Author: J. van de Wouw, MD, PhD at Erasmus University, The Netherlands

"More than 50% of patients with heart failure present preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), but are characterized by diastolic dysfunction.1 Coronary microvascular dysfunction is thought to be one of the main pathophysiological mechanisms involved in HFpEF development.2 In the search for deeper understanding of HFpEF and (coronary) microvascular dysfunction, the current thesis by J. van de Wouw describes several studies in animal models with multiple morbidities (diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and chronic kidney disease) all associated with HFpEF. Amongst others, we measured aortic blood flow with the Transonic MC24PAU COnfidence Flowprobe. The coronary blood flow in the left anterior descending artery was measured with the MC3PSB-probe.

With the use of these probes we were able to measure cardiac output to evaluate the hemodynamic changes in a novel animal model of multiple comorbidities-induced HFpEF.3 Moreover, these probes made it possible to measure cardiac output and coronary blood flow in awake animals as they were chronically implanted.4 An important clinical marker for coronary microvascular dysfunction is coronary flow reserve, which we were also able to determine.5, 6 Lastly, chronic instrumentation allowed us to investigate myocardial function and myocardial blood flow even during treadmill exercise.6 The blood flow data was very stable and allowed for reliable measurements on the treadmill."

Read the full thesis paper "Distinctive Alterations in Microvascular Function Due to Multiple Common Morbidities" by J. van de Wouw