Our understanding of the genetics of congenital heart disease (CHD) is rapidly expanding; however, many questions, particularly those relating to sporadic forms of disease, remain unanswered. Massively parallel sequencing technology has made significant contributions to the field, both from a diagnostic perspective for patients and, importantly, also from the perspective of disease mechanism. The importance of de novo variation in sporadic disease is a recent highlight, and the genetic link between heart and brain development has been established. Furthermore, evidence of an underlying burden of genetic variation contributing to sporadic and familial forms of CHD has been identified. Although we are still unable to identify the cause of CHD for most patients, recent findings have provided us with a much clearer understanding of the types of variants and their individual contributions and collectively mark an important milestone in our understanding of both familial and sporadic forms of disease.
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