The University of Groningen recently awarded Thomas Gorter a Mandema-stipendium grant. The Mandema-stipendium is a personal research grant that offers young, talented medical doctors the opportunity to combine their specialty training with scientific research. The purpose of the grant is for candidates to develop their own line of research and jumpstart their academic careers.
With his grant, dr. Gorter will study the right ventricle in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). It is increasingly recognized that right ventricular dysfunction is prevalent in HFpEF and that its presence is associated with adverse prognosis. Therefore, it has been suggested that the right side of the heart is a potential target for treatment in HFpEF. Dr. Gorter will specifically focus on the role of comorbidities such as pulmonary hypertension, atrial fibrillation, obesity and epicardial fat in the development and progression of right ventricular dysfunction. Dr. Gorter will use a multilevel approach to unravel the pathophysiology of this right-heart-failure-predominant phenotype of HFpEF, by using multimodality imaging techniques including exercise cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, gold standard invasive exercise hemodynamics and extensive biomarker panels including biomarkers for systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. The ultimate goal is to provide phenotype-specific treatment targets for patients with HFpEF.