Monday, March 23, 2009


I spend the last weekend in Beijing performing my duty as " Guest faculty " in the China Interventional Therapeutics ( CIT ) 2009 meeting. This year about 4 thousand doctors and paramedics attended. It was quite large meeting ( by Asian standards ) , with many concurrent sessions and live transmission from many centers, mainly centers from China. There were of course the live transmission from Washington and Paris. All in all, it was a very fruitful meeting. I particularly enjoyed the local sessions seeing the how local Chinese doctors do their cases, and how they tackle their complications. I can only say that they are a very brave lot and they like putting stents. It was common to see, 2-3 DES implanted in relatively simple lesions. China of course have developed their own local DES ( Drug-Eluting Stents ), which is not bad. They are namely the " Excel" stent and the " Firebird " stent. They are both copycat versions of the more established Johnson&Johnson Cyper stent. They have innovated and improved on it and is now coming out with a third improvement . That is how fast they are improving. Of course the Americans view this with disdain. Let me share a small anecdocte with you.
I have posted last year, that there is a good cardiac interventionist in China called Dr Han AiLin. She led a clinical trial called CREATE, with the use of the China made " EXCEL " stent. The results were very good. Maybe better then the American results with the Cyper stent. At this meeting, Dr Han reported her two year followup, on the patients treated 2 years earlier. The results were excellent after two years, with a very low rate of complication and a very high rate of effectiveness. Chairing the session where she presented her results was a certain gentleman call Dr Marty Leon, the founder of Cardiovascular Research Foundation ( CRF ), and who organises the year large TCT meeting in Washington and this year to be held in San Francisco. Anyway, Marty was of course rather impress with the results and was maybe a little jealous that the Chinese maybe outdoing the Americans. In his question to Dr Han, he express that he was very impress with the 2 year followup result of CREATE. He asked Dr Han to speculate as to why the Chinese results were so good. He asked , and I quote " I am very impress with your results, and I do not understand why your results are so much better than the our results. Do you think that your very good results was due to 1. The Chinese disease being different from the American disease? 2. The very good techniques of the Chinese doctors in doing the intervention? or 3. That somehow, your reporting and statistics were different from the US? ( implying that the Chinese were less than honest ). How rude can he be? Dr Han merely replied that she is not sure, but it could be all three. That is how the Americans see good work done outside USA.
Anyway, China is rising.
Well, on a lighter note, it was obvious that Beijing airport and Tian An Men was not so pack. The economic downturn can be seen in the streets of Beijing. The weather was very good and pollution was mild. They are still enforcing the even number, odd number car rule to reduce traffic congestion in Beijing.
All in all, it was a good trip. I learn from my colleagues in China. I met many old friends, both overseas and Chinese, and I also made many new friends, especially from China, as we share our work. It was a good trip.
I am so tired and maybe a bit under the weather.

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