Mutation detection rate and spectrum in familial hypercholesterolaemia patients in the UK pilot cascade project

Clin Genet. 2010 Jun;77(6):572-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2009.01356.x. Epub 2010 Mar 13.


Cascade testing using DNA-mutation information is now recommended in the UK for patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). We compared the detection rate and mutation spectrum in FH patients with a clinical diagnosis of definite (DFH) and possible (PFH) FH. Six hundred and thirty-five probands from six UK centres were tested for 18 low-density lipoprotein receptor gene (LDLR) mutations, APOB p.Arg3527Gln and PCSK9 p.Asp374Tyr using a commercial amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) kit. Samples with no mutation detected were screened in all exons by single strand conformation polymorphism analysis (SSCP)/denaturing high performance liquid chromatography electrophoresis (dHPLC)/direct-sequencing, followed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) to detect deletions and duplications in LDLR.The detection rate was significantly higher in the 190 DFH patients compared to the 394 PFH patients (56.3% and 28.4%, p > 0.00001). Fifty-one patients had inadequate information to determine PFH/DFH status, and in this group the detection rate was similar to the PFH group (25.5%, p = 0.63 vs PFH). Overall, 232 patients had detected mutations (107 different; 6.9% not previously reported). The ARMS kit detected 100 (44%) and the MLPA kit 11 (4.7%). Twenty-eight (12%) of the patients had the APOB p.Arg3527Gln and four (1.7%) had the PCSK9 p.Asp374Tyr mutation. Of the 296 relatives tested from 100 families, a mutation was identified in 56.1%. In 31 patients of Indian/Asian origin 10 mutations (two previously unreported) were identified. The utility of the ARMS kit was confirmed, but sequencing is still required in a comprehensive diagnostic service for FH. Even in subjects with a low clinical suspicion of FH, and in those of Indian origin, mutation testing has an acceptable detection rate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoproteins B / genetics
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnosis
  • Hypercholesterolemia / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics
  • United Kingdom


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Receptors, LDL