Chief: Manlio Cipriani

The Cardiology Unit focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases causing end-stage heart failure, and is available for both inpatients and outpatients.

Heart Failure Unit
This Unit is responsible for the treatment of advanced cardiac decompensation, heart transplant program, and ventricular mechanical support. It optimizes the patient’s therapeutic management, and makes use of the latest multispecialty strategies.

The Unit is dedicated to patients affected with heart failure who respond poorly to conventional therapy, and become candidates for more complex procedures, such as heart transplantation or ventricular assistance device (VAD, or artificial heart) implantation.

Unstable patients, usually treated in the Intensive Care Unit or Post-Intensive Care Unit are referred to ISMETT by other centers, and treated in this area. The outpatient assessment is an integral part of our program. Comprehensive and continuing management of all the clinical phases is, in fact, a crucial part of a correct diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. In this Unit, a global assessment of all the stages of heart failure takes place (from early stages requiring outpatient assessment and medical therapy, to advanced stages requiring frequent hospitalizations and highly complex interventions), and the following therapeutic strategies are taken in accordance with the Cardiac Surgery and Interventional Hemodynamics Units, and with the non-cardiac areas of ISMETT such as the ICU, Pneumology, Nephrology, and the Psychology Services.

The medical staff also performs invasive and non-invasive procedures (right-heart catheterizations and endomyocardial biopsies) for prognostic stratification and follow-up of heart transplant patients.
A pneumology team also collaborates with cardiology, and treats patients affected with primary pulmonary hypertension with an approach similar to the one described for heart failure patients.

Heart imaging

  • Transthoracic bidimensional echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Tissue Doppler and speckle tracking echocardiography
  • Echocardiography with contrast medium
  • Echocardiography after physical effort (cycle ergometer)
  • Pharmacological stress echocardiography (dobutamine and dipyridamole)
  • Heart magnetic resonance imaging
  • CT scan of the heart and large vessels
  • CT scan of the coronary arteries
  • Myocardial scintigraphy after physical (treadmill) and pharmacological (with dobutamine and dipyridamole) stress
  • Myocardial tomoscintigraphy SPECT after stimulus and at rest (99 cm Technetium).
  • Perfusional myocardial scintigraphy with vitality test (110 thallium or 99Tc + nitrate tests)