Treatment Programs

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Cardiovascular Performance Program

The Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center offers specialized cardiac care for athletes, including leading treatments for suspected or confirmed heart disease, detailed pre-participation safety screenings and exercise assessments.

Our Approach

Our team

The Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center offers comprehensive medical care and physiologic testing to professional athletes, recreational exercisers and highly active individuals. Our services are appropriate for both healthy individuals and for those with established or suspected cardiovascular disease. Our program, one of the few of its kind, is made up of skilled physicians committed to preserving and maximizing athletic performance.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Treating Heart Disease

The Corrigan Minehan Heart Center is made up of a team of world-class clinicians, each specializing in a particular form of heart disease. Clinicians in the Cardiovascular Performance Program have extensive experience treating athletes and work with multiple clinical disciplines from across the hospital to provide care from several perspectives, including:

  • Cardiology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pulmonology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition
  • Physical and rehabilitative therapy
  • Exercise physiology

These seasoned clinicians work seamlessly with referring physicians and coaches to treat and prevent heart disease.

Determining Sports Eligibility

Many high school and collegiate sports require cardiac screening assessments and consultations prior to participation. These evaluations are designed to prevent athletes with pre-existing heart conditions from experiencing cardiac events or sudden death before, during or after exercise.

Clinicians in the Cardiac Performance Program perform pre-participation screening for individuals of all ages and athletic aspirations. To screen athletes, our cardiologists start with a detailed medical history and physical exam. When necessary, they draw on Mass General’s leading echocardiography, radiology and genetic laboratories. Using advanced diagnostic techniques such as cardiac MRI and CT scanning, clinicians screen for:

  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
  • Coronary anomalies
  • Heart valve diseases
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Inherited arrhythmias

Screenings can stop athletes from playing sports their entire lives, so our clinicians consult with the entire multidisciplinary team before making recommendations about participation risk. Many findings are minor and managed with medical therapy in a manner that enables safe sport participation. We also welcome athletes who seek second opinions, and work with patients and their primary doctors to develop a coordinated diagnostic and treatment strategy.

Our clinicians offer individual screenings at our facility or group screenings at onsite locations such as schools, universities and clubs. Athletic trainers and sports medicine groups who wish to improve their proficiency in this area can request our consultation services.

A Resource for Athletes with Cardiovascular Disease

Our primary treatment goal is to manage heart disease in a safe and effective manner while simultaneously preserving or enhancing an individual’s ability to perform physical activity. We take this into consideration when treating:

  • Acquired heart disease. Even athletes experience hypertension, coronary artery disease, valve disease, blood clotting disorders and heart rhythm disorders. Our goal is to carefully manage these conditions and also preserve our patients’ physical activity
  • Inherited or congenital heart disease. Some heart diseases are present at birth and require lifelong management. We offer genetic counseling, therapeutic interventions and sports participation counseling for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, anomalous coronary artery circulation, long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome and Marfan syndrome

Patients also have access to full range of specialty medical and surgical interventions offered throughout the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center.

Exercise Performance Enhancement for Active Individuals

For athletes looking to improve performance, Mass General is one of the few programs in the nation that offers an exercise assessment coupled with a health evaluation. During this assessment, exercise physiologists measure oxygen intake, heart rate and caloric expenditure using:

Nutritionists are available to design individualized dietary plans that maximize performance and regulate weight.

About This Program Since 1914 cardiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital have been leaders in treating heart disease. The Cardiovascular Performance Program brings together a rich clinical history with a group of clinicians experienced in the care of athletes.

The Corrigan Minehan Heart Center is nationally recognized for its groundbreaking work with athletes, and several of our distinguished physicians were among the first to discover that this population can suffer from heart disease. Today, physicians across the U.S. recognize that athletes require specialized cardiovascular care.

Access to the Latest Techniques in Treating Athletes

The Corrigan Minehan Heart Center is nationally recognized for its groundbreaking work with athletes, and several of our distinguished physicians were among the first to discover that this population can suffer from heart disease. Today, physicians across the U.S. recognize that athletes require specialized cardiovascular care. All of our physicians participate in research and clinical trials to advance the field of sports cardiology. This allows us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible.

Patients interested in participating in clinical trials can browse online for open trials.

Internationally Recognized for Treating Athletes

  • Adolph Hutter, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program, is renowned for his innovations in sports cardiology and has been the cardiologist for the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, New England Revolution and a past president of the American College of Cardiology
  • Aaron Baggish, MD, a skilled cardiologist who specializes in treating athletes and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is the program’s associate director. In 2009 Dr. Baggish received a landmark grant from the American Heart Association to study heart remodeling in competitive athletes
  • Malissa Wood, MD, has led pioneering work examining the impact of marathon running on heart function. She is currently the director of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program and has professional interests in both women’s cardiovascular health and cardiac imaging
  • Gregory Lewis, MD, is an accomplished heart failure specialist and a leader in exercise physiology
  • James Januzzi, MD, serves as the cardiologist for the Boston Red Sox and is a widely recognized clinical researcher

One Voice, a Complete Team

A member of our Corrigan Minehan Heart Center access team is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm to take relevant information about your condition and symptoms and to make a timely appointment with the most appropriate specialist.

We strive to see patients as soon as possible and assign every patient one clinician to organize care between members of our multidisciplinary team. From diagnosis to treatment and follow up, this physician guides patients through the entire treatment process.

Conditions and Diseases

The care team at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center encourages all patients and family members to learn more about conditions and diseases that affect the heart and overall cardiovascular system. The links below provide more information about heart conditions and diseases that might be treated within this program.

Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias are heart rhythm disorders that may originate in the atria (the receiving chambers of the heart) or the ventricles (the pumping chambers of the heart).

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is any disease of the heart muscle in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease occurs when cholesterol builds up within the walls of the heart’s arteries (coronary arteries), forming what is called plaque.

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle.

Heart Valve Diseases

The heart’s valves can have one of two malfunctions - regurgitation (when the valve does not completely close) or stenosis (a narrowing of the valve).

Support and Wellness

Mass General is dedicated to ensuring that people understand their health care choices and have the necessary information to make decisions affecting their health and well being. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.

Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery (PDF)

Learn what to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center by downloading and printing our patient guide to cardiac surgery.

Understanding and Preparing for a Catheterization Procedure (PDF)

As you prepare for your catheterization, Massachusetts General Hospital clinicians want you to feel as comfortable as possible. To help you understand what to expect during your visit, this booklet describes key steps of your catheterization procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiac Anesthesia

The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offers a patient guide to cardiac anesthesia. Our dedicated clinicians believe it is important for you to know what to expect before, during and after a cardiac anesthesia.

Visitor's Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac nurses at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offer support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.

Patient and Family Guide to the Heart Center (PDF)

Download our patient and family guide to the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center to learn about accommodations, visiting and parking, and patient discharge.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

Phys ed: a workout for your bloodstream
Read an article in the New York Times explaining our research on the effects of exercise on the body

MGH goes red for women’s heart health

MGH Hotline 2.18.11 Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the MGH Heart Center and Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program brought attention to hearts everywhere by celebrating “Go Red for Women” month with a series of events and activities to raise awareness of heart disease in women.

The Exercise Effect

Exercise benefits the body more than we know. Mass General researchers are exploring possible new treatments using the power of exercise.

In a Heartbeat

The team-based approach of the Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care ensures physicians approach complex situations from all angles, providing cohesive multidisciplinary care.

Hutter named first Macomber Family Endowed Scholar

Adolph M. Hutter Jr., MD, was named the inaugural Macomber Family Endowed Scholar for Cardiovascular Performance Innovation during a Sept. 24 ceremony.

Ask the expert: The myths and facts about women and heart disease

Malissa Wood, MD, co-director of the Elizabeth Anne and Karen Barlow Corrigan Women's Heart Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital discusses the myths surrounding women and heart disease.

Fountain of Youth in Running

Aaron Baggish, MD, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cardiovascular Performance Program in the Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care, discusses the benefits of exercise at any age.

Phys ed: a workout for your bloodstream
Read an article in the New York Times explaining our research on the effects of exercise on the body

Groundbreaking discoveries in heart research

The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center has achieved significant advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Our research discoveries have led to breakthroughs in treatments and technologies, improving the lives of patients worldwide.

Aaron Baggish, MD, warns that even highly active people can develop heart disease

Aaron Baggish, MD, Associate Director for the Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center explains how heart problems are diagnosed in highly active people and how Mass General specialists help them exercise safely to reduce the risk of heart attack.

Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery (PDF)

Learn what to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center by downloading and printing our patient guide to cardiac surgery.

Understanding and Preparing for a Catheterization Procedure (PDF)

As you prepare for your catheterization, Massachusetts General Hospital clinicians want you to feel as comfortable as possible. To help you understand what to expect during your visit, this booklet describes key steps of your catheterization procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiac Anesthesia

The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offers a patient guide to cardiac anesthesia. Our dedicated clinicians believe it is important for you to know what to expect before, during and after a cardiac anesthesia.

Visitor's Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac nurses at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offer support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.

Patient and Family Guide to the Heart Center (PDF)

Download our patient and family guide to the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center to learn about accommodations, visiting and parking, and patient discharge.

Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 866-MGH-8910

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes


If you are a new patient, you may call the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access office at 866-MGH-8910, or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment. A member of our access team will ask you more about your condition and symptoms, and match you with the best-fitting Corrigan Minehan Heart Center physician.

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Request an appointment at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

Call the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access nurse at 866-644-8910

Learn about the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center in Waltham

Did you know the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center has a convenient location in Waltham? Learn about treatments and services at our outpatient care center.