Comprehensive genetics cardiovascular care
The Northwestern Medicine Cardiovascular Genetics Program at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute provides comprehensive cardiovascular care encompassing genetic testing and medical management for all forms of inherited cardiovascular diseases. We provide care for individuals with personal history or family history of:
- Heart failure
- Inherited heart rhythm disorders (long QT syndrome and sudden cardiac death)
- Inherited vascular conditions (Marfan syndrome and aortic aneurysms/dissections)
- Neuromuscular diseases that affect the heart (muscular dystrophies and myotonic dystrophy)
Because of the genetic nature of these disorders, the Cardiovascular Genetics Program not only evaluates and cares for those individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition but also works to identify relatives who are also at risk. Our goal is to make recommendations that may prevent or minimize future health problems.
Genetic testing is used to guide risk assessment and is instrumental in guiding medical decisions. We offer genetic testing that includes site-specific mutation testing, gene panel testing, as well as exome/genome analysis. Genetic information can provide diagnostic and useful knowledge to guide clinical decisions.
All members of the Cardiovascular Genetics Program team have extensive experience and knowledge in this specialized area of inherited heart and vascular diseases. The team includes cardiologists, a genetic counselor and nursing staff that work closely with patients, family members and referring physicians to provide genetic testing, interpretation and recommendations to guide clinical decisions.
Appropriate treatment of inherited cardiovascular diseases is most effective when directed by individuals who have expertise in this unique area of cardiovascular disease. Unlike more widely known forms of heart and vascular disease that may develop over time because of diet or other lifestyle factors, inherited cardiovascular disease may result from a gene mutation. Gene mutations can lead to weakness of the heart muscle, known as cardiomyopathy, irregular heart rhythms or vascular disease. The Cardiovascular Genetics Program specialists have the knowledge and resources to address these unique conditions in individuals who are known to have the condition and in family members who are at risk.
The Cardiovascular Genetics Program combines the best of standard treatments and the latest in testing to diagnose and treat inherited forms of cardiovascular disease. With the use of genetic testing, we may be able to diagnose those who are at risk for heart disease before it has developed. We also make therapy recommendations to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease (cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, etc.) in those who are at risk.
Comprehensive services at the Cardiovascular Genetics Program include diagnosis/risk assessment, treatment and prevention/risk reduction. In addition, research-based clinical trials are available.