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Patients with suspected cardiomyopathy receive a full assessment, including a complete medical and family history. Along with genetic testing, an array of diagnostic options are available at Temple, including ECG, treadmill testing, electrophysiology testing (for arrhythmias), echocardiography, hemodynamics (blood flow), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Inherited Cardiomyopathy & Cardiac Genetics Program

Cardiomyopathy—a thickening, enlargement, or weakening of the heart muscle—sometimes runs in families, and may lead to dangerous arrhythmia or cardiac arrest. It is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death, especially among younger people, but many people who have it don’t show symptoms. Temple offers cutting-edge genetic testing and integrated care to identify, counsel, and treat people with inherited cardiomyopathies to reduce the chance of a life-threatening event.

Unmasking a Rare Condition

Family history alone is not enough to pinpoint an individual’s risk of developing cardiomyopathy. Because the disease can remain hidden, all close relatives of patients with certain types of cardiomyopathy, or who have a family history of sudden cardiac death, should receive genetic screening at a specialty center such as Temple’s Heart & Vascular Institute. Advanced genetic testing often lets us identify the genetic markers that predispose someone to the condition. Based on this screening, we can help patients decide on the next steps—including testing for preexisting cardiomyopathy. A compassionate team of genetic counselors helps people who think they may be at risk understand their options. Our researchers constantly discover more about the genetic causes of cardiomyopathy, so we can provide patients with the most up-to-date information.

Easing the Burden of Cardiomyopathy

Once cardiomyopathy is diagnosed, Temple has resources and a skilled staff on hand to manage and treat all types and degrees of the condition—including one of the region’s leading specialty programs in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Many people require only counseling, knowledgeable support, and occasional follow-up tests. If the condition is severe, our surgeons are experienced in procedures that can help reduce the dangers and alleviate symptoms—procedures such as pacemaker implantation, removal of obstructive tissue, or repair of heart valves. In those very rare cases when a heart transplant is needed, patients can rely on Temple’s experience.

Complete Care from an Experienced Team

Our skilled specialist team is here to help patients navigate the world of genetic testing and take the next steps needed to put minds, and hearts, at ease. Along the way, patients have the support of:

  • Cardiologists
  • Interventional cardiologists
  • Cardiovascular surgeons
  • Electrophysiologists
  • Cardiovascular imaging specialists
  • Genetic counselors