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THE EUROPEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN LEAGUE AGAINST THROMBOTIC DISEASES:

A short Story of the Society in the 50th anniversary of its foundation 

by Teresa Padro, Teresa Santos & Lina Badimon

 

In the 1960’, even though thrombosis was an important cause of mortality and morbidity, it was not recognized as an important medical problem, and progressive efforts were needed in order to recognize it as a specific medical entity requiring clinical studies and research.

Within this atmosphere, the first Spanish and French Symposium on “Hemorrhagic Syndromes and Thromboembolic Diseases” is organized in Bilbao (Spain) by Dr. José Antonio Iriarte and Dr. Jasone Monasterio, with the participation of  other important specialists from France and Spain.

At the end of this first Symposium, a decision was made: To hold another meeting in two years time and invite leaders from Italy and other Mediterranean Countries. It was the beginning of the Mediterranean League against Thromboembolic Diseases (MLTD).

 

1969

The first MLTD Congress takes place in Bilbao under the presidency of Dr. Iriarte and the first associated countries and counselors were: France (Dr. Sammama), Spain (Dr. Aznar), Greece (Dr. Mandalaki), Israel (Dr. De Vries), Italy (Dr. De Nicola), Turkey (Dr. Ulutin) and Bulgaria (Dr. Anastassoff). Dr. Iriarte now becomes the General Secretary of one of the first International Thrombosis Societies of the world.

From its beginnings the MLTD, a non-profit association, had a scientific and educational vocation and a multidisciplinary and international approach, creating bridges between clinical practice and basic science in order to clarify the origin, causes, diagnosis, prophylaxis and treatment of thrombosis. Based on this vocation, the MLTD promoted congresses, courses and symposia in order to spread the scientific advances in the fight against thrombosis with the aim of benefitting the patients.

During the 70’ four more countries were incorporated to the League:  Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Yugoslavia, and the Society was officially register in Spain.

During these years, the International Congresses on Thrombosis (ICT) took place in Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Athens and Bologna (Table), and a permanent collaboration with the ISTH was established.

The following decades gave the MLTD a solid and consolidated ground as an International Scientific Society and the ICTs were characterized by a high level scientific programs with highly qualified speakers; these gatherings provided a multidisciplinary and international forum for exchange of ideas between participants that came from all over the world, and took place in a warm atmosphere, incorporating the cultural characteristics of the organizing country.

In the 80’s the MLTD organized the its biennial ICT in Montecarlo, Valencia, Istanbul, Jerusalem and Athens and had an increasing number of attendees from all over the world (see Table). In 1984 the EMLTD reached an agreement of scientific collaboration with the Latino-American Cooperative Group of Haemostasis and Thrombosis (CLATH- Group).

In the nineties, new countries were associated with the MLTD: Slovenia, Portugal and Morocco. Haemostasis became the official journal of the Society that was after replaced by Thrombosis Research in 2011.

In the ICT of Bologna in 2002 Dr Monasterio replaced Dr Iriarte as the 2nd General Secretary of the Society and in this decade, new countries were incorporated: Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus.

After two years of deliberations the MLTD decides to constitute a Foundation, the MLTD Foundation, to strengthen and extend the scientific activities of the Society, and to promote the public awareness on the risks of thrombosis.  The MLTD and its Foundation also aim to promote cooperation between countries and institutions in the fight against thrombosis. The first president of the Foundation was Dr Monasterio until her resignation in 2009 when Dr Lina Badimon was elected.

In June 2008 Dr Monasterio was replaced by Dr M. Teresa Santos as the 3rd General Secretary of the MLTD and in 2016 Dr Santos was replaced by Dr Teresa Padro as the 4th General Secretary.

With Dr. Coccheri’s presidency in the MLTD Educational Board and Dr U Selisohn collaboration as a Councilor of the MLTD and chairmen of the ISTH Educational Committee several Educational Courses were jointly organized between the MLTD and the ISTH in Morocco (2004), Tunisia (2007), Rumania (2008), Lebanon (2010) and Kiev (2012), also with the collaboration of the local scientific societies in the different countries. Additional activities and collaborations have been held with the CLATH Group.

The EMLTD has the challenge to impulse educational programs in different countries, particularly in those countries in transition where the scientific and educational communities may not have the infrastructure or resources necessaries in the field of thrombosis.

From the very beginning, the MLTD was a society with a strong cooperative vision and has cooperated actively with various scientific societies such as the ISTH and CLATH. Recently, additional national societies of thrombosis and haemostasis signed memorandums of collaboration with the EMLTD including SETH in 2009 (Spain), SISET in 2014 (Italy), RSSCH in 2015 (Russia) and ISETAT in 2017 (Greece) to promote cooperation with the EMLTD activities in the different countries.

The MLTD, who was born to be within the Mediterranean Countries, found it crucial to broaden its horizons, because its mission would be best served with an even wider and inclusive cooperation with other European non-Mediterranean Countries. In the MLTD General Assembly that took place in Amsterdam in 2013, the decision to change the Society’s name to “European and Mediterranean League against Thrombotic Diseases” (EMLTD) was agreed. The, change was approved by the General Assembly that took place in Valencia in 2014.

While our association of countries and agreements with scientific societies is regulated by the EMLTD by-laws, by tradition, EMLTD members are from all over the world.

Under the new name, the ITC congresses took place in Istanbul 2016 and in Venice 2018 and now is the turn of Athens 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Society!!

As thrombosis is still the main cause of death and disability in most countries and it is of critical important to take action, the EMLTD looks for new and great achievements in the fight against thrombosis in the years to come.

 

Table:

THE EUROPEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN LEAGUE AGAINST THROMBOTIC DISEASES INTERNATIONAL CONGRESSES

 

 Nº YEAR CITY COUNTRY PRESIDENT
I 1969 Bilbao Spain JA. IRIARTE
II 1971 Istanbul Turkey ON. ULUTIN
III 1973 Tel Aviv Israel A. DE VRIES
IV 1976 Athens Greece T. MANDALAKI
V 1978 Bologna Italy S. COCCHERI
VI 1980 Montecarlo France MM. SAMAMA
VII 1982 Valencia Spain J. AZNAR
VIII 1984 Istanbul Turkey ON. ULUTIN
IX 1986 Jerusalén Israel U. SELIGSOHN
X 1988 Athens Greece T. MANDALAKI
XI 1990 Ljubljana Yugoslavia D. KEBER
XII 1992 Florence Italy G. NERI SERNERI
XIII 1994 Bilbao Spain JA. IRIARTE
XIV 1996 Montpellier France MM. SAMAMA
XV 1998 Antalya Turkey ON. ULUTIN
XVI 2000 Porto Portugal M. CAMPOS
XVII 2002 Bologna Italy S. COCCHERI
XVIII 2004 Ljubljana Slovenia M. STEGNAR
XIX 2006 Tel Aviv Israel D. VARON
XX 2008 Athens Greece CH. LIAPIS
XXI 2010 Milan Italy PM. MANNUCCI
XXII 2012 Nice France JF. SCHVED
XXIII 2014 Valencia Spain L. BADIMON
XXIV 2016 Istanbul Turkey AM. DEMIR
XXV 2018 Venice Italy V. PENGO / P. PRANDONI
XXVI 2019 Athens Greece A. TSELEPIS