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In this issue, we are on the road again to Nice. Before we look ahead, let's look back to the future at the start of our original journey to Nice from the June 2014 issue of the links.

For today in Volume 9, Issue 2, we have brilliantly thought out summaries and recapitulations to close the ISHLT 2017 from Saima Aslam, Adam Cochrane, Evan Kransdorf, Marco Masetti, Juan Alberto Cosquillo Mejía, Michael Pham, Keyur Shah, Erin Wells and simply a few words by yours truly. As we look ahead, our focus will turn to the important developments in science and the renaissance of the English language out of France. We welcome anyone's desire to pen such achievements or any other important notables, which have contributed to what has made France it is today: art, wine, cheese and culinary cabarets come to mind.

It is hoped that we will learn more about France and what we do for the ISHLT as we enlighten ourselves for our patients with another path to ISHLT 2018 in Nice.

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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Recapitulation of the Opening Plenary Session: San Diego 2017

Vincent Valentine, MD

The Opening Plenary Session of the 37th Annual Meeting and Scientific Session in San Diego began with Jeff Teuteberg's Program Chair's Report. The number of abstracts submitted in 2006 to 2017 has doubled from just under 800 to 1,633, with nearly 85% accepted this year. The ISHLT continues to have global representation with members from 38 different countries, growth from Asia and South America, and a truly international balance of the Program Committee. The major theme in Teuteberg's report was the clustering of ideas, which generated thematic talks and poster presentations. Josef Stehlik followed with the Registry Report - the main theme was 200,000. A donation, an award or the number of patients who have undergone cardiothoracic replacement. From the Thoracic Transplant Registry, the focus was allograft ischemic time. In Pediatric Lung Transplantation, although there has been an incremental rise in allograft ischemic time to 6+ hours approaching 50% of transplants, no correlation of treated rejection or BOS with ischemic time was observed. However, there was a difference in survival with a separation beginning in the first three postoperative months. Read more →


Heart Failure and Transplantation Council Year in Review and Glance Ahead

Michael Pham, MD
Heart Failure & Transplantation Council Chair

links imageOver the past years, the HFTX Council has been fortunate enough to have benefited from the strong and growing engagement of its members. While the Operating Board is growing and diversifying, international members and surgeons are still under-represented in the Council leadership. Last year, we were thrilled to welcome Hannah Copeland as our Standards and Guidelines Workforce Leader and Alejandro Bertolotti this past April as the I2C2 Workforce Leader. Our Vice-Chair, Jig Patel, hasn't ceased to impress with his wisdom and ability to distill complex information down to a few concise sentences and is probably cringing right now reading this wordy article. Our ever-so-enthusiastic Board Liaison, Howie Eisen, has been our strongest advocate and balances my seriousness with his sense of humor. Currently, we are discussing ways to keep members informed and involved in between the face-to-face Council meetings. This may involve a virtual town hall meeting each October, in which we spend half the time updating our members on the status of Council-initiated projects and the other half soliciting feedback and engaging in discussion. Read more →

ISHLT Meeting in San Diego: A History of Science, Networking and Sun!

Marco Masetti, MD, PhD

links imageAs usual, last ISHLT Meeting was full of new information and interesting sessions to be listened and actively participated, despite the interest for the sessions acutely conflicted with the pleasant weather of San Diego, and the sound of the ocean's waves clashed with the sound of science. One novelty of this Meeting as compared with previous years was that Symposia were distributed among different days, thus potentially allowing an increased participation. The great enthusiasm about mechanical circulatory support devices is growing, with the new device Heartmate III achieving interest in the overall scenario of MCS, given its particularly favorable profile regarding pump thrombosis. Dr Schmitto presented the results at 2-years of the CE Mark Trial, that confirmed high survival rates (74%), and no events of hemolysis, pump thrombosis or pump malfunction (identified by the new concept of hemocompatibility) with a rate of other adverse events per patient year comparable to the other devices actually available. Other interesting results were shown by the analysis of the ENDURANCE destination therapy trial, showing a comparable 2-year survival of patients in INTERMACS 1-2 vs 3-4 classes, but with patients in class 4 experiencing a higher rate of arrhythmias and bleeding. Read more →

The Wonderful World of ID

Saima Aslam, MD, MS

links imageThis was a fantastic year for ID! We started the meeting with the pre-meeting ISHLT Academy: Core Competencies in Infectious Diseases in Thoracic Organ Transplantation and MCS, which was very well put together by Martha Mooney and Shahid Husain. The Academy ran an entire gamut of lectures from surgical complications, fungal and viral infections, to prevention and management of MCS infections. Its excellent attendance bodes well for future ID Academies (fingers crossed...). We started the actual meeting on Wednesday, with a joint ISHLT/ECSMID Symposium on "Ongoing Challenges in Transplant Infectious Diseases." This symposium had excellent speakers with Barb Alexander discussing non-cultural methods for diagnosis of invasive fungal infections, Benoit Guery discussing the role of inhaled antimicrobials and Nicolas Mueller discussing infection in patients on ECMO. Shirish Huprikar shared his experience of thoracic organ transplantation and MCS in HIV patients, and lastly, we heard about EBV and Anellovirus viremia as markers of risk of infection in LTRs by Jose Aguado. Read more →

From the Desk of the JFTC Chair and Vice Chair

Keyur Shah, MD
Junior Faculty & Trainee Council Chair

Evan Kransdorf, MD, PhD
Junior Faculty & Trainee Council Vice Chair

The year can be defined in several different ways depending on the markers that are used, such as the "calendar" year (January to December), the "academic" year (July to June) and the "fiscal" year (October to September). But as members of the Junior Faculty and Trainee Council, we live according to the ISHLT year - May of one year to April of the next. This May 2016 to April 2017 was a very successful one, and we will highlight these accomplishments here. The ISHLT year opened with a frenzy of symposium development for next year's ISHLT. Under the superb leadership of Martin Schweiger, the Education Workforce Leader, 62 proposals were submitted with JFTC support of which 28 (42%) were accepted. As the year progressed, several JFTC projects took shape. Colleen Mcllvennan in the newly created position of Nursing, Health Science and Allied Health Council Liaison, worked to connect with the leadership of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN). Together, they developed a joint sponsored symposium for the 2018 AAHFN meeting. Read more →

Back to the Future

Erin Wells, RN, CCTC, CPN

links imageThe Nursing, Health Science and Allied Health Council had another exciting year. Lead by Chair Kevin Carney and Vice Chair Pam Combs, the Council had multiple project accomplishments this past year. The Council revamped the mission statement to more clearly define its multidisciplinary membership and continue focus on collaboration. In addition to a refreshed mission statement, the Council provided mentorship and consultation around the annual meeting proposals, reviewed and revised objectives and membership of the workforces to increase participation and cross Council collaboration. Additionally, the Council created new liaison positions to enhance communication with other councils, actively participated in the Links newsletter with nine article submissions from our Council members and developed a comprehensive membership survey. The Council members were principle authors on the Practice Guideline Document for Strategies to Prevent and Manage Infections Related to Mechanical Circulatory Support. The Many Faces of e-Health and its Application in End-Stage Organ Failure and Transplantation was also created and launched. Read more →

2017 Annual Pharmacy Update: Continuing Progress and Forging Ahead

Adam Cochrane, PharmD, BCPS

links imageAs I take over as Chair of the Pharmacy and Pharmacology Council, I am happy to see where we stand from where we started, with both events (the start of the council and taking over as Chair) occurring in San Diego. The council has grown and the council's involvement within the society has grown and continues to grow. This year's Meeting in San Diego was amazing as the Pharmacy and Pharmacology Council sponsored talk on the Highs and Lows of Marijuana had over 200 people in the room, and the moderators were the only ones able to take care of their munchies during the session. We also sponsored a Lifecycle symposium covering the highs and lows of thrombosis in MCS - which really are mostly lows... Again, this year pharmacists were able to obtain CE at the meeting with a maximum of 18.5 hours available. The pharmacology CE will also count for APNs in the United States, and nurses who are renewing Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator credentials. Additionally, the pharmacy council has secured ACPE CE credit for the next 10 years. When looking around the meeting, we are seeing members of our council as moderators and speakers in other council's symposia, which is gratifying to see our council's growth and inclusion within the Society. Read more →


The Evolution of Heart Transplantation in Latin America: The ISHLT Knows No Boundaries

Juan Alberto Cosquillo Mejía, MD

links imageFive years ago under the Florida sun in the city of Tampa, physicians and the most diverse health professionals across Latin America met for the first time to talk specifically about heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory assistance. It was the first Pan American Workshop for Mechanical Circulatory Support and Heart Transplant. The event was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between Latin America and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). The meetings of this group were held at the ISHLT annual congresses: San Diego (2014), Nice (2015), Washington (2016), and finally in April 2017 again in San Diego. This last meeting in San Diego was very rich. In addition, relevant facts have shown the progress in the different Latin American countries. From Colombia and Chile, we have received the good news of the recently won changes in the organ and tissue donation laws, which have become mandatory. The move will surely bring more organ donations to transplants and help reduce the long waiting list. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"Here we go again we're on the road again we're on the road again we're on the way to paradise..."
— Celtic Symphony - Brian Warfield

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Disclaimer: Any opinion, conclusion or recommendation published by the Links is the sole expression of the writer(s) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ISHLT.