The 19th Atrial Fibrillation Symposium in Madrid was a showcase of the latest developments, research and clinical thinking in the field of Electrophysiology. Each year this symposium plays host to cutting edge thinking and practice from the field, with this years’ presentation of the state of the art in electrophysiology drawing over 700 clinicians from 54 countries, attending thirty separate presentations and seven immersive panel discussions with leaders from across the field.
A well-established fixture in the cardiology calendar, the AF symposium (now in its 19th year) was hosted in the beautiful European city of Madrid from 12 – 14 February. Under the microscope this year were academic and practical questions ranging from the prevention of the progression from paroxysmal to persistent AF, to questioning the key metric for AFib, through to the identification and targeting of the drivers of acute arrhythmia. The “Lesions” sessions on Friday morning of the symposium have become a favorite fixture in recent years and #AF2020 certainly did not disappoint, with Dr. Nakagawa reporting on the variations in lesion geometry.
Also open for examination was the research finding that a great many catheter ablation studies seem to indicate a favorable outcome for patients with paroxysmal AFib, with Prof Kuck presenting his findings from the prospective and randomized ATTEST study. There is no doubt that the academic bar was set high and a collegial tug-of-war over the tough contemporary questions of electrophysiology was plainly under way, AFib2020 truly set the scene for a totally immersive educational environment and a top-drawer learning experience; made possible with educational support by the Johnson & Johnson Institute and Biosense Webster.
The final practical session addressed some of the emergent questions in the electrophysiological community as some practices seem to be drifting towards the use of higher power, shorter duration RF delivery with conventional catheters. From this session it seems that there remains wide variability on the subject within this community, especially regarding the use of higher power RF delivery parameters. It is also worth noting that the community continues to explore alternative non-thermal energy modalities as well, such as pulsed frequency ablation, for obtaining reproducible lesions which produce permanent scarring only at the intended site.
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