Endovascular treatment of pulmonary embolism, (PE) a relatively new approach built upon a widely unmet medical need that results in thousands of deaths each year, will be a major topic of discussion today at the 39th Annual VEITHsymposium, which will be held Nov. 14-18 at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas.

No fewer than a dozen physicians will discuss the topic during a special new session titled “Emerging Management Options for PE”. Those discussions will continue into Friday.

VEITHsymposium Chair, Dr. Frank J. Veith, MD exclaims, “PE is often called “the unsuspected killer.” Delays in diagnosis are commonplace and in fact diagnosis often is missed because patients present with nonspecific symptoms. PE is the third-leading cause of death overall in the U.S. The U.S. Surgeon General reports over 600,000 patients are stricken with PE in the U.S. alone resulting in up to 180,000 deaths annually, more than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.” Veith concluded, “The topic in the way we treat a PE is high on the VEITHsymposium agenda and vascular surgeons will gain insight as it relates to better interventions and techniques.”

Physicians who have studied PE say the diagnosis is missed more often than it is made, and that even postmortem, as high as 70% of PE cases are not suspected. Among those patients in whom PE is diagnosed, the mortality rate is pegged at only 3% to 8%, so accurate diagnosis is highly important as well as how best to treat a PE. Up to this point, standard treatment includes opening the chest.

Current PE trials to date will be discussed at VEITHsymposium including ULTIMA, an international, multicenter, randomized, controlled study comparing submassive PE patients and standard of care along with SEATTLE II, a multicenter prospective, single arm study of both massive and submassive PE patients.

Such diagnosis is the focal point of the Wednesday, Nov. 14 morning session moderated by Dr. Michael Jaff, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA). Those featured presentations will include:

What Must the Vascular Specialist Know About PE, presented by Dr. Victor Tapson, director of the Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease at Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC).

Techniques, Tips and Tricks for Endovascular Management of Pulmonary Embolism.Treatment tips will be the focus of Ali Amin, MD, director of endovascular interventions at Reading Hospital and Medical Center (Reading, PA).

Intravenous rtPA For Pulmonary Embolism: Does This Work. Presented by Dr. Ido Weinberg, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA).

Percutaneous Pharmacomechanical Intervention For PE: An Overview presented by Dr. Nils Kucher, Professor of Cardiology, University of Bern, (Bern, Switzerland).

The EKOS strategy, (ultrasound-accelerated thrombolsysis) presented by Dr. Tod Engelhardt, Associate Professor of Surgery, Tulane Medical School (New Orleans, LA)

The VORTEX Strategy, presented by Dr. Christopher Kowlek, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA)

Angiojet Device To Treat Massive And Submassive PEs, presented by Dr. Jeffrey Y. Wang, Director of Vascular Research, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital (Rockville, MD).

ECMO (an extracorporeal technique of providing both cardiac and respiratory support oxygen to patients whose heart and lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they can no longer serve their function), As The Bridge To Definitive Therapy For PE: Hybrid Approaches presented by Dr. Kenneth Rosenfield, Section Head, Vascular Medicine and Intervention, Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA).

The Use Of Catheter Directed Thrombolysis In Conjunction With IVC Filters For Massive And Submassive PE, presented by Dr. Garl Ansel, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine (Toledo, OH).

Interventional Management of Occlusive Illiofemoral Deep Venous Thrombosis: Another Evolution to Revolution, presented by Dr. Mark Meissner, Professor of Surgery, University of Washington (Seattle, WA).

Source: VEITHsymposium.