25 Most Influential: Mark H. Meissner, MD

Mark H. Meissner, MD

A colleague had this to say: “Dr. Meissner is one of the most rigorous investigators in the U.S. regarding venous disease.”

In your opinion, which area of research is yielding the most advancement in the field?

Advancements in venous research are proceeding along two important pathways. On the clinical side, there is an increased awareness of the need to offer our patients treatments which are solidly evidence-based. The importance of evidence-based practice has long been appreciated in the treatment of acute venous thromboembolism, but such principles have been late in coming to the management of chronic venous disorders. It is gratifying to see more treatment alternatives compared in well designed clinical trials and I believe both the investigators and sponsors of such research need to be recognized, commended and supported. Such research also fits well with national trends supporting investigation of the comparative effectiveness of different treatment modalities.

On the basic science side, many advances are being made in our understanding of acute venous thrombogenesis and the cellular-molecular mechanisms underlying chronic venous disorders. Although much of this research is in it infancy, I do believe this will lead to improved treatment options for patients with acute and chronic venous disorders.

What technological advances are long overdue?

Although there are too many exciting advances to mention, I do think the development of newer, more convenient and potentially safer anticoagulants is on the horizon and have the potential to dramatically improve the care of our patients.

What advancements are long overdue?

The most important priorities for the advancement of venous disease were addressed in the proceedings of the 5th Pacific Vascular Symposium. Among these, advances is the management of deep venous reflux, particularly the development of a functional, non-thrombogenic venous valve, are long overdue. Unfortunately, this is a daunting problem which may be several years away. Of a more immediate nature, establishing the role of thrombolysis in the treatment of acute deep venous thrombosis is also long overdue. Hopefully, this question will be answered by the upcoming ATTRACT trial.

With all the talk about "going green", where do you think modern medicine will contribute to the most? Where do you think it will fall short?

Just as "going green" caries an obligation to consider societal values above personal convenience, I do think we need to keep moving towards a medical care system which provides high quality, scientifically sound care to the greatest number of patients in the most cost efficient manner.

You are well known in your field of work. What is something about you that would surprise your colleagues?

I work to support a skiing habit.

What question did we not ask that we should? Now, answer it!

Why would you encourage a young trainee to consider venous disease as part of their practice?