As in previous years, the standard of entries in this year’s Best Abstract Competition final was high, and this year’s contest took place on Sunday in the new Agora room, where speakers are in a central podium with seating completely circling the stage.
This year’s judging panel was again led by Chair Professor Marc Samama, Cochin University Hospital, Paris, France, and his fellow judges were Professor Esther Pogatzki-Zahn, University Hospital Münster, Germany and Professor Tony Absalom, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
The winning abstract was 3729: “Comparison of distribution patterns among three approaches for quadratus lumborum block: an imaging study by 3D-CT scanning”, by Dr Gert-Jan Eerdekens, currently doing his residency in anaesthesia at the Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg (ZOL) in Genk, Belgium. His research was done in collaboration with Dr Philipe Gautier, Clinique Ste Anne – St. Remi in Brussels, Belgium. Dr Eerdekens wins the first prize of 3,000 Euros.
Asked why he decided to do this study, Dr Eerdekens explained: “Ultrasound in regional anaesthesia both improved regional anaesthesia and pain medicine techniques and fuelled the development of the new ones. As an example, the quadratus lumborum block (QLB) is just one of many recently proposed techniques that have gained substantial popularity, although the exact mechanisms of action are not well understood.”
He further explained that studies in cadavers have compared the patterns of distribution among the three quadratus lumborum techniques (QL1, QL2, and QL3). The available data suggest that QL3 may result in the most desirable spread because it could reach the thoracic paravertebral space. Because cadaver studies may not reflect the spread of the injectate in patients, Eerdekens and colleagues designed this clinical study to describe the distribution of local anaesthetic and radiocontrast of the three techniques of QL blocks by using CT scan assessment.
He concluded: “Our study suggests that distribution patterns of local anaesthetic among the three QL techniques vary significantly. Local anaesthetic distributes in the targeted fascial planes, but without reaching the paravertebral space consistently. Our data do not demonstrate that the QL3 results in the most desirable spread, which is in contrast to current beliefs. The data also allow for clinical studies to further determine the analgesic efficacy and sensory-motor distribution of the block accomplished with the different techniques of QL injections.”
In second place (2,000 Euros) was abstract 2769, “Dexmedetomidine increases expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) in LPS-stimulated mouse macrophage-like cells” by Dr Maki Fujimoto, Okayama University, Japan. She works as a dental anaesthesiologist in oral surgery in Okayama University Hospital, Japan.
And the third place prize of 1,000 Euros was taken by abstract 3076, “Dose-response relationship of perineural dexamethasone for interscalene brachial plexus block: a randomised, controlled, triple-blinded trial,” by Dr Idris Piepers, who obtained his medical degree in 2015 at KU Leuven, Belgium. He is currently working at Gasthuisberg Hospital KU Leuven, as a trainee in anaesthesia-resuscitation.
Following the presentations, Professor Samama said: “It is always a pleasure to see the high-quality research presented in the best abstract competition final. Myself and my fellow panellists were all very impressed with this year’s presentations which were again of a very high standard. After much discussion we decided that Dr Eerdekens deserved first prize, we congratulate him, our other prize winners, and our finalists and wish them all well with their future research and careers.”