About Genetic Testing

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing is a medical test that can find changes in your DNA. The results of a genetic test can help determine the cause of a heart condition. It can also help determine your risk of developing or passing on a heart condition. Since genetic testing is complicated, our patients meet with a physician who is also a genetic counselor to better understand the benefits and limitations of genetic testing.

Pediatric Integrated Cardiogenetics Clinic ​

What happens during a genetic counseling session?

A genetic counseling session may take between 30 and 90 minutes. During a genetic counseling session, the genetic counselor will:

  • Review your personal medical history and your family history
  • Provide information specific to your personal and/or family history risks
  • Discuss different genetic testing options, including their benefits, limitations, and risks
  • Provide support in the decision-making process
  • Follow-up with results, additional information, or resources

Who should have genetic counseling?

A person should have genetic counseling if he or she has:

  • Cardiovascular condition diagnosis at a young age
  • Two or more family members with the same type of cardiovascular condition
  • Arrhythmia (heart beat abnormalities)
  • Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
  • Enlarged aorta or aortic aneurysm in the chest
  • Heart defect present since birth
  • Family member who died from a sudden cardiac death
  • Family member with a gene mutation related to a cardiovascular condition

How is genetic testing done?

Genetic testing involves having a small amount of your blood drawn. Once your blood is drawn, the blood will be sent to a genetic testing laboratory where it will be analyzed. You do not need to fast before having blood drawn for genetic testing.

How long does it take to receive genetic testing results?

Typically genetic testing takes four to six weeks from the date of your blood draw. This time may vary depending on other factors such as processing the sample in the laboratory.

Who can I contact if I am interested in genetic counseling and testing?

If you are interested in learning more about genetic testing or would like to schedule a genetic counseling appointment, please call 212-305-6575.