Familial congenital heart block has been reported only rarely.1-6 The greatest number of members in one family satisfying the criteria of Yater7 has been three. Five instances of familial congenital complete heart block were recently reviewed, together with an additional case report by Lynch and Engle.6
This report describes the clinical features of a family in which four of eight siblings were affected with this abnormality and a fifth sibling probably was also affected. Four of the five died in the neonatal period and all were autopsied (in different institutions).
Report of Cases
The parents in this family were the same for each pregnancy and were free of heart disease. The mother was born in Sarnio, Canada. Both of her parents were from Czechoslovakia. One brother died at 6 months of age due to pneumonia. A sister died at birth, in Czechoslovakia, due to "complications of delivery."