Digital Public Defence: Cristiane C. K. Mayerhofer

MD Cristiane C. K. Mayerhofer at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Targeting the Gut Microbiota in Heart Failure” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor). 

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Photo: Ine Eriksen, UiO

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Norbert Frey, Heidelberg University Hospital
  • Second opponent: Adjunct Professor Ole Fröbert, Örebro University Hospital
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Anne Cathrine Staff, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Torbjørn Omland, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Associate Professor Marius Trøseid, University of Oslo


Although the past decades have seen discoveries that have turned heart failure (HF) into a preventable and partly treatable condition, the syndrome of the failing heart remains incompletely understood. Several components, such as hemodynamic stress, neuroendrocine activation and inflammation, have been implicated in the progressive deterioration of cardiac function that occurs in HF.  Inflammation is of particular interest in this case. Elevated levels of several pro-inflammatory mediators are closely associated with worsening of HF.

Recent research has suggested that the gut microbiota may play a role for the health of the host. The gut microbiota has been linked to various diseases, including HF. In patients with HF, intestinal wall edema due to systemic congestion and reduced intestinal blood flow may increase bacterial translocation into the circulation and induce cytokine production, which is in turn associated with disease progression.

In this work, Mayerhofer and colleagues have investigated the gut microbiota in patients with HF and healthy controls through the analysis of fecal and plasma samples. For bacterial analysis, segments of the 16S rRNA marker gene were amplified and submitted to next-generation sequencing.

Mayerhofer and colleagues found that the gut microbial profile in patients with chronic heart failure differs from that of healthy controls, and that by-products of microbial metabolism, such as short-chain fatty acids and secondary bile acids, may be relevant for clinical outcomes. They also investigated associations between dietary habits and the gut microbiota, where they found that gut bacterial richness and composition were associated with fiber intake, and that the microbial-dependent metabolite trimethylamine-N-oxide was associated with meat intake. Furthermore, they designed a proof-of-concept trial to target the gut microbiota to improve cardiac function in patients with HF.

Additional information

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Published Nov. 2, 2021 12:17 PM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2021 1:12 PM