Conference conundrum

This week three different societies held or are holding cardiovascular scientific sessions packed with clinical presentations and programs that address everything from policy to payment structures. Choosing which talks within any given conference to attend—or miss—is a conundrum.

The American College of Cardiology and other groups now arrange for simultaneous publication of some studies being showcased at late-breaking clinical trials, giving everyone the opportunity to review the findings in detail. Does that practice take the wind out of the sails for researchers giving the slide presentations? Probably not, given the often-insightful discussions from panelists that follow each late breaker.

The recent publication of results from ADVANCE III in the Journal of the American Medical Association underscores the importance of the study, which was presented last year at the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) scientific sessions. The researchers determined that programming implantable cardioverter-defibrillators with a longer detection time may be appropriate for many patients. In some cases, giving the heart an opportunity to self-correct may lower the probability of receiving the first antitachycardia pacing or shock.      

Late-breaking clinical trials for HRS in Denver and the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in Orlando, Fla., will be underway in the next few days. The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) wrapped up its annual meeting May 8 in Minneapolis. The many intriguing findings at AATS included a pre-post analysis of implementation of the 80-hour work week for residents and certification rates and the first of three evaluations of anticoagulation strategies for patients implanted with bileaflet mechanical valves.

Each of these events reinforces the importance of pushing to improve care, whether it is lowering anticoagulation and bleeding risk in patients with newer generation valves, rethinking programming settings for some ICDs or other efforts. Symposia, poster presentations, professional development opportunities and the myriad of additional events also help the cardiovascular community raise the bar higher.

Please stay tuned to learn more over the next few days.

Candace Stuart

Cardiovascular Business, editor