This special article is the fourteenth in an annual series for the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia. The authors thank the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Kaplan, and the editorial board for the opportunity to continue this series; namely, the research highlights of the past year in the specialty of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesiology. The major themes selected for 2021 are outlined in this introduction, and each highlight is reviewed in detail in the main body of the article. The literature highlights in the specialty for 2021 begin with an update on structural heart disease, with a focus on updates in arrhythmia and aortic valve disorders. The second major theme is an update on coronary artery disease, with discussion of both medical and procedural management. The third major theme is focused on the perioperative management of patients with COVID-19, with the authors highlighting literature discussing the impact of the disease on the right ventricle and thromboembolic events. The fourth and final theme is an update in heart failure, with discussion of diverse aspects of this area. The themes selected for this fourteenth special article are only a few of the diverse advances in the specialty during 2021. These highlights will inform the reader of key updates on a variety of topics, leading to improvement of perioperative outcomes for patients with cardiothoracic and vascular disease.