Highlights from EuroEcho-Imaging 2016 Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, Leipzig, Germany.
EuroEcho-Imaging is the annual meeting of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI), that attracts participants from all over the world with all modalities of cardiovascular non-invasive imaging. This time Congress was held in Leipzig in Germany, the city of two great artists Wilhelm Wagner and Johann Sebastian Bach. The Congress was attended by more than 3200 healthcare professionals from over 90 countries and it unified community of four imaging modalities, such as Echocardiography, Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac Computed Tomography under one entity. During four days of Congress over 140 scientific sessions, 20 hands-on sessions and 20 industry sponsored sessions and workshops took place. Attenders could take part in wide range of sessions dedicated to advanced imaging and had an opportunity to discussed with world-leading Imaging experts. There were over than 1250 abstracts and clinical cases submitted. Moreover participants could benefit with the certification exams and numerous courses, such as course on Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy, three-dimensional echocardiography, n Imaging and Anesthesiology, Valvular Heart Disease, modern trans-catheter heart valve interventions, Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and finally course on Computed Tomography.
The scientific programme addressed the latest developments in many fields of imaging but especially it highlighted the role of imaging in arrhythmias, aortic valve diseases and cardiomyopathies.
The first theme was about he role of imaging in the prediction and stratification the risk of new or potentially life-threatening arrhythmias during the treatment .There was an interesting session entitled „“Walking dead”, in which the innovative and comprehensive approach to imaging after sudden cardiac death (SCD) was presented. The special attention was put towards the role of early imaging after SCD in ischaemic and non ischaemic diseases, and aslo in secondary prevention of SCD. There was also a session dedicated to imaging in atrial fibrillation: from diagnosis to treatment, which related to the new ESC/EACTS 2016 guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation.
The numerous aspects relating to aortic valve disease were addressed with many sessions dedicated to pathophysiology and classification of aortic valve diseases, changes in treatment, including new techniques such as percutaneous implantation of the valves, which have been adopted into the ESC Guidelines for Valvular Heart Disease. As EuroEcho Imaging Congress is a multimodality imaging meeting there were also lot of joint sessions with presentations of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and nuclear computed tomography (CT), as well as echocardiography which gave a different perspective on the same problems.
Additionally, the scientific programme concentrated around the important issue of heart failure, highlighting many aspects of non-invasive imaging in that field . There were numerous sessions dedicated to imaging in dilated, hypetrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathies, assessment after cardiac resynchronisation therapy, assessment of the morphology and function of right ventricle, especially in candidates considered for left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and also after LVAD implantation. Particularly interested topic was given by Koen Nieman from Stanford, USA, who discussed the role of cardiac CT in acute cardiovascular conditions, including urgent problems in ECMO/LVAD patients. In his talk, the speaker presented a brief overview of the current literature and also gave his personal ideas how to approach such problems.
Apart from that, there were also other very interested sessions, including a great debate about current controversies on the safety of imaging including, particularly of CMR. This issue is controversial as some new data has shown that CMR may lead to DNA damage. After the lecture given by Massimo Lombardi from San Donato Milanese, Italy, about safety of CMR , there was an intense discussion, that attracted numerous participants, on that subject. . Another session was dedicted to the safety, especially radiation protocols, in computed tomography (CT). The other controversial topic, discussed in Leipzig, was the use of pocket-sized echocardiography device instead of the stethoscope. It was interesting to listen the European point of view, represented by Renee Ba van den Brink from Amsterdam, Netherlands versus American one, presented by Sanjiv Kaul from Portland, USA. The American technology-enthusiast presented the numerous advantages of the pocket-sized echo device as a new standard in cardiology, which has already been implemented in the cardiology curriculum for medical students in the US. Moreover, new type of session, called „Tea for Two” was introduced, which referred to all this situations when images have to confront the real world, for example the surgical point of view. One specified issue – mitral valve pathology - was presented by an echocardiographer who showed echocardiographic images of a problem and next, the surgical view was given. At the end there was a confrontation of imaging results. This situation corresponds a lot to what we see in the clinical practice. Finally, just a few words about our own scientific activities. It should be acknowledged that we presented the four abstracts during the Congress. One presented by dr Magda Kaźnica-Wiatr in poster session, regarding to Tissue Doppler and speckle tracking : ”Could right atrial peak global longitudinal strain be useful in assessment of right heart function in pulmonary arterial hypertension?“ and three authored by Sylwia Wiśniowska-Śmiałek presented in poster session , regarding to Cardiomyopathies: “Relations between left ventricular reverse remodeling and serum markers of extracellular matrix fibrosis in dilated cardiomyopathy”,” Regardless of the definition used, left ventricular reverse remodeling is not different in fibrosis positive and negative dilated cardiomyopathy patients”, “Improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction is correlated with serum markers of extracellular matrix fibrosis in dilated cardiomyopathy”.
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