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The evolving role of multimodality imaging

ESC Congress News 2019 - Paris, France

Why is multimodality imaging gaining such prominence in cardiology and at ESC Congress 2019? Professor Bogdan A. Popescu (University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Carol Davila’ - Euroecolab, Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases ‘Prof. Dr. C. C. Iliescu’, Bucharest, Romania), Past-President of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI), explains:

Cross-Modality and Multi-Modality Imaging Topics

Prof. Bogdan A. Popescu“The concept of multimodality imaging has become increasingly relevant from a clinical perspective—it makes sense to address the clinical question for a specific patient with the best-suited technique in order to choose the most appropriate therapy and not just use the technique that is most familiar or available.

The ESC with the EACVI have worked hard over a number of years to bring all the separate imaging entities under a single umbrella and make the shift to multimodality imaging. The EACVI itself was created in 2013 by merging the European Association of Echocardiography with the ESC Working Groups on Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) and Nuclear Cardiology & Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT). Several imaging modalities are often required for the best patient care and it was a logical step to move from ‘modality-oriented’ groups to a unified ‘patient-oriented’ association with a re-structured board.

We are now in a very good position, having aligned all our major assets. We have the flagship journal, European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging, a series of recommendation papers involving multimodality imaging and, rather than separate events, the first unified multimodality imaging EACVI Congress will be held in December 2020.

At the EACVI, we believe that the contribution of the young community is crucial and we are proud that our Association has the largest proportion of young members. They are really enthusiastic about adopting the open-minded way of thinking and as part of our evolution towards multimodality imaging, we now want to ensure they receive the best training possible.

The ideal theory for the multimodality imaging concept is there, but we must conquer difficulties in practice, such as variations in the availability of techniques and of training opportunities in different European countries. It is a complex process, but I think we are on the right path. It is heartening now that the programme of the ESC Congress 2019 reflects the shift. There are presentations dedicated to specific techniques but there are also sessions focussing on multimodality imaging.

Yesterday, we had an important ‘Meet the Experts’ session that looked at cardiac imaging in challenging patient subsets: a patient with advanced kidney disease, a patient with a cardiac device and a patient with a prosthetic heart valve. The point was made that it is not just the disease plus recommended algorithms that guide the choice of imaging modality, but that certain characteristics of the patients also contribute to the decision-making process.

Something different for this morning is a session entitled ‘Multimodality imaging quiz: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,’ organised by the Cardiologists of Tomorrow. Four clinical problems will be presented from the perspective of one
modality (CMR, CT, echocardiography and nuclear imaging), then the alternative techniques will also be discussed. This afternoon, we have the opportunity to showcase the best research with a ‘Blockbusters from the Young’ session featuring high-graded abstracts on multimodality imaging in coronary artery disease.

In a symposium on EACVI recommendations on Tuesday, the focus will be on major clinical problems, addressing dilated cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis and congenital heart disease and will discuss how imaging can be employed in these settings.

An essential update on multimodality imaging, part of the ‘Cardiology in 4 days’ track, will take place on Tuesday afternoon to discuss how multimodality imaging can be used in suspected acute coronary syndrome, cardiomyopathies, endocarditis and arrhythmias.

We look forward to discovering more about where multimodality imaging can take us—watch this space!”

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About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together healthcare professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

About ESC Congress 2019

ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2019 takes place 31 August to 4 September at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris - France. Explore the scientific programme