In Memoriam Dr Eckstein

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Hans-Henning Eckstein passed away on February 24, 2024, at the age of 68 after long illness.

The graduate of Heidelberg University’s Faculty of Medicine became a vascular surgeon, senior physician, and associate professor at the Department of Vascular Surgery at Heidelberg University Hospital. In 2004, he was elected Chair and Professor of the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the University Hospital “Rechts der Isar” of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Professor Eckstein has made this department known far beyond the borders of Munich and developed it into a leading center for patients with vascular diseases with a focus on aortic and carotid diseases. He retired in autumn 2023. Professor Eckstein was President of the German Society for Vascular Surgery and Vascular Medicine (DGG) from 2009 to 2010 and made a significant contribution to the forward-looking multimodal orientation of the discipline.

His leading role in randomized controlled trials on symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid stenosis made him well-known in vascular neurology. He was co-chair of the steering committee of SPACE and SPACE 2 representing vascular surgery in both multicenter trials. In this role, he was instrumental in defining the demanding quality requirements for the participating vascular surgery departments. He also managed to motivate other vascular surgeons to participate in these randomized trials, even at the risk that their patients might end up in the stenting or conservative treatment arm – not an easy task, as we all know.

He played a leading role in the development of national and international guidelines for carotid surgery, including the German S3 guideline on the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of patients with carotid stenosis and the ESO guideline for carotid stenosis.

In 2017, Professor Eckstein was awarded an honorary doctorate from the medical faculty of the University of Larisa in Greece for his achievements in the field of vascular surgery. Since 2019, he has also been a visiting professor at the Medical School of Pittsburgh and at Stanford University.

We are deeply saddened by the death of Hanns-Henning Eckstein. Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Dr. Jutta Eckstein, his three children, and his entire family. In Hans-Henning Eckstein we have lost an extremely dedicated colleague and excellent physician, an outstanding researcher, university lecturer, bridge-builder between vascular surgery and neurology, and a friend.

Werner Hacke and Peter Ringleb, Heidelberg