The PVRI was pleased to award four educational travel grants to young PVD professionals from the UK to attend the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress, held in Munich, Germany from 25-29 August 2018, and to the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress, which took place in Paris, France, from 15 -19 September 2018. The PVRI grants included the registration fee to the Congresses, all travel and accommodation expenses.
Chief Executive Stephanie Barwick comments:
'Supporting young scientists to participate in international meetings is one of the pillars of the PVRI's mission. We are delighted to be able to award these grants to young and dedicated PVD professionals. Congratulations to all.'
The grants winners were delighted to participate in the Congresses, please see below for their reports.
Dr Andrew Constantine // North West London deanery
My experience at the ESC meeting in Munich was overwhelmingly positive and I thank the PVRI for giving me the opportunity to participate in this international meeting.
Over the five days of the congress, I took the opportunity to network with colleagues and to attend continuous professional development events. I attended sessions in breaking trials and original research and gained inspiration from leaders of the field. Professor Braunwald’s speech at the inaugural session of the ESC examined the relationship between researchers and industry, which has permitted the development of some of the most important therapies in cardiology.
I attended several sessions which made a lasting impression. I enjoyed the session titled “Adult congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary embolism: Review, update and state of the art”, which was chaired by Professor Michael Gatzoulis and included an excellent update on the contemporary management of pulmonary hypertension. New concepts, such as the use of statistical learning algorithms with dense phenotypic data (phenomapping) to better classify patients with pulmonary hypertension at higher risk, while a ‘black box’ of technology, may be the beginning of the use of artificial intelligence to improve the way we practice medicine.
In was able to contribute to the meeting. My poster presentation looking at pregnancy in a contemporary cohort of adults with congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension in England won a Best Poster award in the Preventative Medicine section.
I also gave an oral presentation as part of a session titled “Long-term outcome in congenital heart disease – new insights from large registries”. In this session, interesting work was presented by Professor G P Diller looking at the risk of pulmonary hypertension following shunt closure in patients with simple congenital heart defects. This involved retrospective analysis of a German national registry of almost 50,000 patients with ASD, VSD or PDA with a mean prevalence of PAH of around 3%, increasing with older age at repair. This group of patients, in whom pulmonary hypertension develops either early or late after defect closure (group D PAH-CHD) are a neglected but expanding group of patients and a research interest of mine.
The ESC was a success with over 32,000 delegates and 11,000 abstract submissions. My attendance allowed me to keep my knowledge and skills up to date, created new networking opportunities and offered ideas for me to take back to my own hospital to improve the care of patients, as well as new research concepts.
Dr Hossam Fayed // Royal Free Hospital, London
The European Society of Cardiology annual congress this year was attended by more than 32,000 delegates. Nevertheless it was felt to be very well organised and the venue in Munich was huge but fantastic. In such a mega-event with several simultaneous sessions running, staying focused can be a challenge, but good planning and following one of the designed tracks do help. There were several hot topics running with several new guidelines and major trials data released and presented, so the educational value was outstanding. In the sessions for the sub-specialist interest, you get to meet several of the leaders in the field and one could directly discuss with them that was extremely useful.
My presentation was in the Quick-Fire Session and I presented immediately after Professor Galie, a major figure in Pulmonary Hypertension. All the sessions were really of very high calibre and really interesting. It was a challenge to have only five-minutes to present work that took several months to be completed. The presentation, luckily, was well received and I had few questions and useful feedback from the leaders in the field which will be of substantial value in preparing the manuscript.
Carla Favoccia // Honorary Clinical Fellow Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital, London
I particularly enjoyed the ESC congress. There was an interesting talk by G.P. Diller regarding the risk of pulmonary hypertension after shunt closure in patients with simple congenital heart defects. He showed an analysis of the German national register for congenital heart defects. Another notably interesting session was entitled “Adult congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary embolism: review, update, and State of the Art in 2018”. During this session I.R Lang, from Vienna, showed the current management of pulmonary hypertension and the impact of delayed treatment with an outstanding summary on risk stratification topic.
During my session, I found very stimulating the H. Fayed presentation entitled “improved ten-year survival of systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension in the contemporary treatment era: a single centre retrospective study of 451 patients”.
Each session was an opportunity to interact with other colleagues and share ideas about the research with other pulmonary hypertension centers.
I attended the following ESC sessions:
- Understanding pulmonary hypertension: breakthrough findings in translational science
- Poster Session: “Pulmonary hypertension” and “Right heart failure in pulmonary hypertension” and “Echocardiographic assessment of the right heart”
- Long term outcome in congenital heart disease - New insights from large registries
- Pulmonary hypertension: progress in management, impact on outcomes
- Symposium: “Treatment of pulmonary hypertension: what is on the horizon?
- Symposium: “Adult congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary embolism: review, update, and State of the Art in 2018”.
Robert Lewis // Honorary Donald Heath Clinical Fellow at the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit
I attended a number of really interesting session at the ERS, and focused being present at the sessions on pulmonary vascular diseases. It was a real privilege to see the vast breadth of research being undertaken around the world. There was clearly a focus on Risk Stratification in PAH, with a dedicated session exploring novel aspects of risk. This included assessing and treating patients with PAH-SSc, including those with borderline haemodynamics, and also a very interesting report from the French group looking at outcomes in patients who were treated with triple therapy from the point of diagnosis.
There were also updates from the 2018 WHO symposium in Nice on likely changes to the next set of ERS/ESC guidelines.
There were a number of talks on the use of balloon pulmonary angioplasty in CTEPH, with some centres now having large amounts of data on outcomes and demonstrating that mortality and complications are decreasing as operators become increasingly experienced. There were also sessions on acute PE, mostly focused on outpatient management but also diagnosing and managing of life-threatening PE.
The thematic poster sessions were also of a high quality and gave insight into some really interesting research projects, and all of the presenters were enthusiastic about discussing their research.
The congress also provided networking opportunities, and I was fortunate enough to attend peer-to-peer meeting where a number of abstracts were discussed, primarily by PH specialists from the UK centres. I also attended a session open to ERS early career members in pulmonary vascular diseases, where I met colleagues also undertaking research who were at a similar level to myself.
I am very grateful to the PVRI for funding my attendance at the ERS congress, which provided excellent educational opportunities and also opened up avenues for collaboration with other like-minded professionals. These international congresses are essential in supporting professional development and keeping knowledge up to date.