Indexed on: 25 May '11Published on: 25 May '11Published in: Circulation
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) is an autosomal dominant inherited disease with incomplete penetrance and variable expression. Causative mutations in genes encoding 5 desmosomal proteins are found in ≈50% of ARVD/C index patients. Previous genotype-phenotype relation studies involved mainly overt ARVD/C index patients, so follow-up data on relatives are scarce.One hundred forty-nine ARVD/C index patients (111 male patients; age, 49±13 years) according to 2010 Task Force criteria and 302 relatives from 93 families (282 asymptomatic; 135 male patients; age, 44±13 years) were clinically and genetically characterized. DNA analysis comprised sequencing of plakophilin-2 (PKP2), desmocollin-2, desmoglein-2, desmoplakin, and plakoglobin and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification to identify large deletions in PKP2. Pathogenic mutations were found in 87 index patients (58%), mainly truncating PKP2 mutations, including 3 cases with multiple mutations. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification revealed 3 PKP2 exon deletions. ARVD/C was diagnosed in 31% of initially asymptomatic mutation-carrying relatives and 5% of initially asymptomatic relatives of index patients without mutation. Prolonged terminal activation duration was observed more than negative T waves in V(1) to V(3), especially in mutation-carrying relatives <20 years of age. In 45% of screened families, ≥1 affected relatives were identified (90% with mutations).Pathogenic desmosomal gene mutations, mainly truncating PKP2 mutations, underlie ARVD/C in the majority (58%) of Dutch index patients and even 90% of familial cases. Additional multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis contributed to discovering pathogenic mutations underlying ARVD/C. Discovering pathogenic mutations in index patients enables those relatives who have a 6-fold increased risk of ARVD/C diagnosis to be identified. Prolonged terminal activation duration seems to be a first sign of ARVD/C in young asymptomatic relatives.