The European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI), a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), is meeting through May 20 during EuroPCR 2016, at the Palais des Congres, in Paris, France.
More than 12,000 international interventional cardiologists, nurses, technicians, scientists and industry innovators are attending the annual EAPCI event to share recent research, discuss developments, and promote best practices in coronary, valvular disease and heart failure, hypertension, and stroke interventions.
EuroPCR is the world-leading course in interventional cardiovascular medicine, with a distinctive format designed for educational activities in the field of cardiovascular interventions. The Paris course also aims to promote annual gatherings in Singapore, London, Dubai, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Chengdu and Tokyo.
“Once again, EuroPCR will be a vibrant testimonial to the commitment and creativity of the interventional healthcare community to improve and expand our knowledge base,” said conference organizer Dr. William Wijns.
A cardiologist, Wijns is also a professor of cardiology, the immediate past past-president of EAPCI, and the current chairman of EuroPCR.
Highlights of this year’s meeting are hot topics that include extending transcather aortic valve implantation (TAVI) to low-risk patients; discussions about developments in mitral and tricuspid valve interventions; research on new devices for percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) that are now in use by more patients than ever; and interventional approaches for the treatment of heart failure and stroke.
The EuroPCR 2016 Paris edition also offers participants opportunities to check out 920 abstracts that bring new knowledge for improved patient outcomes, and see more than 50 hours of live case demonstrations of cardiovascular interventions from 12 centers worldwide.
For the second consecutive year, the ‘PCR Got Talent’ competition geared to revitalize how researchers share their findings, will liven the event with innovative ideas for making the most impact. The initiative became so popular that it is now open to all researchers. Winners will receive special coaching in how to engage audiences.
The meeting will also offer ‘all you need to know’ updates in a series of keynote lectures delivered by top interventionists and cardiac surgeons. Darren Mylotte (Ireland), Jean-François Obadia (France), Lars Sondergaard (Denmark), Thomas Walther (Germany), Gerhard Wimmer-Greinecker (Germany), and Stephan Windecker (Switzerland) are expected to lecture.
“We are really witnessing a boom in the numbers of research centres and companies working to find percutaneous solutions for mitral and tricuspid interventions,” said Wijns. “The success story of TAVI for treating aortic valves is now moving on to the two other types of heart valves. It’s amazing to see how much is going on and we can anticipate that it will deliver benefits to patients. On the practice side, what’s really new is the impact of the recent positive trial comparing TAVI to surgical aortic valve replacement in intermediate risk patients. This really means if colleagues haven’t engaged in valvular interventional techniques yet, now is the time to do so.”
The topic of TAVI will be further discussed in several EuroPCR sessions.
“In terms of coronary devices, there is a continuing balancing act between anticoagulation and bleeding. The LEADERS FREE trial is reporting encouraging results from a sub-study in patients with acute coronary syndromes using a stent without polymer, showing this offers an effective anti-restenosis device that does not need prolonged antiplatelet therapy,” Wijns added. “This is really new and is going to change practice, with a strong impact on the outcome of elderly patients in particular.”
Wijns believes new data from studies comparing optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) for assessing coronary lesions will lead to reimbursement in Japan and set the foundation for the future throughout Europe.
“In terms of expanding the role of PCI, we continue to make progress in what was considered a ‘no go’ indication for us in the past – chronic total occlusion (CTO) and left main coronary artery stenosis,” he said.
Wijns also looks forward to new developments in interventional approaches for treating heart failure and stroke.
“The emphasis on stroke prevention and treatment is very strong this year, including interventions on the carotid artery and left ventricular appendage closure, even in combination with ablation for atrial fibrillation. More needs to be done in trying to implement acute interventions for the treatment of ischaemic stroke in the context of a multidisciplinary approach,” Wijns said.