Sophia Antipolis, 28 July 2014. ESC Congress 2014 promises to be bigger, better and more interactive than ever before, says Professor Keith Fox, Chair of the Congress Programme Committee. The European Society of Cardiology hosts the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event every year in August. Record numbers of Hot Line sessions and abstracts were submitted this year and the congress is on track to host the largest number of delegates in its history.
Asked why an extra Hot Line session has been added this year, with 27 presentations in total, Professor Fox said:
“We have an abundance of riches, with an all time high of 247 Hot Line and Clinical Trial Update submissions. These Hot Lines are embargoed, and many will appear in the major journals so I can’t talk about any results. But I know just from the topics that there is a huge amount of interest.”
PARADIGM-HF kicks off the Hot Line sessions by comparing the impact of gold standard treatment with an ACE inhibitor to a new angiotensin receptor blocker-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) on mortality and morbidity. The trial was stopped early for a benefit to patients that was overwhelmingly statistically significant and the results will be revealed for the first time at ESC Congress.
The results of other major trials are eagerly anticipated (see schedule here ), such as the SOLID-TIMI 52 trial of the PLA2 inhibitor darapladib. Previous studies have reported its effects in stable coronary artery disease but this is the first trial in myocardial infarction.
Innovative treatment approaches featured in the hot lines include vagal stimulation for systolic heart failure (NECTAR-HF), nitric oxide inhalation to reduce reperfusion injury in STEMI (NOMI) and the novel anti-Xa rivaroxaban for cardioversion (X-VERT).
Professor Fox said:
“Several of these trials are really going to change clinical practice and our approaches to managing patients. There will also be a number of important clinical trial updates and big registries that are also going to influence practice.”
In addition to the 20 registry Hot Lines and 15 Clinical Trial Update, 11 basic and translational science hot lines were chosen from 80 submissions.
This year’s abstract submissions totalled 11 444 which was another record high. At the end of June there were already 1 000 more delegates registered than at the same time last year, with increases across nationalities.
“The biggest non-European delegations are from Japan, Brazil, US, China, Russian Federation and India, so the congress will be truly international,” said Professor Fox.
“Delegates will have more opportunities to challenge speakers this year by posting questions from their smart phones or tablets. This is the first time we have ever done that and it will enable journalists to hear in real time what the burning issues are in these sessions.”
“Innovation and the heart” is the congress spotlight. It will explore innovations in science, the clinical application of studies and trials, the use of existing therapies, the assessment of impact, and in education. Professor Fox said:
“We’re trying to capture innovation at each stage. New science in the hot lines and hundreds of innovative abstracts will provide insights into this theme.”
ESC Congress will expand out into Barcelona through Cardioprotected City events held by the Spanish Society of Cardiology and the ESC. Ultimately every pharmacy in Barcelona will have an automated external defibrillator and the pilot phase in 100 pharmacies achieved 11 successful resuscitations over just a few months. Professor Fox said:
“When somebody has a cardiac arrest we save vital minutes by having an automatic defibrillator accessible and usable with minimal or sometimes even no training.”
He concluded: “The excitement of ESC Congress 2014 is that we have a truly interactive and multinational event and the whole object is that we’re learning from each other.”