Partner 8: University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Clinical Centre

At the KU Leuven, UZ Leuven Gasthuisberg is a large University hospital with 1900 beds. The Department of Cardiac Surgery takes care of 1500 patients per year covering the full range of adult and congenital surgery as well as transplantation.

This activity leads to a scientific output of about 30 international publications a year, presentations at scientific congresses, different lectures and involvement in clinical trials. Most of the clinical trials deal with heart valves and assist devices. The department runs an experimental lab for in-vitro and in-vivo experimentation in both basic and applied research.

The main fields of experimental research are cardiac function analysis, degeneration of biological materials, device testing in heart valves and assist devices. There is a long history of applied and experimental research on the durability of homografts in congenital heart disease. As such, the institution is well placed and able to carry out the tasks in ARISE.

Main tasks

As part of the clinical network, UZ Leuven will contribute to WPs 3, 4 and 5 and will also be actively involved in WP 6 Dissemination and Outreach. The main tasks of the participant are:

  • Homograft supply by local tissue banks: Draft Memoranda of Understanding and preparation of reimbursement agreements with the local supporting tissue bank.
  • Setting up the local and national frameworks for the clinical trial, e.g. contact with local ethics committees and other involved institutions, submission of the respective forms and applications
  • Implementation of the clinical trial, e.g. patient identification and information, operation and follow-up
  • Support in the establishment of an ARISE registry
  • Participation in dissemination activities at scientific congresses, publication of the results and public outreach activities

Contributors to ARISE


Prof. Dr. Bart Meyns, Head of Cardiac Surgery
Prof. Dr. Filip Rega, Staff Surgeon
Dr. Joeri Van Puyvelde, Division of Experimental Cardiac Surgery