Paris, France - 20 May 2016: Nearly 12,000 cardiologists from 115 countries across the world boosted their knowledge and skills in interventional approaches for treating cardiovascular disease in patients in their own hospitals by observing live demonstrations and sharing in educational, practical and discussion sessions at EuroPCR 2016, the annual course of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI), this week.
Course participants packed venues at the Palais des Congrès in Paris for each of the 50 hours of live case demonstrations, a unique element of EuroPCR courses in which world-leading experts demonstrated cardiovascular interventions from their own cath labs at 12 state-of-the-art centres around the world.
'All you need to know' educational updates and practical learning updates further sharpened their expertise in the latest developments and best practice in coronary interventions, interventions for valvular disease and heart failure, peripheral interventions and interventions for hypertension and stroke.
"The number of people engaged in the learning sessions was amazing. And the educational value of the live cases provides a big step forward in helping these interventions to reach patients more widely," said EuroPCR Course Director William Wijns. "We are transforming the capacity to transfer interventional procedures that are important to improving patient outcomes but have been difficult to share in the past by standardising them, which makes them teachable. "
EuroPCR 2016 participants shared in live demonstrations and practical education sessions in a wide range of minimally invasive interventional procedures, including transcutaneous aortic valve implantation (TAVI) to treat heart valve disease, interventional procedures to treat coronary artery chronic total occlusion (CTO), left main percutaneous coronary interventions, percutaneous left atrial appendage closure, carotid interventions to reduce the risk of stroke and interventions in patients with critical limb ischaemia to reduce the loss of limbs.
"The way we do these procedures now is so well defined that they are teachable and transferable - people can repeat them with good success. It gives us great pleasure to see so many people in EuroPCR sessions where this sort of know-how is being transferred because we know it is going to improve patient outcomes when they go back to their home hospitals," said Professor Wijns.
TAVI was one of the hottest topic at this year's EuroPCR, featuring in a substantial number of the 920 abstracts communicating new research in interventional cardiovascular medicine. "Everyone had been talking about whether it is justified to extend TAVI to low-risk patients," he reported.
The Great Debate at EuroPCR 2016 provided an opportunity for leading interventional cardiologists and surgeons to review the arguments for and against TAVI for low-risk patients. Cardiac surgeons argued that good results with surgery in low-risk patients and concerns about the longer-term durability of TAVI devices made more widespread use of this approach inappropriate. But cardiologists argued that TAVI could be safer, with reduced risk of complications. The conclusion? The heart team should decide whether surgery or TAVI is the best approach for individual patients looking at all of their clinical data rather than using the current concept of low intermediate or high risk for surgery.
This year's Ethica Award went to John G. Webb, from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, widely acknowledged as a pioneer of transfemoral TAVI after performing a series of retrograde transfemoral TAVI investigations. Presenting the award, which recognises outstanding contribution to the field of interventional cardiology, Stephan Windecker praised his innovative approach to TAVI procedures, noting, "He has had a remarkable career. John wisely anticipated the advantages of the transfemoral approach." This has become the default strategy in more than 90% of patients undergoing TAVI. The high quality of his research has positioned him as one of the most frequently cited researchers in the field and his commitment to sharing skills and knowledge with others was brought to life in the warm congratulations in video clips from many of his former students, fellows and post-docs, thanking him for his 'inspirational' teaching.
EuroPCR 2017 will be held 16-19 May, in Paris, France.
Information for journalists on EuroPCR 2016
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EuroPCR press releases
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Notes to Editors
What is EuroPCR?
EuroPCR, the official annual meeting of the European Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI), a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology, is the world-leading course in interventional cardiovascular medicine. PCR has established a distinctive format for educational activities in the field of cardiovascular interventions. Beyond its flagship course in Paris that gathers more than 12,000 participants every year, PCR organises annual courses in Singapore, London UK, Dubai EAU, Johannesburg RSA, Istanbul Turkey, Chengdu China and Tokyo Japan. For further information on EuroPCR, AsiaPCR/SingLIVE, PCR London Valves, GulfPCR-GIM, AfricaPCR, PCR Istanbul Peripheral, PCR-CIT China Chengdu Valves, PCR Tokyo Valves & PCR, please contact: Anne-Sophie Lartigau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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