Dr Seshika Ratwatte, PhD Student University of Sydney and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to travel to the ESC Congress 2023 in Amsterdam with the support of a CSANZ Travelling Fellowship!
I am in my second year of PhD through the University of Sydney and am the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I was very excited to attend and present at my first in-person, major, international conference! I had not had the opportunity prior due to the COVID hiatus.

I enjoyed the opportunity to present parts of my PhD at the conference, with four abstracts accepted as moderated e-poster presentations. These abstracts utilised data from the National Echo Database of Australia and related to pulmonary hypertension in left heart disease, specifically cohorts with significant i) aortic regurgitation, ii) aortic stenosis, iii) mitral regurgitation and iv) reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Each project showed a graded and independent relationship between the severity of raised pulmonary pressures and subsequent mortality – even at low levels.

The chance to meet and hear from leaders across different cardiology sub-specialties was a highlight for me. I learnt very early in the conference that if you wanted to get a seat in a big session you had to arrive at least 20 minutes in advance! The volume and quality of research presented was unlike what I’ve previously experienced and was certainly motivating for me to expand my network and research moving forwards.

I’d like to thank my PhD supervisor Professor David Celermajer for his guidance, support and encouragement with my research. Many thanks also go to my NEDA collaborators and to CSANZ for their support of me presenting at this meeting!

Seshika’s abstracts presented can be found on the ESC365 links below:

Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in reduced left ventricular systolic function and its influence on outcomes https://esc365.escardio.org/presentation/269615

Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in aortic regurgitation and its influence on outcomes


Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in mitral regurgitation and its influence on outcomes