New ESC guidelines on syncope and latest science to be released at EHRA 2018 congress

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March 18 to 20 in Barcelona, Spain

Sophia Antipolis Feb. 15, 2018. New European Society of Cardiology Clinical Practice Guidelines on syncope will be presented and published online for the first time during EHRA 2018, which will be held 18 to 20 March in Barcelona, Spain.1

Formerly the EHRA Europace congress held annually in June, EHRA 2018 marks the beginning of a new schedule, in which the congress will be held in March each year. It is the annual congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

EHRA's aim is to improve quality of life by reducing the impact of cardiac rhythm disturbances and reducing sudden cardiac death. The yearly congress is an important activity towards meeting this aim; it covers the full spectrum of arrhythmias management, from atrial fibrillation to stroke, and from simple to complex arrhythmias. It will be held from 18 to 20 March in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fira Gran Via. The full scientific programme is available here.

"We have a really outstanding scientific programme this year," said Professor Christophe Leclercq, scientific programme chairperson of the congress, "It's a packed programme, which promises to deliver cutting edge data on cardiac rhythm disorders."

A record number of late-breaking science abstracts were submitted for the congress this year.2 Highlights to be presented include the AXAFA-AFNET trial on the impact of continuous apixaban during catheter ablation; the MORE-CRT MPP trial on the benefits of cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) with multipoint pacing; two studies on the outcome of surgical versus catheter ablation in atrial fibrillation; and new data from the BRUISE CONTROL-1 and 2 trials on continued versus interrupted non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during device implantation.

Innovative technologies will be presented in a special session that will focus on the accuracy of smartphone applications for detecting atrial fibrillation; the effectiveness of a novel endovascular balloon for treating vein tears during transvenous lead extraction; and the benefit of ultra-low temperatures for cryoablation of atrial fibrillation.

Registries provide real life data and late-breaking findings will be presented in a dedicated session. Two-year follow-up results with the WATCHMAN left atrial appendage closure device will reveal the impact on stroke and bleeding; two-year outcomes will also be presented from the GLORIA-AF registry on dabigatran use in almost 5,000 patients with atrial fibrillation; and the ALTITUDE registry of more than 145,000 patients will give insights into how device programming can reduce unnecessary implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) shocks.

EHRA will launch a scientific document on arrhythmias and cognitive function, and a practical guide on the use of NOACs in atrial fibrillation.3

An entire session is devoted to the novel use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide ablation of atrial fibrillation.4 International experts will present cutting edge data, giving a complete picture on whether real-time MRI guidance can improve ablation outcomes.

Controversial issues will be debated by world opinion leaders on issues such as whether a subcutaneous ICD should be preferred over a transvenous ICD to prevent sudden death, and whether anticoagulation can be stopped after successful catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation.5

Summits will be held on e-health, cardiac mapping, lead and device management, and ventricular tachycardia. Members of the press can watch state-of-the-art techniques being performed in live sessions streamed from Barcelona and Leipzig on atrial fibrillation ablation, pacing, lead extraction, ventricular tachycardia, and MRI-guided procedures.6

The Einthoven Lecture will be given by Professor Josep Brugada of the University of Barcelona. Professor Jonathan M. Kalman of the University of Melbourne will deliver the Intercontinental Lecture.7

Professor Helmut Puererfellner, scientific programme vice-chairperson, said: "This is the congress on cardiac arrhythmias, with updates on the entire armamentarium. Save the date now and be among the first to hear the latest scientific findings in this fast-moving field."

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