SIR 2019 annual meeting showcases best of IR
A near-record number of attendees experienced the dynamic energy of a relatively young specialty as the IR community celebrated innovation and growth at the SIR 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting in Austin. Every corner of the Austin Convention Center resounded with the buzz of conversation and unforgettable educational opportunities. From the latest research, to a multitude of hands-on opportunities, to industry in the Expo highlighting the devices of tomorrow, SIR 2019 truly offered something for everyone.
Changes in programming this year included the “Meet the Expert” sessions being renamed to SIR Connect Live, with an emphasis on increased audience participation, and case-based workshops being renamed to Angio Clubs, small groups in small rooms discussing specific cases or situations.
The SIR International Scholarship Program hosted 12 new scholars from around the world. Now in its eighth year, the program has awarded scholarships to 99 individuals representing 35 countries. This program provides grants that enable physicians within 10 years of completion of training who are practicing outside North America an opportunity to attend the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting.
The society thanks the Annual Meeting Committee, faculty, volunteers, corporate supporters, attendees and all others who made the meeting such a success.
Here are some highlights from the research presented at the meeting (read more on sirtoday.org or at the links below):
- Abstract of the Year: Results from the VERNACULAR trial demonstrate safety, efficacy of the Venovo venous stent for the treatment of iliac and femoral vein occlusions.
- Abstracts of the Year: A subanalysis of the VIRTUS study shows predictors of clinical improvement after venous stenting.
- Distinguished Abstract: Prostatic artery embolization may offer safety, long-term efficacy for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Expanding timely access to endovascular thrombectomies leads to positive outcomes for patients experiencing acute ischemic stroke, reducing the likelihood of resulting disabilities and speeding function recovery.
- Uterine fibroid embolization effectively treats uterine fibroids with fewer postprocedure complications compared to myomectomy. Women who received this minimally invasive treatment also had a slightly lower need for additional treatment than those who underwent surgery.
- Smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, offer a conversational voice interface that allows interventional radiologists to ask questions and retrieve information needed for their patient treatments without breaking sterile scrub.
- Virtual reality may improve the efficiency of interventional radiology treatments, increasing portability and patient access to IR.
Read much more SIR 2019 session previews and live coverage on the digital version of the show daily, SIR Today, at sirtoday.org, or click the titles below to read specific articles.
Before SIR 2019, Laura Findeiss, MD, FSIR, SIR president, talked with SIR Today about the society and interventional radiology.
“During the next year, I’d like SIR to dive in and understand what patient access looks like for a range of communities,” she said. “I want us to help our graduating trainees understand there are opportunities in those communities to make a difference and build very satisfying practices. There’s a synergy between our access mission and our workforce development mission, which is to
make sure interventional radiologists can practice and succeed in the way that they want to practice.”
WHO, WHAT, WHERE: SIR Gold Medalists
This year, SIR Today saluted each of the 2019 Gold Medalists with a look at their outstanding careers, asking them to describe an important person, place or thing that shaped his or her life and career.
Over the past few decades, the U.S. health care system has seen steady decreases in efficiency, access, quality and various indicators of healthy lives, such as infant mortality, as compared to other developed nations. In addition, U.S. life expectancy has not only tapered off, but is starting to go down, according to Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, FSIR, who delivered this year’s Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecture, “Patients and Patience: Why Interventional Radiologists Need Both,” on Sunday.
“Despite the fact that quality is lagging and our life expectancy is below other developed countries, the cost for U.S. health care continues to go up, such that it is averaging close to $12,000 per person per year,” Dr. Matsumoto said. “What that translates to is that the cost of health care in the U.S. is more than two times more than any other developed country, which totals about $3.3 trillion per year, or about 18 percent of our GDP. That is more than the entire GDP of the United Kingdom.”
The 2019 SIR Stroke Course offered attendees two full days of in-depth lectures, case presentations and hands-on workshops guided by a world-class faculty of IR experts in stroke care.
“Covering the latest science, newest technologies and best practices in patient management, from patient selection to imaging and endovascular treatment, this year’s course provided both a foundation for those IRs who are new to stroke care as well as advanced information for experienced stroke care providers,” said Venu Vadlamudi, MD, Inova Alexandria Hospital, Virginia.
Dr. Vadlamudi served as co-director for the course alongside Martin Geza Radvany, MD, FSIR, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, Little Rock. Dr. Radvany and Dr. Vadlamudi are also members of the SIR Stroke Advisory Committee.
Michael D. Dake, MD, FSIR, addressed the recent update from the FDA about monitoring patients treated with paclitaxel-coated balloons and paclitaxel-eluting stents. “Initially, the FDA said the results of that meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution, noting a large variability in the risk estimate of mortality due to the limited amount of long-term data, the fact that these studies were not designed to be pooled, and because the specific cause and mechanism of the increased mortality is unknown,” Dr. Dake said.
The March 15 FDA update offered recommendations based on a preliminary review, advising health care providers to continue diligent monitoring of patients who have been treated with paclitaxel-coated balloons and stents, consider that there may be an increased rate of long-term mortality in patients treated with these devices, and discuss the risks and benefits of all available PAD treatment options with patients.
Dr. Dake and session panelists agreed that as the FDA continues its examination IRs should use caution and that those who choose to continue to use paclitaxel-coated devices should make sure that they are diligent in informing their patients of the FDA’s recommendations.
How prepared would you be if a trainee or staff member under your direction or leadership faced a difficult situation at work solely because of their race or gender?
Judy Gichoya, MD, a fellow-in-training at the Dotter Interventional Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, shared her experiences and many of the questions that those in training and leadership positions should be able to answer if such a situation occurs, such as:
- How would you approach the situation?
- What considerations are important?
- How do your opinions/values affect your ability to advise the learner?
- What concerns is the learner likely to have?
- What resources might be available?
“I think of the IR community as a village, and everyone has a role to play to make everyone feel a sense of belonging, not only for patients, but for the people who work there,” Dr. Gichoya said.
Baljendra Kapoor, MD, FSIR, the newest member of the SIR Annual Meeting Committee (AMC) and scientific program chair for SIR 2020, believes that his varied career will serve as a catalyst to build connections that will make next year’s annual meeting and future meetings even better.
After starting his career as a general surgeon in India, Dr. Kapoor came to the United States and decided to pursue a career performing minimally invasive procedures. He completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and his fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, in the early 2000s.
“Based on my hybrid background, I think I can help our specialty move forward, and the annual meeting is a great way to do that,” he said.
Interventional radiology’s embrace of technology has often been seen as a barrier to expanding IR services globally.
“Maybe we’re just thinking about this wrong,” said SIR International Division Councilor Brian F. Stainken, MD, FSIR, The Stamford Hospital, Connecticut. “Maybe it’s time to brainstorm a little bit and think about how we can make a difference with IR by exploring new ways of delivering IR care.”
While augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications are not yet approved for clinical use, ongoing advances have set the stage for them as next-generation imaging technologies for endovascular and percutaneous procedures.
The Rock Band Formerly Known As SKIVVER, named in celebration of the society’s then-new name, Society of Interventional Radiology, took its turn in the spotlight during 16 years ago during the annual meeting in Salt Lake City.