Each year at the ASA Annual meeting in October, Anesthesiology sponsors a special “Journal Symposium” to highlight emerging and important concepts in anesthesia research and clinical practice. Specific areas of focus in the past have included awareness during anesthesia, the biology of sleep, acute respiratory failure, preconditioning against ischemia and reperfusion injury, and, in 2004, pharmacogenomics and anesthesia. The Symposium typically features three to four invited lectures by international experts within and outside our specialty as well as a formal poster session. The posters are selected by a group of Anesthesiology editors from all of the thousands of abstracts submitted to the meeting.

The Journal Symposium for October 2005 is entitled

“Plasticity in Postoperative Pain”

A major emphasis of research in the pathophysiology of pain is plasticity: tissue injury augments the responsiveness of the sensory system so that succeeding stimuli produce a much greater effect. Compared to chronic pain syndromes, pain after major surgical procedures is unique; the intensity is greatest immediately after surgery and gradually diminishes. Pain after surgery however is not transient. Pain with activities can persist for several weeks. In some cases, pain after surgery becomes chronic and is associated with greater acute pain. The goal of this symposium is to integrate acute pain mechanisms, plasticity and persistent postoperative pain.

Investigators from around the world with an interest in this subject are encouraged to submit their work to the ASA for the annual meeting. Abstracts examining the mechanisms for sensitization and plasticity in incisional pain, novel postoperative pain treatments, and factors contributing to persistent pain after surgery are particularly encouraged. Abstracts from both basic and clinical sciences are encouraged. Abstracts will be selected for inclusion in the Symposium by organizers, Timothy J. Brennan, Ph.D., M.D., of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa, and Srinivasa N. Raja, M.D., Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Abstracts should be submitted via  the usual on-line process (which can accessed by the Web sites www.ASAhq.organd www.anesethesiology.org). Interested individuals should be sure to check the special box for Journal Symposium to be considered for inclusion in the poster–discussion session in the symposium. The deadline for abstract submission is April 1, 2005.

Anesthesiology, in conjunction with the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP), is planning a special session for the American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting in October 2005. To promote and highlight new and innovative research in the field of Obstetric Anesthesia, we are organizing a special abstract presentation session. This will be an oral  presentation session, without posters. A committee made up of Journal Editors and representatives of SOAP, working together with the Subcommittee on Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (Annual Meeting), chaired by James C. Eisenach, M.D., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will select abstracts for this session. Selected authors will then be invited to prepare a formal 10-min oral presentation of their work. Experts in the appropriate areas will be invited to participate in the discussion of each presentation. This session will be scheduled as part of the Obstetric Anesthesia track during the Annual Meeting. Our goal is to gather as many individuals as possible to participate in this session.

Individuals are encouraged to consider submitting their work for this session. Abstracts should be submitted to the ASA Annual Meeting using the standard on-line process (which can be accessed via  the Web sites www.ASAhq.organd www.anesthesiology.org). Authors should specifically request Obstetric Anesthesia as the major subject area. In addition, authors should notify the Anesthesiology editorial office via  e-mail (anesthesiology@uiowa.edu) regarding their interest in being considered for this session.

We look forward to seeing many of our fellow researchers and clinicians at these two valuable and interesting sessions. An announcement regarding the specific abstracts and speakers, as well as the location, date, and times, will appear in the September 2005 issue of Anesthesiology.