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David P Nelson, MD
HFTM Council Communications Liaison

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HFTM Council website

david nelsonLet's dive right in to the exciting season highlights and great plays made by members of your top-ranked HFTM Council.


Meeting highlights, kindly provided on a very short notice by Dr David Feldman, are below.

  1. Wednesday AMR session hosted by Drs Kobashigawa and Glanville was an excellent mini-symposium which was interactive and informative.
  2. The session Wednesday morning led by Drs Frigerio and Shah featured a session that included Drs. Taylor, Hunt, Starling and McManus discussing future practical and molecular approaches to assess our patients for rejection.
  3. A session chaired by Drs. Smedira and Moazami on cardiogenic shock before and after heart transplantation covered mechanical support ideas utilizing ECMO and the total artificial heart to bridge our patients to transplant or recovery from acute rejection.
  4. Later that morning there was an excellent translational science session on complement, plasma cells and B-cell immunity hosted by Drs Mohanakumar and Berry which included case presentations along with basic science explanations.
  5. The poster sessions were well attended Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.
  6. Thursday morning had an excellent session on transition from mechanical support to transplant and thereafter long-term management. This session was chaired by Drs. Uber and Zuckermann and also included a panel discussion of various aspects of patient care. In a parallel session, Drs. Johnson and Vega hosted a thoughtful discussion on complications and risk factors in cardiac transplantation.
  7. An important ID-focused session on both heart and lung transplant was hosted by Drs Hannan and Verschuuren.
  8. The results of the CARGO 2 Allomap trial were presented.
  9. An excellent "Part II" basic science session hosted by Drs West and Lemstrom highlighted the importance of MHC induced autoimmunity and Non-HLA microarray analysis.
  10. The mini-oral session on Thursday afternoon by Drs Starling and Gandy was thoughtful and provocative.
  11. As a follow-up to Wednesday there was an additional "experts" session hosted by Dr Mehra on "difficult cases".
  12. Late Thursday for those die-hard attendees there was an excellent basic science session hosted by Drs Goldberg and Epailly on "back to the basics".
  13. On Friday morning Drs. Mancini and Mirabet hosted a session on the follow-up of some of our most recent large clinical trials and their application in clinical practice.
  14. Drs Rajagopalan and Eisen hosted a session about "the latest" in immunosuppression.
  15. praguePart II of "bad bugs" was hosted by Drs Martin and Kusne. This session helped shed new light on commonly seen infectious problems.
  16. A plenary session by Drs Kirklin and Corris later that afternoon was provocative and frankly entertaining.
  17. Closing out the meeting on Saturday morning was a session that included an award ceremony and the integration of the new information technology and remote monitoring available to better care for our patients.

Since I wasn't able to attend the meeting this year, I would like to include the most important take-home messages that you experienced at the Prague meeting (important abstracts, sessions, ideas, best place to grab a beer...), for inclusion in the next Links issue. Please feel free to email me your best highlights!


Conduct of our Council's annual business in Prague was limited by attendance and, as a consequence, a Council Chair-elect was not selected. Instead, two candidates were identified whose names will be forwarded to the membership for an electronic vote in the near future.


Do you have any newsworthy reports or information related to our Council members, heart failure or heart transplantation? Please feel free to send them to me for inclusion in the monthly Links issues. Importantly, do not forget that the December Links will be HFTM Council focused, so ideas for that issue would be particularly valued and appreciated.

Our Chair, Dr D Brad Dyke, reports that there is a misperception that a PDF version of the Links is unavailable. PDF versions of the Links are available on the ISHLT website; there is a brief time lag between an issue's online publication and its PDF postings.


Dr Shelley Hall joined with fellow HFTM Council member, Dr David Nelson, UNOS Region 4 Councilor, in initiating a Regional Thoracic "pre-meeting" immediately preceding the May Region 4 meeting. Thoracic committee proposals were discussed and HLA lab attendees facilitated a discussion of Dr. Afzal Nikaein et al's recent publication in the Journal about VAD-associated antibodies (Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2012; 31:443). Region 4 is the first region to join Region 5 in conducting Regional Thoracic meetings in conjunction with their full Regional Meeting.

HFTM Council and ISHLT board member, Dr Joe Rogers, has been named as the new Vice-Chair of the UNOS Thoracic Committee.


The HFTM Council has worked this year with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Donor Management Task Force (DMTF) to develop metrics for investigators designing donor management studies to use as outcome measures to assess short and long-term cardiac effects of investigational donor interventions. The DMTF was impressed with the Council's progress on this project at its April Chicago meeting. After the Council Workgroup's final product is approved by the Council's Chair and ISHLT board, the DMTF will review and forward it to the UNOS Thoracic Committee for vetting. The Council's DMTF Workgroup members are Drs Hannah Valantine, David Baran, Kiran Khush, Jeff Hosenpud, Richard Daly and Ram Kalya. I am the DMTF liaison and co-chair of one of the three DMTF committees. Kiran Khush is the Council's other DMTF member and has played a particularly active role in metric development.


Dr. Yuk Law, of the Pediatric Scientific Council, reports the formation of a Pediatric Heart Failure Workforce within the Pediatric Scientific Council to provide an organizational platform to develop initiatives supporting pediatric cardiologists. Because of the prominent role pediatric cardiologists can play in donor management, a joint effort between this new work force and the HRSA Donor Management Task Force is being explored.


ISHLT headquarters is in Texas and I am in Oklahoma, so we in Region 4 would like to extend our sympathy to all of you whose NBA seasons are over. GO OKLAHOMA THUNDER!

And that's a wrap!

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.