The Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting kicked off Wednesday morning with all-day sessions on all topics EP related. DRG was front and center at the packed eight-hour AF Summit. Whether it was the prospect of hearing new advancements in a rapidly growing field or the complimentary coffee and croissants (they had three different flavors!) the audience was quite engaged, ignoring the terrific weather outside in sunny San Francisco. Those of us who did commit ourselves to the sessions in that monolithic and windowless room were handsomely rewarded with informative presentations from an array of perspectives.
Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuck presented what, based on the audience reaction, proved to be somewhat controversial findings on the recurrence of Afib three months post procedure in instances where the pulmonary valve is either completely isolated through radiofrequency ablation or some connection is retained.
A number of presenters sought to demonstrate the value of force-sensing ablation catheters as a means of improving ablation safety and efficacy, while others made strong cases for emerging technologies such as cryoablation balloon catheters, and the as-of-yet-unreleased laser balloon ablation catheters. Interestingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the panel seemed unanimous in not suggesting that any of these advanced ablation catheters be superior to the rest, instead suggesting that the best results would be obtained with any device that the physician used most often.
New technologies aside there seemed to be high regard for ablation procedures and strong hope for rapid improvements in procedure outcomes. These views were shared by the audience who were quite involved in the discussion, as they were encouraged to submit questions or comments for the presenters via text message allowing the more bashful among them to get involved.