Raul G. Nogueira, MD, FSVIN
Our society is approaching a decade of existence and with that comes a time for reflection. What have been our accomplishments? What does the future hold for us? More importantly, what do we hold for the neurointerventional field?
What have been our accomplishments?
Interventional Neurology has matured tremendously as a specialty. Indeed it is fair to say that almost a century later the pioneering spirit of Antonio Egaz Moniz - the first of our kind – finally returns. Interventional Neurologists have been essential in paving the path of clinical evidence in neuroendovascular therapy. Despite a relatively young existence our Scientific Contributions have been remarkable. Our specialty has had a stunning participation in most and has led many of the randomized clinical trials that have dramatically changed the therapeutic landscape of stroke including the SWIFT, TREVO-2, SWIFT Prime, REVASCAT, ESCAPE, and VISIT trials.
Our Annual Meetings have traditionally been one of the jewels of our society. The 8th SVIN’s Annual Meeting which took place in Bonita Springs, Florida last October was superbly organized by Dr. Alex Abou-Chebl and congregated over 241 participants representing a new record in the meeting’s attendance. A total of 91 original abstracts were presented ranging from basic science topics to translational randomized clinical trial data. The meeting counted with an astonishingly diverse geographic representation with members from Canada, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom – a testimony to great success of our recently created SVIN International Committee. Equally successful has been our Annual Stroke Center Workshops. Under the leadership of Dr. Vallabh Janardhan, the 3rd Annual Stroke Center Workshop attracted a total of 141 attendees who through the course of 1.5 day had in depth discussions about the current and future stroke systems of care models and challenges.
Our society grows stronger because the dedication of our members and the alliance and contributions of other likeminded individuals. Kudos for the 2015 SVIN awardees: Dr. Tudor Jovin (Neurointerventional Pioneering Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to training and mentoring of Interventional Neurologists), Dr. Michael R. Frankel (Neurologist Pioneering Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Interventional Neurology), Dr. Mayank Goyal (Innovation Award in recognition for his innovation in the field of Interventional Neurology), Andrew Xavier (Award of Excellence in recognition of exceptional accomplishments to the SVIN), Alex Abou-Chebl (Distinguished Service Award in recognition for his substantial service to the SVIN), Dr. Sushrut S. Dharmadhikari (Young Investigator Abstract Award for his work entitled “Prevalence and Healing Rates of Duplex Detected Carotid Plaque Ulcers”), Dr. Fawaz Al-Mufti (Best Abstract Award for his work entitled “Admission Neutrophil–Lymphocyte Ratio Predicts Delayed Cerebral Ischemia Following Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage”), Dr. Alicia Castonguay (SVIN 2015 Pilot Grant Award for her Research Project entitled “Sub-analysis of the TRACK Registry Database”), and Dr. Randall Edgell (SVIN 2015 Pilot Grant Award for his Research Project entitled “Vertebral Origin Treatment via Endovascular Techniques Registry – VOTER”).
The SVIN has worked in close collaboration with other societies to advocate for the interest of our patients, members, and specialty. In collaboration with the interventional neuroradiology and endovascular neurosurgery leaderships, the SVIN has acted both at national (through CAST) and international (through the WFITN) levels to standardize the neuroendovascular fellowship training. Along with other professional societies, we are actively engaged in processes to improve the medical reimbursement for neuroendovascular procedures and promote patient education and public awareness.
Our Interventional Neurology journal continues to flourish by receiving growing support from our membership. The number of submissions to our journal has essentially doubled since our last meeting. A robust taskforce has been recently initialized with the goals of decreasing manuscript revision times, restructuring the Editorial Board by incorporating more SVIN members, and establishing a goal of acceptance to “PubMed ahead of print” of 3 weeks maximum.
What does the future hold for us? More importantly, what do we hold for the neurointerventional field?
The recent clinical trials represent one of the most significant advances in stroke seen by our generation. Nevertheless the task is far from completed as many questions remain unanswered and patient outcomes although markedly improved are still far from ideal. Even with the modern treatment paradigms as many as 40-70% of the patients suffering a large vessel occlusion stroke still face severe long-term disability or death. Only recently we started to better understand the interactions between the disease and its treatment. We now know that it is not about having “good outcomes” but rather “better outcomes”. Discussions about patient selection often focus on what is the perfect technique when perhaps all we need is the “good enough” technique. Much emphasis has been placed on what happens in the hospital when what happens before the patient reaches the hospital may represent a better opportunity to improve outcomes and provide treatment to a larger segment of the population. Given our unique training and skillset we are in a singular position to explore and hopefully solve many of these questions. It is time for us to unite our research efforts in a more formal and organized manner. One of the main objectives of the SVIN Research Taskforce will be to develop the SVIN Endovascular Stroke Treatment Outcome Registry (SESTOR) and organize a societal based Consortium for future studies and clinical trials. Other important initiatives are in place. The Vascular Neurology Taskforce has been established with the goal to increase participation of non-interventional vascular neurologists in our society and define how we all can better collaborate. The idea about the creation of a multi-societal non-commercial Industry Stroke Consortium to support greater public stroke awareness and education was presented to our industry partners during the last SVIN Meeting.
Please make plans to join us for the SVIN 2016 Meeting which will be held November 16 - 19, 2016 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, New York!
This is without any doubts one of the most exciting times for Vascular and Interventional Neurologists. The SVIN wholeheartedly calls for your support to help us advance stroke care and research. Please volunteer, share your ideas, and let’s fight stroke together!
Raul Nogueira, MD, FSVIN