American Venous Forum Showcases Advances in the Field at its 23rd Annual Meeting

by Eileen Masciale

More than 350 healthcare providers who treat venous disease from all over the world attended the 23rd annual Meeting of the american Venous Forum (aVF), February 23-26, in San Diego. according to aVF Outgoing President
Peter Pappas, MD, it was one of the aVF’s most successful meetings to date with more than 500 participants in all, including exhibitors and media.

The aVF annual Meeting brings together internationally recognized authorities on all aspects of venous disease, diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment. In addition, researchers’ most recent works leading to improved understanding of these topics is presented and discussed. The objective of this comprehensive meeting is to provide those attending with knowledge of current thinking in effective clinical management of venous disease and insight into the future directions from critical analysis of investigative findings.

The program consists of the half-day David S. Sumner Venous Summit, several symposia, scientific sessions and scientific posters to review challenging clinical issues.

Said Pappas, “Since its inception in 1988, the aVF has worked tirelessly to improve the care of patients with venous and lymphatic disease through innovative teaching and research. Now, with patient and physician advocacy incorporated into its mission, the aVF utilized the annual meeting to showcase its newest initiatives that advance its multi-pronged mission.”

David S. Sumner Venous Summit

The David S. Sumner Venous Summit, a postgraduate course named to honor Dr. Sumner’s monumental contributions that have facilitated understanding of venous hemodynamics, consisted of several lectures that focused on fluid dynamics in veins.

Venous hemodynamics is important because, ac-cording to the aVF, the fluid dynamics in veins are radically different from those in arteries because they are collapsible tubes. clinical venous problems are so interconnected with fundamental venous flow dynamics, that meaningful advances in analysis and treatment of these conditions are not possible without an understanding of basic principles.The topics that were covered to give attendees a better understanding of the basic principles of venous he-modynamics included: Flow in collapsible Tubes, presented by Roger D. Kamm, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Venous Energetics, presented by Sheldon Magder, MD, McGill University; Flow Dynamics in capillaries and Veins, presented by Geert Schmid-Schonbein, PhD, University of California, San Diego; Microcirculation, presented by F.E. Curry, PhD, University of California, Davis; and Biomechanical applications in Venous Flow, presented by Aleksander Popel, PhD, Johns Hopkins University.

“Dr. Sumner is a giant amongst our generation of vascular surgeons. a man of great scientific intellect and analytical skills, he helped explain the intricacies of venous circulation. His book, coauthored with Dr. Strandness, Hemodynamics for Surgeons, is a classic, “ said Seshadri Raju, MD, Director of the Rane center at River Oaks Hospital and the new president of the aVF. “Ever courteous and gentle, he mentored many young vascular surgeons. Indeed, he was the role model for a modern vascular surgeon.”

More Meeting Highlights

Throughout the five-day meeting, attendees benefited from the high quality cutting edge research topics that were addressed in workshops, presentation and posters. New program segments were also offered this year that enhanced the education agenda and spurred continued discussion and collaboration among the specialists.

Among the highlights was the Eugene Strandness, Jr. lecture, which was presented by David c. zawieja, PhD, Director, Division of Lymphatic Biology, Texas a & M Health Science center college of Medicine from his presentation on Microcirculatory and Lymphatic Disorders. He updated the group on his cutting edge basic science research on lymphatic diseases and demonstrated that lymphatic disease research at a high level is possible.

A unique presentation was the Live Ultrasound discussion led by Nicos Labropoulos, MD, and Steve Elias, MD. Their discussion of a case of Klippel-Trenanay Syndrome elicited an interactive, lively interchange with attendees who offered their experience on evaluation and treatment of this disorder. Said one attendee, “Having so many experts in the same room on a tough case was invaluable.”

Other highlights were:

  • Vena Caval Filters: Review of Indications and Practices at a University Hospital
  • Venous Disease and the Effects of Increasing Body Mass Index: Results from the National Venous Screening Program

Another popular session was entitled, “The Best of the Non-JVS Venous Papers.” This session featured researchers who had papers on cutting edge research that were published in journals other than the Journal of Vascular Surgery. Gregory Monetta, MD, moderated this session.

AVF News

“The major contribution of the AVF has been to set high standards and establish venous therapy on firm scientific foundations,” said Dr. Raju. “It had been empiric for centuries before.”

Further accomplishing this goal, the aVF made two major announcements at the annual meeting.

Attendees from around the world heard about the launch of the AVF’s first-of-its-kind american Venous Registry (VEIN Magazine cover Story, Winter 2011), the only registry dedicated to venous related diseases, which was launched at the meeting. The varicose vein module was introduced and registrants were encouraged sign on as users. The next module that will be released is the stent module, followed by other modules that are in development – on vena caval interruption devices, pharmacomechanical therapies and upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

In addition, the aVF was proud to announce the publication of two guidelines on the management of varicose veins and pharmacomechanical therapies that will be published by the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

AVF Awards

The AVF was delighted to honor Norman Rich, MD, FacS, DMcc (cOL, Mc, USa, RET), Leonard Heaton and David Packard, Profes-sor of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences with the Founder’s award at the meeting’s closing gala.

“The American Venous Forum is proud to honor Dr. Rich for providing leadership in the management and treatment of venous disease for more than four decades,” said Dr. Pappas. “In addition, he played a critical role as part of a group of surgeons who had the vision and commitment to establish the american Venous Forum in order to improve venous and lymphatic health.”

“The contributions Dr. Rich has made throughout his career to ve-nous disease both scientifically and from an organizational standpoint have really moved the field forward from its infancy,” said Mark Meissner, MD, University of Washington. “He has really shaped the questions and changed the management of venous disease during that period of time.”

In addition, the aVF awarded Marlene Mathews, MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry graduate and research resident in vascular surgery, the 2011 recipient of the american Venous Forum BSN-JOBST Re-search Fellowship award, a $50,000 grant for her research on treating venous thrombo embolic disease.

“The BSN JOBST Research Fellowship is of utmost impor-tance to the american Venous Forum because of the oppor-tunity it offers to young researchers,” said Dr. Paul Pittaluga, chairman of the american Venous Forum’s Grants and awards committee. “Dr. Mathews is making contributions to the field of venous research and showing great promise for the future. We look forward to her contributions to patient care.”

New Executive Council Mark Meissner, MD, chair of the aVF’s Nominating com-mittee announced a new slate of officers for the aVF, starting with Dr. Raju as the new President. Rob McLafferty, MD, was named President-Elect. In addition, David Gillespie, MD, and Peter Pappas, MD, were named to the Research coun-cil; Joann Lohr, MD, was named to the Education council; William Marston, MD, was named archivist; John Blebea, MD, was named Treasurer; and Julianne Stoughton, MD, was named councilor. The Executive committee members who are continuing with their terms are: Fedor Lurie, MD, Secretary; Peter Henke, MD, Recorder; Joe Raffetto, MD, councilor; Lowell Kabnick, MD; Education council.

About the AVF

The AVF is an international consortium of venous and lymphatic specialists dedicated to improving patient care. Its mission is to promote venous and lymphatic health through innovative research, education and technology. Membership of the AVF now stands at 638, with the addition of 87 new members who were approved at the AVF annual meeting. The 24th Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, FL, in February 2012. For more information about the AVF, log on to