Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling is important if you or a family member are diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Genetic testing must first be done for the person diagnosed with HCM in order to identify the mutation, before testing relatives.

A simple blood or saliva test can determine if you or your family are at risk of developing HCM. If you or your family members are at risk, monitoring of the heart -- even without symptoms -- is recommended.

Early detection and diagnosis may help prevent, delay or lessen some HCM complications.

Frequently asked questions

A genetic counselor is a health professional with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling.

OHSU’s genetic counselors have master's degrees in genetic counseling and/or medical genetics. They are certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

Like other health professionals, they must participate in continuing education to maintain their certification.

At the appointment, the genetic counselor will take a detailed family history focused on heart problems.

The counselor will provide information about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) genetics, recurrence risks for family members, genetic testing and surveillance options, insurance concerns, possible test results and implications of the results for you and your family.

Genetic counselors also provide support and information about additional resources for people and their families living with HCM.

After your genetic counseling appointment, if you decide to proceed with testing, you will be asked to go to the laboratory for a blood draw. You can eat and drink normally prior to your appointment, no fasting is required.

We will not take a blood sample for genetic testing before your genetic counseling appointment.

You can schedule an appointment in our Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic with one of our certified genetic counselors by calling 503-494-1775.

You can also visit the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association for more information about the genetics of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.