Are cardiac rhabdomyomas congenital?
A cardiac rhabdomyoma is usually present at birth. So, it’s considered congenital. But that’s not the same thing as hereditary. If a condition is hereditary, it can be passed down through a family’s genes.
Cardiac rhabdomyomas can be hereditary, but they’re often not. That’s because the genetic disorder associated with the tumors (tuberous sclerosis) often has no hereditary link.
A parent with tuberous sclerosis has a 50% chance of passing it on to their child. But this “inheritance” only explains 1 in 3 cases of tuberous sclerosis. The rest of the cases arise on their own with no family history. The genetic mutation appears for the first time in the newly diagnosed baby. So, that means cardiac rhabdomyomas can appear predictably or out of the blue.
It’s a lot to take in and sometimes feels like a numbers game. But remember that genes are only part of the story. If you have concerns about cardiac rhabdomyomas or tuberous sclerosis, talk with your provider. Discuss your family history and how it might affect you or your child.