If you have inherited heart disease, it's natural to think about how it might affect your children. The Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease collaborates with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to offer a special program for pediatric patients affected by familial heart disease We also provide expert counseling and screening to assist people with inherited conditions with family planning.

Inherited Heart Disease in Children: The Penn Medicine Advantage

At the Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, you'll find specialized services to help younger generations of your family, including:

  • Unique expertise: Ours is the only comprehensive program in the area that specializes in inherited heart conditions. Patients travel to Penn from all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland and beyond for counseling, diagnosis and treatment.
  • A dedicated team of experts: Our physicians, nurses and counselors are specially trained in familial heart disease. We have a team of dedicated professionals with advanced degrees in genetic counseling. They spend extensive time helping you understand the condition and how it may affect your children or plans for a family.
  • Family-based model of care: We want to help as many members of your family as possible. Using pedigrees and genetic testing, we can assess whether your children are at risk for inherited heart disease. If you're pregnant or planning to have children, we assess the chances that you'll pass down a heart condition. We also offer prenatal testing to make sure your baby's heart is healthy.
  • Partnership with CHOP: Penn Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have a unique partnership to treat children with inherited heart disease.
  • Research for treatments of the future: At Penn, we conduct exciting research to help advance understanding of inherited cardiac disease. Our patients can enroll in studies that are growing heart cells and testing new drug therapies.

Partnership With CHOP to Treat Genetic Heart Conditions in Children

The Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease partners with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to better serve families with inherited heart disease.

When our program identifies an adult with inherited heart disease, that family's children can quickly access pediatric heart specialists at CHOP for genetic and other testing. CHOP specialists can recommend regular monitoring as the child grows or treatment for any problems found.

When our pediatric cardiology colleagues at CHOP identify a patient with heart disease that may be inherited, CHOP refers the child's family to the Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease for screening and genetic testing.

Read more about diagnosis and testing for inherited cardiac disease.

Hereditary Heart Disease and Pregnancy

We help women of reproductive age with inherited heart disease assess their individual risk and create a personalized pregnancy plan.

Our genetic counselors and physicians will take time to talk with you about:

  • The chances your baby might inherit heart disease
  • Medications you're taking and whether they're safe during pregnancy
  • Safe options for pain relief during labor and delivery
  • Prenatal testing to determine whether your baby's heart is healthy
  • Options for in vitro fertilization if your disease or treatments prevent natural conception
  • Any questions you might have

We follow our patients carefully through pregnancy and consult with their obstetricians to help ensure safe delivery.

Read more about genetic counseling for inherited cardiac disease.

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