AHA Scientific Sessions 2020: A Preview for Electrophysiologists

AHA 2020 kicks off today in its new virtual format. As we all adjust to the new normal, many won’t have the luxury of time off dedicated to physically attending the conference. Therefore, we would likely be tuning in intermittently, in the midst of our busy schedule, to attend some of the sessions that align with our interests. With that in mind, and as an electrophysiology (EP) enthusiast, I will try to highlight some live sessions from this year’s program that should be interesting to the EP community.

Friday, November 13th

Session: Late-Breaking Science (LBS.01) – Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation: Vitamins, Minerals, Nutrients, and More

  • Session start time: 10:30 am (to 11:30 am) CST
  • At 11:05 am, Dr. Christine Albert will present the results of the Vital Rhythm Trial: Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Vitamin D Supplementation in the Primary Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation.


Session: 01 – Cardiac Procedural Innovation for Special Patient Groups

  • Session start time: 12:00 pm (to 01:00 pm) CST
  • At 12:50 pm, Dr. James Freeman will present results from the NCDR LAAO Registry regarding Patterns of Post-procedural Anticoagulation and Anti-platelet Therapy and Associated Outcomes for Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion.


Saturday, November 14th

Session: ME.578. Atrial Fibrillation: Time for a Paradigm Shift in Management

  • Session start time: 09:00 am (to 10:00 am) CST
  • A great line-up of speakers including Drs. Andrea Russo, Jennifer Wright, Rakesh Gopinathannair, Kim-Lien Nguyen, and Prashanthan Sanders will navigate through the paradigm changes that have taken place in AF management over the past decades, including updates and novel treatment approaches.
  • The session will be moderated by Drs. Christine Albert and Jonathan Dukes.

Session: CVS.650 – Novel Technologies for Arrhythmia Detection: The Data Tsunami is Around the Corner

  • Session start time: 10:30 am (to 11:30 am) CST
  • Another wonderful group of speakers including Drs. Leslie Anne Saxon, Marco Perez, Khaldoun Tarakji, Paul Varsoy, and Janet Han will discuss the use of wearable technologies, their impact on patient management, potential medico-legal, and ethical implications, and the interface with social media.
  • The session will be moderated by Drs. Miguel Angelo Leal and Richard Page.

 Session: CVS.281. Cardiac Physiologic Pacing – When, How, and Where?

  • Session start time: 12:00 pm (to 01:00 pm) CST
  • In this interactive session, a panel of experts that includes Drs. Kalyanam Shivkumar, Pugazhendhi Vijayaraman, Weijian Huang, Daniel Lustgarten, and Mina K Chung will share their pearls on how to access the distal conduction system for pacing and will debate the role of this approach in pacing and cardiac resynchronization.
  • The session will be moderated by Drs Gaurav Upadhyay and Kimberly Selzman.

 Session: 03 – Current Challenges in Coronary and Valve Disease

  • Session start time: 12:00 pm (to 01:00 pm) CST
  • At 12:40 pm, Dr. Otavio Berwanger will present the primary results of the RIVER Randomized Trial: Rivaroxaban versus Warfarin in Patients With Bioprosthetic Mitral Valves and Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter.


Sunday, November 15th

Session: CVS.813 – Circulation and European Heart Journal Session

  • Session start time: 12:00 pm (to 01:00 pm) CST
  • At 12:40 pm, Dr. Harry Crijns will be presenting European Heart Journal: The Year in Arrhythmias, highlighting the most prominent science published this year in EHJ in the field of cardiac arrhythmias.


Monday, November 16th

Session: Late-breaking Science (LBS.06) – To Screen or Not to Screen, and then What? Studies of Detection and Treatment of AF

  • Session start time: 9 am (to 10:00 am) CST
  • An exciting late-breaking session dedicated to clinical trials focused on screening, monitoring, and early intervention for atrial fibrillation.
  • At 09:05 am, Dr. Subodh Verma will present the primary results of the SEARCH-AF Cardiolink Randomized Trial: Enhanced Monitoring for Atrial Fibrillation Following Cardiac Surgery.
  • At 09:13 am, Dr. Steven Lubitz will present the results of the VITAL-AF Trial: Screening for Atrial Fibrillation in Older Adults at Primary Care Visits Using Single Lead Electrocardiograms.
  • At 09:21 am, Dr. Steven R. Steinhubl will present the results of the mSToPS Trial: 3-year Clinical Outcomes in a Nationwide, Randomized, Pragmatic Clinical Trial of Atrial Fibrillation Screening – mHealth Screening to Prevent Strokes (mSToPS).
  • At 09:37 am, Dr. Jason Andrade will present the results of the EARLY-AF Trial: A randomized clinical trial of an early invasive intervention for atrial fibrillation.

Session: CVS.582 – 2020 Update on Cardiovascular Clinical Guidelines

  • Session start time: 10:30 am (to 11:30 am) CST
  • At 10:30 am, Dr. Lin Chen will be presenting Atrial Fibrillation Management in 2020, summarizing the most recent clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based care for atrial fibrillation.

Session: CVS.697 – Electrophysiology Guidelines and Expert Consensus Statements: Top 5 New Releases and Updates

  • Session start time: 12:00 pm (to 01:00 pm) CST
  • This session will cover the most important new recommendations from the EP focused guidelines that have been released in the last 2 years, namely the 2018 ACC/AHA/HRS Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Patients With Bradycardia and Cardiac Conduction Delay (By Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen), the 2019 HRS/EHRA/APHRS/LAHRS Focused Update to 2015 Expert Consensus Statement on Optimal Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Programming and Testing (By Dr Martin Stiles), the 2019 HRS/EHRA/APHRS/LAHRS Expert Consensus Statement on Catheter Ablation of Ventricular Arrhythmias (By Dr Usha Tedrow), the 2019 HRS Expert Consensus Statement on Evaluation, Risk Stratification, and Management of Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy (by Dr Hugh Calkins) and the 2019 AHA/ACC/HRS Focused Update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation (by Dr. Douglas Packer).

———————————————————————————————————————Tuesday, November 17th

While there seem to be no EP-specific live sessions scheduled for that day, there will be plenty of exciting general events, including a series of COVID19-related sessions (definitely relevant to every cardiologist regardless of subspecialty). It may also be a good time to watch some of the terrific On-Demand EP sessions or simply catch up on any live EP sessions that you may have missed (should all be available to stream on-demand once presented).

I hope this was a helpful guide, and looking forward to an amazing conference and great science!


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