Monday, March 21, 2011

CIT 2011 - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TCT. 16th-19th March 2011

I spend the major portion of last week in Beijing, attending CIT ( China Interventional Therapeutics ) 2011. Obviously my Beijing colleagues are very closely tied to the Americans ( TCT ). The meeting, which started on 16th March 2011, was held in the solemn shadow of the Japanese triple disaster ( 9.0 Earthquake, Mega Tsunami, nuclear disaster-level 5 disaster ). Everyone felt so sad for the Japanese, and of course many of the Japanese faculty did not turn up ( understandably so. Nonetheless, there were probably 2,000 ( my eyeballing ) attendees, mainly local interventionist and paramedics.
The course content was the usual bifurcations, CTOs, left main stems, IVUS, FFR, and a wide display of locally produced drug-eluting stents, and as usual, they do do their evaluations, with long term follow-up and the Americans are always very cynical of their excellent 2 year results.
I must say that China is doing alot of interventions, almost 250,000 last year with an estimate of 300,000 this year. They now have all the fancy toys, which we can only dream of. Fu Wai, where I was helping to start in 1993, is now doing 2,000 interventions a year and growing. There is a whole team of second and maybe third generation interventionist coming on. I observation that I made when I was chairing and moderating, was that the skills ( the hands ) are good. The decision making, is sometimes suspect. It only reflects that there is much work done, but the thought processes still have to catch up. All in all, it was a good meeting.
I did pick up a few tips and tricks. For example, you can use to FFR to interrogate and derive individual FFR for each lesion in tandem. It is false and inaccurate. There is more and more usage of the OCT machine ( the more expensive IVUS ). There is promise in the bio-degradable scaffolding ( the ABSORB stent ). The Chinese like the DKK-Crush, while we much prefer the Cullotte. I shared that which ever technique that you wish to use, in a bifurcation ( the accepted are Provisional T-stent, Cullottee, and the Crush ), learn it well, do it many, many well, and it will give you the best result. Trying what is fashionable, once in a while, may not be good for you patient. I was quite impressed ( and I told him so ) by Dr SJ Park ( of ASAN MC, Seoul ), work which showed that you could correlate lesion stenosis with FFR. That fact will prove useful. In the area of CTO, we are still lacking. Otherwise, we are OK, just that we lack hardware and also a co-ordinated way to keep our results, so that we know whether we are OK or not. It is a bit of a cowboy country now. Each man / women for himself / herself.
Because there was no MAS flight to come back on Saturday evening ( when the meeting ended ), I had to stay till Sunday, to catch the sunday evening flight back, so I got to go to Beijing city. I took the subway. Boy, for 2 yuan, you can go anywhere. I was staying near the Olympic Stadium. Going to Tian An Men was 14 stops on the subway, all for 2 yuan. A taxi would have cost me around 45 yuan, and I would have been stuck in traffic. Believe me, the subway is also crowded on Sundays, especially at about 10-11 am onwards. I do not know about later, as I was back in Hotel by 12 noon. I am sure that it will be crowed. The trains were on time, and the signages were good ( in Mandarin and English ).
Food prices have gone up. One of my little past time, was to walk around the locality, and eat at the local shop, where locals eat. When I first when to help in 1993, you could get a decent bowl of noodles ( la mein ), for 6-8 yuan ( no ambience dingy food shop ). Last year, it was around 15-18 yuan, and this year, it was 20+ yuan. The taxi fares advertised, was 1.20 yuan per kilometer. Now it is 2.00 per kilometer. Yes, there is inflation.
Well, it was a bit cold in Beijing, but not so bad. We were more concerned about the radiation fall out from Fukushima / Japan. There was no panic in Beijing. The Intercontinental Hotel, Beichen Beijing, is a very comfortable hotel, and near a subway line ( the Olympic Green station ).

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