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 New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease
19.11.2018 | University of Oxford

nachricht Controlling organ growth with light
19.11.2018 | European Molecular Biology Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>