Familial dilated cardiomyopathy is being increasingly recognized, but affected individuals <10 y are rarely identified. We describe the natural history of dilated cardiomyopathy and evaluate the mode of inheritance among infants of Arab descent from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. We evaluated 55 consecutive cases of dilated cardiomyopathy in patients <10 y of age seen during a 5-y interval. Echocardiography was the primary diagnostic modality. The 55 cases represented 20% of the offspring of 41 families of Arab descent. In 19 families (46%), parents were first cousins; there was no obvious consanguinity in 22 families (54%). Age at presentation was <30 mo (95%) (range, 1 to 100 mo); males (38%) and females (62%) were affected. Patients died (25 patients, 46%), improved (15 patients, 27%), or recovered (15 patients, 27%). The left ventricular shortening fraction at diagnosis ranged from 5 to 28% and did not differ in those who died, improved, or recovered. Complex segregation analysis of the family data using the mixed model of inheritance showed that a model of recessive inheritance best fits the data. Recessively inherited dilated cardiomyopathy has been infrequently reported, perhaps because it may be difficult to recognize in other patient groups in which consanguineous marriage is uncommon and the number of children per family is small. In the setting of consanguineous marriage, homozygosity mapping should lead to identification of the gene(s) causing dilated cardiomyopathy in the families we studied.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health