exterior of genetic counseling room

Heart Genetics: Testing & Screening

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Finding out you have heart disease that runs in the family doesn't have to be overwhelming. At UVA Health, our experts help you uncover what you're up against. Then we work with you to make plan for what to do about it.

About 1.3 million Americans have some form of an inherited heart or vascular disease. Whatever your risk may be, genetic testing or cardiovascular screening is the first step to identify and address that risk or rule it out. 

You may benefit from genetic testing if you have:

  • A family member with an inherited heart condition
  • A family member who died suddenly at a young age (under age 50)

Genetic Testing & Cardiovascular Screening

Genetic Counselor, Matt Thomas, discusses the cardiovascular genetic clinic and the importance of genetics testing. Inherited heart conditions can be treated. View genetics & heart conditions transcript.

Genetic Heart Conditions

Aortic & Vascular Diseases

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 4
  • Familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection
  • Loeys-Dietz syndrome
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection


  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Familial dilated cardiomyopathy (familial DCM)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC)
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM)

Primary Arrhythmias

  • Brugada syndrome
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

Testing & Screening

A cardiologist can diagnose you with tests that include:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • MRI scan
  • Exercise testing 
  • Holter monitoring 

Cardiovascular Screening

If we confirm that your relative's condition is not caused by a mutation or if we're unable to determine the cause, we'll schedule you for a cardiovascular screening. 

At that appointment, you'll better understand your risk and receive expert advice on how to manage that risk. 

Your First Appointment

All first appointments and screenings should be scheduled through our Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic, located at the Heart & Vascular Center. After your first appointment, you may schedule appointments with our outreach clinics in Bristol, Lynchburg, or Winchester.