Congenital heart defects in Arabian horses and the prospects of genetic testing: A review

Equine Vet J. 2024 Jan 25. doi: 10.1111/evj.14062. Online ahead of print.


Congenital heart defects (CHDs) can have profound and potentially life-threatening consequences on horses' health and performance capability. While CHDs are rare in the general horse population, the Arabian breed is disproportionately overrepresented and thus is widely suspected to be genetically predisposed. This review discusses the most common CHDs in Arabian horses, including ventricular septal defect (VSD), tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), patent duct arteriosus (PDA), tricuspid valve atresia (TVA) and atrial septal defect (ASD). This review also explores how future research into the genetic factors that likely underpin many CHDs can revolutionise the way these disorders are managed in Arabian horses.

Keywords: cardiac; horse; tetralogy of Fallot; ventricular septal defect.

Publication types

  • Review