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EHRA 2018 “beyond expectations”!

EHRA 2018 Congress News

“Let me start by saying thank you. Thank you to everyone who chose to attend EHRA 2018. Launching an annual congress just months after the introduction of the new MedTech Europe code restricting delegate sponsorship to meetings was never going to be easy. But what a success it turned out to be!”

Arrhythmias and Device Therapy

puererfellner-helmut-2012.jpgSpeaking to EHRA 2018 Congress News, EHRA 2018 Scientific Programme Committee Co-Chair, Professor Helmut Pürerfellner (Ordensklinikum Linz Elisabethinen, Linz, Austria) continues, “Attendance numbers are good given the circumstances, confirming that delegates from around the globe continue to view the EHRA congress as the premier place to come to learn from world leaders about new scientific findings and to network with European and, increasingly, international colleagues. It is especially gratifying for me because I know how hard the EHRA Scientific Programme congress committee worked to produce a varied programme that would provide delegates with the best possible congress experience.”

The abstract programme was particularly impressive. “Despite it being only nine months since the previous EHRA congress,” says Prof. Pürerfellner, “more than 1,100 abstracts and clinical cases were submitted. And it is no exaggeration to say that we were stunned when we saw the number of late-breaking abstract submissions.” Having originally planned just one session, three Late-Breaking Science sessions were eventually scheduled to allow the considerable volume of top-quality data to be presented. Prof. Pürerfellner talks about some of his highlights from these sessions. “In yesterday’s session, dedicated to technological advances (Late-Breaking Science – Innovation), delegates heard how the use of endovascular balloons during implantable electronic device extraction can save lives by greatly improving the management of superior vena cava tears (Abstract LBS11) and learned how smartphone camera-based photoplethysmography represents the future for the empowerment and management of patients with atrial fibrillation (Abstracts LBS15 and LBS16). In this morning’s session featuring latest research and clinical trials (Late-Breaking Trials), up-to-the-minute information from trials on apixaban (Abstract LBS10), surgical vs catheter ablation (Abstract LBS8) and BRUISE CONTROL (Abstract LBS27) got its first public airing. Finally, we know that registries remain important sources for obtaining information from large numbers of patients in a real-world setting, and in the third session, delegates will get the chance to hear presentations highlighting, among others, the safety and efficacy of dabigatran in atrial fibrillation (GLORIA-AF registry, Abstract LBS17), the benefit of left atrial appendage closure in reducing the incidence of stroke and bleeding (WATCHMAN registry, Abstract LBS7) and the application of remote data monitoring for implantable cardioverter-defibrillators to reduce inappropriate shocks (ALTITUDE registry, Abstract LBS21).”

Alongside the congress’s much-loved Live Sessions and Summits were sessions designed to help the cardiologist in everyday clinical practice, such as the first presentation of the new 2018 ESC Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Syncope and discussion of the EHRA Practical Guide on the use of non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants, “and I can announce here that Jan Steffel and Hein Heidbuchel are currently working at full speed to finalise the 2018 version of the guide!” Prof. Pürerfellner assures EHRA 2018 Congress News.

“As the role of the EHRA congress on the global stage continues to grow and develop,” says Prof. Pürerfellner, “EHRA wants to keep building on its relationships with other societies and associations to promote the importance of electrophysiology in reducing cardiac deaths around the world. EHRA 2018 was host to eight Joint Sessions with international societies—including the Heart Rhythm Society and societies from Latin America, Asia Pacific, Japan and China—as well as Joint Sessions with sister associations within the ESC—the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging and the Heart Failure Association.” Linked to this reciprocal support, and new for this year’s congress, are awards for the best international abstract presented as a poster from Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa, explains Prof. Pürerfellner. “The presenters of the winning abstracts, which were selected with the help of the presidents of the individual societies, will receive a certificate.”

Summing up his thoughts, Prof. Pürerfellner says, “EHRA 2018 has been beyond all expectations. I am already excited to see what will happen at EHRA 2019!”

Make sure to join us in Lisbon, Portugal, on 17–19 March for EHRA 2019!