Tetralogy of Fallot, the most common cyanotic heart defect, has not been closely associated with a specific chromosome defect. The San Luis Valley Recombinant Chromosome 8 [SLV Rec(8)] syndrome is strongly associated with congenital heart disease, particularly tetralogy of Fallot. This article reviews SLV Rec(8) syndrome and other chromosome 8 aberrations to suggest locations for cardiogenic genes. SLV Rec(8) [rec(8),dup q,inv(8)(p23q22)] syndrome has been found in Hispanic families in the southwestern United States. Congenital heart disease is found in 93.3% of SLV Rec(8) individuals (n = 45), with tetralogy of Fallot constituting 40.5% of all lesions and conotruncal defects, 55.6%. These frequencies exceed the incidence of tetralogy of Fallot (10%) and conotruncal defects (20%) among all children with heart defects (P less than 0.003 for both). Review of patients with deletion 8p (n = 13) showed heart defects in 84.6% with 27.3% being conotruncal defects. Among duplication 8q patients (n = 20), 45% had heart defects with conotruncal defects constituting 44%. Neither group differed significantly from expected in its incidence of conotruncal defects. Among patients with mosaic trisomy 8 (n = 47), 12 had heart abnormalities including one conotruncal defect. Among 3 patients with other rec(8) chromosomes, one had a ventricular septal defect. The cause of heart defects in SLV Rec(8) cannot be assigned to either the deletion of 8p or the duplication of 8q. The lack of an association between other chromosome 8 abnormalities and tetralogy of Fallot suggests that genes at the SLV Rec(8) breakpoints or an interaction between genes on both arms of chromosome 8 are important.