Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

A team approach to heart care

Patients diagnosed with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) often have complex coronary artery disease (ejection fraction of less than 35 percent), and are at increased risk of developing heart failure and dying prematurely.

A new multidisciplinary ICM program has been established at University of Minnesota Physicians Heart to provide specialized care, including:

  • A seamless, comprehensive evaluation of patients with ICM and development of care plans.
  • Evaluation of every patient by a panel of three cardiologists and a cardiac surgeon.
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction using hemodynamic support, including peripheral cardiopulmonary bypass support, if appropriate.
  • Access to state-of-the-art imaging to assess myocardial viability. If appropriate, coronary revascularization using hybrid procedures will be considered (Robotic-assisted coronary artery bypass grafting with PCI).
  • Referrals to the cardiac electrophysiology service for patients needing implantable cardiac defibrillators or cardiac resynchronization therapy. Implantable ventricular-assist devices (VAD) and cardiac transplantation may be options for appropriate patients.


Symptoms of ischemic cardiomyopathy

Ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) is the most common type of dilated cardiomyopathy. In patients diagnosed with ICM, the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged, dilated and weak. This is caused by ischemia - a lack of blood supply to the heart muscle caused by coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

Symptoms of ICM may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the legs and feet (edema)
  • Fatigue (feeling overly tired), inability to exercise, or carry out activities as usual
  • Angina (chest pain or pressure that occurs with exercise or physical activity and can also occur with rest or after meals) is a less common symptom
  • Weight gain, cough and congestion related to fluid retention
  • Palpitations or fluttering in the chest due to abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting (caused by irregular heart rhythms, abnormal responses of the blood vessels during exercise, without apparent cause)

How to contact us

To schedule an appointment:

By phone:
Clinic schedule: Thursdays, 8 a.m to 12 p.m.

Use our secure online form to submit an appointment request 24/7. We will receive it and follow-up with you as soon as possible.

Submit an online request


Physician Referrals and Consultations:

For referrals, clinical concerns or questions, contact our ICM nurse coordinator: Cindy Western, RN, 612-624-2798

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy care locations:

University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview (University Campus)