Molecular and genetic insights into progressive cardiac conduction disease

Europace. 2019 Aug 1;21(8):1145-1158. doi: 10.1093/europace/euz109.


Progressive cardiac conduction disease (PCCD) is often a primarily genetic disorder, with clinical and genetic overlaps with other inherited cardiac and metabolic diseases. A number of genes have been implicated in PCCD pathogenesis with or without structural heart disease or systemic manifestations. Precise genetic diagnosis contributes to risk stratification, better selection of specific therapy and allows familiar cascade screening. Cardiologists should be aware of the different phenotypes emerging from different gene-mutations and the potential risk of sudden cardiac death. Genetic forms of PCCD often overlap or coexist with other inherited heart diseases or manifest in the context of multisystem syndromes. Despite the significant advances in the knowledge of the genetic architecture of PCCD and overlapping diseases, in a measurable fraction of PCCD cases, including in familial clustering of disease, investigations of known cardiac disease-associated genes fail to reveal the underlying substrate, suggesting that new causal genes are yet to be discovered. Here, we provide insight into genetics and molecular mechanisms of PCCD and related diseases. We also highlight the phenotypic overlaps of PCCD with other inherited cardiac and metabolic diseases, present unmet challenges in clinical practice, and summarize the available therapeutic options for affected patients.

Keywords: Atrioventricular block; Bundle branch block; Cardiac channelopathy; Congenital atrioventricular block; Gene mutation; Genetic testing; Lenègre–Lev disease; Precision medicine; Progressive cardiac conduction disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Conduction System Disease* / complications
  • Cardiac Conduction System Disease* / diagnosis
  • Cardiac Conduction System Disease* / genetics
  • Cardiac Conduction System Disease* / physiopathology
  • Cardiomyopathies* / complications
  • Cardiomyopathies* / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathies* / physiopathology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / methods
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing / methods
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / genetics
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment / methods