Rachel ter Bekke

Post doc

After having obtained my medical degree at the university of Antwerp, I completed my Cardiology specialization in the Maastricht University Medical Center. Thereafter, I performed a clinical fellowship in Electrophysiology and Cardiogenetics to obtain level 2 of invasive electrophysiology and cardiac pacing endorsed by the EHRA. I have always been fascinated by ventricular tachyarrhythmias, especially in the genetically-susceptible heart. In 2018, I successfully defended my PhD thesis entitled: “Ventricular Arrhythmogenesis in the Genetically-Susceptible Heart: Time to Change Concepts of Mechanisms and Management” under guidance of prof. dr. Paul Volders. I demonstrated that the combined assessment of electrical and mechanical abnormalities (alias the electromechanical window) in patients with the long-QT syndrome provide superior sudden cardiac death risk stratification than the traditionally used QTc. I further investigated electromechanical trigger-substrate interactions prior to sympathetically-induced arrhythmias in a canine drug-induced long-QT syndrome model (and was awarded the EWGCCE Travel Award). Furthermore, with the investigation of complex genotype/phenotype relations in a 16-generation SCN5A-mutation founder population with sudden cardiac death I was a finalist at the Young Investigator Awards of the HRS. My expertise lies in cardiac cellular & clinical electrophysiology, inherited arrhythmia syndromes, and antiarrhythmic management including invasive ablation techniques of complex ventricular arrhythmias.

My research ambition is to bring the field of complex arrhythmia management forward. To this aim, I strongly believe multimodality imaging using ECG-imaging, 3D-MRI and invasive electroanatomical assessment is key, next to deep pheno- and genotyping and high-resolution (non)invasive electromechanical profiling. To further our understanding the role mechano-electric feedback plays in ventricular arrhythmogenesis I will pioneer in novel invasive and noninvasive methods to depict electromechanical behavior with high spatiotemporal resolution at rest and after smart provocation; both in drug-induced animal models and in patients with the long-QT syndrome. For this research proposal I was awarded the prestigious Veni grant by ZonMw in 2019. This innovative work is expected to have major impact for other mechanosensitive cardiac diseases.

Department of Cardiology
Address: P. Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX Maastricht
Room number: 3.B2.025
T: +31 (0)43 387 70 95

  • 2020
    • Haanschoten, D. M., Elvan, A., Postema, P. G., Smit, J. J. J., Adiyaman, A., Ter Bekke, R. M. A., Asaad, N., Aanhaanen, W. T. J., Misier, A. R. R., Delnoy, P. P. H. M., Crijns, H. J. G. M., & Wilde, A. A. M. (2020). Catheter ablation in highly symptomatic Brugada patients: a Dutch case series. Clinical research in cardiology, 109(5), 560-569. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00392-019-01540-9
  • 2019
    • ter Bekke, R. M. A., Moers, A. M. E., de Jong, M. M. J., Johnson, D. M., Schwartz, P. J., Vanoli, E., & Volders, P. G. A. (2019). Proarrhythmic proclivity of left-stellate ganglion stimulation in a canine model of drug-induced long-QT syndrome type 1. International Journal of Cardiology, 286, 66-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.01.098
    • Molenaar, M. M. D., Timmermans, C. C., Hesselink, T., Scholten, M. F., ter Bekke, R. M. A., Luermans, J. G. L. M., Brusse-Keizer, M., Kraaier, K., ten Haken, B., Grandjean, J. G., Vernooy, K., & van Opstal, J. M. (2019). Shorter cryoballoon applications times do effect efficacy but result in less phrenic nerve injury: Results of the randomized 123 study. Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, 42(5), 508-514. https://doi.org/10.1111/pace.13626
  • 2018
    • Ter Bekke, R. M. A., David, M., Krapels, I. P. C., Crijns, H. J. G. M., & Volders, P. G. A. (2018). Beauty and the beat: A complicated case of multifocal ectopic Purkinje-related premature contractions. HeartRhythm Case Reports, 4(9), 429-433. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrcr.2018.05.010
    • ter Bekke, R., & Volders, C. A. A. (2018). Het HeArt-project. Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidswetenschappen, 96(5), 184-186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12508-018-0155-9
  • 2017
    • ter Bekke, R. M. A., Isaacs, A., Barysenka, A., Hoos, M. B., Jongbloed, J. D. H., Hoorntje, J. C. A., Patelski, A. S. M., Helderman-van den Enden, A. T. J. M., van den Wijngaard, A., Stoll, M., & Volders, P. G. A. (2017). Heritability in a SCN5A-mutation founder population with increased female susceptibility to non-nocturnal ventricular tachyarrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Heart Rhythm, 14(12), 1873-1881. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2017.07.036
    • Klaeboe, L. G., Haland, T. F., Leren, I. S., ter Bekke, R. M. A., Brekke, P. H., Rosjo, H., Omland, T., Gullestad, L., Aakhus, S., Haugaa, K. H., & Edvardsen, T. (2017). Prognostic Value of Left Ventricular Deformation Parameters in Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis: A Pilot Study of the Usefulness of Strain Echocardiography. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, 30(8), 727-735.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2017.04.009
  • 2016
    • Wellens, H., Lindemans, F. W., Houben, R. P., Gorgels, A., Volders, P. G., ter Bekke, R. M. A., & Crijns, H. J. (2016). Improving survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest requires new tools. European Heart Journal, 37(19), 1499-1503. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehv485
  • 2015
    • Kumar, N., Abbas, M. M., ter Bekke, R. M. A., de Jong, C. M. M. J. F., Choudhury, R., Bisht, O., Philippens, S., & Timmermans, C. (2015). Maastricht experience with the second generation endoscopic laser balloon ablation system for the atrial fibrillation treatment. Netherlands Heart Journal, 23(7-8), 373-374. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12471-015-0703-8