ESC PRESS RELEASE
Sophia Antipolis, 16 November 2010: The European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) expects to welcome over 3,000 international delegates to its annual EUROECHO Congress, to be held this year in Copenhagen between 8 and 11 December 2010. This is a very important date in the calendar for specialists in the use of ultrasound techniques for the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. A full programme of almost 200 scientific and poster presentations is planned over the four days, along with education and training streams covering new techniques, and a dedicated exhibition hall showcasing the latest developments in ultrasound diagnostics.
A registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the EAE is focused on promoting excellence in the diagnosis, research, development and education of cardiovascular ultrasound. Over the last few years, EUROECHO has doubled in size and impact to become one of the largest and most important scientific meeting on non-invasive cardiovascular diagnosis anywhere in the world. There are two main themes to this year’s Congress – the diagnosis of aorta and vascular diseases, and 3D echo for guiding percutaneous procedures in the cath lab.
The first theme was chosen to reflect growing interest in developing ultrasound techniques to assess the performance of the complete cardiovascular system, to evaluate the relationships between the heart and vascular system, and to diagnose aorta and vascular disease. These conditions are becoming endemic in the ageing population, and echocardiography offers a rapid and accurate diagnosis. The second theme was chosen because 3D ultrasound is an exciting, relatively new technique that offers great promise for non-invasive monitoring of interventional procedures performed in the cath lab in a range of cardiovascular conditions for which the alternative would be surgical intervention.
Doctor Luigi Badano, Head of Cardiology at the University of Padua in Italy, is Chair of the EUROECHO 2010 Programme Committee. He is confident that the very high quality of presentations of past Congresses will be more than maintained. “It was a very tough job to select the final programme,” he says. “Over 1,000 papers were submitted for consideration by contributors in 59 countries – many outside of Europe. The standard was excellent, the subjects were relevant and topical, and a high percentage covered original research – something that is always well received.”
Accurate and early diagnosis is a cornerstone in the evaluation of cardiac patients. There is no doubt that echocardiography and other non-invasive cardiovascular imaging modalities have become one of the first options for cardiologists when assessing the progression and risk of cardiovascular diseases. The EUROECHO Congress provides the opportunity for all those interested in echocardiography to explore new ideas, network with peers, and hear about research and clinical progress in what is a core area of cardiology.
A faculty of 290 experts from 35 countries has been nominated to oversee the scientific programme. In keeping with its international standing and reputation for cooperation across medical disciplines, the organisers of EUROECHO 2010 will bring an external perspective to some of the topics by appointing representatives from other cardiovascular-related organisations to jointly chair certain sessions. These organisations include the American Society of Echocardiography, the Association of European Paediatric Cardiologists, and the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Anaesthesiologists.
EUROECHO 2010 is also hosting the finalists of the Young Investigators Award. During a special session, a panel of experts will judge presentations from five investigators under the age of 35 to decide which of them will be announced as the winner and be invited to present their work at the American Society of Echocardiography 2011 Meeting. Other features at EUROECHO 2010 include Imaging Campus, an area supported by industry in which delegates can get first-hand and practical experience of new products, and question the development team to understand strengths and weaknesses, and the specific applications addressed.
Doctor Badano highlights 3D ultrasound as one of the most important topics at this year’s EUROECHO. “We have made great progress recently in the performance of 3D echo and in the ways in which we capture and interpret the images,” he says. “These techniques are the only alternative to invasive surgery for the successful detection of many conditions, and are of prime importance for our patients. I anticipate a lot of debate about this subject.”
At the end of this year’s Congress, Doctor Badano will become President of the European Association of Echocardiography – a post he will hold until December 2012.
ESC PRESS RELEASE