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German Heart Center Munich

location_on Munich, Germany
9/10 from 23 Votes

Department of Cardiology (579906)

Heribert Schunkert

Prof. Dr. med.

Heribert Schunkert

Specialized in: cardiology

About the department

The Department of Cardiology at the German Heart Center Munich offers the diagnostics and treatment of all diseases of the heart and circulatory system. The department specializes in the treatment of pathologies of the heart and great vessels, heart rhythm disorders and heart valve diseases, as well as heart failure and hypertension. The diagnostics and treatment involves the use of the very latest catheter technologies. The department is part of the German Heart Centre Munich and belongs to the largest Cardiology Centers in Germany and Europe. The Chief Physician of the department is an advanced specialist in the field of cardiology, Prof. Dr. med. Heribert Schunkert.

One of the most important tasks of the department is the non-surgical treatment of coronary artery stenosis. The department's specialists have vast experience in the field of balloon dilatation, which allows for the restoration of blood vessel patency and is also used in stent implantation. The department uses the very latest drug-coated stents, as well as bioresorbable stents, which almost completely avoid the reappearance of the stenosis. In addition, the department also offers balloon dilation and stent implantation on the neck vessels and leg arteries.

Another important focus of the department is the treatment of heart valve defects in a special Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (hybrid operating room). Since 2007, the department's team carries out aortic valve replacement through the transfemoral access, namely, the valve is implanted through one of the inguinal arteries. The decision on the choice of the optimal heart valve and the implantation method (for example, using a balloon-expandable or self-expandable stent) is made on the basis of anatomical, functional and technical data. Thus, each patient receives an individually developed plan, which ensures the best treatment results.

The department has the very latest diagnostics methods, for example, electrophysiological examinations using guided catheters, which make it possible to obtain accurate imaging of the heart chambers. With the help of a pacemaker with a defibrillator function, life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias are successfully treated. The patients with life-threatening conditions receive medical care in the intensive care unit, which offers all modern methods of monitoring and diagnostics, highly developed lung ventilation and dialysis systems, endoscopic methods.

The department is one of the most successful German research centers. The main scientific focuses include acute disorders of cardiac circulation (unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction), cardiac arrhythmias, as well as the study of molecular biological and genetic methods. The recent advances are promptly introduced into clinical practice, and therefore the offered medical services are at the most modern scientific level.

The diagnostic and therapeutic range of the department:

  • Coronary heart disease
    • Optimization of interventional treatment of acute myocardial infarction
    • Optimization of drug treatment of acute coronary syndrome
    • Revascularization in complex coronary artery diseases
  • Heart rhythm disorders
    • Catheter ablation in atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia
    • Implantation of pacemakers, cardioverter-defibrillators
    • Catheter closure of the atrial appendage for stroke prevention
  • Valvular heart diseases
    • Interventional heart valve replacement
    • Interventional treatment of mitral stenosis and insufficiency
  • Heart failure
    • Drug treatment of heart failure
    • Resynchronization therapy
    • Mechanical cardiac support systems (in collaboration with the Department of Cardiac Surgery)
  • Structural heart diseases
    • Catheter therapy in hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
    • Myocardial biopsy
  • Inherited heart diseases
    • Family counseling in congenital cardiac rhythm disorders, myocardial diseases and coronary heart disease
    • Molecular cardiology: diagnostics of genetic causes of myocardial infarction
  • Arterial blood circulation disorders/arterial hypertension
    • Catheter treatment of pathologies of the neck, arms and legs
    • Renal nerve ablation for the treatment of severely regulated arterial hypertension (renal denervation)
  • Diagnostics and treatment of other cardiac diseases

Curriculum vitae

Education and Professional Experience

  • 1985 - 1988 Research Fellow of the Department of Internal Medicine II (Scientific Director: Prof. Dr. med. H.G. Sieberth) at the RWTH Aachen University.
  • 1988 - 1990 Research Fellow, Department of Vascular Medicine (Chief Physician: Prof. Dr. med. V.J. Dzau), Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • 1990 - 1991 Clinical Resident and Medical Lecturer, Department of Cardiology, Beth Israel Hospital (Chief Physician: Prof. Dr. med. W. Grossman), Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • 1991 - 1994 Research Fellow of the Department of Internal Medicine II (Director: Prof. Dr. med. G.A. J. Riegger) at the University of Regensburg.
  • 1996 - 1997 Research Fellow of the Department of Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Director: Prof. Dr. med. I. Palacios), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • 1994 - 1999 Senior Physician of the Department of Internal Medicine II (Director: Prof. Dr. med. G.A. Riegger) at the University of Regensburg.
  • 2000 - 2002 Leading Senior Physician of the Department of Internal Medicine II (Director: Prof. Dr. med. G.A. Riegger) at the University of Regensburg.
  • 2002 - 2003 Acting Director of the Department of Internal Medicine II, Visiting Professor for Cardiology / Angiology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck.
  • 2003 - 2012 Director of the Department of Internal Medicine II, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck.
  • Since 2012 Director of the Department of Cardiology at the German Heart Center Munich, Ordinary Professor of the Technical University of Munich.

Editorial Boards (partly temporary)

  • Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics.
  • European Heart Journal.
  • Clinical and Experimental Hypertension.
  • Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy.
  • Basic Research in Cardiology.
  • Journal of Molecular Medicine.
  • Cardiovasc.
  • Pharmacogenetics and Genomics.
  • J. Hypertension.
  • PLoS ONE.

Reviewer Activities

  • German Research Foundation.
  • European Society of Cardiology.
  • British Heart Foundation.
  • Nederlandse Hartstichting.
  • German Foundation for Heart Research.
  • Novartis Foundation.
  • New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Nature.
  • Nature Genetics.
  • Circulation.
  • European Heart Journal
  • etc.

Membership in Professional Societies

  • 1991 German Society of Internal Medicine.
  • 1994 German Society for Cardiovascular Research.
  • 1994 International Society of Hypertension.
  • 1995 Working Group "Cardiovascular Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering" of the German Society of Cardiology, 2 years as a Speaker.
  • 2002 German Society for Hypertension, Section Science.
  • 2004 - 2010 Board Member of the German High Pressure League.
  • 2006 - 2011 Coordinator of the EU Consortium on Cardiogenics.
  • Since 2008 Coordinator of the BMBF-NGFN Consortium on Atherogenomics.
  • Since 2008 Member of the Supervisory Board of the University Hospital Regensburg.
  • 2008 - 2011 Member of the Project Committee of NGFN-Plus and NGFN-Transfer in the Program of Medical Genome Research.
  • Since 2011 Member of the German Center for Cardiovascular Research.

Scientific Awards

  • 1993 Research Scholarship of the Sandoz Foundation for Therapeutic Research.
  • 1994 Walter Clawiter Prize of the University of Duesseldorf.
  • 1995 Ernst von Leyden Memorial Medal of the Berlin Society for Internal Medicine.
  • 1995 Heisenberg Scholarship of the German Research Foundation.
  • 2001 Arthur Weber Prize of the German Society of Cardiology.
  • 2001 Science Prize of the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation.
  • 2001 Scientific Award for obesity research of the German Society for Hypertension.
  • 2011 Honorary Award Lecture on Prevention of the German Cardiac Society – Cardiovascular Research.

Department of Cardiology.
German Heart Center Munich:

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