Position: Professor of Device Therapy/Senior Lecturer
Location: Leeds, UK
Klaus Witte is a Professor of Device Therapy at the University Clinic of Aachen and Senior Lecturer at the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine at the University of Leeds . He has his own group spanning both institutions investigating the relationship between pacemaker therapy and heart failure.
He is the only cardiologist in the UK to have held an NIHR (UK) clinician scientist award, in his case for the OPT-pace project, which, with 1800 patients enrolled is the largest ever prospective study to collect information on the relationship between pacemakers and heart failure (EHRA late breaking clinical trials 2019).
He has long questioned standard teaching around heart rate and exercise capacity in heart failure (JACC 2016). His group described a reproducible non-invasive technique to measure contractility and plot the force-frequency relationship. Peak contractility in heart failure occurs at a lower heart rate than in health. This finding and two randomised double-blind clinical trials describing the benefit on exercise capacity of programming pacemakers using patients’ force frequency relationship information (JACC-HF 2018, Circulation 2020) have changed the way we view heart rate in heart failure.
His interests extend to health economics, specifically the assessment of cost effectiveness of device therapy, where the upfront costs of devices in a population are particularly challenging for payers.