Helena Carstensen

PhD student, DVM



Research Profile:

My main research interest is equine cardiology with special emphasis on atrial fibrillation and treatment of the disease. My PhD project is built on collaboration between two research groups at University of Copenhagen working with equine cardiology and human atrial fibrillation respectively.

The aims of my project are to describe the action potential of equine atrial myocytes and the underlying ion currents. This knowledge can provide valuable insight on the development of atrial fibrillation as well as on future treatment regimens. We hypothesize that the equine action potential resembles the human atrial action potential and that our studies in horses can be a beneficial addition to studies on human atrial fibrillation.

We furthermore aim to test the antiarrhythmic effects of two compounds and their potential synergistic effect in horses. Treatment of atrial fibrillation in horses is currently problematic as the available antiarrhythmic drugs target ion channels in both atria and ventricles which can result in adverse cardiac effects.

I finished my degree in Veterinary Medicine with special focus on equine medicine at University of Copenhagen in 2011. Subsequently I continued working with horses at a hospital in Canada and in April 2013 I started as a PhD student at University of Copenhagen.



Carstensen H, Skarsfeldt M, Diness J, Buhl R, Jespersen T. Pharmacological inhibition of IK1 in the rat heart. Equine Cardiac Arrhythmia Society 2014


Atrieflimmer hos hest. Dansk Veterinærtidsskrift 07, 2013. (In Danish)

Carstensen H, Larsen L, Ritz C, Nielsen MK: Daily variability of strongyle fecal egg counts in horses. J Eq Vet Sci; 33 (2013), pp. 161-164.