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Physician examining patient with a stethoscope

What is coronary artery disease?

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a slow process in which deposits of fat, cholesterol and calcium build up inside your arteries (deposits called plaque). This plaque causes your artery walls to become rough, hard and more narrow. When your heart vessels are affected, blood flow and oxygen to your heart are decreased. Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary artery disease (CAD), and when the obstruction reaches a critical point, a heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) occurs.

Northwestern Medicine focuses on treating patients before they develop a sometimes fatal heart attack, using advanced treatment options. If you have coronary artery disease that requires coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery, know that Northwestern Medicine consistently ranks among the top hospitals in the nation for exceptional interventional and surgical outcomes.

Meet the Teams

Our goal at the Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is to achieve superior results for all of our patients and to help them return to normal activities while improving their overall quality of life.



USNWR Badge NMH Best Hospitals Cardiology 2020-2021

Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Top 10 in the nation in Cardiology & Heart Surgery (10th)

Looking for a Cardiovascular Second Opinion?

It is important to know your treatment options and to have confidence in your physician. A second opinion can help you make smart treatment decisions.

For the Cardiovascular Professional

Learn more about CME, grand rounds and fellowship opportunities offered through the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.