North Texas played host to a major international cardiovascular conference, Dallas Leipzig 2018, on Dec. 13-15, 2018. The event, which was held in conjunction with the Leipzig Heart Center in Germany, brought together world leaders in structural and valvular heart disease to discuss innovative concepts and observe some of the latest tools and techniques in action. The event’s agenda was specifically designed for, but not limited to, cardiothoracic surgeons, primary cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, nurse practitioners, perfusionists, cardiac imaging specialists and other healthcare providers of cardiovascular teams.
Clinical trials, new data, specific cases, their outcomes, and spirited debates confronting controversial concepts were showcased. Various live surgeries were also viewable through satellite connections from the Leipzig Heart Center in Leipzig, Germany, and the Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano in Plano, TX. A mix of procedures and techniques could be observed under the direction of expert surgeons using new technology.
This comprehensive program addressed the issues facing cardiovascular healthcare professionals today and examined emerging therapies, procedures and medical devices. The spotlight on future landscapes included a keynote presentation by John Stevens, MD, who spoke regarding the use of artificial intelligence in cardiac diagnostics.
The event was co-hosted by leaders in cardiac medicine, including:
- Robert Smith, MD, vice chairman of cardiovascular surgical services at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano in Plano, TX
- Paul Grayburn, MD, medical director of non-invasive cardiology at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas, TX
- David Brown, MD, president of medical staff affairs at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano in Plano, TX
- Michael Mack, MD, chair of the cardiovascular council for Baylor Scott & White Health
- Michael Borger, MD, PhD, head of the department of cardiac surgery at the Leipzig Heart Center in Leipzig, Germany
A Variety of Viewpoints from Thought Leaders
Cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists presented new data and opinions on the same topic, which spurred engaging debates about mitral regurgitation (MR), aortic valve replacement and decision-making in critical patients via a heart team approach. Presentations focused on various aspects of mitral regurgitation, mitral annular calcification (MAC), tricuspid regurgitation (TR), aortic stenosis and valve repair, alternate routes to the heart when transfemoral access is not available, prosthetic valves and atrial fibrillation. The first day’s sessions ended with a hands-on imaging workshop and the following two days ended with discussions of difficult cases, their decision processes and outcomes.
In the mitral valve space, the conference considered asymptomatic MR, sternotomy, structural inversion, and the COAPT vs. MITRA-FR clinical trials. For MAC, presentations focused on imaging driven interventional success and transcatheter vs. surgical valve-in MAC. In the case of TR, discussions surrounded imaging and contemporary outcomes of tricuspid valve surgery.
The nuances that these clinicians brought to the discussions based upon their experiences with various techniques and with different patient populations once again proved incredibly valuable to conference attendees by providing insight into the current and future landscape of cardiothoracic diagnostic and treatment tools.