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Innovations in cardiorenal medicine

Enhanced understanding of organ fibrosis and novel therapeutic targets were the focus of many presentations at last year’s 11th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiorenal Forum, held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, on 6th October 2016. Dr Richard Crawley reports on its highlights.

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Innovations in cardiorenal medicine


Atrial fibrillation and CKD

Atrial fibrillation and CKD

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), however we measure it, “signifies poor outcomes in atrial fibrillation patients”. This was a key message from Dr Ami Banerjee (University College London). Drawing on recent European Society of Cardiology guidelines,1 he outlined how atrial fibrillation (AF) is present in 15–20% of CKD patients (10–20 times higher than the general population). These patients have an increased stroke rate, and there is also a higher risk of bleeding in CKD. The big question in terms of non-valvular AF and kidney disease is: how are they related?

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Targeting uric acid

Targeting uric acid

The conference’s keynote lecture, delivered by Professor Austin Stack (University Hospital, Limerick, Ireland), homed in on the idea that serum uric acid directly contributes to increased cardiovascular disease. This was shown in his team’s work published in 2013,1 which used retrospective data to identify a direct correlation between raised serum uric acid concentrations and increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

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SGLT-2 inhibitors: a game changer?

SGLT-2 inhibitors: a game changer?

The results of the long awaited EMPA-REG (Empagliflozin, Cardiovascular Outcomes, and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes) trial were discussed by Dr Amar Puttanna (Young Diabetologists and Endocrinologists Forum, and West Midlands Deanery), then later mentioned in both the cardiology and renal trials updates, by Professor John Cleland (Imperial College, London) and Dr Patrick Mark (Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow), respectively.

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Novel functional imaging techniques

Novel functional imaging techniques

An interesting talk regarding new imaging techniques based around magnetic resonance (MR), was led by Dr Aghogho Odudu (University of Manchester). The use of MR in cardiac and renal imaging is clearly growing, and the use of gadolinium to enhance both blood and extracellular fluid is a testament to the effectiveness of functional MR imaging.

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The Cardiorenal Forum would like to thank the following companies for their generous support of the 2016 meeting: A Menarini Farmaceutica Internazionale S.R.L., Bristol-Myers Squibb, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Pharmacosmos, Sanofi, Servier, Shire, UCB, Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma.

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Slowing fibrosis

Professor Tim Johnson (University of Sheffield, and UCB New Medicines) discussed the implication of fibrosis (see table 1) in organ scarring in the Western world, indicating that it is involved in 45% of all organ death. Our targeting for future therapeutics, however, hasn’t been particularly successful of yet.

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The PCSK9 inhibitor phenomenon

The work of Professor Jennifer Robinson (University of Iowa, USA) and her colleagues as part of the ODYSSEY trial has been pivotal in demonstrating the effectiveness of the PCSK9 inhibitor, alirocumab. Her lecture was timely given the recent National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations (TA393) regarding the use of alirocumab in primary hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia.1

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IV iron in heart failure

The final lecture of the day, given by Professor Philip Kalra (University of Manchester), helped to elaborate on one of the hot topics in heart failure – the ongoing IRONMAN study.

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Anticoagulation Achievement Awards

AntiCoagulation Europe will this year host the first Anticoagulation Achievement Awards – applications are welcome from outstanding clinical teams and individuals who provide exemplary care for any patient who has been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation or a blood clot such as deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism.

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Diary date: CRF 2017

Make sure you save the date for our 2017 Cardiorenal Forum Annual Scientific Meeting. Last year’s meeting was extremely popular, with very positive feedback. Full details of the programme and details of how you can register will be available soon at

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Diary date: HRC 2017

More on the latest developments in electrophysiology, device management, syncope and healthcare delivery will be featured at next year’s Heart Rhythm Congress, which will take place at the ICC, Birmingham, from 1st-4th October 2017.

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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