bims-hylehe Biomed news
on Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Issue of 2018‒06‒24
two papers selected by
Richard James
University of Pennsylvania


  1. Am Heart J. 2018 Jul;pii: S0002-8703(18)30105-4. [Epub ahead of print]201 33-39
    Blue GM, Ip E, Walker K, Kirk EP, Loughran-Fowlds A, Sholler GF, Dunwoodie SL, Harvey RP, Giannoulatou E, Badawi N, Winlaw DS.
      BACKGROUND: Up to 20% of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) undergoing cardiac surgery develop neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD), with some studies reporting persistent impairment. Recent large-scale studies have demonstrated shared genetic mechanisms contributing to CHD and NDD. In this study, a targeted approach was applied to assess direct clinical applicability of this information.METHODS: A gene panel comprising 148 known CHD and/or NDD genes was used to sequence 15 patients with CHD + NDD, 15 patients with CHD, and 15 healthy controls. The number and types of variants between the 3 groups were compared using Poisson log-linear regression, and the SNP-set (Sequence) Kernel Association Test-Optimized was used to conduct single-gene and gene-pathway burden analyses.
    RESULTS: A significant increase in rare (minor allele frequency < 0.01) and novel variants was identified between the CHD + NDD cohort and controls, P < .001 and P = .001, respectively. There was also a significant increase in rare variants in the CHD cohort compared with controls (P = .04). Rare variant burden analyses implicated pathways associated with "neurotransmitters," "axon guidance," and those incorporating "RASopathy" genes in the development of NDD in CHD patients.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that an increase in novel and rare variants in known CHD and/or NDD genes is associated with the development of NDD in patients with CHD. Furthermore, burden analyses point toward rare variant burden specifically in pathways related to brain development and function as contributors to NDD. Although promising variants and pathways were identified, further research, utilizing whole-genome approaches, is required prior to demonstrating clinical utility in this patient group.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2018.03.021