Scientific Sessions brings leaders from around the world together. Heart Rhythm Daily this year has asked some of those leaders for their thoughts.
Guilherme Fenelon, MD, is president of Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estimulacion Cardiaca y Electroﬁsiologia (SOLAECE) – Latin American Society of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology. He works in the Department of Cardiology, Paulista School of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil.
SOLAECE held a joint session on “Challenges in the Management of Chagas’ Heart Disease Related Arrhythmias” on Thursday.
Before this year’s meeting, Dr. Fenelon shared his thoughts on several EP-related topics:
Why did you enter the electrophysiology field?
Electrophysiology is fascinating, particularly because it offers a cure for so many patients suffering from cardiac tachyarrhythmias, especially those with supraventricular tachycardia. Not many medical specialties have this capability, and this is extremely gratifying. Cardiac pacing has also evolved a lot over the past years, and nowadays we are able to effectively treat patients with bradyarrhythmias, and heart failure patients, too. CRT is definitely a blockbuster in heart failure management.
Why is it important for you to be at Scientific Sessions?
The HRS Scientific Sessions is the most traditional and important congress in the field of cardiac arrhythmias, gathering big names from all over the world. In addition, the large majority of cutting-edge advances in electrophysiology are presented at the meeting. So, if you are wanting to get the latest data and remain updated in cardiac rhythm basic science and clinical management, Heart Rhythm is a must. Networking is very important for everyone who attends. It is a great opportunity to meet long-term fellows and friends to exchange experiences and knowledge.
What are you looking forward to at this year’s event?
There are so many interesting sessions to attend, but I am particularly interested in cryoballoon ablation for atrial fibrillation. A lot of new information from major clinical trials are coming out this year, which will certainly impact the way we treat atrial fibrillation patients. I am also excited about leadless pacemakers and intravascular ICDs that I expect will establish a new paradigm in cardiac pacing. Last but not least, as a translational scientist I enjoy the basic science sessions, particularly those focusing on atrial remodeling and mechanisms of atrial fibrillation.
Why is it important for your organization and HRS to work together?
It is extremely important for SOLAECE to have HRS as a partner. Our goal is to consolidate SOLAECE as one of the four major electrophysiology societies in the world along with HRS, the European Society (EHRA) and the Asian Pacific Society (APHRS). In this sense, we have actively participated in several consensus scientific documents and guidelines that will ultimately dictate the way we treat patients suffering from rhythm disorders worldwide. In addition, we have many joint sessions during HRS and local meetings throughout Latin America. It is also very critical for us to establish scientific cooperation with HRS, not only in research but in education as well. Many Latin American electrophysiologists come to the U.S. for training, and this collaboration has been very fruitful. As a scientific society, we must foster the best possible training for our members. Better electrophysiologists will certainly translate into a better medical care for our patients.
What’s the biggest challenge or opportunity facing your organization?
We are currently working on organizing the forthcoming joint SOBRAC (Brazilian Society of Cardiac Arrhythmias)-SOLAECE Congress, which will be held Nov. 23-26 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. We are positive that this will be a big meeting, with high scientific standards and significant attendance from Latin American electrophysiologists. We are proud that several top representatives of HRS will participate as speakers adding great value to our congress. We really look forward to welcoming HRS members in Brazil.
What’s the biggest challenge or opportunity facing the field of electrophysiology?
Electrophysiology has evolved significantly over the last two decades. However, there are still some hurdles to overcome, such as atrial fibrillation management. This arrhythmia affects a significant part of the population, and carries a greater risk of stroke. It is clear that we need to do a better job to control this arrhythmia. To achieve this goal, in addition to better ablation strategies and tools, we must unravel the mechanisms underlying the genesis and perpetuation of atrial fibrillation. Thus, I envision a busy and exciting future for electrophysiology.