The 5th World Symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension, held in Nice, France, in April was a gathering of 1138 delegates from 57 countries converging with one common goal: to advance the field of pulmonary hypertension. To carry out this mission, 129 members representing 21 countries comprising 12 task forces assessed the current state of understanding that has evolved since the previous World Symposium. They were charged with reviewing the body of literature that has emerged during the past 5 years and assessing the impact on current practice, and to set forth recommendations for needed changes and future directions. Indeed, the 3 days of presentations, deliberations, stated points and counterpoints – all aimed at trying to derive a consensus based on published data and expert opinions – embodied the work from the PH community worldwide. The global impact of PH was highlighted by emerging data characterizing this disease from parts of Asia and South America, the findings truly emphasizing that PH does not have any boundaries and affects people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Indeed, the focused energy and dedication of the PH community represented in this gathering emphasized the commitment that we are all in this together.
Thus, it is with my sincere pleasure to present to you this issue featuring some of the highlights from the 5th WSPH. I am grateful to our guest editor Dr. Sean Gaine for all his efforts in bringing together the key members of 4 task forces in presenting the focal points of the meeting. My sincere thanks to all our authors – Drs. Nazzareno Galie, Marc Humbert, Michael McGoon, Gerald Simonneau, Rogerio Souza, and Fernando Torres – for their insights on the emerging data and controversies on the topics of epidemiology, PH registries, classifications, treatments, definitions, and diagnosis. This issue also brings you Part 2 of the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinical Centers initiative by Dr. Joel Wirth and Ms. Abby Poms focusing on the implementation of the program, the opportunities of the PHPN organization by Ms. Traci Stewart and Melisa Wilson, and a thought-provoking discussion on our collective approach to treating our patients and assessing long-term outcome by Dr. Sean Studer. As well, we are very pleased to introduce a new section titled “Pulmonary Hypertension Grand Rounds”, a forum for fellows and junior faculty members to contribute to our Journal.
And finally, it is my sincere privilege to present to you a personal tribute to Dr. Robyn Barst by Dr. Greg Elliott. This was the first World Symposium without Dr. Barst in the “thick of the discussion,” voicing her thoughts, sharing her experiences and wisdom, giving us a greater perspective and, in turn, asking us to reach higher and do better. Her presence, however, was deeply felt during all the presentations and discussion, a true testimony to her everlasting contribution to the field of pulmonary hypertension.