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Whole field of electrophysiology is covered

EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2017 Scientific Chair Professor Michael Glikson (Sheba Medical Center and Tel Aviv University, Tel Hashomer, Israel) believes that the meeting is unique because it encompasses all areas of electrophysiology from cardiac implantable electronic devices to catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation, pacing, innovations and basic sciences. He noted that many electrophysiology meetings are focused on a certain topic, such as atrial fibrillation, meaning that their appeal is limited to a specific audience.

Arrhythmias


The fact that the Congress is always held in a central European location, according to Prof. Glikson, makes it accessible for people to attend. “We see an ever-increasing number of participants from all over the world,” he said.

New this year is the Innovation Track, with Prof. Glikson commenting: “We are going to have an innovation parade, which will allow companies to present devices that are currently in development”. He added that this new initiative is a reflection of the fact that “innovation in electrophysiology has grown significantly” over the past few years.

If you glance at this year’s programme—available online and via the Mobile App—you will see that several sessions have been highlighted “don’t miss” events but Prof. Glikson said that determining which sessions are “don’t miss” is actually quite hard. He explained that because there are “so many people coming with so many different fields of interest”, pinpointing a session that will appeal to all of them is difficult.

However, the Late Breaking Trial Session on Sunday (08.30 – 10.00; room Sokolov) is certainly one that everyone should attend. The session covers three key areas of electrophysiology: left atrial appendage occlusion (08.30 – 09.00), atrial fibrillation ablation (09:00 –09.30), and leadless pacing (09.30 – 10.00). The results of these studies are embargoed until the start of the session, so Prof. Glikson was not able to state which ones he thinks may change clinical practice, but he commented: “I think quite a few of them will be gamechangers—at least one study per topic. Overall, I believe that they will show strong support for left atrial appendage occlusion, leadless pacing, and new techniques for atrial fibrillation.”

Aside from this session, Prof. Glikson noted that the several LIVE case presentations that are being held at the Congress this year are “not to be missed”; in particular, one such presentation will be demonstrating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided catheter ablation. This will be the first time that this technology has been shown live at a meeting.

Today’s Honorary Lecture (16.30 – 18.00; room Senning) is another session that is likely to draw a large audience. It will see Professor Eric N Prystowsky (St. Vincent Medical Group, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, USA) give the Intercontinental lecture “Atrial Fibrillation: what went wrong? What went right? What do we need to do next” in memory of Doctor Mark Josephson, who died earlier this year. Furthermore, at this session, Professor Hein Wellens (Cardiovascular Research Institute, Maastricht, The Netherlands) will be giving the Einthoven Lecture on “50 years of clinical electrophysiology”. 

Those interested in a specific area of electrophysiology can attend sessions that are part of a focused summit. There are three topics covered this year, including ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, and lead management.

Prof. Glikson commented: “We thought about what were the most important areas in electrophysiology that had the hottest issues; we sought areas that had a large number of topics to discuss. If there is only one or two topics to discuss, then the area is not worthy of a summit. Many physicians have to manage patients with atrial fibrillation, ventricular ablation is an area that is gathering new information every year, and several topics come under the banner of lead management. The aim of the summits is to address questions that we come across in our daily work.”

Additionally, to meet the needs of the growing number of people with an interest in remote monitoring, wearables, and electronic health, there is also an eHealth Summit.

As well as the summits, there are also several different tracks and themes such as ICD and CRT and nurses and allied professionals. The aim here, Prof. Glikson stated, was simply to help orientate delegates so that they can more easily find the sessions that they are interested in. “We wanted all of the sessions on the same topic to be in the same room. So, for example, people who are interested in pacing always know which room to go to,” he added.

When not in sessions, there will be ample opportunities for networking—a definite benefit, Prof. Glikson claimed, of EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2017 being a smaller meeting than more general cardiology meetings.

He said: “You can find people; you can use the Mobile App to vote during sessions. There are plenty of ways to interact. Also the Exhibition is located in the middle of the meeting, so I am sure it will be easy to meet people there during 
the breaks.”