< Back to previous page


Diagnostic yield of genetic testing in heart transplant recipients with prior cardiomyopathy

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: The importance of genetic testing for cardiomyopathies has increased in the last decade. However, in heart transplant patients with former cardiomyopathy, genetic testing in retrospect is not routinely performed. We hypothesize that the yield of genetic testing in this population is considerable, and will have a major impact for both patients and relatives. METHODS: Patients that underwent heart transplantation (HTx) between 1995 and 2020 and were still in follow-up, were offered genetic testing if the primary etiology was non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. Next generation sequencing (NGS) of known cardiomyopathy genes was performed and variants were classified as variant of unknown significance (class 3), likely pathogenic (class 4) or pathogenic (class 5) variant. RESULTS: Of the 99 HTx patients in active follow-up, only 6 patients had a genetic diagnosis at the time of HTx. In this study, 31 selected patients with prior non-ischemic cardiomyopathy underwent genetic testing post HTx. 23/31 patients (74.2%) carried a variant that was classified as class 3 or higher. In 12/31 patients a class 4/5 variant (38.7%) was identified, and in 11/31 patients (35.5%) a class 3 variant. Class 5 Variants in TTN were the most prevalent (7/31), followed by class 5 variants in MYBPC3 (2/31). A positive family history was present in 21/31 (67.7%) and a second precipitating factor (e.g., alcohol abuse, pregnancy) was present in 17/31 patients (54.8%). Diagnostic yield of genetic testing was similar between patients with or without familial history and/or second hit. Through cascade screening 48 family members were screened for presence of a class 4/5 variant, of whom 19 (39.6%) were genotype positive, of whom 10 (52.6%) showed a cardiac phenotype. Appropriate follow-up was offered. CONCLUSIONS: Genetic testing for cardiomyopathy genes established a molecular diagnosis in 38.7% of patients post HTx. These results highlight the importance of genetic testing in this population as it is still often overlooked in patients that already underwent HTx in the past. Genetic testing is highly recommended, independent of family history or second precipitating factors, as it might identify relatives at risk. (C) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
Journal: Journal of heart and lung transplantation
ISSN: 1053-2498
Volume: 41
Pages: 1218 - 1227
Publication year:2022
Keywords:A1 Journal article