Inherited Arrhythmias Clinic
At the UW Health Inherited Arrhythmias Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin, we specialize in the care and management of patients and families with inherited conditions of abnormal heart rhythm. Our clinic functions as one unit though the close working relationships of the pediatric and adult cardiologists, nursing staff and genetic counselors.
We strive to provide family-centered care rather than treating adults and children separately. In using a team approach to managing our patients and families, you can be confident that we have all of your loved ones in mind when making recommendations for your care.
Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art comprehensive clinical care for patients and families with inherited arrhythmia syndromes, and to serve as the interface to translational science.
About Inherited Arrhythmias
Inherited arrhythmia syndromes result from disorders in the heart's electrical system and are being recognized with increased frequency in both children and adults. Often, the heart is structurally normal.
The most common form of an inherited arrhythmia is Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). The condition leaves patients at risk for developing a rapid chaotic arrhythmia called Torsades de Pointes.
This condition may lead to fainting spells, or in some patients cardiac arrest and possibly sudden death. LQTS can be inherited and several members in multiple generations of a family can be affected.
Congenital LQTS is estimated to affect one in every 5,000 persons in the United States. LQTS also can be caused by common drugs and medications. Multiple gene (DNA) abnormalities have now been implicated in causing several inherited arrhythmia syndromes including LQTS, Brugada syndrome, catechomaminergic ventricular tachycardia, sinus node and conduction defects, atrial fibrillation, Andersen's syndrome, and short QT syndrome.
Seeking Care for Inherited Arrhythmias
The Inherited Arrhythmia Clinic was established to meet the needs of individuals and families with possible inherited arrhythmia syndromes. The physicians and staff bring together expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of these syndromes. This specialized clinic is a part of the Ion Channels Research Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Patients referred to the Inherited Arrhythmia Clinic should bring with them past medical records and detailed family histories. Testing may need to be done including simple blood tests, EKGs, Holter monitors, echocardiograms, stress tests and potentially genotyping for genetic diagnosis.
Treatment for Inherited Arrhythmias
Treatment for inherited arrhythmia syndromes, including LQTS, may involve limiting physical activity, taking medications to prevent the development of a chaotic heart rhythm or avoiding other types of medications. Some people also need a pacemaker to control heart rhythm or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to prevent sudden death.