About – University of Copenhagen

About The Equine Cardiac Group

This homepage is established to inform researchers, veterinarians and horse owners about the work of The Equine Cardiac Group (ECG). ECG was established in 2010. It was founded as a collaboration between specialists within biology, veterinary physiology and human medicine. Some members were conducting their research at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and some at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Today the two have merged under the name Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND) at the University of Copenhagen.

The primary objective of ECG is to strengthen the research within equine cardiology and investigate the possibilities of using the equine heart as a model for the human. First of all ECG wish to contribute to the biophysical description of the specific cellular basis for the equine heart function, which is not fully available today. This knowledge will make it possible to target specific reasons for some heart diseases and pharmacologic effects/side effects in horses. This might further help the understanding of the basic human heart function and some human heart diseases. Furthermore, members of ECG are looking at describing and understanding the equine electrocardiogram in detail, which will help monitor equine heart health during training or disease. Moreover, the influence of endurance training on the equine heart is a focus area of the group. This research field might shed light on the human athlete’s heart syndrome and the possible cardiac fatigue during endurance competitions. Recently, ECG has also focused on describing the cellular basis for atrial fibrillation, which is common in horses and humans, and in parallel the group has also established a drug testing program for the treatment of atrial fibrillation in horses. This program might also result in findings which could be beneficial to improve treatment of atrial fibrillation in humans.