Heart failure


Led by:
Prof. Nicolas Doll
Prof. Gerold Mönnig
Prof. Nils Reiss

Dr Maike Altesellmeier
Prof. Jochen Pöling
Dr Thomas Schmidt

Heart failure is a chronic disease that kills every one in two or three patients within five years. In the treatment of terminal heart failure, heart transplantation used to be the gold standard after all conservative medical measures had been exhausted. Not least because of the limited number of donor hearts, other promising treatment procedures for this disorder have been developed in addition to heart transplantation. In particular, the implantation of a heart support system, the so-called LVAD (left ventricular assist device), has become established in recent years for the treatment of this problem.

LVAD technology is constantly improving and so is the quality of life for LVAD patients. Nevertheless, a number of problems – especially in the long-term – have persisted (e.g. blood clots, bleeding, driveline infections). Our research efforts are aimed at finding promising approaches to significantly reducing the susceptibility of this patient group to complications.

Within the framework of a working group (AK-VAD DGPR), there is also regular exchange between doctors from German cardiology rehabilitation hospitals regarding their experiences in the treatment of VAD patients. This working group, which is led by the Schüchtermann-Klinik in Bad Rothenfelde, has published two position papers on follow-up treatment after VAD implantation in recent years.

In the context of this research focus, new heart failure markers are also being evaluated with regard to their significance for long-term progress in cooperation with experimental research.

Pre-habilitation is also planned for heart failure patients (over 75 years of age) who are undergoing elective cardiology or cardio-surgical procedures at our facility. The aim of the proposed multi-centre study is to investigate the effects of two weeks of pre-habilitation (physical training, education, psychology) on long-term outcomes.


Research projects:

• Heart failure markers
• Pre-habilitation before elective surgery (patients over 75 years)