Familial Heart Disease Clinic

The Familial Heart Disease Clinic at UI Health specializes in cardiovascular genetics, which deals with the treatment, examination, and study of heart conditions caused or affected by a person's family history. In the same way that genetic mutations have been linked to certain cancers, multiple heart conditions have been found to have genetic causes.

One of our goals is to identify genetic mutations in patients that can result in heart conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and coronary artery disease. We offer comprehensive risk assessments and counseling for individuals and family members who are diagnosed with or at risk for inherited forms of cardiovascular disease.

Once we have assessed patients and family members, we can provide treatments and therapies for those who are diagnosed with heart disease while focusing on preventative measures for those who are at risk of developing a heart condition. We also perform research and engage in clinical trials aimed at finding new treatments for heart conditions and discovering new links between genes and various forms of heart disease.

Our Cardiovascular Genetics Team

Our program is supported by a multidisciplinary team of nationally recognized physicians who work together to apply the latest discoveries in cardiovascular genetics to the needs of patients. Our team includes cardiologists, a genetic counselor, and nursing staff who work closely with patients, family members, and referring physicians to deliver the best care possible to help prevent or minimize future heart problems. Pediatric specialists also are available to provide personalized care to children and adolescents who have a family history of heart disease.

Genetic Cardiovascular Diseases We Treat

Our cardiovascular genetics experts specialize in treating and managing the following heart condition conditions, inherited arrhythmias, and connective tissue disorders:

  • Cardiomyopathies: Cardiomyopathies are heart muscle diseases that affect the heart's structure and performance. These may include:
    • Dilated cardiomyopathy: A common cardiomyopathy that causes heart muscles to stretch and become thinner, affecting contractions and interfering with the heart's ability to pump blood.
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: A common cardiomyopathy that causes heart muscle cells to enlarge and ventricle walls to thicken, possibly blocking blood flow.
    • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC): A rare type of cardiomyopathy that causes muscle tissue in the right ventricle of the heart to die and be replaced with scar tissue. This can interfere with the heart's electrical signals that control heartbeat and cause irregular heartbeat known as arrhythmia. This also may be called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD).
  • Familial atrial fibrillation: An inherited heart condition that causes erratic electrical activity in the heart's atria, resulting in an irregular heartbeat.
  • Familial sudden cardiac death: Death that occurs from a genetically linked cardiovascular cause within one hour of the development of symptoms.
  • Familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (TAAD): An inherited condition characterized by a weakening or stretching of the aorta that causes a bulge (aneurysm) or tear (dissection) in the aortic wall.
  • Inherited long QT syndrome (LQTS): An inherited disorder that disrupts the heart's electrical activity, which can cause life-threatening arrhythmias.
  • Marfan syndrome: A condition that causes abnormalities in the body's connective tissue, which supports multiple organs and systems that include the heart and blood vessels. This can cause leaking heart valves, aortic aneurysms, and dissections.
  • Premature coronary artery disease: Early-age hardening or narrowing of arteries that lead to the heart, increasing the risk for heart attack and other heart conditions.

Contact Us

Our Location
Outpatient Care Center, Suite 3C
1801 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60612 

To consult with a cardiovascular genetics expert, please request an appointment online or call 312.996.6480.