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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December 2012
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