Identification of sarcomeric variants in probands with a clinical diagnosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2018 Jul;29(7):1004-1009. doi: 10.1111/jce.13621. Epub 2018 May 21.


Aims: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited cardiomyopathy characterized by ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Currently 60% of patients meeting Task Force Criteria (TFC) have an identifiable mutation in one of the desmosomal genes. As much overlap is described between other cardiomyopathies and ARVC, we examined the prevalence of rare, possibly pathogenic sarcomere variants in the ARVC population.

Methods: One hundred and thirty-seven (137) individuals meeting 2010 TFC for a diagnosis of ARVC, negative for pathogenic desmosomal variants, TMEM43, SCN5A, and PLN were screened for variants in the sarcomere genes (ACTC1, MYBPC3, MYH7, MYL2, MYL3, TNNC1, TNNI3, TNNT2, and TPM1) through either clinical or research genetic testing.

Results: Six probands (6/137, 4%) were found to carry rare variants in the sarcomere genes. These variants have low prevalence in controls, are predicted damaging by Polyphen-2, and some of the variants are known pathogenic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutations. Sarcomere variant carriers had a phenotype that did not differ significantly from desmosomal mutation carriers. As most of these probands were the only affected individuals in their families, however, segregation data are noninformative.

Conclusion: These data show variants in the sarcomere can be identified in individuals with an ARVC phenotype. Although rare and predicted damaging, proven functional and segregational evidence that these variants can cause ARVC is lacking. Therefore, caution is warranted in interpreting these variants when identified on large next-generation sequencing panels for cardiomyopathies.

Keywords: ARVC; cardiomyopathy; genetics; sarcomere; whole-exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Registries
  • Sarcomeres / genetics*
  • Sarcomeres / pathology