On behalf of the Working group Paediatric Pulmonary Hypertension of the German Society for Paediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease (DGPK, ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Kardiologie und Angeborene Herzfehler e.V.’) a Symposium was organised on Saturday 30 March in Münster, North-Rhine-Westfalia, Germany.
It has been a pleasure to welcome an international faculty to this exciting one-day symposium. The introductory lecture was given by Prof. Sheila Glennis Haworth, CBE, who established the UK Pulmonary Hypertension Service for Children. Her basic science talk on lung development and pathogenesis of pulmonary vascular disease set the scene for the following talks on the current diagnostic algorithm, current knowledge on risk predictors and biomarkers as well as up-to-date treatment strategies and their pitfalls.
In the afternoon more specific scenarios were discussed with tailored concepts in specific situations, such as in an intensive care environment, with momentous case presentations, and in patients with Fontan physiology.
We learned about mechanical measures how to influence ventricular-ventricular interactions. The usefulness and clinical benefit of atrial septostomy or Potts’ shunt have been elucidated, the latter has experienced a renaissance as palliative measure for selected patients with advanced pulmonary hypertension. The programme was rounded up by a latest update and state of the art showing the advances of paediatric lung transplantation, which have improved remarkably in the recent era.
The meeting was well attended by >40 participants from all areas of Germany. It has been well received by experts in pulmonary hypertension as well as other medical healthcare professionals from a variety of specialties and industry.
Overall it has been a delightful and inspiring day. We had an excellent feedback from the participants and hope that sharing experience and knowledge will help providing optimal clinical care for this particularly fragile patient group in the future. It eventually also forms bridges and inspires professional healthcare workers and doctors for more multicentre collaboration in this still comparatively rare disease. The Working Group Paediatric Pulmonary Hypertension is looking to organize comparable local meetings with lively discussions, which allow an exchange of clinical experts in an inspiring atmosphere more regularly in the future.
Priv. Doz. Dr Astrid E Lammers; MD
Chair Working Group Paediatric Pulmonary Hypertension
German Society for Paediatric Cardiology