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Conference Topics

Pedirhythm X will be a superb opportunity to learn and share advances in clinical and research electrophysiology for children and patients with congenital cardiac disease, and a unique opportunity to connect with experts from the world’s leading academic programs engaged in the practice of pediatric and congenital electrophysiology.

A program committee consisting of international, North American, and early career faculty will be charged with development of the congress program.

In addition to providing broad coverage of the field of pediatric electrophysiology, lecture and abstract topics will include:

What are the problem areas to address?

Technological innovation has been a driving force in cardiac EP over the last quarter century. However, development of new technology has been largely driven by research and investments focused on adults with rhythm disorders. Clinical solutions for adults are often poorly matched to pediatric and congenital patients, who differ from adult populations with respect to pathophysiology, anatomy and size.

Adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD patients) suffer from rhythm disorders, which are a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality at early age. The pathophysiology of these arrhythmias remains poorly understood and a topic of active research. Because this is a rapidly evolving field of study, knowledge of the specific rhythm disorders common to these patients and possible novel approaches to therapy are still not widely disseminated.

Pediatric and congenital patients often require lifelong pacemaker therapy, with consequent need for lead and device management and increased risk for acquisition of ventricular dysfunction. Best strategies for managing pacemakers to mitigate these problems over decades of life are the subject of active research.

Management of rhythm disorders in childhood is often resource intensive with respect to technology and staff, and expensive. Global disparities in health care economies result in uneven access to the resources required to provide excellent arrhythmia care.

The genetic basis of many cardiac arrhythmias is well established. As access to rapid and cost-effective sequencing improves, the complex relationships between genetic phenotype, clinical phenotype and risk of catastrophic arrhythmia are now being clarified. Looking forward, we are rapidly approaching the era of genetic therapy for arrhythmic and other cardiomyopathies.

Better understanding of conduction system anatomy in complex congenital defects (such as heterotaxy and single ventricle) in an effort to avoid surgical damage to the conduction tissues during complex surgical repairs.

Advances in catheter ablation techniques to minimize risk of collateral damage to conduction tissues, coronary arteries, phrenic nerve, and pulmonary veins.

What is currently happening in practice that we can change or improve?

Recognize the value of technological innovation in EP practice and become aware of opportunities and process of advocacy and de novo development of new tools optimized for pediatric and congenital use. Appreciate the unique problems in pedi/congenital EP that can inform new invention and development of more broadly useful knowledge and technologies.

Understand current advances in ACHD rhythm management, including especially advanced models of risk assessment, techniques and expectations for targeted and empiric ablation, emergence of atrial fibrillation and practice of anticoagulation.

Understand current advances in device management, including especially association of obligate pacing with cardiomyopathy, techniques for resynchronization optimization, best practices for lead extraction and expected outcomes, strategies to reduce surgically induced heart block, and application of new technologies such as leadless pacing and SICD in this patient population.

Review the status of global EP resources for children with respect to availability of human and institutional resources, access to educational materials and relative cost of implantable and disposable devices used for rhythm therapies. Discuss collaborative approaches and other opportunities for reducing disparities in access to heart rhythm care for children in less advantaged locations.

Have a basic understanding of the current application of genetics in the evaluation and management of arrhythmic disorders. Understand the strengths and limitations of genetic diagnosis and the variable relationship between genotype and phenotype. Be aware of and facile with risk stratification models for arrhythmic cardiomyopathy, and learn about the status and methodology of current techniques in development for genetic therapy of arrhythmic disease.

What is the primary goal for attendees after this course?

Attendees will have the opportunity to make new relationships with colleagues, with active and informed discussion of current issues facing our field. They will leave the meeting having been exposed to state-of-the-art didactic sessions focused on the major areas of current development and interest, enhanced by personal contact with those researchers and expert teachers who are currently advancing the field.