The Heart Institute Diagnostic Lab at Cincinnati Children’s provides viral PCR and genetic testing for DNA mutations associated with cardiovascular disease.
Current testing services include molecular analysis of viruses known to cause myocarditis and sequencing of genes associated with cardiac disease.
Viral PCR Analysis
Our laboratory offers state-of-the-art molecular diagnostic testing for cardiovascular diseases. In 1986, the identification of Coxsackievirus B in the hearts of patients with myocarditis or dilated cardiomyopathy was reported. Subsequently, adenovirus was identified as another virus that is commonly found in the hearts of patients with these diseases, as well as a cause of organ rejection in patients with lung and/or heart transplants. More recently, we have shown that the predominant virus causing myocarditis and heart transplant rejection has again changed with parvovirus B19 now being most common. Our laboratory updates testing to reflect worldwide changes in viral infection. For example, we have already added PCR for Hepatitis C virus, an emerging cause of myocarditis in Southeast Asia.
We offer rapid molecular testing of heart tissue, lung tissue, and other organ specimens and bodily fluids for viruses. These tests are focused specifically for viruses identified as causing heart disease in children and adults, as well as in the fetus. However, they have a wide range of other clinical applications. All testing is performed using PCR technology, thus providing optimal sensitivity and specificity.
The Heart Institute Diagnostic Lab provides genetic testing services for cardiovascular disease. Testing is available for connective tissue disorders, aortopathy, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, congenital heart disease, neuromuscular disease, and genetic syndromes including Barth syndrome, Holt-Oram syndrome, Marfan syndrome and heterotaxy syndrome.
Heart Institute Diagnostic Lab Leadership
Wenying Zhang, MD, PhD
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