Congenital heart disease is the leading non-infectious cause of death in children. It is becoming increasingly clear that many cardiac abnormalities once thought to have multifactorial aetiologies are attributable to mutations in developmental control genes. The consequences of these mutations can be manifest at birth as life-threatening cardiac malformations or later as more subtle cardiac abnormalities. Understanding the genetic underpinnings of cardiac development has important implications not only for understanding congenital heart disease, but also for the possibility of cardiac repair through genetic reprogramming of non-cardiac cells to a cardiogenic fate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas