EHRA 2024 explores prevention and treatment of heart rhythm disorders

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EHRA 2024: 7 to 9 April in Berlin, Germany and online

Discover the hottest science in the prevention and treatment of heart rhythm disorders at EHRA 2024, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The annual congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), a branch of the ESC, will be held 7 to 9 April at the CityCube Berlin, Germany, and online. Explore the scientific programme.

Stay tuned for the extensive late-breaking science programme, featuring ground-breaking studies on new devices and techniques in atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation, and sinus node disease. Plus more than 900 abstracts covering novel research across the range of heart rhythm disorders.

More than 120 scientific sessions will showcase the most topical issues in the field. Sustainability is the focus of two sessions exploring whether remote cardiac monitoring can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, when to resterilize and reimplant pacemakers, and whether it is ethical not to reuse catheters and cardiac devices. Professor Serge Boveda, Scientific Programme Committee Chairperson, said: "Arrhythmias management offers numerous opportunities for greener practices, such as manufacturing devices locally to shorten transportation distances, minimizing packaging, and reusing catheters. While decreasing our carbon footprint for everyone's wellbeing we can save resources and treat more patients at an affordable cost."

Robotics are an emerging area and experts will discuss their use to treat complex arrhythmias in congenital heart disease, plus randomized trials comparing robotic with conventional ablation.3,4 Professor Jose Luis Merino, EHRA President, said: "Robotics are set to take on a major role in electrophysiology. The early robotic systems were bulky, complex, and expensive, but that is changing with newer generations. Ideally, robotization will improve the reproducibility of procedures and enable us to treat more patients."

Artificial (AI) update: multiple sessions examining the pros and cons of AI for the prediction of atrial fibrillation, stroke and sudden cardiac death, and for personalized diagnosis and therapy. 

New AI-based tools should help us to more accurately predict who will experience arrhythmic events, monitor massive cohorts of patients with heart rhythm disorders remotely and virtually, and better understand the mechanisms of arrhythmias thereby improving treatments. We can also envisage AI making workflows more efficient by automating some tasks and removing the potential for human error."

Professor Andrea Sarkozy, Scientific Programme Committee Chairperson

Also on the agenda: sudden cardiac death. Leaders in the field will examine how to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes, the role of genetic testing in pre-participating screening, whether non-professional sportspeople should undergo screening, and how families cope with sudden death. "The way forward is better screening and the widespread use of external defibrillators in stadiums and sports halls," said Professor Boveda. "Most athletes now survive cardiac arrest due to prompt resuscitation. Systematic study of relatives is essential to assess their arrhythmic risk. In the future, AI may play a role to identify repetitive patterns associated with these events."

Not to miss: difficult decisions in patients with cancer and arrhythmias. "Contemporary issues include the feasibility of anti-cancer radiotherapy in patients with an implantable cardiac device," said Professor Merino. "Patients with cancer have a heightened risk of bleeding and there has been concern over the use of anticoagulation to treat arrhythmias but research has shown that the benefits outweigh the risks. We also need greater awareness about the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatibility of cardiac devices so that cancer patients are not denied important tests."

The theme of EHRA 2024 is "Innovation and education to overcome arrhythmias". A new edition of an international consensus statement on surgical and catheter ablation by EHRA and other scientific societies will be presented for the first time and is set to change the face of atrial fibrillation management.

The EHRA Innovation Forum will shine a spotlight on novelties in pacing and arrhythmia monitoring, mapping and imaging, ablation technology, and much more. Professor Sarkozy said: "Electrophysiologists are innovators and the advent of AI is accelerating progress. We are expecting to hear about cutting-edge non-invasive systems to help with screening, pioneering means of cardiac stimulation and defibrillation, and state-of-the-art arrhythmia ablation systems that will be more accurate and effective than traditional methods."

The EHRA Congress brings together scientists, healthcare professionals and key opinion leaders involved in arrhythmia management from across the globe. Register as press now to attend EHRA2024 and receive press releases from the leading arrhythmias meeting in Europe.

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