Get ready for the latest developments in cardiovascular imaging – including gender differences and long COVID – at EuroEcho 2021, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Stay tuned for a session on post-COVID challenges featuring novel findings from centres treating patients with the virus. Dr. Denisa Muraru, scientific programme chair, said: “After several waves of the pandemic, an important problem is those who have recovered from COVID-19 but still have symptoms. Imaging has a pivotal role to play in understanding the cause of symptoms and ruling out serious cardiovascular conditions that might present after the infection and masquerade as long COVID. During the meeting we will hear, for the first time, the results of an ESC survey on burnout of cardiac imagers during the pandemic. Imaging experts will reveal how services were delivered in their country and the challenges that had to be overcome to maintain patient care.”
Professor Leyla Elif Sade, scientific programme chair, added: “COVID-19 hits the young as well, and here an in depth understanding of cardiac involvement using imaging is crucial. On top of that, COVID-19 has different presentations and responses to treatment can vary, so imaging may play a role in monitoring the effectiveness of therapy.”
Explore the scientific programme of the leading echocardiography congress.
Novel research will be presented in hundreds of abstracts – among them:
- Machine learning to predict mortality in patients with suspected or known heart disease.
- Impact of weight loss after bariatric surgery on heart function.
- Cardiac consequences of COVID-19 infection.
- Novel imaging methods to assess cardiotoxicity of cancer treatment.
- Influence of air pollution on heart function test results.
- Deep learning to interpret echocardiographic measurements.
Session not to miss: imaging the female heart for a deep dive into gender differences in ischaemic heart disease, valve disease and more. “Declining death rates from coronary artery disease have been less apparent in women compared with men,” said Dr. Muraru. “Women generally have worse outcomes after a heart attack compared to men and are less likely to receive optimal guideline-directed medical therapy. In addition, some conditions are more common in females than males – for example myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries. It is unclear to what extent these discrepancies are due to gender-related biological differences or to the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of women. Defining what is ‘normal’ cardiac imaging for women versus men will improve our understanding and the meeting will provide up-to-the-minute insights into this topic.”
Valvular and ischaemic heart diseases are among the top causes of heart failure and are themes at this year’s congress. State-of-the-art imaging approaches will be presented to help healthcare professionals implement recommendations from the 2021 valvular heart disease guidelines into their clinical practice.1 Other hot topics include management of asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis and using imaging to detect and resolve complications during transcatheter heart valve interventions.
Professor Sade said: “Ageing populations are more susceptible to valvular diseases but less eligible for surgery, and percutaneous interventions require imaging guidance. Previously untreatable conditions like severe functional tricuspid regurgitation can now be addressed with the help of imaging. During the meeting we will hear what is new and on the horizon for imaging in novel and emerging interventions.”
While echocardiography is the mainstay of cardiovascular imaging, numerous other techniques are used to make clinical decisions – which is why “echocardiography and multimodality imaging” is another congress theme. These include cardiac magnetic resonance, computed tomography, and nuclear cardiology. “Attendees will discover how to integrate cutting-edge technological developments into their routine clinical practice for improving patient care,” said Dr. Muraru. “Topics of major interest are featured in the agenda such as multimodality cardiac imaging in patients with cancer, congenital heart disease or COVID-19.”
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