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EuroCMR 2016 in a nutshell



EuroCMR 2016 opened its doors on Thursday 12 May 2016 for a 3-days meeting in the lovely city of Florence with a new record number of more than 800 people including delegates, faculty, and exhibitors. This is an increase by more than 100% from the previous meeting underling the increasing importance of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) imaging in the cardiology field. There is also a new record number of abstracts and submitted interesting clinical cases with an increase by more than 300% from the last meeting. This also underlines the importance of EuroCMR as one of the leading scientific meetings for the exchange of important research. The meeting has been organised by the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) and its section of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance imaging and focuses on education in CMR imaging, exchange of actual research both preclinically and clinically in the field, and also on showing the most recent technical advancements.

The meeting has now emerged to the most important CMR meeting in Europe and also offers several symposia which were organized in collaboration with multiple partner associations such as the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), the Asian Society for Cardiac Imaging (ASCI), the European Society for Cardiac Radiology (ESCR) as well as other Associations and Working Groups in the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

There were several new features at the meeting.

The keynote lecture on the opening day on Thursday with the title “The double-edged sword of reperfusion in myocardial infarction: the role of CMR” was presented by Prof. Albert van Rossum, the initial founder of the working group of CMR of the ESC and the organizer of the first EuroCMR meeting in Amsterdam in 1999. He is an outstanding and distinguish pioneer of CMR.  His keynote lecture focused on the role of CMR for imaging of myocardial infarction. CMR has unique opportunities due to the excellent imaging properties for tissue characterization. It allows imaging of the area at risk, the infarct size and also potential measures of reperfusion injury such as microvascular obstruction and also hemorrhage. Several of these parameters offer prognostic information and allow to risk stratify patients in addition to jut measuring the left ventricular ejection fraction or left ventricular volumes. In particular infarct size and microvascular obstruction are important prognostic parameters. Furthermore, and even more important CMR provides the unique option to find new methods for the prevention of reperfusion injury since it is for the first time possible to measure reperfusion injury in humans non-invasively. Prof. van Rossum showed multiple approaches that have been studied for the reduction of reperfusion injury among them being three major categories of

  1. mechanical approaches such as aspiration thrombectomy,
  2. drugs including cyclosporine, adenosine, nitroprusside among many others,
  3. conditioning approaches such preconditioning, perconditioning, and also postconditioning.

Currently, multiple trials are ongoing and CMR offers the unique opportunity to assess new treatment strategies to reduce the reperfusion injury because of the ability to serve as a surrogate endpoint. 

New this year was also the possibility to attend special level 1 CMR certification sessions during the meeting. By attending more than 90% of these sessions the physicians gained a CMR level 1 certification which is the first step for performing CMR under the surveillance of level 3 CMR specialists. This CMR Level 1 track was a great success which will be offered again in Prague but limited to the first 200 registrations only.

Another highly attended meeting in the main auditorium was the newly introduced CMR World Cup session. Delegates’ knowledge was tested in the CMR World Cup Competition in which expert teams, symbolically representing England and Germany 50 years after the famous World Cup final between the two nations, were asked difficult and trivia questions related to CMR and also other areas in a highly entertaining showdown.

The meeting also offered additional new features, with two live hands-on demonstration sessions for a pre-registered group of people. One was on fluid dynamic phenomena relevant to cardiology and the other on cardiac anatomy and pathology. Prof. Christina Basso the well-known cardiac pathologist from Italy for the first time brought a collection of anatomy specimens to be correlated with images so as to illustrate CMR imaging planes and parameters relative to cardiovascular structures and their pathologies. Among the multiple anatomy specimens there were infiltrative and inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis and myocarditis, acute myocardial infarction including mechanical complications. These pathological specimens were shown onsite and for better visibility projected on a larger screen .
Prof. Cristina Basso during the hands-on course showing pathologic cardiac specimens which were projected on a larger screen

The flow demonstration by Dr. Philip Kilner used hands-on models that allow phenomena such as flow separation, vorticity, instability and jet formation to be visualized directly and interactively. Understanding these features and their causes enables more informed interpretation of flow as imaged by CMR, including the cine appearances of jets though stenoses and the 4D swirling of blood in heart cavities and dilated vessels.
Dr. Philip Kilner during the hands-on course showing fluid models which were projected on a larger screen

The keynote lecture by the well-known pioneer in CMR and distinguished researcher Prof. Albert van Rossum, the educational courses and sessions together with the demonstrations of fluid dynamic principles in cardiology and of cardiac anatomy in relation to imaging, have set the scene for a lively 3 days of exchanges that covered current and future clinical applications of CMR. Last but not least the next year EuroCMR will be held in Prague from 25th - 27th of May! EuroCMR 2016 was a record meeting with new exciting features that received overwhelming positive feedback from attendees this year. Much more is expected next year including new features and a lot of surprises!

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.