Women’s Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading killer of women in the United States, yet it often is under-recognized and under-treated. We recognize the importance of preventing, identifying and treating women with cardiovascular disease.

The approach in the Center for Women’s Heart Disease is comprehensive and multi-disciplinary, addressing the unique needs of women at all stages of their life. The center employs a coordinated multidisciplinary approach including cardiologists specializing in maternal heart disease, maternal-fetal medicine experts, anesthesiologists and pulmonologists.

Our team

Our multidisciplinary team of expert physicians and nurses includes:

Cardiology

Surgery

https://cardiothoracicsurgery.wustl.edu

https://vascularsurgery.wustl.edu/

Obstetrics and Gynecology

https://obgyn.wustl.edu/divisions/maternal-fetal-medicine-ultrasound-division/

https://obgyn.wustl.edu/divisions/family-planning-division/

Anesthesiology

https://anesthesiology.wustl.edu/patient-care/obstetrical-anesthesia/

Pulmonology

https://pulmonary.wustl.edu/patient-care/pulmonary-vascular-service/

Neonatology

https://pediatrics.wustl.edu/newborn

Clinical expertise

Women’s Heart Disease Management

  • Comprehensive cardiovascular care for women living with heart disease, including cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease and arrhythmias
  • Expert management of cardiac conditions disproportionately affecting women, such as coronary artery dissection (SCAD), heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, coronary vasospasm, and microvascular heart disease
  • Counseling regarding hormone replacement therapy in women with heart disease
  • Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease associated with cancer and cancer therapy
  • Advanced surgical therapies for coronary artery disease in women, including off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting, and arterial revascularization.
  • Treatment of complex aortic diseases, including chronic dissection, thoracic aortic aneurysms, and thoracoabdominal dissections and aneurysms.
  • State of the art treatment of valvular heart disease, including transcatheter aortic replacement, mitral valve repair, and right anterior thoracotomy surgical aortic valve replacement.
  • Medical and surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation

Multidisciplinary Maternal Cardiovascular Management Team

  • Pregnancy risk assessment, planning, and management for women with pre-existing conditions including congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease, aortopathy, and arrhythmia
  • Management of cardiovascular complications of pregnancy including peripartum cardiomyopathy, pre-eclampsia, and coronary artery dissection
  • Co-management with primary obstetrician and cardiologist or assumption of patient care, as per patient and referring physician preferences

Multidisciplinary Family Planning Clinic

  • Contraception counseling for women with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions such as cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, arrhythmias, coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease
  • Providing safe and effective methods of contraception, individualized to each patient’s unique cardiovascular and pregnancy risk profile
  • Counseling regarding medication teratogenicity, contraceptive safety and effectiveness, and cardiovascular risk of pregnancy

Preventative Heart Health

  • Cardiovascular risk assessment and risk factor modification to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease in women
  • Expert management of difficult-to-control or resistant hypertension
  • Recognition of cardiovascular risk factors disproportionately affecting women, including pregnancy complications (such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and fetal growth restriction) and autoimmune disease
  • Lifestyle modification through individualized nutrition counseling and supervised exercise therapy

Postpartum Heart Health

  • Multidisciplinary blood pressure management, cardiovascular risk factor screening, contraception provision, and health counseling through the MY HEART postpartum hypertension clinic

Clinical affiliations

The center is supported by a network of collaborative services, including:

 Ongoing Clinical Research

The Center for Women’s Heart Disease is committed to advancing care in women through clinical research.  The following clinical studies are ongoing through our center:

  • Pregnancy Associated Cardiovascular Outcomes Registry – Cardiovascular phenotyping registry for pregnant women with cardiac disease, including preeclampsia. Participants will undergo cardiac imaging and will have blood collected.
  • MY HEART (Maternal hYpertension clinic to improve postpartum Health, Educate, And Reduce long-Term complications) – A post-partum multidisciplinary clinic for women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, aimed at reducing short- and long-term complications of high blood pressure in pregnancy.
  • SURVIVE Registry – Multi-center clinical registry for patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • ACE-MOVE registry – Registry enrolling patients with suspected or confirmed diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis.
  • ACE-Detect – Prospective multicenter study evaluating performance and safety of the ASSURE Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator
  • ADAPT Response: Randomized trial of a specific ICD algorithm in patients with biventricular ICD devices
  • Post-approval registry of the subcutaneous ICD
  • INIX-HF Study: evaluating the effects of inorganic nitrate on exercise performance in patients with heart failure
  • SPYRAL Trial: Study investigating renal denervation for patients with uncontrolled hypertension.

Patient information

Learn more about maternal heart care »

Learn more about women’s heart health »

Learn more about pregnancy complications and heart disease »

Make an appointment

Referring Physicians: 314-362-1291
Patients: 314-362-1291 or 888-210-8375