Isabelle van Gelder


Isabelle C. Van Gelder obtained her MD in Groningen, the Netherlands  in 1986, her PhD in 1991, completed cardiology training in 1994, and electrophysiology training in 1996. Since 1995 she is working as cardiologist at the University Medical Center Groningen. Since 2006 she is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Groningen.

She is Board member of EHRA and chair of the EHRA membership pillar, Secretary/ Treasurer of the ESC Stroke Council., sand a visiting professor of the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

She was awarded with a Post Doc Netherlands Heart Foundation grant in 1994, an Interuniversity Cardiology Institute Netherlands post doc grant in 1995, and the Bert Talen Medal in 2016 by the Netherlands Heart Rhythm Association.

She gave the ESC 2019 René Laënnec lecture on clinical cardiology and received the ESC silver medal for work in clinical Cardiology.

She received > €15 million research grants for atrial fibrillation research, published >300 peer reviewed papers, and is a promotor of > 15 PhD students. She is PI of >20 trials including the RACE trials and steering committee member of >15 international trials including EAST, AXAFA, ASSERT, RASTA-AF and STEEER AF.

She is Task Force member of the ESC AF 2020 guidelines and Associate Editor of the Europace and Heart.

Current activities

Her research focuses on understanding the susceptibility to atrial fibrillation and it adverse outcomes including AF progression. It explores novel management strategies to prevent adverse outcomes with a focus on cardiovascular risk management and diagnosis and prevention of heart failure.

My projects


EHRA-PATHS: Addressing multimorbidity in elderly atrial fibrillation patients through interdisciplinary, patient-centred, systematic care pathways.


A randomized controlled trial of AV junction ablation and biventricular pacing versus optimal pharmacological therapy in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation


Reappraisal of Atrial Fibrillation: Interaction between hyperCoagulability, Electrical remodeling, and Vascular Destabilisation in the Progression of AF


Comparing early ablation and standard therapy


Reversal of Atrial Substrate to Prevent Atrial Fibrillation


Device-based rate versus rhythm control treatment in patients with symptomatic recent-onset atrial fibrillation in the emergency department


Identification of a risk profile to guide atrial fibrillation therapy


Personalised Medicine in Chronic Disease Management

My publications

Digoxin in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation: data from the RACE II study.

The objective of this study was to assess the association of digoxin with cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation enrolled in the Dutch Rate Control Efficacy in Permanent AF: A Comparison Between Lenient Versus Strict Rate Control II trial as well as to assess the role of digoxin to achieve heart rate targets. The use of digoxin was not associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

view on Heart Rhythm Journal

Pulmonary vein anatomy addressed by computed tomography and relation to success of second-generation cryoballoon ablation in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

The aim of this study was to assess PV morphology and variants including carina width, shared carina or PV ovality index and whether this is of influence on AF recurrence after PVI with the second generation 28 mm cryoballoon in a homogenous population of patients with paroxysmal AF. No specific characteristics of PV dimensions nor morphology were associated with AF recurrence after cryoballoon ablation in patients with paroxysmal AF.

view on Wiley Online Library

Lenient versus strict rate control in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Van Gelder IC, Groenveld HF, Crijns HJ, …RACE II Investigators. New Engl J Med. 2010

view on publisher site

A comparison of rate control and rhythm control in patients with recurrent persistent atrial fibrillation.

1. Van Gelder IC, .. Crijns HJGM. New Engl J Med. 2002

view on publisher site

Rate control in atrial fibrillation.

Van Gelder IC, Rienstra M, Crijns HJ, Olshansky B. Lancet 2016

view on publisher site