Center for Coronary Disease Overview
Coronary artery disease is the nation’s leading killer, with an estimated 1.2 million Americans experiencing heart attacks each year. When plaque builds up in the walls of the coronary arteries, blood flow becomes obstructed, reducing the heart's supply of oxygen. When the obstruction reaches a critical point, a heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) occurs. A lack of oxygen causes heart muscle cells to begin dying.
Team approach to treating coronary disease
Mark J. Ricciardi, MD,is the medical director of the Center for Coronary Disease. Dr. Ricciardi leads a team of specialists including cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurses and more. Together, they treat patients who may be at risk for—or who have already had—a heart attack. We evaluate patients with chest pain, abnormal stress tests, strong family histories of coronary disease or other risk factors using the most advanced treatments.
Treatment options for coronary disease
- comprehensive lipid (cholesterol) management
- percutaneous coronary intervention (angioplasty and stenting)
- coronary arterial bypass surgery maximizing the use of longer-lasting arterial grafts
- simultaneous hybrid coronary revascularization
Coronary disease and clinical research
Patients treated at the Center for Coronary Disease also benefit from clinical research trials that are ongoing at Northwestern Memorial. The focus of our clinical research trails on the clinical application of new drugs and devices; the genetic basis of coronary disease; and the outcomes of various treatments used.
Emotional and Behavioral Health
Cardiac treatment is most successful when it focuses on the physical, emotional and behavioral health of the patient. Northwestern's Cardiac Behavioral Medicine service was created with the understanding that the mind and body (the heart, in particular) influence each other.
Highlighting the Performance of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.
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Among the Nation's Best
In 2013-14 U.S. News & World Report ranked our Cardiology and Heart Surgery program #12 in the nation and the highest ranked program in Illinois for the sixth straight year.