About the Lab
The research work of the Phoebe Willingham Muzzy Pediatric Molecular Cardiology Laboratory includes the identification of the underlying causes of heart muscle disease and congenital heart disease, as well as the translation of these discoveries to the care of children with heart disease through our clinical services at the Heart Center at Texas Children's Hospital and through the John Welsh Cardiovascular Diagnostic Laboratory.
Congestive heart failure due to poor heart function (cardiomyopathy) is a serious heart muscle disease, which is a major cause of death and disability in children and adults. These disorders are the most common diseases leading to cardiac transplantation, with an associated cost of approximately $200 million/year in the United States. The cardiomyopathies are classified into five forms:
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Left Ventricular Non-Compaction
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
DCM is the most common form of cardiomyopathy, occurring in 60 percent of cases. There are more than 10,000 deaths annually in the United States due to cardiomyopathy, with DCM being the major contributor to this death rate.