Partner 13: University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Clinical Centre

The department of cardiac surgery of the University Hospital ‘UZ Gasthuisberg’ Leuven is a referral hospital taking care of approximately 1300 cardiac cases per year. As a university institution the main focus is on complex procedures including congenital heart surgery, chronic heart failure and transplantation. There is a large activity in valve surgery including application of the quickly developing new technologies. The department has an experimental research facility with well established experience on three domains: biological valve deterioration, mechanical support systems and myocardial function analysis.

The congenital activity contains approximately 300 surgical cases per year. There is a close collaboration with the European Homograft Bank (EHB, Brussels, Be). Pulmonary homografts are implanted at a rate of 40 cases per year. The congenital program runs in close collaboration with the pediatric cardiology department and its intensive interventional development. Currently the Melody valve (percutaneous RVOT placement) is in use in our department for all cases suitable.

It is the current practice in Leuven to procure homografts from our transplant activities and provide them for the EHB. In view of the current surgical activities it is to foresee that 20 to 25 cases per year can be enrolled in the ESPOIR study.

Contributors to ESPOIR

Prof. Dr. B. Meyns, cardiac surgeon
Prof. Dr. F. Rega, cardiac surgeon
Prof. Dr. M. Gewillig, pediatric cardiologist
Klaartje Van den Bossche, study coordinator