Vascunet was established in 1997 at the ESVS Annual Meeting in Lisbon (Portugal). The participants of this first meeting (T. Troëng, M. Björck, I. Thomson, …) achieved a consensual agreement that there should be a common European minimal dataset for vascular registries and an organising committee was set up to organise a session at the meeting for presentation of national vascular registries.
At the 1998 ESVS Meeting in Paris (France), the participants agreed to establish a satellite symposium at the ESVS Meeting in Copenhagen. An organizing committee was established to present vascular registries (A. Barros d’Sa, M. Enzler, A. Jawien, L. Panduro Jensen and T. Troëng). At the 1999 ESVS Meeting in Copenhagen (Denmark), the founders of the Vascunet Committee promoted the collaboration to the European colleagues.
- Why to register? The importance of vascular surgeons to monitor outcome (Lars Janzon, Sweden)
- What to register? The balance between the desirable and the possible (Thomas Troëng, Sweden)
- How we do it in Northern Ireland – A practical solution (Aires Barros D’Sa, Northern Ireland)
- Getting surgeons to cooperate – The Danish registry experience (Leif Panduro Jensen, Denmark)
- Vascular registries – The industrial aspects (Russel Samson, Atrium)
- A European compromise? – A common minimal data set is suggested (Thomas Troëng, Sweden)
London (UK) in 2000: Croatia, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Ireland presented their data. First validation projects were discussed. In Luzern (Switzerland) in 2001, methodological pitfalls of registries were discussed (Organising Committee: Leif Panduro Jensen, Thomas Troëng, Maarit Heikinnen).
In Dublin (UK) in 2003, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, UK, Denmark, and Spain reported their data. Sweden and Denmark implemented a web-based data-collection. Vascunet endorsed as official sub-committee.
In Innsbruck (Austria) in 2004, the collaboration discussed the topic “Validity – The Achilles Heel of Open Audit”. The focus turns to external and internal validation of data. One Year later, in Helsinki (Finland), the first proposal for combining national registries is presented. The sub-committee discusses the need for funding.
In Prag (Czech Republic) in 2006, a common European dataset for AAA surgery is presented by Martin Björck. Vascunet is officially endorsed as committee by the ESVS and funding is promised to continue the quality improvement in European vascular surgery.
The first VASCUNET REPORT containing 33,780 cases was presented at the Charing Cross Meeting in Madrid (Spain) in 2007. It demonstrated that international data merging was possible and revealed interesting differences between countries. Baseline statistics and risk factors for AAA mortality could be established. Only one year later, the second VASCUNET REPORT was presented in Nice (France) in 2008. More than 100,000 cases have been submitted. 10 registries participated. Lower mortality following EVAR could be confirmed. Higher stroke rates following carotid stenting revealed. The presentation of higher mortality following AAA repair in United Kingdom triggered a national discussion on quality improvement.
To be continued…