Focused Education, New Science Highlighted at ACC’s Latin America Conference

ACC's Latin America Conference 2017 kicked off in Mexico City this week with record attendance from more than 700 participants across the region.

Preconference activities on Thursday, June 22 included the ACC In-Training Exam, as well as a two-hour session focused on the "The Power of Data" in patient care, teaching and research. "The Power of Data session provided a unique opportunity for early career cardiologists, regardless of their interests in conducting research," said Frederick A. Masoudi, MD, FACC, chair of ACC's NCDR Management Board. "Participants learned how to get the tools to interpret data, ranging from the data they have to interpret as clinicians in caring for patients to those that are collected for the purposes of advancing science."

The Latin America Conference, chaired by Erick Alexanderson, MD, FACC, chair of the Assembly of International Governors, and Hector I. Michelena, MD, FACC, is designed to provide targeted, regionalized learning to participants. Attendees have the chance to hear from leaders across Latin America on topics ranging from solutions to everyday problems, to the best ways to apply clinical guidelines in areas like syncope, heart failure (HF) and hypertension at the point of care, to how to manage acute coronary syndromes. Plenary sessions featuring keynote speakers like Spencer B. King III, MD, MACC; Jagat Narula, DM, MD, PhD, MACC; Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC; and ACC Vice President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, addressed issues surrounding women and cardiovascular disease, unanswered questions in coronary artery disease, and the importance of leadership. Participants could also test their knowledge in a special "Skills Center" featuring Hearts Songs, ECG Drill & Practice and simulation exercises.

In addition to educational sessions, new science was also presented. Among the highlighted poster abstracts: 

  • Research suggesting that previous exposure to Dengue may enhance the Zika virus infection and may increase the risk of developing HF. Researchers suggest that increased awareness of cardiac complications with Zika are needed.
  • A study finding that supplementation of L-arginine during acute infection in patients with Chagas disease improved repolarization disturbances and axis deviation. "L-arginine could be useful in adjuvant therapy for Chagasic patients," according to the study author.
  • A study looking to determine the frequency of T cells, B cells, NK cells and mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells in the blood of STEMI patients, found no differences at 24 hours and 30 days after PCI in MAIT and T cell patients. Researchers noted the role of MAIT cells in AMI could "surely be a new line of research, where we can change the natural history of AMI with new therapeutic targets at the immunological level."
  • Research showing that the burden of chronic HF (CHF) on informal caregivers across Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico is high, with emotional, mental, physical and financial impacts. Of note, caregivers reported spending an average of 43.4 hours a week caring for a CHF patient and 46 percent of caregivers reported an impact on their own health.
  • A study evaluating mortality risk using the Barcelona Bio-HF calculator in patients with CHF found a statistically significant relation between the risk model with NT-proBNP and mortality, suggesting the need for better clinical management of CHF patients in Latin America.
  • Research showing that cardiac autonomic dysfunction was an independent predictor of inappropriate left ventricular mass in patients with chronic essential hypertension undergoing medical treatment. "This study highlights the importance of [heart rate recovery] as a predictor of mortality in patients with chronic hypertension and opens up different targets to modulate autonomic function to reduce cardiovascular outcomes," researchers said.
  • Data suggesting that use of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) scoring is valid in AMI patients. Additionally, researchers note, a cut-off value of 2 is useful in predicting who will benefit from prolonged DAPT.
  • A study showing that establishment of a PCI program for STEMI in the Dominican Republic is feasible and comparable with international standards – research that could be used to justify a national STEMI system of care in the country.
  • Research showing the use of three-dimensional echocardiography left ventricular ejection fraction (3DE LVEF), compared with two-dimensional echocardiography, has the potential to change the decision to implant ICDs in "a sizeable number" of patients. Further, 3DE LVEF was identified as an independent risk factor for appropriate ICD therapy, note study authors.
  • Research showing real-world patient characteristics and treatment patterns in CHF patients from across Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico that could help with treatment and preventing hospitalizations.

Learn more about ACC's Latin America Conference.

Clinical Topics: Acute Coronary Syndromes, Anticoagulation Management, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Noninvasive Imaging, Prevention, Atherosclerotic Disease (CAD/PAD), ACS and Cardiac Biomarkers, Anticoagulation Management and ACS, Acute Heart Failure, Heart Failure and Cardiac Biomarkers, Echocardiography/Ultrasound, Hypertension

Keywords: Acute Coronary Syndrome, Argentina, Arginine, B-Lymphocytes, Brazil, Caregivers, Chagas Disease, Colombia, Coronary Artery Disease, Dengue, Dominican Republic, Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional, Electrocardiography, Female, Heart Failure, Heart Rate, Hospitalization, Hypertension, Killer Cells, Natural, Latin America, Mexico, Natriuretic Peptide, Brain, Patient Care, Peptide Fragments, Point-of-Care Systems, Stroke Volume, Syncope

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