ISCP July Newsletter

These are busy times for health professionals dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most countries have imposed travel restrictions and social distancing to control the spread of the coronavirus and as such professional conferences and meetings have either been cancelled or are being run virtually. 

Although the 25th Annual Scientific Meeting of the ISCP that was to be held on 8 – 9 May in Miami, Florida was cancelled, we are hopeful that the planned Singapore Scientific Meeting in 2021 will be able to proceed. Several ISCP-endorsed webinars have been held over the last 3 months including an Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology (APSC) webinar titled COVID-19 and the Heart, Experiences from the Frontline.

A number of publications on COVID-19 can be accessed in the medical and scientific journals including the European Cardiology Review

On a far more pleasant matter we would like to congratulate Juan Carlos Kaski for being elected Vice-Chairman and Chairman Elect of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy and Deputy Editor of the European Heart Journal.

Please forward any news or information on upcoming conferences or meetings that you would like included in the September 2020 Newsletter to me at by 26 August 2020.

Take care and stay well.

Editors: John McNeil & Lisa Demos

President’s message

Dear Colleagues,

Since the last time we communicated the world of healthcare has continued to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, on behalf of myself, the board of directors and members of ISCP, I want to thank all the healthcare providers around the world for the magnificent job they have done and they are doing for patients with COVID-19.  

There are several new issues I would like to mention in this newsletter:

First, the plans for the next year in Singapore are progressing well under the leadership of Dr Jack Tan, the ISCP President Elect. Dr Tan has developed several strategies to conduct the meeting and we will keep you posted as the year goes by.

Under the leadership of Dr Pablo Avanzas, Secretary of the ISCP, a Pharmacotherapy Webinars Series 2020-2021 on different CV Pharmacotherapy topics, including some on COVID-19 and CVD, is being produced. 

The Society is committed to attracting new members from the different areas of health care, including pharmacists. I will have more in the next newsletter. There are also other projects that I will be detailing in future newsletters. It has been a difficult year but we are working to reach the membership of the Society.

I would like to finish my comments by illustrating the management of heart failure in patients with COVID 19 infection. The information below is summarized by my colleague Sapna Desai, MD Section Head of Heart Failure and Heart Transplant at Ochsner Clinic. She writes:

The cornerstone of treating heart failure, both systolic and diastolic, in a patient with COVID-19 disease (SARS-CoV-2) is volume management. Laboratory markers such as BNP, pro-NT-BNP can be helpful however, it can be affected by the degree of respiratory compromise that the patient presents with. Echocardiography can be utilized to quickly assess biventricular function and evidence of wall motion abnormalities, and estimate filling pressures. It is important to utilize echocardiography sparingly to limit exposure to ultrasonographers in the hospital, and often times is primarily used in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit to help guide therapy.  Volume status can be managed depending on how critical the patient is; with patients in the critical care setting, central venous pressure monitoring through a central line is essential. The goal is to aim for a CVP of 3-5 mm Hg, sometimes lower based on changes in the patient’s respiratory status. In patients with more severe heart failure either pre-existing or worsened by infection, mixed venous saturations can be very helpful in hemodynamic monitoring and determining need for inotrope therapy. Usually, central venous line is enough to guide heart failure therapies, rather than pulmonary artery catheter placement.  Arterial line access should be utilized if the patient is hemodynamically unstable and/or intubated.  Given the respiratory compromise that most patients with COVID-19 present with, it is important to keep the patient’s filling pressures as low as possible. In patients with chronic systolic heart failure, inotrope therapy can be utilized for cardiac support and assistance in diuresis. For respiratory compromise, non-invasive ventilation with BiPAP can also safely be used, sometimes to bide time as diuresis and therapies for COVID-19 are being used and potentially utilize invasive ventilation for those patients that are in more distress. If there is a change for the worse, chest radiography can guide need for further diuresis, however using serial chest radiography is not recommended, to limit exposure to radiographers. From a medication standpoint, traditional guideline directed medical therapy should be continued as blood pressure and hemodynamics allow. Oftentimes BB therapy is being held or decreased depending on how critically ill the patient is and if inotrope therapy is required. Patients with pre-existing heart failure or worsened heart failure in the setting of acute COVID-19 infection can and should receive steroid therapy as recent recommendations suggest. Additional therapy including remdesevir can be considered as well depending on the level of illness and if meeting criteria as outlined by treating centers.

I thank Sapna Desai for providing this short review.

Finally, please visit our website, get involved with our society and together we will continue the journey to improve health around the world. Please communicate with me anytime, we need all ideas in how to progress for the future.

Take care stay safe

Hector Ventura
President, ISCP


Vipfarma project: Surveillance of prescription drugs in the real world

Ricardo Lopez Santi, ISCP Governor for Argentina

Health systems worldwide face the challenge to find rationality in adding new biotechnologies, which are highly effective but with significant costs.

On the other hand, the role of scientific institutions is to provide solid evidence to help in decision-making process. They should focus their attention on data collection, not only based on the analysis of randomized studies, but also regarding behaviour in the real world of both patients and the medical community, concerning to clinical practice guidelines.

On the basis of this quality and timely information it would be possible for health managers to test strategies of pharmacological intervention with the plausibility of being cost effective.

In this context the Argentinean Chapter of ISCP designed the VIPFARMA project. The main objective is to elaborate a system analysis tool to obtain relevant and representative data of a specific population, regarding the prescription or adherence to pharmacological therapeutic protocols.

A Research team of ISCP members collected data by anonymous surveys supervised by a prestigious Advisory Board headed by relevant scientist and past presidents of ISCP – Juan Carlos Kaski and Felipe Martinez. 

The project is in the first steps of the implementation and it reached 200 survey responses on the lipid questions.  Once an appropriate percentage of responses has been collected, the information will be analysed for scientific communications and new topics such as hypertension, heart failure and diabetes will be addressed.

VIPFARMA is an interesting project that could be readily expanded to other countries.

Japan ISCP Meeting Report

Koji Hasegawa, ISCP Executive Committee

The Japan ISCP meeting was held at Matsumoto, located at a central part of Japan on 20 – 21 June 2020. Prof Tatsuya Sawamura, a full member of ISCP, nicely organized a virtual meeting. Around 20 people were at the venue, and most of the others joined through the website. Hot topics included: cardiovascular complications of COVID-19; diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis; antisense therapy for dyslipidemia. The meeting proceeded smoothly and successfully.

ISCP General Assembly

The 22nd General Assembly of the ISCP will be held on 16 September 2020 by Zoom at 12:00 pm BST. This will include a review of the past year and ISCP plans for the future. Details of the connection will be sent together with the Agenda in August to those who have responded to Begoña Lugg.

News from World Heart Federation (WHF)

Circulatory Health and COVID-19: this 3-part webinar series will provide a comprehensive and global perspective on the circulatory risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use, and outcomes, including renal failure, vascular problems, and cardiovascular disease, associated with COVID-19.  

The Heart in The Time of COVID-19 Blog: WHF Emerging Leaders analyse the most recent and relevant science published on COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease, including the potential delays in seeking care for cardiovascular emergencies, the association between smoking and COVID-19, and the impact of cardiovascular metabolic diseases on COVID-19 in China.

2020 Emerging Leaders cohort announced: Includes candidates from 17 countries across 5 continents.

Global Prospective Cohort Study: In order to better understand the intersection between cardiovascular disease and COVID-19, WHF will embark on a global prospective cohort study which aims to better describe cardiovascular outcomes and identify cardiovascular risk factors associated with poor prognosis in patients with COVID-19. 

Chagas Disease: Breaking the Silence: WHF in partnership with the Inter-American Society of Cardiology, has published a new Roadmap aimed at reducing the global burden of Chagas disease. 

ISCP Book Series: Current Cardiovascular Therapy

The Current Cardiovascular Therapy Series was created with the support of the ISCP. The books provide both an in-depth view of the science and pharmacology behind these drugs and a practical guide to their usage. Each volume contains practical illustrations and is designed to improve understanding and practical usage of cardiovascular drugs in specific clinical areas.

The Springer series now includes 10 books: Antiarrhythmic Drugs; Antiplatelet and Anticoagulation Therapy; Pharmacological Treatment of Acute Coronary Syndromes; Atrial Fibrillation Therapy; Cardiac Drugs in Pregnancy; Pharmacotherapy in Aortic Disease; Pharmacologic Trends of Heart Failure; Pharmacological Treatment of Chronic Stable Angina Pectoris; ACEi and ARBS in Hypertension and Heart Failure; Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension. 

The Springer books are available as e-books or in soft cover at a discounted rate for ISCP members.

European Cardiology Review (ECR) – Official ISCP Journal

The European Cardiology Review is a PubMed indexed, peer-reviewed journal comprising review articles, editorials and case reports. The journal is led by Editor-in-Chief Juan Carlos Kaski, supported by Associate Editors, and underpinned by an editorial board of world-renowned physicians.

The ECR is a free on-line review accessible via the ECR website. Article PDFs can be accessed via login or by registering. Articles are also published in full online on PubMed Central.

Volume 15, 2020 is available online. For information on submitting an article, please contact the Managing Editor, Ashlynne Merrifield:

The ECR webpage also proves a link to several webinars, videos and live steams on cardiovascular disease, as well as two videos on COVID-19.

Upcoming Meetings, Courses and Workshops

ESO-WSO Conference (virtual event)
7 – 9 November, 2020
Vienna, Austria

XXVIII Congreso Interamericano De Cardiología
9 – 12 June, 2021
Luque, Paraguay

ESC Congress 2020 (virtual event)
29 August to 2 September 2020
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

5th Global Summit on Circulatory Health
13 – 15 October 2020
Washington D.C.

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