Penn Heart and Vascular

Overview of the Coronary Artery Disease Program

Merging the Art and Science of Treating Heart Disease

Penn's Coronary Artery Disease Program treats patients who may be at risk for, or those who have already had a heart attack.

Diagnosis and choice of treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD) are not as straightforward as might be imagined. That's where the vast experience of Penn physicians makes a difference. Their expert clinical judgment and knowledge of the latest in heart disease technology and techniques are why the toughest cases in the region are routinely referred to Penn Medicine.

A Full Range of Diagnostic and Treatment Options

Penn Medicine offers a full range of diagnostic and treatment options for coronary artery disease, including:

Sophisticated diagnostic capabilities such as:

  • CT, MRI, and PET imaging.
  • A full range of noninvasive tests.
  • Diagnostic catheterization including specialized tests not always available elsewhere, including:
    • Fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement – to accurately choose whether angioplasty and stenting or medical treatment is best for "intermediate" blockages.
    • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) – to aid in the selection and sizing of stents and balloons and confirm that a stent has been perfectly placed.

Treatment options such as:

  • Comprehensive lipid (cholesterol) management to slow disease progression.
  • Medications to control symptoms.
  • Interventional procedures such as angioplasty, with or without stent placement, to reduce the need for surgery while providing better results than medication alone.
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Specialized programs include:

Personalized, Informed Recommendations and Care Plans

A multispecialty team performs an extensive risk/benefit analysis for each patient. The goal is to find the lowest risk and least invasive treatment option that can still deliver the best in long-term survival and quality of life.

Patients can expect a supportive environment with medical professionals who understand what their concerns. Each care plan is individually tailored to the needs of the individual.