With 2016’s last quarter upon us, the Board of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and I are happy to be sharing the latest updates and insights from this busy and fruitful year with the readers of Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review.
The EHRA has intensified its involvement in clinical trials. Following our longstanding support of the Early Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation for Stroke Prevention Trial (EAST, www.easttrial.org) comparing early intervention strategies for atrial fibrillation, we are now entering the field of sudden cardiac death. The Restoration of Chronotropic Competence in Heart Failure Patients with Normal Ejection Fraction – Sudden Cardiac Death (REVISIt SCD) trial, a multinational randomised trial to re-evaluate the need for implantation of a defibrillator for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with ischaemic cardiomyopathy and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, is in the final stage of preparation. With a consortium of strong partners, we are planning to randomise 3,500 patients with reduced ejection fraction after myocardial infarction to optimal medical therapy with and without an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. We hope this important trial will be approved and started in 2017.
The preparations for the EHRA EUROPACE–CARDIOSTIM 2017 have started. This 4-day congress, to be held from 18 to 21 June in Vienna, Austria, promises to be another huge milestone in the history of our association. The EHRA Scientific Programme Committee has developed a compelling programme designed to provide attendees with the latest in science and education in the field of cardiac rhythm disorders and therapies. Registration is now open, with early registration fees applying until 17 April 2017, and abstracts can be submitted during this period. Log on to www.escardio.org/EUROPACE for more information. EHRA members are entitled to a special discount when registering, so make sure your membership is valid when registering or renew it to benefit from this discount. Please note that we currently offer special discounts on membership fees; see www.escardio.org/EHRA-membership.
EHRA Recognised Training Centres (ERTCs) are one of the many initiatives that EHRA has launched this year. We encourage you to put your centre forward and join this exclusive club. This quality label will verify the uniformity of educational tools and attract fellows and practitioners, as well as standardising and facilitating teaching. ERTCs will host trainees for the new EHRA Observational Training Programme, which will offer EHRA members a 2–4-week educational visit to an ERTC to gain experience in a specific area. This programme is just one more good reason to join or to renew your membership. The EHRA educational calendar has been packed during 2016. There have been live courses with more than 560 participants, and great results from the certification exams held in English, and additionally translated into Italian, German and Dutch for allied professionals. Several new webinars are expected before the end of the year.
EHRA is moving forward. Join us and connect to Europe’s strongest rhythm network! On behalf of the EHRA Board, I wish you a warm and productive winter season.
Gerhard Hindricks, EHRA President 2015–2017