European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA)/Heart Rhythm Society (HRS)/Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS)/ Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS) Expert Consensus Statement on the state of genetic testing for cardiac diseases

Genetic testing has advanced significantly since the publication of the 2011 HRS/EHRA Expert Consensus Statement on the State of Genetic Testing for the Channelopathies and Cardiomyopathies.1 In addition to single-gene testing, there is now the ability to per-form whole-exome sequencing (WES) and whole-genome sequenc-ing (WGS). There is growing appreciation of oligogenic disorders, the role of modifier genes, 2 and the use of genetic testing for risk stratification, even in common cardiac diseases such as coronary artery disease or atrial fibrillation (AFib), including a proposal for a score awaiting validation. 4 This document reviews the state of genetic testing at the present time, and addresses the questions of what tests to perform and when to perform them. It should be noted that, as articulated in a 1999 Task Force Document by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) on the legal value of medical guidelines, ‘The guidelines from an international organization, such as the ESC, have no specific legal territory and have no legally enforcing character. Nonetheless, in so far as they represent the state-of-the-art, they may be used as indicating deviation from evidence-based medicine in cases of questioned liability’. In the case of potentially lethal and treatable conditions such as catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) or long QT syndrome (LQTS), it is the responsibility of the physician, preferably in conjunction with an expert genetics team, to communicate to the patient/family the critical importance of family screening, whether this be facilitated by cascade genetic testing or by broader clinical family screening.

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