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Prevalence and severity of "benign" mutations in the beta-myosin heavy chain, cardiac troponin T, and alpha-tropomyosin genes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Sara L Van Driest, Michael J Ackerman, Steve R Ommen, Rameen Shakur, Melissa L Will, Rick A Nishimura, A Jamil Tajik, Bernard J Gersh
Circulation 2002 December 10, 106 (24): 3085-90
12473556

BACKGROUND: Genotype-phenotype correlative studies have implicated 8 particular mutations that cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) as "benign defects," associated with near-normal survival: N232S, G256E, F513C, V606M, R719Q, and L908V of beta-myosin heavy chain (MYH7); S179F of troponin T (TNNT2); and D175N of alpha-tropomyosin (TPM1). Routine genetic screening of HCM patients for specific mutations is anticipated to provide important diagnostic and prognostic information. The frequency and associated phenotype of these mutations in a large, unselected cohort of HCM is unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 293 unrelated HCM patients were genotyped for the presence of a benign mutation. DNA was obtained after informed consent; specific MHY7, TNNT2, and TPM1 fragments were amplified by polymerase chain reaction; and the mutations were detected by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and automated DNA sequencing. Only 5 (1.7%) of the 293 patients possessed a benign mutation. Moreover, all 5 subjects with an ascribed benign mutation had already manifested clinically severe expression of HCM, with all 5 requiring surgical myectomy, 3 of the 5 having a family history of sudden cardiac death, and 1 adolescent requiring an orthotopic heart transplant.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate the rarity of specific mutations in HCM and challenge the notion of mutation-specific clinical outcomes. Fewer than 2% of the subjects harbored a benign mutation, and those patients with a benign mutation experienced a very serious clinical course.

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