Cardiac Imaging at ACC.19: A Sneak Peek

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For many years, our institutions – like many academic institutions around the world – have sent our cardiology fellows to ACC's Annual Scientific Session and Expo to present novel research and report back to those at home on Late-Breaking Clinical Trials. In an era of ubiquitous digital education, recorded sessions and social media, is there still purpose in the gathered national meeting? For the ACC Imaging Section, which consist of more than 5,000 members from Fellows-in-Training (FITs) to advanced career clinicians and scientists, we believe the answer is an enthusiastic "yes."

In the past year, there have been considerable advances in multimodality cardiac imaging from technical development to outcomes data from the COAPT, ATTR-ACT, SCOT-HEART 5-year outcomes and SPINS cohort, just to name a few germane to cardiac imagers. Gathering directly with FITs, Early Career Professionals, practicing cardiologists and clinician scientists allows for unparalleled opportunities for networking, collaboration and education that are now enhanced through platforms like social media.

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This article aims to preview a few of the many sessions of interest to cardiovascular imagers at ACC.19. We have also included the speakers' Twitter handles so that you can have virtual discussions with them on #CardioTwitter in case you forget to ask them a question. Don't forget to use the imaging section hashtag #ACCimaging. In addition to these sessions, be sure to check out original research posters, moderated poster sessions and FIT case presentations from collaborators all over the world in the Poster Hall.  View the full program for ACC.19.

Saturday, March 16

On Saturday, March 16, as an alternative to the concurrent Late-Breaking Clinical Trial session, enjoy an imaging session chaired by Randolph P. Martin, MD, FACC, and Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, on machine learning in cardiovascular imaging (Session #603, March 16, 8 – 9:30 a.m. CT, room 254). Topics include machine learning 101 (James K. Min, MD, FACC), big data (Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, @califf001), and deep learning for precision phenotyping in imaging (Rima Arnaout, MD). There will also be modality-specific sessions on machine learning in nuclear cardiology (Piotr Slomka, PhD, FACC), MR and CT (Albert Hsiao, MD), and echocardiography (Partho P. Sengupta, MD, FACC, @ppsengupta1).

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Douglas (@pamelasdouglas) tells us, "We all know that big data and artificial intelligence are coming to medicine and will have a major impact. These dramatic changes will be felt first in imaging – and may be greatest there – affecting how we acquire images and interpret them. This is a fast-moving field – stay tuned!"

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On the afternoon of March 16, Madhav Swaminathan, MD, and Vera H. Rigolin, MD, FACC (@RigolinVera), will co-chair a session on cutting-edge echocardiography (Session #632, March 16 at 2 – 3:30 p.m. CT, room 244).  Topics include artificial intelligence (Neil J. Weissman, MD, FACC, @NWeissmanMD), automated 3D assessment of valvular heart disease (Zainab Samad, MD, FACC, @ZainabASamad), strain (Juan C. Plana, MD, FACC), niche applications for contrast (Sharon L. Mulvagh, MD, FACC, @HeartDocSharon), and point-of-care ultrasound (Samreen Raza, MD, FACC, @SamRRazaMD).

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Swaminathan (@mswami001) tells us, "From current technology that advances imaging to diverse populations to newer techniques that improve our ability to visualize and characterize cardiovascular disease, this session explores a range of topics focused on advancing echo imaging."

Happening concurrently, Andrew J. Powell, MD, FACC, and Shubhika Srivastava, MBBS, FACC, will chair the session on the imaging innovation hub for congenital heart disease (Session 627, March 16 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. CT, room 338). Topics will include artificial intelligence in imaging (Partho P. Sengupta, MD, FACC), 3D heart models (Matthew Bramlet, MD), ultrafast ultrasound (Jens-Uwe Voigt, MD), FFR-CT in congenital heart disease (Brian B. Ghoshhajra, MD, @ghoshhajra), and MRI-guided catheterization (Kanishka Ratnayaka, MD, FACC).

End the day by receiving up-to-date information on advances in nuclear cardiology (Session #648, March 16 from 4:45 – 6 p.m., room 254) – chaired by Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, MD, FACC, and Vasken Dilsizian, MD, FACC. The session will cover what is new SPECT and PET in ischemic heart disease (Edward Miller, MD), coronary flow reserve (Timothy M. Bateman, MD, FACC), cardiac PET in cardiomyopathies (Ron Blankstein, MD, FACC, @RonBlankstein), cardiac PET in device infections and endocarditis (Dilsizian), and novel tracers and imaging targets (Al-Mallah).

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Al-Mallah (@almallahmo) tells us, "This session will cover recent advances of nuclear cardiology and include a discussion about the role of PET in current cardiology practice. In addition, we will have a detailed discussion about emerging radio tracers including flupirdaz. If you are a practicing nuclear cardiologist in 2019, you do not want to miss this session!"

Alternatively, plan to attend the ACC Imaging Section Meeting and Reception on Saturday, March 16 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. CT in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Grand Ballroom A. The session will be moderated by ACC Imaging Section Chair Todd C. Villines, MD, FACC, and Immediate Past-Chair Victor A. Ferrari, MD, FACC. Villines will share section updates, leadership and current projects. Chair-Elect Marcelo F. Di Carli, MD, FACC (@mdicarli), will present "Current and Future State of Cardiac Imaging: A Focus on Training the Next Generation of Imagers" followed by a panel discussion of FIT, Early Career Professional and imaging leaders regarding training, job opportunities, research challenges, publishing, social media and more!

Sunday, March 17

The joint ACC/New England Journal of Medicine Late-Breaking Clinical Trials session begins on the morning of Sunday, March 17, from 8 – 9:15 a.m. CT in the Main Tent, and includes several intriguing Late-Breaking Clinical Trials that highlight cardiac imaging.

Federico Asch, MD (@FedericoAsch), will present data from COAPT – Mitral Regurgitation After MitraClip Implantation in Patients with Heart Failure and Secondary Mitral Regurgitation: Echocardiographic Outcomes from the COAPT Trial.

Also of interest to structural imagers, Martin B. Leon, MD, FACC, will present Transcatheter or Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement in Low-Risk Patients: Results of the PARTNER 3 Trial.

Later in the morning, Susmita Parashar, MD, and Marielle Scherrer-Crosbie, MD, PhD, FACC, will co-chair a session on Conundrums in Cardio-Oncology: Imaging and Beyond (Session #677, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT, room 244). The session covers cardiac toxicity (Ana Barac, MD, PhD, FACC, @AnaBaracCardio), cardiac dysfunction (Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan, MD), strain imaging (Juan Carlos Plana, MD, FACC), normal EF, decreased strain in the context of anti-cancer therapy (Nauseeh Akhter, MD, FACC), and imaging during breast cancer treatment (Juan C. Lopez-Mattei, MD, FACC, @onco_cardiology).

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In the afternoon of March 17, join the debates in CMR-Guided Care (SCMR/ACC Joint Session, Session #703, March 17 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. CT, room 254). Chaired by Amit R. Patel, MD, FACC, and Michael Salerno, MD, FACC, topics will include EF vs. scar to guide MRI implantation (David J. Wilber, MD, FACC, and James T. White, MD, FACC), echo vs. MRI to guide timing of MVR in mitral regurgitation (Roberto M. Lang, MD, FACC, @robertomlang and Seth Uretsky, MD, FACC, @seth_uretsky), and CMR ischemia/viability vs. CT-FFR (Christopher M. Kramer, MD, FACC, @ChrisKramerMD, and James K. Min, MD, FACC).

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To preview this session, Patel tells us, "The goal of this session is to debate the potentially disruptive role of CMR in three clinical scenarios that have well established clinical pathways. We envision a lively exchange of ideas that will not only entertain the audience but also illustrate the disruption of ideas that is occurring in the field of cardiac imaging."

Happening concurrently in the Featured Clinical Research III Session (Session #413, La Nouvelle C, 2 – 3:30 p.m. CT), Kim A. Eagle, MD, MACC (@keaglemd), will be presenting data from the IRAD Registry with a presentation on Acute Aortic Dissection: Lessons Learned From 9,000 Patients.

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End the day by catching up on Cutting Edge Cardiac CT (Session #720, March 17 at 4:45 – 6 p.m. CT, room 238), chaired by Ron Blankstein, MD, FACC (@ronblankstein), and Leslee J. Shaw, PhD, FACC. The session covers coronary artery calcium (Khurram Nasir, MBBS, FACC, @khurramn1), updates in hardware and software (Ghoshhajra), FFR-CT and myocardial blood flow (Koen Nieman, MD), acute chest pain (Udo Hoffmann, MD, MPH), stable chest pain (Blankstein), structural heart disease (Jonathon Leipsic, MD, @jonathonleipsic), and the future of cardiac CT (Stephan Achenbach, MD, FACC, @Steph_Achenbach).

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Shaw (@lesleejshaw) tells us, "This session highlights all the strengths of our field and brings together the best and the brightest speakers on an array of subjects from calcium scoring to structural heart disease. Over the past decade, the evidence with cardiac CT has grown substantially and we are seeing a rapid evolution and acceptance of all that our modality has to offer for clinical cardiologists and cardiac imagers."

Monday, March 18

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Start your week off right on Monday morning in the joint ASNC/ACC session on New and Emerging Applications of Nuclear Imaging (Session #727, March 18 at 8 – 9:30 a.m. CT, room 244) with chairs Rob S.B. Beanlands, MD, FACC, and Mary Norine Walsh, MD, MACC, (@MinnowWalsh). Topics include amyloid (Prem Soman, MD, PhD, FACC), sarcoid (Sharmila Dorbala, MBBS, FACC, @DorbalaSharmila), flow measurements (Beanlands), and low-dose MPI (Brian G. Abbott, MD, FACC).

Later Monday morning, engage in debates on left atrial appendage closure (Session #741, March 18 from 10:45 – 12:15 a.m. CT, room 208) with session chairs Linda D. Gillam, MD, FACC (@LindaGillamMD), and Aaron v. Kaplan, MD, FACC. Don't miss the debate: Cardiac CT (Dee Dee Wang, MD, FACC, @DeeDeeWangMD) vs. TEE (Michael L. Main, MD, FACC) for pre-procedure assessment. The session also highlights evaluation of device complications, including inadequate closure (Gillam), thrombus (Lissa Sugeng, MD, FACC), and high-risk anatomy (Victor G. Davila-Roman, MD).

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What will make our list of the best talks, sessions and social media? Cap off your ACC.19 sessions by joining us for the ACC Imaging Highlights Session (Session #254, March 18, 2 – 3:30 p.m., room 254). We (Andrew D. Choi, MD, FACC; Purvi Parwani, MBBS; and Jeffrey B. Geske, MD, FACC) will recap #ACCImaging social media from ACC.19 and throughout the year. While so much content is presented, selecting the highlights is no small task. There will be a recap of meeting highlights across echocardiography (Bo Xu, MBBS, FACC, and Allan Klein, MD, CM, FACC), nuclear cardiology (Viviany R. Taqueti, MD, MPH, FACC, @VTaqMD), cardiac MRI (Paco E. Bravo, MD, and Vic A. Ferrari, MD, FACC), and cardiac CT (Villines and James C. Lee, MD, FACC, @JamesChiLee).

Social Media, #ACCImaging and #ACC19
"How can I get more involved at ACC.19?" We encourage ACC Imaging Section members to engage and discuss science and education throughout ACC.19 on Twitter. Don't have an account? There is no better time to get one.

Some recommendations on getting started: 

  • Use the #ACCImaging and #ACC19 hashtags for every post!
  • Post with an interesting educational point for the broader audience.
  • Be respectful and civil (imagine you are "at the microphone").
  • Remember that all posts are in a public forum.
  • Follow the conversation by clicking through the #ACCImaging hashtag or following #ACCImaging influencers through social media.
  • Click here for information on starting an account.

Getting More Involved With the ACC Imaging Section
Make sure you are an ACC Imaging Section member! Call ACC Member Care at (800) 253-4636, ext. 5603, or e-mail At the time of your regular ACC dues renewal, you can also "opt-in" to join the ACC Imaging Section.

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This article was authored by Andrew D. Choi, MD, FACC, (@AChoiHeart) co-director of Cardiac CT and MRI and assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC; Purvi Parwani, MBBS, (@PurviParwani) assistant professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA; and Jeffrey B. Geske, MD, FACC, (@JeffreyGeske) associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.