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Clinical Immunocardiology

Currently, no specific treatment options exist for inflammatory cardiomyopathy, neither for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Cardiac inflammation, which is triggered by the innate and adaptive immunity, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of both cardiac disorders. In strong interaction with the cardioproteomics and the experimental immunocardiology group, the clinical immunocardiology group aims at translating novel immunomodulatory strategies from bench to bedside and at finding novel biomarkers of heart failure. On long-term, we aim to reach patient-differentiated treatment options which are based on their clinical as well as endomyocardial biopsy/ immune profile.

Research Focus

  • Analysis of endomyocardial biopsies
  • Search for novel diagnostic markers of inflammatory cardiomyopathy and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • Identification of monitoring markers of therapy effectiveness
  • Clinical trials with immunomodulatory and antiviral therapies


Patient material

  • Characterization of endomyocardial biopsies via immunohistochemistry, gene expression analysis, outgrowth culture of cardiac fibroblasts
  • Characterization of transcoronary gradients via flow cytometry
  • Identification of circulating fibrocytes, apoptotic endothelial cells, mononuclear cell subsets,… via flow cytometry


  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Linke, University of Bochum, Bochum
  • Dr. Nazha Hamdani, University of Bochum, Bochum
  • PD Dr. Martina Seifert, BCRT, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Volk, BCRT, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Prof. Michael Sittinger, Dr. Marion Haag, Dr. Jochen Ringe, BCRT, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung (DZHK)

Selected Publications

  • Templin C, Ghadri JR, Diekmann J, Napp LC, Bataiosu DR, Jaguszewski M, Cammann VL, Sarcon A, Geyer V, Neumann CA, Seifert B, Hellermann J, Schwyzer M, Eisenhardt K, Jenewein J, Franke J, Katus HA, Burgdorf C, Schunkert H, Moeller C, Thiele H, Bauersachs J, Tschöpe C, Schultheiss HP, Laney CA, Rajan L, Michels G, Pfister R, Ukena C, Böhm M, Erbel R, Cuneo A, Kuck KH, Jacobshagen C, Hasenfuss G, Karakas M, Koenig W, Rottbauer W, Said SM, Braun-Dullaeus RC, Cuculi F, Banning A, Fischer TA, Vasankari T, Airaksinen KE, Fijalkowski M, Rynkiewicz A, Pawlak M, Opolski G, Dworakowski R, MacCarthy P, Kaiser C, Osswald S, Galiuto L, Crea F, Dichtl W, Franz WM, Empen K, Felix SB, Delmas C, Lairez O, Erne P, Bax JJ, Ford I, Ruschitzka F, Prasad A, Lüscher TF. Clinical Features and Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Sep 3;373(10):929-38.
  • Tschöpe C, Post H. Latent ischaemia as a trigger for a circulus vitiosus of inflammation, fibrosis, and stiffness in HFPEF. Eur J Heart Fail. 2015;17:1210-2.
  • Tschöpe C, Dominguez F, Canaan-Kühl S, Blaschke D, Kühl U, Pieske B, Haverkamp W. Endomyocardial biopsy in Anderson-Fabry disease: The key in uncertain cases. Int J Cardiol. 2015;190:284-6.
  • Schmidt-Lucke C, Escher F, Van Linthout S, Kühl U, Miteva K, Ringe J, Zobel T, Schultheiss HP, Tschöpe C. Cardiac migration of endogenous mesenchymal stromal cells in patients with inflammatory cardiomyopathy. Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:308185.
  • Escher F, Kühl U, Gross U, Westermann D, Poller W, Tschöpe C, Lassner D, Schultheiss HP. Aggravation of left ventricular dysfunction in patients with biopsy-proven cardiac human herpesvirus A and B infection. J Clin Virol. 2015 Feb;63:1-5.
  • Escher F, Lassner D, Kühl U, Gross U, Westermann D, Poller W, Skurk C, Weitmann K, Hoffmann W, Tschöpe C, Schultheiss HP. Analysis of endomyocardial biopsies in suspected myocarditis--diagnostic value of left versus right ventricular biopsy. Int J Cardiol. 2014;177:76-8.
  • Savvatis K, Schultheiss HP, Tschöpe C. Endomyocardial biopsy and ultrastructural changes in dilated cardiomyopathy: taking a 'deeper' look into patients' prognosis. Eur Heart J. 2015;36:708-10.
  • Escher F, Kühl U, Lassner D, Stroux A, Westermann D, Skurk C, Tschöpe C, Poller W, Schultheiss HP. Presence of perforin in endomyocardial biopsies of patients with inflammatory cardiomyopathy predicts poor outcome. Eur J Heart Fail. 2014;16:1066-72.
  • Lassner D, Kühl U, Siegismund CS, Rohde M, Elezkurtaj S, Escher F, Tschöpe C, Gross UM, Poller W, Schultheiss HP. Improved diagnosis of idiopathic giant cell myocarditis and cardiac sarcoidosis by myocardial gene expression profiling. Eur Heart J. 2014;35:2186-95.
  • Tschöpe C, Van Linthout S. New insights in (inter)cellular mechanisms by heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2014;11:436-44.