Cardiovascular Genetic Testing | William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine | Loyola Medicine

Cardiovascular Genetic Testing

Overview and Facts about Cardiovascular Genetic Testing

Cardiovascular genetic testing is a lab procedure that may be performed in the course of cardiology and vascular care to determine your personal risk of cardiovascular disease. Your risk factor is based on the genes that you have inherited or carry. Genes provide instructions for your cells to make certain proteins that have specific functions within your body. Cardiovascular genetic testing (CVD) is considered a family test versus an individual test due to the fact that the same genes are inherited across biological families. Cardiovascular genetic testing also helps individuals with no known family history of CVD understand their personal CVD risk. Therefore, cardiovascular genetic testing can be used to improve CVD diagnosis as well as predict, refine, and strengthen CVD management among families and individuals.

Loyola Medicine aims to reduce risk of heart disease and offer early detection through our cardiovascular genetics program, which provides comprehensive diagnostics for all types of inherited heart disease, including:

What to Expect from Cardiovascular Genetic Testing

Cardiovascular genetic testing involves taking a sample of a family member’s DNA, typically through blood or saliva tests, which are taken to a laboratory to identify or determine the presence of gene variants that are known to cause inherited CVD. After testing and upon analysis, if a gene variant is found to be ‘pathogenic’ (a positive result), then that variant is associated with a known risk of CVD. It is also possible to receive a negative result for a known variant (no known pathogenic variant found) but still show signs and have a family history of CVD. In some cases, genetic counseling is made available to individuals and families who undergo cardiovascular genetic testing.