Pathfast logo  Educational Webinars
Webinar lab Pathfast sponsors continuing medical educational events for healthcare professionals across the country. You can register for upcoming sessions here, or watch archived webinar recordings at any time, from anywhere. These Pathfast sponsored events are presented by key opinion leaders in the world of healthcare and research, and managed by Whitehat Communications to ensure a professional environment. All programs are free, and offer P.A.C.E.® Continuing Education Credits for up to six months after the live event. Be sure to check back often for new event postings. 

Cardiac Biomarker Testing at the Point of Care: NTproBNP and Cardiac Troponin in the High-Sensitivity Era
Live Event: Tuesday, October 11, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
PACE® Credit available until April 11, 2023  |  Florida Lab Credit available

Heart disease is the biggest killer in the western world. As indicated in professional guidelines on myocardial infarction and heart failure, laboratory medicine plays a pivot role in the diagnosis, risk assessment and monitoring of heart disease, and clinicians depend on laboratorians to offer the best assays for care of patients. This is particularly important with NTproBNP and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) assays at both POC and in the central laboratory. Accurate diagnosis and risk assessment of heart failure patients allows better management and can prevent or delay readmission, and improve quality of life.

Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of myocardial infarction can expedite movement of patients into the best care path for their disease, which decreases length of stay in the emergency department and as inpatients. This reduces costs and, most important, improves patient health outcomes the public health services available in the community.

This webinar will provide updated information on both NTproBNP and hscTnI oriented to laboratorians. With this information, laboratorians will be more valuable members of the healthcare team, more useful stewards to their organization and better citizens to their institution and community.

This webinar will:
  • List the clinical uses for NT-proBNP and possible interferences with the biomarker
  • Compare and contrast differences between the Fourth Redefinition of Myocardial Infarction’s strategy for diagnosis of myocardial infarction and the strategies articulated in the 2020 guidelines for diagnosis of NSEMI promulgated by the European Society of Cardiology
  • Explain the definition of high sensitivity cardiac troponin assays
  • List venues where point of care testing for NTproBNP and high sensitivity cardiac troponin would useful and explain the benefits of POC testing for each testing location
Robert H. Christenson, Ph.D., DABCC, FAACC, FACC
Professor of Pathology, Medical and Research Technology
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Medical Director Core Laboratories, Point of Care Services
University of Maryland Medical Center
Rob Christensen Photo
Rob Christenson is Professor of Pathology and Professor of Medical and Research Technology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Christenson has published over 380 peer-reviewed papers, 6 books, 41 textbook chapters and holds 5 patents. Dr. Christenson currently serves on his university’s Medical School Admissions Committee and on University of Maryland’s Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee. Clinically, Prof. Christenson is Medical Director of the Core Laboratories and Point-of-Care Testing at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The Evolving Role of Troponin in the AHA/ACC Chest Pain Guidelines
Live Event: Wednesday, August 3, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
PACE® Credit available until February 3, 2023  |  Florida Lab Credit available

With the advent of high sensitivity troponin, the approach to evaluation of chest pain patients has evolved significantly, yet many clinicians remain uncertain about how to best incorporate relevant, emerging concepts into clinical practice.

A lack of understanding regarding emerging approaches to chest pain evaluation contributes to inefficient risk stratification and overutilization of healthcare resources.

This webinar will provide a road map for clinicians to understand the landscape surrounding troponin use in the evaluation of chest pain, using the recently published AHA/ACC chest pain guidelines as the basis for evidence and recommendations provided.

This webinar will:
  • Review the current landscape of troponin testing and related implications on acute chest pain evaluation
  • Examine the recent AHA/ACC chest pain guidelines, with an emphasis on recommendations specific to troponin
  • Identify pathways and protocols for acute chest pain evaluation with a focus on nuances related to differing commercially available troponin assays
  • Discuss the implementation of clinical decision pathways for acute chest pain evaluation

Phillip Levy, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA
Professor, Emergency Medicine
Wayne State University
Associate Vice President
Translational Sciences and Clinical Research Innovation
Phillip Levy Photo
Dr. Phillip Levy is the Edward S Thomas endowed Professor in Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University where he serves as Associate Vice President for Translational Sciences and Clinical Research Innovation. Dr. Levy is a Fellow of multiple professional societies including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Natriuretic Peptides for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Heart Failure
Live Event: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
PACE® Credit available until December 21, 2022  |  Florida Lab Credit available

Heart Failure (HF) afflicts a great many elderly Americans and is the compromised ability of the heart to pump sufficient blood to meet the patient’s physiological demands. This supply-demand mismatch causes hemodynamic stress, which results in symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue, shortness of breath when lying down, swelling in the legs, ankles and feet, rapid or irregular heartbeat and reduced ability to exercise. HF diagnosis is important to diagnose and treat to relieve these symptoms and manage this disease. The hemodynamic stress caused by HF causes release of the heart hormone B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). Detection of BNP’s co-metabolite NT-proBNP is a very sensitive and reliable biomarker of acute heart failure and should be available at all acute care medical centers.

Interpretation of natriuretic peptides comes with caveats and part of the focus of webinar talk will be to gain not just an understanding of the signs and symptoms of HF and the associated diagnostic thresholds for BNP and NT-proBNP, but learn about comorbidities such as renal disease and obesity and how these may impact the levels of natriuretic peptides in the presence or absence of heart failure. This webinar will also focus on understanding other cardiovascular diseases that may influence natriuretic peptide levels and the prognostic implications of an elevated level with and without a diagnosis of heart failure.

This webinar will:
  • Explain the signs and symptoms of HF
  • Discuss the optimal diagnostic thresholds for NT-proBNP to diagnose HF
  • Explain the prognostic implications of an elevated natriuretic peptide level with or without a diagnosis of HF
  • Identify potential confounders whether they be medical comorbidities or treatments for HF that may influence natriuretic peptides and recognize if these might impact the threshold to diagnose HF
Christopher R. deFilippi, MD, FACC
Vice-chairman of Academic Affairs
Inova Heart and Vascular Institute
Christopher deFilippi Photo
Christopher deFilippi is the Vice-chairman of Academic Affairs for the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. He joined Inova in 2016 and previously had been an Associate professor with the Division of Cardiology at the University of Maryland. He has published over 245 peer reviewed publications most of which have focused on circulating biomarkers. His in a PI on an active R01 and R21 NIH grants also focusing on biomarker and proteomics insights in diuretic choice in heart failure. He runs a core laboratory at Inova working with multiple industry partners, the NIH also having served as a corelab for a large phase III heart failure study.
ED Chest Pain Risk Stratification: Moving Beyond the HEART Score
Live Event: Thursday, May 5, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
PACE® Credit available until November 5, 2022  |  Florida Lab Credit available

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Each year, 7-9 million patients with symptoms of possible ACS present to U.S. emergency departments (EDs). Many of these patients are hospitalized for in-depth evaluations, yet <10% are ultimately diagnosed with ACS. Correctly identifying the few patients with ACS is challenging and high-stakes for ED providers. ACS patients often have atypical symptoms. Missing ACS is associated with a two-fold increase in mortality, and missed ACS is the top reason for malpractice claims against ED physicians.

Use of accurate accelerated diagnostic protocols and high sensitivity troponin assays (hs-cTn) can improve the efficiency and quality of care by safely decreasing unnecessary healthcare utilization. The HEART Pathway is a validated care algorithm designed to safely identify patients with acute chest pain for early discharge from the ED without stress testing or coronary angiography. In a randomized clinical trial, the HEART Pathway reduced hospitalizations by 21% and cost by >$200 per patient, without any adverse cardiac events occurring in low-risk patients.

This webinar will discuss the diagnostic dilemma of acute chest pain in the ED and how new strategies and pathways have evolved to safely and more efficiently care for patients with chest pain.

This webinar will:
  • Identify the current challenges and inefficiencies of ED chest pain evaluations
  • Assess the importance and limitations of troponins
  • Discuss how accelerated diagnostic protocols aid in risk stratification
  • Explain how clinical decision support tools can help standardize care and improve pathway adherence

Simon A. Mahler, MD, MS
Professor and Vice Chair of Research
Department of Emergency Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Simon Mahler Photo

Dr. Mahler is a Professor and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He completed a Master of Science in Clinical and Population Translational Sciences at Wake Forest University and a T-32 mentored research program in Quality Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Mahler has led several important clinical trials examining care pathways for patients with acute chest pain and is widely recognized as an expert in the risk stratification of Emergency Department patients with possible acute coronary syndrome.
Management of Rural Patients with Chest Pain
Live Event: Wednesday, March 23, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
PACE® Credit available until September 23, 2022  |  Florida Lab Credit available

Rural Americans are more likely to be unhealthy, older, living in poverty, uninsured, and medically underserved. These differences lead to higher cardiovascular death rates and attenuation in the mortality reduction from medical breakthroughs in rural areas when compared to urban communities. Over the past 40 years, the gap in health outcomes among patients living in rural communities versus urban areas has widened. Mortality differences are multifactorial, but include increased alcohol and drug use, smoking, and poor diet as well as joblessness and physical inactivity. Current statistics reveal that rural communities are becoming more diverse, which further adds many race- and ethnic-specific health disparities to the rural setting. In addition, there is heterogeneity in socioeconomic status across rural locations and this variability is not necessarily correlated with population size or distance from urban areas.

Achieving health equity and improving cardiovascular health for rural Americans was one of the CDC’s Healthy People 2020 overarching goals. The American Heart Association (AHA) has clearly stated their commitment to reduce health disparities and recently issued a presidential advisory and “Call to Action” for stakeholders to prioritize rural communities in all capacities including research, education, and quality improvement. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, and disproportionately impacts patients in rural areas. Healthcare resources are limited in rural communities. This presentation will assist you in providing evidence based care to your rural patients.

This webinar will:
  • Appreciate an overview of how heart disease affects rural patients
  • Discuss risk stratification of patients with symptoms concerning for ACS, PE and HF
  • Explain integration of point of care biomarkers in risk stratification
  • Describe telehealth and integration of prehospital providers with primary care providers

Jason P. Stopyra, MD, MS
Atrium Health
Wake Forest Baptist

Jason Stopyra Photo

Following graduation from residency Dr. Stopyra entered private practice at a rural community hospital Emergency Department. He also became the county EMS Medical Director and Medical Director of the Health Department. In 2013, he accepted an academic position with Wake Forest University with a concentration in Emergency Medical Services and Cardiovascular research. In 2016 he was named the North Carolina Doctor of the Year. He earned his Masters degree in clinical research in 2019 and looks forward to advancing rural cardiovascular care both in and out of the hospital.
Cardiac Biomarkers: Current Status, Future Promise
Live Event: Wednesday, February 23, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
PACE® Credit available until August 23, 2022  |  Florida Lab Credit available

Heart Disease, including myocardial infarction (MI) and heart failure (HF), is the biggest killer of both men and women in the USA and Western world. Making the correct diagnosis in patients suspected cardiac diseases is critical as these conditions are life threatening. The standard of care for diagnosis of MI and HF requires timely availability of cardiac troponin and NT-proBNP testing so that patients can receive evidence-based management strategies known to improve outcomes.

Diagnosing cardiac disease, including MI and HF, is critical to acute patient management.

In the context of MI, cardiac troponin measurements are the cornerstone for acute diagnosis and risk assessment. For diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure, NT-proBNP has become a standard.

This webinar will focus on the characteristics and considerations that are important when selecting cardiac troponin and NT-proBNP assays. Insight into interpretation of cardiac troponin and NT-proBNP assays will also be discussed. And examination of the benefits of point of care testing (POCT) for cardiac troponin and NT-proBNP will be a key part of this presentation.

This webinar will:
  • Describe the biomarker criteria needed to establish the diagnosis of MI
  • Explain the criteria for and definition of early generation, contemporary, and high sensitivity cardiac troponin assays
  • Identify the symptoms of heart failure
  • Review the biomarkers that are used for the diagnosis of acute heart failure
  • Evaluate NT-proBNP as a diagnostically sensitive and specific marker of HF
Robert H. Christenson, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB
Professor of Pathology, Medical and Research Technology
Maryland School of Medicine
Rob Christenson Photo
Dr. Christenson is a Professor of Pathology and Professor of Medical and Research Technology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Clinically, Dr. Christenson is Medical Director of the Core Laboratories and Point of Care Testing at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Christenson has published over 295 peer-reviewed papers, 6 books, 32 textbook chapters and holds four patents.
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