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Critical care, Anesthesiology, Peri-operative and Emergency medicine (CAPE)


The focus of research within CAPE (Critical Care, Anesthesiology, Peri-operative and Emergency Medicine) is on the restoration and maintenance of vital homeostatic functions in vulnerable patients during emergency care, perioperative procedures and critical care.

Scientific and Societal output   Dissertations  

See dissertations of CAPE on horafinita.nl

Principal Investigators   Programme Leaders   Description of the Programme  

Research within CAPE requires improved understanding of the pathophysiology and pharmacology of alterations in body homeostasis that result from primary acute problems and from adverse consequences of interventions required for the primary problem. Optimizing the restoration and protection of homeostasis will allow patients suffering from injury or disease to overcome this critical episode with fewer long-lasting sequelae that could negatively influence the natural progress of healthy ageing. Consequently, CAPE wants to broaden knowledge of pathophysiological changes occurring in patients during emergency, perioperative and critical care procedures and wants to better understand the consequences of various new and existing drug-related interventions. Using this knowledge, CAPE investigators want to find and/or optimize druggable targets using advanced pathophysiological and pharmacological technology.


The purpose of CAPE research is to reduce mortality and especially morbidity among high-risk patients undergoing emergency care, major surgery and critical care. Researchers at CAPE therefore study the pathophysiology underlying life-threatening events and the consequences of pharmacological and other interventions during these events. This requires a multi-system and translational approach, since it is known that ageing, disease, drugs, surgery and traumatic and non-traumatic injury appear to result in interacting (and mutually amplifying) impairments in the function of many parts of the body. These include the cardiovascular (heart, large and small vessels), respiratory, central and peripheral nervous, renal, endocrine and immune systems.

Relevance to Healthy Ageing  

Until a few decades ago, the focus of much anesthesia, intensive care and emergency medicine research was on short-term outcomes such as survival beyond an acute illness or procedure. As a result, short-term outcomes have generally improved significantly (an exception is survival after severe sepsis). Recent research indicates that diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic choices made during acute care, critical care and anesthesia for perioperative and therapeutic procedures may have a significant impact on important long-term outcomes, such as long-term survival, cancer recurrence, cognitive function, post-traumatic stress disorder, renal function and the incidence of chronic pain. In accordance with these new findings, our aims are to maintain and extend wellbeing and welfare by limiting the impact of interventions for acute and chronic problems and thus to contribute to healthy ageing.