Report on the 4th H-ECCO IBD Masterclass at ECCO'19

Roger Feakins, H-ECCO Chair

Roger Feakins
Roger Feakins

The Histopathologists of ECCO constitute a small, relatively new but highly enthusiastic entity in a large organisation. Their committee (H-ECCO) organises a successful annual educational Masterclass that is now a regular item at the ECCO Congress. The 4th H-ECCO Masterclass took place in Copenhagen, Denmark on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th March 2019. There were four sessions of a similar length: Basics; Treatment and its effects; Age and demographics; and Tumours.

The speakers were experts from multiple larger and smaller European countries: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. The delegates were a mixture of pathologists and gastroenterologists from Europe and further afield, e.g. Canada, Australia and Malaysia. We also had the privilege of welcoming a very distinguished delegate, Robert Riddell, undoubtedly one of the top gastrointestinal pathologists in the world. He made several very useful contributions to our discussions.

Fri 0344th H-ECCO IBD Masterclass 2019 © ECCO

The first session addressed basic aspects of IBD. James Lindsay from the United Kingdom delivered a well-balanced talk about clinical features. The next three speakers were from the H-ECCO Committee: Roger Feakins (UK) (H-ECCO chair), Gert de Hertogh (Belgium) and Monika Tripathi (UK). They discussed biopsy diagnosis, resection specimens and differential diagnosis, covering a considerable amount of information effectively in a short time. The newest committee member, Francesca Rosini (UK), then gave an entertaining talk about acute and fulminant colitis that included a memorable picture of an owl (whose eyes resembled CMV inclusions).  

The second session looked at treatment and its effects. The talks were wide-ranging and of a high standard, covering IBD drugs (Gert), diversion proctocolitis (Monika), and the many aspects of ileoanal pouch pathology (given by a guest speaker, Shaun Walsh, from Scotland, UK). Magali Svrcek (France) reviewed some “Hot Topics”, reminding us of the basic science and clinical research that regularly enhance our understanding of IBD and other gastrointestinal diseases.

Fri 0274th H-ECCO IBD Masterclass 2019 © ECCO

The third session on age and demographics started with an up-to-date summary of epidemiology by another young speaker, Johan Burisch (Denmark). A lecture on clinical aspects of paediatric IBD by Patrick van Rheenen (the Netherlands) was a pleasant prelude to a helpful overview of paediatric IBD pathology from Paula Borralho Nunes (Portugal). Guillaume Savoye (France) and Luca Bonetti (Italy) then gave us plenty of insight into the features of IBD in older patients. We are very grateful to Luca Bonetti for acting as a substitute speaker at short notice. Roger completed the session with a seminar on common variable immune deficiency (CVID), a rare disease which can mimic IBD but has a characteristic absence or sparsity of mucosal plasma cells.

The final session dealt with neoplasia, including the controversial subject of serrated lesions in IBD (Roger). Other topics were the clinical features of IBD-related tumours and the pathology of colorectal carcinoma in IBD, presented thoughtfully by two speakers from France (Laurent Beaugerie and Magali). Paula summarised eloquently the pathology of other tumours that occur in IBD. Paula and Monika ended with a slide seminar on two fascinating cases.

There were several questions from the audience after the talks, many of which led to interesting further discussions. A topic that emerged as being controversial was the value of p53 immunohistochemistry for the diagnosis and classification of dysplasia.

H-ECCO is encouraged by the steady interest in the Masterclass and by ECCO’s support. The Committee continues to pursue its primary aim, which is to raise standards of IBD pathology. In a wider context, H-ECCO is building gradually on its initial successes and will always respond positively to expressions of interest from histopathologists and clinicians. Therefore, you are very welcome to interact with H-ECCO by email, by phone, on the ECCO website or via our brand-new Twitter page, H_ECCO_IBD.

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 14, Issue 1, ECCO'19, Congress News, H-ECCO