Table 5

Screening of Family Members and Genetic Testing in Patients With Idiopathic or Familial DCM

ConditionScreening of Family MembersGenetic Testing
Familial DCM
  • First-degree relatives not known to be affected should undergo periodic, serial echocardiographic screening with assessment of LV function and size.

  • Frequency of screening is uncertain, but every 3–5 y is reasonable (118).

  • Genetic testing may be considered in conjunction with genetic counseling (118,121–123).

Idiopathic DCM
  • Patients should inform first-degree relatives of their diagnosis.

  • Relatives should update their clinicians and discuss whether they should undergo screening by echocardiography.

  • The utility of genetic testing in this setting remains uncertain.

  • Yield of genetic testing may be higher in patients with significant cardiac conduction disease and/or a family history of premature sudden cardiac death (118,121–123).

DCM indicates dilated cardiomyopathy; and LV, left ventricular.