55th European Renal Association-European Dialysis & Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress Preview

Written by James Coker  |  Reporter, European Medical Journal  @EMJJamesCoker

The Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, the largest conference centre in all of Scandinavia,1 will open its doors for the 2018 edition of the ERA-EDTA Congress, the 55th in the history of the society. The event will, as usual, display the latest research and guidelines in all aspects of nephrology in front of a captivated audience spanning the breadth and width of the globe. With kidney disease often overlapping with other medical specialties such as diabetes and cardiology, there will be plenty on show for medical professionals from a variety of disciplines, emphasising the impact of the ERA-EDTA congress within the healthcare community. Here at EMJ we will try and capture the essence of everything that takes place at this prestigious event in our ERA-EDTA 2018 Congress Review, which will be published in the next edition of the EMJ Nephrology eJournal in July.

History of the Congress

The inaugural congress, of what was then known as EDTA, took place in 1964 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1 year after the creation of the society. The fact that this was a 1-day event indicates the extent to which the scale and scope of the congress has expanded in the years since. Copenhagen last hosted ERA-EDTA in 2002, a meeting in which attendance surpassed the 5,000 mark for the first time.2

Interesting Fact

ERA was added to the name of the society in 1981 to take into account its widening scope. At this stage ERA came after EDTA in its title, and it was changed to its current form of ERA-EDTA in 1995. However, in common parlance the society is often still referred to EDTA as the acronym is usable in all European languages without difficulty.2

Last Time Out

The beautiful city of Madrid, Spain was the venue for the 54th ERA-EDTA Congress from 3rd–6th June 2017 and attracted a total of 9,414 attendees.3 Amongst a plethora of new research was a study showing that mortality could be reduced in chronic kidney disease patients by reducing serum phosphate levels, an analysis of how functional status could be improved in dialysis patients by a home-based exercise programme, and the effectiveness of oral vitamin D receptor activators on the risk of cardiovascular disease events in haemodialysis patients. All of this and more was covered in EMJ’s review of this edition of ERA-EDTA in last year’s EMJ Nephrology journal, which you can access here.

Important Timings

A combined Welcome Ceremony and Plenary Lecture 1 will take place within the confines of Congress Hall A1 on the opening day of the congress, the 24th May. Here, the first of the highly anticipated plenary lectures will be delivered by Toni Cathomen who will tackle a very thought-provoking subject, the title of which is: ‘Gene editing: powerful new tool for nephrology research and therapy’. The other three intriguing plenary lectures will be given on the mornings of the 25th, 26th, and 27th May, and will cover similarly intriguing areas in nephrology. There will be several dedicated poster sessions during the times of 9.30–10.45 and 16.30–17.00 on both the 25th and 26th May, in which the presenters will be by their posters to discuss their research with attendees. These posters will remain on display from 07.30–17.00 on each of those days. The exhibition hall, where pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers will display the very latest in medical treatments and devices to the nephrology community, will be open from 16.00–20.00 on 24th May, 09.30–17.30 on 25th May, and 09.30–17.30 on 26th May. Finally, a 5 km fun run called ‘Run for Kidneys 2018’ will start at 16.00 on Friday 25th May and take in the sites and sounds of the beautiful Amager Fælled recreation area!4,5

Hot Topics

As usual there will be an enormous range of topics covered throughout the 4 days, in the form of posters, oral sessions, plenary lectures, symposia, and more. These topics have been divided into nine distinct categories: fluids and electrolytes, tubular transport, physiology; hereditary disorders, development, pregnancy, paediatric nephrology; glomerular diseases and general clinical nephrology; chronic kidney disease: pathophysiology, epidemiology, prevention, progression, ageing; end stage renal disease and dialysis; home therapies, peritoneal dialysis; transplantation and immunology; hypertension, diabetes, vascular diseases; and acute kidney injury and intensive care nephrology. Both the Congress Review and Abstract Review sections of the upcoming EMJ Nephrology eJournal, the latter of which will include in-depth analyses of presentations by the authors themselves, will encompass all of these subjects.4,5

Social Media

For official updates about the event, make sure you keep checking the ERA-EDTA Facebook page, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/European-Renal-Association-European-Dialysis-and-Transplant-Association-440974659336111/, and follow their twitter account: @ERAEDTA.

The EMJ team will also be on hand to give our take on events throughout, so follow our twitter accounts @EMJReviews and @EMJNephrology for even more real-time coverage!

The official hashtag of the congress is #ERAEDTA18 so use this when posting your thoughts across all the social media channels!

Did You Know… About Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is consistently regarded as one of the happiest cities in the world,6 and Denmark in general ranks very near the top of the list of the most peaceful and safest countries to visit.7

The historical city of Copenhagen is the perfect place to host the 55th congress of ERA-EDTA, which promises to be a momentous occasion in which the nephrology community worldwide will be afforded the opportunity to witness and discuss the latest in research and innovation in the field as well as network with likeminded colleagues. For those that cannot make it, or for participants who would appreciate a recap, the EMJ team will be taking careful note of all that goes on ahead of our subsequent congress review in July!


  1. Bella Center Copenhagen. Available at: http://www.bellacentercopenhagen.dk/. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.
  2. ERA-EDTA. ERA-EDTA Facts and Dates. Available at: http://web.era-edta.org/uploads/era-edta-facts-and-dates.pdf. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.
  3. 54th ERA-EDTA Congress. Facts and Figures. 2017. Available at: http://www.era-edta2017.org/Facts&Figures.pdf. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.
  4. 55th ERA-EDTA Congress. Timetable. 2018. Available at: http://www.era-edta2018.org/Timetable.pdf. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.
  5. 55th ERA-EDTA Congress. Main Announcement. 2018. Available at: http://www.era-edta2018.org/Main_Announcement.pdf. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.
  6. Global Blue. Top 10 facts about Copenhagen. 2014. Available at: http://www.globalblue.com/destinations/denmark/top-10-facts-on-copenhagen. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.
  7. Copenhagen Convention Bureau. Denmark is the world’s second most peaceful country. 2014. Available at: https://www.copenhagencvb.com/copenhagen/denmark-worlds-second-most-peaceful-country. Last accessed: 1 May 2018.