Cardiovascular Research Institute

Physicians at the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute in Pittsburgh, PA are actively involved in national and international clinical trials and research to advance the understanding of heart disease. AHN Cardiovascular Research Institute experts are dedicated to finding new treatments for cardiovascular disease and improving diagnoses.

About the Cardiovascular Research Institute

Our research program builds on more than a century of innovation and spans a diverse range of investigative areas, including researching new treatments for heart disease. We’re pioneering new devices, medications, imaging tests, therapies, and technologies to revolutionize care for everyone affected by heart disease.

Our physicians and patients are engaged in more than 100 national and international clinical trials. That means AHN patients have access to some of the newest, most promising treatment options for heart disease.

Research highlights of new cardiovascular treatments and diagnosis

Physicians and researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Institute spearhead hundreds of potentially life-changing, groundbreaking initiatives to help find new treatments for heart disease. We’ve advanced care for a multitude of heart diseases, including:

Aortic valve disease

  • Our transcatheter aortic valve replacement program was one of the first in the tri-state area, established nearly 10 years ago.
  • Allegheny General Hospital has the only TAVR program in the region to receive a high performer rating by U.S. News & World Report. It’s one of only 97 programs in the country to receive this rating.
  • We participate in numerous national and international trials to improve the treatment of aortic valve disease.

Aortic disease

  • We led a clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of endovascular stents — a type of endovascular therapy — to treat abdominal aneurysms.

Artery disease

  • We were first in western Pennsylvania to perform robotic-assisted coronary bypass surgery. Learn more about robotic heart surgery.
  • We were instrumental in the early development of atherectomy catheter technology — an alternative to balloon angioplasty — to open blocked arteries. Learn more about carotid artery disease and coronary artery disease.
  • We were first in the region to offer the Lutonix® 035 drug-coated balloon catheter to open blocked arteries in patients with peripheral artery disease.*

Atrial fibrillation

  • We were first in western Pennsylvania to use low-radiation, high-resolution digital images instead of X-rays to perform certain electrophysiology procedures to minimize radiation exposure while treating atrial fibrillation.
  • We were first in the state to use the WATCHMAN™ device to lower stroke risk in people with heart arrhythmias who can’t use blood thinners.

Heart failure

  • We developed the first suture-free mechanical heart valve, the Magovern-Cromie valve.
  • We contributed to the development of TandemHeart®, a percutaneous ventricular assist device (pVAD) for patients experiencing cardiogenic shock and heart failure. Learn more about mechanical circulatory support.
  • We were among the first in the region to offer the Impella® heart pump, which our physicians implant via a catheter-based procedure.
  • We were first in Pennsylvania to implant a permanent left ventricular assist device (LVAD) into a patient with end-stage heart failure.
  • We were first in Pennsylvania to implant the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart into a patient with end-stage heart failure.

Heart transplant

  • We tested new noninvasive methods to diagnose organ rejection following a heart transplant.
  • We evaluated novel immunosuppressant therapies in heart transplant patients.

Mitral valve disease

  • We are the only hospital in western Pennsylvania to perform robotic-assisted mitral valve repair.
  • We are accredited as a Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center, awarded by the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation. Only 21 facilities nationwide have earned this accreditation, and AGH is the first hospital in the state to achieve this status. 

Pulmonary hypertension (PH)

  • We spearheaded gene therapy treatments and genetic testing for pulmonary hypertension.
  • We contributed to the development of a blood test to track the progression of PH and allow for more aggressive and timely medical interventions.
  • We investigated the use of cardiovascular imaging to evaluate patients with PH and right ventricular dysfunction.
  • We collaborated with other prestigious national research centers in the Pulmonary Hypertension Breakthrough Initiative to advance treatments for pulmonary disease.

Women’s heart disease

  • We were one of the first in the country to prove that cardiovascular imaging is more effective at detecting heart disease in women than traditional methods, such as catheterizations and nuclear stress tests. Learn more about the Women’s Heart Center.
  • We investigated the role of novel biomarkers in heart disease in women.

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN cardiovascular research.

Lutonix is a registered trademark of BD BARD and used with permission.

WATCHMAN is a trademark of Boston Scientific and used with permission.

TandemHeart is a registered trademark of LivaNova, Inc. and used with permission.

Impella is a registered trademark of ABIOMED and used with permission.