How Common Is a Genetic Origin of Atrial Fibrillation?
Few disciplines will have the impact of molecular genetics. Cardiology has benefited from its techniques and, since 1989, with the discovery of the first chromosomal locus for a cardiac disease, multiple disease-causing genes have been discovered. The field is progressing rapidly, and it is certain that in the coming years genetics will play a role not only in diagnostics, but in prevention and treatment of these inherited diseases. Arrhythmias, like most diseases, result from an interaction of environmental and genetic factors. In the last few decades we have acquired extensive knowledge about environmental factors triggering arrhythmias. The role of genetics has been described at all levels of the conduction system of the heart by the documentation of families with several individuals suffering from an inherited form of arrhythmia. However, it has not been until this last decade, with the introduction of molecular biology and the techniques of genetic mapping, that we have been able to study these families and identify the genes that cause their disease.
KeywordsAtrial Fibrillation Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Genetic Origin Candidate Gene Approach
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