Ellis-van creveld syndrome and congenital heart defects: Presentation of an additional 32 cases

Christine B. Hills, Lazaros Kochilas, Lisa A. Schimmenti, James H. Moller

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47 Scopus citations


Ellis-van Creveld (EVC) syndrome is a rare genetic abnormality that has been linked to a mutation in the EVC or EVC2 genes. Common atrium (CA) is an uncommon cardiac malformation, and yet it is commonly found in patients with EVC. We performed a retrospective review of the cases submitted to the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium (PCCC) between 1982 and 2007. A review of the English-language literature for previously published cases, as well as current genetic research findings, was also performed. Thirty-two pediatric patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) and EVC syndrome were identified in the PCCC database. Twenty-eight (88%) had an endocardial cushion defect, with 15 of these having primary failure of atrial septation resulting in CA. Persistent left superior vena cava (LSVC) and pulmonary venous connection abnormalities were common. The incidence of persistent LSVC and pulmonary venous abnormalities were greater than previously reported for patients with EVC. Our study reviews the reported literature and adds 32 additional cases from the PCCC database. Review of the cardiac phenotype in patients with EVC syndrome reveals a characteristic pattern of atrioventricular canal defects with systemic and pulmonary venous abnormalities. The frequent association of these abnormalities is strongly reminiscent of the cardiac phenotype found in patients with heterotaxy syndromes. Emerging molecular and developmental studies suggest that EVC and EVC2 proteins may be important for cilia function, which is implicated in the pathogenesis of heterotaxy syndromes. It is speculated that coordinate function between the EVC proteins is required for a cilia-dependent cardiac morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-982
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


  • Congenital heart defects
  • Ellis-van Creveld syndrome
  • Genotype-phenotype correlation


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