To establish the incidence of, and risk factors for, SCD in pediatric DCM.
The incidence of SCD in children with DCM is unknown. The ability to predict patients at high risk for SCD will help define who may benefit most from ICDs.
The cohort was 1803 children in the PCMR diagnosed with DCM from 1990-2009. Cumulative incidence competing-risks event rates were estimated. We achieved risk stratification using CART methodology.
Five-year incidence rates were 29% for heart transplant, 12.1% non-sudden cardiac death (non-SCD), 4.0% death from unknown cause, and 2.4% for SCD. Of 280 deaths, 35 were SCD and cause was unknown for 56. The 5-year rate for SCD incorporating a subset of the unknown deaths is 3%. Patients receiving anti-arrhythmic medication were at higher risk of SCD (hazard ratio 3.0, 95% CI 1.1-8.3, p =0.025). A risk stratification model based on most recent echocardiographic values had 86% sensitivity and 57% specificity. Thirty of 35 SCDs occurred in patients who met all of these criteria: LV end-systolic dimension z score > 2.6, age at diagnosis <14.3 years, and ratio of LVPWT:EDD <0.14. Sex, ethnicity, cause of DCM, and family history were not associated with SCD.
The 5-year incidence of SCD in children with DCM is 3%. A risk stratification rule (86% sensitivity) included diagnosis age < 14.3 years, LV dilation, and LV posterior wall thinning. Patients who consistently meet these criteria should be considered for ICD placement.
death, sudden; cardiomyopathy; pediatrics; heart failure
This study was designed to evaluate the clinical and prognostic aspects of long QT syndrome-related cardiac events that occur in the first year of life (infancy).
The clinical implications for patients with long QT syndrome who experience cardiac events in infancy have not been studied previously.
The study population of 3,323 patients with QTc ≥ 450 ms enrolled in the International LQTS Registry involved 20 patients with sudden cardiac death (SCD), 16 patients with aborted cardiac arrest (ACA), 34 patients with syncope, and 3,253 patients who were asymptomatic during the first year of life.
The risk factors for a cardiac event among 212 patients who had an ECG recorded in the first year of life included QTc≥500ms, heart rate ≤100bpm, and female sex. ACA before age 1 year was associated with a hazard ratio of 23.4 (p<0.01) for ACA or SCD during age 1-10 years. During the 10-year follow-up after infancy, beta-blocker therapy was associated with a significant reduction in ACA/SCD only in those with a syncopal episode within 2 years before ACA/SCD, but not for those who survived ACA in infancy.
Patients with LQTS who experience ACA during the first year of life are at very high-risk for subsequent ACA or death during their next 10 years of life, and beta-blockers may not be effective in preventing fatal or near fatal cardiac events in this small but high-risk subset.
Long QT Syndrome; Genetics; Infants; Risk Stratification
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, reduced fertility in males and situs inversus in about 50% of affected individuals (Kartagener syndrome). It is caused by motility defects in the respiratory cilia that are responsible for airway clearance, the flagella that propel sperm cells and the nodal monocilia that determine left-right asymmetry1. Recessive mutations that cause PCD have been identified in genes encoding components of the outer dynein arms, radial spokes and cytoplasmic pre-assembly factors of axonemal dyneins, but these mutations account for only about 50% of cases of PCD. We exploited the unique properties of dog populations to positionally clone a new PCD gene, CCDC39. We found that loss-of-function mutations in the human ortholog underlie a substantial fraction of PCD cases with axonemal disorganization and abnormal ciliary beating. Functional analyses indicated that CCDC39 localizes to ciliary axonemes and is essential for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex.
Pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the leading indication for heart transplantation after age 1 year. Risk factors by etiology at clinical presentation have not been determined separately for death and transplantation in population-based studies. Competing risks analysis may inform patient prioritization for transplantation listing.
Methods and Results
The Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry enrolled 1731 children diagnosed with DCM from 1990-2007. Etiologic, demographic and echocardiographic data collected at diagnosis were analyzed with competing risks methods stratified by DCM etiology to identify predictors of death and transplantation. For idiopathic DCM (n=1192), diagnosis after age 6, congestive heart failure (CHF), and lower left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening (FS) z-score were independently associated with both death and transplantation equally. In contrast, increased LV end-diastolic dimension (EDD) z-score was associated only with transplantation while lower height-for-age z-score was associated only with death. For neuromuscular disease (n=139), lower LVFS was associated equally with both endpoints, but increased LVEDD was associated only with transplantation. The risks of death and transplantation were increased equally for older age at diagnosis, CHF, and increased LVEDD among those with myocarditis (n=272) and for CHF and decreased LVFS among those with familial DCM (n=79).
Risk factors for death and transplantation in children varied by DCM etiology. For idiopathic DCM, increased LVEDD was associated with increased transplantation risk but not mortality. Conversely, short stature was significantly related to death but not transplantation. This may present an opportunity to improve the transplantation selection algorithm.
cardiomyopathy; pediatrics; cardiac transplantation; heart failure
The survival benefit of heart transplantation in adult heart failure is greatest for the sickest patients and negligible for patients not requiring inotropic or mechanical support. We hypothesized a similar survival benefit of heart transplantation for childhood cardiomyopathies with heart failure.
A merged dataset of children registered in both the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry and the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study was used to assess differences in mortality before and after transplant in patients with different levels of heart failure severity. Severity was scored 2 if mechanical ventilatory or circulatory support was required, 1 if intravenous inotropes were required, or 0 if no support was required.
For 332 eligible children, 12-month mortality after listing was 9% for those with a severity score of 0 (n=105), 16% with a score of 1 (n=118), and 26% with a score of 2 (n=109; P=0.002) with a 3%, 8%, and 20% mortality with severity scores at listing of 0, 1, and 2, respectively, occurring before transplant. Patients listed with a score of 0 frequently deteriorated: 50% were transplanted or died prior to transplant with severity scores of 1 or 2. The risk of deterioration increased with previous surgery (relative risk, 3.84; P=0.03) in the short-term and with lower left ventricular mass z-score at time of presentation (relative risk, 1.74; P=0.003) in the longer-term.
Pediatric cardiomyopathy patients who require high levels of support receive a survival benefit from heart transplantation that is not shared by patients not requiring intravenous inotropic or mechanical support.
cardiomyopathy; pediatrics; heart transplantation
Women with congenital long-QT syndrome (LQTS) experience increased risk for cardiac events after the onset of adolescence, that is more pronounced among carriers of the LQT2 genotype. We hypothesized that the hormonal changes associated with menopause may affect clinical risk in this population.
Methods and Results
We used a repeated events analysis to evaluate the risk for recurrent syncope during the menopause-transition and post-menopausal periods (5-years before and after the age at onset of menopause, respectively) among 282 LQT1 (n=151) and LQT2 (n=131) women enrolled in the LQTS Registry. Multivariate analysis showed that the risk for recurrent syncope (n=150) among LQT2 women was significantly increased during both menopause-transition (HR = 3.38 [p = 0.005]) and the post-menopausal period (HR = 8.10 [p < 0.001]) as compared with the reproductive period. The risk increase was evident among women who did or did not receive estrogen therapy. In contrast, among LQT1 women the onset of menopause was associated with a reduction in the risk for recurrent syncope (HR = 0.19 [p = 0.05]; p-value for genotype-by-menopause interaction = 0.02). Only 22 women (8%) experienced aborted cardiac arrest (ACA) or sudden cardiac death (SCD) during follow-up. The frequency of ACA/SCD showed a similar genotype-specific association with the onset of menopause.
The onset of menopause is associated with a significant increase in the risk of cardiac events (dominated by recurrent episodes of syncope) in LQT2 women, suggesting that careful follow-up and continued long-term therapy are warranted in this population.
long-QT syndrome; women; estrogen; testosterone
Men and women with type 1 long QT syndrome (LQT1) exhibit time-dependent differences in the risk for cardiac events.
We hypothesized that sex-specific risk for LQT1 is related to the location and function of the disease-causing mutation in the KCNQ1 gene.
The risk for life-threatening cardiac events (comprising aborted cardiac arrest [ACA] or sudden cardiac death [SCD]) from birth through age 40 years was assessed among 1051 individuals with LQT1 (450 men and 601 women) by the location and function of the LQT1-causing mutation (prespecified as mutations in the intracellular domains linking the membrane-spanning segments [ie, S2–S3 and S4–S5 cytoplasmic loops] involved in adrenergic channel regulation vs other mutations).
Multivariate analysis showed that during childhood (age group: 0–13 years) men had >2-fold (P < .003) increased risk for ACA/SCD than did women, whereas after the onset of adolescence the risk for ACA/SCD was similar between men and women (hazard ratio = 0.89 [P = .64]). The presence of cytoplasmic-loop mutations was associated with a 2.7-fold (P < .001) increased risk for ACA/SCD among women, but it did not affect the risk among men (hazard ratio 1.37; P = .26). Time-dependent syncope was associated with a more pronounced risk-increase among men than among women (hazard ratio 4.73 [P < .001] and 2.43 [P = .02], respectively), whereas a prolonged corrected QT interval (≥500 ms) was associated with a higher risk among women than among men.
Our findings suggest that the combined assessment of clinical and mutation location/functional data can be used to identify sex-specific risk factors for life-threatening events for patients with LQT1.
Cytoplasmic-loop mutations; Sex; Long QT syndrome; Sudden cardiac death
Type-1 long-QT syndrome (LQTS) is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the KCNQ1-encoded IKs cardiac potassium channel. We evaluated the effect of location, coding type, and biophysical function of KCNQ1 mutations on the clinical phenotype of this disorder.
Methods and Results
We investigated the clinical course in 600 patients with 77 different KCNQ1 mutations in 101 proband-identified families derived from the US portion of the International LQTS Registry (n=425), the Netherlands’ LQTS Registry (n=93), and the Japanese LQTS Registry (n=82). The Cox proportional hazards survivorship model was used to evaluate the independent contribution of clinical and genetic factors to the first occurrence of time-dependent cardiac events from birth through age 40 years. The clinical characteristics, distribution of mutations, and overall outcome event rates were similar in patients enrolled from the 3 geographic regions. Biophysical function of the mutations was categorized according to dominant-negative (>50%) or haploinsufficiency (≤50%) reduction in cardiac repolarizing IKs potassium channel current. Patients with transmembrane versus C-terminus mutations (hazard ratio, 2.06; P<0.001) and those with mutations having dominant-negative versus haploinsufficiency ion channel effects (hazard ratio, 2.26; P<0.001) were at increased risk for cardiac events, and these genetic risks were independent of traditional clinical risk factors.
This genotype–phenotype study indicates that in type-1 LQTS, mutations located in the transmembrane portion of the ion channel protein and the degree of ion channel dysfunction caused by the mutations are important independent risk factors influencing the clinical course of this disorder.
electrocardiography; genetics; long-QT syndrome
This study was designed to assess the clinical course and to identify risk factors for life-threatening events in patients with long-QT syndrome (LQTS) with normal corrected QT (QTc) intervals.
Current data regarding the outcome of patients with concealed LQTS are limited.
Clinical and genetic risk factors for aborted cardiac arrest (ACA) or sudden cardiac death (SCD) from birth through age 40 years were examined in 3,386 genotyped subjects from 7 multinational LQTS registries, categorized as LQTS with normal-range QTc (≤440 ms [n = 469]), LQTS with prolonged QTc interval (>440 ms [n = 1,392]), and unaffected family members (genotyped negative with ≤440 ms [n = 1,525]).
The cumulative probability of ACA or SCD in patients with LQTS with normal-range QTc intervals (4%) was significantly lower than in those with prolonged QTc intervals (15%) (p < 0.001) but higher than in unaffected family members (0.4%) (p < 0.001). Risk factors ACA or SCD in patients with normal-range QTc intervals included mutation characteristics (transmembrane-missense vs. nontransmembrane or nonmissense mutations: hazard ratio: 6.32; p = 0.006) and the LQTS genotypes (LQTS type 1:LQTS type 2, hazard ratio: 9.88; p = 0.03; LQTS type 3:LQTS type 2, hazard ratio: 8.04; p = 0.07), whereas clinical factors, including sex and QTc duration, were associated with a significant increase in the risk for ACA or SCD only in patients with prolonged QTc intervals (female age >13 years, hazard ratio: 1.90; p = 0.002; QTc duration, 8% risk increase per 10-ms increment; p = 0.002).
Genotype-confirmed patients with concealed LQTS make up about 25% of the at-risk LQTS population. Genetic data, including information regarding mutation characteristics and the LQTS genotype, identify increased risk for ACA or SCD in this overall lower risk LQTS subgroup.
corrected QT interval; long-QT syndrome; sudden cardiac death
We aimed to identify risk factors for recurrent syncope in children and adolescents with congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS).
Data regarding risk assessment in LQTS after the occurrence of first syncope are limited.
The Prentice-Williams-Peterson conditional gap time model was utilized to identify risk factors for recurrent syncope from birth through age 20 years among 1648 patients from the International LQTS Registry.
Multivariate analysis demonstrated that QTc duration (≥500 msec) was a significant predictor of a first syncope (HR=2.16), whereas QTc effect was attenuated when the endpoints of second-, third-, and fourth- syncope were evaluated (HR = 1.29, 0.99, 0.90, respectively; p<0.001 for the null hypothesis that all four HRs are identical). A genotype-specific sub-analysis showed that during childhood (0–12 years) LQT1 males had the highest rate of first syncope (p=0.001), but exhibited similar rates of subsequent events as other genotype-gender subsets (p=0.63). In contrast, in the age-range of 13–20 years, LQT2 females experienced the highest rate of both first and subsequent events (p<0.001 and p=0.01, respectively). Patients who experienced ≥1 episodes of syncope had a 6–12-fold (p<0.001 for all) increase in the risk of subsequent fatal/near-fatal events independently of QTc. Beta-blocker therapy was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of recurrent syncope and subsequent fatal/near-fatal events.
Children and adolescents who present following an episode of syncope should be considered to be at a high a risk for the development of subsequent syncopal episodes and fatal/near-fatal events regardless of QTc duration.
long qt syndrome; corrected QT interval; reccurrent events; syncope; sudden cardiac death
Cdc42 regulates cardiac function in mice and flies downstream of a conserved Tinman/Nkx2-5–miR-1 signaling network.
Unraveling the gene regulatory networks that govern development and function of the mammalian heart is critical for the rational design of therapeutic interventions in human heart disease. Using the Drosophila heart as a platform for identifying novel gene interactions leading to heart disease, we found that the Rho-GTPase Cdc42 cooperates with the cardiac transcription factor Tinman/Nkx2-5. Compound Cdc42, tinman heterozygous mutant flies exhibited impaired cardiac output and altered myofibrillar architecture, and adult heart–specific interference with Cdc42 function is sufficient to cause these same defects. We also identified K+ channels, encoded by dSUR and slowpoke, as potential effectors of the Cdc42–Tinman interaction. To determine whether a Cdc42–Nkx2-5 interaction is conserved in the mammalian heart, we examined compound heterozygous mutant mice and found conduction system and cardiac output defects. In exploring the mechanism of Nkx2-5 interaction with Cdc42, we demonstrated that mouse Cdc42 was a target of, and negatively regulated by miR-1, which itself was negatively regulated by Nkx2-5 in the mouse heart and by Tinman in the fly heart. We conclude that Cdc42 plays a conserved role in regulating heart function and is an indirect target of Tinman/Nkx2-5 via miR-1.
Cardiac events in long-QT syndrome type-2 (LQT2) patients are predominately associated with sudden arousal. However, exercise-induced events also occur in this population.
We hypothesized that risk factors show a trigger-specific association with cardiac events in LQT2 patients.
The study population comprised 634 genetically-confirmed LQT2 patients from the US portion of the International LQTS Registry. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to determine the independent contribution of clinical and genetic risk factors to the first occurrence of trigger-specific cardiac events, categorized as arousal, exercise-induced, and non-arousal/non-exercise, from birth through age 40 years.
Study patients experienced 204 cardiac events during follow-up, of which 44% were associated with arousal-triggers, 13% with exercise activity, and 43% with non-exercise/non-arousal triggers. Risk factors for arousal triggered cardiac events included gender (female:male >13 years: HR=9.10 [p<0.001]), and the presence of pore-loop mutations (HR=2.19 [p=0.009]). In contrast, non pore-loop transmembrane mutations were the predominant risk factor for exercise-triggered events (HR=6.84 [p<0.001]), whereas gender was not a significant risk factor for this end point. Non-exercise/non-arousal events were associated with heterogeneous causes. Risk factors for this end point included gender, mutation-location and type, and a prolonged QTc (≥500 msec) Beta-blocker therapy was associated with a pronounced reduction in the risk of exercise-triggered events (HR=0.29 [p<0.01]), but had a non-significant effect on the risk of arousal- and non-exercise/non-arousal events.
Our findings suggest that management of patients with the LQT2 genotype should employ a trigger-specific approach to risk-assessment and medical therapy.
long-QT syndrome; ion channel mutations; sudden cardiac death; risk factors; beta-blockers
Cardiomyopathy is a serious disorder of the heart muscle and, although rare, is a common cause of heart failure in children and the most common cause for heart transplantation in children older than 1 year of age. Funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute since 1994, the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry (PCMR) has followed more than 3500 North American children with cardiomyopathy. Early analyses determined estimates for the incidence of pediatric cardiomyopathy (1.13 cases per 100,000 children per year), risk factors for cardiomyopathy (age less than 1 year, male sex, black race, and living in New England as opposed to the Central Southwestern states), the prevalence of heart failure at diagnosis (6%–84% depending on cause), and 10-year survival (29%–94% depending on cause). More recent analyses explored cause-specific functional status, survival and transplant outcomes, and risk factors in greater detail. For many topics these analyses are based on the largest and best-documented samples of children with disease such as the muscular dystrophies, mitochondrial disorders, and Noonan’s syndrome. Data from the PCMR continue to provide valuable information that guides clinical management and the use of life-saving therapies, such as cardiac transplantation and approaches to treating heart failure, and that prepares children, their families, and their caregivers for dealing with this serious condition.
Cardiomyopathy; Pediatrics; Heart Failure; Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry
Evaluate the outcome and prevalence of viral endomyocardial infection after cardiac transplantation.
Viral myocardial infection causes heart failure, but its role after cardiac transplantation is unclear. We hypothesized that viral infection of the cardiac allograft reduces graft survival.
Between 6/1999 and 11/2004, 94 pediatric cardiac transplant patients were screened for the presence of viral genome in serial endomyocardial biopsies (EMBs) using PCR assays. Graft loss, advanced transplant coronary artery disease (TCAD) and acute rejection (AR) were compared in the PCR-positive (PCR+) (n=37) and PCR-negative (PCR−) (n=57) groups, using time dependent Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. From 11/2002 to 11/2004, intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG) was administered to patients with PCR+ EMBs. The outcomes of the IVIG-treated, PCR+ patients (n=20) were compared with IVIG-untreated, PCR+ patients (n=17).
Viral genomes were detected in EMBs from 37 (39%) patients; parvovirus B19, adenovirus, & EBV were the most common. The `PCR+ group' (n=37, 25% graft loss at 2.4 years) had decreased graft survival (p<0.001) compared to the `PCR- group' (n=57, 25% graft loss at 8.7 years) and developed advanced TCAD prematurely (p=0.001). The number of AR episodes was similar in both groups. On multivariate analysis, presence of viral genome was an independent risk factor for graft loss (relative risk 4.2, p=0.015). The time to advanced TCAD after becoming PCR+ was longer in the IVIG-treated patients (p=0.03), with a trend towards improved graft survival (p=0.06).
Viral endomyocardial infection is an independent predictor of graft loss in pediatric cardiac transplant recipients. This effect appears to be mediated through premature development of advanced TCAD. IVIG therapy in this subgroup may improve survival and merits further investigation.
Cardiac Transplantation; Virus; Outcome; Graft Vasculopathy; TCAD
Purpose. To provide an ovine model of ventricular remodeling and reverse remodeling by creating congestive heart failure (CHF) and then treating it by implanting a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
Methods. We induced volume-overload heart failure in 2 sheep; 20 weeks later, we implanted an LVAD and assessed recovery 11 weeks thereafter. We examined changes in histologic and hemodynamic data and levels of cellular markers of CHF.
Results. After CHF induction, we found increases in LV end-diastolic pressure, LV systolic and diastolic dimensions, wall thickness, left atrial diameter, and atrial natriuretic protein (ANP) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels; β-adrenergic receptor (BAR) and dystrophin expression decreased markedly. Biopsies confirmed LV remodeling. After LVAD support, LV systolic and diastolic dimensions, wall thickness, and mass, and ANP and ET-1 levels decreased. Histopathologic and hemodynamic markers improved, and BAR and dystrophin expression normalized.
Conclusions. We describe a successful sheep model for ventricular and reverse remodeling.
Detection of viral genome in rejecting cardiac transplant patients has been reported, with coxsackievirus and adenovirus causing premature graft failure. Recently, parvovirus B19 (PVB19) genome in myocardial samples has been increasingly reported but its role in cardiac pathology and effect on transplant graft survival are unknown. The objectives were to determine if changes in the viruses identified in the myocardium represent an epidemiologic shift in viral myocardial disease and whether PVB19 adversely affects transplant graft survival.
From 9/2002 to 12/2005, 99 children (3 weeks-18 years) with heart transplants had endomyocardial biopsies evaluated for the presence of viral genome utilizing nested PCR. Cellular rejection was assessed by histology of biopsies, while transplant coronary artery disease (TCAD) was diagnosed by coronary angiography or histopathology.
Seven hundred biopsies were evaluated from 99 patients; 121 biopsies had viral genome with 100 (82.6%) positive for PVB19, 24 for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV; 7 positive for PVB19 and EBV), 3 for CMV and 1 for adenovirus. Presence of PVB19 genome did not correlate with rejection score, nor did higher viral copy number. Children with persistent PVB19 infection (>6 months; n=20), had early development of advanced TCAD (p<0.001).
PVB19 is currently the predominant virus detected in heart transplant surveillance biopsies, possibly representing an epidemiologic shift. While cellular rejection does not correlate with the presence or quantity of PVB19 genome in the myocardium, children with chronic PVB19 infection have increased risk for earlier TCAD, supporting the hypothesis that PVB19 negatively affects graft survival.
In 1994, an International Task Force proposed criteria for the clinical diagnosis of ARVC/D which facilitated recognition and interpretation of the frequently non-specific clinical features of ARVC/D. This enabled confirmatory clinical diagnosis in index cases through exclusion of phenocopies, and provided a standard upon which clinical research and genetic studies could be based. Structural, histological, electrocardiographic, arrhythmic, and familial features of the disease were incorporated into the criteria, subdivided into major and minor according to the specificity of their association with ARVC/D. At that time, clinical experience with ARVC/D was dominated by symptomatic index cases and sudden cardiac death victims: the overt and/or severe end of the disease spectrum. Consequently, the 1994 criteria were highly specific but lacked sensitivity for early and familial disease.
Methods and Results
Revision of the diagnostic criteria provides guidance on the role of emerging diagnostic modalities and advances in the genetics of ARVC/D. The criteria have been modified to incorporate new knowledge and technology to improve diagnostic sensitivity, but with the important requisite of maintaining diagnostic specificity. The approach classifying structural, histological, electrocardiographic, arrhythmic, and genetic features of the disease as major and minor criteria has been maintained. In this modification of the Task Force Criteria, quantitative criteria are proposed and abnormalities are defined based on comparison with normal subject data.
The diagnosis of ARVC/D based on modification of the original Task Force criteria is a working framework to improve the diagnosis and management of this condition.
cardiomyopathy; diagnosis; echocardiography; electrocardiography; magnetic resonance imaging
In 1994, an International Task Force proposed criteria for the clinical diagnosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia (ARVC/D) that facilitated recognition and interpretation of the frequently nonspecific clinical features of ARVC/D. This enabled confirmatory clinical diagnosis in index cases through exclusion of phenocopies and provided a standard on which clinical research and genetic studies could be based. Structural, histological, electrocardiographic, arrhythmic, and familial features of the disease were incorporated into the criteria, subdivided into major and minor categories according to the specificity of their association with ARVC/D. At that time, clinical experience with ARVC/D was dominated by symptomatic index cases and sudden cardiac death victims–the overt or severe end of the disease spectrum. Consequently, the 1994 criteria were highly specific but lacked sensitivity for early and familial disease.
Methods and Results
Revision of the diagnostic criteria provides guidance on the role of emerging diagnostic modalities and advances in the genetics of ARVC/D. The criteria have been modified to incorporate new knowledge and technology to improve diagnostic sensitivity, but with the important requisite of maintaining diagnostic specificity. The approach of classifying structural, histological, electrocardiographic, arrhythmic, and genetic features of the disease as major and minor criteria has been maintained. In this modification of the Task Force criteria, quantitative criteria are proposed and abnormalities are defined on the basis of comparison with normal subject data.
The present modifications of the Task Force Criteria represent a working framework to improve the diagnosis and management of this condition.
Clinical Trial Registration
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00024505.
Arrhythmias, cardiac; Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia; Death, sudden, cardiac; Diagnosis; Echocardiography; Electrocardiography; Magnetic resonance imaging
To define the genetic basis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), characterized by right ventricular fibrofatty replacement and arrhythmias, causes sudden death. Autosomal dominant Inheritance, reduced penetrance, and 7 desmosome-encoding causative genes are known. The basis of low penetrance is poorly understood.
ARVC probands and family members were enrolled, blood obtained, lymphoblastoid cell lines immortalized, DNA extracted, PCR amplification of desmosome-encoding genes performed, PCR products sequenced and diseased tissue samples studied for intercellular junction protein distribution using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and antibodies against key proteins.
We identified 21 variants in plakophilin-2 (PKP2) in 38 of 198 probands (19%), including missense, nonsense, splice site, and deletion/insertion mutations. Pedigrees showed wide intra-familial variability (severe early-onset disease to asymptomatic individuals). In 9/38 probands, PKP2 variants were identified that were encoded in trans (compound heterozygosity). The 38 probands hosting PKP2 variants were screened for other desmosomal genes mutations; second variants (digenic heterozygosity) were identified in 16/38 subjects with PKP2 variants (42%) including desmoplakin (DSP, n=6), desmoglein-2 (DSG2, n=5), plakophilin-4 (PKP4, n=1), and desmocollin-2 (DSC2, n=1). Heterozygous mutations in non-PKP 2desmosomal genes occurred in 14/198 subjects (7%), including DSP (n=4), DSG2 (n=5), DSC2 (n=3), and junctional plakoglobin (JUP, n=2). All variants occurred in conserved regions; none were identified in 700 ethnic-matched controls.
Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated abnormalities of protein architecture.
These data suggest that the genetic basis of ARVC includes reduced penetrance with compound and digenic heterozygosity. Disturbed junctional cytoarchitecture in subjects with desmosomal mutations confirms that ARVC is a disease of the desmosome and cell junction.
Arrhythmias; Cardiomyopathies; Desmosomes; Intercalated Disks; Genetic Mutations
The transient outward current Ito is of critical importance in regulating myocardial electrical properties during the very early phase of the action potential. The auxiliary β subunit KCNE2 recently was shown to modulate Ito.
The purpose of this study was to examine the contributions of KCNE2 and its two published variants (M54T, I57T) to Ito.
The functional interaction between Kv4.3 (α subunit of human Ito) and wild-type (WT), M54T, and I57T KCNE2, expressed in a heterologous cell line, was studied using patch-clamp techniques.
Compared to expression of Kv4.3 alone, co-expression of WT KCNE2 significantly reduced peak current density, slowed the rate of inactivation, and caused a positive shift of voltage dependence of steady-state inactivation curve. These modifications rendered Kv4.3 channels more similar to native cardiac Ito. Both M54T and I57T variants significantly increased Ito current density and slowed the inactivation rate compared with WT KCNE2. Moreover, both variants accelerated the recovery from inactivation.
The study results suggest that KCNE2 plays a critical role in the normal function of the native Ito channel complex in human heart and that M54T and I57T variants lead to a gain of function of Ito, which may contribute to generating potential arrhythmogeneity and pathogenesis for inherited fatal rhythm disorders.
Cardiac arrhythmia; M54T variation; I57T variation; KCNE2; Kv4.3; Sudden cardiac death
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is a common heritable channelopathy. Mutations in the SCN5A-encoded sodium channel (BrS1) culminate in the most common genotype.
This study sought to perform a retrospective analysis of BrS databases from 9 centers that have each genotyped >100 unrelated cases of suspected BrS.
Mutational analysis of all 27 translated exons in SCN5A was performed. Mutation frequency, type, and localization were compared among cases and 1,300 ostensibly healthy volunteers including 649 white subjects and 651 nonwhite subjects (blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and others) that were genotyped previously.
A total of 2,111 unrelated patients (78% male, mean age 39 ± 15 years) were referred for BrS genetic testing. Rare mutations/variants were more common among BrS cases than control subjects (438/2,111, 21% vs. 11/649, 1.7% white subjects and 31/651, 4.8% nonwhite subjects, respectively, P <10−53). The yield of BrS1 genetic testing ranged from 11% to 28% (P = .0017). Overall, 293 distinct mutations were identified in SCN5A: 193 missense, 32 nonsense, 38 frameshift, 21 splice-site, and 9 in-frame deletions/insertions. The 4 most frequent BrS1-associated mutations were E1784K (14×), F861WfsX90 (11×), D356N (8×), and G1408R (7×). Most mutations localized to the transmembrane-spanning regions.
This international consortium of BrS genetic testing centers has added 200 new BrS1-associated mutations to the public domain. Overall, 21% of BrS probands have mutations in SCN5A compared to the 2% to 5% background rate of rare variants reported in healthy control subjects. Additional studies drawing on the data presented here may help further distinguish pathogenic mutations from similarly rare but otherwise innocuous ones found in cases.
Brugada syndrome; Genetic testing; Ion channels; Sodium channel; Sudden death
To investigate the effect of location, coding type, and topology of KCNH2(hERG) mutations on clinical phenotype in Type-2 long-QT syndrome.
Previous studies were limited by population size in their ability to examine phenotypic effect of location, type and topology.
Study subjects included 858 Type-2 long-QT syndrome patients with 162 different KCNH2 mutations in 213 proband-identified families. The Cox proportional-hazards survivorship model was used to evaluate independent contribution of clinical and genetic factors to the first cardiac events.
For patients with missense mutations, the transmembrane pore (S5-loop-S6) and N-terminus regions were a significantly greater risk than the C-terminus region (HR=2.87 and 1.86, respectively), but the transmembrane non-pore (S1-S4) region was not (HR=1.19). Additionally, the transmembrane pore region was significantly riskier than the N-terminus or transmembrane non-pore regions (HR=1.54, 2.42). However, for non-missense mutations, these other regions were no longer riskier than the C-terminus (HR=1.13, 0.77 and 0.46, respectively). Likewise, subjects with non-missense mutations were at significantly higher risk than those with missense mutations in the C-terminus region (HR=2.00), but this was not the case in other regions. This mutation location-type interaction was significant (p-value=0.008). A significantly higher risk was found in subjects with mutations located in α-helical domains than in those with mutations in β-sheet domains or other locations (HR=1.74 and 1.33, respectively). Time-dependent β-blocker use was associated with a significant 63% reduction in the risk of first cardiac events (p<0.001).
KCNH2 missense mutations located in the transmembrane S5-loop-S6 region are associated with the greatest risk.
arrhythmia; electrocardiography; long-QT syndrome; genetics; syncope
Germline ablation of the cytoskeletal protein nonmuscle myosin II-B (NMII-B) results in embryonic lethality with defects in both the brain and heart. Tissue specific ablation of NMII-B by a Cre-recombinase strategy should avoid embryonic lethality and permit study of the function of NMII-B in adult hearts.
To understand the function of NMII-B in adult mouse hearts and to see if the brain defects found in germline ablated mice influence cardiac development.
Methods and Results
We used a loxP/Cre-recombinase strategy to specifically ablate NMII-B in the brains or hearts of mice. Mice ablated for NMII-B in neural tissues, die between postnatal day 12 and 22 without showing cardiac defects. Mice deficient in NMII-B only in cardiac myocytes (BαMHC/BαMHC mice) do not show brain defects. However BαMHC/BαMHC mice display novel cardiac defects not seen in NMII-B germline ablated mice. Most of the BαMHC/BαMHC mice are born with enlarged cardiac myocytes some of which are multinucleated, reflecting a defect in cytokinesis. Between 6–10 months they develop a cardiomyopathy which includes interstitial fibrosis and infiltration of the myocardium and pericardium with inflammatory cells. Four of five BαMHC/BαMHC hearts develop marked widening of intercalated discs.
By avoiding the embryonic lethality found in germline-ablated mice we were able to study the function of NMII-B in adult mice and show that absence of NMII-B in cardiac myocytes results in cardiomyopathy in the adult heart. We also define a role for NMII-B in maintaining the integrity of intercalated discs.
Nonmuscle myosin II-B; Cardiomyopathy; Intercalated discs
Four variants (K60N, Q128R, G202R and A592E) in the nebulette gene (NEBL) were identified in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE). We sought to determine if these mutations cause cardiomyopathy.
Nebulette aligns thin filaments and connects them with the myocardial Z-disk.
We produced transgenic mice with cardiac-restricted over-expression of human wild-type (WT) or mutant nebulette. Chimera and transgenic mice were examined at 4, 6 and 12 months of age by echocardiography and cardiac MRI. The hearts from embryos and adult mice were assessed by histopathologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural and protein analyses. Rat H9C2 cardiomyoblasts with transient expression of nebulette underwent cyclic mechanical strain.
We identified lethal cardiac structural abnormalities in mutant embryonic hearts (K60N and Q128R). Founders of the mutant mice lines developed DCM with severe heart failure. An irregular localization pattern for nebulette and impaired desmin expression was noted in the proband and chimera Q128R mice. Mutant G202R and A592E mice exhibited left ventricular dilation and impaired cardiac function accompanied with the specific changes in I-band or Z-disk proteins by 6 months of age, respectively. The mutations modulated distribution of nebulette in the sarcomere and the Z-disks during stretch of H9C2 cells.
NEBL is a new susceptibility gene for EFE and DCM. Different mutations in nebulette trigger specific mechanisms converging to a common pathological cascade leading to EFE and DCM.
nebulette; dilated cardiomyopathy; endocardial fibroelastosis; Z-disk
Mutations of SCN5A, gene encoding α-subunit of cardiac sodium channel, can cause mixed phenotypes of Brugada syndrome (BrS) and cardiac conduction diseases (CCD). We have identified a nucleotide change of SCN5A (4178T>G) which results in a nonsense mutation, L1393X, in a 36 year-old Caucasian man who presented with intraventricular conduction delays and BrS type ECG change. To study biophysical characteristics of L1393X-SCN5A, electrophysiological and immunostaining studies were performed using mammalian expression systems. While WT-SCN5A showed significant currents (93.3 ± 10.6 pA/pF; 1 μg plasmid), L1393X (5 μg) did not generate any significant currents in NIH-3T3 cells. The cells co-transfected with WT (0.5 μg) and L1393X (0.5 μg) showed approximately 50% current amplitudes compared the WT (1 μg). Voltage-dependency of steady-state activation and inactivation was not affected by the co-transfection of L1393X. Immunohistochemical stainings demonstrated that L1393X proteins were expressed in the plasma membranes. Our study demonstrated that L1393X-SCN5A does not form functional channel proteins, which might account for the patient’s mixed phenotypes of BrS and CCD.
Electrophysiology - Clinical; Electrophysiology - Basic