Objective: To clarify the prevalence, long-term natural history, and severity determinants of SEPN1-related myopathy (SEPN1-RM), we analyzed a large international case series.
Methods: Retrospective clinical, histologic, and genetic analysis of 132 pediatric and adult patients (2-58 years) followed up for several decades.
Results: The clinical phenotype was marked by severe axial muscle weakness, spinal rigidity, and scoliosis (86.1%, from 8.9 ± 4 years), with relatively preserved limb strength and previously unreported ophthalmoparesis in severe cases. All patients developed respiratory failure (from 10.1±6 years), 81.7% requiring ventilation while ambulant. Histopathologically, 79 muscle biopsies showed large variability, partly determined by site of biopsy and age. Multi-minicores were the most common lesion (59.5%), often associated with mild dystrophic features and occasionally with eosinophilic inclusions. Identification of 65 SEPN1 mutations, including 32 novel ones and the first pathogenic copy number variation, unveiled exon 1 as the main mutational hotspot and revealed the first genotype-phenotype correlations, bi-allelic null mutations being significantly associated with disease severity (p = 0.017). SEPN1-RM was more severe and progressive than previously thought, leading to loss of ambulation in 10% of cases, systematic functional decline from the end of the third decade, and reduced lifespan even in mild cases. The main prognosis determinants were scoliosis/respiratory management, SEPN1 mutations, and body mass abnormalities, which correlated with disease severity. We propose a set of severity criteria, provide quantitative data for outcome identification, and establish a need for age stratification.
Conclusion: Our results inform clinical practice, improving diagnosis and management, and represent a major breakthrough for clinical trial readiness in this not so rare disease.
© 2020 American Academy of Neurology.