CLI Perspectives

The Exciting Educational Programs and Offerings at VIVA 2015

CLI Perspectives is headed by section editor J.A. Mustapha, MD, Metro Health Hospital, Wyoming, Michigan. This month, Dr. Mustapha interviews D. Chris Metzger, MD, FACC, Co-Medical Director, Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, Kingsport, Tennessee.

CLI Perspectives is headed by section editor J.A. Mustapha, MD, Metro Health Hospital, Wyoming, Michigan. This month, Dr. Mustapha interviews D. Chris Metzger, MD, FACC, Co-Medical Director, Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, Kingsport, Tennessee.

Dr. J.A. Mustapha can be contacted at

CLI Perspectives is headed by section editor J.A. Mustapha, MD, Metro Health Hospital, Wyoming, Michigan. 

This month, Dr. Mustapha interviews D. Chris Metzger, MD, FACC, 

Co-Medical Director, Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, Kingsport, Tennessee.

J. A. Mustapha, MD: The education programs at the Vascular InterVentional Advances (VIVA) conference provide physicians with many new, cutting-edge treatments and techniques in the field of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and critical limb ischemia (CLI). The broad form of education provided allows each attending physician to walk away with a wealth of knowledge they can apply to their daily practice. Many PVD physicians today have different interests in all areas of PVD. In particular, CLI therapy has been on the forefront. I first learned about CLI and its implications at VIVA years ago and have watched the evolving education pertaining to CLI growing. Below, I interview Dr. D. Chris Metzger, a VIVA Board Member from Kingsport, Tennessee. He shares the many exciting offerings coming to VIVA 2015, taking place November 2-5, at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

J.A. Mustapha, MD: What value do live cases add to a large meeting like VIVA?

D. Chris Metzger, MD: I believe that there is a tremendous educational value to live cases, which are consistently rated by attendees as a favorite learning experience. The audience is able to watch and think “real time” during the case. The live case operators and teams are carefully selected experts, who then select cases that will be of teaching benefit to attendees. There is a panel of experts who discuss the case with the audience and operators, led by a moderator who facilitates discussion and interaction, and maximizes teaching points. These cases are chosen to highlight subjects discussed in that segment of the meeting. The audience watches firsthand and sees “how the experts do it”. As they are truly “live”, the audience also sees how operators and panelists react to and think about the case as it unfolds. They get a balanced view of treatment options from a diverse panel. We are excited to have live cases transmitted from Japan at VIVA this year, which will showcase techniques and perspectives that are unique and new to the attendees.

Finally, using our unique teleconferencing, if a live case continues after it goes off the main arena screen, participants will be able to watch it on their own device.

J. Mustapha: Will there be late-breaking clinical trials presented at VIVA, and if so, what can we expect?

D. Chris Metzger: Yes! This is another favorite featured session at VIVA. We will have 2 general session slots dedicated to late-breaking clinical trial presentations. Here, studies and new data are presented for the first time, representing true “late-breaking”, cutting-edge data presentations. These studies are chosen from a very competitive list of applications, where we select the most meaningful new data pertinent to the peripheral vascular disease specialist. Because this is true “first-time presentations”, which are often coupled with simultaneous publications in major journals, the data is embargoed until the trial is presented. Because of this, and because we are making final tough decisions regarding which of the many submitted studies are selected, I cannot tell you exactly what to expect. I CAN tell you that you do want to be in the room for these presentations!

J. Mustapha: You have pre meeting workshops at VIVA. Can you tell us about these?

D. Chris Metzger: Absolutely. We have a CLI workshop and an “Aortic Armageddon” workshop (we will also introduce the VEINS symposium, discussed below). These are outstanding and aimed to give attendees a very in-depth “deep dive” into these subjects in all-day courses completely dedicated to CLI or aortic intervention. True experts in the field serve as faculty, and we even bring in specific topic experts for this workshop who may not be available all week as VIVA faculty. In addition to a comprehensive list of topics covered in these sessions, we supplement this with case presentations with panel and audience interactive participation. Attendees can choose to completely immerse themselves into one topic, or attend some sessions in each workshop. They will not leave feeling under-informed regarding the subject!

J. Mustapha: VIVA has broadened its education into venous disease. Can you comment?

D. Chris Metzger: VIVA has recognized that there is a growing role for venous intervention and management of venous disease. There is also a need for increased education so that physicians understand the disease and management of it. Knowing this, we have initiated a collaborative relationship with the VEINS meeting, an outstanding symposium previously held in Chicago. The VEINS meeting will now be a dedicated VIVA pre-meeting course, bringing the best of both teams together in Las Vegas. We are truly excited about this inaugural VEINS event this year, and look forward to offering venous education with excellence to attendees.

J. Mustapha: VIVA is known for continually bringing new and innovative interactive sessions and forums each year. What are some highlights for this year’s meeting?

D. Chris Metzger: There are many new and improved educational opportunities for VIVA 2015. There will be focused roundtable discussions in our unique Blue Room Format. Here, experts from around the world will give short talks on various subtopics within a chosen subject (e.g. carotid stenting), followed by interactive discussions. As mentioned, we are adding a live case site from Japan and the VEINS meeting. “Virtual VIVA” has been improved and significantly enhanced, and will allow more direct visualization of the meeting and interaction with faculty members.

J. Mustapha: What opportunities are there for fellows with VIVA?

D. Chris Metzger: VIVA has increased its support for fellows. There will be a “Fellows Face Off”, where fellows present interesting cases in a competitive environment, with the best presentations selected for presentation. There is a dedicated session for fellows where VIVA faculty takes them on an educational tour through industry-focused workstations, coupled with refreshments in a relaxed, interactive format. We offer the competitive “VIVA fellowship”, where IC, VS, or IR physicians apply to perform a dedicated year at a high-volume center for dedicated peripheral and structural training (my center is expected to be a site hosting fellows in 2016).

J. Mustapha: Are there other VIVA projects independent of the meeting itself?

D. Chris Metzger: Many! One example would be our first Vascular Leader’s Forum. This will be a dedicated meeting with invited experts from all fields involved in the treatment of CLI patients, coupled with regulatory (e.g. FDA, CMS) and industry representatives. This is designed to come up with position papers for the treatment of CLI.

J. Mustapha: Any last thoughts as VIVA 2015 approaches?

D. Chris Metzger: Yes. We hope to see you in Las Vegas, for what I believe will be an outstanding, entertaining, interactive, and informative meeting! If you absolutely can’t come to Las Vegas, consider joining us “virtually” through Virtual VIVA. n