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The most important lessons from Barcelona

The Annual EAU Congress typically closes with a Souvenir Session, and EAU19 in Barcelona was no different. Presided over by EAU Secretary-General Prof. Chris Chapple (GB) and outgoing Scientific Congress Office Chairman Prof. Arnulf Stenzl (DE), members of the SCO each gave summaries of important data presented at EAU19 in their specific field.

The Souvenir Session followed the last of the seven Plenary Sessions. It was dedicated to the treatment options for male lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

One of the BPH highlights at EAU19, as pointed out by Prof. Jean-Nicolas Cornu (FR), was abstract 1112, Lim et al, who presented a proof of concept with high-quality illustrations on electrochemical ablation, or electrolysis treatment. The first results are encouraging, but data is not yet available.

Prof. Thomas Knoll (DE) gave a summary of the biggest innovations in urolithiasis presented at EAU19, and drew the audience’s attention to poster 336 (Grivas et al), which pointed out the 2019 updates on paediatric urolithiasis in the EAU Guidelines. The indications for recommended treatment are very similar to adults and endoscopy clearly benefitted from miniaturization.

Poster 138 (Abufaraj et al) examined American gender distribution in stone formation, noting that the gender gap was closing, perhaps relating to increasing female obesity.  Taguchi et al (1254) meanwhile pointed out that urine supersaturation alone cannot explain obesity as a stone risk factor, also suggesting renal papilla and the examination of biopsy tissue as targets of further research. The authors suggest a novel gene-based mechanism at work, and that obesity may drive urinary stone formation via a lipid metabolism pathway.

Discussing highlights in RCC and transplantation, Prof. Marc-Oliver Grimm (DE) pointed to award-winning poster 757 from the ERUS group, presenting encouraging results on 185 cases of robotic-assisted kidney transplant (ERUS-RAKT).  Sullivan et al (767) was one of several papers that compared robot-assisted partial nephrectomy to open surgery, another being 341.

After much attention for the ERAS protocol at ERUS18 in Marseille, one study (1016, Withington) now examined it when dealing with RCC. The length of the patient’s hospital stay was halved, with a lower readmission rate. Grimm pointed out that more robotic surgery was used after ERAS was implemented, somewhat skewing the results. Nevertheless, it was determined that the biggest impact on length of stay was the ERAS programme itself.

In total, twelve separate topics were discussed for ten minutes each, giving the remaining delegates a highly concentrated dose of the EAU19 scientific content.