The Silver Anniversary 25th ASE Annual Scientific Sessions took place from June 20–24, 2014 in beautiful Portland, OR. The Pediatric and Congenital Track was packed with a wide variety of opportunities to learn from experts, network with colleagues, and discuss cutting edge science.
The Echocardiographic, Pathologic, and Surgical Correlations in Congenital Heart Disease sessions kicked off the first day, anchored by echocardiographer and pathologist Dr. Stephen Sanders. An appreciative audience filled the hall to hear excellent discussions of truncus arteriosus, coarctation/interrupted aortic arch, and AV canal defects. Sessions on hypertrophy cardiomyopathy, adult congenital heart disease, and fetal cardiology correlated imaging findings with prognosis and management. Valuable learning tips for novice and experienced echocardiographers alike were presented in several sessions. The new case-based abstract session proved well worth the early 7 A.M. hour by providing an opportunity to showcase and learn from presentations such as a native inverted pulmonary valve, aorta to RV tunnel, and LPA slings. Teams from across the country showcased their best TEE cases which altered management, and “how to” sessions offered practical advice ranging from imaging coronaries in Kawasaki disease to patients on VADs and vascular imaging in pediatrics.
Extreme echo included a session on novel technologies such as vortex and shear wave imaging and potential uses of micro bubble therapy. In a joint ASE/EACVI Session on Advanced LV Mechanics, we gained an understanding of cardiac kinematics, factors influencing systolic performance, and echo measurements of contractility. We then turned to Advancing Excellence in Pediatric Echocardiography , with a session addressing critical topics such as improving reproducibility of echo measurements, the introduction of appropriate use criteria for pediatric echo, training the next generation of imagers, and considering universal issues in echo lab staffing with the review of the pediatric echo lab directors’ survey.
On the lighter side, Pediatric Echo Jeopardy and the Controversies in Pediatric Echocardiography ignited debate among the competitors and attendees.
This year continued the tradition of the ASE being a forum for presentation of high quality science for our field, with more than 55 pediatric and congenital abstracts being incorporated into the program. The Young Investigator’s Award Competition recognized this with selection of the pediatric abstract on speckle tracking assessment of RV function as a correlate to exercise performance after percutaneous pulmonary valve placement as one of four finalists.
The pediatric and congenital community was thrilled to recognize and celebrate the achievements of three outstanding pediatric echocardiographers at ASE this year. Dr. Luc Mertens was named the 15th Annual Feigenbaum Lecturer in recognition of his research contributions. Dr. Mertens captivated his audience with his lecture of We are our History: Cardiac Adaptions to Childhood Disease and Implications for Adult Life and then received his award personally from Dr. Feigenbaum. This year’s Fireside Chat featured Dr. Lisa Hornberger interviewing the legendary Dr. David Sahn. We were enthralled by glimpses into the history of so many firsts in the world of pediatric echo, with the importance of the mentor-mentee relationship a recurring theme of the chat. Finally, Dr. Tal Geva was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Teaching in Pediatrics Award for his exceptional commitment and skill as a teacher, mentor, and role model.
With the success of ASE 2014, development of the congenital and pediatric track for the 2015 Scientific Sessions is even now well underway. We are working hard to make this another superb opportunity to share your research, network, and partake of a wide variety of educational offerings with national and international experts in fetal, pediatric, and adult congenital echocardiography. Mark your calendars now to attend June 13-16, 2015, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.