Harry Crijns


Harry Crijns is professor and chair of Cardiology and board member of the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) at Maastricht UMC+. He studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and was trained in cardiology and electrophysiology in Groningen and Maastricht. He is a Fellow of the ESC and a past board member of the EHRA. He is also past Chair of the Netherlands Society of Cardiology. He served on several guidelines committees for the management of AF. Currently he is the chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Dutch Heart Foundation.

His primary research focus continues to be atrial fibrillation (AF). He founded the RACE trials in the Netherlands and led the Euro Heart Survey on AF (ESC). He has established his reputation by introducing innovative concepts for diagnosis and treatment of AF by showing that - quite contrary to longstanding beliefs - electrical management does not change prognosis. This revolutionised management of the arrhythmia worldwide with the effect that major interventions like electrical cardioversion, catheter ablation and antiarrhythmic drug therapy are applied in a much more personalized fashion.

Subsequently his group showed that rate control in AF can be individualized thereby removing the previously used strict heart rate targets from the international guidelines. He also performed the Euro Heart Survey on AF and made many contributions to the field of stroke management in AF, such as the construction of well-recognised AF specific risk stratification scores for AF progression (HATCH), ischemic stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc) and major bleeding (HAS-BLED). These scores have practically conquered the medical AF community and improved patient care whilst boosting new clinical research throughout the world.

His research group now focusses on recent-onset AF, hybrid AF ablation, upstream therapy and vascular mechanisms for AF progression and stroke in idiopathic atrial fibrillation. He is (co-)author on over 650 scientific articles, with 56,677 citations and Hirsch-index of 100.

Department of Cardiology
P. Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX Maastricht 
PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht

  • 2022
    • van der Velden, R. M. J., Hermans, A. N. L., Pluymaekers, N. A. H. A., Gawalko, M., Elliott, A., Hendriks, J. M., Franssen, F. M. E., Slats, A. M., van Empel, V. P. M., Van Gelder, I. C., Thijssen, D. H. J., Eijsvogels, T. M. H., Leue, C., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Linz, D., & Simons, S. O. (2022). Dyspnea in patients with atrial fibrillation: Mechanisms, assessment and an interdisciplinary and integrated care approach. IJC Heart and Vasculature, 42, [101086]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcha.2022.101086
    • Gawałko, M., Agbaedeng, T. A., Saljic, A., Müller, D. N., Wilck, N., Schnabel, R., Penders, J., Rienstra, M., van Gelder, I., Jespersen, T., Schotten, U., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Kalman, J. M., Sanders, P., Nattel, S., Dobrev, D., & Linz, D. (2022). Gut microbiota, dysbiosis and atrial fibrillation. Arrhythmogenic mechanisms and potential clinical implications. Cardiovascular Research, 118(11), 2415-2427. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab292
    • Van Mourik, M. J. W., Arita, V. A., Lyon, A., Lumens, J., De With, R. R., van Melle, J. P., Schotten, U., Bekkers, S. C. A. M., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Van Gelder, I. C., Rienstra, M., & Linz, D. K. (2022). Association between comorbidities and left and right atrial dysfunction in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: Analysis of AF-RISK. International Journal of Cardiology, 360, 29-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2022.05.044
    • Goette, A., Borof, K., Breithardt, G., Camm, A. J., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Kuck, K-H., Wegscheider, K., Kirchhof, P., & EAST-AFNET 4 Investigators (2022). Presenting Pattern of Atrial Fibrillation and Outcomes of Early Rhythm Control Therapy. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 80(4), 283-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2022.04.058
    • Spoormans, E. M., Lemkes, J. S., Janssens, G. N., Soultana, O., van der Hoeven, N. W., Jewbali, L. S. D., Dubois, E. A., Meuwissen, M., Rijpstra, T. A., Bosker, H. A., Blans, M. J., Bleeker, G. B., Baak, R., Vlachojannis, G. J., Eikemans, B. J. W., van der Harst, P., van der Horst, I. C. C., Voskuil, M., van der Heijden, J. J., ... van Royen, N. (2022). Ischaemic electrocardiogram patterns and its association with survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients without ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: a COACT trials' post-hoc subgroup analysis. European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, 11(7), 535-543. https://doi.org/10.1093/ehjacc/zuac060
    • Maesen, B., Verheule, S., Zeemering, S., La Meir, M., Nijs, J., Lumeij, S., Lau, D. H., Granier, M., Crijns, H. J., Maessen, J. G., Dhein, S., & Schotten, U. (2022). Endomysial fibrosis, rather than overall connective tissue content, is the main determinant of conduction disturbances in human atrial fibrillation. EP Europace, 24(6), 1015-1024. https://doi.org/10.1093/europace/euac026
    • Nguyen, B-O., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Tijssen, J. G. P., Geelhoed, B., Hobbelt, A. H., Hemels, M. E. W., Mol, W. J. M., Weijs, B., Alings, M., Smit, M. D., Tieleman, R. G., Tukkie, R., Van Veldhuisen, D. J., Van Gelder, I. C., Rienstra, M., & RACE 3 Investigators (2022). Long-term outcome of targeted therapy of underlying conditions in patients with early persistent atrial fibrillation and heart failure: data of the RACE 3 trial. EP Europace, 24(6), 910-920. https://doi.org/10.1093/europace/euab270
    • Kawczynski, M. J., Zeemering, S., Gilbers, M., Isaacs, A., Verheule, S., Zink, M. D., Maesen, B., Bramer, S., Van Gelder, I. C., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Schotten, U., & Bidar, E. (2022). New-onset perioperative atrial fibrillation in cardiac surgery patients: transient trouble or persistent problem?-Authors' reply. EP Europace, 24(6), 1037-1037. [317]. https://doi.org/10.1093/europace/euab317
    • Verhaert, D. V. M., Linz, D., Chaldoupi, S. M., Westra, S. W., den Uijl, D. W., Philippens, S., Kerperien, M., Habibi, Z., Vorstermans, B., ter Bekke, R. M. A., Beukema, R. J., Evertz, R., Hemels, M. E. W., Luermans, J. G. L. M., Manusama, R., Lankveld, T. A. R., van der Heijden, C. A. J., Bidar, E., Hermans, B. M., ... Schotten, U. (2022). Rationale and Design of the ISOLATION Study: A Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study Identifying Predictors for Successful Atrial Fibrillation Ablation in an Integrated Clinical Care and Research Pathway. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 9, [879139]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2022.879139
    • Smits, E., Andreotti, F., Houben, E., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Haas, S., Spentzouris, G., Schink, T., Gini, R., Bartolini, C., Penning-van Beest, F., & Herings, R. (2022). Adherence and Persistence with Once-Daily vs Twice-Daily Direct Oral Anticoagulants Among Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: Real-World Analyses from the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Drugs-Real World Outcomes, 9(2), 199-209. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40801-021-00289-w