Merits and pitfalls of genetic testing in a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy clinic

Michael Arad, Lorenzo Monserrat, Shiraz Haron-Khun, Jonathan G. Seidman, Christine E. Seidman, Eloisa Arbustini, Michael Glikson, Dov Freimark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a familial disease with autosomal dominant inheritance and agedependent penetrance, caused primarily by mutations of sarcomere genes. Because the clinical variability of HCM is related to its genetic heterogeneity, genetic studies may improve the diagnosis and prognostic evaluation in HCM.

Objectives: To analyze the impact of genetic diagnosis on the clinical management of HCM.

Methods: Genetic studies were performed for either research or clinical reasons. Once the disease-causing mutation was identified, the management plan was reevaluated. Family members were invited to receive genetic counseling and encouraged to be tested for the mutation.

Results: Ten mutations in sarcomere protein genes were identified in 9 probands: 2 novel and 8 previously described. Advanced heart failure or sudden death in a young person prompted the genetic study in 8 of the 9 families. Of 98 relatives available for genotyping, only 53 (54%) agreed to be tested. The compliance was higher in families with sudden death and lower in what appeared to be sporadic HCM or elderlyonset disease. Among the healthy we identified 9 carriers and 19 non-carriers. In 6 individuals the test result resolved an uncertainty about “possible HCM.” In several cases the genetic result was also used for family planning and played a role in decisions on cardioverter-defibrillator implantation.

Conclusions: Recurrence of a same mutation in different families created an opportunity to apply the information from the literature for risk stratification of individual patients. We suggest that the clinical context determines the indication for genetic testing and interpretation of the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707
Number of pages1
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Compliance
  • Family planning
  • Gene testing
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Implantable cardioverterdefibrillator (ICD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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