Background: Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is defined by a dilated and impaired left ventricle due to chronic excess alcohol consumption. It is largely unknown which factors determine cardiac toxicity on exposure to alcohol.
Objectives: This study sought to evaluate the role of variation in cardiomyopathy-associated genes in the pathophysiology of ACM, and to examine the effects of alcohol intake and genotype on dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) severity.
Methods: The authors characterized 141 ACM cases, 716 DCM cases, and 445 healthy volunteers. The authors compared the prevalence of rare, protein-altering variants in 9 genes associated with inherited DCM. They evaluated the effect of genotype and alcohol consumption on phenotype in DCM.
Results: Variants in well-characterized DCM-causing genes were more prevalent in patients with ACM than control subjects (13.5% vs. 2.9%; p = 1.2 ×10-5), but similar between patients with ACM and DCM (19.4%; p = 0.12) and with a predominant burden of titin truncating variants (TTNtv) (9.9%). Separately, we identified an interaction between TTN genotype and excess alcohol consumption in a cohort of DCM patients not meeting ACM criteria. On multivariate analysis, DCM patients with a TTNtv who consumed excess alcohol had an 8.7% absolute reduction in ejection fraction (95% confidence interval: -2.3% to -15.1%; p < 0.007) compared with those without TTNtv and excess alcohol consumption. The presence of TTNtv did not predict phenotype, outcome, or functional recovery on treatment in ACM patients.
Conclusions: TTNtv represent a prevalent genetic predisposition for ACM, and are also associated with a worse left ventricular ejection fraction in DCM patients who consume alcohol above recommended levels. Familial evaluation and genetic testing should be considered in patients presenting with ACM.
Keywords: alcohol; dilated cardiomyopathy; genetics; titin; variant.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.