Number 3: Because too often we ignore the “vascular” in the cardioVASCULAR health of our patients. The majority of ASE programming focuses on ultrasound imaging of the heart, however, our philosophy at the Council on Vascular Ultrasound is that cardiovascular imaging must be considered in the broader context—by incorporating the critical vessels that supply and originate from the heart. Vascular imaging offers a unique window onto structures that communicate with the heart and are affected by its function. Vessels are the critical bridge between understanding the heart and truly understanding its disease environment. Accordingly, the Vascular Tract this year has developed a special symposia focussed on vascular disease for the cardiologist (Monday June 13, 7–7:50 am). Specifically, these sessions will help you understand the critical importance of:
AAA screening: Are you really doing it enough?
The challenge of Claudication: What can you do about this tricky disease?
And the abnormal carotid duplex report: Pay attention to it!
Number 2: Because understanding vascular imaging is an opportunity to challenge yourself. Your traditional echo training ended at the arch—an arbitrary cut-point of convenience. Why not explore new and vital territory? It is important to remember that the Vascular Tract is designed with both experts and new users in mind—you don’t need to be vascular trained, and you don’t need to be doing vascular imaging in your lab currently to attend the Vascular Sessions. In line with ASE’s broader strategic goal of promoting cardioVASCULAR ultrasound for all users, use the Vascular Tract as a springboard for learning about vessel ultrasound and how such imaging may support your practice. Think about how vascular training may be incorporated into your practice in the future, or how you may better communicate with vascular specialists when caring for your patients. To help you achieve these goals, we are now offering 2 practical, hands on workshops. The first workshop will explain how to conduct and interpret a carotid duplex scan (Friday June 10, 1:45–2:45 pm). The second workshop is new for 2016 and will examine the burgeoning area of carotid intima media thickness and carotid artery plaque assessment. This workshop will occur later the same day (Friday June 10, 3:30–5 pm).
Number 1: Because vascular imaging technology is evolving fast! In recent years interest in vascular imaging has skyrocketed given the increased recognition of the co-prevalence of vascular disease in cardiac patients but also the recognition of vascular disease as a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, and cardiac death. A new philosophy of treating and preventing cardiovascular risk earlier is emerging and vascular imaging is at the forefront of this discussion because of its ability to detect subclinical disease safely, portably, and at less cost compared with other imaging modalities. At this year’s Scientific Sessions, the Council on Vascular Ultrasound is contributing to the Subclinical Disease symposia by presenting a special session on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Detection (June 12, 10:15–10:30 am). Learn about how vascular imaging detects a vulnerable plaque, can quantify plaque in 3 dimensions, detect abnormal strain, and how point-of-care vascular imaging has the potential to transform the assessment of atherosclerosis ( Figure 1 ).