Our cardiologists offer comprehensive evaluation and management of diseases of the heart and circulatory system and work with primary care physicians to ensure coordinated, continuous care.
Our faculty have expertise in every aspect of cardiac care, ranging from standard procedures such as outpatient consultation, echocardiography, and angiography to advanced clinical research into heart failure, preventive cardiology, and radio-frequency ablation.
Special services include physical fitness evaluation, non-invasive and invasive studies, interventional procedures, and radioisotope examinations of the heart.
The Medical Cardiology section of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute offers comprehensive evaluation, consultation, and management of diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
Our team of experts treats patients with a variety of conditions, including:
- Aortic aneurysms
- Aortic diseases
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial flutter
- Atrial tachycardia
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Chest pains
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
- Heart rate abnormalities
- Heart tumors
- High cholesterol
- Irregular heartbeats
- Marfan syndrome
- Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
- Pericardial disease
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Shortness of breath
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Valvular heart disease
Interventional cardiologists use non-surgical techniques — usually by running a catheter through the arteries into and around the heart — to repair the blockages that cut off the flow of blood in and out of the heart. Our cardiologists perform angioplasties, in which a balloon attached to the catheter clears the arteries, and are also experienced in the use of stents. In addition to traditional stents, WVU uses drug-eluting stents, which deliver medication directly to the site of the blockage.
At the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, we perform between 1,500 to 1,800 angioplasties and stent placements annually.
For a heart attack patient, “door to balloon” is the time from arrival at the hospital until the start of balloon angioplasty. The national goal for “door to balloon” is 90 minutes. The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute far exceeds that goal.
We have the doctors, technology, and facilities, including our cardiac labs, to make a rapid diagnosis and take quick, effective action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’ve refined our coordination and teamwork to a science.
Treatments/procedures performed at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute include:
- Balloon valvuloplasty
- Cardiac catheterization
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy
- CardioMEMS HF device placement
- Clot extraction
- Cutting catheter or “Pac-Man” surgery for patients with chronic total occlusions (CTOs)
- Diagnostic catheterization for evaluation of coronary artery and valvular heart disease (Intravascular ultrasound and flow wire available)
- Interpretation of both invasive and non-invasive cardiac testing
- Noninvasive cardiac evaluation with stress/nuclear and stress/echocardiogram
- Preoperative cardiac evaluation prior to non-cardiac surgery
- Renal and peripheral artery stenting
- WATCHMAN left atrial appendage closure device
Radial Artery Access Cardiac Catheterization
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute interventional cardiologists offer radial artery access, a cardiac catheterization technique that uses arteries in the wrist to reach the heart.
Radial artery wrist access allows for the same tests and procedures as other catheterization methods for diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease, with increased benefit over traditional femoral artery (groin) access.
The advantages of using the radial artery as an access point include:
- decreased risk of complications from bleeding
- faster recovery time
- greater comfort for patients
- faster mobility
- shorter hospital stays
Women, older, or obese patients may especially benefit from radial artery access.
The Center for Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiovascular Research, the only such center in the region, is an area of special care at WVU. It provides IV inotropic therapy to stable outpatients with advanced heart failure, with a goal of improving functional level and avoiding hospitalization. The center is an important resource for the state, reducing the number of emergency room visits and lowering health costs for heart patients.
Many patients receive treatment through medication. The treatments are especially useful for patients who are at the maximum dosage of other heart drugs, people awaiting a heart transplant, or people who have a heart muscle disease. The treatment also helps patients breathe more easily.
WVU Medicine offers the CardioMEMS HF system
It is estimated that patients who monitor their congestive heart failure with the CardioMEMS system may reduce their risk for sudden hospital readmission by almost 37 percent. We are designated as one of 16 national sites of excellence by the device manufacturer, and we are the only site in West Virginia currently offering this procedure. WVU Heart and Vascular Institute physicians are proud to be able to offer this technology to our patients.
Another option for the intractable angina patient who fails to respond to conventional treatment is a non-invasive technique called enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP). This therapy involves placing blood pressure cuffs on the lower extremities to force blood from the heart into the vessels.