Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program

Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Clinic

Many cardiac disorders can be inherited, including arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and cardiomyopathies (heart muscle diseases).

The Hartford Healthcare Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program is a multidisciplinary program for the care and management of these specialized conditions. Our team includes specialists in electrophysiology, heart Failure, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, imaging, and genetics.

Which Cardiac Diseases Do We Treat?

Arrhythmias/Abnormal Heart Rhythm Disorders

  • Brugada syndrome
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Short QT syndrome

Cardiomyopathies/Heart Muscle Disease

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy/Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
  • Left Ventricular Non-Compaction
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiac Sarcoidosis
  • Transthyretin (TTR) Amyloidosis

Neuromuscular Disease-Related Cardiomyopathy

  • Duchene and Becker Muscular Dystrophy
  • Friedreich’s Ataxia
  • Myotonic Dystrophy

Aortopathies/Connective Tissue Diseases Involving the Aorta

  • Familial thoracic aortic aneurysm/dissection
  • Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Vascular Ehlers Danlos syndrome

What to expect at your initial appointment

At your initial appointment, you will meet with a cardiologist and genetic counselor. They will review your medical history and family history to determine what other tests may be needed to establish the diagnosis and/or tailor your management. These tests may include advanced imaging studies, electrophysiology study, stress test and ambulatory ECG monitoring.

How to know if you or your family member might have an inherited/genetic heart condition?

There are several signs that can be seen in a personal or family history that may suggest an inherited heart condition. Part of your visit to the Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program includes a review of your personal and family history with a board-certified genetic counselor to identify any clues of a genetic or inherited heart condition.

Here are some of the things that we ask about in personal and family history:

  • Unexplained cardiac arrest(s) or sudden death
  • Unexplained fainting
  • fainting with exercise or emotional distress
  • Unexplained seizures, or seizures with normal neurological evaluation
  • Having a big heart
  • Having a weak heart
  • Implanted cardioverter defibrillator ICD or Pacemaker implanted before 50 years old
  • Heart failure before 60 years old
  • Heart transplant before 60 years
  • Early “heart attack” or stroke – for men under 55 years old, women under 65 years old
  • Aortic aneurysm or dissection before 50 years old
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Unexplained accidents (i.e. drowning in someone who is a strong swimmer, single car accident, etc.)

Why Would Someone Have Genetic Testing For Cardiovascular Condition?

Part of your initial visit to the Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program may include genetic testing.

Genetic testing has become an important part of management and diagnosis for cardiovascular conditions.

If a disease-causing mutation is identified, it may lead to tailored interventions, like medicines or screening and identify family members at risk of having the condition.

What Do We Offer For Management of These Conditions?

Depending on your condition, we may be able to optimize your health through the use of medication, implantable devices, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, surgeries, like septal myectomy ,  valve repair/replacement or aorta repair and cardiac ablations of abnormal heart rhythms.

  • We may tailor screening test frequency with tests like echocardiogram, cardiac MRIs, ambulatory ECG monitoring or implantable loop recorder.
  • We can offer support related to diet and exercise.
  • We offer support for your family.
  • We may offer you to participate in one of our clinical trials. 

How to Make an Appointment

Appointments can be made by calling 833.HHC.ICDP (833.442.4237)

Our Team

We have a multidisciplinary team with years of experience in cardiology, genetics, electrophysiology, heart failure care, cardiothoracic surgery, and cardiac Imaging.

Emily Smith

Emily Smith, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor

Administrative Director
Carolyn Martindale, APRN, ACNP-BC

Carolyn Martindale, APRN, ACNP-BC

Name Specialties Location
Gifford, Edward D., MD, FSVS, FACS, RPVI Gifford, Edward D., MD, FSVS, FACS, RPVI 860.522.4158
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Endovascular Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Mystic
  • Norwich
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Jaiswal, Abhishek, MD Jaiswal, Abhishek, MD 860.972.1212
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
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  • Hartford
  • Bridgeport
  • Fairfield
  • Hamden
  • Hartford
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Vlismas, Peter Paul, MD Vlismas, Peter Paul, MD 860.972.1212
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
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  • Hartford
  • Bridgeport
Show Less