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Our Cardiovascular Genetics Services

NYU Langone’s Cardiovascular Genetics Program provides a complete range of services, including:

  • advanced imaging technologies, such as echocardiogram (EKG), cardiac MRI, and nuclear cardiology
  • clinical evaluation by a team of dedicated experts
  • comprehensive diagnostic tests, such as stress tests and pharmacological challenge tests
  • counseling to guide you through the results of your tests and to answer your questions and concerns
  • evaluation of all family members who may be affected by the same condition
  • genetic testing for known hereditary conditions
  • innovative interventional procedures, such as personally tailored device therapy
  • opportunities for participation in research studies
  • lower risk for sudden cardiac death with preventive treatments

An initial consultation typically lasts 60 minutes and takes place at NYU Langone’s Heart Rhythm Center. We take a thorough medical history and family history, and perform a physical exam. You can also expect to have at least one visit with our clinical geneticist. By using all available diagnostic tools, we are better able to create an efficient and comprehensive treatment plan.

Diagnostic procedures and tests include the following.

Clinical Testing

You may be asked to wear a 12-lead Holter monitor, a small device that records your heartbeat for an entire day, both during your normal activities and while you sleep. We evaluate the results to get more detailed information about your heart rhythm, in order to make an accurate diagnosis and create the most effective treatment plan for you.

We also offer diagnostic drug infusion tests that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and available only at NYU Langone. A procainamide test helps to accurately diagnose Brugada syndrome, in which uncoordinated signals in your heart’s lower ventricles or chambers interfere with your heart’s normal rhythm.

In some inherited cardiovascular conditions, stressful situations may induce arrhythmias. The stress hormone epinephrine can be administered as a drug and monitored by your doctor to help trigger a stress response. This test can safely gauge whether or not your heartbeat becomes irregular, and thus may be helpful in diagnosing and assessing your risk.

Family History

Your family history is very important because knowing the health issues of your parents and relatives can help in determining if you have a genetic condition. If anyone in your family died suddenly at a young age—less than 50 years old—try to get information on the circumstances of his or her death. We can help you identify whether a genetic condition may be present in your family.

Individuals in the same family may have a cardiac genetic mutation but not show any symptoms, such as feeling dizzy or fainting, or both. Even if symptoms are not present, signs of the condition may be detected with an EKG, which records your heart’s electrical activity.

If you know or suspect that someone in your family has an inherited cardiac condition, such as an arrhythmia, that information may be especially important in helping us assess if you or another family member has a genetic heart condition. Please complete our family history questionnaire prior to your visit.

Genetic Screening

Genetic screening, also known as genetic testing or genotyping, is an exam that looks for mutations in your DNA to see if you have a heart condition with a genetic cause. A small blood sample may be collected during your visit for this test.

Genetic testing can indicate that other members of your family may also have the same condition, prompting them to get diagnosed and treated as well. A member of the Cardiovascular Genetics Program team can answer any questions and concerns you may have both before genetic testing and when you receive your results.

Patient Consultation

Early diagnosis of inherited cardiovascular conditions is extremely important to allow for appropriate treatment and to avoid fatal events. Our patient consultations help you understand what it means to have an inherited cardiac disease and to develop a condition management strategy that is tailored to your unique needs and lifestyle.