Evolution of genetic testing and gene therapy in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2023 May 1;S0033-0620(23)00039-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2023.04.009. Online ahead of print.


Studies over the last 30 years have identified hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) as predominantly an autosomal dominant disorder caused by disease-causing variants in genes encoding the sarcomere proteins critical for contractile function. The two most common disease genes implicated are the MYBPC3 and MYH7 genes, with disease-causing variants in these two genes accounting for 70-80% of all genotype-positive HCM patients. This increased knowledge of the genetic basis of HCM has heralded the era of precision medicine, with genetic testing leading to more improved and precise diagnosis, effective cascade genetic testing in at-risk family members, assistance with reproductive decisions, targeted therapeutics guided by both phenotype and genotype, and providing important insights into risk stratification and prognosis. Most recently, novel insights into genetic mechanisms have been elucidated, spanning non-Mendelian aetiologies, non-familial forms of HCM, and development of polygenic risk scores. These advances have laid the platform for exciting future endeavours such as newer gene therapy approaches in HCM, including gene replacement studies and genome editing approaches to ultimately cure disease. This brief review summarises the current role of genetic testing in HCM patients and families, and introduces some new mechanistic insights leading to the consideration of gene therapy approaches for HCM.

Keywords: Gene therapy; Genetics; Genome editing; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Sarcomere; Variants.

Publication types

  • Review