The new location of the Unit For Screening Studies In Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases

by Aleksandra Bąkała

We wish to inform you that the Unit for Screening Studies in Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases (USS-ICVD), which has been functioning since the 1st of January 2010, has been transferred to a new location. The place looks modern and adheres to high standards that meet all relevant EU recommendations for health care facilities.

The USS-ICVD possesses its own diagnostic facilities, including a separate room for collecting blood samples, an ECG lab and an Echocardiography lab. There are two rooms for patients? medical consultations, and a separate room for consulting families. The Unit collaborates with the Institute of Cardiology Genetics Laboratory and with the Department of Medical Genetics of the Warsaw Medical University. The mission of the Unit is to find out and clarify the causes of inherited cardiovascular diseases, with a particular interest in patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms and thoracic aortic dissections, cardiomyopathies. Our focus of interest is also on people who come from families with an unexplained sudden death <55 year of age in history. Since such patients and their blood relatives are at risk for developing an inherited disease, once diagnosed, they are taken good care of by the Unit.

Since the USS-ICVD was established, there have been over 1550 people registered. The largest group includes dilated cardiomyopathy patients and their families (over 100 families) and thoracic aortic aneurysm and/or dissection patients and their families (nearly 100 families).

Considering the fact that inherited cardiomyopathies are diseases due to private mutations, the cause of a disease is clarified effectively only when the identified mutations have been published, their pathogenicity is beyond doubt, and patients have been informed of and provided with relevant test findings. The USS-ICVD has satisfied these conditions in the case of 14 families with cardiolaminopathies.

Once the cause of an inherited disease is clarified in 150 ? 200 families and 600 families with inherited cardiovascular diseases are under the Unit?s care, the USS-ICVD can be converted into the Center for Screening Studies in Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases.

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