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In a new study published in Genetics in Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers streamlined genetic testing and counseling for patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of heart muscle disease that causes the heart chambers (ventricles) to thin and stretch, growing larger.
"We showed that this practice intervention increased the uptake and yield of genetic testing and counseling in our Heart Failure Clinic," says Naveen Pereira, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and senior author of the study. "This may have a significant effect on the diagnosis of genetic dilated cardiomyopathy, improving clinical care for these patients and potentially the outcomes of their families. It is also a new evolution of the traditional Heart Failure Clinic model, adding to its repertoire of offerings to patients with heart failure."
Dr. Pereira notes that previously at Mayo Clinic, genetic testing and counseling were left to the health care professional's discretion. However, clinicians faced several barriers to referring patients for genetic counseling and testing. They included a lack of awareness of up-to-date guidelines, inconsistent family history assessment, lack of genetic knowledge, shortage of trained staff and limited availability of genetic counselors. All these barriers prevented the seamless integration of appointments with medical care.
Read the rest of the article on the Center for Individualized Medicine blog.
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