Heart Failure Unit

Head: Stamatis Athamopoulos
Attending Doctors Β: Aggeliki Gouziouta
Evaggelos Leontiadis
Contact Phone Number: 210 94 93 000


Heart Failure (cardiac insufficiency) is a syndrome, which is associated with a poor life quality, high cost and is potentially fatal. The earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the better are the prospects for the future improvement of patients’ life, less hospitalization and increased possibilities of survival.

In the field of OCSC’s specialized hospital services, the Heart Failure Unit serves consistently to treat severe cardiac insufficiency with the short term (intra-aortic pump in cardiac ICU) and the long-term mechanical support (assist devices) as well as the heart transplantation in cooperation with the Heart Transplant Unit. Since 1998, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center is no less compared to major center of Europe and America in the treatment of end-stage heart failure. The pre-audit of many patients with severe heart failure, who are sent from all over Greece, in order to join the list for transplant if they are suitable, the immediate and long-term postoperative monitoring of transplanted patients (frequent biopsies in the cath/hemodynamic lab, application of classic and new therapeutic protocols and thorough monitoring of this sensitive group for the occurrence of new pathological-heart problems) and also, the monitoring of patients with mechanical ventilation are important activities of OCSC’s Heart Failure Unit.

The OCSC Heart Failure Unit in collaboration with the Department of Electrophysiology brings evidence and jointly they implement the recent technological advances in heart failure, such as the implantation of biventricular pacemaker to achieve resynchronization of the heart and defibrillators’ implantation to treat dangerous arrhythmias, both techniques that consist an indispensable complement of medical treatment in selected groups of patients, because they improve the quality of life, reduce hospital admissions and prevent sudden death.

An experienced team of cardiologists assisted by the highly specialized Molecular Immunopathology & Tissue Compatibility Unit and the Pathologoanatomic Laboratory investigates, in vivo and in vitro, the increasing cases of myocarditis (attack of the myocardial with pathogens, usually viruses) and emerging dilated cardiomyopathy (first manifestation of heart failure mainly in young people). The involvement of Heart Failure Unit with this sensitive subject of cardiology has made OCSC a point of reference nationwide.

The Heart Failure Unit is in charge of OCSC’s Fitness programmes – a taboo a few years ago – which not only improve the quality of life, reduce the hospitalization, discharging financially the health system, but furthermore, seem to extend this same life of patients with heart failure. Latterly, in OCSC a combination of aerobics with power training and respiratory muscle exercises are tested successfully in both patients with heart failure and transplant patients as well as, patients with “artificial hearts”, which is a world first. This experience takes international dimension by the OCSC undertaking the coordination of a great European multi-centric study (vent-heft) combining aerobics with respiratory muscles exercise in patients with heart failure.