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Department Cardiovascular Medicine
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon No
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Angiography
  • Cardiac PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Study
  • Cardiovascular Medicine Department
  • Clinical Cardiology Section
  • Clinical Trials
  • Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Preventive Cardiology Section
View all 8 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Angina
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Murmur
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Heart Valve Infections
  • Hemochromatosis
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • High Cholesterol
View all 11 Specialties +


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About Steven Nissen, MD

Steven Nissen, MD, is Chief Academic Officer, Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, and holds the Lewis and Patricia Dickey Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine.

Dr. Nissen was Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine from 2006 to 2019 after serving nine years as Vice Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and five years as Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center (C5), an organization that directs multicenter clinical trials.

Dr. Nissen’s research during the last two decades has focused on the application of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging to study the progression and regression of coronary atherosclerosis. He has served as International Principal Investigator for several large IVUS multicenter atherosclerosis trials.

Specialty/Clinical interests: General cardiology, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), diabetes and the heart, drug safety, coronary intensive care

Experience: Dr. Nissen has more than 35 years of experience as a physician. He is world-renowned for his work as a cardiologist, patient advocate and researcher. Equally as significant is his pioneering work in IVUS technology and its use in patients with atherosclerosis.

Publications and Speaking: Dr. Nissen has written more than 400 journal articles and 60 book chapters, including many published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. In recent years, he has also written on the subject of drug safety and was the author of manuscripts highlighting concerns about medications such as Vioxx™, Avandia™, and muraglitazar.

He has testified in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the topic of drug safety as well as the need to reform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As a physician/scientist, Dr. Nissen is often called on by pharmaceutical companies to consult on the development of new therapies for cardiovascular disease. He maintains a long-standing personal policy that requires these companies to donate all related honoraria directly to charity.

Dr. Nissen is currently the editor of Current Cardiology Report.  In 2007, he was listed as Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People in the World – Scientists and Thinkers."

He is heavily involved with the American College of Cardiology (ACC), serving as President from March 2006 to March 2007, a member of the ACC Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and spending 10 years as a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Dr. Nissen has served several terms on the Program Committee for the ACC Annual Scientific Sessions.

Dr. Nissen served as a member of the CardioRenal Advisory Panel of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five years, and as chair of the final year of his membership. He continues to serve as a periodic advisor to several FDA committees as a Special Government Employee.

Dr. Nissen frequently lectures at national and international meetings. He has served as visiting professor, or provided Grand Rounds, at nearly 100 institutions.

About Dr. Nissen: “I am fiercely independent and don't accept compensation from industry for consulting or speaking.

Leisure time activities: In his leisure time, Dr. Nissen likes to bicycle whenever possible. He is also an advanced amateur photographer.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center
Lexington, KY

Residency - University of California Davis Medical Center
Internal Medicine
Sacramento, CA

Internship - University of California Davis Medical Center
Medical Internship
Sacramento, CA

Medical Education - University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI

Undergraduate - University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Additional Training

  • Intensive Care Units Committee, University of Kentucky Medical Center, 1983-1992
  • Aeromedical Patient Care for the University of Kentucky, 1987-1992
  • Certification - Cardiovascular Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1983
  • Certification - American Board of Internal Medicine, 1979
  • Certification - National Board of Medical Examiners, 1979

Professional Highlights

  • Principal Investigator, Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center, Cleveland Clinic, 2006
  • Director, Joseph J. Jacobs Center for Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Cleveland Clinic
  • Member, National Institutes of Health Level 1 Working Group on Clinical Trial Design National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), 2006
  • National Government Service: Presently serves as Special Government Employee as periodic advisor to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Chairman, Cardiovascular Renal Drugs Advisory Committee, Department of Health and Human Resources, FDA, 2004 - 2005
  • Member, Cardiovascular Renal Drugs Advisory Committee, Department of Health and Human Resources, FDA, 2000 - 2004
  • Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center - an organization that directs multicenter clinical trials, 2001 - 2006


  • Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Disease
  • Internal Medicine

Specialty Interests

General cardiology, heart disease, intravascular ultrasound, digital angiography and computer image processing, coronary intensive care

Awards & Honors

  • Best Doctors, Cleveland Magazine, 2008, 2014
  • America Top Doctors, Castle Connolly, 2014
  • Golden Achievement for Medicine Award, Golden Age Centers of Greater Cleveland, 2012
  • Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Awarded by Journal of American College of Cardiology Editorial Board and the American College of Cardiology, 2011
  • Most Interesting People, Cleveland Magazine, 2010
  • "100 Most Influential People in the World Scientists and Thinkers," TIME Magazine, 2007
  • "Country 30 Most Powerful Forces in Business and Finance," Smart Money, 2007
  • President, American College of Cardiology, a 34,000-member, non-profit, professional medical society whose mission is to advocate for quality cardiovascular care - through education, research promotion, development and application of standards and guidelines - and to influence health care policy, March 2006 thru March 2007
  • Honorary Member of the Japanese College of Cardiology (JCC), 2007
  • Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cardiovascular Research from the Gill Heart Institute of the University of Kentucky, 2004
  • Outstanding Scientist Award, Cleveland Clinic, 2004
  • Three-time recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award, Fellows of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic (2004, 1998, 1994)
  • Dr. Nissen has received a number of additional honors and recognitions

Innovations & Patents

  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and application to patients with atherosclerosis. Dr. Nissen has served as principal investigator for 6 major trials using IVUS to assess coronary disease and is currently conducting several additional atherosclerosis studies.
  • Co-chairman, American College of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology International Writing Group to develop an Expert Consensus Document on Standards for the Acquisition, Measurement, and Reporting of Intravascular Ultrasound Studies, 1999-2001.
  • Member, National Joint Committee of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to revise 1990 Coronary Angiography Guidelines, 1995-2000.
  • Appointed committee member in the development of CD-ROM Version of the American College of Cardiology Self-Assessment Program (ACC-SAP), 1994-1996.
  • Co-chairman, Joint Committees of the American College of Cardiology and National Electronics Manufacturers Association for Digital Imaging and Communication for Medicine (DICOM) Working Group I, Task Force to Develop Standards for Digital Image Archiving Devices for Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, 1992-2000.


  • American College of Cardiology
  • Association of Professors of Cardiology
  • American University of Physicians
  • AHA Council on Cardiovascular Radiology (Elected Fellow 1991)
  • AHA Council on Clinical Cardiology Recent National Committees and Positions2013 Harvard Multi-Regional Clinical Trial Center Working Group, Harvard University and Global Institute of Health, Cambridge, ME
  • 2013 Writing Committee Cardiovascular Endpoints in Clinical Trials, American College of Cardiology
  • 2010 - Present, Standardized Data Collection for Cardiovascular Trials, FDA
  • 2010 Steering Committee Member, Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), Translational Institute, Duke University
  • 2010 – Present, Editorial Board Seat, Prescribers Letter, Therapeutic Research Center
  • 2010 Advisor, Prevention Magazine, Rodale Publishing
  • 2002 – 2014 Senior Consulting Editor to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Steven Nissen, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 7/2/2024, Dr. Nissen has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

65 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.9
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

29 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2024

Dr Nissen was awesome. Thanks.

Reviewed on Jun 7, 2024

Dr Nissen and I have similar thought processes, and we communicated very well! However he did not tell me the duration of visit he had scheduled, so the end came up rather suddenly. We were so fast paced, I left unclear as to any follow up with him that may be needed.

Reviewed on May 3, 2024

Dr. Nissen is not only a world renowned expert in preventative cardiology- he is also a very kind, patient, polite, and caring person. More Doctors and caregivers should treat patients (people) the same way.

Reviewed on Apr 26, 2024

Would highly recommend Dr. Nissen to anyone.

Reviewed on Apr 26, 2024

Excellent doctor and team with Mikaela and Mellissa

Reviewed on Apr 26, 2024

Dr. Nissen is the best doctor I have ever seen.

Reviewed on Apr 12, 2024

Dr. Nissen was truly remarkable both in his expertise as well as making me feel comfortable and answering all my questions.

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2024

Amazing doctor. Very patient and kind. Always makes me feel better

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2024

Dr. Nissen is not only good for your heart, but your soul as well.

Reviewed on Jan 26, 2024

I experienced an episode of extremely high hypertension and went to emergency room of Cleveland Clinic.My wife called the Clinic and explained my situation,and they referred me toDr.Steven Nissen.

Reviewed on Jan 26, 2024

Dr.Nissen was extremely informative concerning my hypertension and I would d strongly recommend him .

Reviewed on Jan 26, 2024

I was able to get care for my hypertension quickly but not an appointment for a primary care physician.

Reviewed on Jan 26, 2024

Dr. Nissen was well prepared for my appointment clearly showing that he had reviewed my medical history. He listened thoughtfully and carefully answering all of my questions with clear explanations. At no time did I feel "rushed".

Reviewed on Jan 19, 2024

Dr. Steve Nissen is excellent in all aspects of his bedside manner. I cannot imagine any way he can improve, he is the gold standard.

Reviewed on Jan 19, 2024

Dr Nissen seems to really care. He's the best!

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2024

Dr. Nissen has saved my life with his diagnosis of a couple of years ago. I am eternally grateful.

Reviewed on Jan 5, 2024

All good with Dr Nissan

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2023

Dr. Nissen is the best. He's been my Dr for 30 yrs. He's the best

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2023

He's the best.

Reviewed on Nov 17, 2023

Appreciate Dr.Nissen and staff's continued approach and work in the Lipoprotein (a) analysis and successful implementation of related therapies.

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2023

It is obvious that Dr. Nissen is very much in demand, so I needed to wait 3-4 months to see him, but thankfully it wasn't an emergency & he was well worththe wait.

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2023

Dr. Nissen was absolutely wonderful. I was prepared to tell him my whole story over the past 17 years regarding my Cholesterol numbers. He had read my file & knew more about me, than I did! He was so easy to talk with & listen to.

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2023

Dr. Nissen is a fantastic physician. His knowledge is unsurpassed, is caring, a good listener, has all the time for any questions, and never rushed. I can't say enough good things about him and my visits with him.

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2023

Dr Nissen is the man..simply wonderful. I have his undivided attention and he really listens and seems to care. I feel so fortunate to have this access to a world-famous physician and researcher. And he couldn't be nicer!

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2023

Understandable that I had to wait 3 months for the appointment. Dr Nissen is foremost in his field. Well worth the wait.

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2023

Dr. Nissen was amazing. Took his time with me. My medical condition is one which involves cutting edge treatment so I am "on hold" which Dr Nissen clearly explained to me.

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2023

I am beyond grateful to have been able to see him. What a brilliant and compassionate physician!

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2023

I wish all the cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic were as informed and competent as Dr. Nissen

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2023

Dr. Nissen was very conscientious in reviewing all the notes from my previous cardiologist at UW Madison along with reviewing all the lipid panels from the past eight years in addition to prescriptions given over that same time period before determining a course of treatment.

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