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The Queen of Hearts research consortium consists of top researchers from five large academic medical centers in the Netherlands who have united to improve diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in women. Cardiovascular disease in women poses the clinician for diagnostic and, therefore, therapeutic dilemmas. Diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in women is difficult, especially the diagnosis of heart failure. For more information about research on CVD in women, visit Cardiofem.eu (dutch).
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women poses the clinician for diagnostic and, therefore, therapeutic dilemmas. Diastolic dysfunction, eventually evolving in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) is common in women, and results from small vessel disease, also referred to as microvascular disease. Diastolic dysfunction and HFPEF in women is associated with marked increase of all-cause mortality, yet often not recognized. This results in inadequate or delay of necessary treatment.
Objective: To obtain biomarkers, based on pathogenesis of microvascular disease, that improve the early diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction and HFPEF in women. The Queen of Hearts consortium proposes that the etiology of diastolic heart failure encompasses female specific determinants and therefore aims to discover diagnostic biomarkers for diastolic dysfunction and HFPEF that specifically apply to women. These biomarkers come from innovative sources such as extracellular vesicles, circulating cells, high content analyses and miRNAs. Discovery of these new diagnostic biomarkers is focused on women with former preeclampsia as a high risk population.
Queen of Hearts can be characterized by innovation in target discovery and validation leading to improvement of the diagnosis diastolic dysfunction and HFPEF in women. Internationalization of research input will be a key feature. We will pursue biomarkers that have the potential of further evolution in immune-assays with point of care abilities.