Comprehensive Genetic Arrhythmia Program

The Comprehensive Genetic Arrhythmia Program (CGAP) studies and treats inherited heart rhythm disorders, also known as arrhythmias. While not all arrhythmias are genetic in nature, arrhythmias as a class represent a serious health risk. The most serious risk is that of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Nearly 500,000 deaths a year are attributed to SCD.

Through research, the program plays a leadership role in understanding existing genetic causes of cardiac arrhythmias, identifying new genes, and applying this knowledge to improving partient care.

Experts in electrophysiology, cardiology, genetics, and genetic counseling work side-by-side to provide a multi-disciplinary focus not found anywhere else in the western United States. This focus is a significant benefit to both patients and their physicians for several key reasons:

  • Genetic causes of SCD can be rare and difficult to diagnose, and individual doctors often have limited experience recognizing these conditions. Our research team includes some of the world's leading experts in inherited arrhythmias, who are available through our service.
  • Inherited arrhythmias can affect the patient and family membersl, creating unique challenges in patient an d family management. This is an area in which doctors can benefit from the experience of our experts. Our multi-disciplinary evaluations are designed to ensure that all patients and their families receive the best, most comprehensive evaluation possible.
  • Access to genetic testing and genetic counseling is a critical component in the diagnosis, planning treatment, and helping patients and their families adjust to life with an inherited arrhythmia. Genetic testing and counseling is an integral part of our patient treatment and an important tool for researchers who view inherited arrhythmias within the context of family relationships.
  • Advances in our understanding of the role genetic mutations play in inherited arrhythmias reinforce the importance of patient and family management and the benefit of access to information from prior genetic studies. UCSF has a vast store of research data. The program intends to continue and extend this commitment as the more information is available.

CGAP studies patients with:

If you're interested in learning more about our research studies, contact the study coordinator, Joan Carroll, by phone at (415) 476-5409. or send an email to If this is a self referral, Carroll can provide you with a checklist of medical information you will need to provide to be evaluated for study participation.

To prepare for your CGAP appointment , please do the following:

  • Ask your doctor to send your medical records to us. Include copies of all arrhthmia-related tests such as an ECG, Holter monitors, echocardiograms, etc.
  • Gather detailed information on medical problems that run in your family. Ask family members if they have had the same health problems as you or any of the health problems listed in signs of genetic disorders.
  • If someone in your family has died from a heart condition, try to get a copy of the autopsy report.

Doctors interested in referring a patient may contact Carroll at (415) 476-5409 or by email at

Doctors wishing to refer a patient for evaluation at our Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service may contact Dr. Melvin Scheinman at (415) 476-5708 or by email at

Comprehensive Genetic Arrhythmia Program
350 Parnassus Ave., Suite 204
San Francisco, CA 94143

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How to Reach Us

Comprehensive Genetic Arrhythmia Program
Phone: (415) 476-5409