The Heart Institute is a centre of excellence in all areas of cardiovascular medicine. We have the lowest mortality rates and largest patient volumes in Canada and throughout most of North America. Each year, some 130,000 patients visit our clinics for testing and treatment of heart disorders.
Our specialists train young physicians in what is regarded as one of the best cardiology training programs in the country. Our former students populate top cardiac facilities across Canada.
Many of our cardiologists are clinician-scientists who conduct clinical and/or laboratory research in addition to treating patients. This close relationship between science and medicine fosters new lines of research and speeds the translation of new discoveries to clinical practice.
Our success depends providing the best patient care available, and our patient satisfaction rates are consistently among the highest.
Cardiology operates a number of specialized clinics that address various conditions and risk factors for heart disease. These clinics allow us to provide care and monitor patients in targeted settings. More information is available on the individual clinic pages.
Diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular problems is highly complex. Our cardiologists specialize in diagnosis, prevention and interventional procedures and collaborate with our colleagues in Cardiac Surgery and Anesthesiology. The Heart Institute is a leader and pioneer in many of these areas:
Cardiac catheterization allows physicians to identify obstructions in the coronary arteries by threading a catheter through the blood vessels. The Heart Institute conducts thousands of these procedures annually. Interventional cardiologists treat coronary artery disease with catheter-based techniques to open blocked arteries.
- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) involves inflating a balloon, usually accompanied by a stent, in arteries to open blood flow and restore the supply of oxygen to the heart.
- Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is the replacement a heart valve through a catheter to restore normal cardiac function. Our medical team uniquely combines the skills of cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology to perform this procedure.
- Our STEMI heart attack program pioneered a treatment protocol to optimize treatment for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack patients and have them transported directly to the Heart Institute for urgent treatment such as PCI. This program has cut mortality rates by 50%.
Electrophysiology is the medical specialty dealing with heart rhythms. The Heart Institute is nationally recognized for experience, research and advances in the management of patients who have faulty electrical signals in the heart.
- Cardiac device therapy involves the use of pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy to treat patients with heart rhythm disorders.
- Catheter ablation uses a catheter threaded into heart to reach and destroy abnormal heart tissue in order to restore regular heart rhythm.
Cardiac imaging lets physicians visualize the heart and its function to aid in diagnosing particular disorders.
- Computed tomography (CT) uses an injected dye and X-rays to highlight blood vessels and arteries. CT shows slices of the heart and a computer compiles the images to show the entire heart.
- Echocardiography uses sound waves to measure the speed, rhythm and strength of the heart beat.
- Nuclear cardiology employs injected radiotracers that are detected by special cameras to produce images showing heart function. Positron emission tomography (PET), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) use different types of radiotracers to create an image of heart function.
- The Stress Test Laboratory uses electrocardiograms (ECG) to understand the electrical activity of the heart at rest and at high activity when a person is on a treadmill.
See the Cardiac Imaging section for more information.
Cardiology research at the Heart Institute generates new knowledge and approaches to prevent, treat and, ultimately, eradicate heart disease. Our physicians and researchers actively collaborate to translate advances from laboratory to the bedside.
Over a hundred clinical research trials are underway at the Heart Institute at any given time, ranging from basic molecular investigations to new life-saving protocols. We develop and test cardiovascular therapies, ensure they are available for our patients as quickly as possible and teach other medical professions how to implement new treatments and procedures.
For more information, see:
- Atherogenomics Laboratory - Ruth McPherson, MD, PhD
- Cardiac Function Laboratory - Peter Liu, MD
- Cardiac Translational Research Lab - Darryl Davis, MD
- Patient Oriented Research in Cardiac Arrhythmia – David Birnie, MD
- The RAPID Research Team – Derek So, MD
- Mechanisms of Right Heart Failure – Lisa Mielniczuk, MD
We offer exceptional training opportunities for medical students who choose the Heart Institute to learn the most advanced tools and procedures in cardiology. Our strength lies in our extraordinary patient care, our physicians whose mentoring attracts young physicians from all parts of the world, and our research which transforms medical approaches to heart disease.
Residents and fellows from around the world train here each year. Cardiology education at the undergraduate level attracts students from across Canada, including students from faculties of medicine in other provinces who choose elective studies at the Heart Institute.
For more information, please see Cardiology Education.
- Birnie, David, MD, Division Head
- Aydin, Alper, MD
- Beauchesne, Luc, MD
- Beanlands, Rob, MD
- Burwash, Ian, MD
- Chan, Kwan-Leung, MD
- Chih, Sharon, MBBS, PhD
- Chong, Aun-Yeong, MD
- Chow, Benjamin, MD
- Davis, Darryl, MD
- Dick, Alexander, MD
- Duchesne, Lloyd, MD
- Froeschl, Michael, MD
- Glover, Christopher, MD
- Golian, Mehrdad, MD
- Green, Martin, MD
- Hansom, Simon, MD
- Hessian, Renée, MD
- Higginson, Lyall, MD
- Klein, Andres, MD
- Labinaz, Marino, MD
- Lau, Lawrence, MD
- Le May, Michel, MD
- Liu, Peter, MD
- Mathew, Rebecca, MD
- McGuinty, Caroline, MD
- McPherson, Ruth, MD, PhD
- Messika-Zeitoun, David, MD
- Mielniczuk, Lisa Marie, MD
- Mir, Hassan, MD
- Nair, Girish, MD
- Nery, Pablo, MD
- Paterson, Ian, MD
- Ramirez, Daniel, MD
- Redpath, Calum, MD, PhD
- Russo, Juan, MD
- Small, Gary MD
- So, Derek, MD
- Stadnick, Ellamae, MD
- Stewart, Duncan, MD
Divisional Academic Administrator