Heart Disease: Heart Failure, Arrhythmias and Repair

Chronic heart failure is a major health problem associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Heart failure can be caused by coronary heart diseases (70%), valve failure (10%) and hypertensive heart disease (10%).

Recently it has been recognized that oncological treatments, like immune check point inhibition, can also result in heart failure. A broad range of treatment options is available for patients with heart failure, and by means of the Mission! Program studies are being performed to define the optimal treatment for each patient.

The clinical research projects encompass a broad spectrum of heart failure patients and focus on:

  1. Optimizing acute and chronic heart failure treatment in the out-patient setting
  2. Cardio-oncology
  3. Optimizing care for Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) patients 
  4. Cardiogenic shock

The left ventricular assist device (LVAD) destination therapy program (Dr Palmen, Dr Tops, Dr Beeres) is part of this theme and an important option for patients who are not a candidate for heart transplantation. A large research program directed at diagnosis and treatment of heart failure is operational, ranging from developing advanced multimodality imaging technologies to defining new options for cardiac repair. The latter program is performed in close collaboration with other groups focusing on regenerative medicine successfully exploring the option of cell therapy (Prof Atsma, Prof Goumans, Dr. Smits), the use of induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (Prof Mummery) and organ on a chip-models for cardiovascular tissues (Prof van Zonneveld, Prof Mummery, Prof Rensen, Prof Wermer, Dr Orlova, Dr Hjortnaes).  Moreover, in the group of Prof Goumans and Dr Smits at the Department of Cell and Chemical Biology (CCB) investigates the cell biological aspects of cardiac repair in relation to TGFβ signaling, innovative cell therapies, and epicardial-driven repair. In vivo preclinical models for cardiac injury and state-of-the art small animal imaging modalities are applied in several collaborations (dr. Jongbloed, Prof. de Ruiter).

Alternative in vitro models to study CVD have and are being developed by Dr A.A.F. de Vries using an in-house developed proprietary conditional cell immortalization technique. The resulting cell lines are currently used by multiple research groups in- (Prof Rensen, Prof Goumans, Dr Smits, Dr Jongbloed, Prof Pijnappels) and outside the LUMC.