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Ruth Amstein

DOI: 10.4414/cvm.2017.00479
Publication Date: 17.05.2017
Cardiovascular Medicine. 2017;20(05):138

Cardiology Update 2017 
Postgraduate Education at the highest level

Cardiology Update is one of the major meetings in the field of cardiology in Europe. The 22nd Cardiology Update was successfully held in Davos on February 11–15, 2017, attracting close to 600 participants from 58 countries and six continents. The course is a joint educational programme of the Zurich Heart House, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Figure 1: Davos Congress Centre welcomes Cardiology Update. All photographs by Hans Utzinger.

For Bertram Pitt from Ann Arbor, co-founder of the course with the late Paul R. ­Lichtlen from Hannover in 1975, this is still one of the most exciting and privileged meetings in cardio­logy, providing a comprehensive overview of the latest scientific and therapeutic developments. In 1995, Thomas F. Lüscher from the University of Zurich became the new European course director and since then ­Cardiology Update has gained an increasing reputation.

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Figure 2: The course directors, Thomas F. Lüscher and Bertram Pitt (from left) with Patrick 
Aebischer at the welcome reception.

The educational objectives were to review and disseminate the latest knowledge about advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and to provide an update on the most recent ESC guidelines, including cardiovascular disease prevention, dyslipidaemias, atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

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Figure 3: Satellite Symposium with a prominent Swiss faculty: François Mach, Jan Steffel and Alexander Breitenstein (from left).

The inauguration ceremony was held on ­Saturday evening and started with the keynote lecture by Patrick Aebischer, former president of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EFPL), one of the leading ­research institutions worldwide, entitled ­“Towards medicine of tomorrow”. He envisaged the development of medicine and its ­integration with engineering and molecular biology towards a novel form of futuristic healthcare. Implantable devices of various kinds have made a huge impact on medical progress and patient monitoring, as have insights into molecular mechanisms of cardiac diseases leading to novel treatment options such as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors.

The teaching faculty consisted of 62 international, 20 local and 11 junior members, who provided keynote lectures, topical sessions, clinical decision seminars, echocardiography and ECG courses and meet-the-expert sessions. Satellite symposia sponsored by ­industry allowed companies to present their most recent drugs and devices. A special emphasis was placed in attracting a young generation of cardiologists. They used the opportunity to present their basic and clinical research projects in three moderated poster sessions, where a total of 49 posters were displayed. A jury selected the three best posters and awards were given to two groups from the University of Zurich and one group from the Oslo University Hospital. In a new format, exchange sessions between the heart centres of Zurich, Hamburg, Oslo and Zagreb were held, with interactive case presentations by young fellows and comments by their respective department heads.

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Figure 4: Lively discussions at a poster session moderated by Francesco Cosentino from Stockholm.

Among the programme highlights were the lectures by Salim Yusuf from Hamilton, ­Canada, who presented new data from the HOPE-3 trial on the effects of blood pressure and lipid lowering on cardiovascular mortality, and the influence of diet on cardiovascular disease. A special symposium was dedicated to the SPUM-ACS network in Switzerland, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, where prominent Swiss cardiologists including Stephan Windecker, François Mach and Christian Matter presented new registry findings on diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndromes in Switzerland. Further highlights were the three heart failure sessions, with presentation of the new guidelines in chronic and acute heart failure and new emerging treatment options, including sacubitril-valsartan, potassium binders and vasoactive peptides.

Altogether the course benefited from an excellent programme, a distinguished faculty and a stimulating working and learning environment offering great opportunities for ­discussions and networking between participants. Those who missed the Cardiology Update 2017 can visit the homepage, at www.cardiologyupdate.ch/elearning, where webcasts of the lectures can be seen.

The next Cardiology Update will take place in 2019 on February 16–20.

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Figure 4: Lively discussions at a poster session moderated by Francesco Cosentino from Stockholm.
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Figure 3: Satellite Symposium with a prominent Swiss faculty: François Mach, Jan Steffel and Alexander Breitenstein (from left).
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Figure 2: The course directors, Thomas F. Lüscher and Bertram Pitt (from left) with Patrick 
Aebischer at the welcome reception.
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Figure 1: Davos Congress Centre welcomes Cardiology Update. All photographs by Hans Utzinger.

Dr. Ruth Amstein

Zürich Heart House, Zürich

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Correspondence:
Dr. phil. Ruth Amstein, Director
Zurich Heart House
Foundation for Cardiovascular Research
Moussonstrasse 4, CH-8091 Zürich
ruth.amstein[at]usz.ch