Publications by authors named "Annika Winbo"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Functional hyperactivity in long QT syndrome type 1 pluripotent stem cell-derived sympathetic neurons.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2021 07 18;321(1):H217-H227. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Physiology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sympathetic activation is an established trigger of life-threatening cardiac events in long QT syndrome type 1 (LQT1). loss-of-function variants, which underlie LQT1, have been associated with both cardiac arrhythmia and neuronal hyperactivity pathologies. However, the LQT1 sympathetic neuronal phenotype is unknown. Here, we aimed to study human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived sympathetic neurons (SNs) to evaluate neuronal functional phenotype in LQT1. We generated hiPSC-SNs from two patients with LQT1 with a history of sympathetically triggered arrhythmia and loss-of-function genotypes (c.781_782delinsTC and p.S349W/p.R518X). Characterization of hiPSC-SNs was performed using immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology, and functional LQT1 hiPSC-SN phenotypes compared with healthy control (WT) hiPSC-SNs. hiPSC-SNs stained positive for tyrosine hydroxylase, peripherin, KCNQ1, and secreted norepinephrine. hiPSC-SNs at 60 ± 2.2 days in vitro had healthy resting membrane potentials (-60 ± 1.3 mV), and fired rapid action potentials with mature kinetics in response to stimulation. Significant hyperactivity in LQT1 hiPSC-SNs was evident via increased norepinephrine release, increased spontaneous action potential frequency, increased total inward current density, and reduced afterhyperpolarization, compared with age-matched WT hiPSC-SNs. A significantly higher action potential frequency upon current injection and larger synaptic current amplitudes in compound heterozygous p.S349W/p.R518X hiPSC-SNs compared with heterozygous c.781_782delinsTC hiPSC-SNs was also observed, suggesting a potential genotype-phenotype correlation. Together, our data reveal increased neurotransmission and excitability in heterozygous and compound heterozygous patient-derived LQT1 sympathetic neurons, suggesting that the cellular arrhythmogenic potential in LQT1 is not restricted to cardiomyocytes. Here, we present the first study of patient-derived LQT1 sympathetic neurons that are norepinephrine secreting, and electrophysiologically functional, in vitro. Our data reveal a novel LQT1 sympathetic neuronal phenotype of increased neurotransmission and excitability. The identified sympathetic neuronal hyperactivity phenotype is of particular relevance as it could contribute to the mechanisms underlying sympathetically triggered arrhythmia in LQT1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.01002.2020DOI Listing
July 2021

Enhancing rare variant interpretation in inherited arrhythmias through quantitative analysis of consortium disease cohorts and population controls.

Genet Med 2021 01 7;23(1):47-58. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Member of the European Reference Network for rare, low prevalence and/or complex diseases of the heart: ERN GUARD-Heart, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Purpose: Stringent variant interpretation guidelines can lead to high rates of variants of uncertain significance (VUS) for genetically heterogeneous disease like long QT syndrome (LQTS) and Brugada syndrome (BrS). Quantitative and disease-specific customization of American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics/Association for Molecular Pathology (ACMG/AMP) guidelines can address this false negative rate.

Methods: We compared rare variant frequencies from 1847 LQTS (KCNQ1/KCNH2/SCN5A) and 3335 BrS (SCN5A) cases from the International LQTS/BrS Genetics Consortia to population-specific gnomAD data and developed disease-specific criteria for ACMG/AMP evidence classes-rarity (PM2/BS1 rules) and case enrichment of individual (PS4) and domain-specific (PM1) variants.

Results: Rare SCN5A variant prevalence differed between European (20.8%) and Japanese (8.9%) BrS patients (p = 5.7 × 10) and diagnosis with spontaneous (28.7%) versus induced (15.8%) Brugada type 1 electrocardiogram (ECG) (p = 1.3 × 10). Ion channel transmembrane regions and specific N-terminus (KCNH2) and C-terminus (KCNQ1/KCNH2) domains were characterized by high enrichment of case variants and >95% probability of pathogenicity. Applying the customized rules, 17.4% of European BrS and 74.8% of European LQTS cases had (likely) pathogenic variants, compared with estimated diagnostic yields (case excess over gnomAD) of 19.2%/82.1%, reducing VUS prevalence to close to background rare variant frequency.

Conclusion: Large case-control data sets enable quantitative implementation of ACMG/AMP guidelines and increased sensitivity for inherited arrhythmia genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-00946-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790744PMC
January 2021

Functional coculture of sympathetic neurons and cardiomyocytes derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2020 11 21;319(5):H927-H937. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Department of Physiology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sympathetic neurons (SNs) capable of modulating the heart rate of murine cardiomyocytes (CMs) can be differentiated from human stem cells. The electrophysiological properties of human stem cell-derived SNs remain largely uncharacterized, and human neurocardiac cocultures remain to be established. Here, we have adapted previously published differentiation and coculture protocols to develop feeder-free SNs using human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). hiPSC-SNs were characterized in monoculture and coculture with hiPSC-CMs, using antibody labeling, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology techniques. hiPSC-SNs stained positive for peripherin, tyrosine hydroxylase, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, the latter two colocalizing in somas and synaptic varicosities. hiPSC-SNs functionally matured in vitro and exhibited healthy resting membrane potentials (average = -61 ± 0.7 mV), secreted norepinephrine upon activation, and generated synaptic and action currents and inward and outward voltage-dependent currents. All hiPSC-SNs fired action potentials in response to current injection, local application of potassium, or spontaneously, followed by short-medium afterhyperpolarizations. hiPSC-SNs could successfully be maintained in coculture with hiPSC-CMs, and this induced further development of hiPSC-SN action potential kinetics. To test functional coupling between the neurons and cardiomyocytes, the hiPSC-CM beating response to nicotine-induced norepinephrine release was assessed. In neurocardiac cocultures, nicotine exposure significantly increased the hiPSC-CM spontaneous beating rate, but not in hiPSC-CM monocultures, supporting nicotinic neuronal hiPSC-SN stimulation directly influencing hiPSC-CM function. Our data show the development and characterization of electrophysiologically functional hiPSC-SNs capable of modulating the beating rate of hiPSC-CMs in vitro. These human cocultures provide a novel multicellular model to study neurocardiac modulation under physiological and pathological conditions. We present data on a functional coculture between human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sympathetic neurons and cardiomyocytes. Moreover, this study adds significantly to the available data on the electrophysiological function of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sympathetic neurons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00546.2020DOI Listing
November 2020

Combining tissue engineering and optical imaging approaches to explore interactions along the neuro-cardiac axis.

R Soc Open Sci 2020 Jun 17;7(6):200265. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Interactions along the neuro-cardiac axis are being explored with regard to their involvement in cardiac diseases, including catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, long QT syndrome and sudden death in epilepsy. Interrogation of the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of neuro-cardiac diseases in animal models present challenges resulting from species differences, phenotypic variation, developmental effects and limited availability of data relevant at both the tissue and cellular level. By contrast, tissue-engineered models containing cardiomyocytes and peripheral sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons afford characterization of cellular- and tissue-level behaviours while maintaining precise control over developmental conditions, cellular genotype and phenotype. Such approaches are uniquely suited to long-term, high-throughput characterization using optical recording techniques with the potential for increased translational benefit compared to more established techniques. Furthermore, tissue-engineered constructs provide an intermediary between whole animal/tissue experiments and models. This paper reviews the advantages of tissue engineering methods of multiple cell types and optical imaging techniques for the characterization of neuro-cardiac diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7353978PMC
June 2020

A Population-Based Registry of Patients With Inherited Cardiac Conditions and Resuscitated Cardiac Arrest.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 06;75(21):2698-2707

Greenlane Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Services, Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand; Cardiac Inherited Disease Group, Auckland, New Zealand; Department of Paediatrics Child and Youth Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Electronic address:

Background: The relative proportion of each cardiac inherited disease (CID) causing resuscitated sudden cardiac arrest (RSCA) on a population basis is unknown.

Objectives: This study describes the profile of patients with CIDs presenting with RSCA; their data were collected by the national Cardiac Inherited Diseases Registry New Zealand (CIDRNZ).

Methods: Data were collated from CIDRNZ probands presenting with RSCA (2002 to 2018).

Results: CID was identified in 115 (51%) of 225 RSCA cases: long QT syndrome (LQTS) (n = 48 [42%]), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) (n = 28 [24%]), Brugada syndrome (BrS) (n = 16 [14%]), catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) (n = 9 [8%]), arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) (n = 9 [8%]), and dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 5 [4%]). Seventy-one (62%) of 115 were male. Of 725 probands from the CIDRNZ with CID, the proportion presenting with RSCA was: CPVT, 9 (53%) of 17; BrS, 16 (33%) of 49; ARVC, 9 (25%) of 36; LQTS, 48 (20%) of 238; dilated cardiomyopathy, 5 (9%) of 58; and HCM, 28 (8%) of 354. Incident activity was: normal everyday activities, 44 (40%); exercising, 33 (30%); concurrent illness, 13 (12%); sleeping, 10 (9%); drugs/medication, 9 (8%); and emotion, 2 (2%). LQTS and CPVT predominated in those <24 years of age, 30 (77%) of 39; cardiomyopathies and BrS predominated in those >24 years of age, 49 (64%) of 76. For those >40 years of age, HCM was the most common (33%) CID. A genetic diagnosis in patients with CID was made in 48 (49%) of 98 tested. Diagnosis by age range was as follows: age 1 to 14 years, 78%; age 15 to 24 years, 53%; age 25 to 39 years, 54%; and age >40 years, 26%.

Conclusions: The commonest CID identified after RSCA was LQTS; the most common CID cause of RSCA for those >40 years of age was HCM. CPVT was the CID most likely to present with RSCA and HCM the least. Genetic yield decreases with age. Only one-third of RSCA cases due to CID occurred while exercising.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.04.004DOI Listing
June 2020

Transethnic Genome-Wide Association Study Provides Insights in the Genetic Architecture and Heritability of Long QT Syndrome.

Circulation 2020 07 20;142(4):324-338. Epub 2020 May 20.

Masonic Medical Research Institute, Utica, NY (R.P.).

Background: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a rare genetic disorder and a major preventable cause of sudden cardiac death in the young. A causal rare genetic variant with large effect size is identified in up to 80% of probands (genotype positive) and cascade family screening shows incomplete penetrance of genetic variants. Furthermore, a proportion of cases meeting diagnostic criteria for LQTS remain genetically elusive despite genetic testing of established genes (genotype negative). These observations raise the possibility that common genetic variants with small effect size contribute to the clinical picture of LQTS. This study aimed to characterize and quantify the contribution of common genetic variation to LQTS disease susceptibility.

Methods: We conducted genome-wide association studies followed by transethnic meta-analysis in 1656 unrelated patients with LQTS of European or Japanese ancestry and 9890 controls to identify susceptibility single nucleotide polymorphisms. We estimated the common variant heritability of LQTS and tested the genetic correlation between LQTS susceptibility and other cardiac traits. Furthermore, we tested the aggregate effect of the 68 single nucleotide polymorphisms previously associated with the QT-interval in the general population using a polygenic risk score.

Results: Genome-wide association analysis identified 3 loci associated with LQTS at genome-wide statistical significance (<5×10) near , , and , and 1 missense variant in (p.Asp85Asn) at the suggestive threshold (<10). Heritability analyses showed that ≈15% of variance in overall LQTS susceptibility was attributable to common genetic variation ( 0.148; standard error 0.019). LQTS susceptibility showed a strong genome-wide genetic correlation with the QT-interval in the general population (r=0.40; =3.2×10). The polygenic risk score comprising common variants previously associated with the QT-interval in the general population was greater in LQTS cases compared with controls (<10-13), and it is notable that, among patients with LQTS, this polygenic risk score was greater in patients who were genotype negative compared with those who were genotype positive (<0.005).

Conclusions: This work establishes an important role for common genetic variation in susceptibility to LQTS. We demonstrate overlap between genetic control of the QT-interval in the general population and genetic factors contributing to LQTS susceptibility. Using polygenic risk score analyses aggregating common genetic variants that modulate the QT-interval in the general population, we provide evidence for a polygenic architecture in genotype negative LQTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.045956DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7382531PMC
July 2020

Genetic testing in Polynesian long QT syndrome probands reveals a lower diagnostic yield and an increased prevalence of rare variants.

Heart Rhythm 2020 08 27;17(8):1304-1311. Epub 2020 Mar 27.

Department of Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Services, Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.

Background: New Zealand has a multiethnic population and a national cardiac inherited disease registry (Cardiac Inherited Disease Registry New Zealand [CIDRNZ]). Ancestry is reflected in the spectrum and prevalence of genetic variants in long QT syndrome (LQTS).

Objective: The purpose of this study was to study the genetic testing yield and mutation spectrum of CIDRNZ LQTS probands stratified by self-identified ethnicity.

Methods: A 15-year retrospective review of clinical CIDRNZ LQTS probands with a Schwartz score of ≥2 who had undergone genetic testing was performed.

Results: Of the 264 included LQTS probands, 160 (61%) reported as European, 79 (30%) NZ Māori and Pacific peoples (Polynesian), and 25 (9%) Other ethnicities, with comparable clinical characteristics across ethnic groups (cardiac events in 72%; age at presentation 28±19 years; corrected QT interval 512±55 ms). Despite comparable testing (5.3±1.4 LQTS genes), a class III-V LQTS variant was identified in 35% of Polynesian probands as compared with 63% of European and 72% of Other probands (P<.0001). Among variant-positive CIDRNZ LQTS probands (n=148), Polynesians were more likely to have non-missense variants (57% vs 39% and 25% in probands of European and Other ethnicity, respectively; P=.005) as well as long QT syndrome type 1-3 variants not reported elsewhere (71% vs European 22% and Other 28%; P<.0001). Variants found in multiple probands were more likely to be shared within the same ethnic group; P<.01).

Conclusion: Genetic testing of Polynesian LQTS probands has a lower diagnostic yield, despite comparable testing and clinical disease severity. Rare LQTS variants are more common in Polynesian LQTS probands. These data emphasize the importance of increasing the knowledge of genetic variation in the Polynesian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.03.015DOI Listing
August 2020

Neuroscience in the heart: Recent advances in neurocardiac communication and its role in cardiac arrhythmias.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2020 05 6;122:105737. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Department of Physiology and Manaaki Mānawa Centre for Heart Research, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Electronic address:

Autonomic nervous system dysregulation is involved in the pathophysiology of multiple cardiac arrhythmias, and therefore modulating sympathetic or parasympathetic input to the heart provides novel therapeutic options for arrhythmia management. Examples include decreasing intrinsic cardiac neuron communication, patterned vagal nerve stimulation, denervation, and blockade of post-ganglionic neurons. However, lessons from ventricular arrhythmias, where increased sympathetic activity and vagal rebound activity both amplify arrhythmia risk, stress the importance of understanding the regulatory mechanisms that modulate the balance and levels of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. Of critical need is an increased understanding of plasticity mechanisms in the autonomic nervous system, to a level similar to what is known in the central nervous system, in order to develop safe and effective neuromodulatory therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2020.105737DOI Listing
May 2020

The Brain-Heart Connection in Sympathetically Triggered Inherited Arrhythmia Syndromes.

Heart Lung Circ 2020 Apr 16;29(4):529-537. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Sympathetically triggered inherited arrhythmia syndromes, including the long QT syndrome (LQTS) and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), can cause sudden cardiac death in young individuals with structurally normal hearts. With cardiac events typically triggered by physical or emotional stress, not surprisingly, two of the most common treatments are neuromodulators, including mainstay beta blocker pharmacotherapy, and surgical sympathetic cardiac denervation. This review updates the clinician on the relevant anatomy and physiology of the cardiac autonomic nervous system, outlines neurocardiac arrhythmia mechanisms, and discusses the latest rationale for a neurocardiac therapeutic approach to manage sympathetic-induced arrhythmia in patients with inherited cardiac disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2019.11.002DOI Listing
April 2020

Mothers with long QT syndrome are at increased risk for fetal death: findings from a multicenter international study.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2020 03 11;222(3):263.e1-263.e11. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Center for Cardiac Arrhythmias of Genetic Origin, Milan, Italy.

Background: Most fetal deaths are unexplained. Long QT syndrome is a genetic disorder of cardiac ion channels. Affected individuals, including fetuses, are predisposed to sudden death. We sought to determine the risk of fetal death in familial long QT syndrome, in which the mother or father carries the long QT syndrome genotype. In addition, we assessed whether risk differed if the long QT syndrome genotype was inherited from the mother or father.

Objective: This was a retrospective review of pregnancies in families with the 3 most common heterozygous pathogenic long QT syndrome genotypes in KCNQ1 (LQT1), KCNH2 (LQT2), or SCN5A (LQT3), which occur in approximately 1 in 2000 individuals. The purpose of our study was to compare pregnancy and birth outcomes in familial long QT syndrome with the normal population and between maternal and paternal carriers of the long QT syndrome genotype. We hypothesized that fetal death before (miscarriage) and after (stillbirths) 20 weeks gestation would be increased in familial long QT syndrome compared with the normal population and that the parent of origin would not affect birth outcomes.

Study Design: Our study was a multicenter observational case series of 148 pregnancies from 103 families (80 mothers, 23 fathers) with familial long QT syndrome (60 with LQT1, 29 with LQT2, 14 with LQT3) who were recruited from 11 international centers with expertise in hereditary heart rhythm diseases, pediatric and/or adult electrophysiology, and high-risk pregnancies. Clinical databases from these sites were reviewed for long QT syndrome that occurred in men or women of childbearing age (18-40 years). Pregnancy outcomes (livebirth, stillbirth, and miscarriage), birthweights, and gestational age at delivery were compared among long QT syndrome genotypes and between maternal vs paternal long QT syndrome-affected status with the use of logistic regression analysis.

Results: Most offspring (80%; 118/148) were liveborn at term; 66% of offspring (73/110) had long QT syndrome. Newborn infants of mothers with long QT syndrome were delivered earlier and, when the data were controlled for gestational age, weighed less than newborn infants of long QT syndrome fathers. Fetal arrhythmias were observed rarely, but stillbirths (fetal death at >20 weeks gestation) were 8 times more frequent in long QT syndrome (4% vs approximately 0.5%); miscarriages (fetal death at ≤20 weeks gestation) were 2 times that of the general population (16% vs 8%). The likelihood of fetal death was significantly greater with maternal vs paternal long QT syndrome (24.4% vs 3.4%; P=.036). Only 10% of all fetal deaths underwent postmortem long QT syndrome testing; 2 of 3 cases were positive for the family long QT syndrome genotype.

Conclusion: This is the first report to demonstrate that mothers with long QT syndrome are at increased risk of fetal death and to uncover a previously unreported cause of stillbirth. Our results suggest that maternal effects of long QT syndrome channelopathy may cause placental or myometrial dysfunction that confers increased susceptibility to fetal death and growth restriction in newborn survivors, regardless of long QT syndrome status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2019.09.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Channelopathies That Lead to Sudden Cardiac Death: Clinical and Genetic Aspects.

Heart Lung Circ 2019 Jan 4;28(1):22-30. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Heart Centre AMC, Department of Clinical and Experimental Cardiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Forty per cent (40%) of sudden unexpected natural deaths in people under 35 years of age are associated with a negative autopsy, and the cardiac ion channelopathies are the prime suspects in such cases. Long QT syndrome (LQTS), Brugada syndrome (BrS) and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) are the most commonly identified with genetic testing. The cellular action potential driving the heart cycle is shaped by a specific series of depolarising and repolarising ion currents mediated by ion channels. Alterations in any of these currents, and in the availability of intracellular free calcium, leaves the myocardium vulnerable to polymorphic ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Each channelopathy has its own electrocardiogram (ECG) signature, typical mode of presentation, and most commonly related gene. Long QT type 1 (gene, KCNQ1) and CPVT (gene, RyR2) typically present with cardiac events (ie syncope or cardiac arrest) during or immediately after exercise in young males; long QT type 2 (gene, KCNH2) after startle or during the night in adult females-particularly early post-partum, and long QT type 3 and Brugada syndrome (gene, SCN5A) during the night in young adult males. They are commonly misdiagnosed as seizure disorders. Fever-triggered cardiac events should also raise the suspicion of BrS. This review summarises genetics, cellular mechanisms, risk stratification and treatments. Beta blockers are the mainstay of treatment for long QT syndrome and CPVT, and flecainide is remarkably effective in CPVT. Brugada syndrome is genetically a more complex disease than the others, and risk stratification and management is more difficult.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2018.09.007DOI Listing
January 2019

SCN5A mutations in 442 neonates and children: genotype-phenotype correlation and identification of higher-risk subgroups.

Eur Heart J 2018 08;39(31):2879-2887

L'institut du thorax, INSERM, CNRS, UNIV Nantes, CHU Nantes, Nantes, France.

Aims: To clarify the clinical characteristics and outcomes of children with SCN5A-mediated disease and to improve their risk stratification.

Methods And Results: A multicentre, international, retrospective cohort study was conducted in 25 tertiary hospitals in 13 countries between 1990 and 2015. All patients ≤16 years of age diagnosed with a genetically confirmed SCN5A mutation were included in the analysis. There was no restriction made based on their clinical diagnosis. A total of 442 children {55.7% boys, 40.3% probands, median age: 8.0 [interquartile range (IQR) 9.5] years} from 350 families were included; 67.9% were asymptomatic at diagnosis. Four main phenotypes were identified: isolated progressive cardiac conduction disorders (25.6%), overlap phenotype (15.6%), isolated long QT syndrome type 3 (10.6%), and isolated Brugada syndrome type 1 (1.8%); 44.3% had a negative electrocardiogram phenotype. During a median follow-up of 5.9 (IQR 5.9) years, 272 cardiac events (CEs) occurred in 139 (31.5%) patients. Patients whose mutation localized in the C-terminus had a lower risk. Compound genotype, both gain- and loss-of-function SCN5A mutation, age ≤1 year at diagnosis in probands and age ≤1 year at diagnosis in non-probands were independent predictors of CE.

Conclusion: In this large paediatric cohort of SCN5A mutation-positive subjects, cardiac conduction disorders were the most prevalent phenotype; CEs occurred in about one-third of genotype-positive children, and several independent risk factors were identified, including age ≤1 year at diagnosis, compound mutation, and mutation with both gain- and loss-of-function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy412DOI Listing
August 2018

Fetal heart rate reflects mutation burden and clinical outcome in twin probands with mutations.

HeartRhythm Case Rep 2018 Jun 5;4(6):237-240. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrcr.2018.02.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6006493PMC
June 2018

Sex is a moderator of the association between NOS1AP sequence variants and QTc in two long QT syndrome founder populations: a pedigree-based measured genotype association analysis.

BMC Med Genet 2017 07 18;18(1):74. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Sequence variants in the NOS1AP gene have repeatedly been reported to influence QTc, albeit with moderate effect sizes. In the long QT syndrome (LQTS), this may contribute to the substantial QTc variance seen among carriers of identical pathogenic sequence variants. Here we assess three non-coding NOS1AP sequence variants, chosen for their previously reported strong association with QTc in normal and LQTS populations, for association with QTc in two Swedish LQT1 founder populations.

Methods: This study included 312 individuals (58% females) from two LQT1 founder populations, whereof 227 genotype positive segregating either Y111C (n = 148) or R518* (n = 79) pathogenic sequence variants in the KCNQ1 gene, and 85 genotype negatives. All were genotyped for NOS1AP sequence variants rs12143842, rs16847548 and rs4657139, and tested for association with QTc length (effect size presented as mean difference between derived and wildtype, in ms), using a pedigree-based measured genotype association analysis. Mean QTc was obtained by repeated manual measurement (preferably in lead II) by one observer using coded 50 mm/s standard 12-lead ECGs.

Results: A substantial variance in mean QTc was seen in genotype positives 476 ± 36 ms (Y111C 483 ± 34 ms; R518* 462 ± 34 ms) and genotype negatives 433 ± 24 ms. Female sex was significantly associated with QTc prolongation in all genotype groups (p < 0.001). In a multivariable analysis including the entire study population and adjusted for KCNQ1 genotype, sex and age, NOS1AP sequence variants rs12143842 and rs16847548 (but not rs4657139) were significantly associated with QT prolongation, +18 ms (p = 0.0007) and +17 ms (p = 0.006), respectively. Significant sex-interactions were detected for both sequent variants (interaction term r = 0.892, p < 0.001 and r = 0.944, p < 0.001, respectively). Notably, across the genotype groups, when stratified by sex neither rs12143842 nor rs16847548 were significantly associated with QTc in females (both p = 0.16) while in males, a prolongation of +19 ms and +8 ms (p = 0.002 and p = 0.02) was seen in multivariable analysis, explaining up to 23% of QTc variance in all males.

Conclusions: Sex was identified as a moderator of the association between NOS1AP sequence variants and QTc in two LQT1 founder populations. This finding may contribute to QTc sex differences and affect the usefulness of NOS1AP as a marker for clinical risk stratification in LQTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12881-017-0435-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5516337PMC
July 2017

Convergence of models of human ventricular myocyte electrophysiology after global optimization to recapitulate clinical long QT phenotypes.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2016 Nov 20;100:25-34. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, 405 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia; St Vincent's Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address:

In-silico models of human cardiac electrophysiology are now being considered for prediction of cardiotoxicity as part of the preclinical assessment phase of all new drugs. We ask the question whether any of the available models are actually fit for this purpose. We tested three models of the human ventricular action potential, the O'hara-Rudy (ORD11), the Grandi-Bers (GB10) and the Ten Tusscher (TT06) models. We extracted clinical QT data for LQTS1 and LQTS2 patients with nonsense mutations that would be predicted to cause 50% loss of function in I and I respectively. We also obtained clinical QT data for LQTS3 patients. We then used a global optimization approach to improve the existing in silico models so that they reproduced all three clinical data sets more closely. We also examined the effects of adrenergic stimulation in the different LQTS subsets. All models, in their original form, produce markedly different and unrealistic predictions of QT prolongation for LQTS1, 2 and 3. After global optimization of the maximum conductances for membrane channels, all models have similar current densities during the action potential, despite differences in kinetic properties of the channels in the different models, and more closely reproduce the prolongation of repolarization seen in all LQTS subtypes. In-silico models of cardiac electrophysiology have the potential to be tremendously useful in complementing traditional preclinical drug testing studies. However, our results demonstrate they should be carefully validated and optimized to clinical data before they can be used for this purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2016.09.011DOI Listing
November 2016

Third trimester fetal heart rate predicts phenotype and mutation burden in the type 1 long QT syndrome.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2015 Aug 27;8(4):806-14. Epub 2015 May 27.

From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics (A.W., M.L., J.P., A.R.) and Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Heart Centre (U.-B.D.), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Pediatric Clinic, Visby Hospital, Visby, Sweden (I.F.); Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden (G.W.); and Department of Physiology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand (A.W.).

Background: Early diagnosis and risk stratification is of clinical importance in the long QT syndrome (LQTS), however, little genotype-specific data are available regarding fetal LQTS. We investigate third trimester fetal heart rate, routinely recorded within public maternal health care, as a possible marker for LQT1 genotype and phenotype.

Methods And Results: This retrospective study includes 184 fetuses from 2 LQT1 founder populations segregating p.Y111C and p.R518X (74 noncarriers and 110 KCNQ1 mutation carriers, whereof 13 double mutation carriers). Pedigree-based measured genotype analysis revealed significant associations between fetal heart rate, genotype, and phenotype; mean third trimester prelabor fetal heart rates obtained from obstetric records (gestational week 29-41) were lower per added mutation (no mutation, 143±5 beats per minute; single mutation, 134±8 beats per minute; double mutations, 111±6 beats per minute; P<0.0001), and lower in symptomatic versus asymptomatic mutation carriers (122±10 versus 137±9 beats per minute; P<0.0001). Strong correlations between fetal heart rate and neonatal heart rate (r=0.700; P<0.001), and postnatal QTc (r=-0.762; P<0.001) were found. In a multivariable model, fetal genotype explained the majority of variance in fetal heart rate (-10 beats per minute per added mutation; P<1.0×10(-23)). Arrhythmia symptoms and intrauterine β-blocker exposure each predicted -7 beats per minute, P<0.0001.

Conclusions: In this study including 184 fetuses from 2 LQT1 founder populations, third trimester fetal heart rate discriminated between fetal genotypes and correlated with severity of postnatal cardiac phenotype. This finding strengthens the role of fetal heart rate in the early detection and risk stratification of LQTS, particularly for fetuses with double mutations, at high risk of early life-threatening arrhythmias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.114.002552DOI Listing
August 2015

Vestibular dysfunction is a clinical feature of the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome.

Scand Cardiovasc J 2015 Feb 23;49(1):7-13. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden.

Objectives: To investigate the possible association between Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome (JLNS) genotype and vestibular dysfunction.

Design: In 15 cases with JLNS, clinical data obtained from a semi-structured interview and full medical records were reviewed and post-rotatory nystagmus testing was performed.

Results: All genotyped cases (n = 14) had double KCNQ1 mutations. Symptoms of impaired balance were reported in 14/14 deaf JLNS cases. Gross motor developmental delay (not walking without support at 18 months of age) was seen in 11/12 cases with available data (mean age for walking: 24 months). A pathologic post-rotatory test was seen in 9/9 tested subjects, and in 3 subjects clinical testing had been performed showing complete lack of vestibular function. Vestibular dysfunction was seen in deaf JLNS cases with (n = 5) and without (n = 9) cochlear implants, including subjective symptoms (5/5 vs. 9/9) and gross motor developmental delay (5/5 vs. 6/8).

Conclusions: We identified a high frequency of symptoms and signs associated with vestibular dysfunction in deaf JLNS cases, irrespective of previous cochlear implantation. Disruption of endolymph homeostasis in the inner ear, including cochlea and vestibular system, by profound KCNQ1 function loss is the proposed mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14017431.2014.988172DOI Listing
February 2015

Phenotype, origin and estimated prevalence of a common long QT syndrome mutation: a clinical, genealogical and molecular genetics study including Swedish R518X/KCNQ1 families.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2014 Feb 19;14:22. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: The R518X/KCNQ1 mutation is a common cause of autosomal recessive (Jervell and Lange Nielsen Syndrome- JLNS) and autosomal dominant long QT syndrome (LQTS) worldwide. In Sweden p.R518X accounts for the majority of JLNS cases and is the second most common cause of LQTS. Here we investigate the clinical phenotype and origin of Swedish carriers of the p.R518X mutation.

Methods: The study included 19 Swedish p.R518X index families, ascertained by molecular genetics methods (101 mutation-carriers, whereof 15 JLNS cases and 86 LQTS cases). In all families analyses included assessment of clinical data (symptoms, medications and manually measured electrocardiograms), genealogy (census records), haplotype (microsatellite markers) as well as assessment of mutation age and associated prevalence (ESTIAGE and DMLE computer software).

Results: Clinical phenotype ranged from expectedly severe in JLNS to surprisingly benign in LQTS (QTc 576 ± 61 ms vs. 462 ± 34 ms, cumulative incidence of (aborted) cardiac arrest 47% vs. 1%, annual non-medicated incidence rate (aborted) cardiac arrest 4% vs. 0.04%).A common northern origin was found for 1701/1929 ancestors born 1650-1950. Historical geographical clustering in the coastal area of the Pite River valley was shown. A shared haplotype spanning the KCNQ1 gene was seen in 17/19 families. Mutation age was estimated to 28 generations (95% CI 19;41). A high prevalence of Swedish p.R518X heterozygotes was suggested (~1:2000-4000).

Conclusions: R518X/KCNQ1 occurs as a common founder mutation in Sweden and is associated with an unexpectedly benign phenotype in heterozygous carriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2261-14-22DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942207PMC
February 2014

Electrophysiological phenotype in the LQTS mutations Y111C and R518X in the KCNQ1 gene.

J Appl Physiol (1985) 2013 Nov 19;115(10):1423-32. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Heart Centre, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;

Long QT syndrome is the prototypical disorder of ventricular repolarization (VR), and a genotype-phenotype relation is postulated. Furthermore, although increased VR heterogeneity (dispersion) may be important in the arrhythmogenicity in long QT syndrome, this hypothesis has not been evaluated in humans and cannot be tested by conventional electrocardiography. In contrast, vectorcardiography allows assessment of VR heterogeneity and is more sensitive to VR alterations than electrocardiography. Therefore, vectorcardiography was used to compare the electrophysiological phenotypes of two mutations in the LQT1 gene with different in vitro biophysical properties, and with LQT2 mutation carriers and healthy control subjects. We included 99 LQT1 gene mutation carriers (57 Y111C, 42 R518X) and 19 LQT2 gene mutation carriers. Potassium channel function is in vitro most severely impaired in Y111C. The control group consisted of 121 healthy subjects. QRS, QT, and T-peak to T-end (Tp-e) intervals, measures of the QRS vector and T vector and their relationship, and T-loop morphology parameters were compared at rest. Apart from a longer heart rate-corrected QT interval (QT heart rate corrected according to Bazett) in Y111C mutation carriers, there were no significant differences between the two LQT1 mutations. No signs of increased VR heterogeneity were observed among the LQT1 and LQT2 mutation carriers. QT heart rate corrected according to Bazett and Tp-e were longer, and the Tp-e-to-QT ratio greater in LQT2 than in LQT1 and the control group. In conclusion, there was a marked discrepancy between in vitro potassium channel function and in vivo electrophysiological properties in these two LQT1 mutations. Together with previous observations of the relatively low risk for clinical events in Y111C mutation carriers, our results indicate need for cautiousness in predicting in vivo electrophysiological properties and the propensity for clinical events based on in vitro assessment of ion channel function alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00665.2013DOI Listing
November 2013

Founder mutations characterise the mutation panorama in 200 Swedish index cases referred for Long QT syndrome genetic testing.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2012 Oct 25;12:95. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Department of Medical Biosciences, Medical and Clinical Genetics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an inherited arrhythmic disorder characterised by prolongation of the QT interval on ECG, presence of syncope and sudden death. The symptoms in LQTS patients are highly variable, and genotype influences the clinical course. This study aims to report the spectrum of LQTS mutations in a Swedish cohort.

Methods: Between March 2006 and October 2009, two hundred, unrelated index cases were referred to the Department of Clinical Genetics, Umeå University Hospital, Sweden, for LQTS genetic testing. We scanned five of the LQTS-susceptibility genes (KCNQ1, KCNH2, SCN5A, KCNE1, and KCNE2) for mutations by DHPLC and/or sequencing. We applied MLPA to detect large deletions or duplications in the KCNQ1, KCNH2, SCN5A, KCNE1, and KCNE2 genes. Furthermore, the gene RYR2 was screened in 36 selected LQTS genotype-negative patients to detect cases with the clinically overlapping disease catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT).

Results: In total, a disease-causing mutation was identified in 103 of the 200 (52%) index cases. Of these, altered exon copy numbers in the KCNH2 gene accounted for 2% of the mutations, whereas a RYR2 mutation accounted for 3% of the mutations. The genotype-positive cases stemmed from 64 distinct mutations, of which 28% were novel to this cohort. The majority of the distinct mutations were found in a single case (80%), whereas 20% of the mutations were observed more than once. Two founder mutations, KCNQ1 p.Y111C and KCNQ1 p.R518*, accounted for 25% of the genotype-positive index cases. Genetic cascade screening of 481 relatives to the 103 index cases with an identified mutation revealed 41% mutation carriers who were at risk of cardiac events such as syncope or sudden unexpected death.

Conclusion: In this cohort of Swedish index cases with suspected LQTS, a disease-causing mutation was identified in 52% of the referred patients. Copy number variations explained 2% of the mutations and 3 of 36 selected cases (8%) harboured a mutation in the RYR2 gene. The mutation panorama is characterised by founder mutations (25%), even so, this cohort increases the amount of known LQTS-associated mutations, as approximately one-third (28%) of the detected mutations were unique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2261-12-95DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3520728PMC
October 2012

Vectorcardiographic recordings of the Q-T interval in a pediatric long Q-T syndrome population.

Pediatr Cardiol 2013 Feb 18;34(2):245-9. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Heart Centre, Umeå University, 90185 Umeå, Sweden.

Measurements of the Q-T interval are less reliable in children than in adults. Identification of superior diagnostic tools is warranted. This study aimed to investigate whether a vectorcardiogram (VCG) recorded from three orthogonal leads (X, Y, Z) according to Frank is superior to a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) in providing a correct long Q-T syndrome (LQTS) diagnosis in children. This LQTS group consisted of 35 genetically confirmed carriers of mutations in the KCNQ1 (n = 29) and KCNH2 (n = 6) genes. The control group consisted of 35 age- and gender-matched healthy children. The mean age was 7 years in the LQTS group and 6.7 years in the control group (range, 0.5-16 years). The corrected Q-T interval (QT(c)) was measured manually (QT(man)) by one author (A.W.). The 12-lead ECG automatic measurements (QT(ECG)) and interpretation (QT(Interpret)) of QT(c) were performed with the Mac5000 (GE Medical System), and the VCG automatic measurements (QT(VCG)) were performed with the Mida1000, CoroNet (Ortivus AB, Sweden). By either method, a QT(c) longer than 440 ms was considered prolonged and indicative of LQTS. Of the 35 children with genetically confirmed LQTS, 30 (86 %) received a correct diagnosis using QT(VCG), 29 (82 %) using QT(man), 24 (69 %) using QT(ECG), and 17 (49 %) using QT(Interpret). Specificity was 0.80 for QT(VCG), 0.83 for QT(man), 0.77 for QT(ECG), and 0.83 for QT(Interpret). The VCG automatic measurement of QT(c) seems to be a better predictor of LQTS than automatic measurement and interpretation of 12-lead ECG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00246-012-0425-2DOI Listing
February 2013

Iron-deficiency anaemia, gastric hyperplasia, and elevated gastrin levels due to potassium channel dysfunction in the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome.

Cardiol Young 2013 Jun 18;23(3):325-34. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Aim: We investigated extra-cardiac clinical symptoms and signs in the rare Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome, characterised by impaired KCNQ1 function, a gene essential for gastric acid secretion.

Methods: All Swedish Jervell and Lange-Nielsen cases with double KCNQ1 mutations (14 cases) were investigated by medical record review, an interview, and were offered laboratory testing for iron-deficiency anaemia and gastrointestinal markers.

Results: A history of iron-deficiency anaemia in 12 of 14 patients and subjective gastrointestinal symptoms in 13 of 14 patients was revealed. Previous endoscopy in five cases had revealed no case of coeliac or inflammatory bowel disease but three cases of mucosal hyperplasia/dysplasia. Current signs of anaemia or iron substitution were present in 9 of 12 tested cases. Elevated levels of gastrin in seven of nine cases, pepsinogen in six of seven cases, and faecal calprotectin in nine of nine cases were present. A significant correlation between elevated gastrin levels and concurrent iron-deficiency and/or anaemia was revealed (p-value 0.039).

Conclusions: A high frequency of extra-cardiac clinical symptoms and previous medical investigations was found. We propose that the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome phenotypically includes gastrointestinal symptoms/signs and secondary iron-deficiency anaemia owing to hypochlorhydria on the basis of KCNQ1 mutations. The resultant elevated gastrin level is a potential risk factor for later gastrointestinal cancer. Clinical monitoring with regard to developing anaemia and hypergastrinaemia should be considered in the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1047951112001060DOI Listing
June 2013

Prevalence, mutation spectrum, and cardiac phenotype of the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome in Sweden.

Europace 2012 Dec 26;14(12):1799-806. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, 90185 Umeå, Sweden.

Aims: To explore the national prevalence, mutation spectrum, cardiac phenotype, and outcome of the uncommon Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome (JLNS), associated with a high risk of sudden cardiac death.

Methods And Results: A national inventory of clinical JLNS cases was performed. Genotype and area of origin were ascertained in index families. Retrospective clinical data were collected from medical records and interviews. We identified 19 cases in 13 Swedish families. A JLNS prevalence >1:200 000 was revealed (five living cases <10 years of age). The mutation spectrum consisted of eight KCNQ1 mutations, whereof p.R518X in 12/24 alleles. Geographic clustering of four mutations (20/24 alleles) and similarities to Norway's mutation spectrum were seen. A high prevalence of heterozygotes was suggested. Three paediatric cases on β-blockers since birth were as yet asymptomatic. Seven symptomatic cases had suffered an aborted cardiac arrest and four had died suddenly. QTc prolongation was significantly longer in symptomatic cases (mean 605 ± 62 vs. 518 ± 50 ms, P = 0.016). β-Blockers reduced, but did not abolish, cardiac events in any previously symptomatic case. β-Blocker type, dosage, and compliance probably affect outcome significantly. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy (ICD, n = 6) was associated with certain complications; however, no case of sudden death.

Conclusion: Founder effects could explain 83% of the Swedish JLNS mutation spectrum and probably contribute to the high JLNS prevalence found in preadolescent Swedish children. Due to the severe cardiac phenotype in JLNS, the importance of stringent β-blocker therapy and compliance, and consideration of ICD implantation in the case of therapy failure is stressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eus111DOI Listing
December 2012

Origin of the Swedish long QT syndrome Y111C/KCNQ1 founder mutation.

Heart Rhythm 2011 Apr 30;8(4):541-7. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: The Y111C/KCNQ1 mutation causes a dominant-negative effect in vitro but a benign clinical phenotype in a Swedish long QT syndrome population.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the origin (genealogic, geographic, genetic, and age) of the Y111C/KCNQ1 mutation in Sweden.

Methods: We identified 170 carriers of the Y111C/KCNQ1 mutation in 37 Swedish proband families. Genealogic investigation was performed for all families. Haplotype analysis was performed in 26 probands, 21 family members, and 84 healthy Swedish controls, using 15 satellite markers flanking the KCNQ1 gene. Mutation age was estimated using ESTIAGE and DMLE computer software and regional population demographic data.

Results: All probands were traced back to a northern river valley region. A founder couple born in 1605/1614 connected 26 of 37 families. Haplotyped probands shared 2-14 (median 10) uncommon alleles, with frequencies ranging between 0.01 and 0.41 (median 0.16) in the controls. The age of the mutation was estimated to 24 generations (95% confidence interval 18; 34), that is, 600 years (95% confidence interval 450; 850) assuming 25 years per generation. The number of now living Swedish Y111C mutation carriers was estimated to approximately 200-400 individuals for the mutation age span 22-24 generations and population growth rates 25%-27%.

Conclusion: The Y111C/KCNQ1 mutation is a Swedish long QT syndrome founder mutation that was introduced in the northern population approximately 600 years ago. Enrichment of the mutation was enabled by a mild clinical phenotype and strong regional founder effects during population development of the northern inland. The Y111C/KCNQ1 founder population constitutes an important asset for future genetic and clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.11.043DOI Listing
April 2011

Low incidence of sudden cardiac death in a Swedish Y111C type 1 long-QT syndrome population.

Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2009 Dec 14;2(6):558-64. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Cardiology Heart Centre, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: A 10% cumulative incidence and a 0.3% per year incidence rate of sudden cardiac death in patients younger than 40 years and without therapy have been reported in type 1 long-QT syndrome. The Y111C-KCNQ1 mutation causes a severe phenotype in vitro, suggesting a high-risk mutation. This study investigated the phenotype among Y111C-KCNQ1 mutation carriers in the Swedish population with a focus on life-threatening cardiac events.

Methods And Results: We identified 80 mutation carriers in 15 index families, segregating the Y111C-KCNQ1 mutation during a national inventory of mutations causing the long-QT syndrome. Twenty-four mutation carriers <40 years experienced syncope (30%). One mutation carrier had an aborted cardiac arrest (1.25%). No case of sudden cardiac death was reported during a mean nonmedicated follow-up of 25+/-20 years. This corresponds to a low incidence rate of life-threatening cardiac events (0.05%/year versus 0.3%/year, P=0.025). In 8 Y111C families connected by a common ancestor, the natural history of the mutation was assessed by investigating the survival over the age of 40 years for 107 nonmedicated ascertained mutation carriers (n=24) and family members (n=83) born between 1873 and 1968. In total, 4 deaths in individuals younger than 40 years were noted: 1 case of noncardiac death and 3 infant deaths between 1873 and 1915.

Conclusions: The dominant-negative Y111C-KCNQ1 mutation, associated with a severe phenotype in vitro, presents with a low incidence of life-threatening cardiac events in a Swedish population. This finding of discrepancy emphasizes the importance of clinical observations in the risk stratification of long-QT syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.108.825547DOI Listing
December 2009

Two automatic QT algorithms compared with manual measurement in identification of long QT syndrome.

J Electrocardiol 2010 Jan-Feb;43(1):25-30

Heart Centre Clinical Physiology, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an inherited disorder that increases the risk of syncope and malignant ventricular arrhythmias, which may result in sudden death.

Methods: We compared manual measurement by 4 observers (QT(manual)) and 3 computerized measurements for QT interval accuracy in the diagnosis of LQTS: 1. QT measured from the vector magnitude calculated from the 3 averaged orthogonal leads X, Y, and Z (QTVCG) and classified using the same predefined QTc cut-points for classification of QT prolongation as in manual measurements; 2. QT measured by a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) program (QTECG) and subsequently classified using the same cut-points as in (1) above; 3. The same QT value as in (2) above, automatically classified by a 12-lead ECG program with thresholds for QT prolongation adjusted for age and sex (QTinterpret). The population consisted of 94 genetically confirmed carriers of KCNQ1 (LQT1) and KCNH2 (LQT2) mutations and a combined control group of 28 genetically confirmed noncarriers and 66 unrelated healthy volunteers.

Results: QT(VCG) provided the best combination of sensitivity (89%) and specificity (90%) in diagnosing LQTS, with 0.948 as the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. The evaluation of QT measurement by the 4 observers revealed a high interreader variability, and only 1 of 4 observers showed acceptable level of agreement in LQTS mutation carrier identification (kappa coefficient >0.75).

Conclusion: Automatic QT measurement by the Mida1000/CoroNet system (Ortivus AB, Danderyd, Sweden) is an accurate, efficient, and easily applied method for initial screening for LQTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2009.09.008DOI Listing
March 2010
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