62. Case Report: RV Failure & Shock After placement of an AV graft – The Johns Hopkins Hospital

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal & Daniel Ambinder) join Johns Hopkins Hospital cardiology fellows (Rick Vakil, Pranoti Hiremath, and Vasanth Sathiyakumar) for some gelato by the bay in Baltimore, Maryland! They discuss a challenging case of RV failure & shock after placement of an AV graft. Dr. Monica Mukherjee provides the E-CPR and program director Dr. Steven Schulman provides a message for applicants. Episode notes were developed by Johns Hopkins internal medicine resident Colin Blumenthal with mentorship from University of Maryland cardiology fellow Karan Desai.  

Jump to: Patient summary – Case media – Case teaching – References

Episode graphic by Dr. Carine Hamo

The CardioNerds Cardiology Case Reports series shines light on the hidden curriculum of medical storytelling. We learn together while discussing fascinating cases in this fun, engaging, and educational format. Each episode ends with an “Expert CardioNerd Perspectives & Review” (E-CPR) for a nuanced teaching from a content expert. We truly believe that hearing about a patient is the singular theme that unifies everyone at every level, from the student to the professor emeritus.

We are teaming up with the ACC FIT Section to use the #CNCR episodes to showcase CV education across the country in the era of virtual recruitment. As part of the recruitment series, each episode features fellows from a given program discussing and teaching about an interesting case as well as sharing what makes their hearts flutter about their fellowship training. The case discussion is followed by both an E-CPR segment and a message from the program director.

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Patient Summary

A man in his early 40s, with a history of type 1 diabetes and prior failed renal and pancreatic transplants currently on iHD, was referred to Johns Hopkins Hospital for dialysis access. A left groin AV loop graft was pursued due to multiple access point failures in the past secondary to severe peripheral artery disease. Pre-op evaluation included risk stratification with RHC which was consistent with WHO Group 2 pulmonary HTN and diffuse atherosclerosis in the RCA on LHC. Intra-op, patient had an episode of significant hypotension after administration of protamine that required phenylephrine and ephedrine. In the PACU, his BPs continued to be low (70s/40s mmHg), requiring admission to the SICU where cardiology was consulted. 

In the SICU, patient had ongoing hypotension despite pressors and fluids. Exam demonstrated a systolic murmur consistent with TR and elevated JVP. Labs were notable for a mild elevation in liver enzymes, elevated troponin, high NT-proBNP and elevated lactate. TTE demonstrated a moderately dilated and hypokinetic RV, elevated RVSP and evidence of pressure/volume overload. CTA abdomen/pelvis demonstrated extensive mesenteric atherosclerosis and signs of gastric ischemia. Patient was treated for RV failure with norepinephrine, inhaled epoprostenol, and CVVHD for volume removal. He became febrile and was treated empirically with broad spectrum antibiotics. Due to concern for the new loop graft causing high output heart failure vs RV failure, it was temporarily occluded for testing and then permanently ligated by vascular surgery with significant improvement in his BPs and RV function on repeat TTE. 

Case Media

ABCDEClick to Enlarge

A. Plato’s allegory of the cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, ViennaB-C. Anesthesia flow sheets D. CXR: Pulmonary vascular congestion, bibasilar atelectasisE. ECG: Sinus tachycardia to 110, RAD, RBBB, similar to prior

TTE: LVEF 60-65%, mild to moderate concentric hypertrophy, trace effusion

TTE: Flattened septum in systole and diastole c/f RV pressur…