Next-generation sequencing to identify genetic causes of cardiomyopathies.
This review examines the application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies in the identification of the causation of nonsyndromic genetic cardiomyopathies. NGS sequencing of the entire genetic coding sequence (the exome) has successfully identified five novel genes and causative variants for cardiomyopathies without previously known cause within the last 12 months. Continual rapidly decreasing costs of NGS will shortly allow cost-effective sequencing of the entire genomes of affected individuals and their relatives to include noncoding and regulatory variant discovery and epigenetic profiling. Despite this rapid technological progress with sequencing, analysis of these large data sets remains challenging, particularly for assigning causality to novel rare variants identified in DNA samples from patients with cardiomyopathy. NGS technologies are rapidly moving to identify novel rare variants in patients with cardiomyopathy, but assigning pathogenicity to these novel variants remains challenging.