Our inherited cardiac conditions service provides screening, diagnosis and support for patients with a broad spectrum of cardiac conditions. We see patients with heart muscle problems (cardiomyopathies) and heart rhythm problems (channelopathies).

Lead consultant Dr Amanda Varnava has extensive expertise in diagnosing and managing inherited cardiac conditions, while clinical nurse specialist Siân Jones is experienced in providing further support beyond the clinic setting. We work closely with our cardiac rehabilitation service team, which includes trained counsellors to provide exercise advice and psychological support. We also provide expertise in sports cardiology and are able to assess and guide individuals with concerns about heart disease and sports and exercise.

The service is one of only a few in the United Kingdom that the Department of Health recognises as fulfilling all the requirements to provide an inherited cardiac conditions service. We are proud of offering this service for both adults and children within the same Trust, which enables families to be seen together.

Conditions and treatments

We treat and manage a range of heart muscle problems or cardiomyopathies, including:

  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (right ventricular cardiomyopathy or ARVC, and left ventricular cardiomyopathy)
  • dilated cardiomyopathy (under 60 years of age)
  • restrictive cardiomyopathy
  • left ventricular non compaction

We also offer treatment and management for heart rhythm problems or channelopathies, including:

  • long QT syndrome (LTQS)
  • Brugada syndrome
  • catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)
  • short QT syndrome (SQTS)

We also care for patients with inherited aortopathies such as Marfan syndrome, and neuromuscular disorders that may affect the heart such as myotonic dystrophy and Friedreich’s ataxia.

Genetic testing may be available for some individuals – we discuss this with patients during their clinic appointments. 

Clinical trials and research

We have established a research programme which looks to identify risk factors in patients found to have an inherited cardiac condition. This research aims to utilise novel electrical testing to discriminate between high and low risk patients.

With the acquisition of the latest genetic sequencing technology we are now developing research into the genetics of all inherited cardiac conditions and some arrhythmia syndromes. The unique combination of this electrical testing, genetic facility and our expert team has allowed us to develop a world-class research programme.