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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
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Inherited Cardiac Conditions

Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions (ICC) are a group of genetic disorders that primarily affect the heart. They includes conditions such as cardiomyopathy, inherited electrical conditions called channelopathies and problems with the main blood vessel carrying blood from the heart, the aorta.

Some heart conditions can have no symptoms, but could still potentially be serious. For some families, the first sign of a problem is when someone dies suddenly with no obvious cause or explanation.

It is important that patients with ICC disorders and their relatives are identified and seen by a cardiologist (heart doctor) with expertise in these conditions.

What causes an inherited heart condition?

Our DNA makes each of us unique. The genes within DNA are our code and give the body instructions on how to work. We inherit DNA from our parents.

Inherited heart conditions are caused by a fault (or mutation) in one of more of our genes. If a parent has a faulty gene, there’s a 50:50 chance you could inherit it. If you do, then there’s also a 50:50 chance you could pass it on to each of your children. Most inherited cardiac conditions follow this pattern; there are rare exceptions when a particular faulty gene can only be passed on by a mother.

It’s possible to have a faulty gene that can lead to a heart condition, yet not have any clear signs of symptoms of the condition itself. You can still pass the gene on to your children and it is very difficult to predict how it will affect them.

What inherited heart conditions are there?

The most common inherited heart conditions are:

Cardiomyopathies, for example:

Inherited heart rhythm disturbances, for example:

What treatments may be required?

Many patients with an ICC will not require specific treatment. Others will be prescribed medications to help treat symptoms such as breathlessness, dizziness or chest pain.

One of the main reasons for review in the ICC clinics is to look closely at the heart and assess the risk of sudden cardiac death. In most cases this risk is low and our patients can be reassured. In a small proportion of patients an increased risk of sudden cardiac death will be identified. These patients may require a special type of pacemaker that can correct life threatening abnormalities of the electricity in the heart – an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).

Further information on ICDs 

Some people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may require minimally invasive operations such as Alcohol Septal Ablation (ASA) or radiofrequency ablation to treat symptoms of breathlessness.

We also provide surgical treatment of outflow tract obstruction and associated heart valve abnormalities.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is an innovative centre advancing research in septal reduction and provides support to many other centres nationally and internationally. We use advanced cardiac imaging and 3D printed personalised models to guide our surgical approach to cardiomyopathy care.

 

The ICC team at LHCH

Dr Derick Todd, Consultant Cardiologist

Clinical Lead for ICC at LHCH. Specialist interests include:

  • Genetic basis of cardiovascular disease – LHCH lead for the 100,000 Genome Project (link to 100K GP)
  • Management of channelopathies and cardiomyopathies
  • Implantation of ICD and advanced pacemakers
  • Invasive electrophysiological studies and ablation of arrhythmia associated with ICC

Dr Victoria McKay: Consultant Clinical Geneticist

Clinical Genetics lead for ICC. Specialist interests include:

  • Genetic basis of cardiovascular disease. Regional ICC genetics lead for 100,000 Genome Project (link to 100K GP)
  • Performing and interpreting genetic testing.
  • Investigation of non-cardiac involvement in ICC

Dr Robert Cooper: Consultant Cardiologist

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of all types of cardiomyopathies.
  • Septal reduction treatment for HCM including alcohol septal ablation, radiofrequency ablation and surgical myectomy.
  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance imaging of the heart.

Dr Timothy Fairbairn: Consultant Cardiologist 

Specialist interests include:

  • Advanced imaging of ICC including echocardiography, computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Assessment of valve disease in cardiomyopathies

Dr Saagar Mahida: Consultant Cardiologist

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of channelopathies and cardiomyopathies
  • Implantation of ICD and advanced pacemakers
  • Invasive electrophysiological studies and ablation of arrhythmia associated with ICC

Dr Simon Modi: Consultant Cardiologist

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of channelopathies and cardiomyopathies
  • Implantation of ICD and advanced pacemakers
  • Invasive electrophysiological studies and ablation of arrhythmia associated with ICC
  • Performance of radiofrequency ablation to treat outflow tract gradients in HCM.

Mr Mark Pullan: Consultant Cardiac Surgeon:

Specialist interests include:

  • Surgical myectomy in HCM
  • Surgical treatment of valve disease associated with cardiomyopathies

Dr Archana Rao: Consultant Cardiologist:

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of cardiomyopathies
  • Implantation of ICD and advanced pacemakers
  • Extraction of cardiac devices

Dr Richard Snowdon: Consultant Cardiologist:

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of channelopathies and cardiomyopathies
  • Implantation of ICD and advanced pacemakers
  • Invasive electrophysiological studies and ablation of arrhythmia associated with ICC

Professor John Somauroo: Consultant Cardiologist:

Specialist interests include:

  • Sports Cardiology
  • Management of cardiomyopathies

Professor Rodney Stables: Consultant Cardiologist 

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Alcohol Septal Ablation for HCM (insert link to patient information leaflet)

Dr Jay Wright: Consultant Cardiologist:

Specialist interests include:

  • Management of cardiomyopathies
  • Implantation of ICD and advanced pacemakers
  • Extraction of cardiac devices

 

Further information

More information on inherited cardiovascular conditions can be found at:

Patient support groups

The Cardiomyopathy UK Association hold a regional patient support group meeting at LHCH every other month.

If you are interested in attending please contact Julie Rees via email julierees65@aol.co.uk 

How to contact us

Please direct all queries to Callum McDonald.

 

Callum McDonald

ICC Coordinator

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Thomas Drive

Liverpool

L14 3PE

0151 600 1391

callum.mcdonald@lhch.nhs.uk