Noncompaction cardiomyopathy and heterotaxy syndrome

Hugo R. Martinez, Stephanie M. Ware, Marcus S. Schamberger, John J. Parent

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2 Scopus citations


Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC) is characterized by compact and trabecular layers of the left ventricular myocardium. This cardiomyopathy may occur with congenital heart disease (CHD). Single cases document co-occurrence of LVNC and heterotaxy, but no data exist regarding the prevalence of this association. This study sought to determine whether a non-random association of LVNC and heterotaxy exists by evaluating the prevalence of LVNC in patients with heterotaxy. In a retrospective review of the Indiana Network for Patient Care, we identified 172 patients with heterotaxy (69 male, 103 female). Echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging results were independently reviewed by two cardiologists to ensure reproducibility of LVNC. A total of 13/172 (7.5%) patients met imaging criteria for LVNC. The CHD identified in this subgroup included atrioventricular septal defects [11], dextrocardia [10], systemic and pulmonary venous return abnormalities [7], and transposition of the great arteries [5]. From this subgroup, 61% (n = 8) of the patients developed arrhythmias; and 61% (n = 8) required medical management for chronic heart failure. This study indicates that LVNC has increased prevalence among patients with heterotaxy when compared to the general population (0.014–1.3%) suggesting possible common genetic mechanisms. Interestingly, mice with a loss of function of Scrib or Vangl2 genes showed abnormal compaction of the ventricles, anomalies in cardiac looping, and septation defects in previous studies. Recognition of the association between LVNC and heterotaxy is important for various reasons. First, the increased risk of arrhythmias demonstrated in our population. Secondly, theoretical risk of thromboembolic events remains in any LVNC population. Finally, many patients with heterotaxy undergo cardiac surgery (corrective and palliative) and when this is associated with LVNC, patients should be presumed to incur a higher peri-operative morbidity based on previous studies. Further research will continue to determine long-term and to corroborate genetic pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalProgress in Pediatric Cardiology
StatePublished - Sep 2017



  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heterotaxy syndrome
  • Left ventricular noncompaction
  • MHY7 variant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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