LIVE WEBINAR: Assessment of Carotid Arterial Plaque by Ultrasound for the Characterization of Atherosclerosis and Evaluation of Cardiovascular Risk

Join Guideline Chair, Amer M. Johri, MD, FASE, and Henrik Sillesen, MD, DMSc, for a free, LIVE webinar, Tuesday, September 22, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT, as they review the recently published ASE guideline, Recommendations for the Assessment of Carotid Arterial Plaque by Ultrasound for the Characterization of Atherosclerosis and Evaluation of Cardiovascular Risk. They will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound methods for carotid arterial plaque quantification.

  1. To register, login to your ASE member portal.
  2. Select the ASE Learning Hub from the top red menu.
  3. Register for the webinar here.

By the end of this educational webinar, viewers will be able to:

  • Understand the standard method for carotid arterial plaque quantification recommended by ASE using 2-D or 3-D derived plaque height.
  • Be familiar with other methods of arterial plaque measurement such as plaque score, plaque area, and plaque volume, including their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Understand the clinical context within which carotid arterial plaque quantification enhances cardiovascular risk stratification.

Be familiar with emerging techniques for carotid arterial plaque composition assessment and its role in detecting the vulnerable patient.

Frontiers in Cardiovascular Ultrasound Research: A Casual Conversation with the Inaugural E21 Research Grant Recipients

Join E21 Research Grant study section chairs Jonathan R. Lindner, MD, FASE (American Society of Echocardiography) and J. Brian Fowlkes, PhD, FAIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) for a free, moderated discussion with the E21 Grant Recipients on September 23, 2020 at 6:00 PM ET. The event will include updates on the innovative research being done through clinician-scientist and engineering partnerships, dialogue regarding cutting-edge ultrasound research, and feature the inaugural E21 Research Grant Recipients presenting their mid-term progress reports:

  • Oliver Kripfgans, PhD, FAIUM
  • Babak Nazer, MD
  • Patricia Pellikka, MD, FASE 

The aim of the 2019 E21 Research Grants funding opportunity was to promote research partnerships between clinician-scientists and engineering scientists, with the purpose of addressing a major clinical problem in cardiovascular ultrasound imaging. Funding was provided by the ASE Foundation, American Society of Echocardiography, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, National Board of Echocardiography, Inc., Bracco, Inc., and Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc.

Celebrate National Coffee Day with ASEF

National Coffee Day is September 29th but we’re celebrating all week long! Join the ASE Foundation September 27 – October 3 and help us raise $5,000. Donate what you would normally spend on a cup of coffee to ASEF. Your contribution will help us meet our Annual Appeal goal and raise needed funding to support scholarships, guideline dissemination, and research!

Mark your calendars and plan to “Donate A Cup” to ASEF! Donations will be accepted all week long, September 27- October 3, 2020. Contact Foundation@ASEcho.org to get the ball rolling and make an early pledge.

What is This Image? Quiz

Congratulations to Shiecca C. Madzima, MD, Christina A. Snider, BA, Haris Riaz, MD, and Rohit Moudgil, MD, PhD, from the Section of Clinical Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio for supplying the image and text for the latest CASE, What is This Image? quiz. Are you able to get it right?

New U.S. CPT codes for COVID-19

On September 8, the AMA CPT Editorial Panel published an update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set that includes two code additions for reporting medical services sparked by the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The first code, CPT code 99072, was approved in response to sweeping measures adopted by medical practices and health care organizations to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), while safely providing patients with access to high-quality care during in-person interactions with health care professionals. The additional supplies, materials and clinical staff time identified in this code are for items intended to mitigate the transmission of the respiratory disease for which the PHE was declared. The new code is to be reported only once per in-person patient encounter per day regardless of the number of services rendered at that encounter, allowing for the provision of extra precautions to ensure the safety of patients as well as health care professionals.

The second addition, CPT code 86413, was approved in response to the development of laboratory tests that provide quantitative measurements of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, as opposed to a qualitative assessment (positive/negative) of SAR-CoV-2 antibodies provided by laboratory tests reported by other CPT codes. By measuring antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the tests reported by 86413 can investigate a person’s adaptive immune response to the virus and help access the effectiveness of treatments used against the infection.

For quick reference, the two new Category I CPT codes and long descriptors are:

  • 99072: Additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time over and above those usually included in an office visit or other non-facility service(s), when performed during a Public Health Emergency as defined by law, due to respiratory-transmitted infectious disease.
  • 86413: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) antibody, quantitative

Please note CMS (or other payers) have not indicated they will cover these codes. ASE will monitor this very closely and update you on any developments

Science from Down Under in the September JASE!

The September JASE contains “Poor Survival with Impaired Valvular Hemodynamics After Aortic Valve Replacement: The National Echo Database Australia Study,” by David Playford, MBBS, PhD, FCSANZ, FESC, FACC, et al. Dr. Playford said, “We have coined a new term in relation to obstruction of flow across valve replacements: “Impaired Valvular Hemodynamics” or IVH. We believe it best addresses the combined issue of abnormal gradients, reduced orifice area, and patient-prosthesis mismatch.The National Echo Database of Australia is the world’s largest repository of echocardiographic measurement and report data that is linked with all-cause and disease-specific mortality. Using NEDA, we characterised the valvular hemodynamics in patients with AVR and classified them by the degree of IVH.” Two additional articles on echo in valvular heart diseases join this one for a deep dive on the topic.

This issue also includes a state-of-the-art review, “Artificial Intelligence and Echocardiography: A Primer for Cardiac Sonographers,” from Ashlee Davis, BS, ACS, RDCS, FASE, et al. Ms. Davis said, “With this article, we really wanted to address artificial intelligence (AI) from the sonographer’s perspective. Our goal was to ensure that sonographers have an understanding of the current and future uses of AI in echo, and address any concerns or fears that they may have about the impact on the profession.”

Other clinical investigations cover stress echo, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and contrast echo, how to identify cardiovascular risk in systemic lupus erythematosus, echo assessment of myocardial scar, echo in children, and fetal echo. Three brief research communications finish out this month’s scientific knowledge. To read about a man whose life exemplified passion for echo and science, do not miss JASE Editor-in-Chief Michael H. Picard’s piece, “In Memoriam: Alfred F. Parisi, MD, FASE.”

Other features this month include:

JASE always welcomes input from our readers as we strive to provide top-notch research and communication for our dynamic field. Email managing editor, Deborah Meyer, at DMeyer@ASEcho.org.

August GEM

During the month of August, one ASE member, Cassady Palmer, BS, ACS, RDCS, RDMS, FASE, was recognized for Going the Extra Mile and received a GEM award!z

Her nominator said, “Cassady has made some tremendous strides in the name of research for our lab. Cassady and our Medical Director, Dr Mazur, have secured a large research grant that will support and propel their work for years to come. Needless to say, we are very proud.”

Do you know an ASE member who’s gone the extra mile? Join us in celebrating ASE members who are making the world a better place, be it for their dedication to the field of cardiovascular ultrasound, being an outstanding mentor to students or fellows, their commitment to quality patient care, a milestone service anniversary, or congratulating them on a major accomplishment. Learn more about how to nominate someone here.

LIVE WEBINAR: Assessment of Carotid Arterial Plaque by Ultrasound for the Characterization of Atherosclerosis and Evaluation of Cardiovascular Risk

Join Guideline Chair, Amer M. Johri, MD, FASE, and Henrik Sillesen, MD, DMSc, for a free, LIVE webinar, Tuesday, September 22, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT, as they review the recently published ASE guideline, Recommendations for the Assessment of Carotid Arterial Plaque by Ultrasound for the Characterization of Atherosclerosis and Evaluation of Cardiovascular Risk. They will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound methods for carotid arterial plaque quantification.

  1. To register, login to your ASE member portal.
  2. Select the ASE Learning Hub from the top red menu.
  3. Register for the webinar here.

By the end of this educational webinar, viewers will be able to:

  • Understand the standard method for carotid arterial plaque quantification recommended by ASE using 2-D or 3-D derived plaque height.
  • Become familiar with other methods of arterial plaque measurement such as plaque score, plaque area, and plaque volume, including their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Understand the clinical context within which carotid arterial plaque quantification enhances cardiovascular risk stratification.
  • Become familiar with emerging techniques for carotid arterial plaque composition assessment and its role in detecting the vulnerable patient.

The Pandemic Appears in August CASE

The latest issue of CASE, ASE’s online case reports journal, is available and contains, “Clot in Transit on Transesophageal Echocardiography in a Prone Patient with COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome,” by James M. Horowitz, MD, Eugene Yuriditsky, MD, Ian J. Henderson, MD, Maxine Wallis Stachel, MD, Benjamin Kwok, MD, and Muhamed Saric, MD, PhD, FASE. Lead author Dr. Horowitz said, “Thrombotic events are common among patients with COVID-19. A high index of suspicion for pulmonary embolism should be maintained among patients with respiratory or hemodynamic decompensation. We reported a clot-in-transit in such a case using transesophageal echocardiography allowing for immediate bedside diagnosis with the patient maintained in prone position.”

Takotsubo cardiomyopathies, rheumatic heart disease, transesophageal surgical situations, anatomic anomalies, masses, myxomas, thrombus, and interventional image guidance (both in human and animal patients) are other topics explored. One of the interventional image guidance cases looks at the novel use of echo fusion and cardiac computed tomographic imaging guidance for percutaneous paravalvular leak closure and comes from Lucy M. Safi, DO, FASE, FACC, et al.

CASE is a valuable tool for mentors, educators, and sonographers to utilize while elevating everyone’s detective abilities. CASE co-Editors-in-Chief, L. Leonardo Rodriguez, MD, FASE, and Karen G. Zimmerman, BS, ACS, RDCS, RVT, FASE, are very grateful to the all the authors and reviewers who have dedicated their time and effort to helping CASE continue its mission of publishing high-quality educational content. “We hope that the CASE community remains safe and engaged as we move forward in uncharted waters.”

CASE always wants to hear from readers and potential authors with opinions and questions. Don’t hesitate to email managing editor, Deborah Meyer at DMeyer@ASEcho.org.

Vote for Your Favorite Echo Images

Thank you to everyone who submitted images for the ASE 2021 Image Calendar Competition. Now it is time to vote for your favorite images to be featured in a colorful, 12-month calendar that will be sent to all members who renew by December 31, 2020. Help your friends and colleagues win by voting today.

To vote for your favorite echo images:

  1. Login to Connect@ASE.
  2. Browse the images uploaded in the  ASE 2021 Calendar Contest Image Library.
  3. Click each image to view.
  4. Give the “thumbs up” to as many images as you would like. The thumbs up button is located below the title of the image and author.

Each thumbs up counts as one vote. If you have any questions, please contact ASE at ACooper@ASEcho.org. Your input helps to create a beautiful and interesting 2021 image calendar

ASE Headquarters – COVID-19 Update

Beginning March 26, 2020, the county where the ASE Headquarters is located is under a government order to “Stay at Home” due to the spread of the coronavirus. These “Stay at Home” recommendations continue to be in effect and depend on the infection rates in the County/State. ASE will keep all but essential personnel telecommuting until a time when it is judged safe to return to work. We are not suspending or closing operations; our employees will remain working and providing excellent customer service to our members and the cardiovascular ultrasound community. However, ASE will slightly modify its official open hours to 9 AM – 4 PM Eastern TimeMonday-Friday. Should you need to get in touch with a staff person, call our main office at 919-861-5574 and a phone list by department will be available. A staff directory is also available here. All general questions can also be sent through ASE@ASEcho.org. Thank you and our best wishes for your continued safety.