The world's pre-eminent meeting in Valves and Structural Heart, the fifth annual meeting of PCR London Valves, will take place from the 28th to the 30th of September, 2014 at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London, UK.
In the tradition of the pioneering work in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Interventions (TAVI) that today have become an accepted clinical option, PCR London Valves is the leading course in the field of valvular interventions and structural heart. Through innovative technologies and their application to clinical practice, this course underlines the increasing importance of highly specialized disciplines in their ability to offer wider benefits to society and patients. It is through concepts such as the "Heart Team", which emerged from the practice of TAVI, that subspecialties such as interventional cardiology, can wield a far wider influence outside of their specific field in the way medicine is practiced today.
PCR London Valves is co-directed by Martyn Thomas (UK) and Stephan Windecker (Switzerland) and is an official course of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI), a speciality association under the umbrella of the European Association of Cardiology (ESC).
This year's course will look at three major trends:
- The evolving role of imaging
- TAVI, technical evolution of devices and techniques, current patient selection and recommendations
- The emergence of transcatheter Mitral Valve replacement
Imaging will be a major focus with a newly dedicated session - The Sunday Imaging Day. Imaging remains one of the foundations of a successful procedure, and an awareness of current imaging technology and practice is essential. This day will be made up of comprehensive discussions, expert talks and practical workshops concentrating on various aspects involved in imaging including the role of echocardiography, CT scanning and MRI, as well as the planning, performing and follow-up of patients undergoing aortic and mitral transcatheter procedures. For image specialists in cathlabs and hybrid operating rooms it will offer the opportunity to exchange views, further strengthening the Heart Team approach.
TAVI has become widely accepted clinically, but as devices and experience evolve, the debate over indications and patient selection broadens with obvious clinical and public health implications. These critical issues will be openly discussed with the introduction for the first time this year of the "Great Valve Debate" posing the question, "Does the improvement of TAVI outcomes justify treatment of low-risk patients?" The debate was chosen by popular vote on the PCR website and will be chaired by Neil Moat and Martyn Thomas, with Nicolo Piazza, Bernard Prendergast, Alec Vahanian and Olaf Wendler on the panel as well as participation by the public.
Transcatheter Mitral Valve replacement finally witnessed the first successful cases earlier this year in a limited number of centres worldwide. In the future, this procedure could play a major role in clinical practice and the 2014 keynote lecture by Francesco Maisano will be focussed on whether transcatheter mitral valve implantation has finally arrived, and whether there is a place in current practice for transcatheter repair.
Three Live Centres this year: St Thomas' Hospital in London, UK; Bern Hospital in Bern, Switzerland and the Heart Centre, in Bonn, Germany. Live Transmissions themselves will be structured around specific themes: each live case will be introduced by a special session entitled "Pitfalls of TAVI: have they been resolved?" Several different "pitfalls" will be explored in depth during the course, both through these introductory discussions and the live cases that follow. Topics will include; "paravalvular leak", "vascular complications", "stroke", "patient selection", "whether a permanent pacemaker is a complication?" or the challenge of "cost effectiveness".
Additional sessions will be held on a wide variety of topics such as "The Partner Pivotal debate: a critical appraisal of Partner, Pivotal CoreValve, CHOICE and the Worldwide Registries. Can we move to a consensus?", interactive case corners or "The best three transcatheter valve 'rescues' of the year".
Pedagogy and interactivity
Martyn Thomas and Stephan Windecker have said that "true learning is by sharing experience" and key to the philosophy and spirit of PCR London Valves is the practical value for the participants and their active participation during the different sessions, as well as the "take-home" information that will affect their practice after the course is completed. PCR London Valves offers a number of specially designed interactive tools developed to accomplish this including the "REACT@PCR system" as well as dedicated websites. Also, in order to offer continuing access to information during and after the course, special programmes like the interactive Valve Atlas, a specially created iPad app, will be launched, offering ongoing support throughout the year for the information gleaned during the three-day meeting.
William Wijns, Chairman of PCR, has said that participants "come to PCR London Valves, with a wealth of knowledge, of practical 'know-how', of expertise that informs their questions and encourages their search for answers within the clinically relevant format that this course provides." It is this commitment to exchange, to the "common crafting of the best personalised care for the individual patient" that is at the centre of PCR London Valves and which allows "the best strategies and solutions to emerge."
The PCR principle, exemplified in PCR London Valves of "By and For our community" is based on a strong focus on peer to peer interaction, adequate time for discussions, a commitment to multidisciplinary and patient-centric, problem-solving approaches as well as an open "truthful, realistic, relevant and credible" discussion of treatment options and strategies.
For further information about any of the sessions at PCR London Valves, the updated programmes can be found at http://www.