The left ventricular outflow tract (LVOTO) malformations, aortic valve stenosis (AVS), coarctation of the aorta (COA), and hypoplastic left heart (HLH) constitute a mechanistically defined subgroup of congenital heart defects that have substantial evidence for a genetic component. Evidence from echocardiography studies has shown that bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is found frequently in relatives of children with LVOTO defects. However, formal inheritance analysis has not been performed. We ascertained 124 families by an index case with AVS, COA, or HLH. A total of 413 relatives were enrolled in the study, of which 351 had detailed echocardiography exams for structural heart defects and measurements of a variety of aortic arch, left ventricle, and valve structures. LVOTO malformations were noted in 30 relatives (18 BAV, 5 HLH, 3 COA, and 3 AVS), along with significant congenital heart defects (CHD) in 2 others (32/413; 7.7%). Relative risk for first-degree relatives in this group was 36.9, with a heritability of 0.71-0.90. Formal segregation analysis suggests that one or more minor loci with rare dominant alleles may be operative in a subset of families. Multiplex relative risk analysis, which estimates number of loci, had the hig...Continue Reading
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