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      The Role of Genetic Testing in the Identification of Young Athletes with Inherited Primitive Cardiac Disorders at Risk of Exercise Sudden Death

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          Abstract

          Although relatively rare, inherited primitive cardiac disorders (IPCDs) in athletes have a deep social impact since they often present as sudden cardiac death (SCD) of young and otherwise healthy persons. The diagnosis of these conditions is likely underestimated due to the lack of shared clinical criteria and to the existence of several borderline clinical pictures. We will focus on the clinical and molecular diagnosis of the most common IPCDs, namely hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, long QT syndrome, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, and left ventricular non-compaction. Collectively, these conditions account for the majority of SCD episodes and/or cardiologic clinical problems in athletes. In addition to the clinical and instrumental tools for the diagnosis of IPCD, the viral technological advances in genetic testing have facilitated the molecular confirmation of these conditions. However, genetic testing presents several issues: the limited sensitivity (globally, around 50%), the low prognostic predictive value, the probability to find pathogenic variants in different genes in the same patient, and the risk of non-interpretable results. In this review, we will analyze the pros and cons of the different clinical approaches for the presymptomatic identification, the diagnosis and management of IPCD athletes, and we will discuss the indications to the genetic testing for patients and their relatives, particularly focusing on the most complex scenarios, such as presymptomatic tests, uncertain results, and unexpected findings.

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          Most cited references 57

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          Standards and Guidelines for the Interpretation of Sequence Variants: A Joint Consensus Recommendation of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Association for Molecular Pathology

          The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) previously developed guidance for the interpretation of sequence variants. 1 In the past decade, sequencing technology has evolved rapidly with the advent of high-throughput next generation sequencing. By adopting and leveraging next generation sequencing, clinical laboratories are now performing an ever increasing catalogue of genetic testing spanning genotyping, single genes, gene panels, exomes, genomes, transcriptomes and epigenetic assays for genetic disorders. By virtue of increased complexity, this paradigm shift in genetic testing has been accompanied by new challenges in sequence interpretation. In this context, the ACMG convened a workgroup in 2013 comprised of representatives from the ACMG, the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to revisit and revise the standards and guidelines for the interpretation of sequence variants. The group consisted of clinical laboratory directors and clinicians. This report represents expert opinion of the workgroup with input from ACMG, AMP and CAP stakeholders. These recommendations primarily apply to the breadth of genetic tests used in clinical laboratories including genotyping, single genes, panels, exomes and genomes. This report recommends the use of specific standard terminology: ‘pathogenic’, ‘likely pathogenic’, ‘uncertain significance’, ‘likely benign’, and ‘benign’ to describe variants identified in Mendelian disorders. Moreover, this recommendation describes a process for classification of variants into these five categories based on criteria using typical types of variant evidence (e.g. population data, computational data, functional data, segregation data, etc.). Because of the increased complexity of analysis and interpretation of clinical genetic testing described in this report, the ACMG strongly recommends that clinical molecular genetic testing should be performed in a CLIA-approved laboratory with results interpreted by a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist or molecular genetic pathologist or equivalent.
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            2014 ESC Guidelines on diagnosis and management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: the Task Force for the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

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              Truncations of titin causing dilated cardiomyopathy.

              Dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy arise from mutations in many genes. TTN, the gene encoding the sarcomere protein titin, has been insufficiently analyzed for cardiomyopathy mutations because of its enormous size. We analyzed TTN in 312 subjects with dilated cardiomyopathy, 231 subjects with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and 249 controls by using next-generation or dideoxy sequencing. We evaluated deleterious variants for cosegregation in families and assessed clinical characteristics. We identified 72 unique mutations (25 nonsense, 23 frameshift, 23 splicing, and 1 large tandem insertion) that altered full-length titin. Among subjects studied by means of next-generation sequencing, the frequency of TTN mutations was significantly higher among subjects with dilated cardiomyopathy (54 of 203 [27%]) than among subjects with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (3 of 231 [1%], P=3×10(-16)) or controls (7 of 249 [3%], P=9×10(-14)). TTN mutations cosegregated with dilated cardiomyopathy in families (combined lod score, 11.1) with high (>95%) observed penetrance after the age of 40 years. Mutations associated with dilated cardiomyopathy were overrepresented in the titin A-band but were absent from the Z-disk and M-band regions of titin (P≤0.01 for all comparisons). Overall, the rates of cardiac outcomes were similar in subjects with and those without TTN mutations, but adverse events occurred earlier in male mutation carriers than in female carriers (P=4×10(-5)). TTN truncating mutations are a common cause of dilated cardiomyopathy, occurring in approximately 25% of familial cases of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and in 18% of sporadic cases. Incorporation of sequencing approaches that detect TTN truncations into genetic testing for dilated cardiomyopathy should substantially increase test sensitivity, thereby allowing earlier diagnosis and therapeutic intervention for many patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Defining the functional effects of TTN truncating mutations should improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy. (Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and others.).
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                URI : http://frontiersin.org/people/u/350986
                Journal
                Front Cardiovasc Med
                Front Cardiovasc Med
                Front. Cardiovasc. Med.
                Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                2297-055X
                26 August 2016
                2016
                : 3
                10.3389/fcvm.2016.00028
                5000131
                Copyright © 2016 Tiziano, Palmieri, Genuardi and Zeppilli.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 57, Pages: 7, Words: 6330
                Categories
                Cardiovascular Medicine
                Review

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