results showed that the procedure had an impressive 100% success rate. Additionally, compared to a dismal survival rate of 10% if managed conservatively, SurCOP achieved a promising survival rate of 77.8% when a median follow-up time of 187 days was taken into account. It is important to note that none of the patients who underwent SurCOP developed RSV after surgery.
These are incredibly promising findings. Overall, the study highlights how well SurCOP’s surgical technique addresses the clinical issues posed by VSR-HI-MI. Delighted with the success of the study, Dr Liu concludes: “Our experience has shown that the SurCOP technique is safe, easy to handle and effective. We hope to be able to receive feedback from surgeons who will attempt to realize this alternative therapeutic technique and work together to improve the prognosis of patients with SVR. “
Indeed, the world can now heal a little better from the complications of heart attacks.
Li, C., et al. (2021) A new surgical technique for post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal rupture with hemodynamic instability. Chinese Medical Journal. doi.org/10.1097/CM9.00000000000001442.