Inherited Heart Conditions

The heart is an incredibly important and complex organ. There are a broad range of cardiac conditions that can cause a wide variety of symptoms. They can be mild or severe. Some of these conditions are inherited or can develop as a result of other diseases.

If you have a family history of heart abnormalities or are experiencing any worrying symptoms that you or your GP would like investigated, you can book an appointment with Dr Somani.

Inherited Cardiac Conditions (ICC)

Inherited Cardiac Conditions refers to a group of conditions caused by genetic faults that can be passed on through families. If one parent has a heart condition of this kind, then there is a 50/50 chance of their child inheriting the condition.

You may not realise you have a condition until it is picked up during a test for something else, or you may develop certain symptoms that prompt further investigations or a close family member may have been diagnosed or suspected of having such a condition.

Dr Somani is highly trained and experienced in the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients with inherited cardiac conditions, and is able to provide lifestyle advice as well as recommend medication, treatment and device therapies should they be necessary.

Dr Somani will carry out a detailed and thorough assessment of your symptoms, as well as any events in your family history that might suggest a condition runs in your family. Usually, a series of tests will be carried out to identify the reason for your symptoms and diagnose the condition that’s causing them.

Tests may include ECGs, echocardiograms, CT angiograms, cardiac MRI scans and provocation tests (tests that stress the heart to provoke an abnormality) to help make a formal diagnosis.

Cardiac Screening & Risk Stratifying

Dr Somani is also able to provide comprehensive cardiac screening and risk stratification of patients with symptoms or with a family history of cardiac abnormalities.

Risk stratifying allows Dr Somani to identify your particular level of risk of developing cardiovascular problems as a result of any family history of inheritable conditions.

Examples of Inherited Cardiac Conditions

There is a broad range of cardiac conditions that can be passed on through families. Whilst almost all of these conditions are rare, some of the more frequent ones are:

Long QT Syndrome

Long QT Syndrome causes an abnormal heart rhythm. It is usually an inherited condition, but can be triggered by certain medications.

Symptoms of Long QT Syndrome include blackouts, fainting, seizures and heart palpitations. The symptoms can often be caused by sudden noises, stress or strenuous exercises, and can also occur during sleep.

If you are diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, you will be prescribed medication to help control your heart rhythm. Occasionally, it might also be necessary to consider the need for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to help treat abnormal heart rhythms and potentially save you from a life-threatening heart rhythm disturbance.

Brugada Syndrome

Brugada syndrome is a rare condition that can cause the heart to beat extremely quickly.

Similar to Long QT Syndrome, symptoms can include blackouts, fainting, seizures and heart palpitations.

If you are diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, treatment involves making lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of a fast heart rate occurring and to reduce your symptoms.

You may also be offered an ICD to help correct your heart if it develops a dangerously fast rhythm.

 

Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy

Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy is a very rare disease that affects the ventricles of the heart. It is caused by mutated genes that affect the way the heart muscle develops. This can mean the heart is unable to pump blood around the body efficiently, and it can also cause abnormal heart rhythms.

Treatment depends on how severely the condition is affecting the heart, and how severe the symptoms are. Almost all patients will be prescribed medication to help reduce symptoms. As the condition tends to get worse over time, if you are diagnosed it is important to undergo regular monitoring and follow-up appointments throughout the rest of your life.

Assessment & Diagnosis

If you are worried about a family history of cardiac abnormalities, or are experiencing any symptoms that are concerning you, you can book an appointment with Dr Somani who will be able to offer you the right assessment and treatments for any symptoms you might be experiencing.