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Aims & Activities

ESC Working Group on Coronary Pathophysiology and Microcirculation

Chronic Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD)


Statement of the objectives

The activity of the WG on Microcirculation has increased significantly during the last year. Particular emphasis has been given to the fundamental interaction between basic scientists and clinicians. This tradition of the WG has also been respected with regard to the new composition of the Nucleus including members coming from basic science and by exchange of research fellows between experimental and clinical labs of Nucleus members. Altogether the WG has reinforced its role and presence in the European Society of Cardiology and in the activities of the cluster in order to promote research in basic science and clinical research in microcirculation.

Furthermore, during the last annual meeting of the Society in Berlin I started exploring the possibility of changing the names of our WGs with Prof. Zeiher, Chairman of the WG on Coronary pathophysiology and interventional Cardiology. Indeed, we both felt that it is rather artificial to separate microcirculation from the other components of coronary circulation. At that time we discussed this issue with Prof. Camici and Prof. Luscher who encouraged us to further explore this issue. During the following months, and in particular during the WGs and Science Council Meeting at the Heart House in November 2002, I discussed a possible change of the names of our WGs with the other members of the Nucleus and, eventually, we found a consensus. Thus, Prof. Zeiher and myself proposed to Prof. Bassand to change the name of the WG on “Coronary pathophysiology and interventional Cardiology” in “Interventional Cardiology” and the name of the WG on “Microcirculation” in “ Coronary pathophysiology and microcirculation”. This proposal will be discussed during the Meeting with the voting delegates of National Societies, WGs, Science Council, Council for Cardiology Practice and the ESC Board in Vienna on Friday August 29.

Sessions organized at the ESC Annual Congress

The following two symposia have been organized by the WG at the Annual Congress.

  • "Angioadaptation: keeping the vascular system in shape": Chairpersons: C. de Wit (Munich, DE), M.M. Ciccone (Bari, IT)
  • Adaptation to a new environment: hypertension and its treatment. Agabiti-Rosei (Brescia, IT)
  • Genetic mechanisms of adaptation. H. Drexler (Hannover, DE)
  • Change in number or size: angiogenesis versus arterialisation. E. Deindl (Bad Nauheim, DE)
  • Can we use it? Therapeutic options. G. Ambrosio (Perugia, IT)
  • Spontaneous and iatrogenic microembolization Chairpersons: Augusto Gallino (Bellinzona , CH), Filippo Crea (Rome, IT)
  • Pathophysiology of coronary microembolization. Gerd Heusch (Essen, DE)
  • Clinical relevance, prevention and treatment of spontaneous coronary microembolization. Paolo Camici (London, UK)
  • Clinical relevance and prevention of coronary microembolization during percutaneous interventions. Carlo Di Mario (London, UK)
  • Clinical relevance and prevention of microembolization during coronary bypass surgery. David Taggart (Oxford, UK)

Activities run outside the ESC Annual Congress

Strong educational efforts have included meetings organized under the auspices of the WG. In particular, it has been organized the Annual Meeting of the WG (Roma 26-28 June 2003) characterized by a remarkable scientific success.

Membership of the WG

The membership of the WG will probably expand if the proposal of changing the name of the WG will be expected to include basic and clinical researchers interested in coronary pathophysiology.


One of the most original proposals coming from the WG on Microcirculation in the past year is the project of a registry on syndrome X, put forward by Prof. Juan-Carlos Kaski (coordinator of this European Registry).