The world’s largest conference in cardiovascular medicine took place late August in Munich, Germany. The annual Congress hosted by the European Society of Cardiology has earned a strong global reputation as a provider of the latest science in the field. New guidelines and their implementation are discussed. Clinically relevant information and advice is presented in numerous sessions, including over 4 500 abstract presentations. This year the spotlight was on “Valvular Heart Disease” focusing on innovative treatments and techniques.
Studies from the research group Integrated CardioVascular Function were strongly represented at the Congress. Among those were “Septal work is a more sensitive marker of myocardial dysfunction in dyssynchrony than strain” with first author John Aalen. Regional myocardial work by echocardiography was recently introduced as a clinical method. Since work incorporates load it may be superior to strain imaging to identify myocardial dysfunction. The hypothesis was that myocardial work identifies preclinical myocardial dysfunction in patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB). The study concluded that myocardial work was more sensitive than strain to identify myocardial dysfunction in patients with LBBB and normal LVEF.
Doctor Espen Bøe, who successfully defended his PhD thesis during the summer, was selected to present his study “Ventricular volume changes are more accurate markers of acute response to CRT than contraction indices” under the best poster session. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) on contraction indices and ventricular volumes during LBBB by pressure-volume analysis. The findings of the study suggest that LV volume changes rather than conventional contraction indices should be used to evaluate acute CRT response. These observations may explain some of the apparent inconsistency between acute response and long-term response to CRT.