Background. Members of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (STSA) have presented important pediatric cardiothoracic surgery papers at the annual meetings over the last 50 years. In order to determine the influence of these presentations on the practice of surgery, a review was undertaken. Early papers were characterized by emerging advances in open-heart surgery, anatomic congenital heart studies, and electrophysiologic discoveries that extended life with pacemakers. Later years were characterized by innovative myocardial preservation methods, improved cardiopulmonary bypass techniques, expanded homograft availability, emphasis on accurate repairs, intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography, and cardiopulmonary transplantation. Methods. All but one of the scientific programs of the annual meetings (that of 1964) were located. The programs were reviewed and 180 presentations were identified on topics in congenital heart disease, pediatric thoracic disease, and pediatric thoracic wall abnormalities. Of those 180 oral presentations, 155 manuscripts (86%) were eventually published or in press and available for critical review and analysis. Manuscripts were grouped by diagnosis or therapeutic intervention. We determined a "cumulative citation frequency" (CCF), which measures the number of times an article is cited in the bibliography of related papers in the universe of participating journals. The selected manuscripts were compared with the historic landmark contributions and the existing trends at the time, and the number of articles both by individual authors and from institutions were tallied. Results. Grouping by authors and institutions showed that 100 of 155 pediatric cardiothoracic manuscripts (65%) originated from 13 institutions. The CCF for the 20 leading articles ranged from 26 to 93. Conclusions. This historical STSA 50-year record of pediatric cardiothoracic advances was accomplished in a milieu of collegial respect and camaraderie. Our annual meetings over the years have provided a venue for thoracic surgeons to share their ideas, innovations, and scientific inquiry. These contributions have significantly affected the practice of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. The STSA has worked for 50 years and we trust that it will work for another 50 years and beyond.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine