The Top 10 priorities for adult heart surgery research
The surveys and workshops held as part of the Priority Setting Partnership identified the following 10 questions as the priority areas of research for adult heart surgery.
- Quality of life: How does a patient’s quality of life (QOL) change (e.g. disability-free survival) following heart surgery and what factors are associated with this?
- Frailty: How can we address frailty and improve the management of frail patients in heart surgery?
- Chronic conditions: How can we improve the outcomes of heart surgery patients with chronic conditions (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, renal failure, autoimmune diseases etc.)?
- Prehabilitation: Does prehabilitation (a programme of nutritional, exercise and psychological interventions before surgery) benefit heart surgery patients?
- Heart valve intervention: When should heart valve intervention occur for patients without symptoms?
- Surgical methods: How does minimally invasive heart surgery compare to traditional open surgery?
- Organ damage: How do we minimise damage to organs from the heart-lung machine/heart surgery (heart, kidney, lung, brain and gut)?
- 3D bio-printing: Can we use 3D bio printing or stem cell technology to create living tissues (heart valves/heart) and repair failing hearts (myocardial regeneration)?
- Atrial Fibrillation: What are the most effective ways of preventing and treating postoperative atrial fibrillation?
- Infection: How do we reduce and manage infections after heart surgery including surgical site/sternal wound infection and pneumonia?
These priorities led to the formation of nine Clinical Study Groups as part of the National Cardiac Surgery Clinical Trials Initiative.