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European Cardiology - Volume 4 Issue 1;2008:4(1):8-8

Welcome to this edition of European Cardiology. One thing is clear in cardiology: everything is changing fast. Certainly, the last decade has witnessed great strides in the technical and therapeutic tools we have to diagnose and combat cardiovascular-related diseases, but, as shifting demographics and increased screening programmes confirm, the burden facing Europe is greater than ever. Therefore, we must seek to change too – individually, as practitioners of cardiovascular disciplines, collectively, as associations and professional bodies, and even on a country level, where national policy must evolve to best address the cardiovascular burden facing our citizens.
On a much more localised level, European Cardiology is changing too: first, and most obviously, in its title (this is the first issue since it was renamed from its original title, European Cardiovascular Disease); and second, in its scope and structure, which have continued to evolve over the four years of its existence. There is so much to cover, and while the focus of the publication shifts from issue to issue, the Editor certainly hopes that the balance of topics remains rich and interesting.
Collectively, as professionals in cardiovascular-related fields, our task can never be complete. What we can aim for, however, is to ensure that we are continuously moving forward, bettering ourselves and disseminating best practice in our respective fields. The raison d’être of the European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) – a professional body close to my heart, particularly during my current tenure as President – reads “To promote excellence in clinical diagnosis, research, technical development and education in cardiovascular ultrasound in Europe”. Replace ‘ultrasound’ where appropriate, and this surely must be the goal of us all if we are to perform as effectively as possible in our battle against cardiovascular diseases. We must seek to transform ground-breaking science into practice in order to incorporate the latest knowledge and understanding into the day-to-day treatment of patients. As regards the EAE, I would like to invite all interested professionals to join us at EUROECHO 2008, our 12th Annual Meeting, in Lyon between 10 and 13 December.
Among the many interesting articles included in this issue of European Cardiology are ‘Assessment of Coronary Artery Stenoses by Myocardial Contrast Stress Echocardiography’ by Mai Tone Lønnebakken and Eva Gerdts, and ‘Risk Stratification for Coronary Artery Disease in Marathon Runners’ by Stefan Möhlenkamp et al. Elsewhere, Ricardo Seabra-Gomes considers ‘Coronary Arteries and Sirolimus-eluting Stents – Applications, Benefits and Future Potential’. It is due only to space constraints that I am unable to list the many other valuable contributions contained within these pages, as I hope you will soon discover.
The sheer breadth of cardiovascular practice poses a great problem for many cardiologists. Although we have more resources than ever to consult in our attempts to stay abreast of all the latest developments, and have electronic indexed libraries that have turned previously arduous literature searches into something we may navigate with relative ease, there is still so much to stay abreast of! The speed of development and the number of excellent original papers – and indeed specialised journals – mean that sometimes trying to catch even just the best new papers is difficult. We are busy, time-pressured individuals, and we sometimes have to keep running in order to just stand still.
European Cardiology certainly cannot solve this problem. However, by providing a bi-annual overview of many of the most important and salient developments in the field of cardiology, it can make a valuable contribution towards helping us to stay abreast of issues across the entire cardiovascular panorama. I hope that you find it a fascinating read. Ôûá