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Highlight Sessions

A selection of sessions for each day of the congress and why you might find the session interesting from the speaker or chairperson.


Thursday 6 April

Neoatherosclerosis, a novel disease entity with broad-reaching clinical impact

Inaugural Session Keynote Lecture

18:15 - 19:15 - Auditorium 2

Atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In patients with obstructive coronary artery disease, percutaneous angioplasty and stenting is the first treatment of choice. However, while considerable progress in disease treatment was achieved with the introduction of drug-eluting stents (DES), the undoubted success of this technology is delivered at the collateral cost of delayed arterial healing (DAH), a pathophysiological entity which underlies a spectrum of adverse clinical events. In-stent neoatherosclerosis has recently been recognized as an important disease entity in patients after metallic DES implantation, representing an additional manifestation of atherosclerotic disease found in nascent neointimal tissue in the aftermath of stent implantation. Considering the world-wide number of DES implanted, neoatherosclerosis represents a significant health concern. In the absence of established therapeutic approaches, preclinical studies remain an important means of exploring novel treatment strategies, which may subsequently be adopted into clinical practice. This lecture will provide pathophysiological understanding of in-stent neoatherosclerosis, discuss key etiological factors and show preclinical and clinical results to target this disease.

Michael Joner (Gaithersburg, USA) - Keynote Speaker

Prof. Joner has a distinguished career in cardiovascular medicine, pathology, and technology evaluation. He is currently heading the Preclinical Research at the German Heart Centre in Munich.

Prof. Joner received a 2015-2017 ESC Grant for Medical Research Innovation, for his research on systemic versus site-targeted treatment of neoatherosclerosis.

The role of Apps and other e-health tools for health assessment and improvement

11:00 - 12:30 - Auditorium 1

Tools and services using information and communication technologies (ICT) are the key to personalized care and the development of effective Health policy.

Medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices can improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management. During this session will be discussed innovation, research and implementation of cardiovascular mobile health.

Monica Tiberi (Pesaro, IT)- Session Chair

Secondary Prevention: Unmet medical needs - Session I

14:00 - 15:30 - Auditorium 2

In this master class organized by the European Association of Preventive Cardiology, the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association and the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions the focus will be on the challenges that remain in the medical treatment after an acute cardiac event. Can secondary prevention be optimized with the incoming PCSK-9 inhibitors or with the new oral anti-diabetic agents? Is there a need of individually adapted length of protection with dual anti-platelet agents?

Should these new options have an impact on future guidelines or…. should we rather give priority to optimal adherence to the present guidance instead of adding more to the toolbox of secondary prevention? Join this master class and find answers!

Joep Perk (Oskarshamn, SE) - Session Chair

Friday 7 April

Cardiovascular risk and polypill

14:00 - 15:30 - Auditorium 2

The session “Cardiovascular risk and polypill” is organised in the framework of the ESC Prevention of CVD Programme, led by the EAPC in collaboration with the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA) and the ESC Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions (CCNAP). Four speakers of international calibre will address key issues in cardiac prevention.

The session will start by discussing the various ways to assess cardiovascular risk and review the most recent guidelines and then critically appraise the relevance of detecting asymptomatic atherosclerosis and how this could allow modification of pharmacotherapy. A critical review will follow of the evidence of how the polypill (usually containing low dose aspirin, a statin and antihypertensives) could improve adherence to pharmacotherapy and thus survival. The session will conclude by providing food for thought; advocating whether polymeal, a potentially tastier alternative to the polypill, could provide a safe and cheap alternative to current pharmacotherapy to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Nabeel Sheikh (London, UK) & Vassilios Vassiliou (London, UK) - Session Chairs

Nutrition over lifespan

14:00 - 15:30 - Auditorium 1

The session “Nutrition over lifespan” will deal with nutrition problems across the ages, the debate upon the best diet in metabolic syndrome, and the correlation between gut microbiota and pathologic conditions. A heart-healthy diet has been the cornerstone of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) prevention and treatment for decades.
The first lecture will deal with the mistakes in sweet and soft drinks excess consumption by the young.  The correlation between high sweet and soft-drink consumption with high intakes of calories, fat and carbohydrates, and children and adolescent increasing overweight will be highlighted. Other issues linked to excess sweet and soft drinks consumption will be covered, such as osteoporosis predisposition, and trend to a worse general nutrition and the ability to learn, play, grow and develop an adequate diet and a healthy lifestyle, and the importance of parents, schools and communities in dealing with this problem. Juicing of fruits and vegetables concentrates calories, which makes it much easier to ingest excessive energy. (1)

For very young children, school may be the most appropriate choice for a behavioural intervention, as it constitutes the most reliable means of effective transfer of knowledge and appropriate educational strategies- (2)
The second lecture will tackle the very crucial issue of which is best diet to follow by patients with metabolic syndrome, focusing on the  debate of the advantages of a diet based on low carbohydrates compared to a low cholesterol diet. Although the “food system” may seem remote to a clinician sitting in an office seeing a patient, its impact on the individuals he is trying to treat is very real.(3)

Poor quality diets are high in refined grains and added sugars, salt, unhealthy fats, and animal-source foods; and low in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, and nuts. They are often high in processed food products—typically packaged and often ready to consume—and light on whole foods and freshly prepared dishes. These unhealthy diets are facilitated by modern food environments, a problem that is likely to become more widespread. (4)
The third lecture will highlight the essentials of the nutritional problems in the elderly, the widespread malnutrition in geriatric patients, particularly in very elderly people with advanced comorbidity, sarcopenia or frailty. It will focus on the importance of evaluating malnutrition as a mandatory integral part of the comprehensive geriatric assessment, in order to improve nutritional status and outcome of the affected person, but also to achieve economic benefits both for the institution and the health-care system.

The fourth lecture will deal with the relationship between gut microbiota and some pathologic conditions, and with the profound impact that disruption of the fine balance of gut flora may have on immune disorders, obesity, and heart disease. In addition, the possible impact on health by modifying with diet the gut microbiota composition will be highlighted.  Understanding more about how the gut microbiome influences the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain is may change how we think about our mental health.

1.- Freeman et al. Cardiovascular Nutrition Controversies .JACC VOL. 69, NO. 9, 2017

2- Peñalvo et al.  Health Promotion in Early Childhood .JACC  VOL. 66 , NO. 14, 2015

3- World Health Organization. Obesity and Overweight. Fact Sheet No. 311. Geneva, Switzerland:
WHO, 2014.

4- Anand et al. Diet, Cardiovascular Disease, and the Food System . JACC  VOL . 66, NO.14 , 2015

Carlo Vigorito (Naples, IT) & Esteban Garcia Porrero (Leon, ES) - Session Chairs

Saturday 8 April

Detection of subclinical atherosclerosis

08:30 - 10:00 - Auditorium 1

The session "Detection of subclinical atherosclerosis" will have 4 different, specific and most interesting topics on this issue. Within the 2016 European Guidelines on CV Prevention various imaging modalities capable for detecting disease burden within the long lasting risk factor exposed lifetime of the atherosclerotic continuum have been reduced in their evidence from class IIa (2012 Guidelines) to IIb and even III for cIMT measurements previously considered as evidence class IIa as well as evidence grade "strong".

This session will critically discuss the clinical relevance of detecting asymptomatic atherosclerosis, which might be even advanced to prognostic relevant CAD and even post-MI states, in which measures have to be redefined from primary to secondary prevention.

Beyond it’s single lectures the session will discuss reasonable CV preventive algorithms.

Uwe Nixdorff (Duesseldorf, DE) - Session Chair

Early detection of CVD is the logical next step to further delay the onset of disease. As we are improving our therapeutic options, we are still late in treating the highrisk patient. Novel insights will be presented that can be used to detect organ damage in an early stage in highrisk patients allowing for pre-symptomatic prevention.

In this session the role of imaging will be discussed as well as gender related issues. Probably different algorhythms need to be developed to detect early disease in females compared with males. Furthermore our insights in the value of single or sequential biomarker assessment is evolving.  Therefore the session on early detection of CVD will stimulate you to move towards this field and design innovative interventional strategies.

The challenge will be to identify the correct patient group and appropriate treatment to provide a cost effective strategy to the population.

Pieter A. Doevendans (Utrecht, NL) - Session Chair