Provider Profile

Saint Luke’s Care Member

Provider Profile

Andrew C Kao, MD

Cardiology, Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology
Call to make an appointment 816-931-1883


Medical School
Univ of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Internal Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN
Cardiovascular Disease, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Heart Failure & Transplant Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine - Subspecialty in Adv Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology
  • American Board of Internal Medicine - Subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease

Academic Titles

  • Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine

Clinical Interests

  • advanced heart failure and transplantation
  • clinical cardiology


Dr. Andrew Kao is board certified in cardiology and heart failure and transplant cardiology and is the Medical Director of Heart Transplantation at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute.  He also directs the cardiopulmonary exercise laboratory at Saint Luke's.  His interests are clinical cardiology, exercise physiology, heart failure, heart transplantation and heart assist devices.  Dr. Kao has been in the Kansas City metro area since 2004 and believes in empowering patients to take the best possible care of themselves, through intense education, and individualized care.  Guideline-mandated therapy must be tailored to each patient's unique medical problems and beliefs.  His passion is educating fellow physicians and patients about the many recent advances which have been made in heart failure, in order to help patients take better care of themselves, and in order for physicians to be aware of the advantages and challenges of available heart failure therapies.

Saint Luke's News

Heart Transplant Recipient Walks Daughter Down the Aisle
When Henry Myers needed a heart transplant, he trusted the team at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. While waiting for a new heart, one goal, in particular, made him persevere.
FOX4: Michigan man now able to spend more time with family after heart transplant at Saint Luke's
One man is grateful to be alive, thanks to the gift of a life-saving heart transplant at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. FOX4 talked to Gary Pitsch about why he chose to travel all the way to Kansas City for a new heart.

Accepted Insurances

  • Aetna Better Health/KanCare (KS Medicaid)
  • Aetna Choice POS II Aexcel Local
  • Aetna Choice POS II Local
  • Aetna Elect Choice POS
  • Aetna Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan HMO
  • Aetna First Health Network (excluding limited benefit plans)
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna HMO Local
  • Aetna Managed Choice POS
  • Aetna Medicare Plan (Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO)
  • Aetna Missouri Preferred
  • Aetna Open Choice PPO
  • Aetna Select HMO
  • Aetna Select Local HMO
  • Aetna Signature Administrators (ASA) HMO, POS, PPO
  • Aetna UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO)
  • Aetna Workers Comp
  • Aetna/Coventry Advantra Freedom Medicare Advantage PPO
  • Aetna/Coventry Advantra Freedom Plus Medicare Advantage PPO
  • Aetna/Coventry Advantra Total Care Medicare Advantage PPO
  • BCBS of Kansas (call provider)
  • BCBS of Kansas Blue Choice Preferred Care Blue PPO
  • BCBS of Kansas City Blue Select Plus (UCMO and City of KCMO)
  • BCBS of Kansas City Federal PPO
  • BCBS of Kansas City Freedom Network PPO
  • BCBS of Kansas City Freedom Network Select PPO
  • BCBS of Kansas City Preferred Care
  • BCBS of Kansas City Preferred Care Blue
  • BCBS of Kansas City Traditional
  • BCBS of Kansas Federal
  • BCBS of Kansas Traditional
  • BCBS of Michigan Medicare Advantage PPO
  • Blue KC Medicare Advantage HMO
  • Blue KC Medicare Advantage PPO
  • Century Health Solutions (PPO)
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna National POS Open Access
  • Cigna OAP
  • Cigna PPO
  • CompResults/CompAlliance (WC) PPO
  • Health Choice of Northwest Missouri (PPO)
  • Home State Health Plan Missouri Medicaid (Missouri practices)
  • Humana Choice PPO - Medicare Advantage
  • Humana ChoiceCare PPO
  • Humana Community HMO - Medicare Advantage
  • Humana Gold Choice Medicare Advantage PFFS
  • Humana Gold Plus HMO - Medicare Advantage
  • Humana Gold Plus HMO SNP - Medicare Advantage
  • Humana Kansas City PPOx
  • Humana National POS-Open Access Plans
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Preferred PPO
  • Humana SmartExpress PPO
  • Humana SmartNet PPO
  • Humana SmartSuite PPO
  • HumanaOne PPO
  • Integrated Health Plan PPO
  • Kansas Medicaid
  • Medica Connect
  • Medica Select
  • Medicare
  • Missouri Care Health Plan - Missouri Medicaid (MO practices only)
  • MultiPlan/PCHS (PPO)
  • Occupational Health Management PPO (WC)
  • OHARA Managed Care (WC)
  • Private Healthcare Systems PPO
  • ProviDRs Care Network PPO (formerly WPPA)
  • Sunflower State Health Plan Kansas Medicaid (Kansas practices)
  • Triwest Veterans Affairs Patient Centered Community Care
  • United Healthcare - All Savers Insurance Company POS
  • United Healthcare - Choice HMO
  • United Healthcare - Choice Plus POS
  • United Healthcare - Community Plan (KS Practices, KanCare, Kansas Medicaid)
  • United Healthcare - Community Plan (MO practices, Missouri Medicaid)
  • United Healthcare - Definity Health Reimbursement Account POS
  • United Healthcare - Definity Health Savings Account POS
  • United Healthcare - Golden Rule HMO (HMO & PPO)
  • United Healthcare - Indemnity
  • United Healthcare - Managed Indemnity
  • United Healthcare - Options PPO
  • United Healthcare - Select HMO
  • United Healthcare - Select Plus POS
  • United Healthcare - United Health One (Short Term Medical)
  • UnitedHealthcare - AARP Medicare Complete Choice PPO
  • UnitedHealthcare - AARP Medicare Complete HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare - AARP Medicare Complete PPO
  • UnitedHealthcare - Dual Complete SNP PPO
  • UnitedHealthcare - Group Medicare Advantage PPO
  • UnitedHealthcare - Medicare Complete PPO
  • UnitedHealthcare - Medicare Gold SNP PPO
  • UnitedHealthcare - Medicare Silver SNP PPO


•    Kao A, Kriett J, Tobler HG, Detloff BLS, Pritzker MR, Benson Jr DW, Benditt DG.  Bromocriptine treatment of digitalis-induced ventricular tachyarrhythmias:  Studies in a canine model.  J Am Coll Cardiol 1984;4:1188-1194.  
•    Muldoon LL, Jamieson Jr GA, Kao A, Palfrey HC, Villereal ML.  Mitogen stimulation of Na+-H+ exchange: Differential involvement of protein kinase C.  Am J Physiol 1987;253(2 Pt1):  C219-C229.
•    Kao A, Van Trigt III P, Shaeffer-McCall GS, Shaw JP, Kuzil BB, Page RD, Higginbotham MB.  Central and peripheral limitations to upright exercise in untrained cardiac transplant recipients.  Circulation 1994;89:2605-2615.
•    Kao A, Van Trigt III P, Shaeffer-McCall GS, Shaw JP, Kuzil BB, Page RD, Higginbotham MB.  Allograft diastolic dysfunction and chronotropic incompetence limit cardiac output response to  exercise two to six years after heart transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant 1995;14:11-22.
•    Lai W, Kao A, Silka MJ, Halperin BD, Raitt M, Oliver R, McAnulty JH, Kron J.  Recipient to donor conduction of atrial tachycardia following orthotopic heart transplantation.  PACE 1998;21:1331-1335.
•    Menghini VV, Savcenko V, Olson LJ, Tazelaar HD, Dec GW, Kao A, Cooper Jr LT.  Combined immunosuppression for the treatment of idiopathic giant cell myocarditis.  Mayo Clin Proc 1999;74:1221-1226.
•    DeNofrio D, Loh E, Kao A, Korecka M, Pickering FW, Craig KA, Shaw LM. Mycophenolic acid concentrations are associated with cardiac allograft rejection. J Heart Lung Transplant 2000;19:1071-1076.
•    Soma L, Allen M, Tobin L, Ganster C, Bulley M, Hunt J, Kricka LJ, Senior M, Kao A.  CA-125 levels in patients awaiting cardiac transplantation.  Clin Chem 2002;48:2289-2290.
•    See Jr VY, DeNofrio D, Goldberg L, Chang G, Sasseen B, Kolansky DM, Pickering F, Kao A, Loh E, Wilensky, RL.  Effect of atorvastatin on postcardiac transplant increase in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduces development of intimal hyperplasia and progression of endothelial dysfunction.  Am J Cardiol 2003;92:11-15.
•    Horwitz PA, Tsai EJ, Putt ME, Gilmore JM, Lepore JJ, Parmacek MS, Kao AC, Desai SS, Goldberg LR, Brozena SC, Jessup ML, Epstein JA, Cappola TP.  Detection of cardiac allograft rejection and response to immunosuppressive therapy with peripheral blood gene expression.  Circulation 2004;110:3815-3821.
•    Brozena SC, Twomey C, Goldberg LR, Desai SS, Drachman B, Kao A, Popjes E, Zimmer E, Jessup, M. A prospective study of continuous intravenous milrinone therapy for Status IB patients awaiting heart transplant at home.  J Heart Lung Transplant 2004;23:1082-1086.
•    de Denus S, Spinler SA, Jessup M, Kao A.  History of depression as a predictor of adverse outcomes in patients hospitalized for decompensated heart failure.  Pharmacotherapy 2004;24:1306-1310.
•    Spencer CT, Byrne BJ, Gewitz MH, Wechsler SB, Kao AC, Gerstenfeld EP, Merliss AD, Carboni MP. Bryant RM. Ventricular arrhythmia in the X-linked cardiomyopathy Barth syndrome. Ped Cardiol 2005;26:632-637.
•    Elmariah S, Goldberg LR, Allen MT, Kao A. Effects of gender on peak oxygen consumption and the timing of cardiac transplantation.  J Am Coll Cardiol 2006;47:2237-2242.
•    Elmariah S, Goldberg LR, Allen MT, Kao A.  Reply to peak oxygen consumption and heartfailure prognosis in women.  J Am Coll Cardiol 2007;49:375-376.
•    Feldman AM, Oren RM, Abraham WT, Boehmer JP, Carson PE, Eichhorn E, Gilbert EM,Kao A, Leier CV, Lowes BD, Mathier MA, McGrew FA, Metra M, Zisman LS, Shakar SF,Krueger SK, Robertson AD, White BG, Gerber MJ, Wold GE, Bristow MR for the EMOTE Study Group. Low-dose oral enoximone enhances the ability to wean patients with ultra-advanced heart failure from intravenous inotropic support:  Results of the oral enoximonein intravenous inotrope-dependent subjects trial.  Am Heart J 2007;154:861-869.
•    Bensimhon DR, Leifer ES, Ellis SJ, Fleg JL, Keteyian SJ, Piña IL, Kitzman DW, McKelvie RS, Kraus WE, Forman DE, Kao A, O’Connor CM, Russell SD; HF-ACTION Trial Investigators. Reproducibility of Peak Oxygen Uptake And Other Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Parameters in Patients With Heart Failure (from the Heart Failure and A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of exercise training).  Am J Cardiol 2008;102:712-717.
•    Pina IL, Kokkinos P, Kao A, Bittner V, Saval M, Clare B, Goldberg L, Johnson M, Swank A, Ventura H, Moe G, Fitz-Gerald M, Ellis S, Vest M, Cooper L, Whellan D for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Baseline differences in the HF-ACTION trial by sex.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl 1):S16-S23.
•    Atchley AE, Kitzman DW, Whellan DJ, Iskandrian AE, Ellis SJ, Pagnanelli RA, Kao A, Abdul-Nour K, O’Connor CM, Ewald G, Kraus WE, Borges-Neto S for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Myocardial perfusion, function and dyssynchrony in patients with heart failure:  Baseline results from the single-photon emission computed tomography imaging ancillary study of the Heart Failure and A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl 1):S53-S63.
•    Allen KB, Grantham A, Laster S, Safley D, Kao A, Stuart RS, Pak AF, Stewart J, Borkon AM. Transmyocardial laser revascularization: Evidence-based outcomes and future directions. Cardiac Surg Today 2010;4:89-100.
•    Elmariah S, Goldberg LR, Allen MT, Kao A. The effects of race on peak oxygen consumption and survival in patients with systolic dysfunction.  J Cardiac Failure 2010;16:332-339.
•    Pham MX, Teuteberg JJ, Kfoury AG, Starling RC, Deng MC, Cappola TP, Kao A, Anderson AS, Cotts WG, Ewald GA, Baran DA, Bogaev RC, Elashoff B, Baron H, Yee J, Valantine HA, for the IMAGE Study Group.  Gene-expression profiling for rejection surveillance after cardiac transplantation.  N Engl J Med 2010;362:1890-1900.
•    Fan P-Y, Ashby VB, Fuller DS, Boulware LE, Kao A, Norman SP, Randall HB, Young C, Kalbfleisch JD, Leichtman AB.  Access and outcomes among minority transplant patients, 1999-2008, with a focus on determinants of kidney graft survival.  Am J Transplant  2010;10(Part 2):1090-1107.
•    Atchley AE, Iskandrian AE, Bensimhon, D, Ellis SJ, Kitzman DW, Shaw LK, Pagnanelli, RA, Whellan DJ, Gardin JM, Kao A, Abdul-Nour K, Ewald G, Walsh MN, Kraus WE, O'Connor  CM, Borges-Neto S.  Relationship of Technetium-99m Tetrofosmin-Gated Rest Single-photon  emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging to death and hospitalization in heart failure patients:  Results from the nuclear ancillary study of the HF-ACTION trial.  Am Heart J 2011;161:1038-1045.
•    Whellan DJ, Nigam A, Arnold M, Starr A, Hill J, Fletcher, G, Ellis SJ, Cooper L, Onwuanyi A, Chandler B, Keteyian S, Ewald G, Kao A, Gheorghiade M.  Benefit of exercise therapy for systolic heart failure in relation to disease severity and etiology-findings from the Heart Failure and A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training study.  Am Heart J 2011;162:1003-1010.
•    Costanzo MR, Ivanhoe RJ, Kao A, Anand IS, Bank A, Boehmer J, Demarco T, Hergert CM, Holcomb RG, Maybaum S, Sun B, Vassiliades Jr TA, Rayburn BK, Abraham WT. Prospective evaluation of elastic restraint to lessen the effects of heart failure (PEERLESS-HF) trial.  J Card Fail 2012;18:446-458.
•    Kao AC, Krause SW, Handa R, Karia D, Reyes G, Bianco NR, Szymkiewicz SJ.  Wearable defibrillator use in heart failure (WIF):  Results of a prospective registry.  BMC Cardiovasc Disorders 2012 (in print). 
•    Whellan DJ, O’Connor CM, Lee KL, Keteyian SJ, Cooper LS, Ellis SJ, Leifer ES, Kraus WE, Kitzman DW, Blumenthal JA, Rendall DS, Houston-Miller N, Fleg JL, Schulman KA, Piña IL, On Behalf of the HF-ACTION Trial Investigators.  Heart Failure and A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise TraiNing (HF-ACTION):  Design and rationale.  Am Heart J 2007;153:201-211.
•    Cooper Jr LT, Hare JM, Tazelaar HD, Edwards WD, Starling RC, Deng MC, Menon S, Mullen GM, Jaski B, Bailey KR, Cunningham MW, Dec GW; Giant Cell Myocarditis Treatment Trial Investigators.  Usefulness of immunosuppression for giant cell myocarditis.  Am J Cardiol 2008;102:1535-1539.
•    O’Connor CM, Whellan DJ, Lee KL, Keteyian SJ, Cooper LS, Ellis SJ, Leifer ES, Kraus WE, Kitzman DW, Blumenthal JA, Rendall DS,Houston-Miller N, Fleg JL, Schulman KA, Mckelvie RS, Zannad F, Piña IL, for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Efficacy and safety of exercise training in patients with chronic heart failure:  HF-ACTION Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA 2009;301:1439-1450.
•    Metra M, Eichhorn E, Abraham WT, Linseman J, Böhm M, Corbalan R, DeMets D, DeMarco T, Elkayam U, Gerber M, Komajda M, Liu P, Mareev V, Perrone SV, Poole-Wilson P, Roecker E, Stewart J, Swedberg K, Tendera M, Wiens B, Bristow MR for the ESSENTIAL Investigators. Effects of low-dose oral enoximone administration on mortality, morbidity, and exercise capacity in patients with advanced heart failure:  the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group ESSENTIAL trials.  Eur Heart J 2009;30:3015-3026. 
•    O’Connor CM, Whellan, Lee KL, Keteyian SJ, Cooper LS, Ellis SJ, Leifer ES, Kraus WE, Kitzman DW, Blumenthal JA, Rendall DS, Miller NH, Fleg JL, Schulman KA, McKelvie RS, Zannad F, Piña IL for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Efficacy and safety of exercise training in patients with chronic heart failure:  HF-ACTION randomized controlled trial.  JAMA 2009;301:1439-1450
•    Flynn KE, Piña IL, Whellan DJ, Lin L, Blumenthal JA< Ellis SJ, Fine LJ, Howlett JG, Keteyian SJ, Kitzman DW, Kraus WE, Miller NH, Schulman KA, Spertus JA, O’Connor CM, Weinfurt KP for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Effects of exercise training on health status in patients with chronic heart failure:  HF-ACTION randomized controlled trial.  JAMA 2009;301:1451-1459.
•    Kobashigawa J, Mehra M, West L, Kerman R, George J, Rose M, Zeevi A, Reinsmoen N, Patel J, Reed EF, On Behalf of the Consensus Conference Participants.  Report from a consensus conference on the sensitized patient awaiting heart transplantation.  J Heart Lung Transplant 2009;28:213-225.
•    O’Connor CM, Whellan DJ for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Understanding heart failure through the HF-ACTION baseline characteristics.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl)S1-S5.
•    Forman DE, Clare R, Kitzman DW, Ellis SJ, Fleg JL, Chiara T, Fletcher G, Kraus WE for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Relationship of age and exercise performance in patients with heart failure:  the HF-ACTION study.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S6-S15.
•    Russell SD, Saval MA, Robbins JL, Ellestad MH, Gottlieb SS, Handberg EM, Zhou Y, Chandler B for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  New York Heart Association functional class predicts exercise parameters in the current era.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S24-30
•    Horwich TB, Leifer ES, Brawner CA, Fitz-Gerald MB, Fonarow GC for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  The relationship between body mass index and cardiopulmonary exercise testing in chronic systolic heart failure.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S31-S36
•    Felker GM, Whellan D, Kraus WE, clare R, zannad F, Donahue M, Adams K, McKelvie R, Piña IL, O’Connor CM for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and exercise capacity in chronic heart failure:  data from the Heart Failure and a Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training (HF-ACTION) study.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S37-S44
•    Gardin JM, Leifer ES, Fleg JL, Whellan D, Kokkinos P, Leblan MH, Wolfel E, Kitzman DW for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Relationship of Doppler-echocardiographic left ventricular diastolic function to exercise performance in systolic heart failure:  the HF-ACTION study.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S45-S52.
•    Flynn KE, Lin L, Ellis SJ, Russell SD, Spertus JA, Whellan DJ, Piña IL, Fine LJ, Schulman KA, Weinfurt KP for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Outcomes, health policy, and managed care: relationships between patient-reported outcome measures and clinical measures in outpatients with heart failure.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S64-S71.
•    Keteyian SJ, Isaac D, Thadani U, Roy BA, Bensimhon DR, McKelvie R, Russell SD, Hellkamp AS, Kraus WE for the HF-ACTION Investigators.  Safety of symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise testing in patients with chronic heart failure due to severe left ventricular systolic   dysfunction.  Am Heart J 2009;158(Suppl):S72-S77. 
•    Look AHEAD Research Group, Wing RR.  Long-term effects of a lifestyle intervention on weight and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus: four-year results of the Look AHEAD trial.  Arch Intern Med 2010;170:1566-1571.
•    Kobashigawa J, Crespo-Leiro MG, Ensminger SM, Reichenspurner H, Angelini A, Berry G, Burke M, Czer L, Hiemann N, Kfoury AG, Mancini D, Mohacsi P, Patel J, Pereira N, Platt JL, Reed EF, Reinsmoen N, Rodriguez ER, Rose ML, Russell SD, starling R, Suciu-Foca N, Tallaj   J, Taylor DO, Van Bakel A, West L, Zeevi A, Zuckermann A for the consensus Conference Participants.  Report from a consensus conference on antibody-mediated rejection in heart transplantation.  J Heart Lung Transplant 2011;30:252-269.
•    Wadden TA, Neiberg RH, Wing RR, Clark JM, Delahanty LM, Hill JO, Krakoff J, Otto A, Ryan DH, Vitolins MZ for the Look AHEAD Research Group.  Four-year weight losses in the Look AHEAD study:  factors associated with long-term success.  Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011;19:1987-1998.
•    Brancati FL, Evans M, Furberg CD, Geller N, Haffner S, Kahn Se, Kaufmann PG, Lewis CE,  Nathan DM, Pitt B, Safford MM for the Look AHEAD Study Group.  Midcourse correction to a clinical trial when the event rate is underestimated:  the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) Study.  Clin Trial 2012;9:113-124.
•    Kao A, Loh E.  ACE inhibitor therapy following myocardial infarction:  AIREX and beyond.  Cardiovasc Rev Reports 1999;20:596-606.
•    Kao A, Loh E.  Cardiac rehabilitation in patients with congestive heart failure.  On: UpToDate, Rose, BD (Ed), UpToDate, Wellesley, MA, 1999.
•    Kao A, Loh E.  Skeletal muscle dysfunction and exercise intolerance in congestive heart failure.  On:UpToDate, Rose, BD (Ed), UpToDate, Wellesley, MA, 1999.
•    Kao A.  The role of exercise therapy in the treatment of patients with systolic heart failure.  Curr Treatment Options Cardiovasc Med 2006;8:310-324.
•    Kao A.  Exercise performance evaluation in patients with heart failure.  In Contemporary Cardiology:  Heart Failure:  A Clinician’s Guide to Ambulatory Diagnosis and Treatment.  Edited by Jessup ML, Loh E.  Totowa, NJ:  Humana Press; 2003:163-208.

On Staff At

  • Anderson County Hospital
  • Hedrick Medical Center
  • Saint Luke's Cushing Hospital
  • Saint Luke's East Hospital
  • Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City
  • Saint Luke's North Hospital–Barry Road
  • Saint Luke's North Hospital–Smithville
  • Saint Luke's South Hospital
  • Wright Memorial Hospital