Inherited Heart Rhythm Clinic

LHSC's Inherited Rhythm Clinic is a specialized clinic that deals with patients referred for management of inherited heart rhythm problems. Patients seen in the clinic are referred for assessment of a range of difference cardiac conditions that can lead to abnormal heart rhythms that could result in fainting, cardiac arrest or sudden death. Many of these patients have a family history of individuals who may have been affected by one of these conditions. In addition, they may have findings from previous testing that indicates that they may be affected by one of these conditions.

The features of the LHSC Inherited Rythm Clinic include:

  • Medical evaluation by the heart rhythm team
  • Comprehensive testing of the hearts electrical system and structure (see below)
  • Genetic counseling and testing
  • Treatment recommendations including lifestyle education
  • Research to improve our understanding of these disorders and their optimal diagnosis and treatment

After referral to the clinic, information is collected regarding patients from their referring physician. Patients typically undergo a series of tests to assess the hearts electrical system. Many patients will undergo a combination of non-invasive tests that include heart monitoring and exercise testing. These findings will be reviewed after the information is collected and analyzed at a clinical consultation. The team includes a number of members, including physicians, nurses, exercise technologists, trainees, and research staff.

On this website, you can find material that will provide information about the types of tests that are performed in patients, the nature of genetic counseling and testing that takes place, and the staff who work here. There is also a section that provides information regarding the conditions that are commonly assessed and managed in the clinic, and links to other sites that provide additional information that may be relevant to your care.

For more information, please consult the following:

Testing performed related to inherited heart rhythm disorders often includes a combination of assessment of the heart's electrical system, and imaging to look at the function of the heart. Assessment of the hearts electrical system may be in the form of a regular or special ECG, wearing a heart monitor or performing an exercise test during heart monitoring. In select cases, further testing is done with an electrophysiology study, which is an invasive test to look at the hearts electrical system with direct recording. Further information regarding these tests can be obtained under the section entitled Cardiac Tests and Procedures (link).

Imaging studies of the heart involve pictures of the heart's structure and function, typically performed with an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram), MRI of the heart, or a CT scan of the heart. Further details regarding these three tests can also be obtained at the Cardiac Tests and Procedures link.

Tests that are specific for the inherited heart rhythm clinic include genetic testing and drug infusions to look for changes in the EKG that represent electrical abnormalities. Details regarding these two forms of tests can be obtained by clicking on the following links: