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Advanced Ischemic Heart Disease

Advanced ischemic heart disease, also called advanced coronary disease, includes conditions that reduce the blood flow to the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. This in turn, causes conditions such as heart failure (poor heart pumping function) and cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat). In many cases, patients with ischemic heart disease are told they have exhausted traditional treatment options.

How do I know if I have advanced coronary disease?

  • You have had at least one coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) and require additional bypass surgeries
  • You have had multiple angioplasty procedures and stents for recurrent, persistent coronary disease
  • You are still having symptoms even though you have been receiving optimal treatment for coronary artery disease
  • You have been told that there are no more treatment options for your coronary artery disease
  • You have been told that you are at risk of developing heart failure and arrhythmias

If you have advanced ischemic heart disease, there are five steps to your care:

  1. Highly specified diagnostic testing to see if your heart has muscle that could be helped by procedures designed to improve blood flow to the heart muscle
  2. Procedures to improve blood flow to the heart muscle or improve the pumping ability of the heart. If you can benefit from these procedures, a team of highly skilled interventionalists or heart surgeons may be able to improve blood flow to your heart muscle using special catheters or surgical procedures. If you have heart failure, special devices and surgeries may improve your symptoms, quality of life and longevity.
  3. A medication plan that includes the best medicine and dosages to make sure your heart is pumping the best it can and to protect it from further damage
  4. A lifestyle plan designed specifically for your needs, including regular exercise and a nutritious diet to keep you healthy and strong
  5. Potential for enrollment in clinical trials looking at new ways to restore blood flow to the heart and/or replace damaged heart muscle, such as stem cell therapy.

A multidisciplinary approach is usually needed to achieve optimal care, as outlined above. The Center for Advanced Ischemic Heart Disease is a collaborative effort among clinicians who specialize in treating advanced coronary disease. This team includes physicians and nurses who specialize in Interventional Cardiology, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cardiac Imaging, Electrophysiology and Pacing, Heart Failure, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation, Pain Management, Stem Cell Therapy and Pharmacy.


If you need more information or would like to make an appointment with a specialist, contact us , chat online with a nurse or call the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute Resource & Information Nurse at 216.445.9288 or toll-free at 866.289.6911. We would be happy to help you.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2010 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved. 04/10

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