Dilated cardiomyopathy: the complexity of a diverse genetic architecture

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2013 Sep;10(9):531-47. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2013.105. Epub 2013 Jul 30.


Remarkable progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Rare variants in >30 genes, some also involved in other cardiomyopathies, muscular dystrophy, or syndromic disease, perturb a diverse set of important myocardial proteins to produce a final DCM phenotype. Large, publicly available datasets have provided the opportunity to evaluate previously identified DCM-causing mutations, and to examine the population frequency of sequence variants similar to those that have been observed to cause DCM. The frequency of these variants, whether associated with dilated or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is greater than estimates of disease prevalence. This mismatch might be explained by one or more of the following possibilities: that the penetrance of DCM-causing mutations is lower than previously thought, that some variants are noncausal, that DCM prevalence is higher than previously estimated, or that other more-complex genomics underlie DCM. Reassessment of our assumptions about the complexity of the genomic and phenomic architecture of DCM is warranted. Much about the genomic basis of DCM remains to be investigated, which will require comprehensive genomic studies in much larger cohorts of rigorously phenotyped probands and family members than previously examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / genetics
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / physiopathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / classification
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / genetics*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / physiopathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Familial / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Familial / physiopathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genomics / methods
  • Heredity
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Risk Factors
  • Terminology as Topic

Supplementary concepts

  • Familial dilated cardiomyopathy