On November 8, 2008, the ABC held its 21st Annual Dr Walter M. Booker Sr. Memorial Symposium, which was titled “Present Status and Future Considerations for High Risk Populations: Imaging, Prevention, and Intervention.” Co-chairs were Paul L. Douglass, MD, senior member and past president of the ABC, and chief of the division of cardiology, Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta, GA, and Kevin L. Thomas, MD, an emerging ABC leader, and staff member of the division of cardiovascular disease, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Drs Douglass and Thomas developed an excellent scientific program focusing specifically on clinical research and practice related to cardiovascular risk reduction through prevention, modern diagnostic approaches, and imaging.
The first section of this continuing medical education event focused on multimodal cardiac imaging and featured speaker Ola A. Akinboboye, MD, MPH, MBA, director of cardiac imaging, New York Hospital Queens, Flushing, NY. Dr Akinboboye discussed computed tomography angiography (CTA) versus calcium scoring for diagnosing coronary heart disease, noting that calcium scoring has increasingly been incorporated into clinical pathways for the expert diagnosis of subclinical coronary artery disease. He also indicated that as modern techniques improve, CTA may prove even more useful than other modalities in assessing the extent of coronary stenoses in symptomatic patients and in determining which patients presenting to the emergency department with apparent acute cardiac symptoms may be safely discharged to home. A second component of the section on multimodal cardiac imaging was led by Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of nuclear cardiology, division of cardiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY. Dr Mieres detailed the useful incorporation of myocardial perfusion stress imaging in the diagnosis of patients with apparent chest pain related to ischemic heart disease.
One of the highlights of the Booker Symposium was the Dr Herbert W. Nickens Memorial Lecture, which was given by Dr Thomas, who merged recent data, personal reflections, and ongoing efforts at Duke University to identify strategies to overcome health care disparities, including educating patients on the complex nature of cardiovascular diseases and on the importance of adhering to treatment regimens, as well as encouraging them to become partners in their own care. Following the Nickens lecture, Dr Douglass moderated an up-to-date discussion of noncoronary catheter-based interventions for treating valvular heart disease, patent foramen ovale, and atrial septal defects. Peter C. Block, MD, director of the clinical trials office, department of cardiology, Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA, discussed several newer techniques for valvular repair and replacement using catheter-based approaches. J. Kevin Harrison, MD, director of the cardiac catheterization lab, Duke University Medical Center, discussed similar techniques as a means of closing patent foramen ovale and atrial septal defects without the need for open chest surgery.
The Booker Symposium also highlighted frontiers in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy. John M. Flack, MD, MPH, professor and chair, department of internal medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, discussed some of the recent safety and efficacy data related to vasodilating beta blockade and oral renin inhibition. In addition, Kenneth A. Jamerson, MD, professor of internal medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, described the importance of first-line combination therapy for many (if not most) patients with hypertension. Additionally, he noted emerging evidence that a long-acting calcium channel blocker may have benefits when added to a renin-angiotensin blocking agent, such as an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker.
During the symposium, the ABC distributed its academic and community service awards. Ms Tynetta Brown, former executive director of the North Carolina Cardiovascular Health Program, and former senior manager for Ally Development Cardiovascular at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, was given the Dr Walter M. Booker Health Promotion Award for her work in the field of cardiovascular risk reduction and prevention. Ms Brown developed a public health stroke network in the Carolinas, where there are extraordinarily high rates of stroke death, by bringing together multiple health organizations and high-risk communities in an integrated effort to promote awareness of the importance of controlling dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. In addition, Roderic I. Pettigrew, PhD, MD, a long-time ABC member and the first director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, was given the Dr Herbert W. Nickens Epidemiology Award. Dr Pettigrew is a recognized expert in the field of bioimaging and has been instrumental in developing methodology to examine biologic processes, disorders, and diseases through imaging. He has also been a proponent of making cutting-edge technology available to all populations, regardless of race, ethnicity, or social class.