Background: Genetically triggered thoracic aortic conditions (GenTACs) represent an important problem for patients and their families. Accordingly, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute established the first phase of its national GenTAC Registry in 2006.
Enrollment and diagnoses: Between 2007 and 2010, 6 enrolling centers established the GenTAC I Registry consisting of 2,046 patients (Marfan syndrome 576 [28.2%], bicuspid aortic valve disease 504 [24.6%], aneurysm or dissection age <50 years 369 [18%], and others). Biologic samples for DNA analyses (white blood cells or saliva) are available in 97%, and stored plasma is available in 60% of enrollees.
Results: Initial scientific inquiry using the GenTAC Registry has included validation studies of genetic causes for aortic syndromes, potential usefulness of transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) blood levels in Marfan subjects, and current surgical approaches to ascending aortic conditions.
Future opportunity: The second phase of GenTAC will allow biannual follow-up of GenTAC I enrollees for up to 9 years, enrollment of an additional 1,500 subjects, further integration of imaging findings with clinical and genetic data through utilization of an imaging core laboratory, important validation of phenotype-genotype correlations through a phenotyping core laboratory, and integration of a scientific advisory committee to help define the full range and depth of the Registry's scientific capabilities. The registry resources are available to the external scientific community through an application process accessible at https://gentac.rti.org.
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