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      Cardiac Involvement in Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy


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          Cardiac involvement (CI) in form of myocardial thickening in a patient with genetically confirmed facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHMD) has not been reported. The patient is a 50-year-old male with a tandem repeat size of 17 and 14 kb in the D4Z4 locus on chromosome 4q35. The clinical cardiologic investigation was normal. Blood pressure was 150/90 mm Hg. Funduscopy, 24-hour ambulatory ECG, and 24-hour blood pressure monitoring were normal. ECG showed incomplete right bundle branch block, ST elevation in V2–V4, tall T waves in V3–V5, and hypertrophy signs. Echocardiography revealed left ventricular myocardial thickening of the posterior wall (11.7 mm) and the septum (15.5 mm). In conclusion, CI in genetically confirmed FSHMD may manifest not only as ECG abnormalities but also as left ventricular myocardial thickening.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Cardiac Involvement in Primary Myopathies

          Simultaneous or temporarily staggered affection of both the skeletal as well as the cardiac muscle (cardiac involvement, CI) is a frequent finding in primary myopathies (MPs). CI leads to impulse generation defects, impulse conduction defects, thickened myocardium, left ventriculalr hypertrabeculation, dilatation of the cardiac cavities, secondary valve insufficiency, reduction of coronary vasodilative reserve, intracardial thrombus formation, and heart failure with systolic and diastolic dysfunction. CI has been found in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (MD), Becker MD, Emery-Dreifuss MD, facioscapulohumeral MD, sarcoglycanopathies, myotubular congenital MD, myotonic dystrophies type 1 and 2, proximal myotonic myopathy, myoadenylate deaminase deficiency, glycogenosis type II, III, IV, VII and IX, carnitine deficiency, mitochondriopathy, desmin MP, nemaline MP, central core disease, multicore MP, congenital fiber-type disproportion MP, Barth syndrome, McLeod syndrome and Bethlem MP. Patients with any of the above-mentioned myopathies should be cardiologically investigated as soon as their diagnosis is established, since sufficient cardiac therapy improves CI in MPs and since management of these patients is influenced by the degree of CI.
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            Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy: evidence for selective, genetic electrophysiologic cardiac involvement.

            Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy is an autosomal dominant disorder with an incidence of 3 to 10 cases per million. The only type of cardiac involvement ascribed to this neuromuscular disorder is a unique form of heart disease--permanent atrial paralysis. However, reported cases of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy probably represented instead what is now recognized as phenotypically similar Emery-Dreifuss dystrophy. Cardiac involvement, therefore, has not been convincingly reported in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, but because of the clinical similarity of that disorder to Emery-Dreifuss dystrophy and its genetic variants, a prospective investigation of the electrophysiologic properties of the atria and atrioventricular (AV) node and infranodal conduction was undertaken in 30 rigorously documented cases of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. All patients had a 12 lead surface electrocardiogram (ECG), 22 had a 24 h ambulatory ECG, 15 patients had two-dimensional echocardiographic/Doppler studies and 10 patients underwent 12 intracardiac electrophysiologic investigations. Left atrial, right atrial or biatrial P wave abnormalities were present in 60% of the surface ECGs. Evidence of abnormal AV node or infranodal conduction was present on intracardiac electrophysiologic study or surface ECG in 27% of patients. Atrial flutter or fibrillation was induced by single atrial extra stimuli in 10 of the 12 intracardiac electrophysiologic studies. Sinus node function was abnormal in three patients. This investigation provides the first secure evidence of cardiac involvement in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. The involvement is represented by relatively high susceptibility to induced atrial flutter or fibrillation during electrophysiologic study, together with less frequent evidence of abnormal sinus node function and abnormal AV node or infranodal conduction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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              Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                February 2005
                07 February 2005
                : 103
                : 2
                : 81-83
                aNeurological Department, and b2nd Medical Department, Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria; cInstitute of Human Genetics, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
                82113 Cardiology 2005;103:81–83
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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