A search for children presenting with signs or symptoms of cardiac rhabdomyomas was made through members of the paediatric section of the British Cardiac Society in order to establish their birth incidence, presenting features, clinical course, and the frequency of a concurrent diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis. Fifteen children were identified and 12 had tuberous sclerosis (80%). Heart failure was the presentation in six, five of whom died; six presented because of a murmur and three because of arrhythmias. The prevalence of echocardiographic evidence of cardiac rhabdomyomas in a population of patients with tuberous sclerosis was established. Twenty individuals had echocardiography and eight had echodensities consistent with cardiac rhabdomyomas. It is concluded that the minimum birth incidence for children presenting because of the effects of cardiac rhabdomyomas is 1/326,000 and a minimum of 80% have tuberous sclerosis. In a population of patients with tuberous sclerosis a minimum of 60% under 18 years have cardiac rhabdomyomas.
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