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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 Cholesterol
  • Hypertension - High Blood Pressure
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 USA

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

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

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

Undergraduate - University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI USA

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
  • Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Disease

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 3/30/2023, Dr. Nissen has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. 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

51 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 5
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

19 Patient Comments

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.

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2023

Dr Nissen is an excellent cardiologists and my visits with him has been very productive.

Reviewed on Jun 9, 2023

The finest doctor on the staff.

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2023

Excellent care from Dr. Nissen. He's the most caring doctor I've ever experienced! Love his nurturing ways and attitude!

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2023

Outstanding communication. Dr N clear and reassuring.

Reviewed on Feb 24, 2023

Dr. Nissen was very helpful and offered excellent insight. He was truly motivated to elevate my health with a focus to secure my longevity.

Reviewed on Feb 17, 2023

Dr Nissen and his staff are the best

Reviewed on Feb 17, 2023

I've been seeing Dr Nissen for close to 30 years and he's always been great to me and my health

Reviewed on Feb 17, 2023

Video visits are convenient but there's nothing like in person visits. I believe Dr Nissen was excellent on video visit.

Reviewed on Feb 10, 2023

Dr Nissan is the BEST!

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2023

Exceptional communication from the nurse and doctor. Both great listeners and very informative and helpful

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2022

Appreciate Dr.Nissen's personable & professional Approach in discussing & evaluating the ongoingLipoprotein (a) research in how it affects our familyAnd many others world-wide like us.

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2022

I waited probably longer for an appointment with Dr Nissen because I really wanted to especially see him and was not disappointed. I have all high and good remarks for him.

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2022

Dr. Nissen listened carefully to my reason for visiting and explained what could be done now and in future to improve my long term health outcomes.

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2022

I had a very positive experience and have confidence in Dr. Nissen and the staff going forward.

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