CMR 2018 announces programme highlights and keynote speakers



The cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) 2018 meeting organised by European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging and the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance will showcase the latest advances in CMR, and how they are improving patient care and outcomes. CMR 2018 will be held 31 January to 3 February in Barcelona, Spain, at the Centre Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB).

The congress theme ‘improving clinical value by technical advances’ emphasises how new developments in CMR benefit patients. Higher quality images increase understanding of disease and enable better diagnosis and treatment, while faster scan times help reduce waiting lists and provide a better patient experience.

CMR has a major role to play in the prevention of sudden cardiac death and will be debated at CMR 2018 by leaders in the fields of imaging and arrhythmias. Josep Brugada (Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain), a leading clinical cardiologist and arrhythmia expert, will give a keynote lecture on the latest developments in ventricular arrhythmias. Other distinguished speakers include European Society of Cardiology (ESC) president Jeroen Bax.

Jose Palomares, CMR 2018 abstract co-chairperson (representing EuroCMR), said: “International clinical and CMR specialists will provide the most up-to-date information in different disease areas. They will also reveal what is on the horizon in terms of furthering our understanding of what causes diseases and how to best diagnose and treat them.”

Heart disease causes many deaths in women but the way it develops is different to men. In women, heart disease mainly affects the microvessels, making it more difficult to detect. “CMR is particularly well suited to helping us understand heart attacks in women and how to better manage them,” said Allison Hays, CMR 2018 abstract co-chairperson (representing SCMR).

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic and will be the focus of a session on deep learning/machine learning. Daniel Rueckert, a leader in machine learning development in magnetic resonance, will join other specialists to discuss how these areas are revolutionising CMR by boosting productivity and expanding the limits of what can be measured. Novel methods will be presented along with technological advances in this rapidly developing field.

CMR is increasingly being used to detect metabolic changes in the heart. Specialists will show how imaging detects fat build up in the heart, which can predict who will develop heart failure and arrhythmias and indicate the impact of medications and lifestyle changes.

Around 1–2% of adults in developed countries have heart failure but treatments are available and some cases can even be prevented. Novel CMR techniques like T1 mapping are being used for the early detection of fibrosis in the heart to identify patients at risk for heart failure. A number original scientific abstracts will show the latest findings in this field.

Ischaemia imaging is another focus in the abstracts, which show the value of CMR in diagnosing and risk stratifying patients with suspected coronary artery disease in a standardised way. Clinical trial results will be presented showing how CMR can be used cost effectively to improve patient outcomes. A workshop will be held in conjunction with the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM).

“Scientific information is growing exponentially”, Palamores said. “CMR 2018 brings together leading clinicians and imagers from across the globe to highlight the key developments in cardiovascular magnetic resonance and where the boundaries of science and medicine are being pushed.”

Hays said: “The important technical advances and large scale clinical trials in CMR will be presented, making CMR 2018 an event not to be missed. Patient outcomes are a big focus of the conference—we are not just taking pictures of the heart, we are applying it in a clinically meaningful way to improve healthcare.”

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