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Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz image

Department of internal medicine (cardiology, angiology, and pulmonology)

Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz
internal medicine, cardiology, pulmonology

About the department

The department of internal medicine (cardiology, angiology, and pulmonology) at University Hospital rehts der Isar of the Technical University (TUM) Munich specializes in heart, vascular, and lung diseases. There are three fully-equipped wards and a day clinic at the department. The local intensive care unit is certified by the German Society for Cardiology as a "chest pain unit" (a particular unit for patients with acute chest pain). The committed team of specialized doctors and nursing staff ensures comprehensive and individual patient care. Various catheter laboratories, cardiac ultrasound examination stations (echocardiography), and other technical facilities are available for diagnostics and therapy. More than 3,500 minimally invasive heart and interventional cardiology vascular surgeries are annually performed in the cath labs. In addition, the staff conducts scientific research both experimentally and in many clinical studies. The main topics of research are interventional cardiology (interventions on the heart), genetic studies, inflammatory processes in acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), and vascular medicine (study of vessels). 

Their experts use innovative therapies to treat circulatory disorders of the heart muscle and vessels (arteries, veins, and lymph vessels), the valves, the rhythm of the heart, and all lung diseases. Additionally, the department conducts various surgeries, implantations, endovascular therapy (interventions using catheters), and non-surgical treatment. Endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery are also performed.

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Treatment and diagnostic focus of the department

Treatment of heart and lung disorders:

  • Chronic coronary artery occlusions 
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Arrhythmias
  • Mitral valve regurgitation
  • Aortic stenosis (heart valve defects)
  • Alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Pulmonary emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis,
  • Pulmonary sarcoidosis, 
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) 
  • Peripheral arterial disease 
  • Lung carcinoma

Treatment and management priorities:

  • Techniques to widen vessels (rotablation) or reopen vessels (recanalization) 
  • High-risk cardiac procedures using circulatory support systems (ECMO, Impella)
  • Implantation of atrial appendage closure systems (Watchman) in patients with contraindications to oral blood thinning.
  • Implantation of closure systems for atrial and ventricular (ventricle = chamber) short-circuit connections.
  • Catheter ablation for tachycardic cardiac arrhythmias (palpitations)
  • Catheter ablation in patients with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation.
  • Implantation of cardiac pacemakers / ICD including cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT, so-called three-chamber pacemaker)
  • Change and revision of cardiac pacemakers / ICD or other electrophysiological systems
  • Implantation of various cardiac pacemakers, including the “Micra” cardiac capsule, which is currently the smallest cardiac pacemaker in the world at just two centimetres long
  • Recording cardiac arrhythmias
  • Functional check of implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICD).
  • Balloon dilatation, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA)
  • Implantation of vascular support prostheses (stents)
  • Removal of vascular plaque (so-called atherectomy)
  • Drug-Coated Balloon Dilatation
  • Lysis therapy in acute venous thrombosis
  • Catheter lysis in acute pulmonary embolism
  • Venous stenting in post-thrombotic syndrome
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Doctor profile

Education

  • 1988-1994 Studies of Medicine, Free University of Berlin
  • 1996 Dr. med., Free University of Berlin, Department of pharmacology (Mentor: Gunter Schultz)
  • 1996-2000 Junior Investigator, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich and German Heart Center, Technical University of Munich (Director: Albert Schomig)
  • 1998 Habilitation-Scholarship of the Technical University of Munich
  • 2002 Habilitation (Dr. med. habil. degree), Technical University of Munich

Experience

  • 2000 Present Principal Investigator, Department of сardiology, University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich and German Heart Center, Technical University of Munich (Director: Albert Schomig)
  • 2005 Present Assistant Professor in medicine, Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA (joint appointment)
  • 2006 Present, Full Professor (W2), University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich and German Heart Center, Technical University of Munich
  • 2012 Clinical director, Department of  internal medicine (cardiology, angiology, and pulmonology), University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich

Awards, memberships, publications

  • 1997 Rudolf Buchheim Award (German Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology)
  • 1998 Merck Sharp Dhome Award (heart failure)
  • 2002 Heisenberg Scholarship of the German Research Foundation
  • 2002-2005 German Research Foundation Heisenberg Scholar at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego, USA (director: K. Chien)
  • 2004 Astra-Zeneca Award (cardiovascular sciences)
  • 2004 Louis N. Katz Prize of the American Heart Association  
  • 2006 Member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, cardiovascular section, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
  • 2006 Coordinator of a Marie Curie Excellence Team 
  • 2009-2014 Head of German Research Foundation, research unit 923 
  • 2010 Principal Investigator member of the Munich Heart Alliance and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research
  • 2011 Principal Investigator of a European Research Council Grant 
  • Author of almost 400 publications
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