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We return to the old world with a common sense of feat and appreciation from the success of our 37th Annual Meeting. For those unable to attend, this issue serves as a second-hand high with contributions reflecting and summarizing several of the sessions. For those able to attend, we hope you remember the ignited discussions and debates involving mechanical circulatory devices (VADS and ECMO), primary graft dysfunction, antibody-mediated rejection, interstitial lung disease, cardiopulmonary hemodynamics, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, Zika virus and Mycobacteria abscessus to name a few. San Diego was nice and mellow which resulted in a promising attendance and sets the stage for next year's meeting in Nice.

This May, we commence with cogitating and ruminating the universal contentions that were raised in Sunny San Diego. Speaking of commencements and contentions, let's talk about today's politics.

Controversies abound ranging from illegal drugs to the National Defense Authorization Act have exposed problems with global communication and foreign policies. One issue involves the militarization of human controlled weapons to the employment of artificial intelligence for great international discussion. Can you say MOAB?

It was Robert Taylor, who recently died in Woodside, CA just outside of Stanford on the edge of Silicon Valley, who is ultimately responsible for near instantaneous, mass communication. You might ask, who is Robert Taylor? Aside from causing a new sedentary lifestyle complicated by musculoskeletal, vision and stress problems, he is the unsung hero of the internet and millennial communication at your fingertips. His innovation shaped modern day computing and international networking: Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat just to name a few.

Also, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been responsible for the development of emerging technologies for the military. DARPA later devolved to ARPA and because of Taylor linked with the evolving Stanford Research Institute SRI. The spin-off company from SRI, Siri, Inc. was acquired by Apple in 2010 commencing with a modern and connected world of communication along with a U.S. President who now tweets.

Back to Nice as we look ahead, some nice people live there including Elton John, Tina Turner, Bono and Keith Richards. The Stranglers' 1980 song "Nice in Nice"...

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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Welcome to the New Age of High Tech Communication: Kudos to the Few for so Many

David Baran, MD

It is funny how quickly technological changes become an essential part of the fabric of our lives. Email has largely supplanted "snail mail," just as online manuscript processing has replaced paper submissions. We live in a world where even the future of magazines and daily newspapers is in question. The advent of the world wide web and more recently the proliferation of social media has fundamentally changed our world view. We hear about events in near real time with Twitter and Facebook Live. We "pin" our favorites and catalog our daily lives on Instagram (some of us describing every mundane aspect of our day). While social media had its roots in teenagers chatting on Myspace and later Facebook, it has expanded to encompass the medical field with professionals sharing ideas, cases and papers all at the speed of Twitter. About 2 years ago, Dr. Mandeep Mehra asked me to bring the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation into the Social age, and I set about recruiting a team to take on the daunting challenge. Read more →


Focus on the 2017 Annual Meeting - Heart Failure and Transplant Scientific Council

David Nelson, MD

links imageEditorial Comments
1. There is a growth industry in registry mining that threatens the quality of registry-based abstracts. While the number of high quality registry-based abstracts remains constant, an increasing number draw conclusions from data inherently limited for the question asked.
2. Our Council has become a thing of beauty. It is superbly organized and run, and this year's Council meeting was well attended, informative, had actively engaged membership, was productive and generated interesting and useful discussion.
3. It was noted during the Council meeting that more time needs to be allocated specifically to heart transplant training in the Academy courses. MCS volume at training programs creates experience, confidence and, therefore, interest amongst trainees. Transplant exposure is less at most programs, which is a gap that the Society can address through our council. Read more →

Looking Back (and Forward to Nice) - Transplant ID Highlights from the 37th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions

Stephanie Pouch, MD

links imageIf I thought the job of summarizing the Meeting's ID highlights was hard last year, I realized after about ten minutes that I was in for a welcome challenge this time around. Just like the Padre's home opener, ISHLT hit this one out of the park. Was it the warm and sunny San Diego weather? Perceptively larger attendance? Session topics that were so exciting you had a hard time choosing which one to attend? In my mind, it was all of the aboveā€¦and then some. While it is impossible to summarize all of the presentations and the incredible work of all of my colleagues in a few short paragraphs, one theme seemed to permeate my thoughts as I left San Diego - global challenges and opportunities. The Meeting opened with the ISHLT Academy Core Competency Course in Infectious Diseases in Thoracic Transplantation and MCS. Led by Drs. Martha Mooney and Shahid Hussain, this hugely successful course provided a foundation of the overarching principles of infectious disease concerns in cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Universally, I believe that the more we learn, the more questions we ask. Read more →

Immunological Mechanisms, Biomarkers and Prediction of Rejection with DNA Sequencing, at the ISHLT Annual Meeting

Javier Carbone, MD, PhD

links imageThis year's ISHLT annual meeting offered various symposiums, oral sessions, networking opportunities, science communication and other activities in which immunological mechanisms, biomarkers, and advances for the use of DNA sequencing to diagnose and detect heart and lung transplant rejection risks were developed. I will highlight some interesting topics that were presented.
Immunological mechanisms: Lori West showed that non-self ABH antigens (polysaccharide antigens) alone will not stimulate B-cell receptor without T-cell participation. This information suggests that antibody response to ABH structures is not T-cell independent. The potential role of CD19+CD27+IgM+ B-cells in tolerance induction of children with AB0 incompatible transplant was also suggested. Read more →

Feeling the Beat in San Diego

Jorge Silva Enciso, MD

links imageThis year's meeting was enticed by the weather, catching up with friends & colleagues and mastering the skills of transplant and VAD management. It was a remarkable meeting with newer developments in all the fields- donor allocation, pediatric transplantation, AMR and VAD technology. On the front of new device technology, device-blood interaction was the focus of a late breaking clinical trial sessions. The heartmate 3 (HM3) showed superiority over the HMII for freedom of hemocompatibility related events-bleeding, neurological events and pump thrombosis (69 % HM3 vs. 55% HMII). Improved survival at 6 months for freedom from disabling stroke or pump replacement was seen in the HM3 cohort compared to HMII. Among factors observed, younger age and adequate anticoagulation were independently associated with reduction in events. A hemocompatibility score stratified by tiers of severity of events was developed. Interestingly though, the reduction in events for the HM3 cohort was related to lower pump thrombosis and need for exchange. Read more →

Going Back to Cali

Erin Wells, RN, CCTC, CPN

links imageThe Nursing, Health Science and Allied Health Council was well represented again at this year's ISHLT Meeting in San Diego. The sessions covered patient reported outcomes, overcoming adherence and frailty, as well as psychosocial outcomes in transplant and MCS. There were also several hot topics including pregnancy in complex patients and marijuana use in transplant. The poster session included almost two dozen submissions from the NHSAH Council looking at everything from frailty, nutrition and quality of life screening, to caregiver gender burden and how psychosocial stressors affect the multidisciplinary team. San Diego had plenty to offer attendees in their spare time including harbor cruises, strolls along the water and spectacular sunsets - the margaritas and tacos weren't half bad either. Read more →

The Highs and Lows of ISHLT Annual Meeting Symposia

Derek Owen, PharmD
Kyle Dawson, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

First, let us say a genuine "thank you" to all those responsible for planning and delivering another fantastic annual meeting. It is difficult to imagine all the thought, time and effort that goes into this endeavor every year. We appreciate the opportunity to offer a few thoughts on this year's meeting from the combined perspectives of a regular attendee and new member attending for the first time.We titled this submission "The Highs and Lows of ISHLT Annual Meeting Symposia" after our favorite session of the entire meeting (and the first "high") - "Weeding Out Fact from Fiction - the Highs and Lows of Marijuana Use in Transplant." This session approached an extremely delicate and controversial aspect of transplantation with a balance of seriousness and humor that was frankly unexpected in this forum. The presenters were successful in approaching the subject with a focus on the clinical and regulatory aspects of marijuana use in transplantation, while incorporating just enough comedy to provide all in attendance with a thoroughly educational and engaging experience. Read more →

Sleepless in San Diego: Reflections on the 2017 ISHLT Sessions from the Perspective of Pulmonary Hypertension

Amresh Raina, MD, FACC

links imageLate nights and early mornings; evening poster sessions and sunrise symposia; a conference so energetic that it never seems to rest. All this on the backdrop of picturesque and perennially sunny San Diego meant that for those of us from other time zones, sleep was at a premium. If these were my initial memories of the meeting, they were also colored by thoughtful conversations with colleagues, collaborators and mentors, not just during the sessions, but over coffee or at many of the affiliated events. I think that all participants left the meeting with a sense of satisfaction. On secondary reflection, this year's ISHLT sessions were perhaps among the most significant from the perspective of pulmonary hypertension. The week began with the PH Masters Academy, an engaging forum for the discussion of complex and controversial cases in pulmonary hypertension. Read more →


Call for ISHLT 2018 Symposium Proposals

Christian Benden, MD, FCCP
ISHLT 2018 Scientific Program Chair

links imageAlthough the 37th Annual Meeting in Washington DC has just finished, it is already time to start developing content for the ISHLT 38th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions to be held in Nice, France, April 11-14, 2018. As program chair for the 2018 meeting, I just wanted to follow up on my brief presentation at the council meetings and encourage you to submit ideas for pre-meeting and sunrise symposia and/or invited Plenary talks. Although well-worked, complete symposium proposals are preferred, we also welcome suggestions for potential plenary speakers from outside the transplant community who might give an engaging talk that brings perspectives, insights or experiences with widespread appeal to members. Read more →

2017 Annual Meeting: Daily Links

For those who missed the meeting, are looking for a recap or just want to refresh your memory, the Daily Links can be a valuable source. View the articles written by our Roving Reporters, Cassandra Baker, Alexander Bernhardt, C.T. Gan, Emily Stimpson and Erin Wells, and put together by Vincent Valentine, Lauren Daniels and Naomi Rios for an up to date guide on the daily happenings of the 37th ISHLT Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. Read more →

ISHLT 2017 Grants & Awards Recipients

Congratulations to all of our 2017 Grants & Award Recipients, including Stuart Jamieson who received the ISHLT Lifetime Achievement Award. We would also like to extend congratulations to the winners of the abstract awards, grants & scholarships, and travel awards that were announced during the Saturday Plenary Session. Below you will see a complete list of the award winners from this presentation. Read more →

ISHLT 2017 Pharmacy and Pharmacology Council Review: Weeding Through Science

Edward Horn, PharmD, BCPS

links imageJust a few short weeks ago, ISHLT members convened in sunny San Diego to take in another year of fantastic educational content. Our council had four sponsored symposia during the meeting, and we were invited to be part of three others. Among these sessions, I would like to focus on two symposia that were conducted: Lifecycle Journey of Thrombosis in Mechanical Circulatory Support Patients and Weeding out Fact from Fiction - The Highs and Lows of Marijuana Use in Transplant. Both of these symposia provided interesting educational content of a commonly encountered issue of MCS thrombosis, as well as a novel perspective into the increasingly frequent dilemma of dealing with marijuana use in our transplant population. The Lifecycle Journey is one of the main PHARM symposiums that is provided at the ISHLT annual meeting and encompass a patient's journey through a particular disease state. In past years, our council has examined therapeutic dilemmas with pulmonary hypertension, hepatitis C in transplantation and cystic fibrosis in lung transplantation. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"People waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives."
— Michael Lewis

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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.