The 8th PVRI Annual World Congress on Pulmonary Vascular Disease was held this year in the beautiful and futuristic city Guangzhou, China on January 15th - 18th 2015. The congress was hosted by the Dong Fang Hotel, and it was organized as a joint meeting together with the 7th National Chinese Congress on Pulmonary Embolism and Pulmonary Vascular Diseases, creating a unique milieu to meet and unite both the Western and Eastern civilizations. Such a multicultural concept resulted in great enthusiasm amongst attendees who took this opportunity to discuss the most important and urgent scientific and clinical issues in the field of pulmonary vascular disease (PVD), and to share their valuable experiences.
The conference sessions covered a variety of scientific and clinical topics, giving the particular attention to the most interesting and ´hot´ achievements and novel findings in the last years with regard to PVD. For example, alteration of the MicroRNAs system was described in the PVD pathology and these molecular regulators received a considerable focus in the recent past, and the lectures from Drs. Schermuly, Chan and Chun provided further insights on their role and potential therapeutic strategies, considering both, the pulmonary vasculature and right heart remodeling/failure. Furthermore, abnormally activated immune system and inflammation were recognized as culprits in the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Among different inflammatory cells, the macrophages were of particular interest during this congress, as evident from valuable talks of Drs. Zheng, Stenmark, Johns and Leopold. The group 3 of the current clinical classification of PH also received a noticeable attention, and Drs. Weissmann and Aldashev shared their knowledge and expertise on the pulmonary vascular abnormalities in the context of COPD and high altitude environment, respectively.
Following the heritage and trace of Dr. Robyn Barst in pediatric research, and knowing that PH in children is very frequent across the world and there is no satisfactory therapy lectures from Drs. Adatia, del Cerro, Diaz and Ivy further enlightened the current issues on pediatric registries, clinical trials and potential therapeutic approaches. The distinctive ´face´ of the PH pathology in women, including all aspects from pregnancy, sex differences and hormones, contraception etc., was the subject of the talks from Drs. Cockrill, MacLean, Shafer, Preston and Mandel.
The patients’ registries and novel opinions on clinical trials, covering a variety of indispensable experiences, perspectives and knowledge from all over the world (Africa, Asia, Europe, South America), took a large portion of the congress and resulted in interesting and intrigued talks/ discussions given by Drs. Thienemann, Wen, Jian-Guo, Kerkar, Laliberte, Corris, Diaz and MacDonald. Finally, the non-pharmacologic approaches to PH, re-synchronizing the right ventricle, and compliance, cardiac output, ventriculo-vascular coupling as targets of choice etc. were the subjects covered by the lectures from Drs. Boogard, Pritzker, Moledina and Thenappan.
Finally, our PVRI Annual General Meeting was also held during the congress. Briefly, the PVRI members discussed different aspects covering the topics from the branding and communication (updated PVRI logo, promotional materials, educational website, social media presence…) to fundraising (development of the committee, establishment of a future fundraising strategies and organization of more frequent fundraising events).
In conclusion, the 8th PVRI Annual World Congress on Pulmonary Vascular Disease has definitely achieved much more than expected, ultimately leading to the better understanding of PVD pathogenesis and significant improvements of the current therapies. However, we still have a long way to go in order to possess in our hands the satisfactory curative strategies and options.