In 2022, the cardiothoracic surgical community turned to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery for insights on best practices for patient care, quality metrics from the STS National Database™, a glimpse at the future of surgical techniques, and much more. 

Among the top articles in 2022—in both usage and citations—were the STS/AATS Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Type B Aortic Dissection, as well as an article elucidating why STS and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery did not endorse the 2021 ACC/AHA/SCAI coronary revascularization guidelines. The latter, as explored in the cover story of this issue of STS News, informed new analyses that account for the increased risks in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease, and that support coronary artery bypass grafting as the best first approach in these patients. 

The second most-viewed and most-cited article was “Current and Future Applications of Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality in Cardiothoracic Surgery,” a topic that reinforces the STS community’s interest in adopting promising new techniques and technologies to further enhance their skills. 

Table of top 10 Annals articles by citation

COVID-19 is still very much a relevant topic, as surgeons continue to discover the toll COVID infections—and delays in care exacerbated by lockdown—have taken on their patients in the long term. “Pulmonary Parenchymal Changes in COVID-19 Survivors,” “The Effect of COVID-19 on Adult Cardiac Surgery in the United States in 717,103 Patients,” and “One-Year Outcomes with Veno-venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support” appeared among The Annals’ 10 most popular articles in usage, citations, and overall views.  

STS National Database-driven research graced the top 10 in citations. “Concordance of Treatment Effect,” “Sex Differences in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Techniques,” and the unveiling of the new Failure to Rescue quality metric provided guidance for evidence-based quality improvement.  

Novel, condition-specific applications and their implications for surgeons appeared among highly-read topics, including the surgical perspective on neoadjuvant immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer, rescue blanket as a provisional seal for penetrating chest wounds, lymphatic disorders and their management in patients with congenital heart disease, and topical vancomycin for reducing the incidence of deep sternal wound complications after sternotomy. 

2022 top 10 Annals articles by usage

STS Members have complimentary access to the journal. Read the latest at


Apr 12, 2023
2 min read
The Reviewer of the Year award is announced annually to recognize outstanding peer reviewers for The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The Editorial Board highlights a winner in each of the three main disciplines—Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, and Congenital Heart Surgery—in addition to highlighting one trainee/resident award winner. The Annals recognizes these 2022 contributors who consistently provided a combination of high-quality, thorough, and professional reviews in a timely manner: Adult Cardiac Heidi J. Reich, MD from Central California Heart and Lung Surgery, Fresno, California General Thoracic Alejandro Bribriesco, MD  from Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio Congenital  Nishant Saran, MBBS  from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota  Trainee Alejandro Suarez-Pierre, MD University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado “Reviewing for The Annals is an act of generosity, a responsibility to uphold high standards, and a privilege,” said editor Joanna Chikwe, MD, FRCS. “This year’s winners demonstrated extreme dedication, and their work helped authors conduct better studies and write better papers.”  “The Annals is tremendously grateful for this year’s recipients for safeguarding the quality and integrity of scholarly communication,” Dr. Chikwe continued. “Their work, and the work of other contributors, has made The Annals the most cited journal in cardiothoracic surgery.”  STS experts interested in peer reviewing for The Annals are invited to join the Reviewer Volunteer program, which provides senior editors with a qualified pool of potential reviewers when editors are working with manuscripts in different areas of expertise. For more information, contact   
Jan 3, 2023
2 min read
STS News, Fall 2022 — Just 10 months ago, Joanna Chikwe, MD, FRCS, from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, took over as Editor-in-Chief of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and already, the new leadership and ambitious agenda are paying off. The Annals is being touted as the most cited and read journal in the specialty, with a record-breaking 5.102 impact factor; the editorial board has been expanded to include new senior editor positions, teams of statistical and digital editors, and additional content experts (see below); and the digital companion journal Annals Short Reports was successfully launched. But there is much more important work to be done, including the expansion and strengthening of the digital footprint—an undertaking that is especially important to Dr. Chikwe, as reflected in some of the early changes to the journal. Dr. Chikwe recognizes that digital content offers immediacy, versatility, and reach—key considerations as readers make new demands and the quality and accessibility of technologies improve. “Digital platforms have taken us from reading print newspapers and magazines with yesterday’s news to real-time multimedia content on our phones and computers. The best academic journals are leveraging that,” she said. Right now, more content is being published than in recent years, and physicians are consuming it very differently. Recent research from an industry publication found that only 34% of physicians preferred to receive information about clinical trials through traditional sources such as print media, compared to 40% who chose a combination of print and digital. In addition, 26% of physicians indicated that in “the future” they would not have time for print at all. But reaching busy audiences with scientific news is about more than just putting existing print content online in a digital format. Readers are looking for formats that are easier to digest, as well as more visual and more engaging. So, it’s important to build in as many mechanisms of engagement as possible to give them multiple ways to access the information and cut through the noise. Understanding this, Dr. Chikwe and the expanded editorial board are carefully considering how The Annals should adapt content for the evolving and growing online world. The digital future of The Annals is full of promise, according to Dr. Chikwe. Plans include not only providing subscribers with the opportunity to receive weekly content tailored to their specific interests, but also changing how it fosters exchanges with the audience. With the addition of several digital editors to the Annals editorial board, readers can expect to see new content types that help them access and engage with the latest research. This modern multimedia—including educational videos, visual abstracts, infographics, and tweetorials—will highlight various original articles and editorials from the journal, be shared online, and posted daily on social media. “We are working to develop content our readers want—content that encompasses high-impact science, expert reviews, consensus documents, and quality videos, and in the way they want it,” Dr. Chikwe said. “Timely, relevant content is key to real engagement, particularly if we can offer readers and authors ways to immediately comment on and share our digital content.” However, the printed journal will not be forgotten, according to Dr. Chikwe. The Annals team plans on improving the print experience of the journal as well, perhaps moving from large issues featuring more than 100 articles to a more appealing format—slimmer and more frequent, with an even higher-quality graphical design. The most important goal, though, is ensuring The Annals stays the first choice for research and education that informs cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Chikwe explained. “We will work to guarantee you have a great journal that features an impressive breadth and depth of high-quality research, innovation, and education. You will want to read it every day, and it may even change your practice and your thinking.” Stay informed about the latest Annals news at   New Editorial Board Appointees NEW SENIOR EDITORS NEW ASSOCIATE EDITORS NEW EDITORIAL BOARD REVIEWERS Adult Cardiac Pedro Catarino, MD Los Angeles, CA Tirone E. David, MD Toronto, ON, Canada G. Chad Hughes, MD Durham, NC Vinod Thourani, MD Atlanta, GA Adult Cardiac Isaac George, MD New York, NY John Ikonomidis, MD Chapel Hill, NC Marjan Jahangiri, MD London, United Kingdom Niv Ad, MD Silver Spring, MD Bahaaldin Alsoufi, MD Louisville, KY Vinay Badhwar, MD Morgantown, WV Faisal G. Bakaeen, MD Cleveland, OH Yaron D. Barac, MD, PhD Petah Tikva, Israel Michael Chu, MD, FRCSC London, ON, Canada J. Michael DiMaio, MD Plano, TX Dominic Emerson, MD Los Angeles, CA James S. Gammie, MD Baltimore, MD Tracy R. Geoffrion, MD, MPH  Milwaukee, WI A. Marc Gillinov, MD Cleveland, OH Kendra J. Grubb, MD, MHA Atlanta, GA Makoto Hibino, MD Cleveland, OH Syed T. Hussain, MD New York, NY Masashi Kawabori, MD Boston, MA Katie S. Nason, MD, MPH Springfield, MA Olugbenga T. Okusanya, MD Philadelphia, PA Puja Parikh, MD Stony Brook, NY Valerie W. Rusch, MD New York, NY Ashish S. Shah, MD Nashville, TN Fawwaz R. Shaw, MD Atlanta, GA Betty C. Tong, MD, MHS Durham, NC Kerem M. Vural, MD Ankara, Turkey   Congenital Heart Danielle Gottlieb-Sen, MD Baltimore, MD Jeffrey P. Jacobs, MD Gainesville, FL David M. Overman, MD Minneapolis, MN Global Health Jacques Kpodonu, MD Boston, MA   General Thoracic Farhood Farjah, MD Seattle, WA Brian Mitzman, MD Salt Lake City, UT Biostatistics Natalia N. Egorova, PhD New York, NY Stephen Fremes, MD Toronto, ON, Canada Andrew B. Goldstone, MD, PhD New York, NY Gary Grunkemeier, PhD Portland, OR Alexander Iribarne, MD Lebanon, NH Paul Kurlansky, MD New York, NY Asishana A. Osho, MD Boston, MA David Ouyang, MD Los Angeles, CA   Biostatistics Michael E. Bowdish, MD Los Angeles, CA Mario F.L. Gaudino, MD New York, NY CME Gabriel Loor, MD Houston, TX   Perioperative Daniel Engelman, MD Springfield, MA Digital Media and Digital Scholarship Alexander A. Brescia, MD, MSc Ann Arbor, MI Sarah A. Chen, MD, CMI Davis, CA Aleksander Dokollari, MD Toronto, ON, Canada Joshua C. Grimm, MD Philadelphia, PA Jessica G.Y. Luc, MD Vancouver, BC, Canada Amy N. Roach, MD Los Angeles, CA Dominique Vervoort, MD, MPH Toronto, ON, Canada Moritz Wyler von Ballmoos, MD Houston, TX Muhammad H. Zubair, MD  Los Angeles, CA   Science Elaine Tseng, MD San Francisco, CA    
Sep 30, 2022
5 min read
Ourania A. Preventza, MD, MBA, examines demographic trends among cardiothoracic surgery trainees in all accredited US training programs over the past 13 years.
28 min

Hosted by Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, the “Beyond the Abstract” program explores the “whys” behind articles in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and discusses next steps with authors and thought leaders.

30 min
Dr. Alan Speir joins Dr. Tom Varghese to discuss “easily one of the biggest issues that impacts the care of cardiothoracic surgical patients today”—the Medicare reimbursement cuts.
39 min
While social media engagements may seem fleeting, the authors agreed that durable scholarly impact of social media exists.
31 min.
Dr. Sade mentions the application of ethical principles and ethical concerns with regard to limited resource allocation.
18 min.
In the latest episode, Francis D. Pagani, MD, PhD, joins Dr. Varghese to discuss the findings of the Intermacs 2019 Annual Report.
13 min.
Mandatory cognitive testing, increasing the number of women in the workforce, and job satisfaction are a few of the topics that are addressed.
17 min.