A FIT's Journey at SCAI

In May, I had the opportunity to attend the 40th anniversary of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans. The city’s culinary, musical and architectural attractions provided a fantastic setting for this year’s historic meeting that was attended by more than 1,500 cardiovascular health care providers. This year’s Scientific Sessions featured engaging live cases, late-breaking clinical trials, captivating lectures and the C3 Summit for interventional fellows-in-training (FIT).

Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, MHCDS, FACC, kicked off the meeting by commemorating two important events in the history of interventional cardiology – the founding of SCAI and the performance of the first PCI by Dr. Andreas Gruentzig. He also reviewed the progress made by SCAI over the past year. Attendees at SCAI had the pleasure of hearing Arianna Huffington provide a keynote address on “The Sleep Revolution.” Huffington discussed some of the science underscoring the importance of regular, uninterrupted sleep of sufficient duration. She also elaborated on some possible methods for improving sleep habits, including removing electronic devices from the bedroom to prevent the hustle and distractions of daily life from affecting our ability to recover from a day’s work. The subject of her talk certainly resonated with the audience of interventionalists who are all too familiar with the challenges of getting enough rest, being productive at work and remaining engaged at home.

[DANCE] has significantly added to our understanding of the systemic inflammatory response associated with peripheral revascularization and how local therapy may interfere with the pathophysiologic perturbations that result from vascular interventions.

A notable strength of SCAI is the emphasis on case-based presentations provided by leading interventionalists who outlined their approaches to managing common and emerging problems in interventional cardiology using the latest technology. Case presentations on complex coronary, structural, congenital and peripheral interventions provided a comprehensive overview of the basic and advanced skills needed to succeed as a cardiovascular specialist today. A particularly novel and interesting late-breaking clinical trial presented by Ehrin Armstrong, MD, MSc, FACC, stood out to me for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In the DANCE trial, Armstrong and colleagues used a novel drug delivery device (Bullfrog® Micro-Infusion) to deliver adventitial dexamethasone to the femoropopliteal artery following balloon angioplasty or atherectomy for the treatment of patients with symptomatic lower extremity PAD.

They observed that circulating inflammatory markers were frequently elevated following lower extremity revascularization, particularly after atherectomy. Treatment with adventitial dexamethasone subsequently reduced these systemic markers of inflammation. Although the effect of adventitial anti-inflammatory therapy on the durability of peripheral revascularization remains unproven, this trial has significantly added to our understanding of the systemic inflammatory response associated with peripheral revascularization and how local therapy may interfere with the pathophysiologic perturbations that result from vascular interventions.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to attend and present a case at the SCAI FIT C3 Summit. The Summit brings together interventional FITs and faculty from around the country to share educational cases in coronary, peripheral and structural/congenital intervention. Interventional FITs who have an accepted case are provided with complimentary registration, travel and accommodation by SCAI. The opportunity to present a case, get feedback from senior interventionalists and my contemporaries, learn from my colleagues’ cases and discuss key points was invaluable. The top three cases from each interventional category were awarded a monetary prize at a social event that followed, which also promoted interaction among SCAI FITs and faculty.

In all, SCAI presented an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for expanding one’s interventional knowledge base and network. The SCAI Scientific Sessions provides practical interventional case presentations that are nicely interwoven with educational and thought-provoking didactics and lectures. The meeting also allows the opportunity to mingle with peers, colleagues and mentors. Next year’s SCAI Scientific Sessions will take place in San Diego, CA, from April 25-28, 2018.


This article was authored by Mazen Albaghdadi, MD, MSc, graduate assistant and interventional cardiology fellow in Vascular Medicine and Intervention at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Clinical Topics: Cardiac Surgery, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Vascular Medicine, Aortic Surgery, Interventions and Imaging, Interventions and Vascular Medicine, Angiography, Nuclear Imaging

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Interventions, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Dexamethasone, Mentors, Atherectomy, Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary, Angioplasty, Balloon, Arteries, Lower Extremity, Inflammation, Angiography, Knowledge Bases


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