ERS leaders’ top picks – Marc Humbert

  

Marc Humbert is the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Vice President.

He is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the Université Paris-Saclay and is the Director of the French Reference Centre for Pulmonary Hypertension at the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris.

He is vice-coordinator of ERN-LUNG and is a past chief editor of the European Respiratory Journal.

His work principally focuses on pulmonary vascular diseases and rare lung diseases.

Q: As the ERS Vice President, what are you most looking forward to about this year’s virtual event?

A: At the end of summer, the ERS warmly welcomes every year all respiratory stakeholders in a pleasant European location to meet and share updates on all aspects of pulmonary medicine. The ERS annual conference has now established itself as the largest annual respiratory event in the world. This year will be a special one, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the circumstances, I have very high expectations that this virtual congress will allow the same high degree of interaction and collegiality between us and show how fast and strong we have been to cope with this major respiratory infectious threat to mankind. Our community is at the frontline of the COVID-19 battle, and will show its strengths in terms of education, research and care in all dimensions of respiratory medicine.

Q: What in your opinion will be the hot topics for pulmonary vascular disease specialists during this year's Congress?

A: The ERS Assembly 13 on pulmonary vascular diseases is a major player in our Society and gathers a leading group of world experts. Pulmonary embolism and pulmonary hypertension are major cardiopulmonary diseases which have been the focus of intense research and excellent quality practice guidelines disseminated in close partnership with our colleagues from the European Society of Cardiology. This year, the ERS Statement on chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) will be presented for the first time.

Venous thromboembolism, clinically presenting as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, is globally the third most frequent acute cardiovascular syndrome behind myocardial infarction and stroke. In epidemiological studies, annual incidence rates for acute pulmonary embolism range from 39 to 115 per 100,000. In 1 to 3% of cases, abnormal persistent obstruction of proximal or distal pulmonary arteries by residual organized thrombi, combined with a variable microscopic pulmonary vasculopathy (small pulmonary vessels disease), may lead to CTEPH. CTEPH causes exercise limitation, right heart failure and premature death in more than 50% of untreated patients within 5 years of diagnosis. This severe cardiovascular condition is a major clinical challenge because of insufficient awareness leading to delayed diagnosis and management, thus resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Importantly, CTEPH is a treatable disease by means of medical, interventional and surgical procedures and this ERS statement should be very impactful for a better management of this condition.

Q: Tell us your top three picks from the virtual Congress programme:

1. The session entitled ‘Breathing disorders and cardiovascular diseases’ (Monday 7 September, 11:50–12:50 CEST), will discuss the need for intense collaboration among pulmonologists, cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, radiologists, interventional radiologists and intensive care specialists for the proper care of patients with pulmonary hypertension. This session will include the official presentation of the ERS statement on CTEPH.

2. During the State-of-the-art session, ‘Pulmonary vascular diseases’ (Tuesday 8 September, 16:50–17:50 CEST), novel concepts on the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension will allow the description of preventable aspects of pulmonary vascular diseases as well as novel treatment targets of pulmonary hypertension.

3. The symposium, ‘Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality after pulmonary embolism’ (Monday 8 September, 18:00–19:00 CEST), will describe long-term morbidity and mortality after acute pulmonary embolism. It will also summarize relevant information about acute pulmonary embolism in association with certain specific cardiopulmonary conditions.

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