Rationale and design of the Duke Electrophysiology Genetic and Genomic Studies (EPGEN) biorepository

Jason I. Koontz, Daniel Haithcock, Valerie Cumbea, Anthony Waldron, Kristie Stricker, Amy Hughes, Kent Nilsson, Albert Sun, Jonathan P. Piccini, William E. Kraus, Geoffrey S. Pitt, Svati H. Shah, Patrick Hranitzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Disturbances in cardiac rhythm can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Many arrhythmias are known to have a heritable component, but the degree to which genetic variation contributes to disease risk and morbidity is poorly understood. Methods and Results: The EPGEN is a prospective single-center repository that archives DNA, RNA, and protein samples obtained at the time of an electrophysiologic evaluation or intervention. To identify genes and molecular variants that are associated with risk for arrhythmic phenotypes, EPGEN uses unbiased genomic screening; candidate gene analysis; and both unbiased and targeted transcript, protein, and metabolite profiling. To date, EPGEN has successfully enrolled >1,500 subjects. The median age of the study population is 62.9 years; 35% of the subjects are female and 21% are black. To this point, the study population has been composed of patients who had undergone defibrillator (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator) implantation (45%), electrophysiology studies or ablation procedures (35%), and pacemaker implantation or other procedures (20%). The cohort has a high prevalence of comorbidities, including diabetes (33%), hypertension (73%), chronic kidney disease (26%), and peripheral vascular disease (13%). Conclusions: We have established a biorepository and clinical database composed of patients with electrophysiologic diseases. EPGEN will seek to (1) improve risk stratification, (2) elucidate mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis, and (3) identify novel pharmacologic targets for the treatment of heart rhythm disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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