The Heritable Thoracic Aortic Diseases Spring Meeting recently took place in vibrant Barcelona on May 12, gathering leading experts and patient advocates in a dynamic exchange of knowledge and insights. The meeting showcased an array of insightful presentations and updates, offering a comprehensive overview of the latest advancements and research in the field.
The meeting kicked off with a welcome from Prof. Julie De Backer (Chair HTAD-WG) and set the tone for a stimulating session on Personalized External Aortic Root Support (PEARS) with invited guests Prof. Filip Rega and Dr. David R. Koolbergen. Prof. Rega shed light on the development and concept of PEARS, while Prof. Maarten Groenink and Dr. Kalman Benke discussed its indications in relation to Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement (VSARR). Dr. Koolbergen provided invaluable insights from the Dutch experience with PEARS, offering a unique perspective on this surgical procedure. In addition, Prof. Rega delved into the fascinating correlation between PEARS and other treatment approaches, providing a comprehensive understanding of this procedure.
Throughout the day, participants were treated to a diverse range of presentations and updates from members of the group. The morning session included Council updates from Julie Hallac (VASCERN Project Manager). It was followed by a presentation on the compendium project presented by Dr. Meike Rybczynski. She provided participants with updates and challenges being faced with this project.
Dr. Laura Muiño Mosquera shared updates from the HTAD-WG pediatric subgroup, underscoring the importance of tailoring treatment strategies for young patients. Another session was dedicated to discussing education resources to enhance knowledge and care of patients. Carmen Quiróz Paz (ePAG Co-Chair HTAD-WG) provided a comprehensive ePAG update, shedding light on recent accomplishments and ongoing initiatives.
After a well-deserved lunch break, the meeting resumed with exciting updates. Elena de Moya Rubio and Dr. Rybczynski presented the Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROM) project, emphasizing the importance of patients in driving meaningful outcomes. Insights from the Treatment Uniformity Study and the transformative role of MRI in advancing diagnosis and care were presented by Prof. Groenink.
Prof. Bart Loeys gave an insightful update from the HTAD Gene/Variant group. The HTAD registries were discussed with updates from Prof. Guillaume Jondeau (Deputy Co-Chair HTAD-WG). Julie Hallac concluded the scientific updates with a comprehensive overview of VASCERN’s ongoing projects, emphasizing the collective commitment to advancing patient care and research in the field.
The meeting also encompassed forward-thinking discussions and visionary initiatives. Gloria Somalo presented the highly anticipated Summer School 2024, which will provide an invaluable opportunity for participants to engage in an immersive educational experience. The day culminated in a lively brainstorming session, where participants had the opportunity to contribute their ideas. Prof. Julie De Backer made a proposal for a pregnancy subgroup in HTAD highlighting the importance of this topic for people living with Heritable Thoracic Aortic Diseases.
The Heritable Thoracic Aortic Diseases Spring Meeting in Barcelona was an outstanding success, fostering collaboration, innovation and a shared commitment to improving patient care and outcomes.