An interview with Konstantinos Tsioufis

Non-interventionalists and interventionalists need to collaborate for the management of resistant hypertension

 

Konstantinos Tsioufis
Chief of Hypertension Unit, First Cardiology Clinic,
University of Athens, Greece

 

The RHC 2014 co-chairman Konstantinos Tsioufis invites all specialties with an interest in resistant hypertension to participate in the interactive discussions that take place at RHC because, as will be discussed during the Course, a  multidisciplinary heart team is vital for the optimum management of patients with difficult-to-control hypertension.

> What type of non-interventionalists should be attending RHC?

Anyone who is involved in treating patients with resistant hypertension should attend the Course. This means all kinds of specialists from internists to primary care doctors, nephrologists and cardiologists. As its title implies, RHC is dedicated to resistant hypertension and only a part of it is related to interventional issues.

> Why is the management of patients with difficult-to-control hypertension of interest to the non-interventionalist?

These patients constitute a group whose blood pressure is really difficult to control and their total cardiovascular risk is rather high. Non-interventionalists will be informed during the meeting of the new trends and developments for diagnosing, and pharmacologically and interventionally treating patients with resistant hypertension.

> What sessions at RHC do you think the non-interventionalists will find particularly useful?

In my opinion almost all sessions will be useful, since the Course is focused on the management of resistant hypertension. More specifically the sessions about key mechanisms of hypertension, steps for objective diagnosis, the  appropriate combination therapy, and exclusion of secondary causes of hypertension will be useful for non-interventionalists. Even in the dedicated interventional sessions, clinically important data will be presented regarding successfully screening patients for renal denervation, as well as the latest data on the results of trials regarding the interventional approach.

> Several sessions at the Course are focused on renal denervation technologies. What can the non-interventionalist learn from these sessions?

The non-interventionalists will learn about the current exclusion criteria for renal denervation, all of the available technologies, and the optimum follow-up of patients who undergo the procedure. There will be also a very lively exchange of opinions regarding the current questioning of the true efficacy of renal denervation following the recent announcement that SYMPLICITY HTN-3 did not meet its primary efficacy endpoint.

> What do you think interventionalists can learn about managing difficult-to-treat hypertension from non-interventionalists and vice versa?

There should definitely be interplay between interventionalists and non-interventionalists for achieving the best management of patients with resistant hypertension. This means that the pharmacological approach to true resistant hypertension should be the optimal one, and this should be overseen by non-interventional hypertension specialists. The selection of suitable patients for renal denervation should be a result of collaboration between the non-interventionalist and the interventionalist, but then this collaboration should not end with the procedure. There should always be a fruitful exchange of clinical opinions in the overall management of these difficult patients in the long run even after a successful renal denervation procedure.

> What opportunities will there be for non-interventionalists to share their knowledge about managing difficult-to-control hypertension at RHC?

There are numerous sessions at the Course that are dedicated to treating difficult-to-control hypertension in which non-interventionalists will present current trends in therapy. Also in every session, there is a place for dialogue between the audience and the experts. In my opinion, as a hypertension specialist and interventional cardiologist, everybody can learn and gain knowledge in this really informative Course.

> What opportunities will there be for non-interventionalists to help develop the programme of future RHC?

There will be the chance to meet the experts in the field of hypertension and in this year’s Course many non-interventionalists are in the “core” from the programme. The future as well as the current Course needs the presence of the non-interventionalists for a more integrated approach and this will be reflected in the next meetings.

> A multidisciplinary heart team is often seen as important for the optimum management of many cardiovascular conditions. What do you think is the ideal multidisciplinary heart team for managing patients with difficult-to-control hypertension?

The ideal heart team should definitely include a hypertension specialist (i.e. cardiologist, internist, nephrologist), and an interventional cardiologist or radiologist. In other words the interventional and the non-interventional approach is needed for best treating resistant hypertension and this will be presented at RHC.

> There are numerous conferences and courses about managing hypertension. How is RHC?

This RHC is focused on and dedicated to the resistant hypertension from pathophysiology to the high-end interventional methodology. But what makes RHC unique is its interactive character designed for live discussions and equal participation of the audience. As co-chairman of the meeting, I would like to invite everyone who is interested to participate in this exciting Course in which we put all our efforts to be continuously improved.