Arne van Hunnik

Post doc

Dr Arne van Hunnik studied medical biology with a specialisation of zoology at the Hogeschool Utrecht, The Netherlands. After his graduation, he started a position as a technician at the Department of Physiology at the Maastricht University. In the research groups of Prof. Prinzen and Prof. Allessie he specialised in large animal models covering a large range of specialties in the field of cardiology, e.g. electrophysiology, hemodynamics and pacing.

Arne van Hunnik became fascinated by the complexity of atrial conduction patterns during atrial fibrillation. Throughout the years, he was involved in the development of automated analysis. Furthermore, he was strongly involved unravelling the role of complex conduction patterns in relation to the stability of atrial fibrillation. He obtained his PhD in 2019, which focussed on the dynamical properties of electrical conduction on the heart during atrial fibrillation. To study this, he developed a method based on recurrence plots that allows the investigation of both short- and long-term properties of conduction patterns. Additionally, he studied the effect of antiarrhythmic drugs on these conduction properties.  

He is currently focussed on finding an improved antiarrhythmic drug strategy to terminate atrial fibrillation. New strategies can be found by targeting 'newly' discovered ion channels or by combining existing antiarrhythmic drugs. Furthermore, he investigates the transformation from stable to (drug-induced) unstable atrial fibrillation as this may give unique insights mechanisms of atrial fibrillation maintaining mechanisms.

To obtain this information he predominantly uses data obtained from goat model of atrial fibrillation but also includes computer models of atrial electrophysiology where possible.

Department of Physiology
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Room number: 3.108
T: +31(0)43 388 13 20

  • 2024
    • Hermans, B., Özgül, O., Wolf, M., Gonçalves Marques, V., van Hunnik, A., Verheule, S., Chaldoupi, M., Linz, D., El Haddad, M., Duytschaever, M., Bonizzi, P., Vernooy, K., Knecht, S., Zeemering, S., & Schotten, U. (2024). Selecting repetitive focal and rotational activation patterns with the highest probability of being a source of atrial fibrillation. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology Plus, 7, Article 100064.
  • 2023
    • Winters, J., Isaacs, A., Zeemering, S., Kawczynski, M., Maesen, B., Maessen, J., Bidar, E., Boukens, B., Hermans, B., van Hunnik, A., Casadei, B., Fabritz, L., Chua, W., Sommerfeld, L., Guasch, E., Mont, L., Batlle, M., Hatem, S., Kirchhof, P., ... Schotten, U. (2023). Heart Failure, Female Sex, and Atrial Fibrillation Are the Main Drivers of Human Atrial Cardiomyopathy: Results From the CATCH ME Consortium. Journal of the American Heart Association, 12(22), Article e031220.
    • Carstensen, H., Nissen, S. D., Saljic, A., Hesselkilde, E. M., van Hunnik, A., Hohl, M., Sattler, S. M., Flogstad, C., Hopster-Iversen, C., Verheule, S., Bohm, M., Schotten, U., Jespersen, T., & Buhl, R. (2023). Long-Term Training Increases Atrial Fibrillation Sustainability in Standardbred Racehorses. Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research, 16(5), 1205-1219.
    • Ozgul, O., Hermans, B. JM., van Hunnik, A., Verheule, S., Schotten, U., Bonizzi, P., & Zeemering, S. (2023). High-density and high coverage composite mapping of repetitive atrial activation patterns. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 159(1), Article 106920.
  • 2022
    • Zink, M. D., Laureanti, R., Hermans, B. J. M., Pison, L., Verheule, S., Philippens, S., Pluymaekers, N., Vroomen, M., Hermans, A., van Hunnik, A., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Vernooy, K., Linz, D., Mainardi, L., Auricchio, A., Zeemering, S., & Schotten, U. (2022). Extended ECG Improves Classification of Paroxysmal and Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Based on P- and f-Waves. Frontiers in physiology, 13, Article 779826.
  • 2021
    • D'Alessandro, E., Scaf, B., van Oerle, R., van Nieuwenhoven, F. A., van Hunnik, A., Verheule, S., Schotten, U., Ten Cate, H., & Spronk, H. M. H. (2021). Thrombin generation by calibrated automated thrombography in goat plasma: Optimization of an assay. Research and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis, 5(8), Article e12620.
    • D'Alessandro, E., Scaf, B., Munts, C., van Hunnik, A., Trevelyan, C. J., Verheule, S., Spronk, H. M. H., Turner, N. A., ten Cate, H., Schotten, U., & van Nieuwenhoven, F. A. (2021). Coagulation Factor Xa Induces Proinflammatory Responses in Cardiac Fibroblasts via Activation of Protease-Activated Receptor-1. Cells, 10(11), Article 2958.
    • Gatta, G., Sobota, V., Citerni, C., Diness, J. G., Sorensen, U. S., Jespersen, T., Bentzen, B. H., Zeemering, S., Kuiper, M., Verheule, S., Schotten, U., & van Hunnik, A. (2021). Effective termination of atrial fibrillation by SK channel inhibition is associated with a sudden organization of fibrillatory conduction. EP Europace, 23(11), 1847-1859.
    • Saljic, A., Fenner, M. F., Winters, J., Flethoj, M., Eggertsen, C. E., Carstensen, H., Nissen, S. D., Hesselkilde, E. M., van Hunnik, A., Schotten, U., Sorensen, U., Jespersen, T., Verheule, S., & Buhl, R. (2021). Increased fibroblast accumulation in the equine heart following persistent atrial fibrillation. IJC Heart and Vasculature, 35, Article 100842.
    • van Hunnik, A., Zeemering, S., Podziemski, P., Kuklik, P., Kuiper, M., Verheule, S., & Schotten, U. (2021). Bi-atrial high-density mapping reveals inhibition of wavefront turning and reduction of complex propagation patterns as main antiarrhythmic mechanisms of vernakalant. EP Europace, 23(7), 1114-1123.
    • Dudink, E. A. M. P., Bidar, E., Jacobs, J., van Hunnik, A., Zeemering, S., Weijs, B., Luermans, J. G. L. M., Maesen, B. A. E., Cheriex, E. C., Maessen, J. G., Hoorntje, J. C. A., Schotten, U., Crijns, H. J. G. M., & Verheule, S. (2021). The relation between the atrial blood supply and the complexity of acute atrial fibrillation. IJC Heart & Vasculature, 34, Article 100794.
    • van Rosmalen, F., Maesen, B., van Hunnik, A., Hermans, B. J. M., Bonizzi, P., Bidar, E., Nijs, J., Maessen, J. G., Verheule, S., Delhaas, T., Schotten, U., & Zeemering, S. (2021). Incidence, prevalence, and trajectories of repetitive conduction patterns in human atrial fibrillation. EP Europace, 23(Supplement_1), i123-i132.
    • Fenner, M. F., Gatta, G., Sattler, S., Kuiper, M., Hesselkilde, E. M., Adler, D. M. T., Smerup, M., Schotten, U., Sorensen, U., Diness, J. G., Jespersen, T., Verheule, S., Van Hunnik, A., & Buhl, R. (2021). Inhibition of Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Current (IK,Ca) Leads to Differential Atrial Electrophysiological Effects in a Horse Model of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation. Frontiers in physiology, 12, Article 614483.
    • Sobota, V., Gatta, G., van Hunnik, A., van Tuijn, I., Kuiper, M., Milnes, J., Jespersen, T., Schotten, U., & Verheule, S. (2021). The Acetylcholine-Activated Potassium Current Inhibitor XAF-1407 Terminates Persistent Atrial Fibrillation in Goats. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11, Article 608410.
  • 2020
    • Zeemering, S., van Hunnik, A., van Rosmalen, F., Bonizzi, P., Scaf, B., Delhaas, T., Verheule, S., & Schotten, U. (2020). A Novel Tool for the Identification and Characterization of Repetitive Patterns in High-Density Contact Mapping of Atrial Fibrillation. Frontiers in physiology, 11, Article 570118.
    • Manninger, M., Zweiker, D., Dobrovnik, M., van Hunnik, A., Rohrer, U., Zirngast, B., Herbst, V., Maechler, H., Schotten, U., Zirlik, A., & Scherr, D. (2020). Acute hyperglycaemia is not associated with the development of atrial fibrillation in healthy pigs. Scientific Reports, 10(1), Article 11881.
  • 2019
    • Bonizzi, P., Peeters, R., Zeemering, S., van Hunnik, A., Meste, O., & Karel, J. (2019). Detection of Spatio-Temporal Recurrent Patterns in Dynamical Systems. Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 5(36), 1-13.
  • 2018
    • Podziemski, P., Zeemering, S., Kuklik, P., van Hunnik, A., Maesen, B., Maessen, J., Crijns, H. J., Verheule, S., & Schotten, U. (2018). Rotors Detected by Phase Analysis of Filtered, Epicardial Atrial Fibrillation Electrograms Colocalize With Regions of Conduction Block. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 11(10), Article e005858.
    • Manninger, M., Zweiker, D., van Hunnik, A., Alogna, A., Prassl, A. J., Schipke, J., Zeemering, S., Zirngast, B., Schonleitner, P., Schwarzl, M., Herbst, V., Thon-Gutschi, E., Huber, S., Rohrer, U., Ebner, J., Brussee, H., Pieske, B. M., Heinzel, F. R., Verheule, S., ... Scherr, D. (2018). Arterial hypertension drives arrhythmia progression via specific structural remodeling in a porcine model of atrial fibrillation. Heart Rhythm, 15(9), 1328-1336.
    • van Hunnik, A., Zeemering, S., Podziemski, P., Simons, J., Gatta, G., Hannink, L., Maesen, B., Kuiper, M., Verheule, S., & Schotten, U. (2018). Stationary Atrial Fibrillation Properties in the Goat Do Not Entail Stable or Recurrent Conduction Patterns. Frontiers in physiology, 9, Article 947.
    • van Hunnik, A., Nasrallah, H., Lau, D. H., Kuiper, M., Verheule, S., & Schotten, U. (2018). Vernakalant does not alter early repolarization or contractility in normal and electrically remodelled atria. EP Europace, 20(1), 140-148.
  • 2017
    • Kuklik, P., Zeemering, S., van Hunnik, A., Maesen, B., Pison, L., Lau, D. H., Maessen, J., Podziemski, P., Meyer, C., Schaeffer, B., Crijns, H., Willems, S., & Schotten, U. (2017). Identification of Rotors during Human Atrial Fibrillation Using Contact Mapping and Phase Singularity Detection: Technical Considerations. Ieee Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 64(2), 310-318.
    • Kooger, B. L. S., Jaspers, G. J., van Hunnik, A., Delhaas, T., & Vanagt, A. Y. (2017). Deep brain stimulator-induced flutter-like artefact on Holter recording. European Heart Journal, 38(1), 61-61.
    • Spronk, H. M. H., De Jong, A. M., Verheule, S., De Boer, H. C., Maass, A. H., Lau, D. H., Rienstra, M., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Lumeij, S., Zeemering, S., Linz, D., Kamphuisen, P. W., ten Cate, H., Crijns, H. J., Van Gelder, I. C., van Zonneveld, A. J., & Schotten, U. (2017). Hypercoagulability causes atrial fibrosis and promotes atrial fibrillation. European Heart Journal, 38(1), 38-50.
  • 2016
    • van Hunnik, A., Lau, D. H., Zeemering, S., Kuiper, M., Verheule, S., & Schotten, U. (2016). Antiarrhythmic effect of vernakalant in electrically remodeled goat atria is caused by slowing of conduction and prolongation of postrepolarization refractoriness. Heart Rhythm, 13(4), 964-972.
    • Rademakers, L. M., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Vernooy, K., van Gelder, B., Bracke, F. A., & Prinzen, F. (2016). A Possible Role for Pacing the Left Ventricular Septum in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy. JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, 2(4), 413-422.
  • 2015
    • Podziemski, P., Kuklik, P., van Hunnik, A., Zeemering, S., Maesen, B., & Schotten, U. (2015). Far-field effect in unipolar electrograms revisited: High-density mapping of atrial fibrillation in humans. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2015, 5680-3.
    • Lau, D. H., Maesen, B., Zeemering, S., Kuklik, P., van Hunnik, A., Lankveld, T. A. R., Bidar, E., Verheule, S., Nijs, J., Maessen, J., Crijns, H., Sanders, P., & Schotten, U. (2015). Indices of bipolar complex fractionated atrial electrograms correlate poorly with each other and atrial fibrillation substrate complexity. Heart Rhythm, 12(7), 1415-1423.
    • van Bragt, K. A., Nasrallah, H. M., Kuiper, M., van Hunnik, A., Kuijpers, N. H. L., Schotten, U., & Verheule, S. (2015). Dynamic regulation of atrial coronary blood flow in healthy adult pigs. Heart Rhythm, 12(5), 991-1000.
    • Linz, D., van Hunnik, A., Hohl, M., Mahfoud, F., Wolf, M., Neuberger, H.-R., Casadei, B., Reilly, S. N., Verheule, S., Boehm, M., & Schotten, U. (2015). Catheter-Based Renal Denervation Reduces Atrial Nerve Sprouting and Complexity of Atrial Fibrillation in Goats. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 8(2), 466-U294.
  • 2014
    • Linz, D., Hunnik, A. V., Ukena, C., Mahfoud, F., Ewen, S., Verheule, S., Böhm, M., & Schotten, U. (2014). Effects of renal denervation on atrial arrhythmogenesis. Future Cardiology, 10(6), 813-22.
    • Linz, D., van Hunnik, A., Ukena, C., Ewen, S., Mahfoud, F., Schirmer, S. H., Lenski, M., Neuberger, H.-R., Schotten, U., & Boehm, M. (2014). Renal denervation: effects on atrial electrophysiology and arrhythmias. Clinical research in cardiology, 103(10), 765-774.
    • Ploux, S., Strik, M., van Hunnik, A., van Middendorp, L., Kuiper, M., & Prinzen, F. W. (2014). Acute electrical and hemodynamic effects of multisite left ventricular pacing for cardiac resynchronization therapy in the dyssynchronous canine heart. Heart Rhythm, 11(1), 119-125.
  • 2013
    • Strik, M., van Middendorp, L. B., Houthuizen, P., Ploux, S., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Auricchio, A., & Prinzen, F. W. (2013). Interplay of electrical wavefronts as determinant of the response to cardiac resynchronization therapy in dyssynchronous canine hearts. Circulation. Arrhythmia and electrophysiology, 6(5), 924-31.
    • Maesen, B., Zeemering, S., Afonso, C., Eckstein, J., Burton, R. A. B., van Hunnik, A., Stuckey, D. J., Tyler, D., Maessen, J., Grau, V., Verheule, S., Kohl, P., & Schotten, U. (2013). Rearrangement of Atrial Bundle Architecture and Consequent Changes in Anisotropy of Conduction Constitute the 3-Dimensional Substrate for Atrial Fibrillation. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 6(5), 967-975.
    • Strik, M., van Deursen, C. J. M., van Middendorp, L. B., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Auricchio, A., & Prinzen, F. W. (2013). Transseptal Conduction as an Important Determinant for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy, as Revealed by Extensive Electrical Mapping in the Dyssynchronous Canine Heart. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 6(4), 682-689.
    • Zwanenburg, A., Jellema, R. K., Jennekens, W., Ophelders, D., Vullings, R., van Hunnik, A., van Pul, C., Bennet, L., Delhaas, T., Kramer, B. W., & Andriessen, P. (2013). Heart rate-mediated blood pressure control in preterm fetal sheep under normal and hypoxic-ischemic conditions. Pediatric Research, 73(4), 420-426.
    • Eckstein, J., Zeemering, S., Linz, D., Maesen, B., Verheule, S., van Hunnik, A., Crijns, H., Allessie, M. A., & Schotten, U. (2013). Transmural Conduction Is the Predominant Mechanism of Breakthrough During Atrial Fibrillation Evidence From Simultaneous Endo-Epicardial High-Density Activation Mapping. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 6(2), 334-341.
    • Verheule, S., Tuyls, E., Gharaviri, A., Hulsmans, S., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Serroyen, J., Zeemering, S., Kuijpers, N. H. L., & Schotten, U. (2013). Loss of Continuity in the Thin Epicardial Layer Because of Endomysial Fibrosis Increases the Complexity of Atrial Fibrillatory Conduction. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 6(1), 202-211.
  • 2012
    • van Deursen, C. J. M., Strik, M., Rademakers, L. M., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Wecke, L., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Vernooy, K., & Prinzen, F. W. (2012). Vectorcardiography as a Tool for Easy Optimization of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in Canine Left Bundle Branch Block Hearts. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 5(3), 544-552.
    • Wecke, L., van Hunnik, A., Thompson, T., DiCarlo, L., Zdeblick, M., Auricchio, A., & Prinzen, F. W. (2012). Networked multielectrode left ventricular pacing lead for avoidance of phrenic nerve stimulation in a canine model. Heart Rhythm, 9(5), 789-795.
    • Strik, M., Rademakers, L. M., van Deursen, C. J. M., van Hunnik, A., Kuiper, M., Klersy, C., Auricchio, A., & Prinzen, F. W. (2012). Endocardial Left Ventricular Pacing Improves Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in Chronic Asynchronous Infarction and Heart Failure Models. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 5(1), 191-200.
    • Kornet, L., van Hunnik, A., Michels, K., Verheule, S., Della Scala, A., West, T., Kessels, R., & Cornelussen, R. (2012). Stimulation of the intra-cardiac vagal nerves innervating the AV-node to control ventricular rate during AF: specificity, parameter optimization and chronic use up to 3 months. Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology, 33(1), 7-18.
  • 2011
    • Eckstein, J., Maesen, B., Linz, D., Zeemering, S., van Hunnik, A., Verheule, S., Allessie, M., & Schotten, U. (2011). Time course and mechanisms of endo-epicardial electrical dissociation during atrial fibrillation in the goat. Cardiovascular Research, 89(4), 816-824.