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Genetic heterogeneity of heart-hand syndromes.

Circulation 1995 March 2
BACKGROUND: Heart-hand syndromes compose a class of combined congenital cardiac and limb deformities. The proto-typical heart-hand disorder is Holt-Oram syndrome, which is characterized by cardiac septation defects and radial ray limb deformity. We have recently mapped the Holt-Oram syndrome gene defect to the long arm of human chromosome 12 in two families. The role of this disease locus in the pathogenesis of related conditions such as heart-hand syndrome type III (cardiac conduction disease accompanied by skeletal malformations) or familial atrial septal defects is unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Clinical evaluations and genetic linkage analyses were performed in five additional kindreds with Holt-Oram syndrome and also in one kindred with heart-hand syndrome type III and one kindred with familial atrial septal defect and conduction disease. Holt-Oram syndrome in all five kindreds mapped to chromosome 12q2. These studies and previous data provide odds of greater than 10(25):1 that the Holt-Oram syndrome disease gene is at chromosome 12q2. In contrast, neither the phenotypically similar disorder heart-hand syndrome type III nor the locus responsible for a familial atrial septal defect with atrioventricular block maps to chromosome 12q2.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that heart-hand syndromes are genetically heterogeneous. Conditions that clinically appear to be partial phenocopies of Holt-Oram syndrome arise from distinct disease genes.

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