British Cardiovascular Society Annual Meeting Preview

Imaging is a theme that runs throughout the conference. Although concentrated within the Imaging Track, there are also sessions and presentations on imaging topics within both the CS/TR and E4R Tracks.

This year, within the Imaging Track, we have sessions dedicated to several pathologies that can sometimes be overlooked, either because they are hard to diagnose or challenging to treat. Disease of the right heart fits this description. We have therefore planned a session that will show how imaging can help the clinician improve their diagnostic accuracy and risk stratification ability. We will discuss both intrinsic conditions of the right heart, as well as its secondary involvement in left-sided heart disease. A partner session will explore how to diagnose and manage pulmonary hypertension. This will include talks on its pathology and the latest diagnostic classification. Presentations on the management of pulmonary hypertension will cover both medical and surgical approaches to the disease.

Another sometimes under-appreciated condition is ‘functional’ mitral regurgitation. In this session, we will discuss its aetiology, and how multi-modality imaging can help both to diagnose and suggest when intervention is needed. We will hear about contemporary management strategies, including how new device options might fit alongside conventional surgical approaches.

We have an entire session dedicated to the pragmatic use of intravascular coronary artery imaging in the catheter laboratory. Here, we will discuss the clinical roles of intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography. Bridging the research and clinical spaces, we will be joined by renowned Harvard cardiologist and entrepreneur Dr James Muller who will educate us about hybrid catheter-based imaging technologies that provide integrated anatomical and functional plaque data. Dr Muller is an expert in using near-infrared spectroscopy for identifying vulnerable plaque.

Imaging is now widely applied in multi-centre trials. In a session on Wednesday, our speakers will discuss the results of several recent large imaging trials. These will include nuclear and echo imaging within the extended STICH study, the latest multi-centre cardiac CT and MR studies, plus how imaging can help decide the best way of revascularising diabetic patients with coronary artery disease.

The ever-popular ‘Read with the Experts’ session is back once again. Do come along and test your image interpretation skills in real-life clinical scenarios presented by multi-modality imaging experts. CT, echo, MR and nuclear imaging approaches will all be on display in one of the most popular sessions of the conference.

Advice for aspiring cardiologists from Harvard Professor Peter Libby

This short interview with Peter Libby from Harvard contains some good advice for those considering an academic cardiology career. Some highlights:

  • Try and continue to do some clinical cardiology alongside research
  • Research is a vocation. It is something you can't help yourself from doing.
  • Most experiments don't work
  • Be prepared for disappointment
  • Discovering something new is phenomenally exciting

Here is a link to the video

On my way to ESC 2012

I'm presenting some data about the imaging of early atherosclerosis, at the ESC in Munich this Saturday link to session. The session will be webcast should you be at a loose end.

The, as always, has a great preview of what to expect from the meeting:

Munich, Germany - This year's European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2012 Congress is back in Bavaria after a four-year absence. Organizers of the meeting say the line-up of hot-line trials offers a mix of new treatments as well as several seeking to prove once and for all whether certain treatments, used for years, are really the best approach.

In all, this year's program includes 18 hot lines, grouped in three sessions over three days. Among the studies garnering the biggest buzz in the lead-up to the ESC meeting is TRILOGY-ACS, a comparison of prasugrel and clopidogrel in the setting of medically managed unstable angina/NSTEMI.

Read their full preview here.

Hopefully there'll be time for beer and sausages too. And I know from experience that there are some great parks where I can jog for miles.

I'll keep you posted, probably via Twitter