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Genetic testing reveals hereditary disease

Uploaded on Feb 20, 2018

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After his mother passed away, Eric Dimmer went to his doctor to learn more about the condition she was diagnosed with - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). His physician listened to his heart, hearing a murmur that Erik didn't know was there. That same day Eric got a diagnostic ultrasound of his heart, which revealed abnormal muscle thickness. This discovery led to further testing and Eric was diagnosed with HCM. Armed with this diagnosis, Eric met with Christopher Stanton, MD, a cardiologist at Sanford Heart. Dr. Stanton outlined his treatment options, which included an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD functions similar to a pacemaker, sending low-energy or high-energy shocks that can reset a heart. After choosing to have an ICD implanted as a safeguard to protect his heart, Eric turned his attention to the next generation of his family. His daughters, he knew, could have inherited the condition. Eric wanted to know more and met with Sanford Heart's certified genetic counselor, Kristen De Berg. "If we knew the specific gene that gave me this condition, I was thinking it'd be a lot simpler to test my family," Eric says. "And that's when everything snowballed."