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Cardiac imaging highlighted at Biennial ICNC-9

ICNC9, the key international scientific meeting on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, is taking place in Barcelona, 10-13 May.

ICNC, a joint venture between the ESC Working Group on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac Computed Tomography, the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), now in its 18th year, aims to promote excellence in Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT through practice, education and research. The biannual meeting - which gathers over one thousand cardiologists, nuclear medicine doctors, radiologists, imaging technologists, nurses, physicists, and industry representatives from over 40 countries - provides a unique opportunity for delegates to learn more about the state of the art of cardiac imaging, and its future directions.

"Imaging represents a real growth area in cardiology, with more and more guidelines now stating the need for imaging. But it's still not currently the main stream, making it imperative that more cardiologists get up to speed in the area," says Professor Juhani Knuuti, Co-Chair of the meeting.

"Cardiac imagining is the key for decision-making in cardiology, permitting resources, such as medications and coronary revascularization, i.e. cardiac surgery or angioplasty, to be used for maximum patient benefit," says Professor Robert Hendel meeting Co-Chair.

"ICNC9 is a really important medical meeting because everything novel in the field of imaging will be highlighted here," says Professor Jeroen Bax, former chair and programme chair of ICNC. "Such sub-speciality meetings, which are tightly focussed on specific areas of cardiology, offer a really valuable opportunity to advance frontiers in medicine." At ICNC9, all cardiac imaging modalities will be featured including nuclear cardiology techniques (such as SPECT and PET), cardiac computed tomography (CT), cardiac MR, and echocardiography. This year, a special focus will be present on cardiac CT, with sessions being held in every available time slot at the meeting.

"Revolutionary advances in cardiac imaging and its applications will be featured during this meeting. Additionally, ICNC9 provides a great opportunity for health care professionals to meet and develop new strategies for imaging within clinical practice" says Professor Hendel.

At the 2009 meeting, there will be a particular focus on integrating the different imaging technologies for the ultimate benefit of patients. "When treating patients, clinicians shouldn't apply modality based thinking, but should be using the technology best suited to the clinical questions they want to answer," says Professor Knuuti.

An example of the way imaging technologies can be helpfully combined is using CT for information on the anatomy of coronary arteries and nuclear tests for information on haemodynamics. "Combining these two modalities provides both the best diagnostic and prognostic information, with a much more complete picture for the patient," says Professor Bax.

A unique feature of ICNC is that the programme can be accessed at different levels of expertise. "Essential sessions" review fundamentals to help new comers to the field get up to speed, "Core Curriculum sessions" address the current big clinical questions, and "Advance sessions" consider the future directions. Technological advances to be covered will include:

  • Revolutionary cameras that that have been developed to reduce the time required to obtain images, and importantly to reduce radiation dose.

  • Use of imaging technology in the emergency room.

  • New radionuclide agents to image the neuronal and molecular function of the heart with MIBG.

  • New applications of cardiac imaging to define the disease process.

The scientific programme, which includes a total of 285 original scientific and clinical contributions, including 42 oral abstracts, will include many of the latest advances in the field. To encourage new talent, "young investigators" prize will recognise the best presentation of original cardiac imaging research.

A major highlight of the programme is the opening plenary session where world renowned experts address the "current state of the art" in different imaging modalities. Here Professor Valentin Fuster will present cutting-edge research for imaging atherosclerosis, Professor Ernest Garcia will discuss recent advances in nuclear cardiology and Professor Stefan Achenbach will highlight current developments in cardiac CT.

A particular informative event is always the session reviewing the significance of data from new multi centre clinical trials (already presented at other meetings) including COURAGE, INSPIRE, WOMEN, DIAD and PARR2 to the imaging field.

"While imaging may not be the main focus of the trial, the data can often have important implications for the evolving use of imaging technology," explains Professor Knuuti.

An ever popular event is the "Read with the Expert sessions", where clinicians from around the world present cases, and then discuss how to interpret the images and integrate the information they provide into the clinical decision-making process. Sessions this year include interpreting ECG-gated myocardial perfusion, how to use perfusion metabolism and infarct imaging, and choosing the right patients for cardiac CT.

Debates will focus on the current controversies, including whether or not diagnostic invasive coronary angiography is required in heart failure, the best tests for patients admitted to the emergency department with acute chest pain, and the comparison of SPECT and PET assessments of myocardial perfusion.

Such a technologically orientated meeting truly values its industry partners, with informative satellite symposia allowing imaging practitioners an invaluable opportunity to experience the latest state of the art equipment first hand.


Contact: ESC Press Office
European Society of Cardiology

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