International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches


This study is being conducted in partnership with the Midwest Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

The ISCHEMIA study compares two standard treatments for ischemia of the heart to learn which one is better. Ischemia of the heart occurs when there is decreased blood flow due to narrowing in one or more of the heart arteries because of the buildup of cholesterol. 

The two standard treatments being compared in this study are:    

  1. Treatment with medicines and lifestyle changes to control symptoms (angina or chest pain) and reduce serious events (such as heart attack).  Medicines that are routinely used for this include aspirin and cholesterol lowering drugs.  Lifestyle changes may include changing what and how much you eat, exercising more, and not smoking.
  2. A cardiac catheterization procedure is done so the heart arteries can be seen. Then the narrowed heart artery is opened with a balloon and stents (called PCI) or heart surgery to bypass the problem artery (called CABG). Also, treatment with medicines and lifestyle changes are used. Doctors and patients make the choice between stents and bypass surgery based on which procedure is thought to provide the better result.

Both treatments #1 and #2 are used by doctors around the world as part of the regular care for narrowed arteries and ischemia. There are no experimental tests, procedures, or medicines used in either group. The goal is to see which one saves more lives and prevents more heart attacks in people who are at risk of having a heart attack and a shortened life span because of narrowed arteries and ischemia. 

Principal Investigator(s)
Nicholas Shammas

Clinical Trial Categories

  • Cardiac Research
National Institutes of Health/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
Midwest Cardiovascular Research Foundation at 563-324-2828


  • Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street
    1227 East Rusholme Street
    Davenport, IA 52803
    Main: 563-421-1000

Contact Us

For more information about our research program and IRB, please contact:

Research Support Office