By ASGE President Gregory G. Ginsberg, MD, FASGE

ASGE, in its revised mission statement, has emphasized innovation as a pillar of our existence and the Presidential Plenary session this year—scheduled for Monday, May 21, 1–5 p.m.—will highlight innovative applications of endoscopy to address challenging issues.  In addition, the session will address quality in GI endoscopy.

We’ve made tremendous advances in enhanced endoscopic imaging in the past decade, and we’ve gone from using staining techniques with analog scopes to high-definition instrumentation with the use of band-specific wavelength reduction and progressed to the point of endomicroscopy and endocytoscopy. The technology that will be highlighted during this plenary incorporates another novel harnessing of the way that light interacts with tissue to predict biologic behavior of immediate and surrounding tissue or organ systems.

We will kick off the session with a video, two abstract presentations and a state-of-the-art lecture all on the use of peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) for the treatment of esophageal achalasia. POEM is an innovative approach to the management of achalasia. Its origin derives from technologies developed for endoscopic submucosal dissection and NOTES® therapies.

The state-of-the-art lecture, to be delivered by Horst Neuhaus, MD, current president of the European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, will address the role of POEM in achalasia management. The abstract presentations will showcase a prospective international trial of POEM for achalasia and a comparative trial of POEM versus conventional endoscopic myotomy. The state-of-the-art lecture will be followed by presentation of the Rudolf V. Schindler Award, ASGE’s highest honor, to Dennis “Dean” Jensen, MD, professor of medicine at the UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Quality in GI endoscopy will be highlighted in two additional abstract presentations and a state-of-the-art lecture on the prevention of pancreatitis following ERCP. One of the abstracts will report results of a randomized, controlled trial of rectal indomethacin for the prevention of post-ERCP pancreatitis, while the other will report results of a large, multicenter trial of endoscopic pancreatobiliary sphincterotomy to reduce future episodes of pancreatitis in patients with acute recurrent pancreatitis. Stuart Sherman, MD, FASGE, professor of medicine and of radiology at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, will present the lecture, which is titled “Preventing Pancreatitis in 2012, Are We There Yet?”

In my presidential address, I’ll review ASGE’s accomplishments over the past year and the Society’s vision for the future, including our efforts to foster innovation and quality in GI endoscopy. I am also looking forward to discussing the successful revision of the Society’s strategic plan and completion of a campaign to raise funds for the ASGE Institute for Training & Technology (IT&T).

Louis-Michel Wong Kee Song, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, will look at “Imaging in the New Millennium” in another state-of-the-art lecture. His lecture will be followed by a video presentation demonstrating endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided trans-mural biliary endotherapy, an abstract presentation on a trial of EUS-guided choledochoduodenostomy and a state-of-the-art endowed lecture on “Opportunities for Therapeutic EUS.”

The Presidential Plenary will also include the inauguration of Thomas M. Deas Jr., MD, FASGE, as the new ASGE president. Dr. Deas is a gastroenterologist with Gastroenterology Associates of North Texas in Fort Worth and medical director of the Fort Worth Endoscopy Center and the SW Fort Worth Endoscopy Center, TX.

We’ll close the Presidential Plenary with an exploration of quality in colonoscopy through abstract presentations related to the polypectomy rate and the adenoma detection rate, and an abstract on the effect of diet on bowel preparation. The plenary will end with a state-of-the-art endowed lecture titled “Quality in Colonoscopy, What Does It Mean?” by Kenneth R. McQuaid, MD, FASGE, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and chief of gastroenterology at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.