Personalized treatment for inherited heart disease
When your heart condition is caused by a genetic abnormality, it’s not only your own health that needs attention, but that of your family. These genetic conditions can be passed down through families, so when you, a family member or child is diagnosed with an inherited cardiac disease, it’s important to have a doctor evaluate other family members as well.
Our mission is to provide the best possible care to patients and their families who have been diagnosed with inherited heart conditions through genetic testing, counseling and advanced treatment options. Additionally, our team is dedicated to education and life-long learning that ensures a comprehensive, personalized care plan is provided to patients and their families.
Who we treat
We developed the Center for Inherited Cardiac Disease to address the unique needs of individuals and families with hereditary heart conditions. For many patients and families, genetic counseling and testing is a central part of understanding your family heart story and managing your health. In most cases, family members will not be effected by genetic heart conditions. However, evaluation by the Penn Center for Inherited Cardiac Disease can identify those family members who are affected and provide them with the best treatment from our nationally recognized cardiac teams.
What are the types of inherited heart disease?
Just as your genes determine your outer appearance, they also influence how the heart and cardiovascular system develop and function. Many types of heart disease are inherited or have a genetic component, such as:
- Cardiomyopathies: This condition causes the heart muscle to become stiff, thickened or enlarged. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in particular is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people.
- Inherited arrhythmias: This includes conditions such as long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome.
- High blood cholesterol: Otherwise known as familial hypercholesterolemia, this disorder increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
- Other inherited conditions such as Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, pulmonary arterial hypertension and familial amyloidosis.
Why our program is different
We understand that inherited heart disease can affect the entire family, and we provide care that is centered on you and the people that matter most. If you’ve been diagnosed with an inherited heart condition, our team will develop a personalized plan to understand and treat your condition. This can include advanced testing such as cardiac MRI, stress testing and genetic counseling, as well as continued education and clinical visits with a specialized heart team. At risk family members, such as parents, siblings and children, are also scheduled for testing, and we ensure that family members are included in genetic counseling and educational sessions. We make it as easy as possible to schedule and align visits to ensure a family-based, comprehensive approach.
Our genetic counselors will work closely with you to understand hereditary heart conditions and adjust to what genetic heart disease can mean for you and your family. Counselors also help you understand your test results and provide additional support and information. The entire Inherited Cardiac Disease team is here to help you understand your condition and feel empowered to take control of your health.
As an academic medical center, we also offer access to research and clinical trials. The vital research performed here at Penn allows the innovations of today to become to the treatments of tomorrow.