Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EUROECHO 2008 -- Echocardiography now recommended as the ‘first-line’ test in cardiovascular disease

The first-line test in patients with a suspicion of cardiovascular disease – including arterial disease and heart failure - should now be echocardiography, says Professor Jose Luis Zamorano, Chair of the Programme Committee for EUROECHO 2008 and EAE President-Elect.

EUROECHO 2008, which is now the world’s largest scientific gathering on echocardiography, will take place in Lyon, France, from 10-13th December.

EUROECHO 2008 is the twelfth Annual Meeting of the European Association of Echocardiography, a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology

Professor Zamorano, from the San Carlos University Clinic in Madrid, Spain, describes echocardiography as “crucial” in all types of heart disease, not just to confirm diagnosis but also to exclude the possibility of disease; “so echocardiography is excellent in diagnosis and prognosis”, he adds.

The principal advantage of routine echocardiography, which uses ultrasound waves to produce an image of the heart, is its non-invasive nature. A transducer placed on the thorax can produce accurate images of the heart’s four chambers, the valves and aorta, and tissue damage, and thereby provide information on blood flow, pumping capacity and coronary arteries.

An alternative – and usually more accurate - image can be provided by transesophageal echocardiography, by which the transducer is passed directly into the patient’s esophagus, thereby avoiding the thoracic barriers of skin, fat and bone.

Two other technological developments will be reviewed at EUROECHO 2008: the development of portable echocardiographic systems; and the rapid introduction of three-dimensional echo. The congress will also feature two formal scientific themes: stress echo as one of the major diagnostic tests for coronary artery disease; and the application of echocardiography in patients with heart failure, presently the world’s fastest growing cardiovascular disease.

1. Portable systems
Portable – even miniature and pocket – echo systems are easy to use, have the same definition and accuracy as traditional modalities, but now bring their diagnostic capability outside the hospital. The latest guidelines in emergency coronary care stress the importance of speedy intervention and diagnosis as much as the application of appropriate treatments. Portable systems, which are easily used by a wide range of physicians, are increasingly incorporated into acute coronary care programmes.
2. 3-dimension echo
By the development of matrix probes and complex processing systems, 3D echocardiography is now possible and in rapid evolution, providing graphic anatomical images of the heart. “3D is a big step forward,” says Professor Zamorano, “and will be the number one technique in the very near future.” Currently, 3D echo technology has been used to notable effect in valvular heart disease (mitral and aortic valve) and in assessing left ventricular function.

Introduced at EUROECHO 2008 and newly available on the website of the European Association of Echocardiography is the “3D Echo Box”, a real-time three-dimensional echo compendium of clinical cases, webcasts, and resource bank of videos and photos designed to provide a one-stop reference point for echocardiographers. (See

3. Stress echo
Stress echo is now one of the prime-time tests for patients suspected of coronary artery disease. Stress echo (along with 3D echo and cardiac resynchronisation therapy) will feature in a newly launched “Imaging Campus” at EUROECHO 2008, a series of individualised hands-on training sessions in which congress participants will be guided through the practical techniques of echo imaging and patient contact.
4. Heart failure
“All patients with presumed heart failure should have at least one echo test,” says Professor Zamorano. Yet this, in the most prevalent cardiovascular disease, is not yet the reality in Europe. The SHAPE survey reported earlier this year that primary care physicians and geriatricians displayed less-than-optimal use of echocardiography for a diagnosis of heart failure, relying instead on “signs and symptoms”. However, echo was unavailable to more than 50 per cent of the primary care physicians. This, adds Professor Zamorano, is a concern; a wrong diagnosis may well mean the wrong treatment.

Professor Petros Nihoyannopoulos from the National Heart and Lung Institute in London and outgoing President of the European Association of Echocardiography describes echocardiography as “the most important diagnostic imaging modality in cardiology”, adding: “I am convinced that echocardiography will be the major sub-specialty in cardiology for the next 20 years and beyond.”

ESC Press Office | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Münster researchers make a fly’s heartbeat visible / Software automatically recognizes pulse
12.03.2018 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht 3-D-written model to provide better understanding of cancer spread
05.03.2018 | Purdue University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>