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EuroEcho-Imaging 2015 highlights: great expectations

By Professor Bernard Cosyns, ­EuroEcho-Imaging Scientific Chairman

Professor Bernard Cosyns is Associate Professor of Cardiology at the UZ Brussel, Chair of the Web committee of the EAE and Head of Internal Medicine of CHIREC. His research interests are heart valve disease, contrast echocardiography, stress-echocardiography, small animals, three-dimensional echocardiography, ultrasound medical delivery and molecular imaging. Professor Cosyns is one of the editors of the EACVI Echo Handbook, which is a concise, fact-based and packed with images and illustrations manual linked to EACVI recommendations and its Core Curriculum.

At the start of EuroEcho-Imaging 2015, what better way to prepare than to sample the highlights of this varied event? This year, the world’s largest cardiovascular imaging congress focuses on cardiomyopathies and early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases thus allowing clinicians and scientists to present and discuss up-to-date research and findings on the broader spectrum of echocardio-graphy. Completely new this year is the concept in which the orientation to the various topics is not so much aimed at the disease or the patient, but at clinical presentation. By allowing the clinical presentation to take center stage, it enhances lively discussions as well as questions as to what the use of imaging would be in that particular case and whether it would be helpful in differential ­diagnosis.

Case based reports and ‘Mr Jekyll and Dr Hyde’ sessions

Another novelty is the case based reports. A highly unusual approach is also been taken in dealing with the so-called controversies during the congress, which is why they have been named the ‘Mr Jekyll and Dr Hyde sessions’. Usually, the pros and cons of a particular topic will be defended by two different doctors, but we choose to have only one doctor taking both sides alternately. Featured topics in this session are paradoxical low flow aortic stenosis and coronary cardiac CT.  

Newsroom symposium and new guidelines

A highly anticipated part of the program this year is the Newsroom symposium in which editors in chiefs of four of the best major magazines in cardiovascular imaging (JACC Imaging, JASE, Circulation Imaging and EHJ-Cardiovascular Imaging) present their cream of the crop selection. Furthermore, the Imaging Highlights 2015 recommendations will cover various topics such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, athletes and chamber quantification. Naturally, the release of the new guidelines will receive a lot of attention and hopefully, this will draw attention to the importance of detecting treatable cardiomyopathies such as Fabry’s disease.

Congenital heart disease in the spotlights

Other highlights include five sessions dedicated to congenital heart disease, the role of imaging in prevention, an extensive teaching course today with ‘my best and worst cases’ in interventional cardiology and a joint session with the American Society of Echocardio- graphy on the state of the heart in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Already looking further ahead, the Future Perspectives in Cardiac Imaging symposium on the closing day of the congress features not only 3D printing in valve disease but also robotics and echocardio-graphy as well as state-of-the-art   fusion imaging and molecular cardiovascular imaging.