Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States. Genetic testing can help you find out if you're at risk.

Cardiovascular Genetic and Genomic Medicine Program

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States. Risk identification and management are a crucial part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle. The Cardiovascular Genetic and Genomic Medicine program offers specialized resource for patients diagnosed at a young age or with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Genetic and Genomic Medicine Clinic

An appointment with the Ohio State Cardiovascular Genetic and Genomic Medicine Clinic begins with a consultation with a genetic counselor who takes an extensive family history and performs a genetic risk assessment. You then meet with a cardiologist who completes a targeted cardiovascular medical history and physical exam. Lab testing for risk factors and cardiovascular imaging studies may also be ordered. Based on this information, the clinical team then creates a personalized prevention and/or treatment plan for cardiovascular health.

The clinic sees various types of patients, including those with:

  • Cardiomyopathies
    • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)
    • Idiopathic or familial dilated cardiomyopathy 
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 
    • Restrictive cardiomyopathy 
    • Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy 
  • Hereditary conditions affecting the aorta and other blood vessels 
    • Early-onset aneurysm or arterial dissection (less than 50 years of age) 
    • Familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection 
    • Marfan syndrome 
    • Loeys-Dietz syndrome 
    • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome 
    • Other aortopathy 

  • Fabry disease
  • Familial congenital heart disease
  • Family history of sudden cardiac (or unexplained) death (less than 50 years of age) 
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia  

Inherited Arrhythmia Clinic

Patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team of experts including electrophysiologists and electrophysiology nurses, a medical geneticist, certified genetic counselor and pharmacist. Patients with a known or suspected diagnosis or family history of the following conditions may be referred:
  • Brugada syndrome 
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) 
  • Familial atrial fibrillation 
  • Familial conduction system disease 
  • Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation 
  • Long QT syndrome 
  • Short QT syndrome 
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I need genetic testing?

Certain types of heart disease can be caused by changes in your genetic material. If you have a heart condition, genetic testing can help determine the underlying cause, as well as any risk that children, siblings and other relatives may have in developing the condition. For example, the likelihood of a child being born with a heart defect is greater if either parent has this defect. If you have concern about a family history of heart disease, genetic testing can help clarify the diagnosis and identify which family members may be at risk. 

What does genetic counseling involve?

Genetic testing usually begins with meeting with a genetic counselor and/or a physician who specializes in medical genetics. Your genetic counseling session will include the following:

  • Review and documentation of medical and family history 
  • Directed physical examination 
  • Explanation of basic genetic and medical concepts 
  • Discussion of relevant hereditary syndromes and their associated risks 
  • Individualized risk assessment 
  • Personal screening recommendations 
  • Referrals to other medical specialists as needed, including high-risk screening programs 
  • Discussion of the risks, benefits and limitations of genetic testing 
  • Blood work for genetic testing when indicated 

What should I expect during my appointment?

Bring as much medical and family history information as possible; the more information the counselor has, the more thorough the assessment. If you are concerned about your unborn child’s risk of congenital heart disease, special testing such as a fetal echocardiogram may be performed during pregnancy. You will also get a physical and blood may be drawn for genetic testing.

What kind of outcome can I expect?

The genetic counselor is there address your questions and concerns and both the counselor and physician will discuss the results of your test(s). A screening, prevention, and/or treatment plan will be determined and can be shared with your physicians at your request. This also may include a prenatal care plan for you and your baby when you become pregnant.

Our Doctors

Share this Page