Healthcare: Cardiovascular Medicine

Inherited Arrhythmia and Cardiomyopathy Clinic


The Inherited Arrhythmia and Cardiomyopathy Clinic at Baylor Medicine offers a multidisciplinary team to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies. Arrhythmias affect the electrical system in the heart and cardiomyopathies affect the structure and muscle of the heart. Some conditions affect both the rhythm and the structure of the heart, so they may fit into both categories.

Inherited heart disease refers to heart conditions affecting more than one person in a single-family. This means they are passed down (inherited) from a parent to a child. Each cell in our body contains the genetic material (DNA) that makes us unique, our DNA contains approximately 3 billion letters, and a fraction of these letters make up the genes that encode the building blocks of each cell. A change (mutation) in one or several of these letters can lead to a genetic disease.


Conditions We Treat


We specialize in several forms of inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies:

  • Long QT syndrome (LQTS)
  • Short QT syndrome (SQTS)
  • Brugada syndrome
  • J wave syndrome or early repolarization syndrome
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)
  • Familial atrial fibrillation
  • Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF)
  • Progressive cardiac conduction system disease (PCCD)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Lamin cardiomyopathies
  • Titin cardiomyopathy
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Left ventricular noncompaction
  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)
  • Muscular dystrophies with cardiomyopathy

Evaluation and Treatments


Our comprehensive evaluations and treatment for patients with inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies include:

  • ECG
  • Cardiac monitors
  • Echocardiography
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Genetic testing – commercial or as research
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs
  • Drugs individualized to specific genetic conditions
  • Pacemakers
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)
  • Ablations of different types of arrhythmias
  • Novel treatments as part of our clinical trials

Genetic Testing for Inherited Heart Diseases


Baylor Medicine physicians work together with Baylor College of Medicine scientists and research teams to discover fundamental insights of known or novel DNA mutations and understanding how these mutations cause a malfunction of heartbeats (arrhythmias) or an abnormality in the heart tissue itself (cardiomyopathy).

Identifying genetic changes will help doctors determine family members that might be “at-risk” for developing genetic heart disease or sudden death. If our team suspects you have a genetic change (mutation) that causes arrhythmia or cardiomyopathy, we will provide a commercial genetic test. If the commercial genetic test is negative, we may be invited to participate in a genetic study for more thorough genetic testing.

We are currently conducting two genetic studies:

  • Heart Care
    We are testing for genetic changes in a panel of 158 genes known to cause cardiovascular disease. There is no cost for patients participating in this study.
  • Collaborative Inherited Arrhythmia and Cardiomyopathy Discovery
    We are testing for genetic changes in all human genes. There is no cost for patients participating in this study.