Best abstract competition: winners

A highly competitive Best Abstract Competition session on Sunday saw six very high quality presentations leave the judging panel, chaired by Scientific Committee Chairman Professor Marc Samama, with a very difficult decision to make.

After a lengthy discussion with judging panel Professor Tony Absalom (Netherlands) and Professor Cesare Gregoretti (Palermo), Miss Tianjiao Li, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan, was chosen as the winner for her study “Functional connectivity modulations in resting state and offset analgesia in chronic pain patients: an fMRI study” (abstract number BAPC-6)

Chronic pain frequently lacks diagnostic peripheral pathology, but poses significant detrimental effects on cognition and quality of life, which implies possible cerebral dysfunction. Li and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate dynamic alterations in cerebral networks in a resting and task state, in an attempt to objectively measure chronic pain. They specifically examined modulation of neuronal connectivity by offset analgesia, a disproportionately large reduction in pain perception after a brief increment of noxious stimulus.

They found that compared to healthy controls, chronic pain patients showed similar functional connectivity during resting state, but modulated functional connectivity in brain areas concerned with descending pain modulation during offset analgesia. Li concluded: “Therefore, we hypothesise that adaptive functional network changes in endogenous pain inhibition might contribute to pain becoming chronic.”

After learning of her win, Miss Li said: “I really can’t believe that I won, the other entries were very strong. I am now writing up the paper on this study. I want to use the Euroanaesthesia meeting to get some comments from my peers about the pros and cons of the study.”

Prof Samama said: “On behalf of the judging panel I congratulate all six finalists on the excellent quality of presentations. These were all high-level studies on a great variety of topics, presented in a highly professional manner. The margin between all six was very small.”

In second place was Dr Marta Ubré, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Spain and colleagues for their abstract BAPC-1: “Effectiveness of personalised physical training intervention (prehabilitation) in high-risk patients undergoing elective major abdominal surgery: a randomised controlled trial.”

And in third place was Dr Thomas Kiss, Dresden University, Germany and colleagues for their abstract BAPC-4: “Distribution of lung inflammation during assisted mechanical ventilation with titrated end-expiratory transpulmonary pressures in experimental acute respiratory distress syndrome.”

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