New technologies and medicines for cardiovascular diseases
The Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, which took place in Barcelona in 2014, can be regarded as an exceptional success. More than thirty thousand people, cardiology specialists from all over the world, met there. During the congress, not only new technologies were discussed, thanks to which it is possible to monitor and control heart diseases even more effectively. Specialists also discussed the next generation of drugs lowering blood pressure and those having antithrombotic effects.
Probably the most exciting thing during the meeting was the presentation of engineers from Switzerland. They presented the guests at the meeting with an original pacemaker characterized by the fact that its operation is possible even without the use of batteries. Scientists used a mechanism that is used in automatic watches in its production. The principle of the pacemaker does not differ significantly in this respect. The movement of the heart muscle is responsible for activating the rotor, and the rotor, turning, tightens the spring. The spring stretches and this is how the electric microgenerator is driven. The creators of the pacemaker have already done both "dry" experiments and those during which the apparatus was implanted in pigs. The results are described as promising.
A breakthrough in the treatment of hypertension?
Also, specialists in the field of hypertension were able to talk about progress. Particularly noteworthy is the experimental drug LCZ606, which was developed by Novartis. This drug can reduce mortality in patients with heart failure by up to 20 percent compared to current drugs (mainly enalapril). The new preparation is a unique combination of two drugs. It consists of valsartan currently used in the treatment of hypertension and AHU-377 - a drug blocking nephrisine - an enzyme that reduces the effectiveness of valsartan. Novartis ensures that patients will not have to wait long for this preparation. Efforts to bring it into use in the United States should already be a success this year. In Europe, similar actions are to be taken one year later.
A three-dimensional heart
After the congress, cardiology can also enjoy a three-dimensional, real-life model of the heart, which was made possible by using the capabilities of a 3D printer. It is a revolutionary solution, thanks to which doctors will be even better prepared for operations aimed at eliminating structural defects of the heart. Thanks to this, patients undergoing surgery will be guaranteed greater safety than at present. Interestingly, the model has already had its Polish debut. It was used during the repair of the heart valve, which took place in Bielsko-Biała in the Research and Development Centre of American Heart of Poland.