"Revolutionary" research reveals heart failure in pregnant women


UMCG has developed a new research technique with which heart cells can be cultured from skin cells. Until recently, research on heart disease at the cellular level was virtually impossible, but this technique makes it possible.

Researcher Martijn Hoes of UMCG will be awarded a PhD for this topic on Wednesday. He did research on heart failure in pregnant women. With the new cellular technique, he proved that the cause of heart failure is due to the metabolism of fatty acids in the heart. The UMCG calls the new method revolutionary.

Insufficient blood

& # 39; Very little is known about heart failure in women. More knowledge about this may help with the early recognition of heart failure, "says Hoes. With heart failure, the heart muscle can no longer pump enough blood through the body.

The new research method offers many possibilities, says the doctoral student. "You can not just get some heart muscle cells to examine," explains Hoes. "This is possible for many other tissues, but it is not desirable for the heart."

Grow any kind of cell

Thanks to new techniques, Hoes was now able to examine the cells of the heart. "We are now able to convert skin cells into stem cells and turn them into any type of cell; therefore, also for heart cells. "

A healthy heart gains energy by burning fat. If the heart has problems – in case of illness – the heart changes to the burning of sugar. This is less efficient in the long run and therefore soon leads to heart failure. "

During pregnancy, fat burning is more stimulated. "For women with heart failure, this also happens, but for some reason it is not possible to burn fat, so sugar is still used."

Early diagnosis

Hoes' research mainly aims to better understand why some women have heart failure around their pregnancy and ultimately to reach a better diagnosis and treatments.

"We know that heart failure in these patients returns to each pregnancy and can cause serious health problems. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can therefore prevent problems related to childbirth."

Read too:

– UMCG-prof receives millions of grants for cardiac research


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