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Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome. There is evidence for a genetic contribution to the pathophysiology of heart failure. Considering the fundamental role of neurohormonal factors in the pathophysiology and progression of cardiac dysfunction and hypertrophy, variants of genes involved in this system are logical candidate genes in heart failure. In this report, genetic polymorphisms of the major neurohormonal systems in heart failure will be discussed. Studies on polymorphisms of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), adrenergic receptor polymorphisms, endothelin (receptor) polymorphisms, and a group of miscellaneous polymorphisms that may be involved in the development or phenotypic expression of heart failure will be reviewed. Research on left ventricular hypertrophy is also included. The majority of genetic association studies focused on the ACE I/D polymorphism. Initial genetic associations have often been difficult to replicate, mainly due to problems in study design and lack of power. Promising results have been obtained with genetic polymorphisms of the RAAS and sympathetic system. Considering the evidence so far, a modifying role for these polymorphisms seems more likely than a role of these variants as susceptibility genes. Besides the need for larger studies to examine the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes, future studies also need to focus on the complexity of these systems and study gene-gene interactions and gene-environment interactions.

Original publication




Journal article


Genet Med

Publication Date





465 - 474


Heart Failure, Humans, Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular, Polymorphism, Genetic, Receptors, Adrenergic, Receptors, Endothelin, Renin-Angiotensin System