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Heart failure


Prof. Dr. Gerd Hasenfuß

Coordinator of research tropic


Prof. Dr. Gerd Hasenfuß


Heart Center Göttingen

Department of Cardiology and Pneumology

Robert-Koch-Str. 40

37075 Göttingen

email:   hasenfus@med.uni-goettingen.de

Phone: 0551-396 351



Heart failure is the most frequent cause of death in the western developed countries. It affects about 2% of the European population, its prevalence increases to about 10-15% among the elderly. More over, an additional 2% of the general European population is affected by either asymptomatic systolic (50%) or diastolic (50%) dysfunction. Either one can progress into symptomatic heart failure. In contrast to the cardiomyopathies (hypertrophic or dilated) and ischemic heart failure, where disease causing and/or susceptibility genes are known, no specific mutations are known to cause diastolic heart failure. To fill this gap, a cohort consisting of 1000 patients with isolated asymptomatic diastolic dysfunction has been collected and will be analyzed for mutations in genes affecting myocardial relaxation such as extracellular matrix proteins, titin and calcium regulating proteins (prospective study).

However, heart failure is a complex entity and not necessarily solely determined by genes but is more likely the result of interplay between environment and the genetic makeup of an individual. To address this complex interdependence, a cohort consisting of about 1500 anthrcycline treated patients with Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (German Non-Hodkin Lymphoma-B study) has been analyzed by a genome wide screen for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and anthracycline cardiotoxicity (ACT). Using this approach, we were able to discover significant associations between ACT and polymorphisms in the NADPH oxidase subunits as well as in the doxorubicin efflux transporter multi-drug resistance protein (MRP-1).

In summary, our project contributes significantly to the understanding of heart failure. In particular, our data will immediately be used to screen for patients with an increased risk for ACT before they receive anthracycline treatment and our data can be used to design new strategies to combat heart failure.




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