'Imaging is not about technology, but about finding the most appropriate way to assess heart disease'
"The idea is that we're using the most appropriate technology to address individual clinical questions rather than just focusing on one technique," explains EAE President Dr Luigi Badano, from the University of Padua, Italy. In addition to echocardiography, he adds, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and nuclear imaging will all being covered at the meeting, offering delegates a unique opportunity for an in-depth education around non invasive imaging of cardiovascular disease.
In keeping with the patient-orientated approach a new track has been introduced, the Clinical Imaging Session, where lectures and discussions will deal with atrial fibrillation, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and atherosclerosis.
The main themes of the congress this year are valvular heart disease and left ventricular function, with new techniques available in each area to detect subclinical disease. "The advent of new echo modalities such as exercise, deformation imaging and 3D echo has changed the way to assess heart valves and improved our understanding of physiopathology and our ability to detect subtle, clinically silent impairments," says Professor Patrizio Lancellotti, the President-elect of the EAE and Congress Programme Committee Chairperson of EUROECHO, from University of Li-ge, CHU Sart Tilman, Li-ge, Belgium.
In the assessment of left ventricular function, he adds, the new emphasis has been on myocardial deformation, deformation rate, and at left ventricular torsion to allow clinicians to detect subclinical myocardial dysfunction.
Both valves and left ventricular function are well represented in the 690 original posters and abstracts presented at the congress with other popular themes for submission including cardiomyopathies, tissue Doppler imaging, and speckle tracking. Abstract submissions have been up this year - with over 12 % more submissions in comparison with 2010, and 30% more for delegates aged under 35 years. This later figure is particularly gratifying for the organisers who have placed a special emphasis on attracting young investigators.
New awards have been created, together with opportunities that will allow them to critically discuss their findings with experts in the field who will be able to provide valuable feedback.