Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Screen siblings, parents of infants with severe heart abnormalities

07.09.2004


Brothers and sisters as well as parents of infants born with severe, life-threatening abnormalities of the left side of the heart should be screened for less severe, but related, heart problems, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston.

In a new study in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics, Drs. Jeffrey Towbin, BCM professor of pediatrics at BCM, and John Belmont, BCM professor of molecular and human genetics, found that these first degree relatives of children with severe defects of the left side of the heart had a fivefold increased risk of having an abnormality called bicuspid aortic valve.

The finding solidifies the currently held belief that such disorders are related to several genes - as few as two and as many as six, said Belmont. "What this tells us, is that multiple other relatives including parents and siblings are at risk for progressive heart disease and that they should be screened by a cardiologist," said Towbin, also chief of cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital. At present, specialists do not recommend screening of close relatives of these children with severe heart defects.



A normal aortic valve has three cusps or "flaps" that open and close to regulate the flow of blood. A bicuspid valve has only two. Individuals with this disorder are predisposed to heart valve infections and a narrowing of the valve later in life.

Approximately 0.9 percent of people in the general population have bicuspid aortic valve, but the rate among brothers, sisters and parents of these infants is five times greater, said Belmont. "This is an impressive statistic, as a significant number of these individuals will develop symptomatic disease later in life, and could require catheter or surgical procedures on the heart," Towbin said.

The infants’ severe heart defects included congenital aortic valve stenosis, coarctation of the aorta and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Congenital aortic valve stenosis involves a narrowing of the valve that impedes the pumping of blood from the heart. Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome means that the left side of the heart did not develop properly and cannot adequately pump blood to the rest of the body. In their study, Belmont and Towbin evaluated ultrasound-generated images of the hearts of 278 relatives of 113 children. Thirteen had bicuspid aortic valve and 32 had a variety of abnormalities involving the left side of the heart.

Belmont said it is difficult to determine whether the 32 other abnormalities found represent an increase because data do not exist that show how common they are in the general population. "For many of those individuals, the problems are medically significant and need to be followed up by a cardiologist," he said. "Before, we would have completely ignored these people. Now we know they need medical follow-up."

Others who participated in the research include Drs. Mark B. Lewin, Kim L. McBride, Ricardo Pignatelli, Ana Combes, Andres Menesses, Wilbur Lam and Louis I. Bezold and Susan Fernbach, all of BCM and Dr. Norman Kaplan of Research Triangle Park, NC.

Kimberlee Barbour | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.tmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>