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Cardiovascular research & metabolism

In both research and medical care, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin boasts the expertise of leading physicians in the field of cardiovascular medicine. Our cardiologists have access to state-of-the-art technology, while our research is characterized by an integrative and interdisciplinary approach.

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Unique treatment methods

Charité offers treatments for all types of cardiovascular disorders. Treatments offered include con-ventional but also interventional and minimally-invasive procedures, such as catheter-based heart valve replacement, minimally-invasive interventions involving the coronary arteries, and innovative procedures such as left atrial appendage closure. In strict adherence to all national and interna-tional recommendations, all of these procedures are carried out in hybrid operating theaters.

The sheer number of patients receiving treatment at Charité, combined with the ongoing drive to develop and refine existing procedures, allows Charité to continue to develop and expand its ex-pertise in the field of interventional treatments. This commitment to expertise is best illustrated by Charité's close cooperation with the German Heart Center Berlin (DHZB), and the steady drive towards a 'university heart center'. Allowing both institutions to focus on their respective areas of expertise, this venture also involves a degree of restructuring, which will see Charité focus exclu-sively on cardiology, while DHZB will take over all surgical interventions.

A pioneer in cardiac MRI
Cardiovascular imaging is used both for diagnostic purposes and to accurately identify different types of heart disease. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin can boast a range of outstanding pro-jects in the field of cardiac MRI. The cardiac MRI working group (AG Kardiale MRT) have success-fully developed a number of new techniques to allow the exact evaluation of damage to the heart muscle (myocardium). These new developments have been adopted as part of various interna-tional guidelines, and are setting new standards for the future.

In cooperation with the German Heat Center, the group are in the process of developing new echocardiography procedures, such as real-time 3-D echocardiography. Close proximity to the Experimental Clinical Research Center (ECRC), which is jointly operated by Charité and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), as well as the outstanding quality of existing trans-lational research structures, provide a winning combination for research and development.

Ground-breaking cardiology research

The Max Rubner Center for Cardiovascular Metabolic Renal Research is home to both experts from cardiology and numerous internal medicine-based specialties, including nephrology and angiology. Re-searchers from more than 20 working groups are conducting research into the causes of particular-ly common cardiovascular disorders, while concurrently developing innovative treatment methods. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and its research achievements have received the official en-dorsement of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Alongside partners such as the MDC, Charité's cardiovascular research division succeeded in securing this endorsement following an open competition to identify German Centers for Health Research (DZG), which aimed at pro-moting strategic cooperation between leading researchers. Under the name Cardio Berlin, the Ber-lin-based team's current efforts center around the development of methods of prevention. These include a long-term study involving 5,000 patients, which is aimed at investigating gender-related differences in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from Charité and MDC are currently working on another challenge – finding a way of watching the human heart at work in fascinating detail, which comes as a result of high resolution imaging. Their efforts center around one of the most powerful MRI scanners in the world. The scanner, which was acquired by the MDC with support from Charité, offers researchers a whole host of new possibilities. There are only a small number of centers in the world that manage to produce images of the beating heart using comparable field strength. The joint research efforts of Charité and MDC may be able to open new doors in this field.