Dr Rudolf De Boer presents exciting highlights from ESC Congress 2021


Rudolf De Boer, MD, PhD, Clinical Cardiologist and Professor of Translational Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen, will be two highlights of this year’s ESC Congress 2021: the new ESC Heart Failure Guidelines and the presentation of the data from the EMPEROR-Preserved and EMPEROR-Pooled trials. , the Netherlands.

De Boer will present “HFpEF Management: State of the Art SGLT2 Inhibitors” on day 2 of ESC 2021, the virtual annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology this year.


What will be the biggest news to come out of ESC Congress 2021?

So it’s clear that some of the highlights of this meeting – to my taste, I have to say – have to do with heart failure. We will have the new ESC heart failure guidelines presented. This, of course, is the absolute highlight of the meeting. Its very important; it’s been 5 years. About two months ago we already saw a preview of what the algorithm for pharmacological treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction looks like, but now we will see that the entire guideline presented is very important. I guess there will be some interesting changes in device therapy, some diagnostics, clearly the use of SGLT2 [sodium-glucose cotransporter 2] inhibitors will be demonstrated, and the use of sacubitril / valsartan will probably be preferred. So I think there will be a number of important perspectives there.

A second highlight, in my humble opinion, is the presentation of the EMPEROR-Preserved and the EMPEROR-Pooled [trial results], because for the first time we now have a drug that has shown efficacy across the full spectrum of the left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF]. So I will be very interested to see if there is an interaction with LVEF or not. I hope the latter because it means, as doctors, our lives are going to be considerably easier and we can just use drugs without always thinking about EF.

When it comes to COVID-19, I’m not entirely sure there is much news in this CES meeting. We, of course, at the start of the pandemic, had seen some pretty disturbing data on how the heart was involved in COVID-19 infections, with very high rates of myocarditis and perimyocarditis. Subsequent publications have in fact denied these initial findings, and as it stands, it appears that myocarditis is relatively rare. This, of course, is an important topic as well because the use of COVID-19 vaccinations has also been associated, especially in young men, with the onset of myocarditis.

I guess the main problem with COVID-19 care, for cardiology care, is that COVID-19 sort of pushes back all other important care – although cardiovascular care, kidney care, cardiac care is kind of pushing back all other important care. cancer – because patients are hospitalized for such a long time. It is therefore rather an organizational problem that is playing out in several countries of the Western world, including the Netherlands; I also believe in the USA. Although in some countries to a lesser extent, for example in Germany, it plays less because there are many more intensive care beds than in other countries. But it is a question of organization.

It’s a shame that, again, ESC is on a virtual scale and not live. It has to do with COVID-19, and I sincerely hope that next year it will be live again.

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