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Late breaking clinical trials introduced for first time at EHRA EUROPACE 2013

Sophia Antipolis, 16 May 2013: A packed programme is promised for EHRA EUROPACE2013 meeting, taking place in Athens, Greece, June 23 to 26, with the results of ten late breaking clinical trials and over 1000 original abstracts featured, offering exciting opportunities for news stories. The biennial meeting, which for the first time represents a collaboration between the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the ESC and the ESC Working Groups on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology and e Cardiology, promises to be more wide ranging than ever before. An eagerly anticipated news event will be the launch of the 2013 ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines on Cardiac Pacing and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy.

EHRA Scientific Programme Committee chairperson Professor Andreas Goette, said, "This is the first time we've ever featured late breaking trials. Journalists will have the opportunity to hear the results of really cutting edge studies, and to learn about the new Guidelines which are likely to have a tremendous impact on the European health care system."

The new partnership between EHRA and the Working groups on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology and e Cardiology, he added, emphasized the multidisciplinary and translational approach currently taking place in the diagnosis and therapy of arrhythmias and conduction disturbance. "Our programme now encompasses the entire breadth of arrhythmogenesis, from cell to bedside," he said.

The meeting, which spans four days, features over 110 individual sessions, and 18 satellite symposia, is likely to be attended by around 6,000 clinical electro physiologists, general cardiologists, family doctors, basic scientists, computer specialists, cath lab technicians and nurses.

Highlights of the late breaking clinical trials, to be presented on Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 26 June include:

  • Gap-AF - AFNET 1 Trial, looking to see whether complete electrical isolation of pulmonary veins is superior to incomplete electrical isolation in patients with drug-refractory paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF).
  • SARA trial, comparing the effectiveness and safety of catheter ablation versus anti arrhythmic drug therapy in the treatment of persistent AF.
  • PREFER in AF study which will provide a contemporary snap shot of AF management across Europe.
  • The Leipzig Heart Center AF Ablation Registry monitoring the incidence and risk factors for thromboembolic events after catheter ablation for AF.
  • The CLEPSYDRA study, using algorithms to monitor for early signals of decompensation events in patients with heart failure.
  • RFAVT trial, which will assess mortality for patients treated with Radiofrequency ablations as first line therapy without implantation of an ICD.

Altogether, a record breaking 1084 abstract have been accepted (out of a total of 1624 submissions) to be presented at the EHRA EUROPACE2013. In addition to oral abstract sessions and moderated poster sessions, new for this year will be 'flash' abstract presentations where related abstract topics are grouped together. "The idea here is to provide the audience with a lot of information on specific topics, like cardiac resynchronisation therapy or implantable cardioverter defibrillators, in a really short space of time. It should enable delegates to get up to speed on the latest developments quickly," explained Goette.

Interesting abstracts to watch out for include:

  • Abstract no 41049, exploring how well electro physiologists are able to estimate quality of life in patients with AF.
  • Abstract no 41271, a study in over 57,000 Danish participants looking at the association of consumption of marine n-3PUFA with AF.
  • Abstract 40935: A case study showing how extensive cola consumption resulted in potassium loss, QT prolongation and a potentially life threatening arrhythmia.
  • Abstract no 40762: exploring 'mad honey poisoning' where consumption of honey containing grayanotoxin, from the pollen and nectar of rhododendron species, led to atrioventricular block.
  • Abstract no 40760 suggesting that autoimmune dermatological disorders are associated with increased risk of developing AF.

Undoubtedly a major news event will be the launch of the ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines on Cardiac Pacing & CRT which will be presented at EHRA EUROPACE2013 on Tuesday 25 June. Professor Michele Brignole, chairman of the Guideline Task Force, said, "These Guidelines, which have been mediated by a team of 70 experts, represent the synthesis of the latest knowledge and state of the art in cardiac pacing and cardiac resynchronization therapy. They should help place all the studies that have been published over the last six years in context."

Sessions that might form the basis for topical features include: remote monitoring of patients with ICDs; what electrophysiologists need to know about renal denervation; new technologies in the treatment of complex arrhythmias; new types of antiarrhythmic drugs for atrial fibrillation and the home monitoring of cardiac devices.

Two summits, where related sessions on lead management and the cardiogenetics of arrhythmias are being brought together, will also be featured. "The idea here is that delegates can spend the day immersing themselves in these areas and getting completely updated," explained Goette.

Other key events will include an update on the ICD for Life initiative, looking to boost prophylactic implantation of ICD's in Eastern Europe, and an update of 10 years of the German Atrial Fibrillation Network (AFNET). In fact EHRA EUROPACE2013 promises to be a meeting of anniversaries, with EHRA celebrating its 10th Anniversary of becoming an ESC association.


Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
European Society of Cardiology

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