Genotype-phenotype correlations in valosin-containing protein disease: a retrospective muticentre study

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 27;jnnp-2022-328921. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2022-328921. Online ahead of print.


Background: Valosin-containing protein (VCP) disease, caused by mutations in the VCP gene, results in myopathy, Paget's disease of bone (PBD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Natural history and genotype-phenotype correlation data are limited. This study characterises patients with mutations in VCP gene and investigates genotype-phenotype correlations.

Methods: Descriptive retrospective international study collecting clinical and genetic data of patients with mutations in the VCP gene.

Results: Two hundred and fifty-five patients (70.0% males) were included in the study. Mean age was 56.8±9.6 years and mean age of onset 45.6±9.3 years. Mean diagnostic delay was 7.7±6 years. Symmetric lower limb weakness was reported in 50% at onset progressing to generalised muscle weakness. Other common symptoms were ventilatory insufficiency 40.3%, PDB 28.2%, dysautonomia 21.4% and FTD 14.3%. Fifty-seven genetic variants were identified, 18 of these no previously reported. c.464G>A (p.Arg155His) was the most frequent variant, identified in the 28%. Full time wheelchair users accounted for 19.1% with a median time from disease onset to been wheelchair user of 8.5 years. Variant c.463C>T (p.Arg155Cys) showed an earlier onset (37.8±7.6 year) and a higher frequency of axial and upper limb weakness, scapular winging and cognitive impairment. Forced vital capacity (FVC) below 50% was as risk factor for being full-time wheelchair user, while FVC <70% and being a full-time wheelchair user were associated with death.

Conclusion: This study expands the knowledge on the phenotypic presentation, natural history, genotype-phenotype correlations and risk factors for disease progression of VCP disease and is useful to improve the care provided to patient with this complex disease.