Our Services

in the Department of Internal Medicine Cardiology



2.500

inpatients annually

Diagnosis and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

Each year we treat around 2500 inpatients and 10,000 outpatients. These high numbers guarantee optimal treatment quality and patient safety.

The focus of our work is on the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases of all kinds. Procedures include those to restore the function of closed or narrowed coronary arteries, neck vessels, renal or leg arteries; the minimally invasive treatment of heart valve disease (transcatheter aortic valve implanation, MitraClip implantation, valvuloplasty); the implantation of pacemakers and defibrillator systems; and electrophysiological procedures for heart rhythm disorders.

Many of our patients also need treatment for associated conditions such as high blood pressure, metabolic illnesses, diabetes, disorders of kidney function and chronic obstructive lung diseases. As the Department of Internal Medicine we are qualified to treat all such conditions.

Our cardiological ward fulfils all the requirements, in terms of facilities and personnel qualifications, of a coronary care unit, with noninvasive and invasive monitoring. Therefore cardiac emergencies such as acute heart failure or an acute coronary syndrome can here be monitored and treated.

Diagnosis of Heart Diseases

Chest Pain Unit

Our Department has a Chest Pain Unit (CPU) certified by the German Society for Cardiology. The aim of the CPU is to clarify acute and unclear pain in the thorax and to treat it, thereby reducing the mortality in patients with myocardial infarctions (heart attacks).

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ECG

“ECG” stands for electrocardiography, a method used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. The measurements provide the doctor with information on the condition of the heart, since the formation and propagation of the electrical excitation of the heart muscle varies from normal in many heart diseases.

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Echocardiography

Echocardiography is an examination of the heart using ultrasound. The ultrasound waves emitted by a transducer are either absorbed or reflected by the body tissue. The transducer receives the reflected waves back and transforms them into electrical impulses.

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Computed Tomography

A computed tomography (CT) scanner consists of an X-ray emitting machine and opposite it a “receiver” that captures the images. During the examination the scanner rotates around the patient. From the signals a computer calculates an image, which appears as a complete section through the X-rayed site.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enables exact imaging of the anatomy and function of the heart, for example in the presence of a congenital heart defect, without using harmful X-rays. It helps doctors to plan and perform the optimal procedure.

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Heart Catheterization and Electrophysiological Examination

Twenty years ago heart catheterization was a purely diagnostic procedure but today it also offers the possibility of performing therapeutic measures. In this way, simple heart defects can be treated without surgery. Patients with complex heart defects are prepared for an operation with heart catheterization or undergo follow-up procedures using this technique.

Long-Term Blood Pressure Measurement

With high blood pressure early diagnosis is very important. Long-term blood pressure measurement records the blood pressure in a 24-hour period and is performed by the patient. Measurement under normal everyday conditions enables more accurate determination of the blood pressure values.

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Other Examinations

Spiroergometric testing enables exact analysis of the circulation, the breathing and the limb muscles during exertion. The tilting table test is used to clarify the cause of unexplained loss of consciousness. Walking tests help decide on the optimal time-point for treatment in patients with circulatory disturbances of the legs.

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Treatment of Heart Diseases

Hypertension Center

In Germany alone, 30 million people suffer from high blood pressure, known as arterial hypertension. Our Department has the expertise as well as the space and equipment to optimally treat patients with high blood pressure. To confirm this we were declared a “Certified Arterial Hypertension Center” by the German League for Hypertension (Deutsche Hochdruckliga e.V.).

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Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is a narrowing of the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood. The cause of coronary artery disease is atherosclerosis. Typical symptoms are pressure, pain or a sensation of tightness in the chest, which can be accompanied by breathlessness.

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Heart Valve Disease

The four heart valves regulate the direction of the blood flow in the heart. Valve dysfunction can be caused by impairment of valve opening (valve stenosis) or by inadequate valve closure (valve insufficiency) or a combination of the two.

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Diseases of the Heart Muscle

The term “cardiomyopathies” refers to diseases of the heart muscle that are not the result of coronary artery disease or a valve defect. They can be congenital or the consequence of other diseases.

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Heart Failure

As a result of the great progress made in the pharmacological, interventional and surgical treatment of heart diseases increasing numbers of patients are reaching advanced and chronic stages of their diseases. Common to the late stages of most heart diseases is the development of increasing heart weakness (heart failure), i.e. inadequate pumping function of the heart. Typical symptoms are a reduction in exertion tolerance, breathlessness and the collection of water in the legs and tissue (edema). The treatment of patients with heart failure is an important focus of our Department.

At the DHZB we hold a Clinic for Heart Muscle Diseases, which works in close cooperation with the Clinic for Heart Failure and the Outpatient Department for Cardiomyopathy of the Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum.

Heart Rhythm Disorders

When the heart beats too slowly, too quickly or irregularly we speak of heart rhythm disorders or “arrhythmia”. Here you can learn more about the different forms of this disease, its causes and the treatment options available, such as the implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators.

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Risk Factors for Heart Diseases

The secondary risk factors for cardiovascular disease are varied. Among the most important risk factors are high blood pressure, elevated blood fat values and diabetes mellitus. In treating secondary risk factors, early diagnosis and long-term follow-up are particularly important.

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Pulmonary Hypertension

The term pulmonary hypertension (= elevated lung pressure) covers different forms of disease that cause elevated pressure in the pulmonary arteries (the so-called pulmonary circulation).

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