Heart surgery

The Cleveland Clinic performs rare and vital fetal heart surgery


Rare and delicate heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic removed a heart tumor, ultimately saving the life of a 26-week-old fetus.

The condition – intrapericardial teratoma with fetal hydrops (fluid accumulation) progressing to fetal heart failure – has been poorly reported in the literature.

“A single previous incidence of pregnancy and continuous childbirth after resection of fetal intrapericardial teratoma is documented in the global medical literature,” said Dr. Darrell Cass, director of the Center for Fetal Surgery and Fetal Care at the Cleveland Clinic in a report. communicated. “As far as we know, the Cleveland Clinic is the second university medical center in the world to have successfully performed this fetal surgery with continued pregnancy and childbirth.”

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The operation took place in May. The baby, Rylan Harrison Drinnon, was born on July 13 to Sam and Dave Drinnon. He gave birth almost at full term at 36 weeks. Both mother and child are doing well.

“I am very proud of our talented Congenital Heart Surgery and Fetal Surgery teams who have integrated seamlessly to successfully perform complex, life-saving fetal surgery,” said Cass. “This tumor was growing quickly in the wrong place. It was compressing the fetal heart, causing fluid to build up, and we started to see signs of deteriorating heart function. We had to act quickly and decisively to save the fetus.

Along with Cass, the team included: pediatric and congenital cardiac surgeons, Dr. Hani Najm and Dr. Alistair Phillips; pediatric cardiologist Dr. Francine Erenberg; the anesthetists Dr McCallum Hoyt, Dr Tara Hata and Dr Yael Dahan; and maternal and fetal medicine specialist, Dr Amanda Kalan.

Also in December, a study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic reported in Nature Aging that sildenafil – Viagra and the pulmonary hypertension drug Revatio – shows promise in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.

The team, led by Feixiong Cheng, Ph.D., of the Genomic Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, looked at data from more than 7 million patients and found that the agent was associated with a 69% reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Recent studies show that the interaction between amyloid and tau protein contributes more to Alzheimer’s disease than either alone,” Cheng said. “Therefore, we hypothesized that drugs targeting the intersection of the molecular network of amyloid and tau endophenotypes should have the greatest potential for success.”

Their results revealed that sildenafil takers had a 55% reduced risk of the disease compared to losartan, 63% compared to metformin, 65% compared to diltiazem and 64% compared to glimepiride.

“In particular, we found that the use of sildenafil reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people with coronary heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are co-morbidities significantly associated with disease risk. , as well as in those who do not suffer from it, ”added Cheng.