Dr GEtienne Cramer

Dr. G.E. Cramer has defended his PhD thesis ‘Versatile Aspects of Cardiac Troponin Assessment: Innovative Clinical Settings, Coronary Sinus Sampling, and Qualitative Analyses’ on 20th May 2022 at the Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

To mark this glorious milestone, we briefly caught up with Etienne about his research.

Could you please tell us what your thesis is about?

Etienne explains:” In many clinical settings, the cardiac protein troponin plays a crucial diagnostic role. Troponin release is associated with a reduced life expectancy in most medical conditions. With the increasing sensitivity of laboratory assays, troponin can now be detected in healthy individuals, and in clinical settings other than myocardial infarction, without evidence on its clinical value.

This thesis demonstrates that in healthy women troponin was associated with increased 10-year mortality. Among patients with inherited hypertrophy, troponin status may help to characterize disease activity. In patients with myocardial infarction, characterization of the structure of troponin shows that in patients with large infarctions troponin is more often complex, which is also seen in patients who present early after symptoms.

Finally, concentration differences in the heart vessels can be used to make the link to the damaged part of the heart. Indeed, troponin has a versatile applicability, and its clinical utility is still expanding.”

What was your most surprising finding?

“Troponin never seizes to surprise me. I believe we’ve shown that there are applications still to be discovered. Intriguingly, a troponin elevation in a healthy population predicting mortality within 10-years of follow-up is remarkable and raises the question of underlying unrecognized mechanisms. Also, with respect to its role in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy much more can be learned.

However, the most exciting prospect will be to use troponin forms in the future to design a new troponin test with a higher level of specificity” shares Etienne.

What’s next for you?

Etienne: “First, I’ll enjoy finishing my thesis by spending some time at home with my family. Given the abovementioned challenges still ahead I’ll try to participate in research projects as much as possible.”

We congratulate dr. Etienne Cramer on this incredible milestone and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Dr. G.E. Cramer’s research was supervised by promotors professor F.W.A. Verheugt and professor H. Suryapranata and co-promotors Dr. M.A. Brouwer and Dr. H-J Dieker.

Read the full PhD thesis here.