News in brief: ACC.21 goes virtual; Call to boost OAC therapy; Improving 3D models of the aorta

17 Mar 2021

Atlanta cancelled; ACC.21 fully virtual

COVID-19 has claimed another conference with the American College of Cardiology changing their planned hybrid meeting to a fully virtual meeting (15 -17 May).

The live portion of the ACC.21 meeting which was to occur in Atlanta has now been cancelled.

“Unfortunately, with the continued presence of COVID-19 and a sudden, sharp increase in ongoing travel restrictions imposed by health care institutions, academic medical centres and exhibitor companies, the decision has had to be made to transition the meeting from a hybrid model to entirely virtual,” the ACC.21 website said.

All content including late-breaking clinical trials and featured clinical research sessions will be accessed via the digital platform.

“We look forward to an anticipated return to our live meeting during ACC.22 in Washington, DC.”

Hospitals aren’t helping boost OAC therapy 

Oral anticoagulant use in patients with ACS and concomitant AF has improved over time but remains suboptimal, according to an Australian study.

Data from 1,479 patients from the CONCORDANCE and GRACE registries found the likelihood of treatment with anticoagulants increased from 27% in 1999-2000 to 56% in 2016-2017.

The increase appeared driven by higher uptake of DOACs in later years of the study – DOACs comprising 8% of total OAC use in 2014–15 and 35% in 2016–17.

The study found 89% of patients in the group who weren’t receiving oral anticoagulants had a CHA2DS2-VA score >1 for which anticoagulation was indicated.

“Over the 18-year time period of these studies, the proportion of patients discharged on OAC increased from 26% to 61%, closely reflecting the rates of treatment pre-admission,.” the study said.

“Nonetheless, as recently as 2017, almost half of this increasingly prevalent high-risk patient population was not receiving this evidence based therapy.”

The researchers, including senior investigator Professor David Brieger from Concord Hospital, said interventions to bridge the treatment gap had been “disappointingly ineffective”.

Heart, Lung and Circulation

Simulating the tissue properties of an aortic dissection  

3D printed models of the aorta to help with pre-surgical planning and simulation of endovascular repair of aortic disease are being advanced by WA research.

Professor Zhonghua Sun, a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in medical imaging at Curtin University, has recently published findings on printing materials which provide realistic models that replicate the heart and aortic arteries.

The research involved testing models of a type B aortic dissection made with four commercial 3D printing materials with different elastic properties and hardness. It identified one material, Visijet CE-NT A30 with a tensile strength close to the aging arteries.

The study further advances the current applications of 3D printing in CVD by showing  the models can also be used to study optimal CT protocols with the aim of reducing radiation dose while preserving diagnostic image quality.

Professor Sun said printing aortic dissection models was very challenging compared to other cardiovascular models due to the very thin membranous structure of the intimal flap.

Current Medical Imaging


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