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If you or a relative has been diagnosed with a heart rhythm condition that runs in the family, doctors at NYU Langone’s Inherited Arrhythmia Program can provide treatment and support services.

Recognition

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” ranks NYU Langone one of the top hospitals in the country for cardiology and heart surgery.

VIDEO: Doctors at the Inherited Arrhythmia Program provide treatment and support for patients and their families.

A genetic heart rhythm disorder, also known as an inherited arrhythmia, can be diagnosed at any age. Some people first learn of their condition after experiencing the symptoms of an irregular heartbeat, which include heart palpitations, fainting, and heart attack. Others are diagnosed after genetic testing confirms they carry the same gene that caused a relative’s abnormal heart rhythm. Heart failure can also be a sign of an inherited arrhythmia, especially in people who do not have coronary artery disease.

Our program, part of the Heart Rhythm Center, is one of the most established and experienced programs for people with inherited arrhythmias. Our electrophysiologists, genetic counselors, genetic researchers, and nurse practitioners coordinate with teams throughout NYU Langone to ensure you receive the highest level of cardiovascular care.

Diagnosing Inherited Arrhythmia

There are many types of inherited arrhythmias, and they generally fall into two categories: channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. Channelopathies are conditions that can lead to potentially life-threatening heart rhythms. The following are some examples of channelopathies:

  • QT-related syndromes, including long or short QT, that trigger arrhythmia when the heart speeds up, such as during emotional stress, exercise, and extreme surprise, or during sleep when the heart rate slows
  • Brugada syndrome, in which arrhythmia is typically triggered during sleep or rest
  • catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), which causes abnormally fast and irregular heart rhythm in response to physical activity such as exercise or sports
  • idiopathic ventricular fibrillation that occurs spontaneously and has no known cause

Cardiomyopathies, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), and dilated cardiomyopathy, cause the heart muscle to thicken or dilate and be less effective at pumping blood through the body. Many times, the first presentation of a cardiomyopathy is an abnormal heart rhythm.

Proper diagnosis of inherited heart disorders requires clinical expertise, skilled imaging technology, and advanced genetic testing. After we identify the genetic cause of your condition, we determine the best treatment based on your symptoms, age, and lifestyle.

Treatment for Inherited Arrhythmia

After you are diagnosed with an inherited arrhythmia, our team determines the treatment best suited for your particular type.

For some, lifestyle changes, medication, and routine follow-up appointments are sufficient to maintain heart health. Others require intervention such as a catheter ablation, in which heat is used to eliminate cells in the heart that are triggering an abnormal heart rhythm, or an implantable device. This can be a pacemaker, through which gentle electrical pulses are used to maintain regular heart rhythm, or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which instantly delivers a dose of electric current to revert the heart to normal rhythm and may be required for protection against sudden cardiac arrest.

If your condition is best treated with a heart transplant, we coordinate with specialists at NYU Langone’s Transplant Institute.


More About the Inherited Arrhythmia Program

Heart Rhythm Center

We provide skilled, advanced care for people with all forms of arrhythmia.

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Our Location

Inherited Arrhythmia Program

403 East 34th Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10016

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