March 25th, 2011

A Meeting That Could Change How You Practice

There is a lot on offer this year at ACC in New Orleans. Whether you are going to live the high life and dine at the Commanders Palace, or crank out the karaoke tunes at Cat’s Meow on Bourbon Street, most fellows lucky enough to attend ACC this year will come away with a vision of the future of cardiology or, possibly, even the decline of cardiac surgery.

The PARTNER group is planning to present the results of its comparison of transcatheter vs. surgical aortic valve implantation in high-risk patients. Attendees will learn about the PRECOMBAT data on left main stenting compared to bypass surgery. Also, researchers will present the STICH literature on surgical management of ischemic heart failure.

So, a few short days in New Orleans have the potential to produce a paradigm shift in referral patterns and standards of care. I can recommend one thing: well in advance of arriving in NOLA, plan what sessions you are definitely going to attend.

How will all of these results affect us, the cardiology fellows going to the conference?

With the growing trend in transcatheter valvular procedures, will more of us be considering interventional cardiology fellowships and spending time at the concurrent i2 Summit, with its interventional emphasis?

Or what about the larger picture — for example, the trials looking at the effect that specialized A-fib clinics have on outcomes? Are these results going to influence the type of jobs that are available to us?

Sadly, a fellow’s life is such that he has to choose one conference each year. I am not traveling to ACC, but rather am keeping the home fires burning here in Chicago. That is why I hope you can provide some updates and on-the-ground insights into the events in New Orleans. If you are interested, please contact us.

For more of our ACC.11 coverage of late-breaking clinical trials, interviews with the authors of the most important research, and blogs from our fellows on the most interesting presentations at the meeting, check out our Coverage Roundup.

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