Interpreting Incidentally Identified Variants in Genes Associated With Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia in a Large Cohort of Clinical Whole-Exome Genetic Test Referrals.


BACKGROUND:The rapid expansion of genetic testing has led to increased utilization of clinical whole-exome sequencing (WES). Clinicians and genetic researchers are being faced with assessing risk of disease vulnerability from incidentally identified genetic variants which is typified by variants found in genes associated with sudden death-predisposing catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). We sought to determine whether incidentally identified variants in genes associated with CPVT from WES clinical testing represent disease-associated biomarkers. METHODS AND RESULTS:CPVT-associated genes RYR2 and CASQ2 variants were identified in one of the world's largest collections of clinical WES referral tests (N=6517, Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories) and compared with a control cohort of ostensibly healthy individuals (N=60 706) and a case cohort of CPVT cases (N=155). Within the WES cohort, the rate of rare variants in CPVT-associated genes was 8.8% compared with 6.0% among controls and 60.0% among cases. There was a predominance of variants of undetermined significance (97.7%). After protein topology mapping, WES variants colocalized more frequently to residues with variants found in controls compared with cases. Retrospective clinical evaluation of individuals referred to our institution with WES-positive variants demonstrated no evidence of clinical CPVT in individuals with a low pretest clinical suspicion for CPVT. CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of incidentally identified CPVT-associated variants is ≈9% among WES tests. Variants of undetermined significances in CPVT-associated genes in WES genetic testing, in the absence of clinical suspicion for CPVT, are unlikely to represent markers of CPVT pathogenicity.





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Publication Info

Landstrom, AP, AL Dailey-Schwartz, JA Rosenfeld, Y Yang, MJ McLean, CY Miyake, SO Valdes, Y Fan, et al. (2017). Interpreting Incidentally Identified Variants in Genes Associated With Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia in a Large Cohort of Clinical Whole-Exome Genetic Test Referrals. Circulation. Arrhythmia and electrophysiology, 10(4). 10.1161/CIRCEP.116.004742 Retrieved from

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Andrew Paul Landstrom

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Landstrom is a physician scientist who specializes in the care of children and young adults with arrhythmias, heritable cardiovascular diseases, and sudden unexplained death syndromes. As a clinician, he is trained in pediatric cardiology with a focus on arrhythmias and genetic diseases of the heart.  He specializes in caring for patients with heritable arrhythmia (channelopathies) such as long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and short QT syndrome.  He also specializes in the evaluation of children following a cardiac arrest or after the sudden and unexplained death of a family member.  He has expertise in cardiovascular genetics and uses it to identify individuals in a family who may be at risk of a disease, even if all clinical testing is negative.  As a scientist, he is trained in genetics and cell biology.  He runs a research lab exploring the genetic and molecular causes of arrhythmias, sudden unexplained death syndromes, and heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathies).  He utilizes patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and genetic mouse models to identify the mechanisms of cardiovascular genetic disease with the goal of developing novel therapies.

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