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Volume 11, June

Cardiogenetics, Volume 11, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 3 articles

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Case Report
Reassessment of Gene-Elusive Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy Leading to the Discovery of a Homozygous AARS2 Variant—The Importance of Regular Reassessment of Genetic Findings
Cardiogenetics 2021, 11(3), 122-128; https://doi.org/10.3390/cardiogenetics11030013 - 23 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Background: AARS2 encodes the mitochondrial protein alanyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (MT-AlaRS), an important enzyme in oxidative phosphorylation. Variants in AARS2 have previously been associated with infantile cardiomyopathy. Case summary: A 4-year-old girl died of infantile-onset dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in 1996. Fifteen years later, her [...] Read more.
Background: AARS2 encodes the mitochondrial protein alanyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (MT-AlaRS), an important enzyme in oxidative phosphorylation. Variants in AARS2 have previously been associated with infantile cardiomyopathy. Case summary: A 4-year-old girl died of infantile-onset dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in 1996. Fifteen years later, her 21-year-old brother was diagnosed with DCM and ultimately underwent heart transplantation. Initial sequencing of 15 genes discovered no pathogenic variants in the brother at the time of his diagnosis. However, 9 years later re-screening in an updated screening panel of 129 genes identified a homozygous AARS2 (c.1774C > T) variant. Sanger sequencing of the deceased girl confirmed her to be homozygous for the AARS2 variant, while both parents and a third sibling were all found to be unaffected heterozygous carriers of the AARS2 variant. Discussion: This report underlines the importance of repeated and extended genetic screening of elusive families with suspected hereditary cardiomyopathies, as our knowledge of disease-causing mutations continuously grows. Although identification of the genetic etiology in the reported family would not have changed the clinical management, the genetic finding allows genetic counselling and holds substantial value in identifying at-risk relatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diagnostics in Inherited Cardiomyopathies)
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Review
Cardiac Amyloidosis: Diagnostic Tools for a Challenging Disease
Cardiogenetics 2021, 11(3), 111-121; https://doi.org/10.3390/cardiogenetics11030012 - 23 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which amyloid fibrils build up in tissues, leading to organ dysfunction. Cardiac involvement is observed in immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis (AL) and transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) and, when it occurs, the prognosis worsens. Cardiac tissue infiltration can [...] Read more.
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which amyloid fibrils build up in tissues, leading to organ dysfunction. Cardiac involvement is observed in immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis (AL) and transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) and, when it occurs, the prognosis worsens. Cardiac tissue infiltration can lead to restrictive cardiomyopathy with clinical signs of diastolic heart failure, without reduction of ejection fraction (HFpEF). The aim of multiple and less invasive diagnostic tests is to discern peculiar characteristics and reach the diagnosis without performing an invasive endomyocardial biopsy. These diagnostic tools allow early diagnosis, and they are crucial to best benefit from target therapy. In this review article, we describe the mechanism behind amyloid fibril formation, infiltration of tissues, and consequent clinical signs, focusing on the diagnostic tools and the red flags to obtain a diagnosis. Full article
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Article
Biventricular Strain Imaging with Cardiac MRI in Genotyped and Histology Validated Amyloid Cardiomyopathy
Cardiogenetics 2021, 11(3), 98-110; https://doi.org/10.3390/cardiogenetics11030011 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is a common and potentially fatal infiltrative cardiomyopathy. Contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI (CMR) is used as a diagnostic tool. However, utility of CMR for the comprehensive analysis of biventricular strains and strain rates is not reported as extensively as echocardiography. In [...] Read more.
Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is a common and potentially fatal infiltrative cardiomyopathy. Contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI (CMR) is used as a diagnostic tool. However, utility of CMR for the comprehensive analysis of biventricular strains and strain rates is not reported as extensively as echocardiography. In addition, RV strain analysis using CMR has not been described previously. Objectives: We sought to study the global and regional indices of biventricular strain and strain rates in endomyocardial biopsy (EMB)-proven, genotyped cases of CA. Methods: A database of 80 EMBs was curated from 2012 to 2019 based on histology. A total of 19 EMBs positive for CA were subjected to further tissue-characterization with histology, and compared with four normal biopsy specimens. Samples were genotyped for ATTR- or AL-subtypes. Five patients, with both echocardiography and contrast-enhanced CMR performed 72-h apart, were subjected to comprehensive analysis of biventricular strain and strain-rates. Results: Histology confirmed that the selected samples were indeed positive for cardiac amyloid. Echocardiography showed reduced global and regional left-ventricular (LV) longitudinal strain indices. CMR with tissue-characterization of LV showed global reductions in circumferential, radial and longitudinal strains and strain-rates, following a general trend with the echocardiographic findings. The basal right-ventricular (RV) segments had reduced circumferential strains with no changes in longitudinal strain. Conclusions: In addition to providing a clinical diagnosis of CA based on contrast clearance-dynamics, CMR can be a potent tool for accurate functional assessment of global and regional changes in strain and strain-rates involving both LV and RV. Further studies are warranted to validate and curate the strain imaging capacity of CMR in CA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Genetics in Clinical Practice)
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