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Heart and Blood Vessels


Admission requirements

See Brightspace for the admission requirements.

International Students should have an adequate background in Medicine. Admission will be considered based on CV and motivation letter.
For more information, please contact


In ten consecutive weeks the students will be introduced to the most current concepts in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of the most common forms of cardiovascular disease. The course will start with a basic introduction into the anatomy, physiology and haemostatic mechanisms in the cardiovascular system. Next, the students will be introduced in the pathogenesis of macrovascular disease (e.g. atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, ischemic peripheral disease) and microvascular diseases (e.g. ischemic heart disease, heart failure). Current options for diagnosis and therapy will be discussed as well as the current approaches in epidemiology and the use of biomarkers for cardiovascular disease.

A special feature of this course is that we will also aim to update the students on various “molecular medicine” approaches that are currently employed to develop novel experimental therapies. Last days of the week will be devoted to introduce the students to innovative preclinical (animal) models that are used by the members of the profile area to study the pathophysiology and experimental therapies of the topic of the week. Where relevant, current insights in molecular backgrounds of the innovative strategies will be reviewed.

At the beginning of the course you will receive a case description of a patient that typifies the cardiovascular disease states that are addressed in the consecutive weeks (e.g. acute coronary syndrome, hearth failure, diabetes with cardiovascular complications etc.). Following every weekly course, the students are asked to submit a so-called Etivity via a weekly Blog on Brightspace. These Etivities are meant to discuss the relevance of the topics reviewed in the past week to the case they were assigned to study. Etivities will be assessable to your colleague-students who will give short comments via the blog on Brightspace that can be helpful to you. In this course, these Etivities will accumulate into a document that includes aspects of the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis diagnosis and therapeutic approaches that are relevant to the individual cases of the particular student. In the final week you will be asked to write a comprehensive case report including diagnosis, etiology, potential treatment, prognosis and future therapeutic options. This case report will serve a main part of the examination process.

Course objectives

  1. Evaluate the pathogenic molecular mechanism(s) that might underlie the complaints of a patient diagnosed with a cardiovascular disorder and relate these pathogenic mechanisms to signs and symptoms
  2. Be able to motivate and interpret conventional and innovative diagnostic plans that could be applied based on a differential diagnosis
  3. Develop a “state of the art” therapeutic plan based on the results from diagnostic tests and corresponding diagnosis and describe the method to check the effect of the intervention
  4. Critically assess and communicate recent high impact publications in cardiovascular medicine with regard to methodology, pit falls and limitations.
  5. Explain the molecular mechanisms underlying innovative therapeutic strategies and relevant experimental animal models for cardiovascular disease
  6. Be able to make an evaluation of the feasibility, clinical potential and societal and legislative relevance of novel innovative therapeutic strategies for specific patient cases.
  7. Write a case-report with emphasis on the integration of conventional and innovative diagnostics and therapeutic strategies.
  8. Identify relevant literature related to the topics of the course and the selected case report.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to implement feedback to the etivities and case report.


All course and group schedules are published on MyTimeTable.

The exam dates have been determined by the Education Board and are published in MyTimeTable.
It will be announced in MyTimeTable and/or Brightspace when and how the post-exam feedback will be organized.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, practicals, workgroups and patient demonstrations.

Assessment method

  • Oral presentation (pass/fail)

  • Written exam (3x): open questions (50% of final grade)

  • Cumulative blog (pass/fail)

  • Case report (50% of final grade)

The exam dates can be found on the schedule website.

Reading list

You can find the complete reading list for the bachelor of Medicine here.


Information about the registration process can be found on the Brightspace course Half Minors.


Prof. dr. A.J. van Zonneveld

Prof. dr. D.E. Atsma

Drs. Lois van der Pluijm